Thinking of heading to Walt Disney World in the next few months? This is the hotel I recommend for Summer 2021.
DISCLAIMER: I am by no means responsible for anything that could happen or go wrong on your vacation; these are just my opinions after years and years of vacationing at Walt Disney World.
While we are still coming out of the pandemic and Disney World is still slowly opening up resorts, attractions and dining locations, I would suggest the best possible hotel to stay at currently would be (assuming you’re a party of no bigger than 4):
Disney’s Wilderness Lodge Resort
EVERYTHING IS CONDENSED INTO ONE BUILDING
Florida can be terribly hot and humid and there is nothing like getting off a Disney bus, all hot and sweaty from a super fantastic day at the parks and walking into ONE wonderfully airconditioned building providing not just your cool room, but gift shop, quick service and restaurants all inside. It is so super convenient to have all of this inside the same building for extra AC and to avoid the constant rain showers that Summer 2021 is bringing us! Not to mention the lobby is stunning and the rooms are gorgeous!
BOAT TO MAGIC KINGDOM
Having the easy 10 minute boat ride to and from Magic Kingdom really does make your vacation feel extra magical!
FIREWORKS VIEWS FROM SOME LOCATIONS AT THE RESORT
Summer 2019 was the first time we stayed at the Wilderness Lodge and we were surprised with a beautiful view of the Magic Kingdom Castle as well as fireworks from our balcony! Now that the fireworks are back you are sure to enjoy!
WITH MANY DINING LOCATIONS CURRENTLY CLOSED, MORE DINING OPTIONS AVAILABLE
Whispering Canyon Café has been open which is a delicious table-service restaurant if you need a change from quick service. Wilderness Lodge also has Geyser Point Bar and Grill which is an outdoor, water-view restaurant which is another great option to have. You can’t go wrong at Disney’s Wilderness Lodge!
AS A DISNEY WORLD DELUXE HOTEL ACCOMODATION, THE RATES AREN’T AWFUL AND WORTH IT
Disney’s Wilderness Lodge falls into the deluxe hotel categories because of it’s many amenities and for being one of the Magic Kingdom Resorts, but it isn’t nearly priced as high as the Contemporary, Grand Floridian or especially right now the Polynesian – if you ask for a standard view room. It is one of more affordable deluxe accommodations with many comforting habituations. Also this deluxe resort offers a slide at the main pool and there is a splash pad for the younger kids which gives you a little more to do at the resort.
Planning a summer vacation? Where are you headed this summer?! I would love to hear your plans and thoughts!
This year I found a new bag to try – an insulated Disney Igloo “Leftover bag” backpack. It has a front compartment for smaller items which I like. I always wear a Disney Fanny-pack anyway, to my keep my phone and wallet for easy use. I like this bag because it is completely insulated – so I am figuring we will keep our waters and cooling towels in there, instead of a regular backpack. It even has pockets on both sides to hold 2 drinks! I am going to give it a try this coming weekend at Legoland NY!
I decided to add some Disney magic to it and I glued some Disney patches to it – with e6000 glue. E6000 glue seems to be the popular glue everyone is using but the fact that it says it causes cancer made me nervous. So I wore gloves and glued outside. **I took wax paper to place over them and I used full baby wipes to weigh them down while they dried.
I do have a lot of Disney backpacks that I use for all trips – even road trips / hiking etc. The backpacks I purchased from Disney World back in 2017 have come in great use – they have several comparments for separating and organizing with outside pockets to hold your drinks. They have been quite sturdy.
I also have a Disney Loungefly as well as a cheaper small backpack purchased at Animal Kingdom – both are small and we cannot fit very much inside. But now that my kids are getting older we do not need to carry quite as much anymore.
What are your favorite bags to travel with??? I love to hear about bags that work well.
Here is my video on how I pack for a night out on the boardwalk at the Jersey Shore!
With Covid rules and regulations a lot of people might be skipping out on visiting the Easter Bunny this year but that doesn’t mean you have to skip out on Easter 🐣 Pics 📸 of your kids!
