Showing posts with label Accommodations. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Accommodations. Show all posts

Tuesday, April 20, 2021

Summer Getaway Idea - Grand Hotel

 Discover the USA Suggestion... GRAND HOTEL & MACKINAC ISLAND

If you have never experienced the wonder of setting off from the mainland of Michigan and seeing the expansive front porch of Grand Hotel 7 miles away in the distance... or stepping back in time to an island that doesn't allow cars... or enjoying the picturesque beauty of Lake Huron surrounding the island, with the sweeping Mackinac Bridge in the distance then perhaps this is your year to do so!!
Dating back to 1887 as a summer getaway for the railroad barons of the 19th century, this legendary diamond has dusted herself off with a recent $10M refresh and pool renovation and is waiting for you. Grand Hotel opens for the season on May 7th which runs until November 7th, and the island would love to make your acquaintance! I'd love to help you plan an amazing getaway to this charming island retreat. Give me a call at 317.776.1733, or send an email to clingren@cruiseplanners.com, or submit a request through my website!



Monday, January 30, 2017

Always Something New Whenever I Come to NYC

I enjoy staying at different places when I come to the city to be able to enjoy different experiences and be able to have a list of recommendations for clients coming to New York. This time I stayed in Yotel at 10th & 42nd. It is an excellent value and conveniently close to the theatre district. Just a short walk to the Convention Center, and the subway. The cabins are small but efficient. It's sleek and modern, with both Japanese and European influences. The elevator plays hip and fun music, and there's a robot in the lobby to help store your luggage for later in the day departures.


My view this morning as I finish getting ready for the day, packing for my flight home later, and then venture out for a supplier meeting and more. I've never had a room with a view of the river before, so this has been pretty cool, but as I look at the Hudson River and think about flying home from LaGuardia, all I can think about is Sully and the crazy but safe landing on the river. I've flown out of LGA numerous times since that crash years ago never even giving it a thought, but since watching the movie about it this past summer with Matthew, that's what has come to mind every time I've looked out this window this trip! I would never have thought about it before that birds could take down a plane. Who knew?! Oh well, no worries here, it's just so real being here, looking at the river and flying from the same airport. I know that when it's my time and God is ready to take me home it'll happen regardless of where I am or what I'm doing and I have zero control over it... So no fear in traveling for me. It's just more the movie geek in me coming out, as many disaster movies are so fake it's ridiculous...but that one was real. 😎. If you haven't watched it, do so. It's cool but intense.

 Following my vendor lunch meeting, I tried something else new to me...I ventured to the "top of the rock"...Rockefeller Center that is. The view to the north over Central Park was amazing! To the south is the Empire State Building (which I've previously been to the top of), and downtown.



And then it was back to LaGuardia for my flight home, back to Indiana, at least for 3 nights until the next big adventure! The Chicago and New York Travel Shows are now done, and the follow-up begins with all of the leads, and the bookings continue. These shows can be grueling long hours, but the business generated is well worth the physically taxing nature of the events that they are. Next up comes the LA Travel & Adventure Show in 3 weeks. I am absolutely looking forward to that one...but my first visit to the Emerald Isle comes first! I love traveling, but tonight I get to sleep in my own bed and love on my family. Hurray for being home once more!



Wednesday, September 7, 2016

My Suite Life at Beaches Turks & Caicos

I made it to Turks & Caicos and this amazing resort! Pictures to come... But let me just say WOW! If you're looking for a fantastic family beach vacation...THIS is it! I won't steer you wrong. Beautiful waters. Gorgeous accommodations. Plentiful restaurants. I can't wait to get the touring started tomorrow. Initial pictures will be uploaded later and throughout this learning adventure... except for this first glimpse of my room's front verandah (there's a back one too).



