walt disney world

Savor the Savanna: Evening Safari Experience, Animal Kingdom

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Another new backstage tour/ experience we did was the Savor the Savanna: Evening Safari Experience. I actually booked this for my dads birthday present, so paid for mine and his, and then they paid for my mums ticket. This one is pretty pricey, which is why it was a special treat! Currently (May 2019) its $169 each and you still need a valid park ticket). I had booked the later tour at 6.15pm (there is another at 5pm) as I wanted to be there more of sunset/evening.

 

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Check in is right next to Kilimanjaro Safaris, you are given a POG juice to sip on whilst checking in. Your group (I think there was approx. 12 people) walk with the guides to your personal truck. This isn’t the usual safari truck (its the same one in the other Animal Kingdom tours), there’s no middle rows of seats you all just sit round a bench round the truck, and it is very bumpy!

The tour starts on the actual safari, and then we pulled up next to another cast member and stopped to talk to him. You should see the other ride vehicle’s going past, all thinking why aren’t we stopping here? The guy pictured above talked about his daily routine, and time working there. Also gave time for questions. We then drove over to the platform for the food/drinks/prime animal viewing portion.

Guys – I could have stayed there all  night! I think its about 45 minutes – 1 hour you are there, but I needed more time!

All of the tables had a cover on, they did a quick run through of the food on offer, there was quite a variety and you helped yourself (see picture below). On offer also was a mini bar with wines and beers, fresh fruit water etc. I opted for a white wine and enjoyed some whilst overlooking the savannah.

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Also at this time, someone proposed! I was actually getting my drink so I missed the actual thing, but saw them hugging and a female friend was also there (who clearly knew) as she then gave her some special ears!

People were mingling and talking and as the food was tapas style, it was easy to use hands. I actually sat down facing out towards the flamingos. The food was really nice, and I did go back for seconds.

The desserts was nice too – my favourite was a 7 layer bar, it was nuts, chocolate and lots more. Very yummy. The pink one was a strawberry cake and the one in a tin was a de constructed S’mores – it didn’t photo well.

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There was 2 other cast members besides the ones on truck, and they was all so lovely. I did a cast compliment for Mandi (and the others but I didn’t get their names). You can walk all round the veranda, and there was a few binoculars on the tables.

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The sun was slowly starting to set, and we saw lots of movement from the animals (the ones below came quite close). There is also a long walk way heading to the right, and Mandi called us down as the Lions was roaring! Most of us walked down (it wasn’t hugely close to the lion part but you could see them from a distance and you could hear them well!) Let me tell you, it is now what you are expecting. She actually gave us some interesting movie/animal trivia too. You know the MGM lion? That’s not a lion, its a tiger roaring!

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I liked the set up at the bar, so had to get a picture! So cute right?

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During our time up there, a storm started. And did it come down! In the picture behind me, you can see how wet the floor was! When it was time to get back on the truck, they gave us complimentary ponchos, and I’m glad they did. As the way you are sitting, the water was streaming in and hitting our backs and necks, we would have all been drenched!

It carries on the normal tour route, with the ability to stop as usual. It ends at the same place, and we all walked back to where we met. They gave us all a gift (SPOILER ALERT) of a 4 piece bamboo set of coasters with the savour the savannah on. They are actually really nice. I did mean to take a picture after but it was raining so heavily and was quite dark. I think its about a 2 hour tour.

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I really enjoyed this and I know my dad did (such a cool birthday present right?!). I do think the price feels a bit heavy. I’m not sure if kids was allowed but we had none on our tour (yes bonus!). It does feel very adult and unique, and truthfully I don’t think kids under 12 would appreciate it. It felt like a very chilled evening and doesn’t feel like you are at Walt Disney World at all! Have you been/ Or would you like to? If you have any questions, feel free to ask!

walt disney world

Concierge Level at Disney’s Beach Club Resort

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So I don’t know if people was keeping up with my latest Disney adventures on Instagram (@what_becky_did) ; ) but we had a 2 night stay at Disney’s Beach club Resort. Upon arrival, we was upgraded to Concierge level! I personally haven’t stayed at this level, but my parents have. There was no mention of why, or magic moments etc. – it just happened!

