DVC RESALES
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Old 06-11-2010, 11:50 PM   #1
stopher1

Wall to wall creeps, and hot and cold running chills! Shh...listen
I have plenty of hill left to climb thank you very much
 
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stopher1's Solo Adventures: WDW Jun '10

For those of you who have experienced my other TR’s, or have encountered me on various threads, you’ll probably know that I am a bit of a fortunate guy in that I like to - and very often get to - tack personal time on to work trips to do or experience something fun. If I can’t tack on a day (or two) at the beginning or end of a trip, I’ll definitely try to at least seek out something fun in the area I’m in… for example – when in NYC, I love to see a show, or a Yankees game, or ride the subway, or take the Staten Island Ferry, or, or, or. When in DC I love to see the museums or various monuments, in Philly I enjoy seeing some of the historical sites. The midwest is riddled with quaint old towns such as were Walt's inspiration for Main Street, U.S.A... in fact everywhere you go there's something to see or do, if you only take the time to explore. Some places just happen to have the best themed experiences on the planet… Anaheim, Orlando, Tokyo, Paris and Hong Kong – and if I’m “in the neighborhood”, you’d better believe I’m going to tack on some time and go see some old pals and enjoy some great architecture too – sometimes even have a great meal, or enjoy a show or a ride or two. SOLO. Because I’m comfortable enough traveling & touring on my own - perhaps all of those after work hours trips into the park back in the day when I worked at the Land really solidified my love and enjoyment for being in a Disney park solo, just as much as when I'm with others (that and I can’t always afford to bring the family along on work trips!)

So with that in mind, it’s time once again for a SOLO adventure by stopher1 vs. my FAMILY adventures when at least one other member of the family gets to go with me such as my Father/Sons Weekend Getaway last year, or my Triple Whammy LIVE report from our family trip this past January when we took my folks along and did a triple split stay between THV/AKV/VWL, or my upcoming Daddy/Daughter Adventure this fall. I have also gone on a couple of adult only trips with my lovely DW, for our anniversaries the past couple of years, but I haven't written reports on those trips.

I travel a lot for my for work, and those travels just happen to include both California (headquarters is located in Orange County – the home of Disneyland, just in case you were somehow not aware - oh and some awesome beaches BTW , , but that is of course, another story - I just liked the smilie) and my regional territory (24 states on the eastern half of the country) naturally includes Florida (the home of Walt Disney World – again, just in case you were somehow not sure where that plane takes you each time you go to the World! )

This particular trip was not even on my radar screen until oh, about 9 days prior to arrival. Not too shabby that I was able to pull it off. I wasn’t sure I’d be able to, but since it was so very last minute, I will just say I was grateful and quite happy that it did. Pretty much work was calling and I needed to be in Jacksonville on a Thursday and Friday. Could I possibly tack on some time for enjoyment, and recharging my Disney batteries while being “in the area’”?!? Of course I could since, naturally, being so close to one of the “motherships” as I like to call both the Land and the World (if you saw one one my flair buttons on my Facebook page, you’d understand it better – but basically, it says “DISNEYLAND – it calls to me, like the mothership) – being so very close to the Land or the World just BEG me to make room in my schedule to pay a visit. Now, many people might say – Jacksonville – that’s not super close to WDW. But in reality, it’s much, much closer than where I live here in central Indiana – so yeah, driving a couple of hours to enjoy a bit of pleasure at the end of a work trip does not bother me in the least.

I will say of course, that DVC is not designed for last minute travels – more the long term kind of planning – but hey, it still can and does work out from time to time…especially when you have “old reliable” in the system (you know, that great big sprawling resort that started it all – Old Key West). Hurray for “old reliable”. It's not a resort we own at, nor is it my favorite, but I think it is a nice resort with many postives, so I was quite happy to get it. Once I knew my meeting schedules and saw what kind of a flight I could get on (in to Jacksonville, out of Orlando) I made the decision to go for it and try. First I decided to check the DVC Resort Availability thread (not that it’s gospel, but certainly good for information) and then I quickly called Member Services just to see if there was anything at all. I had enough “play” points that I could stay in one of three resorts, depending on availability, of course. A standard view studio at either AKV, BWV or OKW. Of course there was nothing at BWV – since Star Wars Weekends was going on. And nothing at AKV either – even in Kidani… but wait – YES, OKW was, and I quote, “wide open – lots of rooms available”. Cool. I snagged it. Then I asked if there was a room near the HH, but sadly, she said no, but I could waitlist it. Now that seemed kind of funny to me, waitlisting 8 days prior, but hey, you never know. (Guess what - I got it!) Now it was time to just grab that flight reservation and book the one way rental, since I decided I’d just use ME while there on property. I could have used the car, but hey, getting around on the Disney transportation is just so much part of the fun…especially when it’d be just me, and I like to hop around when traveling solo (my DW does NOT like to hop if we don’t NEED to hop). Who knew where I’d end up by the end of the day – let alone where the car would be from the start of the day.

