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karentan
09-11-2009, 01:47 AM
we're leaving for the airport in about 4 hours!!!
i'm waiting for delta online check in to open, going to do that, then off to gatwick!! we fly out 9am tomorrow :)

see you all in a couple of weeks :yay:

kevin harrison
09-11-2009, 02:00 AM
Enjoy yourself

strawberry blonde
09-11-2009, 02:05 AM
Have a brilliant time. Hope the parks are quiet. :thumbsup2

iluvtot
09-11-2009, 04:04 AM
we're leaving for the airport in about 4 hours!!!
i'm waiting for delta online check in to open, going to do that, then off to gatwick!! we fly out 9am tomorrow
see you all in a couple of weeks :yay:

Have a super-special time!:)

Jules x

cannp123165
09-11-2009, 04:27 AM
Have a great time! :)

disneyholic family
09-11-2009, 04:28 AM
have a great time!!!!

wayneg
09-11-2009, 05:13 AM
Have a great trip:goodvibes

Pegasus928
09-11-2009, 05:20 AM
Hope you have a safe and uneventful trip - and a fantastic holiday :thumbsup2

jjk
09-11-2009, 05:20 AM
have a great time

Snowy-girls
09-11-2009, 05:22 AM
Hope you have a safe journey+a fantastic holiday :banana:.x.

karentan
09-11-2009, 04:01 PM
we're in the travelodge at the airport at the mo, the room is the same as always, basic but clean, and we've got a room overlooking the south runway which is cool!
Getting the 5.25am bus tomorrow morning to be at the airport by 6 for the 9am flight. Couldnt do delta online check in because of something to do with visas?
Going to try and pop on here a few times during the holiday, will be back in a couple of weeks :)
Thanks to everyone who's helped me plan this time!

suzycute
09-11-2009, 04:56 PM
Hope you have a wonderful trip! :thumbsup2
DD and I are flying out a week today - we have made some t shirts to wear with some lime green mickey heads on with our board names underneath (suzycute and wishspirit) - please come and say hello if you see us! :thumbsup2

howlongtillsummer?
09-11-2009, 04:59 PM
Have a great time and enjoy the magic!

karentan
09-11-2009, 10:43 PM
we couldnt sleep so we're now sat in gatwick airport at 4.40am, having got the 3.20am bus, waiting for check in to open. apparently the flight has been oversold according to delta's website, so hoping we dont have any problems getting onboard!!
i'm going to try and pop in during the holiday with live reports, so if you've got any questions, please ask!

Pegasus928
09-11-2009, 11:24 PM
Fingers crossed that you don't come across any problems.
Sounds like you will be first in the queue when check in opens so hopefully that will go in your favour :thumbsup2

sweetnana
09-11-2009, 11:44 PM
How cute--Pooh made it to the end of your ticker!

Say hello to the love bugs :wave2:--there always seem to be a lot of them in September.

catherine
09-12-2009, 04:05 AM
Hope that you have a magical trip! :goodvibes

karentan
09-14-2009, 11:22 PM
hi everyone from orlando!!
we got here saturday after a very long day travelling, delta flights were very good, our plane didnt have the seatback tvs but we kinda knew about this beforehand so we took laptops and mp3 players. the international leg of our flight got in an hour early, at one point we had a 121mph tail wind!! the 4 and 3/4 hour stopover in atlanta turned into a 6 hour one..... we would fly indirect again, but would make the point of getting a shorter stopover.
ME was excellent, our bus left about 1 minute after we got on it, i think we got lucky with our timing, we stopped at OKW first, then SSR. we checked in at SSR, and immediately were sooo glad we cancelled ASMu and rented DVC points (thanks claire!!). we got a lift from bell services to our room, in the carousel section. we had requested the congress park section, but didnt get it, no biggie though because we are in a really quiet area, havent seen anyone else go into our building since we got here!
the resort isnt as big as people say, from our room to the carriage house is 8 minutes walk through a gorgeous resort. we walked to DTD, didnt time this one, but probably was about 15-20 mins.
we landed at MCO at 7.10pm, by 9.10 we'd taken ME to the resort, checked in, dumped the luggage, and got to MK!!
we went to seaworld yesterday, gary had bought me the 7 hour VIP tour for my birthday, best thing ever. we were the only people in the tour so we had the guide to ourselved all day! because we didnt have anyone else with us, we got round the whole park in a day, we expected to have to go back today to do the rest of the shows and exhibits, but we made such good time that we got to all 3 shows, all of the exhibits, and even got to go backstage to the animal quarantine areas, and the service areas. i absolutely wouldnt hesistate to recommend this to anyone! went to walmart to stock up on food/drinks on the way home, then went to wolfgang puck express for dinner.
today gary went to the gym, we went to the florida mall, gun range, then came back, got changed and went to epcot. had lunch at sunshine seasons, the desserts there are yummy!! my cold has come back with a vengeance, and i have been feeling really ill all day, so we came back to SSR for a few hours, did some laundry while gary went for a swim, then went back to epcot for our 8.55pm ADR at teppan edo. the food there is great, we both had the shrimp and steak combo, yummy!! went to the boardwalk on the way back but everything was pretty much closed or closing by the time we got there.

MK tomorrow and MNSSHP!!

Pegasus928
09-14-2009, 11:39 PM
What a fantastic first few days. Iy certainly sounds like you are enjoying yourselves so far, though I hope your cold starts to disappear soon.
I'm looking forward to what you think of MNSSHP as we have our tickets for later in October.
Have a great night :hmghost:

wayneg
09-15-2009, 03:27 AM
We like a 2 hour change that usually allows for any delays or if early you don't have to wait around too long but we found Atlanta worst we have been thru, would want 3 hours if we go thru there again, our friends missed their connection in July, they only had 90 mins, even though on time transatlantic they couldn't make the connection.

We did the Seaworld tour a few years ago, really enjoyed but it was only $65 with AP discount, not sure I would pay todays rate. Now the one at Busch Gardens thats about $95 incl lunch and feeding giraffes is well worth it, much preffered that tour, we got a guide to ourselves on that one, really makes the day special.

Hope you feel better soon, ....waiting for next update:goodvibes

karentan
09-15-2009, 08:30 AM
the seaworld one includes lunch at dine with shamu, i just couldnt believe how quiet the park was on sunday. i presumed that being a sunday it might be a bit busier because the locals may be out, but it was dead. we walked through wild arctic and didnt see anyone. there was one staff member in there, but no guests at all.
with the tour i got to skip the queues on the rides by either going in the staff entrances or up the exits. when we got to manta, there was only about 6 people on the loading platform.
the 11.30 dine with shamu slot had about 20 people in it. it was so quiet in the park.

MK on saturday night was quite busy, but we got there just as spectro was finishing and wishes was due to start within about half an hour. main street was heaving, but i'm sure the rest of the park wasnt as busy. we went on stitch's great escape (at garys request), then went back to the hotel as we were shattered at that point.

epcot yesterday was quiet too. the restaurants round WS were busy, due to the free dining i guess, but the usual hoards of crowds that are normally there for illuminations just werent there. it was cool walking back round a deserted WS after dinner though.

weather has been quite good too, very warm and humid but not too much rain. it chucked it down just as we were leaving seaworld on sunday, and we got caught in that before we got to the car, but its been good apart from that.

dropped the hire car (PT cruiser!!) back this morning, and off to MK later, with MNSSHP later!! i'm dosing myself up with cold and flu stuff at the mo, and hoping that this cold goes soon :)

wayneg
09-15-2009, 08:41 AM
the seaworld one includes lunch at dine with shamu,

It included a really nice buffet at side of the whales when we did it, is it the same? all you can eat Seaworld carrot cake:cloud9:

karentan
09-15-2009, 08:59 AM
yeah its the one next to the killer whale tanks, its still all you can eat and drink, includes beer, so gary was happy!!
we thought it was great value for money, even better that we were the only people on the tour, so we blasted through the whole park. amanda our tour guide was amazing too, ended up giving her a big tip and went and filled in one of the comment forms at guest services, i know at disney that they go on their employment records, i'm guessing its the same at seaworld?

gemmybear83
09-15-2009, 11:40 AM
Your trip is sounding fantastic I am looking forward to reading more updates :goodvibes

hunty
09-15-2009, 11:59 AM
Sounds cool, we are in the Grandstand we arrived Saturday as well so hello:rotfl2:, and I agree its really quiet, but did the behind the scenes tour yesterday at Disney and there were 32 of us!:mad: wasnt what I expected

Just finished a round of golf at LBV and only took 3 hours 20 minutes just the 2 of us nobody else infornt or behind, just how golf should be. Now lets see what Epct is like

sandshal
09-15-2009, 12:08 PM
the seaworld one includes lunch at dine with shamu, i just couldnt believe how quiet the park was on sunday. i presumed that being a sunday it might be a bit busier because the locals may be out, but it was dead. we walked through wild arctic and didnt see anyone. there was one staff member in there, but no guests at all.
with the tour i got to skip the queues on the rides by either going in the staff entrances or up the exits. when we got to manta, there was only about 6 people on the loading platform.
the 11.30 dine with shamu slot had about 20 people in it. it was so quiet in the park.

