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Old 06-02-2007, 03:01 PM   #91
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Am I first? Whooohoooo I am Great start can't wait for more

I can't believe how late you can get to the airport we have to be there at least 3 hours before take off!!!
We usually can get there an hour early and be more than fine. Our local airport is not tiny, but not large, and so the security doesn't usually take too long. We gave ourselves another half hour for the car parking so that D. would have his hour as well. We really didn't wait very long before they started boarding!

I am sure it's easier as "domestic" as well.
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Old 06-02-2007, 03:10 PM   #92
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So far so good. I can't wait to hear more. Your boys are adorable. I hope you took a lot of pictures. Keep it coming.
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Old 06-02-2007, 03:16 PM   #93
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Day 1, the check in

So, we gathered our carry on bags and headed into the AKL.

The first glimpse was just amazing. It is SO well done. We headed right over to check in, and there was no line, which was terrific.

I knew we were early, so I didn't really know if we'd have a room yet or not.

But, they did. The check-in CM was very friendly, and gave the kids "1st Time Visitor" badges right away. We got a handy folder with a map of the lodge, with the daily activities available listed on the back, a brochure about the DDP (which I knew already, but handy to have anyway) and some other stuff. Our room was ready! Hooray!

We got our Keys to the World and headed off in search of room 2363. Yes, we had the map.

No, we didn't realize how far away it would be.

2363 is at the far end of the Kudu trail, at the VERY end of the horseshoe, in one of the two little angled wings at the end.

If you're not familiar with the AKL, the lobby is on the 3rd floor. The elevators to the guest wings are in the middle of the "horseshoe" shaped wings.

I think we walked for 10 minutes to get to the room.

We opened it up, yes, there are the coveted bunk beds!

We ran to the balcony, threw open the curtains, and....

Um, no.

Construction. About 20 feet of "savannah" with one lonely ostrich.

Lots of construction vehicles.

D. and I looked at each other. The boys were quite happily already claiming the bunks, but we were not thrilled. D. asked if we should call down. I said "Yes, please!"

I know they are building DVC villas there. I knew that before we went. But, we were paying for "savannah view" - that's no longer a freebie request, it's part of your reservation. The room was hell and gone from anything (we didn't even know yet how far away the park bus stops were from the lobby.) And, if that's a savannah, then I'm a kudu.

I wish I had taken a picture, but my stomach was too busy sinking.

D. got on the phone to the front desk. No problem, they had something else (I suppose maybe because we were checking in early...)

So, we trekked another 10 minutes back up to the lobby. D. went to the desk and got a map with our new room assignment. This time, 3411, on the Zebra trail. D. was heading off to check it out before the boys and I joined him, but it turned out to be just 3 rooms down the "trail." If it had been one room closer we would have asked for another change, as we were just on the edge of the savannah as it was, but it seemed much better. We immediately saw some zebra and some antelopish type creatures. Phew!

We were a little worried about the noise levels being bad later on, since we were so close to the lobby and therefore on the way to all the other Zebra trail rooms, but decided to try it. The guy at the check-in when D. went to get the 2nd room had said that they would be much less busy on Tues., post holiday weekend, so we figured we could move if need be on Tuesday morning.

Luckily, we never had a problem with it, and stayed put.

We had really planned to head straight out to the parks. It was now about 2:00. But, the boys, in typical 5-year-old, let's be contrary fashion, decided that they wanted to go swimming. I had packed swim suits and a little stick of sunscreen in our carry-ons (the checked baggage hadn't come in yet) and so off we went to the pool.
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Old 06-02-2007, 03:22 PM   #94
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Originally Posted by disneymoon_0307 View Post
So far so good. I can't wait to hear more. Your boys are adorable. I hope you took a lot of pictures. Keep it coming.
Thanks!

We took a number of pictures, but mostly of character meets. I thought we'd take more, but we were just having too much fun!
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Old 06-03-2007, 09:24 PM   #95
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Day 1, the pool and Mara

So, here are some pictures from the new and good hotel room. I forgot them before! This was what we saw immediately upon arrival in the better room.



Here's the room from the balcony door:





Here's the view on the way to the pool - this is just outside of Jiko.


We headed down to the pool, per the boys' request, and they had a fine time. PrincessV had a night there and commented that the pool water is very clear, but that it looks overall as if a hippo is going to arise out of it at any minute. I think that the bottom of the pool is painted to give this "water hole" effect, but it's very odd!

The boys got in at the zero entry area, but quickly swam over to the slide area and took it over. We had warned them that they'd only have about an hour, and that seemed to be OK. Woody took right to the slide, Buzz had to be talked into it, but then also didn't want to do anything else.

Drying off, we realized that we hadn't fed the children! Bad, bad parents...

So, we decided to try our first foray into the DDP and use some QS credits at The Mara. We were really all set to just get some things from the "grab and go" section, but Buzz became stubborn (I've mentioned this tendency, no?) and insisted upon a hamburger. Sadly, the line was slightly long for that, but oh well. Since we were in line anyway, D. grabbed a falafel pita as well. Woody and I each grabbed a turkey sandwich from the cooler, and D. and I indulged in a beer a piece. Not on the DDP, but totally worth it!

