Wyndham Orlando Resort International Drive

Disclosure: I was hosted by Wyndham for my stay in their resort. However, all opinions are my own.

Over Memorial Day weekend, Bobby and I decided we wanted to take Emma Kate to her very first water park in Orlando. When Wyndham Orlando Resort International Drive invited us to stay as their guests, I knew this would be the perfect opportunity.

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The best thing about this resort is that you can stay where you play. It is the official resort of I-Drive 360, and there is so much to see and do, many things within walking distance (Like the Orlando eye). It’s also only twelve miles from the airport, so you are literally close to everything. The resort also offers a complimentary shuttle to Universal Studios, Islands of Adventure, and SeaWorld.

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I loved all the greenery and tropical plants surrounding the walkways and the pool areas. There are also plenty of dining options including a bar in the lobby and at the pool. The resort is also home to Gatorville, he poolside grill and bar.

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The rooms all have pillowtop mattresses, 40” flat screen tv’s and mini refrigerators. We were in a king room/family suite that included a separate area with bunk beds and another TV for the kids.

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I really love the idea of the bunk beds, I just wish there was a door or partition to close off this area from the rest of the room. Emma Kate LOVED the bunks though and hung out on the top one all evening.

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Another thing I liked is there is complimentary wifi at the resort. I was given a password upon check in and logging on was super easy.

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Also, there are TWO outdoor pools as well as a heated spa, and a renovated fitness center. The lounge chairs at the pool looked so nice and relaxing!

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This resort also boasts over 60,000 square feet of meeting space. There are two grand ballrooms, and a catering team ready to meet your wedding, party, or business needs.

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I wish we had more time to explore the area, as there were so many things within walking distance we could have done! There is the Sea Life Orlando Aquarium, the 7D Dark ride adventure, and great restaurants and shopping like Tervis, Buffalo Wild Wings, and the Sugar Factory.

Probably the best thing about this resort is the price. Rates start at just $79 per night, so it’s perfect for a quick getaway, girls weekend, or business trip.

QOTD: Have you ever stayed here? What do you look for in a resort?

Marathon Weekends at Hilton Bonnet Creek

I had the privilege to stay somewhere new the night before the runDisney half marathon, somewhere I honestly never thought I would stay. I am a Disney loving “stay at a Disney hotel” kind of girl, so I was a little reluctant to try out Hilton Bonnet Creek, but I am So glad I did!

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I hope to have more info for you on the actual hotel and all the activities and food and things there at the end of February, but for now I want to specifically talk to you about Marathon Weekends.

Hilton Bonnet Creek has put together a special rate for those staying for runDisney race weekends, and it comes with some great extras that are not offered at Disney owned hotels. There was also a runner’s concierge in the lobby, and they could answer questions for us, get us signed up for the bus the morning of the race, and they also had a goodie bag for us. (Note that to ride the bus to the races you have to sign up ahead of time and are given a wristband as a “ticket” for the bus to and from the race.)

Hilton Bonnet Creek is actually inside the gates of Walt Disney World, so it is super close to the parks and other Disney activities. Check out the balloon at Disney Springs you could see out my room’s window!

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Those staying with the special marathon weekend rate are also given a card that saves you 10% on hotel food and beverages during your stay. They have so many restaurant options, and even special carb loading menu items for runners.

The real magic however came on race morning, where we were greeted in the lobby with signs and our own personal cheerleaders! The music was loud, the DJ was getting everyone pumped up, and it really helped to wake me up since it was, you know, 2:45 in the morning.

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They also provided a continental breakfast for the runners. It was nice to hang out in the warmth of the lobby, chatting with other runners (and using real bathrooms!) before heading to the race start.

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I ate a protein bar, a banana, and grabbed some water. (I had brought some food with me also since I wasn’t sure what I was going to feel like eating). I was told that the reasoning behind the certain food items was that they wanted to provide things that would be easy to eat in the corrals or walking to the corrals. Smart thinking!

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We took some photos out in front of the bus and were cheered on as we boarded. It was EARLY, yall, so it was such a nice touch!

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Oh, something else I didn’t mention, all runners staying for Marathon Weekends get a late 2:00 pm checkout, how cool is that?

