For our big family trip, we were so fortunate to stay at Disney’s Wilderness Lodge! This is hands down my favorite resort during the Christmas holiday season. I LOVE THE LOBBY! The tree, the garland, the wood…it’s all just perfect! I stopped in for a half hour earlier in December when I was in the area, and literally just sat in this lobby and relaxed.
We were booked in a Nature View Room. This room features 2 queen beds. There is an option for a king bed Nature View Room also. These rooms were very recently renovated and I was super excited to check them out!
This is the view when opening the door to the room:
To the left was our closet area:
There was so much storage space in this closet.
To the right was the bathroom area:
The double sink and mirror were separate from the toilet and shower.
The shower had a rainshower type faucet, as well as a regular faucet.
Also near the closet area was the coffee station.
Underneath was the mini fridge, and to the left was the hair dryer, safe, and more shelves for storage.
View of the 2 queen beds:
Television, drawer storage, 2 chairs with nesting tables that can be moved around:
The view from our balcony:
Overall, I loved the room and my stay here! The location is great for Magic Kingdom, as it’s a quick boat ride away. I love the food options here, the lobby ambiance as I’ve said before, and the outside atmosphere. You forget you are at Disney and think you are at a National Park! I would definitely stay here again. I would love to get into a Copper Creek Cabin with our DVC points sometime!
As my luck would have it for this trip…I was also able to score a reservation for 4 to Topolino’s Terrace, which has been on my bucket list for the last several trips! There was so much going on this day with food, so people had to pick and choose what was important to them. This was first on my list!
Topolino’s is located at Disney’s Riviera Resort. The easiest way for us to get there for breakfast was to take a Lyft from our resort.
This resort is absolutely gorgeous! It kind of reminds me of a mini Grand Floridian in its style and decor.
The lobby is kind of on the smaller side.
This is one view out the back from the lobby area.
We took the elevator up to Topolino’s Terrace.
We were seated promptly right in the middle of the restaurant, which was busy, but not too busy.
We were brought this delicious basket of pastries, and condiments. Crossaints, muffins, and fabulous maple?? turnovers. All of it was SO GOOD!
I had read many different reviews while deciding if I truly wanted to eat here. A majority of them said that they would do this meal again hands down. It also varied on what you could order. Because you are paying a set price per person, it was assumed that you could get one entree, however that is not true. You can order one entree and then ask for sides or small orders of other things if you wish.
I knew for sure I wanted the Fruit Plate–Seasonal Fruits, Honey Yogurt, Seed Granola, Toasted Sunflower Butter. It arrived and it was fantastic!
My daughter chose the Sour Cream Waffle–Roasted Apple, Chantilly, Orange-Maple Syrup, and served with Sausage. I was also torn between this and what I ordered. Luckily I was able to try this, and it was SO GOOD! I would order this again for sure!
My niece ordered the Quiche Gruyere–House-Made Pancetta, Roasted Potatoes, Gruyere, Lemon Vinaigrette, Sausage. She really liked this, especially the potatoes.
I went with the Two Eggs Any Style–Roasted Potatoes served with Sausage. This was your standard (real) scrambled eggs. The potatoes were really good! I knew I was going to be tasting my daughter’s waffles, so I wanted something somewhat “healthy.”
While we were eating, the characters took turns coming around. They did make an announcement with music so you knew someone was coming. They did not get close to the tables, but did stop next to us so we could get pictures or videos. I loved Minnie’s outfit!
A look inside the restaurant:
When we were finished eating, we were able to go outside on the terrace to have a look around. The views were amazing! It was pretty windy, but the weather besides that was perfect.
I would 100% do this breakfast again, even for the cost. It’s a character meal, with delicious food, a gorgeous resort, and spectacular views. I would try to align it with a Hollywood Studios or Epcot day so you can take the Skyliner after eating.
Our server here was meh. She wasn’t very personable and didn’t ask if we wanted anything extra. She was also nonexistent for a majority of the time.
Posted at 9:29 am by taryngirl, on December 14, 2021
10/2/21 We took a Lyft from Saratoga Springs to Art of Animation first thing in the morning. Our plan was to check in or drop off our bags, and head to Epcot via the Skyliner. Luckily our room was ready, so we went directly there!
We chose to stay at Art of Animation because neither of us had ever stayed there in a Little Mermaid room. The theming is completely on point here as you can see in my photos! All of the little details were perfect for Disney or Little Mermaid fans.
