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View Full Version : 18 Days....the resorts, the restaurants, the wedding!


AllyandJack
09-01-2002, 06:15 PM
I'm going to start with the resorts since that's the easiest and I'm on my parents computer. Verizon will be hooking up the phone in my new house on Tuesday, so I'll do the restaurants and the wedding then.

We began our stay at the Contemporary. We got a really good rate for having our wedding at WDW. We had all booked garden wing rooms, but when we checked in we were upgraded to the Tower with a MK view! We didn't ask or anything, so it was a really nice surprise. We checked in on Thursday and our guests checked in on Saturday and they were all upgraded, too. Not only that, all of the guests were on the same floor. We were on the 8th and they were on the 6th. I just can't say enough about the staff at the Contemporary and I couldn't thank them enough for keeping the guests together and for the upgrade.

The rooms were....well, I thought they were ugly and there was this orange stripe on the carpet that I kept trying to step over because I thought it was an electrical cord! However, the room was clean, the decor just wasn't my style. That's OK though. My parents had two complaints. The first was that the entire room shook when the monorail went by. I didn't feel it because I was on the 8th floor, but I did feel it when I was in their room. Some of the other guests mentioned it as well. The next complaint was the noise from Chef Mickey's. Again, we didn't have too much of a problem since we were higher. Apparently they start at about 7am and it woke the guests up every morning at 7am and they obviously couldn't get back to sleep since it went on though the morning. So, the moral of the story is - request as high a floor as possible! The 8th was good to me, I didn't have any problems. the only thing that woke me up was the Character Caravan. Not a big deal to me, I went right back to sleep!

Now....the morning of check-out, a few of my guests had a problem. The maids kept banging on the door and the front desk was....well, it can only be described as crank-calling. A convention was coming in and they wanted my guests out so the room could be ready. Fine. But, this was at 8am. They got a little annoyed and eventually called the front desk and told them to knock it off. A little word of warning - most rooms don't come with a Do Not Disturb Sign, so ask for one. A few of my guests complained that they were repeatedly disturbed on the morning of their check-out. However, only one room got the crank-calls! Again, I didn't have a problem, but I also had to ask for a Do Not Disturb sign. There was one small issue with the air conditioning - this was a recurring theme throughout the trip. It made this ticking noise when it wasn't going and it would turn on and off every few minutes making a noise every time it did. Again, this didn't bother me since I used to live a block from the airport, but some of guests were annoyed by it!

So, that's the Contemporary. They definitely started off our vacation with magic and, except for the noise complaints and the check-out urgency, I would recommend the resort. I would probably stay Concierge though, just to ensure that I have a room high up in the Tower!

The morning before my wedding, I checked into the Grand Floridian. I was having a regular lagoon view room for the night before my wedding and then I was changing to the Honeymoon Concierge for the rest of my honeymoon. So, I go and check in and ask the woman if I could have late check-out - around 1pm - since I was changing rooms and my dressing room wasn't going to be ready until about 1:30. She leaves me standing there for no less than 25 minutes - meanwhile, my rehearsal dinner is going on without me - only to come back and tell me that they can only let me have the room until noon. Nice, real nice. So, I leave and show up to my rehearsal dinner in tears because I'm going to have to sit in the lobby with my wedding dress for an hour and a half. Although, they kindly offered to put it in "storage" for me. How thoughtful. After the rehearsal dinner, my fiance and my best friends take me to the room. We were going to spend the night apart - him at the Contemporary. Didn't quite work out. We get to the room and it's 84 degrees. So, we turn on the AC. Then we leave to look around the grounds for a while. We were meeting my parents at Pleasure Island in a few hours. We go back to the room to freshen up before we go and the room is now 86 degrees. The send an engineer to the room. Apparently the air conditioner turns off when the lights go out. So, when you leave the room, the sensor turns it off. Yeah....and when you sleep, it turns off. I told him that was unacceptable since I can't sleep in a 90 degree room! He did something to override the sensor and it got down to a comfortable 68 degrees by the next morning! Anyway, the room was a dormer room, lagoon view in Conch Key and, it was smaller - no couch or daybed or anything - but, it was gorgeous. I absolutely loved it! But, by the time the engineer got there and was finished, it was 11pm and nobody felt like going to Pleasure Island. So, we decided to have a few drinks out of the mini-bar. Ah....no key! We call down and they said they would send one over. Half hour later, no key. I storm over to the front desk in my pajamas and get a key. Go all the way back. Doesn't work! Now I have my first bridal nervous breakdown. I spent the summer buying a house and studying for the Bar Exam. People wondered how I held it together....well, I lost it over something so silly. My friend stormed back to the front desk and came back with...a key?....no....a man with a key who opened the mini-bar! I was just so flustered and upset that my fiance had to spend the night because I was crying so much. Not exactly a great night before the wedding.

