My family has stayed at several Disney Hotels over the last couple years. You might be surprised at some of the rankings.
1. Animal Kingdom Lodge-The Beds were amazingly comfy. We had a great nights sleep!
Highly Recommend Safari View if you are planning to spend a good number of hours at the hotel.
2.Pop century is actually my next favorite!! Surprising because it’s a Value Level resort! They just updated a bunch of their rooms and we had the opportunity to try one out! The concept is fabulous. One of the main beds goes up into the wall and creates a table and more space to walk around during the day. Once it’s time for bedtime, pull the bed down and it’s just as sturdy as the other permanent bed! We got a great nights sleep and the comfort level was as good as a moderate level!
3. Coronado -one of my favorites. Large, spacious and clean. Well designed. Relaxing theme. Although it’s not very Disney like because this resort is more used for businesses.
4. Art of Animation Little Mermaid Rooms-Small but well themed. Defiantly a lot of Disney Magic. Beds not as comfy as Pop Century or moderate resorts. Amazing Lobby!
5. All-Star Music – small. Ok for a couple. Not my favorite but definitely a budget friendly option.
Now I will tell you what we thought of the hotels that we visited but didn’t stay at.
Don’t bash me on this but we hated the contemporary. The whole lobby in the middle made it look like the rooms would be not so sound proof. If you have stayed here please let us know what you thought!
The Polynesian is beautiful but the lobby is sooooo busy, I’m not sure if we would choose to stay here on a relaxing trip. But awesome place to explore and eat!
But our ultimate place we love is Boulder Ridge. We hope to visit there soon! It is so quiet hardly anyone goes through there. So serene and beautiful! Plus the aroma that Disney pumps into the air reminds us of Christmas 💜 if I could own DVC there, that would be the ultimate dream.
So let us know where you like to stay! Let us know if you liked a resort that we didn’t care for! There is so much variety with Disney that there’s something for everyone!
Always go with a plan. If you’re spending lots of money on a dream destination vacation, plan everything to get your moneys worth.
1. Book fast passes way in advance through Disney World app.
2. Book dinner reservations in advance using Disney World app.
3. Leave enough time in between reservations and fast passes to comfortably get to each ride, meal, ect.
4. Throughout the day check available fast passes. They will throw in extra ones while your there! But you still have to book them and it’s first come first serve. This is a great way to not have to wait in line!
5. Why wait 45 min in line when you could wait only 20!!!!
Disney Springs is just as magical as Disney World. There are so many exciting stores with so many fun experiences. Also all of these pictures I took myself! The warm bright Florida Sun paired with the beautiful colors at Disney Springs makes for an amazing day for shopping, relaxing, and exploring the world around you!
Best part about it is it’s FREE to get in and there are plenty of samples to try out!
So here are my favorite experiences.
1. Basin- a free spa experience try as many sugar scrubs as you desire the ambiance is truly relaxing
2. Rain forest cafe (fish tanks)- step on in to see several huge fish tanks and a jungle like atmosphere. Better yet come on it an eat some grub!
3. Ghirardelli- free chocolate samples and my favorite drink of all. Which is not even on the menu! They customized it for me and we told them they should nickname it The Gwen if they ever put it on their menu.
It’s basically a glorified Chocolate Milk. But it’s a cold hot-chocolate. It’s really a meal in itself if you get the large 🙂
4. Uniqlo- this clothing store is not set up like American clothing chains. Step into another country and shop shop shop!
5. Blaze pizza- customer designed pizzas fired up in the stone ovens. Best tasting pizza pies!
6. Morimoto Asia- all your sushi cravings and it’s from a famous chef
7. Sprinkles- a cupcake shop and cupcake atm! What? Yes that’s right! A cupcake atm. And the set up is perfect for an Instagram photo op!
You can’t go wrong with checking out Disney Springs. It’s free. It’s Disney. It’s so much fun! So if you are in Orlando, this is the place to be!
Let us know which stores/restaurant are your favorites! I will admit we have yet to visit some of the more iconic restaurants and we would love your feedback!
Our most recent goal, and this would be our biggest Disney dream yet, is to go to Tokyo Disneyland!
We have been watching a lot of videos mainly made by The Tim Tracker. (If you don’t know Tim & Jen you are missing out! Check out their blog videos online!
They recently went to Japan and were so inspiring that we have decided to make the trip overseas! Now when this will happen, we don’t know. We kind of want to wait a few years so that way our daughter can remember the trip.
Most people would say that Disneyland Tokyo is actually way better and more magical than Disney World which is ironic because Disneyland Tokyo isn’t even owned by Disney!
They do such a great job though and they go over the top for everything but in a good way! Between all the costumes the rides the atmosphere and ambience it’s an amazing two parks! I’m especially excited about the little mermaid theater as it’s very techy compared to Disney World little mermaid show. Also the parade has dazzling colors and exciting choreographed dancers. Plus the Fantasmic show blows the US version out of the water. It’s so good!
So I’m sure we will be posting more about our progress on planning the trip! So stay tuned for some exciting adventures!
So let us know in the comments how far you have traveled to go to Disney! Where did you go? What did you like about where you went?
Most recently, I have been working on deciding between upgrading to the regular dining plan or just keeping the “free” quick service dining plan that comes with our room. Quick service versus table service or buffets would be basically the difference between going to a counter restaurant like Culvers, and a sit down restaurant like Red Lobster, or in some cases a fancy buffet. We will be staying at the All Star Sports in November, which with the “free dining” promotion is about the cheapest you can go to disney, eat tons of food, and stay on property in the entire year.
For some extra money, you can upgrade to the traditional dining, which is around 22.99 per day per person. Overall for the 7 nights we will have the free dining (we’re staying an 8th night also at all stars booked as a split stay because of how the free dining dates fell) it would be around $320.00 extra. You also have to account for the tip. By doing this we would go from having 2 quick service meals per day, to 1 quick service, and 1 table service meal.
Including tip, we’d be about $480.00 for our overall cost to upgrade. We would lose the 1 quick service meal per day, but gain a table service or buffet. If we were to do the plan I have in place and paid cash out of pocket, overall the cost would be an extra $1100.00 for just the buffets/table service restaurants alone.
That’s a savings of around $600.00.
However, it’s a luxury to have table service over quick service. These are the types of decisions you get to make, when you save on the front end for your trip. We’re in a less expensive room, so we have a lot more “budget” left for our trip. Since I pay for everything with gift cards I purchase on credit cards, and for fuel points, every dollar I spend only costs me around $.80 when you account for money saved on fuel and credit card cash back. So overall, our real cost would be $400.00 for what would have cost us around $1100.00.
Always remember to pay off the cards as fast as possible for zero interest.