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View Full Version : I know I said I wouldn't but ..... November 2011 returning to the Boardwalk


ClareH37
12-04-2011, 12:41 PM
Quick background:

I'd originally said I wouldn't return to the Boardwalk Inn (my favourite resort) as I was worried a return would not be as good as my 2010 trip, but when a Disney US annual passholder 40% discount came out I couldn't turn it down!

Chief Financier, Organiser and Payer of Bills - Me, Clare - 40 something Disney nut but lover of the finer things in life (purse strings permitting) ;)

Coming from the UK as a 40 something who still loves Disney I'm seen as a bit of an oddity by my UK non Disney loving friends as well as my partner who has no intention of ever setting foot on Disney soil, he takes much pleasure in reminding me that Disney is 'just for kids' :rolleyes: :eek:


Days 1 & 2 - Getting There & Arrival

In light of some recent problems with the M25 motorway, despite only living 45 minutes away from London Gatwick Airport, I opted to stay overnight at the Sofitel which is linked by a covered walkway directly to the terminal I'd be flying from. Another bonus of course meant I wouldn't have to get up at such an early hour and I'm all for a little bit of luxury to start my journey.

I'd finished my packing earlier that morning and successfully checked in online, so far so good.

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I'd invested in a super duper extra lightweight case - this thing had the ability to be 'pushed' using just one finger according to the advertising blurb! By the time I had packed my case I wasn't so sure as I'm not exactly a light packer. :confused3

My car arrived at 3 pm and by 3.40 pm I was at the Sofitel checking in. First impressions were it was a very nice hotel, but there was a slight language barrier with my check-in agent - he was apparently new and had a wonderful French accent but unfortunately it made it slightly difficult to comprehend what he was saying. However, I understood the words 'complimentary upgrade to club level' alright lol First little bit of magic for this trip.

The Sofitel's interpretation of club level is slightly different from my interpretation but my room was just around the corner from the elevators (very handy) and had a great view of the South Terminal where I could watch the planes coming and going.

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I went back downstairs to the lobby to have a quick look at the restaurants, none of which were very attractive price wise :scared1: so I opted to go to the North Terminal to visit M&S. One gluten free ham sandwich and a packet of crisps later I was back at the room watching TV and relaxing in the extremely comfortable bed.

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After a bit of surfing the www, calling friends/family and catching up with the TV news I called it an early night and once my head hit the pillow I was out like a light.

Next morning was a nice leisurely start, I ordered room service for breakfast - a 'full English' and porridge (like oatmeal) I was assured the hash browns were gluten free but when they arrived I wasn't so sure do decided it was best to leave them.

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I'm the world's worst worrier and until I've actually arrived in Orlando I still can't believe I'm going to Disney so no excitement at this stage I'm afraid.

Suitably full I opted for express check out and made my way over to the North Terminal.

London Gatwick has undergone a £billion makeover and what a makeover, it was clean and very contemporary, I hardly recognised it! In previous years I've always flown Virgin Upper Class but this year I had opted for British Airways Club World (still business class), hopefully it would be just as good. As I entered the BA check in area I went to the club desk to deposit my bags and collect my boarding pass, I was greeted with a smile (very unusual for UK airport workers!) and although I had been allocated seat 10G the agent asked if I would mind moving to seat 11J (still an aisle seat) as the person checking in at the next desk was currently separated from his wife, I had no issue at all with this and was assured 11J was actually more 'private' for me as the seat next to it was the 'crew' seat.

I'll whiz through the usual dull airport bits - I spent some time in a different lounge as I found the BA lounge a little dull, had a manicure, enjoyed a glass of champagne, made a quick stop at the duty free where I purchased my usual Coco Mademoiselle perfume and then boarded the flight.

I settled into my seat 11J and was warmly welcomed by cabin crew with a nice glass of champagne.

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This is an image from google which shows the seat in recline mode (it also goes completely flat) so you get an idea of how comfortable it was

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Apologies I didn't take any photos of the flight, with the exception of my seat, as I felt a little self conscious due to the closeness of the other seats.

BA amenity kit with contents - I just love these little kits and trying all the different samples
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If you've read my last trip report you'll now I'm a (very!) nervous flyer. Generally this flight was excellent, very little turbulance apart from the odd bump, the only thing I felt a little unnerved with was being sat next to the 'crew' seat which was actually used by the flight deck crew. They all took it in turn to have a 2 hour rest/sleep next to me (!), I'd have been happier if I hadn't seen them as I started to get a bit anxious about who was flying the plane :rotfl:

The flight is so long, 9 hours, and it drags but at least we arrived 30 minutes early, unfortunately we were advised the Virgin Atlantic flight had arrived a short while before us. I pictured a nightmare in immigration but it really wasn't too bad - the Virgin flight was the Airbus not a fully laden Jumbo so that of course helped. I waited in line for 30 minutes, although those behind me would have had to wait for 1 hour or more.

