Tips for a Non Park Disney Trip – Monorail Resorts

This is the second part of my series about tips for non park Disney trip.  I’m not planning to write anymore unless, it is highly requested for other ideas.

When you get to the Ticket and Transportation Center (TTC), you have 3 options.  Take a monorail to EPCOT, take a monorail to the Magic Kingdom and monorail resorts, or take a ferry to the Magic Kingdom.

If you decide to take the monorail to the Magic Kingdom and monorail resorts, make sure you are getting on the right monorail.  There will be plenty of signs.

  1. Polynesian
    The first stop on the monorail after the TTC is the Polynesian.  Here are my tips about the Polynesian.

    1. Go down to the check in area.  Ask for a lei.  They will give you a lei.
    2. Head to Captain Cook’s, the quick service restaurant on the first floor of the Polynesian.  If it breakfast time, Hubby’s suggestion is that you get Tonga Toast.  My suggestion for lunch / dinner time is the Hawaiian flatbread.  Yum!
      After you order, they’ll give you a pager type thing.  One of the quick service hostesses will bring your food to you so head outside to eat your treat.
    3. Head to the Pineapple Lanai for Dole Whip.  The Dole Whip float is delicious!
    4. Check out the decor of the resort.
    5. Take a walk on the beach.  Swing on the swings on the beach.
  2. The Grand Floridian
    There are 3 ways to get to the Grand Floridian from the Polynesian.

    1. Walk on the beach – There is a pathway.  I highly suggest this way because you will walk past the Wedding Pavilion.
    2. Take a ferry.
    3. Ride on the monorail.
      1. Enjoy the decor.  There is so much to see while you are in the Grand Floridian.
      2. Head over to the Disney Vacation Club building to see the Mary Poppins fountain.  Ask a cast member to direct you to the DVC building.  It’s a must see.
      3. Listen to the Big Band.  There music is fantastic.
      4. If it is Christmas time, the gingerbread house is a must see.
      5. Go outside the front doors.  If Richard the door greeter is there, take a photo with him.  He is a legend at the Grand Floridian.
  3. The Magic Kingdom Entrance area
    There are 3 ways to get to the Magic Kingdom Entrance area.

    1. Follow the path – We did not do that.
    2. Take a ferry.
    3. Ride on the monorail.
      1. You cannot get past security, etc. . . unless you have a ticket so there is not much to do there.  You can try to get a photo of the entrance area.  If it decorated for Christmas, take photos of the tree.
  4. The Contemporary
    You can either walk to the Contemporary or ride the monorail to the Contemporary.  My suggestion is walk because you will get to see Space Mountain as you are walking to the Contemporary.  It’s totally different walking up to the Contemporary instead of riding the monorail.

    1. Once you get there, there is a coffee stand on the first floor.  The smoothies they sell there are delicious!
    2. Head to the fourth floor.  Chef Mickey’s is there and other shopping.  Head to the balcony.  You will be under the monorail.  It is cool to stand there while the monorail is going over your head.
    3. While you are at the balcony, cross the bridge to Bay Tower.  You will get a wonderful view of Bay Lake and the Seven Seas Lagoon.  So totally worth it.
    4. Go up to the highest non Disney Vacation Club floor.  Look down onto the fourth floor and the fifth floor where the monorail station is.  So neat.
    5. Head back to the first floor.  Go outside to find the Mickey Statue.  It is a perfect photo opportunity.
  5. Ticket and Transportation Center
    Ride back to the Ticket and Transportation Center on the monorail.

Here are my blog posts from the monorail resorts:
Entrance to the Magic Kingdom and the ContemporaryPolynesian, Wedding Chapel and the Grand Floridian

Have a magical day,
Traci

My top tips for a non park Disney trip – Disney Springs

My mother-in-law, sister-in-law, and brother-in-law are heading to Disney soon to watch my niece and nephew march in EPCOT.  They are spending one day visiting resorts/ Disney Springs so I offered to give them some tips.

Disney Springs Hints:

My favorite part of Disney Springs is the Marketplace because it’s the original area that was there when I did my College Program in 1995.  I spent a lot of time there during my limited free time.  It helped that I was just down the road from the Marketplace.

