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Old 05-16-2010, 12:16 PM   #1
ClareH37
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Confessions of a serial tweaker - May 2010 at the Boardwalk CL-*Day 8* Completed

To cut a very long story short, I changed my resort from a split stay at the Portofino and Yacht Club CL, to YC/BC CL, Animal Kingdom Lodge CL, Yacht Club CL, Yacht Club WV, Yacht Club CL and finally settled for the Boardwalk Inn CL - why I couldn't have just gone with the Boardwalk Inn in the first place as I love the CL there is anybodies guess but the 40% general public discount helped in my decision And I won't even go near the ADRs, I made so many changes I probably messed up the Disney Dining system.

I opted for a 7 night stay with 7 day park hopper and deluxe dining plan - and the best bit, I was going SOLO!!

I had been planning this trip for ages but then *that* volcano in Iceland erupted and my plans were thrown into disarray. Things started to settle down after the initial big eruption and I started to look forward to the trip, but then with a few days to go the ash cloud came back I scared myself silly with first of all thinking I wouldn't get away, then if I did get away was it safe, etc., etc.

In the end as the flight was still flying I decided it must be safe So, with less than 24 hours to go I finally started to pack and write out my luggage tags. As last year, I was travelling with Virgin Atlantic, Upper Class - as a nervous flyer this does help a little, OK probably a lot, to help calm my flight anxiety.



At 6 am my car arrived and after a somewhat hair-raising journey (think Big Thunder Mountain Railroad but in a car!) I arrived at Gatwick Airport just 25 minutes later (I usually allow around 45 minutes-1 hour to get to Gatwick), it was very busy, surprising given it was outside the UK school holidays, but thankfully I was checked in quickly and was soon through security enroute to the Virgin Atlantic Clubhouse (lounge for Upper Class passengers).

I was glad of the peaceful haven of the Virgin Atlantic Clubhouse. First things first, even before I hit the alcohol, I went to book a treatment at the Cowshed Spa and ended up booking the 'hot stone hand and arm treatment' but without the hot stones for a little later - it was blissful and involved a massage of the hands/arms/shoulders, exfoliation and tidying up the cuticles.



Before the treatment I grabbed a seat by the window to watch the planes, and ordered a Bellini (first of 3) with a bowl of cornflakes. I plugged myself into my iPod, read 'Hello' and texted a couple of friends who helped calm my pre flight nerves especially when I had a 'freak out' moment when 3 young middle eastern gentlemen arrived not speaking English (sorry, I don't wish to offend anyone and I actually feel bad for even thinking it, but I couldn't help thinking about certain issues), however, all was well (with me) when it materialised they were flying to Las Vegas and not Orlando.

Flight was boarding/departing on time according to the Clubhouse so I made my way down to Gate 13 (my second freaking out moment, was no. 13 going to be a lucky omen or not!) and bypassed the long line (full flight with 454 passengers) to the priority line, straight through - the security checks are now only random - and plonked myself down in a seat. Spoke to a lovely family whose daughter was crew and the mum was very nervous too so we tried to reassure each other lol we were both Disney nuts so even better!

1 hour later we finally boarded, we were delayed due to the cleaners not cleaning properly and the Captain calling them back on, by which time we had missed our take off slot. The Captain then advised the flight would take longer than usual (up to 2 hours) as we were travelling an alternative route to avoid the ash cloud, he also asked people not to worry. We ended up travelling down through Spain/Portugal then across to Canada and down to Orlando - one very long flight.



The FSM (Flight Service Manager) came around to introduce herself and neither of us could believe it but we went to school together over 20 years ago - we both looked at each other, said OMG I know you, and burst out laughing. Needless to say a great flight followed with lots of chatting/reminiscing, despite a fair amount of turbulence and the time factor.

Time passed by slowly with the extra time and I really started to wonder if we'd ever get to Orlando, but obviously we did! The plane landed, the doors opened and I was out of that door like a horse out of the starting stalls lol, straight into immigration where there were literally only a few people there. I had been stressing about being quizzed as I had heard 'stories' of international solos being given extra questions, I needn't have worried, another minute and I was throw where my luggage was already waiting for me on the carrousel, I then made my way to the Magical Express, checked in (no-one in line) and waited another 10 minutes for the bus to depart - very very easy, it only took me a maximum of 15 minutes to get from the plane to sitting on the Magical Express. The bus stopped first at Port Orleans Riverside, then Boardwalk before heading onto the Beach Club. There were a few of us getting off at the Boardwalk, I advised the valet I was staying club level and I was taken up to the lounge to check in where I was warmly greeted by the wonderful cast members I had met the previous year. I was finally home

I was allocated room 4237 which is a king size Boardwalk view directly opposite the lounge, perfect location.









I was so very tired but hungry, so opted for room service, I was on the deluxe dining plan and the cast member taking my order 'talked me into' ordering fruit/cheese plate, followed by a cheeseburger with house chips. When it arrived there was way too much food, I took a half hearted photo (minus the burger!), but you'll be glad to hear the photos improve the next day.



By the time the food arrived (30 minutes later) I was just too tired to eat I hardly touched the food I was so tired, I had a lunch booked at Tokyo Dining the next day but decided to hop over to another park first, whichever bus came along first - I then fell asleep with the lights still on I was that tired!
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Last edited by ClareH37; 05-29-2010 at 08:31 AM.
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Old 05-16-2010, 01:06 PM   #2
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Great start, Clare! I can't believe that about that LONG flight trip. I get fidgety on my 2 hour one!! I can't imagine. How many hours were you in the actual air flying? your room view is so lovely and how cool to be traveling solo! Can't wait to read more!
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Old 05-16-2010, 01:08 PM   #3
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Oh I had to laugh about your constant room changing! Me too! I started at YC CL, then BWI CL then BWI CL then staying put at YC CL! I think so much fun is to be had in the room planning, switching, agonizing..though no one but me in this family gets the same joy I do from these activities....
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Old 05-16-2010, 01:29 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by scottmel View Post
Great start, Clare! I can't believe that about that LONG flight trip. I get fidgety on my 2 hour one!! I can't imagine. How many hours were you in the actual air flying? your room view is so lovely and how cool to be traveling solo! Can't wait to read more!
It was about 10 hours Melissa and I hated every minute of it, with every little bump I thought we were going to crash! Worst was when I flew home, looking at the sky map we were flying not far from Iceland where the volcano is

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Oh I had to laugh about your constant room changing! Me too! I started at YC CL, then BWI CL then BWI CL then staying put at YC CL! I think so much fun is to be had in the room planning, switching, agonizing..though no one but me in this family gets the same joy I do from these activities....
Great minds think alike lol
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Old 05-16-2010, 01:48 PM   #5
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Claire....awesome start to your trip report!!

Can't wait to read more
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Old 05-16-2010, 01:52 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by Dug-says-HI-THERE! View Post
Claire....awesome start to your trip report!!

Can't wait to read more
Thanks I'm working on it (have to resize photos) so next day will probably be tomorrow.

As a first time solo tripper I'm hoping it might help others as I was quite nervous before this trip, that soon vanished by time I got to Disney
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Old 05-16-2010, 02:10 PM   #7
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I just love the view from your room! The room is lovely. Looking forward to reading about your trip!
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Old 05-16-2010, 02:42 PM   #8
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Great start, looking forward to reading more. Upper class looks amazing!
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Old 05-16-2010, 02:45 PM   #9
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Great start!!!

Joe says Hi! He thinks your plane seat looks way cool but I don't think he'd enjoy a 10 hour flight.
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Old 05-16-2010, 02:54 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rozz View Post
I just love the view from your room! The room is lovely. Looking forward to reading about your trip!
I fell in love with the room as soon as I walked through the door and am missing it already!

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Great start, looking forward to reading more. Upper class looks amazing!
It is a very nice way to travel but as I'm so nervous I really don't get as much out of it as perhaps I should, I really could not face being in a 'normal' seat.

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Great start!!!

Joe says Hi! He thinks your plane seat looks way cool but I don't think he'd enjoy a 10 hour flight.
LOL, Joe was such a cutie - I'm not sure I enjoyed it either, but at least it was getting me to my favourite place
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Old 05-16-2010, 04:11 PM   #11
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We want more. What a nice surprise with the flowers
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Old 05-16-2010, 04:16 PM   #12
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We want more. What a nice surprise with the flowers
lol - am having a break from resizing the photos so will get the next instalment up tomorrow.

Flowers were from one of my CM friends, a really nice surprise - only thing is the card was blank, it was only the next day when they texted me to ask if I liked the flowers that I realised they were from them
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Old 05-17-2010, 09:54 AM   #13
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* Day 2 *

Ugh, up at 5.30 am!! After tossing and turning for what seemed an eternity I got out of bed, flung open the doors to my balcony and took in the view



I sat on the balcony for a while just chilling and mulling over what my day ahead was going to be like - I had a lunch ADR at Tokyo Dining so had to be back at Epcot for that as I was meeting Karyn from the Dis for lunch so decided I'd either go to AK or MK, just hop on the first bus that came along. After making my first decision of the day I had a quick shower and ordered room service for breakfast.

