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Disney Resorts

Walt Disney World Table Service Restaurant Options

Disney World has a ton of Table Service Restaurant Options for you to choose from for your Disney vacation!  Click on the name of each restaurant for more information.  All restaurants use 1 Table Service Meal Credit on the Disney Dining Plan unless otherwise noted.  

ANIMAL KINGDOM

DISNEY’S HOLLYWOOD STUDIOS

EPCOT

MAGIC KINGDOM

DISNEY SPRINGS (formerly Downtown Disney)

RESORT OPTIONS:

ANIMAL KINGDOM LODGE

BEACH CLUB

BOARDWALK

CARIBBEAN BEACH

 

CONTEMPORARY

CORONADO SPRINGS

 DOLPHIN

FORT WILDERNESS

GRAND FLORIDIAN RESORT AND SPA

OLD KEY WEST

POLYNESIAN

PORT ORLEANS RESORT

SARATOGA SPRINGS

SWAN

WILDERNESS LODGE

YACHT CLUB

Make sure to check out my dining reviews!  

 As an Independent Travel Agent with Mouse Counselors, an Authorized Disney Vacation Planner, I offer concierge travel planning for Walt Disney World® Resort, Disney Cruise Line, Disneyland® Resort, Adventures by Disney®, Aulani and all other destinations at no cost to you.  Message me today if I can help book a magical vacation for you.  

 

Disney World Adult Only Trip Report – Day 1 (May 2018)

Thanks for coming to read our Disney World Adult Only Trip Report!  If you’ve read any of my other blogs, you know that my husband and I love to go on trips – with and without the kiddos.  I recently had signed up for Travel Agent Resort Tours at Disney, so we decided to make a weekend of it and put our annual passes to good use!

Here we are excited to be headed to one of our favorite places!

Disney World Adult Only Trip Report

Our first night was spent at All Star Movies.  Our flight got in late (around 9pm) so we wanted to save a little money and stay at a value resort since we would just be sleeping at the resort the first night.  Although let me clarify – we have no problem staying and have stayed our entire trip at value resorts before!  This trip we planned to spend some time enjoying the resort though, not just sleeping there, so we splurged for Animal Kingdom Lodge for the rest of our trip.  

We arrived at MCO and headed for the Magical Express area and were greeted by this sign:

Disney magical express

Disney Magical Express

Disney Magical Express

Check-in was quick as always (make sure you take your magic bands) and it wasn’t but a few minutes until we were boarding a bus.  Surprisingly, this late at night – our bus was FULL!  We also, of course, were the last stop, lol.

Disney Magical ExpressDisney World Adult Only Trip Report

We checked in and then headed to our room for the night.  Since this was our first time at All Star Movies, we stopped to get pics…..

disney all star movies Disney World Adult Only Trip Report Disney World Adult Only Trip Report Disney World Adult Only Trip Report

We got to our room, and I was reminded why Pop Century is my favorite value resort – Queen Beds!  Double beds are the standard at all of the values except for Pop and in the Art of Animation Family Suites (Little Mermaid rooms have double beds).  We have a king bed at home, and this double feels soooo small to us!   We each took one bed for the night, lol.  I guess we like plenty of space.

Disney World Adult Only Trip Report Disney World Adult Only Trip Report Disney World Adult Only Trip Report

 

The next morning we were up early.  My resort tours started at 12:00pm, but we wanted to hit a park first thing.  So bright and early we were up, packed up our luggage and took it to bell services for the transfer over to Animal Kingdom Lodge. 

On the way to the food court to get breakfast we stopped for more pics:

Disney World Adult Only Trip Report Disney World Adult Only Trip Report Disney World Adult Only Trip Report Disney World Adult Only Trip Report

After breakfast we hopped in line for a bus to Hollywood Studios!

Disney World Adult Only Trip Report

We were some of the first to arrive and were close to the front for opening. 

Disney World Adult Only Trip Report

They start letting people in, but then still have the main streets blocked off.  Once we were through, we headed straight for Toy Story Mania.  I had booked fastpasses for Rock ‘n Rollercoaster and Tower of Terror.  We got on Toy Story Mania pretty quickly (even with one of their lanes shut down for construction of Toy Story Land).  We always have fun on this ride.  I was winning at first, but hubby ended up beating me. 🙁  We did have the same score in accuracy though.

