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vascubaguy
04-08-2006, 11:11 AM
I'm still recovering from our trip but figured I'd try and put these things down before I forgot them.

Sunday, March 26th
Our ride to the airport arrived about 15 minutes early, so we rushed to finish getting ready, loaded up the truck and headed to the airport. No lines at all at 6:30AM on a Sunday... got to the gate and boarded a 1/2 full Southwest flight direct to MCO. Nice flight, arrived about 13 minutes early, made our way down to DME and was on the bus within about 30 minutes. We landed just before 10am and in the lobby of the BWV by 11:30AM. (BTW, LOVE the BWV). It was a nice clear, sunny day, but a little windy/chilly (probably upper 60's to low 70's).

Well, I went to check-in and crossed my fingers that the room might be ready... it wasn't though. So, we checked our carry-on bags with bell services and headed over to Epcot to pickup our APs and my temporary DDE card.

We went thru the International Gateway and stopped to get some fish & chips. Then headed up to the front of Epcot to get the DDE. After that we decided to checkout Test Track, Mission Space, and Soarin to see the waittimes. For whatever reason, none of them were doing fastpasses so we just walked around a little. We stopped by club cool and tried the different drinks (including the beverly)... it wasn't "that" bad, but I had no desire to have a 2nd sip. Our favorite was the ginger ale and the watermelon (whatever their names where). We then went to ride the Figment ride (had never been on that one before). That attriction is now on our "Disney needs to renovate/replace list".

Ok, after that we decided to go see if any characters were out and about. We pull out the Sony Cybershot camera only to find that it is messed up. All of the pictures appear blurry on the LCD. I adjust all of the settings, reset the camera, and nothing helps. Needless to say we were NOT happy. I called to check on the room and it still wasn't ready, but we decided to head back to the boardwalk anyway. We went in the lobby around 2pm and just sat down on the sofas and waited. Meanwhile I continued messing with the camera, but no luck in fixing it. We were entertained by a mime who came into the lobby area - she was great. DP was asleep on the sofa so she got me to getup and she layed down right next to him. He eventually turned his head and was like... "woah... umm.. hi?". (Guess ya had to be there). She eventually got us to go outside and sit on the deck overlooking the boardwalk. It was a rather pleasant afternoon so a very good idea.

Let's see if I can speed this up a little... our room was finally ready around 3:45PM and we went up to get settled in (studio room 4071). It was just a few doors down from the elevators. The room was really nice, only a few minor things that I noticed (but I didn't call to complain). The sofa looked dirty and the pullout bed was extremely difficult to get open. Oh, one major complaint... the TV in the room was micro-sized!!! I had expected the TV's to be at least 25" or larger... this was more like 19". Our luggaged arrived shortly thereafter so we unpacked and then headed over to MK so we could catch a bus to the WL for dinner at WCC. We got to the WL about 45 minutes early and we were going to explore a little before dinner. However, due to the camera difficulties, I had been brainstorming on how we could get a replacement. My best friend was coming down the next day so I decided to call my mom (who is a customer service manager at a Walmart) to see if she would buy me a new camera and send it with my friend when she came the next day. My mom was at work so she went over to the cameras and told me what they had and pointed out that one of the Sony cameras was regularly almost $500 but on clearance for $314. It was the DSC-H1 which I had looked at before, so I told her to get it. I then had to call my friend and ask her to go pick it up and bring it. By the time that was all said and done, it was time for dinner.

We went to checkin at WCC and were seated within a few minutes. We started off with some drinks and both ordered the skillet. Our only complaint was that it was really loud, but many of the antics were rather comical. Our server, "Bobby the Kid", was rather entertaining. He busted 2 guys at another table for chewing gum and had them put the gum on the tip of their noses. I knew DP was going to ask for ketchup, and Bobby made him stand up and yell with him that he needed ketchup. However, no one brought any. Bobby went around and gathered about 6 bottles and brought them to the table. It was a pretty good meal, but we didn't come anywhere close to eating all of the food.

After dinner we walked around a little and then decided to take the boat over to MK. It was after we arrived at the boat dock that we realized that it probably wasn't the best idea. It was pretty cold down by the water. We suffered thru it and got on the boat and headed to MK. We went over and rode astroblasters and then found a spot to watch wishes at the bridge. A family came up shortly thereafter and the one lady was being really annoying, yelling at her son for ruining their vacation and stating how she would be on a cruise in Alaska if it weren't for him and his sister. I was like... wow... gotta love the magic of bad parenting. I guess she was "Wishing" she didn't have kids so she could be in Alaska right then. Anyway, the fireworks started and she changed her tone. We enjoyed the show, as always, and then headed back over to the BW.

When we got back to the room, we crashed. It had been a long day.

Tune in later for day 2 (MGM/Disney Studios), dinner at Hollywood and Vine, and a quick stop at SSR and Downtown Disney!

TeresaNJ
04-08-2006, 04:23 PM
Looking forward to reading more. :) We were at the BWV March 12-18th, stayed in a one-bedroom on the first floor two rooms over from Jellyrolls. The view was nice, (Boardwalk View), but we hated being on the first floor as we felt like we were on display whenever we sat on the patio! The weather the first half of the week was very warm, high 80s, but dropped into the low 70s for the rest of the week, so it was pretty chilly at night. It's hard to pack for a month like March.

westjones
04-08-2006, 04:37 PM
We are going to Boardwalk with family in less than two months. Can't wait for the rest of your report!
Thanks!
DJ

vascubaguy
04-09-2006, 09:58 AM
Since we knew we had many years of trips ahead of us, we kicked the commando-style we normally follow when at WDW. We actually slept in!!! I think it was until around 10AM. We took our time getting ready then went down to the Boardwalk Bakery and grabbed some breakfast. For me it was a chocolate croissant and DP had one of the breakfast sandwiches (with the english muffin). Both were really good; however, my big complaint is that I couldn't find a "chocolate dipped croissant" anywhere! I had those almost every morning for breakfast last year!!!