Gather up your kids and head up to your nearest State Park. If you are working they are staying open later now, and it is better to go towards the late afternoon anyway – so the sun won’t be shining in their eyes!
The state park idea is fun because the kids can go exploring around the area while you’re doing it or even have a picnic. Throw some quick dresses 👗 on your girls and cute shirts on your boys and let nature do the rest. Try out Portrait Mode on your iPhone!
It was very windy when we went up last week!
Take whatever Easter decorations and props you have and head into your own yard for some pretty pics.
*Have a tripod?! Set up your iPhone to take 10 seconds for an automatic pic of you with your family!
Have an early Easter Egg hunt and take ACTION pics of your kiddos hunting for eggs – in their nicest attire.
Also if you have Easter Pics from the year prior that never got sent to anyone? We were in Disney World for Easter 2019 and had pics with Mr. and Mrs. Easter Bunny that never went to anyone only because they were taken on Easter while there 🤷♀️
Mikey and I ran to Home Goods yesterday afternoon… we were surprised to find LEGO storage boxes that are actual LEGO themselves!
We also spotted 2 MICKEY Mouse plushies!
We spotted 2 Baby Yoda / The Child / Grogu Banks in the children’s section
For some other last minute gifts I am adding to my kids Easter Baskets I am waiting on a few LEGO to come and also waiting on some LED lights for Nicky’s bedroom. Plus they still love to play with Star Wars Light Sabers – so waiting on that as well!
I just need to finish a basket for my parents and my inlaws as well as my nephews!
Over the weekend I watched a new YouTube Video on where instead of using the typical Easter “Basket”, she was using a new beach towel folded as the base/ basket. When it was finished it looked just like a normal Easter Basket with the cello and all! I decided I was going to try this myself.
I have been saving and reusing the same Easter Baskets since my kids are babies – same cello and all. I just store them in plastic bags but the large baskets do take up a lot of space. I like the new idea of using something that is going to be used instead of a basket that either gets thrown out or takes up too much space.
I attempted the towel idea but after that Kohls haul – I just had too much stuff! So I have this pretty light green plaid wrapping paper left over from my in-law’s’ emerald anniversary and some yellow bows stored in our little craft room that we have. This wrapping paper was not flimsy dollar store paper, but a nice strong paper with brawn to become a basket.
I folded the wrapping paper around the towel as a base/basket taping the sides of the wrapping paper to hold up as a basket.
I did not buy any NEW cello or wrap… I was just trying to use what I had laying around and I realized I did not have enough cello. Oops. I one has cello and the other one is just plain wrapping paper.
I am by no means a perfect crafter… I just try to make things look cute and special. I’m really not artistic, I am only a perfectionist when it comes to makeup. LOL
For the chocolate I reused one of my saved Easter Baskets – old cello and all! lol
I hope I helped give you ideas for different and creative ways of designing Easter Baskets for your loved ones!
Check out my new YOUTUBE video on the Easter Basket Ideas!
Let Me Help You Choose Your Next Walt Disney World Resort. Each week I will pick and write about MY recommended resort for the upcoming Summer months.
Depending on what time of the year you plan on vacation, what resort you pick can make a big difference on the comfort level of your trip.
Disclaimer: these are my personal thoughts and opinions, I am not in any way affiliated with Disney or paid by Disney – I cannot be held responsible for anything that may or could go wrong on your vacation. I have had 9 Disney World Vacations since 2006, and eat, breath and live Disney. I LOVE talking Disney.
YOU’RE GOING TO DISNEY WORLD!!!!!
Heading to Disney World anytime soon or trying to decide for the following year?
Planning out your next Disney World Vacation but trying to decide which resort to stay with? I can help. It all pretty much depends on you, your traveling companions, budget and the travel party’s health.
Budgeting for a Value Resort?
Disney World has 3, well 4 “Value Resorts” to offer. There is Pop Century (most popular), The All Star Resorts and Art of Animation. The All Star Resorts are comprised of The All Star Movies, The All Star Music and the All Stars Sports. All of the resorts mentioned are very Disney themed and super fun! However they are the smallest of rooms on Disney property but the most affordable. Each has their own quick service food court and super fun themed pools. Art of Animation is considered “Value” because it is geared for families and the 2 double bed rooms in the Little Mermaid Section are the cheapest of rooms but the hardest to get, since there aren’t many. The Lion King section and Nemo section have family suites which sleep 6 people and have 2 bedrooms, but do not be fooled – you will be paying closer to the cost of a deluxe resort for these accommodations.
Traveling During Summer Months? Summer in Florida starts in May and ends around November.
Summer is approaching!
Something to keep in mind:
The Value Resorts are amazingly themed and so incredibly fun but they are not well shaded, and if you do not have a preferred room there is a possibility of having a long walk to your room. So if you are planning a vacation during anytime between the months of June through the end of October keep in mind it is going to be HOT. ALL of these resorts do not have much shade or trees so they are HOT. My family has found that when we travel to Disney during the summer months we try to avoid these resorts. With that being said, if you are traveling anytime between November through April these resorts are absolutely lovely and lively to meet your budget. If you can only travel between these summer months and are only able to stay at one of the value resorts (Excluding Art of Animation) I recommend spending a little more for a preferred room – it will definitely be worth it!
Art of Animation is considered “Value” because it is geared for larger families and the 2 double bed rooms in the Little Mermaid Section are the cheapest of rooms but the hardest to get, since there aren’t many. *NOTE* If you book a Little Mermaid Room, you will have about a *10-15 minute walk *OUTSIDE* from your room to the food/busing* and this extra walking can be tough when you are already putting in a lot of walking inside the parks and it is hot. During the Winter months, this walk may not feel as tough. At Art of Animation at The Lion King section and Nemo section, both have family suites which sleep 6 people (1 master bedroom, 1 murphy bed and 1 pull-out sofa) and have 2 bathrooms which is closer to the food and busing, but do not be fooled – you will be paying closer to the cost of a deluxe resort for these accommodations. We stayed in the Cars section in August of 2016 and while my children loved the resort it was a lot of hot extra walking in the sun and my kids ended up getting heat rash during that trip – it wasn’t the worst thing in the world but it was definitely easier the following year when we stayed at the Animal Kingdom Lodge in 2017.
This week’s Hotel of Choice for Summer Travel:
Disney’s Wilderness Lodge
We all know how quickly those summer Florida rainstorms fly in out of nowhere, it is nice to being lodging at a resort where all the rooms are condensed into 1 main building for convenience, ease and comfort.
It is easier to walk through air conditioned buildings than in the hot Florida summer sun.*
Join Chip and Dale at Disney’s Wilderness Lodge themed to the Pacific North West.
Once again Disney has outdone themselves with another massive and gorgeous lobby with impressive details in all of it’s architecture at the Wilderness Lodge, a Deluxe Resort. ***Avoid heat rash*** by staying here where inside the main building you will find your lobby, restaurants, gift shop and rooms – all while being inside the A/C. A small walk to the boat to get to Magic Kingdom and a quick and easy walk to Disney’s transportation bus stop. Having the boat as an alternate method of transportation makes it all the more magical. Boat rides tend to make it feel a little more like vacation getaway for me anyway! Wilderness Lodge is set to open fully in just a few months, June 2021!
This deluxe resort is the cheapest among the Magic Kingdom Resorts and is well liked by guests. Compared to value resorts: along with your quick service you have 2 additional restaurants plus a lounge. Furthermore, you have Geyser Point Bar and Grill offered as an outdoor dining option which offers breakfast, lunch and dinner with a beautiful view of the lake and your typical pool bar with snacks and refreshments.
At the Wilderness Lodge we dined at Whispering Canyon Café where you definitely need to ask for ketchup! Inside joke here! The Whispering Canyon Café is an interactive western-themed experience with fun games and delicious food. Since I had booked this trip last minute we were not able to get a reservation at Artist Point which is Story Book Dining with Snow White and other characters.
Value resorts only offer 1 quick service dining location and pool bars (but no indoor lounge) per each value resort. At the Wilderness Lodge you also have boat rental access, and a lake beach area (no swimming) which again are not offered at a Value. All Moderate and Deluxe pools have a slide in their main pool. Disney’s Wilderness Lodge also gains EASY ACCESS to the surrounding resorts for dining options with the boat. You can actually take the boat to the Contemporary and walk through the Grand Floridian to the Polynesian if you wanted to!
When we vacationed at Disney’s Wilderness Lodge in August of 2019 our room had a beautiful view of the Magic Kingdom Castle and we were able to view the fireworks from our room! At any of the Magic Kingdom Resorts there are areas usually on the beaches where you can view the fireworks. It was a terrific surprise and an added bonus!
More than a resort… More than a vacation….
Each time we vacation at Disney we always choose a NEW sabbatical and that always gives us the feeling of a different trip. Each resort has a different vibe and theme creating a new exciting adventure! We NEVER have the feeling of “Oh we’re doing this again” or “its the same thing again” – its a new and exciting feeling of being in that Disney bubble, escaping reality and being pampered along the way.
For Future Post-Covid Times Stay at Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge when it is fully open.
Become Whisked Away Into the Savanna by staying at Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge in the Jambo House.
On a budget? No problem, do not book a room with a view of the Savanna to save hundreds. There are viewing areas all over this intricately designed immersive resort. Basically dropped at the door of the resort from Disney’s transportation buses, you enter into the lobby of the lodge you instantly view the breathtaking cathedral window and you are instantly immersed in the atmosphere, and blown away by the integrated thematic African decorative details and conveniently located award winning restaurants. In addition to everything being inside, the resort is a very shaded resort; even while waiting for the busing, no matter what time of the day you are NEVER in the sun! Considered a deluxe resort but when choosing a room with no views, it is more of a moderate resort pricing. Animal Kingdom Lodge’s Jambo house offers an attractive dimly-lit ambiance with the smells of delicious food that radiates the hotel. What could be more magical then staring off into the savanna watching giraffes and zebra play right from inside your resort? Read my full review here of the Animal Kingdom Lodge! At this current time (March 2021) Animal Kingdom Lodge is not fully opened and operating to capacity – but hoping within the next year it will be! Keep checking for updates.
It is possible to stay in one of the DVC Villas at Jambo House or Kidani Village currently, but the resort itself is not fully open.
Disney Deluxe Resorts can be pretty pricey – you can always stay for LESS at a Disney World Deluxe Resort by renting DVC (Disney Vacation Club) points through an accredited DVC rental like http://www.dvcrentalstore.com and https://dvcrequest.com/ with David’s DVC Vacation Rentals.
ALWAYS CALL AHEAD TO CHECK TO SEE WHAT IS OPEN AND WHAT IS CLOSED AT YOUR RESORT OF CHOICE!
With current Covid regulations there is a lot more that is involved into going into planning your next Disney World Vacation and you need to have things planned out well in advanced.
Look out for my next recommendation coming next week!
Simple Valentine Craft Treat Surprise Leading Up To Valentine’s Day
Creating Easy Valentines with a Touch of Disney
A few weeks ago I asked a dear friend of mine, “What can I do to make Valentine’s Day More Special This Year?” With everything being so gloomy and not much going on we all could use a pick-me-up. She told me she does a 14 Day “Reasons Why I Love You” for each of her kids leading up until Valentine’s Day- giving each child their own special thing she loves about them. Well this certainly sparked my interest. Since I am on leave due to Covid and having my children virtually learn at home I FINALLY have the time to do things like this! Normally I am always working.
Keep in mind, I am not a brilliant crafter. I am not that neat and I am certainly not perfect. I am not one of those awesome crafting people that you see make beautiful things on YouTube. (I am way better at makeup LOL) I am full of Disney World Vacation knowledge and planning. I’m just sharing a simple little easy-to-do fun Valentine’s Day idea to pass the time! My kind of crafting is easy enough to do with your children or at school. If only I had a working printer! So please don’t judge me.