Disney World Adult Only Trip Report

 

Disney World Adult Only Trip Report
He beat me – this time!

 

We left Toy Story Mania and still had about 20 minutes before our Rock ‘n Rollercoaster fastpass.  So we stopped for some pics in front of Tower of Terror.

Disney World Adult Only Trip Report

 

Then stopped at the next photographer as well….

Disney World Adult Only Trip Report

We got in line right at our FP time and were through there pretty quick as well!  LOVE this ride!!!

Disney World Adult Only Trip Report

Our fastpass for Tower of Terror was still over an hour away (since you can not make more than one fastpass in an hour).  I looked on the My Disney Experience app and saw that the wait was only 20 minutes, so we decided to go get in line.  IF we were in line 20 minutes, it went fast.  I honestly don’t know which of these rides I love best!

Disney World Adult Only Trip Report

So there you have it….by 10:00am we had hit our 3 favorite rides in Hollywood Studios (if not all the parks).  I always recommend to my clients getting at each park every day at park opening.  Yes, it is early wake ups – but it is so worth it!!  We still had some time to kill, so we went to Starbucks to grab a drink and try the Carrot Cake Cookie we’ve heard so much about.  But first, we stopped by our first photographer and asked him if he did the Mickey magic shot – and he did!  He also surprised me with a Minnie shot as well!

Disney World Adult Only Trip Report

Disney World Adult Only Trip Report

So we were off to get our cookie….this thing is HUGE…and SWEET!!!  Lots of cream cheese icing in the middle.  We basically just wanted a taste since we were going to be eating an early lunch before my resort tours.  The carrot cake part was delicious, and the icing too….just maybe not so much icing.  Check out how big this cookie is!

Disney World Adult Only Trip Report

Disney World Adult Only Trip Report
Yum!

We took a few bites and then threw it in the trash before we were picked up by the bus to Disney Springs.  Normally I love the transportation at Disney and in my many visits over the years have very little to complain about.  But we waited 45 minutes for this bus!  Thankfully we had some time to spare.  The buses actually weren’t going straight to Disney Springs until 4pm that afternoon, but I knew that Saratoga Springs had a walking path to Disney Springs, so that’s the bus we were waiting on.  It FINALLY came and we were off.  Saratoga is a huge resort, so we did have to ask the bus driver which stop we needed to get off at to take the walking path to Disney Springs.  I believe it was the 3rd stop, but I honestly can’t remember for sure.  Thankfully it wasn’t raining – yet.  This week in Florida had been terrible weather due to a tropical system that had dumped tons of rain.  The temperature was quite nice, so we didn’t mind the clouds.  We got to Disney Springs and headed straight for our favorite quick service in all of Disney – Blaze Pizza!!  We just love this place.  I realize it is a chain and they have several restaurants, but we don’t have one close to us at home, so we always eat here at least once a trip – sometimes more!  Our pizzas:

Disney World Adult Only Trip Report
I love this man!

I was texting with a couple others from my agency who were also at Disney, one who was also going on the resort tours, so we were deciding where to meet up.  The other agent who wasn’t joining the resort tours had just done the Star Wars Virtual Reality experience at Disney Springs and told us how amazing it was.  I was glad to hear that because I had signed hubby up to give him something to do while I was on the resort tours and it wasn’t quite time to check in at Animal Kingdom Lodge yet.

So he headed off to do that:

Disney World Adult Only Trip Report

I was off to my resort tours:

Disney World Adult Only Trip Report

Hubby absolutely loved the Star Wars Virtual Experience!  He can’t wait to take the boys next time we go.

I toured the following resorts:  Port Orleans French Quarter, Pop Century, Art of Animation and Yacht Club.  I was hoping for some resorts that I haven’t already stayed at (I’ve stayed at all of these), but I did get to visit the Little Mermaid rooms at Art of Animation and a Finding Nemo Family Suite.   I was in a Cars Suite when I stayed there.  You can see my pics from that stay here.  I will be doing some new blog posts on all the resorts that I visited, so keep checking my blog under Disney Resorts!  

