Category: Walt Disney World

Get in the Holiday Spirit with Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party!

Christmas is a little over a week away…can you believe it?!?  I’ve never really been a HUGE fan of Christmas, but I’ve always wanted to attend Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party because I love the look of the lights on Cinderella’s Castle and the idea of it snowing on Main Street.  Well this year I got the chance and since the Christmas season is now in full swing, I thought I would share some Disney holiday cheer!

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Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party is a hard ticket event held at the Magic Kingdom on select night in November and December. While many of the decorations and events like the castle lighting show happens every night during the holiday season, there are many events and photo opportunities that are unique to the party.  Check out some of the fun decorations up and down Main Street.

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Cinderella’s Castle is lit up with thousands of beautiful icicle lights and get turned on just after dusk by the characters of Frozen.  You can catch a glimpse of Olaf here!

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There are special character photo ops all around the park including a brand new appearance by Jack Skellington as Sandy Claws!! The wait for a photo was over 2 hours long so I didn’t wait, but people were THRILLED!  I personally found him to look like a creepy alien, so I’m kind of glad I didn’t get on line.

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Unique shows like the Jingle Jungle Cruise and holiday versions of typical shows take place.  Check out all the pirates in Christmas garb.

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There is a unique Holiday Wishes fireworks show and Mickey’s Once Upon a Christmastime Parade!

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FREE cookies and hot chocolate all around the park!! You can find the stations by these huge inflated candy canes…I was clearly thrilled by this 🙂

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And finally…it snows on Main Street!!  Yup, in Florida, it’s snowing.  This is the kind of snow I can get behind!  No shoveling and moderate temperatures…woohoo!

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So even this non-Christmas lover can’t help but get in the season when at the Magic Kingdom.  I just wish I could spend the entire season there and not deal with the crowds, shopping, etc…  Oh well, at least I have these great photos to look at to get me in the holiday mood 🙂  Hope you have enjoyed them too!

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Marathon Weekends at the Waldorf Astoria Orlando

One of the hidden gems at the Walt Disney World Resort is the Bonnet Creek Resort located near Downtown Disney.  This resort is made up of the Hilton Bonnet Creek and Waldorf Astoria Orlando hotels and provides unparalleled accommodations and luxury….and that is coming from this DVC member, Disney resort loving gal!

Waldorf-Astoria-Orlando-Marathon-Weekends-LogoThis resort is also a great place to stay during runDisney race weekends! They have started offering a special experience for runners called Marathon Weekends which includes a special rate on accommodations, complimentary transportation to and from the race, snacks and beverages at the pre-race celebration, a runners welcome package and much more!

I recently had the opportunity to stay at the Waldorf Astoria Orlando during Wine & Dine Half Marathon Weekend and had an amazing time.  Let’s take a look at the resort and some of what you get during Marathon Weekends.

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The Resort

Waldorf Astoria hotels are known for their luxury, elegance and sophistication.  This one is no exception and really makes you feel like you are far away from Walt Disney World.  As you walk in the circular lobby you are greeted by this elegant seating area. Just look at the detail on the ceiling!

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Off of the lobby is a complimentary water station with different flavored waters and the beautiful Peacock Alley.  This lounge is full of comfy, plush furnishings and features a live pianist in the evenings.  I must admit I was a bit jealous of everyone in there on the night of the Wine & Dine Half Marathon.

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Out back is a gorgeous, simple pool area with numerous cabanas available.  This pool is definitly geared more towards adults, but good news is that resort guests with children can head next door to the Hilton’s (the hotels are connected) large pool and lazy river!

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The Rooms

The grand feeling in the lobby carries through to the guest room floors.  Just walking down the hallway to your room, you know that there is something special in store.

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Our Deluxe Room featured two queen beds, flat screen TV, work station, double closets, coffee maker and an incredibly spacious bathroom featuring a large jacuzzi tub and wonderful glass shower.

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The rooms all come with two super comfy robes (that are available for purchase) and let me just tell you, these were PERFECT when I came back cold and wet from the Wine & Dine Half Marathon.  I bundled right up in one of these.

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And the beds…oh the beds!  The fluffy pillows and warm comforter are the perfect way to rest up before and after a race.  This was honestly one of the most comfortable beds I’ve ever slept in!

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One of the perks of the Waldorf Astoria is their turndown service.  Not only is your bed turned down, but slippers are left out for you and chocolates are waiting to be indulged in.

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Marathon Weekend Amenities

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Upon checking in during Marathon Weekends, you will be given a gift bag that includes instructions for the weekend and some accessories like bandaids!  In your room you will find extra bottles of water and a few runner friendly snack to help fuel you for the big race.

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Before the race, a pre-race celebration is held over at the Hilton, which is also where the complimentary race transportation leaves from.  This is just a quick walk from the resort or there is a a shuttle to bring you over.  Here you will find a TON of enthusiastic cheerleaders, food and beverage to fuel up and some really fun photo ops.

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Since Wine & Dine is a night race, they had a lot of glowing items available too.  I love these bracelets!

