Beach Club 1 Bedroom Villa Review

This September I was lucky enough to stay in a recently refurbished one bedroom villa at Disney’s Beach Club Villas. If you’ve followed any of my room reviews before, my family tends to like their space in hotel rooms, meaning we seek rooms that are different from the standard 2 queen beds. From the family suites at Disney’s Art of Animation to the cottage suites at Disney’s Boardwalk we’ve tried some amazing alternative rooms at different Disney resorts and have loved them all. But Beach Club was something truly special!

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

The bathroom in this one bedroom consisted of 3 separate areas: a toilet behind a door, an area that held the tub and a sink/mirror combination, then the third area where the glass door shower and a second sink/mirror set was. I loved this area, so several people could be getting ready for the day at once. And that tub was perfect for the little one’s bath! If we’d had more time in this room I may have just taken a bath in here myself too.

Another great thing about these one bedroom villas is how they truly feel like home. The sitting area has a comfy couch, chairs and large screen TV and a table and chairs for meals just like at home.

beachclub9

From a full size fridge to a stove, dishwasher and all the cooking utensils and silverware you might need, these kitchens are perfect for those who’d like to eat some meals at “home” while on vacation.

Some other major benefits to staying at the Beach Club were the super comfy queen bed in the bedroom (plus more than enough room for the pack and play we used for my daughter), the location (all that entertainment on the boardwalk!) and access to the amazing Stormalong Bay pool shared by the Beach and Yacht Clubs. That pool is worth the price of admission alone, friends!

14358858_10154021666519423_4450645997255316608_n

Unique Dining Outside of the Parks – Part I

Sometimes when planning dining reservations for a Walt Disney World vacation people focus on restaurants in the parks.   Fortunately, there are many, many choices outside of the parks and if you plan correctly going to a dining reservation outside of the parks doesn’t have to take a lot of time out of your day.  Of if you aren’t planning to visit a park you can still have plenty of fun and even meet some Disney friends!

 Magic Kingdom Resort Area:
Grand Floridian Resort has two very unique character meal options both at the same restaurant, 1900 Park Fare.  For breakfast you can meet Mary Poppins, Alice, the Mad Hatter, Tigger and Winnie the Pooh.  For dinner you can meet up with Cinderella, Prince Charming, Lady Tremaine and her daughters Anastasia and Drizella.

Also at the Grand Floridian there is Victoria & Albert’s a very upscale restaurant, having an AAA Five Diamond rating since 2000.  There is also the highly coveted Chef’s Table at Victoria & Albert’s which features 13 courses and the chef personally conversing between courses.  This is definitely a bucket list item!

victoria-and-alberts-00

Photo via Disney.com

Citricos Dining with an Imagineer is a very unique option outside of the park.  Who wouldn’t love to pick the brain of a Disney Imagineer?  This is your chance to ask questions and learn about the behind the scenes of Walt Disney World. 

Within the Wilderness Lodge you will find the Whispering Canyon Café, a buffet with some shenanigans.  If you love great food, a neat atmosphere and sassy and fun cast members you will want to make the trip to Wilderness Lodge for this family style bottomless platters!  Just be careful when you ask for ketchup or straws!

 In the Polynesian Village Resort there is a unique character meal featuring Lilo and Stitch as well at Mickey and Pluto in Hawaiian gear.  Lilo is not featured anywhere else so if you have a person who loves Lilo and Stitch this is THE place to go!

 Hoop-Dee-Doo Musical Revue is located at the Campsites at Fort Wilderness and boasts an amazing dinner show with great food, fun, vaudeville comedy, singing and dancing.  And of course Strawberry Shortcake!  There are multiple shows each day in different price categories based on your seat.  You can read Tara’s review here.

Epcot Resort Area:
Another great character meal option is at the Beach Club, Cape May Café!  This is a character meal for breakfast only and features Minnie and friends in their beach attire!  So if you are in Epcot or Hollywood Studios or staying at an Epcot are resort this is a fantastic option that isn’t as well-known as other character meals.  You can read a review right here! 

cape-may-cafe-gallery02

Photo via Disney.com

Beaches and Cream in the Beach Club boasts more than just ice cream.  This old-fashioned soda fountain has a full menu of burgers, salads, sandwiches, and soup.  But most people are coming for The Kitchen Sink.  This creation has scoops of 5 different types of ice creams, every topping imaginable plus a whole can of whipped cream.  You will need the whole family to finish this monster!  But beware when you order it you will cause some heads to turn since the whole restaurant will light up as this treat makes its way to your table.

 Todd English’s bluezoo located in the Dolphin Hotel is a sleeper choice.  It is a pricey dinner, so maybe for a special occasion this is a great choice.  It has won numerous awards and does awesome seafood as well as plenty of beef, chicken and pork dishes to keep everyone happy.  They even feature a pretty great kid’s menu if you are bringing the whole family.  The restaurant itself is beautiful and you will want to get dressed up for this dinner.

bluezoo

Photo via Disney.com


Check back soon for more  dining suggestions on the Animal Kingdom Resort area and Disney Springs!

 

Shipping Packages to Your Resort

There is a little known way to save some money at Walt Disney World. Did you know that you can send packages ahead of your visit to your resort? It is a simple process but there are a few things you will want to know.

The first is that at any resort that is a considered a conference resort will charge a fee. These resorts are the Contemporary Resort, Beach Club, and Coronado Springs Resort.

You will need to address it correctly. Here is the format you should use:

Your name- Hold for Guest Arrival *date of arrival*
C/O Resort name
Street Address of resort
City, State Zip code

IMG_2555

When you arrive for check in you will want to ask the cast member at the desk if your package has arrived and they will have it delivered to your room. You do not have to be in the room to accept the package delivery so if you have plans to go elsewhere do not worry.