Honestly still cant believe it (especially when I looked at the price later!). I was walking on air, whilst also secretly thinking someone was going to say they made a mistake!

When I did a little research/digging I found out others who stayed a very few amount of nights also got upgraded.

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We was escorted up to the Stone Harbor Club (which dontcha know requires a tap of your magicband/keycard to press the button!). We sat in the lounge whilst waiting to check in. The cast member that did check us in – Tabia was amazing. She LOVED Disney and was just so excited about it all and had lots of tours.

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Anyway, concierge level basically means you have a separate check in (with chairs and everything!), dedicated cast members at all hours, access to a lounge which has 24/7 hot drinks and also 4 times a day complementary fresh food and drinks are available and you can help yourself. Below was the timings:

Continental breakfast 7.00am-10.30am

Light snacks 11.30am-4.00pm

Hor d’oeuvres & beverages (wine etc) 5.00pm-7.00pm

Desserts and cordials 8.00pm-10.00pm

The lounge also had a tv, board games, this one had a balcony, a coffee machine. I also saw a small fridge stocked with Mickey Bars.

It was actually really nice snacky food, and it changed each day too! The cast members bought out the food, and then was like a mini buffet. The only time they stayed was at 5pm to pour you a drink – glass of wine, get you a beer, and again at 8pm for a short while to pour the liquer, but then the drinks was left after.

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One evening we had gone for a walk around The Boardwalk but had started storming, so I suggested we went back and grabbed some desserts. So we went back to the lounge, each grabbed a plate and a hot drink, and watched fireworks from our balcony – I had created my own dessert party!

At the Beach Club, it seemed like the whole floor was club level and there was quite a few rooms. There was fresh water with fruit near the lifts and the cast members at the desk always greeted you as you walked by.

Turn down service was also offered and I had a chocolate on my pillow!

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All in all, I really enjoyed the experience, I think it forced you to slow down and have some chill time. It felt more grown up and adult, and not so rushed (especially in the morning’s). I again personally could have done without kids there (I know I sound grumpy and I’m at Walt Disney World, but I just want ONE child-free area!!).

If you are a light eater, this is perfect for you, as you could then not eat at the parks and save some money there, but if you are a big eater – this will not be sufficient. There are no mickey waffles or huge breakfast items, its a very very light dinner etc.

But it worked for us, as we could eat and go, and then still eat during the day. But knowing we could still have access to foods without a queue in the evening was lovely!

I also had some snacks and a glass of wine before hitting a park in the evening – that wine which would have easily been $8 a glass.

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I wish there had been some more comfier chairs as it was nice just to sit down for half hour and just have some quiet moments. I’ve tried goggling and searching images for the other lounges to see how they look (I’m very nosey).

I also really liked Beach Club in general – it crept quickly into my top 3 resorts! I had previously stayed at Yacht Club years ago, but been waiting patiently to get back there. The location, theming, even the general architecture of the building and we didn’t even get to the pool!

I’m also very grateful for the extra sprinkling of pixie dust we got for those few days! I got to experience something new that wasn’t even on my Disney Bucket list 🙂

I liked it from what you can see! Have you stayed at Concierge level? Did you like it? Want to do it again? Curious to hear about other resorts!

 

 

walt disney world

Quick Trip Report – Walt Disney World May 2019

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Hi All, I’m back (for a few weeks actually) from Walt Disney World. We stayed for two weeks, we did have iffy weather this time and an infestation of love bugs but still enjoyable!

This time, it was just my parents and I. We had a nice grown up visit, with lounges, cocktails and deluxe resorts. Lots of high lights as always, but here are the big ones!

I stayed at 2 – yes 2 new resorts! One of them for the majority of the stay was the flagship hotel, Disney’s Grand Floridian, talk about bucket list! I finally stayed after all those years. My only complaint was I couldn’t see Cinderella Castle from my room (we was facing one of the pools). I enjoyed walking into the huge lobby, loved being ONE stop from Magic Kingdom and just ticking another resort off the list.

The other stay was the Beach Club Resort, I will actually do a separate blog post about that.

