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Old 12-27-2006, 09:59 PM   #1
TiggerAllie
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UnCut and UnPlugged at the WL and Poly: A picture-rific Christmas report! New Day 3!

Introduction and Day 1: Dec 2

The participants in this trip report are me & DP: 30 yr old Disney lovers! We just got our first APs (actually PAPs) at the end of July, and we are making the most of them! Last year we went to WDW (stayed at CSR) for MNSSHP and Food & Wine, so this year we thought we’d try MVMCP and see the Christmas decorations (along with a few other trips). We took almost 450 pictures this trip, so expect to see a lot!

I really wanted to stay at the Wilderness Lodge because I had heard such wonderful things about the Christmas decorations. When I first called for a reservation, we were unable to get WL for the week we wanted to go (Dec 2-9). So, we ended up booking a week at the Polynesian instead. I kept looking for availability at the WL and AP rates. We ended up with: 2 nights at the WL in a Standard View room and 5 nights at the Poly on an AP rate in a Garden View room.

This time, we decided to rent a car and skip Magical Express. We tried using the bus system at AKL this past October (see my previous trip report), but we missed the freedom the rental car gave us. So, even though Magical Express worked great last time, we decided to manage our own bags. Before heading downstairs, we stopped off at Lush—an excellent all natural bath product store that has only recently moved from Canada into the US This turned out to be just fine, as the baggage claim area was quiet. We walked right through and picked out a car from the National Emerald Aisle—you just walk up and get in any car and drive away!

We decided to stop by Downtown Disney on our way to the Wilderness Lodge. We needed to pick up some festive Christmas ears to wear! DTD was crazy-busy! It was wall to wall people! We were able to find Minnie headband ears and Tigger ears on a Santa hat. It was so crazy, we had to get our of there! It was time to head out to WL!

We arrived and checked-in with no wait. To our surprise, the Cast Member there told us we had been upgraded from Standard View to a Courtyard View room! We were given room 6119, on the South Wing, overlooking the inner courtyard and the Silver Springs Creek.


We loved the newly renovated rooms! The flat screen TV was so nice, and it made for so much more space in the room! Here are a couple of pictures:



We were hungry, so we decided to get a late lunch/snack at Roaring Forks. I was surprised with how small it is! The Mara at AKL was HUGE in comparison! Fortunately, we were between lunch and dinner, so there were hardly any people there. We had the Tomato Bisque soup and, because they didn’t have any rolls, they gave us a piece of focaccia bread instead. It was quite yummy! We skipped the refillable mug, because it wasn’t very cute. We decided to hold out for the mug at the Poly.

We didn’t really have enough time to head over to the Magic Kingdom before dinner (besides, we didn’t want to get caught in the crush of parade taping), so we decided to walk around the hotel and check out the decor.

First, we went out to the boat dock and watched the boats come in and out. We could see the monorail go by, and I was surprised at how close the Contemporary was, even though it was well hidden by trees.

Even the boat dock was decorated for Christmas!

My DP

We saw some interesting birds at the water’s edge of Bay Lake.
Aren’t these wreathes both cute and well-themed?


We got a few pictures of the lobby Christmas tree.

We found the cat carving!

Here's us before dinner:

And we rubbed Humphrey’s nose for good luck!


Since it was still warm (in the 80s) and the weather was supposed to turn cooler in the next week, we decided it would be a great day to go swimming. The water was SO WARM! I was shocked! And it was really fun to hang out in the part of the pool where the Silver Springs Creek flows into the pool. Even the hot tubs were extra hot! We were nice and warm, and it was time to head upstairs to get ready for our dinner at Citricos.

We’d never been to Citricos before, so this was an exciting meal for us! We decided to drive over, because our dinner reservation was for 6:50PM, and we thought we might have time to catch Illuminations over at Epcot at 9:30PM if we drove to the Beach Club right after dinner. We were a bit early, so we decided to wander around the Grand Floridian and look at the some of the decorations there. The place was hopping! They had a band playing up on the second floor, and there were even some folks there taking wedding pictures. We peaked at the tree and gingerbread house and then headed over to Citricos to check-in.

We didn’t have the Dining Plan—we used it once, and we found we could never eat as much food as they gave us. So, we opted for the Disney Dining Experience card, which works much better for us, because this way we get 20% off the alcohol as well as the meal.

To drink, we started with the Year of a Million Dreams Blue Glow-Tini and the Lemon Drop. Our waiter was Jaime, and he was a great waiter. We like to split a lot of things, and he always brought the food out on two separate plates. Plus, they were generous with the portions. We ordered the arancini appetizer (delicious!), and he gave us 4 instead of 3, so he could have 2 on each plate. Then, we split the goat cheese salad, and since the goat cheese came in a little “pouch” he put one on each plate. We ordered Sonoma Cutrer chardonnay to go with dinner—the wild Virginia striped bass with mushroom risotto and the swordfish Provencal with mussels. Finally, we split the banana chocolate tart with carmelized bananas for dessert. All of the food was wonderful, and we really liked the décor and styling of the restaurant. We learned it was designed by the same person who did California Grill, so it makes sense that we liked this one as well.