But, the Grand Floridian more than made up for this incident. I'll write the rest Tuesday....the wedding and the food (people are still talking) and the Grand Floridian making up for their mistakes!

See you Tuesday!

zurgswife
09-01-2002, 08:08 PM
Can't wait to hear what they did to make up for a Bride in tears the day before her wedding....:D :) :)

wdwpluto
09-01-2002, 08:45 PM
Can't wait to hear the rest of the story!

Lori

jennymouse
09-01-2002, 09:03 PM
I got a chuckle out of the orange extention cord stripe thingie on the floor. Looking forward to the rest....

Krissalee
09-01-2002, 09:13 PM
I can't wait to read what happened later! I'm sure you and your new husband will enjoy a lifetime of happiness!

:earsgirl: Krissy

wdwpluto
09-11-2002, 04:28 PM
Please come back, I'm looking forward to the rest of your report!

Lori

AllyandJack
09-17-2002, 11:26 AM
Sorry it took so long to come back! Verizon (the ONLY local phone service in my state) took almost 2 weeks to get me a dial tone on my phone! My house is new construction, so first they wanted the phone number of a neighbor. I don't really have any - which is why I bought this particular piece of land to build on in the first place! I finally got them the number of the Post Office on my street and then they "knew where I was." The put the box on the house, but never actually hooked me up and nobody could tell me why. Anyway, I'm back now...so where was I......

Oh, right...GF refusing to give me late check-out. So, the night before the wedding, we were in the dormer room. The next day, my wedding day, I didn't feel like the beautiful bride. I felt miserable envisioning myself sitting in the lobby for hours. Or worse, being stuck in one of my guest's rooms, just sitting at their table or something. At about 11am, my soon-to-be husband and I trek over to the front desk and ask if it would be possible to check into our concierge room. They call down the concierge who asks how everything is going on our wedding day. I tell him it's not exactly the way I planned, but so far so good. He immediately calls the room assigner, since we were pre-assigned a room, to see if we could get another room. They had another room on the Clarendon level that was ready. So, they call bell services who brought the luggage from the other room to the concierge room. Concierge to the rescue!! I got to spend the hours before my wedding comfortable in my own room eating grilled cheese and french fries. I began to feel better. My mother eventually came over in a state of panic. She's buzzing around my room, yapping and I was watching All My Children. Finally, at about 3:15 it was time to leave for the dressing room. I end up running into my soon-to-be husband and my father in the lobby waiting for the event manager. Luckily my dress was in the garment bag, so no peeking. We had a small room since there was only me and my mother and my aunt getting ready there. The hair and make-up ladies were great. My mother didn't like the first hairstyle, so down it came and we tried again. The make-up was very natural. Since I'm pale as Ivory and never, ever wear make-up, I was so afraid I was going to look like a clown. But, I looked just like me only a little highlighted. They sprayed my face with this cool minty stuff to keep it on all day and even gave me some lipstick samples so I could touch up during the day! While I was having my hair done, the Floral people delivered my bouquet and my mother's bouquet. My bouquet was 30 lavender roses of different shades. Truly beautiful. Carolanne (I'm not sure if that's how it's spelled) steamed my dress and did a great job. The hair and make-up ladies left and I was left alone with my mother and aunt. I put my dress on and waited for Michelle (my event manager - who was with the groom and my dad supervising their photos). Michelle came and was leading me through the conference center, just as a massive group came in. The entire group started clapping when they saw me. I was really embarassed, but then I thought: how often do you get to be dressed up in a gorgeous dress and be the center of attention?? Not very often! I made a real effort to slow down and let it all sink in so I could save this wonderful memory of people opening doors for me and treating me like I was a real princess. We walked over to the staircase where my father was waiting to take pictures with me and my mom. They had shuttled the groom out before I arrived so he wouldn't see me. Michelle stayed with me the whole time, making me feel comfortable. There were two photographers - one making people move out of the pictures. I realize people were curious, but why would you stand directly behind me?? From that day on, everytime I walked through the lobby, I would check for brides to make sure I wasn't in their pictures! Then Michelle got a call from her assistant telling her that the weather service told her that rain was coming and to get me over there ASAP. Richard - the nice older gentleman who followed me around and carried my train - helped me into the limo and I was off to the Pavilion! I got to the Pavilion and who was there to help me out? Richard! More Disney Magic! Michelle's assistant was also there with a huge umbrella. If anyone is planning a Disney Wedding at the Pavilion, I have some advice. Ask to walk over and see your name announced on the sign. I forgot and I've only seen it in photos. Michelle's assistant told me that three girls were waiting for me in the Bride's Vestibule. I immediately began tearing up. These are my friends from law school. Three wonderful girls who flew to FL to be at my wedding. I saw them and we all pointed to each other and said "Don't cry!" and then laughed that we were still reading each other's minds. We sat in the Vestibule for a few minutes and then Reverend Jack came in to see me. We chatted and I immediately knew I made the right choice with him. We had just met, but I felt completely at ease with him.