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I met up with an Instagram friend – Kirsty, we hadn’t met before and bumped into each other at immigration, and then had a few days planned together. I loved it, someone my age with similar age and we are meeting again next month! I also will be appearing in her vlogs.  Her youtube channel – https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCNyPQ-GHMaJRFoU6eVNMAuA/featured?disable_polymer=1&app=desktop

Yay for Disney friends!

I did 3 new tours (and will do separate posts) Gardens of the world tour in Epcot, Savor the Savanna: Evening Safari Experience and Up close with Rhinos – both in Animal Kingdom.

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I BECAME AN ANNUAL PASSHOLDER!! Sorry, the capitals was needed, as I was that excited and still am every time I see it in my purse. I did it the first morning, and boy do I love the discounts and the annual passholder entrance. Honestly, this was such bucket list for me and I wonder why we hadn’t done it before!

I finally visited Toy Story Land and rode Slinky Dog Dash (I even bought a special slinky dog tshirt for the occasion!). It’s super cute and much bigger than the Disneyland Paris one.

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I went to Disney’s Hollywood Studios and was there on the 30th anniversary and I got to pick up the commemorative map and badge/button and see the debut of the new show! I could have done with seeing the show again to be honest, as I did FB live at the same time and there was so many screens and so much happening all at once!

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I went to Minnie’s Garden Party, which was a very limited event (4 days!) of Minnie in a new outfit to celebrate spring.

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New restaurants we tried – Narcoossee’s, Grand Floridian Café, The Plaza Restaurant, STK Steakhouse and Chicken Guy. Good ole Disney Dining Plan eh?!

I liked the location of Narcoossee’s but would have preferred no children present, I had a very nice steak and a George Lucas vineyeard wine! Grand Floridian Café was ok, very quiet. The Plaza is just too small and food was ok, wouldn’t go back. STK had a very good steak, would go back but wouldn’t pay out. Chicken Guy – complete disappointment.

Overall, another magical time and I hope you pop back for the other blog posts! Any questions, feel free to get in touch 🙂

 

 

disney cruise · travel

Disney Cruise Number 4 – Disney Magic

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Well, I did it! I’ve cruised on all 4 (current) Disney ships! The Magic was the last to do, and now I’ve completed a big fat tick off my Disney bucket list! Eeeeeeee : )

We sailed on the Bahamian itinerary – Disney Magic for 5 nights from Miami, the stops were Key West, Nassau, Castway Cay, MARVEL day at sea (I will do a separate post about this) and then back to Miami.

The Magic is the sister ship to the Wonder, so it is the other smaller one. It had also been in dry dock not too long ago, so there was some fairly new addition’s like Rapunzel’s Royal Table (will also do a separate blog), and the Tangled show.

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I had actually booked this cruise on my last one, so I had a slight discount and I had on-board credit ($99 worth). We was on deck 7 with a navigators verandah.

We felt this one was very busy, as we got off the ship every day in a port, we did the 5k at Castway Cay, and then Marvel day at sea! We ate loads, (yes I got 2 desserts one dinner) did all the shows, had brunch at Palo, I did the Art of the magic theme tour and also managed to find some chill time on our verandah.

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I can’t tell you how much of a cruise convert I really am. The 5 nights wasn’t long enough for me, but I was restricted with the itinerary’s as we didn’t want a European cruise (where the Magic sails in Summer).

At Key West, we didn’t book any Port Adventures, we just explored by ourselves. I saw Mile Marker 0, the southern most point of the USA, we visited the little White House, had Key Lime Pie and hired a moped.

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In Nassau I booked the jeep adventure tour (you have a jeep for each group and follow thw guides, also in a separate car, you drive all round and they communicate via a walkie talkie), stopped at a beach, had lunch and then the rest of the day is up to you.

Castway Cay, we completed the 5k in the morning, and then sat on Serenity Bay and just chilled, had lunch and a small bit of shopping.

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Highlights were – the Tangled show, its very good (a few tears did leak out), a Cast member from last year on a different ship recognised me!, Palo brunch, our balcony was lovely, new friends from our dinner table and the Marvel day.

