In case it wasn’t clear from little man’s Star Wars birthday party, we are pretty big fans of the franchise. The original movies are among my favorites, the soundtrack is nothing short of awesome and well… who doesn’t love some Han Solo?
After some talking, Mr PugRunner and I decided that we would venture to Orlando for one of the four Star Wars Weekends at Disney’s Hollywood Studios. We would immerse ourselves in the force and the Jedi spirit, meeting characters, seeing a special Star Wars themed parade and maybe possibly getting a bit of a Darth Vader cupcake.
Now, I was a little nervous. We generally go to Disney in less crowded times, and avoid special events. Our only available weekend was this past one, and it was right around when the area schools had let out for summer, so I was nervous. I did a lot of research and made a lot of plans. I wanted to maximize our time and experiences as best we could.
Mr PugRunner often rolls his eyes and sighs when I start hyper-planning, but he did his part and booked our hotel with a great deal on Priceline: the Hilton Bonnet Creek. It’s pretty much our favorite hotel if we’re not staying on Disney property. It’s right next to Downtown Disney, the CSRs are attentive and helpful, the rooms are beautiful, and the pool. Oh, the pool. Well. Stand by.
The Plan to arrive on Thursday afternoon, spend the afternoon lounging around the hotel, then grab dinner and get to bed early so we could head to Hollywood Studios bright and early. Unfortunately, Tropical Storm Andrea hit and Mr PugRunner was not keen on driving through tornado warnings and torrential rain. Understandable. He made some phone calls and we were able to change our stay from Friday and Saturday night to Saturday and Sunday night at the same rate. We also learned that a lot of people had cancelled their stays because of the storm, so I was hopeful that might alleviate the crowds a little.
We arrived after lunch on Friday and checked in. We got a room with a view of the pool, and we suited up and headed out to enjoy.
Little man immediately got to playing, taking advantage of the water slide,
and then floating around the lazy river. Over and over again.
After a few hours, we packed up and headed off to dinner on The West Side. When we returned, the guys got back in their trunks and I grabbed my book.
I settled back in a lounge chair at the pool entrance, while everyone else floated to a good spot to catch The Muppets on the movie screen.
It’s such a great way to catch a family flick.
As always, we had a wonderful stay. This is maybe our fourth visit to this particular property and we have another one scheduled for later in the summer. We have had excellent food and service at the poolside restaurant and bar (get the mojito), the Harvest Bistro (we have enjoyed breakfast, lunch and dinner there and loved every meal) and the lobby-level coffee shop (a necessity for when I drag Mr PugRunner out so we can make rope drop at the parks).
Even though Bonnet Creek is not an official Disney hotel, guests can purchase park tickets at the concierge, the hotel offers complimentary shuttle service to the four major parks and there is an official Disney store on the premises for souvenirs and other Disney-themed goodies.
We have always been pleased with our stays and are happy to keep returning for our Disney vacations.
When you go away, do you try different hotels or do you prefer to stick with old favorites or try something new?
What makes your favorite hotels special?
Tomorrow, I’ll touch on some of the dining highlights we enjoyed over the weekend and then, on to the good stuff! Who we saw and what we did at Star Wars Weekends. Stay tuned!
*This is not a sponsored post. I was not compensated in any way for this personal review. We are frequent guests at the Hilton Bonnet Creek and are happy to share our excellent experiences.d