Welcome to my suite in the Key West Village at Beaches Turks & Caicos. Anyone ready for a party? There's room for many in here! With a fully stocked supply of included top-shelf liquors and Mondavi wines (replenished daily as needed), local island-brewed beer, soft drinks, bottled water, and juices, within a full kitchen it's ready for company - although the stove is just for looks, as it's non-functional, just there to complete the look, as explained to me by my Concierge Hostess who escorted me to my room and gave me my tour upon check-in - and yes, all guests receive the same treatment.
Moving to the back of the suite, there's a beautiful bedroom with a queen-sized bed, and gorgeous bathroom, with a washer & dryer, so any family could a) pack less, and b) enjoy the comforts of home while they dry the beachwear each evening quickly and efficiently.
The bedroom opens out onto the back verandah, which includes another table & chairs for outdoor enjoyment. The front verandah overlooks the main courtyard of the Key West Village, and the back verandah overlooks a beautiful grassy knoll and the Italian village.
On this trip, agents are scattered about within the resort in different villages. The fact that I got this beautiful Concierge Suite was just the "luck of the draw", but it's really cool to be able to experience it. There are 44 different room categories at this beautiful resort - ranging from beachfront villas to island-style cottages, luxurious rooms for two, and suites to accommodate families up to five - and more... there are even suites ranging up to four bedrooms (three stories tall!) to accommodate multi-generational families. Butler Suites and Concierge Suites add to an amazing mix of accommodation options that really are unrivaled on the island.
The resort is divided into 4 distinct themed "villages" - Caribbean, Italian, French, and Key West. Add to all of that the 21 restaurants, 14 bars, 10 pools, and 10 waterslides in their own on-site waterpark; and unlimited included watersports and this resort is a total wow factor for so many who choose to stay here. I can't wait to get to explore it all tomorrow!!








Monday, February 11, 2013

stopher's stuff - Universal Reflections





While on my recent sojourn to Florida and the Caribbean, I enjoyed a day at Universal Orlando Resort – well, actually PART of a day, not the entire day.  I was there specifically to complete the on-site portion of the Universal Specialist Program for travel professionals.  Another program designed to better understand the destinations that we sell, and thereby boost our individual business for a particular destination.  The Universal program includes an online and an on-site portion… I’d completed the online portion last summer.  Now it was time for the on-site. 
  
The last time I had been to Universal Orlando was in 2007, with my family.  On that trip we’d stayed at the Nickelodeon Suites over on World Drive, near Walt Disney World.  This time I was staying at Walt Disney World at Disney’s Old Key West Resort – and was going solo.  I arrived at the Universal Orlando parking garage in my rental car at around 8:50 am, knowing the parks opened at 9 am.  My plan was to visit Islands of Adventure first, and then head over in to Universal Studios Florida afterwards.  By the time I got to the park entry, passing through the CityWalk area, and enjoying looking around to see what was the same and what was different from my last visit, it was a little after 9 am. 

As a park, Islands of Adventure hadn’t changed a whole lot, with one large exception… and entire new land had been built… the Wizarding World of Harry Potter.  Though I will say that new land itself, wasn’t all completely new, as part of The Lost Continent was area was given up for this new land.  The Wizarding World boasts two different roller coaster experiences that were existing attractions, simply re-purposed for the Potter theme.  Dragon Challenge was formerly known as Dueling Dragons – and Flight of the Hippogriff was formerly known as The Flying Unicorn


Full disclosure time – and go ahead and let your jaws drop in disbelief if you so choose – but I have never read a single Harry Potter book in my life.  Nor have I seen any more than about 20 minutes of one of the films when it aired on television.  That’s it.  I am not a Potter fan, nor do I plan to become one.  But I did have interest in seeing the land for myself.  I wanted to know what I sell, and be able to answer questions that my clients might have.  So when the opportunity to visit the parks presented itself, I jumped at it.  And I will say, that even though I am not a fan, and I do not know the different storylines or backstories behind the various elements of the land itself – it was beautiful .  And I believe, very well executed.  The folks at Universal Creative apparently got it right, because I definitely heard a lot of “high praise” from guests all around me, oohing and ahhing at the various shops, backgrounds and scenic elements throughout Harry’s community.  I knew some of the characters from magazine articles and conversations with friends, but the backstories... no.

The Hogwart’s castle that they created, which sits high atop the feature attraction, Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey was simply stunning.  I loved it for its beauty and grace as a thematic element to the land.  Many of the folks at Universal Creative were once Imagineers for Disney, and were certainly trained well in the art of the show, and the theatrical immersion that comes across so well in many theme park environments.  The Wizarding World of Harry Potter definitely comes across well in its immersion.

