Resorts

SATURDAY SIX: 6 Reasons We Love Disney’s WILDERNESS LODGE

by on October 7, 2017

This week’s SATURDAY SIX takes a look at Six Reasons We Love Disney’s WILDERNESS LODGE. Disney has three classifications for their resorts: Value (including Pop Century and Art of Animation), Moderate (Port Orleans Riverside and Fort Wildnerness), and Deluxe (The Poly and BoardWalk). Today we are going to look at one of the Deluxe offerings with Disney’s Wilderness Lodge.

Disney’s Wilderness Lodge.

 

Inspired national park lodges and inns of the early 20th century, Wilderness Lodge was designed by Peter Dominick, an architect who also was a major influence in Disney’s Grand Californian Lodge and Florida’s Animal Kingdom Lodge. Sitting alongside Bay Lake, Wilderness Lodge is in between The Contemporary and the Fort Wilderness campground and offers relaxing boat rides to both locations as well as the Magic Kingdom. Like many other guests, we here at the SATURDAY SIX have fallen head over heels in love with Wilderness Lodge, and today we are going to count down our reasons why, starting with…

# 6 – Fire Rock Geyser

With the entire resort in effect a tribute to our great American national parks, the hourly eruption of Fire Rock Geyser gives guests a taste of what people experience when seeing Old Faithful at Yellowstone in Wyoming. Taking place at the top of every hour, Fire Rock Geyser’s explosion of water is a unique event at the Wilderness Lodge and a true piece of “Disney Magic” that separates the mouse house from its competitors.

Fire Rock Geyser.

Fire Rock Geyser erupting its plume of water at the top of every hour.

Fire Rock Geyser. (photo by Daisy Lauren)

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Why Stay at a Walt Disney World Resort Hotel? + Video

by on October 3, 2017

You may be reading this title thinking, “Didn’t Angela already film a video about this?“.

Guilty…but let me explain! 

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Five Things I Wish I Knew Before Checking into Disney’s All-Star Sports Resort

by on September 25, 2017

Ahh…Disney’s All-Star Resorts. With their bright bold colors, over-sized pop culture icons, and low price tag, these Disney Value resorts are a popular option for families, young adults, and large groups. If you have only stayed at a Moderate or Deluxe resort, you might wonder: How is a Disney All-Star Resort different?

The lower room rates should be a clear sign that you will be offered fewer amenities than the pricier resort categories. For instance All-Star Resorts have smaller rooms, no full-service restaurants on site, only offer bus transportation (instead of boat or monorail options), and have no water features that accommodate boating, fishing, and so on. The All-Star Resorts do offer a feature pool with lifeguards, daily activities, and a nearby pool bar plus additional quiet pools on opposite ends of the resort, a food court, a gift shop, and in-room pizza delivery. Simply put, Value resorts like Disney’s All-Star Sports Resort offer a “more fun less frills” atmosphere. Aside from these basic differences, there are a few other things that you might wish to know before checking in to Disney’s All-Star Sports Resort that aren’t quite as obvious by looking at a list of amenities.

At least one of the amenities is a bar. Honestly, what else do you really need?

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Disney’s Port Orleans Resort – French Quarter: Part 2 + Video

by on September 19, 2017

I’m back with another video dedicated to Disney’s Port Orleans Resort – French Quarter. 

Today, I’m talking about the resorts’ pool, dining, transportation and recreation.

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Disney’s Port Orleans Resort – French Quarter: Part 1 + Video

by on September 12, 2017

Today, I’m talking about my favorite moderate resort hotel on Walt Disney World property: Disney’s Port Orleans Resort – French Quarter.

Click on the video below to learn all about this resorts’ theme, rooms and room views.

Enjoy!

Have any video ideas for me? Let me know in the comments!

The SATURDAY SIX has some Magical Memories after a recent WDW vacation

by on September 9, 2017

This week’s SATURDAY SIX takes a look back at its recent WDW vacation! We’re going to take a brief break from our normal routine here on this fine blog series, as we here in Florida are having to deal with Hurricane Irma. In fact, this past Thursday I cut my Walt Disney World stay short in order to drive back down towards the storm and experienced a moment straight out of The Walking Dead. So while we in the Sunshine State are in the process of hunkering down or escaping, we’ll do a quick look back at some things I experienced during my time at The Mouse. This includes my first ever dessert party, my first time riding an attraction that is actually older than me, and a ton of outrageous food. Speaking of which, let’s kickoff the countdown with…

# 6 – The Rio Grande Nacho Challenge at Pecos Bills

For some reason known only to Disney themselves, in the past year or so a whole bunch of “secret” menu items have appeared at the parks and resorts. One of the newer items is the incredible Rio Grande Nacho Challenge at Pecos Bill’s in the Magic Kingdom.

The Rio Grande Nacho Challenge. (photo by Brandon Glover)

Fist let’s get to the particulars. The cost is $85. That may sound crazy, but I believe there is a lot of value here, and will explain along the way. Pecos Bill currently has an AP discount, so after discount and tax the total was $72.42. The Rio Grande is only served between 3-6PM, and Pecos Bills will only serve four groups per hour. So if you are interested in trying this out, be sure to get there as early as you can to check in and reserve a time.