The tours were supposed to last until 5:00pm, but we finished up early around 4:00pm.  I took the bus from Yacht Club to Animal Kingdom, then got on a bus there to Animal Kingdom Lodge.  Eddie had texted me and told me he had just checked in, so I couldn’t wait to check out our room.  Although I have several resorts that I love, Animal Kingdom Lodge is my favorite so far.  One thing I don’t love is how dark it is in the lobby areas…..a little depressing (lots of dark wood).  But everything else makes up for that.  The rooms are gorgeous, the pools are great and they have great restaurants.  We planned to spend a lot of time at the resort relaxing by the pool – although the weather forecast was making those plans challenging. 

Here’s just a couple pics from Animal Kingdom Lodge, I’ll s ave most of the pics for my Animal Kingdom Lodge post.  My favorite part – our savanna view from our balcony!

Disney World Adult Only Trip Report

Disney World Adult Only Trip Report

After we got settled into the room, we got changed for dinner.  We had reservations at Sanaa.  We absolutely loved Sanaa, I will be writing a separate post on our experience there.  Perfect place for date night!  Sanaa is in the Kidani Village part of Animal Kingdom Lodge, and there are internal buses that will take you there, but it was a nice nice and a short walk, so we just walked there and back (less than 10 minutes).  Read our review of Sanaa here.  

Disney World Adult Only Trip Report

After dinner we came back to the room and watched some TV before shutting out the lights.  This vacation was starting off right!  Day 1 was a success!

Click here to read my other Trip Reports!

As an Independent Travel Agent with Mouse Counselors, an Authorized Disney Vacation Planner, I offer concierge travel planning for Walt Disney World® Resort, Disney Cruise Line, Disneyland® Resort, Adventures by Disney®, Aulani and all other destinations at no cost to you.  Message me today if I can help book a magical vacation for you.  

 

Art of Animation Resort

Art of Animation Resort is one of Disney’s Value Resorts.  However, it is usually priced more like a Moderate resort, as they are one of the few resorts that can sleep up to 6 people in their Family Suites.  The Family Suites are approximately 565 square feet (which is larger than 2 Standard Rooms at Pop Century Resort – 260 square feet each).  The Family Suites have a living room with a pullout sofa bed, a table that also pulls down into a bed, and a separate bedroom with bath.  There are also standard rooms at Art of Animation in the Little Mermaid Section.  However, the Little  Mermaid rooms are never included in Disney discount releases and have a further walk to the bus stops and food courts than the Family Suites do.

There are three types of Family Suites – Cars, Lion King and Finding Nemo.  Cars and Lion King are always priced the same, with Finding Nemo being slightly higher in price.  They are all themed amazingly and there are 3 pools (Cars Cozy Cone pool, Little Mermaid pool and Finding Nemo – being the largest pool with a splash pad and underwater music.  My family of 6 absolutely loved staying here!  Here are some pics of the resort:

Art of Animation Lobby
Art of Animation Lobby
art of animation arcade
Arcade off the Lobby

Art of Animation LobbyArt of Animation Lobby Christmas

We stayed in the Cars Section in a Family Suite.  We loved it!

Cars Building Art of Animationcars buildingcars buildingCars Building art of animationcars road art of animation

cars building hallway
Hallway to our Room
Cars Suite living room
Living Room with pull out bed

 

Picture with bed pulled out
cars suite bathroom
Bathroom off the living room
Cars Family Suite
View from the Living Room.  The Table is also a Pull Down Bed.
Table Bed Cars Suite
Table Bed Pulled Down
cars master bedroom
Master Bedroom. Aren’t the traffic cone lamps cute??
Cars Master bedroom
TV in Master Bedroom
cars suite master bath
The master bath

cars suite mater

Cars Section

Cars Section

Cozy Cone Pool
Cozy Cone Pool

Cars Section

Cozy Cone Cabanas
Cone Cabanas at the Cars Pool
Finding Nemo Pool
Finding Nemo Pool with Underwater Music!

