It’s not every year that we’re both able to take time off work over the holiday period. So when the opportunity arises, we absolutely go for it. As much as we feel a sense of duty or even a desire to spend time with family and friends at this time of year, sometimes escaping from it all can be an absolute thrill. Speaking from experience, the twangs of guilt you feel as you call/FaceTime/Skype…. your nearest and dearest on Christmas day, disappears as soon as you head off to the pool, beach bar, theme park 😋
So this year we have opted for a “Florida Christmas” and have decided to go theme park crazy, as we are approaching an age where some of the more extreme rides may be soon out of our reach/comfort zone. So having looked into various Fly/Drive, multi-stay options, we have opted to stay on-site at Universal before transferring to Disney for another on-site stay. Like we mentioned before, as the chance to get away at Christmas is so rare, we have pushed the boat out.
So our first stop will be at the Loews Portofino Bay hotel, chosen purely as we have previously stayed at the other two on-site hotels that give you “complimentary” Fastpass tickets, as well as early entry into the Universal Theme parks(the quotes denote that these perks are undoubtedly factored into the room rates). Another aspect we enjoy of being on-site, is that we like to enjoy the nightlife at City Walk, and being able to walk(stagger) back to our hotel each night, without mucking around with taxis or one of us having to be tee-total is a real plus.
As for our second stop, this was a much harder decision. As part of our “push the boat out” policy we had already decided to go for a Disney Deluxe Resort hotel, but we really had to consider location, price and ratings. So from a location perspective, Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge was getting some poor feedback on trip-advisor, which we feel was reflected in the lower pricing. Conversely, the Magic Kingdom hotels (Contemporary, Grand Floridian & Polynesian) which have a great location, were insanely expensive (not surprising based on the time of year), so again they were quickly ruled out. Cutting a long story short, we narrowed it down to the Epcot hotels, again quickly ruling out the Boardwalk Inn based on price. We were pretty much set to book the Disney Swan & Dolphin Resort (opting for Dolphin), until we realised that it was not a true Disney Resort, so we’d be giving up the Extra Magic Hours (early park entry etc.) and Magicband perks……Nah!. So we landed on the Disney Beach & Yacht Club Resort, which apparently has the largest pool space of all of the Disney hotels (apparently), and because of an ongoing refurbishment programme had slightly reduced pricing. Again scouring the reviews on Trip Advisor, we opted for the Beach Club wing option, upgrading to a pool view room to minimise the chance of us being disrupted by any of the refurbishment activity………
More to follow soon……….