Walt Disney World: where we stay, eat & play!

Howdy there friends!

The last couple of weeks have been filled with going, going, and going. I feel like we haven’t sat down much. My parents came here to Atlanta to visit. The girls and I took a girls’ trip to Disney with my mom. We stopped by the beach. The girls and I all three battled (still battling) sickness. We’ve changed hotel rooms for the second time. The Chick-fil-A that my husband is working at currently opened last week. Now, we’re packing up to move to a new place next weekend. I’m exhausted just putting all of it into writing, but God is good. He’s in control of writing our story because Lord knows, if I was, the eraser would get used a whole lot for all of the mistakes I’d make. We were ‘planning’ to move to Delaware next weekend, but plans change and we will find out next week where we will be headed. We our ‘living on the edge’, and the truth is…. I love it. Next week, I hope to share all about our time here in Atlanta. We’ve eaten at several yummy places, visited many of the touristy spots, and dove head first into the community.

Today, I wanted to share about our trip to Disney World. We visit frequently. In fact, we were just there in November. I get asked a lot of questions by friends when they’re planning, so I finally feel like I have enough knowledge to put it into writing.

WHERE TO STAY:We’ve stayed at multiple places. We’ve stayed on property and off. If you can do it, I suggest to stay on property. When you stay on property, there is a whole different feeling. Everyone you turn is Disney. In a way, it’s more magical. This time, we stayed at the Wilderness Lodge. It’s one of our favorites. The log cabin feel, huge fireplace, ‘active’ geyser and more all give you a true feeling of being is the woods with all the modern conveniences. I should’ve taken more pictures inside the resort, but hey, I got what I got.

Here’s some of the places we’ve stayed that I would stay again:

Polynesian Village Resort – If you’re going to splurge, this is my all time favorite. Go here. The whole hotel embodies a Hawaiian/tropical feel The decor, the pool, the cast members (employees) all make you feel like you just stepped off the airplane in Hawaii. Who wouldn’t want to feel like that. The monorail stops at this resort, so you have extremely easy access to Magic Kingdom, two other resorts, and Epcot. Bonus, you can see the fireworks from this resort.

Contemporary Resort – This resort is also high end. It’s one of the stops on the monorail. It’s more of a modern styled resort. You can even walk to Magic Kingdom from here.

Grand Floridian – This resort is by far the most beautiful resort. It’s also high end. Everything about this resort screams fabulous. I would say the one downfall about this resort is that a lot of business people stay here, so there are definitely less kids running around. If you are going kidless (which I never do) and splurging, this resort is for you.

Port Orleans Riverside – For a more moderately priced hotel, we really enjoy this hotel. The quick service dining room is huge with so many choices for any meal of the day. The pool holds a fun atmosphere with an alligator slide. This resort is really big, so if you can splurge a little for a preferred room, then it’ll get you closer to the main building and save you some walking (since you’ll do plenty of that at the parks.

Port Orleans French Quarter – This resort is similar to the last, but more festive with masquerade type decor. We like that this resort is smaller with the same amenities. It all comes down to preference.

Our favorite place to stay off resort is the Residence Inn in Lake Buena Vista. It is approximately 10 minutes from any of the Disney parks. The pool is nice. The rooms are really nice and spacious. You get free breakfast and free parking. Plus, you have a kitchen for milk, snacks, sandwiches, etc. We also like the other marriotts in the Lake Buena Vista area, but we prefer this one.

Ok, let’s talk about the real reason we all go to Disney…. FOOD! (like this Dole Whip float)

WHERE TO EAT:

What do I think about the Dining Plan? If you like to eat, get it. We love the sit down dining meals, so for us it’s totally worth it. It does save you some money especially if you’re eating at some of the higher priced restaurants. The trick is you have to stay at a Disney resort. We prefer the plan that includes: 1 quick service meal, 1 table service meal, and 2 snacks per day. The dining plan allows you to pay for you’re food before you’re vacation, so you don’t have to budget and worry about what it is all costing once there. Tip is not included for your table service meals.

Table Service:

Character meals we love the characters and the food include:

O’hana breakfast – Mickey, Pluto, Lilo, Stitch

Crystal Palace dinner – Pooh, Tigger, Eeyore, Piglet

Tusker House breakfast – Mickey, Goofy, Donald, Pluto

Hollywood & Vine breakfast – Doc McStuffins, Jake, Sofia the first, Handy Manny

Hollywood & Vine lunch – Mickey, Minnie, Goofy, Donald, Daisy

Be Our Guest dinner – the Beast

Cinderella’s Royal Table – Cinderella, Belle, Jasmine, Ariel, Snow White

1900 Park Fare breakfast – Mad Hatter, Mary Poppins, Alice in Wonderland

Many park goers like to go to Akershus Royal Banquet Hall. It is located in Norway inside of Epcot. We gave it another try this time. It has 5 princesses, but the food is just okay and really overpriced. We don’t plan to go back to this one. The food is also just okay at Chef Mickey’s, but it does have Mickey and his pals. 1900 Park Fare at dinner has the evil stepsisters, evil stepmother, Cinderella, and prince charming. It’s cute, but we don’t prefer the food at all.

Dining that we go to just for the yummy food:

O’hana dinner – steak, chicken, shrimp, and bread pudding (YUM)

Yak & Yeti – chinese food

Teppanedo – Japanese where they cook in front of you (no fried rice though)

50’s Primetime Cafe – the food isn’t out of this world, but it’s good and a fun atmosphere

Whispering Canyon – yummy all you can eat BBQ and a rowdy good time

WHERE WE PLAY:

I could go on and on about what rides we like, where to use your fastpasses, etc, but for now I just want to highlight a few of the extras that we truly love.

Perfectly Princess Tea Party – This is a big ticket item, but if you can budget for it, this tea party is nothing short of a little girl’s dream come true. They serve grapes strawberries, tiny finger sandwiches, strawberry cakes, and of course, tea. Miss Rose Petal hosts the tea party with princess stories, singing, and dancing. Each little girl receives a charm bracelet and a Sleeping Beauty doll. Princess Aurora also makes a special appearance to the tea party then the girls are paraded through the Grand Floridian Resort in a princess parade.

Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique – This experience is a royal makeover. There are different packages to choose from. We always bring our own princess dress, so we’re not stuck buying one at the time. The base package we get includes nails, princess hairstyle of your choosing (from a select few), makeup, and pixie dust. This is a must do on our list every time.

The Pirates League – This is awesome for little boys although girls can enjoy this too. In this experience, you can be transformed into a pirate included face paint, eye patch, and more. Girls can also become Pirate Princesses.

Movies on the beach – Many resorts have extra perks that add a little magic to the resort. One of the experiences we enjoy is movies on the beach or in a designated area. Disney puts up big movie screens and chairs to enjoy one of their films. Some resorts (like Wilderness Lodge) also let you make smores.

Parades – The parade is one thing I could go to every day and love it just the same as the last. Don’t skip the parade. Bring a towel to sit on, grab a curb spot at least 30-45 minutes before it starts, and enjoy.

If you stuck in there with me, thank you. I hope I shared a few useful tips for your future Disney World adventure. If you have more questions or comments, I’m all ears, send them my way. This is my second blog post and I would love to hear your feedback. Are you interested in reading about food, entertainment, fashion, etc? What will bring you back to read again?

If you’re wanting to start a business, begin a blog, meet new people, try yoga, etc, I can’t stress enough to do it. Dive in… all the way in… head first. Don’t live your life wondering what if. What’s the worst that can happen?!

Stay tuned for Adventures in ATL coming soon.

Be Brave,

Lexie

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