I then looked through my AP mailer that had just happened to arrive not 3 days earlier, and saw that the Summer Nightastic! festivities would be kicking off the weekend I would be there. Woo hoo – I’d get to relish in seeing my beloved MAIN STREET ELECTRICAL PARADE once more ON A MAIN STREET, where it belongs. I love that parade (sorry Spectro fans, but the MSEP is just so much better and cooler IMO ). I love that I can see it while out west at DL – but it’s no longer actually INSIDE Disneyland, on Main Street - where it belongs…but rather inside DCA on that winding “parade corridor”. It’s just not the same. So the fact that DL packed it up and shipped it east for the summer – and I would be able to BE there to see it, on Main Street, just really lit my buttons. I was very, very stoked about that fact alone. That right there, made my efforts to extend my trip completely worthwhile to me. I know, it’s the little things, huh?

Being that this would be a quick trip – 3 nights (Friday – Sunday) with an early morning departure on Monday – I debated whether or not I would bother getting the QSDP or not. Cost wise I shouldn’t have, but in the end I opted for the convenience and had MS put it onto my reservation. And, since I was just 9 days out from arrival, I wasn’t sure if the DME info would arrive prior to my departure for the work part of the trip. NOT that I would be checking any luggage or anything, especially since I was not even flying in to MCO, but rather for the transportation voucher. The MS CM thought it would but basically said if they don’t just check in at the counter upon your arrival to MCO and they’ll take care of you. I didn’t even need to worry about it, as 2 days later, in my mailbox, was an OVERNIGHT envelope from DME with my vouchers, and the little yellow tags, that of course I did not use. Now THAT was excellent customer service.

Throughout the next week I saw that two DIS buddies would be at the World at the exact same time as me… (one from the DIS DAD's Club and one from the WL Groupies) ... hmmm, could we arrange a couple of meets? Could we? Would we? Oh to find out in my next installment, that might even have some pictures (of course pictures are coming, I took over 500 in that short little weekend trip - but I won't post them all! I promise). So much happened in that short little weekend - but alas, it's late and I need to get some sleep. But more will be coming very, very soon. I will leave you with these two pictures to start it all off though - from shortly after my arrival at OKW.



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Christopher DW DS (18) DS (15) DD (10) BICOASTAL SOLO Adventure: Nov/Dec'10 / Daddy-Daughter Adventure: AKV Sep'10
SOLO Adventures: WDW Jun '10 / Triple Whammy WDW Family Trip-Jan'10 / SOLO Adventures: DL Nov/Dec'09 / Father/Sons Adventure May'09
My 13,000th Post My 12,000th Post My 10,000th Post

DISNEYLAND: Way too many to possibly count! I grew up 30 mins. from DL. Former CM. AP holder for 20 yrs. Premier Pass AP. All 3 DL Resorts and numerous off-site hotels.
WDW: 58 trips on & off-site, including DVC, Deluxe, Moderate & Value - in 18 different WDW resorts & numerous off-site resorts. AP holder for 5 yrs. Premier Pass AP holder.
AULANI: 1 so far. More to come though, & definitely looking forward to returning!

Last edited by stopher1; 06-12-2010 at 12:20 PM.
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Old 06-11-2010, 11:52 PM   #2
stopher1

Wall to wall creeps, and hot and cold running chills! Shh...listen
I have plenty of hill left to climb thank you very much
 
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I arrived at the resort by around 9 pm. I figured that that evening I would either a) go to DTD or b) hang around the resort and enjoy the pool/jacuzzi. I really wasn't sure what I wanted to do.

I had done the online check-in a couple of days prior but lo and behold, even with a practically empty lobby, it didn't speed things up at all. Why? Because of the QSDP. I know, having the dining plan on a reservation normally shouldn't be a problem. But this time it was. For whatever reason.

The CM was very polite and friendly, handed me all of my documents and my KTTW, and then proceeded to tell me to have a pleasant stay. I asked him, don't I owe you some money? For what he asked. I said for the dining plan I'd put on my reservation. He looked at his computer and said, "I see no dining plan." Now of course, we all know that the dining plan cannot be added upon check-in and I was getting a bit frustrated at this point. I questioned him about what he was saying, and told him that I had specifically added it to my reservation WHEN I MADE IT. Again, for the price I really didn't NEED it, I could have spent a few dollars less - but for this weekend it really was all about the convenience, and I wanted a new mug. But this was my out... I COULD have just accepted what he said and moved on to pay cash for anything I ate...but no, now it was the principal of it.

So I asked him to look again. And lo and behold, viola, suddenly he said he DID see it there, and when preparing the online packages they missed it. He would fix it for me, but it would take a few minutes. Well that few minutes quickly turned into 25 while he went back behind the wall and spoke with a supervisor. He said they would have to cancel my reservation and generate a new one since everything had already been issued. I thought that was strange, but okay. I DID grill him however about whether or not it would affect my points in any way (i.e. dumping anything into Holding, or whatnot). He assured it would not do anything like that.

While waiting, I inquired of another CM about the boat service to DTD. They said it was running until 11:30. What? 11:30? That's all? I figured on a Friday night in June it would be til midnight or later, but nope, 11:30. I wasn't so sure about going to DTD anymore. Then I went over to the DVC CM dude, who happened to share my given name and inquired about the Member Gathering at the TOTWL over at BLT. I certainly was not interested in adding points at BLT, but I DID want to check out the TOTWL. When DW and I were at VWL in March for our anniversary, we decided to skip it since we had other stuff we were doing - so this time, I really did want to see it. So I arranged to part of the 1:00 gathering on Sunday. Wow, my first dedicated thing to to.

