A Case of Mistaken Identity? (My royal treatment at Disney World)

Monday, March 24, 2014

   My husband was away on business so I had the hair brained idea to take the boys to Disney World.  I call this idea "hair brained" because lately I cannot drive more than .7 miles with them both in the car and not yell.  Orlando is 250 miles away so that could possibly be a lot of yelling. I  did not think it through and when I saw a commercial advertising a three day ticket to any 3 Disney Parks for $129 (Florida Residents only), I started trolling the internet for a good last minute deal on a room.

    When heading to Mickey's House, I love to stay on the monorail line. This means one of three hotels; The Polynesian Resort, The Grand Floridian or The Contemporary. * These three hotels are often way more expensive than other hotels in the area, so when I saw a  Florida Resident's Rate for the Contemporary that was not too much more than the rate at the local Hilton, I jumped on it. 

     I left really early in the morning to drive to O-town. Leaving while everyone but me was half-awake made the yelling less likely. During our drive up there, we received an e-mail inviting us to try out a new restaurant in the Magic Kingdom that they were testing out. I really did not think anything of this  V.I.P. invite.

  However, I did start to think that maybe they thought I was someone else when I checked in at the hotel. 

    When I reserved my "cheap" Florida Resident Discounted Room, I was certain that we would be getting the worst room with a view of the dumpsters. I did not care because we were only planning to sleep and shower there.  When we checked in, we were informed that we were upgraded to a 2 bedroom/2 bathroom suite. This room goes for $1200 a night in LOW SEASON.   The room was lovely with gorgeous views. When we moved in, there were drinks and chocolates waiting for us.  

Beach View (Definitely not the dumpster)
    The room had three showers, two televisions, two pull out couches and a comfy King-Sized bed. It also had two mini-fridges and great views from every side. This was perfect for me and three teen boys (We inherited a cousin over in Epcot, when he heard about our suite)

  We then found out that the room came with concierge lounge privileges which means light meals/snacks and beverages available for free. This was icing on the cake. Three kids (plus me)  probably ingested enough food and sodas to cover the entire price that I paid for the room. 

This is what we did not eat in the Concierge Lounge!
   My niece wondered why Disney was giving me the royal treatment (they actually give every guest great service but I was getting Princess service). I explained that I think that they had the wrong Japolina. There are two other women in South Florida with my name. One has a similar middle initial and is also a lawyer. The other one has a husband with the same name as mine, a child with the same name as mine and she went to the same undergrad University that I did. (After getting emails and phone calls for each other, we became Facebook friends).  Anyway, the other Japolinas must be Disney V.I.P.'s or just plain fabulous. I wonder if the right Japolina was in my crappy room. If so,  too bad, because I wasn't moving.

     We had a great time and came home fat, broke, tired and with aching feet. The perfect Disney Trip.

*Why Staying at one of the three hotels on the monorail is a great idea 

1. If you can get a good deal, it may be worth the extra money to stay on the monorail. It gets very hot and crowded during the afternoon at the parks, and often they are open late. It is perfect to head back to the room or the pool for a few hours until the parks cool down. It is also amazing when you are traveling with a tired or sick kid. One parent can take the kid back to the room without ruining everyone's day. (personal experience). You can spend hours with a cranky-puss just riding the monorail around in a circle. It calms them  down in a way that only Disney magic can. (personal experience)

    We rode the monorail to Epcot in the morning and to the Magic Kingdom after dark. The park is gorgeous at night and much less crowded. Instead of watching the parade and fireworks, we hit the rides during those times. We literally walked right on to some of the most popular rides without having to wait a minute!!! Not waiting is unheard without a fast pass. Lines are usually at least 20 minutes long, even longer for the "good rides". 
A five minute line for Pirates of the Caribbean! That is my type of wait.

     When were were finally too exhausted for any more fun, when we  we just hopped on the monorail for a five minute ride to our room. No driving. No getting lost in Orlando (personal experience). 

