Friday, 29 April 2016

Staying at Windsor Hills Condo (Off Property)


My family and I decided to save our DVC points for our stay in June and try out a Condo in Windsor Hills Community only two miles from WDW property. http://www.windsorhillsrentalvillas.com/


I went on VRBO.com and reviewed a few of the resorts and then I came upon the Condo known as Key Largo at the Windsor Hills resort. I contacted the owner Rob and worked on a price. It was very easy, I put a deposit down and paid with my paypal account.


The owner sent me the necessary papers and I signed, scanned and emailed them back to him. At that point he sent me the rest of the information on how to proceed and what to take to the gate to gain entry in the community.


I was very pleased with the Condo. I have stayed at many places on and off site. The Condo was very cozy and well appointed. It has a keyless entry. The community of Windsor Hills is very nice. Some of the amenities it has are:


  • Giant community heated pool.
  • Monthly parties and events!
  • Spiral water slide, fountains, and family sized hot tub!
  • Amazing clubhouse with billiard room, video arcade, movie theater and more!
  • Free Wi-Fi at Clubhouse • Business Center at the Windsor Hills Clubhouse.
  • Windsor Hills Sundry Shop with all your basic needs!
  • Lighted tennis, basketball and sand volleyball court.
  • Professional putting green to practice your game!
  • Picnic & Barbeque area.
  • Unique castle themed playground.
  • Guest Services to assist with all local information.
  • State of the Art Fitness center.
  • 24 hour gated security.
  • Playgrounds throughout the property.
  • Shuttle bus service to all the parks and shops (small charge).
  • RV and boat parking available.


  • I did not use the amenities because we were at the parks most of the days until the pool closed. I did find out that the guest choose the films that play at their movie theater that plays a few times a day. On our last day I did use the computer to print our boarding passes. The first 10 minutes are free and .75 each page print.


     I used the pin code on the keypad to enter the Condo. The Condo itself was very nice, very comfortable and homey. The place has so much room. The beds were very soft and plush and the Master Bedroom has a king size bed; however, its very high off the ground which made it a bit difficult for me to get on being that I am only 5'2 but it was very well worth it. The girls room was cozy with two beds and a t.v. and their own bathroom, which was very nice because two teenage girls can take a long time getting ready in the morning.


    I loved the use of the full kitchen for coffee in the morning and ice tea in the evening. If I was staying longer I would love the use of the kitchen for full meals but because we were at the parks all day we really didn't get a chance to use it.


    There is a washer and dryer and we did use that on our last night there. I love to do a load of laundry before we leave so we don't come home with a bunch of dirty clothes.


    The condo also has an xbox if your family likes to play video games.


    I would highly recommend this beautiful Condo to any family that want a nice roomy place to stay off property. Its cheaper than a hotel and you get a full living area.


    I hope you enjoyed my review on this Condo. Please check it out if you can and if there are no dates open for your vacation than check out VRBO.com and look at the other Condo's in the community.


    The Condo comes with a few items such as
  • One roll of paper towels
  • One sponge
  • One dishwasher detergent
  • One pot of coffee & a few sugars, stirrers, etc.
  • One load of laundry detergent
  • One roll of toilet paper per bathroom
  • Sample Shampoo, Conditioner, Body Soap & Facial Soap
  • All linens and towels provided
  • Air conditioning
  • Flat screen HD TVs with cable
  • Complimentary WiFi access
  • Fully equipped kitchen complete with all major appliances, dinnerware, flatware, pots and pans, garbage disposal, dishwasher, coffeemaker, toaster, and microwave
  • Washer/Dryer
  • Haridryer(s) in each bathroom
  • Ceramic tile
  • Carpeted bedrooms
  • Complimentary use of the community amenities
  • Convenient parking
  • Screened in Lania





















  • Skipper Canteen

    I was able to secure a table at the newest Magic Kingdom restaurant, "The Skipper Canteen". I was joined by my husband Joseph while my teenage daughter Jenna and her friend had plans to eat at Crystal Palace later with me because they read the menu at Skipper Canteen and did no like the sounds of most anything there. Knowing I would be with the girls in the evening later I was set to just order appetizers and share a dessert. I have always wanted to try the restaurant and my husband was very excited to try it as well.


    The theme is inspired by the jungles of the world. The food is designed around the Middle Eastern, Asian and South America.


