We recently returned from our first trip with this blog, and no better place to kick it off than with a trip to one of the happiest places on Earth, Walt Disney World Resort in Orlando, Florida. Action packed and full of fun, this vacation requires a vacation in itself. Courtesy of my parents, we spent 5 glorious days at the Hilton Palace in a one bedroom suite in the Disney Springs area. Five days was more than enough, as I think 3 or 4 days in Disney World is perfect. It was a lovely hotel and I enjoyed my stay, but I probably would not stay there again, as I believe I could get a better value somewhere else and I personally prefer to stay on property (see my review here for a more in depth read about the Hilton Palace and my post here about the benefits of staying on property.)
Follow along with us as I recount our incredible first journey as the mami traveler at the Walt Disney World Resort in Orlando, Florida!
Day One, Tuesday May 16th
We embark on our journey around 3pm. The drive from Cocoa Beach is short and painless. A little over an hour drive, it is a straight shot down the beachline expressway to I-4, which takes you to Disney World. Orlando is infamous for its numerous, annoying tolls so be prepared with plenty of cash.
We arrive at the Hilton Palace on Buena Vista Drive around 4pm and the kids and I wait in the car while the guys check in. We were staying in the suites and therefore had a short drive to the parking lot for the suites. The lot was not adjacent to the building but about a 5 minute walk atop a wooden boardwalk over a quaint man made lake.
The hotel is going through renovations, and unfortunately the suites had not been done yet. Overall the room was nice and spacious, with plenty of storage and two bathrooms, but there were many housekeeping issues. As former housekeeping supervisors, my husband and I know exactly what to look for when it comes to checking a hotel room for cleanliness. Hair in the bathtub, glow stick in dresser draw, old dirty carpet, dirt in draws, rag in tree, and dirt splatter on the wall are just some of the issues we encountered. The porch doors were old and sliding glass which were hard to open and close, and the pillows were uncomfortable. But I am not one to focus on the negative, so the issues did not affect the enjoyment of my stay. Always speak up if you feel there is something bothering you about your travel quarters.
We spent our first day chilling and relaxing in the pool area. The resort has a central area that has two pools, the main pool being spacious and large with a decent sized lazy river. The river is a consistent 3 feet which gave me peace of mind while my 42″ four year old played in the pool. They have a separate larger adult pool, with plenty of super comfy loungers and outdoor couches for ultimate relaxation. There is also private cabanas to rent for $150 per day, as well as a large hot tub that was just the right temperature. My husband and I enjoyed a beer by the pool using the free drink vouchers that came with the resort fee ($25 per day.)
We dined at the outdoor hotel restaurant, which was clean, updated and had a nice atmosphere and friendly employees. I ate sirloin and mushrooms with brussel sprouts and a baked potato and it was absolutely delicious. I was impressed with the unique presentation, the meat was cooked perfectly and the flavors were tasty.
Tired from the days activities, we called it a night and hit the hay early.