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View Full Version : I'm back: highs and lows


jen_uk
08-22-2009, 05:54 PM
We got back today after a delay of 1.5 hrs, feeling a bit jet lagged now :sad2: Anyway, here are some of the highs and lows of our trip :goodvibes

Highs

AKL - lovely hotel, I was surprised at first by how dark it is in the lobby but soon got used to it. I had always thought this hotel must be out the way but I thought it was in a great location, didn't seem to take long to get to the parks and it was very close to the 192. The bus service was fantastic from there, the average wait was less than 5 minutes and only had to stand once. The food was great at the hotel, the pool was nice, it was lovely watching the animals from the balcony, I really hope we can get in again next year.

Seaworld - had only been there twice before and not for a few years, really liked this park, love the Clyde and Seamore show :lovestruc Dh thought Manta was brilliant, he said it was the best ride he had been on.

Disney parks - too many things to mention! Same great atmosphere, rides, attention to detail etc :goodvibes

Having a car - once I got over the disasterous first drive we loved having a car, it did open up so many different places for us. It was really easy to drive round Disney and I had the satnav for going further afield.

Illuminations cruise - fab view of the fireworks and we met some very nice dissers :thumbsup2

Lows

OKW - I just did not like this resort, I wonder if we had stayed there first we might have liked it more, I think a lot of places would be a let down after the AKL! It is just so big and spread out and I hated not being able to just pop down to get a drink or walk out the door and there the pool is! The internet (which I need for work) stopped working in our room for 2 days so we had the hassle of sorting that out, the air con didn't work, it would creep higher and higher which meant that 2 or 3 times a night we would have to get up and put it back down, it was like sleeping alternately in a freezer and an oven! There was building work going on and we could hear it in our room. :headache:

Neighbours - at both of the hotels we had really loud neighbours, they were large families who screamed and shouted whenever they were in the room.

So more highs than lows, I've already started looking at prices for next year and for once dh isn't moaning about it being too early!! :banana:

CustardTart
08-22-2009, 06:10 PM
Welcome home, Jen!!! :goodvibes
Glad you liked AKL - we stayed there at Easter, loved the resort and were also pleasantly surprised by the efficiency of the bus service after some of the negative stuff we'd read. Only tedious journey I experienced was from DTD back to the resort one afternoon...

Happy planning for your next trip - will you be writing a trippie for this one..? :thumbsup2

Ware Bears
08-22-2009, 06:22 PM
Welcome back :wave2:

natalielongstaff
08-23-2009, 03:12 AM
welcome back Jen :)

Pegasus928
08-23-2009, 03:47 AM
Pleased to hear you got back safe and sound and that you had - on the whole - a great holiday.
Would love to see a full trippie and pics if you get the chance. :thumbsup2

saratogagirl
08-23-2009, 04:28 AM
welcome home Jen, AKL sounds wonderful

Dizneemad
08-23-2009, 04:49 AM
Nice to hear you had a great time, and good luck in planning the next trip.

Mrs Dazzle
08-23-2009, 05:05 AM
Glad you had a great trip.

AKL is our fave Disney hotel, it's such a special and different hotel. We loved that no matter what time day or night we went out on the balcony, there were different animals to check out.

I actually am in the minority, I think, in that I think the 'darkness' of the resort adds to the ambience.

Noisy neighbours are my idea of hell!! We seem to unfortunately attract them and, over the last few years, I've discovered the American waxy style earplugs really do work. Hate wearing them because all you seem to hear is your own breathing and heartbeat:scared1: But, it means I'm, slightly less paranoid about the neighbours in case they make noise:snooty:

I agree with you, I think most places would not have matched up to AKL:cloud9:

Happy planning for next year:dance3:

dolphingirl47
08-23-2009, 05:21 AM
Welcome back. I am glad that you had a good time on the whole. We are doing the same split stay as you in October (well for part of the holiday anyway, we also have three nights off site and a seven night cruise). This will be our first stay at AKV (we are staying at Jambo House). Then we are going back to our home resort OKW. We absolutely love it there. It's a shame that you did not enjoy it. What area were you in. We love the Old Turtle Pond Road area.

Corinna

howlongtillsummer?
08-23-2009, 05:50 AM
Welcome back! Get booked for next year - the best way to beat those post-trip blues!! Looking forward to hearing more about it!

Cyrano
08-23-2009, 05:56 AM
Welcome home Jen :wave2: From photos AKL looks awesome :goodvibes

Pinky166
08-23-2009, 06:10 AM
Welcome home Jen. Pleased you had a great time, we loved AKL when we stayed there a few years ago. Will you be doing a trip report?


Corinna- What building no's are in the Old Turtle Pond Road area?

dolphingirl47
08-23-2009, 06:17 AM
Corinna- What building no's are in the Old Turtle Pond Road area?

Buildings 30 to 44. We stayed in building 43 and loved it. The quiet pool was just across the road and the bus stop was less than 200 yards away.

