We had mobile ordered our lunch from ABC Commissary, and our pick up time was 11:50-12:20. This is what you see once you place your order:
Once your arrival window opens, you can click a button that says Prepare My Order.
Once you arrive to pick up your food, you are greeted at the entrance by a cast member with an iPad. They check to make sure you are on the list to receive your food, and then you may enter. We were able to find a table easily, and it was definitely more quiet than we were used to in here!
My mom ordered the Mediterranean Salad with Chicken. $11.99–Chicken breast served over mixed greens with tomatoes, cucumber, pepperoncini, kalamata olives, and feta, tossed in a Mediterranean vinaigrette with hummus and grilled flatbread.
This was a nice, light, refreshing dish and a fairly large portion.
My sister-in-law ordered the Curry Rice Bowl with Shrimp. $13.99–sauteed shrimp and vegetables with red curry sauce, served with jasmine coconut rice.
I ordered the Buffalo Chicken Grilled Cheese Sandwich. $10.99–grilled sourdough toasted with buffalo chicken, Monterey, provolone, cheddar and cream cheese, served with a side of buffalo sauce and fries (you get a choice of sides.)
This was SO GOOD! My daughter split this with me and she also loved it. Think buffalo chicken dip inside a grilled cheese. Why haven’t I thought of this sooner??!! Here’s a close up of the inside:
My daughter ordered the Chicken Club $12.49. Marinated chicken breast served on a toasted brioche bun, topped with bacon, provolone, guacamole, ranch dressing, lettuce and tomato, served with choice of side.
This was also very good! Everyone loved their food and we will definitely come back here.
I like that the options are different than the normal quick service options. There’s also a lot of indoor seating to get out of the heat.
Today was the day…our first attempt at getting into the queue for Rise of the Resistance! If you know anything about this process, you know you have to be on My Disney Experience wherever you are to score a spot. All of my clients get detailed notes on how to get the best chance of securing a place in the virtual queue! If you do not have a spot, you do not ride! (There is a second chance at 1:00 p.m. as well, but you have to have a park reservation for that day, and you have to be in the park to actually get into the queue.)
So I arose at 6:45 a.m., logged onto the My Disney Experience app. This is what you see when you scroll down a little bit on the home page:
When you click on Check Status, it will take you to this screen:
When you click Join Virtual Queue, it takes you here:
On my daughter’s phone I used the time.is website to check the time down to the second. This is very important! These spots get taken within seconds and then they are totally booked.
And it’s a fail…I’m telling you, it’s difficult to get! You cannot wait until exactly 7:00:00. You have to hit the join at 6:59:59.
Hollywood Studios opened at 9:00 a.m. today. I could not get my crew moving! We didn’t leave the room until 9:30 a.m. This destroyed all of my plans for rope dropping since they open the gates at about 8:15 a.m. Luckily a bus came immediately, and we arrived at DHS at 9:55 a.m.
The night beforeitannounced that there would be no more masks while outdoors in common areas at Disney! So I was anxious to see how this was indicated in the parks.
Right before we got to security, they had cast members announcing NO MASKS! So it really was true.
I had to stop at Guest Services to pick up my physical Annual Pass card, and my family headed to Alien Swirling Saucers because it had the lowest posted wait time of 30 minutes. My plan was to meet them there.
Wait times were already rising…BECAUSE WE DIDN’T ROPE DROP! So we went to Toy Story Midway Mania, which had a 40 minute wait posted. This was fairly accurate. The queue for this started wayyyyyyyyy back near the old entrance for this ride. Here we are at the end of the ride. There are a few different “walls” here to get good IG pics!
At the end of this ride, we took some time to mobile order our lunch from ABC Commissary. I will have a whole separate post reviewing our experience and food here. Stay tuned! At this point, my sister-in-law and niece were just arriving at the park and were able to meet up with us for lunch, as they also placed a mobile order.