MK on saturday night was quite busy, but we got there just as spectro was finishing and wishes was due to start within about half an hour. main street was heaving, but i'm sure the rest of the park wasnt as busy. we went on stitch's great escape (at garys request), then went back to the hotel as we were shattered at that point.

epcot yesterday was quiet too. the restaurants round WS were busy, due to the free dining i guess, but the usual hoards of crowds that are normally there for illuminations just werent there. it was cool walking back round a deserted WS after dinner though.

weather has been quite good too, very warm and humid but not too much rain. it chucked it down just as we were leaving seaworld on sunday, and we got caught in that before we got to the car, but its been good apart from that.

dropped the hire car (PT cruiser!!) back this morning, and off to MK later, with MNSSHP later!! i'm dosing myself up with cold and flu stuff at the mo, and hoping that this cold goes soon :)

Hi Karen ... was the polar bear awake? I've only ever caught him swimming once and it was a real treat .... the last 3 visits he's been sleeping!!!!

I've always worried he's lonely but apparently they have 3 polar bears and rotate their time on view in separation.

Sharon xx

karentan
09-15-2009, 11:15 PM
nah he was asleep!!

MK was so quiet today, we got the bus in and got to the park about 11.30. splash mountain was closed when we got to that part of the park due to a technical problem, but was back up working within about half an hour. within the first hour and a bit we'd had a look through a load of the shops (i was looking for a cool pair of ears i like, but didnt find any), went on splash mountain once, and BTMRR 3 times. even managed to get gary to ride BTMRR, he doesnt like coasters at all, so was really surprised that hee went on it, and he even enjoyed it!! (plan on trying to get him on tower of terror next!!)the waits for all the rides were non existant, we did pretty much all the rides today, and most of them were max of 5 minutes standby. the longest queue i saw all day was 25 mins for snow white, but that had come down to 5-10 mins later too.
had dinner in the castle, not as great as last year, but still not too bad. MNSSHP was great, we managed to fill our trick or treat bags up to the top, between us we've probably got about 4lbs of candy!! the fireworks were great as always, and loved the parade!

going to have a lie in tomorrow, and then AK for the day and EMH, then off to the wilderness lodge for dinner at whispering canyon cafe!

hunty, how busy is it over in the grandstand? we've been here since saturday, and today is the first day we've seen anyone in our whole building!!

Pegasus928
09-15-2009, 11:52 PM
Pleased to hear that you enjoyed MNSSHP - we are really looking forward to our night there.
We have Whispering Canyon booked as well - though they had toned down the interaction between the guests and servers due to complaints when we were last there so I would be interested to hear about your experience.
Hope you have a good day :thumbsup2

jayduk
09-16-2009, 04:46 AM
Where is the gun range you speak of??...Is there a website for this? Sounds like an experience!

T16GEM
09-16-2009, 06:07 AM
Looks like you are having a fantastic time Karen!

Honestly I don't know how you all manage to get into MK after your flight! We are always too tired to even think about going to a park! :lmao:

I saw on Facebook that you had got lots of sweeties from the Halloween Party! :thumbsup2

Looking forward to hearing more!

wideeyes
09-16-2009, 06:33 AM
hi everyone from orlando!!
we got here saturday after a very long day travelling, delta flights were very good, our plane didnt have the seatback tvs but we kinda knew about this beforehand so we took laptops and mp3 players. the international leg of our flight got in an hour early, at one point we had a 121mph tail wind!! the 4 and 3/4 hour stopover in atlanta turned into a 6 hour one..... we would fly indirect again, but would make the point of getting a shorter stopover.
ME was excellent, our bus left about 1 minute after we got on it, i think we got lucky with our timing, we stopped at OKW first, then SSR. we checked in at SSR, and immediately were sooo glad we cancelled ASMu and rented DVC points (thanks claire!!).

Hi, glad you checked in okay and everything went okay with ME, hope you enjoy the rest of your stay. :goodvibes

wayneg
09-16-2009, 07:14 AM
Honestly I don't know how you all manage to get into MK after your flight! We are always too tired to even think about going to a park! :lmao:


If we fly indirect we can't manage it but if we go direct and get there mid afternoon its plenty of time to drop bags at hotel, quick shower and out to MK, Did it last Xmas day, even DMIL in her 70's.

hunty
09-16-2009, 07:23 AM
Hi Karen, the Grandstand is empty, we havent seen anyone in our block other than a huge (and I mean huge) Moth:eek:

Maybe they all leave before us and arrive after us at night, there are 5 cars in the car park outside our block so there must be others here. The pool also had 5 people sun bathing yesterday.
We went to Epcot yesterday and the wait time for Soarin and fasttrack was 45 minutes each, but everything else was walk on.

karentan
09-16-2009, 07:41 AM
jay, the gun range we went to was reigs gun shop and shooting range, 5512 south orange blossom trail, orlando, 32839, its about 5 mins from the florida mall.
i found it by googling it last year, and went back this year because gary liked it so much (he went to military school so grew up with guns). they have changed the rules this year so you have to go into the range in 2s. the second person doesnt have to shoot but both people have to be in there.

karentan
09-16-2009, 07:44 AM
there's about a half dozen cars outside our block too, but only seen 2 other rooms in the whole building that look like they've got people in them. we were taking the bus back from MNSSHP last night and the majority of the bus got off at grandstand stop, so i'm guessing thats one of the busier areas of the resort right now.

off to AK today, EMH tonight, then whispering canyon cafe tonight. i hope they havent taken all the fun out as thats the reason i booked it.

jayduk
09-16-2009, 07:48 AM
jay, the gun range we went to was reigs gun shop and shooting range, 5512 south orange blossom trail, orlando, 32839, its about 5 mins from the florida mall.
i found it by googling it last year, and went back this year because gary liked it so much (he went to military school so grew up with guns). they have changed the rules this year so you have to go into the range in 2s. the second person doesnt have to shoot but both people have to be in there.

Cool thanks, enjoy AK!! :cool1:

karentan
09-16-2009, 07:56 AM
when we were going round magic kingdom during MNSSHP getting all the candy we noticed that a lot of the stations were giving out boxes of raisins (i guess to try and give the kids something healthy?).
well we've just counted them and between me and gary we've got 25 boxes of raisins!! mmmm, NOT!!

wayneg
09-16-2009, 09:31 AM
well we've just counted them and between me and gary we've got 25 boxes of raisins!! mmmm, NOT!!

We like the raisens but dump any Hersheys choc.

Mrs Doubtfire
09-16-2009, 01:44 PM
Enjoyng your reports so far - Sea World tour sounds great - glad you enjoyed your birthday present :)

jockey
09-16-2009, 02:36 PM
Really enjoying your reports, will look forward to hear what you think of WCC, we ate there in may they food was OK but great atmosphere! We are staying at WL next trip and will eat at WCC again, the kids love it

fairytale
09-16-2009, 03:37 PM
Hiya Karen.

Great report so far :thumbsup2

Were due to arrive in just over three weeks, staying at SSR and would love to hear more about the resort.

I have requested the Grandstand section, mainly for the pool as I hear its great for children, but just slightly concerned how long it will take for us to walk to DTD from this section.

karentan
09-16-2009, 05:51 PM
wayne, where do you live? we'll post the raisins out to you!! :rotfl: i dont think we'll be eating them.....

fairytale, not sure about the grandstand section, but we're in the carousel and it takes us about 20 mins to walk to DTD, but its a really nice walk so we dont mind. apparently the buses come approx every 20 mins so it might be easier for you to get the bus?

buses have been great so far, went to AK today, timed it from when we sat down at the bus stop to when the bus came, took 8 mins for bus to AK, then 8 mins again for bus from AKL to SSR. while we were sat waiting for the bus (at about 10am) to AK, 2 buses for MK went past. really impressed with the buses so far.
i know a lot of people complain that it takes ages to get to the parks, but we dont find it that bad. from AKL to SSR took about 35 mins, but we went via blizzard beach and then carousel is the second stop. if we had a car, we might get to the parking lots quicker, but then you have to park and get the tram to the front of the park, which takes time, especially with MK where you have to get the boat/monorail to the park itself, whereas the buses go straight to the front gate.
we might be being lucky, and if so i've just majorly jinxed it, but the buses are fine in my opinion.