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If you are looking for a pampering, relaxing and luxurious retreat during your runDisney race weekend, look no further than the Waldorf Astoria Orlando.  The service and amenities are first-class and definitely help put you at ease during those hectic race weekends.  Rooms are still available for the upcoming Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend and Princess Half Marathon Weekend at very reasonable rates…check it out!

Waldorf Astoria Orlando
14200 Bonnet Creek Resort Lane
Orlando, FL 32821
www.waldorfastoriaorlando.com
Phone: 407.597.5500
Reservations: 888.353.2009

Disclosure: I was a guest of the Waldorf Astoria Orlando and was provided with complementary accommodations for two nights. I was not required to write this post and no monetary compensation has been received.  All opinions are 100% my own.

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Indulging at the B Indulged AVEDA Spa

During my recent stay at the B Resort & Spa in Lake Buena Vista, I had the opportunity to experience the B Indulged Spa while there.  Of course I jumped on the opportunity!

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B Indulged is a full-service AVEDA lifestyle spa that pampers guests with a wide array of all-natural treatments.  Services include massages, skin care and body treatments, nail and hair care, waxing and makeup services.  I’m a big fan of AVEDA product because they are derived from natural botanically, are environmentally friendly, and most importantly smell fantastic!

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The spa is in a stand alone building across the back courtyard of the hotel and is connected with the B Active fitness center.  So really you could spent an entire afternoon there, first exercising then relaxing.

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I had originally scheduled a Strees-Fix Body massage for the day after the Wine & Dine Half Marathon to work out the kinks from my tired race legs, but after a full day of park touring, a few hours of standing at the Health & Fitness Expo and an upcoming night at Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party, I thought a pre-race massage might work in my favor.  I went and spoke with the helpful staff on Friday afternoon and they recommended a Fusion Stone Massage to relax my aching legs and feet.  I scheduled it for Saturday morning before the race.

I headed down to the spa that morning and was taken to the locker room where I was given a quick tour of the space.  I really love the simplistic and modern decor which is carried over from the hotel itself.

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The locker room was quite small, but was furnished with numerous amenities and lockers to store your belongings. I was shown how to use the lockers, but clearly didn’t follow directions well because I kept struggling to get it open.  Reminder for next time…pay attention! 🙂

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Inside each locker was a robe and slippers to change into.  There is only one private changing area that is part of the only shower in the locker room.  Thankfully I was the only guest there when I arrived, but I can imagine this would get tight if there were multiple people in there.

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B-Indulged-Spa-Aveda-Changing-AreaAfter changing, I headed back out into the spa where my masseuse was waiting for me.  We went into one of the treatment rooms where she explained the treatment and how the stones work.  I’ve never had a hot stone massage before and was really looking forward to this experience.  However I was a bit apprehensive about how hot they actually got.

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The massage lasted for 50 minutes and was absolutely sublime!  I don’t think I will ever be able to have a regular massage again.  Hot stones are totally the way to go!

Afterwards, I returned to the locker room and decided to take a quick shower there so I didn’t get the massage oil on my clothes.  I also LOVE a good rain shower and this shower head was calling my name.  This was a good idea in theory, but I was completely overmatched by the “European” shower functions.  Or at least that’s what one of the people at the front desk described it to me as when I left.

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First I couldn’t figure out how to turn it on and once I did, the temperature was either ice cold or scalding hot.  There was no in between.  I’m sure I was doing something wrong, but I was just so frustrated that I just jumped in and out of the various water temps and got out of there.  I told the front desk about it and suggested that they explain the shower to guests and look into the temperature issue.  Hopefully, that will get resolved.  They has only been open for a few weeks prior to my visit so I think some of the kinks were still being worked out.

Besides the shower debacle, everything else at B Indulged was wonderful!  From check-in to the the treatment, I thoroughly enjoyed my experience there.  And the best part was that my legs felt refreshed and ready to take on the race that evening.  Mission Accomplished!!

B Indulged is not limited to resort guests and is open to everyone.  You will find that the services are very well done and on par with other spas on Walt Disney World property.  But the best part is that the treatments are a bit more affordable than what you will find at one of the Senses Spas or Mandara at the Dolphin.  High-quality, natural products and reasonable pricing…that’s a win in my book!

Click here for a full list of the B Indulged spa services and pricing.

B Indulged AVEDA Spa
1905 Hotel Plaza Boulevard
Lake Buena Vista, FL 32830
www.BResortLBV.com
Phone: 407.827.3111

Disclosure: I was a guest of the B Indulged Spa and was provided with a complementary spa treatment. I was not required to write this post and no monetary compensation has been received.  All opinions are 100% my own.

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A Tour of the B Resort & Spa, Lake Buena Vista

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Before the Wine & Dine Half Marathon this year, I was able to stay a few nights at the new B Resort & Spa in Lake Buena Vista. This Downtown Disney hotel officially opened in June of 2014 after an extensive two year renovation of the former Royal Plaza hotel.  B Resort is a lifestyle hotel showcasing fun, modern decor and featuring 394 guest rooms and suites, a brand new pool area, signature BBQ restaurant, and a full service spa.  All this within walking distance to Downtown Disney!  Let’s take a look around.