A few minutes later, my dad came into the Vestibule. He told me that the groom had forgotten to hit the ATM machine and get Rev. Jack's fee. My uncle had given him the money, so he got asked to be the best man. But, to make it even, I had to have my friends as the maids of honor. No problem! They got the best of both worlds....they got to be in the wedding, but also got to wear their own clothes. Once Michelle found out there would be a best man, she ran out and came back with a flower for my uncle's lapel apologizing that it was the best she could do on short notice. So much more than we expected. The service was simple and quick. After the non-family guests took photos with us, they were put in the limo and taken over to the Contemporary for the reception at the California Grill. Then family took photos and were brought to the Contemporary. Then we stayed behind for tons more photos. The guests were eating the appetizers while we were taking pictures. We had the Napa Room. They all LOVED the Flatbreads. Couldn't get enough! We also had Spring Rolls with Voo-Doo Mustard. They cleaned a few plates of Flatbreads and then got worried that there wouldn't be anything for us, so they stopped eating. Next thing they new all new plates were being brought out. When they realized it was "all you can eat" they ate more! The cake was so beautiful and they had put out the favors and other items we had given them to put out. The Napa Room is a great room. It fits about 30 people. It's spacious, but cozy. It overlooks the Magic Kingdom, too. Then the food started.....people are still talking about the food!

I'll write again soon about the food and the rest of the trip. Now that I have a phone service, it won't be so long!

wdwpluto
09-17-2002, 12:20 PM
Yay you're back! Everything sounds wonderful! I'm so glad that concierge came to the rescue for you! Was your EM Michelle - Michelle Shumate? She's my EM and she's just as sweet as can be! Also... I'd love to see pictures...especially of your bouquet...if you're able to post them!

Thanks!
Lori

AllyandJack
09-17-2002, 01:44 PM
Lori,
My EM was Michelle Wenzler-Dorr. Ironically, Michelle Shumate was Michelle Wenzler-Dorr's assistant when I first began my planning, so you're in good hands because she learned from the best!

I'm going to order the CD-Rom with my photos on it and then ATTEMPT to post them here. I can't make any promises that any pictures will pop up, but I'll try.