anyway, went to AKL today, it's EMH tonight, so were planning to stay late, but it was a lot busier, i think my plan of hitting EMH might get changed. ride queues were noticably longer today, about 40-50 mins for the main rides. fastpass were not on at kali which i think is stupid given how hot it was, but oh well.
went to camp minnie mickey first, got a few photos, we're in a photopass share so this is the first time that we're actually getting all the photos so trying to take more this time.
had to pizzafari for lunch, had pepperoni pizza which was one of the best pizzas i've had in ages, followed by choc cake and apple pie, me and gary went half-ers on both, and they were both yummy.
got fast passes for the safari then went over to asia, waited 45 mins in the standby queue for kali (no fastpasses, grr), then i went on EE, went in the single rider line and got on within 5 mins, went back to the safari, good as always, but i dont remember that bridge shaking last time! then went to dinoland, went on primieval (sp?) whirl and dinosaur, then decided to come back to SSR.
got back, went for a dip in the paddock pool while doing some laundry, and about to go out for dinner to WCC.

still got the remnants of this cold so annoyingly had to postpone divequest, the only time i can fit it in is next tuesday, which means i had to change my sanaa dinner to a lunch, which wasnt too happy with but i cant dive with blocked sinuses :(

fairytale, is there anything specific you want to know about SSR?

anyway, gotta go, got to get ready to go out for dinner!

wayneg
09-16-2009, 06:03 PM
Enjoy Dinner, we enjoyed WCC last month. :thumbsup2

Pegasus928
09-16-2009, 11:48 PM
Sounds great so far - apart form your cold of course so I hope that clears up for you soon, especially as it is already meaning you have to rearrange things.
I also hope you haven't jinxed your buses - though I am sure you will tell us if you have ;)

torsie24
09-17-2009, 01:44 AM
Your trip sounds super so far! :)

Can't wait to hear more! Here's hoping the parks stay as quiet for the next two weeks!

Laurafoster
09-17-2009, 02:36 AM
Sounds like your having a wonderful time. We're going to SSR in November so glad to hear the resort is so lovely!

howlongtillsummer?
09-17-2009, 02:11 PM
Hope you get rid of your cold soon. Thanks for thinking of us.

karentan
09-17-2009, 02:30 PM
hi everyone,
went to WCC last night, took the bus from SSR to MK, then the boat from MK to WL. bus from the carousel stop was there in 12 mins, and took 22 mins to get to MK. i've still got absolutely no issues with the buses, not sure what people are complaing about? i mean it'll take the same amount of time if not longer to drive to MK, park, get the parking tram, then get the ferry to the main gates. the buses drop off right outside the park, whats the problem??!! :rotfl: resort hopping would definately be easier with a car but its still not that bad with a bit of thought.

anyway, WCC was cool, we werent sat in the main dining room, which at first i was a bit disappointed with. theres what seems to be an overflow area through the back of the restaurant, that backs onto the pin trading cart, with 8 tables in it. we were sat there. didnt see too much of the WCC goings on, we were a bit out of the way, but we heard a lot going on. saw the ketchup thing one time and a lot of shouting. it was very loud in the main room, so it was probably a good thing that we were out back.
gary ordered the skillet and i got the rib eye steak. the cornbread was as good as i remember it being from last year, its the only cornbread i've eaten that tasted nice! they bought out garys skillet with 2 plates which i thought was odd, and then our server asked what was wrong when i put the second plate over the other side of the table, i said i ordered the steak, he looked at his pad, realised he made a mistake, apologised, and 5 mins later i had a perfectly cooked steak. after that we realised gary must have got the skillet for 2 as there were 2 of everything on there, and i had probably the best steak i've ever eaten, it was soooo good. very nice tender steak, nice cut and perfectly cooked.
i presume they get a lot of requests for dessert to go as he offered us it to eat in or take out without us having to ask. we got 2 smores cheesecakes to go, one of which i'm eating right now and its GOOD!!!
got the bus from WL to DTD, only waited about 4-5 mins for the bus to turn up, gary got a rum runner from the margarita booth and we walked back.

gary played a round of golf this morning, had a 7.36am tee time so had to get up way too early, but he played the lake buena vista course, and the pro shop is right on SSR so we walked there. great course, winds through OKW, SSR and round the back of POR and POFQ, i drove the cart (they have GPS on them which is a nice touch, shows yardages and such!), then we went back to DTD to get some lunch. went to wolfgang puck express again, we both had pizza and frozen yogurt for dessert.

really liking the dining plan so far, although you do have to do quite a bit of advance planning, which doesnt work for some people, its nice being able to order anything you want off the menu without having to worry about price, or having to skip restaurants if you overspent the day before etc.

we've got chef mickeys tonight, havent been in 4 years, we went there for our wedding meal, so will be nice to see if its changed any.

karentan
09-17-2009, 03:24 PM
just copied all my photos so far from the memory card to the computer, we've only been here since saturday night and i've taken 1275 photos already :scared1: lol
not all of them are keepers, but even i was shocked when i added them up!

wayneg
09-17-2009, 04:11 PM
You were sat where we were last month at WCC. Same with us disappointed at 1st but still enjoyed it there. Sounded very loud in the main area. Maybe next time we will get in there to try it. Matt had his dessert to go, Myself and Karen had fruit salad for dessert and ate it there, it was really good.

Matt eats cornbread wherever available, I don't get it, I feel as though it should have custard on:rotfl2:

Only bus we tried was to Hoop Dee Doo, would have taken 5 mins in car but took about 1hr 15mins by bus, the 1st 20 mins waiting at resort bus stop in the August sun was enough for us without the next 55 mins getting to DTD chamging buses and getting on a bus with a really stroppy driver. Then another change at outpost to get to pioneer hall. We are just not a bus friendly family, hate everything about them. Glad eveyone is not the same though or the roads would have more cars blocking my way:goodvibes

We only did CM at breakfast, fully booked for evening meal so never got to try it.

Photos I cut back a bit this trip, usually do 1,000's but used photopass and didn't take as many myself. Just doing borders again on photopass website, taking hours to do.

Keep having fun!!

Cyrano
09-17-2009, 04:56 PM
Sounds like you are having a great time :)

hunty
09-17-2009, 05:02 PM
We had lunch on Monday at WWC as part of the backstage tour, it was my birthday , I had my badge on and I expected as per previous visits to be in big trouble :rotfl:

I must say they have calmed down a lot, no throwing of straws, no cheering, no extra large coke refills:confused3

Maybe people have complained:scared1: , but to me its not as good as it was.

Might see you in Chef Mickey tonight Karen, as we are now checkin at Bay Lake Towers:cool1: and still figuring out what to do with these DDP:confused: maybe I will see if I can turn them into beer:banana:

I agree with you on the bus, but we always hire a car:confused3

wayneg
09-17-2009, 05:07 PM
We had lunch on Monday at WWC as part of the backstage tour, it was my birthday , I had my badge on and I expected as per previous visits to be in big trouble :rotfl:

I must say they have calmed down a lot, no throwing of straws, no cheering, no extra large coke refills:confused3

Maybe people have complained:scared1: , but to me its not as good as it was.



No idea what it was like before but last month we had straws and serviettes thrown at us, told me to move my camera off the table if I didn't want food all over it. Every 2 mins Ketchup routine, very noisy in main area but I can't compare it to what it was like before as 1st visit.

karentan
09-17-2009, 08:22 PM
i had the cornbread for the first time as part of the backstage magic tour last year, never had it before so didnt know what to expect. really liked it at WCC, bought some from publix a week or so later, didnt eat much of it, it wasnt nice. i bought some packet mix to make at home and that was totally inedible. but last nights was good!

we've just got back from chef mickeys. first of all, buses were no prob, waited 3 mins for a bus to MK, and 1 min at MK for the bus back. walked between MK and CR.
now the last time we went to chef mickeys was 4 years ago, we got married in the wedding pavilion, then went to chef mickeys for our wedding meal (i wanted the characters but couldnt afford the extortionate price to have them at the actual wedding). so any memory i have of chef mickeys is probably tainted by the great experience of being there as a 9 strong wedding party with me in my wedding dress and gary in a kilt. we got quite a bit of character interaction that time as i think it was something a bit different for the cast members.
we got to CR at about 6.40, had a quick look round the shops, but then decided to get in the queue as there were about 30-40 people in the queue. got checked in no prob and got our pager, i think we were maybe 5 mins or so past our ADR time.
we got taken to our seats by a CM who told us who the characters were, then she left. mickey and donald came straight over, good timing i think, then we went to get our dinner. i asked a passing waiter for a coke, who then came over, introduced himself as our waiter, but then almost got in a strop over the fact that we obviously hadnt been told to wait for him before hitting the buffet and that we should have waited for him.
he just seemed really stroppy and like he didnt want to be there. now i get that it is a very busy place, and their turnover of tables is very high and fast, but i dont think we should have got the grief because we didnt wait for him.
the food was good though, not a huge amount of variety, seemed to be a lot of salad stuff but not a huge amount of "mains", but the beef was very good, lots of shrimp (but i couldnt find any mayo anywhere to make some proper cocktail sauce - i cant stand the american cocktail sauce :( ), and the mash potato was great. we made our own sundae for dessert and they had a nice selection of "posh"er desserts too.

