DoubleTree

Hotel Review: DoubleTree Suites by Hilton Orlando

DoubleTree

The entrance to the DoubleTree Suites at Disney Springs

Over Thanksgiving, my family was invited to stay with our friends Sheila, Randy, and Jagan at the DoubleTree Suites by Hilton Orlando — Disney Springs Area hotel.  We had an incredible time, and I wanted to let you all know about the hotel and what my thoughts were for staying there.

From a location standpoint, the DoubleTree is considered “off-property” — but it appears that some on-property perks will be extended to off-property hotels, such as allowing FastPass+ selections at 60 days instead of 30 days. However, despite it’s off-property location, it is literally minutes from Disney Springs — and on a good day when I wasn’t dealing with a pinched nerve in my leg, we would have walked there for our dinner reservation.

Our room was on the 7th floor, room number 703, and featured two queen beds, a queen bed pullout sofabed, a kitchenette, and a single bathroom off of the main bedroom.  For the six of us, we had plenty of space, although I think having a split bathroom would be a better way to herd the six of us through the process of getting ready for the parks each day. Here’s a few pictures of the room.

DoubleTree

The sofabed opened up for the kids to sleep in.

DoubleTree

This picture is of the sink in the bathroom.

DoubleTree

The kitchenette features a sink, microwave, and mini-refrigerator.

DoubleTree

Two queen beds occupy the bedroom.

Not pictured is a space with a table for applying makeup or working on your computer. The beds were incredibly comfortable, and we all slept very well each night.  I’ve been told that this room actually could accommodate up to eight people and that two rollaway beds would be used in a case like that. Personally, I think eight in the room would be a bit much, but that’s just me.

For amenities, Hilton Honors customers can connect to the wireless for free, and for those visiting the parks, they have shuttles that run every 30 minutes to the different parks. We drove to the parks each day because our friends had parking privileges with their annual passes, but keep that in mind if you wish to drive to the parks because it will cost you $20 a day to park otherwise.

Overall, I thoroughly enjoyed our stay at the DoubleTree Suites by Hilton, and will not be averse to staying there again in the future. My first preference is to stay on property, but if something prevents you from doing so, give this hotel a try. You will not be disappointed!

Nine Weeks

Nine Weeks Until Disney – Nine Things to Experience

Nine Weeks

Image ©WDW Shutterbug

Hello everyone!  Today marks nine weeks until my family experiences Walt Disney World again!  Starting with today’s post, we’re going to feature each week a post counting down the number of weeks until our trip, and highlighting a number of things we want to experience when we are there.  So, since today we are nine weeks until our arrival, we are going to feature nine things we want to experience.

Nine Weeks Until Disney: Nine Things to Experience

Main Street, U.S.A.

Nine Weeks

Image ©WDW Shutterbug

One of the things I’m most excited about is all of the Christmas decorations, especially those to be found on Main Street, U.S.A. For me, all I’ve got is pictures taken by a friend of mine some years back, no real first hand experience, so I’m very excited to get in the thick of it all and witness these things up close.

The Resorts Decorated

Nine Weeks

Image ©WDW Shutterbug

All I’ve read has told me that the resorts have their own unique way of decorating for Christmas, and that each of them is special and should be seen if possible.  What’s exciting for me is that we’re going to spend some time at Wilderness Lodge, Grand Floridian, and Polynesian during our trip, and we’ll be able to see for ourselves all of these incredible scenes.

New Restaurants

During our trip, we are going to be eating at several restaurants that we’ve never eaten at before!  We’re going to enjoying Whispering Canyon Cafe, The Boathouse, and Kona Cafe as part of our dining, and I can’t wait to try them all out.  Can I have ketchup please?

Old Attractions setup for Christmas

Nine Weeks

Image ©WDW Shutterbug

“Jingle Cruise” transforms itself for Christmas, and other attractions, such as Carousel of Progress, feature Christmas decorations in different scenes as part of the show. I think those will have more meaning for me when seeing them at Christmas, and I can’t wait to experience that!

