Roses are red, violets are blue. Here
comes another Insider for you. February is a month of love, and this
love-struck edition of the INTERCOT Insider is filled with all sorts of
things to love about a Walt Disney World vacation. In this edition we find
out how to love big savings, look at what souvenirs you can love to bring
home, learn how to love spacious new accommodations, countdown luxuries to
love aboard the Disney Dream, and find out the latest hours you'll love to
spend in Disney parks. Hang on to them hat's and glasses, cause this here's
the most informative ride on the Internet!
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by Cara Goldsbury of The Luxury Guide
to Walt Disney World Resort
Having just returned from two cruises
onboard the new Disney Dream, one thing is abundantly clear to me. With such
luxuries as these at your beck and call you’re going to love life on the
high seas. Here are my top five favorites:
An Evening at Remy
Frette linens, Christofle silverware,
Riedel crystal. An art-nouveau-style dining room, attentive French waiters
with delicious accents. Victoria & Albert’s Scott Hunell’s collaboration
with the Michelin-starred l'Assiette Champenoise’s Arnaud Lallement ... Need
I say more?
The nine exciting courses embody one of the most refined and creative menus
at sea. No less than a five-star experience in my book. Some of the
highlights: the declinasion tomate, a mini course in tomato creativity
including a tomato tart, creamy goat cheese with petite tomatoes, and,
interestingly, tomato water served in a champagne flute; langoustines (small
Norwegian lobster tails) Royale with a sauce César, smoked bison with fennel
salad and blood oranges; veal tenderloin with crispy sweetbreads and tender,
shredded braised shank; and lobster with vanilla accompanied by bisque and
lobster roe foam.
As to the final courses, if you’re short on room then I suggest a few
selections from the cheese tray in lieu of dessert. Of course, if you simply
must indulge then maybe the vanilla poached pear should be your choice. But
beware the surprise ending: an array of miniature dessert bites that are
even more enticing than the standard dessert choices.
To be sure, the $75 surcharge, while high by cruise standards, is worth
every cent. And while there are many reasonably priced selections from the
amazing wine list, I imagine you couldn’t go wrong ordering a bottle of 1947
Château Cheval Blanc for a mere $25,000!
Relaxation at Senses Spa
After a few days of fun in the sun where
better to head for relaxation than the Dream’s impressive spa. While the
usual suspects such as a Swedish Massage, Hot Stone Massage, and Elemis
Facial are available, something unusual like the Bamboo Massage just might
fit the bill. Soaked in essential oils, warmed bamboo shoots are rolled,
slid, and massaged over muscles. Depending on your preference it’s done in
either a deep tissue technique or with gentle strokes. And since it could be
slightly uncomfortable if you’re on the thin side, I recommend scheduling
the Bamboo Massage after a few days of indulging in the onboard cuisine.
The best deal around for a mere $19 per day is the Rainforest room where
guests luxuriate in a Hamam (steam bath), a Caldarium (steam room), and
Laconium (dry sauna). Or in the relaxation area soak in one of two whirlpool
hot tubs and relax on heated tile lounging beds, all with gorgeous ocean
views. There are even four sensory showers, each with their own theme,
scent, and sounds. Because it’s limited to only thirty-five people per day
it’s quite often just about empty.
For the ultimate in pampering book a spa villa, where couples enjoy a
private treatment room and an outdoor veranda complete with whirlpool tub
and shower. Even the younger set can get in on the action at Chill, an area
specifically for teens with treatments such as a Hot Chocolate Wrap,
Surfer’s Scrub, and Ice Cream Manicure and Pedicure.
The Lap of Luxury in a Concierge Suite
That is what awaits you if you’re lucky
enough to be ensconced in one of the Dream’s exquisite suites.
A dreamy palate of sea blue and chocolate brown, elegant furnishings, deep
balconies, marble baths, deep soaking tubs, Frette linens, your choice of
pillows, TVs integrated into bathroom mirrors … an intimate concierge
lounge, snacks throughout the day, evening cocktails, a media library … a
concierge-only sundeck with a cooling water mister and refreshments.
