Winning the Lottery?

drive to Mgic Kingdom, road to Magic Kingdom, Magic Kingdom entrance sign, Magic Kingdom toll, Magic Kingdom parking cost

By Amanda

With the largest lottery jack pot for Powerball in the books a few short weeks ago, it got my family to day dreaming about what we would do if we won. Of course, my fiance and I (being practical) said we would set up college funds for each of the kids (There’s 5), a new house with bedrooms for everyone so they wouldn’t have to share anymore and of course two new vehicles. But beyond that what would we do?be our guest bridge_332098596_n

This is when one of the twins said “We want to go to Disney!” Leave it to one of the kids to put it in the simplest what would you dos. So we began asking them specifics. It seems they had all put their heads together and came up with a game plan. Surprisingly all 5 agreed to it with little tweaks of course. We’d rent a private plane to gather up specific friends and family to meet us down there. Rent a large church bus to get everyone from the airport to the Resort. Here is where the little tweak happens.  Three of them wanted to stay at Bay Lake Tower while the other two liked The Tree Houses at Saratoga Springs. At this point I had to laugh, at least they were thinking large enough for the 7 of us and the 30 other people they were inviting.DVC Bay Lake, Bay Lake Tower, Disney resort, save money,

I agreed that either one would be a good choice as there are seven of us and both of those resorts can accommodate large families. The next topic up was food. With three teenage boys, food was a priority. Having been to Disney my son knows Disney goes above and beyond with the food. He had them convinced to go with Premium Dining because we you get 3 meals a day and 2 snacks, the kicker on this one was the inclusion of La Nouba tickets. Yes I have Cirque Du Soliel children. It wasn’t the golf or free recreation stuff, but La Nouba. Of course we’d have to have the water parks and more option as they had stated we’d be staying 2 weeks in order to stay at both resorts!

Disney, Disney Wedding Pavillion, Disney Wedding

Disney’s Wedding Pavillion

The girls also stated that there would be a wedding at Cinderella’s Castle and that it would be the best ever since it would be mine and my fiance. They both stated they would plan everything. Twelve year old twins and the fantasy of getting married at Disney is in their minds. I pray their Prince’s have the pockets for it.

So with all their talking this begs the question.. What would you have done if you’d won the Big Power Ball Lotto?

Thank you for stopping by Mouze Kateerz. We value feedback from our readers and welcome your comments.
Magical Vacations by Distinctive Journeys is ready to help you plan your next magical vacation. Please visit them at Magical Vacations by Distinctive Journeys on facebook, on the web at Distinctive Journeys or 404-414-6198 or mickeyinfo@distinctive-journeys.com

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Disney’s Contemporary Resort Review

By Donna

Disney’s Contemporary Resort is a Disney icon that opened October 1, 1971.  Here is my review!

Forty years go I landed on the shores of the Seven Seas Lagoon and this was my view:

Two solitary Walt Disney World hotels opened for business on October 1, 1972; the Resort we called home, the Polynesian Village, and our vista, the Contemporary Resort Hotel. The wholly distinctive image of the A-frame tower, with the famous monorail entering and exiting it, was as impressive to us as Cinderella Castle. Despite this icon status, it took my family another 40 years to actually stay at the now named Disney’s Contemporary Resort, and in many ways it was worth the wait!

This “retro-futuristic” behemoth had an innovative look in the early 70’s, and its newly refurbished rooms are now sleeker than ever. It is one of the Disney creme de la creme, and the first of the 8 Disney Deluxe Resorts.

Rooms

This Resort, which has the distinction of being the closest to the Magic Kingdom, offers a total of 655 rooms in the Tower and adjacent Garden Wing. (The South Garden Wing was demolished in 2007 to make way for Bay Lake Tower- the newest Disney Deluxe Villa.)

It’s standard rooms are large by Disney norms- 436 square feet in size (394 square feet in the Garden Wing). Only those in Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa (440 square feet) and Disney’s Polynesian Resort (Rapa Nui, Tahiti and Tokelau Longhouses- 476 square feet)) are more spacious. These standard rooms can accommodate 5, and are equipped with a sofa that converts to a day bed and either 2 Queen beds or 1 King bed. There is also sufficient space for a crib if needed. The views at this hotel simply can’t be beat, and along with the ease of transportation are what set it apart from all other Disney Deluxe Resorts. If you have a Theme Park view, you can watch Wishes Nighttime Spectacular and the activity on Seven Seas Lagoon and the Magic Kingdom from your room. With a Bay Lake view, you feel as though you are getting a private viewing of perennial The Electric Water Pageant from your balcony.

