Good Morning! Today, I am going to talk about…the different levels of resort hotels at Disney World, what they have to offer, and their pros & cons.
Just EIGHT more days until my whirl wind vacay! Five Days at Disney World, followed by four days cruisin’ on the Disney Dream, followed by two more days at Disney World! This will be the longest vacation we have ever taken. We normally do a 7 day trip. Beyond excited! But there’s so much to do this week. I am 95% packed. Just have to run errands and get the house in order. Our 19 year old son has college classes to attend, so he will be staying behind this time. Taking care of the house. By himself. He is a very responsible, well behaved kid. But he IS 19!!! UGH
Today’s Orlando Forecast: Sunny and 85 degrees!
That is very unusual for February. I hope this trend will continue for next week!
Quote of the Day: From the Disney movie “Tangled” :
“[Talking about Rapunzel’s birthday]
Mother Gothel: No no no, can’t be. I distinctly remember, your birthday was last year.
Rapunzel: That’s the funny thing about birthdays, they’re kind of an annual thing. “
Disney Recipe of the Day: Anyone who has been to Epcot’s LeCellier restaurant in the Canada Pavilion has no doubt had dreams about it…
Pretzel Bread Recipe
Magical Recipes Factoid – Did you know that pretzels had their beginning around 610 A.D. somewhere in Southern France or Northern Italy? A young monk was preparing unleavened bread for Lent, the Christian period of fasting and penitence before Easter. Christians of the day prayed with their arms folded across their chests, each hand on the opposite shoulder. It occurred to him that he could twist the leftover dough from the bread into this shape and use it as a treat for the children to recite their prayers. He named his creation ‘pretiola,’ Latin for ‘little reward.’
- 2 3/4 cups bread flour
- 1 envelope quick-rising yeast
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons (about) hot water (125°F to 130°F)
- 8 cups water
- 1/4 cup baking soda
- 2 tablespoons sugar
- 1 egg white, beaten to blend (glaze)
- Coarse salt
- Combine bread flour, 1 envelope yeast, 1 teaspoon salt, 1 teaspoon sugar in food processor and blend.
- With machine running, gradually pour hot water through feed tube, adding enough water to form smooth elastic dough.
- Process 1 minute to knead. Grease medium bowl.
- Add dough to bowl, turning to coat.
- Cover bowl with plastic wrap, then towel; let dough rise in warm draft-free area until doubled in volume, about 35 minutes.
- Flour baking sheet.
- Punch dough down and knead on lightly floured surface until smooth.
- Divide into 8 pieces.
- Form each dough piece into ball.
- Place dough balls on prepared sheet, flattening each slightly.
- Using serrated knife, cut X in top center of each dough ball.
- Cover with towel and let dough balls rise until almost doubled in volume, about 20 minutes.
- Preheat oven to 375°F.
- Grease another baking sheet and sprinkle with cornmeal.
- Bring 8 cups water to boil in large saucepan.
- Add baking soda and 2 tablespoons sugar (water will foam up).
- Add 4 rolls and cook 30 seconds per side.
- Using slotted spoon, transfer rolls to prepared sheet, arranging X side up.
- Repeat with remaining rolls.
- Brush rolls with egg white glaze.
- Sprinkle rolls generously with coarse salt.
- Bake rolls until brown, about 25 minutes.
- Transfer to racks and cool 10 minutes.
- Serve rolls warm or room temperature. (Can be prepared 6 hours ahead. Let stand at room temperature. Rewarm in 375°F oven 10 minutes.)
Ok, so, resort hotels…there are 25 resort hotels on Disney World property. The task of choosing one as a beginner can be overwhelming. But there are a few factors that should help you make that decision:
- your budget. Disney World generally has an option for every budget. From a value resort that has basic amenities, to a moderate resort that offers something a little more- larger beds, a little more space, to deluxe resorts that can offer you everything under the sun – location, great rooms, room service, fantastic views, pools to die for, and so much more.
- The time of year you wish to visit will play a large roll in choosing where to stay. If you want to go during holidays or peak season, you will want to plan far ahead, as things book quickly. The lines in the parks will be longer. There are not very many special offers those times of year.
