Tag Archives: Disney’s Old Key West Resort

Magical Mail

Just 30 days now until we stick the bags in the car and head to Walt Disney World. One month!! Wow!

Yesterday our luggage tags arrived for Magical Express. I can’t even explain how exciting it is to receive that letter! I was over the moon, because it makes it feel so real. I have started packing. Matching family tee shirts-check. Swimsuits and beach towels for the grandbabies-check. Trays for EPCOT’s International Food and Wine Festival-check. And on and on.

I will be so happy to check our luggage at the airport, and not have to handle it again until it arrives at our villa at Old Key West. And climbing the steps into that Magical Express Bus is indeed a magical experience. I can just exhale. And I can revel in the sight of palm trees and Disney road signs. So fun! I love the smell of sunscreen in the morning…and in the evening, for that matter. I love the sound of the excited chatter on the bus. I love the feel of that warm, humid Florida air, so different from our Chicagoland air, that I can even taste it. When that bus turns the last corner, and I see the Old Key West welcoming booth it will be pure bliss.

It’s real now. It’s on track to happen. Hooray! Meet me at the Kingdom.

Donna

 

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Online Check-In

Wow! Only 32 days until our Walt Disney World Vacation! Woo hoo! Whoopee!

That being said, I am a little bit frustrated. The Disney Vacation Club site has been not working as it should for at least three days now. This means I have not been able to complete online check-in at Disney’s Old Key West. As a DVC (Disney Vacation Club) member I am supposed to be able to check-in online up to 60 days in advance. Well, I’m only 32 days away. I have called in the last three days in a row, and so far, no luck. I will persevere, however, it is a bummer! I know I’ve been spoiled by great Disney service, so I feel like a bit of a baby about this. After all, I do still have 31 days to get this done. But geez.

Here’s what the DVC website has to say about Online Check-In:

Online Check-In service is available at select Disney Vacation Club Resorts and Walt Disney World Resort hotels in the Disney Collection. Enjoy a simplified Check-In process when you pre-register online prior to your arrival.

  • Check in 60 days prior to arrival at all Walt Disney World Resort hotels.
  • Check in 10 days prior to arrival at:
    • Disney’s Vero Beach Resort
    • Disney’s Hilton Head Island Resort
    • Aulani, Disney Vacation Club Villas, Ko Olina, Hawaiʻi
  • Check in is available beginning 45 days prior to arrival, up to and including the arrival date, at Disney Cruise Line.

Then, if you have opted for Online Check-In and given your cell phone number, you should be able to go directly to your room when you receive a text saying that your room is ready. Otherwise, when you arrive at your Resort hotel, simply head to the Online Check-In Desk where your Welcome Folder will be waiting. Show your valid photo I.D. and you’re on your way!

Man! I love Disney service so much! The cast members are helpful above and beyond. That has been my experience every single time. Am I just lucky, or are they just that good? Disney is known throughout the world for their customer service. So…they are just that good!

This computer problem will be solved, and I will get checked in before we arrive at the resort. So let it be written; so let it be done. Amen!

Meet me at the Kingdom!

Donna

My Ten Must Dos at WDW

Only 34 days to go until we travel to Walt Disney World. It is creeping closer and closer. Yay!

Here are the 10 things I am the most excited about for our trip to Walt Disney World in October:

#10 Riding it’s a small world.  It is my favorite ride!!

#9 Celebrating our unbirthdays with “the dip” (see below) and birthday cupcakes.  Woo hoo!  Happy unbirthday to us!

#8 Exploring EPCOT’s Food and Wine Festival.  Looking forward to tempting tidbits of tasty treats.

#7 Experiencing Minnie’s Seasonal Dining at Hollywood and Vine, Halloween Edition for the first time ever.  I mean, Minnie, Mickey, Goofy, Donald and Daisy in their Halloween costumes! Plus the food looks yummy.

#6 Spending the better part of a day at Disney Springs exploring and shopping.

#5 Eating at Olivia’s Café at Disney’s Old Key West Resort. This is by far my favorite restaurant at Walt Disney World.

#4 Experiencing Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween.

#3 Spending plenty of resort time and pool time at Disney’s Old Key West Resort.  It is, seriously, my Happy Place.  When I’m chilling at Old Key West I can actually feel all stress leaving my body.  It is the ultimate in relaxation for me.

#2 Meeting and greeting Mickey at Magic Kingdom. I am so ready to shake Mickey‘s big, white-gloved hand and get a picture with him and my family.

And the #1 thing that I am excited about…Looking at the faces of my husband and children and their spouses and children and spending some quality time together in this beautiful place.  This will be a family reunion extraordinaire!