Anyway, moving on... we got on the boat to Studios and headed that way. It was a nice ride and only took about 25-30 minutes with the stop at the Swan & Dolphin. When we arrived it did not appear to be that busy at the park. However, when we went over to HTH and RR we were suprised to see the FP machines covered up!!! The wait was well over an hour for each. Instead, we headed over to see Lights, Motors, Action. The next show was getting ready to start in about 30 minutes so we didn't bother getting FP. We just got in line and they started the seating process a few minutes later. We ended up getting seated directly in the middle of the stadium (right above the control room). I really enjoyed the show, though DP was a little bored - not his type of thing.

We were wanting to catch one of the early shows of WWTBAMPI but didn't exactly plan it right. When we got out of Lights, Motors, Action, we checked the time and had about an hour so we headed over to the Backlot Tour. I had never been on it, so I didn't know it was a 40 minute tour, plus the 20 minute wait... needless to say, we didn't make the next show of WWTBAMPI.

So, then we decided to go do the Great American Movie Ride. I had never waited more than about 20 minutes to get on this ride before, I think it took us about 40 minutes this time. From there it was lunchtime, so we grabbed a burger to split at ABC commissary.

My memory seems to be failing me, as I don't recall exactly what we did after lunch. :confused3 I know we finally did WWTBAMPI (and neither of us did too good), and we watched the parade and the Indiana Jones Stunt Show.

But, let me jump to dinner at Hollywood & Vine. We decided to try some new places, which turned out to NOT be a good idea in this case! We thought the food and service at H&V was AWFUL!!! It was by far the worst meal we had during our trip. From this experience, we decided that from now on, we were not going to do any more buffets at WDW (with the one exception of Boma).

After a disappointing dinner, we left the park and hopped on a bus to SSR (on our way to DTD). Phase III is coming right along, and wow, the resort is HUGE!!! I know I've mention this before, but at some point, I hope DVC will create some categories for guaranteed views (golf course, Downtown Disney, etc). We got off the bus over at Congress Park and decided to walk over to DTD. Did I mention we were in shorts and t-shirts... and it was probably in the low 50's at that point!!! Not exactly the BEST decision, but we needed to go get some pajamas for DP because he forgot to pack his and Cristy was arriving that night. We weren't able to find mens PJs at any of the other stores we checked but we figured they would have them at the World of Disney store. After walking around the store a few times, we asked a CM who advised us that they don't carry mens PJs anymore, so we just got some boxers and decided to head back to the resort.

Oh yeah, Cristy.... we just knew she was going to get to the BWV before we got back. However, she called me while we were at DTD shopping and told me that she was still at the airport. I was a bit suprised because her flight arrived about an hour earlier! She said she had gone down to baggage claim and her luggage never came out... :rotfl2: I said, "you know those nifty luggage tags you got for DME and put on your luggage so you wouldn't have to handle your bags at the airport?" She was like... OH YEAH.. DUH! (Note: she went with us last year too and had used DME before). So, whe went over to DME and checked in and got in line.

We got back to the BWV, and within 10 minutes she had arrived. 10 minutes after that, her luggage arrived.

It was also on this night that I discovered we had a partial view of the Illuminations fireworks. I heard a boom and went out on the balcony where I noticed to the left, I could see the fireworks over the top of the BWI side of the resort. Again, sorry no photos yet... I didn't get the camera until that night when Cristy arrived.

Ok, to wrap up Day 2, we decided to head back over to MGM since it was EMH (and Cristy was starving). We took the boat back over and tried to find a place still serving food. Fortunately, Rosie's All-American Cafe was still open so she was able to get a cheeseburger. From there we got in line to ride HTT (with only about a 20 minute wait), and then over to RRC, which had about a 30 minute wait. After that, it was back to the room to get ready for Tuesday, which was AK day!

Oh, I did have the camera and took a few pics that night we were at the studios. I'll go thru those and upload some a little later.

CRSNDSNY
04-09-2006, 10:08 AM
I'm really enjoying your report, but can you please tell me what DP stands for?

BTW -- We dislike the buffet at H&V, too! Blech!

Tinky
04-09-2006, 10:12 AM
Thanks for the posts! I love to read fun trip reports!
Also, totally agree on H&V. We're not typically picky but we all thought it wasn't really that good. And it was so LOUD! All that chrome and such I guess. :rolleyes:


Anyway... write faster man!

vascubaguy
04-09-2006, 12:47 PM
I'm really enjoying your report, but can you please tell me what DP stands for?

BTW -- We dislike the buffet at H&V, too! Blech!

dp = dear/disney partner

vascubaguy
04-09-2006, 02:38 PM
Ok, here's a few pics from night 2 and morning of day 3 (before going to AK). I'll have to do day 3 a little later. I hope these pics show up okay, they looked good on my computer, but then I quickly edited down the resolution and size so they wouldn't be as big on here. Also, I am still learning how to use this rather complex camera (Sony Cybershot DSC-H1).