Yes, balconies are standard fare in Tower rooms, which can make your living space seem even larger. The bathrooms are modern and polished in style, but be warned; if you’ve become accustomed to having a separate sink and shower space (and once you have teenagers, this is essentially a requirement for the morning routine), you may be disappointed with the layout.

Though the toilet is set apart, the shower and dual sinks share one space.

Of course, if you require still more elbow room, Concierge (Atrium Club) and Suite accommodations are available for a substantial upcharge. The standard room rate at Disney’s Contemporary Resort starts at $315 (Garden View, Value season) and ranges to $665 (Tower- Theme Park View, Peak Season). Accessible Guest rooms are available.

Amenities

As with most Disney Deluxe Resorts, you will find room amenities that you would expect at a superior hotel: alarm clock/MP3 player; flat screen cable TV; free Wi-Fi; coffee maker; mini fridge; hair dryer (and not the standard attached-to-the-wall variety); iron and board; make-up mirror; full length mirror; in-room safe; robes. Additionally on site is the Olympiad Fitness Center (complete with treadmills for you runners who do not wish to brave the elements), which also offers a spa and salon, concierge assistance for all Guests, convention center facilities, a business center, a laundry plus dry cleaning/laundry service, and valet and self-parking.

Dining

– Room Service is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

Chef Mickey's

– Chef Mickey, perhaps the most beloved of all Character Dining Experiences, offers a breakfast and dinner buffet with a side of singing, marching and napkin-waving. These meals with the “Fab Five”, (Mickey, Minnie, Goofy, Pluto and Donald) are a “hot item”, so be sure to book your Advance Dining Reservations early!

– Equally as legendary is the Signature Dining found atop Disney’s Contemporary Resort. The award winning California Grill serves American food with a California focus, and complete with a legendary wine list, is decidedly fine dining. Floor to ceiling windows provide a stellar view of the Magic Kingdom and Wishes Nighttime Spectacular, and the “onstage kitchen” supplies the rest of the magic. Open for dinner exclusively.

*The California Grill will close on January 6. 2013 for a period of 6 months for an extensive renovation.

California Grill photo from wdwinfo.com

California Grill photo from wdwinfo.com

– The Wave… of American Flavors is a casual restaurant serving breakfast, lunch and dinner on the 1st floor.

– Contempo Cafe Quick Service restaurant located next to Chef Mickey’s on the fourth floor.

Transportation

Did I mention that the Magic Kingdom is in walking distance?? I believe I did, but it is certainly worth repeating! If your dogs can’t bear the thought of additional pounding, the handy monorail will whisk you to the park or the Transportation and Ticket Center for a transfer to the Epcot monorail.

Contemporary monorail, monorail track

The monorail is located in the Grand Canyon Concourse (as in it’s the size of the Grand Canyon), and is flanked by Disney legend Mary Blair’s 90 foot high mural made of hand-painted tile. (How else would they disguise the elevator shaft?) Buses will take you everywhere else in the World that you want to go. Motor launches ( a treat in themselves) run between the Contemporary, Disney’s Wilderness Lodge and Disney’s Fort Wilderness Resort, and are the perfect vehicle to get you to and from your Hoop-Dee-Doo Musical Revue Dinner Show.

Entertainment

This resort features 2 pools. The larger of the two sits on the shores of Bay lake, and is complete with a 17 foot high curving slide and splash area. Cabanas are available and reservations are suggested.

Contemporary Resort pool, DVC pool hopping, DVC pool

The second pool “sits” near the Seven Seas Lagoon, and is quieter and a bit more removed from the action. A requisite arcade is open 24 hours a day (shudder) and has been moved to the fourth floor. The beach surrounding Bay Lake is beautiful, but swimming is not permitted. Also available at the resort is the “not to be missed” entertainment treat- Pirates and Pals Fireworks Voyage. You set sail from the Contemporary dock and cruise the Seven Seas Lagoon with a crew of Never Land pirates! You may even encounter a Disney Character or two.