Now to get to the actual attraction, and my experience with it - I had read and heard many things prior to my visit, including get there as quickly as possible in order to minimize the wait time, otherwise expect a very long line.  I did just that, and was pleasantly surprised to see just a stated 10 minute wait.  Now the reality is my wait time was a little less, since I got into the Single Rider line, but in the end, it turned out to be more, simply because it took me about 10 minutes just to finally decide to ride it after I stood inside the center of the queue area watching the video which demonstrates what the ride technology actually does.  Let me just state emphatically that I love roller coasters, and I don’t mind many different spinning rides (though Mission: Space at Epcot did make me very nauseous) – but I’m not one to jump up and down about being turned nearly upside down…backwards.  And that’s what the video was showing.  So hemmed and hawed for a while, trying to decide what I would do.  Ultimately my curiosity won out, and I did go on the attraction.  However – I will say – that as an attraction, it did not in the end make me nauseous – but I just didn’t like it.  I didn’t care for many of the thematic elements included, nor did I care for how very dark and foreboding the overall attraction was.  I can see how fans of the series might enjoy the attraction, but I didn’t.  And that’s okay.  It just means there’s one less person to be in line ahead of you the next time I’m in the Islands of Adventure park.  Oh yes, and one more thing... with my apologies to the die-hard HP fans out there... I didn't like the Butterbeer either.  

Pretty much everything else about Islands of Adventure was the same as my last visit.  Although The Amazing Adventures of Spiderman over in Marvel Superhero Island had been updated, and I was sure to ride that one to see how it was different.  I really enjoyed that one, just as I did the last time I rode it nearly 6 years ago.  I wish that Disney had an attraction similar to it, as it really is a cool attraction.

Over in Universal Studios, more has changed since our last visit, as the new Transformers attraction is getting closer and closer to completion.   Since our visit, the Jaws attraction has closed, and the real estate it once sat upon is currently under construction bringing a “bridge” between the two parks with some sort of Harry Potter connection (I’ve read about it online, but don’t recall exactly what it will be at the moment - something having to do with a Hogwart's Express or something to that effect);  Back to the Future The Ride made way for The Simpsons Ride; Hollywood Rip Ride Rockit  debuted; and Despicable Me Minion Mayhem replaced the old Jimmy Neutron ride.  PLUS they have a cool new nighttime water & laser show on the central lagoon called Universal’s Cinematic Spectacular, which I might have enjoyed seeing had I stayed there until nightfall.  It looks really cool, though I know I would stand there comparing it to World of Color at Disney California Adventure way too much.   

While in USF, I did enjoy the Lucy: A Tribute exhibit (I have been a die-hard Lucy fan since I was a very small child...and now my kids are as well.  We love watching "I Love Lucy" every Sunday evening with our dinner, going through episode by episode, as they were originally shown on tv all those years ago).  I also had a nice piece of pizza at Louie’s Italian Restaurant in the New York section, but I really didn’t ride anything.  I had no real desire to. Hollywood Rip Ride Rockit looked really cool, and in retrospect I wish I had ridden it, but alas, I did not.   While I really like the backlot feel of the New York and San Francisco sections, I must admit I don’t care for Universal Studios Florida as much as I do for Universal Studios Hollywood.  The Hollywood park is different, in that it sits inside an actual, functional, movie studio whereas the Florida park only simulates one.  Plus I have an affinity for the Hollywood park, as I worked there in high school – it was actually my first paying job back in the summer of 1987.  So for me, USF just falls a bit flat.  Of the two Universal Orlando parks, I much prefer Islands of Adventure. 

Alright, I’m going to call it quits for now, but will write more about my Florida adventures in the next installment of stopher’s stuff.

Until then make it a great week! 



Friday, January 18, 2013

Featured Foto Friday - Illuminating Headboards

The recent 2011/12 renovations at the Disneyland Hotel saw the introduction of these charming, illuminating headboards. Now you can drift off to sleep as "When You Wish Upon a Star" gently plays in the background, and fireworks burst over the carved image of Sleeping Beauty Castle. It serves as a great way to tuck the kids in to bed after a long day a the Happiest Place on Earth, or as a really cool nightlight.  

