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hakepb 07-31-2012 10:56 PM

BWV standard July 1-10
I am finally getting around to posting my first trip report. *We had a great overall time! *I don't have much in the way of a story teller, so I'll try to let some pictures tell the story.

General room observations:
We had a 1BR standard view, 3rd floor on the entry side. *I had a view of the maple tree right in-front of me. *As a balcony lover I was somewhat worried about the blocked view, but it was always warm enough that I didn't mind the shade :)

Our room was decent, the only negative was how noticeable that tables were not wiped down as there were a few smudges. *This was our first time at BWV since the remodel and I liked the lamps.

The new TV channels: *I liked having more TV channel options, but as a DirecTv fan, I have to say their implementation at Disney is very poor. *The channels were all SD, and worse none had a consistent aspect ratio. *It's possible to install a larger satellite dish to eliminate most rain fade, but they didn't, and it is possible to serve HD into all rooms of a hotel.

Internet: *WIFI worked OK when we occasionally used the laptop. *It kept disconnecting the phone, though. *And our 3G was terrible everywhere. *Most of the time I had to keep the phone in airplane mode to save battery. *Battery life would drop at least 1% for each web page after it finally loaded.

As someone who normally stays in May, Oct and Nov, I was worried most about 2 factors: heat and crowds. *And on both accounts, we lucked out.

Heat? *Sure it was highs of 92-95, but it is summer. *Up in the Midwest they were dealing with multiple 100+ degree days, so in comparison, we were *chillin' in Florida in July!

Crowds? *I've experienced the beginning of Thanksgiving crowds so I know a crowd level 9, and we only ever saw 4-6 level crowds. *There were more people walking around, but they were not in ride lines or in restaurants. *I've checked the UT app wait times a few times since we got back, and *starting to think we were lucky.
Line wise, we ha a few unusually short line instances:
On 7/1 at 9:25 PP was only a 25 min listed wait. *We only waited 9 minutes in line!
On 7/8 at 4:30pm we went to TSM to use our FP, and the were still distributing 8-9pm FP!
The next day at 1:20pm we only had a 7 minute wait for Primeval Whirl!

Brazilian tour groups: we're there any teenagers left in Brazil? *They seemed to all be in WDW. *Never had any behavior problem with them, but it is unnatural to have large , organized groups roaming WDW, it messes up queue times...and when you see a leader feeding 50+ tickets into a FP machine you wonder how much later your wait is. *I only heard any chanting twice, and the first time was amusing: *a boy and his parents walked by while he not was wearing a soccer jersey from (another south American?) team, and the Brazilians started singing their team's song :). ( at least I've heard soccer teams have songs so it seemed all in good fun)

Well I'll start the pictures with a view from the Boardwalk:

hakepb 07-31-2012 11:14 PM

Of course a main reason for scheduling this trip was fireworks! And they lived up to the hype!
We attended MK on July 3, it was a long day I didn't want to risk getting locked out. A thunderstorm went through around 8pm and the fireworks were scheduled for 9pm. The hub was crazy packed for the show but it was OK, it seemed everyone realized this is why they chose this vacation time. it took us 10+ mins to shuffle from the 1st aid area to Main St. But the storm still in the area so the show was delayed....until 10:15 or so. The delay was OK because a few more people left and we inched a little closer to the castle.

And the show started:
And ending in even more fireworks!

hakepb 07-31-2012 11:26 PM

We decide on DHS on July 4th since when else can you see fireworks at DHS?

Again, it was crowed to watch the fireworks, but it was a tiny bit more manageable than MK the night before.

It was a great choice. It's tough to understand, but where most Disney fireworks shows are so dramatic, DHS was a party all about fun!
Mulch Sweat and Cheers did a great job getting the crowd going.
And of course DHS had more cowbell than EPCOT

Then the fireworks started:
By the finale, it was no longer a fireworks show, there were so many shells exploding it seemed more like a fireball in the sky

hakepb 08-01-2012 12:07 AM

The next day we headed to the Contemporary for a late CM breakfast, then rented a pontoon for a cruise around Seven Seas and Bay Lake. This was our first time renting a boat and we will definatly do it again! The pontoon was a good choice with more seating in the shade.
I had fun piloting a boat over a bus (water bridge between the 2 lakes) and under a monorail:

And the Grand Floridian Villas construction:

We also got to see a little of the old River Country and Discovery Island. After the boat ride we took the monorail to EPCOT

hakepb 08-01-2012 07:47 AM

Now it is time for an Animal Kingom day...which means my favorite attraction, the Safari:

A crane while we were in the line:
Then the Safari begins:
A young elephant
At least the lion bothered to raise his head for us
And we did the Asia jungle trek:
In the aviary:
And a look at DS new favorite ride EE

Splashboat 08-01-2012 03:04 PM

Beautiful pictures! Thanks for sharing.

browniemtb 08-01-2012 03:14 PM

Awesome...thank you...makes me really me it!

hakepb 08-01-2012 06:06 PM


Originally Posted by Splashboat (Post 45682415)
Beautiful pictures! Thanks for sharing.


Originally Posted by browniemtb (Post 45682528)
Awesome...thank you...makes me really me it!

Thanks for the kind words!

hakepb 08-01-2012 06:13 PM

I just realized that in zooming straight to fireworks, I missed the start of the trip. We got into the MK in the late afternoon and there was a castle show being performed as we approached the hub. We continued towards Tomorrowland, and though I would prefer the option to walk through the castle, Minnie and Mickey showed up on stage:
It was a fitting start to our trip :)

Now back to the TR.
We returned back to the Boardwalk for the evening

And even caught a bit of Wishes in the distance:

hakepb 08-01-2012 06:24 PM

We had another day at EPCOT

The Agent P adventure was a big hit! We never bothered with Kim Possible as it seemed it might be a bit on the girl side.

And a night at MK with some proper fireworks mode (time lapse instead of stills) of Wishes:

Next, more animals ;)

hakepb 08-01-2012 06:45 PM

We then had a 2nd day at DAK (since EE was such a big hit) and I had to go on the safari one more time ;)

This was the one time a Brazilian tour group jumped ahead of us. CMs reserved the left truck loading dock for tour groups, so they let a tour group walk straight on while those already in the standby and FP lines had to wait for 5 more trucks.
This one was actually laying down:

And we saw FOTLK

And back to BWV for our last night.

The biggest negative to BWV this trip was the bus service. I suppose our great luck with lines was balanced by long bus waits and then slow drivers when the bus did arrive. And then you get to tour the non-Disney S/D and hear their "Welcome Home" before you go to your destination :/

On the plus side, DDP options are better than before. It was great getting a waffle cone at Seashore Sweets as a snack, something I have missed since my Value Food Court days. And Boardwalk Joes made for a decent coffee refil in the am. While it was a good idea to add the pizza window to the plan, the pie was not as decent as it used to be.

hakepb 08-01-2012 06:54 PM

So, we packed up, checked out and headed back to MK. Since the crowds and weather cooperated so well we realized we had 2 more indoor attractions we did not yet do, CoP and Laugh floor.

After parking we took the ferry and looked over to the GF:

And I zoomed into the DVC construction:

The nearby weather looked a bit ominous:

But it wasn't that bad, and made for more interesting pictures:

And a panoramic look:

And good by Mickey! See you real soon ;)

jekjones1558 08-01-2012 07:30 PM

Great report! Your photos are stunning, especially compared to the lame ones I take with a point and shoot. Good thing you waited until you got home to post your report. I'd be willing to bet that you would have had to get up in the middle of the night to get these high resolution photos to upload with the lousy Disney free wifi!

dvc at last ! 08-01-2012 07:36 PM

I love all your pics - nice job !
Stayed at BWV and loved the Boardwalk area.
Waiting for more...

hakepb 08-01-2012 11:30 PM


Originally Posted by dvc at last ! (Post 45685595)
I love all your pics - nice job !
Stayed at BWV and loved the Boardwalk area.
Waiting for more...

Thank you!
That was about all I planned to show in the TR, but it looks like I may add a few others I took while playing with the camera ;)


Originally Posted by jekjones1558 (Post 45685533)
Great report! Your photos are stunning, especially compared to the lame ones I take with a point and shoot. Good thing you waited until you got home to post your report. I'd be willing to bet that you would have had to get up in the middle of the night to get these high resolution photos to upload with the lousy Disney free wifi!

Thank you very much!
But I only have a point and shoot, a Sony DSC HX-30. It is a lot more fun than my last PnS with a 20x zoom (25-500mm 35mm equivelant) 1080 60p HD movies with optical stabilization, and a bunch of scenes and a really nice auto mode... It mostly took a while to post because I had to weed through nearly 2000 pictures (a lot of experimenting since this is a fairly new toy). I'm more on the "best camera is the one you carry" philosophy, I don't think I would take a DSLr as much. A lens with the same zoom reach would be huge.

Now all of the technology has limits in a small sensor. I did get a few nice dark ride pictures:

But all of its wizardry only produced marginal results in POTC:

And as my first Minnie and Mickey castle show picture showed, a lot of luck helps, too. That picture was taken in Auto mode, I noticed them both on stage, on > zoom > click (and a big smile when I saw what the camera did :)

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