While at lunch, at 1:00 p.m., we again attempted to secure a boarding pass for Rise of the Resistance. SUCCESS!!! We had about 2-3 hours to kill before our group would be called, so we forged on.
After lunch, we got in line for Mickey and Minnie’s Runaway Railway which had a 45 minute wait posted. This was accurate.
The crew, with the exception of my mom and I, headed to Star Tours which had a 25 minute wait posted. We just sat on a bench and people watched.
Next we headed into Galaxy’s Edge to look around. Our boarding group was called at 3:15 p.m. We got in line at 3:25 p.m. and were off the ride at 4:10 p.m. We still had to go through the entire queue, it wasn’t a Fastpass situation.
At this point we decided to take one more ride on Toy Story Midway Mania (20 minute posted wait) and then head back to the resort to relax and swim. Overall, it was a great day, but there was so much we didn’t get to do yet.
Welcome to my latest Disney World trip report! This one was a girls only trip that included my mom, my two daughters, my sister-in-law, and my niece. We originally were supposed to take this vacation in May 2020, but we know what happened there…
We were arriving on Friday, and sis-in-law on Saturday.
Our drive to the Philadelphia Airport was quite eventful. Usually I take 76 to the Blue Route and for some reason Waze had other ideas. We went over the river and through the woods, and made it to our parking reservation right on time. We would have been late for sure if we would have gone our usual route! All I could see on those routes was red, red, red. We used Park N Jet on this trip. It was a Groupon and a great value. This is who we typically use so I wasn’t worried. The parking lot was PACKED! They were turning people away if they didn’t have a reservation.
We arrived at the airport around 3:30 p.m. and our flight was to leave at 5:12 p.m. Thankfully, security was a breeze with not too long of a wait. We had not even boarded our flight from Philadelphia, when I received this text. Our room was ready! (Be sure you do online check in in My Disney Experience and you can completely skip the front desk!)
Our flight was on Frontier, and it was packed full! It took forever to board and we actually got off the ground about a half hour late. However, we somehow arrived on time in Orlando, but then had to sit on the runway for 15 minutes. Just a reminder that Disney’s Magical Express no longer handles your luggage. You are responsible for getting it from Baggage Claim, then toting it with you to the Magical Express line. Sometimes this requires you to go from Terminal A to Terminal B.
This is a tradition pic! Every year, we have a picture of Devon trying to touch the sign, or running and jumping trying to touch the sign (down by the Magical Express). This year she didn’t have to jump!
I had been hearing and reading about realllllllly long wait times for Magical Express. This is due in part to less buses running, seating every other row, etc. I was super pleasantly surprised when we arrived and this was the line! THERE WAS NO LINE! This was about 9:00 p.m. on Friday night. I was fully prepared to call for an Uber/Lyft.
Look how empty!
I do want to say, my sis-in-law arrived on Saturday morning and the line was very long. They got a Lyft!
We boarded at 9:10 p.m.
As stated in my previous post from my trip in November, they are assigning seats. They are seating only every other row (at the time of this trip). We did tip the driver once we got off.
We arrived at Old Key West at 9:45 p.m. We were the first stop! They were going to 4 other resorts after our stop. The Bell Services desk is located right at the drop off outside of the lobby. We never even stepped foot inside the lobby!
We had placed an order with Dizzy Dolphin Delivery several weeks ahead of time and it was awaiting us at Bell Services. This resort is huge! Like 5 bus stops huge. So we were extremely thankful that one of the bellman drove us to our room in this golf cart! He also carried everything up to our room for us. We tipped him well!
We were in Room 2420, which was located on the second floor at the Peninsular Road area bus stop. I put in a request for this building because of it’s location. The bus stop at Peninsular Road is the first bus stop. I didn’t want to chance not having a seat by being directly at the Hospitality House. That is the last stop. We did experience passing by a few stops on a few different occasions with the driver letting them know they will have to catch the next bus.
