Staying on Disney property is certainly our recommendation. At the end of the day Disney is about telling a story, painting a picture, and creating a complete experience, right? Well, the resorts on property certainly aren’t an exception. Each has been carefully crafted and immerses you in a story and we LOVE that. Plus, staying on property comes with perks that hotels off site just don’t have. Added value! However, there are SO many resorts (more than 25). So, how do you select the one that is best for your family? Well, we’re here to break it down for you, and as we go, remember the story! A hint or indicator of it is usually in the name.
Disney separates its resorts into four categories - value, moderate, deluxe and villas (usually part of the Disney Vacation Club but can be booked for cash). Pricing usually follows this model as it sounds, value is a better price per night as compared to deluxe. Same goes for features onsite and availability of certain amenities. Let’s do a quick breakdown!
The bulk of rooms in this category are standard and approximately 260 square feet. There is a basic bath setup (sink often in the open and toilet and shower/tub in a separate room) and bedding could be two doubles or a king. Some rooms in this category are family suites coming in at approximately 520 square feet. They have a similar set up as a standard but double the baths and add in some convertible sleeping options. From here things at both are about the same. Views can differ from parking areas and wooded areas to swimming pools and naturally the better the view the higher the price. Speaking of swimming pools, the pools here are typically themed and could be interactive, but here’s your warning, no slides! Other forms of recreation can be limited think poolside games, a playground, and an occasional movie outside at night. Dining options are slim too with your only options being a food court or pool bar. Finally, transportation provided by Disney (a perk of staying onsite) will usually be via bus. The only exceptions to this are the Art of Animation and Pop Century, which were added to the Skyliner route.
Includes: All Star Movies, All Star Music, All Star Sports, Art of Animation, Pop Century, and Campsites at Fort Wilderness.
Standard rooms in this category are in the 300 square foot range with a similar bath set up as a value resort, but maybe an additional sink. Two queen beds or one king is the standard, but there might be a spot for a potential fifth person with a murphy pull down bed (otherwise four is max). Views are similar as well but throw in the possibility of a room facing/near a natural body of water. Pools, other recreation and dining options are a little more robust with the addition of “quiet pools,” water recreation, bikes, a health club (Coronado Springs), at least one table service restaurant and a lounge. Transport here is typically bus as well, but there might be a boat service from some resorts to Disney Springs.
Includes: Caribbean Beach, Coronado Springs, Port Orleans French Quarter, Port Orleans Riverside, and Cabins at Fort Wilderness
There are a variety of rooms and sizes here. We’re talking anywhere from 344 to 440 square feet. The bath situation can vary too and includes what you’ll find in a moderate, but probably in a different configuration for more privacy. If the room is larger, there might be several baths. Bedding configuration is like a moderate property with nothing smaller than a queen. However, it’s the views, recreation, dining, and transportation that sets a deluxe apart. Pools will have slides, hot tubs, or other water features. Spa services might even be available. There are more table service restaurants, room service and maybe even a charater dining onsite. Lastly, these resorts are typically in close proximity to a park (very attractive to some), so transportation options open up. Buses, skyliner and boats could still be available, but add walking and monorails to the list as well.
Includes: Animal Kingdom Lodge, Beach Club, BoardWalk Inn, Contemporary, Grand Floridian Resort and Spa, Polynesian Village, Wilderness Lodge, and Yacht Club.
We’ll keep things simple here. Villas are a part of the Disney Vacation Club program but can be booked for cash. Villas can be found at some deluxe properties, but there are also three that are dedicated to Disney Vacation Club. Rooms are villa-style with more amenities and can range from a studio all the way to a three bedroom. Bath and bed configuration can vary by room size, but everything else is similar to a deluxe property.
Includes: Bay Lake Tower at the Contemporary, Boulder Ridge Villas at Wilderness Lodge, Copper Creek Villas and Cabins at Wilderness Lodge, Animal Kingdom Villas at Jambo House and Kidani Village, Beach Club Villas, BoardWalk Villas, Old Key West, Polynesian Villas and Bungalows, Riviera Resort, Saratoga Springs Resort and Spa, Villas at Grand Floridian Resort and Spa.
Evaluate each category as described and make your selection based on the needs of your family. From there, think about the story of the resort and what resonates with you most, Maybe it’s animation, the Caribbean, or the South Pacific, etc. With the breakdown above and these two tips, you’re on your way to selecting the resort that is perfect for you!
To book your next on property Walt Disney World vacation, reach out to a Starstuf Travel Planner today!
With Earth Day coming up on April 22, both Walt Disney World Resort and Disneyland Resort are serving up limited-edition delights inspired by the world around us. As they celebrate our beautiful Earth this month, the chefs and mixologists at Disney Parks have put their creativity to the plate and cup with some truly wild treats. These delicious goodies feature some of the world’s most beautiful creatures while embracing the environments they come from.
As part of Disney Planet Possible, they’re dedicated to reducing their environmental footprint, supporting conservation efforts, and finding ways for us all to take part in the magic of nature this Earth Month. Taking action to help our planet this Earth Day and every day can help keep our beautiful planet, its creatures, and environments thriving for years to come, and what better way to celebrate than with food! This month, they’re playing homage to some of the Earth’s greatest treasures through culinary delights. From the Honey Bee Cupcake at Disney’s Animal Kingdom Theme Park to the Corn on a Cob Succotash at Disneyland Park, both coasts are sharing the love for Mother Earth.
