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View Full Version : First time at AKV and BWV...just got back last night


mjc2003
08-30-2011, 11:00 AM
I am attempting my first TR, but unfortunately no pics as my camera was dying and I forgot my charger. I did get a few shots, and will try to post them if I can but they won't be in any particular order.

Day 1- It was just me and my two daughters flying down, ages 3 and 5, so I had my hands full from the get-go. We flew down on a 10 o'clock flight out of Newark, and I managed to get us there, park, and simultaneously lug the bags and herd the girls to the gate. It was an overbooked flight and they were offering $300 credits to wait for the 11:30, and I was really tempted but the girls were already out of sorts from the early rise…so I declined. The flight arrived early, and made our way to ME. We had no checked luggage as my wife was already down in Florida on business, and had taken some of the girls things with her in her suitcase. ME was very frustrating, I don't know if this is typical but we had 3 stops before AKV? Pop Century, Coronado, and another that I can't remember. It took us over an hour to get to Jambo. I was quite frustrated, but oh well…we were here.
Jambo is a very impressive resort. I loved the lobby, and found it easy to acclimate. We had a 1BR Savannah view, and immediately the girls were blown away as there was about 10 animals outside the room. We were in 5266. All was well until my older daughter called me into the bathroom to point out that there was….ahem…..dried blood on the toilet…down the front and onto the bathroom floor. It was enough blood so as to make me ponder if I should call housekeeping, or a detective? I went with housekeeping. To their credit, they arrived in minutes and I ushered the girls to the pool to get out of their way.
We spent about an hour in the pool before the inevitable afternoon storm, which drove us back indoors. We checked out the lobby again before heading back up to get ready for dinner. We had a reservation at Jiko. I was STARVING, so I ordered two appetizers (the boar and the seared tuna), and for dinner I had the fish. It was excellent. After dinner we went back to the room to change back into suits to do a "late night" swim (8:30 is late for my 3 year old!). Before heading down I tried to open the pullout, but was not able to. I called down and got a bit of an attitude, as if I was not reading the instructions right. "Did you find the black strap and pull it?" I wanted to say, "No, I just stared at it and hoped it would open but it didn't." Instead I told her that I had spent 10 minutes pulling and was afraid I'd break something. She said she'd send up a maintenance guy. He arrived before we even left, but quickly realized something was wrong….and said, "I need to get Engineering up here. They have a special tool for this." We left, swam, watched some of the movie and then returned to the room…exhausted…but the bed was still not open, and was still stuck. I called and explained that somebody was supposed to come from engineering with a special tool, and the housekeeper said, "what special tool?"; I felt silly, as if I might be the special tool in this equation. She put me on hold, and came back a moment later to tell me somebody would come up. Another 20 minutes passed, both of my girls were now asleep in the sleeper chair, and I was exasperated, so I called back--but as I dialed there was a knock at the door. Sure enough, there was indeed a special tool. It worked. I moved my older DD to the big bed and was asleep before I even made it under the covers.

Thoughts on AKV Jambo: Really liked it, albeit a short stay. Loved the theming. Liked the pool, it wasn't great but we are BCV members so are sort of spoiled by SAB. I am very excited to stay at Kidani in November. Jiko was great, I wish we could have tried Boma but I did walk through and check out the food and it looked really good. I really liked how Mara was right next to the pool, having a quick service place like that where you can eat outside is key. Overall the room was great, we would stay here again in a heartbeat.

Next up….Day 2, our move to BWV, a room without a view….and a pleasant surprise!

