Save Money And Stay Off Property In A Condo

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Disney Vacation Basics-Which Resort Is Best For My Family



Welcome to those of you joining me from I Am A Mommy Nerd and those of you just hopping aboard. I am the 3rd stop on our Magical Blogorail.



This week we are going to explore the different Disney World Resorts and which might be best for your family. Disney offers many different price ranges for guests traveling on a limited budget.


The Value Resorts start at just $100 per night and best of all they are adorably themed: All Star Sports, All Star Music, Pop and Art of Animation. If you have more than 4 people in your family and you are on a tight budget be sure to check out the family suites that are available at the All Star Music Resort and Art of Animation Resort. My personal favorite is the Finding Nemo family suites at the Art of Animation Resort.







Next we have the Moderate resorts which includes the following: Port Orleans Resort French Quarter, Port Orleans Resort Riverside, Coronado Springs, Caribbean Beach Resort and the Cabins at Fort Wilderness. These resorts are very affordable starting at just $220 per night. My personal favorite of the moderate resorts is the Caribbean Beach Resort. I love how it is themed like a fun beach resort and they have a really fun pool.



If you have a bigger budget then check out the Deluxe resorts which include the following: Animal Kingdom Lodge, Wilderness Lodge, Beach Club, Grand Floridian, Polynesian, Yacht Club and Contemporary Resort. These resorts are all amazing resorts which offer many amenities for guests, awesome restaurants and resort style pools. Prices start at $400 per night. Some guests rooms even have fireworks views! I hope to stay at the Beach Club one day. Many argue that it offers the best pool of the Disney Resorts-Stormalong Bay. I love the monorail resorts-Grand Floridian, Polynesian and Contemporary Resorts because they offer the easy access to the Magic Kingdom and they also offer some of my favorite restaurants such as O'hana1900 Park Fare and the Polynesian Laua.

The popular Volcano pool at the Polynesian Resort offers a waterslide, waterfall and beach entry

The rooms were recently updated at the Polynesian Resort



It is so nice that Disney offers so many amazing resorts for guests with all types of vacation budgets! 

Thank you for joining me today. Your next stop on the Magical Blogorail Loop is Disney Mamas.



Here is the map of our Magical Blogorail should you happen to have to make a stop along the way and want to reboard:

1st Stop ~ Capturing Magical Memories WDW Park Tickets
2nd Stop ~ I Am A Mommy Nerd - Disneyland Fastpasses
3rd Stop ~ Disney with Babies, Toddlers, and Preschoolers - Resorts
4th Stop ~ Disney Mamas Understanding FastPass +
Final Stop ~ Heidi's Head- Dining Plan Basics

Sunday, August 24, 2014

Disney Inspired Scent-iments Review

"Disney Inspired Scent-iments" Handmade Mickey Melts created in the USA by a fellow Disney lover, Tammy Carr. These are not your average wax tarts, these are a Disney lover's dream come true. Bring the magic home and use these awesome Disney inspired scents in your wax burner. There are so many wonderful scents available it is hard to choose just one. They are available in bags of 12 for $6.00 per bag. My favorite scents are the Dole Whip and the Pixie Dust.











Sold in bags of 12 ---$6.00


 Choose your Scent:
*Mickey Rice Krispie Treats
*Soarin-Orange Grove, Ocean Breeze, Pine Fields (4 of each scent or all in 1 scent of your choice)
*Dole Whip
*Pooh’s Hunny Pot
*Snow Whites Enchanted Apple
*Mainstreet--Popcorn, Funnel Cake and Cotton Candy (4 of each scent or all in 1 scent of your choice)
*Mickey’s Philarmagic
*Enchanted Rose
*Spaceship Earth- Burning Rome
*Figments Imagination -Skunk of Course!!!!-coffee
*The Grand Floridian-MONEY!!!
*The Grand Floridian at Christmas
*Pixie Dust
*Pizza Planet Pizza
*Mainstreet Bakery-cinnamon bun/chocolate chip
*Pirates of the Caribbean–buttered rum w/hints of burning wood or salty sea air
*Mickeys backyard camp out campfire
*Minnies campfire smores
*Candy Cauldron- caramel apple
*Tye dyed cheesecake
*Haunted Mansion
*Tonga toast
*Mickeys waffles
*Yacht Club
*Beauty and the Beast-"Grey Stuff"
*Frozen
*Jar of Dirt
*Ellies Grape Soda
*50 shades of Mickey
*Mrs. Potts Hot Cider
*Cinderella
*Lotso
*Jack Skellington
*Karamell Kuche
*Caramel Corn


