Finding the Right Fit for You!

From the practically perfect personality of Real Disney Mom Jewelz P! 

It’s been 11 or 12 years since I last was at Walt Disney World. A very long time for me considering that I was going every year for ten years. Marriage, moving, new job promotions and a baby put a lot on hold. My husband and I were not able to go on a honeymoon or even a mini vacation. Finally a breath of fresh air! I was six months pregnant and I told my boss,  “I am going on vacation in 13 months”.  (Maybe it was Disney withdrawals, the hormones raging, or that I just really needed a vacation!) Without missing a beat I went to Walt Disney World’s Vacation Website and ordered the Vacation Planning DVD. I needed to see what had been built and improved over the years. This would also give me  the opportunity to show my husband what he would be in store for!!! Not having met my little one yet, I knew Disney could take care of her no matter what! I had for the most part always stayed on the WDW property. Why? If Disneyworld was my only destination (why anyone would go anywhere else?), there is no reason to stay off property. The conveniences and the ease of the transportation are priceless. 

Knowing your budget is where you need to start. Walt Disney has many resorts for different budgets which is great!!

 To save money; Value Resorts-All-Star Music, All-Star Sports, All Star Movies and POP Century

I only recommend these if you have a large group , such as sports teams, or if you only need a place to shower and sleep. They do not have any sit down dining restaurants, (Something to think about.) and are located farthest from the 4 Parks.  I stayed at All-Star Sports in 1998 and it is too small for my family for today. The rooms do not have as much closet or drawer space, and there is only one sink and mirror. Two adults and two children will be able to stay here in comfort, but more than 2 adults may be too much. There were no elevators to speak of that I remembered. So if stairs are a challenge, it is best to request a floor level room. The rooms are brightly colored and a sports theme is carried through out the resort, the room I was in had crayon marking on the walls and I could hear all the surrounding happenings. The pools were always too crowded for me. If you are new to staying on property and your budget conscious you may want to start here. There is a playground, arcade, laundry facilities and a food court with an average price 15.00 a person. Another little tid-bit ; The All Star Resorts are in a different county so they have a higher tax rate.

 For those who need a little more room to breath; Moderate Resorts-Caribbean Beach, Coronado Springs, Port Orleans Riverside, Port Orleans French Quarter and Ft. Wilderness Cabins.

 I have stayed at both Port Orleans French Quarter (1999) and most recently Caribbean Beach Resort (2010) The Moderate resorts will have at least one sit down dining restaurant  and are not as far away from the 4 Parks as the Value Resorts. Carribean Beach or CBR has Shutters for sit down dining and a tasty food court to experience. These rooms not only have more space but a dual sink vanity. YEAH! The beds are better and the décor is just up my alley. While the All-Star Resorts and POP have three or four levels, I loved the Caribbean Beach Resort because it only had two stories and each village surrounds the bay. The pathways are wide and not cramped for walking. There are many villages named after Caribbean islands with their own bus stop. You can catch the theme park buses as well as an internal bus system to get you from village to village. This was helpful because we were in Trinidad South and the grandparents were in Aruba. I could have walked along Barefoot Bay but it was so hot and muggy that I wanted the bus with air conditioning. We opted for the Pirates of the Caribbean Themed rooms (Trinidad South only) and I loved it! The beds are not as comfortable as the normal Finding Nemo themed rooms. Why? The Pirate Ship beds are so high that the mattresses they have are about 5 inches thick and no box spring for support. The village pools were quiet and not many kids, that is because of the cool main pool at Port Royale. This is a fun pool! It is a themed old Spanish fortress, complete with towers, antique cannons (that spout water) and a water slide. So if you are looking for a more relaxing resort that has hammocks, child playgrounds and for those who walk, the stroll around Barefoot Bay is for you. Other amenities are beaches, an arcade, volleyball courts, bike rentals,  marina/watercraft rentals, and laundry facilities at each village pool.

 For those who have who want to experience a Deluxe Resort-Animal Kingdom Lodge, Board Walk Inn, Contemporary, Grand Floridian, Polynesian, Wilderness Lodge, Yacht Club and Beach Club, and the Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin.

