Comparing Walt Disney World Resort Categories

With more than 25 different resorts to choose from, deciding where to stay can often be the most difficult part of planning a Walt Disney World vacation.  They all have stunning & bright design & top notch Disney service.  It really all boils down to personal preference and taste and maybe even your budget might play a part.

When you book a package, at any Walt Disney World Resort, you will get:

• Free transportation from & to the Orlando airport via Disney’s Magic Express
• Free MagicBands (one per person)
• Exclusive Extra Magic Hours in the parks, for Disney resort guests only
• Complementary parking & transportation to all the Disney Parks and Disney Springs
• Early access to Fastpass+ planning
• Early access to dining reservations
• Complimentary entertainment and recreation at your resort
• Access to refreshing pools at your resort

Value Resorts

All value resorts offer:
• Several themed pools but no water slides
• Bus transportation to all the parks and Disney Springs (only 1 internal bus stop)
• Rooms that open to outside hallways
• 260 – 277 square foot standard rooms, with 2 double beds or 1 king bed, that sleep 4 guests.
• Mini refrigerators are usually standard in every room
• Coffee makers and coffee included in only the family suites
• Art of Animation & All-Star Music Resorts offer family suites that sleep up to 6 guests.
• Food courts and pizza delivery, but no table service restaurants
• Family friendly theming that is bright & fun with larger than life icons around the resort
• Price Range: $96 – $214 for the standard rooms

Value resorts are Disney’s most economical choice for your vacation.  They offer the best ‘value’ for your dollar and are perfect for people that plan to spend most of their time in the parks and less time relaxing at the resort.

My favorite value resort has to be a tie between Disney’s Pop Century Resort and Art of Animation.  Art of Animation has amazing theming around the resort, lobby & pools with a more upscale feel to the food court, but is at the upper end of the value resorts.  I also like Pop Century resort, while still well priced, it has it’s own bus service that it does not share with other resorts, an satisfying food court and great pools.

Moderate Resorts

All moderate resorts offer:
• A ‘feature pool’ with a water slide and other quiet pools throughout the resort
• A calm and romantic atmosphere with beautiful landscaping and walking paths
• A table service restaurant (except for French Quarter), food courts & pizza delivery available
• Recreation options on-site for an additional fee as well as free recreation & entertainment
• Large resorts with spread out layout
• Bus transportation with multiple stops throughout the resort, to all the parks & Disney Springs.  The Port Orleans Resorts have boat transportation to Disney Springs.  Port Orleans French Quarter is smaller and only has 1 bus stop.
• Rooms that open to outside hallways
•  314 – 340 sq ft rooms with 2 queen beds or 1 king bed.  Most standard rooms sleep up to 4 guests.
• Mini refrigerators are usually standard in every room
• Coffee makers and coffee
• Riverside and Caribbean Beach Resort have some rooms that sleep up to 5 guests
• Coronado Springs Resort has Jr Suites that sleep up to 6 guests
• Riverside and Caribbean Beach Resort have special themed rooms
• Price Range: $182 – $285 a night for standard rooms

Moderate resorts have a more upscale feel, but also less bright and ‘Disney’ themed areas.  The resorts all have wonderful landscaping with nice walking pathways around the resorts.  The quick service food options are a little more upscale and most of the moderate resorts offer a table service restaurant.

It’s so difficult for me to choose a favorite resort out of these four fabulous choices.  I LOVE the pools at the Caribbean Beach and Coronado Springs resorts, but the quaint size of the French Quarter Resort is also nice.  My kiddos have really enjoyed staying in the themed rooms.  Choosing your resort is really unique to your family and to what kind of experience you are looking for.

Deluxe Resorts

All deluxe resorts offer:
• A ‘feature pool’ with a water slide and other quiet pools throughout the resort. Many have hot tubs to relax in.
• Amazing, unmatched theming with luxurious lobbies and gift shops
• Table service restaurants (with 1 upscale option) and quick service food, but no food courts.
• Bus transportation to all of the Disney Parks and Disney Springs
• Non-bus access to at least 1 park (except Animal Kingdom Lodge)
• Walking paths from some of the resorts to the one of the theme parks
• On-site gyms, salons and valet parking available
• Recreational options for an added fee
• Free fun and recreation scheduled daily around the pools and movies at night
• Rooms that open to inside hallways
• Standard room sizes that start at 316 sq ft and sleep up to 5 guests
• Mini refrigerators are usually standard in every room
• Coffee makers and coffee
• Some deluxe resorts offer villa rooms that have multiple bedrooms, bathrooms and full sized kitchens and sleep up to 12 guests
• Price Range: $320 and up, per night.  Animal Kingdom Lodge and Wilderness Lodge are the least expensive

If you want your vacation to be unforgettable in upscale style, than you should consider a deluxe Disney resort.  At the deluxe Disney resorts I could easily spend a  relaxing day sitting around the pool and enjoying the food & free recreation.

It would be difficult for me to choose a favorite resort in the deluxe category.  I like the Beach Club Resort for it’s easy access to Epcot Park, but I also like the Polynesian resort for it’s rich theming and monorail access to the Magic Kingdom.  The Contemporary is such a Disney icon and Animal Kingdom Lodge has a special place in  my heart because I love Animal Kingdom and watching the animals from my savanna view room.  Each deluxe resort offers impeccable amenities and service.

Perhaps the best advice that I can offer when choosing the right Disney Resort for you family is to enlist the services of an experienced Travel Professional.  (((Maybe even yours truly)))

For more of my personal resort photos, visit the gallery on my website at www.PixieDustAdventures.com
– OR –
explore my Pinterest boards:  https://www.pinterest.com/PixieAdventures/

Thank you for reading.
My name is Melissa and I am a Disney Fanatic; I’m also a travel agent.  I have stayed in all of the value resorts, all of the moderate resorts and a number of the deluxe resorts.  You will find me almost every weekend in one of the Disney parks with my family.  Contact me today for FREE planning assistance with your Disney World vacation.  It never costs anything extra when you book your trip through me compared to booking directly through Disney and you will get personalized advice based on countless hours of experience.
Melissa Mathies, Travel Designer & Destination Specialist
www.PixieDustAdventures.com
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New Nighttime Show Coming to Hollywood Studios November 14th

Look out Star Wars, the holidays are arriving in the Disney Parks.  Disney’s new nighttime spectacular titled “Jingle Bell, Jingle Bam!” will be temporarily taking the place of the Star Wars Galactic Spectacular in Hollywood Studios and will be displayed on the Chinese Theater and includes a mission to rescue Santa.  Disney has released the following details for the show…

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The all-new  “Jingle Bell, Jingle BAM!” holiday spectacular comes to Disney’s Hollywood Studios® at Walt Disney World® Resort on Nov. 14, 2016. Santa Claus is missing and the search-and-rescue mission to get The Big Guy back to the North Pole in time for Christmas Eve is all part of the fun. The show comes to life on, above and around the Chinese Theater with state-of-the-art projections, special effects, fireworks and a rousing seasonal musical score.

Led by elves Wayne and Lanny, the duo from ABC/Walt Disney Animation Studios’ animated special “Prep & Landing,” the spirited yuletide adventure to the North Pole features memorable holiday moments from Disney films including “Mickey’s Christmas Carol,” “Beauty and the Beast,” “Pluto’s Christmas Tree,” “Bambi,” Tim Burton’s “The Nightmare Before Christmas” and more, all building to a festive finale that’s “So tinsel!”

Of Course Disney has also released a special dessert party to go along with this show and it is available to being booking immediately.  The Holiday Dessert Party, includes reserved viewing, desserts, specialty beverages and more.  Each dessert party guest will get a pair of 3D HoloSpex glasses to use while watching the show.  The glasses create spectacular holographic illusions of gingerbread men, candy canes, snowflakes and ornaments on any bright point of light.

