Tag Archives: pool

Royal Pacific Paradise

Staying onsite at Universal Orlando Resort has many benefits and staying at one of the 3 deluxe resorts  includes the best benefit of all, included Unlimited Express Pass.

HOTEL GUESTS ENJOY EXCLUSIVE THEME PARK BENEFITS
  • SKIP THE REGULAR LINES with Universal Express SM Unlimited ride access* in both theme parks – a FREE benefit worth up to $89 per person, per day^
    (valid theme park admission required)
  • Early Park Admission to The Wizarding World of Harry Potter™, one hour before the theme park opens (valid theme park admission required)

Loews Royal Pacific offers the lowest cost option of the deluxe resorts and is an absolutely gorgeous resort. Easy walking distance to both parks and boat service as well.

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Dine on exceptional cuisine; delight in the impeccable service; and soak in the breathtaking splendor of lush tropical surroundings at a white sandy beach of the lagoon-style swimming pool; all while enjoying the latest in modern conveniences.

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Royal Pacific offers several room categories, from standard, water view, suites and their fun kid’s suites…Jurassic Park themed!

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Guest Room Amenities

  • 1,000 guest rooms including 51 suites; rooms start at 335 sq. ft
  • Flat panel television with HD channels and On Demand® in-room movies (fees apply)
  • iHome clock radio and docking station
  • Keurig coffee maker featuring Emeril’s Gourmet Coffee and assorted teas
  • Refrigerator
  • Cotton signature bathrobes
  • Nightly turndown service (upon request)
  • Iron, ironing board, hairdryer and in-room safe
  • Complimentary* wireless internet access in each guest room and most common areas of the hotel
  • Upgrade to Premium Plus^ wireless internet access for optimal entertainment and business needs
  • 2 telephones (1 cordless) with dual voice lines, data port and voicemail
  • Club Level rooms feature complimentary continental breakfast, access to the fitness center, and more

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Hotel Amenities

Whether it’s relaxing in the serene lagoon-style pool, the sights and sounds of our weekly luau, or a workout in the fitness center, Loews Royal Pacific Resort has something for everyone.

Pools

One of the most impressive features of this resort is the lagoon-style swimming pool and sandy beach. Sink your toes into the sand and ease your body into your lounge chair. Lagoon style swimming pool featuring a white sand beach and the following:

  • Two (2) hot tubs
  • Beach volleyball court
  • Private cabanas for rent

Mandara Spa® & Fitness Center

Visit the full service Mandara Spa® next door at Loews Portofino Bay Hotel. Mandara Spa® offers comprehensive wellness services, a de-stressing zone where you can work out, or tune out with a delicious spa treatment.

Supervised Kids Camp

When Mom and Dad want to enjoy a night on the town, drop the kids off at the supervised children’s activity center.

Kids will enjoy an arts & crafts table, storybook corner, computer desks, a movie room, and more. Counselors are trained to supervise toilet-trained children ages 4-14 only. One counselor for every 8-10 children.

COST: $15 per hour, per child / $15 per meal

HOURS: Open from 5:00 pm to 11:30 pm, Sunday through Thursday and from 5:00 pm to midnight on Fridays and Saturdays. * Times are subject to change.

Restaurants

Emeril’s Tchoup Chop

In both atmosphere and menu, Emeril’s Tchoup Chop offers diners a unique and exotic journey through the Pacific Seas, a perfect complement for the Loews Royal Pacific Resort, complete with bamboo, waterfalls, sculpted gardens and giant woks in full view.

Islands Dining Room

Enjoy savory chef-inspired creations featuring noodle bar dishes, rice bowls, wok and hibachi specialties. At breakfast, join us for traditional favorites, along with several Polynesian-influenced morning specialties.

Jake’s American Bar

Jake’s American Bar is the perfect place to meet for drinks and lively conversation after your day’s adventures.

Wantilan Luau

Sit back and experience an evening of authentic Polynesian food and entertainment at the enchanting Wantilan Luau, a weekly Hawaiian dinner show featuring an all-you-can-eat buffet of Polynesian specialties, live Hawaiian music and traditional hula dancing. Hula and fire dancers delight the audience and entice a few to even learn the hula! (Fees apply; reservations required)

Orchid Court Lounge & Sushi Bar

Enjoy a continental breakfast or a tropical cocktail at the Orchid Court Lounge, which overlooks a serene orchid garden. The Orchid Court Sushi Bar features modern, inventive sushi and sashimi presentations along with Asian-inspired desserts and South Seas martinis.

Bula Bar & Grille

Bula means “welcome” in Fijian, and you’ll definitely feel right at home at this poolside eatery serving up food and beverages with a tropical flair.

THE LONGER YOU STAY THE MORE YOU SAVE!

Stay more nights and save up to 35%!

Contact me to get starting planning your EPIC vacation at Universal Orlando!

Wilderness Lodge Pool

Disney’s Wilderness Lodge recently refurbished their main pool. The pool and slide didn’t change, but they did revamp the children’s pool area. and added a fence around the entire area. The children’s pool was removed completely and a new Splash Pad put in.

Magical Travels with Barb

Magical Travels with Barb

Magical Travels with Barb
Lifeguards always vigilant at Disney pools.

These Splash Pads are a big hit with the kids and lots of fun. Although there is a 48 inch height limit, there were kids playing on it that were over that height. Sprayers, buckets of water dumping out, slides…it’s lots of fun!

Magical Travels with Barb

Magical Travels with Barb

Magical Travels with Barb

There is also a hot tub between the Splash Pad and main pool as well as the Trout Pass Bar.

Magical Travels with Barb

There is a second pool, the quiet pool over by the villas with an additional hot tub, but this pool will be torn out and a completely new pool area will be replacing it with the addition of the DVC cabins. It’s scheduled to close in just a month’s time.

Wilderness Lodge Villas Review

We recently returned from another fabulous family Disney vacation, this time making our home base a 1 bedroom villa at the Wilderness Lodge.

Magical Travels with Barb
Main lobby at Wilderness Lodge

The villas are housed in a separate building right beside the lodge and accessed by a covered walkway where western music guides you to the villas own majestic, if on a somewhat smaller scale, lobby. Check-in occurs in the main lodge, there is no check-in desk in the villas lobby.

Magical Travels with Barb

Magical Travels with Barb
Villas Lobby

Magical Travels with Barb

The villas have  been refurbished since we last stayed in one and are lighter and more airy than before. The dark kitchen cabinets are now white, carpet is now wood flooring and overall the villas are brighter.

Magical Travels with Barb

Magical Travels with Barb

Magical Travels with Barb

Magical Travels with Barb

Magical Travels with Barb

Magical Travels with Barb
Master bedroom with window pocket door into the bathroom

Magical Travels with Barb

Magical Travels with Barb

The 1 and 2 bedroom villas offer a full kitchen and stackable washer/dryer making life very convenient indeed for keeping up with laundry and having breakfast and even lunch if you wanted to in your villas.   A pull out queen sofa makes up the main room along with the kitchen and entry way. Then a split bathroom with jetted tub and separate shower and a king size bed in the bedroom make up the rest. The 1 bedroom villa features two balconies. We were on the 5th floor, the top floor so our villas had vaulted ceilings and our balcony had a solid wall.

When booking the resort directly with Disney, just as you would a regular room, mousekeeping is daily. When booking on DVC points, it’s every 4th day. Detergent was provided daily for the dishwasher and laundry.

Magical Travels with Barb
view from our balcony on 5th floor. Facing main lodge and we could see just a hint of the quiet pool through the trees. Straight ahead we could see the very high fireworks from Magic Kingdom’s Wishes.

We took advantage of grocery delivery options to have staples delivered for breakfast and of course, beverages. The Mercantile in the Lodge does have a nice selection of food items and essentials, but you’ll save money by ordering in advance. We use Garden Grocer and have had great success with them.

