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Disney Resort Options by Category

coronado-springs-resort-00-fullWhen you start to browse through Disney’s different resort options, you may find that there are quite a few to choose from. Walt Disney World Resort has 29 different hotel options with prices ranging from under $175 a night to over $500 a night. Walt Disney World Resort appreciates that people have different budgets and tries to supply a variety of options in different categories.

Obviously, Disney lets you narrow down choices by price category. They narrow it down into three groups: $0 to $175 a night, $175 to $250 a night, and $250 or more a night. Guests can then pick through the available resort hotels in their price category and compare by the hotel’s amenities or location.

Knowing that guests may have a preference for location, Walt Disney World resort breaks location down into five categories. Resort locations include: the Magic Kingdom area, Epcot area, Animal Kingdom area, ESPN Wide World of Sports area, and the Downtown Disney area.

If you don’t have a preference for location and would prefer to go straight to the different resort categories, Disney allows that too. Resort hotels range from value hotels to the most expensive deluxe villas. Also, as an alternative, there is a campground with campsites at Disney’s Fort Wilderness Resort for as low as $54 a night. From least to most expensive are the campsites, then Disney’s value resort hotel options, moderate resort hotels, deluxe resort hotels, and deluxe villas.

As another way to narrow down your choices, there are four options under Disney’s Resort Characteristics’ menu. These include Disney’s story rooms, suites and villas, club level and suites, and monorail service. You can also select multiple categories at once so that you can find exactly what you want without reading through a bunch of hotel options you know won’t be in consideration.

Vacation at Walt Disney World Resort in Luxury

saratoga-springs-resort-and-spa-gallery00If you want to experience the best that the Walt Disney World Resort has to offer, then you may want to consider staying at one of Disney’s eight deluxe villas. Each resort offers a number of room options and some rooms can sleep up to 8 or 9 adults.

Disney advertises their deluxe villa resorts by lowest price per night. There are also seasonal prices, meaning that as the vacation season picks up, room prices will increase per night. Out of the deluxe villa category, the cheapest resort at which to stay is Disney’s Animal Kingdom Villas – Jambo House, which starts out at $352.13 a night for a studio room. If you advance to a deluxe studio room or a villa room, the prices jump up to over $400 to $500 a night.

There are eight resorts in the deluxe villa category. Disney’s deluxe villa options include:

Saratoga Springs Resort & Spa – Downtown Disney Resort Area

Old Key West Resort – Downtown Disney Resort Area

Bay Lake Tower at Disney’s Contemporary Resort – Magic Kingdom Resort Area

Kidani Village – Animal Kingdom Resort Area

BoardWalk Villas – Epcot Resort Area

Beach Club Villas – Epcot Resort Area

The Villas at Disney’s Wilderness Lodge – Magic Kingdom Resort Area

Jambo House – Animal Kingdom Resort Area

If you wish to stay in one of Disney’s deluxe villa rooms, you can narrow your choices down by location, the amenities available, or even by transportation. While all the resort options have bus transportation, some are exclusively reached by bus while others have water taxi transportation. Bay Lake Tower is the only one with monorail transportation. When booking your next trip to Walt Disney World Resort, be sure to check out all the resort options, but if you want to stay in a room of luxury, consider a deluxe villa.

Shop Disney Online or in Store

imgresWhen you plan your vacation to Walt Disney World Resort, don’t forget to add some spending cash to your budget. You are bound to find a little something—or a lot of something—to bring home with you as a souvenir or memento of your trip. When you go browsing the various shops at Walt Disney World Resort, you will notice that different shops have different themes and sell different products.

To date, Walt Disney World Resort has over 230 shops to pick from. Visiting all the shops can be an adventure in itself. If you are unable to find what you are looking for, there is always a chance you can find the perfect Disney product online. Although Disney has opened numerous Disney stores in various malls around the country, Disney’s greatest shopping opportunity outside of Walt Disney World Resort is online. Disney’s Disney Store is just a click away.