Then I got a call from Christian, my Dad's Club friend. We've been buddies for two years now and had previously met up in Michigan where he lives while I was on business in his area - and we both really wanted to make it happen again. He and his DW and DD had been at WDW all week. We decided to meet at the MK in the morning for some breakfast and hangout time before they had to leave for the airport to go home. Cool. Two definite things to do. The rest would be very fluid - except for the MSEP Sunday night.

Finally the desk CM emerged and my new KTTW card was ready to go. Same room, no changes to my account. He said. So I was good to go, and finally off to my room. I stopped at Bell Services to have them bring my OL's over and the guy said, here just come with me and I'll drive you to your room, and we'll pick up your lockers on the way. I thought to myself, "ok for the locker part, but I don't need to drive since I'm right across the street, but ok, if you really want to." We hopped in his van and THEN he asked me where we were going. I told him 1422. He laughed. Ok, and we STILL drove from the HH porte cachere right across the driveway to the building 14's parking lot. It was too funny. But it turned out that with the on-going construction/expansion at the HH's luggage storage room - Bell Services has been storing OL's over inside of a 2 BR on the bottom floor of - yes you guessed it - building 14! Kinda funny really. So while I walked upstairs with my carry-on bag and backpack, he lugged my two lockers upstairs. FINALLY - about 9:45 I was ready to do something. But what?

I decided on the pool and getting some pics around the resort.
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Christopher DW DS (18) DS (15) DD (10) BICOASTAL SOLO Adventure: Nov/Dec'10 / Daddy-Daughter Adventure: AKV Sep'10
SOLO Adventures: WDW Jun '10 / Triple Whammy WDW Family Trip-Jan'10 / SOLO Adventures: DL Nov/Dec'09 / Father/Sons Adventure May'09
My 13,000th Post My 12,000th Post My 10,000th Post

DISNEYLAND: Way too many to possibly count! I grew up 30 mins. from DL. Former CM. AP holder for 20 yrs. Premier Pass AP. All 3 DL Resorts and numerous off-site hotels.
WDW: 58 trips on & off-site, including DVC, Deluxe, Moderate & Value - in 18 different WDW resorts & numerous off-site resorts. AP holder for 5 yrs. Premier Pass AP holder.
AULANI: 1 so far. More to come though, & definitely looking forward to returning!

Last edited by stopher1; 06-12-2010 at 10:09 AM.
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Old 06-11-2010, 11:53 PM   #3
stopher1

Wall to wall creeps, and hot and cold running chills! Shh...listen
I have plenty of hill left to climb thank you very much
 
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Reserved for another future post
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Christopher DW DS (18) DS (15) DD (10) BICOASTAL SOLO Adventure: Nov/Dec'10 / Daddy-Daughter Adventure: AKV Sep'10
SOLO Adventures: WDW Jun '10 / Triple Whammy WDW Family Trip-Jan'10 / SOLO Adventures: DL Nov/Dec'09 / Father/Sons Adventure May'09
My 13,000th Post My 12,000th Post My 10,000th Post

DISNEYLAND: Way too many to possibly count! I grew up 30 mins. from DL. Former CM. AP holder for 20 yrs. Premier Pass AP. All 3 DL Resorts and numerous off-site hotels.
WDW: 58 trips on & off-site, including DVC, Deluxe, Moderate & Value - in 18 different WDW resorts & numerous off-site resorts. AP holder for 5 yrs. Premier Pass AP holder.
AULANI: 1 so far. More to come though, & definitely looking forward to returning!
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Old 06-12-2010, 08:37 AM   #4
cj9200
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Heading down solo for the first time (at WDW) next week. Looking forward to hearing more about your experiences. I already know you had a great time from the Dis Dads thread.
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Old 06-12-2010, 09:49 AM   #5
stopher1

Wall to wall creeps, and hot and cold running chills! Shh...listen
I have plenty of hill left to climb thank you very much
 
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Here are just a few more from shortly after I arrived at the resort, and then made my way to my room, which was in building 14, right across from the HH. The cool thing was, at least I thought it was cool, is that I stayed in that exact building, last May/June with my boys for our Father/Sons Star Wars Weekend trip. Just this time I was on 2 instead of 3, and on the other side. But I love being that close to the HH.





I really like Papa's Den. Very cozy and relaxing.


My room


__________________
Christopher DW DS (18) DS (15) DD (10) BICOASTAL SOLO Adventure: Nov/Dec'10 / Daddy-Daughter Adventure: AKV Sep'10
SOLO Adventures: WDW Jun '10 / Triple Whammy WDW Family Trip-Jan'10 / SOLO Adventures: DL Nov/Dec'09 / Father/Sons Adventure May'09
My 13,000th Post My 12,000th Post My 10,000th Post

DISNEYLAND: Way too many to possibly count! I grew up 30 mins. from DL. Former CM. AP holder for 20 yrs. Premier Pass AP. All 3 DL Resorts and numerous off-site hotels.
WDW: 58 trips on & off-site, including DVC, Deluxe, Moderate & Value - in 18 different WDW resorts & numerous off-site resorts. AP holder for 5 yrs. Premier Pass AP holder.
AULANI: 1 so far. More to come though, & definitely looking forward to returning!
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Old 06-12-2010, 11:51 AM   #6
stopher1