At the end of all this, we realized it had been a 2 hour meal! However, we still had 40 minutes to get to Illuminations… no problem, I thought. We’ll just get our car from the valet and be on our way. We go up to the valet, give him our receipt, and he starts looking for our keys. He seems a bit concerned and starts opening a few more drawers. “What kind of car was it?” A red Impala, with Maryland plates was about all I remembered of the rental car we had just picked up that afternoon. He calls the valet who parked the car (who is on break). They see the car in the lot but still can’t find the keys. So, they send someone out to the lot with a flashlight, to see if the keys were left in the car or in the door. The valet at the stand starts opening every single drawer looking for the keys in a very methodical way. Half an hour later, they find the envelope with our keys at the bottom of one of the drawers (under the wrong letter of course). The valet is very apologetic and offers to give us the parking for free, but we already had free valet with the DDE card. Oh well, no Illuminations tonight. We decided to head back to the Wilderness Lodge and just relax after our travel day. We missed the Electrical Water Pageant, but we did get to watch the end of Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets. We didn’t have a “privacy” sign for our door (and there would be no alarm clock tomorrow!), so we called down to mousekeeping. They just had someone stop by and hang it on our door for us.
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Upcoming Trips: (DCL, etc.) 8/14 Dream DVCM & VWL, VGF, 9/14 Wonder Double-Dip & VGF, 1/15 Fantasy EC; Tentative Trips: (WDW) 2/15 ? PHM, 3/15 VGF; (DCL) 6/15 Magic Europe,
Past Trips: (WDW) 12/13 BLT MVMCP, 10/13 SSR MNSSHP F&W, 5/13 AKL, 3/13 VWL F&G, 2/13 BCV PHM, 9/12 BWV TOTTM MNNSHP F&W, 3/12 SSR F&G, 2/12 BCV PHM, 10/11 CSR MNSSHP F&W, 3/11 AKVJ F&G, 10/10 Poly F&W MNSSHP, 12/09 SSR NYE, 10/09 VWL/WL F&W MNSSHP (PreTrip Report), 3/09 SSR, 10/08 SSR MNSSHP F&W, 6/08 SSR SWW, 11/07 VWL F&W MNSSHP, 6/07 SSR SWW, 12/06 WL/Poly MVMCP, 10/06 AKL MNSSHP, 8/06 BC USSSA-WS, 10/05 CSR MNSSHP Wilma, 2/05 ASSp, 6/03 offsite, 8/02 ASMu; (DL) 8/13 DGC DDD!, 8/12 DGC DLHM, 5/05 DLH, 6/02 offsite; (DCL, etc.) 8/13 Dream 4day-3day B2B & BLT, 1/13 Fantasy WC DFTW & BWV/BLT, 8/12 Wonder AK, 5/12 Dream 3day & BLT, 1/12 Wonder MR, 8/11 Dream Double-Dip & VBR, 1/11 Magic WC & CR; (DLP) 5/08 offsite
Childhood trips: (Me) 12/95 offsite, 5/87 offsite, 4/80 DL offsite; (DP) 7/90 GF, 4/88 CR, 11/80 offsite

Last edited by TiggerAllie; 10-09-2009 at 10:40 PM.
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Old 12-28-2006, 05:13 AM   #2
Ronald Duck
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Hi TiggerAllie! With our own mid-month trip, I forgot about your first-week-of-December trip (when you successfully escaped the ONLY cold air of the whole month!).

Your trip report is (and will be) loads of fun for us to read, since WL and Poly are our #1 and #1a faves (with AKL close behind) and in '07 our only trip will be to one (or both) of them:

Quote:
Originally Posted by TiggerAllie View Post
We took almost 450 pictures this trip, so expect to see a lot!
Isn't it amazing how many good photos you can take in one trip to WDW (even when you go a lot)? I'll be enjoying the ones I took for months to come...RAH RAH digital photography!

Quote:
Originally Posted by TiggerAllie View Post
We walked right through and picked out a car from the National Emerald Aisle—you just walk up and get in any car and drive away!
How kewl is that (you can tell I don't rent cars much)! We're tiring of ME, so we may go Emerald the next time. Do you do all the "paperwork" online?

Quote:
Originally Posted by TiggerAllie View Post
To our surprise, the Cast Member there told us we had been upgraded from Standard View to a Courtyard View room! We were given room 6119, on the South Wing, overlooking the inner courtyard and the Silver Springs Creek.
In our two WL stays, we've booked Standard and have been upgraded to South Wing Courtyard each time! I've read that WL gives you the best chance of an upgrade, because they overbook the very limited # of Standard View rooms they have. In June, we were just down the hall (to the left) and around the corner. We loved the location!

Quote:
Originally Posted by TiggerAllie View Post
We loved the newly renovated rooms! The flat screen TV was so nice, and it made for so much more space in the room!
You said it! The AKL room we had last week seemed SOOO small in comparison!

