Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Hop A Pool!


Welcome to those of you joining me from YourFirstVisit.net and those of you just hopping aboard. I am the 3rd stop on our Magical Blogorail. 

When it comes to planning your Disney Parks vacation, undoubtabtly, your first instint will be to go "Park Commando" and schedule non-stop in-park activities that'll leave your family's Pixie in the Dust. I can't stress the importance of scheduling time to (Disney) unwind. One of my family's favorite out-of-park Disney activities is to "Pool Hop". 

Pool Hopping is a perk available to Disney Vacation Club Members that offers members the opportunity to experience other resort pool offerings. Now, I know there is gray area here, and I'm sure many non-dvc members have enjoyed resort pools of which they're not official guests. However, the official rule is; unless you're a DVC Member, pool hopping is frowned upon. 

DVC Members have some restrictions as well. For example, pool hopping is never allowed in Stormalong Bay at the Yacht/Beach Club, Bay Cove Pool at Bay Lake Tower, or Samawati Springs Pool at Kindani Village. In addition, peak travel times also enforce a no pool hopping policy, in an effort to keep the pool capacity avaliable for it's guests. 

Here is the DisneyFAITHful pool resume:
Uzima Pool -Animal Kingdom Lodge 
Pros: Zero-entry, African theme, pool bar, two hot tubs; counter service eatery, The Mara, in close proximity to pool.
Cons: Slide is mediocre. No other water features. 
Best for: Families that want to relax.

Bay Cove Pool- Bay Lake Tower
Pros: Decent slide, also a small kiddie size slide, zero-entry, size of pool makes it easy to keep an eye on little ones,  pool bar, hot tub near pool, kiddie splash pad, other recriational activities within site of pool.
Cons: Uninteresting theme for children, but the slide lit up at night is attractive.
Best for: Adults, families with smaller children.

Stormalong Bay- Beach Club/Yacht Club
Pros: Great ship-wreak themed slide with kiddie pool and small slides on boat section of slide, fun activities, two hot tubs tucked away within rock landscaping but still near pool, lazy river, sand bottom, pool/beach combo on Yacht Club side, most elaborately themed pool complex
Cons: large swimming complex makes it hard to keep an eye on the littlest ones. Guests must exit pool area and walk across main boardwalk to get to slide entrance (awkward for us ladies!), the seams of the slide can hurt as travel down, pool bar difficult to access (must climb over bridges & stairs).
Best for: Families with older children comfortable in water.

Luna Park Pool- Boardwalk

Pros: Great slide, kiddie pool, kiddie splash pad, kiddie playground, pool water features, hot tub near pool, pool bar near pool.
Cons: Dining options limited, Distance from Boardwalk Inn section of resort. 

Contemporary Resort
Pros: Two pools, near Bay Lake & Marina, Bay Lake Tower guests may access, kiddie splash pad, dining near pools.
Cons: Uninteresting theme for children, No shade.
Best for: Adults, families with smaller children.

Nanea Volcano Pool- Polynesian 

Pros: Great slide, zero-entry, kiddie water sprayers near-by, easy beach access, pool bar, Captain Cook's counter service near-by, near marina, pool size condusive to watching children.
Cons: Sections of slide are in the dark; may be frieghtning for smaller children.
Best for: All families.

Hidden Springs Pool- Wilderness Lodge
Pros: Beautiful surroundings, kid friendly slide, pool bar, kiddie size slide
Cons: large pool divided into two sections makes it harder to watch children, hot tub a bit seperated from main pool, no other water features.
Best for: All families. 

Old Key West
Pros: Great slide, fun theme, kiddie pool, playground, sand play area, hot tub near pool, sauna near pool, near marina, near community hall.
Cons: No zero-entry, large lay-out, food/beverage located outside pool area.
Best for: All families, great for older children.

Grand Californian
Pros: three pools, slide has separate pool, two hot tubs, fun themed slide area, peaceful surroundings.
Cons: Keeping an eye on little ones going back and forth between pools, seems a bit non small child friendly (slide area exception), no other water features for little ones.
Best for: Adults, older children.

I hope you've enjoyed reading a bit about my family's favorite way to experience Disney Magic outside the parks! And remember........

Just keep swimming, just keep swimming!

Thank you for joining me today. Your next stop on our Magical Blogorail Loop is The Many Adventures of a Disney Lovin' Spectrum Mom.

Here is the map of our Magical Blogorail Loop should you happen to have to
make a stop along the way and want to reboard:

Monday, April 16, 2012

runDisneyland

Welcome to those of you joining me from Adventures of a Disney Princess and to those of you just hopping aboard. I am the 3rd stop on our special edition runDisney Magical Blogorail loop. 

So, you don't just want to run around the "World", you want to run around "the Land" too!
But your wondering, "is it really 13.1 miles of magic?"
Oh, it's so much more! 

To all who come to this Happy Place, Welcome!
Arriving: Like Walt Disney World Resort®, the Disneyland Resort® offers its guests transportation aboard the Disneyland Resort Express! Unlike it's Magical Express Sister, the DLRE offers transportation from two local airports, Los Angeles International (LAX) about 45 mins away, or Orange County's, John Wayne (SNA) about 20 mins away. Unlike the ME however, the DLRE is not a complementary service. A non-discounted trip will set you back about $25-$30 per person, depending on airport. Of course, if you're participating in a runDisney event and book through the travel partner, Get Travel, the price is about half its original cost.
Once you've boarded the DLRE the next stop is your Disney property hotel. The Express drops at all three resort hotels before looping back to the airport. The express does not make stops at DL's Good Neighbor Hotels. 

If the shoe fits!
Expo: Undoubtedly, once you're settled, your next stop will be the Disneyland Half Marathon Health & Fitness Expo. Here, you'll pick up your racing packets and explore exhibits from some of the biggest names in running gear. In addition, you'll find things you never even knew existed! While you're there, don't forget to stop by the runDisney booth to register for your next race and receive an on-site registration discount! 


runDisneyland
Running: What to expect: People! Meet your new 15,000 BFF's! They'll be there to cheer you on every step of the way, really! It's a bond with strangers that is, well, Magical! As far as DL race tips, the 1st is that I cannot stress enough how convenient it is to stay on property! You are literally steps away from the staging area in the parking lot of the Disneyland Hotel, as well as steps away from the Corrals, no matter which of the three DL hotels you choose (they're all pretty much across the street from each other). This makes at 2:45 am wake-up call for a WDW race, 4:00am for a DL race! 

The Course
Course: Not only does the DL 1/2 Marathon offer an unprecedented run through both Disneyland and California Adventure, but with the property itself being smaller, 13.1 miles of nothing but Disney is near impossible. So, a trip through the city of Anaheim is a bonus :) While my favorite portions of the course included any mile on Disney property, my Husband's favorite was the opportunity to run in and around Angel Stadium. As you run up the players entrance you are immediately taken back by a giant jumbo-tron with you on it! Next, you run the third base line as runners are announced over the stadium PA! Another bonus, a relatively flat course designed to help you earn that PR (personal record). 
Next, head back toward the parks and cross the finish line where the Disneyland Hotel and Downtown Disney walkway meet! Lastly, enjoy your bling... you've earned it!


But don't forget.... it can't be all work and no play!

Take in a show!

Make a splash!

Wine & Dine!

We'll leave the light on for ya!

Don't just run..... runDisney!
Where every mile IS magic!

Thank you for joining me today. Your next stop on the Magical Blogorail loop is A Disney Mom's Thoughts!

Here is the map of our Magical Blogorail should you happen to have to make a stop along the way and want to reboard!

5th Stop ~ Growing Up Disney
6th Stop ~ DIStherapy
Final Stop ~ Tips from the Disney Diva