Podcast Episode 81: Girls Trip Report

Last episode we covered the planning of a girls trip and this week we have a trip report!  Jamie, Tara, and Shannon made the girls trip happen and they’ve come back to let you all know about the fun and informative things they did.  There’s even a segment on recon over at the Dark Side, aka Universal.  Don’t miss it!

Happy listening!

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Podcast Episode 66: Disney For Couples

Despite the families that flock to Walt Disney World, it can be a very romantic place for couples.  Join us this week as we give you some tips and tricks to make your next Disney vacation magical as well as romantic.

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Disney Club Level: What is it and why do I want it?

Disney has a category of rooms that are called “Club Level” or “Concierge Level” and though not a secret they are sometimes considered a “hidden gem”. I thought I would help share what it is and you can decide for yourself if it is something that would benefit or enhance your next Disney trip enough to make it worth the extra pennies (okay maybe not pennies!) that it will cost you!

This week will be an overview of Club Level and then the series will continue with an in-depth look at the different resorts club level benefits and extras so if you DO decide that you want to try out club level you will know which resort’s club level offerings are right for you. Club level does have many similarities throughout the different resorts but they as well have been customized for each resort.

Thanks Disneyworld.Disney.Go.com for the photo of Club Level Lounge

Thanks Disneyworld.Disney.Go.com for the photo of Club Level Lounge

First, not all resorts offer club levels and only Deluxe resorts have true club level rooms. One moderate has an option that resembles club level and that is Coronado Springs Business Class rooms. It is not called club level but has some of the same benefits such as a lounge only accessed by Business Class guests but it does not have the full offering that the deluxe true Club Level rooms offer. As we go through the series we will have a specific article on Business Class at Coronado Springs where we compare it to the full Club Level and tell you more about it.  All of the deluxe resorts now offer Club Level category so that list is Grand Floridian, Polynesian, Contemporary, Wilderness Lodge, Beach Club, Yacht Club, Boardwalk and Animal Kingdom Lodge. Disney Vacation Club villa resorts that are deluxe villas category do not offer club level rooms. So, for example Bay Lake Tower or the Boardwalk Villas do not have this option.

Some people get confused and think Club Level has something to do with the concierge desk at the resort’s front desk. It does not and is separate so anyone staying at that resort can utilize the concierge desk in the resort’s lobby. Only Club Level can work with the concierge that is Club Level only and has a separate desk.

One of the best services that Club Level offers is the Itinerary Planning Office. Prior to your visit your TA and the IPO will work together to get your schedule set. While on your vacation they are a valuable resource when needing to move reservations around or if something comes up and you need to cancel reservations or fastpasses, etc.

AKLOne of the favorite services that Club Level offers is the lounge. Usually club level rooms are on the same floor or at least in the same area. Each of the resorts have a Club Lounge that offers complimentary food and drinks throughout the day and night.The lounges offer comfortable seating and TV’s (one is just for the kids with Disney cartoons playing). You can definitely eat a great breakfast here and heavy snacks throughout the day. I know many Club Level guests that even will eat dinner here in the evening. Though it is not a traditional restaurant or somewhere that has a menu that you order from their snacks are filling enough that you can definitely get full. There are a variety of hot and cold appetizers from the resort restaurants and wine and beer; along with soda and juice to fill you up. In the later eveningPoly CL2 they will have desserts and cordials out to indulge in. They do print menus of that week’s food and you will get that from your Club Level concierge or pick up at the lounge. The lounge is open from 7am to 10pm.

Club level rooms typically offer additional amenities as well. You will find luxurious robes in your room, spa-quality toiletries and DVD players, along with sometimes slightly larger rooms. For example, a Club Level room at Animal Kingdom Lodge is one of the deluxe category rooms (unless you have a suite). You also can request nightly turn-down service if you wish while you are staying Club Level.

Poly CLAnother benefit of Club Level is you will have your own check-in area that will make waiting in line to check-in a thing of the past. Club level access is secure and is restricted to club level guests only. In the past, a special Gold colored Keys to the Kingdom card would allow you access but now it is stored on your magic bands.

Each resort has unique reasons why Club Level is special and as we go through this series you will find that it might be the special, Club Level only Sunrise Safari at Animal Kingdom Lodge that appeals to you or that the Sushi during the dinner hours at the Poly Club Level steals your heart. There are so many appealing reasons to think about staying Club Level at Disney and I guarantee you there is one that is practically perfect for you!

Have you stayed Club Level at Disney before? What was your favorite part?

Disney's Club Level- (1)

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

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Podcast Episode 45: Deluxe Resorts Overview Part 1

Join the crew this week as we discuss all things Deluxe!  This episode covers Grand Floridian, Old Key West, Saratoga Springs, Boardwalk Inn, Wilderness Lodge, and Animal Kingdom Lodge.  We fill you in on all the amenities each has to offer as well as a general overview of our impressions of each hotel.  And don’t forget to tune in next week for the wrap up!  Don’t miss it!

Happy listening!

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Podcast Episode 41: Non-Park Day Activities

Join us and special guest, Lee, as we talk about all the fun things you can do on your Disney vacation that don’t require a park ticket.  It’s always a good idea to take a break from the crowds and do something a little lower key and we have plenty of tips to help you make the most of those days.