Disneystore.com makes finding the products you love quick and easy. The store breaks down their homepage by characters and products; with categories for girls, boys, babies, and adults. There is even a Disney Parks Product link. If you frequent the website often, Disney has a page to feature their new arrivals, as well as a sale section.

You may be surprised to learn that Disney sells more than just products for children. There is also an entire section of home and décor products. These products can be found online or in shops around Walt Disney World Resort. Other product categories include: clothes, toys, collectibles, and entertainment.

If you enjoy collecting things, then Disney collectibles are a great creation to show off in your home. Disney collectible products include: vinylmation, figurines and keepsakes, wall art, snowglobes, and pins. Each collectible is sure to raise questions from family and guests. Disney art can be pricey too. Disney’s art ranges from $120 to $1,950 in price.

Disney: A Company That Cares

Florida Hospital for ChildrenMany people may not hear about all the donations or support that Disney gives to various organizations around the country and even the world. Every year, Disney hosts a number of walks or marathon events dedicated to helping one cause or another. One of Walt Disney’s founding principles was giving back to the community and it is a tradition carried on by Walt Disney’s successors today.

When Disney gives back to their community, they do so by performing and adhering to their three core principles. Disney’s principles are:

Compassion: “Providing happiness, hope and laughter to those who need it most.”

Conservation: “Connecting kids to nature develop lifelong conservation values.”

Creativity: “Harnessing the power of creativity and imagination to improve lives of kids, families and the communities they live in.”

The Disney Company invites charities to contact them for help but they must also stick to Disney’s charitable giving guidelines. For compassion, Disney funds:

Children’s Hospitals

Disney Wishes

Disaster Preparedness and Relief

Military families

Healthy Kids

As part of Disney’s conservation efforts, Disney funds:

Protecting the Planet

Supporting Grassroots Conservation

Connecting Kids to Nature

Emergency Funding

And lastly, through Disney’s creativity, Disney hopes to improve the lives of kids by funding:

Imagination: different approaches to hands-on learning

Storytelling

Play

Thought Leadership: supporting research to advance the understanding of creativity in kids

Disney sticks to their core values and the categories they encompass because so many charities come seeking assistance from Disney each year. While Disney is proud to help a variety of charities financially each year, employees at Walt Disney World Resort and other Disney employees help by sponsoring Boys & Girls Clubs, delivering care packages to children’s hospitals around the world, and performing thousands of hands-on volunteer work acts each year.

Disney Has Two Movie Sequels Planned for 2015

screen-shot-2013-04-02-at-22-01-54Disney has announced two computer animated movies planned for release in 2015. So far, we have been told that Disney plans on releasing Finding Dory and Toy Story 4. Each sequel is based off of a very successful original Disney/Pixar film. Thanks to the success of both films, Disney has created restaurants, resort rooms, and attractions to bring the movie magic to guests attending Walt Disney World Resort.

Finding Dory is the sequel to Finding Nemo, which inspired the ocean themed family suites at Disney’s Art of Animation Resort. In addition to the aquatic themed room complete with pictures form the movie, the Coral Reef Restaurant is based on the movie as well and sits next to The Seas with Nemo & Friends aquarium, complete with sharks, stingrays, turtles, and schools of fish.

Disney also features a stage show called Finding Nemo – The Musical, performed with puppets in DinoLand U.S.A at Disney’s Animal Kingdom. The stage performance performs at multiple times but is subject to change, so you’ll want to check the times and dates before your trip to Walt Disney World Resort.

Equally inspiring are the many attractions based off of Disney’s Toy Story. Toy Story 4 will add to the story of Buzz and Woody, who particularly inspired the character experiences, Meet Toy Story Friends near Splash Mountain, in Magic Kingdom’s Frontierland and Meet Buzz Lightyear & Woody at Pixar Place in Disney’s Hollywood Studios. The original movie inspired the ride Toy Story Midway Mania, the Toy Story Dept. store, and two restaurants: Planet Hollywood and Pizza Planet Arcade.

So if you loved either of the two movies, be sure to check out the themed attractions in the parks. Eat at the themed restaurants or stay in the Finding Nemo family suite. And thanks to Disney’s announcements, you will have two great animated movies to look forward to in 2015.

