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)|
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!|
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