mjc2003
08-30-2011, 11:05 AM
Day 2- We got up and packed what little we had taken out of our bags; I was initially going to spend the day at the Jambo or Kidani pool, but decided to get over to BWV so we could unpack for real and actually settle in. We had rented a stroller from Magic Stroller, via Owners Locker, and I almost forgot about it! I literally remembered as we were walking out the door, so went to bell services and they retrieved it. So now I had a giant double stroller, 2 kids, a duffel bag, a roller suitcase, a backpack and a princess suitcase that DD insisted on bringing but didn't want to pull. One of the bellhops saw me struggling, and quickly assisted. He got me a cab, loaded up the bags and sent us over to BWV.
I have never been inside BWV, though we have spent a lot of time on the actual boardwalk during our BCV stays. I loved the lobby, in many ways it reminded me of BCV. We were assigned to room 3012. Sure enough, it was one of those seemingly endless walks from the lobby but I didn't want to let that get in my head. However, having "paid" extra points for a pool/garden view, I was quite dismayed to open the balcony doors to see that we had a view of a large tree that blocked any view to the right, and to the center and left was a service road for the laundry. Also, our balcony had a laundry vent that took up about 1/3rd of the space, making out balcony basically usable by 1 person at a time. Unacceptable. I called down and questioned how this was a pool/garden view? I was told it was. I said, "Well then I'd like somebody to come up here and show me either a pool or a garden!" The lady said, "hold on a second." She returned minutes later, and simply said, "Come down the lobby, we have a different room for you." Is this normal? Did I get lucky? Either way, we were reassigned to room 2094. It turned out to be AMAZING. I posted a quick mention about this while we were at BWV. It was at the end of the hallway off the lobby, overlooking the pool. So we didn't need an elevator, and better yet we had our own personal staircase right outside our door. All we had to do was go down a flight of stairs, out the door, around the corner and we were at the pool. The back of the slide was about 20 feet from our balcony. And, by the way, the balcony was HUGE. Loved it. We also had a window on the side of the living room, being that it was the last room. So we could overlook the waterway, and the window made the room feel bigger.
We quickly got on our suits and hit the pool. My 5 year old (she's 6 in November) loved the slide. She went down it about 100 times in 4 days. We swam for awhile, and finally my wife showed up from her travels through South Florida. I took the opportunity to get an adult beverage at the pool bar, and we made our way upstairs to get ready to head over to Epcot for the evening. After entering the park I turned right around and went back to upgrade our hoppers to an AP. I was confident that I would be credited the "new Disney price", even though I paid the "old UT price". Word to the wise, they are on to that little "scam". I was immediately told, "You bought this through a vendor and you paid X". I played dumb, and said "I'm not sure what I paid, I bought it awhile ago." She eventually upgraded me and was nice about it, after a phone call she actually swapped out my UT tix for regular Disney hoppers and then upgraded those. So, it worked. But she even said to me as I was leaving, "Just so you know, they are not going to allow this much longer." So take heed everybody, it seems that they are aware they are losing money on the exchange and are privy to this little bit of cost maneuvering. Not shocking, really.
We ate dinner this night in China, hadn't been there in forever and found it to be quite good. Not great, but better than I had expected. We made it out just in time to get a decent spot for Illuminations, which the kids loved as usual. We were back in the room exhausted and in bed by 10.

Next up……Day 3, two parks, and discovering what a Jellyroll is all about!

Sandisw
08-30-2011, 12:42 PM
Sounds like a lot of fun. Can't wait to here more! I love TR--with or without pictures. Helps the time pass until our next trip--for me, not until February!

podsnel
08-30-2011, 02:26 PM
I am attempting my first TR, but unfortunately no pics as my camera was dying and I forgot my charger. I did get a few shots, and will try to post them if I can but they won't be in any particular order.

