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stopher1
05-29-2009, 11:28 PM
Hi all... I have thoroughly enjyed DVC Mike's past 2 live TR's, and I just happen to be here at OKW for an extended weekend with my two sons for a father/sons getaway for our first ever Star Wars Weekends, that I thought I'd try posting a live trip report myself. My photos probably won't be nearly as good as Mike's are, especially since all three of us have so far been sharing the photograhic duties... and am not as succinct as Mike either... but I thought I'd try it out anyway. So if you want to come along with me, great, I'd love to have you join me on this crazy little adventure.

This getaway has been planned for about 6 months now, and is my first father/sonS trip. I've previously taken both of my boys INIVIDUALLY for their own special trip to WDW, but never together until now. So far it's been quite enjoyable. We're here til Monday evening, so we'll see how each day goes. DW and my DD are back at home having a girly type weekend, and from our call home to say goodnight tonight...sounded like a nice day on their end too. Now I just need to plan a father/daughter getaway and we'll all be good...but that's a story for another time, now isn't it?

My sons are 13 and 10, and for the past several years have been Star Wars addicts. So when the possibility came up to finally be able to get down here for one of the SW Weekends...we jumped at it. Although strangely enough, the special SW events start each weekend on Friday, but my boys decided that they didn't want to go over to the Studios today! But we're definitely hitting the Studios tomorrow and Sunday.

We began our journey at about 4am this morning as we had to leave for the airport at 5. Our trip to our home airport, flight to MCO and then trip over on the DME bus were quite uneventful, despite having a 100% full flight, with many, many families with lots of small children on board - many of whom were going to WDW (schools in our district got out yesterday). In fact, there was NO ONE at the DME counter this morning when we arrived, except about a dozen workers. We literally were able to walk right onto the waiting bus! Never has that happened for us before. It was awesome. And then we were the first stop on the route..again, awesome.

After checking in at OKW (also a first for us, as we've not stayed at OKW before), we were heading over to AK. The boys decided they wanted to ride Everest today, which was fine by me, so that's where we landed. First time to Everest we did the Single Rider line (after grabbing FP's for a 2nd ride later). The wait wasn't bad. We were all on the ride in about 15 minutes. This was at about 11:15ish, with FP return times in the 1:10-2:10 hour. The standby line was stating about 50 minutes, so we were quite content with our SR time. (Again, we've never been here for SWW, so I am not all that familiar with crowd levels at this particular time of year).

We then went over to get a bite to eat at the counter service location next to Yak & Yeti. We were happy with the food and service. We're on the Quick Service DDP this time, so no TS restaurants for us (with one exception thanks to a gift card for T-Rex). This was my 10 year old's first time on the "adult" plan... he was THRILLED to finally be off a Disney diet of Mac-N-Cheese and Chicken Nuggets. But of course, at 10, he couldn't finish the adult portion. Once again, too much food. I do like the convenience of the DDP, but not how much food you get - even on the quick serve version. Getting the refillable mugs is nice, but who really needs dessert every time? Not me, as you'll see in some of the photos if the computer ever finishes uploading them! :rotfl:

After lunch we enjoyed Kali River Rapids (got drenched), Everest again and then Kilamanjaro Safaris. All quite enjoyable. Then we decided it was time to move on. As we were headed out of the park I took the boys around the trail on the back side of the tree of life to see the intricate animal carvings up close. They REALLY enjoyed that. They've only ever seen them from a distance across the river from the path between Africa & Asia. It was great.

We headed over to check out Kidani Village. That was terrific. I loved almost everything I saw. What I DIDN'T like, however, was the fact that the approach is down right ugly. I hope that landscaping grows fast along the outer edges of the building. The porte cachere area is beautiful, but the wings, not so nice. And how much extra time and effort would it have been to at the very least PAINT the interior of the parking garage to match the rest of the building? Seeing those grey cinder blocks and exposed pipes was a bit disconcerting an disappointing. As an owner there, I was not very thrilled about that particular design choice (or lack, thereof). Overall though, I am thrilled, and can't wait to stay there in January.

After that walkabout, it was time to get back to OKW and check out where we are staying this time around. I like our room. It's a studio..but some of the furniture needs repair, particularly the 2 table chairs. I'm going to let them know, because they are both ripped and honestly quite ugly.

We headed over to DTD and had dinner at T-Rex. We had really been looking forward to it. We love Rainforest Cafe, love Yak & Yeti, but honestly I was not all that thrilled with T-Rex. The food selection was not as varied as at Rainforest, the prices were a bit higher, the service was slower, and the noise level was much higher than any time I've been in a Rainforest (which is MANY). I left there with kind of a bad taste in my mouth. As I told my wife on the phone tonight, it felt like the hype about the place was much more than it ever should have been. I was disappointed. Happy to try it once, but I really don't think I'll be back again.

Then it was back to OKW and time to hit the pool. My older son decided he wanted to stay in, so he got a DVD from the Community Hall and stayed in the room relaxing, while my younger son and I went down to the pool. That was very enjoyable. Can't wait to go back again tomorrow evening.

I'll put some photos up in a little bit as a separate post...just a few photos of the day. I hope to post more tomorrow night.

Sandy321
05-29-2009, 11:33 PM
thanks for sharing! I appreciate your comments on T-Rex!!

stopher1
05-29-2009, 11:37 PM
http://i292.photobucket.com/albums/mm34/stopher1_photos/WDW%20May%2009_SWW/P5290275.jpg
Breakfast at the airport

http://i292.photobucket.com/albums/mm34/stopher1_photos/WDW%20May%2009_SWW/P5290284.jpg
The approach into the World...from the front row seats on DME

http://i292.photobucket.com/albums/mm34/stopher1_photos/WDW%20May%2009_SWW/P5290287.jpg
Getting closer to the resort - our first stay at OKW

http://i292.photobucket.com/albums/mm34/stopher1_photos/WDW%20May%2009_SWW/P5290313.jpg
Taken from row 6

http://i292.photobucket.com/albums/mm34/stopher1_photos/WDW%20May%2009_SWW/P5290377.jpg
We LOVE the carvings on the Tree of Life

http://i292.photobucket.com/albums/mm34/stopher1_photos/WDW%20May%2009_SWW/P5290382.jpg
The three of us

I'mNoPrince
05-29-2009, 11:53 PM
Subing in Hope you guys have great weather . We will miss SWW by 2 days this year but have caught it a few other times. I love the Characters that just walk around and nothing like walking up tot he turnstyles with stormtroopers on the roof.

KAT4DISNEY
05-30-2009, 02:50 AM
Have a great trip! It's been too many years since I've been there for Star Wars weekend.

