Weekly with Carly: Spring Break 2014 Edition

By: Carly Clegg
By: Carly Clegg

College Station, TX March 7: S P R I N G B R E A K  Dream it. Do it. DISNEY. (Disney trip tips and money saving guidelines)
This week, I’m going to steer away from all things relationships and dating and let you in on some secrets…D I S N E Y secrets! Who’s excited? Because I am!

Unfortunately I will not be venturing out to the happiest place on earth this spring break, but just in case you are or someone you might know is, I would love love love to share some of the wisdom I have about Walt Disney World.

As I’ve mentioned before, I worked for the Walt Disney World Company through the Disney College Program in Spring 2014. Throughout my journey, I gained so much knowledge about who Walt was, where the company is going, how they got where they are today, and what’s to come-needless to say, I’m in on some things and I would like to share with you how to do Disney the right way, the efficient way, the affordable way, the fun way, and the relaxed way. Sound good?

Walt Disney World is practically perfect in every way-literally. So, as expected perfection comes with a price. Walt Disney World may cost a pretty penny, but with the right mindset and ultimate planning skills, you might be able to save a few bucks along the way. I would love to help out as much as I can by giving you tips on where to eat, sleep, play, spend, splurge, skip, and relax! Below I’ve broken down popular parties that Disney usually expects. If you don’t see your group in the following, comment below and I’ll be more than happy to help!

*Warning* I am not going to include travel expenses- whether you decide to drive, fly, take a train, run, ride your bike, or skip to Walt Disney World is not under my concern. However you get there- be safe, buckle up, and be sure to brace yourself to dream along with Mickey!

Who’s ready for adventure?!

1. Happily Ever After, Party of Two
Congratulations on your engagement, marriage or just getting to escape to happily ever after! Many people mistake Walt Disney World as a place that’s hectic, congested with crying five year olds that suddenly think they’re a princess and expect a five hundred dollar Anna and Elsa makeover---WRONGO. To me, Disney created the whole “true love” thing and if it wasn’t for Minnie and Mickey, no one would understand the magic that loves brings! I for one fall in love with the fantasy, the imagination, the escape that allows you to forget your reality-And when you’re with your significant other, you’ll never want to leave your Neverland.

Allow me to make an itinerary for the two of you:
Splurge on a nice resort. Disney sleep is better than regular Hilton Hotel sleep. Trust me. The fairest of them all is Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort and Spa. It’s an investment, (starting at $488 a night) but you definitely get the bang for your buck. Grand Fla. is considered a deluxe Magic Kingdom resort, so to me, it’s the most convenient location because MK is my favorite park of all time.
The Grand Floridian also hosts some of the best dining experiences at Disney World. Options from 24-hour room service, to themed/character dining, to casual/café dining, all the way to lounges and fine/signature dining.
Like steak and butter-poached lobster tail? Be sure to call in up to 180 days in advance to book your reservation for Narcoossee’s. Delight yourself in superb seafood and more in this waterfront hideaway, while slipping away in this elegant retreat all the while enjoying a spectacular view of Seven Seas Lagoon.
After dessert, take a stroll along Disney’s Polynesian Resort’s beach front and watch Magic Kingdom’s Wishes Nighttime Spectacular firework show without the chaos of Main St. USA and in the comfort of your loved ones arms-beach chairs included!
After you wake up from your Disney sleep, make it a magical morning at Grand Floridian’s 1900 Park Fair. This is my all-time favorite Disney dining experience-in my opinion-the best buffet Disney has to offer. This might take things up a notch on the relaxation scale, but I assure you, when Alice, Mad Hatter, Pooh, Tigger, and Mary Poppins greet you at your table-you’ll be reserving a table for your next visit-possibly a table for 3?

Whether or not you are planning on going to one of the parks, the choice is yours. I know many people who go to Walt Disney World and never actually step into the parks. The beauty that Disney offers goes beyond the hustle and bustle of crowds, expensive quick service food, and souvenirs. Walt Disney World is full of places for ‘bigger kids’ too! Disney Golf is an excellent option for an athletic duo. Charming courses like Disney’s Magnolia, Lake Buena Vista, Disney’s Palm, and Disney’s Oak Trail will keep you challenged with their superlative design but also on the right track to fun with their impeccable service and world class amenities.

Perhaps after tea time, a big bowl of ice cream might sound appetizing.

Disney’s Riverside !

Going to the parks is not an option-y’all are going to hit every one and here’s how!

(Be sure you buy a package deal in advance-resort, tickets, meal plan-everything. It may seem overpriced, and you might think you can save money by buying everything separate but-Disney knows what they’re doing, one of their four keys in running the company is efficiency- they want to get things done, and they want to get it done right. Convenient for you. Convenient for them. It’s a win win. Don’t. Fight. The. System.)

List of must dos:
Hollywood Studios- Fantastmic (night show), Beauty and The Beast show, Lights, Motors, Action, Tower of Terror, and Rock n’ Roller Coaster!
Magic Kingdom- Dream Along with Mickey (castle show), Wishes (firework show), Monster’s Inc. Laugh Floor, Space Mountain, Move It Shake It Celebrate It parade
Epcot- World Showcase, *Anna and Elsa (FROZEN) are in Norway,* Mission: SPACE, Ellen’s Energy Adventure, Club Cool-Coke from Around the World
Disney’s Animal Kingdom- Kilimanjaro Safari, Expedition Everest, It’s Tough to be a Bug, Mickey’s Jammin’ Jungle Parade, Rafiki’s Planet Watch, The Festival of Lion Kling, Dinosaur, eat at Tusker House!

Enjoy your trip! Celebrate YOU! Go to the pool! Get some rest and check things off your Disney bucket list!

3. The Family of Four- Practically Perfect in Everyway
I’m not sure if Disney’s favorite number was four, or things are easier for a family of four or statistics are high for families of four- whatever it is-welcome to the easiest
(and most affordable) vacation plan to Walt Disney World.

To sum things up: Packages are your friend. For starting at $75 dollars a day, you and a family of four can book a 6 –night/7 day vacation for $2,906! (plus traveling expenses-but you get my drift.)

There are multiple websites for deals, advice, personal experiences and more! Find magic your way here and get an even closer insight here.

That goes for everybody reading this!!!! ^^^ The Disney Parks Blog introduces new rides, new parades, renovations of new parts of the parks, restaurants (Coming soon: Disney Springs- instead of Downtown Disney!), and introductions to new guests, deals, celebrity sightings and more! The official Disney Parks Blog currently announces that the NEW Festival of Fantasy Parade debuts at Magic Kingdom this Sunday, March 9th!

So if you are going to Walt Disney World you will be one of the very first to see this magical parade come to life!

With information given above, I’m going to keep this section quick and simple.

4. A Family Affair: Family Reunion- To Infiniti and Beyond!
Hurray! You and your caravan of 30 finally arrived to the happiest place on earth!

I always loved seeing a family reunion at Walt Disney World. Matching Mickey shirts. Huge group shots in front of castle. A whole roller coaster track just for them. Thousands of dollars spent on food-but with everyone stuffing their face with Casey’s Corner Chicago style hotdogs as a Christmas card picture-it’s worth it.

Disney caters so much to families from all over the world.
Disney is all about family-they know how much it takes to haul every grandchild, cousin, aunt, uncle, stepdad, niece twice removed-what have you-to get to Orlando, FL.
Family reunions not only take time to plan, effort to organize, and patience to put together, but also a lot of money. In most cases, a family reunion is at least a week long. Which means wherever you stay becomes your home for the next 7 days.

My suggestion to y’all-screaming infants and all-is to get your Disney sleep at Disney’s Old Key West Resort. Here you will experience the romance of the Florida Keys while feeling at home in your bedroom villa. Starting at $618 a night for a 2 bedroom villa that sleeps up to 9, you and your entire family can enjoy the hominess that Old Key West brings. The villas are complete with a full kitchen with a sink, fridge/freezer, and dishwasher, a washing machine, full family room for game night, a TV to get the kids to sleep, and a patio to wake up to with your coffee in hand! The going rate is pretty steep-considering how much everything is going to cost-food/water/souvenirs (everyone needs Mickey/Minnie ears-including you dad) but this is definitely a resort to splurge on.

Keep in mind that Disney has efficient transportation to and from any Disney on property location. Not only can Disney guest travel by bus, but by boats too!

Old Key W keeps up with the theme and allows guests to set sail to their desired destination!

I hope this post has opened your mind to new things, given you help in saving/planning, gotten you excited about your trip, or even inspired you to believe that Disney is affordable and closer in reach than you thought!

I hope each and every one of you has a safe, fun spring break!
Until next time, celebrate a dream come true! See ya real soon! And be kind to one another!

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