Photographing Decorations

One thing that I absolutely want to do is to take stunning photos of the decorations throughout the Walt Disney World resort.  I like to take photos, and I think I will like it even more when I’m able to capture these incredible decorations all over.

Animal Kingdom Changes

This will be the first time I’ve been to Walt Disney World since the world of Avatar opened up.  I can’t wait to see it for myself, and I’m looking forward to trying the attractions out as well!

Candlelight Processional

Nine Weeks

Image ©Denny

The Candlelight Processional is the story of Christmas told in the American Adventure Pavilion in the World Showcase of Epcot.  Narrated by a well known celebrity, the Candlelight Processional is at the top of my list to see and experience. When we are there the narrator has not been announced yet, but I look forward to hearing it — whomever it may be!

Celebrating Birthdays!

It’s Jagan’s birthday, and we’re celebrating with her! That, plus seeing her parents, is going to be a lot of fun and something I’ve been looking forward to for a long time.  I can’t wait!

Getting a well-deserved vacation!

That kind of speaks for itself, doesn’t it?

Thank you for joining me today on our look at nine things we want to experience.  Next week we will continue this theme by looking at eight more things we want to see and do, and before you know it, we’ll be counted down to our trip!

free dining

Did Nostradamus Predict Disney Free Dining?

free dining

Chef Mickey’s Contemporary Resort. ©Disney

Did Nostradamus predict Disney Free Dining?

The rumors about free dining from Disney have been swirling for quite some time, so I thought I would take a little bit of a humorous take on the potential discount promotion.  So, I ask you the question: Did Nostradamus predict free dining?

Well, while there are rumors all over the tabloids talking about some of the things that Nostradamus has predicted, I have yet to see an actual prediction of his that pertains to Disney’s free dining promotion.  As always, if you see something different, please share it with us on our Facebook page.

However, beyond that, there are some things that make this a little interesting.  First up, here are some pictures of some of the restaurants you can enjoy on the Disney Dining Plan.

In addition to great restaurants to enjoy (there are nearly 100 different table service restaurants on the plan), the Disney Dining Plan comprises the following components:

  • 1 Table Service credit per person, per night of their stay at an on-site Walt Disney World resort hotel.
  • 1 Counter Service credit per person, per night of their stay.
  • 2 Snack credits per person, per night of their stay.
  • In addition, each person will receive a resort refillable mug that they can keep as a souvenir after they leave for home.

There are other plans for quick service and deluxe dining, but the one listed above is the most common.

If Disney free dining is released, one thing to keep in mind is that there will be limitations.  Certain resorts in the past have been excluded from the promotion, and the promotion is for certain time periods, among other constraints.  I’ll not go into the details of the rumors, chances are the rumors are not entirely correct.

However, if you are already booked through me for a vacation package at Walt Disney World, and a promotion is released, I will work on your reservations first.  So, if you are not one of my clients, start the process of becoming one of my clients by submitting a quote request today!

Finally, if you would like to discuss a Walt Disney World vacation for you and your family, please reach out to me!  I am a travel agent specializing in Disney destinations with Pixie Vacations, and I would love to help you plan your trip or get you some pricing information.  My services are completely free for you, so why not see all that I can help you with your Disney planning?

So, while the chances are high that Nostradamus did not predict free dining, I predict that if you become a client of mine, you will get top notch service from me!  You can count on that!

Eight Weeks

45 Years of Magic Kingdom = $45 Disney Gift Cards!

45 Years

45 Years of the Magic Kingdom is turning into a unique opportunity for you!  This month only, October 1-31, 2016, I’ve got a special offer just for you!