The Deluxe Studios are about 390 square feet, with 2 queen beds. This is the only DVC resort studio that has 2 regular beds. (Not a sofa bed, not a pull down)
It features a table with two chairs and a tiny tv (this is my only complaint!) in the bedroom area.
Between the bedroom area and the bathroom is a little kitchenette area. Here you can find a microwave, toaster, fridge, coffee pot, sink, etc. Some paper products are provided in the room and are individually sealed. There’s also a roll of paper towels under the sink.
The bathroom is on the smaller side, so we just had to stagger our “get ready” times with four females in the room!
There’s a closet with extra bedding, a vacuum, safe, and ironing board.
I had mentioned we ordered from Dizzy Dolphin. I just wanted to mention that they were great! I received a text from them when the goodies were delivered to the resort. It stated very specifically where our items could be located by Bell Services. Everything was packaged with the greatest care and we were extremely pleased.
Besides the muffins pictured above, we also ordered Panera bagels and cream cheese,
these amazing trays from Publix, which come in various sizes, as well as a few other grocery type items.
We had these for breakfast, snacks in the room, and even packed some for snacks in the park. It was perfect for a later evening arrival. We were all starving!
Up next, our first park day…Disney’s Hollywood Studios!
This post is going to cover some dining around Universal.
We had dining reservations for lunch at Finnegan’s Bar & Grill. I am not super familiar with Universal restaurants, so I spent a lot of time checking out menus and pricing, etc. This is one reservation I was very excited about! I made the reservation online. I received text alerts reminding me of the reservation. We showed up at our time and were seated immediately. There was live music that was just ending at the bar. As we were finding throughout this vacation, the menus were not printed, rather we had to scan a QR code to view it. These cards were placed at each table. My observations while we were sitting…it felt really busy, there were many large parties, and the wait staff was running all over the place. It was slightly chaotic and loud!
We placed our order and were brought some complimentary bread. It was some kind of soda bread with apple butter (I think) and regular butter. I did not enjoy this at all. I love bread! But this was not it…
Because it was so hot, I really wanted something light. I went with the Celtic Chicken Club Salad with the dressing on the side. It looked great, but it was really just okay. I was so disappointed at both this place and the food! I was bummed. But, we had a dinner coming up at Margaritaville that would hopefully make up for it.
For dinner on this same day, we had reservations at Margaritaville, which we also made online. Since the parks were closing on the early side, dinner reservations at City Walk made sense so we could hit it on the way out. It’s a very short walk between them. It was daylight while we were walking over. (This is also the area where you can find boat transportation to select resorts.)
There was a long line of people waiting to check in. However, I had read that if you have reservations, you should just go to the front of the line, which is what we did, and we were seated immediately. Yes we got dirty looks, but if you have a reservation, you don’t have to stand in the line!
Besides the digital menus, we were also finding that the menus were very limited in choices, which was fine with us because we aren’t that picky, but they were slimmed down very noticeably. We weren’t super starving, so we went with a few appetizers. Alex ordered the Volcano Nachos. This portion size was humungous! These were very good! I opted for the Key West Chicken Quesadilla and this was also good.
By the time we were finished with dinner, it was dark, and everything was lit up.
I could not visit City Walk and NOT try a Voo Doo Doughnut! I had heard so much about them, and I love donuts soooo…
I couldn’t pick just one, so I went with one of the specials and the Dirt doughnut. The special snowman one did not have any filling. THESE WERE SO GOOD! I spent the next two days eating them for breakfast/snacks!
There are so many options at Universal and in the City Walk area!
Posted at 10:21 am by taryngirl, on April 30, 2021
One of my main goals was to spend some time in Diagon Alley. This whole area is like a page out of the book! There are so many details, that with each trip I notice something new.
To enter this area, it’s not really marked. You have to just walk in doorways and find it! It’s located next to King’s Cross Station.
This is King’s Cross Station, where you can board Hogwart’s Express to travel to Islands of Adventure and the village of Hogsmeade.
Once you walk through the doorway, you are immediately transported to a magical place!
Keep walking straight ahead and there are a variety of shops, and one of the coolest parts…
The dragon that sits atop Gringotts Bank is a true fire breathing dragon. It goes off every so many minutes. You will know it’s gearing up to breathe fire when you hear the rumbling starting.
I love walking through the different shops. There is one called Eyelop’s Owl Emporium/Magical Menagerie. Here you can purchase owls, and all of the other magical pets, as well as items to take care of them.
If you walk outside of this store, in the window you can see a snake who will speak Parseltounge to you.
Also located in this area is Knockturn Alley. This is a very dark, walk through area. The theming is amazing! You can see these singing heads:
Borgin and Burkes shop is located here.
Everything was decorated for Christmas!
If you are a super Harry Potter fan, there is no shortage of merchandise depicting your “house.”
Be sure to visit Gringotts Money Exchange! Behind the counter you will see a goblin. You can ask him a question and see what he has to say. You can trade US currency for Gringotts bank notes. These bank notes may be used for purchases within Diagon Alley at select locations.
There is no shortage of Butterbeer! There are a few locations that serve it.
This is also a fun shop! Weasleys’ Wizard Wheezes has apparel, toys and other souvenirs.
You can find all kinds of goodies at Sugarplum’s Sweet Shop!
Possibly my favorite snack in all of Universal is ice cream from Florean Fortescue’s Ice Cream Parlor! They have soft serve, hard pack, and a special feature of Butterbeer ice cream!
I’m sorry this is partially eaten, but it was hot and melting and I had to start eating it immediately! I can never decide on just one flavor, so I get two…Chocolate Chili and Strawberry and Peanut Butter. SO GOOD! (So good that I went back and got it the next day too…)
Just outside of Diagon Alley you can find the Knight Bus! There is usually a bus conductor there that you can have conversation with, as well as a shrunken head.
Overall, we had a great time in Diagon Alley! It was not crowded at all, and the weather was perfect. This is for sure a don’t miss for me!
If you recall, we had just left Disney and arrived at Cabana Bay Beach Resort. After we were all checked in and dropped our luggage off in the room, we went straight to the bus stop. The buses drop you right on the outside of City Walk.
You can see all of the precautions they are taking to make sure guests feel safe while visiting. The seats on the buses were numbered and the bus driver assigned us seats.
There were physical distance markers all over the place.
General rules were also posted and hand sanitizer was readily available.
Temperature checks are required before entering City Walk and the parks. If you are staying on resort property, they have people there to check. They then give you a wristband so you don’t have to stand in the line at City Walk/the parks.
Here you can see the barriers up since the lines can get long! As you can see, we had no line and zipped right through!
There’s lots to do at City Walk…shopping, eating, eating, and more eating, miniature golfing, and there’s even a movie theater!
Getting closer to the park entrance!
This is the street that you see when you enter the entrance gates.
I had read about Universal’s Holiday Experience and the Macy’s Balloon exhibit, so we decided to check that out first. This walk through experience showcased huge Macy’s balloons and colorful Christmas floats featuring characters we all know and love from Shrek, Despicable Me, and Madagascar!
It was really neat! And a great way to see several characters, and SANTA! You were able to take pictures with them behind you if you wanted.
We found Marilyn Monroe when we exited!
You can see how pretty empty it was:
We did see some characters out and about. There weren’t the typical meet and greets, but characters socially distanced with photo opportunities.
On the way out, we saw these tall, festive characters!
Overall, it was a great day at Universal.
Up next…Margaritaville, City Walk, and Cabana Bay at night!
Posted at 2:01 pm by taryngirl, on February 8, 2021
If you haven’t been to Disney since they were closed due to Covid, I’m here to let you know that dining has changed! Besides quick service locations having mobile ordering only, menus are given using a QR code, and many close early! If you are in the parks, be sure to check hours so you aren’t stumbling around hangry!