Meet you at the Kingdom.

Donna

*The dip: In a pie plate spread 8 oz. of cream cheese.  Next sprinkle 6 to 8 cut-up green onions on top.  Then spread a can of No Bean chili on top.  (We usually make a second dip with Vegetarian chili with lots of beans.)  Finally sprinkle 8 oz. of grated cheddar cheese on top.  (We prefer sharp cheddar.  The shaper the better.)  Microwave for five minutes and serve with your favorite chips.  (We usually heat it in the oven at 350 degrees for 30 minutes instead, because it seem to hold it’s heat longer.)

Disney Vacation Club Member

Now I have only 35 days until heading to Walt Disney World. While there I will be staying at Disney’s Old Key West Resort. I am a Disney Vacation Club Member, and Old Key West is my home resort. When I check in, I will be greeted, “Welcome, home!” And after all this time, it does feel like home away from home. It is so Florida-looking with palm trees and waterways every little while. It smells like citrus and suntan lotion and vacation. It feels warm and mild and, depending on the time of year, muggy. I love it!

Here’s some of what Disney has to say about Disney Vacation Club:

Disney Vacation Club is a vacation ownership program—or timeshare—that helps you stay close to the magic. As a Member, you can enjoy a more cost-effective way of taking Disney vacations.

Membership & How It Works

To become a Member, you purchase a real estate interest in a Disney Vacation Club Resort. This is your Home Resort.

Your real estate interest is represented by an annual allotment of Vacation Points. You’ll use your Vacation Points to reserve accommodations in one of the many vacation destinations available to Members.

Vacation Destinations
As a Member, you can enjoy access to accommodations at your Home Resort or another Disney Vacation Club Resort. You can also choose from thousands of other vacation options in destinations around the world.

Home Resort Priority
At your Home Resort, you can take advantage of the Home Resort Priority Period, which allows you to make reservations 11 months in advance. Members who do not have an ownership interest at that Resort can book up to 7 months in advance. (*This is why I held out until I could purchase my points at Old Key West. It is my favorite resort. It has the largest rooms, and the most laid back atmosphere.)

Vacation Points & Booking Flexibility
With more Vacation Points, you can enjoy extra flexibility when planning vacations. If you’re thinking of becoming a Member, you’ll want to consider the number of Vacation Points that’s right for your vacation lifestyle.

Value & Savings

Disney Vacation Club offers value and potential savings on accommodations as you enjoy Disney vacations for years to come.

Value
By becoming a Member, you are locking in today’s purchase price. You can use your Membership to enjoy decades of future stays at Disney Vacation Club Resorts, which feature spacious 1-Bedroom Villas, 2-Bedroom Villas and 3-Bedroom Grand Villas that offer many of the comforts of home.

Savings
Members can save up to 50% on future Disney Vacation Club Resort accommodations over the life of the Membership.

Why Disney Vacation Club?

Disney Heritage
Disney Vacation Club celebrates the heritage, traditions and values that began with Walt Disney himself. The Disney difference begins with a unique sales approach and continues throughout the lifetime of your Membership—whether you’re on a vacation or planning your next trip.

A Personalized Sales Experience
Enjoy a personalized experience with a knowledgeable Disney Vacation Club Guide—a helpful resource for you as you research Membership. They’re happy to answer any questions you may have about Disney Vacation Club and how it can work for your family.

Disney Vacations
As a Member, you can look forward to magical vacations in Disney destinations. Highlights include:

  • Accommodations at uniquely-themed Disney Vacation Club Resorts designed by Disney Imagineers—with spacious villas that offer many of the comforts of home
  • Convenient proximity to Disney theme parks at most Disney Vacation Club Resorts 
  • Service that exemplifies the Disney standard of excellence

Enjoy the freedom to choose when, where and how often you vacation! As a Disney Vacation Club Member, you’ll receive an annual allotment of Vacation Points (“Points”), which represent your real estate interest in a Disney Vacation Club Resort. You’ll use Points to book your accommodations—and you’re never locked in to a specific Resort, time of year, type of accommodations or length of stay.

We go every three years by banking one year’s points and borrowing one years points. That way we have three years of points to use on out vacations. It allows us a bigger space for a longer amount of time.

One of the best things about being a DVC member is you have access to Member Services. I have always had great service from them. But today I ran into a snag. I had emailed them to reserve Magical Express for Jake, Eliza and Linnie. They emailed me back saying they could only help DVC Members, and I was not a member. Imagine my surprise…I’ve been a member now since 2010. So after I calmed down, I called Member Services. The gentleman I spoke with was wonderful. He was able to straighten everything out, and assured me that all was well with my membership status. Whew! It is a 40 year membership, so I figure I have 32 years left on the contract. (I know, I know, I probably won’t live to be 94 years old, but the kids can use it.)