Many new scents are in the works, stay tuned!




To place an order you can contact Tammy on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/tcarr5

Saturday, August 23, 2014

We're Going On Our First Disney Cruise! Help Me Decide Which FE Gift Is Best

Please join me on the journey of planning my 1st Disney Cruise! I need your help with making some tough choices on a few things for the upcoming cruise. We have been talking about going on a cruise for several years now and we finally booked one for May 2015. I am not sure what to do about the fish extender gifts. Please comment on this post with your suggestion of what I should make for the gift exchange.

I am going to order a similar fish extender from my favorite Etsy shop StitchesNBows




I am giving out these adorable Mickey shaped wooden ornaments from Laserbird Etsy shop to each cabin in my FE group. How cute are these?


Planning to paint these cute wooden Mickey's (black) and then personalize them (in red) with the name of the cruise ship and the date. They will arrive with holes pre cut so I can add some cute ribbon and they can serve as a Christmas ornament.

I am debating on the kids gift though. Either a super cute Pirate themed goody bag filled with gold coins and an eye patch or something more personalized but I just can't think of anything creative that is unisex. Any suggestions?!

Comment below with your suggestions please!



Monday, August 18, 2014

Memorable Character Interactions

My 7 year old finally got to meet the Fairy Godmother (we have tried for two years in a row to meet her, but she is only available behind the Castle at certain times and we missed her each time until this year!)

I was lucky enough to score a Fast Pass + for the Anna & Elsa meetngreet for myself and my oldest daughter :) 


Princess Aurora loved my daughter's dress :) 

My children absolutely loved Enchanted Tales with Belle---They loved meeting her

My youngest loves Cinderella and this was a really special moment for her :)

It is just so magical to watch little girls meet the princesses 

Minnie Mouse gave my little girl a huge hug and this made her day!

I love the Epcot character spot, head there first thing in the morning and the line will fly by

Ahhh Duffy Bear, the cutest Bear I've ever seen! My children loved meeting him for the first time this year

Saturday, August 16, 2014

The Easy Guide To Your First Walt Disney World Visit Review


I recently read The Easy Guide To Your First Walt Disney World Visit 2014 by Dave Shute and Josh Humphrey. Let me tell you, this is a GREAT book full of awesome information for anyone planning their first Disney visit. If you can only afford to purchase one book this is the one I would recommend you purchase. I really love how it is broken down into very easy to read chapters. The book has ten chapters with really well laid out topics that anyone planning their first Disney visit really needs to know:

Chapter 1: How to use this book
Chapter 2: Why Age and Height Matter
Chapter 3: How Long To Stay
Chapter 4: When To Go
Chapter 5: Where To Stay
Chapter 6: How To Spend Your Time
Chapter 7: Where To Eat
Chapter 8: Which Tickets To Buy and How Much To Budget *My personal favorite chapter*
Chapter 9: How To Set Everything Up and Get Everything Done
Chapter 10: Where To Go Next

I am all about the details. There is a really useful touring plan itinerary for people traveling with limited time, theme park maps and typical wait times. You can read a detailed description of each ride at each theme park complete with a 'ranking', height requirements, and whether or not Fastpass + is available.

Check out this Itinerary Planning Worksheet included in the book for you to plan out your daily meals and budget


There is a really nice detailed room description and floor plan photo of each type of room at the various Disney Resorts in chapter 5. I am such a planner and I love being able to visually see charts and room layouts. I am really impressed with the details that went into this book!




The Easy Guide To Your First Walt Disney World Visit 2014 is available for purchase online at Amazon.com for just under $15. This is a great price and I would highly recommend it to anyone planning a Disney World vacation.

Be sure to like Your First Visit on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/yourfirstvisit and follow on Twitter at https://twitter.com/yourfirstvisit

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Great Wolf Lodge Review

My family recently visited Great Wolf Lodge for the first time. We really enjoyed everything, the indoor water park is where we spent most of our time. We were just there for one night but you could easily stay for three or four nights and not run out of fun things to do! The Great Wolf Lodge offers family fun activities for all ages including mini golf, bowling, MagiQuest, a huge arcarde, Scoops kid friendly salon, nightly storytime and of course the popular family indoor water park.

There are huge wolves outside of the entrance 

Great Wolf Lodge is known for their amazing family indoor water park (which is included in the price of the hotel room)


the huge bucket dumps 1,000 gallons of water!

This is where my three year old spent most of her time-she loved the kiddie water slides

There were so many fun water slides 

My children loved the wave pool

We stayed in the Grizzly Bear Suite which included two bedrooms, two bathrooms, a kitchenette and a den. The master bedroom had a queen size bed and private jacuzzi in the bathroom. The second bedroom had two queen sized beds and there was a sleeper sofa in the den area. It was plenty of space for my family of 5 to spread out. We really loved the decor too.

The cozy fireplace was beautiful-I hope to return again in the winter

Microwave, mini fridge, coffee maker, sink and even a recycling bin

The sunny den complete with walk out balcony

I really loved the adorable themed bedrooms

Each night there were characters in the lobby for meetngreet's 

Meeting Violet on the way out of the pool

Don't miss the cute storytime each night at 8 pm and 9 pm--in the lobby--those tree's were talking!

My kids absolutely loved storytime and the cute show

 Overall I would say that we had an excellent weekend at the Great Wolf Lodge! We would definitely return again. We were able to check in early at 1:00 and start using the water park and we checked out of our room at 11 am the next day and continued to use the indoor water park until 5 pm. We brought snacks for the kids and purchased donut's and milk from the Dunkin Donuts in the lobby for breakfast. We ate lunch at the water park. My kids enjoyed the hot dogs and I loved the Greek salad. Everything was clean and the lifeguards were always alert and doing their jobs. I felt really safe and as a mom of three young children safety at a pool is my number one concern. They do provide complimentary life jackets but we brought our own. They also provide complimentary towels and they have lockers for rental. We wished there had been more than one changing area with showers because we had to wait in a long line to shower and change but that is really my only complaint :)


Friday, August 8, 2014

Why I Love Windsor Hills Resort

During my most recent visit to Disney World my family of 5 stayed at a beautiful condo at Windsor Hills Resort. The resort is located just minutes from Disney World and we absolutely loved the resort! We rented from Vacation Central Florida. They have many two and three bedroom condo's and townhomes. We stayed in a two bedroom two bath condo. Here is a map so you can see just how close Windsor Hills Resort is to the Disney area:


Just a ten minute drive to Disney

Windsor Hills Resort is a very safe family friendly gated community


Windsor Hills has many buildings that are each 4 stories, there are elevators and stairs


I love Windsor Hills Resort because they have an amazing pool, splash pad for young children and water slide

My daughter absolutely loved this water slide

After spending a day at the theme parks it was so nice to enjoy the beautiful resort pool in the evening



I love Windsor Hills Resort because it is SO kid friendly

I loved the adorable Disney themed condo detail's 

This is the room my children stayed in--they loved having a tv and playstation in their room

My children were fascinated by this adorable talking Mickey Mouse light that was in their bedroom


I loved the fully stocked kitchen--perfect for cooking a quick dinner and saving money

I loved the "hidden Mickeys" throughout the condo too!

To learn more information about the various rental condo's and townhomes available visit www.VacationCentralFlorida.com