Disney’s Yacht Club Resort Review

You may have heard us talk about staying at Disney’s Yacht Club for our Dole Whippies weekend, so we’re here to show you some pictures and let you know what we thought!

Yacht Club is one of Disney’s deluxe resorts styled after a New England (what else?) yacht club. Standard rooms at the Yacht Club sleep 5 adults and consist of 2 Queen Beds and 1 Day Bed or 1 Queen Bed and 1 Twin-Size Sleeper Chair and 1 Day Bed or 1 King Bed or 1 King Bed and 1 Day Bed.


Our room consisted of 2 queens and a daybed. And as someone who slept on the daybed I can say… not bad! I was just as comfy and slept as well in this bed as I would have in the queen. Our view was of the quiet pool at the Yacht Club, but I have to mention one of the most appealing amenities at this resort: Stormalong Bay. This sandy bottom pool is shared by the Beach and Yacht Club. It consists of 3 acres of pool fun where you can float down a lazy river or slide down the 230-foot-long water slide located on top of a life-sized ship wreck. This pool is reason alone to stay at the Yacht Club!

Even the bathroom at Yacht Club is ornate, and has one of my favorite “extras” at the deluxe resorts. More toiletries!


Another one of the major benefits to staying at the Yacht Club is location. There are 2 other resorts in this are: Boardwalk Inn and Beach Club. This means you have quick and easy access to shopping and restaurants at these locations. In addition is the BoardWalk area entertainment complex featuring more shopping and dining plus unique Jersey-shore style live entertainment and carnival games. All just a few minutes walk from the Yacht Club! Not only that, but just a few minutes further than the BoardWalk is the International Gateway entrance right into Epcot.

Overall, Yacht Club is a fantastic resort, and absolutely worth a visit. Have you stayed here? What did you think?


Sanaa Review

Sanaa View

I made a reservation a Sanaa at Kidani Village Animal Kingdom Lodge with the idea that I would give it a try. It is a lot out-of-the-way unless you are staying at the Animal Kingdom Lodge. But it is so worth it! I decided to just get a quick bite instead of a full meal.

The first thing I got was the Chaat Plate: spiced chickpea cakes with potato and pea samosa with tamarind and mango chutney. This was amazing and the flavors were delicious. I would order this again. Also I ordered the Tanzanian Chocolate Mousse. This was also spectacular!
Sanaa Chaat Plate

The atmosphere was unbeatable! My table was looking over the savannah and while I ate I saw a quite a few animals and since it is on ground level they aren’t too far out from the buildings.

Sanaa Mousse

Bottom line: I will be back to this restaurant! You honestly can’t beat the location and the delicious food. It is out-of-the-way but worth the work to get there.

Review of Minnie’s Holiday Dine at Hollywood & Vine

For my family’s trip to Walt Disney World early this November I was lucky enough to snag a reservation at the new Minnie’s Holiday Dine at Hollywood Studio’s Hollywood & Vine restaurant. I am SO glad I did! This meal was the perfect thing to get me in to the holiday season, and a great accompaniment to the Osborne Family Spectacle of Dancing Lights.

This meal was very popular! We checked in at Hollywood & Vine 5 minutes before our reservation time and had a wait of about 15 minutes before we were called in. First up was meeting Goofy!


Once we were seated at our table we were given tiny cups of the most delicious hot chocolate we’ve ever tasted. Yum! Great way to start the meal. We ordered our drinks and were instructed to the buffet to get the rest of our dinner.

The food from the buffet was amazing. Much better than you’d expect from a typical buffet meal. Some of the offerings were:

Shrimp & Lobster Mac and Cheese, Garlic Mashed Potatoes, Asiago Ranch Chicken Breast, Pumpkin Ravioli (that looked more like pumpkin gnocci to me!), Barbequed Meatballs (a personal favorite), Marinated Flank Steak, Sweet Potato Casserole, Fish and Chips, Corn Bread Stuffing, Apricot Roasted Pork, Green Bean Casserole, Brussel Sprouts, Carrots, Salads, Rolls (including Pretzel bread!) and lots more.

While we ate we enjoyed visits from Minnie, Donald, Daisy and Mickey himself. The character interaction at this meal didn’t feel rushed at all! They took time to play with my little princess and make her smile. One small note, there were no autographs. A card with all the characters autographs was left on the table, but they did not sign autograph books.

After the characters came around we went back up to the buffet for the biggest selection of desserts I’ve ever seen. You’d better believe I had a small bite of each one!

