Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

The Unofficial Guide to Walt Disney World

April 30th, 2009 by Alison | Comments Off | Filed in Disney World, Uncategorized

Are you trying to choose which Disney World Guide Book to buy to plan your trip? A good guide book is so important to get the most out of your Disney vacation. There are certainly plenty of guides to choose from. You are faced with a huge choice and not all books are created equal. Is The Unofficial Guide Walt Disney World 2009 the best Disney World guide book? The Unofficial Guide has been a bestseller for many years and it certainly covers a lot of ground in it’s 864 pages. So what makes it one of my top picks for Disney World guides?

It is very well researched. The authors use their extensive knowledge of Disney World coupled with feedback from their many readers. The anecdotes and reviews are really helpful. Not many books get a 5 star rating on Amazon but this one consistently does for good reason. The authors really know their stuff.

The Unofficial Guide covers the major topics such as where to stay,which rides are the best,the good and the not so good places to eat in a lot of detail. Some would say too much detail. This is not a quick read. If you buy this book be prepared to spend some time reading it and sifting through the information. See this as a reference book which you will need to study but can refer to time and again for detailed information.

Particularly popular are the Disney World touring plans which are included in the The Unofficial Guide . They will take you through, step by step, a tried and tested touring plan for each park. There are touring plans for single and multiple days and for those with children and adults. Many guests find these very useful.

Any negatives? Well just like any printed guide book it can’t be up to date. But this really shouldn’t put you off buying a printed Disney World guide book. To get the most out of your vacation you really do need one.

What is my equal first choice of Walt Disney World guide book? It has to be Julie Neal’s excellent The Complete Walt Disney World Guide

If you possibly can I would suggest buying both the Unofficial Guide and the Complete Guide. They are very different in style and I think compliment each other wonderfully. Why the Complete Disney World Guide? It has just the right amount of detail, is well researched, and has some beautiful pictures of Disney. Just the thing to get you and the family even more excited about your trip.

Want to know more about the choices of Disney World guide books? My book shelf is of course full of them so I have written a Disney World Guide Book Review for you.

Kissimmee Villas

February 27th, 2009 by Alison | Comments Off | Filed in Uncategorized

Are you looking for a Kissimmee Villa to rent for your vacation but are confused about all the options out there? If you are looking for the very closest homes to Disney World then the most popular choice are the Windsor Palms and Windsor Hills resorts. Many vacation home owners claim to be the closest to Disney World – but the Windsor resorts really are.

So how long will it really take you to get to the Disney parks from Windsor Palms and Windsor Hills?

Disney’s Animal Kingdom – 7 to 9 minutes

Disney Hollywood Studios – 15 to 18 minutes

The Magic Kingdom – 17 to 20 minutes

EPCOT – 17 to 20 minutes

Now I know that Disney World isn’t the only theme park in Orlando! The Windsor resorts are also convenient for the other attractions too. Driving time to Sea World is around 20 to 25 minutes. Universal Studios Orlando is around 30 minutes. The Kennedy Space Center has a driving time of around 70 to 90 minutes.

So they have a great location – but what else do the Windsor Palms and Windsor Hills resorts offer? Excellent resort facilities. At each resort you will find community pool,large clubhouse, sundry store,tennis courts, basketball and volleyball, pool tables and table tennis,fitness facility and even a private movie theater. Each resort also has a shuttle service to the parks if you don’t want to drive.

So what is the difference between Windsor Palms and Windsor Hills? They are separate resorts both built by the same developer. Both have that great location. Windsor Hills is a much larger resort than Windsor Palms so if you are looking to be able to walk to all the community facilities then Windsor Palms may be a better choice for you. The water slide at Windsor Hills is a major draw though – a lot of fun for the kids (and the adults of course). Each home on the resort is privately owned so will vary a lot in design and quality of furnishings. Some guests prefer Windsor Palms, others Windsor Hills – it all depends on what you are looking for. I can help you choose which resort would be best suited to you and your family.