Some shots of MGM at night:
http://members.cox.net/vascubaguy/WDW2006/MGMnight.JPG

http://members.cox.net/vascubaguy/WDW2006/rrchttnight.JPG

HTT (lobby)
http://members.cox.net/vascubaguy/WDW2006/hthinteriornight.JPG

BWV Room 4071 (view from balcony):

At night-this is where we could have seen the Illuminations fireworks
http://members.cox.net/vascubaguy/WDW2006/balconyview%20night.JPG

http://members.cox.net/vascubaguy/WDW2006/balconyview2.JPG

http://members.cox.net/vascubaguy/WDW2006/balconyview4071.JPG

BWV Lobby:
http://members.cox.net/vascubaguy/WDW2006/bwvlobby.JPG

BW Bakery, where we enjoyed the yummy pastries and breakfast sandwiches:
http://members.cox.net/vascubaguy/WDW2006/BWbakery.JPG

TeresaNJ
04-09-2006, 03:32 PM
Beautiful pics! :)

DebbieB
04-09-2006, 03:39 PM
Looking forward to reading more. :) We were at the BWV March 12-18th, stayed in a one-bedroom on the first floor two rooms over from Jellyrolls. The view was nice, (Boardwalk View), but we hated being on the first floor as we felt like we were on display whenever we sat on the patio! The weather the first half of the week was very warm, high 80s, but dropped into the low 70s for the rest of the week, so it was pretty
chilly at night. It's hard to pack for a month like March.

I wondered what those new rooms were like. Was it a lockoff or a dedicated 1 bedroom? Was it noisy?

cherylp3
04-09-2006, 05:22 PM
Hey we were at Whispering Canyon at the same time as you. A bunch of DVC'ers were. From the Gum table, we were 2 rows to the checkin to the lodge. One person in our group had a hidden mickey in their hair.

byoung
04-09-2006, 06:58 PM
Thanks for reporting.

Tinky
04-09-2006, 07:07 PM
Beautiful pics! Thanks!

CRSNDSNY
04-10-2006, 07:35 AM
dp = dear/disney partner
Ah HAH!

Beautiful photos, BTW!

THANKS!

vascubaguy
04-10-2006, 08:13 AM
Day 3: Tuesday, March 28th

Again, we slept in late... not getting up until around 9:30AM. And again we made our way down to the Boardwalk Bakery to indulge in pastries and breakfast sandwiches. Then it was down to the BW bus stop to catch a ride to the AK. It was a rather leisurely day at the AK and we went to get FPs for EE. Then we headed over Dinoland where we did Primeval Whirl and Dinosaur. Wait time on PW was about 30 minutes... which can drive you insane... I'll never forget the exiting instructions.... "Please stand before exiting... bye-bye!" There was almost no wait at Dinosaur. I'm a little fuzzy on the exact order of events for the rest of the day at AK, but I do know we got FPs for the Safari, had lunch at Tusker House (love those chicken sandwiches), rode EE, the safari, and went to see It's Tough to be a Bug. After riding EE we all agreed that we HAD to go back ASAP and ride again. By that time the park was nearing closing, so we headed out and over to AKL for our ADR at Boma.

We went in and walked around the lodge and sat down and relaxed out on the balcony overlooking the safari. I, of course, was wandering around taking a few pictures here and there (will post later). Then we headed down to Victoria Falls Lounge to enjoy some drinks before dinner. I believe we had some Captains Rum Runners and martinis... mmmm....

Ok, then it was on to Boma where we enjoyed the many varieties of foods. The prime rib was wonderful, as always. Oh, and I had mentioned my food allergy to shellfish and 2 chefs actually came over to walk me around the buffet to show me what to avoid. The one lady, and I can't recall her name (sorry), was really nice and even fixed us some of those fried oreos (sinful!). Of course, we overindulged in those zebra domes too!

It was after 9pm when we got back to the BWV and we decided to just stay in since we had early ADRs for breakfast the next morning at Kona. (No more of those leisurely sleep-in mornings).

So it was showers, a little TV, then sleep-time.

CRSNDSNY
04-10-2006, 10:43 AM
We love lounging at Victoria Falls -- and indulging, of course! :)

Great report!

LisaS
04-11-2006, 04:03 PM
Nice report! You mention that you picked up a temporary DDE card on this trip. Mine just expired so I ordered a new one today. They quoted me a 2-4 week delivery time. Since you recently ordered one, I was curious whether delivery times are tending more towards 2 weeks or 4 weeks.

vascubaguy
04-12-2006, 07:17 AM
Nice report! You mention that you picked up a temporary DDE card on this trip. Mine just expired so I ordered a new one today. They quoted me a 2-4 week delivery time. Since you recently ordered one, I was curious whether delivery times are tending more towards 2 weeks or 4 weeks.

For me it was just over the 4 week mark. I ordered the card via phone on March 6th and it didn't arrive until April 8th (2 days after I returned from my trip). However, the temp card works just fine... :teeth:

vascubaguy
04-12-2006, 08:07 AM
Ok... let's see... where was I?

Oh...
Day 4

This was an early morning day for us, so no sleeping in! We had ADRs for breakfast at Kona Cafe over at the Poly at 8AM. So, we were up around 6/6:30 ish and on our way by 7AM. We got to Kona a little early, but no one was there yet so we got in a little early. I ordered some coffee and the tonga toast, and though I can't recall what everyone else ordered right now, I know it involved eggs and potatoes! Anyway, it was all VERY VERY good, definately worth getting up early. It's on the must do again (though maybe a little bit later ADR). I did notice that by 8:30 more people were starting to show up... some still in their PJs!

After breakfast we took the monorail over to MK. We got their just in time for the opening ceremony. We got on the trolley and made our way towards the castle, and we were joined by the dapper dans along the way. Made for a really nice ride... plus we beat most of the crowd to the castle that was walking. :teeth: We decided to catch the first show of Cinderellabration, so we took spots on one of the benches at the hub, then I headed over to Space Mountain to grab fastpasses. After the show we went over to Space Ranger spin to kill some time before Space Mountain. Then it was on to Space Mtn, though when we arrived we were informed there were some technical difficulties so it was closed. Of course the CM said it would reopen and we could use our FPs anytime the rest of the day.

After finding out SM was closed, we tried to get on the people mover to see if we could see the inside of SM with the lights on. However, when we got over there they were in the process of closing that down as well. It was still running and folks were coming off, but they wouldn't let anyone get on. Instead we decided to do the Carousel of Progress.

Then it was off to Frontierland! We headed over there to tackle Big Thunder and Splash Mountains! When we got over there the wait time for Splash was only 30 minutes, so we grabbed FPs for BTMRR and got in line for Splash. Needless to say, the waittime was off. It was more like an hour, but we eventually made it. (Oh, I forgot to mention, the weather in FL was starting to warm up by this time, so it was a bit toasty out). After Splash we went right over to BTMRR and pretty much walked right on using the FPs (gotta love 'em).

At this point, we decided it was time for lunch. We usually head over to Columbia Harbour House, but instead we decided to grab some burgers at Peco's Bills. After lunch we ventured over to the Haunted Mansion... again, the signs were a bit off as they said 20 minutes, and it was more like 40. No biggie though, we rode that and went on to Fantasyland. Then it was PhilharMagic and a ride on the teacups! The teacups, however, weren't a good idea for one member of our party. :rotfl2: we videotaped our teacup experience (3 of us in the cup), and Cristy just wasn't doing so well with the spinning after a little while. She decided to sit-out the ride on Space Mountain.

At that point we figured it might be a good time to make our way toward the Poly. We decided to take the boat over instead of the monorail and ended up arriving quite a bit early for our 8:20 ressie at 'Ohana. So we sat out at the lounge and enjoyed the music of the islands (along with some drinks!). :teeth: Soon thereafter they brought out the dancers for a little show before they went into the dining area. I just wanted to mention, the service at the lounge was awful! We sat their about 20 minutes an no one ever stopped to ask us if we wanted anything. It seemed rather obvious that we did want to order since we had the drink menus in our hands, but the CMs just kept walking by us and delivering drinks, but not coming to us. I even walked up to the bar to order the drinks, but was told I had to order them from the servers! About 5 minutes after I sat back down we were finally able to flag down one of the ladies. Of course getting the drinks back took awhile, and paying the bill took even longer (especially since she had to apply the DDE discount)!

Just before the dancers arrived, I checked in for our ressie and asked for a fireworks view. About midway through the dancing our pager went off and we were headed back to our table. We did receive a window table, but the view was mostly blocked by the volcano. However, we were able to see the fireworks. Our experience at 'Ohana this trip was MUCH better than the one last year, and despite all of the bad reviews from the menu change, we rather enjoyed it. BTW, the shrimp they bring out as appetizers are HUGE! We liked all of the starters (shrimp, chicken, veggies, wonton chips, potatoes, etc). However, we were not as impressed with the meats. As is commonly an issue, the meats were dry and tough. The steak was okay, but the turkey, pork and sausage were not. By that point though, we were already full from all the other things. Oh, but we did have some of the bread pudding... now that was really good, but again, we were way to full at that point to eat it all. (Note: although the 2nd attempt at 'Ohana was better, I'm not sure we'll do it again. We might switch to Kona from now on.)

Ok, after dinner and the fireworks, it was back to the MK (via monorail) so that we could grab the bus back to the BWV. After a long day, it was time for some much needed sleep, as we had an early morning ADR for breakfast at Spoodles the next day (yeah, we should have slept-in instead! more to come on that...). We left the next day sorta up in the air as for parks... however since it was Cristy's last day, she really wanted to do EE again and Soarin... so we were heading to AK in the morning (after Spoodles) and then back over to Epcot.

Stay tuned... :goodvibes

bobbiwoz
04-12-2006, 09:31 AM
I'm enjoying your report and pictures.

We had a great meal at Hollywood and Vine in December, and thought it was a great buffet, but we've never eaten at Boma, we'll have to try it. We like Tonga Toast too!

Bobbi :goodvibes

LisaS
04-12-2006, 09:48 AM
For me it was just over the 4 week mark. I ordered the card via phone on April 6th and it didn't arrive until April 8th (2 days after I returned from my trip). However, the temp card works just fine... :teeth:I assume you mean you ordered it on March 6th. I waited until this week to order it to get a May 31, '07 expiration date, but that left me with just over 3 weeks to get the card. They are sending a temporary card to Epcot just in case and it sounds like I will probably need it! Thanks for the info.

Lexxiefern
04-12-2006, 10:31 AM
I am really enjoying your reports! Keep them coming!

vascubaguy
04-12-2006, 11:35 AM
I assume you mean you ordered it on March 6th. I waited until this week to order it to get a May 31, '07 expiration date, but that left me with just over 3 weeks to get the card. They are sending a temporary card to Epcot just in case and it sounds like I will probably need it! Thanks for the info.

Ooopps.. sorry, yeah, I meant March 6th. I did the same thing - waited so that I could get an April 30, '07 exp date (even though I doubt I'll even be going in April '07).

lisareniff
04-14-2006, 07:47 AM
Thanks for the report. I'm enjoying reading it.

I had a tough decision last trip, weather to eat at the Kona or Ohana. We choose Kona (one vegetarian, 2 kids - only I would eat the meats :teeth: ) but I would love to try Ohana some time.

CRSNDSNY
04-14-2006, 08:52 AM
I had a tough decision last trip, weather to eat at the Kona or Ohana. We choose Kona (one vegetarian, 2 kids - only I would eat the meats :teeth: ) but I would love to try Ohana some time.
That's what has kept us from trying Ohana -- DH and I don't eat meat!