This show will be available in Hollywood Studios though December 31st for all of the holiday excitement.

Watch a full video of the show below:

My name is Melissa and I am a Florida local and Disney annual passholder.  We spend most every weekend in the parks enjoying all of the new things that Disney has to offer.  As much as I would LOVE to watch this new holiday show on opening night, I have a busy schedule for the holidays & I will be bringing you news and video sometime at the start of December.  My weekend plans for November include trying the new Toothsome Chocolate Factory in Universal Studios as well as the Candlelight Processional dining package, with Steven Curtis Chapman as the narrator.  There will be so many amazing happenings around the parks for the holidays.  Stay tuned and be sure to follow me on Facebook for my personal experiences and reports.
Melissa, Travel Agent – Pixie Dust Adventures
www.PixieDustAdventures.com
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2016 Disney World Dining Plans Compared

In 2016 Disney will continue to offer Five different dining package options.  Quick Service, Disney Dining, Deluxe Dining, Premium Dining and Platinum Dining.  For all 2017 packages the Premium & Platinum dining packages will be discontinued.

The Deluxe Dining Plan, Premium Dining Plan and Platinum Dining Plan all include the same number of meals.  The Premium and Platinum Dining Plans offer some extras that go above and beyond dining in the parks.

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* Deluxe, Premium and Platinum Packages include 3 meals: Quick Service or Table Service

Quick Service Breakfast = combo meal + soft drink or juice
Quick Service lunch/dinner = combo meal + dessert + soft drink
1 Quick Service Meal = 3 snack credits

Table Service breakfast = entree + soft drink or buffet
Table Service lunch/dinner = entree + dessert + soft drink
Children 3 – 9 must order from a children’s menu if available.
1 Table Service Meal = 3 snack credits

•Gratuities are not included except for participating pre-paid dining locations.
•Plan must be purchased for entire length of stay for the entire party.
•Meals are nontransferable between party members and expire at midnight on day of check-out.
•Reservations are highly recommended for table-service restaurants, dining availability may be limited or not available without advance reservations.
•1 meal credit exchanged for snacks, must be exchanged in a single transaction

There are so many options to choose from when booking a Disney Vacation.  It can often feel like you’re buying a new car.  Using a travel agent is always one good way to help make the best decisions for your vacation and many travel agents do not charge you any extra for their planning services when you book your vacation through them and on top if it all it costs the same to book through me as it does to book directly through Disney.

My name is Melissa and I am a travel agent.  I am also a total Disney geek & love trying the hotels, dining plans & many other options offered in the vacation packages.  I’m here to help you plan your next vacation at NO added cost to you and it all starts with a free quote.
Melissa Mathies, Travel Agent – Pixie Dust Adventures
www.PixieDustAdventures.com
Melissa@PixieDustAdventures.com
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Hollywood Studios: New Morning & Night Special Events

Weather you are an early bird or a night owl it seems that Hollywood Studios is offering up a special ticketed event suited perfectly for you.  It may or may not be within the limits of your pocketbook, but Disney is a ‘once-in-a-lifetime’ experience right?  It’s up to you to decide…

Early Morning Magic Begins August 1st in Hollywood Studios

Disney Early Morning Magic at Magic Kingdom® Park gives guests the opportunity to be among the first to experience theme park attractions and breakfast inside the park. Disney has anounced that not only has Disney Early Morning Magic been extended through Sept. 30, 2016 at Magic Kingdom Park, but it will soon be offered at Disney’s Hollywood Studios® as well.

Beginning Aug. 1, 2016, a select number of Walt Disney World® Guests can experience Disney Early Morning Magic at Disney’s Hollywood Studios. Guests can experience Star Tours – The Adventures Continue, Toy Story Mania!, Pixar Place character greetings (with Woody and Buzz), and Mickey and Minnie on Commissary Lane and Olaf at Celebrity Spotlight – all with little to no wait before the park opens. And to get fueled up for the rest of the day, they can partake in a hearty all-you-care-to-enjoy breakfast at ABC Commissary from 8-10 a.m. Disney Early Morning Magic at Disney’s Hollywood Studios takes place Mondays and Wednesdays from 7:45-10 a.m.