I have 4, 5 and 6 bedroom homes available on both Windsor Palms and Windsor Hills. They are located on some of the best lots available including conservation view lots. They are all privately owned homes which offer upgraded facilities. If you want any more details just use the contact form at the side of this page or write me a comment and I will be happy to help.

Kissimmee Villas

Disney World Dining Plan

January 4th, 2009 by Alison | Comments Off | Filed in Disney World, Uncategorized
Is the Disney World Dining Plan the right option for you?

Is the Disney World Dining Plan the right option for you?

Is the Disney Dining Plan worth the money? When you book a Disney Magic Your Way Package you have the option of adding on a Disney Dining Plan option. This can be a great saving for your family – but to decide whether it is the right option for you then you need to know more about it.
So how does it work? As a Disney hotel guest you can just book your room and nothing else. Or you can book a Magic Your Way Package which will include your tickets for the duration of your stay, and you can add dining plans and recreation.

There are now 3 types of Disney Dining Plan. The Quick Service Dining Plan, The Dining Plan and the Deluxe Dining Plan.

The Quick Service Disney Dining Plan is $29.99 for adults and $8.99 for children aged 3 to 9 per person per day. This new Plan for 2009 will give you credits for 2 Quick Service Meals, 2 snacks per day and a resort refillable mug. To be honest I am not sure how popular this plan will be as it does not offer as much value as the other Plans.

The Dining Plan includes 1 table service meal, 1 counter service and 1 snack per person per day. Each guest will also have a refillable mug which can be used for fountain service drinks at your resort hotel.

The cost of this option per person per day is $39.99 for adults and $10.99 for children aged 3 to 9.

Want all your eating options covered? Then choose The Deluxe Disney Dining Plan which includes 3 meals,2 snacks and a resort refillable mug. The meals can be either full service or counter service meals. On this plan you are pretty certain you are never going to be hungry! The cost of the Disney Deluxe Dining Plan? $69.99 for adults and $19.99 for children aged 3 to 9.

Remember that for all table service dining at Disney World it is advisable to make Advance Dining Reservations as far ahead as possible. You can do this by calling 407 WDW DINE up to 90 days in advance for all guests and 100 days in advance if you have a Disney resort hotel reservation. Do you really need to do this? Yes, I know some of you don’t want to think about making decisions and planning that far in advance but if you want your first choice then I really would suggest calling ahead to make those ADR’s as soon as you can. Partly due to the success of the Disney Dining Plan it seems to be getting more and more difficult to find a ‘walk in’ for a Disney restaurant. In particular if you want to dine at the extremely popular Cinderella’s Royal Table, Le Cellier at Epcot and Akershus Princess Storybook Dining then you must call ahead.

What if you haven’t made an Advance Dining Reservation? As soon as you arrive at the park go to Guest Services to see what they have available – and be prepared to be flexible. I am not saying that walk ins aren’t available – they are – I just want you to know that they can be difficult to find!

If you want to know lots more then I have written a complete Guide to the Disney Dining Plan.

Tags: , ,

Discount Deals on Disney Vacation Homes

December 30th, 2008 by Alison | Comments Off | Filed in Uncategorized

Are you looking for a discount deal on Disney vacation homes? I have a discounted offer for my Solana 5 bed 4 bathroom home for all remaining dates in January. Arrive and depart on any Saturday in January and enjoy my best discounted offer yet! Just $995 for 7 nights which includes taxes and pool/spa heating.

January is one of the very best times to visit Disney World. The parks are quiet and the weather is usually still very good. So what are you waiting for?

My Solana resort 5 bed home features:

  • Large 36′ Swimming Pool with Spa with WATER FOUNTAINS – A UNIQUE FEATURE!
  • Extended 50′ Pool Deck with Speaker System on the Outdoor Covered Patio
  • Corner Lot with privacy screen around the pool
  • 2 Master Bedrooms – one with Built in Audio Speakers
  • Queen Bedroom
  • 2 Twins and 2 Bathrooms
  • All Bedrooms have Cable TV with DVD Player
  • Built in Surround Sound 50″ Cable TV in Living Area and Built in Audio Speakers
  • 2 Dining Areas
  • Upgraded Fully Equipped Kitchen with Dishwasher, Full Size Cooker, Microwave and Fridge Freezer
  • Laundry Room with Washer and Dryer
  • FREE Use of Baby Equipment – Play Yard Crib and Highchair
  • FREE Wireless Internet
  • Short Walk to the Clubhouse,Resort Pool, Spa, Gym, Play Structure, Concierge, Internet Cafe and Putting Green.

This is my newest vacation home and it was designed in collaboration with my most loyal guests – I asked them what they wanted from a home and I incorporated their requests to design a truly luxurious home just minutes from Disney.

For more information check out Solana Vacation Homes

Kissimmee Villa January Special

November 19th, 2008 by Alison | Comments Off | Filed in Uncategorized

Are you looking for a great rate for a Kissimmee rental villa in January 2009? Well I have some great deals for you on my Windsor Palms and Windsor Hills homes. January is one of the best times of the year to visit Disney World and all the other Orlando theme parks. If you are looking to escape the cold weather where you live then Florida is the perfect place. The average temperatures for Orlando in January are around 72 degrees. Just the right temperature to explore Disney World – when it is too hot it can just be so much more tiring to walk around! So you have the combination of great weather,very short wait times to get on the attractions – so what are you waiting for?

What could be better than relaxing in your own swimming pool on one of the very popular Windsor resorts. Why do more people choose Windsor Palms and Windsor Hills than any other resort in Orlando? Location, location. location. And of course the great facilities which each resort has. You get the best of everything. A home away from home close to Disney World.

I have several homes to choose from on Windsor Palms – from 4 beds to 6 bed vacation homes. And on Windsor Hills I have some almost brand new homes. Every one of them is privately owned and very upgraded. So if you are looking for a special deal then contact me to find out more.

Thanksgiving at Disney World

November 10th, 2008 by Alison | Comments Off | Filed in Uncategorized

Are you planning a trip to Walt Disney World this Thanksgiving? If you are then you want to make sure that you make Advance Dining Reservations by calling 407 WDW DINE.  Some restaurants are offering special Thanksgiving Menus. In Magic Kingdom try Liberty Tree Tavern, Crystal Palace or if you already have a reservation or very good luck at the very popular Cinderella’s Royal Table.

If you are looking for a traditional Thanksgiving meal I think that one of your best choices is at Disney Hollywood Studios Hollywood Brown Derby. This is one of my favorite Disney theme park restaurants. They will be offering traditional Thanksgiving favorites as well as the usual al la carte menu.

Most of the buffet style restaurants will be offering Thanksgiving items as well as their usual menu items. one of my favorite buffet restaurants is 1900 Park Fare in Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort.  Or for something a little different try Boma at Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge.

Surprisingly other than offering some different dining options Disney World does not have too much of a theme at Thanksgiving. One of the things that I like about visiting the parks at this time of year though is that the Christmas decorations go up. So you get that Christmas feeling without having to deal with the crowds.

I have visited Disney World for many years around Thanksgiving.  Of course the question that everyone asks is will the Disney parks be busy on Thanksgiving? My experience is that at the beginning of the week the crowds aren’t too bad. Thanksgiving can get busy though – just like any major Holiday.  Try and arrive early at the parks and make sure that you already have your dining reservations. And use the Fast Pass System. Not everyone does but it saves you a ton of time standing in line.

The week following Thanksgiving weekend tends to be light on crowds so if you can this is a prefect time to visit.

Of course if you are looking to make the most of your stay at Disney World then why not look to a luxury resort vacation home. I still have one of my resort homes available for a last minute Disney vacation.

The Perfect Cruise

October 31st, 2008 by Alison | 1 Comment | Filed in Uncategorized

I just got back from a week on a Carnival Cruise. It was one of the best vacations I have ever had – yes almost as good as Disney World. Next time of course it will be a Disney cruise – they have just released some very tempting deals for 2010.

