View Full Version : J + J Home away from home - part 1

03-24-2002, 09:15 AM
Part 1 - Baseball game, Animal Kingdom, Discovery Cove

After arriving via United Airlines (all flights on time and no problems) we made it safely "home" to our Disney Vacation Club home at Disney's Old Key West Resort. We had a lovely studio on the ground floor right beside the pool (building number 55). Weather was exceptionally warm for the time of the year - forecasters were saying 10-12 degrees above normal (low to high 80's).

On our first full day we had pre-booked tickets for a baseball game - Atlanta Braves v NY Mets at Disney's Wide World of Sports. We headed out to DWWS about an hour before the game and were surprised at the huge number of cars queuing to get into the parking area. It was so busy that we had to park in adjacent "fields". No coolers were allowed to be brought into the facility which is unusual for American sports - everyone brings their coolers of beers and cold drinks. All bags were being searched prior to going into the complex. We had a great afternoon's entertainment and would certainly go again.

Our next day was spent at Animal Kingdom and we were surprised by the queues just outside the park. On closer look we realised that the queues were for bag checks. This took quite a bit of time, so we were glad we didn't then have to start to queue to buy tickets as well. The turnstiles didn't seem to be letting people through particularly quickly either. However, once in we headed straight for the safari. We'd only a 10 minute wait as we'd arrived first thing for the park opening. All the animals were bright-eyed and bushy-tailed and we had plenty to see. We were a bit disappointed with the Dinosaur ride. It wasn't as exciting as we'd thought it might be. We went to the Pangani Forest Exploration Trail and were fascinated at the recent birth of the naked mole rats. There was also an underwater viewing area for the hippos which was good. It was nice just strolling through the park and taking a look in the various shops which had something just a little bit different from the other Disney parks. It really felt like we were somewhere in Africa.

Next we went to Discovery Cove. We arrived at around 8:30am and checked in. It was a bit like checking into a hotel (an exclusive one!). We picked up our identification tags which were good for charging any expenditure in the park and saved us taking money out of our locker each time. Our dolphin swim was scheduled for 9:55 so this gave us enough time to wrestle with the wetsuits and familiarise ourselves with where everything was located in the park. Then came the time to meet our host - TOAD - a 37 year old female dolphin. And boy was she a stunner !!LOL!! Toad had her own ideas about what she was going to do that morning. If she felt like heading off to see her boyfriend (LESTER) in the next group then off she went. We all waited patiently for her to come back again in her own good time. It was nice that she could do that and that she wasn't being forced to be in a certain place and do a particular thing. We noticed later that day, as we watched the dolphins after each group had left the pool, that they interacted with people as they went past the pool. They seemed to have such fun splashing people and calling to them. Discovery Cove is a one in a lifetime experience, but be warned it is very expensive to buy those precious souveniers of your day there.

Video - UK version - $60
Photos - $15.99 each
Photo frame, snow globes and keychains were all available with your photos at an additional charge of course. I think it was about $10.99 for each.

We swam in the coral reef and in the tropical river and ray lagoon. We then lazed on the sun loungers in front of the dolphin pool and just watched them. It was truly an amazing day. The lunch (which is included in the price) was pretty good. We had a salad to start and then a choice of about 3 different things for entrees and a selection of deserts with a cold drink.

End of part 1.


03-24-2002, 09:53 AM
........brought back happy memories of DC :)
Do you think that having read lots of great reviews about Dinosaur that it couldn't live up to your expectations? This often worries me when I really rave about a ride/attraction in a post - that I'm creating impossibly high expectations..........
Great first day JJ :)

03-24-2002, 10:33 AM
Thanks for the report JJ - lovely to read about Discovery Cove :)

Have you stayed at Key West before? We really enjoyed our 4 days there this time last year but we didnt have such nice weather :)

03-24-2002, 11:19 AM
Sounds like you had a lovely time JJ.

We are flying with United in October - glad everything was OK. Did you enjoy your 'other' home - OKW??

Thanks for the report about DC


03-24-2002, 02:08 PM
We've stayed at OKW before - lots of times. It's our home resort. We stayed at both OKW and at Hilton Head. Hilton Head was fabulous. I've just done a quick report on the UK DVC board.


03-25-2002, 07:00 AM
Discovery Cove sounds fantastic. We are hoping to do that next year and your trip report as made me even more keen.

Thanks, and can't wait for more.


03-26-2002, 04:56 AM
I love the sound of the baseball game - how did you find out the schedule and pre-book your tickets?

I think I'd expect a few photos included in the Discovery Cove prices LOL, so thanks for the 'warning'!

03-26-2002, 09:05 AM
Hi Hilary where do you think i found out about the games.........right here on the Boards....LOL
someone was talking about the Alanta Braves game so i asked a few questions and the next thing was, i booked my tickets through Ticket master.The tickets where to be picked up at the box office when i arrived...know problems.

Here's a good site


and here's the site i used

http://braves.mlb.com/NASApp/mlb/atl/ticketing/atl_spring_training_ticket_info.jsp?club_context=a tl

jj........;) ...............Batter up

03-26-2002, 10:35 AM
I'll look into that, thanks, jj :)

03-26-2002, 11:52 AM
Great start JJ...
DC sound so nice, I think I will have to talk DH into taking us the next time we go.

03-26-2002, 12:39 PM
Your report has brought the memories of DC flooding back. It's great isn't it, if rather expensive. Carolyn

03-27-2002, 06:06 PM
Idyllic, JJ!

Such a varied three days you had. We were there same time(ish) so know how hot it was. Wasn't that a nice change?

I'd have loved a day at the ballpark but didn't have the time - maybe next trip.

I agree that the theming, even in the shops and carts, makes AK very atmospheric and it reallly feels like Africa.

And DC ! No more to be said.

Lookin forward to the next instalment - is it up yet? off to check.

03-30-2002, 05:25 PM
Good start JJ...off to part 2 now...

04-01-2002, 03:22 PM
Oh good - new trip reports!

Off to part 2 now....

04-01-2002, 05:31 PM
Great trip report:) I thought about trying to see a basketball game when we were there in October but ran out of time,I'd loved to have seen a baseball game too:)

UK Valerie
04-03-2002, 10:21 AM
What a great variety of things on your first 3 days.

Going to see what happens next