Fun Stuff to Do at the Resorts!

Just as the Disney parks are magical, so are the Disney themed resort hotels. There are many extraordinary sights to be seen at each of the resorts, including epic pools, magnificent lobbies complete with fountains, photo opportunities, and even tours! But don’t feel like spending exuberant amounts of money to check out the sights and the Disney resorts? No worries! I’ll let you know how to get in and get your exploration on.

If you’re already having a good time at the parks, you can always take a free detour to any of the resorts via the Disney transportation system. Buses are provided through all four parks.That probably doesn’t sound like a worthy trip when you’re already at the Disney parks, but if you’ve already seen everything, this side trip is definitely worth it! Alternatively, if you’d rather go to check out the resorts on a day you’re not having fun at the park, you can get free 3 hour parking permits from the gate attendants at the resorts.

So, you’ve figured out how to get to the Disney resorts, what can you expect to find once you get there? Plenty! While going into the pools requires a reservation at the resorts, you can still check out the beautiful designs. Coronado Springs looks like Mayan ruins, Stormalong Bay has a pool that includes a “shipwreck,” and the Wilderness Lodge starts off in the lobby. goes through a bridge, and includes a waterfall! The resorts also include plenty of photo opportunities,. like a 35-foot Buzz Lightyear. And, if you do decide to stay at one, you can get free tours at ALL the resorts!

So if you have the time, be sure to check out the wonderful and creative sights of the Disney World resorts!


Getting Sun at Disney World Resorts

Even when spending the day in water, it can be easy to forget to stay hydrated (and you definitely shouldn’t be drinking the pool water to do so!) Here are some facts about hydration, and how to stay hydrated through your day.

First off, water is the most important part of your health. Your body is roughly 60% water, and maintaining that percentage is key to staying hydrated. It’s easy to lose a lot of water when sweating throughout the day, and the summer heat can definitely drain you of your precious water. Lack of hydration can lead to serious medical conditions, including headaches and heat strokes.

Knowing the importance of water, you should make sure to keep drinking down some fresh water. Water fountains are usually located near restroom facilities. If you want to avoid spending lots of money on expensive bottled water at the resort, then bring your own canteens. You can even refill them at the fountains.  Sports drinks work well too, like Gatorade. You can also hydrate by eating certain foods, such as fruits and vegetables: celery, lettuce, and watermelons are big ones.

Finally, avoid alcohol, as it can easily dehydrate you. Sodas may not be a good option either, and salty foods can really dehydrate you.

Hopefully this information will be helpful to you. Fun times in the water are great, but make sure to stay hydrated out there!

Here’s some info on what to do to treat sunburns, found on the Orlando Vacation Store blog (CLICK HERE).

Disney’s Contemporary Resort Murals


ImageEarly on in Walt Disney World history, the complex was to include, primarily: five resort hotels, the Magic Kingdom park and a golf course. The closest resort to Magic Kingdom, the Contemporary Resort, was originally to be named the Tempo Bay Resort Hotel; Roy Disney fought against it and insisted on keeping the working title, stating,

I just don’t like it. I like Contemporary. I like names that are simple and say what they are. The other name is phony and plastic.

This gorgeous, 6-wall, 90-foot mural design at Disney’s Contemporary Resort can be seen from the monorail. It was created by Disney legend Mary Blair, who worked as an Imagineer and animator. Its design and creation took over a year and a half and is made up of over 18,000 hand-painted square-foot tiles. It was lovingly put in place and completed in 1971 and has been there ever since, a welcome sight for guests.

wall 5footgoatsThere is a fun hidden story behind one of the characters, as well: a five-legged goat. The official reason, taught to all cast members in training, is that it is an intentional imperfection to symbolize that nothing manmade can be perfect; that although the Cast Members strive to do their best, they are only human.

Aside from the mural, there was an important moment in history that took place in this resort’s ballroom: Richard Nixon’s famous “I am not a crook” speech took place on November 17, 1973.


Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort: A Favorite



I’ve loved this hotel since I was a child. The small pond just outside the entrance, filled with large koi fish and flowers. The beautiful waterfall centerpiece in the lobby, often inhabited by exotic birds, the flowers constantly changing per season. During the winter holidays, poinsettias line the centerpiece, and decorate a small Christmas tree. I used to pick out candy on the second floor, rock candy and chocolate coins, lollipops and candy necklaces. There are shops and restaurants and, most importantly, the second floor holds a monorail stop that will take guests to the Grand Floridian Resort, the Contemporary Resort, and Magic Kingdom (among other stops). I love looking out the window and watching weddings in progress under the pavilion, complete with Cinderella’s horse-drawn carriage.

Arriving at Magic Kingdom, the crowds move down the path to the entrance, a sea of colorful hats, strollers, balloons, and excitement. The monorails float by in a flurry of bright and pastel stripes. It’s a case of the journey there building the mood to the destination.

Value Resorts at Disney World

There are five different value resorts to choose from at Disney World. All of them are an awesome alternative for big families or people on a budget because, while they still have many of the typical Disney amenities and they all share the magical environment that goes with staying at Disney, they are not nearly as expensive as their more upscale brothers. The five resorts in this category are the All Star trio (Sports, Movies and Music), Pop Century and Art of Animation. The three All Star resorts are relatively similar to each other and are very thematic, so if you are not looking for something specifically like that, you might have a better experience choosing one of the other two. They are also a few years older than the Pop Century and Art of Animation resorts, and that shows sometimes in the installations.

Out of the three All Stars, All Star Sports is your best choice. It is closer to the parks, so the bus rides are shorter and more widely available, the food court was renovated in 2013 and has a better menu than the other ones and is generally better than the other two. Pop Century was an all-time favorite until Art of Animation opened, but it is still definitely worth a visit. It is less expensive than its successor and kids seem to love its decoration. Finally, the Art of Animation resort has both value priced rooms at The Little Mermaid section and family suites that could get out of your budget, if you are looking to save some money. The food court and the pool make a great difference in this hotel, which is also much more recent than the previous ones, so it has more amenities and is in better general conditions.

Villas at the Grand Floridian Resort

As of October last year, Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa has offered new Villas for its guests to book. These villas are a great standard of comfort and luxury for the whole family. To make your stay feel more at home, they are equipped with TV sets and a full kitchen and refrigerator, as well as a washer and a dryer. You can choose from a one-bedroom villa or a two-bedroom one, which accommodate up to five or nine people each one. This makes this lodging selection ideal for large families coming to visit Orlando.

The Grand Floridian Resort & Spa is a very popular choice among Disneybound visitors because of its convenient location within walking distance of the Monorail to Magic Kingdom and the other Disney World theme parks. Its peaceful environment by the shore of the Seven Seas Lagoon also makes it a great option for people looking for a fun and relaxing getaway destination that takes you away from home. The dining choices there are also very popular and delicious, ideal for a great meal after a day of park hopping.

Thanks to Gene Duncan for this awesome picture of the opening event at the resort.

Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort


One of the best vacation escapades Disney World can offer is their Polynesian Village Resort. This deluxe hotel is one of Disney World’s original hotels and has mildly changed its name a few times, but regulars and fans already know it well as “the Poly”. It is themed to the South Pacific, so you can find yourself surrounded by a tropical, retro tiki environment to take you away from every worry. Its most recent name change, which consists of the addition of the term Village, comes from the hotel’s layout, which is basically one Great Ceremonial House – where the lobby, restaurants and shops are– and eleven hotel buildings around it, where guests stay.

In addition to the awesome tiki decoration, Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort has a lot to offer to its visitors. White sand beaches, the Never Land Club for kids, an awesome pool with a waterslide and the known spa Senses are just some of its great amenities. Another great thing about this resort is that it is very close to the Disney’s Monorail, so if you want to make it a relaxing vacation with the added fun of visiting the theme parks, its location is ideal for you.

If you want to book a few nights there, though, you might want to take into account that they are renovating many areas of the resort right now and through March 2015. Maybe it would be better to wait until then.