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Today in Disney Parks and Resorts History - Grand Californian Hotel Opens


January 2, 2001 – Disneyland – Anaheim, CA

The Disneyland Resort unveils its’ brand new Grand Californian Hotel, built on the former parking lot of Disneyland as the company has transformed the original Disney park into a multi-park, multi-day destination.  The new hotel features 2 full-service restaurants:  Storytellers Cafe & Napa Rose, and the Whitewater Snacks quick-service snack bar, as well as high-end rooms and service.  It is the company’s first domestic theme park located inside a Disney theme park – the all-new Disney’s California Adventure opening in February 2001, and features a private entrance directly from the hotel into the Condor Flats area of the theme park.   

Friday, December 14, 2012

Today in Disney Parks and Resorts History - Disney's POP Century Resort Opens


December 14, 2003 – Walt Disney World – Lake Buena Vista, FL

After many delays  Walt Disney World's newest-value level resort, POP Century Resort finally opens for business.  The resort is located at 1050 Century Drive, near the Disney-MGM Studios theme park and the expansive Wide World of Sports complex.  It features 2,880 guest rooms.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Today in Disney Parks and Resorts History - Disney's Paradise Pier Hotel


December 12, 2000 – Disneyland – Anaheim, CA

The Disneyland Pacific Hotel re-opens as Disney's Paradise Pier Hotel. The 502-room hotel has been brightly painted and decorated to reflect a new beachfront theme, and soon will offer hotel guests a private entrance into the Paradise Pier section of the all-new theme park located directly across the street, Disney's California Adventure, which is currently under construction on the site of Disneyland’s former parking lot. (Disney California Adventure would celebrate its’ Grand Opening February 8, 2001).

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Today in Disney Parks and Resorts History - Disneyland Pacific Hotel


December 11, 1995 – Disneyland – Anaheim, CA

The Disneyland Pacific Hotel – formerly known as the Pan Pacific Hotel - opens in Anaheim under Disney ownership. The hotel was originally built and owned by Japan-based Tokyu Group, and opened in 1984 as the Emerald of Anaheim, in 1989 renamed the Pan Pacific Hotel when Tokyu merged its Emerald and Pan Pacific hotel divisions. The Walt Disney Company purchased the hotel in 1995 renaming it the Disneyland Pacific Hotel, again renaming it in December 2000 to its’ current name, Disney’s Paradise Pier Hotel.

Friday, October 5, 2012

Today in Disney Parks and Resorts History - Disneyland Hotel

October 5, 1955
Disneyland - Anaheim, CA

The Disneyland Hotel officially opens across the street from Walt Disney's original Magic Kingdom, Disneyland.  The hotel is owned and operated by the Wrather Corporation (Jack Wrather is a good friend of Walt's, invited by Walt to build and operate the hotel with the license to the Disneyland name,  and the hotel will not become officially part of the Walt Disney family until the 1988 acquisition by The Walt Disney Company).

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Sunday Spotlight - Disney's Saratoga Springs Resort & Spa


Disney's Saratoga Springs Resort® & Spa first opened at Walt Disney World® Resort on May 17, 2004.  It was built on the site of the former Disney Institute® and is one of several Disney Vacation Club® (DVC) timeshare properties at Walt Disney World® Resort.  The resort is themed to celebrate the legacy of a gentler era, and captures the spirit of the 1880’s resort of Saratoga Springs, New York. This lakeside resort is filled with Victorian architecture, meticulous landscaping and the horse-racing culture of the upstate New York community.
Disney’s Saratoga Springs Resort® & Spa includes 60 Treehouse Villas, but those are featured separately.  

The original resort has a total of 1,260 villas, comprised of Deluxe Studios, 1-Bedroom, 2-Bedroom and 3-Bedroom Grand Villas.
Deluxe Studios are 365 square feet and can accommodate up to four guests, plus one child under age 3 in a crib.  They include a kitchenette, two queen-size beds and a private porch or balcony.
  • 1-Bedrooms are 714 square feet, and can accommodate up to five guests, plus one child under age 3 in a crib. They include a fully equipped kitchen, washer & dryer, king-size bed in the master bedroom, a queen-size sleeper sofa plus a sleeper chair in the living room, whirlpool tub in the bathroom, and a private porch or balcony.
  • 2-Bedrooms are 1,075 square feet, and can accommodate up to nine guests, plus one child under 3 in a crib. They offer all that a 1-Bedroom has plus a second bedroom with 2 queen-size beds and a second full bathroom.
  • 3-Bedroom Grand Villas are 2,113 square feet, and can accommodate up to 12 guests, plus one child under 3 in a crib. They offer all of the amenities of the 2-Bedroom, plus they include a third bedroom with 2 queen-size beds, a third full bathroom, a full dining room, additional private balcony and are two-story rooms.

