Resorts

Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort: Part 2 + Video

by on October 24, 2017

I’m back with Part 2 of Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort!

In this video, I’ll talk (and sing) about the pools, dining, recreation and amenities.

Enjoy!

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The SATURDAY SIX Looks At Disney’s Dog-Friendly Hotels

by on October 21, 2017

This week’s SATURDAY SIX takes a look at Disney’s DOG-FRIENDLY Hotels! There was unbridled chaos in the Disney fan community this week as we were all rocked by an announcement that no one saw coming. In a late-Friday news dump, specifically timed in order to bypass a news cycle, Disney revealed that selected resorts would become dog-friendly. Once controversial subjects – such as pool hopping, reusing refillable mugs on multiple trips, and children who stay at the age of 9 for over 4 years – have now been replaced by an even more nefarious subject. One that threatens to ruin all of our collective vacations…

That said, we here at the SATURDAY SIX are going to do our best to bring this community together to help speed along the healing process. It is time to look at some of the “fine print” conspicuously hidden in the new dog-friendly rules. To go over these Dos and Don’ts we’re going to riff on the classic “Goofus and Galiant” formula, except tweaked for a more sophisticated outrage culture audience using David and Derek. David is David Davies, a longtime TouringPlans analyst and IT strategist, who most recently had his emotion processing chip upgraded to sync with the latest version of iOS. Derek is Your Humble Author. Together we hit the new dog-friendly guidelines from every angle possible to show the big picture. Ready to see what we found out? Well let’s kick off the countdown with…

# 6 – Pre-Trip Grooming

Many WDW guests aren’t aware of Best Friends Pet Care, which is located at WDW directly across the street from Port Orleans Riverside. As Julia Mascardo pointed out in her great primer to dog-friendly resources at WDW, Best Friends not only offers kennel service for dogs, but day care and grooming services. We all want to look our best for vacation, shouldn’t Man’s Best Friend?

 

# 5 – Feeding Your Pet

Because only licensed service animals are allowed in Disney restaurants and food courts, guests are encouraged to bring their pet’s favorite food and snacks to be served in-room.

 

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Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort: Part 1 + Video

by on October 17, 2017

I took a week off, but I’m back in business with another resort hotel overview!

Let’s take a look at Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort, located in the Magic Kingdom area of Walt Disney World.

Enjoy!

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A Doggone Good Primer to Disney’s Dog-Friendly Hotels

by on October 16, 2017

 

Is It Really Just for Dogs?

Sorry Figaro! At this time, the policy only applies to dogs–not cats, birds, ferrets, gerbils, snakes, miniature horses, potbellied pigs, or other pet members of families. There are no breed or weight restrictions when it comes to the dogs permitted, but only two dogs per room will be allowed in the special dog-friendly rooms.

This doesn’t mean that the entire resort is a dog-accessible area, however. Pools (and pool bars), gift shops, restaurants, recreational areas, and most other public spaces are still dog-free zones.

How Much Does This Cost and Where Is It Provided?

During the test period, only four hotels are offering this service and it does come at an added cost: Art of Animation ($50/night), The Cabins at Fort Wilderness ($50/night), Port Orleans Riverside ($50/night), and Yacht Club ($75/night).

What All Is Included?

The nightly cost covers the additional cleaning needed for a dog-friendly room, but you do get a few extras as well. At check-in you receive a mat, bowls, courtesy waste bags, puppy pads, walking maps (showing you where you can take your dogs at that resort), a pet ID tag, and a dog-specific Do Not Disturb sign.

 Does My Dog Need to be Leashed?

Yes–any time your dog is not in the room, the dog must be leashed or kept in a carrier. If your dog is off-leash, or if your dog is not well-behaved, your dog will not be allowed to stay.

What Paperwork/Vaccinations Do I Need for My Dog?

Although Disney will likely not check your dog’s paperwork at check in, they can ask for your paperwork at any time. Florida state law requires a current rabies certificate for each dog. In addition, if you are traveling in from another state, you MUST have an Official Certificate of Veterinary Inspection issued no more than 30 days before your date of travel. You can get those from your current vet in your home state. Also, if you are traveling through other states on the way here, you’ll need to check each state’s requirements for documentation to bring your dog across state lines. For instance, some states require the certificate of inspection be issued no more than 10 days before your trip. Many people do not get this paperwork, and generally, nothing happens. However, if there is an incident for your dog and you do not have your paperwork in order, you may be fined or your dog may be seized for quarantine. It’s just a good idea to have the papers in order, even though you hopefully won’t need them.

If you are flying, you’ll want to check with the individual airline for the requirements for the transport of pets.

Aside from required papers and the rabies vaccine, Florida is currently in an H3N Canine Influenza outbreak–it is in your dog’s best interest to be vaccinated for that potentially deadly virus. I’d also recommend making sure that your dog has been vaccinated for parvo, as the parvo virus can last on surfaces for up to a year. Additionally, you’ll want to ask your vet about the kennel cough vaccine to see if that is a recommendation for your pooch. And if you’re coming from a place without mosquitoes, talk to your doctor about heartworm preventative for your dog if your dog is not already on it, as heartworms are a year-round issue in Florida.

Finally, if you have not had your dog microchipped, you’ll want to do that and make sure that your contact information is correct in the system in case your dog gets loose.

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Five Ways a Disney Resort Concierge Can Help You

by on October 11, 2017

TouringPlans is pleased to welcome guest author Chloe Gandal to share her personal insights about Concierge. 

Planning a Walt Disney World trip can be overwhelming, and sometimes you may need a little extra help to get everything just right. As a former Walt Disney World Resort Concierge, I know that there are many families who never stop by the Concierge desk, perhaps because they simply don’t know how helpful the Concierge can be. We can assist families in many of the same areas as Guest Relations, without having to wait in a long line! If you need assistance in dining reservations, FastPass+ selections, MagicBands, tickets, or any magical extras (like tours, gift baskets, etc.), your resort Concierge is the place to visit. Here’s five ways that a resort Concierge can help you on your next trip.

 

  1. Dining Reservations

While the My Disney Experience app has made planning dining reservations more convenient, there are some instances where the reservation you’re looking for is simply unavailable on the app. In this case, visit the resort Concierge and check if they can find something on their end. Now, I’m not saying that the Concierge can always find a reservation for you and your family (some restaurants are almost always booked, like Be Our Guest), but they often have more access to reservations. They can also directly call the restaurant to see about cancellations, food allergies, or any other restaurant-related questions you may have. If they’re unable to find a reservation for you and your family, they are a wealth of knowledge for other dining options. Many of the Concierge cast members are well-versed in Disney Dining, and can recommend a restaurant perfectly suited for you and your family’s dining desires.

 

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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!