2. When you stay at the three hotels, they don't charge for parking. You don't have to pay to park at The Disney Theme Parks and you don't have to pay to park at your hotel.  This does not sound like a lot, but it could be as much as $40 saved. The cost to park at a Disney Theme Park is $15 a car and the last time that I stayed at the Loews Hard Rock Hotel at Universal, they stuck an extra $25 (PLUS TAX) on my bill (PER NIGHT)to park.

3. The Disney Service is amazing at these hotels. Every single employee that we encountered in the hotel had paid serious attention during their Disney Training. We called for extra blankets at 11:00 at night  (we had that cousin who stowed away) and Tiger must have delivered them because they were there in seconds. 

4. Even though my boys are teenagers, they still love riding the monorails and love that they run right through the Contempoary Hotel.  I love that they can ride the monorail to the game rooms or cafes in the other hotels while I chill out. Disney seems safe to let them roam a little more freely than I would at other hotels in Orlando. 

5. Disney has recently implemented a fast pass plus system and guests of Disney Resorts get extra perks. When we checked in, they gave us these bracelets. 

My husband thought that this looked like one of those ankle monitors that you
wear if you are on house arrest. I don't think that those come with Mickey embossed on them. 

This bracelet was our room key, charge card, park ticket and "fast pass" for the weekend. Because we bought our tickets ahead of time and were staying at a Disney Resort, we were able to book up to three rides/shows/attractions per day  before we left Miami. We were able to change our choices during the trip using a Disney iPhone app.  I really loved having the room key on my wrist. If you've ever been locked out of your hotel room in your PJ's (personal experience)  understand why this is a perk.  I think that the bracelet can be used to get photos taken of you in the park by their photographers but we were not into that. 

6. Waking up and looking at Space Mountain or Cinderella's castle is almost as nice as when I ride my bike on the beach at sunrise. 

  Space Mountain is  really is that close to the hotel


NanaDiana said...

Just checking in from Babyland here. I love Disney. I was about the 10th person in line the day Disney opened to the public on the early 70's. We got pretty special treatment and stayed in the Contemporary (which was all done in blue & lime green in the 70's). Glad you had such special treatment. It's fun, isn't it? xo Diana

Empress Bee (of the high sea) said...

love disney world and love the contemporary too. i will admit at times to going to one of the hotels for "lunch" and then getting on the monorail, thus avoiding the parking fees. sarge and i had annual passes for years and years.

smiles, bee

Jenny Woolf said...

haha, reckon they did get the wrong Japolina. Still she'll probably put them right next time she stays!

Beth said...

I am happy it all worked out for you!

Courtney Sweet said...

Now that is my kind of princess treatment! Super awesome that you got upgraded. Sounds like a fun time to me. Can't wait for our first trip this year.

angryparsnip said...

You are always so lucky.
This sounds like a trip from a Disney heaven. I think staying at the hotels and riding the monorail is the best idea ever.
Lucky you to live in Florida and get such discounts discount.

cheers, parsnip

Linda said...

What good fortune you all had! My only experience there wasn't so rosy. It was my 40th birthday and my Dutch credit card company was having a computer update time just as we tried to pay for four adults and our 4 year old son. You guessed it! Grandad had to pay for the visit, and I was "fit to be tied" that my credit card did not work! Glad you had such a great time with your teenagers. Linda@Wetcreek Blog

Susie said...

What a lucky deal. I laughed when you said you were not moving...too funny. The boys probably will remember this trip. LOL Glad you had a wonderful time. xoxox,Susie

Kelly said...

I haven't been to Disney World in years! I'm sure it's much better now. I have fond memories of going with my family when I was a child though. I remember staying in one of those hotels that the monorail runs through. It was fun riding that. It seemed so modern. Glad that you had a good time and an upgraded room. It looked amazing!

vivian said...

sounds like a great weekend away with the kids! my mom lives in Deltona, not too far from Orlando, but Ive never been to disney. not a huge fan of crowds, so Ive never wanted to venture there. However, now in the back of my mind.. I think someday I may want to take my little grandbabies.. when they are older.
have a great day!

Anonymous said...

Great post! I'm so excited!

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