Day 1- It was just me and my two daughters flying down, ages 3 and 5, so I had my hands full from the get-go. We flew down on a 10 o'clock flight out of Newark, and I managed to get us there, park, and simultaneously lug the bags and herd the girls to the gate. It was an overbooked flight and they were offering $300 credits to wait for the 11:30, and I was really tempted but the girls were already out of sorts from the early rise…so I declined. The flight arrived early, and made our way to ME. We had no checked luggage as my wife was already down in Florida on business, and had taken some of the girls things with her in her suitcase. ME was very frustrating, I don't know if this is typical but we had 3 stops before AKV? Pop Century, Coronado, and another that I can't remember. It took us over an hour to get to Jambo. I was quite frustrated, but oh well…we were here.
Jambo is a very impressive resort. I loved the lobby, and found it easy to acclimate. We had a 1BR Savannah view, and immediately the girls were blown away as there was about 10 animals outside the room. We were in 5266. All was well until my older daughter called me into the bathroom to point out that there was….ahem…..dried blood on the toilet…down the front and onto the bathroom floor. It was enough blood so as to make me ponder if I should call housekeeping, or a detective? I went with housekeeping. To their credit, they arrived in minutes and I ushered the girls to the pool to get out of their way.
We spent about an hour in the pool before the inevitable afternoon storm, which drove us back indoors. We checked out the lobby again before heading back up to get ready for dinner. We had a reservation at Jiko. I was STARVING, so I ordered two appetizers (the boar and the seared tuna), and for dinner I had the fish. It was excellent. After dinner we went back to the room to change back into suits to do a "late night" swim (8:30 is late for my 3 year old!). Before heading down I tried to open the pullout, but was not able to. I called down and got a bit of an attitude, as if I was not reading the instructions right. "Did you find the black strap and pull it?" I wanted to say, "No, I just stared at it and hoped it would open but it didn't." Instead I told her that I had spent 10 minutes pulling and was afraid I'd break something. She said she'd send up a maintenance guy. He arrived before we even left, but quickly realized something was wrong….and said, "I need to get Engineering up here. They have a special tool for this." We left, swam, watched some of the movie and then returned to the room…exhausted…but the bed was still not open, and was still stuck. I called and explained that somebody was supposed to come from engineering with a special tool, and the housekeeper said, "what special tool?"; I felt silly, as if I might be the special tool in this equation. She put me on hold, and came back a moment later to tell me somebody would come up. Another 20 minutes passed, both of my girls were now asleep in the sleeper chair, and I was exasperated, so I called back--but as I dialed there was a knock at the door. Sure enough, there was indeed a special tool. It worked. I moved my older DD to the big bed and was asleep before I even made it under the covers.

Thoughts on AKV Jambo: Really liked it, albeit a short stay. Loved the theming. Liked the pool, it wasn't great but we are BCV members so are sort of spoiled by SAB. I am very excited to stay at Kidani in November. Jiko was great, I wish we could have tried Boma but I did walk through and check out the food and it looked really good. I really liked how Mara was right next to the pool, having a quick service place like that where you can eat outside is key. Overall the room was great, we would stay here again in a heartbeat.

Next up….Day 2, our move to BWV, a room without a view….and a pleasant surprise!

:rotfl2: :rotfl2: Great post! So glad you got it all figured out!:thumbsup2

debbieandroo
08-30-2011, 03:10 PM
Day 2- We got up and packed what little we had taken out of our bags; I was initially going to spend the day at the Jambo or Kidani pool, but decided to get over to BWV so we could unpack for real and actually settle in. We had rented a stroller from Magic Stroller, via Owners Locker, and I almost forgot about it! I literally remembered as we were walking out the door, so went to bell services and they retrieved it. So now I had a giant double stroller, 2 kids, a duffel bag, a roller suitcase, a backpack and a princess suitcase that DD insisted on bringing but didn't want to pull. One of the bellhops saw me struggling, and quickly assisted. He got me a cab, loaded up the bags and sent us over to BWV.
I have never been inside BWV, though we have spent a lot of time on the actual boardwalk during our BCV stays. I loved the lobby, in many ways it reminded me of BCV. We were assigned to room 3012. Sure enough, it was one of those seemingly endless walks from the lobby but I didn't want to let that get in my head. However, having "paid" extra points for a pool/garden view, I was quite dismayed to open the balcony doors to see that we had a view of a large tree that blocked any view to the right, and to the center and left was a service road for the laundry. Also, our balcony had a laundry vent that took up about 1/3rd of the space, making out balcony basically usable by 1 person at a time. Unacceptable. I called down and questioned how this was a pool/garden view? I was told it was. I said, "Well then I'd like somebody to come up here and show me either a pool or a garden!" The lady said, "hold on a second." She returned minutes later, and simply said, "Come down the lobby, we have a different room for you." Is this normal? Did I get lucky? Either way, we were reassigned to room 2094. It turned out to be AMAZING. I posted a quick mention about this while we were at BWV. It was at the end of the hallway off the lobby, overlooking the pool. So we didn't need an elevator, and better yet we had our own personal staircase right outside our door. All we had to do was go down a flight of stairs, out the door, around the corner and we were at the pool. The back of the slide was about 20 feet from our balcony. And, by the way, the balcony was HUGE. Loved it. We also had a window on the side of the living room, being that it was the last room. So we could overlook the waterway, and the window made the room feel bigger.
We quickly got on our suits and hit the pool. My 5 year old (she's 6 in November) loved the slide. She went down it about 100 times in 4 days. We swam for awhile, and finally my wife showed up from her travels through South Florida. I took the opportunity to get an adult beverage at the pool bar, and we made our way upstairs to get ready to head over to Epcot for the evening. After entering the park I turned right around and went back to upgrade our hoppers to an AP. I was confident that I would be credited the "new Disney price", even though I paid the "old UT price". Word to the wise, they are on to that little "scam". I was immediately told, "You bought this through a vendor and you paid X". I played dumb, and said "I'm not sure what I paid, I bought it awhile ago." She eventually upgraded me and was nice about it, after a phone call she actually swapped out my UT tix for regular Disney hoppers and then upgraded those. So, it worked. But she even said to me as I was leaving, "Just so you know, they are not going to allow this much longer." So take heed everybody, it seems that they are aware they are losing money on the exchange and are privy to this little bit of cost maneuvering. Not shocking, really.
We ate dinner this night in China, hadn't been there in forever and found it to be quite good. Not great, but better than I had expected. We made it out just in time to get a decent spot for Illuminations, which the kids loved as usual. We were back in the room exhausted and in bed by 10.

