Day 2 of WDW-40, the latest of my Disney Trip Reports, is here! Today we drive to Disney’s Vero Beach Resort for a few days. It’s on the Atlantic Coast, and takes about 2 hours to drive there. We made a couple of pit stops along the way! Dinner was at The Green Cabin Room, a bar/lounge at the resort.
If you haven’t read the pre-trip planning report yet, why not have a quick read now to bring you up to speed about who we are, and why this trip report is called WDW-40! You might also want to start reading from the beginning of the report!
Day 2: Check In – Disney’s Vero Beach Resort
Dinner at The Green Cabin
September 5th, 2016
My trip reports are generally photo heavy, images in tiled galleries can be clicked on to enlarge.
All the photos from this day can be found here | Florida 2016 photo collection on Flickr here.
WDW-40, 2016: Trip Report Index | Pre-Trip Planning Report
We woke up at around 7:30 am, so had managed to get few more hours in, after waking up at around 4:00 am thanks to jet lag! There was a lovely sunrise, and then we watched some planes taking off.
The first part of our month long holiday was to be a time for us to chill out, relax, and not do very much. We had both been having a tough year with work, and other stresses, and were looking forward to this breakaway from everything. Our check-out time from the Hyatt Regency was at 11:00am, and we couldn’t check-in at Vero Beach until 4:00pm, so we figured we’d make use of the hotel room for a few hours.
Steve went to grab some breakfast from the hotel restaurant – you can pack up boxes to-go which is very handy. He also took some photos for the trip report too. I, in the meantime decided to do the Social Media thing, and get on Instagram and Snapchat… this did become less as the holiday went on – I don’t know how people do it, I couldn’t keep up!
Since I didn’t actually see the breakfast buffet, I can only go by the photographs, and what Steve told me about it: “Everything was well laid out, and looked fresh. The staff were happy to provide boxes, cutlery, and napkins to box up food to take back to our room. There were cooked options – eggs, sausage, bacon, potatoes, pancakes, etc; cold options – sliced ham, turkey, cheese, smoked salmon, fruit, etc; cereals, oatmeal, breads, and baked goods.”
Nearly forgot about Ricky the Rockhopper! My friends had given him to me (along with adopting a real penguin!) for my 40th birthday (in advance, I had an unbirthday party in August!) and I said I’d take him around with me and take photos of him… I lasted about 3 days!!
Eventually, we got ourselves showered and dressed, and made our way to the lobby to check-out. Our total bill was $235.78, which broke down as:
- $57.12 – In Room Dining
- $161.00 – Hotel Room
- $9.18 – Sales Tax
- $8.48 – Occupancy Tax
Florida Van Rentals
Next step was picking up the accessible van we hired from Florida Van Rentals. Because I was hiring an ECV for the duration of our holiday, we needed a car that could also transport it. It was absolutely the best decision we made to make things easier for me. It did add extra to the total cost of our holiday, but it was so worth it – without the use of the ECV, and the van, I would have been in pain, miserable, and unable to see, and do all the things we did. We also had to organise our own car insurance, which was really easy via Insurance4CarHire. Essentially you need to make sure you are covered for Supplemental liability insurance (SLI) and Collision damage waiver (CDW).
The hire company is located near to the airport, but not at it like the main car hire companies; so they dropped the car off to us at the Hyatt – leaving it with Valet Services, which they organised. We picked up the keys, and with the help from a bellhop, Steve loaded the car, while I got my bearings with the car – adjusting the seat, making sure I knew where lights, indicators, wipers etc., were, making sure we don’t get locked out…
The van we had was a Chrysler Town & Country, which had been modified to hold an ECV, and had room for two people in the front, and two in the back. It was perfect for the two of us, and then the four of us, when my brother and his girlfriend flew out to Orlando a week later. The back doors, and the rear door opened automatically using the key fob; and the ramp was manual.
The photo below is actually of the van at Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort car park, but it looks like it’s the only photo I have of the car itself. The gear stick was up on the dashboard which was different, but really handy – as was the cup holder that you could pull out – a perfect spot for Ricky!
By 11:30 we were driving out of the hotel car park, and on our way to Vero Beach! Although we did have to make a couple of pit stops along the way.
The first was to pick up the ECV, which we hired from Buena Vista Scooter Rentals. They are an official Disney provider, which means that they are allowed to drop off (and pick up) ECVs at Disney Resorts, as well as bring them into theme parks should your scooter malfunction.
This company also offered a Disney Vacation Club Member discount, which brought the price down for us, and because we were hiring for a month (give or take a day) they reduced the hire further for us. They are located off Sand Lake Road, which was roughly halfway between Orlando Airport (MCO) and Disney Springs – which was our next pit stop.