Just my luck that I had "Mr Jobsworth" at immigration, who obviously hadn't been trained the Disney 'way', when he asked why I was in Orlando and I replied 'Disney' he asked again why I was in Orlando, was it business or pleasure, and so it went on, what did I do for a living, what had I got to go back to in the UK, how long was I here, did I have a return flight. When he was finally doing with my interogation, he gave a wry little smile and 'welcomed' me to Orlando. Unfortunately everyone who went down his line was 'welcomed' in the same way.

With my super duper new easy to push/wheel case - it really did move using just one finger(!), I made my way to terminal B where my towncar driver was waiting for me and by 5.45 pm I was arriving at my 'happy place', the Boardwalk Inn.

I was greeted by a curbside greeter and escorted up to the Innkeepers Club for private check-in, and warmly welcomed by one of my CM friends, after lots of hugging and welcome homes I was eventually checked in and allocated room 4237, the exact same room I had the previous year, a king bed room directly opposite the lounge and with a gorgeous boardwalk view. I had already decided this year I would be happy with a garden view but oh no the 'powers that be' had already decided I should have 'my' room.

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Boardwalk welcome chocolates
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The view at night
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I'm always tired due to the time difference and I couldn't face a full meal so
I went downstairs to the Boardwalk to have a portion of fries from the Boardwalk to go kiosk with a glass of merlot from the Innkeepers Club, a perfect end to the perfect day. :cloud9:

KerryCM
12-04-2011, 01:01 PM
Clare,that room looks very familiar!!! Thanks for taking such good care of it for me before Jim and I arrived.

ClareH37
12-04-2011, 01:05 PM
Clare,that room looks very familiar!!! Thanks for taking such good care of it for me before Jim and I arrived.

LOL It was my pleasure Kerry, but boy was it hard saying goodbye to that room :sad1:

jecskc
12-04-2011, 02:00 PM
We just got back from the Boardwalk as well. We loved it there !!

nascargirl
12-05-2011, 09:36 AM
:thumbsup2:scared1:Clare-Nice start of your report. I think everyone loves that room:lovestruc The suitcase does not look lightweight. I bet by the time you were going home, it was now considered a heavyweight. :scared1: Looking forward to hearing more about what we had talked about.:thumbsup2

ClareH37
12-05-2011, 01:17 PM
We just got back from the Boardwalk as well. We loved it there !!

Isn't it gorgeous, there's something about the Boardwalk that is so special :goodvibes

ClareH37
12-05-2011, 01:19 PM
:thumbsup2:scared1:Clare-Nice start of your report. I think everyone loves that room:lovestruc The suitcase does not look lightweight. I bet by the time you were going home, it was now considered a heavyweight. :scared1: Looking forward to hearing more about what we had talked about.:thumbsup2

Looks can be deceiving ;) I was allowed 32 kg per case (I only had one in the end), it was 21 kg on the way to Orlando, on the way back it was 26 kg so I thought I did rather well lol

I just love that room, the huge bed, right opposite the lounge and of course the view :cloud9:

ClareH37
12-05-2011, 02:01 PM
As is usual travelling to Orlando waking up early is something that can't usually be avoided due to the time difference, it wasn't helped by my OH who decided to call me at 2.30 am Orlando time to see how I was - he was in Dubai which was around a 9 hour in front time difference, thanks Dom really appreciated it! :rolleyes:

I tossed and turned, tried to go back to sleep but to no avail so I went and had a bubble bath, then watched some TV until 6.30 am when the club lounge opened for morning coffee. A strong cup of English breakfast tea and a banana later I was feeling a lot more with it - I'll let you in on a little secret re. bananas, cabin crew on my flight advised that apparently bananas help with jet lag - I ate a lot of bananas that first 24 hours! :banana:

early morning view from my room
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I was meeting a fellow Dis'er Leanne, who I'd last seen in 2009, at 1900 Park Fare for breakfast, I'd never eaten there before so was really looking forward to our breakfast. I caught a taxi from the Boardwalk to the Grand Floridian and arrived just prior to our 8.00 am ADR, shortly after Leanne arrived and we were taken straight away into the dining room. We had a table in the main dining area and it was beautiful, the first thing to hit me was the theming of the room, the second thing after 10 minutes was the noise, boy was it noisy!