Next up……Day 3, two parks, and discovering what a Jellyroll is all about!


Great trip report - thank you taking the time to write about it. Your stories are so funny although I did get a little :sick: after reading what your daughter discovered in the bathroom, glad housekeeping was so responsive.

I've upgraded my UT parkhopper to an AP once before, even at the suggestion of a CM. Is it the fact that the parkhopper came from an outside vendor that is the problem? Or is is that you did not buy an AP originally?

BEASLYBOO
08-30-2011, 03:36 PM
It was enough blood so as to make me ponder if I should call housekeeping, or a detective? I went with housekeeping. To their credit, they arrived in minutes and I ushered the girls to the pool to get out of their way.

Yuck! Thankfully they took care of it

. He arrived before we even left, but quickly realized something was wrong….and said, "I need to get Engineering up here. They have a special tool for this."

You nearly finished me off here! LOL At least he didn't come in, pull and open it, looking at you like your a simpleton! Though it may have been priceless to capture the look on the person's face to whom you were explaining about "The Special Tool"


Enjoying your TR!

mjc2003
08-30-2011, 04:51 PM
I've upgraded my UT parkhopper to an AP once before, even at the suggestion of a CM. Is it the fact that the parkhopper came from an outside vendor that is the problem? Or is is that you did not buy an AP originally?

I'm not quite sure. The CM immediately mentioned that they were bought by an outside vendor b/c she brought up the price I had paid UT, not the Disney direct price. She basically said the cost was going to be what I paid vs the current direct AP price, minus the discount.
The original price was going to be over $500. She eventually swapped the UT tickets for Disney tickets (I am guessing b/c she "exchanged" them for another set of tickets before doing the upgrade). I ended up paying $349 including tax. The UT tickets had cost me $1181 (the exact price she referenced).
I am not suggesting they don't want you to upgrade, just that you are not going to get a credit for any more than what you paid. This was seemingly a "flaw" in the system.

Mousewerks
08-30-2011, 05:03 PM
I'm not quite sure. The CM immediately mentioned that they were bought by an outside vendor b/c she brought up the price I had paid UT, not the Disney direct price. She basically said the cost was going to be what I paid vs the current direct AP price, minus the discount.
The original price was going to be over $500. She eventually swapped the UT tickets for Disney tickets (I am guessing b/c she "exchanged" them for another set of tickets before doing the upgrade). I ended up paying $349 including tax. The UT tickets had cost me $1181 (the exact price she referenced).
I am not suggesting they don't want you to upgrade, just that you are not going to get a credit for any more than what you paid. This was seemingly a "flaw" in the system.

