Five Reasons Why I love Disney’s Polynesian Resort

Having already written my top five reasons why I love Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort and Spa and Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge, I couldn’t leave out our third Disney Vacation Club home resort, Disneys Polynesian Villas and Bungalows. Polynesian is my Little Peter Pan’s favourite Walt Disney World Resort to stay at, and he has loved it ever since our first ever stay there. Its very family orientated, with so many things to see and lots of activities to take part in.

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1 Location

Located right in the heart of the Monorail Loop, Polynesian Village certainly has the best location in the whole of Walt Disney World if you ask me. Overlooking the Magic Kingdom, it boasts the most spectacular views across Seven Seas Lagoon and the front of the park, as well as Cinderella Castle and Space Mountain. Disney transportation is at its very best at the Polynesian, with the Monorail taking you directly to the Magic Kingdom or Epcot. The Transportation and Ticket Center is just a few minutes walk from the Disney Vacation Club side of the resort, enabling you to access the Monorail directly to Epcot or the Ferry over to the Magic Kingdom. Water Taxis run throughout the day and night across the Lagoon and a bus service to the parks is also available.

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2 The Beach

The Polynesian beach is just wonderful! A quiet, little haven by day where you can sit on a swing and watch the (Disney) world go by, and come night the perfect viewing area to watch the Magic Kingdom fireworks light up the sky. Quinn loves spending time playing in the sand, building sandcastles and even making friends with the resident ducks! Roasting marshmallows on the campfire is a family favourite of ours and its a great opportunity to meet other guests and their families, and to talk with Cast Members.

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3 Recreation and Amenities 

Polynesian Village has two large pools on property, the Oasis and Lava Pools, and the most wonderful Tiki themed kids water play area. It’s no surprise as to why this is Quinn’s favourite resort for the amount of fun on offer here for families. As well as the play area, the Lava Pool also boasts a volcano with a waterslide and waterfall and Quinn has enjoyed many afternoons participating in the poolside activities. Kevin and Quinn love to hire a Pontoon boat and sail the Seven Seas Lagoon looking for Captain Hook! I prefer to keep my feet on land, but it’s very relaxing watching them from the beach.

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4 Dining

Our favourite restaurant is Ohana and we could eat dinner here literally every evening! The family style food is to die for, the cousins (Cast Members) make us feel so welcome and if you are lucky, you may even get to experience the Magic Kingdom fireworks or the  Electrical Water Pageant from your table. Whats even more wonderful is that you can have the feast sent to your room as private dining! Capt. Cooks, or Hook’s as Quinn calls it, is the perfect quick service location and Trader Sam’s Grog Grotto and Tiki Terrace is right next door serving unique drinks and snacks. We also love Kona Cafe for the best breakfast pancakes and Tonga Toast of course!

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5 Theming

I love the beautiful Polynesian theming of the Resort and its amazing smell! The Tiki Statue in the Great Ceremonial House is well known, and the theming continues through to the villas and bungalows decor. The studios are beautiful and roomy, I love the extra bathroom and Quinn loves the pull down bed featuring his good friend Stitch. Kevin loves the views from the balcony, which can be anything from a Theme Park View, to a standard view featuring views of the gardens, pool and the Monorail. On two of our stays we have been lucky enough to have a view of the fireworks from our balcony!

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The worst part about having three separate home resorts, is choosing which ones to visit each trip! We will have to wait until October for our next Polynesian stay, but it is well worth the wait!

Alannah x

Five Reasons Why I Love Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge

With our original date for flying to Walt Disney World being this week, its fair to say I have been feeling a little sad and homesick. That being said, I am positive we made the right decision to switch our October trip to December. Luckily we were able to add an extra week on to our trip, and I still can’t believe that we get to spend three weeks at the Walt Disney World Resort! We will be spending Christmas at our original Home resort, Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge and I wanted to share five reasons why I love this resort, just like I did with Disney’s Grand Floridan Resort a while back. Animal Kingdom Lodge is where we bought our very first Disney Vacation Club points and it truly has become like a home to us. It’s an amazing resort and although we have stayed there many times, it’s a new experience each stay.