i cant fault the food, but we only got 3 of the 5 characters, and the waiter left a lot to be desired. we did leave a tip, but only $5, i think leaving nothing would have been a bit harsh because he was good at clearing and getting drinks, just a bit of an attitude check would have been great!!

to be honest i dont think we'll be going to chef mickeys or WCC a third time, the food was good but the experience wasnt as good as last time. i think next visit its time to try new places :)

we've got le cellier for dinner tomorrow, were supposed to be doing divequest too but i've had to postpone it because of this damn cold. never eaten there before so should be good.

karentan
09-17-2009, 08:34 PM
hunty, did you like the backstage magic tour? we did it last year and were a bit disappointed with it, we seemed to rush through all the cool bits then spent ages in the boring bits. we spent an hour and a half in the laundry building for crying out loud!!

karentan
09-17-2009, 08:35 PM
oops forgot to add, not sure if a load of people have just turned up today (maybe because of the weekend?) but the buses to and from MK tonight were both standing room only.
there still seems to be hardly anyone in our building but i think a load of people are staying in the grandstand because the buses seem to pretty much empty out there.
me and gary both did the nice thing and gave up our seats to kids and families, but i'm still surprised at the amount of adults who dont, then sit looking at the floor to avoid eye contact with the people carrying small children :(

hunty
09-17-2009, 10:00 PM
Hi Karen
I agree with you , the backstage tour was a let down, we also spent a long time in the laundry :faint:, and the greenhouses, and the paint shop (where there was no painting going on!)
The best bit of the tour was in MK, and we spent 30 minutes of that watching the 3pm parade:confused3

Like you I am not sure what happened today with the crowds we were in MK, and it was as busy as it is between Christmas and New year:eek::eek:

However the Bar at the top of the world in BLT is fantastic and we spent all evening there after watching the fireworks from our bedroom balcony.:yay:

btw Think I saw you driving the golf buggy at LBV golf when I went for coffee this morning, I thought who are these crazy people playing golf this early:rolleyes:

Pegasus928
09-18-2009, 12:00 AM
Good reporting again Karen - can't wait to see some photos.
We normally take loads of pics as well - and I can't see this October being any different as we will have some 'newbies' with us ;)

I definately noticed a difference between out 2 visits to WCC. 1st time was laugh a minute with all the stuff being shouted out, one woman got her fork taped to her hand *** she kept dropping it, people being shouted at for being on a mobile phone etc. 2nd time all that happened was the ketchup routine. We mentioned the difference to our server and she said that because of complaints they had been told to tone it down :confused3 Shame in my opinion as it is what made the place so much fun.

Keep on havin fun :thumbsup2

karentan
09-18-2009, 04:49 PM
our original plan for today was to hit epcot as we'd had divequest booked, and le cellier for dinner, tomorrow was to be HS for EMH. but we decided to change that round after we realised how much busier parks get with the EMH (epcot EMH today, HS EMH tomorrow). so we went to HS today instead.
there was a meet and greet with one of the hannah montana stars, and fantasmic was on too so it was still busy. got there about 10.30, went down to ToT to get fastpasses ( my plan was to get gary to try and ride it - back story, gary HATES rollercoasters, he's scared of them, but so far i've managed to get him to ride splash, and even managed BTMRR), then i went on rock and roller coaster. the single rider queue took ages because it seemed that everyone was riding in 2s. got there eventually though, went outside to meet gary, and was shocked when he said that he'd been watching all the little kids coming out saying they love it, and if they can manage it, he should too.
so we rejoined the queue, he spent the whole 20 mins trying to fight the temptation to walk back out down the queue line. got through to the pre show then loaded. he actually really enjoyed it. so much so that he said he wants to go back on it again! so i think i've cured his coaster fear. still cant get him to go on ToT though. :( as a reward for not dying on it i bought him a beer :rotfl:
went and got some fastpasses for toy story, but didnt look at the sign first, and got a return time of 6.55-7.55 (we got them at about 11.30am). cant make this time as we've got a 7.45pm le cellier reservation, so we're going to go back tomorrow morning to ride it. went on the backstage lot tour, its starting to look really tired and old, i think its time they either did something to revamp this or tear it out totally.
had lunch at pizza planet, then went to muppets 3d and star tours. we went back to rock and roller coaster, then came back to the hotel. its wayyyyy too hot here today. i think its hotter than it has been the last few days.
bus to HS came within 1 minute, and on the way back we waited 14 mins. stopped at the springs stop on the way back for a drink at the pool bar, and bought a couple of bottles of diet coke from artists palatte.
off to epcot at about 6.30, got a 7.45 le cellier reservation. the plan for tomorrow is to hit HS for morning EMH, then maybe come back to the hotel in the afternoon, then off to MK in the evening, i've booked the dessert party for the fireworks. should be yummy!!

karentan
09-18-2009, 04:51 PM
i think i'm going to leave the posting of photos til i get back as i need to sort them all out and upload them, and the net connection and garys mini laptop probably cant handle it!!

oh forgot to add:
yesterday on the way to MK in the evening we stopped at the entrance of the bus stops at MK by a big white van, then buses were quite backed up, but as it was nearly park closing i just thought that there were too many buses and that we had to wait for a stop.
when we got back to SSR we had a voicemail from the hotel apologising for the delays in the buses. we didnt have any delays so again didnt think anything of it.

just seen on the news that they found a suspicious package attached under one of the disney buses, apparently it wasnt a bomb but they're refusing to say what it was. there were aerial photos of all the buses lined up down one of the roads obviously waiting to be checked out.

i'm guessing that the white van at the front of MK was checking under all the buses as they were coming into the park to make sure its all ok.

to us this shows that disney are very competent at coping with things like this, we took a few buses yesterday and didnt notice any problems at all.

well done disney!

Pegasus928
09-19-2009, 12:39 AM
Well done on getting Gary over his coaster fear. Now all you have to do is get him over to Universal and onto Hulk, Duelling Dragons, HRRR :lmao:

Good luck with that one :thumbsup2

karentan
09-19-2009, 03:47 PM
hi everyone!
le cellier last night was awesome, gary had the chef special 3-course thingy, he had the spicy chicken and chipotle sausage (spicy was an understatement, it definately had a kick to it!!), the spice rubbed prime rib, then the maple creme brulee. i had the new york strip steak followed by the chocolate moose.
seriously i've never seen a bigger steak served in a restaurant in my entire life. they were HUGE!!! the breadsticks were yummy too! we stayed in epcot after dinner for a couple of hours at EMH, went to the living seas, went on nemo and saw turtle talk, then went to spaceship earth on the way back to the bus stop.

today we got up at 7.30 because its morning EMH at HS and i wanted to try get on toy story, the queues were huge yesterday and our fastpass return time was 6.55 which didnt work for us because of le cellier.
so we got to HS at about 8.15, again no probs with the buses, went on RnRC, which broke down just before we were due to get on it, this freaked gary out so we left to come back later, and were given re-entry passes which was a nice touch on disneys part. i went on ToT after that. we got a bagel from the stand near ToT, which was a huge mistake as we felt ill for the rest of the morning (we're going to the MK dessert party for "dinner" tonight so would have ended up with counter service credits left over, so decided to have the bagel for brekkie and to use up 2 credits). headed over to toy story to get the fast passes, got a few photos with some of the characters, went to little mermaid, one mans dream, and the back of the animation building for the characters, then went back to toy story. we then headed to RnRC to use our re-entry passes, and had a 1.05pm reservation at 50s prime time cafe.
this restaurant was as fun as it was last year, got a great server who made gary set the table as he asked for cherry coke and that "takes longer to make" :rotfl: a couple of girls were apparently being sarcastic to their waiter so he made them stand against the wall, then later made them clear their own plates and walk them to the kitchen!! :)
gary got the meatloaf and i got the pot roast like last year, i had a strawberry sundae for dessert, and gary got the cheesecake to go.

we headed back to the resort, garys having a sleep, i've done some laundry and had a walk around taking more photos while the washing machines were going.
off out to MK later for the dessert party, got to pack everything up tonight because this is our last night here, tomorrow we move to animal kingdom villas!!

wayneg
09-19-2009, 03:59 PM
Glad you enjoyed Le Cellier, as I have posted a few times I was really impressed with Le Cellier, just couldn't understand why its only 1 credit but Cali Grill is 2, we by far preffered Le cellier.

