Well as you know by now, I like to review things, so here are my reviews from my time in Disney World.
Saratoga Springs Resort
OMG! I LOVED Saratoga Springs. From the minute our Disney Magical Express Bus pulled up to the front gates, to the minute we left for the airport, I could not have had any better of a stay here.
The grounds were beautiful, and I loved the color scheme. The hotel is based off of the real Saratoga Springs Resort in New York, that was popular during the 20’s. The pastel colors, architecture and little horse derby details around the hotel was a joy to look at. Along with being lovely, it was also HUGE grounds. The map they gave us at check in was a bit daunting but it was still really easy to get around. In terms of location, we were literally walking distance to Downton Disney, or in our case, a boat ride away. And only a short bus ride away to the Disney Parks.
Our two bedroom villa was located in the Congress Park section of the resort. Our room was right next to the pool area (as seen from our balcony above) with lovely views of Downtown Disney. The room itself? Gorgeous! It was well designed, a great layout for five people to stay in. I never felt like we were ontop of each other, and there was always a space to chill. The room had an entrance way, kitchen, small dining area, living room, balcony, then off on one side was the master bedroom and bath area, and then on the other side of the entrance area was the other bedroom with two beds, huge closet , vanity area and bathroom. We also had insuite laundry, access to dvds and board game rentals.
I have to make a note about how wonderful houekeeping was! They did our dishes on a daily bases, and kept the room clean to a t. Maybe that is a normal down there, but I have never stayed at an ensuite kitchen hotel room where they did the dishes for you. So I just want to say how incredible I thought that was.
The pool are was so enjoyable. It was really quiet the whole time we were there, and the pools were heated and an awesome hot tub area. We used it almost every night or morning.
The staff were all wonderful from check in to concierge to bell services. No complaints at all in regards to the hotel.
I lloved the fact that we got to stay in what felt like our own little apartment. Not only did we get the fun of cooking together, but we also got to have a movie night, play cards or board games, or chill at he pool, and just spend time chilling and taking a break from the business of the parks.
When we decided to stay in a hotel room that would offer us two bedrooms and a kitchen, we knew we would take full advantage of being able to cook. So the next step was figuring out how to get groceries for said cooking. This led us to discovering Garden Grocer . After reading a few reviews and checking out the prices, it was basically a done deal. Having the groceries delivered to our room the day of our arrival and not having to worry about it, sounded awesome.
The order process was really neat but also somewhat tedious. Online shopping for food is a whole new experience, and it was hard to jduge proper quanities etc. What I did was plan out our meals for the week, then made a detailed grocery list, then spent probably a good hour ordering all the items. Then had everyone looked over the list, we made some adjustments and finally I placed our order, about 15 days before we left, so that we could get a 5% discount. As well, because we had a $200+ order, we were only charged $2.00 for delivery. In total, groceries for a week of breakfasts, lunches and dinners came to just over $250.00. SO CHEAP.
After that, we just got our confirmation and waited until day of arrival. The groceries were delivered within our requested time frame, and the bell man at Saratoga helped bring them to our room. Everything was perfectly accounted for, including our 10lbs of bannannas. (One of the issues of quanitity grasping – it seemed like a way better deal to me, but I had no idea what 10lbs of bannasas would look like. Good news though, we ate them all!)
So overall, the process was great and super smooth. I ran into no issues, and I would recommend Garden Grocers to anyone and use them over and over again.
Not a huge review here but a good one. We used Mears to get from our hotel ro Universal Studios. We rented a private SUV for a fairly good pirce. I liked the idea of this because we could pick our own time and it went straight from hotel to the park. The drivers were very nice on both trips, I even got my own sign!
I really appreciated the friendliess of their customer service, as we changed our picked up time on the return trip twice, and the last one was changed about an hour before our set time. The changed it without at an issue or any hassle. Would definately use them again!
Be Our Guest Restaurant
When I knew we were heading back to Disney World, I had a big request that we eat at Be Our Guest, because well who does not want to eat in the Beast’s castle? Unfortunately, we could not get reservations for dinner, (even though Janna tried the earliest we were allowed – book early people!) BUT we did manage to get fast passes for their lunch time, so that worked for me!
The new fast pass system has just blown up down there (read below for my review on that) and that now includes lunch reservations. So Janna booked our fast passes, we were given our half hour time frame to arrive at the restaurant, check in and enjoy our lunch. I am sure glad we had those fast passes because the line was insane to get in, without them, I would have said another time.
Anyway, once we checked in, we were given menus while waiting in line to get into the place. Then as it turns out, you basically go to a kiosk and order your meal from the kiosk. Once that is done, you just find a place to sit in any of their three dining rooms, (we choose the ball room obvs :P). Somehow, the wait staff magically know where you are and they bring you your order on these cute little carts.
It was such an interesting concept, and I think it works really well. And the food? DELICIOUS. I had the most amazing french onion soup, grilled cheese and ham sandwhich and cupcake with the “greay stuff”. All for under <$25, which for Disney is pretty good.
I loved the decor, the details, the order process, the food and how quick it was. Now to be able to go there for dinner!
Fastpass+ & My Magic Band
When I first heard of the new fast pass system at Disney World, I had very strong opinions about it. Most of them not so positive, but I said that I would wait until I actually used it to make my final judgements. As well, I said awhile back that I thought it would be fun to write a guest post on Janna’s lovely site, Nerdy Disney Traveller, because she gets such amusement from my very animated thoughts on this new system. So without further ado that review can be found here Fastpass Review and while you are there, check out her great blog for lots of Disney stories and tips, awesome recipes, and adventures from Europe.
– xoxo Veronica