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1 Kilimanjaro Club Level

Located on the sixth floor of Jambo House and overlooking the Main Lobby, the Kilimanjaro Club Concierge is like a little world all on its own. The lounge itself is small and cosy and provides spectacular unique food experiences from 6.30am Sunrise Offerings, to 8pm Evening Indulgences. Our little family love spending time here watching Disney Movies on the large TV and chatting to the lovely Cast Members. They are always so friendly, attentive and I love how they get to know you and your family.

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2 Main Lobby

The Jambo House lobby is huge and truly breathtaking. I could sit for hours with my jungle juice in the unique surroundings listening to the sounds, exploring the art displays around the lobby and of course visiting the gift store! Some of the resorts activities take place here, where your little ones can learn about African culture. Quinn has enjoyed marching around to traditional African music, learnt to play a drum and made animal wax rubbings. The lobby over at Kidani Village is much more intimate, but just as beautiful and bustling.

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3 Rooms

The rooms are beautifully themed and I love how much brighter they feel now. The only thing thats missing for our family is a pull down bed which works perfect for us at our other home resorts! Savannah view rooms are incredible, and Quinn loves sitting out on our balcony on the lookout for the thirty different species of African wildlife using the guide available within the room. We always prefer to stay at Jambo House, as the DVC rooms are situated right at the front of the resort.

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4 Recreation and Amenities

Animal Kingdom Lodge boasts amazing animal observation areas, where you can learn facts from knowledgeable Cast Members. The fire pit is the perfect place to relax on a wooden rocking chair and who could say no to toasted marshmallows? Not me! There is a zero depth entry pool at Jambo House and over sat Kidani, the Samawati Springs pool has a fun waterslide and a huge water playground. Quinn loves to run around having the time of his life, soaking his dad with the water canons!

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5 Dining

Boma – Flavors of Africa is our favourite restaurant at the resort and in my opinion possibly the best breakfast on property. The Zebra Domes and pastry selections are to die for! Jiko – The Cooking Place brings signature dining to Jambo House and Victoria Falls Lounge is a perfect place to relax after a day at the parks. We love The Mara as it’s so convenient and has something for everyone, from African inspired food to burgers and flatbreads. Uzima Springs Pool Bar serve drinks and light snacks, and over at Kidani Village Maji Pool Bar serves sandwiches, salads and various snacks. Sanaa isn’t a big hit with Quinn and I, but the bread selection is a must and worth a trip to the restaurant alone.

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So the excitement is real and I cant wait to be back Home! Do you have your next trip planned? I’d love to hear all about it!

Alannah x

A Magical Disney Christmas. Spending The Holidays At The Walt Disney World Resort – Continued

You may remember my last post, where I spoke about our visit to The Walt Disney World Resort during Christmas and New Year. I have so much to share from our trip, I only got as far as Christmas Eve’s Eve! Today I’m going to write about our experience at spending Christmas Eve and Christmas Day at the parks and resorts.

 

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We woke early as usual on Christmas Eve morning, and walked over to the Grand Floridian for breakfast at 1900 Park Fare. We couldn’t believe it when we entered the main lobby to find that we were the only guests! Of course we took full advantage of this and started our own impromptu photoshoot. Photopass were already there and waiting, and took some fantastic photos of Quinn in front of the magnificent tree (hooray for photopass!). Breakfast with Alice, Mad Hatter and friends was wonderful as usual, and we then jumped on the Monorail and headed over to the Magic Kingdom. We had such a magical morning filled with Christmas spirit, and were surprised at how quiet the park actually was. We met our friends Mike, Alana and Ella and the kids danced non stop with King Louie and the one and only Left Reindeer! We met Santa and the main topic of conversation was Quinn’s missing two front teeth! Seeing Quinns eyes light up when he met Santa is something I will never forget from that day, truly precious.

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Later that afternoon, Quinn’s Frozen dream came true when he met Anna, Elsa, Kristoff and Olaf at Disney Vacation Clubs Holiday dinner. Disney Vacation Club sure know how to host an event, with the yummiest food and festive entertainment. When we arrived back at The Grand Floridian, Mickey and Minnie were meeting in the lobby and we endured the long wait and met them. I’m so glad that we did, as it ended up being the most magical meet we have ever experienced with the pair!