Walt Disney World Resort
Disney’s Animal Kingdom Theme Park
Pizzafari and Flame Tree Barbecue (available on Mobile Order through April 28)
Isle of Java (available through April 28)
Creature Comforts and Restaurantosaurrus (available on Mobile Order through April 28)
Terra Treats (available through April 28)
Satu'li Canteen (available on Mobile Order through April 28)
Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge
The Mara (available on April 22)
Disney’s BoardWalk Inn
BoardWalk Bakery (available on Mobile Order from April 18 through 22)
River Belle Terrace (available April 21 through 25)
Disney’s Grand Californian Hotel & Spa
GCH Craftsman Grill (available on Mobile Order through April 30)
In addition to these special Earth Day-themed treats, Disney Parks and resorts also feature delicious plant-based offerings year-round! Plant-based options are not just tasty but good for the environment too as they can help reduce one’s carbon footprint and enhance biodiversity! Disney chefs have collaborated with Impossible to bring some tasty options for guests to enjoy while expanding their commitment to putting plants on the plate and into the mouths of foodies in delicious and creative ways. Disney’s Animal Kingdom Theme Park offers up the Impossible Spicy Southwestern Burger at Restaurantosaurus, while Liberty Tree Tavern at Magic Kingdom Park features a tasty Impossible Revolutionary Meatloaf! Over at Disneyland Park, a galaxy far, far away has the Felucian Kefta & Hummus Garden Spread at Docking Bay 7 Food and Cargo and the truly delicious Ronto-less Garden Wrap at Ronto Roasters. And don’t forget the Impossible Banh Mi at Lucky Fortune Cookery at Disney California Adventure park.
If you are ready try these mouthwatering items during a last minute trip, reach out to a Starstuff Travel Planner today!
Nighttime spectaculars are coming back to Disneyland Resort! As the daylight fades on April 22, the “Main Street Electrical Parade,” “Disneyland Forever” fireworks, and “World of Color” will bring even more spectacular magic back to Disneyland Park and Disney California Adventure Park once again. And with this exciting entertainment returning, it’s only natural that there are some tasty eats and sips joining them.
Across both parks, Guests can enjoy delicious treats and eye-catching novelties to celebrate these spectaculars. From the Parade Macaron at Jolly Holiday Bakery Cafe to the Light-up Elliott Dragon Premium Bucket, these items are the foodie embodiment of these incredible entertainment must-sees.
For Guests looking to enhance their nighttime celebrations, consider one of the exclusive dining packages, featuring tons of yummy dishes as well as reserved viewing of a select spectacular! Over at Disney California Adventure Park, the World of Color Dessert Party serves up decadent delights and sips at Paradise Gardens Park, while the World of Color Dining Package can be enjoyed at Wine Country Trattoria for a 3-course meal or an all-you-care-to-enjoy buffet at Storytellers Café at Disney’s Grand Californian Hotel & Spa. At Disneyland Park, enjoy the Main Street Electrical Parade Dining Package at Plaza Inn featuring classic comfort dishes.
Gibson Girl Ice Cream Parlor hosted by Dreyer’s (available on Mobile Order)
Hub Churro Cart
Jolly Holiday Bakery Cafe (available on Mobile Order)
Refreshment Corner Hosted by Coca-Cola (available on Mobile Order)
Town Square Churro Cart
Available at Various Locations Throughout Disneyland Park Throughout the Summer Season:
Disney California Adventure Park
Paradise Gardens Park
(Note: All offerings are subject to change.)
For more information on booking your next mouth watering vacation, reach out to a Starsuff Travel Planner today!
No matter what your vaccination status is and where your traveling to, if you plan to travel in todays world, you need to have a financial safeguard in place for trip problems. Issues that arise on vacation come in all shapes and sizes but if you have travel insurance you can feel protected when something does happen.
While there are a vast amount of things travel insurance plans can help with, today I am going to talk about what we are noticing with airfare. As most of you know, the United States is struggling with a national staffing shortage and the airlines, airports, and TSA are not exempt from this shortage. What we are seeing right now is if there is one hiccup to a few flights, it throws future days or weeks into a complete uproar while the airlines try and play catch up.
This weekend there were thousands of flights cancelled due to severe weather in Orlando. While the airlines played catch up it gobbled up days worth of flight availability to get those cancelled home. Due to this situation, if you needed to get home you may have been stuck for three or four days. Right now the airlines do not have enough staff to keep up with the amount of people who are traveling before something goes wrong. I personally experienced this back in October when an airline cancelled our flight and was not able to get us back home for seven entire days. We were able to book ourselves through another airline to get home sooner and submit a claim for reimbursement through our travel insurance plan. Can you imagine the financial burden you could run into if you had to pay out of pocket and were not going to get reimbursed, or worse had to sit in the airport for days at a time?
Last week we had a training in Puerto Vallarta and on the way home a few of us had a layover at the Chicago O'hare airport. We ran into a 3.5 hour line in customs making us miss our layover to head back home. Guess what, customs does not offer anything at all if you miss your flight due to a long line. Luckily we have travel insurance, so we knew that we would be taken care of for the added financial burden of an extra hotel reservation and added meals while we were there.
These are just a few of the many reasons you need to make sure you are covered with travel insurance today. While we are not licensed insurance agents, we can assist you in making sure your vacation is covered by providing plan options to you and pointing you in the right direction to the insurance company we are partnered with.
For more information on covering your vacation, reach out to a Starsuff Travel Planner today!