Wall to wall creeps, and hot and cold running chills! Shh...listen
I have plenty of hill left to climb thank you very much
 
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As I mentioned earlier, I've only stayed at OKW one other time. But both times now, I've generally enjoyed the resort, and can definitely see myself going back again. I don't need to own points there, but I do believe it is a nice resort. Remembering back to the very first time I received a mailer about DVC, it would have been OKW that I would have purchased had I made the leap way back then... my obsession with DVC began way back in 1992, I just wasn't able to do anything about it until 2007. But that's okay, because I'm sure enjoying it all now and plan to continue doing so until I either die or we get to 2060. And I do plan on being back to OKW in the future.

As a review, I've been asked by a few people what I think are the pros and cons. So I'll share that here. Everyone has their own opinion of what they do and do not like. Not everyone will share my opinions and that's perfectly okay by me. But since I'm still a relative newbie to staying at OKW, I will give my observations here.

PROS:
  • I like the theming.
  • I like the size of the rooms.
  • I like the direct boat transportation to DTD.
  • I like the amenities. I could totally see my family staying there for a week and not even hitting the parks. I shared that with my DW last year after my first visit, and she thought that sounded nice too.
  • I like the pool, and the slide is okay. I understand many owners might not have wanted the slide added, but it's okay, and I think the way it was designed kind of fits in to the overall surroundings.
  • I really like the way they hid the sauna inside the lighthouse... I just think that's cool.
  • I like Papa's Den, I think it's pretty neat.
  • I like the various walking / running pathways throughout.
  • I like the way the golf course weaves it's way around and through it.
  • I like the condo style direct access entry - no long hallways.

CONS:
  • I do not like the bus transportation. I personally think that the configuration of the resort and the stops is a bit strange. I don't like having to go down a road, and then turn around, to turn onto another road, and then turn around, etc. As far as bus transporation goes, I much prefer a looping kind (like POR for example) or a single point of access (like each of the buildings AKV for example) - but of course with so many buildings spread out across the resort, this kind would not be feasible at OKW.
  • I do not like the very bunched up feeling at the HH, especially the way that both the Front Desk area and the shop and Olivia's all enter/exit into the same narrow corridor, filled with the airline check-in counter and Bell Services.
  • I do not like the lack of elevators in the buildings. Taking the stairs is perfectly fine, and very good for your health - I do it everyday at my office - but I just don't like it. Personal choice is all. I just wouldn't want to be lugging a sleeping child up to the third floor at the end of a long park day.
  • I don't like the condo style accomodations. (I know, wait a minute, I said I do like them above in the PROS list... that's because it's really more of a mixed bag reaction... I do like them, but I don't like them. It's really more neutral for me and I wanted to say so).
  • I do not like the way that they only have the sidewalk on one side of Peninsular Road.
  • I don't like how sprawling and spread out the resort is. While it's doable without a car, it's not the easiest resort to get around without one. (I have the same opinion of SSR too).
  • I do NOT like that Goods to Go closes so early. It was closed at 10pm. Whoa, wait a minute - life doesn't shut down at 10pm, especially at WDW. Why not keep it open til 11 or 12 like other resort counter service locations?
  • I do NOT like that when you get a refillable mug, you cannot refill it after Goods to Go closes. I do NOT like that they cover over the machine. I personally think that that sucks and kind of defeats the purpose of the refillable mug... perhaps if they had a scanner device on the resort refill locations as they do at BB & TL, then they could keep the machines open throughout the night and early in the morning before the actual counter service location opens up. Just a thought really. Of course that would also deter all of those individuals who return stay after stay with the same mug. Not that I'm trying to start and argument about that topic here at all - BECAUSE I'M NOT. It's just kind of a streaming thought process coming out about the fact that I could not refill my mug at 10:05 pm while walking back from the pool because Goods to Go closed at 10. Ugh.
  • I do NOT like that there are only centrally located ice machines for multiple buildings, instead of having one per building. Pet peeve there for me. I love having ice in my water, especially when it is over in the upper 90's to lower 100's real feel. I don't love having to walk way down to the main pool's laundry building to get ice.
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Christopher DW DS (18) DS (15) DD (10) BICOASTAL SOLO Adventure: Nov/Dec'10 / Daddy-Daughter Adventure: AKV Sep'10
SOLO Adventures: WDW Jun '10 / Triple Whammy WDW Family Trip-Jan'10 / SOLO Adventures: DL Nov/Dec'09 / Father/Sons Adventure May'09
My 13,000th Post My 12,000th Post My 10,000th Post

DISNEYLAND: Way too many to possibly count! I grew up 30 mins. from DL. Former CM. AP holder for 20 yrs. Premier Pass AP. All 3 DL Resorts and numerous off-site hotels.
WDW: 58 trips on & off-site, including DVC, Deluxe, Moderate & Value - in 18 different WDW resorts & numerous off-site resorts. AP holder for 5 yrs. Premier Pass AP holder.
AULANI: 1 so far. More to come though, & definitely looking forward to returning!

Last edited by stopher1; 06-12-2010 at 10:11 PM.
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Old 06-12-2010, 12:13 PM   #7
stopher1

Wall to wall creeps, and hot and cold running chills! Shh...listen
I have plenty of hill left to climb thank you very much
 
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The renovations certainly have not reached building 14 yet. My room is still the original decor and theme.






Saturday morning started early since I planned to be at the MK for Rope Drop. I would be meeting my friends Christian & Margie at about 9:30, and I wanted to enjoy Main Street for a bit before they arrived. I'm an early riser at home anyway, so it's not a big deal for me to do so at WDW too. Plus I really love being up attem early at the various resorts I stay at. It's so peaceful and enjoyable.

The parks bus stop at HH is currently closed due to the luggage storage expansion, only DME stops there, so everyone has to either use Peninsular Rd or walk down to the Miller Rd stop.








Walking across the bridge by HH down to the Peninsular Rd bus stop. Looking west towards the golf course and buildings 17 & 18, I believe




From the Peninsular Rd. stop looking north to Olivia's and the Hospitality House, with the boat dock in front




__________________
Christopher DW DS (18) DS (15) DD (10) BICOASTAL SOLO Adventure: Nov/Dec'10 / Daddy-Daughter Adventure: AKV Sep'10
SOLO Adventures: WDW Jun '10 / Triple Whammy WDW Family Trip-Jan'10 / SOLO Adventures: DL Nov/Dec'09 / Father/Sons Adventure May'09
My 13,000th Post My 12,000th Post My 10,000th Post

DISNEYLAND: Way too many to possibly count! I grew up 30 mins. from DL. Former CM. AP holder for 20 yrs. Premier Pass AP. All 3 DL Resorts and numerous off-site hotels.
WDW: 58 trips on & off-site, including DVC, Deluxe, Moderate & Value - in 18 different WDW resorts & numerous off-site resorts. AP holder for 5 yrs. Premier Pass AP holder.
AULANI: 1 so far. More to come though, & definitely looking forward to returning!

Last edited by stopher1; 06-12-2010 at 10:04 PM.
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Old 06-12-2010, 01:15 PM   #8
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Having never been to WDW I like TR's on all the resorts, for future reference. And yes, you're very lucky to be able go on FUN excursions before/after work related trips! How awesome is that

I can't wait to read and see how the rest of your trip turns out. Have a great time
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WDW...Nov'10 AKV-Kidani
Hawaii...Jun'12 Aulani Villas
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Old 06-12-2010, 03:30 PM   #9
trennr
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Old 06-12-2010, 04:43 PM   #10
afwdwfan
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Enjoying it so far and looking forward to more.

On a sidenote, for my past job, I did a lot of travel as well, and like you, I'd always try to do some sightseeing when I could. Unfortunately my work never took me anywhere near the motherships.
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Old 06-12-2010, 05:10 PM   #11
stopher1

Wall to wall creeps, and hot and cold running chills! Shh...listen
I have plenty of hill left to climb thank you very much
 
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The forecast was calling for about 93, but with the heat index, the real feel was projected to be about 107-110. Yuck. Let me just say that my DW cannot stand Florida in the summertime - so when I had told her the week prior that I needed to go to FL, she simply looked at me and said - "have fun."


I am not a super fan of heat like that myself, so personally I do like to skip FL between June and August, but sometimes you just can't avoid it. Work has definitely taken me to FL in July and August in years past, and yes, I have made trip extensions to visit the World then too (though I sure sweated a LOT more on those trips). Sure I could have not stayed longer in FL, but when I was so close already... why? I could certainly tolerate the heat for a couple of days. Planning to staying hydrated and enjoy the a/c whenever possible, I was ready to step out and enjoy some Disney theme park action. My DW on the other hand, was very, very, very glad that she was not there.

My plan was to hop on board the MK bus, and then just drive over there. But that plan was thwarted. I sat at the Peninsular Rd stop waiting, and waiting and waiting watching all of the other park busses come and go - in fact I saw several of the same parks busses come and go and still no MK bus. Finally I decided that it was pointless and I could hop onto the monorail so the next Epcot bus that arrived I got onto. If only I'd done that on the previous Epcot bus. But it was early yet (only about 8 am still, so I wasn't worried for timing).

I also had decided that I was going to make a little change, so while at Epcot I stopped in at Guest Relations and came away with one of these little beauties.



Since I go to both sides of the country anyway, and have carried both resort's AP's anyway, I decided why not. I don't know that I will do it again in the future, because I really do prefer the staggered expiration dates, but for this one year, I decided to just go for it.

I then quickly hopped onto the monorail headed for the Magic Kingdom. Shortly after pulling out of the station, another monorail whisked past us on the opposite side, the new "Tronorail." I had previously seen pictures of it, and thought it was kind of cool. Seeing it in person I still thought it was kind of cool, but I surely hope it doesn't stay that way too long after the new Tron film comes out. Cool as it is, I'd hate to see it that way permanently.

Within no time we were pulling in to the TTC where of course I would switch trains. I quickly worked my way down the ramp and then over to the Express line, and got stuck behind a sea of red shirts or other apparel items moving from the entrance up to the monorail. Definitely more people trying to get to the MK vs. getting off the Epcot train! It was Gay Days that weekend apparently, and I guess the MK was their park of choice for Saturday. I've seen Gay Days at Disneyland before, but never at WDW (again, I don't really like FL in the summertime), so it was something new to experience. As in any walk of life or locale, there were some that were a bit more subdued and some that were a bit more flamboyant about their lifestyle. Just an observation, really. I was fascinated to see that much red. I know it's been an unofficial event for what 15-20 years or so, but I guess I just wasn't aware of the extent of it.

After breezing through the "no bags" line at security (let me just say that unless it's changed since I was out in Anaheim last - WDW definitely has DL beat with their "no bags" entrance at security...love it!)

Now to just stand around wait for the little opening show for rope drop. While waiting I ended up hanging out in the Newstand shop off to the side (for the a/c benefit) until the announcer came on over the PA system introducing the little show/ceremony.



I've seen this opening ceremony before numerous times, but this time seemed to have more characters then I've ever seen before. That was pretty cool. I did miss them introducing a "family of the day" though, unless I just didn't hear it due to the noise level of the crowd anxious to get in to the park.
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Christopher DW DS (18) DS (15) DD (10) BICOASTAL SOLO Adventure: Nov/Dec'10 / Daddy-Daughter Adventure: AKV Sep'10
SOLO Adventures: WDW Jun '10 / Triple Whammy WDW Family Trip-Jan'10 / SOLO Adventures: DL Nov/Dec'09 / Father/Sons Adventure May'09
My 13,000th Post My 12,000th Post My 10,000th Post

DISNEYLAND: Way too many to possibly count! I grew up 30 mins. from DL. Former CM. AP holder for 20 yrs. Premier Pass AP. All 3 DL Resorts and numerous off-site hotels.
WDW: 58 trips on & off-site, including DVC, Deluxe, Moderate & Value - in 18 different WDW resorts & numerous off-site resorts. AP holder for 5 yrs. Premier Pass AP holder.
AULANI: 1 so far. More to come though, & definitely looking forward to returning!

Last edited by stopher1; 06-12-2010 at 07:54 PM.
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Old 06-12-2010, 08:05 PM   #12
stopher1

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Finally it was time to go through the tunnels, and into Town Square. Ahh, back home again inside the mothership-east. The Magic Kingdom is my favorite park at WDW, always has been. But that's really because of it's similarities to Walt's original. Don't get me wrong - I really do like the other parks at WDW, but the MK is simply my favorite. And don't get me wrong, I really love WDW too - can't wait to get back there again in a few months with my daughter for a special getaway.

I enjoyed being there in Town Square, but certainly was not making the mad dash up Main Street as many others were. I took my time, veering over to the left and said good morning to all of the CM's standing on the steps of City Hall. After a brief reststop by the Fire Station, I saw this crazy line of people waiting to get their kids' hair cut, or to get glitter put into their own hair.



Personally I miss the days when the Barber Shop was located just off of Center Street instead of there in Town Square. But then of course I also miss Center Street itself, when it was on both sides of Main Street, and not just the east side. Sigh.

Here are just a few more from Main Street. I knew that I had about a half an hour to wait until my friends arrived, and I wanted to be sitting in a rocker over in front of Exposition Hall, by Tony's Town Square when they arrived...so I wandered up Main Street through the left side Emporium, all the way to Casey's Corner, then proceeded back down on the other side ending up back in Town Square at about 9:20. I then got a call from Christian that they had parked their vehicle, and were boarding the monorail and would be there very soon.





After a short while waiting in the rockers on the porch, there they were! chillcoupons and his lovely family. Hugs all around it was time to get rolling. We had agreed that we'd spend time together until they needed to jet off to the airport and head home. They'd been there all week, in that heat. Stories of their week filled our walk up Main Street in search of something to eat. I kept suggesting the Bakery, but Christian definitely had something else in mind.



Personally I thought he was nuts, since that is just about the most popular place in the MK for breakfast, except of course for Cindy's place, but he was pretty determined. It wasn't the most crowded day, so maybe.... could be... hmmm. Margie and I sent him on to the check-in desk to inquire, since he is a bit more bold than I. He came back with such a silly, sheepish grin. "They said 10 minutes" is pretty much all he said, maybe more, but that's about all I heard. So cool. Not just a real breakfast, but a few characters to boot. Not too shabby. Since it was his idea, he bought breakfast, but I let him use my Tables in Wonderland card, kinda like when we met at the Rainforest Cafe in MI - he paid, but we used my Safari Club card for the free appetizer. Here we are waiting our "10 minutes" which actually turned out being just 5. Actually, just as Margie finished taking this picture of us, the CM was calling his name. Sweet.



I haven't eaten inside the CP for about 4 years. It's still lovely inside, but I must admit I miss it as a regular restaurant. I have a real love-hate relationship with Character Dining. I understand the draw, especially for Disney considering the $ they pull in off of those meals, but wow, it's such a shame all of the previously wonderful restaurants around the World that have been homogenized thanks to a) Character Dining, and b) the Dining Plan.



These two were kinda cute, sitting in the planter





The breakfast was yummy, and definitely a good start to the day. I got a water to go. Gotta stay hydrated in that heat, you know.