CheshireFigment on his Everything about WDW Tickets (http://www.disboards.com/showthread.php?t=1452684) post says that this is standard practice. See "Upgrading Tickets to Annual Passes". Perhaps the CM you encountered wasn't aware that this is supposed to be done?

mjc2003
08-30-2011, 05:12 PM
On day 3 we awoke early and ate a quick breakfast. We placed what amounted to the perfect food order on this trip, mostly breakfast-centric with some snacks for the parks. We ended up with very little leftover, but had a pretty good breakfast in the room each morning.
We walked to DHS. From our wonderful room location, it took exactly 10:10--yes, I timed it. The park was quite crowded, it was hot, and Toy Story was already backed up about 6 hours for Fastpass. No thanks. We saw the Beauty & the Beast show, and then my wife rode the Aerosmith coaster while I took the kids to the Honey I Shrunk the Kids playground. We then did StarTours, ate (giant turkey leg and ribs, not bad) lunch and then left. To be honest, DHS is my least favorite park. We always find ourselves looking for something to do there. We were back at the BWV pool by 1:30, and spent the afternoon swimming. We had an ADR for Kouzzina, but decided to forego it and head over to the MK. I went down and canceled in person, and the hostess seemed shocked--I guess most people just don't show.
Around 6 we headed over to MK, and found the crowds quite manageable for a Friday. We got to do Splash Mountain and Runaway Train twice each, Pirates, and several other things (Jungle cruise, Swiss Family, Aladdin for my 3 year old, etc…) all before the fireworks. We made our way over near the castle, and settled in for the fireworks.
We stayed for the parade, and by the time we got back the girls were half asleep. I, however, was not tired. So they went to bed and I went out with the intention of going to ESPN to have a drink and watch anything with a ball, but somehow ended up at Jellyrolls. I am a piano player, so figured I'd pay the $10 and check it out. It was awesome! The guys were really talented, the whole place was dancing and singing, and I don't know the last time I had that much fun alone in a bar. I suddenly looked up and it was 12:30--yikes. I need to sleep. Back to the room....where I peaked out at the pool and noticed that there was about 20 people swimming, including some really young kids! Seemed odd at that hour, but everybody vacations differently.
As a side note, I had major back surgery last year and am quite particular about sleeping. I actually spent all 4 nights on the pullout with my DD3, and had no problems. After the first night my wife offered to switch, but I honestly didn't mind. I found it to be more comfortable than I remember the BCV pullouts being in years past. Are they newer pullouts? Either way, I would give them a thumbs up.

Next up…..Day 4, Bangers & Mash, a Jalapeno Margarita and a (dead) fly in the ointment!

DizDays
08-30-2011, 09:15 PM
Great trip report! This is fun reading. I love your sense of humor. Sorry about the challenges you had (AKV-J bathroom and BWV first room). You did a great job taking care of it. I look forward to reading the rest of your adventure.

SusieBea
08-31-2011, 01:55 AM
popcorn:: Enjoying ....

mjc2003
08-31-2011, 10:59 AM
We took our grand old time getting going on Saturday, finally leaving the room around 11:30. We walked to Epcot, it was HOT and a storm was already brewing. I picked up a TIW card (which I meant to do earlier, but kept forgetting). We passed The Rose and Crown just as they were opening for lunch, so decided to try it out. I think we ate there 20 years ago when I last visited WDW with my parents. We started with the Mussels, and then my wife had a salad, and I had the Bangers & Mash. It was fantastic. So good that we actually commented to the waiter that the food was admittedly better than we'd expected, or heard. He informed us that they had brought in a new chef just a week ago, and there had been some changes to the menu. He said they were suddenly getting rave reviews, so check it out. Bangers & Mash is my favorite Irish dish, so I am a tough critic.
We meandered through Epcot, grabbing Fastpasses for Soarin' before heading over to Nemo. When we exited, the storm had started and it was a rough one. CRAZY rain, wind, etc..., luckily we were "stranded" in the Seas Pavilion and had plenty to do. The kids love the Crush show, and the interactive tanks. Eventually the rain stopped and we made our way over to some of the interactive kids areas, where we killed some time before Soarin. Then off to Mexico, where we discovered the new Tequila bar (Cava)...well, not new, but less than 2 years old and new to us b/c we'd never been. We had an ADR at the new restaurant, Hacienda San Angel, which I thought was at 6 but was at 6:45. So we rushed over for no reason, but it turned out to be a good thing b/c we both tried the Jalapeno Margarita and LOVED it. No more frozen, machine-made Margarita's for me, these are the real deal. They have a great little appetizer menu, and the Margarita menu is incomparable. Also, the buzzers for the restaurant work anywhere in the Mexico pavilion so we were able to go back and split a 2nd drink while waiting for our table.
The good news about the new restaurant: Food is awesome. The bad news: My daughters kids meal veggies had a big, dead fly in them. She screamed, the waitress came right over, and a lot of "yucks" were exchanged. The manager came right over to apologize. He took my daughters meal off the bill and gave us (gulp) two more margaritas on the house. At this point I asked my wife if the kids were going to be pushing us back to the hotel in the double stroller?
I had the Tilapia with roasted corn, and my wife had the pork tenderloin. I cannot say enough about how good the food was, maybe we were hungry? Or maybe it was the tequilia talking?
We rushed out of the park in order to skip Illuminations, and brought the kids back for some swimming. The pool was crowded--what's with the BWV movies being shown in some random corner of the pool away from everything? It was odd....nobody was watching b/c there was really nowhere to watch from! It was as if they were showing movies under protest.