Rosie, the Disney florist - only in Disney will you get a Rosie doing your flowers - put together my bouquet and the other arrangements. They were beautiful. You just can't go wrong. People are still talking about my wedding. I just can't say enough about it. You're going to have a wonderful day. My guests are still talking about the wedding and how amazing everything was. A friend of my parents who came mortgaged his house to pay for his daughter's wedding. He turned to my father and said, "Now this is the way to have a wedding." Of course, we paid for everything, so he probably would have liked THAT, as well. Plus, it really got people to fall in love with Disney. The same people who always said, "Why don't you go somewhere else?" are the people who are now saying, "Next time we go, let's stay at the Wilderness Lodge." It was truly the best decision I ever made - second best, I guess, to deciding to marry my husband!

AllyandJack
09-24-2002, 12:29 PM
Well, I'm back to talk about the reception food. It's lunchtime, so I hope I don't make too many people hungry!

I already talked about the flatbreads and the spring rolls. Both very good. Both are usually on the regular menu at the restaurant. We started out with a Caesar Salad. It was good, but WAY too much garlic for my taste! Everybody liked it though. I liked it, but I had to scrape off some of the dressing. Then came the Sonoma Goat Cheese Ravioli. This is also usually served in the regular restaurant. It was so good, I just can't even explain it. Since it's an appetizer, they only give you one big ravioli. I was tempted to ask for a few more, but knew I had more food coming! Then came the artichoke salad. People are still raving about this. It just happened to come with the menu and Michelle talked me into just leaving it there instead of removing it, like I did with the Sushi. I'm so happy I did. It was so light and refreshing, it was in this lemon sauce or something. I've never seen it on the regular menu, but if you happen to see it, get it because it's REALLY good. Then came the main course - finally! Tamarind BBQ Beef Filet with lemongrass risotto. Amazing! They have the beef on the regular menu. They served it very rare and a few guests asked that it be cooked a little more for them. All during this time the servers (we had about 5 of them all to ourselves) were refilling drinks and making room by taking away plates. You'd look at your glass and it would be half full, look again and it was magically filled up! Finally, there were the desserts. I swear these people keep tabs on what I've eaten in that restaurant! The Unplugged Platter of Desserts were two of my favorites. First, the butterscotch creme brulee, which is the best (next to V&A's) that I've ever had. Half the time I get this dessert in the main restaurant. The other half of the time I get the chocolate banana bread pudding and that was one of the other desserts! Amazing. They also brought out strawberry shortcake. Then came my cake. I got Cinderella Castle in white chocolate sculpted for my top. It was gorgeous. One layer was white cake with chocolate raspberry filling. One layer was chocolate cake with raspberry filling. The last layer was chocolate case with white chocolate mousse filling. We brought cake boxes and someone, I don't know who, cut up the entire thing and put it in the boxes. My guests brought a bunch with them and we brought a bunch with us. We would leave some for mousekeeping with the tip some mornings. We ate it for breakfast! Some of my guests were trading with each other because you couldn't tell from the box what each one was, so they would trade their white chocolate mousse for the raspberry. Luckily one of my guests had to leave the next day and we sent the castle top home with her. They won't arrange for shipping or even really help you with it. I don't know...guess they don't want to be responsible if it breaks? Who knows!

At 10pm, when the fireworks starts, my husband and I were brought down to the concierge level to have photos taken with the fireworks and castle in the background. These came out nice, even though we were stuffed and a little buzzed from all the champagne! They dimmed the lights and piped the music in for the guests so they could watch the fireworks while we were away. Then it was over. So fast, but what a wonderful time. My guests are still talking about how fantastic everything was. Most of them stayed for the next week with us and then we got a whole week to ourselves. We ate our way through WDW! Oh, my, the restaurants!

Krissalee
09-28-2002, 07:06 PM
What a beautiful wedding! And delicious food! :)

Congratulations!!!!!!!!!

jer1997
09-30-2002, 06:35 PM
I really enjoyed reading your story and the details! Congratulations and best wishes to you both!

Thanks!
Jerry :D

luv2tvl
10-08-2002, 02:13 PM
What a beautiful story! Congratulations to you both! I'm sure it was absolutely gorgeous. :bounce: :Pinkbounc :bounce: :Pinkbounc

MinnieGi
10-11-2002, 05:23 PM
I loved reading your story! Congratulations on you wedding and honeymoon! It all sounds just beautiful! :D