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A great breakfast, good food and good company, we said our goodbyes but would be meeting for lunch at 50s Prime Time later. I originally thought about hopping over to Magic Kingdom but as I was tired (after being awake since 2.30 am!) and had a major headache/earache, which is something I always suffer from after I fly, I opted to do a little bit of resort hopping over at the Polynesian. I loved the look of the Poly and it's on my my future resort stay list. I spent some time looking through the shops and ended up making my first purchase of this trip - a pair of socks :rotfl: Well, you can never have too many Tinkerbell socks can you.

I didn't want to go back to the Magic Kingdom to get the bus to the Boardwalk so I caught another taxi back to the Boardwalk, where I then spent some time catching up with a certain couple of CMs, one in particular who just loves to chat ;)

I love walking so of course took the opportunity of walking to the Studios for my lunch with Leanne rather than hop on the boat.

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Unfortunately the Studios is where a rather unDisney moment occurred, I inserted my annual pass (run off by the Boardwalk CMs the evening before) into the turnstile and nothing happened, tried again and still nothing happened - I was directed to guest services just outside the park.

Approximately 1 hour later the problem was rectified, it appeared the pass was only the voucher and not the pass itself, they could not find it on the system, then they could but then not the payment, a manager had to get involved and then another one. By the time I finally made it into the park and sprinted up to 50's Prime Time there was no Leanne, CMs weren't exactly helpful at 50's Prime Time either. :sad1:

I was very disappointed not to have made it and I know she was too, poor show Disney!

As I'd missed lunch and the CMs at 50's Prime Time advised they were only accepting ADRs that day, on a whim I decided to see if the Brown Derby would take a walk-in, they advised they were also only taking previously made ADRs but as I was an onsite guest and 'solo' they could sit me at the patio - result!

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I wasn't on the dining plan this trip so was paying cash (and using TIW), I didn't want an appetiser so just went with the 6 oz char grilled filet of beef over white truffle whipped potatoes, mushroom ragout and red wine reduction.

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I didn't even manage half my 6 oz filet (being on a diet since earlier in the year really affected my appetite, I just couldn't even eat half of what was on my plate), and being perfectly blunt it wasn't the best quality meat either, certainly not worth $36. However, the white truffle whipped potatoes and red wine reduction were divine. Another thing, my plate was 'stained', it was clean but was obviously an old plate, I didn't feel this was acceptable at a signature restaurant.

I had another ADR for the following week but decided to cancel based on this experience.

After lunch I took the walk back to the Boardwalk again, to walk off my lunch.

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and relaxed in the lounge with a nice ice cold glass of lemonade.

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afternoon snacks
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I was meeting a friend Paul and his family for dinner at Cape May that evening so took a late afternoon nap, I woke up hungry so ventured into the lounge to see what the evening 'cheese & wine' offerings were.

A plate (i.e. saucer size) later of some appetisers to keep me going until I met Paul.

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Smoked salmon on sauerkraut (didn't like this at all), potato, american and smoked cheeses, quinoa salad - these were very nice

I had a great meal with Paul and his family, really enjoyed the food at Cape May but I was starting to tire, coupled with my sinus headache/earache I had to cry off a previously arranged meet at Jellyrolls and made do with a glass of merlot from the Innkeepers lounge tucked up in my huge kingsize bed.

Turndown service
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nascargirl
12-05-2011, 05:24 PM
Sorry that you had to miss 50's Prime Time. DH loves to make sure I get abused by the staff. I had to sing in front of the whole place one year holding a cupcake.:scared1: The appetizers look fantastic. Keep up the great work on your report. :worship:

ortholablady
12-05-2011, 06:39 PM
Looking forward to hearing more about your trip. Your plane seat looked very comfy! I love the Epcot resort area!

ClareH37
12-06-2011, 12:54 PM
Sorry that you had to miss 50's Prime Time. DH loves to make sure I get abused by the staff. I had to sing in front of the whole place one year holding a cupcake.:scared1: The appetizers look fantastic. Keep up the great work on your report. :worship:

OMG and I thought your DH sounded such a nice guy lol :scared1:

Am currently working on resizing my photos so next instalment will probably be up tomorrow

Looking forward to hearing more about your trip. Your plane seat looked very comfy! I love the Epcot resort area!

Thank you - that seat was amazingly comfortable, I'm such a nervous flyer I just can't sit still/get comfortable but this time I didn't want to get out of that seat at the end of the flight :rotfl: