Podcast Episode 147: Summer 2017 News

It’s that time again!  Time to update you with all the new information we have for Summer 2017 at Walt Disney World!  Listen in to find out about Pandora, what’s to do and to eat there, as well as resort refurbs, ride refurbs, and more!

Happy listening!

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Podcast Episode 87: In Depth: Coronado Springs Resort

Join us as we continue our In Depth series with Disney’s Coronado Springs Resort!  We discuss all the features, amenities, and room categories of this wonderful convention resort.

For more In Depth resort info, check out our episodes on Animal Kingdom Lodge and Pop Century.

Happy listening!

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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

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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!

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 52: Disney For Boys

If you’ve got a boy in your life that you want to bring to Disney but you can’t think of anything to do that doesn’t have to do with princesses and fairies, then this is a must-listen for you!  We give you the low down on everything boy-centric at Walt Disney World.  We’ve got ideas for rides, shows, restaurants, and more!  Don’t miss it!

Happy listening

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Podcast Episode 43: How Far Does Your Money Go At Disney?

Have you ever wondered what kind of Disney vacation you could have if you only had a certain amount to spend?  Wonder no longer because we’ve laid out some helpful scenarios with common budget amounts for you!  There’s lots of great information this week so if you think you can’t do Disney because of your budget, you’ll want to catch this week’s episode!  Spoiler alert: Disney works with most budgets!

Happy listening!

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Disney News for August 2014

Plenty of changes happening at Walt Disney World. Here is a round-up of the news as of August 2014!

Big changes for entertainment in the World Showcase in Epcot. Off Kilter, Mo’Rockin’, Spirit of America Fife and Drum Corps, and World Showcase Players. There will be new entertainment including traditional Berber music and dance troupe in Morocco, Celtic folk music ensemble in the United Kingdom, flag waving performers in Italy, and a lumberjack inspired show in Canada. The last performances will be taking place September 25 for the World Showcase Players and September 27 for the rest.

The American Idol Experience at Hollywood Studios is closing much sooner than originally reported. This attraction was slated to close permanently in January 2015, but will actually be closing August 29, 2014 30, 2014.

The Festival of the Masters an open-air fine arts festival which was scheduled for Nov 8-10 has been cancelled for this year, 2014. Due to the expansion of Downtown Disney and its change to Disney Springs there isn’t enough room to host the event this year.

The Move It! Shake It! Celebrate It! will be changing this fall into the Move It! Shake It! Dance and Play It! Street Party with new characters and music.  The change will include the addition of Phineas and Ferb, Stitch but still include classic characters such as Mickey, Minnie, Goofy, and Donald Duck.

Disney has quietly been remodeling some rooms at the Caribbean Beach Resort. The good news is that some of the rooms that have been finished now have queen sized beds and a 5th bed, the murphy pull down style that we have seen at Port Orleans Riverside. The rooms also feature sliding doors like those at Coronado Spring Resort instead of the typical curtain. We will follow up as more information becomes available.

In important Dole Whip news, Captain Cooks at the Polynesian has reopened but with no self-serve Dole Whips in sight! Rumor has it they will be back but in a different location and no more self-serve. You know we are hoping to see them back soon.

Coronado Springs Resort Review

On our 2012 trip, my family and I stayed at Disney’s Coronado Springs Resort and we loved it!  It’s a beautiful and quiet Moderate level resort located in the Animal Kingdom area.  The themeing is subtle on the Disney with a lovely old world Mexican flair.

The resort is rather large but the bus stops are plentiful.  There are three room sections within the resort: Cabanas, Ranchos, and Casitas.  Each section has its own bus stop with a fourth located at El Centro (lobby).  We were in Ranchos and our bus stop was just a couple minutes walk away.

Our room was quite pretty, though a little on the small side, I thought.  We had two queen size beds, with a dresser housing a flat screen TV and a mini fridge.  I thought the set of dark wood sliding doors that separated the sleeping area from the bathroom were a classy and chic touch.  One really nice addition to the room was the ceiling fan.  Not many hotels think about adding one but come on, this is Florida.  The extra air circulation is wonderful.

The resort itself is a convention resort which I think lends itself to fewer families. That means it tends to be quieter overall, which I found very refreshing.  That’s not to say that this resort isn’t good for families, because I think it is!  There’s a wonderful pool with a slide and a sandbox for digging up artifacts.  There’s a playground as well as an arcade so there are lots of things to keep kids busy.

There’s an onside quick service restaurant called The Pepper Market.  I did not have the opportunity to try it but I have heard wonderful things.  The gift shop was pretty much the average Disney resort gift shop.

I found that because Coronado Springs does not share buses with other resorts that getting where I need to go took an average amount of time.  Obviously, we got to Animal Kingdom in no time while getting to Magic Kingdom and Epcot took around 20 minutes.

Overall, I loved this resort and I would definitely stay there again in the future!