The picture above shows how the Rio Grande is normally served, while the picture below is what you get if you ask for the toppings to be served on the side. There is a whole bunch of meat on these nachos, and everyone absolutely loved the chicken. The beef crumbles and pulled pork weren’t bad at all, but the chicken was really tasty.

The Rio Grande, served with toppings on the side. (photo by Brandon Glover)

Pecos Bills does the Rio Grande right in terms of presentation, as groups are brought back to a reserved section of the restaurant. There are fun, old timey tin plates and cups for everyone in the group. Two pitchers of whatever drinks you prefer are served with the Rio Grande, but you can ask for pitchers of any other type of beverage once those are gone. We originally started with lemonade and iced tea, but eventually also got pitchers of Coke, Diet Coke, and water.

Three new sheriffs have been deputized in Frontierland. (photo by Brandon Glover)

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One Night at Hard Rock Hotel for Two Days at Universal Orlando

by on September 5, 2017

I recently traveled with relatives who wanted to visit Universal Orlando for two days. To maximize that time, I decided to book a room for one night at one of Universal’s deluxe hotels in order to enjoy two days of Early Park Admission and Unlimited Universal Express.

The plan was basically this:

  1. Book the cheapest hotel room that will hold 4 adults and 1 kid (those who would use Universal Express).
  2. Arrive before park opening on check-in day to get Universal Express and enjoy Early Park Admission at one park.
  3. Check out early the next day in time to enjoy Early Park Admission at the other park.
  4. Use Universal Express wherever possible in order to breeze through attraction lines.

The plan mostly worked well, but weather and my group’s stamina prevented us from doing everything in the Universal Orlando parks during those two days. This article focuses on Hard Rock Hotel and the stay’s impact on touring the Universal Orlando theme parks.

Deluxe Queen Room

Hard Rock Hotel

There are several Hard Rock Hotel locations in the world. Like the other on-site Universal Orlando hotels, this location is run by Loews. (Hard Rock has its own Rock Royalty loyalty programs, so you cannot utilize the Loews YouFirst program here.) This is a resort-style hotel, with a snazzy pool, organized activities, several restaurants, a fitness center, and more.

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Ask It: How Many People Really Fit in a Value Room?

by on August 30, 2017

Last week, we showed you what the newly refurbished rooms look like at Pop Century. With their small room size and either double beds, or the Murphy bed/table combination in rooms with queen-size beds, any way you slice it, you have to be pretty good friends or family that likes each other to put the maximum number of people in a room at a value hotel. Are the occupancy limits for a Value room accurate to how many people will fit in there comfortably, or is it like serving sizes on a bag of chips, where the numbers don’t work for most people’s reality. So this week we’re asking you:

Value resorts theoretically sleep 4 (+1 infant in a pack ‘n’ play), but how many people do you comfortably sleep in a Value room?

  • 4 (40%, 181 Votes)
  • 2 (34%, 155 Votes)
  • 3 (24%, 111 Votes)
  • 1 (2%, 7 Votes)

Total Voters: 454

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Voting is open here and on Twitter.

Do you have any tips to maximize the comfort for everyone staying in a room or the use of the limited space? Got any horror stories or success stories about your Value resort stays? Let us know in the comments. We’ll have your results next week!

 

Disney Testing Pre-Order Service at All Star Music

by on August 30, 2017

Disney is testing a new pre-order service at Intermission Food Court, the quick service location at All Star Music. This service is currently offered for breakfast, lunch, and dinner at All Star Music only. The other All Star resorts (Sports and Movies) are not testing pre-orders, nor are the other value resorts, Pop Century and Art of Animation. This service is different from mobile ordering through MyDisneyExperience.

To use the service, pick up any grab and go items you want, place your order with the cashier, pay, and take a pager. You can then grab a table, cutlery, napkins, and any fountain beverages you ordered. When your food is ready, the pager goes off and you collect your order at the pizza pickup window.

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Review of Refurbished Rooms at Disney’s Pop Century Resort

by on August 24, 2017

The rooms at Disney’s Pop Century Resort have received their first major update since opening in late 2003. While the resort’s colorful exteriors and icons (such as Roger Rabbit, jars of Play-Doh, and Rubik’s Cubes) remain unchanged, the rooms have been redesigned from top to bottom. Here’s our review of refurbished rooms at Disney’s Pop Century Resort.

When I first walked in to one of the refurbished rooms at Pop Century, I thought “Where do I even begin?” Everything has been changed, even the floor. Gone is the carpet with Mickey heads. Rooms now feature hardwood floors. I found the room to have much more echo because of this. But overall I think this is a big improvement in terms of looks. The down side is that dirt, hair, and other debris you’ve tracked in is now much more more noticeable.

Pop’s beds have been upgraded from double to queen size, which is great. I found the bed to be very comfortable, and a bit on the soft side. The themed bedspreads were removed a couple of years ago in favor of the all white sheets seen above. The poster featuring Disney items from different decades has also been removed. The only art you’ll find in the room is the pop art Mickey above the bed, and Pluto above the second bed. Beneath the bed you’ll find open space that is tall enough to fit most bags and suitcases. On the bed you’ll find EIGHT pillows. Why? Because…

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