I had the NY strip, doesn't look too big in pic but it filled me. Enjoy the Dessert buffet.:cloud9:

http://i6.photobucket.com/albums/y236/wayneg1/August%2009/IMG_1222Medium.jpg

karentan
09-20-2009, 05:09 PM
well we went to the MK last night, went on a couple of rides, and gary found out what i meant when i said BTMRR would be tame after going on RnRC!
went to check in for the dessert party, the staggered times didnt work at all, there was a huge queue when we got there, but it moved pretty quick. there were a lot more people in there than i thought there would be, but we didnt get an assigned table with our name on it. the queue for the buffet at first was crazy busy, but it did die down afterwards. they were very good at replenishing the buffet, they were constantly bringing more stuff out. the choc strawberries were excellent but we did feel sick afterwards!
we went up to the railing to get a view for the fireworks, it was great seeing wishes and not having the whole park banging into you all the time. although the person behind me throwing up did put a bit of a downer on it, ewww.
we decided to leave after wishes, and even with the park rapidly emptying out, the bus came within 2 mins but it filled up so we had to wait for the next one. that one came within 10 mins so still good. we sat right at the back, but still gave our seats away when a couple of small kids came on and all the other adults just looked the other way and avoided eye contact :(

this morning we packed up our luggage and took the (not normally long, but very long when you're dragging 4 heavy cases) long walk to the carriage house. dropped off the cases with bell services to transport them to the AKV, then went and sat in artists palate for 5 mins to try and catch our breath back, it has seemed way hotter today than the past week.
we decided to pop to HS as gary wanted to go on RnRC again, but the bus took ages to come (the only problem we've had with the buses all week) so decided to go to AK instead, i wanted to try and get gary to go on everest. eventually convinced him that the going backwards part isnt as bad as he thought, and he ended up enjoying it so much that we went back on it.
we left AK after that as we had a 1.45 crystal palace reservation, so got the bus to the TTC, then got the ferry to the MK. went to our reservation, had a nice lunch, watched the parade, then got the bus to AKL. bus took 2 mins to come and went to AKL via kidani village. there didnt seem to be any air con on the bus at the back so we were a mushy mess by the time we got to the hotel.
checked in with no prob, we're in room 5545 at the end of zebra trail. we overlook one of the people pens but so far we've seen 2 giraffes, an eland and 2 ankole cattle.
went for a swim, and we're off back out to the Mk later for EMH.

karentan
09-20-2009, 07:20 PM
last time we were at the AKL we had a perfect view of the middle of arusha savannah. when we checked in today we were given a room right at the end of zebra trail, to my left i can see the corner of the stick-y out bit of the building and i overlook one of the people pens, was a bit disappointed at first but not any more......

i can see the hollywood studios lights,
i can hear the CMs practising the jamming jungle parade at AK,
and I CAN SEE WISHES FROM MY BALCONY!!!!!! its over the trees but it looks like its a perfect head on view of the fireworks!!
this is sooooo cool!

had pizza from mara for dinner, and about to head out to MK for extra magic hours!!

Pegasus928
09-20-2009, 11:31 PM
Pleased to see that you are happy with your room.
And getting Gary on EE, considering that a week ago he was not too keen on coasters is a huge achievmnet on his part. :thumbsup2

torsie24
09-21-2009, 01:52 AM
Wow! Your room sounds awesome Karen!!

Hope you continue having a great holiday! xxx

wayneg
09-21-2009, 03:55 AM
Gary sounds just like me 16 years ago, took some persuading to get on the rides. Now there isn't a ride in the world I won't do.:goodvibes

karentan
09-21-2009, 08:55 AM
he keeps pestering me saying he wants to go back on RnRC!!! the last couple of times i lost count of how many times we went on test track because that was one of the few things he'd go on, but now at least i get to be dragged on the interesting rides!!
went to MK last night and met up with one of the couples from our cruise meet thread!
off to biergarten at epcot for lunch, then ohanas for dinner with the rest of the cruise meet people!

Netty
09-21-2009, 09:26 AM
he keeps pestering me saying he wants to go back on RnRC!!! the last couple of times i lost count of how many times we went on test track because that was one of the few things he'd go on, but now at least i get to be dragged on the interesting rides!!
went to MK last night and met up with one of the couples from our cruise meet thread!
off to biergarten at epcot for lunch, then ohanas for dinner with the rest of the cruise meet people!

we were at magic kingdom yesterday to!!! :thumbsup2 wow it was so hot!

wayneg
09-21-2009, 09:33 AM
we were at magic kingdom yesterday to!!! :thumbsup2 wow it was so hot!

Hope you and Ian are enjoying yourselves.

Its quiet here without you:rotfl2:

Netty
09-21-2009, 09:54 AM
Hope you and Ian are enjoying yourselves.

Its quiet here without you:rotfl2:

:rotfl:
I was going to start my own live reports thread, but i'm not on the laptop every day! been to Mannys -thanks wayne-it was great-fantastic food!took some photos of the food...:cloud9:
had my very first dolewhip at mk yesterday as well!:thumbsup2
sorry to jump on your thread karen- have a great holiday!!!

karentan
09-21-2009, 03:09 PM
nah go ahead netty! if you're in epcot tomorrow me and gary will be doing the 5.30pm divequest :)

we went to epcot this morning as we had a biergarten lunch booked, we got fastpasses for soarin then went for a walk round world showcase, had lunch (biergarten was dead when we got there at 12.20pm, food was ok, i booked this for gary as i know he'd like it but i didnt eat too much, as i'm not into all the spicy sausages etc, but the desserts were good).
went on soarin afterwards, then went to turtle talk. it started clouding over and raining so we decided to come back to the hotel. we're off out for dinner at ohanas later, and are just chilling in the hotel at the mo. :)

joolz1910
09-21-2009, 03:41 PM
I'm really enjoying your updates, Karen. Btw, I think it's really nice that you give your seat up on the bus. I have 3 kids, so I really appreciate kind people like you.:goodvibes I hope you enjoy the rest of your holiday.

Laurafoster
09-22-2009, 02:17 AM
Sounds like your having a fab time!
My mums card turned up this morning right on time as her bday is tomorrow!! Thank you so much for posting that for me!

Pegasus928
09-22-2009, 02:47 AM
Gary sounds just like me 16 years ago, took some persuading to get on the rides. Now there isn't a ride in the world I won't do.:goodvibes

Does that include the ones on the top of the Stratosphere at Las Vegas. I would love to do those, and a week in Vegas to be honest, while I am still young (ish)

Keep up the reports Karen :thumbsup2

Lovin them so far.

wayneg
09-22-2009, 02:56 AM
Does that include the ones on the top of the Stratosphere at Las Vegas. I would love to do those, and a week in Vegas to be honest, while I am still young (ish)

Keep up the reports Karen :thumbsup2

Lovin them so far.

We were all set to do them when we were in Vegas but ran out of time, 4 nights was not enough, needed another 2 at least. Missed everything North of Venetian, wanted to do rides ontop of Stratoshere and the Freemont experience. Next time:thumbsup2

fairytale
09-22-2009, 06:47 AM
Does that include the ones on the top of the Stratosphere at Las Vegas. I would love to do those, and a week in Vegas to be honest, while I am still young (ish)

Keep up the reports Karen :thumbsup2

Lovin them so far.

Never, ever, ever again will I even look at that ride never mind ride it.

In all seriousness we past a guy on the stairs who had "lost it" completely after riding and had to be helped down by paramedics, he just could not stand up :lmao: Sorry for laughing but after the event it was rather funny, it was clear at the time there was nothing seriously wrong with him, he had just simply lost the will to walk again :lmao:

Still loving your reports Karen, thank you :thumbsup2

karentan
09-22-2009, 09:15 AM
laura, really glad the card turned up ok, i guessed at the postage a bit so i was hoping it got there ok!!

we've got sanaa for lunch and divequest today, still got the tail end of a cold but hoping its ok to dive.

we went out to MK last night to get the monorail to the poly for dinner. we had the funniest bus driver ever, halfway through i saw him put a bandana on, then he hooked a furry parrot off the rear view mirror, then we heard an announcement (an official disney one - cant believe they actually have these prerecorded) warning that theres pirates on the bus, and the driver is waving a plastic sword at us!! he did a name the parrot game - we decided on mcnugget - and a quiz, he was great. really good fun.
had a quick look in the MK shops, then got the monorail, got off at GF and bought a cute photoframe for one of our cruise meet couples who got married on saturday.
we walked to the poly via the wedding pavilion, then met up with our cruise meet tablemates for dinner.
ohanas was a lot nicer than last year, last year the meat was quite dry, and werent that impressed with it. we werent going to go back but no one could get a table for 2 so we all decided to get a table for 8 and treat it as kind of a mini pre cuise meet. were not disappointed, everything was great, we had a great table up the corner next to the windows so we got to watch wishes while the water pageant was going past!!

divequest today!!

Cyrano
09-22-2009, 09:25 AM
Sounds like you are having a great time Karen :)

Would love to know what you think of Sanaa. We had to miss out on an ADR here on our last day as the timing no longer worked because of a change in the flight time :)

Netty
09-22-2009, 09:38 AM
nah go ahead netty! if you're in epcot tomorrow me and gary will be doing the 5.30pm divequest :)

Hi Karen, would of loved to see you do that, but tonight we will be at mnsshp! anyone there-look out for a couple of hippies :rotfl:

fairytale
09-22-2009, 11:45 AM
You know I got every single ADR on my list including CRT at 8.00am :woohoo: but I could not for the life of me get an ADR for Saana.

Would love to know with envy what you think of it;)

wayneg
09-22-2009, 11:57 AM
Me too as over half of reviews I read about Sanaa are not impressed, latest one I read was Su's here http://www.thedibb.co.uk/forums/showthread.php?t=331576&page=4
We had it on our list for August but took it off after poor reviews I read, although I also read a few bad reviews on Tutto Itallia and loved that, took that off our list then glad we put it back on.

karentan
09-22-2009, 09:24 PM
we had lunch booked at sanaa for 1.15pm, but went in at 12 and asked for an earlier seating and got in no prob. it wasnt that busy, i've heard that theres been problems with the ADR system, so that might say why its booked?

we got up about 9.30, we were up quite late last night with our cruise buddies so wanted a lie in. i went and did some laundry at the AKV laundrette, its located at the start of the zebra trail just off the lobby on floor 5, but you need your room key to get in the door.
we decided to head over to kidani village early and try and get an earlier ADR time, so we walked over there. the walk itself wasnt too bad but why oh why do they make you walk through the (really UGLY) parking garage to get to the lobby? kinda spoiled the nice walk.
now i heard that the lobby at kidani was smaller than jambo, but i wasnt prepared for quite how much smaller. it was TINY. also we both agreed that the hotel seemed kinda disjointed, there was a lot of floor changes to get to where we needed to be, and some of the signs were wrong. its a new resort so i'm hoping its teething troubles?
we got seated at saana just after 12, apparently today was the first day of the new menu, our server said that they had tweaked the previous menu in response to feedback, and it seemed nice to me. gary chose the tandoori chicken with basmati rice, and i went for the tandoori shrimp with 5 grain pilaf rice. we tried a bit of each others. it came out as a naan bread on the bottom, topped with mixed greens, and the meat/shrimp on the top. the rice came in a separate bowl.
the food was soooooo good. a bit too much yoghurt on mine for my liking but i just scraped it off. the view from the big windows was cool, and the restaurant was nice. it did seem small considering it is the only place in kidani to get any food.
gary had the choc cake for dessert and i had the vanilla coconut rice pudding. gary said the choc cake was good, and it came with mango ice cream. my dessert was seriously some of the best rice pudding i've ever tasted.
all in all we were very impressed with the food there, although we were glad we chose jambo instead of kidani.
we headed over to AK afterwards, rode dinosaur, everest, and kali rapids. we then headed to hollywood studios and rode RnRc (again! garys getting obsessed with this ride) and i even managed to finally convince him to ride ToT. i was laughing so hard (in between worrying about if gary was ok) because he was screaming the whole way through. i've never heard him do that so i found it hilarious!! he did like it though and he wants to go back.
we headed over to epcot afterwards as we had a 5.30 divequest booked. we got there a bit early so we had a look in the shops, then headed over to meet our tour. it was good, we did it last year so knew what to expect. we got out about 8.20 and headed back to the hotel. got dinner at mara, then headed back to the room. we got to see the higher of the illuminations fireworks while eating dinner, then got to watch hallowishes. i could get used to watching the fireworks from our window.......

tomorrow is typhoon lagoon day, then its off to the yacht club for our last ADR of the dining plan, at captains grille. at 8pm we're doing another pre cruise meet at jellyrolls (any excuse eh??!!) then off to epcot afterwards with whoever wants to come for EMH.

cruising on thursday!

gemmybear83
09-23-2009, 01:44 AM
Great update!!

wayneg
09-23-2009, 03:41 AM
Glad you enjoyed Sanaa, glad to see they have listened to people about the menu and tweaked it, as I said I read more poor reviews than good ones so hopefully this will change now.
TofT if they could get me on at all I used to just grip on and shut my eyes, I hated it. Now my arms go in the air and love it.
Enjoy TL and Captains Grille.:goodvibes

Pooh's-Honey-Pot
09-23-2009, 12:44 PM
Enjoying your reports! Have fun on your cruise!

karentan
09-23-2009, 03:29 PM
hi everyone!
went to typhoon lagoon this morning, we had a surplus of counter service credits so stopped at mara for brekkie on the way to TL. got to TL about 10.30, spent about 3 hours there, had a great time, i much prefer this park to blizzard beach. at one point they ordered everyone out of the wave pool, not sure why but it reopened quite quickly so guessing whatever it was it wasnt serious.
we went to pick up our rental car from dollar at the regal sun resort, when we got the car it was only 3/4 full, we've only got it as a one way rental to port canaveral so i didnt bother going back but if we had the car for longer i'd have got a full tank.
came back to the hotel, have done a load of washing, and starting packing ready for the cruise!! off out to the yacht club for dinner at captains grille, and then meeting our cruise people at jellyrolls.
and we cruise tomorrow!!!! wont be updating on the cruise as the net rates are scary so have a great weekend everyone!!

wayneg
09-23-2009, 04:04 PM
Hi Karen, cruised 7 times from Port Canaveral and never knew you could drop a Dollar car off at the port, I guess its the Thrifty office you goto? We used Budget last month, nothing wrong with the shuttles but the car we got after the cruise was filthy and no water in washer bottle, warning light was on so obviously they had not cleaned or checked oil & water levels. Won't be cruising for a while but will look at other options to Budget next time.
Don't bother with the internet onboard, 75cents a minute, Karen just checked her emails twice last month and it was about $5. Posting on here would cost you a fortune, although we would appreciate a cruise update:goodvibes
Now I am jealous you are going on the cruise, have fun:thumbsup2

karentan
09-23-2009, 09:27 PM
i think we need to drop the car off at the thrifty office, from what i've heard on here they share offices. the car isnt as nice as the one we had at the start of the holiday (they're both PT cruisers), but its ok for one day.
i'm back at saratoga springs for the night after the cruise, so will probably do another update when we're back on dry land :) i started a trip report after last years holiday, but never got round to finishing it, so i'm kinda treating this thread as this years trip report!!

we went to captains grille at the yacht club earlier, i had the ribeye, which was nice, but it had some wierd tasting herby butter on it which gave it a bit of an aftertaste. gary had the crab legs, which he loved. he had key lime pie for dessert (he loved it, i hated it), and i had the double chocolate cheesecake, yummy!!
went for a walk round the boardwalk afterwards, we were due to meet some of our cruise mates at jellyrolls at 8. one of the couples texted me saying she wasnt feeling well so went back to their hotel, one couldnt make it as she was picking her husband up from the airport, the rest of the people were an open invitation, to be honest we didnt know who was supposed to be turning up.
turned out it was just me and gary, and lainey and greg. we met outside and waited til 8.15 for anyone else to turn up. no one did so we decided to walk back to epcot instead of going in.
we had a walk round WS, then decided to come back to the hotel to finish packing and get an early night. we stopped at the gift shop on the way back to use up the rest of our snack credits.
we're going to mara tomorrow morning for brekkie to use the last of our credits, then off to the port. :)

Ware Bears
09-24-2009, 03:40 PM
Enjoying reading your updates, have a great time on your cruise. :wizard:

karentan
10-01-2009, 11:17 AM
well i hate to admit it but we're back home :( well technically we got back 7am tuesday morning, but have had jetlag from hell so this is the first time i've had the energy to type this!

