All good things must come to an end…

So we left home a week ago this morning and will be returning tomorrow evening around midnight.  It is true that all good things must come to an end. We’ve had an amazing adventure between Disney, Siesta Key Beach, and now Atlanta, Georgia!

Overview of Disney- We stayed at a new to us resort (Caribbean Beach Resort) and WOW, WOW, WOW!!!  It was HUGE!!!  We’ve stayed at all 3 All Star Resorts, Pop Century, and Port Orleans French Quarter, and those were just a fraction of the size of this resort (over 30,000 guest rooms!).

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Our first day at Hollywood Studios we were able to experience things we had never done before, as well as things we hadn’t done in a REALLY long time!  (More on that later)

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Our second day we headed to Epcot and again were able to experience new things!  Frozen forever after, Soarin around the World, meeting Joy and Sadness, and new (to us) dining experiences!

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Our final day we checked out and headed to Magic Kingdom.  Rather than trying anything new we enjoyed our old favorites!  Started at the park opening at 9am and stayed until about 2 pm before renting a car and heading to Siesta Key Beach!

We got to Siesta Key in the early evening and settled into “Hibiscus Suites.”  This hotel was such a great location!!!  It was about a 5 minute drive to Siesta Key Public Beach, right down the road from Publix (Florida supermarket chain), and right across the street from Siesta Key Water Sports!

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We of course enjoyed the beach, parasailing, and eating LOTS of seafood!!!

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Wednesday morning we drove from Siesta Key to Atlanta, Georgia.  We got settled into the Westin Hotel on Peachtree and headed to dinner at Pitty Pat’s Porch.  We LOVE Pitty Pat’s!!!   We visited this restaurant about 6 years ago and had the most amazing ribs.  We were afraid that we had over-hyped the taste in the paste 6 years, but we didn’t!!!  They were so so so good!  If you’re ever in the Atlanta area, I highly recommend checking it out!

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Today is our first and only full day here in Atlanta, so we spent a good chunk of time at the Georgia Aquarium.  It is expensive to get in ($40 for adults) but WOW, it’s absolutely incredible!  We spent about 2 hours there in the morning, left and had lunch, and then came back for another hour and a half in the afternoon.  There is so much to do and see at the Aquarium, and the Dolphin Celebration show was just excellent!  This evening we are having dinner at the Sun Dial restaurant (the top 3 floors at the Westin… and it revolves!) and then heading to ride the Atlanta Skyview.

Tomorrow we will be checking out the World of Coca-Cola and some other sites before heading to airport to fly home.

It’s been an amazing trip thus far, but I am looking forward to coming home sweet home!

 

 

Tuesday’s Tip- Making the Most of the Disney Dining Plan, Part 2

Tuesday’s Tip- Don’t use your dining credits on quick service breakfasts. *** (see exception at the very bottom)***

I’ve traveled to Disney MANY times, and I’ve had trips where I’ve used the Dining plan, and trips where I haven’t used the dining plan.  One of the things that I’ve learned along the way is to not use my dining plan quick service credits on breakfast.  All quick service meals include an entree, dessert, and drink.  When you use the credit for breakfast, you’re losing out on a dessert, as there are no desserts with breakfast, the savings are even less if you’re a coffee drinker.  You get a mug that you can refill at your resort, so you don’t even need to use your drink option on coffee.  And most breakfast entrees are significantly less expensive than lunch entrees.  If you’re trying to get the most bang for your buck, this isn’t the way.

For example, here is a sample of a Disney resort breakfast menu vs. a Disney resort lunch menu.  You’ll notice that the breakfast prices are considerably less expensive (and did I mention you get a dessert with lunch!?!)

Pop Century Breakfast Entrees

Pop Century Breakfast Entrees

Pop Century Lunch Entrees

Pop Century Lunch Entrees

quick service breakfast

Okay, so with that being said, you still have to eat breakfast!  Here are some tips-

1) Bring non-perishable breakfast items in your luggage and plan to eat those!  All resorts have a toaster in the food court area where you can toast your own bagels or breads.  Granola bars are a great option as well as cereal!  You can get a small carton of milk to use for cereal from the food court.

2) Consider using your snack credits at breakfast time.  With all dining plans you get 1 snack per person, per day.  Grab a pastry or a muffin from the self serve area in your resort’s dining area and fill your resort mug with your beverage, and bam, you’ve got yourself a quick breakfast that can maximize your dining plan.

3) If you love breakfast foods, consider using a table service credit at one of the character breakfasts!  Chef Mickey’s at the Contemporary Resort is great or the Ohana Breakfast at the Polynesian, as well as the Crystal Palace at the Magic Kingdom!

Meet Lilo and Stitch at the Ohana breakfast

Meet Lilo and Stitch at the Ohana breakfast

Crystal Palace Breakfast Buffet

Crystal Palace Breakfast Buffet

4) Even with the dining plan you may end up spending some out of pocket money for meals… save those dining credits for lunches and dinners and if you have to pay additional money for a meal do it at breakfast!

**** Here is a great exception to the “Don’t use your quick service meals on breakfast”  Be Our Guest Restaurant at the Magic Kingdom JUST started serving breakfast.  The cost is $19.99 for adults, and $11.99 for children.  It includes a breakfast entree, pastries, and a beverage.  This still counts as a quick service restaurant at breakfast, so by ALL means, try to visit and get a lot of bang for your buck at this location!

Be Our Guest Adult entrees

Be Our Guest Adult entrees

Want even more tips on planning your disney vacation, and maximizing your dining credits?  Book your vacation with Ashley from Charming Travels LLC.  Contact her today for your free quote- ashley@charmingtravelsllc.com

ashley@charmingtravelsllc.com

ashley@charmingtravelsllc.com