So a lot of these hints involve the Marketplace area.

Before I begin, here are links to my blog posts about our visit to Disney Springs.

Characters in FlightWhat We Ate While in Disney – Disney Springs and Port OrleansDisney Springs

  1.  Take a ferry to Port Orleans.  You pick up the ferry in the Marketplace area of Disney Springs.  As you are traveling to Port Orleans, you will feel as though you are in a Bayou.  We only visited the French Quarter which is the first stop.
    1. While you are there, be in awe of the decor.  They really themed this resort as though you are in New Orleans.
    2. Visit the food court.  Get some beignets.  Sit outside on the patio and enjoy these delicious pastries.
    3. See if the door greeter is there.  If so, get a photo with him.  I did that with the Wee One.
  2. Go to Goofy’s Candy Kitchen.  If they have the free sample of the slushie, enjoy it.  (They still did that last November.)  The design your own Mickey Rice Krispie treat is worth the 5 or so dollars.  Dipped in chocolate, covered with M & M’s, and then drizzled with white chocolate is how the Imaginative One loves it.
    The sour cherry candies are the bomb.
  3. Head over to the Ghirardelli store.  They might be still giving out free samples of chocolate.  If not, enjoy the smells of chocolate.  Yum!
  4. Basin is another favorite place.  Wash your hands with the free samples.  You’ll walk out with softer hands.
  5. Eat lunch/ dinner at Earl of Sandwich.  Order the All American Sandwich.  It’s like a Thanksgiving Dinner on a bun.  Yum!
    None of their sandwiches are gluten free but the salads they do offer look like the bomb!
  6. The Christmas Tree Shoppe has always been a favorite of mine.  It’s a must see if you love Christmas.
  7. The World of Disney is the largest Disney store.  You can find a little bit of everything in that store.  Watch out the Stitch might spit at you.
    Oh and there is a Starbucks close by the World of Disney.  Get your caffeine on.
  8. I love the Lego Store.  The characters they have created out of Legos offer great photo opportunities.  I especially love the dragon in the lagoon.
  9. Behind the Lego Store is the Poutine booth.  If you love fries, cheese curds, and gravy, this is a must try.
  10. Another great place for photo opportunities is just outside the T-Rex restaurant.  We enjoyed doing that.
  11. We have never eaten at the Boathouse.  However there is sometimes concerts there and the amphicars are cool.  What are those?  They are cars that drive on water.  The Wee One thought they were neat.
  12. Sprinkles – There is a cupcake ATM there.  So cool.  It’s another must try.  Get a cupcake to share because they are not cheap.
  13. Blaze Pizza – I’ve heard good things about Blaze Pizza.  We’ve not eaten there though.
  14. We enjoyed the character balloon.  It’s still there but the characters have been taken off the balloon.  It was worth seeing the views of Disney.  There is another Starbucks close by.

Join me Monday for tips about visiting the resorts on the monorail.

Have a magical day,
Traci

Officer Percival Peabody

April 4 (35)

In Hollywood Studios, there is a street show on Hollywood Blvd.  The cast of characters is called the Citizens of Hollywood.

This is one of my favorite shots of Officer Percival Peabody,

Wishes and the Water Pageant Parade

Join me on Saturdays to see photos from our Universal Studios/ Walt Disney Resort vacation during Thanksgiving.

Join me on Saturdays to see photos from our Universal Studios/ Walt Disney Resort vacation during Thanksgiving.

  1. Cabana Beach Bay Resort – Part 1
  2. Cabana Beach Bay Resort – Part 2
  3. Cabana Beach Bay Resort – Part 3
  4. Islands of Adventure – Part 1
  5. Islands of Adventure – Part 2
  6. Universal Studios – Part 1
  7. Universal Studios – Part 2
  8. Characters in Flight
  9. Disney Springs
  10. Port Orleans – French Quarter
  11. Pop Century
  12. Art of Animation
  13. Animal Kingdom Lodge / Entrance area of Animal Kingdom
  14. Boardwalk / Entrance of Hollywood Studios
  15. Yacht and Beach Club
  16. Contemporary / Entrance to Magic Kingdom
  17. Polynesian
  18. Grand Floridian
  19. Wilderness Lodge / Entrance to EPCOT
  20. Wishes

Continue reading “Wishes and the Water Pageant Parade”

Wilderness Lodge and the Entrance of Epcot

Join me on Saturdays to see photos from our Universal Studios/ Walt Disney Resort vacation during Thanksgiving.

Join me on Saturdays to see photos from our Universal Studios/ Walt Disney Resort vacation during Thanksgiving.

  1. Cabana Beach Bay Resort – Part 1
  2. Cabana Beach Bay Resort – Part 2
  3. Cabana Beach Bay Resort – Part 3
  4. Islands of Adventure – Part 1
  5. Islands of Adventure – Part 2
  6. Universal Studios – Part 1
  7. Universal Studios – Part 2
  8. Characters in Flight
  9. Disney Springs
  10. Port Orleans – French Quarter
  11. Pop Century
  12. Art of Animation
  13. Animal Kingdom Lodge / Entrance area of Animal Kingdom
  14. Boardwalk / Entrance of Hollywood Studios
  15. Yacht and Beach Club
  16. Contemporary / Entrance to Magic Kingdom
  17. Polynesian
  18. Grand Floridian
  19. Wilderness Lodge / Entrance to EPCOT
  20. Wishes

Continue reading “Wilderness Lodge and the Entrance of Epcot”

Wedding Chapel and Grand Floridian (Photos and Videos)

Join me on Saturdays to see photos from our Universal Studios/ Walt Disney Resort vacation during Thanksgiving.

Join me on Saturdays to see photos from our Universal Studios/ Walt Disney Resort vacation during Thanksgiving.

  1. Cabana Beach Bay Resort – Part 1
  2. Cabana Beach Bay Resort – Part 2
  3. Cabana Beach Bay Resort – Part 3
  4. Islands of Adventure – Part 1
  5. Islands of Adventure – Part 2
  6. Universal Studios – Part 1
  7. Universal Studios – Part 2
  8. Characters in Flight
  9. Disney Springs
  10. Port Orleans – French Quarter
  11. Pop Century
  12. Art of Animation
  13. Animal Kingdom Lodge / Entrance area of Animal Kingdom
  14. Boardwalk / Entrance of Hollywood Studios
  15. Yacht and Beach Club
  16. Contemporary / Entrance to Magic Kingdom
  17. Polynesian
  18. Grand Floridian
  19. Wilderness Lodge / Entrance to EPCOT
  20. Wishes

The Imaginative One and I walked over to the Grand Floridian from the Polynesian.  As we were walking over, we passed the Wedding Chapel area.  The Imaginative One asked me if that is where his dad and I got married.  (Not even close)

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Once we got to the Grand Floridian, the Imaginative One and I checked out the gingerbread house while waiting for the Wee One and Hubby.

After we found them, it was time for the Imaginative One and my reservation at 1900 Park Fare.

After our brunch, we checked out the Grand Floridian a little more before getting on the monorail to the Magic Kingdom area so that we could get a ferry to Wilderness Lodge.

Later on in the evening, the Imaginative One and I once again visited the Grand Floridian.  We got to hear a choir singing Christmas carols which was awesome.

A cast member helped us find the Mary Poppins’ penguin fountain in the Disney Vacation Club villa.  That was on my bucket list for the three days we were in the Disney area.

Enjoy the many photos I took while I was at the Grand Floridian.

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Have a magical day,

Traci

Polynesian

Join me on Saturdays to see photos from our Universal Studios/ Walt Disney Resort vacation during Thanksgiving.

Join me on Saturdays to see photos from our Universal Studios/ Walt Disney Resort vacation during Thanksgiving.