I remember when AKL opened and you could easily see the resort on the drive up. I was a bit shocked a couple of weeks ago at how hidden it now was so hopefully the vegetation around Kidani will sprout up as fast. I agree it will be much nicer once it does.

dvczerfs
05-30-2009, 05:44 AM
im in!! looks like your having a good time! it would take me the weekend to start a trip report like that much less to one on the fly. but its great to read!! looking forward for more.:thumbsup2

stopher1
05-30-2009, 07:42 AM
Here are some more photos from Friday and the resort

http://i292.photobucket.com/albums/mm34/stopher1_photos/WDW%20May%2009_SWW/P5290302.jpg
The check-in counter...I love the mini light poles - supposed to be recreations of real ones in Key West, aren't they?

http://i292.photobucket.com/albums/mm34/stopher1_photos/WDW%20May%2009_SWW/P5290400.jpg
We're in building 14, just across the way from Hospitality House...it's very convenient for beverages, milk for cereal, etc.

http://i292.photobucket.com/albums/mm34/stopher1_photos/WDW%20May%2009_SWW/P5290408.jpg
Heading out to DTD on the ferry... what an awesome view. I loved it at night time too, with the lights on

http://i292.photobucket.com/albums/mm34/stopher1_photos/WDW%20May%2009_SWW/P5290409.jpg
Thanks to another recent thread on here, I knew that there is a sauna inside the lighthouse... I wouldn't have known that by just looking at it, and would have thought it was just more rich Disney detail. I was impressed also that the light is on and spinning at night.

http://i292.photobucket.com/albums/mm34/stopher1_photos/WDW%20May%2009_SWW/P5290412.jpg
The OKW ferry docks right near the new Characters in Flight balloon. I'd sure like to try that out

http://i292.photobucket.com/albums/mm34/stopher1_photos/WDW%20May%2009_SWW/P5290419.jpg
Where we had dinner

http://i292.photobucket.com/albums/mm34/stopher1_photos/WDW%20May%2009_SWW/P5290425.jpg
Rich in theming...but lackluster overall, IMO. There are LOTS of animatronics in here

http://i292.photobucket.com/albums/mm34/stopher1_photos/WDW%20May%2009_SWW/P5290434.jpg
We were seated right on the cusp of 2 different themed dining areas, the ice cave and something else. Like Rainforest there is an event every 20 minutes. At T-Rex it's the "meteor shower". The ice cave then turns from a frosty cold blue to a bright red as if a meteor has struck and is destroying the planet...almost all of the animatronics react, quite loudly...I couldn't hear my sons talk at all during those storms. We endured 3 of them.

http://i292.photobucket.com/albums/mm34/stopher1_photos/WDW%20May%2009_SWW/P5290455.jpg
Still spitting on passersby. I loved watching the little kids running around squealing when they were hit! Reminded me of trips gone by when my younger son did that.

http://i292.photobucket.com/albums/mm34/stopher1_photos/WDW%20May%2009_SWW/P5290456.jpg
Still handing out free samples... yesterday was chocolate squares with peanut butter inside... YUM

http://i292.photobucket.com/albums/mm34/stopher1_photos/WDW%20May%2009_SWW/P5290457.jpg
In flight

http://i292.photobucket.com/albums/mm34/stopher1_photos/WDW%20May%2009_SWW/P5290462.jpg
On the way back to the resort from DTD

http://i292.photobucket.com/albums/mm34/stopher1_photos/WDW%20May%2009_SWW/P5290395.jpg
One of the great proverbs found on the walls at Kidani Village

Today we're off to the Studios...have to get our Star Wars fix. More later.

KPH500
05-30-2009, 07:42 AM
Your pic from the broken tracks on Everest gave me the chills! :scared1:

Enjoy your trip!

popcorn::

nunzia
05-30-2009, 08:02 AM
Nice report! and very nice pics also..I look forward to continued reading :)

culli
05-30-2009, 08:09 AM
Thanks for the TR...keep this pics coming and hope you and your sons have a great time!

PADisFam2
05-30-2009, 08:16 AM
How awesome.....just the guys.:thumbsup2
Have fun and keep the pics coming they are great.:cool1:

DisneyJen
05-30-2009, 08:20 AM
Great report and pics!

Looking forward to reading more about SWW as we head down next weekend:cool1:

LuckyMamaInDE
05-30-2009, 08:42 AM
Looking forward to SWW details-----especially any information about characters (both types like Jedi Mickey and SW characters like Chewbacca), times/locations especially. I know there are lots of people going during weeks 3 and 4 who are looking all over for this information!

princessfionasmom
05-30-2009, 08:55 AM
Oh I LOVE SWW, we took our kids a few years ago and my son still talks about how awesome it was. I'm hoping to convince DH to do it again in the next couple of years. Love the pics and I can't wait to read more of your trip. Have fun!

Disneypirate85
05-30-2009, 11:05 AM
Just checking in Chris, Pictures look great hope weather holds out for you 3. SWW is cool but WOW does it get crowded over there would trade place's for ya done it once and once is enough for us. Shawnpirate:

DVC Mike
05-30-2009, 11:06 AM
Cool! I love trip reports with pictures!

Ask my wife; I get a big smile on my face when I see what's shown below. Only 146 days to go... sigh.


http://i292.photobucket.com/albums/mm34/stopher1_photos/WDW%20May%2009_SWW/P5290284.jpg

dvczerfs
05-30-2009, 12:38 PM
:thumbsup2

loveswdw
05-30-2009, 01:45 PM
We stayed in a 1BR in Bldg 14 in March. LOVED IT! Decided we may request it from now on. So convenient to everything.

We are wanting to take DS5 to SWW next year. He is Star Wars obsessed already and would absolutely love it. I'm calling soon to make reservations for next June (as soon as the 11 month window opens). We've never gone to WDW in June so we'll probably be very hot. Though we used to go the first part of Sept. and it was miserably hot then too.

Glad you are having a great time! Keep the trip report coming!

And may the force be with you.:yoda:

mcrabeck
05-30-2009, 01:51 PM
Great Trip report- My boys are 7 and 10 and we are thinking of doing Star Wars Weekend next year so I can't wait to hear and see more!

2002Disneybride
05-30-2009, 02:28 PM
How fun! I hope that you enjoy SWW...we will be there next weekend...My sons are 2 and 4 and know more about Star Wars than me so they will be excited I am sure! I didn't know about the Lighthouse at OKW-we own at BeachClub, but I love OKW!

momsully
05-30-2009, 02:57 PM
Sounds like fun. We are planning a trip for SWW next year! Love the pictures!

stopher1
05-30-2009, 08:21 PM
Whew! What a full day! We just got back to the resort after staying ALL day at the Studios. I need some time to recharge the camera battery before I can upload any photos, but I've got it plugged in now. I'll be getting some more photos and details posted later tonight. We're changing and then heading down to the pool. We may enjoy the famiy movie night too. That just started.

More to come...

oakmanner
05-30-2009, 09:23 PM
Awesome TR can't wait to read and see more pics!popcorn::

Sandy321
05-30-2009, 09:34 PM
if you think of it, and if you ride Tower of terror - do try and get a shot while flying down and the windows open! Love that scene!!

Great pictures, seriously thanks for sharing them with us!

ccigliano
05-30-2009, 09:46 PM
Enjoying your trip report. Thanks for taking the time to post it. Love the pictures too.

stopher1
05-30-2009, 10:58 PM
Ok, so I just got back from walking down for a final drink from the refill station before working on a new update. The boys are asleep, and the photos are uploading. Hopefully by the time I finish typing the photos will be up so I can then start adding some more.