Finding Nemo

Finding Nemo

Finding Nemo

Lion King

Lion King AoA

Lion King Section

Lion King

Lion King

Little Mermaid Art of Animation

Little Mermaid

Little Mermaid Ursela

little mermaid eric

art of animation to pop
This is the walking path from Art of Animation to Pop Century

 

art of animation
Cute little signs as you walk along the resort

Why You Need to Stay on Disney Property (aka “The Disney Bubble”)

When planning a Disney World vacation, a lot of people ask “should I stay on Disney property or somewhere close by to save money?”  For me personally, it is a definite stay on property.  While sometimes off property may work better for large families who want to stay in a house together, in almost all cases, staying on property has too many conveniences and perks to pass up. 

What is the “Disney Bubble?” 

When you stay on Disney property, once you get to your resort, you are in the Disney Bubble.  There is no need to go anywhere outside of Disney, and Disney provides free transportation to all four parks, their two waterparks and Disney Springs.  The magic of Disney is just not the same when you have to pack up and head outside Disney property. 

Should I stay on disney property
Disney’s Art of Animation Resort (Cars Family Suite Section)

Here are my top reasons to stay on Disney Property.

  1. Magic Bands. When you stay on Disney property, you will get personalized Magic Bands for everyone in your party.  These magic bands work as your room key, park tickets, dining credits (if you opt for the dining plan), and the magic band can be linked to your credit card, so you don’t have to carry cards or cash around at the parks.  Everything can be charged to your band.  You will receive your magic bands in the mail about 3 weeks prior to your trip, so it’s also fun to receive something in the mail to get you even more excited about your trip!  While you can buy magic bands and link your tickets if you are staying off property, the bands cost at least $12.95 each, and you will not have charging privileges staying off Disney property.

Should I stay on disney property

  1. Extra Magic Hours. Disney resort guests have access to extra magic hours at the parks.  There are either early morning hours (7am-8am) or late hours (anywhere from 9pm – 1am) that only resort guests have access to. 

Should I stay on disney property

 

  1. Dining Plan. Staying on Disney property is the only way you will be able to purchase the Disney Dining Plan.  While the dining plan is not for all people, it is a definite convenience loved by many.  Should you get the dining plan?  You can read my post on that here.

Should I stay on disney property

  1. Disney transportation. While it’s not always fun (especially at park closing when you and thousands of other people are exiting the parks), the Disney transportation is a definite perk to staying on property.  Who wants to hop in their car, drive through traffic, and pay to park (if staying off-site – $20 per day).   Not only that….if you are wanting to leave the park for some pool time or an afternoon nap – it’s so much easier to hop on a Disney bus and head back to your resort. Mid-day breaks are a must for this family!  While some off-site hotels do have shuttles that go back and forth to the parks, they are not as frequent as Disney transportation, and it will be a longer trip.

Should I stay on disney property

 

  1. Access to book FastPasses at 60 days instead of 30 days for off-site guests. This may not seem like a big deal – but it can be for the popular rides such as the new Avatar Flight of Passage or Seven Dwarfs Mine Train.   For these rides, if you don’t book at the 60 day mark – more than likely you won’t be getting a fastpass.  In some cases, if you don’t book at 7am at 60 days you may not get one.  (Another great reason to use me as your travel agent who will get up at 7am to book them for you).  

Should I stay on disney property

6.  Charging Privileges.  When you stay on Disney property, you can use your Magic Band to purchase souvenirs while in the parks so that you do not have to carry around cash or credit cards.  Not only that, but whatever you buy can be delivered to your resort gift shop so that you do not have to carry it around with you all day!  

Should I stay on disney property

7.  Disney’s Magical Express.  When staying on Disney property, if you are flying into Orlando International Airport, Disney provides free transportation to and from the airport to your Disney resort.  Luggage tags will also be sent with your Magic Bands that you can put on your luggage, and Disney will pick your bags up from baggage claim and deliver to your resort!  They will also deliver your bags to the airport on your way home!  

Should I stay on disney property

As you can see, there are many reasons to stay on Disney property.  If cost is your main reason for wanting to stay off property, be sure to ask about the Disney value resorts.  You may be surprised at how cost efficient they can be.  When you add up the additional costs that can add up when staying off property (parking fees, magic bands if you want to purchase, etc.) it may not be that different!