Red bliss potatoes with smoked bacon and 2 easy-medium eggs - I'm not a lover of eggs usually (hate the white in particular) but fancied dipping the potatoes in something. This was accompanied by a side of fruit, glass of pink grapefruit juice and a bellini (perfect way to start my first day)



As I arrived at the (deserted) bus stop a bus for the MK came along, so MK it was. I had never seen the opening ceremony in all my years of going to Orlando so this was doing to be a first for me.

Now, I'll be honest, as I stood watching the opening ceremony surrounded by families I became quite emotional, I thought of my wonderful parents at home who will not do another trip, and there was a hint of sadness that they were not with me, that lasted until I stepped under the tunnel into MK and then it hit me, I was at the MK solo. woohoo, I was as giddy as school girl in love.



I strolled along Main Street taking in the sights and sounds, it was such a wonderfully liberating feeling, strolling along by myself, knowing I was my own boss.



First stop was Fantasy Land where I rode Peter Pan, and then my favourite, It's a Small World - 4 times in a row in my own 'private' boat, I sang along with not a care in the world.

I then went over to Pirates where again I was in my own boat, singing along, 'ho, ho, ho it's a pirate's life for me'.


As I had a lunch booked at Tokyo Dining and was meeting Karyn from the Dis I felt I should be making a move, I contemplated taking the monorail to Epcot but was really a little jetlagged and the walk from Future World to Tokyo Dining didn't seem so appealing so I decided to take the bus back to the Boardwalk and wander into Epcot from there.

It was hot today, very hot - a total climate change from the UK that's for sure!

I checked into Tokyo Dining and a couple of minutes later Karyn arrived, she'd been on the new segway tour which had only just finished, she'd run all the way from the tour! We were given a great table right by the window and our waitress came over to introduce herself.

I knew the deluxe dining plan offered a lot of food, but given the fact I was staying onsite and the £/$ rate not so hot, whether I ate all the food or not it was still more cost effective to take the plan.

To start we both had the Assorted Tempura - Shrimp, chicken breast and seasonal vegetables with a Japanese dipping sauce - the tempura was beautiful and melted in the mouth.



For mains I opted for the Ginza Gozen - tempura and sushi combination, the tempura included the same selection as the appetiser but also scallops, the sushi included 2 California rolls, tuna nigiri, yellowtail nigiri and shrimp nigiri, seaweed salad, dipping sauce and a bowl of rice. Let's just say I gave my dining companion some sushi, I only ate 1 piece, 3 pieces of tempura and nothing else.

Karen went for the grilled steak and rice, and had some of my sushi.



We walked around World Showcase to walk off our lunch, taking some photos enroute



before saying goodbye (we were also meeting the next day), I then went back to the Boardwalk to relax in the lounge and on my balcony.





I was meeting another set of friends for dinner - we had met the previous year and decided to meet again. Dinner was at the Rose & Crown. I had a fabulous lunch in 2009 so was expecting the same.

Unfortunately my meal was very disappointing, although the other meals were fine. We were shown to an inside table, which was no problem, and told we could go outside to watch Illuminations. The meal started well enough, I had the cheese sampler plate and it was very good.



Then the Cottage Pie and this was where things went downhill, fast. The pie looked good, smelt good, but tasted ugh. The mince was gristly and fatty, and overpoweringly seasoned, so much so it immediately gave me heart burn. We had a lovely waitress who took the offending item away (even agreeing it was too highly seasoned) and asked what else I wanted. I opted for the roast beef, unfortunately however, what came out look like cremated shoe leather, with a blob of school dinner style mash potato, note good either.



Food aside we had a great waitress and the 'boys' entertained the nearby tables, they are so funny. We finished just in time for the fireworks and had a great view, the boys then went off to Beaches & Cream for ice-cream, whilst Vanessa and I went back to our respective hotels - as I arrived back at the Boardwalk evening desserts were out in the lounge so I took a chocolate covered strawberry back to my room for a pre-dinner 'snack'



My room had been turned down and the bed was so inviting, after enjoying my strawberry I was soon asleep, ready for another day.

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Old 05-17-2010, 10:22 AM   #14
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Great photos!!!

I must try Tokyo Dining someday!

What day of the week was this? Friday right? Friday was deadly hot!!!
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Old 05-17-2010, 10:25 AM   #15
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Great photos!!!

I must try Tokyo Dining someday!

What day of the week was this? Friday right? Friday was deadly hot!!!
Tokyo Dining is on my to do list again, it really was fantastic.

Sorry, will put days/dates on as well - this was Saturday - when I arrived on the Friday night I thought I would going to melt, if it had been possible to fit into the room fridge I would have!
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