Our Stay at the Walt Disney World Swan

The Walt Disney World Swan Hotel (along with its sister, the Walt Disney World Dolphin) are two resorts smack dab in the middle of Walt Disney World property, but aren’t actually owned by Disney. The resorts get many of the same benefits as on-site guests (I got to book our fast passes 60 days out like on-site guests for instance) but one disadvantage for us was having to pay for parking. (There is also a resort fee, but with a special rate I booked it was waived for us.) The location is amazing – in the Epcot resort area, but at about half the price of the neighboring Disney resorts for our dates.

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Our one day at The Flamingo Inn Daytona Beach Shores, Florida

Yep, one day. We aren’t really beach people, but we decided to kick off our trip with a quick stopover at the beach before our jam-packed Walt Disney World vacation began. We wanted somewhere that was a quick drive to get us to Disney the next day, so while scanning a map of Florida I settled on the Daytona Beach area.

The Flamingo Inn was chosen because we didn’t want an expensive place, and the reviews were decent on Trip Advisor. I believe we paid around $65-ish for our off-season midweek stay. No complaints there!

The Flamingo Inn is located about 2 miles south of the Boardwalk area, which is where we drove to that night to eat at Joe’s Crab Shack. (We actually thought we were going to Crabby Joe’s, but ended up at Joe’s Crab Shack by mistake. We stayed at Joe’s Crab Shack however,  and it was a lot of fun!)

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Hooray for Hollywood: Our Stay at the Hollywood Orchid Suites

Hooray for HollywoodLast fall Gary and I spent 3 nights at the Hollywood Orchid Suites, a hotel located in the heart of Hollywood. If you’re into all the touristy things Hollywood has to offer, the location is pretty much amazing. The hotel is at the end of what was essentially a dead-end street, with an easy entrance way to Hollywood & Highland and to Hollywood Boulevard. We hit the ground running as soon as we got there, and we were just amazed that we were in the middle of the action in a 2-minute walk.

We had room 203, a deluxe suite with 1 king bed and sofa bed. The room was next to the breakfast area and overlooked the pool. We had a nice big living room/kitchen area with full sized appliances. The hallway led you to the bathroom and bedroom. I was happy that the bedroom was not near the door since you can hear a lot of hallway noise at most hotels. (However, a few times I could hear music coming from the building next door while I was in the bedroom.)

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