Quote:
Originally Posted by TiggerAllie View Post
We were hungry, so we decided to get a late lunch/snack at Roaring Forks. I was surprised with how small it is! The Mara at AKL was HUGE in comparison!
It's amazing how different the two quick food places are, isn't it? And, it was even more cramped before the renovation! Of course, WL is quite a bit smaller in terms of #s of rooms.

Quote:
Originally Posted by TiggerAllie View Post
We could see the monorail go by, and I was surprised at how close the Contemporary was, even though it was well hidden by trees.
HA! That really shocked us too the first time we stayed there...a triumph of Disney Imagineering!

Quote:
Originally Posted by TiggerAllie View Post
...we opted for the Disney Dining Experience card, which works much better for us, because this way we get 20% off the alcohol as well as the meal.
We just got a DDE before our trip, and it worked great for us...it has already paid for itself, and is good thru next December. Another beast to feed!

Looking forward to more.
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Old 12-28-2006, 09:25 AM   #3
TiggerAllie
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ronald Duck View Post
Hi TiggerAllie! With our own mid-month trip, I forgot about your first-week-of-December trip (when you successfully escaped the ONLY cold air of the whole month!).
...
How kewl is that (you can tell I don't rent cars much)! We're tiring of ME, so we may go Emerald the next time. Do you do all the "paperwork" online?
...
It's amazing how different the two quick food places are, isn't it? And, it was even more cramped before the renovation! Of course, WL is quite a bit smaller in terms of #s of rooms.
Well, we escaped the cold air up north, but had our share of "cold" air for FL, as you'll see.

As far as the car rental goes, I think you can still get free Emerald Club membership through mousesavers (.com). You may have to sign up for the newsletter. There are a couple of other ways to get it too, otherwise it costs $50 I think. You just pick your dates online and enter your info and you are good to go.

Is WL really that much smaller? I don't have a sense of # of rooms at WL, # at VWL, and number at AKL....

I definitely enjoyed your "pictoral" report on the AKL thread. Thank goodness for digital photography!
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Upcoming Trips: (DCL, etc.) 8/14 Dream DVCM & VWL, VGF, 9/14 Wonder Double-Dip & VGF, 1/15 Fantasy EC; Tentative Trips: (WDW) 2/15 ? PHM, 3/15 VGF; (DCL) 6/15 Magic Europe,
Past Trips: (WDW) 12/13 BLT MVMCP, 10/13 SSR MNSSHP F&W, 5/13 AKL, 3/13 VWL F&G, 2/13 BCV PHM, 9/12 BWV TOTTM MNNSHP F&W, 3/12 SSR F&G, 2/12 BCV PHM, 10/11 CSR MNSSHP F&W, 3/11 AKVJ F&G, 10/10 Poly F&W MNSSHP, 12/09 SSR NYE, 10/09 VWL/WL F&W MNSSHP (PreTrip Report), 3/09 SSR, 10/08 SSR MNSSHP F&W, 6/08 SSR SWW, 11/07 VWL F&W MNSSHP, 6/07 SSR SWW, 12/06 WL/Poly MVMCP, 10/06 AKL MNSSHP, 8/06 BC USSSA-WS, 10/05 CSR MNSSHP Wilma, 2/05 ASSp, 6/03 offsite, 8/02 ASMu; (DL) 8/13 DGC DDD!, 8/12 DGC DLHM, 5/05 DLH, 6/02 offsite; (DCL, etc.) 8/13 Dream 4day-3day B2B & BLT, 1/13 Fantasy WC DFTW & BWV/BLT, 8/12 Wonder AK, 5/12 Dream 3day & BLT, 1/12 Wonder MR, 8/11 Dream Double-Dip & VBR, 1/11 Magic WC & CR; (DLP) 5/08 offsite
Childhood trips: (Me) 12/95 offsite, 5/87 offsite, 4/80 DL offsite; (DP) 7/90 GF, 4/88 CR, 11/80 offsite
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Old 12-28-2006, 12:59 PM   #4
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Hello fellow TR cheerleader-
Thanks for taking the time to share your TR with us.
Didn't you get upset waiting that long for them to find your keys?
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Old 12-28-2006, 01:14 PM   #5
TiggerAllie
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Quote:
Originally Posted by OhMari View Post
Hello fellow TR cheerleader-
Thanks for taking the time to share your TR with us.
Didn't you get upset waiting that long for them to find your keys?
Maybe if it had been our last chance to see Illuminations (I really wanted to see the special holiday ending) I would have been more upset. But, I figured we could just move stuff around and figure out a chance to go.

At first, I was pretty worried thinking that they lost the rental car, but once I knew it was actually in the parking lot and not given away to someone else (I've heard horror stories of that!) I figured they'd find the keys eventually (or pay to have new ones made).

Since we were only staying at WL for the first 2 nights, we had packed 2 separate suitcases (DME-style)--one for WL and one we hadn't unpacked for the Poly. Thankfully, I decided to be "safe" and bring both suitcases into our room at WL and hadn't left (the bigger) one in the car.

The valet was really nice about. I suppose I could have made a big stink, and had I been a guest at the hotel, maybe they would have comp'ed us something, but I wasn't really worried about it. Actually, aren't the GF valets now an out-sourced group?

I will be sure to mention it in my survey response. (I just got a card from WL. I suppose it isn't about the WL, but if I remember correctly from the AKL survey we did, there's a place to put other comments, too.) I figure they should know about it, especially since this was Saturday night, and I think some of the "big stars" from the parade taping were staying at GF.
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Upcoming Trips: (DCL, etc.) 8/14 Dream DVCM & VWL, VGF, 9/14 Wonder Double-Dip & VGF, 1/15 Fantasy EC; Tentative Trips: (WDW) 2/15 ? PHM, 3/15 VGF; (DCL) 6/15 Magic Europe,
Past Trips: (WDW) 12/13 BLT MVMCP, 10/13 SSR MNSSHP F&W, 5/13 AKL, 3/13 VWL F&G, 2/13 BCV PHM, 9/12 BWV TOTTM MNNSHP F&W, 3/12 SSR F&G, 2/12 BCV PHM, 10/11 CSR MNSSHP F&W, 3/11 AKVJ F&G, 10/10 Poly F&W MNSSHP, 12/09 SSR NYE, 10/09 VWL/WL F&W MNSSHP (PreTrip Report), 3/09 SSR, 10/08 SSR MNSSHP F&W, 6/08 SSR SWW, 11/07 VWL F&W MNSSHP, 6/07 SSR SWW, 12/06 WL/Poly MVMCP, 10/06 AKL MNSSHP, 8/06 BC USSSA-WS, 10/05 CSR MNSSHP Wilma, 2/05 ASSp, 6/03 offsite, 8/02 ASMu; (DL) 8/13 DGC DDD!, 8/12 DGC DLHM, 5/05 DLH, 6/02 offsite; (DCL, etc.) 8/13 Dream 4day-3day B2B & BLT, 1/13 Fantasy WC DFTW & BWV/BLT, 8/12 Wonder AK, 5/12 Dream 3day & BLT, 1/12 Wonder MR, 8/11 Dream Double-Dip & VBR, 1/11 Magic WC & CR; (DLP) 5/08 offsite
Childhood trips: (Me) 12/95 offsite, 5/87 offsite, 4/80 DL offsite; (DP) 7/90 GF, 4/88 CR, 11/80 offsite
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Old 12-28-2006, 01:33 PM   #6
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Looking forward to hearing more, especially about your time at the Poly! Hope to see lots of pictures!

Leslie
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WDW Trips: Several as a child with parents and grandparents; June 2003-FW; May 2005-Poly GVC; May 2007-Poly GVC (trip report); May 2008-Fun at FW cabins (trip report); November 2008-Fun at the Fort-Thanksgiving Style (trip report); September 2009-Back to the Fort-Labor Day (trip report); March 2010-Spring Break-lots of pics and FPs (trip report); May 2011-BLT; March 2012 - FW Cabins; August 2012 - DCL Dream!
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Old 01-01-2007, 01:13 PM   #7
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Day 2: MGM Characterfest

The next morning, we woke up, sans alarm, to a beautiful day! I knew the geyser went off on the hour, so I opened the sliding glass doors to take a few pictures.

Since we hadn’t bought the refillable mug, I started up the coffee pot for DP. We did have a very convenient location to Roaring Fork, as we could go straight down the elevator and across the courtyard.

We decided that today we would buck the crowds and go to MGM. We had slighted this park in the past, and it had been quite some time since we had ridden some of the rides. Plus, there were many things we had never done at MGM! Also, last time we realized MGM is a character gold mine! So, we were off to MGM.

We said goodbye to the Wilderness Lodge for the day

and got in our rental car. After the previous night’s escapade with the valet, we decided it would be a good idea to take a picture of the car and license plate.


I loved all the topiary at WL. We saw these buffalo as we walked down to the parking lot.

And these geese were along the side of the road as you entered the Lodge grounds.


When we entered MGM, it was not that crowded. As we entered, we saw their giant tree:


First off, we headed to the Hat. This has always been Character central, and this trip it did not disappoint! We met Chip and Dale and Clarice.
Then we saw Lightening McQueen and Mater.
We had never seen the Indiana Jones Stunt Show before, so we made sure to get to the first showing of the day. We had some time to kill, and we hadn’t eaten breakfast. So, we thought it would be a good idea to eat something. We knew that there were slim pickings at MGM, so we had low expectations. The ABC commissary was nearby, so we decided to give it a try. We split the Tabbouleh Wrap. It was a bland tortilla filled with hummus and tabbouleh, but the raw onion and black bean salad served with it was awful. Afterwards, we decided “gas salad” was really a better name. My stomach is gurgling just thinking of it. Ick. It was time for Indiana Jones, so we headed on in. This was a really great show! I hope it sticks around. I think if you get there early, you can volunteer to be one of the audience participants.

Next, we took a trip on Star Tours. None of these rides had any wait. We headed over to meet Mike and Sully from Monsters, Inc. They had a special area set up out of the main traffic areas.


We decided we would see Muppetvision 3D again, but since there was a 20 minute wait until the next show started, we ducked into the Christmas shop there. We found excellent ornaments and Christmas cards! There was this really cute throw on hold for someone behind the counter—it had Mickey in a sleigh flying over the moon. We tried to find it the whole trip, but they were all sold out. We had our packages sent to the front of the park and went off to see the Muppets!

Next, we went on the good ol’ Backlot Tour. We noticed that since we had been on it last time, you could now see the backstage area for the Lights Motors Action show, which was kind of interesting, as one of the shows was ending as our ride was getting started.

It’s a shame you can’t actually get a tour of some of the costuming rooms you drive through. I don’t know if this is a part of any of the MGM tours. I guess we’ll just have to try some day.

When we exited the ride, we stumbled upon another character gold mine—Mickey Avenue! Usually, just the Playhouse Disney characters are here—the Little Einsteins, JoJo and Goliath. Today, we saw 3 more character “stations” where we met (and danced with) Gideon and FowlFeather (from Pinocchio), saw Eeyore, and met Mr. Penguin.

It was really funny to hear all of the parents and kids referring to poor Mr. Penguin (from Mary Poppins) as “Happy Feet”. But, after March of the Penguins and Happy Feet, and I am glad to see penguins coming back in to favor again!

Over Thanksgiving, we had watched (for the first time) The Chronicles of Narnia. So, since they had reopened the Journey into Narnia “walking tour”, we decided to duck in and see it, as it was just starting. For those who’ve seen the movie, it’s pretty cool. It might be a little confusing if you haven’t seen it, though they do show a summary/extended trailer. There’s the wardrobe, the lamppost, and the White Witch, among other things. It also “snows”… if you are interested in the Disney “snow”. More on Disney “snow” later.

We had never seen the MGM parade before, and it was just starting, so we snagged a spot for the Hollywood Holly-day Parade. This is a cute parade with a lot of characters. As I said, usually we slight MGM, so we had never seen the Stars and Motor Cars version.


We ended our day at MGM by seeing the Magic of Disney Animation (where we met Mr. and Mrs. Incredible) and One Man’s Dream. This was a really great movie. We even saw that they had characters at the premier of Snow White! It’s a must see for any Disney-phile. Before you get to the movie, you walk through and see all this cool memorabilia. They have all the early merchandizing products that Roy Disney came up with to sell. People say that Disney is all about merchandise now, but there was tons of stuff to buy from the get-go! They have a mock-up of Walt Disney’s office (with 3 ashtrays!). We saw an original Tiki Bird too.

Even though we were headed back to Wilderness Lodge for dinner, we needed to have a pretzel and soda snack to settle our stomachs from the horrible Gas Salad at the ABC commissary. We stopped at the main store in the front to ask about the Passholder lithograph, but they told us we had to pick it up way on the other side of the park by the Backlot Tour. We didn’t have time to go back, so we decided to wait for another day, when we would come back to see the Osbourne lights. We picked up our packages and headed back to WL.

Tonight we were going to enjoy Christmas at WL! We had a dinner scheduled at Artist’s Point followed by a Christmas Sleigh ride.
__________________
Upcoming Trips: (DCL, etc.) 8/14 Dream DVCM & VWL, VGF, 9/14 Wonder Double-Dip & VGF, 1/15 Fantasy EC; Tentative Trips: (WDW) 2/15 ? PHM, 3/15 VGF; (DCL) 6/15 Magic Europe,
Past Trips: (WDW) 12/13 BLT MVMCP, 10/13 SSR MNSSHP F&W, 5/13 AKL, 3/13 VWL F&G, 2/13 BCV PHM, 9/12 BWV TOTTM MNNSHP F&W, 3/12 SSR F&G, 2/12 BCV PHM, 10/11 CSR MNSSHP F&W, 3/11 AKVJ F&G, 10/10 Poly F&W MNSSHP, 12/09 SSR NYE, 10/09 VWL/WL F&W MNSSHP (PreTrip Report), 3/09 SSR, 10/08 SSR MNSSHP F&W, 6/08 SSR SWW, 11/07 VWL F&W MNSSHP, 6/07 SSR SWW, 12/06 WL/Poly MVMCP, 10/06 AKL MNSSHP, 8/06 BC USSSA-WS, 10/05 CSR MNSSHP Wilma, 2/05 ASSp, 6/03 offsite, 8/02 ASMu; (DL) 8/13 DGC DDD!, 8/12 DGC DLHM, 5/05 DLH, 6/02 offsite; (DCL, etc.) 8/13 Dream 4day-3day B2B & BLT, 1/13 Fantasy WC DFTW & BWV/BLT, 8/12 Wonder AK, 5/12 Dream 3day & BLT, 1/12 Wonder MR, 8/11 Dream Double-Dip & VBR, 1/11 Magic WC & CR; (DLP) 5/08 offsite
Childhood trips: (Me) 12/95 offsite, 5/87 offsite, 4/80 DL offsite; (DP) 7/90 GF, 4/88 CR, 11/80 offsite

Last edited by TiggerAllie; 10-09-2009 at 10:52 PM.
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Old 01-02-2007, 09:48 AM   #8
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Day 2 (cont’d) Our last night at WL

In order to really experience the Wilderness Lodge, we decided to have dinner at Artist’s Point followed by the sleigh ride.
We saw this cute wreath on our way to Artist’s Point.