the cruise was awesome as usual, i think next time we'll try a longer cruise, 3 days just isnt enough.
we left animal kingdom lodge on the thursday at about 8.30ish, as we wanted to get an early boarding group in the terminal. the original plan was to drive to the car hire place first, drop the car back at cape canaveral. get their shuttle back to the port, then check in to the terminal at 10am. well we ended up having a bit more of a lie in than planned so we didnt get to the port area til 9.55. as we were so close to the time it opens, we dumped the luggage with the porters first, then drove back to the dollar office on north atlantic avenue. given that this is still a relatively touristy area, it looked quite run down, but we came across the dollar shuttle bus on the way there so decided to follow it back to the office instead of going it alone (i'd printed off exact directions to the port, but i'd lost them along the way so was guessing at the route the whole way to the port. luckily my sense of direction held up and we didnt get lost).
so we dropped the car back then got on the shuttle. there was one other family that were going on the carnival ship, but they were going for a wedding and running late so we ended up dropping them off first then it dropped us off.
when we got to the terminal i was a bit worried, even though i know that DCL allow you to bring alcohol onboard, there was a huge sign in the security bit saying no alcohol. i had visions of garys 12ish bottles of beer getting confiscated.
we got in ok though, and we got boarding group 3, not bad for getting there "late". i was checking in, gary was watching cartoons, and the people at the next desk were donna and bob, part of our cruise meet thread. i finished checking in, found gary, found mary and tim (also from our cruise meet thread), then donna and bob came to join us. we sat around chatting til it was time to board, then we headed towards the ship.
we headed to parrot cay for lunch, had a lovely lunch, i had LOADS of shrimp and loads of dessert!! we sat with mary and tim, then parted ways after lunch. had a quick wander round, then found a couple of loungers on deck 9, the lion king was on ariel vision, so gary sat and watched that while i went and did a bit of a photo tour of the ship.
at 1.30 i headed down to check out our cat 11 room, it was great and not having a window didnt bother me at all, i was a bit worried that it'd be wierd but i didnt care at all. out luggage turned up at 1.40ish, so i took that in and did a bit of unpacking, put our FE up, put our door magnets on, and was pleasantly surprised that all 3 cases fit in the wardrobe so i didnt have to trip over them all of the cruise.
i headed back up on deck, met up with gary and lainey and greg (also from our cruise meet), and sat and chilled for a bit. more cruise meet people jenny and joe got stuck waiting in the terminal after a security scare caused DCL to suspend boarding for over an hour. apparently they had to call in more sniffer dogs and it caused havoc. the lifeboat drill ended up being postponed.
we had a meet organised for deck 10 but it was too hot so we ended up sitting on deck 9 and i kept heading upstairs every 10 mins or so to make sure there was no one waiting up there for us.
after the boring and way too long lifeboat drill in the searing heat we headed up for the sailaway party. we saw the golden mickeys at 6.15, then had a look in the gift shop. i'd decided i was going to buy myself another big fig this trip, but couldnt find a good one i liked, so was really pleased when i found they did a cruise one. i bought it there and then as they only had 1 left, and they said they'd deliver it to the room on saturday night. then we went for a drink, had a walk round the ship, then headed to animators palate for our 8.15 meal.

karentan
10-01-2009, 11:33 AM
Friday was Nassau day, so we started off with breakfast at beach blanket buffet, then watched as the ship pulled into, and subsequently reversed into port, it never ceases to amaze me how they can manoeuvre those ships so precisely!
We had the Nassau segway tour booked, and our meeting time was 10am in the promenade lounge. We got there a bit early so we sat and played snakes and ladders to pass the time! There were only 3 of us from the Wonder on that excursion, and the other guy was a lifeguard on castaway cay. A taxi met us down at the port, and took us on a short 10-15 minute drive to earth village. Not sure why this is caused earth village, it’s a strange bit of wilderness inland from the main port, there’s not much there apart from a riding stable and a load of canals carved into the ground.
They fitted us with helmets, knee and elbow pads then got us on our X2 all terrain segways. They take a little while to get used to, at first you think you’re going to fall off all the time but you get into the swing of things quickly and they’re good fun. We drove out into earth village and round for about 45 mins, our guide showed us how to ride them with no hands which is fun, and if you’ve ever fancied trying a segway, I’d definitely recommend this tour. Its $75 each but very good fun.
We got picked up by our taxi driver then took a scary ride back, the drivers in Nassau are mental. Last year we got off the ship for an hour or so then ended up getting back on. This trip confirmed it for us, that we’d much rather stay on the ship unless we had another excursion booked.
We went back to the ship via the indoor market place thing (mum wanted another rum cake), then headed back on the ship and up to the pool.
The US travel agent we’ve used for the last 2 cruises (I’m not allowed to mention his name on here )was travelling on our cruise with a group from the Jacksonville Chamber of commerce. He called our room in the afternoon and asked us if we wanted to meet up for a drink and a chat. We met him in cove cafe and sat chatting for an hour or so.
Neither of us are big toy story fans so we skipped the show that night, and just sat up on deck watching the world go by (and watching robin hood on arielvision! :))
We were in parrot cay for dinner, the Jacksonville lot were sat next to us and I think they’d been drinking for most of the afternoon because they were all really loud and pretty drunk, but hey they’re on holiday too, so we didn’t mind too much.
We headed up to the pirate party after dinner, and watched the fireworks. Mickey didn’t fly that night, not sure if the weather conditions weren’t right or what, but the show was still great.
I got a couple of slices of cake from the dessert buffet then we headed back to the room as Gary was really tired (think he was suffering from a bit of heatstroke)

karentan
10-01-2009, 11:42 AM
Saturday was Castaway Cay day.
We headed to Triton’s for breakfast as Gary didn’t want the standard buffet fare and liked the sound of the eggs Benedict.
We got off the ship early and found 2 chairs at the start of the family beach. We tried the snorkelling lagoon but must have picked the wrong area so didn’t really see much. We’d booked the getaway package so made use of our floats too.
We’d booked the jetski tour, this was great fun, I’ve never been on one before and you can really get some speed up on those things! It was cool seeing the back of the island too.
We got the tram to serenity bay and ate lunch there, then chilled out on the adult only beach for a while. I went snorkelling as I’d heard there was some good stuff out there if you went far enough out. I eventually found a reef and found loads of fishes, it was really cool.
We chilled out on the beach for a while, had a chat with Chuck (the travel agent) for a while, then headed back to the family beach to go hire our bikes. We had a cycle round the island, then headed back to the ship. It must have been really hot, because I got a little tiny bit of sunburn – well more sun grilled than burnt – and I NEVER burn. Ever.
We saw the Disney Dreams show (awesome as always), then headed to Tritons for dinner. We did notice that most of the Jacksonville group were missing, but after Friday night and seeing them drinking all afternoon on Serenity Bay, it didn’t really surprise us!

karentan
10-01-2009, 11:56 AM
Sunday was the day we dread, time to get off the ship :(
We’d put our luggage out the night before so we packed up what little stuff was left in our room, and headed to Tritons for brekkie (via deck 9 for one last walk around the ship). Jenny and joe decided to head to the buffet for breakfast so we had a smaller table than the night before.
We had breakfast, said our goodbyes, then headed down to catch our DCL transfer back to Saratoga Springs.
We got back to SSR, checked in, but our room wasn’t ready so we were given a number to call later in the day to get our room number.
We headed down to the bus stop, narrowly missed the Hollywood Studios bus, so we waited about 20-25 mins for the next one. This turned out to be the longest we ever waited for a bus this entire trip.
We headed to Rock n Roller Coaster, then rode Tower of Terror (Gary didn’t scream as much as last time), then headed back out to go to Epcot.
We went to see Turtle Talk one last time then headed to World Showcase for the Food and Wine Festival. When we were in Japan, the torrential rain started (only the 2nd time it properly rained the entire holida), but it only lasted for 5 mins or so.
Food and Wine was great, although a lot of the food offerings were the same as last year.
We went back to SSR, hopped off at the Grandstand stop to get our room assignment. We were in Congress Park in room 1105. It was a great first floor room with an amazing view of DTD. We walked round to DTD, did a bit of shopping, Gary got one last rum runner, then we headed back to the room to dump the shopping, and attempt to repack the suitcases.
We got the bus to the MK, and stayed there for extra magic hours til about 10pm.

Monday morning, we got up, had some pop tarts for the breakfast in the room, then had bell services pick us up about 10.15 for our ME bus back to the airport :(

karentan
10-01-2009, 12:19 PM
So to sum it all up:

WDW buses -
This was the first time we hadn’t hired a car and we thought the buses were awesome. I’d heard some bad things on here, but the longest we waited for a bus was 20-25 mins, and that was on the last day. We could have run for the bus we wanted but couldn’t be bothered. Most times we waited a max of 5-10 mins. I didn’t notice it taking longer to get to the parks, given that when you drive you have to park then take the tram to the park. All in all I think it took about the same amount of time.

Magical Express and Cruise Line Buses –
Efficient, clean, the videos are a nice touch. I think the cruise transfers may be a bit overpriced, especially for a larger family, but we didnt want the hassle of a hire car on the way back.

Dining Plan –
This was awesome, again it was a first for us. I know it doesn’t work for everyone, but i booked my ADRs at 90 days out, got exactly what i wanted, and had a great time trying out new places, and not having to worry about ordering the expensive things.
I totalled up what we spent, the dining plan cost us $959.76 for 12 days, not including the 24 snack credits (forgot to keep track of how much they cost) but between the counter services and table services we used $1108.63 of food.

Saratoga Springs –
Loved this resort. It was so nice and peaceful, really glad I changed from All Star Music. For the first 8 nights we were in the Carousel section. It was a (pleasant) 8 min walk to the main building, and the buses were awesome. I think during the whole 8 nights, we saw other people in our building 3 times. It was that quiet.
The room we had in Congress Park on our last night was awesome too, room 1105 has a great view of DTD.

Animal Kingdom Villas –
Have stayed in AKL before, but having the little kitchen area helps out a lot, its nice having a little place you can “cook”. We were right at the end of zebra trail in room 5545 (about 5 rooms from the far end of the lodge). Is response to the people who say the rooms down there are too far from the lobby, it took me 2 minutes and 18 seconds to walk to the lobby. If that is long to some people, how do they cope walking round WDW all day? We could hear the AK parade from our room, and could see Wishes and Illuminations. We also saw a LOT more animals than we did last year from our club level arusha savannah room.