Directly inside the door, is a table and two chairs with a mirror on the wall above.
The table has some amazing details!
There are 2 queen beds with the cutest bubble lights on the headboard.
There’s a curtain to partition off the sink area from the bedroom area.
The shower area literally makes you feel like you are under the sea!
Overall, the room was clean and a good size for a value level resort. This is the perfect room for a super Disney fan or Little Mermaid lover! The walk to the food court and bus area is a little bit long from the Little Mermaid rooms. The family suites are much closer.
Posted at 8:41 am by taryngirl, on October 22, 2021
Originally our plan for the day was to just wake up leisurely, and not get there for rope drop since we knew it was going to be a late night. We didn’t have any specific shopping we wanted to do as far as the 50th merchandise was concerned. We had no plans to ride anything specific. We were expecting huge crowds and long waits. Our main goal was to just see the new nighttime fireworks show, Enchantment.
Imagine my surprise when I opened my eyes, and Jamie was already awake and on her phone to absolute craziness! The park was supposed to open at 7:30 a.m. to resort guests, but instead opened much earlier. The lines for merchandise were already hours long with a virtual queue, which also appeared to be full already. It was 8-8:30 a.m.! So we decided to get up and get ready to go! We got to the bus stop at 9:30 a.m. and the bus came right away.
Let the celebration begin!
Everyone was given one of these special commemorative guidemaps.
These were a hot commodity, as immediately there were some up on eBay for sale!
We spent a little bit of time taking some photos around Main Street. It was super crowded right in this area. People were lining up for one of the cavalcades, and the lines for the shops stretched all the way down the sidewalks. It was very organized though.
Many views of the castle! (I personally love the colors!)
We decided to check wait times for the attractions, and ride a few things with no wait. We were pleasantly surprised that wait times were super low! We did want to check out the Big Top store near Dumbo, as that had special October 1st merchandise only. Once we got back to that area, there was a sign with a bar code that you could scan to get on a virtual waitlist to shop. It was absolute chaos. People were crazy! This is everyone trying to scan the barcode:
Once you scanned the barcode, you were put into a virtual line. We were number 1193, which meant that’s how many people were in front of us.
From there, we went to Under the Sea–Journey of the Little Mermaid (which was a walk on), It’s a Small World (which was basically a walk on), and then decided it was time to make our way over to the Contemporary Resort for our lunch reservation at Steakhouse 71.
View looking down Main Street from the castle:
After lunch, we did some more photo taking. These special statues are all over the parks!
And we were able to watch one of the special cavalcades.
Overall, it wasn’t nearly as crowded as I was expecting. Most rides had a maximum 20 minute wait, with many being 5-10 minutes. Everyone was in line for the merchandise or crowding around Main Street and the castle. Some people even had their blankets out and were camping out for the evening fireworks. We decided we were NOT doing that and wasting our whole day!
Up next, Lunch Review of Steakhouse 71, and more from around the Magic Kingdom!
Posted at 12:37 pm by taryngirl, on October 21, 2021
It’s been a long time since I’ve eaten at Mama Melrose in Disney’s Hollywood Studios, so I wanted to check it out! The last time we ate there, I really wanted to try the famous steak and JUST THAT WEEK they removed it from the menu. After lots of customer complaints, they brought it back, so I was anxious to try it, and honestly, by the time we made reservations, our choices were limited with both location and times.
We got to Hollywood Studios at around 3:30 p.m. Our reservation was at 4:45 p.m.
We walk through some of the shops on the way in, then checked wait times on the rides. Toy Story Midway Mania only had a 20 minute wait, so we went on that. Once we came out of there, we made our way over to Mama Melrose right on time.
The decor and atmosphere are super cozy and cute inside this restaurant. To access the menu at the table, you scan a barcode and it pops up on your phone.
To start, they brought us some amazing bread. It was warm and had a great olive oil dip. I also asked for straight up butter.
Jamie ordered the Mama’s Caesar Salad–Fresh Romaine Lettuce, Housemade Caesar Dressing, Herb Croutons, and Parmesan. $11.00.
For her main dish, she ordered the Oven-Baked Chicken alla Parmigiana–Breaded Chicken Breast with Marinara Sauce topped with Melted Mozzarella over Spaghetti $25.00.
I ordered the Charred Strip Steak–Four Cheese Macaroni with Pancetta, Aged Balsamic Shallot Butter, and Chianti Wine Reduction $33.00. At Italian restaurants I always order some type of pasta, just because I feel like I should! But I’ve heard so many amazing things about this steak, that I had to give it a try. I LOVED IT! Both the steak and mac and cheese were so good! If I come back here, I 100% will be ordering this again.
