Tag Archives: poolside bar

Staying Cool at Disney World

I often have people asking me how we survive traveling to Disney World in August, which is when we always go. For various reasons, school, work…it really is the only option we have. Yes, it’s HOTTER than the surface of the sun most of the time!

Channel your inner Olaf!

But, with some strategic planning and accessories it can still be a very enjoyable vacation.

Beat the summer heat at Disney World with these tips!
  1. Rope Drop – I hear you, you want to sleep in on your vacation, but getting to the parks early at opening, or even Extra Magic Hour opening even better is really one of the best ways of beating the heat. The coolest part of the day, relative to the heat of Florida in the summer of course, is before noon. Which leads right to the next tip.
  2. Schedule a midday break – If it’s a short trip it might be difficult to schedule downtime, but a midday pool break will save your sanity and hopefully prevent those kid meltdowns when they’ve just been pushed too far. Doesn’t matter how hot it is, being in the water or under an umbrella with an icy drink will keep you cool.
  3. Stategic FP and Queue Planning – Choose the longest queues that are outdoor for your Fastpasses in the afternoons. Become familiar with the queues as many are inside and have a/c or even outdoor ones have fans and are shaded. It helps…a lot. Outdoor ones that are kept fairly cool are Rock n Rollercoaster, Tower of Terror, Big Thunder Mountain, Splash Mountain, and Expedition Everest. Inside queues where you might enjoy a slight wait to cool off include Test Track, Soarin, Space Mountain, Toy Story Mania and Dinosaur.
  4. Plan those WET attractions – There are rides that you WILL GET WET on in most of the parks. Plan those for afternoon, noon – 4pm. It’s amazing how even a little bit of water can make a difference, and you’ll dry quickly. These include Kali River Rapids which will get you soaked. Splash Mountain and even a little splash on Pirates of the Caribbean is possible.
  5. Water Parks – If you have any interest in the water parks, summer is the time to explore those. If you have a long enough trip 1-2 afternoons at the water parks is a great way to stay cool.
  6. Accessories – Cooling towels like Frog Toggs or iCool Towel will keep you cool and misting fans can be bought in advance from Walmart for less than the ones they sell in the parks.
  7. Showtime – Shows such as Mickey’s Philharmagic, Turtle Talk with Crush, Finding Nemo the Musical, It’s Tough to be a Bug, Indiana Jones (although outdoor it’s covered and there are fans) are another great way to cool down and rest, mingle them into your schedule.
  8. Use Disney transportation – Nothing is worse than getting into a hot car that has been baking in the Florida sun for hours. Use the air conditioned monorails, buses, boats to get from A to B.

Disney actually did a very good job of creating waiting areas and queues to ensure the least amount of time out in the heat and sun.

Don’t forget your sunscreen and sunglasses!

With a little bit of strategic planning which I am happy to help you with if you book your trip with me, you can prevent melting in the hot Florida summer sun.

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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.

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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!

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

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.

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.

Contemporary Resort

100_0223Disney’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.

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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.

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.

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 its 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 need 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.

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

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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?