Nanajo1
04-14-2006, 09:47 AM
I'm enjoying your reports and looking forward to the next one. Thanks for posting.

DisFlan
04-14-2006, 10:59 AM
Great reports and thanks for the pics! Love the one of BW lobby. I like to walk in and just stand there for a moment to soak it in. It's just so lovely.

DisFlan

vascubaguy
04-14-2006, 12:03 PM
Wow, the further it gets away from the trip, the harder it becomes to remember what we did. I guess I should have typed this stuff up in the evening when we got back to the room... (mental note for next trip)...


Ok, so... Day 5?

Another early morning at the BW. We got out of bed around 6:30am got ready and then headed down to Spoodles for our 8AM ADR for breakfast. We had been talking about Spoodles all week and looking forward to trying it out. DP would say "spoodles" all the time when we were out on the BW and saying it was just a fun word to say. Anyway, that all changed on Day 5. We arrived to check-in and there might have been 5 other people in the entire place (other than the servers). Needless to say, we didn't really have to wait. When we were looking over the menu, not too many things were standing out. There were 3 of us and one got the All American Breakfast, one got the mickey waffles, and I had the pancakes. The pancakes were barely edible (I think I suffered thru about 1/3 of it before giving up). Did I mention it was $8 for 3 pancakes (bacon or sausage was $3 more!!!). DP had the waffles which he said were okay, but he wasn't impressed. Could have gotten that food at the food court at ASmo! Cristy had the All American and she coudn't eat it all. So I helped her out with the breakfast potatoes, bacon, and the biscuit. If it weren't for that, I would have had to stop by the bakery on the way to the bus stop. Oh, and on top of the bad meal, the service wasn't that great. We couldn't understand what was taking our server so long and why it took so long to fix the breakfast. I'd guess after we ordered it was about 20 minutes for the food to come out. After we got the food, we didn't see the server again until we were done. No checks to see if we needed refills, etc. Anyway, to sum it up and move on... if you are thinking about spoodles for breakfast, skip it! Try Kona instead. :)

Ok, so after "breakfast" we headed to the bus stop to make our way to AK. We got there right after opening so we made our way to EE to get FPs. Well, there was only about a 30 minute wait, so we got FPs and then got in line to ride. It really only took about 20 minutes for us to get up there... again... loved it! When we got off there, the line was still pretty short and we still had time before our FPs, so we just got in line again. (BTW, EE was the only reason we came back to AK on this day). The line had gotten a little longer, but still only about 30 minutes. After that ride, we didn't have long until the FP was good to go, so we went and grabbed some ice cream. After finishing the ice cream we only had a few minutes to wait, then it was time to ride EE again! That was it for AK for the day, we got back on the bus and headed back towards the BW. Our intention was to head over to Epcot and get FPs for Soarnin and just hang out over there the rest of the evening. We didn't have ADRs anywhere, so we didn't have to be anywhere in particular. I had however, indicated an interest in going to Beaches 'n Cream. Well, we went over to Epcot and I was elected the Soarin runner to go get FPs. I got there and the sign out front indicated no more FPs available for Soarin! Then I went inside to check the standby.... 160 minutes! I laughed and made my way back to the group... it was a very quick decision that we were not going to wait that long for a 5 minute ride that we had done several times before! The walked over towards Test Track and Mission space and the wait times there were in the 80-90 minute range, so we just decided to get lunch and spend the day at the resort.

I decided we'd go to Beaches and Cream for lunch so we grabbed the boat from the Int'l Gateway and headed to the BC. We got off there and walked around SAB looking for it (none of us had ever been there). It wasn't difficult to find though, and we got there at the perfect time. All of the tables inside were full, but no one was waiting so we checked in and were seated inside within about 15 minutes. That place is tiny and in need of some expansion. Anyway, we knew we wanted ice cream, so the 3 of us ordered 2 burgers to split and some onion rings. We mentioned to the server that we were splitting the burgers to save room for ice cream and she brought it out cut in half on 2 plates! (Although it didn't appear that they split the order of fries, because both plates had plenty of fries)! So we all enjoyed the burgers (they were REALLY good) and then ordered the infamous kitchen sink! We had been talking about it since before the trip. The only thing we asked was that the pineapple be in a small bowl on the side because 2 of us don't like pineapple. When it came out, we were like... woah. It was just WAY too much for the 3 of us. WAY too many toppings. It was quite an effort just to get to the ice cream. Actually, most of the toppings ended up being scooped out into the bowls they brought us. After we dug through the whipped topping and got all the brownies and cake off, we started in on the ice cream. I think we ate about 5.5-6 scoops of the ice cream, so there was still quite a bit left. We all determined that the kitchen sink was a horrible idea, and we never wanted to see ice cream again. :rotfl2: That didn't last long... I think within 2 days DP had a dole whip and was ordering ice cream cones... :confused3 (not me though!) The picture of the kitchen sink still makes my stomach turn...

Okay, back to the report.... after B&C we headed over to the BW and got together some clothes to wash. We then headed downstairs and started up the washer and headed out to Luna Park. We didn't get in immediately but it was nice and sunny when we FIRST went out. I didn't want to get in and get wet until after I put the clothes in the dryer. Ok, about 30 minutes later I switched out the clothes and headed back out to the pool. Somebody must have flipped a switch because when we got back out there, the sun was gone and there was a rather chilly breeze. We got in anyway and the water was nice and warm. I then decided to go try out Keister (aka scary clown slide)... yeah, getting out of the water was NOT a good idea. That was a cold run up to the top. Cristy and I went down the slide while DP video taped us. Well he taped me, but missed Cristy coming down. (d'oh).... So, we had to do it again. After the 2nd slide down, the jacuzzi cleared out some so we headed over there.... It was nice and warm! I guess we were in their about 20 minutes and then grabbed the laundry and headed back to the room.

