(***As I started to write this I realized that I have a lot to say on this subject, so I decided to break this up into at least two posts. Continue reading for Part I***)
My family's trip to Disney World was great! We had so much fun. The weather was perfect (at least for me) 80-85 degrees everyday! I loved it! Summer is my favorite month, and it was like Summer down in Orlando everyday! I could totally live down there! I love the weather. When we got home we found out it was raining the week we were gone and in the 40's! I was glad I missed that.
Enough about the weather. Like I said in my previous post (I Got a Loan, Now what am I Going to do) we stayed at Disney's Pop Century Resort. Which was quite nice. The kids loved all the funky decor they have around the hotel. It was actually a lot bigger than I had expected. We stayed in the "90's," with a big cell phone stairway (we walked up to get to our room), floppy disk, and walkman surrounding us. Cool! Before I left I thought there was only 1 pool. But there was at least 3 or more pools, throughout the hotel. So we had a "computer" pool very close to our room. And it wasn't ever that crowded. My daughter, especially loved the pool. And would even be swimming at 9 o'clock at night!
The Pop Century Resort also had a very nice fast food type restaurant and gift shop area. So you could get some of your meals there and even some souvenirs. As I mentioned before included in my package was the "Disney Meal Plan." If you are going to Disney World I highly recommend purchasing this. I know this saved us a lot of money, and I'm not lying when I say that I think it saved us maybe up to $1,000.00 of our own money in food costs.
How it works is as part of your package you can purchase the Meal Plan. I think it cost me around 740 dollars. Then when you get to Disney World they give you what they call "Your key to the World." You use that as your ticket for entrance in the Parks and for your Meal Plan. With the plan we had you get one meal (per person) a day at what they call a "Quick Service" restaurant, one meal a day at a "Sit Down" restaurant, and one snack a day. And you can use them in any combination throughout your stay.
Before I left I was worried about if this would be enough food for everyone. But believe me it is! The quick service places serve everything from Chicken Salads to Burgers. And The sit down places are everything from Italian Restaurants to Buffets. You can really get a lot to eat especially at the "All you can eat" Buffets! Probably too much! You also get non-alcoholic drinks included and desserts. (And what we would do is desserts that we didn't finish like packaged cookies or brownies, we would save for later and the kids could eat them as snacks later) And you get snack a day too extra (that you can purchase at your hotel or at various vendors through out the parks) anything from big soft pretzels to ice cream!
One thing I was wrong about before I left I thought "tips" were included. They are not at the "Sit Down" places. On your "key to the world" though you can add your credit card info. and then any extra charges (like tips) you make can be added on. Even with paying our own tips we still saved a lot of money with the meal plan, because the food down there is fairly expensive a quick service meal for four (if you pay with your own money) will cost you at least $40.00 and sit down meals cost at least $100.00-$150.00! So by my calculations I feel we saved at least $1000.00 with the meal plan!
Also another thing about the restaurants, for the "sit down" places a lot of them require reservations. Before I left I did make reservations at the Contemporary Hotel for the Mickey and Friends Character Breakfast.(See pictures taken from that breakfast Here) Because I heard it's quite popular. So if you want reservations, especially for any "character meals" you can make reservations up to 120 days in advance! So if you are super organized you can make all your reservations before you even get to Disney World! If not when you get there you can call a 1-800 number they give you to make your reservations. There are over 100 restaurants to choose from in the meal plan!
So thats a few tips and information about my fantastic trip to Disney World, for now. Stay tuned for Part II about my trip!
Below is a few more pictures (my husband took with our new Canon DVD Camcorder, that also takes stills)