180 days is one of those landmark days for planning a Disney vacation. It is the day when guests can start making table-service dining reservations for their stays at Walt Disney World. At Disneyland, this is as big of a day because the demand for dining isn’t as high as it is at Walt Disney World. For Walt Disney World, however, it is very important. Some restaurants are very difficult to get if you don’t make your reservations right on that 180th day.
So, what are some ways to successfully navigate this day and get the restaurants that you really want.
The last step in the journey through accommodations at Walt Disney World is with the Deluxe Villa Accommodations. All of the resorts that I discussed, yesterday, have Deluxe Villa accommodations as part of their resorts with the exception of Yacht Club. The Polynesian Resort is in the process of constructing its Deluxe Villa accommodations which should be open late 2015-early 2016. There are also two resorts which only have villa accommodations: Old Key West Resort and Saratoga Springs Resort.
A large majority of people will refer to these accommodations as the Disney Vacation Club (DVC) since, also, a large majority of the people staying here are members of DVC. DVC is Disney’s time-share program where people buy points for their “home resort” which they receive every year until their contract expires. Guests, then, use those points to make their room reservations. The nice thing about the program is guests aren’t locked into certain weeks of the year, every year, until their contract expires. Villas come in four sizes: studio, one-bedroom, two-bedroom, and three bedroom grand villas.
For non-members, however, they can make reservations at this resorts as well. There is a small percentage of villas which are available for “cash only” reservations. Now, the cost per night isn’t cheap especially when you get into the two and three bedroom villas. So, if a guest wants to stay in this villas, they should be prepared to open their wallet to stay there.
All of the studio villas come with a kitchenette. All of the one, two, and grand villa come with a full kitchen (plates, glasses, and cooking utensils provided) and a stacked washer and dryer combo.
Animal Kingdom has two locations for its villa accommodations. There are some in the Jambo House with the standard rooms. The large majority of the villas are Kidani Village.
A large portion of the rooms will have a view of the savanna though some will a view of a pool or of a parking lot. Look kids….OUR CAR!!!!! 🙂
The studio rooms are Jambo House vary from 316 to 365 square feet while the Kidani Village studios are a standard 366 square feet. These studios sleep for and have a queen-sized bed with a full-sized sofa sleeper.
Jambo House has some value villas which will only sleep four guests and vary from 629 to 710 square feet. The Kidani Village one-bedroom villas are 819 square feet.
The master bedroom has a king-sized bed. The living area has a dining table, a queen-sized sofa bed and a twin-sized sleeper chair. The kitchen has a full-sized fridge, stove, microwave, dishwasher, and settings for 8 or 9 people.
The next two days, I’m going to cover the Disney Deluxe and Deluxe Villa resorts. All of these resorts are on the smaller side compared to the Moderate and Value resorts, however, the standard rooms are larger and all the resorts have Villa accommodations as well, or in the process of building them, except for Yacht Club. These Villa accommodations come in four different sizes: studio, one-bedroom, two-bedroom, and three-bedroom grand villas. But those are for tomorrow, today, we’ll just focus on the standard rooms at these resorts.
Animal Kingdom Lodge
Yes, there are rooms where guests can see the safari animals from the balcony of their room. These safaris/savannas are separate from the Kilmanjaro Safari experience in the Animal Kingdom Park.
Animal Kingdom Lodge is the largest, in terms of rooms, of the deluxe resorts with 1,307 rooms. All of the Animal Kingdom Lodge rooms are located in the Jambo House.
The front desk and check-in is located in the central main hall with four trails splitting off from this hall. There are four trails where the rooms are located: Ostrich Trail, Giraffe Trail, Kudu Trail, and Zebra Trail. Each of these trails, except for Giraffe Trail, has a view of, at least, one savanna. The Giraffe Trail has a view of the pool.
What if my room doesn’t have a view of a savanna?
There are only 135 rooms (10.3%) which do not have a view of a savanna or pool. For these guests, there are still plenty of opportunities to see the animals.
Sunset Savanna and Sunset Savanna Viewing Room/Balcony: this area is designed for sunset viewing of the animals
Each savanna has a variety of viewing location and Cast Members will leave around the savanna so the animals move around.
Sunrise Breakfast Adventure: available on Sundays and Thursdays. The adventure departs at 7:30 am and involves a 45-minute ride through the Kilimanjaro Safari Experience where the guides will stop and guests are allowed to stand and take picture. This ride is about three times as long as the standard experience on the Safari. After the tour, guests go to Pizzafari for a breakfast buffet.
Today, I’m moving up the Walt Disney World resort food chain with the moderate resorts. There are four moderate resorts: Caribbean Beach, Coronado Springs, Port Orleans, and the Fort Wilderness Cabins and Campground.
In general, these resorts have rooms which are a little bit bigger than the value resorts. They also have more recreation on the resort property and some even have table-service dining options at the resort.
Caribbean Beach Resort
Located between EPCOT and Hollywood Studios.
The map, here, doesn’t lie. The resort is BIG. There are 33 buildings along the 42-acre Barefoot Bay Lake. The nice thing is buildings are only two-story high so you don’t have worry about a high-rise building blocking the view from the room. The 33 buildings are connected by a 1.4 mile walking trail just to give some perspective as to the size of the resort.
Everything is centered on the Old Port Royale (also called Centertown). Guests will find the Market Street Food Court, Shutters, which is a table-service, sit-down restaurant, bicycle and boat rentals, the main Pirate-themed main pool.