Ok, so we got back to the room, showered, and packed a little. Cristy was flying out early the next morning (her DME pickup at the BWV was at 2:30AM), and we were transferring to POR for the rest of the trip (my work conference). After that we debated what we were going to do, either go to P.I. or head to Jellyrolls. We didn't really want to go over to DD, but we were rather hungry, so we thought we'd head down to Jellyrolls and get something to eat and enjoy the entertainment. Yeah, I should have done a little more research! We were rather suprised to discover that Jellyrolls only served alcohol and popcorn! That, and it was empty! Maybe 10 people total! But we had already paid the cover so we ordered a round of drinks (I had the 32oz Sex on the Beach special) and they had beer. And we grabbed 2 baskets of popcorn. I guess we were there for around 2 hours, and people were just slowly wandering in the whole time. The front row of tables were never filled, actually when we left only 1 of those were occupied. We left because we were starving, so we decided to just get a pizza at the Boardwalk window. We got the large cheese pizza and ate out on the BW. It was nice, and the pizza was really good, but a bit much for the 3 of us. After that, we just went back up to the room and got in the bed and watched a little TV. Cristy decided to get a few hours sleep before she had to go. However, we all ended up going to sleep.

Then her alarm went off at 2AM and we had to give up and see her out, then quickly got back to bed.

... day 6 left to come... *Note: Days 7-11 should be pretty short, as I'm sure most could care less about my conference experience* :teeth: Day 6 was the last whole day before the conference... but I'll have to report on the evenings after the conference (especially the night they rented the AK for us!!!)

Nanajo1
04-14-2006, 01:44 PM
On a recent thread on Restaurants to avoid I listed Spoodles for breakfast. :sad2: I had the pancakes. I found them bland, tasting like I imagined wallpaper paste would. DH had the breakfast platter and couldn't get anyone to get him refills.

vascubaguy
04-14-2006, 02:36 PM
Day 6:

A sad sad day indeed, for on this day, we had to check-out of the BWV and move to POR for the remaining 6 nights. :guilty: I was going to be in a conference for most of the rest of the week and they were paying for my accommodations, so I can't really complain.

We decided to sleep in a little late since we were up pretty much until 2am. We got up around 9:30 and finished packing and getting ready for the move. Around 10:30 we were done and had the bags at the door ready to go. I called bell services to send someone to get the bags and move them to POR for me. Then I went out on the balcony and sat for just a little while taking it all in before leaving. It was at this point I realized that it could be a little while before bell services arrived... there were a TON of people at the entrance driving up to check-in. I was wrong though, it only took about 15 minutes, the guy tagged everything, loaded it up, and said to expect them around 4pm at POR.

I then called POR to see if my room would be available, and the CM told me she couldn't guarantee my room was or would be ready, but recommended I come ASAP to check-in so I wouldn't have to wait in the long lines that tend to come later in the afternoon. So, we went down to the bus stop and headed to DD. From their we had to wait until 11AM for boat service to start to PO. We got on the boat and made our way to POR.

When we arrived at POR I was slightly impressed with the resort. The mansions looked nice so I was looking forward to staying in one of them. It definately wasn't the BW though! When we got to the lobby to check-in, there was a rather long line and it didn't seem like we were moving there for awhile. Then I guess another shift of employees arrived because 3 or 4 CMs came out. We had probably waited about 30 minutes at that point, then moved right up. I gave the CM my info and she pulled up the ressie and was going over the resort info. I then asked her if any of my requests were available (a water view in the mansions, upper floor, non-smoking). She said, you have a river view and non-smoking, and your room is ready now. I asked about the mansions and she said nothing was available. :guilty: So, it was off to Alligator Bayou, Bldg 27 on the first floor. It is pretty close to the food court and had a decent river view; however, I hated the decor of the room and hated being on the first floor. I guess this is more of a resort/room review, but the rough stone-type floor at the pedestal sinks was awful. It hurt my feet to stand on it. The siderails on the bed were a pain and I would hit my feet on them when I got out of bed. Oh, and the ever annoying fan in the bathroom. It was motion sensored and went off after like 4 seconds of no movement. So, when you were in the shower, it wasn't running at all because it didn't pickup the motion on the other side of the curtain. Bah, hated it. Being on the 1st floor right at the pathway along the riverside made it feel like we were on display. People were constantly walking by the window, so we pretty much had to keep the blinds closed. One thing it did have better than the BWV was the TV - it was probably twice the size!

Ok, so back to the rest of the day. Did I mention it was our anniversary? Yeah, so we had ressies for lunch at the Concourse Steakhouse. We headed over to find one of the bus stops (I think we eventually found the North depot). We grabbed a bus to MK and then walked to the Contemporary. It was a nice day, so not a bad walk. When we got to the CR I was noticing all of the construction going on and imagined it would probably be a pain to stay there with all that noise going on. When we walked in there, it was DEAD. It was almost like the CR had been abandoned. As we made our way over to the Concourse Steakhouse, I was a bit suprised at how empty they were. We arrived little early, but I think there were only 5 tables occupied, so getting seated was not a problem. Service wasn't "bad" but it wasn't the best. Our server was rather slow and didn't check-up on us as often as she should have. The food was great though, DP had the turkey club and I had the prime rib cheese steak. Oh, and for dessert I had the triple chocolate cake and he had the carrot cake.