We had spent the evening at Magic Kingdom. The quick service dining locations were either closed or were getting ready to close. We decided to check out Geyser Point Bar & Grill, located at Wilderness Lodge (which is where we were staying.). We were exiting the park and on the boat at 7:55 p.m. Just as we were getting to the Wilderness Lodge, the heavens opened up and it was a complete monsoon! Luckily we were under cover at Geyser Point. We were told there was a 40 minute wait. We ended up only waiting 15 minutes. Every table was full! Besides normal tables, this location also has some more casual seating and bar seating.
Geyser Point is an outdoor, poolside eatery, featuring amazing view of Bay Lake.
As I mentioned before, there are no paper menus anymore. There is a QR code to scan at each table.
There is also a lounge menu available:
Of course we started with some amazing drinks!
I had the Classic Bacon Cheeseburger with fries:
This was reallllllly good. And the price point was very good for a “sit down” style restaurant at Disney!
My cousin had the Smoked Turkey Sandwich:
Overall we really enjoyed our meal here. I think the pricing and variety is great, and you can’t beat the atmosphere (unless it’s the hot and humid summer!). I would absolutely eat here again!
Up next…our move to Universal’s Cabana Bay Beach Resort!
Posted at 1:12 pm by taryngirl, on February 1, 2021
After checking out from Bay Lake Tower, we checked into a Deluxe Studio at Boulder Ridge Villas at Disney’s Wilderness Lodge. I had never stayed there with our Disney Vacation Club, and wanted to experience some new things on this trip. I love the atmosphere whenever we are at Wilderness Lodge eating, so this resort was on my list!
After our lunch at Magic Kingdom, we headed to Wilderness Lodge by way of the boat. We hadn’t gotten a text that our room was ready yet, but we wanted to check out the shops and the lobby some.
When we got off on the boat dock, this was our view:
We went inside to check out the lobby since it was decorated for Christmas.
I just love this lobby! I love how open and massive it is and the smell is amazing!
While we were checking out the lobby, we also checked with Bell Services to see if our luggage had arrived yet through the transfer. One note about transferring luggage from one Disney Resort to another is is’t not guaranteed to arrive and be ready for you until after 4 p.m. It wasn’t there yet.
Around 3:00 p.m. we got our text that the room was ready! The Wilderness Lodge has three different “sections” if you will. The regular Lodge part, Copper Creek Villas (Disney Vacation Club), and Boulder Ridge Villas (Disney Vacation Club). Although two parts are Vacation Club, anyone may book there as a cash room as well.
Some views along the way to the Boulder Ridge Villas section:
The Deluxe Studio has 1 queen bed, 1 double sized sleeper sofa, and 1 single pull down bed.
The Deluxe Villas have a small kitchenette area with a toaster, microwave, coffee maker, sink, mini fridge, and some paper utensils and plates, etc.
I love having the kitchenette available! I usually order a case of water, and can refrigerate that and any leftovers or snacks we get to bring back to the room. The toaster is nice for quick breakfasts!
I liked that the vanity/sink was outside of the shower/toilet area, so multiple people can be getting ready at the same time.
This was my least favorite part of the room! The bathroom seemed really old and outdated. Our drain did.not.work. It didn’t drain! I had to resort to shutting the shower off after each step of my shower so the water could drain down some! (I did report it to the resort.)
Here are some shots from outside around the resort:
In my opinion, this is a hidden gem! Geyser Point Bar & Grill! Watch for another blog post on a review of dinner here.
At this point, we were ready to head back to Magic Kingdom. This is the walkway to the boat launch:
Although this line looks line, it wasn’t that bad. Everyone is social distancing which makes the line seem longer! We did make it on the next boat that got here.
