Disney December – Disney Springs – T-Rex Restaurant

Imagine that before a trip to Disney you hear about the dinosaur experience at T-Rex. You try to make reservations, but there is no availability. So you decide to try to get in when you arrive. Your family walks up to the restaurant and then you see it, a long line flowing out of the restaurant. The hostess desk tells you that the wait is 2 hours without a reservation. The kids really want to dine here – but everyone is tired and hungry and you just don’t see everyone lasting for 120 minutes. There is a secret pass you can secure before your trip that saves the day!!! 
We arrived at T-Rex and the line was out the restaurant – the wait was at least 1.5 hours – but I walked up to the hostess desk, bypassing the long line, showed my Landrys card and we were escorted past the 2nd line which was waiting to be seated straight to an excellent table. This took less than 5 minutes total. NO RESERVATION!

We had a delicious meal of roasted chicken and tried 2 of the pasta dishes. The service was excellent and the décor is very engaging. The dinosaurs move, there are lights dimming and brightening, the sounds are reminiscent of a prehistoric jungle. So many of the young children were just sitting in amazement at all of the action around them. So, what is the secret to getting in the restaurant with no reservation and seated in less than 10 minutes???

Get the Landrys dining card (www.landrysselect.com) you will pay $25 to join, but within a few hours you will get a credit of $25 on your account, so the net cost is $0. In addition, this method works at all Landrys restaurants – presenting the card also allows points to be accrued that give you dining credits, and during your birthday month you receive a $25 gift credit good for $45 days. I am not a compensated spokesperson for Landrys – but a convinced and loyal customer of their restaurants. If you want to have quick entry to T-Rex, or either of the Rainforest Cafes at Disney – this is a great secret pass to have in your trip plans.  

Las Vegas on a bargain air carrier and a HGVC Timeshare offer is it really that cheap?

Hubby got a call from Hilton, they had a great offer.  Most anyone that has ever received one of these calls understands the drill.   You pay about $200 and you get 3 nights and 4 days at a beautiful property.  The only requirement is that you take 90 minutes out of your vacation to hear more about joining the “vacation club”. We had been talking about going to Vegas again, and it seemed like a good idea, so we thought let’s go!

We found “cheap” airfare on Frontier- at $59 from Chicago, but after paying for our ticket we found we had to pay if we wanted to choose our seat, add $10 each, and bags were $25 each so it turned out that the tickets were actually $90 each one way.   We decided to fly home on American and since we both had status we were in first class for $130 one way.   A much more comfortable seat and overall flight.

We flew out on Frontier on a 10 pm(CST) flight.  While boarding we noticed a couple things- flight attendants may be wearing uniforms that were repurposed from the 80’s, they did not smile much and their overall demeanor was just kind of miserable.  The passengers boarding were kind of the same- just generally in a bad mood, many with children in tow and it felt kind of like a city bus at midnight clientele.  When we landed at 12:30am Las Vegas time, hubby said “well we can check off flying Frontier from our bucket list- because we are not doing that again!”  If price is the only motivating factor make sure you understand the true price of your ticket and do an apples to apples comparison before booking the bargain priced airlines.

After a $30 cab ride from the airport we arrived at check in at HIlton Grand Vacation Club on Las Vegas Boulevard.  Our timeshare stay did not start until Thursday, and we had reserved a 1 bedroom suite for Tuesday and Wednesday night at a rate of $99 per night.  The front desk was attended, but the gentleman working said that the checkin system was down so he could not issue us keys.  We would need to wait or he could bring us up to our room with a master key and when the system came back up bring us keys.   The problem would be that we could not leave our room because we would not be able to get back in.  We agreed, but we were super thirsty and did they have water to buy or for Hilton Diamond members.  He said “No, I’m sorry -This is like Apartment dwelling – and we have no food or drink at this hour.  So much for Las Vegas being the city that never sleeps!   He also told us not to expect breakfast as a diamond member and we discovered later that the property has no restaurant, just a convenience store that sells overpriced groceries and gas station style pizza.  Our suite did have a kitchen, and we did end up buying some bacon, eggs and fruit from the CVS next door, but we decided this was not the hotel to has a Vegas style experience.   We were booked Tuesday through Saturday night though and decided to make the best of it.

As it turns out we were booked in studio suite for our 3 night stay.  We asked to keep the one bedroom so we would not have to move.  The hotel said they were oversold and we would have to move, we said ok but then they offered us the opportunity to pay $25 per night and we agreed.   But here is the best part.  Add the $75 to the $229 we paid to have the vacation it comes out to $101 per night for our “great deal” and we still have to spend 90 minutes in a sales presentation.

The day of the sales presentation came on Friday at 3pm.  We wanted to change the time that would be a bit more convenient for us and had called the customer service desk weeks ahead to do so.  We were told that you cannot have the presentation on the day you arrive or the day you leave. We also tried at the hotel and were told that this could only be done by calling the customer service desk which had told us ……you get the picture.  We knew that any freebies we wanted to use  such as the free dinner at 2 different restaurants  or a free lunch at a sushi buffet would have to be used on Saturday before midnight when our plane was taking off.

The best Vagablond advice on timeshare offers to Vegas and bargain basement fares is do research, read reviews and price out your options.  Chances are, you may change your mind


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