Disney Names Upcoming Movies

716While Walt Disney World Resort brings in countless numbers of guests each week, many more people are able to experience Disney magic by going to the theatre. More often than not, people can afford a few hours out of their busy schedule to visit a movie more so than a week long vacation away from home.

Although we haven’t reached the end of 2013 yet, Disney has already listed a number of movies to be released in 2014 and some for 2015. Five movies Disney will be releasing to theatres in 2014 include: Cinderella, National Treasure 3, Jungle Cruise, Maleficent, and The Good Dinosaur. While we may not be aware of what Jungle Cruise or The Good Dinosaur are about just yet, most people can guess about Cinderella, Maleficent, and National Treasure 3.

Cinderella and Maleficent are both characters that can be found in Walt Disney World Resort. As a princess and a villain, each plays a very important part in the fairytale from which they come. Disney brought both of these characters to life in their animated movies, but next year, they will be recreated in live action movies as well.

If you are not a fan of live action fairytales, you can still meet your favorite beloved characters in person at Walt Disney World Resort. But Disney has announced more than these five movies. Finding Dory and Toy Story 4 have been announced for 2015. These sequels will add to the stories we already love so much.

Without a doubt, Disney does a spectacular job of tying in their movie characters with their parks. There are Finding Nemo themed hotel rooms and Toy Story themed attractions. These new movies will continue to draw guests to visit the parks and experience the movie magic for themselves. You can bring the magic to life for your family by meeting the Disney characters in person or even make a character dining reservation.

Disney’s Transport Going Green

Disney_bus_in_Walt_Disney_World,_FloridaThe biggest benefit of staying at one of the resort hotels within Walt Disney World Resort is the available transportation. Walt Disney World Resort has multiple forms of transportation, with buses as one of their main forms. As is expected of Walt Disney World Resort, there are many buses that comprise the resort’s fleet.

Disney has been recognized for their many conservation efforts and, as part of protecting the environment, Disney decided to add electric buses to their fleet. Disney plans on testing a fully electric bus this summer. The bus is expected to appear on the Fort Wilderness Resort loop for resort guests and backstage at Epcot for cast members.

Although Disney is testing the all-electric bus this summer, they have already started replacing some of their older buses with new higher capacity and greater efficiency buses. The buses will feature an all-new appearance and will help Disney be more efficient in their use of fuel.

If all goes well with Disney’s test of the electric vehicle, Disney may lead the way in green resort transportation. This is not the first new form of guest transportation tested by Disney. Last year, in 2012, Disney tested an articulated Nova Bus, named “Bendy,” that had the capacity to transport 112 guests. The impressively large bus sat on three axels, instead of the traditional two, and was an astonishing 62 feet long.

Between last year’s testing of “Bendy” and this year’s test of an all-electric bus, it is easy to see that Disney is looking to create greater transportation efficiency. With all the brilliant minds employed at Walt Disney World Resort, Disney is sure to find the solution that best benefits the company and the transportation needs of their guests. So if you are visiting Walt Disney World Resort and will be staying at Fort Wilderness Resort, be on the lookout for Disney’s all-electric bus!

Rainforest Cafe at Downtown Disney Fully Opened

11600368The Rainforest Cafe is a remarkably decorated and themed restaurant complete with animated effects. There are two of these remarkable restaurants located in Walt Disney World Resort.  The Rainforest Cafe can be found in Disney’s Animal Kingdom and at Downtown Disney, the location that recently underwent an exterior refurbishment.

Opening fully in June of 2013, the Rainforest Cafe is now complete with an erupting volcano and the new Lava Lounge bar. The tropical rainforest restaurant serves American style food and is one of Disney’s more affordable restaurants. The average adult meal can range from $15 to $30 and only some dining plans are accepted.

The new exterior of Downtown Disney’s Rainforest Cafe draws guests to the restaurant with a volcano show every 30 minutes. The volcano erupts on the hour and half hour. The eruptions are visible from all around the Disney Marketplace and often catch the eye of nearby guests. The volcano is not the only new feature at Downtown Disney’s Rainforest Cafe; the Lava Lounge is equally impressive.