MNSSHP –
First time doing this, we did MVMCP last year and i honestly prefer MNSSHP. The shows are great and the parade is amazing. The trick or treating makes it great fun too!

Seaworld 7 hour VIP tour –
We booked this as we thought the park would be busy being a Sunday, even though it was quiet, this was still a great tour. We were going to do Dine with Shamu and feeding the animals anyway, so this tour turned out to be $35 more. Turned out we were the only people on the tour, we had the guide all to ourselves, got front of the queue on rides, got reserved seating at the shows.
Because it was just the 2 of us, we got round everything so much quicker, that we ended up doing stuff thats not normally in the tour, like seeing the backstage areas.
We learnt a lot of cool stuff too (like the Shamu trainers have to be working with the animals for 5 years before they’re even allowed in the water with them, as Amanda put it, thats basically 5 years of cleaning fish).

Cruise –
As great as it was last year, the segway tour and jetskiing were awesome.

weather -
great. have never been in september before, we had what i call proper rain twice in 16 days, no storms or anything, really hot and sunny all the time. the humidity was stupidly hight some days though which really takes it out of you.


all in all we had an amazing time :)

if anyone has any questions please feel free to ask!

Pegasus928
10-01-2009, 01:35 PM
A great conclusion to your trip report Karen and I have thoroughly enjoyed reading it.
Thank you for all your thoughts and for taking the time to do this during your holiday.
I for one would love to see some pics if you find yourself with a few minutes spare :thumbsup2

Mrs Dazzle
10-01-2009, 01:55 PM
I've enjoyed reading the updates as you did them and loved just now reading all about the cruise.

What a fab holiday you had:cool1:

karentan
10-01-2009, 02:05 PM
will try and post some photos, but i took 3320 photos so it'll take a while to go through them all!

scojos
10-01-2009, 02:43 PM
have enjoyed reading all you thoughts, we are doing ssr for the 1st time next year, so glad to hear you loved it.
thanks for taking the time to share, glad you ve got over the jetlag, tiime to start planning for next year:lmao:

wayneg
10-01-2009, 02:46 PM
Welcome home.
Great to read about your last few days, incl the cruise.
When we boarded the Magic we were group 15:scared1: always get on one of the 1st but we set off a bit later and then had to drop car. Worth getting up a little earlier next time.
We put the cases under the bed this time, saves a lot of space. Read on here that they lift and enough room for them.
2nd dining is too late for us so we were on the 1st but they had brought it forward to 5:45(used to be 6~6:30) which is too early, can't win.
We did snorkeling again, found the Mickey statue and submarine, never been out so far before, took us around 2 hours of swimming to find them.
Sounds like you enjoyed the DDP as much as us. I am torn for next year now, loved trying the places in Disney but missed offsite.
Nassau we just get off for a walk and back on again, will bear in mind Segway tour in future.
Thanks for all the updates and hope you post a few pics.:goodvibes

karentan
10-01-2009, 03:11 PM
wayne, have you thought of doing a split stay, that way you could add on dining for part of the trip, then eat offsite for the rest?
i tried to fit the cases under the bed, but they didnt fit too easily and knowing me i'd have forgotten about them and left them there. plus they fitted in the wardrobe anyway!

scojos, you'll love SSR, some people say its too big, we were in carousel for the first 8 nights, and apparently thats one of the furthest bits. we walked to the main buildings a few times, took us 8 mins, but its a nice walk and you walk so much in disney anyway, 8 mins isnt too bad! it was a 20 min or so walk to DTD but again its a really nice walk.
we didnt use the main pool, we stuck to the small pool near the paddock bus stop, it was lovely and quiet, had a hot tub, and they played some nice music in the background.
it justified our decision to move to SSR from ASM one night when we were at DTD, the queue for the all stars had to be moved to the car park as it was soooo long, this was about 10pm, i'm guessing they were sharing buses at that time, and the queue had to have about 100 people in it easily.
being at the carousel, we were the second bus stop, so easy to find seats on the bus, although we ended up giving them up a lot of the time, as people with small kids were getting on and no other people would give up their seats. some people really do make you despair, they always looked the other direction to avoid eye contact with the people who are holding 2 kids and juggling a pram. tut.
we had requested the congress park section both times, we got it for the last night, but for the main stint i really wasnt too bothered that we didnt get it, we were in such a nice quiet place.

wayneg
10-01-2009, 03:19 PM
wayne, have you thought of doing a split stay, that way you could add on dining for part of the trip, then eat offsite for the rest?


Yes we have but I am not really putting too much thought into yet, more interested in getting flights under £500pp(£400 indirect), never book hotels until I have the flights. I know there will always be a hotel.
We might go for the split stay even though we hate moving hotels. Even though we love cruising we totally dislike the packing and unpacking that goes with it.

disney_princess_85
10-01-2009, 06:18 PM
Thank you for your updates and final thoughts. :) Looks like you had a fantastic time! I just got back at the weekend so I'm still a little jetlagged. I know what you mean about the humidity, it was crazy some days!! September is a great time to go though isn't it, we hardly saw anyone in our building the whole time we were there either.

natalielongstaff
10-02-2009, 01:37 AM
Welcome home Karen :)

Mrs Doubtfire
10-02-2009, 04:49 AM
Great report and final summary = keeps the magic going for me :)

eeyorefanuk
02-07-2010, 02:08 AM
[QUOTE=karentan;33580512]

we went to seaworld yesterday, gary had bought me the 7 hour VIP tour for my birthday, best thing ever. we were the only people in the tour so we had the guide to ourselved all day! because we didnt have anyone else with us, we got round the whole park in a day, we expected to have to go back today to do the rest of the shows and exhibits, but we made such good time that we got to all 3 shows, all of the exhibits, and even got to go backstage to the animal quarantine areas, and the service areas. i absolutely wouldnt hesistate to recommend this to anyone!

QUOTE]

Hello,

We had this on our list to do, but are now wondering with it being August when we go if we will find it too much running around for seven hours in the heat ........... we have now brought it down to dolphin spotlight tour and dine with shamu ... but now not so sure - your thoughts??? :goodvibes

karentan
02-07-2010, 04:26 AM
if you're planning on going on all the rides and shows, i'd say go for the tour, you get reserved seating at shows so you wont have to turn up really early to get a good seat, you get front of queue access to the main rides, which again will save probably a couple of hours in the summer season, if you're going to be walking round the park all day anyway, i'd say the tour is a good idea, they provide you with water throughout the day anyway, and its just cool having your own guide.
also they're very good with doing the tours at the right pace for the people involved, they dont rush you at all at any point, and there's more than ample opportunities for rest breaks etc

eeyorefanuk
02-07-2010, 04:47 AM
if you're planning on going on all the rides and shows, i'd say go for the tour, you get reserved seating at shows so you wont have to turn up really early to get a good seat, you get front of queue access to the main rides, which again will save probably a couple of hours in the summer season, if you're going to be walking round the park all day anyway, i'd say the tour is a good idea, they provide you with water throughout the day anyway, and its just cool having your own guide.
also they're very good with doing the tours at the right pace for the people involved, they dont rush you at all at any point, and there's more than ample opportunities for rest breaks etc

Thank you for coming back so quick ... I was just saying to my mum, that when you take into consideration the fact you watch a couple of shows ? and dine with shamu then it is not all rush, rush and on your feet I suppose - we were just worried about the heat.

If your choice, do you think do this tour or the dophin spotlight tour and dine with shamu? many thanks :goodvibes

karentan
02-07-2010, 10:41 AM
i dont know much about the dolphin tour, but at absolutely no point were we felt rushed, our tour guide actually said to us that it was nice to just have us two, as normally it takes longer to get around because of strollers/wheelchairs/ECVs, it normally takes more time to get round the park. i took that as meaning that it normally is quite slow paced, as they will only go as fast as the slowest person in the tour, we weren't going quickly at all and we got to all of the attractions in the park. if you can swing it, i dont think you'll be at all disappointed with the vip tour

eeyorefanuk
02-07-2010, 11:13 AM
i dont know much about the dolphin tour, but at absolutely no point were we felt rushed, our tour guide actually said to us that it was nice to just have us two, as normally it takes longer to get around because of strollers/wheelchairs/ECVs, it normally takes more time to get round the park. i took that as meaning that it normally is quite slow paced, as they will only go as fast as the slowest person in the tour, we weren't going quickly at all and we got to all of the attractions in the park. if you can swing it, i dont think you'll be at all disappointed with the vip tour

Oh looks like might think about the tour again then :lmao: There will be eight of us, so hopefully it might just be us in the tour if we book it - thank you for you quick responses. :thumbsup2

Cyrano
02-07-2010, 04:05 PM
Just caught up with your final updates. Sounds like you had a great time Karen :goodvibes