Normally when I book a vacation package for one of my awesome clients, if they are traveling with their kids, I’ll include a small Disney Gift Card to help them celebrate, as my way of thanking them for choosing me to help them with their trip!  But for the month of October, in celebration and honor of the 45th Birthday of the Magic Kingdom, I am offering a $45 Disney Gift Card for any of my clients that books a trip with me and pays their deposit during the month of October.  A few stipulations:

  1. This offer is for new bookings only, existing bookings are not eligible.
  2. This offer is for Walt Disney World vacation packages.  A package consists of lodging at the Walt Disney World Resort and tickets.  The Disney Dining Plan is optional.
  3. The amount of the new package must be $3,000 or greater. Your gift card will be included in your travel documents that you will receive from Pixie Vacations prior to your check-in.
  4. The travel must be for 2016 or 2017 Walt Disney World trips.

If you are interested in getting a quote for your next Walt Disney World vacation, reach out to me!  There are many ways to do so:

  1. You can submit a vacation quote request online.
  2. You can email me at Mike@PixieVacations.com.
  3. You can call or text me at 919-606-6725.
  4. You can send me a message on my Facebook Page.
  5. You can send me a tweet on Twitter.

My family was fortunate enough to be able to celebrate the 40th anniversary of the Magic Kingdom, and while we aren’t able to be there for the 45th birthday, we want you to be able to celebrate for us! That’s why we are offering up our 45 Years of the Magic Kingdom special offer! This won’t last long, though, so make your plans now to take advantage of this offer!  Once November is here, this offer is gone!

Disney Vacation Offer!

©Disney. All Rights Reserved.

©Disney. All Rights Reserved.

Many of you know that I am a travel agent with Pixie Vacations.  If you do not know, then you do know now!  Today Disney has released a special promotion that you and your family may be interested in.  Take a look at the details below, and call me at 919-606-6725 or email me at Mike@PixieVacations.com if you are interested in this offer:

Starting today, December 28, 2015, you can save up to 25%* on rooms at select Walt Disney World® Resort hotels for stays most nights April 14-June 11, 2016 when they book by March 31, 2016. Ask about other great rates for stays most nights Feb. 22-April 13, 2016.

Plus, you can receive 1 more ticket day FREE when they upgrade to a room and ticket package with a minimum 4-day Magic Your Way® Ticket.

It’s a perfect time for your Clients to discover all-new Star Wars™ adventures at Disney’s Hollywood Studios, the Garden Rocks™ Concert Series at Epcot® International Flower & Garden Festival, the new nighttime experiences at Disney’s Animal Kingdom® Theme Park and so much more.

*The number of rooms allocated for this offer is limited. Length-of-stay requirements may apply. Savings based on the non-discounted price for the same room. Additional per-adult charges may apply if more than two adults per room at Disney Value, Moderate and Deluxe Resorts. Cannot be combined with any other discount or promotion. Advance reservations required. Offer excludes campsites, 3-bedroom villas, Bungalows at Disney’s Polynesian Villas & Bungalows and Disney’s Art of AnimationResort—The Little Mermaid Standard Rooms. 25% savings for select Disney Deluxe and Deluxe Villa Resorts; lower savings may be available for other Resorts. Everyone in the same room must be on the same package.

Also, there are special savings for Disney Visa Cardholders that wish to stay at a Deluxe Villa resort.  Check out these details:

When Disney Visa® Cardmembers book their spring vacation, they can save 35% on room accommodations at select Disney Deluxe Villa Resorts. Plus, when they purchase a Magic Your Way® room and ticket package with minimum 4-day Theme Park tickets, they can get one more ticket day FREE!*

Guests can choose from Disney’s Saratoga Springs Resort & Spa, Disney’s Old Key West Resort, Disney’s BoardWalk Villas, The Villas at Disney’s Wilderness Lodge and Disney’s Polynesian Villas & Bungalows. They’ll also enjoy exclusive savings just for Disney Visa Cardmembers.

This offer must be booked by Feb. 28, 2016 for travel April 3-June 30, 2016. Subject to availability.

Number of rooms allocated for these offers is limited. Length of stay requirements may apply. Savings based on the non-discounted price for the same room.

Remember, I can help make your Disney vacation a reality!  Shoot me an email, give me a call at 919-606-6725, or even leave me a comment and I’ll reach out to you.  Where will your Disney Dreams take you next?