What Lucinda would do without her kids at Walt Disney World!

Bay Lake Tower, WDW monorail, Disney monorail, Epcot monorail

By Lucinda A.

I love my kids. I love going to Disney with my kids. But there are a few things that I would love to experience without my children.

If I had another chance to spend an entire day at WDW without my kids, I’d hang out on the Monorail resort line all day. I’d start out with breakfast at Kona Cafe, browse Wyland Gallery, stroll the grounds with my camera then lay claim to a hammock on the shores of the Seven Seas Lagoon with a nice fruity adult beverage in hand.
Grand Floridian, Grand Fkloridian Resort and Spa, Disney's Grand Floridian, Disney hotels, Disney resorts, Seven Seas Lagoon
Next, I’d take the Monorail over to the Grand Floridian for a little spa time at Senses. I want to try the Aromatherapy Massage Experience, a Rejuvenating Citrus Facial, and a Mani/Pedi combo. I’d stop in at Basin and pick up some of my favorite soaps to take home then jump on the Resort Launch to the Magic Kingdom.

All the personal time and pampering puts me in the perfect frame of mind for some shopping on Main Street USA. I really do “need” a new tiara from Arribas Brothers and a mid-size Dooney & Bourke. I think I should pick up a couple souvenir shirts while I’m at it. And to help me deal with the guilt I’ll surely be feeling, I’d buy a few things to take home to the kids. Before leaving the park, I’ll grab a hot dog from Casey’s and take a ride through the Pirates of the Caribbean, the Haunted Mansion and Tomorrowland Transit Authority PeopleMover. Maybe they’ll let me stay on for a second pass.

100 Contemp fb pinI’ll walk over to the Contemporary Resort for the next part of my journey. I’m planning to have a nice dinner at The Wave. I’m not really sure if I’m having the grilled fish or the curry vegetable stew. I guess I’ll decide when I get there. After dinner, I’ll probably be pretty tired, so I’ll hop back on the Monorail and return to the Poly where I’ll settle in on the beach for one last cocktail while I watch Wishes.

Ok…to summarize….the one thing I would do at Disney without my kids…is spend an entire day on the Monorail Resort line.

LucindaMomsKidsChipDaleLucinda is a work-at-home mother of five, with a strong passion for family, photography and Disney. She incorporates her loves into her Disney fan blog, Without a Care in the World  and enjoys meeting other Disney bloggers through it. She and her family are currently planning to relocate to Central Florida and as you can imagine, they’re all very excited to be residing near the Mouse and his World in the near future.

Enhanced by Zemanta

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.

Enhanced by Zemanta

3 Reasons ‘Ohana might become your family’s favorite restaurant

‘Ohana means family and apparently family means no one leaves the table hungry. ‘Ohana, the restaurant, is located on the second floor of the Great Ceremonial House of Disney’s Polynesian Resort. Located on the backside of the resort, if you arrive by monorail, simply follow the signs and you are mere steps away! ‘Ohana’s prime location affords you a great view of the Seven Seas Lagoon and the Magic Kingdom. Here are three reasons everyone in your family will love ‘Ohana:

The open grill at Ohana

A view of the oak fired grill that is the centerpiece of Ohana

  1. The food.You start with warm pineapple-coconut bread; but as good as it is – only have a small taste – there is a lot of food coming! Next, your server will bring you a bowl of tossed salad. The salad is tossed with honey-lime vinaigrette and it was so good I could have made a meal out of just salad. No sooner was I digging into my second plate of salad (I forgot my cardinal rule of pacing myself) then a huge platter of potstickers and honey-coriander wings appeared along with a heaping bowl of broccoli and lo mein noodles. And again, I could have made a meal out of wings and potstickers. Empty your bowl? Don’t worry, with
    Potstickers and honey coriander chicken wings

    The appetizers at Ohana – as good as they are, make sure you don’t fill up on them!

    the help of Disney magic (and your server) it will continually refill itself – but be warned, we haven’t moved onto the main course yet! The main course is served churrascaria (Brazilian steakhouse) style. All of the meats (sirloin shrimp, pork, and chicken) are cooked over an open oak grill in the show kitchen in the center of the restaurant. The meat is cooked and served on swords. Your server will bring skewers of each type of meat to your table and you simply tell him or her if you would like some (and how much). Since there is such a great volume of meat passing through the kitchen it was always hot and fresh – not sitting over a warming burner. We did have a couple of pieces of meat that were fatty/tough but given the nature of the restaurant, we simply asked for more as the servers came around. Then, once you have gone through the sword, eat, repeat until you are confident you couldn’t eat another bite – dessert is served! Dessert is bread pudding with banana caramel sauce and vanilla ice cream, served family style. While it was very tasty, I was too stuffed to eat more than a couple of bites.

  2. The fun. Yes, having your dinner brought to your table on a sword is fun but ‘Ohana has nightly entertainment for the keiki (children). Each night there is a hostess/singer/ukulele player who leads the children in song, hula instruction, and coconut races. And once all of those activities are done, the keiki bring a loved one to dance with them while you are serenaded. This show lasts about 30 minutes and gives the children activities and games to play during dinner. Grown-up kids are welcome to join in the fun too. Then before returning to their seats the keiki and their loved ones receive a flower lei. In all fairness, this entertainment can be a blessing or a curse. For us, it was a blessing – at 6 and 7 our kids were old enough to partake in the festivities without mom and dad; thus giving my husband and I some time to eat dinner and talk. If you have younger kids who wish to participate it will mean mom or dad has to stop dinner to go supervise, which is not always as fun for the grown-up as it is for the little one.
  3. The drinks.The kids can’t have all the fun! We sampled several of the Polynesian’s specialty drinks (we ate there multiple nights – it wasn’t all at once!) The lapu lapu is perhaps the most famous drink from the Polynesian. While it is fun sipping out of a hollowed out pineapple, the drink itself was not my favorite, lacking any distinctive “island flavor”. The Island Sunset had no fun gimmicks but it’s smoothie like consistency and tropical fruit taste definitely
    Backscratcher at Ohana

    One of the grown-up concoctions available at Ohana.

    won me over. Finally we tried the Backscratcher. This one is no joke! It definitely packs a punch – and a 2 foot long bamboo backscratcher as a garnish. The drink itself is quite tasty, although strong, and nothing is funnier than the odd looks you get for having a giant backscratcher sticking out of your drink!

‘Ohana is an all-you-care-to-eat restaurant. Adults can feast for $39.40 and children can enjoy for $19.16. These prices include tax but not gratuity or alcoholic beverages. They also accept the Disney Dining Plan as a one credit table service meal. This popular restaurant books up fast so advance dining reservations are strongly recommended. ‘Ohana is also home to the Best Friends character breakfast. ‘Ohana means family and our ohana loves ‘Ohana and I think yours will too!

Enhanced by Zemanta

The Polynesian Resort: Are You Ready for the Fabulousness of Club Level?!

Polynesian Resort,

Aloha from Teri!

Every other year my three cousins and I plan a “girls week” at Disney. For one particular trip, we decided to stay at the Polynesian Resort. We liked the idea of staying on the monorail circuit and being close to the Magic Kingdom, our favorite park!

The Polynesian Resort is absolutely beautiful, with lush tropical gardens in abundance. The Polynesian has an ambiance of the South Pacific. The main building upon arrival is the Great Ceremonial House with its own tropical garden right in the center. This is where you check-in and can find Ohana Restaurant. The resort consists of eleven different buildings called “Longhouses.”   Each Longhouse has a different tropical name surrounded by lush gardens. [Read more…]