Minnie’s Holiday Dine at Hollywood & Vine was an incredible meal! I’m so glad Disney started a seasonal Holiday meal for guests to enjoy like this. I look forward to see what they’re going to do with it in the other seasons.

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:


Two double beds:


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


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




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


-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.


-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!

Be Our Guest Review: Dinner

With just the right amount of pixie dust (and a 6am phone call on 180 days out!) I was able to snag a Be Our Guest dinner reservation for my recent trip to Walt Disney World. This was actually my second visit for dinner, the first being last year. Sadly, I did not enjoy my dinner that first visit. After some thorough research I had decided that I simply made the wrong choice of entrée, meticulously picking my new choice for dinner this time. I’m happy to report it was so much better!

But before we jump the gun! Let’s start at the beginning. My husband and I had a reservation at 5:30pm. We checked in at the desk and headed to the front door of Beast’s Castle for a short wait. Our name was called and we were led to our seats in the main seating area, the ballroom.

IMG_5236IMG_5218  IMG_5231

I love the atmosphere in the ballroom. The windows are dark and you can see that it’s “snowing” outside! A cool little tidbit: The angels painted on the ceiling are actually based off of baby photos of some of the Imagineers who helped create Be Our Guest! Pretty cool.

Ok, now on to the food. Be Our Guest is the only place in the Magic Kingdom where alcohol is served so my husband took advantage of that and ordered a Saison Dupont (beer). I was intrigued by the All-Natural Fruit Punch (sweetened with Organic Cane Juice and Wildberry Extract topped with Lemon-Lime Foam) so I ordered that and it was really good!


Fresh bread was delivered to the table with sea salted butter. These rolls were delicious!


In addition to the bread we decided to order a few appetizers (hey, we’re at Disney… why not!) My husband got the French Onion Soup, topped with a Croutons and Gruyère Cheese.


We also got the Assorted Cured Meats and Sausages served with cornichons, pickled onions, and a toasted baguette. I wish I knew what some of the meats were but nothing was explained to us, the one minor disappointment of this meal. The cornichons (pickles) were my favorite, and I really loved some of the meats.


For entrees! After all the research I had done I’d found that two meals were always mentioned as standouts. So that’s what we ordered! My husband got the Grilled Strip Steak with Garlic-Herb Butter and Pomme Frites. He raved about this steak for days!


I went with the Braised Pork (Coq au Vin Style): Eight Hour Slow-cooked Pork with Mushrooms, Onions, Carrots and Bacon served with Puréed Cauliflower and Seasonal Vegetables. It was SO good! I wasn’t sold on the pureed cauliflower as I’m a starch addict and was sure I’d have preferred mashed potatoes but these were so good, and just different enough as to be really interesting. The braised pork was delicious, and I probably could have drunk the gravy off a spoon!


Despite being completely stuffed we did not decline when a dessert menu was brought to the table. It was not at all hard for me to choose what I was going to have for dessert, but it was still nice to see the cart of different treats rolled over to look at.

IMG_5227 IMG_5228

I, of course, went with the “Grey Stuff”: a Chocolate Shell, Cookie Crème topped with Lumiere’s special “Grey Stuff” (a cookies and cream type mousse). It was perfect, and just light enough to not send me over the edge after such a large dinner.


My husband went with a special seasonal dessert, the blood orange cream puff.


A few times during dinner Beast made his way through the dining rooms to his library where he’d meet guests when they were finished with dinner. This was as close as we’d get to him that night though!


Delicious dinner complete we paid our bill and headed back out the doors of Beast’s castle and into the Magic Kingdom. I’d highly recommend trying dinner at Be Our Guest if you’re able to snag a reservation (or have your travel agent snag one for you!)


Seven Dwarfs Mine Train review

On our last trip, we were able to ride the as-of-then-unopened Seven Dwarfs Mine Train ride during a “soft opening” day and it did NOT disappoint!  The line was crazy long and Fast Passes were not accepted, as it was not officially open yet.  We braved the line and the heat and were so, so glad we did!


The queue was wonderful all by itself, with lots of well-placed fans and plenty for little hands to do while they wait.  As we have all come to know and love, Disney gets the theming right every single time.  The attention to detail is outstanding here!



 Once you board the train, you’ll quickly realize this ride bears a striking resemblance to its much bumpier cousin, Big Thunder Mountain Railroad.  The ride here, however, is much smoother and it feels quite a bit zippier.  The height requirement for this ride is also lower than for Big Thunder — just 38″ to Big Thunder’s 40″.