We were so full there was no way we could do dessert here. Plus, I still had Gideon’s cookies back in the room!
After we left here, we went and stood in the standby line for Mickey & Minnie’s Runaway Railway, which had a posted time of 30 minutes I think. We were pretty beat at this point from traveling, so we took some photos and then headed back to the resort.
Up next…Magic Kingdom for the 50th Anniversary Celebration!
Posted at 2:35 pm by taryngirl, on October 20, 2021
As I stated in an earlier post, I was lucky to score a DVC reservation here on short notice! I kept checking back since things were completely booked immediately for the start of the anniversary celebration. I had stayed here one time before, when Magic Kingdom had the 24 hour party. The rooms had recently been refurbished, and the sofa bed was replaced with a murphy bed, so I was excited to check it out!
After I got back from Disney Springs, I changed (had my swimsuit in my backpack), and headed to the pool to relax and have lunch until my room was ready. I got the text around 12:30 p.m. that my room was ready, and it was super close in The Springs section. Here you can see the pool, where the bus stop is in this section, and the main lobby. My building was where the 4101-4436 rooms are marked. Super convenient! I did reserve a “Preferred’ room. I went to Bell Services first and got my luggage, then headed to the room.
This resort is inspired by a historic New York retreat famous for its horse racing. It’s 65 acres and a short boat ride or walk to Disney Springs. There are 2 feature pools and 3 leisure pools, whirlpool spas and aqua-play areas.
The Deluxe Studios can accommodate 4 people with a queen bed and a double size pull down bed.
Here’s the view when entering the room:
Here you can see the small sofa with the double pull down bed above it.
The coffee table also can be raised up if you want to use it as a table while sitting on the sofa.
I love the Deluxe Studios because they have a microwave, toaster, mini fridge, coffee pot and sink. This is great for quick breakfasts or snacks in the room.
I loved our view! We did enjoy sitting out there in the evenings once we were back from the parks.
Overall, I loved the room and the resort, and would definitely stay here again in the preferred section. I love that they are adding the pull down bed. It’s so much more comfortable than the regular sofa bed.
Up next…Dinner at Mama Melrose and Around Hollywood Studios!
Posted at 10:07 am by taryngirl, on October 7, 2021
I was so excited to be able to get away during the middle of my daughter’s soccer season, and visit the most magical place on Earth for the 50th anniversary celebration that was set to officially begin on October 1st! My friend and fellow travel agent Jamie, booked a room the second they were released for our dates. We knew it would book up quickly. I was unlucky with trying to make a reservation with my DVC points. She booked us at Art of Animation in a Little Mermaid room. Just a few weeks ago, I was browsing the DVC website to see if there was any availability, and Saratoga Springs Resort popped up! I snagged a Deluxe Studio in the Preferred section. I was excited to stay here because the rooms have recently been refurbished!
My flight was SUPER early…5:40 a.m. from Philadelphia. I was hoping to avoid a crowded airport with this early time, and make the most of my arrival day.
Upon landing at MCO, I was greeted with these cute wraps on the monorail shuttle to the main terminal.
I wasn’t sure what to expect as far as wait times for the Magical Express, but I decided to get my luggage from baggage claim and head that direction before making a decision to Lyft to the resort.
To my surprise, I was the ONLY person there! One person came after me, so there were only 2 people total on my bus besides the driver.
It was a quick trip to our resort, as we were the only stop. Upon arrival at the resort, there was some construction/refurbishment going on at the main lobby area and around bell services. This caused a little bit of crowding and confusion, but the bell services cast members were working hard trying to get everyone handled! There were little kiosks set up outside for those checking in.
I was starving, so after checking my luggage with bell services (since my room wasn’t ready), I went directly to The Artist’s Palette to check their breakfast options. You no longer HAVE to mobile order, although it is still an option with signage all over the place telling you how to do it. You can walk in here and order your food. I chose to do this so I could take some pictures.
There is a grab and go section, which I did not get to experience on my last trips in May and June! So things are slowly getting back to “normal.”
Here is the breakfast menu:
I always order the kid’s meal. It comes with two sides and a drink! (Mickey waffles are my must do breakfast…)
When I was finished eating, my plan was to walk to Disney Springs and check out Gideon’s Bakehouse! That’s up next.
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!
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!