Anyway, I highly recommend membership in Disney Vacation Club. I love it; I use it, I recommend it!

Meet me at the Kingdom!

Donna

Olivia’s Cafe

Well, fellow Disney fans, I only have 52 days until my Old Key West family reunion. Today I want to talk about my favorite Walt Disney World restaurant, Olivia’s Cafe. I will have dinner there on the first night, and probably a breakfast or two there during the following eight days. Here’s what Disney says about it:

Savor hearty home cooking with a taste of the Florida Keys at this hidden gem at Disney’s Old Key West Resort. 

Outdoor patio seating for 4 at Olivia's Café

As Breezy and Relaxed as Key West Itself

A longtime resident of Conch Flats, Olivia welcomes diners with Island-inspired dishes. This nautical-themed eatery has the friendly, familiar feel of a neighborhood institution and is a perennial favorite of many a Guest.

A must-visit spot for breakfast, Olivia’s Cafe serves up traditional favorites as well as several of Olivia’s own specialties: the Sombrero Beach Omelet and the Banana Bread French Toast.

Come in and Conch out
Conch Fritters, Conch Chowder, an array of stacked sandwiches and the signature Duval Street Burger make for a leisurely and fully loaded lunch.

Dinnertime is delicious time with Pan-Seared Sea Scallops, Southernmost Buttermilk Chicken and New York Strip Steak.

If you have any room left, you can’t go wrong with the Key Lime Tart or the warm Banana Bread Pudding Sundae with bananas foster topping.

Olivia’s also offers a cavalcade of Island cocktails for Guests over 21. Wines and draft beers are also available, as are milkshakes, smoothies and glowing character punch— featuring a light-up Disney character.

Reservations are recommended and can be made up to 180 days prior to your visit.

A wall filled with photos labeled

Who Is Olivia?

Olivia Farnsworth lived in a small cottage along Turtle Krawl, upwind of the strip. Almost daily, she would invite curious passersby who smelled her cooking to come on in and pull up a chair. People loved her vibrant flavors and earthy personality, and, before long, she found herself setting more tables.

Eventually, Olivia opened the doors to her eponymous cafe, which has been a haven for locals and a must-visit for out-of-towners ever since.

That’s it in a nutshell. I always feel at home dining there, and I have never had a bad meal there. I can’t recommend it enough. I hope you get to try it, and I hope you like it as much as I do.

Meet you at the Kingdom.

Donna

Pixie Dust Delight

With 66 days to go until our Disney vacation, I worked on a little surprise for the grandkids. I just love a company called Pixie Dust Delivery Service. I have ordered Walt Disney World treats from them many times. I always receive the items in top shape and very quickly. So when I saw the ad below on the Pixie Dust Blog, I couldn’t resist ordering:

“Pixie Dust Delivery Service-It’s time to think FALL! Visiting WDW late August through October? I can deliver extra special HALLOWEEN Pixie Dust fit for any ghoul or boy! Everything is custom designed – from Jack and Sally, to the Haunted Mansion, to those dastardly Disney Villains, and even your favorite mice – the only limit is your imagination (or mine) 

Fun, right? So tonight I perused what is on offer and placed my request with Amy from Pixie Dust Delivery Service. She will put my order together and deliver it to Disney’s Old Key West Resort when we are there.

Happy Halloween, Dear Grandbabies!

Meet you at the Kingdom.

Grandma…Donna

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Vacay Day One

In just 67 days, we leave for Walt Disney World. I’ll be so excited to get to Disney’s Old Key West for eight nights. Here’s what’s on the agenda for the first day:

  1. When we check in, our first stop will be Gurgling Suitcase for an order of Conch Fritters to share.
  2. Then we’ll pick up drinks from Good’s Food to Go.
  3. We’ll sit at one of the picnic tables on our mini-boardwalk, breathe in that vacation air, and feel all stress melt away.
  4. Next we’ll freshen up in our room, and enjoy our Three Bedroom Grand Villa for a few hours.
  5. Then maybe we’ll go for a swim.
  6. Later it’s back to the front of the resort for dinner at Olivia’s Cafe, while we wait for the rest of our party to arrive. We’ll bring some food back to the room for our English family who get in later in the evening.
  7. Once they arrive we’ll hug and kiss them, and visit with them while they have a bite to eat.
  8. Then it’s off to bed so we can get up early and make it to the Magic Kingdom for an 8:15 am breakfast at The Crystal Palace.

Wow! What a delightful day it will be!

Meet you at the Kingdom.

Donna