The Walt and the Roy Disney Suites are tops at this level, both located at
the bow of the ship. Living rooms with floor-to-ceiling windows overlook
your very own, giant-size, wrap-around verandah with its luxurious Jacuzzi
and amazing views. In the bedroom stars twinkle in the ceiling, a TV rises
from the foot of a lavish bed, and the bath has a deep whirlpool tub with
ocean vistas. The kitchen even offers a full-size refrigerator and wine
If you can’t decide between the two think about conjoining them. By
reserving the one-bedroom suite in between you’ll create the perfect option
for one splendidly luxurious family reunion.
Kicking Back in a Beach Bungalow
Have you ever dreamed of your very own
shack on a beach complete with access to a private stretch of white sand and
a comfy hammock in which to while away the time? Then look no further.
Castaway Cay, Disney Cruise Line’s private island, now offers beach
bungalows for rent. Accommodating up to six guests, the cabanas offer shade
and sun, comfortable lounge furnishings and sofa, the use of floats, sand
toys, and snorkel equipment, a bountiful fruit tray, an array of snacks, and
a stocked refrigerator with soft drinks and water. Missing anything? Not to
worry. Just ring up your ever attentive attendant.
Late Night at The District
Talk about chic, this stylish spot is
home to a variety of adult-only lounges and nightclubs.
One of two standout club choices is Pink where bubbles are the word and the
menu of champagne favorites takes the cake. As do the champagne flute light
fixtures, pink velvet sofas, and backlit glass “bubbles” with dancing pink
elephants. A profusion of pink and gold blown glass reminiscent of bottles
bursting with bubbly explode from the ceiling. The Elderbubble was our
cocktail of choice, mixed with raspberry vodka, elderflower syrup, champagne
and elegantly served in a tall, pink glass.
The other top choice is the Skyline Bar. Furnished like a lavish penthouse
it features high-tech LED “windows” of an ever-changing, bird’s eye view
simulation of the world’s greatest city skylines. You can watch cars moving
down highways, a Ferris wheel spinning on a pier, and a sparkling Eiffel
Tower as day transforms to night in real time and with amazing detail. As
the skyline changes so does the music--one moment a Frank Sinatra song, the
next a Brazilian samba. The drink menu reflects signature concoctions from
each of the feature cities. It’s the perfect end to a marvelous evening.
And, sadly, there was also an end to this cruise. But The Disney Dream of
luxury on the high seas just makes me want to return for more.
Cara Goldsbury is the author of The Luxury Guide to Walt Disney World
Resort, now in its 3rd edition. She has appeared as a leading Disney expert
on several Travel Channel specials and has been cited as such in numerous
national news articles.
What sort of things do you collect when
you go to Walt Disney World? One rather nice one is to get postcards each
time you visit and see how they change over the years. I look back at some
of my old post cards and get quite sentimental about things that are no
Pins are another obvious collectible and fun to trade while you are there. I
think some collectors have got a little too serious and greedy for the
casual vacation collectors but it can still be fun.
The new kid on the block is vinylmation - small or large but always smelly
Mickey shaped things. there are a number of sets and they are incredibly
popular. I wonder how long the craze will last? Even I have found myself
buying a Disney Vacation Club one!
The Jim Shore traditions have also become very popular alongside the Walt
Disney Classics Collection. There always seem to be a few new Lennox pieces
around each year too.
Smaller and cheaper collectibles could be as simple as the ever changing
napkins or the seasonal paper and plastic mugs.
I have a very varied selection from across the years as what is in fashion
changes. I wonder what will be the next craze after vinylmation?
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Extra Magic Hours, Operating, and Event
schedules have been released through September 2011. For guests visiting
during this time, you will want to visit the Park Hours and Events pages to
aid in planning your trip. Remember, all times and schedules are subject to
change, so check back often.
We hope you've loved
reading this latest edition of the INTERCOT Insider. Spring is on its way
and with it are many exciting annual events at Walt Disney World. Will be
back in a few weeks with more news, tips and deals. See ya real soon!
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