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Please note Disney Early Morning Magic will be offered on different days than Extra Magic Hours. Disney Early Morning Magic requires a separate ticket – $69 for adults and $59 for children ages 3-9 (plus tax), in addition to regular theme park admission.

The number of tickets available for each morning is limited, so be sure to book early if you are interested.

Valid Theme Park admission and separately priced special event tickets are required. Special event ticket are valid only during specific event dates and hours.  Attractions and offerings are subject to change without notice.

A Galactic Spectacular Dessert Party in Hollywood Studios is perfect for Star Wars & Fireworks Fans of all ages

In a galaxy not so far, far away, a spectacular dessert party has gotten even better!

At the Star Wars: A Galactic Spectacular Dessert Party at Disney’s Hollywood Studios®, guests can experience out-of-this-world desserts and drinks inside Star Wars Launch Bay. Here, they can become immersed in the Star Wars universe with photo opportunities, exciting exhibits and thrilling character encounters.

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The new nightly Star Wars fireworks show, “Star Wars: A Galactic Spectacular,” combines fireworks, pyrotechnics, special effects and video projections that turn the nearby Chinese Theater and other buildings at Disney’s Hollywood Studios into the twin suns of Tatooine, a field of battle droids, the trench of the Death Star, Starkiller Base and other Star Wars destinations. The show also features a tower of fire and spotlight beams, creating massive lightsabers in the sky. (David Roark, photographer)

After enjoying an assortment of sweets — including themed cupcakes, cookies and brownies and a selection of savory snacks including cheese and flatbread and dip (as well as alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages) — guests will be escorted to a VIP viewing area for the Star Wars: A Galactic Spectacular fireworks show.

Dessert party check-in takes place in front of Star Wars Launch Bay, located in the Animation Courtyard at Disney’s Hollywood Studios. Check in begins at 7:30 p.m., and Guests can enter the party at 8:15 p.m.

The cost is $69 for adults, $39 for children age 3-9.
Admission to Disney’s Hollywood Studios is required to attend, and is not included in the price of Star Wars: A Galactic Spectacular Dessert Party.

My  name is Melissa and I am a Disney World local; I am also a travel agent.  Even though I can visit these spectacular parks anytime I choose, I just can’t seem to get enough of what Disney has to offer.  Weather you are a seasoned park veteran or a first time visitor looking to do it all, these events are sure to please and add extra fun to your day.  Contact me today for your free, no obligation quote.  Why not take advantage of a little extra planning advice & assistance at NO added cost to you?
Melissa Mathies, Travel Agent – Pixie Dust Adventures
www.PixieDustAdventures.com
Melissa@PixieDustAdventures.com
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2016 Fall Room Only Discount

SAVE UP TO 25% ON ROOMS AT SELECT WALT DISNEY WORLD RESORT HOTELS
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Guests can save up to 25% on rooms at select Walt Disney World® Resort hotels for stays most nights Aug. 26-Nov. 5, 2016 when they book by Aug. 31, 2016. Check availability for other great rates for stays most nights Aug. 1-25, 2016.

The number of rooms allocated for this offer is limited. Length-of-stay requirements may apply. Savings based on the non-discounted price for the same room. Additional per-adult charges may apply if more than two adults per room at Disney Value, Moderate and Deluxe Resorts. Cannot be combined with any other discount or promotion. Advance reservations required. Offer excludes The Villas at Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa, Bay Lake Tower at Disney’s Contemporary Resort, campsites, 3-bedroom villas, Bungalows at Disney’s Polynesian Villas & Bungalows and Disney’s Art of Animation Resort—The Little Mermaid Standard Rooms. 25% savings for select Disney Deluxe and Deluxe Villa Resorts; lower savings may be available for other Resort hotels.