    It was very easy to secure a table as I went on My Disney Experience and selected the time. When the time came around I checked in at the podium and gave them my cell phone number in which they would txt me when the table was ready. The seating was very adventurous with a few cushy wicker high back chairs in the main check in room and then the room right off of that there is a very cool ceiling fan and another seating area.


    Shortly after we sat down the txt came to let us know that our table was ready. We were sat in the S.E.A. room. There are three rooms that you can dine in and they are the Crew's mess hall, The Falls family room and The S.E.A. room each designed in that fashion.


    We were looking forward to the corny jokes and puns but sadly the Skipper we had said she was tired and honestly for us there were no jokes.


    We were brought a lovely Ambasha bread with a delicious honey dip. The bread is amazing and the honey dip is insanely good, its very addicting; however, my husband did not like the bread at all.


    Then it was time to order our drinks and I could not believe that had my favorite Club Cool drink at Epcot, the Fanta Melon and it was unlimited refills. It was so good and refreshing. My husband just order a water with lemon. Then it was time for the appetizers. Joseph order the S.E.A. Shu Mai and I ordered the Ginger of Croc Soup. The soup was very spicy to me and had quit the bite to it. Joseph's Shu Mai was quit good, it has both pork and shrimp in the filling, You get five pieces of steamed Gyoza skinned wrapped mung bean, pork and shrimp dumplings.


    On to the dessert. We both ordered the Coconut bar with pineapple-basil compote. The dessert although good was not worth the amount we paid. It is light in flavor and small but very pretty.


    Honestly, I think Skipper Canteen is a nice respite from the traditional burgers in the park. Its a beautifully decorated space with a lot of character. I have heard rumor that the menu is experiencing an overhaul as I type this. I will go back and try a full meal the next time and give a more in depth review. On a separate note this restaurant does not accept DVC discount.






    Thank you for letting me share this review with you.


    http://www.disneyfoodblog.com/2015/12/13/first-look-jungle-navigation-co-ltd-skipper-canteen-restaurant-in-disney-world-yep-the-jungle-cruise-restaurant/

    Gurgling Suitcase Bar at OKW

    While on my recent vacation I had the pleasure of going to my home resort at OKW. I was not staying there; however, I did manage to go for a quick day visit.


    One of the places I like to visit while there is the Gurgling Suitcase bar. Its a small bar quietly nestled in between Olivia's and Good Foods to go quick service, that offers many drinks and although I could have order an alcoholic drink I went with my traditional cherry coke. This bar is very quaint and fun. There are a lot of shadow box art on the wall with various donated license plates, patches, and DVC Member family photos. It has a very Old Key West feel, a true Floridian feel. The bar keep was very friendly and helpful. The door is always open and the feel is very much inviting.


    There is not much seating available; however, you can take your drinks out to the boardwalk or head into the lobby lounge at the check in area for a nice air condition treat They offer the standard Disney bar menu with several cocktails and the like but also offer specialty cocktails that you can only get at this charming hole in the wall. The specialty cocktails are the Sultry Seahorse: Disaronno amaretto, creme de banana, pineapple juice, orange juice and a float of cherry brandy, the  Turtle Krawl: Coconut rum, spiced rum and white rum with pineapple, orange and key lime juices the Woo Woo: Vodka, Peach Schnapps & Cranberry and lastly the Bocce Ball: Disaronno amaretto & OJ.


    If you are looking for a truly relaxing getaway, stop over at the Gurgling Suitcase at the Old Key West resort.





    http://www.wdwforgrownups.com/articles/old-key-west-resorts-gurgling-suitcase-bar

    Dis After Dark Welcomes Amanda & her Vlog to the Team


    Welcome


    Amanda




    We have the pleasure of welcoming Amanda (@BostonWhite) to our blog pages & hopefully the podcast too.  I found her vlog on YouTube last weekend whilst researching our trip in 2017.  Her love for Disney, Universal & Halloween Horror Nights is infectious & I reached out to her immediately. I urge you all to go & watch her vlogs & follow her on twitter.  Amanda will be posting short blog posts along with her vlogs in our blog in the coming weeks.

    Podcast Of The Week


    Podcast Of The Week

    Scare Zone
    Halloween
    Horror
    Nights
    Podcast



    In this episode of Scarezone host Logan Sekulow (WDW Today) introduces Christopher Ripley (Dis After Dark) as a member of the cast. Chris wrote the book Halloween Horror Nights: The Unofficial Story & Guide.  They discuss their personal background with HHN Orlando and give their thoughts and a historical perspective on Texas Chainsaw Massacre, the first house announced for 2016. 

