Showing posts with label Wdw family Saratoga Springs. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Wdw family Saratoga Springs. Show all posts

Monday, April 18, 2011

Hotel Review: All Star Music


Our last family trip to Walt Disney World combined two vacations in one. For this trip we had DisneyDad & Mom, Amy & Tink and Ridge. (Amy’s husband had to work and missed this trip.) We had started to go on a trip to the EPCOT International Food and Wine Festival and then decided to come back in 2 weeks to see one of the last Space Shuttle launches. Vacation dates were rescheduled to a 10 day 2 part trip. The first part of the trip we were at Disney’s Saratoga Springs in a 2 bedroom villa staying on Disney Vacation Club points. For the second part of the trip we moved to one of the Family Suites at Disney’s All Star Music Resort paying cash. There is a world of difference staying on Vacation Club property and one of the Value Resorts. With more people vacationing with either large families or multi-generation vacations the Family Suites are a good lower cost option.


Family Suites at the All Star Music Resort have taken 2 of the standard rooms and remodeled them into a living room, a separate private bedroom, a small kitchenette, and kept the 2 baths. The living room had a full size sleeper sofa, an oversized chair that made into a twin bed with an oversized ottoman that became a second twin bed. There was also a TV stand with drawers and storage space as well as a small round table with 2 chairs. The private bed room had a queen bed, a side chair, a desk & chair and a TV stand with drawers and storage. The sleeper sofa seemed to be adequate for Amy & Tink. Ridge said the twin beds were obviously for kids and not too comfortable for adults. The queen bed was comfortable after a long day in the parks and I had no problem falling asleep each night. On this trip we also had rented a scooter for Mom. It took up a lot of space in the living room each night as it had to be plugged in to recharge.


The kitchenette had an under counter refrigerator, a microwave, cabinets and a small sink. It was a nice place to store some snacks, and would have been OK for making breakfast in the room. Breakfast for us each morning was from the Intermission Food Court. They had some good breakfast selections and Tink loved the Mickey Waffles each morning.


One thing we really missed from the Vacation Club was having a washer and dryer in our room. We have gotten use to packing clean clothes for our return trip home and with a washer you don’t have to pack as many clothes. So on this trip Mom and I went to the coin-operated self-service laundry near the pool. It took a few dollars to wash and dry our clothes, but the most interesting part was the” people watching” in the laundry. We met some interesting people while we were waiting on our clothes to finish.


The resort has two pools. A smaller piano shaped pool and the larger guitar shaped pool that our room was near. Mom and I sat outside the laundry and watch people in and around the pool while waiting. Beside the pool the resort also played Disney movies on a large inflatable screen that always seemed to draw a large group.


All in all the All Star Music Resort provided a nice place to stay for our group of 4 adults and one toddler. Current pricing on http://www.disneyworld.com/ list standard rooms starting at $82 and Family Suites at $194.





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Friday, February 18, 2011

A Walk Around The World With Ridge--t minus 15 days 23 hours till take off

So as you can tell its not long till I take my trip to our happy place. I have equal amounts of plan and no plan that I think I should be able to have a direction to go in yet not have any clear destination. I take that little bit of information from my trusty Unofficial guide *ding*. For this trip will be a little different than all the others that I have taken in the fact it is my first solo trip. With this being solo I have been concerned with what will I do. Normally I have someone to pal around with. On the other side of that coin I have no one to ask what do you want to do? I get to do as I please. The amount of freedom this comes with is a tad overwhelming. But do I go without a plan? I say no. But Chris, you have been so many times do you need a plan...oh yes, Moderate plans are in order.

I am only heading down for four days (really only 3 full days of park or any other activity time) staying at Disney's Saratoga Springs Resort. Photography and a mini vacation are my main goals. In preparation for the trip I have been compiling information from the usual places, www.allears.net, www.touringplans.com, Disney parks blog, www.disneydrivenlife.com, www.studioscentral.com...ok the list goes on and on. There are the endless podcasts too. Wow all that information and I still have things to research. Part of my plan is to take the Keys to the Kingdom Tour. I am super excited about this since the last tour I took was back in the day when Discovery Island was still a thing. I remember getting to walk into the utilidoors and coming out from a stairwell on the backside of the castle. then getting to go up in the castle to where Tinker Bell gets ready to take flight. Then a short boat ride over to Discovery Island where I saw Galapagos turtles and lots of birds. The Keys to the Kingdom tour promises to be an adventure lasting 4.5-5 hours and covering some (hopefully) unique Disney information. At 74.00 plus tax not at all a bad deal. With a DVC member discount of 15% it was only 66.99. I hope to have nothing but good things to say afterwards.

My other plans include only one ADR for this trip, Via Napoli. I am planning on just eating where ever I happen to be the rest of the time. I may even see if walk ups are welcome at Le Cellier. I don't hold high hopes but it would be awesome if there were, since it would be just a whim that I would stop by. I do want to find at least one of these new gourmet burgers I have read about. I haven't had a Casey's hotdog in years and a walk up for Tonga Toast my be in the cards. And let us never forget the mighty Dole Whip combined with people watching to make the time slip away.

So with 15 days to go, I have my touring plans crowd calendar, my lines app ready, the historical weather from NOAA.gov handy, an open excel sheet and plans to make but only just enough to keep me out of any trouble. With this one all but in the bag, I am slowly turning my attention to May and Star Wars weekends. I want to do this one off the DVC dime so my parents and I can still have time left for the International Food & Wine Festival that goes on right after my birthday. Things I am taking away from this planning session are, a little planning will go along way. Announcing when I will be at MK or any of the parks will be key to seeing some Disney friends... And to make sure and take a minute and just relax. I mean you're away from the office. Unwind.
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Sunday, October 24, 2010

We're All Here!

After waiting in the airport terminal for about 40 minutes here they came, Amy and Tink. I being their personal valet and DisneyDad the chauffeur. We are all ready to get our weeks adventure started sharing fun and good memories. Back to Saratoga Springs!


- Posted by Ridge using BlogPress from my iPhone
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