I forgot to mention that we had paid for housekeeping to come on Saturday. We wanted one full cleaning. However, they showed up on Friday and did a poor job at best. I called Saturday and said, "Thanks for the complimentary cleaning yesterday, but we scheduled it for today". She said that we had gotten our cleaning on Friday. Uhhh....yes, but that's not what I requested. We just got in thursday, and didn't really need anything done Friday. Besides, we had straightened up ourselves on Friday including washing all the dishes and making the beds, so all we really got was trash and towel anyway. I said, "bill me for T&T and give us the full cleaning today". She agreed, but when we returned from Epcot Saturday night the room hadn't been touched. I called down and complained, and nobody knew what I was even talking about.
Housekeeping seems to be very poorly run across multiple resorts. Between the issues we had at Jambo, and nobody being able to figure out what days or if we even should get a cleaning at BWV, it was really the only disappointment of the whole trip. I look at this as a lost opportunity for DVC, they could provide exemplary service and perhaps people would be more inclined to pay for an extra cleaning?

Anyway, back to our (dirty) room and another sound nights sleep.

Next up....Day 5, Animal Kingdom, a CM dishes on all things DVC, and another wonderful dinner!

dwelty
08-31-2011, 11:02 AM
Love the fact that the first thing you did when the wife showed up was get an adult beverage. That is exactly what I would have done had I been traveling alone with two little girls.

Disney Princess
08-31-2011, 01:25 PM
I'm enjoying the report so far. YUCK on the fly in the veggies. That is so gross. I am happy you were able to enjoy the extra margaritas though.

I keep reading that housekeeping can't seem to get extra scheduled or changed dates for the cleaning right. It sounds like the problems continue.
Hopefully your room wasn't TOO dirty, and you continue to enjoy it the rest of the week.

mjc2003
09-01-2011, 10:00 AM
We rolled out of bed around 10, keeping with the theme of not rushing to do anything. We did manage to package up a breakfast of granola bars and bananas for the girls, and were at AKV by 11:15.
AKV is my favorite park, and once again we were able to do most everything we wanted. FP's for Safari, Everest and Dinosaur (is this new?). Ended up on Everest and Dinosaur twice. Saw the Nemo show. Saw the bird show...ate lunch at the Yak & Yeti counter service (Orange Beef, why did I order that?).

While we visited DinoLand, my wife was with the girls and I got into a conversation with a CM at the DVC booth. I know these people don't know much, but it was very interesting. First of all, she said that the GFV DVC "rumor" is annoying b/c they should just "tell us what's going on". I mentioned Jim Lewis, and she said that they were all thrilled he was gone. She said "his goal was to turn us into bloodsucking timeshare salespeople", and said that they had collectively complained often about this. She heard that Jim was told to back off several times but never did. She said the tenor has already changed, with much more positive feedback from the top brass and a directive to "revert back to being DVC castmembers, not timeshare salespeople". She said they were having a big meeting this week, and they had moved up their quarterly meeting by a week b/c of some supposed "big announcements".
I asked what that could mean, and she said "I guess we'll know in a week!".

She talked openly about the BLT issues, which surprised me. She said "That was more Jim Lewis--pretty much every DVC negative over the last several years is thanks to Jim Lewis".

