About a month ago, one of my friends told me that she was bringing her beautiful daughter here to visit Disney. She usually visits about twice a year and does this all on free money! Its amazing. She goes onto a website and lets her phones run through videos and earns money while the videos play. She usually stays in a Disney hotel and does the packages where she gets free dining. She purchases her plane tickets the same way. She never puts any of her own money into her vacations. She turns her online money into Walmart gift cards. Then she takes them to Walmart and changes them in for Disney Gift Cards. Its the Disney gift cards that pays for the vacations.
When she told me last month that she was coming to visit, she also told me that she was going to pay for hubby, son and I to stay in an off-property hotel for one night near Disney. Ummm – COOL!!! It was all for my birthday. So we decided to stay the night before my birthday. About a week ago, she sent me the confirmation and I knew exactly where it was. I knew it was an older hotel, but was undergoing a lot of refurbishment. On Monday, April 18, son and I went to her hotel while hubby was at work. I picked up her and her daughter and took them to Walmart for a few food items for their room. This is another way she goes to Disney on a budget (they didnt have the free dining this time). They have a fridge and put salad, sandwich stuff, etc, in it.
After we went to Walmart, we went to our hotel so that I could go ahead and check in. We were at the Celebration Suites which is right beside Old Town (a place with lots of restaurants, bars, and amusement type rides).
When she reserved it, she went through Last Minute Travel. When we went to check in, they wanted a $75 deposit by credit card or a $125 cash deposit for incidentals, etc. Well, I dont have a credit card and didnt have that much for a cash deposit. There was also nowhere on the confirmation that there would be any type of deposit. After about 20 minutes or so, the manager (who was manager in name only and not able to make a customer service decision) received word from the general manager that they would only require $50 in cash and promised to give it back (in writing) the next day. The lobby was nice and across the way was a little cafe. We did not go to the cafe, but it was there and open during specific hours. Pictures are from the lobby area.
I paid the deposit and we were able to go to the room. We both were very surprised. The room was in good shape. You could tell that they have been working on the bones of the hotel and the room looks as if they had also refurbed them. The rooms were really clean, and that was important to me.
The living room was a nice size with a tv, 2 chairs, a sofa and a murphy bed. Of course, son absolutely LOVED the murphy bed and decided this is where he would sleep. Little did he know – we had already decided thats where he was sleeping. lol
The kitchen was huge – especially compared to what we have now. lol There was a full size refrigerator, 2 burners, a microwave and a coffee pot. Hey – coffee is important! I opened the cabinets to see that there was ceramic plates, bowls and saucers. There was also plastic (not the cheap throw aways) cups and silverware. They had a cutting board, manual can opener, knife and serving spoon and spatula. In another cabinet they had a few pots and pans. Sweet!!!
Not going to go on and on about a bathroom. They are all the same! It was a nice size and clean. They gave plenty of towels for use and had shampoo and soap. Wish they would have had conditioner as well. My hair is long and conditioner helps with tangles.
The bedroom, which had a door to close it from the kitchen, was HUGE! There were two full size beds, a vanity with sink, a closet and another cabinet of some sort. Plus a TV. The beds and bedding seemed to be in good shape. The bed was comfy. A little more firm than I care for, but comfy.
One thing with this hotel is that there was absolutely no carpeting in our room. I was scared that son was going to knock a plate off the table and break it. lol We also had a huge patio off the back of our room. We parked right at our patio. I went inside the room, opened the sliding door and we brought everything through that way.
I had made a pasta salad earlier in the day for our dinner. We had also stopped by the store and bought milk, soda, etc, for us to have while in the room. Please people – do not EVER send a hungry woman into a grocery store. hehehe Once we had everything put up in the fridge, we changed into our swimsuits and headed to the pool. It was about 4 rooms down from where we were staying. The pool had a handful of kids in it. Hubby and I were going to get in it – but our temps had fallen and the water was just too cold. Our temps were in the low 60s at night. Plus the sun was starting to go down. Son jumped right into the pool was just happy, happy, happy!
The next morning, we were going to go to the pool, but the temps were low 60s. We were lazy and watched TV. I think I spent most of the morning typing “thank you” to all the birthday wishes on facebook. lol Hubby and son went and made me pancakes and coffee for breakfast. This was a nice treat since I am the one who usually cooks. After breakfast, we put all the dishes into the dishwasher and just left them there. Housekeeping will come through and actually wash them. We got ready and went to check out. They had to do a room check to make sure we didnt have some sort of crazy, wild party so that I would get the deposit back. It took them a good 20 minutes to do the check. We got our $50 and were on our way out. It was about 1130am at this time. Hubby decided to stop at Starbucks since the in-room coffee was weak.
We went to my friends hotel and rode the Disney bus over to Disney Springs. She treated us to lunch at Earl of Sandwich. If you have never had their sandwiches – you are missing out. The bread is oh so good. Its not dense or hard. It is soft and very airy. Just the way I like it. We sat there and talked for a bit then headed out and walked around Disney Springs. After walking around there for a bit, we headed back to her hotel and sat and talked for a bit. Its so nice to have adult conversation – and I know she feels the same. We finally left and headed back to our little condo on wheels. She is going to be here for a few more days and I know they are going to have a blast.
Hubby had one more surprise for me. For dinner, he and son took me to the little Mexican restaurant across the street. He had a gift card that he was holding back on me!! lol All in all – it was a very nice birthday and I am so glad I was able to spend time with my friend. That made it the best!
I am slacking today. Son just came and reminded me that he has not had lunch yet. Hope you are all having a great day and thanks for reading.
The Perpetual Campers