I love this view from the walkway in front of CP


During breakfast, I was asked the question what I wanted to do, or where I wanted to go. I said I really didn't care - as I was just excited to be able to spend time with them, and whatever they wanted to do was fine with me. I've been to WDW many times before (check my signature info if you aren't so sure), and quite frankly, I'll be back again soon. It really, truly didn't matter to me. I was perfectly content doing whatever they wanted to do. Well it came out then, that Christian really wanted to ride BTMRR and Space Mtn as he hadn't been able to do those during the week (he COULD have with the parent switch option, but didn't really WANT to go alone). So I said sure. Whatever works.

Upon our departure from the CP we began going west in through Adventureland. While walking it was decided we'd hit POTC (9 mins of a/c, you know...). But right before we entered El Castillo, who do you think we encountered, but Pirate Goofy! Goofy is our "patron saint" or mascot, if you will, of the DIS Dad's Club, so what better way for two DIS Dad's having a DIS Meet at WDW to commemorate the occasion than to get a photo with our mascot! It was kind of fun watching Goofy direct each person in line on how to stand or hold their hands when it was their turn to get their picture taken. I wasn't thrilled with what he "told" me to do, but I did it anyway. Certainly don't want to get on Pirate Goofy's bad side, now you ya?



From there we entered the queue and made our way to the launch. We were right there, next to board... when the ride went down. Ugh. We stood and waited a while til finally about 10 minutes later the CM's announced it was closed for who knew how long. Everyone was asked to leave - but they gave us each those "good for anything with a FP" coupons. So we started to head over into Frontierland for BTMRR.



We decided to use two of them then, while Margie and their sweet little girl went over to enjoy the Country Bears Jamboree.

Here we are on the BTMRR


Next stop we decided, before heading over to Space Mtn, was going to be a shared favorite - the Haunted Mansion...but of course we needed to reconnect with the girls first, but the show wasn't over before we arrived, so we hung out in the little candy shop next to Pecos Bill's and enjoyed the a/c. It was hot and getting hotter. Phew. In that heat, none of the candy even had a smidgen of appeal. Water, now that sounded good. So I got another cup of water from Pecos Bill's while we were waiting.

Finally we were on our way again. And a very minimal wait for the HM - the sign said 10 minutes, but it was no more than 4. Main Street had sure looked crowded when we were on it earlier - but now as the crowds had dispersed, it truly was a nice light day. We were both loving that.





We then were on our way over to Space. We decided instead of going the north route through Fantasyland and into Tomorrowland, to go the south route through Liberty Square, the Hub and then into Tomorrowland. More and more red shirts pretty much everywhere you looked. I don't know how an unofficial event such as Gay Days gets coordinated, but it sure did seem very coordinated indeed. I began to wonder how many days the event is at WDW. I know at DL it's just over a weekend, but of course WDW is a much, much larger resort than DL with many more places to go and things to do. Hmmm. Now I would need to speak to a couple of my friends who are gay and who have participated in the event in the past to satisfy my curiousity.

Space Mountain had a posted 50 minute wait for Standby, but thankfully we had 2 more of the "ride anything with a FP" passes from a broken down POTC. Again the girls opted to go do something else. This time it was Toontown. We decided we'd meet up inside Cosmic Rays... not to eat, but again... for the a/c.

Let me just say now, that the new queue enhancements, signage and lighting effects that were put in to Space during 2009's overhaul are nice - but they really should have spent their money like Disneyland did and replace the track! Over the years I've thought it was pretty bumpy and difficult to enjoy, even as recent as when I rode it in January...but this time the ride was bumpier than ever, and was, absolutely a disappointment. When comparing the two different attractions - DL's wins hands down. It's smoother, darker, has cool music inside each vehicle, and just a better experience. I was happy to have given Christian the experience, but overall not too happy that I'd been on it. It's sad really, because it is such a cool attraction, but it needs help in Florida.

Upon getting back together with the girls, it was now about 12:30, and they were planning on leaving at 1:15-1:30 for the airport, so we decided to hit Main Street for one final shopping time, for them. But not without a group picture first. It was determined to be taken with the castle as our backdrop. Knowing the angle, and that there's regularly a PhotoPass person posted there, I decided on the Rose Garden off to the side between the main Tomorrowland bridge and the other bridge leading up towards Cosmic Rays and the side of Fantasyland.





Sauntering down through Main Street shops, they found a few items they wanted and then it was time to go. I was hungry and wanted lunch, but didn't want to stay in the MK. I wanted to get over to pay a visit to my beloved Wilderness Lodge, so I left the park with them. They had parked over at the Polynesian, so we boarded the Resort line Monorail and were off. For any of you Dads reading this, of course you know that chillcoupons absolutely adores the Monorail, or OBA as he calls it. It was awesome to be able to ride it with him. At the Poly we said our goodbyes, and then I continued back around to the MK so that I could hop on to a boat headed to the WL.