So what would you have delivered ahead of you? The one thing I always order is a case of water. Water costs $2.75 a bottle and when you multiply that by the number of people it really adds up. You can get free cups of ice water but we like to be able to take our water with us on the go. If you don’t drink Coke products and have to have that Pepsi this is a good way to have your drink of choice without having to purchase them one at a time or bring them with you. This is a good way to get snacks to your resort too. Another great item to ship ahead is diapers and wipes. Baggage prices can be expensive so only taking a small number of diapers with you can really save the luggage space. This is especially helpful if you are going for a longer vacation.

Another great reason for shipping to your resort is if you are planning to use only Walt Disney World transportation. This means no stops off to a grocery store or Target to pick up these essentials. So in the end it can save you a lot of money if you plan it out correctly!

Podcast Episode 55: Disney From A Kid’s Perspective

Have you ever really sat down with a kid and asked them what they wanted out of a Disney vacation?  We did!  Our special guest this week tells us all about what she likes about Walt Disney World, what she doesn’t like, what she’d like to see, and what she’d do on her perfect Disney day.

Happy listening!

Listen to Desktop

Listen to iTunes

Podcast Episode 48: Our Perfect Disney Days

Have you ever thought about what would happen on your perfect Disney day?  We have and in this episode we tell you all about them!  Find out where we would stay, what attractions we would see and do, and most importantly, where we would eat!  Listen through to the end where we give you some tips on how to make your own perfect Disney day!

Happy listening

Listen to Desktop

Listen to iTunes

Podcast Episode 46: Deluxe Resorts Overview Part 2

We continue our overview of all the Deluxe Walt Disney World resorts this week!  We cover, Beach Club, Yacht Club, Contemporary, and Polynesian!  Find out which are our favorites while learning more about these amazing resorts!

Happy listening!

Listen to Desktop

Listen to iTunes

What does $4000 get a family of 4 at Walt Disney World?

I really enjoyed this exercise on the podcast so if you missed it you can check it out here: https://dolewhipped.com/2015/03/16/podcast-episode-43-how-far-does-your-money-go-at-disney/

My budget was pretty great, you can take a fantastic vacation for this price. I have four options that all come in under budget. All are for a family of 2 adults, 2 children under 9. One other thing to note is that these prices are rack rate, so there is no promotion or discounts applied.

In the Deluxe category we have two choices!

6 night stay at Wilderness Lodge (standard view) with 7 day Park Hopper tickets for $3,984.76.

Photo via Disney.com

Photo via Disney.com

4 night stay at Beach Club Villas in a Deluxe Studio 5 day base park tickets, Disney Dining Plan and Memory Maker for $3,980.40.

Photo via Disney.com

Photo via Disney.com

For Moderates you have what is a pretty typical Disney vacation for many families. This is the kind of trip you might take every 3-4 years and really go all out.

6 nights at Port Orleans Riverside with 7 day Park Hopper and Disney Dining Plan at $3,944.20.

por

I wanted to get a bit silly with the Value Resort and see how far I could take the extras while still getting a full week at the resort. I went with Pop Century as it is the most popular of the Values.

5 nights at Pop Century, Pool View, 6 day Park Hopper with Water Parks Fun and More, Deluxe Dining Plan for $3,985.44.

popcentury Of all these trips the one I would be most likely to take would be the Port Orleans Riverside stay, mostly because it is the longest but still has a great dining plan and park hoppers. The thing I learned most from this was that there really is something at Disney for every budget level and yes you can even go for a couple days and stay under $1,500.

Which of these options is most appealing to you?

Podcast Episode 40: Epcot Area Resort Dining

Join us this week as we discuss all your dining options in the Epcot Resort area! This includes everything within BoardWalk Inn, Beach Club, and Yacht Club! We also have ex-Cast Member Chris back on the show with us! If you’re thinking of staying in the Epcot area, you don’t want to miss this show!

Happy listening!

Listen to Desktop

Listen to iTunes

Which Resort Is Right For Me? Foodie Edition

As a travel agent, it’s very important to me that I find the resort that best fits my client’s needs and the needs of their family. That’s why I’m putting together a series of posts that help you decide which resort is right for you.

Are you a “foodie”?  Are you always thinking about what’s for dinner…while you’re eating breakfast?  If so, this post is going to help you decide which resort is right for you when you’ve got nibbles on your noggin.

This post is going to skew Deluxe resort heavy, mainly because there are more restaurants to choose from at those resorts, but hang around because I think you’ll like where I’m going with this.

Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort – Deluxe

If you’d like to get a small taste of Hawaii, try ‘Ohana.  If you go for breakfast, try the POG juice.  It’s a guest favorite!

‘Ohana menu

Disney’s Beach Club Resort – Deluxe

If you stay here, you’ll be on site for one of my favorites, Beaches & Cream Soda Shop!  This adorable diner has typical grill fare like burgers and fries, but also has the BEST ice cream on Disney property.  If you’ve got some friends and are hungry for some sweet treats, try The Kitchen Sink!

Beaches & Cream Soda Shop menu

Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge – Deluxe

Serving a mix of African, Indian, and Mediterranean style cooking, Jiko – The Cooking Place is sure to please those with an adventurous palate.

Jiko – The Cooking Place menu

Art of Animation – Value

I know a Value level resort seems like an unlikely place to find great food but their food court, Landscape of Flavors, is my one of my favorite quick service stops on Disney property.  They have a vast section of dishes from Create-Your-Own pasta to Tandoori Shrimp.  Everyone in the family is sure to find something they love.

Landscape of Flavors menu