Podcast Episode 149: Our Perfect Disney “Careers”

There are lots of different jobs at Disney parks that help keep things running smoothly,  Join us this week as we talk about the Disney jobs we think we would be best suited for.  This is all for fun.  We appreciate every cast member in every job who make the whole place so magical!

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Podcast Episode 125: Club Level Overview

Have you been curious about what club level is and what it has to offer?  This week we give you the low down on what you can expect if you stay club level at a Disney resort.  From the rooms, amenities, and food offerings, staying club level offers you a special something extra for your next Disney vacation.

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Fun Walt Disney World Splurges

There are plenty of ways to spend your hard earned dollars at Walt Disney World, but you don’t have to spend them all on your park tickets or resort room.   Here are some ways to try out something a little different on your Walt Disney World vacation.

Club Level rooms- This splurge come with great views, continental breakfast, snacks, beverages (including alcoholic beverages), desserts and cordials.  Plus if you need itinerary, dining, childcare, transportation services, or golf time set up concierge services can do that. See our series here.

Theme Park View rooms- If you really want to make your family feel special choose a theme park view at select resorts. You cannot beat waking up this type of view or watching fireworks from your bed! 

VIP Tour Services-This is an amazing experience but comes with a big price tag.  So this is a good splurge to share with friends.  Groups are limited to 10 people and must me a minimum of 7 continuous hours.

A VIP Tour Guide smiles as he delivers an excited family to a Walt Disney World Resort destination

Photo via disney.com

Spa Services- There are a few spas to choose from at the Grand Floridian, Dolphin, and Saratoga Springs. Some services offered are massages, facials, nails and hair.

Epcot Seas Adventures- There are a few choices such as Dolphins in Depth, a 3 hour encounter for those 13 and up. There is also the Aqua Tour which is snorkeling in the 5.7 million gallon tank for a 2.5 hour experience for those 8 and up.  If you are SCUBA certified and 10 years and older you can do the DiveQuest experience. During this 3 hour experience you can swim with over 6,000 sea creatures.

Guests clad in SCUBA diving equipment swim beneath a rock arch in a tropical underwater environment

Photo via disney.com

Afternoon Tea at the Grand Floridian- high tea is served every day in the afternoon features specially blended teas, sandwiches and desserts.  What a fun and fancy way to add a little splurge to your vacation.

Victoria & Albert’s- This AAA five diamond restaurant experience located in the Grand Floridian is the ultimate splurge, particularly the Chef’s Table with is a 13 course dinner created  just for your party.

A Chef greets a table of Guests dining at Victoria and Albert's restaurant

Photo via disney.com

 

 

Hoop-Dee-Doo Musical Revue is a zany vaudeville comedy show and served with all you care to eat fired chicken, BBQ ribs, salad, and strawberry shortcake.  Drinks include unlimited draft beer, wine and sangria for those over 21.  This two hour event takes place in Pioneer Hall at Fort Wilderness.  Check out Tara’s review here.

Have you ever splurged for something really unique at Walt Disney World?  If so what has been your favorite splurge, we’d love to hear!

Is It Worth it?

As a travel agent I get this question pretty frequently, and you may be surprised on what topics this question is asked.   These are my opinions on whether something is worth doing at Walt Disney World.  These are going to be my opinion but my opinion is also based on personal experience as well as data gathered from former clients.

 

Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique: At least once, especially if you have a kid who is crazy about princesses.  I would highly recommend if you are going to drop the cash you will want a reservation at Cinderella Castle in the Magic Kingdom.  The packages can be pretty pricey so to save, bring your own costume and accessories instead of purchasing the full package.

bibbidi-bobbidi-boutique-00

Pirates League: This is very much worth it!  It is a great value and a fun experience for boys and girls.  In fact unlike Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique, adults can also get a makeover here too!  They have pirate and mermaid choices and it is a really good value in comparison.