I have one of my most loyal guests to thank for helping me decide to take the plunge and go on a cruise. So Kim – I thank you. I have been lucky enough to welcome some lovely people to my Orlando villas over the years and Kim and her family are always very special guests. I knew that she was a cruise fan so asked her advice. She was really helpful and having someone I trusted to talk to really helped.

We had a wonderfully relaxing time. All the children loved the kids club. The fabulous food. The hours spent relaxing by the pool. I didn’t even pick up my email! This is unheard of for me – just ask my family, I even sneak a look on Christmas Day.  But who could resist sitting on the balcony with a view like this?

Watching the World go by.......

Watching the World go by.......

But one of my most memorable moments what something that I overheard when we got back. We had stayed at a hotel which was close to the port and had returned back there to pick up our car. There was a couple who had just got off the cruise, and another who were just about to get on.

I sat there with I will admit feelings of envy towards the people just about to start the cruise. Yes, I could just do it all over again I thought. It was perfect.

The couple, who were excited to be just about to embark on their cruise adventure, asked the others what they had thought of it. ‘Oh. It had a lot of problems’. I was intrigued. Had they been on the same cruise? The service levels were excellent, the cruise ship wonderful. How could someone else have had such a bad time? I was amazed when I heard the reply.

‘You couldn’t drink the water and the coffee was really bad’.

Had this really ruined their cruise experience?

I hope so much that it didn’t.

But you know what? Maybe it had. When I plan a vacation, or indeed just about anything, I research it. I research it so much that sometimes it drives me crazy and I just have to walk away from the computer! So when I decided to go on a cruise I read a lot of reviews. In the end I decided to stop. What I realised was that for some it was almost perfect but for others it was the worst vacation they had ever had. Whilst some were of course justified in giving a bad review, others would probably not have liked the coffee or drunk the water anywhere but home!

I talk to people all the time who are looking for the perfect Orlando vacation home. Of course I think mine are perfect! But what I also know is that the most important thing is that a guest chooses the right cruise, the right hotel, or the right rental villa for them. So if it isn’t right then I will be honest. And by the way, I think the water tastes just fine………

Windsor Palms and Windsor Hills Discounts

August 15th, 2008 by Alison | Comments Off | Filed in Uncategorized

Are you looking for discounts on a stay at one of the best Orlando vacation villa resorts? Well late August and September is a great time to pick up a bargain. People ask me all the time ‘what are the best times to visit Disney World’. Well the answer is when it is least crowded and the weather is still great. When is this? From around the third week of August to the end of September. Just try and avoid Labor Day weekend if you can!

So to be honest it is a quiet time for vacation rentals in Orlando. But this is a great thing for those looking for an Orlando villa bargain. I have homes on Windsor Palms and Windsor Hills available at discount rates for August and September. So if you are interested – what are you waiting for. These are the best resorts in Orlando just minutes from Disney World. Contact me using the big envelope on the left hand side of this page and I will let you know just how great the savings are you can make on a Windsor Palms or Windsor Hills home………

So What Is This All About?

August 13th, 2008 by Alison | Comments Off | Filed in Disney World, Orlando Vacation Homes, Uncategorized

Now I do not usually suffer from writers block. I usually have a million and one ideas and the words flow off the page and after all this is how I make my living. But I have to admit that this was a difficult post to write. Why? Because it was the first one on my brand new blog.

I decided a while ago that the needs of Orlando vacation home guests were a little different from other visitors to Disney World. They have made a smart choice by deciding to rent a vacation home. But there really isn’t much out there to help them make a choice of home, or how they can get the most out of their vacation home when they get there.

So I guess this is a new place that guests thinking about renting a home, or those visiting for the 10th time, can come and see what Orlando has to offer them. You will find tips about homes, Disney World, Universal Studios ( yes there really are other parks in Orlando) and everything from where to find the best take out pizza to how to save money on your Disney World tickets.

The Most Magical Place on Earth

Hello world!

August 12th, 2008 by admin | Comments Off | Filed in Uncategorized

Welcome to WordPress. This is your first post. Edit or delete it, then start blogging!