It was a beautiful morning, but a hot day. I am the type of person who can stand hot weather, even though I don't like it, and most levels of humidity without complaining too much. My DW thinks I'm nuts because she'll complain about how hot or humid it might be outside and I'll turn to her and say, "Really, it's humid today?" I really don't notice it that much... and I grew up in Southern California where humidity is nowhere near the same levels as anything east of the Rockies. Out there most folks prefer the heat because "it's a dry heat"... and I say, yeah right, that's the stuff that cracks my skin and burns me that much easier. BUT, I can definitely tell when the heat and humidity are really bad.

I've been here at WDW for a day or two by myself several years ago in July and August while on business here in Central Florida and that is HOT, HOT, HOT... and oh yes, HUMID, HUMID, HUMID. Those two factors alone are the primary reason we won't set foot here in those months. Today didn't rival that time period, but it was very, very warm, and yes, it was a bit humid. My lovely DW would have been grumbling so very much, so yes, it was quite good she stayed home. And she posted as such on her Facebook page today! :rotfl: To which, of course, I had to agree with her. She actually said she'd ruin our trip... I didn't agree with that part, just that she'd be grumbling. ;)

We got up this morning and had cereal in the room. The boys finished watching the movie they got from the Community Hall, and then we were off to catch the bus for the Studios. We decided to fill our mugs with water and then bring them with us to keep refilling throughout the day with ice water from the counter service locations... a VERY good idea it was. I then decided that since I didn't want to be carrying them around in my hands, along with the camera and videocam, I'd bring the backpack. Another very good idea. The boys had printed out a couple of photos that they wanted signed, so those were able to go in the backpack as well and later on not get scrunched up throughout the day. Normally I like to keep it simple with what goes into the parks with me...but today the backpack was a necessity. And since our DD was not there, no stroller to put junk in!

We arrived at the Studios at about 8:20ish. It was a non-EMH day, so it didn't open til 9 and closed at 8. I knew from reading on here and other Disney websites I follow that getting there early was important for SWW - especially if you wanted to get the featured actors' autographs. I don't remember if I ever read exactly how it worked or not, so we didn't realize exactly what needed to be done or happen. Thankfully we figured it out in fairly short order - especially since the line outside the turnstiles was already past the ticket booths, and growing my the moment.

FOR THOSE OF YOU STILL COMING TO AN UPCOMING SWW... and in case you don't know it either (because again, this is our first time ever at a SWW event), you have to get a Fastpass in order to actually be entitled to get an autograph from the featured actors. There are 2 types of Fastpass for this event. The regular timed ones, and Standby ones. The timed ones will guarantee you an autograph, provided of course you return within one of the 3 autograph sessions. The standby ones will ony guarantee you the POSSIBILITY of getting an autograph IF there's still room/time within the autograph session. Today the sessions were at 9:45, 2:25 and 4:15. Each one lasted for about an hour, though the 2:25 one I think was more like an hour and 15. IF YOU DON'T HAVE A FASTPASS - YOU WILL NOT BE ABLE TO GET THEIR AUTOGRAPH. Period.

Today we were able to get PETER MAYHEW's autograph, or Chewbacca. The other featured actors were MATTHEW WOOD (the voice of General Grevious) and Superivisng Sound Editor for all 3 of the pre-quels; ASHLEY ECKSTEIN, the voce of Ahsoka in the new Clone Wars animated film; and JAY LAGA'AIA (Captain Typho) from Attack of the Clones and Revenge of the Sith. Jay is also the host of the weekends this year, as for whatever reason Warwick Davis is not.

When you go for an autograph, you are able to get ONE signature per person only. If you have nothing for them to sign, they'll provide a stock photo of themselves and sign it. I had the special SWW map signed by Peter Mayhew for our scrapbook, while my sons each had their photo of Chewie signed that they brought with them.

More soon....

stopher1
05-30-2009, 11:49 PM
The special maps they handed out were great...we grabbed more than just a handful! need some extras to cut up for the scrapbook, as well as my 13 yr old collects maps from every park we've ever gone to. That and presed pennies.

The Stormtroopers were on top of the turnstile roof. That was awesome. There was SW music playing throughout the entry plaza area, and recorded voices of stormtroopers talking to the crowd, with the troopers on the room acting along with whatever the dialog was at that time. Finally at about 8:35 or 40 they (the troopers), were announcing that they had been given some super secret data that would allow the locks on the gates to open allowing the humans waiting to enter, but not to let anyone know who was responsibile for opening the gates. It was cool. They kept pointing their blasters at lots of different people. My sons were just eating it all up.

We got to then herd our way up Hollywood Blvd to almost the plaza area where there were ropes, which of course weren't dropped til 9 am. We chose to get up to Toy Story first to get fast passes, and then hit Wicket's Warehouse which is located right next door while waiting for our return time to see if there was anything they might like to take home with them. They've been saving their allowance for weeks now thinking they might find some cool collectible or souvenir. Let me just say WOW about the Toy Story FP line though... it was HUGE. We were not very far back from the rope, but wow, the FP distribution line alone stretched past One Man's Dream, almost back to the Voyage of the Little Mermaid! Crazy. We love TS, but are honestly more familiar with the DCA version. Out at DL there is no FP option, just a regular line and the Single Rider line. I honestly think that it moves faster without the FP portion. We've done the TS ride at the Studios once last year, with FP, and I recall our return time was like 3:45 or some thing like that. But when push came to shove today, even with the wicked FP distribution line, our return time was 11:30-12:30. Not too bad, except that the parade was at 11:40. And that was something we REALLY wanted to make sure to see.

Wicket's Warehouse was NOTHING like my younger son expected. He was VERY, VERY disappointed in the merchandise selection. Most, I'd say 65% of it was stuff you could already find in the various shops around the World anyway. Another 20% was NEW Disney characters as Star Wars characters mercandise, which he HATES (something about sacrilege to the Star Wars universe and George Lucas should be very mad at Disney... I don't know, I think Jedi Mickey is cute myself, but he DOESN"T AT ALL). Oh well. Then the remainder was new merch, limited edition merch and a lot of t-shirts. We walked out only with 3 limited edition pins since we're a pin trading/collecting family, though not majorly into it. I get each of us a special pin commemorating the trip each time. Both boys are heavily into collecting/trading for Stitch pins so usually the trip pin has something to do with Stitch. I love to get them dated pins with Stitch - but this time it was strictly the dated limited edition SWW pins. They each got to pick what they wanted (actual SW characters was their rule), and I chose the SWW logo pin with Jedi Mickey & Yoda on it for myself.

We got in line to meet Darth Vader and get his autograph. We had to endure the changeout 3 times, which meant we were in line for about 45 min. The poor guy(s) could only stand out there in the heat in that very heavy, very black, very hot I'm sure costume for 10 min at a time. But we got our autograph and photo. When asked if they wanted to wait for Boba Fett, initially it was yes, but then after waiting 45 min for DV, the answer changed to a no.

Misc. characters were walking around here and there. The Luke Skywalker they had giving autographs, was honestly, terrible. He did NOT look right at all. He honestly looked more like he stepped off the beach than the desert planet of Tattooine, or out of the battle scarred fighters of the Alliance. Queen Amidala looked ok, thanks to all that makeup she wears. Darth Maul looked great, and of course the storm troopers all look fine since it's the whole mask situation vs. a face character.