Now, my understanding is that Artist’s Point is considered a “Signature Restaurant” and is 2 TS credits on the Disney Dining Plan. Also, I was told when I made the reservation that it was considered “Business Casual” attire. As described on one website:
“No hats, swim suits, swim suit coveralls, tank tops, T-shirts, torn clothing or flip-flops. You can wear - dress shorts, pants, jean pants, collared shirts, blouses, sweaters, pants.”
As you can see from our pictures, we like to dress up for dinner, which is why we go to a lot of the signature dining restaurants (among other reasons). So, when a family walks in wearing sweatsuits, it’s kind of disappointing. There were plenty of guests in hats and logo t-shirts that were not turned away. I also think that we didn’t get a great table—right up near the front by the host stand—so we didn’t get a great view of the restaurant. It didn’t help that there was a lot of scaffolding up over the restaurant windows. At least we had a half booth. So, I was not impressed with the ambiance of Artist’s Point.

On to the food… we started with an Appletini for DP and the Northwest Exposure (a Baileys/chocolately cocktail) for me. We decided to split the Venison Spring Rolls because we had heard good things about them. They were tasty and interesting. For dinner, DP had the Potato Chive Potstickers and I had the Cedar Planked Salmon. Both were yummy. For dessert, we split Coffee Two Ways: Moccachino bread pudding and Coffee crème brulee. That was also good. (One of these days I’ll remember to take pictures of the food. I feel a bit self conscious about it, and usually I’m enjoying the meal too much to remember.)

Our final take on Artist’s Point: We liked it, but it wasn’t outstanding. I definitely didn’t get the feeling that it was a signature dining experience. It seemed more like a nicer restaurant for guests of the resort. This is in contrast to Citricos, which seems like a more special experience. I don’t know that I would use 2 TS credits here, but we would eat here again (yay DDE!). I did get a good WL vibe from the restaurant. I hear rumors there’s a fireplace in the restaurant and the window views are good, so maybe we’ll go back again and be able to see more of the restaurant. Maybe next time I will try the wine pairings you can get with each course. I didn’t this time, because we were planning on getting a glass of wine in the Territory Lounge to take with us on the Sleigh Ride!

We had scheduled the Sleigh Ride for 2 hours after our Artist’s Point ADR, which was just perfect (even though the service at Artist’s Point was a bit slow). We went into the TL and ordered 2 glasses of Cabernet Sauvignon. It was kind of funny, because we just got done having drinks at AP, but the bartender decided to card us (even though we’re 30). I did tell her that we were going to take the wine on the Sleigh Ride, and she gave us plastic glasses instead of real ones, which was nice.

We walked out to the front area of WL (Porte Cochere) and two “sleighs” were approaching. There was another family there that was also waiting for a sleigh. Once the previous guests “disembarked” we decided to just approach one of the drivers, even though it was early.

It was quite dark as we pulled away from WL. It was also very quiet. (We tried to take some pictures, but they didn’t come out well.) We clip-clopped down the road a bit, and then crossed the street on to a paved path that headed out to Fort Wilderness. It was the night before the full moon, and it was beautiful in the woods. It was also cool, but not cold, so we were perfectly comfortable sipping our wine in the carriage. We made it about halfway to FW when we reached the point at which we turned around and headed back. We had about a 25 minute ride. When we got back to WL, we said goodbye to our horse Charlie

and our driver Jon, and thanked them for a wonderful trip!


The previous night, we had been driving back into WL in the dark, and I stopped suddenly, because I saw what looked like 3 people carrying a strand of rope-lighting on their shoulders waiting to cross the road. As we got closer, I realized it was the horse and sleigh! Still, it was kind of scary, because you couldn’t tell what it was and if it was something that was really going to wait for you (as the cars had no stop sign) before crossing the road. Good thing those horses are well-trained! I was a bit nervous when we were on the sleigh waiting to cross the road because I knew any on-coming cars couldn’t see us very well.

After our relaxing evening, we decided to head back up to our room. We opened the sliding glass door because it was such a nice night, and we were happily surprised to hear the Electrical Water Pageant coming by!

I really enjoy the music for the EWP.

We had a really great view from our free upgrade courtyard view room!

Magic Kingdom was open until 11PM, but we were too tired to head over. I forgot to leave the door open to see the MK fireworks (since we could kind of see them over the top of the WL’s North Wing).

We had a wonderful relaxing last night at WL and caught the end of Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban. We’d have to say goodbye to the WL tomorrow morning and head off to the Poly. I’ll post my WL summary in the next installment.

Bonus:
Here’s a question for all you WL experts… does something go in this space?

I thought it was a very weird space that looked like it was supposed to have a bench or something (like in the Beach Club). Or maybe it’s the hole where there is sometimes the connecting-room door? I don’t know. Please post your ideas!
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Past Trips: (WDW) 12/13 BLT MVMCP, 10/13 SSR MNSSHP F&W, 5/13 AKL, 3/13 VWL F&G, 2/13 BCV PHM, 9/12 BWV TOTTM MNNSHP F&W, 3/12 SSR F&G, 2/12 BCV PHM, 10/11 CSR MNSSHP F&W, 3/11 AKVJ F&G, 10/10 Poly F&W MNSSHP, 12/09 SSR NYE, 10/09 VWL/WL F&W MNSSHP (PreTrip Report), 3/09 SSR, 10/08 SSR MNSSHP F&W, 6/08 SSR SWW, 11/07 VWL F&W MNSSHP, 6/07 SSR SWW, 12/06 WL/Poly MVMCP, 10/06 AKL MNSSHP, 8/06 BC USSSA-WS, 10/05 CSR MNSSHP Wilma, 2/05 ASSp, 6/03 offsite, 8/02 ASMu; (DL) 8/13 DGC DDD!, 8/12 DGC DLHM, 5/05 DLH, 6/02 offsite; (DCL, etc.) 8/13 Dream 4day-3day B2B & BLT, 1/13 Fantasy WC DFTW & BWV/BLT, 8/12 Wonder AK, 5/12 Dream 3day & BLT, 1/12 Wonder MR, 8/11 Dream Double-Dip & VBR, 1/11 Magic WC & CR; (DLP) 5/08 offsite
Childhood trips: (Me) 12/95 offsite, 5/87 offsite, 4/80 DL offsite; (DP) 7/90 GF, 4/88 CR, 11/80 offsite

Last edited by TiggerAllie; 10-09-2009 at 11:02 PM.
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Old 01-04-2007, 01:37 PM   #9
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Does anyone have any opinions on the "empty space" in the WL room shown at the end of the post above? Was our room just missing some piece of furniture?
Please post your answers while I work on the next installment....
"Good-bye WL, Hello Poly!"
__________________
Upcoming Trips: (DCL, etc.) 8/14 Dream DVCM & VWL, VGF, 9/14 Wonder Double-Dip & VGF, 1/15 Fantasy EC; Tentative Trips: (WDW) 2/15 ? PHM, 3/15 VGF; (DCL) 6/15 Magic Europe,
Past Trips: (WDW) 12/13 BLT MVMCP, 10/13 SSR MNSSHP F&W, 5/13 AKL, 3/13 VWL F&G, 2/13 BCV PHM, 9/12 BWV TOTTM MNNSHP F&W, 3/12 SSR F&G, 2/12 BCV PHM, 10/11 CSR MNSSHP F&W, 3/11 AKVJ F&G, 10/10 Poly F&W MNSSHP, 12/09 SSR NYE, 10/09 VWL/WL F&W MNSSHP (PreTrip Report), 3/09 SSR, 10/08 SSR MNSSHP F&W, 6/08 SSR SWW, 11/07 VWL F&W MNSSHP, 6/07 SSR SWW, 12/06 WL/Poly MVMCP, 10/06 AKL MNSSHP, 8/06 BC USSSA-WS, 10/05 CSR MNSSHP Wilma, 2/05 ASSp, 6/03 offsite, 8/02 ASMu; (DL) 8/13 DGC DDD!, 8/12 DGC DLHM, 5/05 DLH, 6/02 offsite; (DCL, etc.) 8/13 Dream 4day-3day B2B & BLT, 1/13 Fantasy WC DFTW & BWV/BLT, 8/12 Wonder AK, 5/12 Dream 3day & BLT, 1/12 Wonder MR, 8/11 Dream Double-Dip & VBR, 1/11 Magic WC & CR; (DLP) 5/08 offsite
Childhood trips: (Me) 12/95 offsite, 5/87 offsite, 4/80 DL offsite; (DP) 7/90 GF, 4/88 CR, 11/80 offsite