Lobby

B Resort & Spa has a fun, unique language that they use to encourage self-expression among their guests. This can be seen even before you walk through the front doors.

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Reminiscent of hotels in South Beach, the lobby is completely white with splashes of color around creating their B Ambiance.

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There are plenty of seating areas for guests to relax and B Social and complementary water available with flavors that change daily.

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You can B In Touch with the Monscierge digital concierge system that can be found around the resort. These are basically giant iPads that can recommend nearby restaurants, give up to date weather forecasts and where you can even check-in for a flight.

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Guest Rooms

The rooms at B Resort & Spa are modern and stylish, yet comfortable enough for a whole family to enjoy.  I stayed in a Deluxe Room with two queen beds and a pull out sofa.  Rooms are available with a king bed, bunk beds and even suites with kitchenettes or wet bars.

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The Blissful Bed is a signature B Resort bed and is probably one of the most comfortable beds I have slept in…and that includes my bed at home!

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The decor is sleek and sophisticated.  Other amenities include a spacious closet with and in-room safe, LED television, a min-fridge, and a B Treated Box of in-room snacks.  The only thing I missed were drawers to put my clothes in.

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The bathrooms are very spacious.  I love the stand up shower, however the water pressure left something to be desired.

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While the rooms have small balconies, they hotel does not want guests out on them.  But that doesn’t mean that you can’t enjoy the amazing views!

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Each room comes with a B Humane stuffed animal that represents an endangered species.  They are available for “adoption” with the proceeds going towards a select environmental organization.  A small way B Resorts helps to B Sensitive to the environment!

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Dining

Just off the lobby is B Resort’s farmhouse chic signature restaurant, American Q, where you can B Nourished.

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The menu features a la carte barbecue specialties from dozens of regions nationwide, as well as an “all-you-can-eat” parade of BBQ meats.  Everything is smoked right in the restaurant in their custom built Smokehouse and you can smell the deliciousness out in the parking lot!

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The centerpiece of the restaurant is the appetizer and salad buffet in the bed of a ’50 cherry red Ford F1 pickup.  This is SUPER COOL!

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There is a full bar with numerous local beers on tap.

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I unfortunately didn’t get a chance to eat there, but I did stop in for a cocktail.  This is the Cherry Maple Manhattan made with bacon infused Woodford Reserve, cherry liquor, maple syrup & Angostura bitters.  And yes, that is candied bacon in there!  YUM!

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There is also a grab ‘n go location where you can grab coffee or a snack.  I love how they keep up the theme from American Q.

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Amenities

There are tons of amenities at the B Resort & Spa!  Through the lobby there is a patio area with plenty of communal seating and a larger than life chess & checkers board.

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There is over 25,000 square feet of meeting and event space available.  Check out that chandy candy!

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The pool at B Resort is brand new and features zero-entry and multiple interactive elements.  Private cabanas are available and a a very cool pool bar is in the works.

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There is also a kids lounge off of the pool area that has games and activities to keep the kiddos occupied while you relax poolside.

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Oh an let’s not forget the B Indulged spa by Aveda!  More to come on that later…yes, I was able to B Indulged with a hot stone massage.  But for now, check out the spacious B Active fitness center.

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Lastly, you are able to purchase many of your favorite Disney items right at the resort since it is an official Downtown Disney hotel.  You can even get park tickets!

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A few things to note.

  • Transportation to the 4 main Walt Disney World parks is complimentary
  • Complimentary Wi-Fi is available throughout the resort
  • Magical Express is not available from the airport and separate transportation will need to be arranged
  • There is an additional resort fee, as well as a fee for valet and self parking

I REALLY enjoyed my stay at the B Resort & Spa.  It is convenient to everything in Walt Disney World and I loved the modern design.  I will definitely be back and I hope to see you there!

B Resort & Spa
1905 Hotel Plaza Boulevard
Lake Buena Vista, FL 32830
www.BResortLBV.com
Phone: 407.828.2828
Reservations: 888.66BHOTELS

Disclosure: I was a guest of the B Resort & Spa and was provided with complementary accommodations for two nights. I was not required to write this post and no monetary compensation has been received.  All opinions are 100% my own.

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Halloween Arrives at the Magic Kingdom!

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It’s hard to believe that Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party starts tonight!  Yes, you heard me right….TONIGHT!  It is Labor Day, 90+ degrees out and officially still summer, but thousands of guests will be donning their Halloween costumes and Trick-or-Treating throughout the Magic Kingdom.

But even though it doesn’t feel like Fall, it sure looks like it in the Magic Kingdom.  Check out some of the fun decorations that are up and around Main Street USA!

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And it’s not just the fall decorations that are out, all of that great Halloween merchandise is out too.  This is always my favorite!  I found a few fun new items this year…I think I want them all…

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Halloween/Fall at Walt Disney World is definitely my favorite time of year.  The decor is great, the temps are cooling down and the celebrations are the BEST!  Nothing beats Hallowishes!  I can’t wait to get back down there in 26 days to see it all again!

What’s your favorite part about Halloween in Walt Disney World?

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