Podcast Episode 57: The Character Queen

Have you guys seen that guy on Facebook that does those awesome Dubsmash videos with characters at Disney World?  We have and that’s why we asked him to be a special guest on our podcast this week! He is so funny and he has some great insider tips on how to make the most of your character meet and greets at Disney!  Don’t miss it!

Happy listening!

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Art of Animation: Little Mermaid Standard Room Review

Ever since Disney’s Art of Animation resort opened in 2012 I’ve been trying to find a way to stay in a Little Mermaid themed room! As you may or may not know, the Art of Animation has 4 different themed sections: Cars, Lion King, Finding Nemo and Little Mermaid. The first three are suites, but the Little Mermaid rooms are all standard hotel rooms. All standard rooms here have 2 double beds, a table with two chairs and a bathroom with bathtub/shower and toilet. The vanity with sink and mirror is located separate from the bathroom. Each room also has a flat screen TV, refrigerator and wall safe for valuables.

The GIANT Ariel outside our building:

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Two double beds:

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Table and 2 chairs, cabinet (the refrigerator is under here) and television.   IMG_6946 IMG_6947

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There is a curtain separating the sink/vanity area from the sleeping area:  IMG_6952

Sink and vanity, with iron, ironing board and safe to the left:IMG_6953

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Bathroom:

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Now on to the pros and cons of staying in one of these rooms!

Pros:

-The theming in these rooms really can’t be beat. For total immersion in Disney themes, especially the Little Mermaid, these rooms are for you! Comparable rooms at All Star resorts are more generically themed.

-Little Mermaid rooms have their own pool, which is very convenient. The main pool near the Finding Nemo suites is large and tons of fun, but sometimes it’s nice to have a smaller quieter pool nearby for relaxing!

-The price. As a value resort the Little Mermaid rooms can be had for  $109-199 per night depending on season. This is in line with the other value resorts, sometimes more expensive by a few dollars per night (but in my opinion totally worth it).

-Benefits of the Art of Animation resort include the awesome Landscape of Flavors food court (my favorite on property!), dedicated bus service, overall newer buildings and that great theming I talked about before carries throughout the resort.

Cons:

-The Little Mermaid rooms are located far from the main building at Art of Animation, so sometimes walking back to the room (and we were in the back of the very farthest building on property, number 8) after a long day in the parks was a little hard on the feet.

– … Nope, that’s it! Just the one con for me! We really enjoyed our time at Art of Animation, and would stay in those rooms again in a heartbeat!

Walt Disney World Fall/Winter Refurbishments and Closures

Here is a newly updated list of refurbishments for Walt Disney World Resort as of October 2014.

Magic Kingdom:
Island Supply – Location Closing October 23, 2014

Walt Disney World Railroad September 29 – November 7, 2014

The Magic Behind Our Steam Trains Tour- September 29 – November 7, 2014

The Magic Carpets of Aladdin- November 10 – 21, 2014

Haunted Mansion- December 1 – 19, 2014

Splash Mountain- January 4 – 30, 2015

Cinderella’s Royal Table- January 5 – March 6, 2015

Liberty Square Riverboat- January 23 – 27, 2015

Under the Sea ~ Journey of the Little Mermaid- February 2 – March 6, 2015

Harmony Barber Shop- February 2 – March 30, 2015

Hollywood Studios:
Fantasmic! –November 19 – 21, 2014

Animal Kingdom:
Pangani Research Center – Aviary and Hippo viewing closed- September 2 – November 14, 2014

Affection Section October 7 – November 10, 2014

Kali River Rapids January 20 – February 2, 2015

Typhoon Lagoon:
Closed for Annual Refurbishment October 26, 2014 – January 3, 2015

Blizzard Beach:
Closed for Annual Refurbishment January 4 – March 14, 2015

Downtown Disney:
There is a lot of construction work going on at Downtown Disney and roadwork done. Expect delays when driving.