 These may not be the Disney Vacation Club Villas but they are sure spectacular! The Deluxe resorts are normally located just a hop skip and a jump to the Parks. I stayed at the Grand Floridian in 1997 and it was fantastic. I love the old feel of the 1900’s Victorian. The grand atrium is overwhelmingly immaculate and if you are lucky to see the cockatiels in the lobby they are beautiful. If you can, try to stay at a Deluxe resort once. The monorail and the water taxis make it very easy to get to the Magic Kingdom and the Transportation Center. The rooms are lavish and have a balcony or porch to extend your room space. Deluxe Resorts also have more combinations of rooms to accommodate your party. A choice of sit down dining options, baby and childcare services, pool of course, spa and health club, watercraft rentals, beaches and the possibility of having the best seat in the house to see the fireworks; from your room!!

For more information and updated refurbishments at WDW and new attractions please go to www.waltdisneyworld.com                                         

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Walt Disney World and Me

I am so excited to be starting a Walt Disney World Vacation planning blog! I decided to start this blog to help not only you the reader, plan your perfect Walt Disney World vacation, but also to help myself keep all my planning in order! I am currently planning our family’s 3rd big Walt Disney World Resort vacation and I couldn’t be happier! Here’s a little background on myself and Walt Disney World. I first visited when I was 3 years old and I am pretty sure that’s when I fell in love! Despite being only 3, I remember this trip vividly. We went in October and stayed at the Caribbean Beach which is one of Disney World’s moderate resorts. My mother woke me up two years later in October again and asked me if I’d rather go to school or Disney World that day. Of course I said Disney World and I embarked on my second Walt Disney World adventure! We stayed at Dixie Landings that vacation which is now Port Orleans Riverside.  I remember so fondly the amazing surprise I got that morning. Our oldest knows we are going this summer but he doesn’t realize when. I can’t wait to wake him up the morning of and tell him that we will be on our way that day! My parents, brother and I went again when I was 7, in October staying at the Caribbean Beach again. I compare myself to my mother because she couldn’t seem to keep herself away The World, much like myself! When I was 11 years old I got to go twice! I went once with school, in April and once with my parents, in October staying at our home away from home, the Caribbean Beach again. The last time my parents took me, I was 13, and we stayed at the Wilderness Lodge in April once again which started my love for that resort! After that vacation I took a 7 year hiatus from The World which is quite frankly tragic! I drifted away from the magic a bit in my teenage years but was wrapped back up in it when my husband and I honeymooned in Walt Disney World in August of 2006 which would be my last time there without children! We stayed at the Wilderness Lodge that time. When my oldest J was about 18 months old, we visited my father at his home in Florida in December, and brought J to the Magic Kingdom for the day. It was then that we realized that we had to bring him on a Walt Disney World Vacation! In August of 2009, after our son B was born, we took them on their first WDW trip, and we brought my mother along. We stayed at the Caribbean beach, in one of their pirate rooms because J loves pirates. He was 3, almost 4 years old and I believe this started the same love affair for him with WDW that started for me when I was just the same age. If you ask him now what he wants to be when he grows up he will answer proudly “an Imagineer“. I’m not so sure how many 4-year-olds even know this Disney term but he for sure does! If you ask him what an Imagineer does, he will tell you “well they are the ones who think up Disney’s magic of course”. We brought J and B to visit my father in Florida in April of 2010 and went to the Magic Kingdom for the day again. We again were bitten by the Disney bug, and decided to take them back for another big trip that August. We stayed at the Wilderness Lodge again. (LOVE it there!) B was very aware of where he was this time, and now exclaims “It’s Disney World!” whenever he sees Cinderella Castle at the beginning of Disney movies, just as his older brother used to do! We now find it extremely hard to stay away from The World, and I am very pleased to say that we are going back this August! On August 5th we will be en route to Disney’s Wilderness Lodge again for little Miss M’s first time! I have a truly magical life and I am very lucky to be able to have Walt Disney World be such a big part of it! I consider it my duty to expose my children to this, the most magical place on earth! So join me as I embark on the journey of planning our family’s 3rd Walt Disney World Vacation. Stay tuned for Walt Disney World Vacation Planning 101!

Walt Disney World 2010

Walt Disney World 2010

Magic Kingdom 2010

Magic Kingdom Day Trip 2010

Walt Disney World 2009

Walt Disney World 2009 Caribbean Beach Pirate Room