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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!

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Podcast Episode 36: What’s New In 2015

We’re back for our first podcast episode of 2015!  We hope you’ll join us as we talk about all the new things happening at Disney parks for the new year.  We talk about attraction closings and refurbs not to mention the new lobby at the Polynesian.  Don’t miss it!

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Disney’s Boardwalk Resort

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Disney’s Boardwalk Resort Hotel (aka as my favorite Disney resort) helps make Disney come alive for me and my group when we visit! I have stayed at many different resorts (pretty much almost all of them minus Old Key West, All Stars and Caribbean Beach) but only missing out on these three, I am thinking I can safely state a favorite! I used to be 100% a Poly girl until last May when I decided to stay over at Boardwalk to be closer to Star Wars Weekend themed events and a quick walk to EPCOT. It was such an amazing location and resort we opted to stay there again in December.

When you drive up to the entrance of the Boardwalk you see a majestic and beautiful resort spread out on a hill. From the front it looks like a Coastal resort and in reality Disney themed it like the Atlantic City Boardwalk from the 1920’s era. When you enter the lobby you will see a beautiful carousel and some comfortable seats and sofas to wait on while you check in. Now one thing about this resort is it can be quite large and spread out, so know your needs and plans. We always request a first floor room that is on the backside so we can scoot out to the boats or EPCOT easy…so yes when we do need to go to the front you may have a little walk but if Magic Kingdom or Animal Kingdom are your main destinations then no problem, just request a room near the lobby. I promise this was never a problem for us…the convenience of EPCOT and Disney’s Hollywood Studios more than made up for any walking to the lobby!

The rooms are heavenly in my opinion. They are light and airy and continue that coastal feel. I love how comfortable yet calming everything in the room is and it helps wake you up in the morning! Here are some pics from a 1 bedroom villa…

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Now in addition to a huge master bedroom there is a two room bathroom (vanity and hot tub are in a completely separate room from the toilet, shower and wash stand) so helps with multiple people getting ready at the same time. Also there is a large living room and kitchen in the same design. They have regular rooms and villas and a special garden suite that if you are ever lucky enough to stay in you must bring me!

Now for the two most special things about this hotel…the boardwalk and the location. So, to go to EPCOT you just walk right out the back and over to EPCOT in about 5-10 minutes. If you are tired or want to save your walking feet then hop on a Friendship boat and motor over to EPCOT and back. The dock is right outside the Boardwalk’s backside.

What about Disney’s Hollywood Studios? Well you can walk in about 15-20 minutes or same thing, take the boat (I take the  boat!)

When you walk out the back to the boat dock what you see may surprise you! It is a whole other fun area of Disney to explore. Some do not even know it is there or know how special it is! There are several amazing eateries including Flying Fish and the Boardwalk Bakery. Also, there are a few kiosks to grab a slice of pizza or hot dog. All around the Boardwalk area are benches and tables to eat or people watch! At nights the place lights up and their are Surrey Bikes to rent and carnival games and tons more! I am not going to tell you everything because you need to visit on your own.

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Do you love the Boardwalk area? What is your favorite resort?

 

 

Why Should I Plan a Resort Day?

“Why should I plan a resort day?” This is a question I hear a lot and with confusion in their voice from my Disney travel clients whenever I suggest a break in the middle of their trip. Especially for my newbies to Disney (or newbie as an adult – lots of people have not been since they themselves were kids!). There are several great reasons to plan a resort day but for me there are two BIG ones. The first is because everyone needs a break  (and I mean everyone!). Second, is because there is so much to do at the resorts if you do not have a resort day then you may just miss out on some extra Disney magic!

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So let’s talk about needing a break. So, you have planned and replanned (a few times for some of you…yes I am looking at you) all your days according to the crowd calendars and your dining and fast pass+ plans. You have tried to schedule a break every afternoon for a nap and some pool time but even the best intentions sometimes get skewed. But if you take a whole day in the middle of the trip to sleep in just a little and take advantage of some of the magic the resorts offer you may just find your trip that much better! What kid or adult would not appreciate a lazy morning and a soak in the pool?

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Depending on where you are staying you can hop on the monorail, bus or boat and go over to a neighboring resort to check out their activities as well or just stick around your home resort and check out the activities there. I promise no matter where you are staying you will find something fun to do! Though I am going to share a few of my favorite resort day activities and see if it entices you to take a break on your next Disney trip.

One must do is make your way over to Animal Kingdom Lodge and head straight to the back of the Lodge and animal watch over the Savannah. If you time it right you might get to roast marshmallows and sit around the campfire listening to some lively storytelling! Another great resort to visit, especially in the evenings is the Boardwalk. At night, Crescent Lake is lit up and full of fun. There are surrey bikes to be rented and carnival acts to watch. Or grab a cupcake from the Boardwalk Bakery and sit out by the lake watching the people go by. There are so many more activities at all of the resorts to be had…but that is a different post – this one is WHY?!

Hopefully some of these ideas incorporated with knowing everyone needs a break might help make your week at Disney even more magical. So, you may not get to ride It’s a Small World 5 times on your trip but you will have a day with time to laugh and relax that will be appreciated by all!

Do you already plan a resort day? If you do, what are your favorite things to do? Drop me a line letting me know!