Booking Window:
April 25-Aug. 31, 2016
Travel Window:
Aug. 1-Nov. 5, 2016

Contact me today to find the right discount for your fall travel.  All of my booking & planning services are FREE.
Melissa, Travel Agent – Pixie Dust Adventures
http://www.PixieDustAdventures.com
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November Booking Special – Get a Free Autograph Book, Mickey Money and more…

November Promotion:

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Book a Disney World package, Disneyland package or a Disney Cruise between Nov. 1-Nov. 30

– Children under 10 will receive a Disney Autograph Book and a goodie bag

– Any child over 10 will receive Disney Dollars or a Disney Gift Card for a FREE Mickey Ice Cream or other treat.

I am also throwing in a $25.00 Disney Gift Card for packages over $2,500.00

This is all on top of the promotions that Disney World is currently offering.  If Disney does not have any current special offers for your dates, I will watch for one to come available.  If a special offer is released for your vacation package, I will automatically re-book your trip if it will save you money. So take advantage of my special offer along with savings directly from Disney and also get my planning assistance for free.  Check out the current Disney World Promotions CLICK HERE

It all starts with a free quote!  All of my planning services are always free and it costs nothing extra over booking directly through Disney.
Contact me today: Melissa@PixieDustAdventures.com

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NEW – Hollywood Studios Holiday Dessert Party and Dinner Reception Details

Last week I shared the heartbreaking news that this will be the last season for the Osborne Dancing Lights in Hollywood Studios.  This news also brings the announcement of new holiday-themed dessert parties that will overlook the Dancing Lights.  If you are going to plan a trip to Disney World this holiday season, you will not want to miss these, beautiful dancing lights in Hollywood Studios.  What better way to see them, for the last time, than while feasting on delicious food?  Read on for pricing, dates and details on these two new event options.

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© Disney

The Merry & Bright Dessert Party includes holiday-themed desserts, specialty alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages, sodas, water, tea and coffee. Each Guest in the party will receive a keepsake roll-up stadium blanket. The Dessert Party will take place Nov. 6-Dec. 24, 2015 from 7-8:30 p.m. and Dec. 25-30, 2015 from 8:30-10:00 p.m. Block-out dates include Nov. 17, Dec. 9 and Dec. 18. The price is $69 per adult and $39 per child (ages 3-9). Tax and gratuity are included.

During the Merry & Bright Dinner Reception, Guests can enjoy a holiday buffet including shrimp, beef, turkey and more, as well as specialty alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages, beer and wine. Each Guest in the party will receive a custom keepsake shadow box featuring their own Osborne Family Spectacle of Dancing Lights bulb. The Dinner Reception will take place from 8:30-10:00 p.m. on Jan. 1, 2016 and from 7:00-8:30 p.m. on Jan. 2-3, 2016. The price is $99 per adult and $54 per child (ages 3-9). Tax and gratuity are included.

During both events, Guests can enjoy the Osborne Family Spectacle of Dancing Lights from a reserved location at the end of the Streets of America near the entrance to Lights, Motors, Action! Extreme Stunt Show. Guests can check in at the location beginning one hour prior to the event.

Bookings can be made by calling 407-WDW-DINE or online at Disneyworld.com/dine.   Advance reservations are recommended as availability is limited

My name is Melissa and the Osborne Dancing Lights is one of our favorite holiday Disney traditions.  I am also an Authorized Disney Vacation Planner with Main Street Adventures Travel Agency.  If you would like to plan a trip to Disney World and celebrate the season under the Dancing Lights in Hollywood Studios, contact me for a free, no obligation quote.  Booking through me, costs the same as booking directly through Disney and you get my planning assistance Free of charge.
Thank you for reading,  Melissa@PixieDustAdventures.com  www.PixieDustAdventures.com

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