Perhaps Disney’s Contemporary Resort has a more sophisticated edge, and maybe that’s why my young men enjoyed it so much. It is rich with Disney history, and has Walt’s fingerprints on its conception. And we started our Walt Disney World journey together 40 years ago… Tradition!

Thank you for stopping by Mouze Kateerz. We value feedback from our readers and welcome your comments.
Magical Vacations by Distinctive Journeys is ready to help you plan your next magical vacation. Please visit them at Magical Vacations by Distinctive Journeys on facebook, on the web at Distinctive Journeys or 404-414-6198 or Mickeyinfo@distinctive-journeys.com

DonnaDonna is a wife, mom, physical therapist and year-old blogger at DIStherapy. She is a  non-profit caretaker for special needs causes and running for same!  Contributor to WDW Fan Zone, The Magical Blogorail Yellow Loop and Babes in Disneyland.  She resides in Killington, VT and Long Island, NY.

You can visit Donna on her blog at DIStherapy or at DIStherapy on Facebook.

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5 Reasons You Will Love Disney’s Bay Lake Tower Resort

By Amanda, Disney’s Cheapskate Princess

Bay Lake Tower is a Disney Deluxe Resort parked right next to the Contemporary Resort. It’s one of the most expensive places to stay on Disney property, but there are definite advantages to booking a vacation here if you have the cash.

5 Reasons You’ll Love Bay Lake Tower

1. Location, location, location!

You can ride on a monorail practically to the gates of the Magic Kingdom, or you can walk there in under 15 minutes, just 10 minutes if you walk a pretty good pace. What other resort are you close enough to walk to the House of Mouse? None, just Bay Lake Tower.

2. Take a boat over to the Wilderness Lodge

While Bay Lake Tower has clean lines, soft colors, and subtle landscaping, it’s not exactly what I would call the best themed resort in the Disney line up. The theming award goes to Wilderness Lodge, which is a short boat ride away. The ride is relaxing at night, and you can’t beat spending free time at the Lodge. Make sure you try their chocolate brownie! At just $4 and large enough to share, it’s a sure Cheapskate Princess favorite.

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3. Kids Activities

Step over to the Contemporary Resort, and the kids can window shop in three gift shops. On the bottom floor of BLT is the Community Hall,where kids can do crafts and play video games. Be sure to take your room key with you. There are videos you can borrow from the community hall, and at night, there is a bug screen Disney movie out on the grassy lawn. Boats to rent, tennis courts, two incredible pools, game room, and roasting marshmallows on a fire pit before dusk…the kids will have a blast.

4. A Simply Amazing Bathroom

The master bathroom in the 1,2 and 3 bedrooms accommodations is fantastic. Whirlpool tub, rain head shower, and beautiful tile with deep colored woodwork all add up to vacation relaxation. That whirlpool tub is especially wonderful for tired legs muscles and sore feet.

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5. The Top of the World Lounge

At the very top of Bay Lake Tower is a beautifully fashioned “lounge” that serves drinks and food, with an amazing view of Bay Lake on one side and the Magic Kingdom/Seven Seas Lagoon on the other side. During the 10 p.m. “Wishes” fireworks show, the music is piped in, so you have a top floor unobstructed theme park view.

How much does it cost  to stay at Bay Lake? You have to see it to believe it!

Can You Afford a Vacation at WDW’s Bay Lake Tower Resort?

 

So if you have the cash, you’ll love being so close to the Magic Kingdom with so many fantastic amenities.

Thanks for stopping by, and we’ll see you on the walk to the front gate…

Amanda

Disney’s Cheapskate Princess

Come see us at Disney’s Cheapskate Princess on Facebook and Cheapskate Princess on Pinterest.

Thank you for stopping by Mouze Kateerz. We value feedback from our readers and welcome your comments.
Magical Vacations by Distinctive Journeys is ready to help you plan your next magical vacation. Please visit them at Magical Vacations by Distinctive Journeys on facebook, on the web at Distinctive Journeys or 404-414-6198 or frances@distinctive-journeys.com