  1. Cabana Beach Bay Resort – Part 1
  2. Cabana Beach Bay Resort – Part 2
  3. Cabana Beach Bay Resort – Part 3
  4. Islands of Adventure – Part 1
  5. Islands of Adventure – Part 2
  6. Universal Studios – Part 1
  7. Universal Studios – Part 2
  8. Characters in Flight
  9. Disney Springs
  10. Port Orleans – French Quarter
  11. Pop Century
  12. Art of Animation
  13. Animal Kingdom Lodge / Entrance area of Animal Kingdom
  14. Boardwalk / Entrance of Hollywood Studios
  15. Yacht and Beach Club
  16. Contemporary / Entrance to Magic Kingdom
  17. Polynesian
  18. Grand Floridian
  19. Wilderness Lodge / Entrance to EPCOT
  20. Wishes

 

I’m sorry it’s taken me 3 weeks to get back to finishing my Universal/ Walt Disney World trip photos.

The Polynesian is on my bucket list of places to stay on the Walt Disney Resort.  It has been on my bucket list since I did my Disney College program in 1995.  One of my assignments in the classes I took there was to go with a group of friends to the Grand Floridian and the Polynesian.  Ever since then, I fell in love with the resort.

One of my friends I met while on the College Program also took me to the Polynesian to hang out on the beach area.

 

Back to the trip in November –

After we got done with the Contemporary, the Imaginative One and I traveled by the monorail over to the Polynesian.  I had gotten a message from Hubby saying they were leaving Pop Century and would meet us there.

While we were waiting the few minutes for him and the Wee One, the Imaginative One and I got a lei from the front desk.  If you ask them, they will give you one.  So cool.

After they got to the Polynesian, we stopped and got Hei Hei stuffed animal from Moana since we had seen the movie the night before.  Our Hei Hei has been in our Christmas tree and hidden all over the house.  Best $15 spent (I think that is how much it cost).

The Wee One and Hubby then got their leis.  Afterwards, they got breakfast at Captain Cooks because Hubby wanted Tonga Toast.

We split up once again because the Imaginative One and I decided to walk over to the Grand Floridian while the Wee One and Hubby took the ferry.

Later in the evening, the Imaginative One and I came back to the Polynesian to watch Wishes and to eat Dole Whip.  Yum!  I’ll share my photos from Wishes in another blog post.

Enjoy the photos from the Polynesian.

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Have a magical day,

Traci

Entrance of the Magic Kingdom and Contemporary

Join me on Saturdays to see photos from our Universal Studios/ Walt Disney Resort vacation during Thanksgiving.

Join me on Saturdays to see photos from our Universal Studios/ Walt Disney Resort vacation during Thanksgiving.

  1. Cabana Beach Bay Resort – Part 1
  2. Cabana Beach Bay Resort – Part 2
  3. Cabana Beach Bay Resort – Part 3
  4. Islands of Adventure – Part 1
  5. Islands of Adventure – Part 2
  6. Universal Studios – Part 1
  7. Universal Studios – Part 2
  8. Characters in Flight
  9. Disney Springs
  10. Port Orleans – French Quarter
  11. Pop Century
  12. Art of Animation
  13. Animal Kingdom Lodge / Entrance area of Animal Kingdom
  14. Boardwalk / Entrance of Hollywood Studios
  15. Yacht and Beach Club
  16. Contemporary / Entrance to Magic Kingdom
  17. Polynesian
  18. Grand Floridian
  19. Wilderness Lodge / Entrance to EPCOT
  20. Wishes

On Black Friday, the Imaginative One and I went to the Magic Kingdom entrance hoping to see the train show.  We missed it by a half an hour.  Since we missed it, we headed over to the Contemporary Resort.

The Imaginative One and I ended visited the Contemporary three times during that day.  We went outside on the fourth floor so I got some awesome photos of Cinderella Castle.  He and I also visited the ninth floor, the highest you could go without staying at the resort and being a Disney Vacation Club member.

Later on in the day, the whole family went back to the Contemporary on our way to the Ticket and Transportation Center.  Once again, we visited the ninth floor because Hubby was interested in what we saw.

Later in the evening, the Imaginative One and I went back because we wanted to see Wishes from the Polynesian.

Magic Kingdom Entrance

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Walking Up to the Contemporary

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Fourth Floor of the Contemporary

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View from the Fourth Floor

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View from the bridge to Bay Lake

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More of the Fourth Floor of the Contemporary

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View from the Ninth Floor

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Looking Down

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Magic Kingdom with Train smoke

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More Looking Down

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Outside the Contemporary

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More Photos from Inside the Contemporary

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Views from the Ninth Floor

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At Night

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Join me in two weeks for photos from my favorite resort – the Polynesian.