The conversation went back to GFV, and she had a very interesting take. She didn't think it would do as well b/c she said she's heard rumblings of pricing, and clearly they are going after the GF visitor. But, she said she often works at the DVC counter at GF and it's the worst one to tend b/c the average GF visitor is wealthier, and not interested in timeshare. She said rather bluntly, "I think they are going after a part of the market that is not typical DVC, and they might be in for a surprise."
I then asked about Poly as a possible next DVC site and she said she has heard from a few sources that there are considerations towards a BLT phase 2, knocking down the other annex (I guess there are two annex buildings to the Contemporary and the south one was knocked down to make room for BLT?) and building another building there. This is b/c they could build up higher than they could at Poly, to match the existing height of BLT. More rooms = more points to sell....and with the BLT success, it makes sense.
I also got to thinking that maybe this could be as a result of a need to increase dues at BLT? Expand the property, more dues to balance out the costs?
Regardless, it was a very interesting conversation. There was no love lost in house towards Jim Lewis, which is no surprise. But it sounds like they are indeed happy thus far with Claire, and we may hear some good things soon.

We left the park after the parade, and headed back to BWV. After a quick swim we showered and made it to Kouzzina for our 7:30 reservation. I had the pork tenderloin, and my wife had the whole fish. We really enjoyed the food, it was better than I remembered even though this is one of our favorite restaurants. The service was also outstanding.

We spent some time on the boardwalk, and I won a stuffed animal for each of my girls. Exactly what we needed in our already bloated suitcases. We were back in the room by 10, ready to get some sleep. We were heading home the next day, this past Monday, and had it in the back of our minds that we didn't really know what we were heading home to in NJ as far as flood and hurricane damages.

Next up....travel day, coming home to a collapsed highway and a yard full of branches, and final thoughts.

Checkers
09-01-2011, 10:27 AM
Enjoyed your TR. Hope everything at home turned out ok. Thanks for sharing!

mjc2003
09-04-2011, 12:20 PM
We returned home on Monday evening, and were lucky to make it out as we were one of the first 3 or 4 flights out of MCO to Newark. We came home to a lot of damage, though thankfully most of it was outside the house by way of falling tree branches and a big old mess. Many people around us are just getting back power, and the major highway (287) that runs past our town was shut down for 3 days b/c half the road collapsed. Crazy stuff.

Here are my final thoughts, thanks to those who read my report--I'll put some pictures into my November one to entice more readership!


1) The TIW card was a great purchase for us. We basically covered its cost this trip, and our 10 day November trip will see lots of savings for our large group. It's a no-brainer.

2) While I really liked Jambo and BWV, and would gladly stay at both again, this trip really affirmed for us our decision to buy at BCV. Both AKV and BWV were great, but we didn't feel as at "home" as we do at BCV.

3) The BWV pool grows tired after a few afternoons. The slide was fun for my older daughter, but it didn't have that resort feel I like in a pool. And having no zero entry was a bit annoying if you have young kids. Also, the "kids" pool is sort of a neglected, useless spot---no little slide, about 10 inches of water, and nothing for the kids to do. I really didn't see it getting any use. One more day, and we would have been pool hopping.

4) This trip validated our fondness for the Epcot area. Walking to DHS and Epcot is a great luxury.

5) Having a split stay is annoying, but not a big deal.

6) The food seemed better this trip. All the table service meals we had were excellent.

7) The crowds were manageable, and if you can manage your own expectations I think an end of summer trip is no problem. If you want to hit the park all day--every day for 7-8 days, I'd say good luck to you; but if you take it sort of easy like we did, come back in the afternoon to swim and not try to get too much done, it can work quite nicely. We never felt exhausted or overwhelmed by the heat.

8) We are really excited for our November trip now. This 5 day trip would have been quite depressing b/c it went so fast, if not for the fact that we have a 10 day trip in 8 weeks. After that it'll be close to 2 years before we return, but I'm not thinking about that now!

9) Magic Strollers, a service recommended by Mousesavers, is highly recommended. They were prompt, the stroller was basically brand new, clean and of excellent quality, and the 5 day price was about what we would have spent for 2 days of a rental at the parks, but we got to use it all week, not just in the parks. Don't hesitate to use them.


10) This board has been an invaluable resource, and in practice the application of what I learned here provided tangible benefits.