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Old 07-31-2012, 10:56 PM   #1
hakepb
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Smile 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:

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Old 07-31-2012, 11:14 PM   #2
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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!
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Old 07-31-2012, 11:26 PM   #3
hakepb
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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
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Old 08-01-2012, 12:07 AM   #4
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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
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Old 08-01-2012, 07:47 AM   #5
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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
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Old 08-01-2012, 03:04 PM   #6
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Beautiful pictures! Thanks for sharing.
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Old 09-02-2012, 05:31 PM   #7
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Amazing pictures! What kind of camera did you use? ~Sherri
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Old 09-02-2012, 10:43 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by shermom View Post
Amazing pictures! What kind of camera did you use? ~Sherri
Thanks!
I have a Sony DSC-HX30. It's a 20x "travel zoom" point and shoot. It's a fun combination of capability and features.
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Old 09-06-2012, 12:57 PM   #9
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Thank You!

Great Review! We have rented points and are staying on property for the 1st time at BWV next May. We got a standard view so I'm interested in finding out what kind of view we might end up with. I have to agree with the other posters about you pics, they are beautiful!
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Old 09-17-2012, 10:04 AM   #10
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Awesome report; I really enjoyed your pictures.

Question: on average, about how many shots do you think you captured on a single battery charge? I recently bought the HX20 and took it on a trial run this past weekend, but didn't achieve anywhere near the 320 shots the manual boasts under CIPA conditions. Just trying to figure out the best way to maximize my battery life.
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Old 09-17-2012, 01:46 PM   #11
hakepb
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MomToPrincePhillip View Post
Great Review! We have rented points and are staying on property for the 1st time at BWV next May. We got a standard view so I'm interested in finding out what kind of view we might end up with. I have to agree with the other posters about you pics, they are beautiful!
Thanks! I hope you have a great stay!


Quote:
Originally Posted by JoshuaShaw View Post
Awesome report; I really enjoyed your pictures.

Question: on average, about how many shots do you think you captured on a single battery charge? I recently bought the HX20 and took it on a trial run this past weekend, but didn't achieve anywhere near the 320 shots the manual boasts under CIPA conditions. Just trying to figure out the best way to maximize my battery life.
I never made a complete count. I think i was averaging 150 pictures a day plus some video and reviewing,
and only once or twice did i ever switch to my backup batteries. (we usually had an afternoon nap where i recharged)
I did keep my GPS off (I didn't want to run out of battery and miss the 3rd and 4th of July fireworks) and there were very few pictures with flash.

These are the cheap backup batteries plus charger I bought: http://amzn.com/B0032GWZXE
They have worked very well for me since the trip (they were new for the trip so I mostly stayed with the Sony battery.). As an added bonus, the ones I received conform to Sony's info-lithium spec, so the battery life meter shows minutes remaining, starting around 150, instead of the 4-step battery icon that the stock Sony battery shows! Of course with something that cheap, you may get what you pay for (basically nothing, but you're not out much either). I bought a memory card at the same time so the combined order qualified for free shipping, but they were shipped in seperate packages.
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