Hilton Orlando Bonnet Creek

When I was in Florida for the Princess Half Marathon weekend, I had the opportunity to stay at Hilton Orlando Bonnet Creek. I stayed here for one night in January, but we were so busy I did not have the chance to really look around, so I was excited to have another stay and see what it was all about.

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This hotel is tucked away on Disney property, and you have probably passed it 100 times and not even noticed. It is conveniently located to Disney Springs as well as the theme parks. Hilton Orlando bonnet creek

The rooms are spacious at 414 sq. feet, and the beds were very comfortable. There was a desk in the room as well as a television, coffee maker, safe, and refrigerator. We had a huge window with a great view of the pool! Off in the distance we could see the Swan and Dolphin as well as the Tower of Terror!

Hilton orlando Bonnet Creek

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The lobby is super inviting and fun, check out the ceiling!

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One of my favorite things was this little spot which was open 24 hours a day. They had snacks, coffee, pastries, candy, donuts, chips, among other things. It was great to go down at 3:00 in the morning and grab some coffee the morning of the 10k.

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The views out the windows in the lobby area were amazing, and there was even a screen porch and fire pit so you could enjoy the sunset.

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There is also a convention center at Hilton Bonnet Creek, and they do weddings as well!

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There are several restaurants, and Jen and I ate at two of them. The first night we ate at Harvest, and they even had a special menu for the runners.

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Downstairs by the pool and next to Harvest they had a table of different waters for the guests. The watermelon was so good.

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Even though we didn’t use it because we were doing enough running as it was, there was a really nice gym on the ground floor next to the pool area.

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Speaking of the pool area…WOW. I am saving some of my photos for another post, but yall, this was an oasis. A lazy river, zero entry, waterslide, hot tub, plenty of lounge chairs, and an amazing outdoor restaurant.

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We ate at Beech the night before the half marathon, and it had such a relaxing vibe, and the weather was perfect to eat outside poolside.

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Also, this hotel is right next to the Waldorf Astoria, where there is an amazing spa. There is also a golf course, shopping, and a kids club next door at Waldorf Astoria.

Jen and I kept talking about how much we loved this hotel, the food, the pool, and the options it provided us during our stay. Being on Disney property is just so magical, and Hilton Orlando Bonnet Creek allows you to be in the middle of it all without breaking the bank. I hope to stay here again soon. The pool is already calling my name!

QOTD: Do you like a good pool/lazy river? Have you stayed at Bonnet Creek?

Princess Here I Come

It’s here! It’s here! I leave for Louisiana TODAY, and fly out to Orlando from New Orleans first thing Friday morning. My loose plans involve the expo Friday afternoon, 10K Saturday morning, EPCOT Saturday afternoon, the half marathon Sunday morning, relaxing at the pool Sunday afternoon, and the Magic Kingdom on Monday before leaving Tuesday morning. I’m so excited but know that it is going to go by so fast, it always does!

Last year, Bobby came with me on this trip and we stayed for a week at Port Orleans Riverside. This year, it is a girls only trip, and shorter. Also this year I am participating in the Glass Slipper Challenge for the second time!

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Jen and I will be staying at the Hilton Orlando Bonnet Creek for part of our stay before we move to a Disney hotel. I can’t wait to share more about Bonnet Creek itself when I get home from the trip! It’s a gorgeous resort, right in the middle of Disney.

Yesterday, I posted a printable packing list the for race, so check it out if you missed it. Also, I TENTATIVELY plan to be hanging out in front of the merchandise area at 4:30/4:45 before the half marathon on Sunday if anyone wants to say hello. Stay in touch via Twitter/Facebook/Instagram, because I will post updates there if something changes. Note the big red dot below:

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You can read some of my old race recaps here. You can also read LAST year’s half marathon recap here.

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A couple of fun story lines…

More than 37,000 runners from 26 countries are participating this weekend, including more than 16,500 in the half marathon. Also, Miss America 2016 Betty Cantrell will be on hand to sing the National Anthem on Sunday morning before the race!

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Safe travels to everyone going to Disney, hopefully I will see some of you very soon!

QOTD: What is your favorite costume you have seen at a race?

Marathon Weekends at Hilton Bonnet Creek

I had the privilege to stay somewhere new the night before the runDisney half marathon, somewhere I honestly never thought I would stay. I am a Disney loving “stay at a Disney hotel” kind of girl, so I was a little reluctant to try out Hilton Bonnet Creek, but I am So glad I did!

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I hope to have more info for you on the actual hotel and all the activities and food and things there at the end of February, but for now I want to specifically talk to you about Marathon Weekends.

Hilton Bonnet Creek has put together a special rate for those staying for runDisney race weekends, and it comes with some great extras that are not offered at Disney owned hotels. There was also a runner’s concierge in the lobby, and they could answer questions for us, get us signed up for the bus the morning of the race, and they also had a goodie bag for us. (Note that to ride the bus to the races you have to sign up ahead of time and are given a wristband as a “ticket” for the bus to and from the race.)

Hilton Bonnet Creek is actually inside the gates of Walt Disney World, so it is super close to the parks and other Disney activities. Check out the balloon at Disney Springs you could see out my room’s window!

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Those staying with the special marathon weekend rate are also given a card that saves you 10% on hotel food and beverages during your stay. They have so many restaurant options, and even special carb loading menu items for runners.

The real magic however came on race morning, where we were greeted in the lobby with signs and our own personal cheerleaders! The music was loud, the DJ was getting everyone pumped up, and it really helped to wake me up since it was, you know, 2:45 in the morning.

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They also provided a continental breakfast for the runners. It was nice to hang out in the warmth of the lobby, chatting with other runners (and using real bathrooms!) before heading to the race start.

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I ate a protein bar, a banana, and grabbed some water. (I had brought some food with me also since I wasn’t sure what I was going to feel like eating). I was told that the reasoning behind the certain food items was that they wanted to provide things that would be easy to eat in the corrals or walking to the corrals. Smart thinking!

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We took some photos out in front of the bus and were cheered on as we boarded. It was EARLY, yall, so it was such a nice touch!

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Oh, something else I didn’t mention, all runners staying for Marathon Weekends get a late 2:00 pm checkout, how cool is that?

Please note that at this time, there is no official transportation to the 5k and 10k races or expo which was a bummer, but the runner’s concierge can help you set something up if you would like. We grabbed a cab to come back from the expo and it was quick and easy. There is also  Mears shuttle you can take to and from the airport that cost approx. $21 each way when booked online.

They also had a runners reception at the pool with rum runners at noon after the half marathon, but sadly we had a boat to catch and were not able to stay. Next time!

I give Hilton Bonnet Creek Marathon Weekends a thumbs up, and would definitely stay here again for a race weekend!

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The enthusiasm, the little touches, the breakfast, and the proximity to other Disney activities really swayed me. I think they have a good thing going here, and I sadly just learned about it last year! If you have any questions about marathon weekends, let me know and I can get the answer for you.

QOTD: Did you know this existed? What do you think about the early morning cheerleaders? Who wants to stay here now?!?

Disclosure: I was provided a free stay to check out marathon weekends for myself, however all opinions are my own.