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Travel: A 5 Day Disney World Trip @ The Dolphin Resort; Restaurant Review: Picabu (Lake Buena Vista... Orlando, FL)

Posted Feb 13 2011 7:23pm

This past week my husband and I made an abrupt decision and decided to do a little getaway in Orlando before he started his new job.  This getaway was also to celebrate our 2 year anniversary which is coming up at the end of February.  We decided on Disney World since my husband has never been there and I last visited with my parents and older sister when I was 7 years old.  Looking back, I fondly remember that Disney trip at 7 years old, it was a magical moment in my life and one of the few vacations we did with my parents.  I was very lucky to have experienced Disney World as a child, and that is a gift I would love my unborn kids to experience someday, especially when they are still young, gullible, and innocent.

Let's get started.  Based on my sister's recommendation we stayed at one of the Disney resorts, The Dolphin Resort .  

The Dolphin is located near the Disney Boardwalk (5 minute walk)...

... and Epcot Center (20 minute walk or you can take the boat right outside the hotel).

I loved the grandness of The Dolphin Resort...

... and the palm trees all over as you walk in.

Both the Dolphin and the Swan Resorts are across from one another with plenty of restaurant options to choose from.   

The rooms on the other hand were a different story.  Although the main websites suggest the rooms are luxurious, I thought otherwise.  These were pretty average rooms compared to other hotels I have stayed at, but that's just my opinion.  It wasn't a huge let down since we hung out at the theme parks most of the time and location is key.

Okay looking bathroom, not the best tiles.  Yeah, I pay way too much attention to detail.

The biggest issue at this hotel was the Internet access barely worked.  There was an upfront charge of an $11 resort fee every night which also included Internet access.  I have what you would call an "Internet addiction" and called technical support three times to have the connection fixed without any luck.  After 11 PM the connection was sporadic.  So annoying!  Browsing is my "me time."   


LOCATION
Walt Disney World Dolphin Resort
1500 Epcot Resorts Boulevard
Lake Buena Vista, FL 32830
407.934.3000
(Walt Disney Resort at Lake Buena Vista)


RECOMMENDED HOTELS & COST SAVING TIPS
Stay at any of the Disney Resorts, they are convenient with great access to all the theme parks.  The food anywhere on Disney property can be expensive so if you are vacationing with kids, you can consider booking a hotel off Disney property.  If you have kids rent a car no matter where you stay.  There are many food chains to choose from off Disney property, such as, Chevy's, Taco Bell, Applebees to name a few. 

Another suggestion is to keep dry snacks on hand, such as granola bars, cereal bars, Larabars, etc.  My husband and I usually ate 2 meals and coffee/dessert each day.  We were both content with coffee and granola bars for breakfast since we aren't big morning eaters. 

Lastly, book your theme park tickets in advance and get 15% off using AAA.  Unfortunately, I am not a AAA member and since this trip was so abrupt we ended up buying the theme park tickets from the hotel directly.  In addition, if you are staying at Disney longer, I would consider buying the Park Hopper tickets since you can go to and from different theme parks the same day.  Many tourists hung out at one particular park and would head to Epcot Center for dinner.  Most of the food at the other theme parks, besides Epcot, were burgers, fries, salads, and ice cream, there was hardly any variety and I quickly got bored.  :-)  There are many different cuisines to choose from at Epcot Center.

Other great websites to view:
MouseSavers.com
Walt Disney World Vacations


DAY 1

RESTAURANT REVIEW FOR PICABU
We arrived at our hotel around 5 pm and were starving.  We headed to the first restaurant that was open - Picabu, a 24-hour self-serve restaurant, at The Dolphin Resort.  

I got Fried Chicken - I ate a LOT of fried food on this trip, I know, it's bad, but I was on vacation and I walked a lot.  The Fried Chicken came with fries, however I asked them to swap the fries for some Mac n Cheese.  The Mac n Cheese was really good and creamy, the fried chicken was good, but not spicy at all.  There was no kick to it, I just felt like I was eating bland crunchy fried chicken.  

My husband was slightly better and got the Grilled Chicken with Fries.  Y'all know how he loves his fries.  The chicken was juicy and tender grilled, I preferred his chicken over mine.  The fries were good and crisp.  I enjoyed some of his fries with Honey Mustard - you gotta try fries with honey mustard, it is so much better than ketchup.

2 Entrees + Coke ~ $26

VERDICT FOR Picabu: 3 / 5


VERDICT
I thoroughly enjoyed Disney World.  I went on many rides, even if they were just "baby rides."  The food at most places was simply amazing, especially in Epcot Center.  Prior to going to Disney World I thought Magic Kingdom would be my favorite theme park, however I can confidently say that Epcot Center is definitely my favorite theme park at Disney, my husband would vouch for me on this one.  I loved all the space rides and innovation rides at Epcot.  In addition, there were many cuisines to choose from at Epcot Center thanks to their Around the World theme.  Disney really is a place where dreams come true and one that I plan on visiting again in about 10 years I suppose.  Can't wait!  :-)

Due to the number of areas covered, I broke this post up into the following (coming soon):
A Day at Epcot Center - Day 2
A Day at Hollywood Studios - Day 3
A Day at Magic Kingdom - Day 4
Disney Boardwalk - Day 3 & 5



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