As a DVC timeshare property, the villas are owned by members through DVC’s points-based system.  DVC maintains about 3-4% ownership of the total point allocation for each of their timeshare resorts, therefore rooms are available for rent year-round to non-members. 

The resort includes 2 feature pools and 4 leisure or “quiet” pools, a children’s pool, whirlpools, sauna, fitness center, Community Hall family recreation room, tennis courts, extensive jogging trails, arcade and recreational activities including Disney’s Lake Buena Vista Golf Course.  It also features 1 table service restaurant:  The Turf Club Bar and Grill serving lunch and dinner; 2 quick-service counter locations: The Artist’s Palette, and the High Rock Grill. 

Disney’s Saratoga Springs Resort® & Spa is a Deluxe Villas level resort located across the water from the Downtown Disney® area.  Convenient bus transportation will take guests to all parts of Walt Disney World® Resort, and water taxis transport guests to and from Downtown Disney.  The resort is also a short walk from Downtown Disney®, and there are two different walking paths to it – one to the Marketplace area, and one to the West Side area. 

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Sunday Spotlight - Disney's Old Key West


Disney's Old Key West Resort® first opened at Walt Disney World® Resort on December 20, 1991.  It was the original Disney Vacation Club® (DVC) timeshare property, and as such was originally named Disney’s Vacation Club Resort.  In January 1996 DVC expanded their timeshare offerings at the Walt Disney World Resort, and so the resort was renamed to Disney’s Old Key West Resort.  The resort is themed to celebrate the Conch Republic of Key West, Florida, and enjoys quite the laid-back feeling that a southern Florida provides.

The resort has a total of 761 villas, comprised of Deluxe Studios, 1-Bedroom, 2-Bedroom and 3-Bedroom Grand Villas.
  • Deluxe Studios are 376 square feet and can accommodate up to four guests, plus one child under age 3 in a crib.  They include a kitchenette, two queen-size beds and a private porch or balcony.
  • 1-Bedrooms are 942 square feet, and can accommodate up to five guests, plus one child under age 3 in a crib. They include a fully equipped kitchen, washer & dryer, king-size bed in the master bedroom, a queen-size sleeper sofa plus a sleeper chair in the living room, whirlpool tub in the bathroom, and a private porch or balcony.
  • 2-Bedrooms are 1,333 square feet, and can accommodate up to nine guests, plus one child under 3 in a crib. They offer all that a 1-Bedroom has plus a second bedroom with 2 queen-size beds and a second full bathroom.
  • 3-Bedroom Grand Villas are 2,375 square feet, and can accommodate up to 12 guests, plus one child under 3 in a crib. They offer all of the amenities of the 2-Bedroom, plus they include a third bedroom with 2 queen-size beds, a third full bathroom, a full dining room, additional private balcony and are two-story rooms.

As a DVC timeshare property, the villas are owned by members through DVC’s points-based system.  DVC maintains about 3-4% ownership of the total point allocation for each of their timeshare resorts, therefore rooms are available for rent year-round to non-members. 

The resort includes 1 feature pool and 3 leisure or “quiet” pools, a children’s pool, whirlpools, sauna, fitness center, Community Hall family recreation room, tennis courts, fishing, marina watercraft rentals, arcade and recreational activities.  It also features 1 table service restaurant:  Olivia’s Café serving breakfast lunch and dinner;  2 quick-service counter locations: Good’s Food to Go, and the Turtle Shack.  A bar is also on-site:  Gurgling Suitcase.

Disney’s Old Key West Resort® is a Deluxe Villas level resort centrally located to the east of Epcot® in the Downtown Disney® area.  Convenient bus transportation will take guests to all parts of Walt Disney World® Resort, and water taxis transport guests to and from Downtown Disney.