Last edited by TiggerAllie; 01-04-2007 at 04:47 PM.
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Old 01-04-2007, 04:00 PM   #10
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Just wanted to let you know how much I am enjoying your TR. I read your October one too. So glad we chose WL over AKL now
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Old 01-04-2007, 04:47 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by susieq76 View Post
Just wanted to let you know how much I am enjoying your TR. I read your October one too. So glad we chose WL over AKL now
I'm so glad you are enjoying it! For us, we definitely felt that WL was more our style than AKL. However, that wouldn't stop us from trying AKL again.... we'll just probably go back to WL first.
It looks like you are leaving on your WL trip soon! Have a wonderful time! I hope it stays "warmish" long enough for you to go swimming, cuz the pool at WL was really nice. And, it looks like you'll get in before the pool renovations.
I'll try to get a few more installments in before you leave!
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Upcoming Trips: (DCL, etc.) 8/14 Dream DVCM & VWL, VGF, 9/14 Wonder Double-Dip & VGF, 1/15 Fantasy EC; Tentative Trips: (WDW) 2/15 ? PHM, 3/15 VGF; (DCL) 6/15 Magic Europe,
Past Trips: (WDW) 12/13 BLT MVMCP, 10/13 SSR MNSSHP F&W, 5/13 AKL, 3/13 VWL F&G, 2/13 BCV PHM, 9/12 BWV TOTTM MNNSHP F&W, 3/12 SSR F&G, 2/12 BCV PHM, 10/11 CSR MNSSHP F&W, 3/11 AKVJ F&G, 10/10 Poly F&W MNSSHP, 12/09 SSR NYE, 10/09 VWL/WL F&W MNSSHP (PreTrip Report), 3/09 SSR, 10/08 SSR MNSSHP F&W, 6/08 SSR SWW, 11/07 VWL F&W MNSSHP, 6/07 SSR SWW, 12/06 WL/Poly MVMCP, 10/06 AKL MNSSHP, 8/06 BC USSSA-WS, 10/05 CSR MNSSHP Wilma, 2/05 ASSp, 6/03 offsite, 8/02 ASMu; (DL) 8/13 DGC DDD!, 8/12 DGC DLHM, 5/05 DLH, 6/02 offsite; (DCL, etc.) 8/13 Dream 4day-3day B2B & BLT, 1/13 Fantasy WC DFTW & BWV/BLT, 8/12 Wonder AK, 5/12 Dream 3day & BLT, 1/12 Wonder MR, 8/11 Dream Double-Dip & VBR, 1/11 Magic WC & CR; (DLP) 5/08 offsite
Childhood trips: (Me) 12/95 offsite, 5/87 offsite, 4/80 DL offsite; (DP) 7/90 GF, 4/88 CR, 11/80 offsite
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Old 01-04-2007, 04:48 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TiggerAllie View Post
Does anyone have any opinions on the "empty space" in the WL room shown above? Was our room just missing some piece of furniture?
Please post your answers while I work on the next installment....
"Good-bye WL, Hello Poly!"
My guess would be a nice chair or a Butler's stand.
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Old 01-04-2007, 04:55 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by OhMari View Post
My guess would be a nice chair or a Butler's stand.
That would have been nice to have in the room. I wonder if anyone has any pictures from their rooms from their trips showing something in this same space... ?
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Past Trips: (WDW) 12/13 BLT MVMCP, 10/13 SSR MNSSHP F&W, 5/13 AKL, 3/13 VWL F&G, 2/13 BCV PHM, 9/12 BWV TOTTM MNNSHP F&W, 3/12 SSR F&G, 2/12 BCV PHM, 10/11 CSR MNSSHP F&W, 3/11 AKVJ F&G, 10/10 Poly F&W MNSSHP, 12/09 SSR NYE, 10/09 VWL/WL F&W MNSSHP (PreTrip Report), 3/09 SSR, 10/08 SSR MNSSHP F&W, 6/08 SSR SWW, 11/07 VWL F&W MNSSHP, 6/07 SSR SWW, 12/06 WL/Poly MVMCP, 10/06 AKL MNSSHP, 8/06 BC USSSA-WS, 10/05 CSR MNSSHP Wilma, 2/05 ASSp, 6/03 offsite, 8/02 ASMu; (DL) 8/13 DGC DDD!, 8/12 DGC DLHM, 5/05 DLH, 6/02 offsite; (DCL, etc.) 8/13 Dream 4day-3day B2B & BLT, 1/13 Fantasy WC DFTW & BWV/BLT, 8/12 Wonder AK, 5/12 Dream 3day & BLT, 1/12 Wonder MR, 8/11 Dream Double-Dip & VBR, 1/11 Magic WC & CR; (DLP) 5/08 offsite
Childhood trips: (Me) 12/95 offsite, 5/87 offsite, 4/80 DL offsite; (DP) 7/90 GF, 4/88 CR, 11/80 offsite
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Old 01-04-2007, 06:49 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TiggerAllie View Post
Does anyone have any opinions on the "empty space" in the WL room shown at the end of the post above? Was our room just missing some piece of furniture?
Please post your answers while I work on the next installment....
"Good-bye WL, Hello Poly!"
Fun report so far- looks like you had a great time!

I don't think it was missing a piece of furniture. In a room that has an adjoining door- that space is where the door is.

We use that space to put the luggage rack since the drawers/closet are never big enough to totally 'unpack'. That space worked perfectly for it.
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Old 01-05-2007, 08:30 PM   #15
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Looking forward to your Poly reoprt and pics!!
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