    Later in the show Logan interviews Julie Zimmerman, the co-creator of Halloween Horror Nights.  Julie spends nearly a half hour discussing the creation of HHN - from its very humble beginnings to its thriving success. This is an interview you won't want to miss.


    Listen via


    Google Play




    Thursday, 28 April 2016

    Drury Inn (Off Property)

    There is one hotel in the Disney World area that really caters to there guest.


    This is a little secret I am very excited to share with our readers. https://druryhotels.com/locations/orlando-fl/drury-inn-and-suites-Orlando


    The hotel is the Drury Inn & Suites is located at 7301 West Sand Lake Road
    Orlando, FL 32819
    P: 407-354-1101
    F: 855-827-1699
    It is very conveniently located next to a 7-11 and you can see the Orlando Eye from the resort. The hotel offers many amenities, such as free local calls, free wi-fi, free parking, free breakfast buffet, free popcorn and soda and a free kickback nightly (which is dinner) with alcoholic drinks (3 per night per person). The rooms are roomy and have an option for a two room suites with a bedroom and living room with pull out couch and kitchenette. They also have a very nice indoor/outdoor pool and gym. The staff is very knowledgeable and nice, they go above and beyond to help their guest.

    We have stayed at two other Drury Inn's in St. Louis and Illinois and all offers these amenities. We saved money on dinner every night we could eat in.

    One of the really nice unmentioned perks in the complementary shower gel, shampoo and conditioner that is in big condensers in the showers and the brand H20 the same brand Disney has.

    The dinners consist of such items (change nightly) as Pasta with meatballs, salads, soups, chili, macaroni and cheese, nacho's, chili dogs and other items. The drinks include margarita's, different cocktails and beer as well as some wines.

    Everyone I spoke to has never heard of this hotel; however it clearly has a following.

    I've included some photo's. Please let me know if you ever do decide to stay at the Drury and let me know what you think. Think of the money you could save on dinners, breakfast, and even drinks.


    Lunch at Artist Pallet in Saratoga Springs Resort

    When I visit WDW I truly enjoy going to the different resorts to explore the different food options and recreation options the have. On my recent visit I had lunch at the Artist Pallet in Saratoga Springs resorts. I have stayed at the resort years ago and also had enjoyed a spa treatment and after lunch at Artist Pallet. I was very excited to see if it was as good as before or not.


    Artist Pallet is in main building called the Carriage House where guest check in. https://disneyworld.disney.go.com/dining/saratoga-springs-resort-and-spa/artists-palette/


    There are three total restaurants at the resort, The Turf Club bar and grill, the sit down restaurant called the Paddock and the quick service restaurant called Artist Pallet. They offer flat breads, soups, chili, salads and subs as well as the traditional desserts at most all quick service restaurants, such as yogurt parfaits, cupcakes and rice crispy treats among others. The seating area is so pretty with lovely colored chandlers which represent some amoebas and jelly fish. Art works from New York painter Laura Fayer dot the walls. It is very peaceful and relaxing.


    I grabbed a tray and got in line which was very short. I order my food and the very nice CM gave me a number and told me they would bring the food to my table. I quickly grabbed a drink and went to pay for my bill and went to sit down.


    In less then five minutes I was brought my lunch. I had order the Italian Flatbread Sandwich - Ham, Salami, Mortadella, Provolone, Lettuce, Tomato, Red Wine Vinaigrette, and Mayonnaise wrapped in a Flatbread with House-made Chips $11.49)                                           
    and the Greek Salad with Chicken - Mixed Greens, Greek Vinaigrette, Chicken, Black Olives, Cucumbers, Feta, Red Onion, Pepperoncini, and Tomato $10.69)                                           
    (and my husband order Spicy Italian Beef Sandwich – Roast Beef, Provolone, Horseradish Mayonnaise, Arugula, and Hot Relish with House-made Chips or Vegetable Slaw – $10.59 and a cup of chili and a cup of pineapple.


    My flatbread sandwich was very good, very soft bread, with a touch of tangy dressing, fresh ingredients such as lettuce and tomatoes, the meats were very good and the cheese plentiful. I tasted the chili and it was a very hearty blend, very thick. My husband Joseph said his sandwich was spot on and so tasty. Each entrée came with house made chips and were very nice. Of course the pineapple was refreshing and good.