Sunday, August 19, 2012

Sunday Spotlight - Disney's POP Century Resort


Disney's POP Century Resort® first opened at Walt Disney World® Resort, originally planned to open in 2001, finally opened on December 13, 2003 (after delays caused by the tragic events of 9/11 and the following drop in tourism and further construction delays in 2002.  The resort is themed to celebrate the decades of the 20th Century, and is filled with all kinds of popular references, icons and imagery of the century (thus the name POP Century). 

The resort is comprised of 5 sections, representing the 1950’s, ‘60’s, ‘70’s, ‘80’s and ‘90’s. Each section is decorated and themed with its’ own oversized icons – such as a giant jukebox and 45 rpm records for the 1950’s; giant “Baloo & Mowgli” figures from Disney’s ‘60’s classic film, The Jungle Book;  giant Mickey Mouse Phone, giant Big Wheel and 8-track tapes representing the ‘70’s and so many more.  The resort is designed with exterior doors and staircases (which are also themed with coverings such as giant bowling pins or Rubick’s Cubes).

Disney’s POP Century Resort®  features a total of 2,880 guest rooms, each accommodating up to 4 guests, plus one child under 3 in a crib. All rooms have either 2 double beds or 1 king-sized bed.

The resort includes 3 themed pools:  the Bowling Pin pool, the Hippy Dippy feature pool and the Computer pool.  It also features  1 quick-service food court : Everything POP; and lounges, poolside snack bars and in-room pizza delivery service.

Disney’s POP Century Resort® is a value level resort located in the ESPN Wide World of Sports® area.  Convenient bus transportation will take guests to all other parts of Walt Disney World® Resort.  

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Sunday Spotlight - Disney's Port Orleans Resort


Disney's Port Orleans Resort® first opened at Walt Disney World® Resort as two separate resorts:  Disney’s Port Orleans Resort which opened on May 17, 1991 and Disney’s Dixie Landings Resort which opened on February 2, 1992.  On March 1, 2001 both resorts were merged together into one larger single resort, with the former Dixie Landings resort being rebranded as Disney’s Port Orleans Riverside, and the original Port Orleans Resort being rebranded as Disney’s Port Orleans French Quarter.

The resort is themed to invoke the bustling river life of the old South and the “gay paree” of the American Frontier – New Orleans.  The French Quarter portion was designed to resemble the French Quarter’s style and architecture, while the Riverside section was designed to invoke both southern plantations in the Magnolia Bend section, and bayou dwellings further up the river in the Alligator Bayou section.  The Sassagoula River connects both portions of the resort with other waterways of Walt Disney World®, and provides nice boat transportation to the Downtown Disney® Area. 


Disney’s Port Orleans Resort features a total of 3,056 guest rooms, with 1,008 rooms found in the French Quarter; 1,024 rooms found in Riverside and 1,024 found in Magnolia Bend.  About 500 rooms throughout the Magnolia Bend section of Riverside were recently refurbished as “Royal Rooms” with a princess-inspired theme. 

The resort includes 2 themed feature pools:  Ol’ Man Island with a rustic saw-mill theme; and Doubloon Lagoon with a sea-serpent themed slide.  Additionally there are multiple quiet pools located throughout the resort.  Other recreation includes children’s playgrounds; the “Fishin’ Hole” where guests can rent cane poles and bait for some old-time catch & release fishing; a marina for watercraft rentals; bicycles & surrey bike rentals; horse-drawn carriage rides in the evenings; and video game arcades.

The resort features 1 table service restaurant:  Boatwright’s Dining Hall; and includes 2 quick-service restaurants: Riverside Mill Food Court and Sassagoula Floatworks and Food Factory; as well as 2 lounge/bar locations: River Roost, Muddy Rivers and Scat Cat’s Club.

Disney’s Port Orleans Resort® is a moderate level resort located in the Downtown Disney® area.  Convenient boat transportation will take guests directly to Downtown Disney®, as well as bus transportation to all other parts of Walt Disney World® Resort.  The resort is classified as a Moderate level resort, and most rooms will accommodate up to 4 guests; however rooms in Alligator Bayou will accommodate up to 5 guests, as they include a trundle bed, which makes Disney’s Port Orleans Resort a great option for many families.