The events listed on the map include:

JEDI TRAINING ACADEMY
I know that this particular show originated right here at Star Wars Weekends at MGM several years back, and the new stage that they built for it next to Star Tours is cool.... but honestly, I MUCH prefer this show at Disneyland on the Tomorrrowland Terrace stage. The little bunker door that they built at DHS looks nice, but there is just something wonderful, magical and futuristic about Darth Vader and Darth Maul rising up from underground on that awesome rising stage. I remember dancing to various bands there growing up and sitting there when my boys were very young watching that awful old Buzz Lightyear show for a number of years... but the Jedi Training Academy at DL's Tomorrowland Terrace stage just is so much more RIGHT for me, than what happens here in FL. I did recognize today that the spacing is a major issue or me... that tiny little corner between Star Tours and Backlot Express definitely dampens the whole experience for me. I don't know... it kind of harkens back to the fact though that Star Tours originated at DL I guess, and so really it (the JTA show) just feels more right at DL to me than at DHS. I still have such fond memories of that 60 hour Grand Opening Gala for Star Tours back in '87... I was there for it, standing in line for HOURS with my brother, as the line snaked up and down through Tomorrowland, then around the Hub, and on down Main Street.....

**Please don't get me wrong though... I love WDW. But DL holds such a special place in my heart even moreso than WDW since that's what I grew up with, and the years that I spent at DL as a Cast Member too. I have loved going to WDW since my first visit when I was 21. I really hope I'm not coming across as bashing or negative towards WDW. Both DL and WDW are very special and wonderful places - and both have wonderful aspects and things to offer. I would live in either one if I could!! :thumbsup2 **



PADAWAN MIND CHALLENGE
We didn't watch this one... but the map says "Younglings, use your SW: The Clone Wars knowledge to pass he trivia trials and become an official Padawan learner (ages 11 & under)." And apparently you have to register for it at the Information desk for a specific show (thoughout the day).

HYPERSPACE HOOPLA
We saw part of this, and it was okay, but not really anything we were too excited about. "Join your favorite SW characters as they participate in fun and intergalactic antics of the day's closing event"

CHARACTER ENCOUNTERS
Both the "good guys" and the "bad guys", and the Disneyfied guys throughout the park.

CELEBRITY AUTOGRAPHS
Autograph opportunities with Fastpass ony.

BEHIND THE FORCE
We didn't do this either... "Join Ashley Eckstein in Clone Wars: Behind the Force - a show that explores the excitement of the Clone Wars with a fascinatinglook behind he scenes led by the voice of "Ahsoka" and other guest celebrities"

STARS OF THE SAGA: CELEBRITY TALK SHOW
Hosted by Jay Laga'aia (didn't do this either) - "Experience te fascinating life and movie-making adventures of our 3 visiting celebrities. Q&A session.

MEET DARTH VADER

WICKET'S WAREHOUSE

A STAR WARS CELEBRITY MOTORCADE
We saw this and REALLY liked it. "Visiting celebrities along with the most beloved SW characters, celebrating the entire saga i a grand motocade. Following the motorcade hose Jay Laga'aia presents a one-of-a-kind photo opportunity"


In the end, while it may not seem we participated in all of the events the day provided, I kind of let my sons choose what they wanted to do, based on what appealed to them. Neither of them were impressed with the Clone Wars film when we saw it in the theater, so instantly anything that had to do with the Clone Wars was out. After the long hot line waiting for Darth Vader's autograph, other character meet and greets were out. Neither was overly impressed with the merch offerings, and both really are too old for the Jedi Training Academy and the Mind Challenge. So - even though we're going back in the morning to try and get a FP for an autograph opportunity for MATTHEW WOOD... our first SWW may just be our last. We sat there having some nice cold ice water after riding Rock-N-Roller Coaster - and all 3 decided that there really was not enough STAR WARS in the Star Wars Weekend for our liking. Since we haven't been in years past, we really don't know if it has been dumbed down or not - or if it has always been like this. The only classic characters (from the original trilogy) giving autographs was the beach-bum Luke Skywalker, Darth Vader and Boba Fett. Not even a storm trooper. We have Green Army Man autographs for heaven's sake in our Disney character autograph collection...how hard would it have been to have a couple of Storm Troopers giving out an autograph or standing for a photo op? Or R2-D2? He was in the parade...

Other things that we did today included:

Toy Story Midway Mania (sorry, I tend to be biased to DL, if you haven't noticed in some of my postings in the past... and that's what it's called out there since it's along the midway of Paradise Pier at DCA)

Rock-N-Roller Coaster (always a treat!)

Great Movie Ride (less than 10 minute wait - yes! Great ride, but I don't like a long wait for this one)

Indiana Jones Stunt Show (even after 20 years - it's still a fun show)

MuppetVision 3-D (I just love the muppets)

The American Idol Experience - our household is filled with AI fans, so this was a must do. We enjoyed the experience, but not the 3 guest contestants. It was fun. The boys kept saying how much their mom would enjoy it.

Sadly... no Tower of Terror. I LOVE it, my sons don't. So, I was a nice guy today and didn't force my desire upon them. (Though I REALLY wanted to).

...and of course... Star Tours.

We ate at Backlot Express for lunch. I was really impressed. Not with the food - but the fact that they have a beverage station now out with the condiments! I either missed that in some of my online readings, or it's new. That was really quite cool. If only they'd get with it and put those into all of the counter service locations. For dinner we ate at Pizza Planet. Always a predictable meal. Not great, not bad. The salad actually seemed fresh tonight. The pizza was once again pretty tasteless. And again... too much food. None of us ate the dessert.

Well I think my photos have finally finished uploading. Now to pick a few to add as well, and then off to bed for another fun day tomorrow. Tomorrow we're planning on leaving the Studios after securing the autograph, and then hitting Epcot for a while.

stopher1
05-30-2009, 11:57 PM
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A beautiful morning!

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I just love the Disney landscaping and horticulturalists... I wish they could come visit my yard! :)

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The weekend logo sign outside the Studios (also the pin selection I made today)

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We were greeted by Stormtroopers on the turnstile roof this morning

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There are various character graphics all over the entry plaza

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Looking back prior to rope drop at a sea of people... but really the crowds weren't that bad today... the longest wait time was for RNR at 40 min. Not bad, really.

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The hat. Personally I prefer seeing the Chinese Theatre as you walk up Hollywood Blvd, but we've got the hat now. So I took a picture of it while standing waiting for rope drop

stopher1
05-31-2009, 12:03 AM
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It took a while, but we finally got to meet Vader

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Gamorrean (sp?) guard doing a walkabout

stopher1
05-31-2009, 12:08 AM
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With Han in carbonite

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Lightpole banners like these were all over the place...great character images... too bad more characters like these weren't to be found...

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You can't go to SWW and not go on Star Tours! After 22 years, Captain Rex still can't get it right... but it's still fun. I hope the next version that's supposedly being worked on now is here sooner rather than later - although in the back of mind I hope the original is still an option somehow...

stopher1
05-31-2009, 12:17 AM
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Following the parade came the special photo opportunity. Many characters on the stage...hard to see them all...too many people in the area in tight quarters, had to just raise the camera in the air and start clicking... I took a bunch, none are all that fabulous, but each one shows a bunch of the characters on stage. (A couple are very bad, being tilted, or totally cutting off the scene! Oh well... it was fun to see so many different characters from different films all in the same place).