Magical Travels with Barb
First aid and essentials

Magical Travels with Barb

Magical Travels with Barb

Other than the health club, which is located in the Villas lobby, all other resort amenities, restaurants, etc… are located in the Lodge.  Signature restaurant Artist’s Point, the fun and playful Whispering Canyon and the counter service Roaring Forks. The quiet pool is just steps outside and a short walk around to the main pool, pool  bar, beach, marina with boat rentals and the boat dock for the ferry to the Magic Kingdom or Fort Wilderness and the Contemporary. The Wilderness Lodge is a fairly compact resort in comparison to some of the sprawling resorts Disney offers, so nothing is really too far away.

Port Orleans French Quarter

Disney’s Port Orleans Resorts are two of the most popular moderate resorts.

Disney’s Port Orleans French Quarter is the smaller of the two sister resorts and designed in a New Orleans Bourbon Street style.

Laissez les Bon Temps Roulez!

Rooms

There are 1008 rooms at French Quarter. Options include Standard (parking lot view, although lots of trees mitigate this), Garden View, Pool View and River View. Rooms offer 2 queen beds or a limited King bed option.

One of my favorite sites for information on the Port Orleans Resorts, it’s all-encompassing!

Dining

French Quarter has a large Quick Service food court, Sassagoula Floatworks and Food Factory offering breakfast, lunch and dinner options as well as the immensely popular beignets! Poolside snack bar and pizza delivery service also available.

Recreation

Scat Cat’s Lounge offers entertainment 4 nights a week. Swimming in Doubloon Lagoon with the Sea Serpent slide and poolside activities are always fun. Movies under the Stars nightly, Cajun Campfire, playground,  and an Arcade.

Many more special activities like Horse-drawn carriage rides, fishing, surrey bike rentals, Pirate Adventure cruise for kids is available next door at Riverside. There is a walking path between the 2 resorts and boat transportation as well. Pool hopping is allowed between the two sister resorts as well.

Transportation

Port Orleans French Quarter and Riverside share bus transportation to all parks. French Quarter is picked up and dropped off first. Water Launch is also available to Downtown Disney via a 15 minute ride down the Sassagoula River offering more dining choices.

Port Orleans French Quarter is an amazingly well themed resort, one of the smaller of all Disney resorts in-keeping with the quaint New Orleans charm.  This was the resort my husband and I stayed at on our honeymoon and we really enjoyed it.

 

Wilderness Lodge

Disney’s Wilderness lodge is themed after the Pacific Northwest, the beauty and majesty of the great outdoors abounds! The lobby of this hotel is spectacular and worth a visit just to see it.

Rooms

This rather small and compact resort has 725 rooms and 181 Villas in the adjacent Villas at the Wilderness Lodge Disney Vacation Club property. Which incidentally, has it’s own lovely lobby dedicated to Walt Disney’s love of trains. Rooms range from the standard 2 queen bed configuration, but also offer a bunk bed option and a few king-bedded rooms. The Old Faithful Club is the Club Level offered at the Wilderness Lodge with it’s concierge lounge, continental breakfast, midday snacks and evening wine, hors d’oeuvres, cordials and desserts.

1 bedroom villa at Villas Wilderness Lodge

Dining

Many visit the Wilderness Lodge for one of the very popular restaurants on properties, Whispering Canyon Cafe. This restaurant offers a fun playful atmosphere and comfort BBQ style food. Kids can play, run around on wooden horses and see the mayhem ensue when someone asks for ketchup!

The Wilderness Lodge also offers a Signature Dining venue . I consider Artist Point to be one of the most underrated restaurants in the World. Few know about this rustic yet elegant choice offering American cuisine with Pacific Northwest flavors.

Roaring Forks quick-service is located right inside the hotel, not far from the pool area with indoor and outdoor seating.  A pool bar outside with seating and a cozy lounge near Artist Point round out the options.

Recreation

The Resort offers two heated swimming pools, one by the Villas and the main pool with a slide by the Lodge overlooking Bay Lake. There is a children’s pool, whirlpool, beach for sunbathing, marina with watercraft for rental, arcade, playground, health club and movies under the stars. Another fun feature, bike rentals and access to the trail to Fort Wilderness. Don’t miss the hourly erupting Geyser!

Geyser

The Wilderness Lodge also offers a children’s club so parent’s can get a night out, Cub’s Den is located right by the doors leading to the covered walkway to the Villas.

