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Old 10-04-2012, 04:19 PM   #46
nenner1
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jedijill View Post
Off to a great start! Love OKW...cheap in points and the rooms are really big!

Jill in CO
Yes, especially when you get into the 1BR and up villas! We liked the studio for the price point especially- it was perfect for a one-night stay!

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Originally Posted by knewton64 View Post
.......love those H2O products 2!!


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Oh yeah- we have quite a hoard of H20 going now after the cruise!

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Originally Posted by acceber32 View Post
Can't wait to read the rest of your review! We got off the Fantasy the day you got on.
Aw, I hope you all had as amazing of a time as we did! We saw you sail back into Port Saturday morning! I know it was a sad moment for you but super exciting for us (and well, we had our own sad moment a week later! LOL! Glad to have you reading along!

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WOW. Ya know I have seen you post pictures of the kids on FB, but they have really grown up. I guess I didn't realize how much time has gone by!
I know, right? I don't see it either..until I look back at those pics, and then it's like WHOA!

Quote:
I know my thought won't exactly be as popular but now seeing OKW, it being SO small would drive me a little crazy. I do love the theming.
LOL I hear ya. It was only a studio though- the 1BR's and up seem much more spacious. It wouldn't be optimal for a longer stay but it was fine for us for one night (you should see some of these rooms we squeeze into for the dance events we travel for...eek!). For the price point is really where it became great for us. We rented the points at $10/pt (which is the going rate to rent/trade on the Dis), and the studio was 10 points...so $100 for the night. Considering that a Value would have only cost about $10 cheaper plus we got the benefits of being on a Deluxe property (nicer accommodations, much larger room, pool slide, water taxi, etc.) that is really where the value for the dollar was for us. And we were going with EMH in mind so staying onsite was definitely what we were shooting for.

Quote:
LOL I will probably opt for locale #2 when you get there..... and yet there is something about being on the property of Disney. OPTIONS!!!!!!!
Yep the Ron Jon will be more your speed! It was great! The decor could use some updating IMO but the room was in excellent condition and was quite spacious. I'm not sure if it is nicer than the Wyndham (probably not- at least not in decor) but then, it is right there at the port. I do know it is better than HotelHell!
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Old 10-05-2012, 04:02 PM   #47
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If it looks like Margaritaville, and sounds like Margaritaville, it must be…

…Old Key West! Seriously. Did I mention I LOVE the soundtrack at this resort? It’s awesome.

We also loved the tropical feel and casual beauty of this resort! It is quite lushly landscaped!





The pool was a hop skip and a jump away from our room. Just cross the parking lot and head for the path.










The time was about 5PM so we did not expect the pool area to be busy and it wasn’t! It was also a bit overcast out. Not rainy but cloudy and a bit breezy.










The pool here is quite large and has a fun slide camouflaged inside a sandcastle. The Hidden Mickey where the slide dumps into the pool is quite conspicuous!





See the other Hidden Mickey?



As I expected, the kids went straight for the slide.



















And they loved it. They went again and again.and again!

Slide Video: click to play!



Where are you, kids?? (click to play)

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Old 10-05-2012, 04:05 PM   #48
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If it looks like Margaritaville...(Part 2)

We found the pool area very nice- gorgeously landscaped, and it had a lot of great amenities including a kiddie pool, playground hot tub and even a sauna, hidden here in this lighthouse.





Hot Tub:






OKW has a very nice playground and beach/sand themed play area:


















Kiddie Pool: (Sarah spent maybe a minute in it)







And back to the main pool:















Lots of loungers available here today!

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Old 10-05-2012, 04:06 PM   #49
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If it looks like Margaritaville...(Part 3)








The Sassagoula River runs along behind the property. It is very scenic and also a form of transportation via the ferry boat.







So what do you think kids? Do you like it? Do you want to stay here again?













At some point a dance party began off on one side of the pool area. The girls headed over there for a rendition of the Casper Slide. I guess there was some sort of contest because they both won these little whale squirter toys.







As the sun set the pool became nearly deserted as folks decided to head out for dinner. We were getting rather hungry ourselves, so we headed back to change clothes.



Up Next: Thar She Blows!
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Old 10-05-2012, 04:14 PM   #50
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Geez, you can totally see the difference in the cameras in those pictures above.

We had 6 cameras that we used during this cruise. A Canon Rebel T2i (that is the camera the good pics came off of) a waterproof Panasonic Lumix, a Canon Powershot S3IS, a Nikon Coolpix, a Flip video camera, and of course, when all the other batteries were dead: my iPhone.

As you can see some of the pictures turned out a lot better than others. I am still trying to find my pics from the Rebel from days 6 and 7 though.

Anyway thought I'd explain why there is such a drastic difference in quality in some of those shots!

More to come....
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Old 10-05-2012, 09:30 PM   #51
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I know the picture difference too. I had 3 cameras going on my trip and you can certainly tell the difference. But I do love the waterproof camera for fun events like that. may not be top notch pictures, but still decent and you can have the memories!

The pool looks so fun. I don't think I have ever seen pictures (or not many at least) of this pool before. I am glad you shared them.
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Old 10-06-2012, 10:33 AM   #52
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From all your pics of just the pool I know now your not exagerating with how many pics you took lol. I wish i could take a vacation and just resort hop. Cant wait for more!
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Old 10-06-2012, 10:53 AM   #53
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JEN!!!

So excited that I happened to see your TR listed on the main page. We had a fabulous time on this trip, and loved meeting you and your family.

Can't wait to re-live the week since I know I will never actually DO a trip report.

And I need to show my family how many photos you took. They think I take a lot, and I only had a little over 500 on this cruise.

Can't wait to hear the final decision for Ron, and definitely can't wait to see the Random Wind photos and read the details.

We loved our St. John Champagne Catamaran excursion (from St. Thomas) and Jordan was so happy that we actually DID see some turtles and swim alongside them. It was amazing.

I am subbing to keep reading about the trip - and OKW looks beautiful, I will add that to my list of places to try out one of these days if I can ever get the kids to go back to WDW instead of DCL!
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Old 10-06-2012, 07:34 PM   #54
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Woo hoo! Hi Jen! Looking forward to reading along with you. I am a trip report flunkie...and why would I need one when yours are always fabulous! Can't wait to relive our trip on the fantasy again. Hope there are no incriminating pics from the mixology class....
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Old 10-06-2012, 08:05 PM   #55
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I'm so...glad you had a safe journey and another wonderful Disney adventure.

I watched for you guys on sail away, but image wasn't that great. I'm going to check when they have your cruise available to view.

We sail on the 20th, so I'm hanging on every word. Looking forward to the Halloween activities again.

Thanks for sharing.
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Old 10-07-2012, 11:10 AM   #56
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Enjoying your TR and pictures. You and your family really know how to have fun!!!
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Old 10-07-2012, 05:30 PM   #57
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Thar She Blows!

We decided it would be fun to ride the water ferry to Downtown Disney and grab a meal there. We feared that we would just miss a ferry and have to wait a long time but then reasoned that while we were at the pool we noticed the beep of the ferry so often that they must be running very frequently.



Eh, not so much.

We did indeed just miss one, and had to wait at least 20 minutes for the next one to arrive. And then we were worried we would miss out on getting a seat, there were so many people waiting around for it.








As it turns out, we did make it on the (very full) boat. The ride to DTD took about 25 minutes and was very pleasant. The water taxis drop off and pick up in the Pleasure Island area, so when we arrived we took a short walk over to Pollo Campero to grab dinner.










We LOVE the Pollo Campero at DTD. The food is fresh and delicious, although the restaurant is always busy and finding seats can be difficult.



At this time of night though the crowds we dying down, and although certainly busy it wasn’t a crazed madhouse. We were able to quickly and easily grab our food and a seat with no difficulty.

We chose a build-your –feast family meal which included 12 Fried Chicken Strips, 2 family-sized side dishes which we chose seasoned Spanish rice and black beans and rice and warm corn tortillas. All for $16.99- what a value!

(sorry about the bad phone pics!)












Ron asked to purchase separately a breast of grilled chicken but they included it on the house. That was very nice!



This meal is billed to serve 3-4 people but the girls are rather light eaters so we had no problems with the meal being enough for us to eat. We probably ate more than we should have in fact. At least one of us did.

(Foreshadowing…)










We wanted a quick and easy breakfast the next morning. I saw Babycakes and thought well why not donuts? Well when we went to look at the display case most of the donuts were sold out and the few that were left were $3.25 each and not very appealing looking. Maybe next time.

After dinner we were starting to get tired but not tired enough to bypass arguably our favorite place in Downtown Disney- Ghirardelli!




First we strolled through the shop and got our free sample of chocolate- oh my …it might possibly have been the most delicious square of chocolate I’d eaten- ever. It was called Sea Salt Escape- creamy milk chocolate, roasted almonds and sea salt. If it wasn’t for the fact that we were going to be on a cruise and were about to have all the food we could eat I would have bought up a couple of cases of those.


Then we headed next door to the Soda Fountain and Ice Cream Shoppe. Usually we get The Earthquake which is like a Kitchen Sink- 8 scoops of ice cream, 8 toppings… you get the idea. But since we had just eaten we didn’t think we could handle one of those so we decided to split two sundaes between Ron and I and the two older kids. Sarah would get a vanilla cone for herself.




We chose a World Famous Hot Fudge and a Gold Rush, which is a Peanut Butter Hot Fudge Sundae. Yum-mo!

Here when we paid with our KTTW cards we were given (without asking since we didn’t even know it existed) a DVC discount. It wasn’t a lot- 10% I think but still nice to get. We didn’t notice it right away even. Of course at first I felt a little bad since we aren’t really DVC- just point renters. But what were we going to do about it then right? So there’s a little tip if you DVC’ers don’t already know- a discount at Ghirardelli! Woohoo!

It was – for once- fairly easy to get a seat and that is rather unusual at Ghirardelli. I had hoped it would be an indication of the crowds to come in the parks (as in light) but DTD as a whole was quite busy.

World Famous Hot Fudge



Gold Rush Peanut Butter Hot Fudge







We took our time with our sundaes and for once Sarah ate her entire (rather large) vanilla cone. She had actually eaten a good amount at dinner time too, and I recall noting to myself “Gee she is eating a lot tonight. She must have been very hungry.”



Well when we were done we got up and started heading for the boat dock area and we didn’t even get as far as spitting stitch before the vanilla ice cream cone and everything that came before it came up – Sarah was puking all over the sidewalk!

So we started scrambling. I expected a maintenance worker reminiscent of a school custodian to pop out of the shadows and spread the pink granule stuff and whoosh that puke away, but no such luck. Instead there we were in the middle of a very busy thoroughfare guarding the puddle. Once she was done I grabbed her and headed for the bathrooms that I knew were down…one of these little aisles…which one? Not by Basin…..not by the Lego store (right?)…where the heck was it? OMG here I was half-carrying a puke covered child through the thick crowds at DTD- nobody paying attention to where they were going nobody in a hurry. One lady and her older kid (middle school age at least) holding hands and walking right to us like they were going to walk THROUGH us, refused to split up- it was a standoff. Usually I move out of the way for people on a sidewalk or pathway even the obnoxious ones, but this time I just channeled my inner Clint Eastwood and stared her down (go ahead… make my day!) and at the last second she played chicken and split with her kid and went around us. Good thing for her because otherwise she’d have been covered in puke too and that would have made three of us.

Meanwhile I still could not locate the little side street/alley that had the bathrooms…come on DTD, you KNOW you could use some more bathrooms there especially in that Marketplace area.

Finally we came upon Pollo Campero again, still not having found the DTD bathrooms. It looked rather empty inside by this point so I dragged her in and through the restaurant (luckily not many people around) to the restrooms in the back, where I realized that…they don’t have paper towels there. Just these ridiculously strong leaf-blower like turbo hand dryers. Hmmm.


And when I say turbo you have no idea. These things are so obnoxious. They are so loud they literally sound like a tornado (take it from Ron- someone who has actually BEEN in a tornado) and they ripple your skin and nearly peel it off your bones if you get too close. Think Memorex commercial.


In any event I was able to reasonably clean off Sarah (thank goodness most of it went on the sidewalk) and somewhat dry her with TP and seat liners since she wasn’t going anywhere near one of those jet engine-like exfoliators.


By this point we were quite tired and just ready to get back to our room and really wished we had driven our van over. We discussed taking the bus back instead of the possibility of having to wait a long time again for the boat. But of course we were halfway across DTD from the buses. So we went back towards the boat launches and were delighted to see each dock occupied with a boat waiting for passengers.

As we approached the little metal queue area we were overtaken by a very large group, very slow moving, speaking a foreign language and in general not knowing where they were going. As they got halfway down towards the boats the people in the front stopped and everyone else behind bunched up. Clearly they had no idea where they were going and I had no patience for it. Plus I could see that a group that large (over 20) could possibly fill a boat and no way was I waiting…hehe.

I excused myself and squeezed past them. The dock worker at the end of the queue had one member of their group and was asking them over and over again where they were going and was getting a blank face. I just waved and said loudly “Old Key West! Old Key West!” and he motioned our family through to the boat in the middle. As Ron passed through he heard one member of that group say there were trying to get to Rainforest café….LMAO. I did see them all cramming in the Port Orleans boat as we pulled away so who knows if they changed their mind or if they were taking the scenic route to Rainforest Café (which I thought was closed and under refurb anyway)

After another nice boat ride and a short walk we were back in our room. Ron needed to run to a convenience store to grab a couple of things so he drove over to the on property Hess station near the Bonnet Creek area while I got the kids showered and ready for bed. We had a big day tomorrow and had to get up rather early- it was EMH at the Magic Kingdom and we wanted to take full advantage of it!

Up Next: The First Family! (And I'm not talking about the Obamas!)
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Old 10-07-2012, 06:28 PM   #58
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The First Family!

SOME of us awoke really early the next morning, in the 5'O Clock hour (that would be me and Savannah). Eventually everyone else woke up too, but it seemed to me like they were all grumbling sleepyheads. Who could grumble on a day like today? (Well, maybe Ron, since he had a fractured knee).

We had been looking for a quick and easy breakfast for the morning and the Dunkin Donuts from the Hess Station were perfect.



As much as I would have like to have stopped at Main St. Bakery for a cinnamon roll, we didnt want to waste any of that precious EMH time eating!



Mmm...donuts!




We did not get as early of a start as Id liked. After getting everybody ready and re-packing the car we did not get out of the room until about 7:20. I wanted to be at the gates of MK by 7:30 and that wasnt going to happen!

And finally we headed out of OKW for the short drive to MK. We had initially planned on using the Disney Bus, but we wanted to be able to just go right to our car when we left.

Today dawned grey and overcast. As much as I had hoped for beautiful weather and blue skies, September (even late Sept.) in FL can be miserably hot. Clouds and a breeze could be just fine.

In just a few minutes we arrived at the MK parking lot gates! Woohoo!


We were waved through with our Resort Parking Pass and followed the sparse line of vehicles into the parking lot. We were directed right up into the second row of the Aladdin (used to be Minnie) lot.

Oh yea!



Off topic Rant: OK when did they change the parking lot characters? Obviously sometime in the last year, but &WHY? What was wrong with Minnie&Goofy&Chip N Dale? And although we didnt have to ride a tram since we were so close, we didnt notice this until we left but-Heroes and Villains tram lines? You mean not only do people have to remember what character of the now more obscure ones used they ALSO have to remember if said character is a hero or villain? Not a problem for us Disney fans, but I imagine a lot of casual guests have a problem with that. Tsk Tsk, Disney. /rant.


Cranky now, but not for long!

In any event, we were parked super close and walked through the tunnel to the TTA.





Empty TTA: another good sign!





We passed through the ticket windows en route to the Monorail. No such luck. The monorails were not up and running yet.



Denied.

So, with the rest of the growing crowd we headed off to the Ferry Boat. Ron was grumbling about the monorail not being open, I was thinking to myself: GREAT. Now we have to wait for the boat to fill up. No WAY will we get to the MK and get our ticket vouchers changed over in time to get in at EMH rope drop.



Meanwhile while we were griping silently (or not so silently) Sarah noticed some people-CMs and suits it seemed at a glance- off to the side with some balloons. She said how she wanted a balloon. I was telling her that we would get her a balloon in the park but that she couldnt take it on the cruise when I heard a voice behind me:

"Excuse me, Maam, but what is your family name?" I turned around to see a suit (Disney Manager) and he appeared to have something small in his hand. Immediately I thought Sarah or one of the other kids had dropped their KTTW card, which we all needed to get into EMH. (We all had lanyards on so I should have realized that wasnt it)

"Fredericks," I replied, looking around, as more suits and CMs approached. Uh oh. This was NOT a dropped card. Something was going on here.

"Congratulations!" He replied, "You are the First Family!" It was all kind of a jumble from there. We were descended upon by the suits and CMs with none other than the bundle of Balloons that Sarah had seen as we walked by! We were whisked out of the path towards the Ferryboat and brought over to our very own pontoon!



Look! They have the red carpet rolled out for us!





No way! This was so cool! We got the balloons, and also we got pirate bandannas (those would come in handy in about a week!), tattoos/stickers, and princess rings (the gaudy plastic ones from Oriental Trading, but beloved by the girls like they were real gold and gemstones), and of course our own private ferry ride!

I was so blindsided by all that was going on around us like a whirlwind I didnt think to get video until we were almost ready to go to our pontoon/ferry.

Here it is. Not the best, sorry! Click to play!



So we headed off to the MK in our sweet ride. People on the Ferryboat (the big not-private one, LOL!) were all watching us with curiosity. I felt like Ashton Kutcher was going to pop out at any second and Punk us!







Here are some photos from our trip across the Seven Seas Lagoon!







The First Family!



Our empty boat!





Continued...
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Old 10-07-2012, 07:40 PM   #59
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The First Family! (Part 2)

I love this one of Sarah and her green Mickey balloon! We had just been talking about why the Mickey balloons come in the clear plastic balloon now and how we liked the old school ones. We would find out later why that change was made, and unlike the Parking Lot mess, that was a good one!



Here is our Magical Moment Certificate! How cool!


As you can see, we were chosen by the MK watercraft dept. No idea if it was the Tie-Dyed T shirts that made them choose us, or if it was the grumbling about having to take the Ferryboat&actually Im pretty sure they couldnt hear the grumbling so Im going with the shirts! And would you believe those shirts werent done working their magic just yet?

Cant get over this totally empty boat!





Here is the private dock we pulled up into. As we exited, the ferry went into service on the resort route.





Of course in all the excitement, we forgot how we had been running late to begin with. Sure enough, it was after 8:00 when we arrived at the MK entrance. Ron and the older kids went straight to the Guest Services line (which thankfully wasnt bad), and I headed with Sarah into the (unfortunately bad) Security/Bag Check lines.



We met back up at the GS line, got our tickets and headed into the MK:









It was about 8:20 when we passed under the Train Station after renting a stroller for Sarah (forgot to put ours in the van- oops!).

Love the Halloween decorations in the MK!



Cranes are so late 80s*



You can see Main St. wasnt that bad at this point. I think that is because most folks were already in the park.






*That was a remark made once by the Barenaked Ladies at a concert in the 90s that always stuck with us. Yes, there were cranes there, it was at a Festival.

Our entourage was quite conspicuous with all of the balloons!




The Castle. Still beautiful, even with the new temporary appendage.






It was pretty darn crowded in Fantasyland. We have done Rope Drop on Non- EMH days (later in the morning) and encountered much lighter crowds. I guess the old adage about avoiding EMH days is absolutely correct. We didnt plan out a step-by-step Touring Plan. And we werent sure if we could get FPs during EMH or if you had to wait until regular park opening (you can). This is also our first visit since they changed the FP rules so we werent sure how it would go

The plan was to get the Fantasyland rides that are a time-suck line-wise out of the way (Pooh and Pan) and possibly the other FL rides before getting FPs for one of the Mountains.

Ooh! Look! Some of the new castle walls have been revealed!



We were a lot bummed that the new Fantasyland wasnt open yet (aside from Storybook Circus) The original date for completion was Fall 2012 so we had been hoping it would make it. And then when Storytime with Belle went into testing the week before we thought for sure wed get lucky. But, as it turns out that closed up as mysteriously as it had opened and we would not get to experience any of the New Fantasyland.

We headed straight for Peter Pan. 20 minutes already? Sheesh.



Luckily, it wasnt really 20 minutes. More like 8-10.



After Pan, we headed over to Pooh. Or we thought we were. Everything looked so different with the castle walls, the construction walls, and Dumbo gone.







Pooh said 10 minutes but it was more like 15. Humph.

At least if we had to wait, Sarah LOVES the queue!








Finally in our Hunny Pot!



Up Next: Stuck in The Middle -I mean- in Space Mountain with You
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Last edited by nenner1; 10-07-2012 at 08:06 PM.
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Old 10-07-2012, 08:32 PM   #60
Timon


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Love your reports Can't wait to read all about your adventures

How fantastic that you were the first family! What a cool way to start off your day at the Magic Kingdom

Sorry to hear about Sarah not feeling so good, poor kid
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