Last week, I was in Orlando (and the Bahamas!) with my gorgeous niece, Amy, trying out the fabulous Disney stay and cruise package. We’ve recorded a fantastic video for you which is coming soon, but until then, here’s our week in pictures, and lots of reasons why we thought Disney stay and cruise was the perfect holiday!
After an easy Virgin Atlantic flight (I love flying Virgin), we landed in Orlando and were whisked away to our hotel by Disney’s Magical Express (the buses designed to look like cruise liners are my favourites):
One of the things I’m often asked is whether it’s worth staying in one of the resort hotels at Walt Disney World Orlando, and my answer is always a resounding YES: extras like the Magical Express, buses that take you between parks and to and from your resort, Extra Magic Hours (early and late access to the parks, especially for Disney resort hotel guests), and amazing offers like Free Dine, mean that you get great value for money. PLUS you often bump into familiar faces at the breakfast buffet:
Our hotel, Disney’s Beach Club Resort at Walt Disney World Resort is one of two elegant, New England-style hotels (its sister hotel, Disney’s Yacht Club Resort is right next door), and both are walking distance to Epcot – there’s also a fab boat that you can take to Disney’s Hollywood Studios. We were welcomed with some amazing pressies too:
Amy hasn’t visited Walt Disney World since she was little and didn’t really remember very much, so it was lovely to have the chance to really pick and choose and show her all my favourite rides and features at the parks. We only had 24 hours, so we bagged ourselves some Fast Passes, hopped on a bus and headed for the Magic Kingdom. Stand by to find out just how much you can pack in to a day at Walt Disney World!!
After whizzing around all my favourites: Pirates of the Caribbean, Big Thunder Mountain, Space Mountain (twice!), The Seven Dwarfs Mine Train, ‘it’s a small world’, and the gorgeous Under the Sea – Journey of the Little Mermaid, plus a quick breather to watch the quite incredible Festival of Fantasy parade (Anna and Elsa WAVED TO US!!)…
… we hopped on the free Disney transportation and headed off to Disney’s Hollywood Studios, because I wasn’t letting Amy come to Orlando without whooshing around and screaming herself hoarse on the Rock’n’Roller Coaster and the Tower of Terror, and having a full-on battle at Toy Story Midway Mania (which has the most gorgeous styling – like you’re a toy in Andy’s room). We also wanted to have a pizza at Pizza Planet but sadly it was shut (boo).
After returning to the hotel and taking a restorative early evening nap, we headed out to discover the brand new Disney Springs, something I’ve been dying to do since its change from Downtown Disney. It really is the most amazing place: full of restaurants, bars, shops, live music and loads of other things to do like bowling and movies. We were really excited to visit The Boathouse, a gorgeous waterside restaurant serving proper American steakhouse food, with some pretty spectacular seafood, jaw-dropping desserts and an awesome wine list:
The Boathouse also boasts a collection of vintage American amphicars – these beautifully restored car/boat hybrids drive straight down the slipway into the water, where our lovely captain took us for a moonlit cruise around Lake Buena Vista – absolutely breathtaking and not to be missed!
So that was Walt Disney World Resort Florida, and we had an absolute whale of a time. More so, I think, than if we were just staying in Orlando, because we knew that we had a gorgeous, relaxing few days on the Disney Dream ahead of us, so we absolutely made the most of our time. I think we maybe even did a few more things than we would normally do (like jumping on a bus and trying to do two theme parks in one day!), knowing that we were going to be chilling out in the beautiful Bahamas very shortly. It’s the perfect mix of holidays: fun excitement and a few screams at the parks, then a delicious, relaxing cruise to follow. We loved it.
Next up: the Disney Dream and the beautiful, blue Bahamas!
Ten nights at Disney’s All-Star Movies Resort including return flights and 4-night Bahamas Cruise on the Disney Dream – From £1546pp
10 nights in Orlando with Walt Disney Travel Company, including return economy flights with British Airways departing London Gatwick direct to Orlando, accommodation at Disney’s All-Star Movies Resort, Disney’s 14-Day Ultimate Ticket for the price of a 7-Day Ticket and a 4-night cruise on Disney Dream costs from £1546 per person. Price is per person based on two adults and two children travelling on 9 September 2016 and sharing a standard room at Disney’s All-Star Movies and an inside cabin on a full-board basis on board Disney Dream. Includes transfer to and from Orlando International Airport as well as all applicable taxes and fuel surcharges which are subject to change. Walt Disney Travel Company is a member of ABTA and is ATOL protected. Prices are correct at the time of print. Prices shown are guide prices and may change at any time, price will be confirmed at time of booking. Please visit our website for current pricing, full terms and conditions and to book www.disneyholidays.co.uk or call 0800 16 90 730.
Also, be sure not to miss out on the amazing 14-day Ticket For the Price of 7 Offer which is available to book separately between 16th December 2015 – 30th June 2016, or combined with other offers available. For this time the 14 day ticket (Disney’s 14-day Ultimate Ticket) is available for the price of a 7 day ticket (Disney’s 7-Day Ultimate Ticket) for arrivals 1st Jan 2016 – 31 Dec 2016.