Thursday, January 7, 2016

Disney 2016 (Pre) Pre-planning

With Disney discount offers shrinking in size, I decided to branch out and explore other options, such as renting DVC points or booking through a travel agent.  I've learned that you can find deals out there if you are persistent and flexible with your vacation dates.  For our 2016 trip, I found an offer valid on deluxe resorts and narrowed it down to two:  Contemporary and Yacht Club.  I always mention the Contemporary as my ideal resort because of its location next to Magic Kingdom and the fact that you can walk to the park.  We really enjoyed our stay at Beach Club several years ago, especially how it gave us the ability to walk to Epcot and Hollywood Studios, and it has what is basically a small waterpark.  So while the Contemporary was at the top of my list, Yacht Club was right behind it.  And then I came up with the genius idea of a split stay.  So that's what we're doing.  Three nights at the Contemporary followed by three nights at the Yacht Club.  Why Yacht Club over its sister resort, Beach Club?  Well, we like trying out new resorts and supposedly fewer kids stay on the Yacht Club side so maybe it will be quieter.

It's still too early for me to make dining reservations but I have some ideas and thoughts.  I asked the girls and all I heard was "I want Mickey waffles!"  When we travel to Disney, we like to have one table service (sit down) meal a day.  Unless we are eating at a buffet-type restaurant that charges per person, we normally don't order six meals because we are light eaters.  There's a lot of sharing going on. 

Chef Mickey's - I feel like people either love this restaurant or absolutely hate it.  We've never eaten here as I've never been able to secure a decent reservation but it's in the Contemporary and because we'll be staying at the Contemporary, I'd like to try it out.  Plus, the girls really enjoy character meals.  Breakfast seems to be rated better and you know how I love breakfast so that's what I'll be going for when reservation day rolls around.

The Wave - This table service restaurant is located in the Contemporary.  We've eaten dinner here twice and everyone was in agreement that the food was very tasty.  Not sure if we'll eat here this time around but it's good to know that a great restaurant is located at our resort.  

Hoop-Dee-Do Musical Revue - I've only heard good things about this dinner but we've never been able to fit it into our vacation.  Maybe this will be the year.

Via Napoli Ristorante e Pizzeria - On Epcot day, our table service restaurant of choice is usually Akershus Royal Banquet Hall.  I'm thinking of mixing things up this year and trying out a new restaurant and who doesn't love Italian and pizza?

Beaches & Cream - Ice cream.  Do I need to say more?

Cape May Café - This is a great option for a character breakfast.  Unfortunately, when we dined here the first time, Allie was in the midst of an allergic reaction to Advil and was drugged up on an antihistamine.  I think we need a redo.

So while we plan to be at Disney for six full days, which includes the day we check into the Contemporary, I've only booked five days of park tickets.  We'll visit each park once, with two days for Magic Kingdom.  That one non-park day will be a pool day at the Yacht Club.  Let's hope the hurricanes stay away.  I haven't even looked to try to determine which parks we'll visit on which days, except that it will coincide with our resort stays.

Speaking of Disney, still, about once a week, someone lands here searching "best lens for Disney."  In my opinion, it's the lens you have.  


Farah said...

Can't wait to hear about your trip. I love reading your vacation recaps...especially the Disney ones!

Kate said...

We did dinner at Chef Mickey's the day we arrived (since we weren't going to a park that day) and our almost 3 year old loves it. The food is fine--nothing amazing, basic buffet type of food--but the fact that the characters came right to us and overall experience made it a great time. I've heard good things about the breakfast, too, but dos want to share that we enjoyed dinner there-and liked not having to get up extra early for breakfast one day. We stayed at AKL though, so getting up early while staying at gbr Contemporary at least wouldn't be as early since no travel is required!

alliesmith said...

We love chef Mickey! The food is just ok but it is super fun. Ask to sit in the center of the dining room so it's super fun when it comes time to "party with Mickey". Hoop de doo is also very fun!

Jen said...

Your blog has been such a great Disney resource for me! I am in the midst of planning our first Disney vacation for our family of five and your reviews have been most helpful! Thanks!

Susanne said...

I am not sure if you have ever done 1900 Park Faire at the Grand Floridian but we had a great character breakfast there and the price was ok too. I haven't done Chef Mickeys in too many years to compare. The one that I thought was overpriced for the character meal was the new Minnie Seasonal meal at Hollywood studios. I love reading about where other people stay and play!

Sarah said...

We did the character breakfast at 1900 Park Faire and not only was it good, but the price was decent for that resort/food compared to the pricing of other meals there.

Erin said...

I LOVE Via Napoli at Epcot! We ate there a little over a year ago and picked it as our restaurant for our Candlelight Processional package. They had really great food (side note: why does Tony's serve such awful Italian food?!) and good drinks! I much prefer it food wise to Akershus (hated the food there but of course the princesses are the main reason to go there).

Nine Dragons is pretty good too if you are in the mood for Chinese food. We often just walk in there with little wait.

If you haven't yet tried a drink from La Cava de Tequila in the Mexico pavilion, I recommend it! Super good margaritas!

BreezieGirl said...

Yay Disney planning! I leave for my trip in just over five weeks!! I'm flying in for the Princess Half and staying at POP Century that weekend. Then our larger group is staying at house we rented off-site a couple miles away.

The only dining reservations I got were for Mama Melrose (with Fantasmic) for dinner one night and Be Our Guest for breakfast one morning. I had a hard time coordinating fast passes with meals, especially for 7 aduilts/1 toddler. I ultimately threw in the towel and decided we'd figure it out as we went, haha. I hope I'm not wrong in that!

Have you ever gone park to park in the same day? I heard from a few friends that AK and HS aren't really "all day" parks, so we have plans to do them both the same day.

Katelyn said...

Hoop DE Doo is a lot of fun but be aware of the location! It takes some effort to get there! Lots of fun though and I imagine the girls will love walking around Fort Wilderness.