Friday, March 8, 2013

Living the Disney World VIP Life

It's hard to wake up anything but happy when you are at Disney World and the first view out your windows are the giraffes walking around Animal Kingdom. I was on a trip with a group of journalists to check out Disney's Golden Oak mansions, as well as what was new at the Magic Kingdom.

Breakfast was at Jiko and it was a buffet like I had never seen. There was an omelet station that included treats like lobster and prepared dishes with delicacies such as ostrich eggs. The desserts were also delectable and we had a surprise guest – the big mouse himself came to greet us.

After breakfast we headed to Disney’s Golden Oak community. This is the first opportunity for people to live right on the Disney property, something your family could certainly treasure. The mansions come in a variety of models. They are all truly luxurious and are priced at $1.6 to $8 million. 

While the properties aren’t large (who wants to spend their time worrying about their lawns when living at Disney?), the houses are custom-made with amenities such as in-ground pools, courtyards, backyard kitchens and magnificent bathrooms. I was especially impressed with the master bath that had two toilets!

You will also find the presence of Mickey Mouse in places you wouldn’t expect (maybe in a wall tile or light switch).  Everyone who buys a home at Golden Oak also receives a plaque in front of their house that shows that they are a homeowner of Walt Disney World.

A clubhouse with a pool, gym and restaurant is available to Golden Oak residents. As the community fills up, they plan to increase the calendar of activities and clubhouse amenities.

The perks of being a Golden Oak homeowner does not end on the property. Homeowners will receive four passes that can be used at any of the Disney World parks – as much as they want, for whomever they want. They also have access to VIP service, something we had the chance to check out.

VIP guides at Disney can take you behind the scenes. You don’t have to worry about lines, parking worries or transportation to the park – you pull up right to the park of your choosing. The guides also take you wherever you want to go and can even get you into some areas that aren’t open to general guests.

Our guides took us right to a small parking lot behind Disney Studios and walked us right inside. We had lunch at The Brown Derby. (Be sure to leave yourself a ton of time if you decide to eat here as service was extremely slow and cut into our VIP park experience.)

Our first stop in the new Fantasyland was at the interactive “Enchanted Tales with Belle.” Players in Belle’s story came from the visitors (mostly kids) and all of the Beauty and the Beast characters were around to make sure it was done correctly.

Prince Eric now has a castle and just below it is Little Mermaid Ariel in the new “Under the Sea” ride. I thought it was a lot of fun and had plenty of moving, musical and bright characters to keep kids of all ages involved.

In the new Fantasyland there is also a new castle for Gaston and it contains the only restaurant in Fantasyland that serves alcohol. It is also booked for dinner months in advance so be sure you get your reservations in if you want to eat here.

I remember taking my then four year old to Disney World alone. She wanted to go straight onto the Dumbo ride, one of the most popular in the park. We waited an hour and a half and that was about it for both of us for the day! Disney has evidently heard this from more parents because Dumbo now has his own pavilion, with a second ride and a circus tent (in a whole Storybook Circus section) to hang out in while waiting for the time to head on the ride. Brilliant play, Disney.

After the Fantasyland exploration we got to spend some time in one of my favorite shopping places, Main Street in the Magic Kingdom. It was fun picking up a few surprises for my (now grown) daughter from the “happiest place on earth.”

We spent the evening at the Disney's Contemporary Resort where we enjoyed more of the Disney VIP experiences. We started with a Chef’s Table Dinner that was just amazing. Everything, including the soup and salad, was creative and paired with wine. Even the Surf and Turf included a large lobster tail for each person.

After dinner, we headed outside, where there was a scrumptious dessert buffet waiting for us to enjoy while we watched the fireworks over Cinderella’s Castle. It was a bit chilly, so I settled in with some pumpkin coffee with amaretto and did some sampling of Pumpkin Pecan Pie with Jack Daniels Panna Cotta, S’mores Macaroons, Carmel Corn Truffles and Deep Fried Brownie Pops.

It had been a trip unlike my others, but it was certainly a lot of fun. My only disappointment was that I never made it to the African Safari and a few other “grown-up” experiences I was hoping to catch. Then again, that gives me another reason to head back to Disney World soon.


2 comments:

John Cena said...

Wow, simply amazing! Disney world is one of the most fascinating places in the world. I have visited this place so many times and stayed in Quality Inn & Suites Orlando that provides best services and also nearby the Disney World.

dacy lina said...

Disney world is the great place for visit in the world. The dream of living at Walt Disney World is coming true for Disney’s lovers. I spent the evening at the continental plaza hotel disney world

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