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Of course Santa visited whilst Quinn was asleep and brought him something his little heart had been longing for, a Wendy doll! Christmas day had began on a high and it had only just began. We left our room at 7.04am, and we were walking up Main Street at 7.13am. Breakfast was at Be our Guest, which was empty when we arrived. We sat next to the Christmas tree watching the snow fall behind the glass, a perfect Christmas morning backdrop! We rode some rides with little or no wait and used our three Fastpasses, before stopping for some Mickey Treats and Starbucks at lunch. Quinn Elf did need to eat something from the elves four main food groups of course! We visited Mickey at Town Square Theater to wish him a Merry Christmas, before leaving the Magic Kingdom to get ready for dinner at 1900 Park Fare.

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Dinner was was wonderful and Quinn loved meeting Charming and Cinderella as always. Quinn made a sign that read NO KISSES aimed at Anastasia and Drizella Tremaine, and made way for so much fun and hilarity! He managed to leave kiss free but exhausted from his magical trip so far. We headed up to our room and as we tucked our Little Peter Pan into bed, we couldn’t stop smiling at how lucky we were to have him. We had spent Christmas at Walt Disney World and managed to witness little or no crowds which was amazing!

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Writing about our magical Christmas has me so excited for this year. 93 more sleeps until we are Home and I just can’t wait!

Alannah x

A Magical Disney Christmas – Spending The Holidays At The Walt Disney World Resort

The Walt Disney World Resort is nothing short of magical during the Holiday season. Last year we visited during Christmas and New Year and loved every minute of our special trip, so much so we are heading back to do it all again this year! Its often stated that Disney World is crazy crowded during the Holidays. That may be the case at times, but with a little planning your trip can be just as, if not more magical than any other month of the year. With our trips countdown nearing the double digits, I thought I would share our experience of spending the Holidays at Disney.

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Our trip didn’t start off as planned. Our flight to London was delayed, causing us to miss our connection to Miami, so we had to stop over in London for the night. Needless to say Quinn was heartbroken. He knew he was going to see his precious Peter Pan at Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party that next evening, and our delay meant he wouldn’t get there till later in the evening.

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I am delighted to report that our trip only got better from then on, and the stress of the last two days were forgotten in an instant as we drove under the Walt Disney World sign! We were spending Christmas at my favourite resort, Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort and Spa. We checked in and I could have cried with joy! Being one of our Home resorts, we have stayed at the Villas quite often, but nothing beats how magical the resort looks and feels during the Holidays.

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Quinn and dashed to the Monorail, arrived at the Magic Kingdom at 8.20pm and merrily ran up Main Street to look for Peter Pan. My Little Peter Pan managed to surprise Peter Pan over in Adventureland, and it is one of my favourite memories to date! He ran into his arms for the sweetest of hugs and I cried with happiness. Every unfortunate event had led us to this moment and it was beyond precious. We had a magical night exploring with Peter Pan, met Rapunzel and Flynn, and Tiana and Naveen over at Princess Fairytale Hall with no wait, and Cinderella and Charming with a five minute wait. We also managed to grab some eggnog and festive treats including sugar cookies and snow cones. At the end of the evening, Quinn danced to Follow the Leader with Peter Pan and some Cast Members and experienced snow on Main Street for the first time. Our night couldn’t have been any more magical and we headed back to our room with the fullest of hearts.

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The next morning, we were up early and headed to Trattoria al Forno’s Bon Voyage Breakfast over at Disney’s Boardwalk. We headed to Epcot from there, expecting the park to be busy being Christmas Eves Eve, but it was actually really quiet. We met up with some friends, rode some rides and met Mickey, Minnie and Pals over at Character Spot. We also met Belle in her Christmas dress over in France at the World Showcase, and she was just beautiful! Last stop was Disney’s Hollywood Studios to eat dinner at Minnies Holiday Dine. We aren’t the biggest fan of the food at Hollywood and Vine, but we loved meeting Mickey and Minnie, Daisy and Donald and Goofy in their Christmas outfits.