Please note that at this time, there is no official transportation to the 5k and 10k races or expo which was a bummer, but the runner’s concierge can help you set something up if you would like. We grabbed a cab to come back from the expo and it was quick and easy. There is also  Mears shuttle you can take to and from the airport that cost approx. $21 each way when booked online.

They also had a runners reception at the pool with rum runners at noon after the half marathon, but sadly we had a boat to catch and were not able to stay. Next time!

I give Hilton Bonnet Creek Marathon Weekends a thumbs up, and would definitely stay here again for a race weekend!

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The enthusiasm, the little touches, the breakfast, and the proximity to other Disney activities really swayed me. I think they have a good thing going here, and I sadly just learned about it last year! If you have any questions about marathon weekends, let me know and I can get the answer for you.

QOTD: Did you know this existed? What do you think about the early morning cheerleaders? Who wants to stay here now?!?

Disclosure: I was provided a free stay to check out marathon weekends for myself, however all opinions are my own.

Around Coronado Springs

Last week, I wrote a post about Disney’s Port Orleans Riverside, a moderate resort at Walt Disney World in Orlando, Florida. A lot of people really like this price range, so I thought I would feature some shots from around the grounds of Coronado Springs today.

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Coronado is another moderate, and it’s rooms sleep 4. It is a BIG spread out resort with multiple bus stops, but it is beautiful as you can see from the photos below. There are different themed “villages” that have a very different look from each other. There is a sit down restaurant, lounge, counter service food location, multiple pools, among other features.

There is a playground for the little mouseketeers.

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and an AMAZING pool area with water slide!

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They have an arcade as well near the pool area.

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Who wants to play in the sand?

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The sprawling resort centers around a large lake. Thankfully, there are many bus stops and an internal bus system so you don’t have to walk to the main building to get on a bus.

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There is plenty of space to sit outdoors, too.

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Look who you can find at the main building

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This place is a runner’s dream!

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Want to stay at Coronado Springs or have questions about another Disney resort? I would be happy to help you plan! Email [email protected] for free help!

QOTD: What is your favorite moderate resort at Disney?

Disney’s Port Orleans Riverside

Good morning! A lot of people are starting to book their hotels for runDisney events, and I have been getting a lot of emails from folks asking for help on where to stay, so I thought I would do a few hotel reviews to help those out headed to a runDisney event, or just headed out on vacation.

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Port Orleans Riverside is in the moderate resort category (below deluxe and above value). It is a hot commodity because it is one of two moderate resorts that sleep 5 people over the age of 3 (values only sleep 4).

It is a beautiful and relaxing resort with a laid back atmosphere and southern charm. The “hub” of the resort centers around the check in area, food court, lounge, restaurant, and gift shop. The below photo is the other side that faces the marina.

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There is one feature pool at this resort complete with waterslide and a pool bar. There are also quiet pools throughout the resort.

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Port Orleans Riverside is divided up into two sections, Alligator Bayou and the mansions. Alligator Bayou has cute touches from the Princess and the frog, and has a very woodsy/country feel.

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Below you can see a photo of the pull down trundle bed available in some rooms for a 5th person.

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Across the river you will find the mansions. They are very majestic looking sitting on the riverbank. Most of the rooms have a very southern feel, and then there are a group of “royal rooms” which happen to be my personal favorite.

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The royal rooms cost a little extra, but pack a big punch. Fireworks over the beds, and cute Disney touches everywhere.

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These rooms are in a preferred (aka close to the main buildings) section of the resort. However, there is more than one bus stop so even if you are further away you don’t have to walk to the front of the resort to catch a bus to the parks! However, this is a big resort (2048 rooms!) so paying extra for a preferred location is something I recommend.

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All rooms have either two queens of a king bed (king bed is a separate bookable category) and have double sinks, flat screen TV’s, a coffee maker and refrigerator.

Another perk of this resort is the ability to take the boat to Downtown Disney instead of a bus. It’s a scenic relaxing ride and a nice change of pace if you aren’t in a hurry to get somewhere.

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This is my favorite moderate resort, we stayed here for Princess this past year and it worked out great for the race!

QOTD: Do you prefer a quiet relaxed resort or one right in the middle of the action?

If you have any questions about this resort or any others, feel free to email me at [email protected] for details, and vacation booking help.