Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Getting your MagicBands

If you're going to Walt Disney World for the first time, or perhaps this is your first time staying on property, I thought I'd share with you what to expect when receiving your MagicBands in the mail.

The fun starts when you book your vacation and set up your MyDisneyExperience account online. You can go in and select your MagicBand color and the name to imprint on the inside (up to 9 characters). The color you choose will determine the color of your luggage tag (these are only for guests booking a Magic Your Way package including room and tickets). Your final selection needs to be done by 30 days prior to your vacation. Once you're paid in full, your bands will be made and shipped to your home.

These magical bands are your "key to the world" while on property. They'll check you in at Magical Express and your resort, they'll unlock your resort door, be your park ticket, store your FastPasses (scan to get in the FP line), store your PhotoPass photos. You can charge things back to your room if you add a card to it, and you'll also use it to pay for your meals if you're on a Disney Dining Plan. It's an amazing thing!

So, here's what to expect when they show up at your home...

They come in a brown box (so as not to ruin any surprises).

 The names you selected for each band will be printed on the box insert as well as on the inside of the band,

In the lid of the box there are instructions on making the band smaller for children or adults with smaller wrists.

There are tabs sticking out of the box to show you to lift the insert out for more info (and the fun luggage tags)

 The luggage tags corresponding with everyone's bands will be in the envelope in the bottom of the box.

 No worries if two people in the same party select the same color. The bands are imprinted on the inside with the name as well.

There you have it. What to expect when getting your MagicBands. Don't forget to pack them (in your carry-on if you're flying)!! 

The luggage tags make great souvenirs. We've collected all of the colors :-)

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Monday, October 17, 2016

Caribbean Beach Resort: Pirate Rooms

On our recent trip to Walt Disney World, my husband and I decided to stay in the pirate themed rooms at Caribbean Beach Resort. CBR is a moderate resort and is beautifully themed in a Caribbean style. It's a larger resort, and each area is named after Caribbean islands- Aruba, Jamaica, Martinique, Barbados, Trinidad North, and Trinidad South. For the price and the beachy atmosphere, this is one our favorite resorts. 

We usually stay in the preferred section of Martinique, but I have so many ask me about the pirate rooms we thought we'd check them out. They're located in Trinidad South, and are a little bit of a walk from Old Port Royale (the main area of the resort- food court, theme pool, gift shop and marina).

The rooms were really cool though! As with everything, Disney put so much into the details of these rooms. The beds are shaped like pirate ships, with the masts going up the wall as headboards! The bed was pretty comfortable, too.

The chest of drawers was made to look like a stack of old crates. The mini-fridge was disguised as a rum barrel.

The table had a large compass on it.

We were actually given an accessible room, so the bathroom is a little different. I love the lantern light fixture.
These beds were just too cool!

Here's the smaller closet area in the accessible room. Each room does have an iron and ironing board.

Oh, and I was pleasantly surprised by these USB ports. I don't recall ever having seen them in the rooms before.

Overall we liked the rooms. The theming was awesome and fit right into the feel at Caribbean Beach Resort. The walk wasn't a bad one, but that's the only downfall to these rooms. Call us spoiled, but we just honestly prefer the preferred rooms of Martinique. It's so convenient being next to the food court for those late night/early morning runs for coffee and drinks. If you've got a pirate in your group, these are the rooms for you!

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Friday, October 14, 2016

Foodie Friday: Beaches & Cream Soda Shop

Foodie Friday this week is a review of
Beaches & Cream Soda Shop
at the Beach Club Resort.

This restaurant is themed after a nostalgic soda shop, featuring malted shakes, classics like onion rings and burgers, and of course, some great sundaes! The old-timey juke box really makes the place! This is a small restaurant featuring a couple booths, a few small tables, and counter with bar stools. Due to its size reservations book very quickly! This is a Table Service meal on the Disney Dining Plan.

I've always wanted to eat here. The place is just adorable, and it doesn't hurt that they have a reuben on the menu. As I've mentioned, reservations go quickly, and while it's possible to get a walk-up, I've never been so fortunate. They do have a To-Go counter though for ice cream and beverages. This is what we did in April. Even at 10pm, the line was out the door. We got some ice cream cones as we took a stroll over to Boardwalk.

Fast forward to just days before my husband and I took a quick, last minute weekend trip to Disney to see the Main Street Electrical Parade one last time (yes, I'm devastated), I lucked into a reservation for a late lunch/early dinner the Saturday we arrived!! I was so excited to finally get to try this reuben!

We got there a few minutes early for our reservation and waited about 10 minutes. We were seated at a booth along the wall, which had its own adorable juke box on the table.

The menu is pretty limited- sandwiches, burger, hot dog, fries, onion rings, etc. and desserts, of course! My husband got the burger, and I got the... you guessed it, reuben. We also ended up ordering a side of onion rings, and I forgot to get a photo!! They were big, and golden, and beautiful, and perfectly fried! So good!!

My reuben was everything I had hoped it would be! The fries were okay. I wish I'd had more of those onion rings instead. I'll be honest though, my husband was not impressed. His burger was okay, but he didn't understand why I'd tried so hard for so long to get in here... especially after having made him leave Epcot in order eat here instead. (That was a hard point to argue there.)

It was a really hot day and my reuben and rings were pretty heavy, so, I'm shocked even at myself here, we skipped dessert. We enjoyed watching the table next to us indulge in the "Kitchen Sink" though. It's 8 scoops of ice cream covered in every topping they offer! Can you imagine?! This isn't a great photo, but here's one I snapped from the time before when someone ordered it.

All in all I enjoyed the experience, even if my hubby didn't get it. My reuben was really good, as were those rings, and you just couldn't beat the nostalgic atmosphere. I probably won't book it again for a while, but I'd certainly try for a walk-in or the to-go window if we were in the area. If you were celebrating a birthday or something while on property this would be a great place to have a little dessert party for sure!

This counts as a Table Service credit on the Disney Dining Plan, as mentioned before. However, it is one of the cheaper meals, so I would probably opt to pay out of pocket here. That way you can use the credit for something more substantial. The ice cream cones, ice cream sandwiches, floats, etc. do count as a snack credit though! Those are totally worth it!

If you've eaten here before, I'd love to know your thoughts. Share them in the comments below or find the post on my Facebook page.

This post carries a disclosure Level of 0. Please see my disclosure page for more details.