Overall, we enjoyed our stay here! When given the option though, I would pick several other resorts over this one. One thing I wanted to mention was the customer service we received here. If you remember, I had inquired at Bell Services if our luggage was there yet, and it wasn’t. Well the Cast Member remembered me and when the luggage arrived, HE called ME in the room! He said he remembered me asking about the luggage and that it had arrived. It was sent directly up to us. I really liked that!
Location. I loved being able to take the boat to/from Magic Kingdom.
Atmosphere and theming
I felt the rooms were a bit dated and I was not a fan of the bathroom!
Posted at 12:33 pm by taryngirl, on January 7, 2021
Our plan for this day was to check out of Bay Lake Tower, giving our luggage to Bell Services to transfer over to Boulder Ridge Villas, and then head to Magic Kingdom. We woke up at 6 a.m., dropped luggage at 6:45 a.m., and went to Contempo Cafe to Mobile Order our breakfast. All orders had to be mobile ordered. There was no walk up. They had a cast member sitting at the entrance who checked for your name on the list and then directed you to pick up your order based on a numbered spot.
Anyway, we had planned to walk to Magic Kingdom, but decided to take the monorail instead since we were right there. We arrived at Magic Kingdom at 7:45 a.m. The gates were open already.
Since there were no Fastpasses, we had to prioritize what we really wanted to ride since we had no idea how crowds and lines would be. We went directly to 7 Dwarfs Mine Train. We were in line by 7:55 a.m. with a 40 minute wait time posted. We got on the ride at 8:28 a.m., so it went slightly faster than what was posted. I have only ever stood in the standby line for this ride one other time! We ALWAYS have a Fastpass. So imagine my surprise when the end of the line was all the way back near Dumbo!
Because the markers on the ground are every 6 feet, this greatly stretched out the line. We basically kept moving the entire time without stopping.
Next up was Peter Pan! We were in line by 8:32 a.m. with a 15 minute wait posted. (Which is crazy low!). We got on the ride at 8:44 a.m., so below the time posted. Look how empty Fantasyland was!
From there we went to Haunted Mansion. It was a walk-on with a 5 minute wait posted. We had the walk to ourselves on the way over!
I wanted to note…there was currently no stretching room for Haunted Mansion. You walked through it to get on the ride, but no stopping and gathering for the pre-show.
We went back to It’s a Small World which had a 10 minute wait posted. We were on in 8 minutes.
They were only seating every other row on the boat due to social distancing.
After every ride, we checked the app for wait times. We decided to go to Pooh next since that line tends to get long quickly. We got in line with a 10 minute wait posted, and actual wait time was 8 minutes. There were constant announcements about no eating and drinking in line! Next was Little Mermaid which was a walk on.
From there, we went to Dumbo, which is a ride I rarely go on! We were on in 5 minutes.
Up next was Buzz with a 20 minute wait posted which was accurate.
Of course we had to see the Carousel of Progress, and we had a 5 minute wait there. You can see by my picture that seats were blocked off due to social distancing. Some entire rows were also roped off.
Up next, an afternoon/evening at Magic Kingdom, along with lunch at Liberty Tree Tavern!
Posted at 1:02 pm by taryngirl, on December 17, 2020
We are DVC owners at Bay Lake Tower at Disney’s Contemporary Resort. When we were first deciding whether or not we wanted to buy in, this is where we toured. We love the location the most, which offers a quick walk to Magic Kingdom, and the monorail to Epcot. The views of Magic Kingdom and the lake are great!
Since there were only two of us, I booked a Deluxe Studio, Standard View. The Deluxe Studio offers spacious accommodations including a kitchenette with small fridge, microwave, toaster, sink and a balcony. It features one queen bed and a double size sleeper sofa.
For two people this Villa is perfect. It would also be fine for a family of 3 or 4. There are some other Villas that offer a split bath or 2 bathrooms which is better for a family of 4. Our room was clean, and everything was fine! I’d definitely stay here again.
We also checked out some of the shops on the Contemporary side. Everything was decorated for Christmas!
We absolutely love it here and would definitely stay again!