Last Friday I went to Walmart and went into their seasonal Valentine isle and stocked up on some goodies to surprise the kiddos with each day – and some sugar-free treats for the hubby. I got some things like: a box of fun-sized Skittles, a box of fun-sized Welch’s fruit snacks, bag of Jolly Ranchers, bag of Dove Chocolates, heart-shaped boxes of Russell Stover Valentines and some Russell Stover Heart Shaped Chocolate Caramels and chocolate covered heart marshmallows for $.50 cents each. I also found these cute Disney gummies… You all know I’m always on the lookout for anything Disney.
box of fun sized Skittles
box of Welch’s Fruit Snacks
bag of Jolly Ranchers
bag of Dove Chocolates
Russell Stover Heart Shaped Valentine Box of Chocolates
Russell Stover Heart Shaped Chocolate Caramel and Heart Shaped Chocolate Caramels
Box of prepackaged Disney Gummy Rings
The Valentines started out all cute. But then I realized I needed to add some Disney pizazz into this.
I thought to myself I need to add some Star Wars into this! My family is a major Star Wars fan family. If you are not a Star Wars fan you will probably not understand my next group of Valentine’s.
Supplies for the Valentine’s:
Craft Paper from Dollar General
Gem Stickers from Walmart
Star Wars Stickers from Walmart
Disney Store Tissue Packaging Paper
Disney Cars Stickers from Dollar Store
Valentine’s Day Stickers from Dollar Store
Then I started to forage around the house to see what other supplies I have to see what I could come up with that was Disney related. I’m not the most artistic person so I am just going with what I have to work with.
Does anyone recognize that Disney Paper??? That is Disney tissue paper that comes from Shop Disney orders. I love saving the Shop Disney Tissue Paper for any future gifts or crafts that might pop up!
Anyone recognize that Mickey head? hehe! I save all Disney World Travel Documents because you just never know when you want to reminisce or you might find a use for it.
What are you doing to celebrate Valentine’s Day this year?
Check out our last video on Disney Wishables from last Spring
How You Can Bring the Smells of Disney World to Your Home
It has been much too long since we have smelled the smells of Disney World, so I decided for my husband’s birthday I would bring some home! In the midst of the pandemic we have found ourselves unable to get back to our favorite escape, so what is better than bringing those cherished smells home? If you can’t get there, bring it home. It is amazing how just a simple smell can bring back so many memories and lift your spirits.
Disney Resort’s H20 Line’s is the pure aroma of “vacation”. The fragrance recovers your previous Disney World vacations, bringing you back to the Happiest Place On Earth. One whiff and you are reliving earlier trips of pure magic and happiness.
For my husband’s birthday gift I picked the Sea Salt Body Wash, Body Butter and Body Lotion Set by H2O+ set since we really enjoy the lotion and body wash the most. This set costs just about $55 for the set.
I personally like to shop online through a website called Rakuten – it is the former “ebates” website. If you watch closely, sometimes Rakuten offers some significant cash back on Shop Disney purchases – especially at times like around the holidays or certain times of the year. Simply copy and paste the link below into your web browser:
How to ride Disney’s Star Wars Rise of the Resistance Ride in Walt Disney World
How to JOIN the virtual queue for Rise of the Resistance:
Recently before all the closures due to the COVID-19 Pandemic, Disney’s Hollywood Studios opened their newest, highly anticipated ride of the century –Rise of the Resistance, back in December of 2019. Attempting to get on the ride is not the easiest thing to do, but completely worth it.
I think moving forward we will be seeing a lot more about Virtual Queues and how to use them as Disney World begins to re-open.
If you are a huge Star Wars fan then this is something not to be missed!
Here is your plan of action to get on the VIRTUAL QUEUE for this ride when Disney World reopends its parks (this information is subject to change via Disney World):
So ultimately you will need to have at least this part of your vacation planned out – if not for the rest of it. (We all know going to Disney World takes some planning) You need to know what day of your trip you will be going to Hollywood Studios and have other fast passes and dining reservations planned out with the ability to be open for flexiblity and changes.
