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Old 05-19-2004, 08:57 AM   #1
Peebee
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Join Date: Jun 2000
Location: Woking, Surrey, UK
Posts: 713

Peebee's mini trip report, 2004

Hi everyone,

Been back a few days now and pretty much over the jet lag. The nice weather has made the transition back to the UK a little easier, although we're missing the late afternoons by the pool and here in Surrey the fireworks are few and far between at this time of year :D

Didn't really take enough notes this time for a full-blown trip report, but here are some highs (and a couple of lows) from the holiday.

Best bits
We flew 'Cosmic Girl' to Orlando, with the new V-port entertainment system on-board. Wow, what a difference from the standard 8 or so channels normally provided. 50+ films, as well as some games and other programming. Best bit was the ability to pause what you were watching at any time to feed DS or nip to the toilet. Back to normal on the return flight, but can't wait until the V-port is standard across the fleet.

We had an Illuminations cruise which was magical. We shared ours with a family from New York from the US part of the boards and had a great time, sailing down to MGM before parking up underneath the bridge at Epcot to get a completely uninterrupted view of the show. It was a complete suprise to my mum, who was quite speechless afterwards - the only other thing to do this over the entire holiday was Catastrophe Canyon at the Studios when the rain poured down!

Both DS and DW celebrated birthdays during the trip. Got birthday pins for each and received loads of best wishes around the parks and resorts. On Ryan's 1st we went to the Crystal Palace where they brought out a small cake with a single candle, and the characters made a major fuss of him - lovely. On DW's birthday we did a character breakfast at Cape May Cafe - cue birthday muffin, everyone singing happy birthday, and a very embarrassed Helen In the evening we went to Le Cellier where the server gave us dessert on the house, with DW Creme Brulee arriving on a special plate with chocolate icing wishing her many happy returns. WDW is the absolute best place to have a birthday, isn't it?

By sheer luck we managed to run into Sam's wedding as we headed out of the Cape May Cafe. She looked completely amazing, and I feel very priviledged to have shared just a tiny moment of her big day.

The Flower and Garden festival at Epcot was as spectacular as ever. My mum is a keen gardener, and she was blown away by the variety the organisers manage to come up with. Epcot is always a rich source of colour, but especially so at this time of year.

Finally managed to visit Trail's End at FW and the petting zoo next door, and will be sure to return on future trips when Ryan is a little older. The buffet at Trail's End is superb value for Disney - about $10 each for lunch including drinks I think, and not busy at all. A real hidden treat.

Ryan is starting to recognise more of the characters and develop favourites. Bear at the Studios, plus Tigger, Minnie and Dopey all seem to get a reaction. We got a picture of him with Dopey at MK



Dopey was so taken with how his tiny 'double' that after the picture was taken he took Ryan and Helen off to the next character along (Rafiki) to show him!!

Negatives
Only a couple of these. First was down to us staying in rooms 4073/4075 at the Boardwalk. Due to the first 3 digits of the room number matching the area code for Orlando we got quite a few mis-dialed calls. A little annoying, but not a major issue. Worth bearing in mind if you are ever allocated a room number starting 407 though.

Worst bit was the check-in on the last day at Downtown Disney. The computer system had gone down and the queue at 10.30 was horrendous, mostly snaking back around Cirque directly in the hot sun. Unfortunately the staff weren't particularly good at informing everyone what was going on, and when they eventually did provide some info it was to say we were unlikely to reach the front of the queue by the time check-in closed. We gave up and checked-in at the airport, but the queues there were almost as bad.

Lastly, Dollar. We never have any problems with car pick-up, but the return always seems to be a nightmare. Virgin customers are meant to receive two extra hours rental, but the operations staff in the garage invariably overcharge for this so you have to contact Dollar later to get it refunded. We also refueled the car as normal rather than pay $2.49 per gallon and were charged for a full tank anyway. My contact at Dollar has sorted things out now and the refund and compensation means the car cost us virtually nothing, so the hassle may have been worth it in the end.

Summary
Overall a great holiday, and we're already homesick for the Boardwalk, so have decided to do the whole thing again in 11 months, minus my mum, but plus our new arrival due in December. We're probably mad to do WDW with two under-twos, but you only live once

Thanks for reading,
Paul

Last edited by Peebee; 05-19-2004 at 09:03 AM.
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