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We had the most magical first two days and it hadn’t even reached Christmas Eve yet! The parks didn’t seem any busier than normal to us, but they did get busier on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. On my next post I will share the rest of our Christmas adventure. Are you spending Christmas at the Walt Disney World Resort? I would love to hear your plans!

Alannah x

Five Reasons Why I Love Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort

I have been questioned a lot lately about The Villas at Grand Floridian Resort, so I thought I would share the top five reasons we repeatedly stay at my favourite resort. You may remember the post I wrote earlier on the benefits of Disney’s Vacation Club, and if you follow me on Instagram, you will know the love I have for this resort is like no other. Don’t get me wrong, I love our stays at each Disney Resort and wouldn’t swap them for the world, but there is something just so special about The Grand Floridian.

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1 Location

The Grand Floridian Resort is perfectly located across Seven Seas Lagoon from Disney’s Magic Kingdom. Right in the heart of the Walt Disney World Resort, it truly is magical to leave your room, hop on the Monorail one stop and arrive at our favourite park. The water taxi across Seven Seas Lagoon is also a great method of transport, with amazing view of Magic Kingdom and the other Monorail resorts, the Contemporary and the Polynesian. Almost just as quickly as you can get there, the Monoaril or Water Taxi transports your tired legs back to your room after a magical day. Situated right next door to Disney’s Polynesian Resort, the short pathway between the resorts can be used for a pleasant walk over to dine, or to just have a look around our next favourite Home resort.

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2 Theming

I love the Grandier of the whole resort and how elegant it feels. The Lobby at both the Villas and main hotel are breathtaking and second to none, so timeless and just beautiful. The Mary Poppin’s themed fountain is a highlight in the Villa’s Lobby, as is the iconic high ceiling in the oversized Main Lobby. The bustling main Lobby is a magical place to relax and soak in the atmosphere with a drink, whilst listening to the grand piano and the jazz band play timeless Disney classics. During the Holiday’s the resort turns into a winter wonderland, fit with the most beautiful Christmas tree imaginable and a spectacular Gingerbread House. I cannot even begin to describe the amazing smells that fill the Lobby during this time of year, nor the pure joy of your child meeting Mickey and Minnie here in their festive outfits on Christmas Eve. The Grand Floridian sure is the resort where the magic lives! Not to be outdone, the Villa’s Lobby also decorates for the holidays, with a miniature Wonderland and Gingerbread House.

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3 Rooms

The light and airy rooms continue the english inspired character feel, with luxurious finishes on the decor and furniture. The bathrooms are so roomy and we love the rain shower and of course the in mirror tv, who wouldn’t! The Villas also provide the pull down bed with the cutest Dumbo theme, which Quinn just adores. The balcony’s are so large and provide the most spectacular views over Seven Seas Lagoon and Magic Kingdom in the Theme Park Views, and over the Resort and the Monorail in Standard Vierw rooms. It really is one of the best feelings in the world to wake up, and open your door to see Cinderella Castle and the Monorail cruising past. So close in fact that on a windy morning or evening, and theres quite a few at this resort, you can hear the music from Main Street playing on your balcony! When the Welcome Show used to start your Magic Kingdom morning, you could hear Chief Smokey welcoming everyone to their happy place from the Main Street Station, sob!

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4 Dining

Another reason I love the Grand Floridian is the dining options available at the resort. Its so vast and some of our favourite places to eat on Disney property are here. The Beaches Pool Bar and Grill and the Courtyard Pool Bar, serve some light snacks and meals perfect for eating poolside, or for taking back to your room. Gasparillas Island Grill is our favourite Resort Quick Service restaurant, and serves a variety of foods from pizza to burgers to salads, all freshly prepared while you wait. You may remember I wrote a post about the Grand Floridian Cafe, which is a great place to eat incredibly delicious breakfast or dinner in a relaxed atmosphere. A firm favourite of ours is of course 1900 Park Fare. The restaurant provides a character breakfast featuring Alice, Mad Hatter, Mary Poppins, Winnie the Pooh and Tigger. Come evening, you can dine with royalty as Cinderella, Prince Charming, Lady Tremaine and the evil stepsisters Anastasia and Drizzela join you for dinner. Park Fare is one of our favourite character dining experiences at the Walt Disney World Resort, and in my opinion has the best food out of all the buffet restaurants.