Transportation

The Wilderness Lodge is a just a stone’s throw from the Magic Kingdom and accessible via Water Launch. Boats go between the Lodge and Magic Kingdom as well as a separate boat to Fort Wilderness and the Contemporary Resort. A large and smaller boat alternate, on the larger boats, strollers do not need to be folded up. All other parks as well as Magic Kingdom are reached by bus.

Boat Dock at Wilderness Lodge

The Wilderness Lodge is a spectacular resort on the lower level of Disney Deluxe Resorts making it a perfect choice for easy “off the monorail” access to Magic Kingdom. It’s in the heart of the Magic Kingdom resorts, but still completely away from it all.

Disney Resort News

The iconic Walt Disney World Resort hotels, Disney’s Polynesian Resort, is undergoing a complete re-imagining! The  renovation includes a new food & beverage experience, Trader Sam’s Grog Grotto. Plus, the hotel is returning to its original 1971 name, Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort.

Disney's Polynesian ResortThe biggest construction impact will affect the beloved pool. The Nanea Volcano Pool and Slide will close for “enhancements” beginning July 26 through early 2015.

Guests staying at the resort while the main pool is closed will receive one (1) complimentary ticket for each member of their party to visit Disney’s Blizzard Beach Water Park during their stay. Transportation will be provided and guests will enter through a dedicated check-in point where they will receive their complimentary tickets and towels.

In the Great Ceremonial House, several areas will be revamped including the lobby.

 

 

Contemporary Resort

Disney’s Contemporary Resort is the “face” of Disney Resorts. The first resort to open and the sight of it is what most people associate with Disney resorts.

Disney’s Contemporary Resort offers some unique features that make it an excellent choice for families. While lacking in an over-the-top theme that many of the other resorts have, the resort is modern, fresh and fun!

Rooms

The Contemporary offers 655 rooms between the main Tower with either Theme Park or Bay Lake views and the Garden Wing. Rooms are exactly the same in either building, but note that in the Garden Wing, 1st floor rooms have a patio, but second floor rooms do not have a balcony. Garden Wing rooms are often a better bargain and a much quieter location just a short few minutes walk to the Tower. Club Level is offered via their Atrium Club or Tower Club. Club level offers concierge service, lounge with continental breakfast, midday snacks and evening wine, hor d’oeuvres, cordials and desserts.

View from 7th floor Theme Park view room
view from a Garden Wing room facing the pool

Recreation

Two heated pools with a slide, whirlpools, water feature, poolside cabanas available for rental overlook Bay Lake. A beach for sunbathing and viewing the evening Water Parade, tennis, health club, arcade, and a marina with watercraft rentals. Activities at the resort include movies under the stars and poolside fun in the afternoon led by Cast Members.

slide

Dining

DIsney’s Contemporary Resort offers one of the best signature dining establishments on site. The California Grill  is located high atop the hotel with it’s own private terrace for viewing the nightly  fireworks show, Wishes at Magic Kingdom.

Downstairs, the Wave serves breakfast, lunch and dinner while on the 4th floor concourse Chef Mickey’s offers your favorite characters for a buffet breakfast, lunch or dinner. Also on the 4th floor concourse, the Contempo Cafe is a quick-service with plenty of seating, dine while watching the monorail come and go. A poolside bar and grill serves up snacks and meals and beverages.

Transportation/Location

LOCATION LOCATION LOCATION!

That’s right, the location of this resort is a major benefit of staying here. It’s walking distance to the Magic Kingdom park. A short 7-10 minute stroll along a pathway brings you to the front gates of the Magic Kingdom. Nothing beats walking home after the fireworks while everyone else is scrambling for the buses and boats.

Another super benefit…the Monorail goes right through the hotel’s main concourse. It’s a sight to see and entertainment in itself. Hop on the Monorail (resort line) to get to the Ticket & Transportation Center where you can switch to the Epcot Express. Or stay on and visit the other Deluxe resorts on the Resort Line. Stops at the Polynesian Resort, the Grand Floridian Resort and then the Magic Kingdom Park before arriving back at the Contemporary. Buses will take you to Hollywood Studios and Animal Kingdom as well as Downtown Disney. The Contemporary boat launch offers service to the Wilderness Lodge and Fort Wilderness as well.