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Jedi Training Academy - right before or just after Darth Maul appeared

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Classic imagery of Tattooine Traders

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The AT-AT at Star Tours. I love the extra theming that the imagineers gave to this attraction when they added it to MGM! The Ewok village scene is great.

dvc at last !
05-31-2009, 12:40 AM
In for the reprt-
I love OKW !


:cool1:

dvczerfs
05-31-2009, 06:17 AM
nice pics stopher!! im glad to see you got your 5 hours of sleep! who sleeps at wdw!!:thumbsup2

stopher1
05-31-2009, 06:25 AM
nice pics stopher!! im glad to see you got your 5 hours of sleep! who sleeps at wdw!!:thumbsup2

actually less, but who's counting... now it's time to wake the boys and get them to shower and get ready for another day... my oldest wants to be out the door and over to the bus by 7:20... we'll see. ;)

dvczerfs
05-31-2009, 06:29 AM
actually less, but who's countig... now it's time to wake the boys and get them to shower and get ready for another day... my oldest wants to be out the door and over to the bus by 7:20... we'll see. ;) youll make it!! :thumbsup2 its not like getting up for school!!

stopher1
05-31-2009, 06:40 AM
We took up a position for the parade that was near the end (Star Tours/Jedi Training stage) because we wanted to be able to see the photo op...but it wasn't the best angle as most of the characters were turning to see the other side at this particular vantage point (on the Backlot Express side right before the final turn), but we stil enjoyed it very much. The boys were excited to see the 501st Legion (my youngest wants to save up and get an awesome costume and join the local chapter of the 501st when old enough). They absolutely loved seeing the 501st in the Rose Parade 2 or 3 years ago, and were even more ecstatic when a few members of the local chapter came out to help open the new mall near our house a year ago... so needless to say, that was one of the primary reasons they wanted to watch the parade.

The lead item in the parade was a cool vehicle made to look like one a landspeeder, I believe, with Jedi Mickey on it. That was followed by Princess Minnie Organa, Stormtrooper Donald and Darth Goofy...thankfully my older son had the camera so we at least got a couple of photos of this part (since my younger son can't stand the Disney characters as Star Wars characters as mentioned previously)

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Disneypirate85
05-31-2009, 06:41 AM
Just checking in for the day. Pic's LOOK awesome...Have a great day...Shawnpirate:

stopher1
05-31-2009, 06:47 AM
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What impressed me the most about this production was the attention to detail. Disney is always good about that, but with this, there's the double factor of it still being a very active enterprise and the real AI show folks were very protective of their stuff and as such, the set looks very much like the real thing on tv.

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One of my favorites at the Studios (but not my sons'!) No riding for me... oh well, there's always next time.

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Another favorite... this is a family favorite 4 of the 5 of us have been on it and LOVE it. Can't wait for my DD to eventually get on it too and make it 100%

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Still fun after all these years...

stopher1
05-31-2009, 06:51 AM
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We really enjoyed the pool both days. Last night I got onto the slide. It was just okay to me - both of the boys loved it - but I much prefer the slide at BWV! I went on that one over and over last fall, the OKW one just once. But the boys were on it many, many times.

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I really like how many things there are to do at the resort, activity-wise. I've seen many people riding around and on the little boats. The pool was not crowded last night by any means, nor has Olivia's been each time we've been down there - but it is a very nice resort. I've enjoyed sampling it. We'll see what other fun stuff today brings.

BigMama
05-31-2009, 07:31 AM
Enjoying your report and pics!!

TammyNC
05-31-2009, 08:05 AM
Great report and pictures, thanks for sharing!!

mecllap
05-31-2009, 11:19 PM
We got in line to meet Darth Vader and get his autograph. We had to endure the changeout 3 times, which meant we were in line for about 45 min. The poor guy(s) could only stand out there in the heat in that very heavy, very black, very hot I'm sure costume for 10 min at a time.

The only classic characters (from the original trilogy) giving autographs was the beach-bum Luke Skywalker, Darth Vader and Boba Fett. Not even a storm trooper. We have Green Army Man autographs for heaven's sake in our Disney character autograph collection...how hard would it have been to have a couple of Storm Troopers giving out an autograph or standing for a photo op? Or R2-D2? He was in the parade...

.

Really -- they have Darth Vader outside now? Bummer -- altho the photo looks like it shows up better.

And no Chewbacca? -- that will be a major bummer for us.

Thanks for the detailed report -- nice to know what to expect (and not to) this year.

stopher1
06-01-2009, 12:02 AM
**The best news of the day... it wasn't as hot today, Sunday, as it was yesterday!** :) And lots more breeze, and no rain at all.

This morning we got up earlier, and got on the bus headed for DHS by 7:10. My 13 yo was not too thrilled with me (go figure, he's 13) because he slept through his alarm while I was in the shower, and therefore wasn't up at 6 like he was hoping to be. The entire ride over to the park was doom & gloom that we wouldn't get the coveted (and required) FP for getting Matthew Wood's autograph. Nevermind that we arrived at the park by 7:20, and the line was only about 45-50 people long. Some of the CM's said that the head of the line folks had arrived at around 6:30. (NEXT WEEKEND, I BELIEVE is supposed to be Jeremy Bullock & David Prowse - at least that's what the CM's said - and they are fully expecting people to be lining up at about 5:00-5:30 for the FP's...)

I was quite impressed with the number of CM's out working the entry plaza, as well as how organized it was. There were 3 different lines going for the 2 main draws (Mayhew & Woods, and then also for Jay Laga'aia). Numerous folks showed up in costumes, some quite elaborate, others not as much. Many, many people came with things to have signed. Some were chatting in groups, others just quietly reading a book or listening to their iPods. It was quite organized and orderly.
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We did end up getting the coveted TIMED FP that would guarantee us the siggie. We wanted the first session, but ended up getting the 2nd session. Not a problem. We are flexible and could adjust. With that 2:35 FP in hand, we decided to jump on the boat and head for Epcot. We could have gotten back into line to receive a 2nd person if we'd wanted to, but we didn't see the need. At one point a CM came out and announced to everyone in the area (multiple x's for all to be able to hear) that anyone wanting Peter Mayhew's siggie could get back in line for a 2nd FP, but that was the limit. If someone tried to come through more x's than that, he would refuse to sign anything additional for them. That particular CM, and then a couple of others stated that Mr. Mayhew was getting a bit perturbed and disgusted with the whole process. I don't know about that personally, as he was quite gracious and polite when we went through the line yesterday. I also learned that his favorite film from the series is the same as mine, EMPIRE STRIKES BACK.

After the requisite stops,
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we arrived at the International Gateway moments before the park opened. We then headed to Soarin' and got FP's for a 10:50 return time. At that point the Standby line was 25 min. We quickly made our way over to Test Track (40 min SB line already), jumped in the Single Rider line and were exiting the building less than 10 mins later. :) The boys haven't done Ellen's Energy in a while, so that was our next destination.
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After Ellen we made our way over to Club Cool to check out some of the fun flavors from around the world... we really liked the Watermelon flavored soda from China. And then it was on to Journey Into Imagination. We always enjoy that one (though I still miss the original... oh well, that's "progress" now isn't it?) After all of that, it was time to return to Soarin' for our flight. It was awesome once again, as it always is. Good thing we had the FP's too, since the Standby line by this point was over an hour.
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I've loved that ride since it first opened at DCA, (we were living less than 10 min from the DL resort at that time and could go to the park(s) every day if we wanted to, and often did go 3-4x per week just for a ride or two, or a ride and dinner, or just to shop...I miss those days). I am SO very glad that they brought it to Epcot. My only complaint/wish, is that they would have a Single Rider line for it at Epcot like they do at DCA. Whenever I'm here alone, I miss that opportunity to ride if FP's aren't available.

We chose Mexican for lunch. It was good. We've never had Mexican food at Epcot before, so it was a nice first time meal there for us. http://i292.photobucket.com/albums/mm34/stopher1_photos/WDW%20May%2009_SWW%202/P5310111.jpg
That now brings me up to 8 of the 11 nations that I've eaten in. Just Germany, Japan and France to go.

Being part Norwegian myself (my mom was born there), every visit entails a ride on Maelstrom and looking in the shops, and often inside the Stave Church. Needless to say it is one of my favorite WS pavilions. We don't always stick around for the movie after the ride, but this time we did.
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We then worked our way around the WS. Since my DD was not with us, there were no character stops. And since my DW wasn't there, no shopping either. The only thing I was most interested in and stopped for a few times were the character topiaries. I didn't realize that the Flower & Garden stuff was still there. Those were pretty cool to see. http://i292.photobucket.com/albums/mm34/stopher1_photos/WDW%20May%2009_SWW%202/P5310041.jpg

I think my favorite was the Captain Hook vs. the Crocodile display back near Italy & Germany, and the boys' was the Stitch one near Mission: Space.
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I did also like the Lion King figures (3 separate display areas) at the end of the main walk way on the FW side just where the WS lagoon walk begins. http://i292.photobucket.com/albums/mm34/stopher1_photos/WDW%20May%2009_SWW%202/P5310102.jpg

The other big draw for us in WS was the Kaki Gori shaved ice in Japan. All 3 of us love those, and always have to stop there and enjoy one. Yummy! :thumbsup2 Then it was back to the Friendship boat headed for the Studios.

Back at the Studios we contemplated doing a couple of things, but ended up just enjoying some ice water outside of the Dockside Diner while waiting for the autograph session. After that we left and headed back for the resort. A quick rest, change of clothes and a bag packed, and we headed out to the Boardwalk for some nice pool hopping. That Keister Coaster was a big draw for us. That and the ice cream/candy/snack shop there on the boardwalk itself.

While at the Boardwalk we had dinner there at the Boardwalk Bakery, and then rented a surrey for a couple of trips around Crescent Lake.
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It was our first time being on the BCV side of the water, so we got to see Stormalong Bay a little bit. Now both boys want to stay there to try it out. (It's starting to seem like we're going to hit that elusive every WDW DVC resort mark sooner rather than later! :rotfl:) They started asking to see if there was some way we could stay there in 2010...doubtful, since we're only planning one family trip to the World in '10 and another longish family trip out to DL later in '10...but who knows? Maybe some other long weekend type trip will pop up.

After the ride, we enjoyed the pool. There's still a lot of painting and roof repair work going on at BWV, and they were on the main pool side of the building. Lots of scaffolding and protective mesh down around the entry doors.
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Our evening was then capped off with a trip over to DTD to see the new "Night at the Museum" film. We enjoyed it. The ferry boat back to OKW was quite pleasant as well. The Characters in flight balloon is beautiful at night, illuminated from within, and of course the OKW landing is lovely at night all lit up.
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We do leave for home tomorrow night, so our morning will also be filled with packing our bags and returning all of our items back into our Owner's Locker (what an ABSOLUTELY wonderful box it is too... so many great things inside that have helped us out - I just LOVE having it. Can't sing it's praises enough. If you're on the fence and have any questions about getting one - just PM me, and I'll be happy to share...Love, love, love it!) :thumbsup2

Night all.

stopher1
06-01-2009, 12:21 AM
Really -- they have Darth Vader outside now? Bummer -- altho the photo looks like it shows up better.

And no Chewbacca? -- that will be a major bummer for us.

Thanks for the detailed report -- nice to know what to expect (and not to) this year.

Yes, he was located outside, near the Studio Catering counter service, and the shop there at the end of the backlot street, next to the set of restrooms. The only saving grace about that particular location was the roof overhead giving a good deal of shade, the fans overhead and nearby, and the a/c blowing out from the shop. All of the other character autograph/photo op spots were out in elements.

WE did not see Chewbacca as an opportunity for autographs or photo ops. That doesn't mean he wasn't there at some point, but on Saturday as we traversed the park back and forth he was not there.

dianeschlicht
06-01-2009, 07:47 AM
Cool! I love trip reports with pictures!

Ask my wife; I get a big smile on my face when I see what's shown below. Only 146 days to go... sigh.

LOL! I was thinking the same thing, Mike! The OKW picture of the dock on Turtle Crawl did it for me too!

dvczerfs
06-01-2009, 09:06 AM
:thumbsup2

stopher1
06-01-2009, 11:35 PM
Our final day for this trip took us to the Magic Kingdom. After 3 days in a row of being up early, we “slept in”, and stayed at the resort until about 10. It was clean-up, pack and check-out for us, and then off to enjoy a few hours at the park. It was hot again today, and it was crowded! Today was the most crowded we’ve seen all weekend long. The bus was standing room only, and it took 10 minutes just to get through the bag/backpack check and then through the turnstiles.

The Magic Kingdom is my favorite park at WDW. Crossing under the train tracks, through those tunnels leaving today and entering worlds of yesterday tomorrow and fantasy always brings a smile to my face – even when it’s crowded. For me, the crowds are just part of it all. I can tolerate them much better than my wife or children can. Perhaps it has something to do with those years as a Cast Member at Disneyland… having to get from backstage to your work area in 5 min (with no utilidors to hide you and provide clear access) – zigging and zagging, avoiding strollers and those fun folks who couldn’t care less about anyone else and will just STOP in the middle of the street, sidewalk or wherever they happen to be at that moment for this or that reason. I recall many a day having to do all that, and get across the parade route with a throng of people, and still being able to make it across the park in 5 minutes. To this day my family gets annoyed with me, yes… but then always ask me to lead the way when it’s crowded. :)

We had a limited amount of time since we had to be back to OKW to board the DME bus later in the afternoon, so we knew we could only do so much. Since it was so warm, naturally Splash Mountain was on my 13 yo’s agenda…and I couldn’t blame him. We talked about heading over on the train, but the boys wanted to get a snack from the Bakery, so the latter won out, and after our snack we walked over to Splash. WOW, there were a LOT of groupings of kids today also…older kids. High school and college aged kids. As we were passing through Adventureland (for the restrooms near the Diamond Horseshoe crossing and a Dole Whip on the go!), we were behind/next to a large contingent from some high school band group (adults holding signs up all over the place so the kids wouldn’t get away from the herd). Then into Frontierland for the remainder of the walk and several groupings of 20 somethings I believe in town from Duke (lots of athletic apparel from Duke anyway). We got a FP, and then jumped in the standby line (said 30 min – ended up being about 40). Had a blast. The boys were in the front row and of course got wet, just not as wet as they’d hoped. The 2nd time round they ended up back in the front row, and that time we got a bit more wet. Fun stuff.

We had FP’s for BTMRR but it broke down, so it was a no-go, since our time was limited. Pirates, lunch at Pecos Bill and the Haunted Mansion rounded out our time on the west side of the park. The line for the HM line was wrapping in and around the old Mike Fink Keel Boats structure, as well as out into the walkways across from Columbia Harbor House, with several switchbacks. It only took about 30 minutes. Thank goodness the HM is such the people eater! I love that endless chains of moving vehicles.

The HM is my all-time favorite attraction. I have always loved it, ever since I was a little kid. It was a dream of mine to be able to don that butler’s costume, but alas it never transpired for me. I was stuck in Foods at DL. But evenso, it remains a must-do every time I’m at either resort. I love the enhancements that they made to WDW’s HM a couple of years ago, especially the endless steps scene – and replacing those big ugly spiders with the transforming portrait corridor like DL’s Mansion. I will admit that I do prefer the antebellum New Orleans mansion from DL (New Orleans Square remains my all-time favorite land) – but WDW’s is every bit as enjoyable. And the wonderful creaking sounds and surround sound of the Ghost Host in the Stretching Room at WDW is/are wonderful – I wish they’d add them in at DL. So of course, that was the one attraction that I wanted to visit most today.

We pretty much knew we wouldn’t be in Fantasyland or Toontown today, but weren’t quite sure what else we wanted to see. We did know we wanted to end our time there with an ice cream cone on Main Street – so we ended up over in Tomorrowland on Buzz. That’s always a fun little ride, but today 2 of us had bad shooters. Both my 10 yo and I didn’t do as well as we normally do because the buttons were hard and not shooting very often, but that’s okay. It was still fun. And in my vehicle, the directional joystick was loose, as I kept spinning without moving the joystick – so I had to spend half my time just fighting the vehicle to keep it pointed in the direction I wanted it to be. Still I got 75000+ (normally I’ll get 2-3x that, but oh well…at least the scoring is just for fun and not for something real, huh?)


SOME GENERAL RESORT OBSERVATIONS / IMPRESSIONS:
OKW is a very nice resort. I can see why so many people enjoy it. The room was nice and large. The bathroom – wow…it’s larger than my kids’ bathroom at home. I liked the balcony, even though we looked out onto nothing (woods, right there trying to mask the entrance road and a bunch of a/c boxes on the ground).

We did have a couple of concerns about ripped seats on the chairs, and the light fixture over the bed I slept in was loose, as well as the tub drained really, really slowly (I have notified the resort staff about these things).
There was plenty of room on the floor for our twin air mattress for my 10 yo to use, so that we each had our own bed. That was great. (Thanks OL that our mattress/sheets were already there!)

The front desk staff at check-in was quite friendly, albeit quite slow. The CM didn't appear to be in training, but was not the most efficient either. She kept doubling back over information already asked for or provided. I wasn't all that impressed with that. Since we arrived early our room wasn't ready yet. They offered to call me, text me or I could call the number to find our our room after 4 pm. I asked for the text option, 3 times actually, and still we got a voice-mail. The fact that I got the VM was okay, of course, since I didn't need to call in, but if you ask someone their preference, and they tell you 3 different times, why do it another way? I really wanted the text message because accessing texts is just plain easier on my particular phone than VM is. As it was I had to call it twice since I didn't have a pen with me the first time and I just plain didn't remember the room # 5 minutes later. Pet peeve is what this is... if I say text, I mean text. Kind of like telling my kids to do A and they do B instead... drives me crazy.

The Bell staff was extremely friendly and efficient. I found them to be moreso than the staff at AKV on our last visit, but then maybe being in building 14 helped with that impression, I can’t say for certain. Perhaps if we’d been back in the south side of the resort that impression would be different? I can’t say…

The bed was just ok. Not too hard, not too soft, but not quite right, IMO.

The pool was quite nice. We loved the Jacuzzi. Had a couple of very nice conversations in it with other members, as well, everyone there seemed genuinely warm and friendly.

The amenities are plentiful and a good mix, IMO. The transportation was adequate – though we don’t like the overall layout of the resort and the various little “wings” with one way roads that the buses go down and then have to turn around and come back. Totally a personal preference here, but I much prefer a design that is more of a loop than something kind of like a star – or a single point of drop-off/pick-up like at Jambo House or Kidani Village (granted the buses are connected now for the resort, but they do make a loop connecting the two different buildings). I really like the option of the ferry to get to DTD. We used that a couple of times. Loved it. (I also remember loving it when we stayed at Port Orleans a few years ago, and know we’ll use it at THV this coming January as well).

Papa’s Den was nice. I sat there for a while and really enjoyed it. It was peaceful, but then the entire resort seems peaceful to me. Quite the contrast from the hustle and bustle we experienced previously at Boardwalk.

We didn't try Olivia's but I do want to go back and try it sometime.

Overall I liked it at OKW, and can see myself staying there again.

stopher1
06-01-2009, 11:57 PM
http://i292.photobucket.com/albums/mm34/stopher1_photos/WDW%20May%2009_SWW%202/2009-0601-0012.jpg
Streams of people, pouring out from every transportation mode available, descending on the MK today

http://i292.photobucket.com/albums/mm34/stopher1_photos/WDW%20May%2009_SWW%202/2009-0601-00120.jpg
Splash Mtn twice on a hot day... good stuff

http://i292.photobucket.com/albums/mm34/stopher1_photos/WDW%20May%2009_SWW%202/2009-0601-00123.jpg
From the top of Chick-a-Pin hill, about to be "thrown" into the Briar patch

http://i292.photobucket.com/albums/mm34/stopher1_photos/WDW%20May%2009_SWW%202/2009-0601-00131.jpg
El Castillo - at dinner last week my 13 yr old was arguing with me that Pirates at WDW is not located inside a castle fortress... sometimes you just have to have proof for your know-it-all teenagers that Dad does know something now and again

http://i292.photobucket.com/albums/mm34/stopher1_photos/WDW%20May%2009_SWW%202/2009-0601-00134.jpg
the endless chess match

http://i292.photobucket.com/albums/mm34/stopher1_photos/WDW%20May%2009_SWW%202/2009-0601-00153.jpg
My personal favorite attraction

http://i292.photobucket.com/albums/mm34/stopher1_photos/WDW%20May%2009_SWW%202/2009-0601-00191.jpg
My boys... I remember them as toddlers running around being perfectly fine with talking to the princesses and getting their autographs. Today when the little show on the castle stage was taking place, there they were, literally trying to run away, and wishing out loud...loudly too (as dad tries to hide and pretend I don't know them) that a bomb might come and take them out, or a strategically placed sniper on the roofs of Liberty Square. Ahh the little nut-jobs they've become :lmao: and such as it was, that was the "nice" ending to our father/sons weekend - my sons plotting against the princesses. They do like Disney...really. :rolleyes1 They're were just missing having their mom and sister along...yeah, that's it. I'm sure that's it.

DVC Mike
06-02-2009, 06:31 AM
Glad you had a good trip!

cjs123123
06-02-2009, 07:39 AM
I am so happy that you and your boys had such a great time!!! We leave today for wdw and reading other peoples trips makes me more excited to go!!! When you were talking about mk I feel the same way big smile on my face, no care in the world but the moment you are in right there and than!!! Thanks for all the great tips aswell on sw!!! Thanks again now I have to pack!!!

cj9200
06-02-2009, 07:58 AM
Thanks for the report. Sounds like a great time was had by all. Our dad/daughter trip starts next week. Can't wait.

Disneypirate85
06-02-2009, 08:03 AM
Sounds like a good trip overall. Glad to see you and the boys had a great time. Shawnpirate:

nunzia
06-02-2009, 08:30 AM
Such fun! I'm looking more forward to my WDW/OKW trip in January now (DLR vet here)

BigEeyore
06-02-2009, 10:02 AM
Hi! I really enjoyed your TR! Where/when did you work at DL? I was also a CM there summers of 1990 and 91 in fantasyland foods - mostly Carnation Plaza Gardens and Village Haus. I too wanted to work at the HM - I wanted to have the bat hair thing!

stopher1
06-02-2009, 10:10 AM
Hi! I really enjoyed your TR! Where/when did you work at DL? I was also a CM there summers of 1990 and 91 in fantasyland foods - mostly Carnation Plaza Gardens and Village Haus. I too wanted to work at the HM - I wanted to have the bat hair thing!

Thanks. I was at CPG from '87-89. Year round though, I worked from HS into college at DL. My roommate in college ended up hiring in based on my suggestion, and wouldn't you know it, he got to be in attractions. He was actually on the opening crew for Splash, and then later got to do Pirates, the Jungle Cruise, and of course, the Mansion. Ugh. Oh well.

dvczerfs
06-02-2009, 01:40 PM
:thumbsup2 glad you had a good time. loved the tr!!

culli
06-02-2009, 01:56 PM
http://i292.photobucket.com/albums/mm34/stopher1_photos/WDW%20May%2009_SWW%202/2009-0601-00120.jpg


Is it just me or does it look like Daffy Duck's face in this picture:confused3

Ok can't get only the one pic to post but check out the pic from Splash Mtn.

princessfionasmom
06-02-2009, 02:32 PM
Thank you so much for the pics and the report. SWW is one of my most favorite times to go to WDW.

JasonDVC
06-02-2009, 03:59 PM
Nice job on the TR!

Planning our SWW trip for 2011

podsnel
06-02-2009, 08:39 PM
That was a lot of fun to read!! Such a wonderful thing- going with your boys!!:goodvibes

And thanks for all your opinions on OKW- DH & I have our first trip planned there in September and you've made me VERY excited for it!! Sounds like just what we'll need- peace and quiet and relaxation!!:cloud9:

Can I ask- what do you keep in your OL that makes it so wonderful for you?

Thanks for writing a great report-

Ellen

stopher1
06-02-2009, 08:57 PM
Can I ask- what do you keep in your OL that makes it so wonderful for you?
Ellen

Lot of things really... the biggest is the air mattress/pump/sheets so that when we are in a studio or 1 BR that doesn't actually sleep 5, we all have a bed.

Then things like the power strip so that all of our electronics plugs/chargers are in one single place, instead of here there and everywhere...

...a Brita water pitcher since we don't like the taste of the water there
...scissors - you just never know when you'll need to cut off tags, labels or whatnot...used them 2x this trip
...a mini-waffle iron, "just add water" pancake/waffle mix & syrup - hot breakfast in the room... better than just plain cereal sometimes
...first aid kit - less to pack in the suitcase. We used it 2x this trip as well.
...playing cards - good fun in the evenings
...dry foods like boxed cereals, instant oatmeal packs, kool-aid mix, sugar, etc - all stuff to whip up in the room without a lot of extras required
...ziploc type bags (great for small item storage when needed) & small garbage bags to replace what gets filled up so quickly (come in handy since mousekeeping only comes in on longer stays to take out the trash)
...and lots more that I can't even think of right now

All of these items are certainly not necessary - but they do make our trips more enjoyable, and yes, wonderful - definitely more convenient and home-like. And having them there already, we have less to think about bringing along with us.

dvczerfs
06-03-2009, 04:34 AM
Lot of things really... the biggest is the air mattress/pump/sheets so that when we are in a studio or 1 BR that doesn't actually sleep 5, we all have a bed.

Then things like the power strip so that all of our electronics plugs/chargers are in one single place, instead of here there and everywhere...

...a Brita water pitcher since we don't like the taste of the water there
...scissors - you just never know when you'll need to cut off tags, labels or whatnot...used them 2x this trip
...a mini-waffle iron, "just add water" pancake/waffle mix & syrup - hot breakfast in the room... better than just plain cereal sometimes
...first aid kit - less to pack in the suitcase. We used it 2x this trip as well.
...playing cards - good fun in the evenings
...dry foods like boxed cereals, instant oatmeal packs, kool-aid mix, sugar, etc - all stuff to whip up in the room without a lot of extras required
...ziploc type bags (great for small item storage when needed) & small garbage bags to replace what gets filled up so quickly (come in handy since mousekeeping only comes in on longer stays to take out the trash)
...and lots more that I can't even think of right now

All of these items are certainly not necessary - but they do make our trips more enjoyable, and yes, wonderful - definitely more convenient and home-like. And having them there already, we have less to think about bringing along with us.thanks for the power strip idea!! we always have cell phones,camera laptop cords all plugged in all over. have to throw one in the bag!!!:thumbsup2

STEAMBOAT209
06-03-2009, 07:21 AM
stopher1, really enjoyed the report and pictures. DW and I have stayed at OKW and really enjoyed that resort. Your trip with the boys will be a trip always remembered for you and the boys.
thank you for sharing with us.

podsnel
06-03-2009, 08:50 PM
Lot of things really... the biggest is the air mattress/pump/sheets so that when we are in a studio or 1 BR that doesn't actually sleep 5, we all have a bed.

Then things like the power strip so that all of our electronics plugs/chargers are in one single place, instead of here there and everywhere...

...a Brita water pitcher since we don't like the taste of the water there
...scissors - you just never know when you'll need to cut off tags, labels or whatnot...used them 2x this trip
...a mini-waffle iron, "just add water" pancake/waffle mix & syrup - hot breakfast in the room... better than just plain cereal sometimes
...first aid kit - less to pack in the suitcase. We used it 2x this trip as well.
...playing cards - good fun in the evenings
...dry foods like boxed cereals, instant oatmeal packs, kool-aid mix, sugar, etc - all stuff to whip up in the room without a lot of extras required
...ziploc type bags (great for small item storage when needed) & small garbage bags to replace what gets filled up so quickly (come in handy since mousekeeping only comes in on longer stays to take out the trash)
...and lots more that I can't even think of right now

All of these items are certainly not necessary - but they do make our trips more enjoyable, and yes, wonderful - definitely more convenient and home-like. And having them there already, we have less to think about bringing along with us.

I can absolutely see where that would make it sooooo much easier to travel in many, many ways! Thank-you for sharing!!:goodvibes