I really hope they do some major overhaul to the CR. I find it just ugly and outdated, although I wouldn't mind a DVC there if they were to build the rooms with a view! :goodvibes

After lunch we got on the monorail and headed to the MK. We went in and watched the parade. After that we decided to head back to the resort because we had dinner ressies over at the GF and we wanted make sure we got our luggage and change, etc. So, back to POR!

We got back, went thru Fultons General Store and looked around, then went back to the room where I called about the luggage. It was around 2:30PM and they said the luggage was available for me to come and get. Of course I wasn't about to try and haul all those bags all the way back to the bayou side to my room, so I asked them to bring them to me. It took about 20-30 minutes, but a very quite guy finally brought the bags (I don't know if he spoke english at all as he never said a word). He just dropped the bags in the room, I handed him the gratuity and said thanks, and he just walked out the door. :confused3

While I unpacked the bags, DP decided to take a nap! Then I took a quick nap, very quick. I had made ADRs at 1900PF for 7:20pm and we wanted to dress up a little better than shorts and t-shirt to head over there. We got ready and took the bus to MK, then took the boat to the GF. Once we got to the GF boat dock, we realized that we had no idea where the restaurant was located. So, we just headed for the main building. When we arrived to get in line to check-in it was around 7:10-7:15. There was a guy checking in his family and I heard him say his ADR was for 8:10pm. He then proceeded to talk about his daughters birthday with the CM and she started talking about whether they wanted to order a cake, went over the price and order form, etc. I figured it must not be busy because no one was in the lobby waiting, no one was with the Fairy Godmother, and the CM told that guy that he could send the kids over to take pics and then they would take them directly to their table. Well, then we checked in and it was 7:30pm. She handed us a pager and said it would be just a few minutes. Well, there were quite a few families behind us at this point and they all checked in and made their way over for pictures. There were about 5-6 parties that arrived (from 3-6 in each group). Well, as we continued to sit there and wait, we noticed that all of these groups were being seated! So I got up and walked over to the door to the buffet and was suprised at how "cheap" it looked inside. I then got DP and told him to look and we lost all desire to eat there. I only booked the ADR there because we decided CRT wasn't worth the money, but I knew he liked the princesses so I figured we'd give it a shot. Anyway, I asked if he wanted to try for GFCafe or Citricos and he said sure. So I went to the lobby (still with the pager in-hand) and called Citricos. She said that it could be 30-40 minutes before we were seated, so I said okay, we'd be right up. Meanwhile, the pager STILL hasn't gone off, so I take it to the podeum and hand it to the manager (who is now at the desk helping get people checked in) and told her we had been waiting for our ADRs at 7:20 for about 40 minutes, parties with 8:10 ADRs were seated immediately, and we were heading up to Citricos instead. She said they had a table now and could seat us immediately, but we declined.

So, now we go up to Citricos, where no one was waiting! We checked in and the lady gave us a pager. We walked over to the gift shop and looked around, bought a pin, and then the pager went off. It was probably only 20 minutes.... the hostess walked us all the way to the back and sat us at a table next to the windows. It was really nice, and we were both rather impressed. I just realized this is getting pretty long so to shorten it up a bit, I'll just say the food was great, the view was really nice (and we were even able to see part of wishes). I think a great decision to switch (although much more expensive).

After dinner, we headed back to MK and then took the bus back to POR to get some sleep.

vascubaguy
04-14-2006, 02:51 PM
Day 7:

I had to check-in for my conference over at the Dolphin, it was Saturday, April 1st at 2pm. So, we slept in kinda late (as usual), got up and had breakfast at the food court, then headed to Epcot. We got FPs for Soarin as soon as we got there, and then went over to ride Mission Space and Test Track. There was absolutely 0 wait for mission space, we walked right into the debriefing room. I should note that DP did NOT want to ride as it makes his head hurt, so he just went thru the line and waited for me in the gift shop. I still love that ride though! Anyway, then we headed to Test Track, which had about a 40 minute standby by 20 minute single rider line. So, we decided to do the single rider line, which only took about 10 minutes. We even ended up riding in the same car!

By this time, I had to head over to the Dolphin to get checked in for the conference. I was trying to beat the rush of folks getting there; however, it backfired. I guess lots of people came a few days early and all had the same idea. There was quite a long line to check-in and it probably took an hour. Then I sat out in the lobby with DP and glanced thru the materials before packing it in the nifty bag they gave us. Then we headed back to Epcot to grab some lunch. I couldn't get DP to decide on somewhere to eat as he didn't want to eat in the land, couldn't think of any places over at the WS, so we ended up at the Electric Umbrella to get burgers! Then it was over to the Land to ride Soarin. I love this ride, but still can't believe people wait in line for hours to ride. Then we decided to head back to POR to wait for my cousin before going to dinner. She had called a few days earlier and said she wanted to meet us for dinner one night and this particular night was the only one that worked. She said she'd meet us around 6:30 at the resort.

Long story short, we ended up waiting until almost 9PM! She lives about 30 minutes from WDW, but kept changing the plans. Kids didn't want to come so she dropped them with her MIL, then she didn't know how to get to POR so she got lost.... We were irritated and STARVING by this point. They finally arrived and then we had to decide where to eat. I recommended we just eat at the resort at Boatwrights, but for whatever reason they didn't like that idea. They wanted to go somewhere on Int'l Drive and find something. Finally, I just said, let's go to DTD!!! So we got on a boat and headed that way. When we got there, the only place we could go was Rainforest (without heading to Westside). So Rainforest it was. Decent meal, she paid, worked for me! Then it was back to the resort, they left, and we went to bed...

vascubaguy
04-14-2006, 03:19 PM
Ok, the rest of the days are pretty boring for me.... I was getting up at 6AM and taking the conference shuttles to the Dolphin each morning, and didn't get done until 5-7pm each night.