Corinna

wideeyes
08-23-2009, 06:43 AM
glad you had a great time and liked AKV, I can't wait to finally stay there soon.

Tinks1984
08-23-2009, 07:38 AM
Welcome back Jen!

Loved reading your updates and glad to see you've enjoyed your trip. I'd love to stay at AKL, looks like a beautiful resort :)

T16GEM
08-23-2009, 07:47 AM
Welcome home, glad to see there are more highs than lows, what was so disaterous about your first drivinge experience, I must have missed that?

wicket2005
08-23-2009, 07:57 AM
I am so pleased you had a lovely time.:goodvibes

Mrs Doubtfire
08-23-2009, 08:12 AM
Sounds like you had a great time.

Shame about the noisy neighbours - you just can't seem to get away from it sometimes :sad2:

Pegasus928
08-23-2009, 08:40 AM
I'm assuming by noisy neighbours we are refering to the human kind - not the ones outside your window at ALK :goodvibes

joolz1910
08-23-2009, 08:48 AM
Welcome home.:goodvibes I'll be interested to read about your driving experience and about OKW. Will you be doing a trip report?

jen_uk
08-23-2009, 09:59 AM
Welcome home, glad to see there are more highs than lows, what was so disaterous about your first drivinge experience, I must have missed that?

Welcome home.:goodvibes I'll be interested to read about your driving experience and about OKW. Will you be doing a trip report?

It was my first time driving there so I was very, very nervous to start with, when we left the airport I put Animal Kingdom into the satnav and it came up with Animal Kingdom Resort, stupidly I didn't look to see how many miles away it was, if I had I would have noticed that it was over 100 miles away and therefore was wrong! Anyway off we went, we drove for miles, after about 30-40 minutes we started thinking we had gone wrong as there were no signs for Disney anywhere, we couldn't stop though as we were on the motorway and there were no turn offs for miles. We ended up near Daytona Beach I think, we basically had no idea where we were or how to get back, I pulled into a Shell garage and cried! :sad1: Dh went off to find someone and a nice man wrote down a list of directions for us to get to Disney. Off we went again, after a few minutes the heavens opened and we were driving through the worst storm I have ever seen, the thunder and lighting was incredible and the rain was so hard you could barely see past the front of the car. It lasted all the way to the hotel, by the time we got there I was stressed out and never wanted to drive there again!! I made myself drive the next day and after that it was fine, it is really easy when you put the correct place into satnav! :blush:

I'm not going to do a full trippie as I think said most of what we did in the updates, I will post loads of pics though in the next day or so. If anyone has any questions I'm more than happy to answer them :goodvibes

joolz1910
08-23-2009, 11:49 AM
Not the best first experience of driving.:scared1: Glad it got better after that.

Pegasus928
08-23-2009, 02:03 PM
It was my first time driving there so I was very, very nervous to start with, when we left the airport I put Animal Kingdom into the satnav and it came up with Animal Kingdom Resort, stupidly I didn't look to see how many miles away it was, if I had I would have noticed that it was over 100 miles away and therefore was wrong! Anyway off we went, we drove for miles, after about 30-40 minutes we started thinking we had gone wrong as there were no signs for Disney anywhere, we couldn't stop though as we were on the motorway and there were no turn offs for miles. We ended up near Daytona Beach I think, we basically had no idea where we were or how to get back, I pulled into a Shell garage and cried! :sad1: Dh went off to find someone and a nice man wrote down a list of directions for us to get to Disney. Off we went again, after a few minutes the heavens opened and we were driving through the worst storm I have ever seen, the thunder and lighting was incredible and the rain was so hard you could barely see past the front of the car. It lasted all the way to the hotel, by the time we got there I was stressed out and never wanted to drive there again!! I made myself drive the next day and after that it was fine, it is really easy when you put the correct place into satnav! :blush:

You probably don't want to hear this but that is one of the funniest things I have read in ages. I sympathise with what you went through, really I do - but seeing as though you got through it all OK I felt comfortable almost wetting myself.
I'm sure you will laugh about it in the future and will enjoy telling it to your grandkids in years to come ;)

gemmybear83
08-23-2009, 03:04 PM
Sounds like you had a loely time Jen :goodvibes

jen_uk
08-23-2009, 04:52 PM
You probably don't want to hear this but that is one of the funniest things I have read in ages. I sympathise with what you went through, really I do - but seeing as though you got through it all OK I felt comfortable almost wetting myself.
I'm sure you will laugh about it in the future and will enjoy telling it to your grandkids in years to come ;)

Its ok, I can laugh about it now! :lmao:

disneyholic family
08-23-2009, 07:06 PM
lucky all that happened was that you drove out of your way and got totally stressed out...

some satellite navigation disasters don't end so happily...
you really don't know where you'll end up (just ask the people who were murdered when their GPS took them where they shouldn't have gone - not in orlando, but it could happen there too)..

it's one of the reasons i refuse to use GPS....i'm old and set in my ways....give me a good map any day....i don't trust GPS...

wicket2005
08-24-2009, 04:48 AM
Jen, firstly you were very brave tackling driving over there, I just wouldn't fancy it at all but fortunately have a husband that is okay with it. I would do it if I wasn't with him though.