Without giving too much away, you’ll want to keep your eyes peeled and take in all of the scenery.  There are incredible views of the dwarfs hard at work in the mine and you might also get a glimpse of Snow White herself if you really look for her!  My family can’t wait to ride this one again on our next trip.  Be sure to FastPass this ride — wait times can get really long and FastPass distribution is often filled quickly!



Want to see a real-life video? Click HERE!

Review of Guardians of the Galaxy

This past weekend, I went to see the Guardians of the Galaxy. I give this movie two thumbs up! It had all the makings of a great movie. It was funny, touching, exciting, and even a bit of romance. This film is based on a Marvel comic book series by same name.

The movie is about hero Peter Quill who is taken from Earth as a child. We fast-forward from there to when he is grown. He is a Ravager, a type of Space Pirate who finds items that he sells to a broker.  He finds an orb and has no small amount of danger for his trouble. He attempts to sell it and is refused by the broker. At this point he meets Gamora, Rocket and Groot. Along the way he and the others meet Drax while in prison. They form an alliance which is uneasy at times. They set out to stop Ronan from getting his hands on a dangerous orb that he wants to use to exact revenge on an entire planet.


The acting were superb and the entire look of the movie is so well done. The sound track is awesome. You can find the full listing here which includes the songs from the “Awesome Mix Vol. 1”.

The rating is PG-13 for language and violence. I like to use Common Sense Media to check ratings for kids.

There is sequel slated for release July 28, 2017.

Art of Animation – Lion King Family Suite Review

I’ve been to Disney twice in the past 6 months and both times I’ve stayed at Art of Animation resort in a Lion King Family Suite.  These rooms are fantastic and I’ll tell you why.

If you’re like me and you’ve got a whole minivanload of kids, you need the extra space that the family suites offer.  Each suite is approximately 565 sq ft and house one bedroom, two bathrooms, a double sofa bed, a double Murphy-style table bed, and a kitchenette.  Each suite sleeps six people.

sofa bed and kitchenette

sofa bed and kitchenette

As you walk into the suite, the first thing you see is the living room with its giraffes and that amazing flower lamp/table.   The kitchenette has a small sink, a large size cube refrigerator, and a coffeemaker (lifesaver!). Across from the sofa there is a dresser that houses the flat screen TV next to a little storage unit. Off to the side (right or left, depending on the layout of your room) is the super cool table bed.  My kids fought over who was going to sleep there. It has a foam mattress which is surprisingly comfortable.  They could probably make all the beds out of that stuff and I’d be happy.

bed in the table position

bed in the table position

When the bed is up, it makes a great spot for having breakfast in your room or for setting up a laptop to upload photos.  What’s really nice is that the chairs actually stack so you can set them out of the way when you’ve got the bed pulled down.  Another fun feature is the built in reading lights on the inside of the setup.  It’s those little things Disney thinks of that make the difference.

Across from the table is the living area’s bathroom.  It’s got a pocket door (love those!) with a sink area and then a second door with the toilet and shower.  This makes it really easy for a few people to dress at once and that can be a big time saver.

main bathroom

main bathroom

On to the master bedroom!  It’s got its own door to close it off from the rest of the suite, so you parents can have some privacy away from the kids.  Always a sanity saver!  It has a queen sized bed (rare in a Value level resort!) with a television and an ensuite bathroom.

master bedroom

master bedroom

I absolutely LOVE this master bath.  It’s so beautiful!  The tiling in the shower stall is so well done and artful.  It feels very expensive and not at all like it should be in a Value resort. Not to mention, this bathroom is HUGE.  I think it’s bigger than the one in my first apartment.

master bath

master bath

The whole suite is just so well done and gorgeous.  I see how some could think it was overdecorated and maybe too busy, but my kids really loved it. They enjoyed the bright colors as did I.  I thought there was a decent amount of storage, though we halfway lived out of our suitcase because for a family of five, there wasn’t THAT much storage.

Another nice feature is that all the suites are in buildings that have indoor corridors.  I like the security of that, not to mention, it’s nice to be inside out of the heat when you’re headed to your room.  I also think the indoor corridors tend to have less noise than the outer ones.

For the price, I think Art of Animation is a great resort for families.  It’s fun, they have a great pool, their food court is one of the best on property, and they have their own buses, meaning they don’t stop at other resorts on the route.  That makes a big difference in transportation times.

Overall, I love this resort and I can’t wait to stay here again!