The Lava Lounge bar is located on the side of the restaurant at the base of the volcano. The Lava Lounge is decorated with multiple waterfalls and an animated crocodile. The crocodile is not the only animated animal found in the restaurant. Other animals include birds, elephants, gorillas, and real aquarium fish. Each animated animal performs on a schedule and brings life and excitement to the dining experience.

To complete your dining experience, celebrate the volcanic exterior of the restaurant with the delicious Journey’s End Sparkling Volcano. This ice cream and brownie dessert is a great way to end a festive meal in such a creative and animated restaurant. Guests 21 and over have the luxury of enjoying a number of festive drinks at the bar.

Disney’s Palm Golf Course Under Refurbishment

 

Palm Golf Course It is not uncommon to see rides or attractions down while contractors at Walt Disney World Resort refurbish the ride. Sometimes, Walt Disney World Resort decides to make updates, changes, or other changes they feel are necessary. One attraction under refurbishment during the summer and fall months of 2013 is Walt Disney World Resort’s Palm Golf Course.

Palm Golf Course closed June 12, 2013 and is expected to remain closed until sometime in mid- November of 2013. While Palm Golf Course is under refurbishment, Disney’s other golf courses are scheduled to remain open. Without knowledge of how Disney plans on changing the park, we can only look at what was. Palm Golf Course was an 18-hole championship course operated by Arnold Palmer Golf Management. It included 9 water hazards and 94 bunkers.

 

While Palm Golf Course is down for the summer and better part of fall, there is ample opportunity to enjoy Walt Disney World Resort’s other courses. Located in the Downtown Disney Resort Area is Disney’s Lake Buena Vista Golf Course. The 18-hole course is certified by Audubon International as a Cooperative Wildlife Sanctuary.

 

Disney’s other golf courses are located in the Magic Kingdom Resort Area. Apart from the closed Palm Golf Course, the other courses include:

 

Magnolia Golf Course – Certified by Audubon International as a Cooperative Wildlife Sanctuary, includes 11 water hazards and 97 bunkers.

 

Oak Trail Golf Course – 9 hole course, certified by Audubon International as a Cooperative Wildlife Sanctuary.

 

Osprey Ridge Golf Course – Certified by Audubon International as a Cooperative Wildlife Sanctuary, an 18-hole course that includes 9 water holes and over 70 bunkers. Rated in Golf Digest as one of the best courses in Florida.

 

If you are an avid golfer and want to include it in your next Disney vacation, then look into the other 4 of Disney’s 5 golf courses. Fortunately, come winter 2013, Palm Golf Course is planned to reopen and Disney is sure guests will love the refurbished course.

Tackling Disney World

part 2

For many first timers to Disney, the excitement is great and the list of things you want to do is long. Disney World is made up of four main parks – Magic Kingdom, Epcot, Hollywood Studios, and Animal Kingdom – and two water parks – Typhoon Lagoon and Blizzard Beach.  Not to mention, Downtown Disney, which offers guests an outdoor shopping mall for all the souvenirs they could want.  But it can be hard to fit in everything in one vacation.  A lot of people fail to realize the size of each park and the amount of attractions available to guests.  It’s one of the best and worst things about Disney World.  Visitors can easily become overwhelmed by Disney and end up having a less than satisfying vacation.

The trick is to plan your vacation to optimize your time and fun.  Select which parks you want to spend the most time at and be sure to hit them up during your stay.  Hopper passes are great to help guests see the most of Disney in a short period of time.  These park passes allow visitors to hop from one park to the next in the same day.  That way guests can go to one park all day and go to another for dinner and fireworks.  Seeing parks at night is a completely different experience from during the day, with special shows and light parades for guests’ enjoyment.   Setting up reservations for lunch and dinner at your desired restaurants prior to your vacation will also help minimize stress when your sugar is low and maximize your time at the parks.   Travelling with big groups and small children can be difficult, so planning ahead of time will only make your Disney vacation that much more rewarding.