The thing with sat navs is not to rely on them and know roughly where you are going before you set off. We use a sat nav but I navigate as well but still can get lost sometimes. My husband has slowly realised that sometimes the Sat Nav doesn't know best and to listen to me when I say I know exactly where I am I can get you there. I can get quite cross sometimes when I am not listened to and routes are taken because the Sat Nav says that is the way to go. Anyway he knows now.

cannp123165
08-24-2009, 05:59 AM
Sounds like you had a good time! :)

Dimplenose
08-24-2009, 07:07 AM
Jen, firstly you were very brave tackling driving over there, I just wouldn't fancy it at all but fortunately have a husband that is okay with it. I would do it if I wasn't with him though.

The thing with sat navs is not to rely on them and know roughly where you are going before you set off. We use a sat nav but I navigate as well but still can get lost sometimes. My husband has slowly realised that sometimes the Sat Nav doesn't know best and to listen to me when I say I know exactly where I am I can get you there. I can get quite cross sometimes when I am not listened to and routes are taken because the Sat Nav says that is the way to go. Anyway he knows now.

We used satnav in Florida for the first time this year. We do use it as a tool but having used it here and in Europe and succeeded in getting to specific houses or car parks without a hitch we were surprised at how unreliable it was over there.

We got lost a number of times (although logic did take over we would be heading the wrong way on a road with few exits before we discovered our mistake - we also found it much harder to leave a motorway and head back in the opposite direction than it is here. One big problem we found was that we'd miss an entrance to a mall that was parrallel to the main road and because we'd come so close the satnav believed we'd actually reached our destination.)

wicket2005
08-24-2009, 07:28 AM
Sometimes in Orlando it was unclear which road the sat nav wanted you to take as sometimes there are 2 roads turn offs very close together. It has taken a while but we do now know how to get about without a sat nav. The sat nav once told us we had reached our destination (to Prime Outlets) when we were in the middle of the I4, we got there in the end and in fairness to the sat nav we hadn't specified we wanted to park there:lmao: and we could see the outlets.

jen_uk
08-24-2009, 08:54 AM
Our satnav couldn't find DTD for some reason, it took us to BB and told us we had reached our destination!! Also, it often wanted us to go to cast member entrances so we quickly learnt to just use us to get i#us near to the place and then followed the signs.

wicket2005
08-24-2009, 08:57 AM
They are good at getting you where you want in the main.

Netty
08-24-2009, 08:57 AM
welcome home Jen, glad you had a great trip! :goodvibes

Pegasus928
08-24-2009, 09:15 AM
We feel that we know our way around the Disney/Universal/I-drive area really well, but we take sat nav with us for one reason. The time that we make a wrong turn and have absolutely no idea where we are and we just want to get home - or back to something familiar.
It's really handy to just go into your favourites folder and pick out the nearest thing you know and tell it to take you there :thumbsup2

howlongtillsummer?
08-24-2009, 02:13 PM
I do not trust SAT Navs! Although the point of needing one if you get lost is very valid. Are they very expensive?

Snowy-girls
08-24-2009, 03:36 PM
Welcome back Jen,sounds like you had a great holiday with only a tiny few hic-cups.x.

wicket2005
08-24-2009, 04:12 PM
I do not trust SAT Navs! Although the point of needing one if you get lost is very valid. Are they very expensive?

Sat Navs have come down a lot in price, Tom Toms usually get the best ratings in reviews but if you ever intend to buy one you should look at the reviews of the current brands available.

Sat Navs are not perfect but they do get you where you want to be and as Pergasus said earlier the ability to just press a button and say 'home' on it is invaluable especially in a country you don't know the areas (good/bad) to be in. We only really had problems with ours when you hit turn offs where 2 roads are very close together and it isn't apparent which right turn it is till you are right on top of the turning but that is just what some of the US roads are like. The only other place is in Disney itself where the roads have changed but our map is an older version so doesn't always realise a road is there.

They certainly beat using a map and especially make life easier for the single driver who doesn't have a navigator telling him/her where to go, or has a lot of roads to remember. However, they do need to be used sensibly and also still with you looking at the signs on the roads as well.

Pooh's-Honey-Pot
08-25-2009, 04:00 PM
Sounds like a great trip!!!

Booknut
08-26-2009, 06:22 AM
Welcome home :) Glad you had a great trip, I knew you'd take to the driving well :goodvibes

Are you going to go back to AKL next year then?

jen_uk
08-26-2009, 08:17 AM
Welcome home :) Glad you had a great trip, I knew you'd take to the driving well :goodvibes

Are you going to go back to AKL next year then?

Hopefully, we will probably book the flights in the next month but can't book AKV until December, I really hope we get in :wizard: