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Drive to Disney: Staying at Walt Disney World

 

Drive to Disney: Staying at Walt Disney World

By Giles Kennedy

Family and Travel Columnist

 

So, you got to your resort; now what?

Let’s back up a few steps first. You do not have to be a Disney Vacation Club member to have a great vacation.

More perks, benefits, and insider special events do come with the DVC membership. But it is more money.

For roughly $3900, my family had a great time.

However, some key things are to be noted. Whether you go through a travel agent or AAA; be sure to have your agent or booker have the parking fees included.

When booking ours, the Disney Rep did not convey extra fees with myself or our AAA travel rep; prior to partial or full payment. Make sure you have them included.

We did book the Pop Century Resort (a decades theme resort). Next door is the Art of Animation Resort. Both resorts have rooms ranging from $170-$200 a night. This is comparable to a Quality Inn or Days Inn valued price. This was the perfect place for myself, Tanya and Hannah. A small fridge, entertainment center, outlets, a decent sized bathroom, and two double beds.

Pluses for being on property resort include a full service gift shop, an arcade for kids big and small, a deli-quick service cafeteria, few pools and links to the WDW Transportation System.

There have been horror stories prior to our visit.

They were extremely debunked.

Peak travel times to the parks are morning and evenings. However, the bus drivers are friendly and the buses are AC climate controlled. Most frequent buses every 20 minutes, latest can be 30-40 minutes between buses.

If it is you, the better half and 1-3 kids in tow; get the park hopper pass and the basic dining plan.

The park hopper is the way to go.

If you wish to get fast passes, consult a friend who has been to Disney after booking. They not only can help on prime booking for character meals but best times to get great rides in.

The dining plan does include one sit down meal a day, one quick service, two-three snacks pending on plan, and free water.

Most sit down restaurants in each park to have free cups of water for guests…but a MagicBand goes a long way to get a quick drink.

Only caution I will give is the on site laundry.

Tanya; the unfortunate task master, found out the hard way. A third party vendor does the laundry equipment services. I did express this to resort management after my poor wife tending to damp clothes from malfunctioning dryers.

Resort management did give us a credit on our account during our stay and apologized.

Once arriving at the parks, take advantage of either the buses or the WDW monorail. The Monorail does connect Magic Kingdom, the Polynesian, the Grand Floridan and the Contemporary Resorts.

There is already a lot of walking involved. Let Walt Disney World take you there when you can.

In September 2019; the new Skyliner system will connect some of the other resorts to Epcot and the Magic Kingdom. I saw them do test runs while there. So, hopefully in the near future; more ways to save steps.

Having some character meals, fast passes along with your meal plans and basic home away from home will make your Disney experience first class.

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