Conference wasn't bad, but DP was there alone, so he was trying to make the best of his time. (He didn't like the solo thing). However, one day he did the Keys to the Kingdom tour and he seemed to enjoy it. He met some DISers and learned some new info. Each day he'd head to different parks, ride some of the attractions (including EE several more times), took lots of pictures, etc.

Pretty much in the evenings when I was done with the conference, I would head back to the resort and then we'd go get dinner, then back to the resort for sleep.

HOWEVER, on that Monday night (April 3rd) the conference sponsors rented out the AK for us from 7-10pm! So, when I got done with the sessions at 4:00pm I headed to the resort and we changed and got on the Disney transport to AK at 5:30pm. WE got on the last bus to AK since the park had closed at 5pm! We got AK around 6pm and were one of the first to arrive for the event. They, of course, wouldn't let us in until 7, but we were at the front of the line when the gates opened. We immediately went back to EE at opening and got on. We walked right on as there weren't enough people over there yet to even fill the ride completely. When we got off, we immediately got back in line to ride again, and again. Then the line was getting a little longer so we decided to grab some dinner. The conference was picking up the tab and had buffets setup at several locations, and then we were able to order from some of the CS locations, including Flame Tree. So, we opted to get some BBQ sandwiches from their with onion rings, slaw, chocolate cake, beer and a diet coke (for me). :teeth: From there we headed to Dinoland, where there was a live band performing. We played some of the carnival games with free coupons we were given. I played the mole hitting game and won both times (got 2 stuffed dinos). DP tried the mole one but lost, then he did one of the water gun ones and won... so we had 3 stuffed dinos. Then we got on Primeval Whirl before going to get in line to take pics with Mickey. We had already gotten pics with Goofy and Donald as we came in. Oh, and we got free tatoos too (dp got a mickey head and I got a Villain Scar Armband). Then we got free characture drawings done! By then it was after 10pm so we slowly made our way out. Of course on the way out, we also grabbed some drinks and ice cream bars (also free). As we were heading out, they had performers from the lion king show and the parade out there to see us out... it was a really really nice evening... we had a blast!

Let see, the next evening after the conference we went to DTD for dinner at Earl of Sandwich and then did our souvenier shopping. Thank goodness for Disney Rewards... really cut that bill down.

Oh, that night we had dinner with my cousin, I had ADRs for Olivia's, but we had to skip that. So instead we went to Olivia's on the last night (4/5). That day the conference ended early so I went over to Epcot while I tried to reach DP by phone. He was back at POR and was going to meet me over at the Dolphin, but I told him to meet me at Epcot instead. Meanwhile, I rode Test Track. He arrived and we did a little snacking around the world. Started with some pastries and creme brulee in France, then the next stop was for egg rolls in China. We finished the WS and made our way to the front, but rode on Spaceship Earth before heading to MK. Upon arrival at MK, they were setting up the stage for the live taping of America's Funniest Videos. It was right at the entrance looking down mainstreet and was HUGE! Very small audience though! We were told the audience had already been selected from internet stuff on the AFV website, but the taping would be from 8pm to 3am and people would be allowed around in the area during taping. We decided not to hang around and instead went in and headed for areas we hadn't been to yet (or at least I hadn't). Along the way we stopped to take pics of some characters (Aladdin, Jasmine, Genie). We went to the Tiki room (btw, I hated the under new management thing - awful). I prefer the original. Then we went to the Jungle Cruise (lost of fun, but a much longer wait than on the sign. It said 30 minutes, but took over an hour! Since we missed our ADR at Olivias the night my cousin came to visit, I had setup a new ADR for this night at Olivias. The ADR was at 8:30 and we didn't get off the cruise until after 7PM! So, we got off there and made our way to the buses where we waited about 20 minutes for the OKW bus. We did make our ADR on-time though, and I grabbed an OKW pin from the store while we were waiting to be seated. Dinner was pretty good, nothing to rave about, but good. OKW looked nice and look forward to checking it out a little more closely when we stay there in October!

After dinner, we battle with those crazy OKW buses to get back to DTD, then waited for a bus to POR. Then it was time to get packed up and ready to finally head home the next morning.

After 11 days, we were MORE than ready to head home! However, it was a great trip.... just the ones in the future will be limited to 5 nights! :thumbsup2

Ok, that's it... thanks for reading... and if you have specific questions, feel free to let me know. TTFN!

Nanajo1
04-14-2006, 04:32 PM
The after hours AK perk sounded great. How can I get to that conference?
I've enjoyed reading your report.

vascubaguy
04-14-2006, 08:38 PM
The after hours AK perk sounded great. How can I get to that conference?
I've enjoyed reading your report.

It was great... now I'm wondering what they will do next year to try and top it!

The next conference won't be at WDW though, they are having it in March '07 at the Mandalay Bay Resort on the strip in Las Vegas...
However, they are having it in March '08 in Anaheim, and I'm guessing it will be at the convention center across from DL (maybe part of it at the Grand Californian).

Oh, and it's a higher education conference related to software (Sungard Higher Education products)... so just get a job at a college in a position that evaluates, tests, or trains on the software and you'll likely be in! :goodvibes

LisaS
04-14-2006, 09:11 PM
The next conference won't be at WDW though, they are having it in March '07 at the Mandalay Bay Resort on the strip in Las Vegas...Mandalay Bay is a very nice hotel! The rooms are large and nicely decorated, they have a wonderful pool area (a wave pool and a lazy river) and a first-rate spa. Vegas has so many good restaurants, too. These people really know how to choose a conference location!

jmatias
04-14-2006, 10:51 PM
Really enjoyed reading your report! :thumbsup2

Aloha,
Jen