    After we ate lunch we decided to walk into the next room which there was a billiards table, of course I had to play and try to beat my husband. The room was filled with comfy chairs and a flat screen t.v. with remote. We played a game and sadly I lost but I did have a good time.


    I would highly recommend to anyone looking to have a peaceful retreat from the parks to take a look at Saratoga Springs resort and have a meal and explore the beautiful landscape. In fact, this is my favorite thing to do.






    Wednesday, 27 April 2016

    The new DVC Member Lounge not open yet!

    I just returned from a recent visit to Walt Disney World. I was very excited to check out the new DVC Member lounge at Epcot. Its suppose to be amazing, with charging stations, computer use, printing capability and dedicated DVC Wi-Fi as well as complimentary soft drinks. Its located above the Figment attraction, in the ImageWorks second floor. This is where the famous "Rainbow Tunnel", was located, Michael Jacksons favorite attraction. My phone needed to be charged. So I made my way over to the lounge. Sadly though it was closed and the CM's had no idea when it would open. I will be back in June to see if it opens then. I will post more about the lounge in June.
     http://www.themeparktourist.com/news/20160104/31171/2016-dvc

    Sunday, 24 April 2016

    #DaDpubsnack04 In which one of our Heroes is on a coach going up the M1


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    Tonight's 4 are:

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    The Villas at Disney's Grand Floridian Resort & Spa

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    oh & Paul W is on a coach going up the M1 as he records, after shitty Watford FC got bummed by Palace

    We'd love you to check out The Wedsite Lady & we'd like to Thank her for all her hard work, keeping our Dis After Dark Blog tidy & up to date.

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    If you "LIKE" us, then you'll "LOVE" 

    S.T.R.I.K.E. The Marvel Cinematic Podcast With A British Twist

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    & for potty mouth Adult Chat

    THE METAL HAND OF GOD PODCAST

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    Check out this episode!

    Saturday, 23 April 2016

    A Disney Secret...

    We've just seen the latest Disney offering, 'The Jungle Book' and to be fair, it was a great movie; probably one of the best of these live-action versions that they've been making recently.

    So if you haven't seen it yet, go see it, it's well worth it; for everyone else, continue reading as we have a theory we'd like to share with you...


    The movie starts like all the Disney pictures, fireworks, village in the distance, a train comes past and the camera pulls out to reveal the infamous castle, little jingle and then the movie begins.  Nothing unusual there.... but wait did we notice something different!?


    Above is the classic Disney Studios logo, this is the one that is on before 99% of Disney movies, but Jungle Book didn't use this one, it used this one...


    Only a minor tweak, but looking closely one can clearly see that the castle before us is none other than Disneyland California's Castle, but why?  The answer might lay with what happens next.  The camera then turns and pull out slower, we're soon enclosed in jungle foliage and an eerie jungle-type song begins to play, an altogether familiar jungle-drums like song.  We're soon in the jungle, following a waterway and then the movie begins.  You can hear a snippet of the track here (main titles).



    Now here's the theory: this movie isn't set in the jungle, its set in Adventureland.  Adventureland could be defined as whatever you like, but whatever you perceive it to be, it is IN Disneyland (plus Disney World etc).  Some have suggested that the logo is done in this way to represent the film's heritage with the original animated version, which could be true, though we'd be more inclined to say that the end of the movie with the 'The End' book credits is more in keeping with 'classic Disney pictures', it certainly harks back to the 50/60s movies for sure.

    BUT, why does the camera turn?  Why does it show the Disneyland Castle and not the usual castle?  Why does the near exact same music as Adventureland begin to play?  Could it be that the film doesn't just take place inside a Disney park but it in fact set in the Jungle Cruise?  Maybe...

    Perhaps this movie is 'Adventureland' the movie, following in the footsteps of the damp squib 'Tomorrowland', perhaps we will see a Liberty Square movie too, and maybe even a Main Street or a Frontierland movie.  Or perhaps, Disney's next live-action movie of 'Beauty and the Beast' will be the Fantasyland movie?

    For whatever reason, you can't deny that this Easter egg is kinda suggesting that the movie IS SET inside a Disney park!  Which whatever way you look at it, this is sort of brilliant.

    What do you think?  Let us know below!