Trip report- Our epic 2 week vacation

We (my DD9 and I) left for Orlando on 10/27 and stayed at Hilton Grand Vacations Suites by Seaworld until 10/31. This resort is very nice and if you are clear with them you don’t want to purchase the timeshare they leave you alone. We had a one bedroom suite and it was wonderful. Very spacious, clean, and close to the pools at the resort. I would stay here again in a heartbeat, especially if you plan on Discovery Cove or Seaworld.

We went to Discovery Cove on 10/28. We arrived promptly at 7:15am and had wonderful breakfast then headed to guest services about our cabana for the day. The weather wasn’t forecasted to be the best so a lot of people had moved their reservation to another day. It was cloudy and it rained for an hour, but the afternoon was hot and sunny. We had a cabana by the dolphin pool so we got to watch the dolphins all day long. During our dolphin experience it started pouring and we had to wait for about 10 mins until the lightening passed. We got great pictures after we got back to our dolphin experience. We met Cindy and Kendall. Both dolphins were great and their trainers were fabulous too. They answered all questions and showed how much they all care for the animals at DC. I love DC it was our second time there and I hope to be back soon. I like getting the cabana with picture package. They get the best shots when you are with the dolphins and also when you feed the birds. I know the price is steep, but when you really look at all you get for the price it is a steal!!! I highly recommend Discovery Cove it is a wonderfully peaceful day.

We went to MNSSHP on 10/29. We’ve been to the party before, but I purchased the Hallowishes Dessert party this time. I think it was well worth the money just for the parade viewing. The characters stopped by our area to interact with the guests. I do think they oversell the parties, but you just have to prioritze what you want to see and do. We got a ton of candy, saw the parade and fireworks, rode a ton of rides, and saw the last Sanderson sister show. Even though it was at 12am that show was PACKED!!! I try to avoid the hub even with the expansion during parties as it is a MAD HOUSE!!! I enjoy the atmosphere at the parties and that is why we keep going back.

My mom was with us for the first part of our trip before we sailed and she also had a wonderful time at MNSSHP & Discovery Cove.

10/31 we sent sail on the disney fantasy. It was the last Halloween on the high seas for 2015 on the fantasy. Last year we did an eastern cruise on the fantasy and loved it so we thought we’d try the western ports. We stayed in a concierge stateroom again for the early embarktion and perks of the concierge lounge and 120 booking dates. The ship is fabulous and we enjoyed the shows again. But we do skip the first and last show as i’ve read that it is a recap of what to expect on the cruise. I recommend skipping one other night of your dining rotation so you can use the aquaduck without a line. We went on it 9 times in a row with no wait. I try to avoid the kids pools at there are a lot of “accidents” and the pool has to be drained. We did go swimming the donald pool this time, but it the pools are “people soup” or being drained due to accidents a LOT!!!
In Cozumel we did the beach day and loved it!!! We went swimming in the ocean and the pools at Playa Mia. I would go here again. Not the best food, but we weren’t hungry and the drinks are good. Tip good early and your server will keep your cup full. In Grand Cayman we did the stingray snorkel. This was boring and we both didn’t enjoy it. It wasn’t too expensive, but it was our least favorite excursion. In Jamaica we did the Tranopy adventure at Mystic Mountain. This was our favorite!! The bobsled was fast, but fun and exciting. The zip lining was also a lot of fun and we had great tour guides. I would do this again, but there was a lot of waiting between events, but not enough time IMO to use their awesome looking pool. Maybe book and go to by yourself…but it is 55mins away for the port.
Castaway Cay we had cabana #8 and it was wonderful to enjoy the beach and water. It was very hot at CC but we had a wonderful beach day again. I think you can do CC without a cabana, but it is a nice amenity if you can grab one.

The Halloween stuff on the cruise was very understated IMO. I think they could have some villain M&G’s on the cruise. We did meet Jack and Sally after watching the movie and that was fun.

After our cruise we used DCL transportation to AOA. I will say the Little Mermaid rooms are cool, but I would rather pay for a preferred room at Pop. We went to Epcot and tried to sample some F&W booths, but it was PACKED!!! We did manage to go to France and Japan and both booths had great tastings. We picked a pearl and my DD got a henna tattoo. Then we hopped over to HS for the Minnie’s dinner and our Merry & Bright party. Both were great!! I’m so glad we did the Minnie’s Holiday dine, but we ate too much and weren’t really wanting more dessert at the Merry and Bright party. I’m very sad the Osborne lights are going away this year so it was fun to sit and watch some of them from the party. I think to get the full experience you need to leave the party area though and walk thru both of the streets.

Lastly we went to the first MVMCP. We were very tired and hot but we had fun at this party too! We enjoyed all the walk on rides during the party. We watched the 8pm castle lighting and fireworks from the bridge to tomorrowland. The hub was even worse during the MVMCP party than the MNSSHP. I think Disney needs to space out show times or move something to another area to reduce congestion in this area during parties. We planned to watch the second parade, but it started raining and we decided to call it a night right before 11pm.

We had a fabulous trip and I will be happy to answer any questions.


I’m glad you had a great trip!!

glad you had a great trip! we were on vacation at the same time as you! I agree about the dessert party. I thought it was worth it as first timers who didn’t know what to expect and it was nice not to have to worry about finding and saving a spot for the parade. and the characters interacted with the kids a lot which was cool.

Sounds like a great trip!

I just searched forums for info on discovery cove and your post popped back up. We are looking into this for next year for spring break. Hilton Grand Vacations suites is the hotel I was looking it since it has 2BR suites and gives us free quick queue passes to sea world which we would be doing that week as well. Can you give me any more info on the hotel? It looks pretty big when I looked at the resort map? Was it a lot of walking or are the pools spaced out well that you weren’t too far from one ever? How do you avoid the timeshare trap? Just tell them at check in that you aren’t interested? thx for any further info you could give!

@mjsmomma We loved that resort. We did have a room that was very close to the pool and club house. It is a very big resort, but when I checked in they were very nice and asked me if I’d be willing to wait for a room that was closer. So glad we did. The 1 bedroom we stayed in was very nice! Everything was very clean and updated. We also loved the enclosed porch. I was nice to sit in at night and not get eaten alive from bugs. The resort is right across from Sea World (we ended up not going) and it is also close to discovery cove if you are going there. There was a 7 Eleven gas station right by the resort too.
When I checked in they tried to get me to come and listen to their pitch. Told them no thanks. They did call back a few times different days but a no thanks was all it took for them to leave you alone. Also you don’t have to answer the phone. :smile:
We really enjoyed staying there, the pools were never busy and it was a very close drive to Disney. I would highly recommend this resort.

Awesome, great to hear! I am tentatively planning our next trip which would have us there for 4 or 5 nights. we would do 1 day at DC, 1 at aquatica and probably 2 at seaworld, just b/c we would probably do half days at SW and the other half the day at the resort relaxing. thx again!