Back to being solo - what would come next? I did have a little fun up my sleeve, but that'll come next time.
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Christopher DW DS (18) DS (15) DD (10) BICOASTAL SOLO Adventure: Nov/Dec'10 / Daddy-Daughter Adventure: AKV Sep'10
SOLO Adventures: WDW Jun '10 / Triple Whammy WDW Family Trip-Jan'10 / SOLO Adventures: DL Nov/Dec'09 / Father/Sons Adventure May'09
My 13,000th Post My 12,000th Post My 10,000th Post

DISNEYLAND: Way too many to possibly count! I grew up 30 mins. from DL. Former CM. AP holder for 20 yrs. Premier Pass AP. All 3 DL Resorts and numerous off-site hotels.
WDW: 58 trips on & off-site, including DVC, Deluxe, Moderate & Value - in 18 different WDW resorts & numerous off-site resorts. AP holder for 5 yrs. Premier Pass AP holder.
AULANI: 1 so far. More to come though, & definitely looking forward to returning!

Last edited by stopher1; 06-13-2010 at 08:30 AM.
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Old 06-13-2010, 09:04 AM   #13
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I genearlly love the various forms of transportation offered at WDW - so very glad that it's not just buses all the way! Riding the Monrail and taking the boats are two of my favorite things to do, and on my solo trips I relish in doing so. On previous solo excursions I've rented the little boats and just had a blast being out on the lake. We did that as a family in January too, except then we used one of the great big pontoon boats - it was AWESOME. I would definitely recommend an afternoon excursion sometime if you haven't tried it before. Earlier in the day I'd already done the Monorail - twice, so boating on over to the WL was definitely something I wanted to do.

Like OKW, I'm a relative newbie to staying at the Lodge, having only stayed there twice - both times earlier this year. In January as part of my family's Triple Whammy adventure, and then I took my wife there for a surprise 16th anniversary getaway sans kids. We married a couple of months prior to it's opening in 1994 - so honeymooning there wasn't an option. (That trip was at the Grand Flo). And then through the years we just didn't get there for one reason or another...this was the year! And boy would I love to get some points there to have that 11 month priority for a December visit... I've heard some wonderful things about Christmastime at the Lodge...

Having said all of that, I've fallen in love with that beautiful little place. Like AKV, we both feel transported away from Florida while there. You have to understand though, too, that both my DW and I grew up in So. California, and family vacations were always in the Sierra Nevada mountains or Yosemite... so the big timbers, woodsy lake-front feel is just like going home for us in many, many ways. We both absolutely love it there.

Here are a few pics from my visit to the Lodge.













I had a quick bite to eat at



and then I had a van to catch... a DVC van. Oh did I forget to mention that before heading to the World I had arranged with my guide to sign a few papers picking up some more points at my beloved west coast home, VGC? I did. Shame on me. Not knowing exactly where I was going to be at that planned pick-up time, I phoned from the MK and said I'd be at the WL... so that's where I got picked up. Then off to the Preview Center at SSR to give some money and sign some documents.

From there I then had them take me back to OKW. I wanted to use my refillable mug during Goods to Go operating hours, and figure out where I'd like to go next. I knew I wanted to hit DTD and try the Characters in Flight balloon - but by this point it was raining. No dice. The balloon wouldn't go up in the weather. I also wanted to go over to the Studios to catch a little of the Star Wars action, but I also though about heading over to Epcot. While in the room I quickly studied the Times Guide that shows all of the different park hours and EMH's. I hatched a plan that would take me here there and everywhere, but I didn't care. It was just me, and I was going to enjoy it.

So I left my room once more and walked down to the bus stop - this time not to the Peninsular Road stop, since that was the first stop on the OKW route, but rather to the Millers Road stop - a bit further walk yes, but the last stop on the route before leaving OKW. I sat and waited for my bus... and waited, and waited, and waited - watching every conceivable destination come and go...but mine. Three different MK buses had come. 2 Epcots. 1 DTD. Even an AK bus, even though AK was closing in just about an hour. Still no Studios bus... until finally, is that it? Could it possibly be? NO!!!! It was another MK bus. Sometimes I really hate the buses at WDW. On another thread I talked about this and the OP of that poster just laughed thinking I had somehow angered the "transportation gods"... I don't know what it was, that day, but the buses just weren't my friends. FINALLY another bus was coming round the bend, and YES it was my Studios bus. I was finally on the way.
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Christopher DW DS (18) DS (15) DD (10) BICOASTAL SOLO Adventure: Nov/Dec'10 / Daddy-Daughter Adventure: AKV Sep'10
SOLO Adventures: WDW Jun '10 / Triple Whammy WDW Family Trip-Jan'10 / SOLO Adventures: DL Nov/Dec'09 / Father/Sons Adventure May'09
My 13,000th Post My 12,000th Post My 10,000th Post

DISNEYLAND: Way too many to possibly count! I grew up 30 mins. from DL. Former CM. AP holder for 20 yrs. Premier Pass AP. All 3 DL Resorts and numerous off-site hotels.
WDW: 58 trips on & off-site, including DVC, Deluxe, Moderate & Value - in 18 different WDW resorts & numerous off-site resorts. AP holder for 5 yrs. Premier Pass AP holder.
AULANI: 1 so far. More to come though, & definitely looking forward to returning!
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Old 06-13-2010, 09:16 AM   #14
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love e pics stopher!!!
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Old 06-13-2010, 10:18 AM   #15
Muushka
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I'm loving this. I feel like I am there!

Can't wait for my personal favorite aspect of this trip MSEP!!!
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