 

Getting Up Early: YES!  I cannot say yes enough.  The parks are least busy when they first open.  You also get to see some neat stuff like the Welcome Show at the Magic Kingdom.  How can you possibly be the family of the day if you are sleeping all morning?  Some restaurants even offer early breakfast reservations inside the parks which means you have beat the crowds inside the parks.  Go ahead and take that afternoon nap now, you deserve it.

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To Try ______ Attraction: Well this is a no-brainer, yes!  You should absolutely try any attraction, ride or show at least once unless you have a medical condition in which it is advised against.  You may never know when you find your new favorite!

 

Park Hopper Tickets:  In most cases, yes.  This ticket makes your vacation so flexible.  It can be a little work bouncing from park to park but if you are like a lot of people and find Hollywood Studios and Animal Kingdom to be half day parks this ticket option gives you the chance to save the rest of your day by hopping over to another park.  If you are traveling with really young children it might not be worth the hassle.  But if you are traveling with teens or adults only it is so worth the splurge.  I have travelled with and without the Park Hopper and I will absolutely give up a character meal before I give up with Park Hopper!

tickets

Party Tickets: Yes, especially if you do not have park tickets for that day.  You can enter the Magic Kingdom at 4pm on the party days even when the party doesn’t start until 7pm.  You get special parades and firework shows, extra treats and character meet and greets.  The parks are less crowded as well so you can get on your favorites rides with a minimal wait time!

Refillable Mugs: Yes, but you have to do the math!  So as of 2016 the mugs are $17.  Say you are staying 5 days it would be $3.40 per day, plus you keep the mug.  For me this is very much worth it.  I drink coffee or iced tea in the morning so I would fill up each morning before going to the parks.  Then on an afternoon break I will fill up with Powerade, lemonade or more iced tea.  Then in the evening before bed I’m loading up on more water or Powerade.  Some quick math tells me that I am coming out ahead plus I have a cute souvenir cup to take home!

mugs

Cinderella’s Royal Table:  Not really a good value.  This restaurant located inside Cinderella Castle is a character meal that will run you about $60 a person or 2 Table Service credits.  While you cannot beat the location or atmosphere there are other really great choices for princess character dining (Akershus, 1900 Park Fare) that won’t cost as much and the food is really good.  If you were planning to do this as a special treat or celebration then it may be worth it to do once.

cinderellas

The Dining Plan: Yes, if used correctly!  The dining plan can absolutely save you money if you plan your meals correctly to get the best value.  If you split meals a lot or routinely order something that isn’t an entrée they no, it may not be worth it.  If you like to go on vacation knowing it is all paid for then this is very helpful, no Disney food sticker shock either.  So how do you figure out if it is worth getting?  You will have to do a bit of work checking menu prices and then figuring out if what you would order for each meal plus 2 snacks and if you would use the refillable mug (drinks start at about $3) and then look at the cost per day of the dining plan.

 

Preferred Rooms: Yes, a thousand times yes! Want to save yourself some walking at the beginning and end of the day?  How about saving yourself a long trip to the pool or food court?  Taking kids to Walt Disney World?  Then get a preferred room, it is worth the price difference from a standard, especially at the Value resorts.

 

Club Level: This is a it depends.  If you are already on the dining plan it may not be worth it, but if you are looking for a way to plus up a vacation with a great room that has snacks provided a couple times a day plus free drinks?  Then yeah you will want to look at it.  The big seller is that it includes some beers and wine as well as bottled water.  You could make breakfast out of the offerings.  There are also midday snacks offered and hot appetizers in the evenings and desserts in the late evenings!  This can be a fantastic value!  Check out Tara’s Club Level series here for specific resort information.

 

T-Shirts, Misting Fans, Glowing Trinkets: Nope, save yourself a lot of big bucks and pick up these things prior to going on vacation.  You can find misting fans and the cheap glowing, spinning toys at pretty much any dollar store, Walgreens, Walmart stores for about ¼ of the price.  The same could be said for the shirts you can purchase at Walt Disney World.  Your basic Tshirt will set you back about $25.  Go ahead and check out with Disney Store online, Target, Walmart, Forever 21, Torrid, Hot Topic, H & M, and Etsy just to name a few.