Have a magical day,

Traci

Yacht and Beach Club

Join me on Saturdays to see photos from our Universal Studios/ Walt Disney Resort vacation during Thanksgiving.

Join me on Saturdays to see photos from our Universal Studios/ Walt Disney Resort vacation during Thanksgiving.

  1. Cabana Beach Bay Resort – Part 1
  2. Cabana Beach Bay Resort – Part 2
  3. Cabana Beach Bay Resort – Part 3
  4. Islands of Adventure – Part 1
  5. Islands of Adventure – Part 2
  6. Universal Studios – Part 1
  7. Universal Studios – Part 2
  8. Characters in Flight
  9. Disney Springs
  10. Port Orleans – French Quarter
  11. Pop Century
  12. Art of Animation
  13. Animal Kingdom Lodge / Entrance area of Animal Kingdom
  14. Boardwalk / Entrance of Hollywood Studios
  15. Yacht and Beach Club
  16. Contemporary / Entrance to Magic Kingdom
  17. Polynesian
  18. Grand Floridian
  19. Wilderness Lodge / Entrance to EPCOT
  20. Wishes

After we were finished at the Boardwalk, we walked along the path from the Boardwalk past the Swan and Dolphin and then onto the Yacht and Beach Club.

The Exterior of the Resort

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Christmas Decorations in the Yacht Club

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Christmas Decorations at the Beach Club

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The Pool Area

The pool has a sand bottom which is cool.

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After we were finished walking around the Yacht and Beach Club, we rode the ferry back to the front of Hollywood Studios.  We then caught a bus back to Pop Century because we knew the next day was going to be a busy one because we were going to visit the Contemporary, the Polynesian, the Grand Floridian, and Wilderness Lodge.

Join me next week for our visit to the Contemporary and the Entrance of the Magic Kingdom.  The Imaginative One and I visited the Contemporary 3 times on Black Friday so I’m going to have lots of photos.

 

Have a magical day,

Traci

The Boardwalk

Join me on Saturdays to see photos from our Universal Studios/ Walt Disney Resort vacation during Thanksgiving.

Join me on Saturdays to see photos from our Universal Studios/ Walt Disney Resort vacation during Thanksgiving.

  1. Cabana Beach Bay Resort – Part 1
  2. Cabana Beach Bay Resort – Part 2
  3. Cabana Beach Bay Resort – Part 3
  4. Islands of Adventure – Part 1
  5. Islands of Adventure – Part 2
  6. Universal Studios – Part 1
  7. Universal Studios – Part 2
  8. Characters in Flight
  9. Disney Springs
  10. Port Orleans – French Quarter
  11. Pop Century
  12. Art of Animation
  13. Animal Kingdom Lodge / Entrance area of Animal Kingdom
  14. Boardwalk / Entrance of Hollywood Studios
  15. Yacht and Beach Club
  16. Contemporary / Entrance to Magic Kingdom
  17. Polynesian
  18. Grand Floridian
  19. Wilderness Lodge / Entrance to EPCOT
  20. Wishes

After we were finished at Animal Kingdom Lodge, we headed over to Hollywood Studios to catch a ferry over to the Epcot resorts.  The first resort we visited was the Boardwalk.

The Entrance to Hollywood Studios

Outside the Resort

Inside the Resort – Christmas Decorations

Outside the Resort

We only had a quick visit to the Boardwalk.  After we finished looking around the Boardwalk, we walked over to the Yacht and Beach Club.  Next week, I’ll share those pictures.

Here is a video of us walking around the Boardwalk and of the Imaginative One being a smart aleck about when I asked him some questions.

Have a magical day,
Traci

Port Orleans – French Quarter – Walt Disney World

Join me on Saturdays to see photos from our Universal Studios/ Walt Disney Resort vacation during Thanksgiving.

Continue reading “Port Orleans – French Quarter – Walt Disney World”