For this morning of your trip, depending on how big your party is, and how quickly you can get ready you’re going to need to be at your bus stop by 5:30am depending on park opening. Set your alarms accordingly, and have food packed the night before – whatever you need to bring into the park for that day, have ready the night prior. We had stayed at the Grand Floridian so when I walked to the Gasparilla Island Grill, I was lucky to find one carafe of coffee hot and ready!
Things to have ready for the day: Your Smart Phone, Smart Phone Charger, Drinks & Snacks, Other Fast Passes, & Dining Reservations.
Make Note: For the new Skyliner Resorts, the Skyliner is not a good method of transportation that early in the morning because it only opens 30 minutes before park opening so this is not a good transportation method when you want to get on ROR. ****You might want to schedule an alternate route of transportation – either your own car, Uber, Lyft, or Disney’s alternate transportation of the Minnie Van (which starts at a flat rate of $20 but then costs more per mile – speak with the front desk) The bus stop was completely packed when we arrived and almost did not make it on the first bus. In this instance it is always good to be early than late!
Security lines are HUGE and LONG! Do not freak out – deep breaths. You will get through it. Just cooperate. From the stress and anxiety we witnessed other guests yelling and swearing at security for no good reason, other than stress – so keep yourself together. They will get you through as soon as possible and its for good reasons. Have a snack while you wait, talk about what rides you would like to go on for the day or snacks you might like to try.
While we were there in January park opened at 7:00am and even if the park isn’t opening until 9:00 I still recommending on arriving at Hollywood Studios by 6:30am to get through security and scanned into the park before the opening time. It is CRUCIAL you are scanned into Hollywood Studios and INSIDE the park before the park hour stikes opening time. Typically security opens an hour before park opening.
Keeping your My Disney Experience App closed, and checking the time for park opening, make sure as soon as the clock strikes whatever hour park opening is – let’s just say at 7:00am – you will open the app instantly at 7:00am ( your MDE app) and here you will see “Join a Boarding Group” (as soon as the app opens up) it was a picture of the AT-AT Walkers – uness that changes – and you will click on that and follow through with the directions as it leads you, step-by-step, on how many in your party etc. After that it will give you a boarding number. This is where it is crucial that your phone does not die and you are able to access the app on your other family members phones. I personally like a small charger. The app will eventually alert you when to return to the ride. So go about your day until you have the alert from the app. There is a possiblity it could be late at night or early – just keep an eye.
Now that you have your boarding number you will be WAITING patiently until you get the notifcation from the app for your boarding time. Once the app alerts you and it gives you a boarding time you will have a 2 hour window to get to the Rise of the Resistance Ride located in Galaxy’s Edge of Hollywood Studios. So do NOT panic if you are headed onto a Fast pass or you are currently eating. You do have 2 hours to get on! It will tell you please get here by whatever time is at the end of the 2 hours. It appeared right on my homescreen! We were boarding group number 54 so it gave us some ample time for a breakfast reservation at 8:20am and also we had a lunch reservation at 12:30.
Since you are inside the park so early it is the perfect opportunity to hop on those rides with normal long waits. We had a fast pass for Slinky so we hopped on Toy Story Mania with no wait. Some people run to Smugglers Run (Millennium Falcon Smugglers Run) which at the time had no Fast Pass but just before the closures started offering a FP. Aerosmith’s Rockin Roller Coaster is another good one to head to, or even Tower of Terror. Then don’t forget if you have a breakfast reservation! After breakfast we did Slinky, and headed to Star Tours, got on the ROR around 11:00, and we hopped on Smugglers Run and went to lunch. Then we did some pics with Darth Vader and Chewbacca.
Keep in mind, there are instances where people are not able to board Rise of Resistance until the evening and sometimes disappointly not able to get on the ride that day – but I think they promise you the following day? Mark me if I am wrong. Your best bet is to plan your vacation during a lower crowd time…
It’s was definitely exhausting but worth it! We will do it again and won’t even think twice about it. We can’t wait!
If you don’t mind spoilers here is our video footage and vlog of Rise of the Resistance from this past January 2020.
When are you planning your next Disney World Trip?
Have you ridden Rise of the Resistance Yet? What was your experience?