 

Club Level Series: Animal Kingdom Lodge

Sanaa View

We are nearing the end of the Club Level Series with two deluxe resorts left to cover and so I decided Animal Kingdom would be next! We at DoleWhipped have two Dole Whippies that LOVE Animal Kingdom Lodge. It is one of my favorite resorts and so much to do. It is the best themed resort, in my opinion, and who does not love a glass of wine in the evening and hanging out with a friendly giraffe on your balcony? If you have not tried it yet go for it! It is heaven. If you need even more luxury at Animal Kingdom then go ahead and splurge and go Club Level.

Animal Kingdom Lodge’s club lounge is aptly named the Kilimanjaro Club and is located on the 6th Floor of Jambo House. The lobby is a huge atrium and it is located on a landing on the 6th floor and overlooks the lobby and it is only accessible by club level and suite guests. The Kilimanjaro Club literally just finished refurbishment and was done in May 2016 so best time to visit is now.

There are about 70 Club rooms and there are also suites available. The club level rooms are very similar to the standard rooms at Animal Kingdom and located on the Fourth Floor.

One thing special and unique is if you are a Disney Vacation Club member you can trade in your points and upgrade to a Club Level Room at Animal Kingdom Lodge. This is the only resort that has this as an option.

There previously were a few different special things that Club Level at Animal Kingdom or even just staying at Animal Kingdom afforded you. Certain things like the Night-time safari and Wanyama Safari but all of these have recently changed to be open to any Walt Disney World guest.

The lounge food – it in itself is a HUGE bonus at the Kilimanjaro Club because when it gets down to the good food for evening hours they bring it in from Boma and Jiko so you are in for a huge treat. The morning offerings and afternoon snacks are a bit of the usual club level offerings but the lunch, dinner and evening desserts are where it is at! Yes, even zebra domes make it to the dessert table at the Kilimanjaro lounge! The amazing part of all of the food is it is, as always, complimentary to Club Guest. If you are someone not sure about trying these restaurants – this is a great way to get a taste and realize these are amazing places with some of the best food on property!

 

Disney’s Polynesian Resort Club Level Room Review

Last week, we stayed two nights at Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort in a club level room.  We actually reserved a garden view room but got a surprise upgrade to theme park view!  We had a great time and really enjoyed this resort.

The club level food offerings were delicious.  They offered a continental breakfast with pastries, oatmeal, and fruit each  morning.  Midday was snacks like goldfish, popcorn, and trail mix.  Evenings were hot appetizers like chicken wings, sushi, fruit and cheese, and even wine and cocktails.  We never did make it to the cocktail hour service, but I’m sure it was fabulous as well.

Pros:

-Location, location, location!  It was so convenient to be right there on the monorail line.

-The club level rooms all being located in the Hawaii building, we were close to both the pool and the lobby.

-Our room was situated three doors down from the club level lounge so we could just pop down whenever we wanted a drink or a snack.  Very easy!

-Ohana is onsite, so it’s very easy to enjoy a great character meal within the resort.

-Amazing pool!  My kids just loved the water slide and the splash pad!

Cons:

-Price.  The Polynesian is one of the most expensive resorts on property.

Now some photos!

2 queen beds

2 queen beds

sofa converts to single bed

sofa converts to single bed

bathroom with double sinks

bathroom with double sinks

Our view!

Our view!

Club level snacks during midday

Club level snacks during midday

Sodas and coffee

Sodas and coffee

Tea, lemonade, and POG juice!

Tea, lemonade, and POG juice!

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.

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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!

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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!

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Podcast Episode 44: Breakfast Dining

Breakfast is the most important meal of the day so join us this week as we talk about all things breakfast at Disney!  Find out what we like and where we like to get it, as well as the news about the Be Our Guest breakfast offerings!

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