All in all, another successful cruise! Just in awe (and shock) that I did manage to cruise all 4 ships. They are all so pretty, well maintained, fun to explore and the Cast Members are amazing.

Do you have any plans to cruise this year, or sometime in the future? If you have any questions, let me know!

 

disney cruise · travel

Disney Cruise Number 3 – Disney Dream

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In the midst of our 15 night stay at Walt Disney World, I had the genius idea of checking to see if there was any Disney Cruises we could do, luck was on my side! There was a 3 night bahamisn cruise from Port Canavral right in the middle of our trip! I proposed the idea to the rest of the family, and it was a go!

 So we booked a 3 night  Bahamian cruise on the Disney Dream. Winning at life as I hadn’t been on this ship (and one of the reasons I suggested it!). The stops were Nassau, Bahamas and Disney’s Castaway cay.

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We booked two rooms on deck 6 with a verandah. I did try to find adjoining rooms for us all but didn’t find any, but I did see 2 rooms and they was only  one room in the middle so we went with that. I stayed in a room with my sister and family, so I had the pull down bunk bed (which again was new for me). It was actually comfy, and I loved they put it back during the day so you had the space in the room again.

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We drove down to the Port, to save money and not pay for the bus. (Even though we did have to pay to park the car).

Let me tell you, 3 days goes so fast! Blink and you will miss it type situation. I think its a good starting point for cruises, but now because I have done 2 – both at a week each, it felt super short.

We watched the Sailing away Party, and ate in cabanas the first afternoon, and explored the ship. We had night in each restaurant. I think the favourite for everyone was Animator’s Palate.

We saw the shows, including the new one Beauty and the Beast. Some of us did one of my favourite parts – the ship tour! We saw a wedding being set up. We completed one game of the Midship Detective Agency on the last night! I for the first time watched the see ya real soon show. We didn’t actually spend any time in the adults only section which was a shame. The three night cruise also does include the Pirates night.

I loved the new addition to the ship – Vanellope’s Sweets and Treats. The theming is great with plenty of photo ops, and the food! Ice cream, gelatos (and they are very happy to give out samples – I tried 4!), cupcakes, macarons and lots of sweet goodies. It is an upcharge, but not too bad. I got one scoop of gelato (and it was in a tub but it was huge!) and it was $2.95.

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When we was in Nassau, we didn’t book any port Adventures, we just got off the ship and had a small walk (and a fresh coconut) and got back on the ship.

Everyone loved Castaway Cay, and new for me I stayed all day on the family side of the island and ate at Cookies BBQ. We hired bikes and cycled round. It was so hot the day we was there! It was another lovely day, and I’m so grateful that I’m able to say that I have visited Castaway Cay.

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I also realised I prefer the island with the smaller ships, but my favourite ship so far has been the Disney Fantasy.

So that’s another cruise and another ship ticked off the list! I am getting closer to ticking off an item on my Disney Bucket List!! I really didn’t think I would do so many cruises in such a short amount of time. I do feel I need to go back on the Disney Dream to stay and explore and have a sea day to see it all. (although it is very similar to the Fantasy as it is the sister ship!)

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What about you, have you been on a Disney Cruise? Is it on your travel/to do/Disney bucket list? If you have any questions, feel free to ask!

 

Disney World · walt disney world

Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party Review

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I have always wanted to go to the Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party (MNSSHP), it was on my Disney bucket list, and two years ago I was in Walt Disney World on the right dates!

October 31st – actual Halloween was our final night of the holiday, so I asked the rest of my holiday party (my boyfriend and his family), if they wanted to come to and it was booked! I was so excited, Halloween in the Magic Kingdom, and what a way to end the holiday.

We hadn’t planned to dress up, but USA is huge on Halloween and we got sucked in! We went to Wal Mart and Target and ended up buying costumes. I found a cheap kids one, and loved it. Then my partners sister did my excellent make up. I was a mime! I had so many compliments that night.

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I had read what we needed to, and lots of information. But sadly that went all wrong! We didn’t get in the Magic Kingdom until 7pm – rookie mistake! We also missed where a cast member was giving out the trick and treat bags! So when we went to the first stop – luckily they had 4 spare on the cart!