Resorts
Polynesian Village Resort:
General Construction-The east portion of the beach (near the Transportation and Ticket Center) and Sunset Point are being refurbished and are unavailable. Guests may see or hear work in progress. December 2013 – March 2015

Great Ceremonial House – Lobby The atrium is being reimagined to highlight the cultural elements of Polynesia and provide more expansive views. At certain times of day, there may be some noise and alternative paths of travel may be needed throughout the Great Ceremonial House. March – December 2014

Trader Jacks Merchandise Location Closure June 16, 2014 – TBD

Nanea Volcano Pool and Slide The main pool and slide will be closed for enhancements. Guests who stay at Disney’s Polynesian Resort while the main pool is closed will receive one complimentary ticket for each member of their party to visit Disney’s Blizzard Beach Water Park during their stay. July 28, 2014 – early 2015

Wilderness Lodge:
Silver Creek Springs Pool-The main pool and slide will be closed for enhancements. During this time, the leisure pool at The Villas at Disney’s Wilderness Lodge will remain open. Guests will also have the opportunity to visit either the Main Pool at Disney’s Contemporary Resort or the Meadow Swimmin’ Pool at Disney’s Fort Wilderness Resort & Campground. Complimentary transportation will be provided to both of these neighboring resorts. September 3- November 27, 2014

Trout Pass Pool Bar- September 3 – November 27, 2014

Beach Club Resort:
Guest Room Renovations- Guest rooms will be refurbished with new hard and soft goods. Guests will not be accommodated in the affected areas but it is possible that some noise could travel while work is in progress (between 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. daily). October 13, 2014 – August 22, 2015

All Star Music Resort:
Intermission Food Court -Note’able Games Arcade will serve as a temporary location for grab-and-go meals such as sandwiches, salads, and bakery items. Transportation will be provided for Guests who wish to dine at Disney’s All-Star Sports Resort or Disney’s All-Star Movies Resort. Pizza and other items available for in-room delivery daily from 3pm to 1am. –August 1 – December 20, 2014

Note’able Games Arcade- July 26 – December 20, 2014

Walt Disney World Swan:
Guest Room Renovations-Renovation work is scheduled to take place between 9 a.m. – 7 p.m. daily. No guests will be accommodated in the renovation area as to minimize impact on the guest experience.–August 20, 2014 – TBD

As always these are subject to change at any moment without notice.

Which Resort Is Right For Me? Princess Edition

When planning a Disney vacation it’s important to find the resort that fits your needs and the needs of your family.  That’s why I’m putting together a series of posts that help you decide which resort is right for you.

If you’re like me, you fancy yourself a Disney Princess, or maybe you have a little one in your life who has princess-like qualities. You might consider these resorts for your next trip:

Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort – Deluxe

You can feel like a true princess in these elegant surroundings located a short boat ride or monorail ride from the Magic Kingdom.  Most rooms have two queen beds and a daybed.  Plus, if you make reservations at 1900 Park Fare located on site, you can even have a meal with Cinderella without leaving your resort!  For the littlest royals, there’s an Alice in Wonderland themed splash pad in the pool area.

Port Orleans Riverside Royal Guest Room – Moderate

If you’re a fan of Princess Tiana, you definitely want to stay in this room outfitted with some amazing “princessy” touches.  The centerpiece of this room is the light up LED headboard above each of the queen sized beds.  With intricate carvings and plush carpets and even gold faucets shaped like the Genie’s lamp, your princess will feel pampered and right at home.

Art of Animation Little Mermaid room – Value

If your princess is more at home under the sea, you’ll definitely feel like part of this world. Fans of Ariel will adore the the attention to detail, like the seashell headboards, Prince Eric artwork, and the sheet music to Under The Sea embedded on the table.  Rooms include either two double beds or one king bed.  This resort includes the largest resort pool on Disney property.  There are even speakers so you can listen to music under water!

As always, one of the Dole Whipped team would be delighted to help you plan any aspect of your vacation.  You can reach us at dolewhipped @ gmail.com.