We parked in one of the new multi-storey car parks at Disney Springs – which were not operational on our last visit – and headed to Guest Relations to buy a Tables in Wonderland Card (TiW). This is a discount card for Florida residents ($175), Annual Passholders, and DVC Members. For APs and DVCMs the cost is $150. This gives you a 20% discount on food and beverages (including alcohol) at over 100 participating restaurants at Walt Disney World Resort. 18% tip/gratuity is added automatically – no matter how big the size of the party. It is valid for up to 10 people on one check, and you also receive free Resort Valet or Theme Park parking for dining purposes. We were able to use TiW at Vero Beach, which is why we bought it on the way. We used it whenever we could, and Steve said it was definitely worth it. I’ll be making a note of the discounts we add throughout the trip report.
With the pit stops taken care of, we started the drive to Vero Beach!
It took around 2 hours to get to Vero Beach from Disney Springs – it was a pleasant drive, but I do wish we had taken the ocean route like my friend suggested – our satnav had other ideas! We went down Highway 1, but really should have taken the A1A which would have been along the coast. Oh well, there will always be a next time, as we would love to return to Vero Beach in the future.
As we were pulling into Disney’s Vero Beach Resort, we saw a blue crab scuttling across the road – too quick for us to take a photo! But we did see plenty of lizards which are pretty much everywhere. Parking at this resort is underneath the main building (called The Inn), and you then take the elevator up to the lobby area. There are luggage trolleys (the hotel type ones) to help you to bring your bags up from your car. Didn’t seem to be any Cast Members to help do this like in the resort hotels at Walt Disney World.
Check-in time wasn’t until 4pm, but they told us they were running behind so would have to wait… and wait we did, we didn’t get into our room until well after 5pm. Not the best first impression! Since we had already brought our bags up from the car, we had to stay inside and keep an eye on them – which we didn’t feel too bad about, as by now, it was pouring with rain. We sat and watched cartoons (which I know is meant for the kids!) and then said hello to Donald and Goofy who were doing a Meet & Greet in the lobby.
Eventually, our room was ready, and we didn’t have far to go as we were on the 2nd floor (that’s 1st floor for us Brits) and our room was one of the first as you turned left from the elevators – Room 2224. We had a huge balcony with a gorgeous ocean view. The room was lovely and spacious, and we loved the art and photography on the walls.
I will only share this one photo of the room here, as a full resort tour is coming in day three of this trip report.
After settling in, unpacking, and refreshing ourselves, we went to grab some dinner at The Green Cabin Room – a lounge bar, which was literally next door to our room.
(Places to eat within the resort itself was limited as one restaurant had closed down – Sonya’s; Shutters was open, but we didn’t fancy a full on meal; and Bleachers was poolside, and closed at that time.)
There was seating outside on the terrace, as well as inside. We chose to stay inside and listen to the singer/musician that was performing. A dessert party had been going on, but was coming to an end. We found a table and sat down, and waited for a server to come over. We did have to wait a fair while, but she did acknowledge us as she was rushing around.
I don’t often drink on holiday as I tend to be the one that is driving, so having the opportunity to have a couple of drinks was very good! I had already decided to have this colourful Magic Star cocktail earlier in the day, when I was looking at the menu in the lobby! There is a super quick video below showing it changing colours.
The Green Cabin Room »
US: Hummus Plate – Garlic Hummus and Cucumber Cream served with warm Pita Bread,Cucumber Slices, and Couscous Salad ($8)
Me: Sliders – Three Sliders: Southwest Chicken, BBQ Pork, and a Beef topped with American Cheese, Bacon, Pickles, Pico de Gallo, and Onion Strings ($12)
Him: BBQ Chicken Flatbread – Pulled Chicken topped with BBQ Sauce, Red Onion, Pepper Jack and Mozzarella ($14)
Me: Magical Star Cocktail – X-Fusion Organic Mango and Passion Fruit Liqueur, Parrot Bay Coconut Rum, Pineapple Juice, and a souvenir multicolored Glow Cube ($12)
Him: Angry Orchard Cider ($8)
Bill: $54 + Tip: $9.72 + Tax: $3.03 = $66.75
TiW Discount: –$10.80
Total Paid: £55.95
We paid our bill, and used our Tables in Wonderland card, which I mentioned earlier – and on our way to recouping the $150 we spent on it! We didn’t hang around for too long, and walked the few metres back to our room where we sat out on the balcony to listen to the waves. Steve then went down to the resort store to pick us up a couple of Mickey’s Premium Ice Cream Bars, because no stay at a Disney Resort is complete without one of those!
Read about the day after:
Day 3: Room With A View
Disney’s Vero Beach Resort Tour
Read about the day before:
Day 1: Take Off
Travel Day – LGW to MCO / Check In – Hyatt Regency, Orlando Airport