I would suggest getting the special party map, as that will show you the trick and treat stations, and what extra character’s there are. In case you don’t get a map, look out for these.

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I really wanted to meet Jack and sally, but the queue was over 2 hours – which was half the party so we skipped that! We did go to Tomorrowland dance party, and danced with Monsters and Boo from Monsters Inc.

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I loved that all the classic characters were dressed up, I caught Donald and Daisy as they was leaving a meet and greet. Look at Donald in a pumpkin! He caught me looking and waved.

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I was shocked that they shut pirates of the Caribbean and turned the entrance into a trick or treat station. I thought pirates was  a perfect Halloween ride! I also sadly didn’t get a chance to eat any of the special treats – the food and snacks in the shops/restaurants!

We watched Hallowishes, which I really enjoyed, and we also watched the second showing of the Boo to You parade – again I had researched, and this one was quieter. So we got a seat on Main Street and sat on the pavement. I had been wanting to see the Headless Horseman for years! I did get some photos – they are not great, as everyone had their flashes on! But I saw him!

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I loved the parade, the uniqueness of the characters – Madam Leota, the gravediggers, pirates and Captain Jack Sparrow, various villain’s, Wreck it Ralph and Vanellope, Oogie Boogie and more.

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I also loved they had changed the lighting on Main Street, it was all very effective, and they played music throughout the park, like Thriller and monster mash.

I did enjoy the party, I really did – but to me for a special ticketed event, it was way too packed. Seven Dwarves Mine Train was over an hour, everywhere was super crowded, and I know it was Halloween, but I thought a select number of people was allowed in, not that many thousands!

I also was expecting a LOT more sweets/candy – but I realised after, the photos I have seen are people, who just go round and round to each station, and must have more than one bag. I did see people whose prams/strollers were loaded with bags, and they just pointed at each station to get them filled up.

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So yes I would go again, – I would be in the park by 4pm and having an early dinner so I was already there before the rush (which was my original plan!), and I would go earlier in the year, so it would be quieter (and cheaper!).

What about you – have you ever been to MNSSHP?

Disney World · walt disney world

My Favourite Disney Resort at Walt Disney World

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I’ve decided to write about my favourite Disney resort – Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort. I know everyone has their own preferences and beloved bases, and this is mine.

I have stayed here twice before. Years and years ago (aah the good old fountain lobby – which I still miss), I stayed with my family for two weeks! (I think this is before sky high rates!), and the second time was five of us in one room. Both times we had ground floor rooms. The first one we even had a view of the monorail.

I haven’t stayed since, as I’m on a quest to stay at ALL the Disney resorts! It’s top of my Disney Bucket List.

So many reasons I love this place.

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This resort is perfect to me because it’s chilled, and it never feels crowed – it’s got that  relaxed vibe going on.  All the cast members say Aloha to you, and wear great shirts.

The restaurants available are all great choices for all meals options – Kona cafe, Ohana, Captain Cooks. Kona Café used to be my favourite breakfast – but they took the Big Kahuna off the menu, I was not impressed. I do love the Kona coffee there.

The great bars/lounges – Tambu Lounge has unique drinks, and of course my favourite Trader Sam’s!

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There is a beach, which has chairs and hammocks, you can rest and observe the view – Cinderella’s Castle, and if you pop back to that same place at evening, you can watch the fireworks.

The new addition is the Disney’s Polynesian Villas & Bungalows – which I think topped everyone’s bucket list as soon as they was announced! I doubt I will ever afford to stay in one – but a girl can dream.

I also love wondering the biggest shop – BouTiki. This year I even bought a kids Polynesian resort shirt!

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In the evening, all the tiki torches are lit, and as soon as you’re back from the parks and the crowds, you instantly relax, and get a second wind, and go and grab a coffee (or cocktail).

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Even when we don’t stay there, I make a point of booking a restaurant there, or just going to visit the resort. My holiday doesn’t feel complete without it!

So if you haven’t considered this resort before, or if costs are too much, maybe try for it a few nights, and maybe like me, your fall in love with the place?

What’s your favourite Disney resort?

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