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5 Recreation and Amenities

The Grand Floridian has two pools and an Alice in Wonderland themed kids water play area. Quinn has had so much fun playing here over the years, particularly with the Mad Haters Hat that dumps a crazy amount of water once its filled up! The Beachside pool is conveniently located close to the Villas, features a large waterfall, a slide and overlooks Seven Seas Lagoon. The Courtyard Pool is situated right at the centre of the resort and is the larger of the two. The hot tub is also located here. A family favourite of ours is of course the Electrical Water Pageant. The classic pageant can be viewed nightly from the resorts marina, which is also a magical location to view the Happily Ever After Fireworks.

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I would love to hear if you have a favourite I haven’t mentioned in my top five!

Alannah x 

The Magic and Adventure of Disney Vacation Club

I am often asked about Disney Vacation Club. How does it work? Is it worth it?

In 2012 we took a 21 month old Quinn to Walt Disney World for the very first time and just like his Mum all those years ago, it was love at first sight! Kevin and I had previously always stayed at a family or friends villa nearby, but this trip we decided to book a split stay. The first week we spent at Disney’s Port Orleans French Quarter, the second at my family’s villa in Kissimmee. We loved everything about our stay at a Disney Resort and decided that was the future for our Walt Disney World trips. We signed up for a DVC tour and took all the figures and information back home with us to research further.

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The following year we stayed at our very first Deluxe resort, Saratoga Springs Resort. We had well and truly been bitten by the DVC bug, but still didn’t commit just yet. 8 months later In May 2014, we returned to Saratoga Springs and officially joined the Disney Vacation Club. It felt like an absolute dream come true to finally be Welcomed Home and for our little family to have a whole 46 years of Disney Magic and memories to look forward to!

We purchased Animal Kingdom points and returned for our first Welcome Home in December 2014, staying at Disney’s Boardwalk Villas and Disney’s Villas at Grand Floridian Resort. To stay at Grand Floridian had been a dream of mine since I was a little girl, so to finally stay there with my little boy meant everything to me. During our stay we fell in love with VGF so much, we decided to add on more points at the Grand Floridian. Still to this day it amazes me that our little family can call my favourite place in the world Home.

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Our second DVC trip followed in May 2015, where we finally stayed at our original Home resort Disney’s Animal Kingdom Villas. Another split stay for us, the second resort being the new Disney’s Polynesian Villas and Bungalows. We fell in love with the Polynesian Resort and headed back again in October 2015 for a split stay here and at Grand Floridian. Unsurprisingly we added on more points again at Polynesian, taking our total Home resorts to three.

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We have since stayed at Bay Lake Tower twice, Animal Kingdom three times, Grand Floridian once and Polynesian twice and this year we are returning to Boardwalk Resort, Grand Floridian and Animal Kingdom Villas. We would never have been able to stay at any of these resorts once if it hadn’t been for Disney Vacation Club. It truly has been the best thing we could ever have done for our little family. We haven’t added on any further points since, but growing our vacation points is something we will definitely be investing in for the future.

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My advice for anyone considering joining the Disney Vacation Club is research beforehand. DVC is a points based vacation ownership and does not suit everyone. Aside from the initial financial outlay, you have yearly annual dues to pay for the duration of the contract. Take into consideration which Resort or Resorts you would like to make your Home as at certain times of year, you will require your Home resort reservation window to secure your desired reservation.

Perks of being a DVC Member include discounts on Annual Passes, dining and merchandise (currently 20%) and special events. We have been luckily enough to attend the Members welcome brunch at Top of the World Lounge and several other membership magic events including the Mothers Day brunch, Independence Day dessert party, Christmas Eve Holiday dinner, Merry Mixer and the Moonlight magic event at Typhoon Lagoon. The members lounge at Epcot is a great place to stop for a light refreshment and a break from the Florida heat. Top of the World lounge is a perfect place to unwind after a busy day at the parks and the perfect viewing place for the Magic Kingdom fireworks.

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Heres to many more years of magic, adventure and memories.

Alannah x