Whether planned or unexpected… Disney always does it right
If you’ve been to Disney World before while celebrating a special occasion, you know that Cast Members – (the official term for Disney employees) – want you to feel extra special. Besides giving you that round pin to wear upon your resort check-in arrival announcing to all what you are there celebrating… there are countless “special” things to book and do, that can make this particular trip extra memorable.
My top recommendation if you’ve never stayed Club Level at a Walt Disney World Resort… it’s a must do. Many years ago when we checked into the Polynesian Resort, we were pleasantly surprised by a courtesy upgrade to Club Level. Well, that was one move by a Cast Member who probably deserves a nice bonus. After being “Club Level Pampered”, we were hooked. The following year we stayed at the Yacht Club Resort and paid for Club Level. In fact, we now do all the time. (More later in another post about the Yacht and Beach Club Resorts which are our frequent favorites).
Now don’t let the Club Level prices scare you. First off, we always stay when Disney is running their Special Offers on rooms. There are times when the difference between Club Level rate and regular room rate can be less than $100. a night. You may think that’s a big difference a night. However if you’re a family of 4, you’re likely going to spend more than $25. a day on snacks, drinks and some food alone. There are several benefits of staying Club Level, but what I feel is the best one is that you have access throughout the day for all you want of snacks, hors d’oeuvres, desserts, various drinks, beer, wine, cordials, and coffee/tea. While not enough to replace a meal, there is certainly enough in the morning for a light quick breakfast before heading off to a park.
Other Club Level benefits are having your own personal concierge and access to Disney Signature Services to help with anything at all that you need. Booking hard to get reservations, VIP Tours, etc. Forget something at home? They will run out and get you what you may need.
In 2018, my parents were celebrating their 50th Anniversary and my wife and I our 20th. My parents had enjoyed an outstanding dinner at Victoria & Albert’s at Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort. Perfect for a celebration like a 50th! I wanted us to do something we hadn’t done before, so I booked a private pontoon fireworks cruise from the Yacht & Beach Club Resort to Epcot. (More info at: Disney World Specialty Cruises). A wonderful relaxing way to enjoy the fireworks up close while completely avoiding crowds.
An added surprise that evening was that my wife knew she recognized our Captain. It turned out he was one of the pool activities coordinators several years earlier that our younger son was with on a past visit.
Often it’s individual Disney Cast Members who do something small, yet thoughtful, to make a memorable impression. A year earlier we were staying at the Yacht Club and had dinner across the way at the Trattoria Al Forno restaurant at Disney’s Boardwalk Resort. A warm rustic Italian restaurant with excellent food and service that I highly recommend! During the course of dinner we were chatting with our great and friendly waiter, and mentioned in conversation that our son had just recently earned his Black Belt in karate. After our meal, he surprised us with this to our table…
Many people don’t take advantage of little things you can occasionally do to add something “different” to your Disney vacation. Some things things we did when our kids were younger, such as the Behind the Seeds tour at Epcot, or even renting a private Beachcomber Shack at Typhoon Lagoon. A great way to enjoy your “personal space” at what can be a crowded park.
So, my takeaway point here is – even if you are a frequent Disney World vacationer… there will ALWAYS be something new and different you can do to add some unique Disney magic into your celebrated special occasion – whether planned, or unexpected.