- If you are fortunate enough to visit during less busy times – the fall, January-February, late Spring, you will have the opportunity to get some great deals, save some money. Airfare is cheaper then. And the weather is fantastic. Upper 70’s, little rain, very low humidity. And there are also a lot of special events that take place during those times of year – in the Spring there’s the Epcot Flower & Garden Festival, Atlanta Braves Spring Training, and Star Wars weekends. In the Fall you can go to Mickey’s Not so Scary Halloween Party, and the Epcot Food & Wine Festival. And if you travel in November (before Thanksgiving) you can even see some Christmas decorations, Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party, The Osbourne Spectical of Lights, and so much more!
So, here’s a brief breakdown of the different levels of resort hotels:
- They offer larger than life theme, based on Disney animated films.
- Rooms are basic – think Super 8, Comfort Inn. Smaller rooms, usually two double beds.
- If you don’t plan on spending much time at the hotel, and really will only use your room to sleep and bathe, then in my opinion, this is all you really need. Save your money for more important things – souvenirs, a special meal, a special tour in the parks.
- I think these rooms are ideal for smaller families with smaller children. I feel that once your kids are older then you need more space. And most do not want to share a bed when they are older, and bigger.
- Pools are great here, large, but very basic.
- Value resorts have food courts for dining, and basic room service – pizza, sandwiches.
- You can get a Value resort for as low as $85 in off-peak season, and in the low $100’s during peak and holidays. If you would like one of the family suites that offer more space and amenities, these are offered at The All Star Music Resort, and Disney’s newest resort The Art of Animation. (which I am incredibly excited about because we will be there next week! I will be giving a full review when we return)
- They offer a little more “bang” for your buck.
- You can stay at a moderate resort for about $140 per night, but if you would like – for example- a pirate themed room at the Caribbean Beach Resort, you will pay more.
- We prefer the moderate resorts.
- It’s right in the middle price range.
- Rooms are larger – especially at Caribbean Beach – it’s one of the first hotels that was built – the first in the moderate category, so the rooms are pretty spacious. You have queen beds instead of doubles. There are double sinks with more storage.
- GREAT pools at these resorts. And they all have water slides, at the main pools. And a hot tub or two.
- They are closer proximity to the parks.
- They all have food courts, in addition to one or two table service restaurants.
- These are amazing! But they are NOT cheap by any means.
- You will pay upwards of $250 during off-peak season with a special offer. During peak and holiday you can pay as much as $600 per night. And again, there are many price ranges in between, it all depends on the location, view, size of the room, and if you’d like to splurge on concierge level.
- The pools are even more amazing. In particular, Stormalong Bay at The Yacht and Beach Club. It has sand bottoms. Multiple hot tubs. A few water slides. and even their version of a lazy river.
- Most of the Deluxe resort hotels have a couple of table service options, a small “convenience” area to pick up quick snacks and breakfast items, a quick service eatery or two, and even a character meal. Our favorite is Chef Mickey’s at the Contemporary Resort.
- Most of the Deluxe resorts have very close proximity to the parks. Hollywood Studios and Epcot are just a walk or boat ride away from The Yacht & Beach Club and Disney’s Boardwalk. Grand Floridian, The Polynesia, and The Contemporary Resort are all on the monorail, which is so close to Magic Kingdom, and just a quick ride over to Epcot. Animal Kingdom Lodge, while pretty far from the other parks, is just a 5 minute bus ride to Animal Kingdom, and it offers an amazing amenity – rooms that overlook a savannah loaded with giraffe, zebra, and so much more.
- In my opinion, spending a night or two at a deluxe resort is well worth it, especially during off season when you can get a room only deal for 30-35% off rack rate. But, I would not choose to do this every visit, nor would I choose to do it for an entire vacation.
- I feel that these resorts are perfect for very special occasions – honeymoon, anniversary, family reunions. And, of course, if you are very fortunate, and money is no object, then the deluxe resorts will be right up your alley.
For more information about all of the options you have for your stay at Walt Disney World, visit allears.net It is a fantastic resource for all things Disney. And under their accommodations section, they offer a great deal of facts, information, photos, and reviews. http://allears.net/acc/faq_hot.htm
I hope you found today’s Disney Dish fun and informative! Have a Magical Day!