View Full Version : Hunzi's Holiday Happenings Pre-trip, Day 0

12-04-2000, 11:03 AM
Hi there!

This is my first try at a trip report, so hang in there with me.

Cast of Characters: Me: major Disney fan, grew up going to WDW, has visited a dozen times; DH: been to WDW twice before, once for Grad night when we were in high school, other trip when we took a major vacation in January to celebrate his retirement from the Air Force and spent 17 days at WDW/Space Coast/Disney Wonder. DS: 11 second visit, had a great time on his first trip in January, and DD, 6, second visit, loves everything Disney.

Pre-trip, Day 0 & Day 1 We pack up, fly out and arrive at the Swan

We decided to take this trip around mid October, when I ran across some decent airfares, and DH still had 2 vacation days left. Not enough to enjoy alone, but by tacking them on to the 4 day Thanksgiving weekend, suddenly we had nearly a week. I had purchased Florida seasonal passes when we had visited in January for 10 days at WDW (at the Poly), followed by 3 days at Cape Canaveral, and a 4 day Disney Wonder cruise, so we had no extra expenses there. I phoned Shades of Green, knowing there was nearly no chance we'd get in there, and was offered the Swan for $109/nt. Great!

The Wednesday before Thanksgiving, my kids were off school, so we ran to a doctor's appointment for DS then I dropped them off at the sitters. Why? Because I needed to pack, and the kids had NO IDEA we were going. I spent the day packing, and running errands, and working, then DH came home, packed his things, and ran to pick up the kids. Then we hurried them off to bed right at 8pm because we'd have to get them up at 4am for the 6am flight. The cab was due to arrive at 4:45.

Now it's the day before Thanksgiving, and we have NO FOOD in the house. I had let the pantry go empty, and cleaned out the fridge, because I didn't have time for my usual big shopping trip. Now the 6 yr old wasn't worried, but the 11 yr old was very upset that I didn't shop for groceries on Wed for turkey day, so as we got them settled into bed, Dad reassured them we'd get up early, and go grocery shopping. "We'll get up at 4am and go to the stores before they close, don't worry!" I nearly died laughing. Then by 9pm, we were trying to get to sleep ourselves.

The alarm went off for us at 3:30am. UHG! Staggered out of bed, got dressed, then went in to wake the kids. DH went to wake DS, and I went to get up DD. "wake up honey, we're going to Disney World." "Are we going to the grocery store?" "No sweetie, Disney World" They wouldn't believe us!!! I was beginning to get a little stressed because I couldn't get them up and going and we now had about 30 minutes until the cab arrived. Once we convinced them we weren't on our way to the grocery store, they quickly dressed, the cab arrived and we were on our way.

We checked our bags, took a small jet to Chicago, and then had a 2.5 hour layover before we boarded the plane for Orlando. On this plane DH sat with the kids, but I had to sit a few rows back because we hadn't been able to get seats all together, but I had at least managed to get us all assigned seats ahead of time, which was better then waiting until we arrived in Chicago and hoping for the best. Flight to Orlando: grade A.

After another smooth flight, we arrived in Orlando, and there was Tony from Tiffany Town Car waiting for us at the bottom of the escalator. We got in his lovely car, and were swept away to the Swan. Town Car to Swan: grade A+

We checked in, but our room wasn't due to be ready for an hour. No problem. I confirmed that we had a rollaway ordered for DS, and was informed we were upgraded to a room with a balcony. It was a nice surprise.

We left our bags with the bell service, and headed off to explore for the next hour. We wandered over to the Dolphin and found Tubbie's and ordered a large cheese pizza and sodas for the four of us. Lunch was only $16 for the four of us, so I thought it was a good value. The pizza was pretty good too. Both hotels were decorated for Christmas and were completely lovely. After lunch, we headed back to check into our room.

The room (#618) is just as everyone has described. Two queen beds, two sinks, one across from the closet, and the other in the bathroom. It was decorated in sunny colors and was very pleasant. The room was a nice size, but I wondered where in the world we'd put a rollaway. There wasn't any room to spare with the desk, desk chair, and a big chair and table near the windows. The room overlooked the courtyard, with a small balcony with 2 chairs and a table.

There was someone in our room when we arrived loading the mini-bar. I asked him and the bellman about the rollaway, and was assured it would arrive.

Once in the room, we quickly unpacked, relaxed for a short time, and then headed off to launch for Epcot around 5:30. We took the launch to Epcot, and walked down to the Land pavilion. We had reservations for dinner at the Garden Grill at 7:00. We saw all the shows and rides in the Land, and enjoyed them very much. Then we arrived at the Garden Grill right on time. We had a great dinner, and the kids loved seeing Mickey, Pluto, Chip and Dale. DD had brought her little Pluto along, and both Mickey and Pluto made a fuss over her puppy. She loved it.

We had a leisurely meal, and then walked back to the hotel just before Illuminations began to avoid the crowds. We watched the fireworks from the launch and then returned to our room ready to fall in bed. Dinner at the Garden Grill: grade A

When we got back to the room, we found no rollaway. Sigh. But we were tired, and I didn't want to call down to housekeeping and wait for the rollaway to arrive. We negotiated with the kiddos on sleeping arrangements, and everyone began to get ready for bed. I noticed in the bathroom that there was still some Soft Scrub or Comet left streaked on the tub enclosure tiles, but thought maybe we had interrupted Housekeeping with our arrival. No problem. Then we pulled back the bedspread on the children's bed and found the top sheet stained with nasty brown streaks, as if someone had changed a baby's diaper there. My DS was the one who found it, and said it smelled bad too. Gross! I checked the other sheets and pulled the stained sheet off. It was the upper sheet of a triple sheeted bed. I was too tired to get dressed again and call housekeeping for a change of bedding, so once I was sure the other bedding looked ok, we went to bed. Overall day: grade A; Impression of Swan: grade B Impression of housekeeping, day 1: D-

Always ;-)

12-04-2000, 12:25 PM
That must be so much fun to surprise your kids with a Disney trip. My kids would be hysterical! :)

It sounds like your travel plans worked out well. I'm looking forward to hearing more about the Swan. I hope things improve. :)

Thanks for sharing your trip with us.

Lisa :)

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12-04-2000, 12:38 PM

On a re-read, I'm worried I gave the impression we hated the Swan. I didn't. DH was less thrilled with it overall than I was, but I'd definitley be willing to overlook the warts and give it another chance.

Always ;-)

Tiger Fan
12-04-2000, 01:33 PM
Great way to surprise the kids. I also like how you give each item a "grade". Looking forward to the rest.



12-04-2000, 07:06 PM
I am reading your trip reports with great interest as we are staying at the Swan next April!

Other than the nasty bed linen (sorry that happened to you,) the room sounds lovely! I wasn't aware that they triple sheet there! Good thing they did, huh?

On to the next installment!

<font face="Lucida Calligraphy"><font color=red>Offsite 7/94, Offsite 9/95, Shades Of Green 4/98, Dixie Landings 11/98, Coronado Springs 8/99, Polynesian 1/2000, Next WDW Adventure; April 2001 Swan!</font>

12-04-2000, 08:11 PM

LOL! There's always a bright side! I was happy to see it was a triple sheeted bed. Otherwise I'm not sure what I would have done. I guess, re-dressed and phoned housekeeping.

Always ;-)

Marla Hellwig
01-22-2001, 10:59 AM
I have surprised my dd with 2 trips to WDW. Thanks for posting!