The location and convenience of the Contemporary is perfect for families, especially those traveling with young children and using strollers. The walkway and the monorail eliminate the need to wake a sleeping child, and we all know  kids needs all the sleep they can get after a day in the parks. When we stayed here, the walkway was our favorite feature, because it was so easy and convenient we stayed for fireworks and spent more evenings at Magic Kingdom than we would have otherwise.

Have you stayed at the Contemporary? What did you prefer, the walkway to Magic Kingdom or the Monorail being right there?

Treasure Hunting

Sunken Treasure

The ultimate summer poolside beverage! This is a secret drink only available at the poolside bar at the hotel pool featured in the picture. Can you guess where? It’s not on the menu, only those in the know, know to order it and only certain bartenders can make it. Happy Hunting!

What’s your favorite “poolside at Disney” beverage?

Disney’s Yacht Club Resort

One of Disney’s Deluxe Resorts is the Yacht and Beach Club, two distinct hotels that share some recreational facilities.

The Yacht Club is a circa 1870’s mid-Atlantic themed hotel. Think Jersey Shore, Atlantic City or even New England.

Yacht Club lobby

Rooms
Standard rooms are comfortable and offer all the amenities. All Yacht Club rooms have a balcony, 2 queen or 1 king bed, many with an additional daybed. View options include Standard, Garden or Water. Club Level is offered at the Regatta Club with concierge service and a lounge serving continental breakfast, midday snacks and evening wine, finger foods, cordials and dessert.

Standard Room

Recreation
The centerpiece of the hotel is the shared pool. Except, it can barely be called a simple pool. Arguably the best pool on-site, Stormalong Bay, as it’s called is a three acre aquatic playground for young and young at heart. A pirate ship water slide, sand-bottom zero entry pool, lazy river with tubes (which are free to use), whirlpools and plenty of space to lounge. At night you can see some of the higher fireworks from Illuminations right from the pool.

Floating in the lazy river

The hotel offers the Sandcastle Club for the kids if parents want a night out alone. A lovely white sand beach for movies on the beach nightly. There is a quiet pool with a whirlpool and tennis courts as well.

Stormalong Bay

Dining
The Yacht Club features several dining options. Top tier dining at one of Disney’s Signature restaurants, Yachtsman Steakhouse is right in the hotel. A more casual Captain’s Grille serves Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner. The lobby lounge, Crew’s Cup, offers coffee and some pastries in the mornings for a quick bite. The Ale and Compass Lounge offers lite fare in the afternoons and evenings.

Lobster Omelet at Captain’s Grille

Venture outside to Beaches & Cream Soda Shop for ice cream and burgers for lunch or dinner, overlooking Stormalong Bay. Of course, poolside dining and adult beverages are available for lunch and dinner at Hurricane Hanna’s, where kid’s meals come in a bucket with a shovel for playing in the sand later!

Additional close by options are restaurants inside the adjacent Beach Club Resort including their Marketplace for quick service meals and grab and go items. Or a stroll around the lake to the Boardwalk where there are more restaurant and quick service options. Or if you have Park Hopper, a must if you are staying in this resort location, you can hop into World Showcase at Epcot for dinner in the country of your choice or even grab breakfast in France in the mornings!

View of Boardwalk

Transportation
This location is optimal! A short 5 minute stroll brings you into the International Gateway at Epcot. This is located by the United Kingdom pavilion. A slightly longer walk, about 20 minutes, will take you to Hollywood Studios. Friendship Boats are also available for traveling to and from Epcot and Hollywood Studios. Buses to Magic Kingdom and Animal Kingdom as well as Downtown Disney, Blizzard Beach and Typhoon Lagoon pick up just outside the lobby of the hotel.

These photos are from our last family vacation to Disney World where we called the Yacht Club Resort home. My boys loved the pool and often chose the pool over more park time. We loved the convenience of getting to Epcot and Hollywood Studios and the Magic Kingdom bus was quick.

What’s your favorite Walt Disney World Resort? Where do you want to stay next?