Sunday, August 5, 2012

Sunday Spotlight - Disney's Wilderness Lodge


Disney's Wilderness Lodge®  first opened at Walt Disney World® Resort on May 28, 1994.  Themed to invoke the Pacific Northwest, and inspired by the great National Park lodges from the turn of the 20th century, the “Lodge”  is an architectural masterpiece honoring American craftsmanship and artistry, and celebrating the majesty of the unspoiled wilderness. It was designed by famed architect Peter Dominick (who also designed Walt Disney World® Resort’s other great lodge - Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge®; as well as Disneyland® Resort’s awe-inspiring Disney’s Grand Californian® Hotel & Spa); and pays homage to ancient Native American cultures and the American pioneering spirit through authentic décor and genuine artifacts on display throughout the lodge. 

Awed and impressed are the feelings you’ll have from your first steps inside the Lodge’s stunning 7-story lobby, with its 82 foot tall fireplace representing the various layers of rock strata of the Grand Canyon, to the hand-carved multi-story totem poles. 

Disney's Wilderness Lodge® features 727 guest rooms, offering wildlife, nature and Native American themes.  Honeymoon suites feature marble whirlpool tubs;  many rooms feature bunk-beds for families with small children.  Larger 1 and 2 bedroom suites are also available.
Outside be sure to look for the bubbling spring flowing from the lobby, and tumbling over a sparkling waterfall towards the swimming pool, and continuing on into Bay Lake.  Nearby you’ll find Fire Rock Geyser, designed with Yellowstone National Park’s “Old Faithful” in mind, sending plumes of water up to 120 feet in the air every hour. 

Disney's Wilderness Lodge® features 2 table service restaurants:  Whispering Canyon Café and Artist Point; and includes one quick-service restaurant: Roaring Fork; as well as 2 lounge/bar locations: Territory Lounge and Trout Pass. 

Disney’s Wilderness Lodge® is a deluxe level resort located in the Magic Kingdom area.  Convenient boat transportation will take guests directly to Magic Kingdom Park®, as well as bus transportation to all other parts of Walt Disney World® Resort.  


Sunday, July 29, 2012

Sunday Spotlight - Disney's Art of Animation Resort



Disney's Art of Animation Resort®, an all-new resort located at Walt Disney World® Resort, premiered on May 31, 2012 with the first of four phases opening on that date.  It is located on the site once planned for the expansion of Disney’s POP Century Resort®, but plans for that continued construction were abandoned following the attacks of September 11, 2001.  It is the first new value-level resort built since Disney’s POP Century Resort first opened in 2003.


The resort is comprised of 4 sections, representing Disney’s classic animated films “The Little Mermaid”, “The Lion King”, and Disney*PIXAR films, “Finding Nemo” and “Cars”.   Each section is decorated and themed with its’ own oversized icons – such as the various car characters from the Cars films, super-sized coral from Finding Nemo, gigantic clam shells, pride rocks and many more.  In a change from the other value-level resorts, the Art of Animation is designed with rooms having interior doors and sealed hallways rather than exterior doors.  Emergency staircases are done in the same exterior fashion as the other value-level resorts (and are themed with coverings such as giant pride rocks, coral, or super-sized dock pilings).


Disney's Art of Animation Resort® features a total of 1,984 guest rooms, comprised of 1,120 Family Suites and 864 traditional rooms.  The majority of the rooms accommodate up to 6 guests whereas the traditional rooms accommodate up to 4 guests, plus one child under 3 in a crib.  The Family Suites have a queen-size bed, plus two double sleeper / pull-down beds, a small kitchenette, plus a full bathroom and a half-bath.  All of the regular rooms have either 2 double beds or 1 king-sized bed.

The resort includes a themed pool, “The Big Blue”, a quick-service food court:  Landscape of Flavors; and lounges, poolside snack bar, The Drop Off Pool Bar and in-room pizza  delivery service. 



Disney’s Art of Animation Resort® is a value level resort located in the southern portion of Walt Disney World, in the ESPN Wide World of Sports® area.  Convenient bus transportation will take guests to all other parts of the Walt Disney World® Resort.