After some quick dining, it was time to head out to the parks!
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Old 06-03-2007, 09:58 PM   #96
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You're off to a great start. I can't believe they would even put anyone in that first room. At least they changed it for you. The second rooms looks better and sounds better. You're not bad parents for not feeding them. They apparently forgot also, cause they didn't tell ya. I can't wait to here more.
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Old 06-03-2007, 11:12 PM   #97
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So far sounds good! Can't wait to read the rest
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Old 06-04-2007, 08:10 AM   #98
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Oh I love that view from your 2nd room!!! NICE!!

Can't wait to read more!
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Old 06-04-2007, 09:05 AM   #99
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Great Start!

CMP,
Sounds like you have a great start to a wonderful vacation. I think people aren't going to be happy with all the construction while the DVC is being built, but I don't know what else Disney can do. Anyway, you got the room you wanted and it worked out. Thanks for the pictures of the you at the Crystal Palace in our email at home. I showed them to Dana this morning when I opened your email and he immediately said CP. We love that character meal. Can't wait until our September trip. We are going to try the BWV. We love our "home" at SSR, but it is fun to try all of them at least once. Can't wait to read the rest of your trip report.

Love from the Trimbles in Illinois!
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Old 06-04-2007, 11:35 AM   #100
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Originally Posted by cathy0124 View Post
So far sounds good! Can't wait to read the rest
Thanks for reading! I hope I can keep it interesting!

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Oh I love that view from your 2nd room!!! NICE!!

Can't wait to read more!
Thanks so much! It was an awesome view, and we had animals a lot closer in later on - pictures to come!

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CMP,
Sounds like you have a great start to a wonderful vacation. I think people aren't going to be happy with all the construction while the DVC is being built, but I don't know what else Disney can do. Anyway, you got the room you wanted and it worked out. Thanks for the pictures of the you at the Crystal Palace in our email at home. I showed them to Dana this morning when I opened your email and he immediately said CP. We love that character meal. Can't wait until our September trip. We are going to try the BWV. We love our "home" at SSR, but it is fun to try all of them at least once. Can't wait to read the rest of your trip report.

Love from the Trimbles in Illinois!
Thanks! Did Dr. Belle get back fine? I had a short message from her yesterday... Those pictures from CP will be on the report later on, but I had to share with my list! I'm glad they came through well.

My friend from the boys' preschool does BWV sometimes and likes it a lot. They stayed at the BC last month, though. I wish we'd had time to kind of tour a few other resorts, but maybe next time! Hugs to you all...
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Old 06-04-2007, 12:53 PM   #101
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Your pictures are fantastic CE and you're not bad parents the boys were obviously having too much fun to eat
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Old 06-04-2007, 08:25 PM   #102
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Magic Kingdom, here we come!

We had some leftover turkey sandwich, so I sent D. back up to the room to put it away. We were to meet in the lobby. I sent the boys to the restroom, and waited in the lobby. And waited.

D. finally showed up looking sheepish.

He had lost his Key to the World. Looked all over, as he had to have used it to get into the room - remember, I didn't go. He did finally find it - in the refrigerator!

So, now we were really set to go.

The bus stops at the AKL are a ways away from the main door, and I never found a quicker way out. If you know of one, let me know!

We trekked down to the bus, and there was no one waiting at the MK stop. We watched 2 buses headed to the AK, 2 to MGM, 2 to Epcot, and even one heading to DTD and Blizzard Beach before our MK bus came. I still think it was around 20 minutes, though - not too bad.

We had a non-eventful ride to the MK and wound our way around to the entrance. It was, of course, our first experience with the security checks and fingerprint scans, but we did fine! It was about 4:00 at this point.

It was evening EMH at MK that night, but the regular hours were until 11:00 anyway. I knew we weren't going to last that long, seeing that we'd been up, traveled, and swam already.

The park was fairly crowded, and I didn't really have a good touring plan for starting in the evening. We wandered down Main Street - I admit I teared up a little - and decided to head over to get FP's for Splash Mountain. On the way, however, we passed Pirates, and the boys asked for it. The line was 40 minutes! (This was our first mistake. We still should have gone to Splash and gotten the FP's, but we didn't. Sigh.)

So, we waited in line for Pirates. There was a family of 6 in front of us, and they had been there all day. We had a nice conversation as we walked through the line. The kids were fine, looking through all the windows and dungeon bars, etc.

We did see Capt. Hook and Smee leaving their "holding area" as we wound through the line outside of the building, so that was kind of fun!

We all got in the boat right at 40 minutes later. I enjoyed the new beginning with Davy Jones - pretty cool! - but the boys were a little freaked. Once we got to the first scene with the pirates (rather than skeletons), though, they were great and really enjoyed it. We had tried to learn the song before we left, so everyone sang along.

The ride was a big hit, so we then headed on out to Frontierland for the FP for Splash Mountain. The stand-by line was about 60 minutes, and we got our FP as a return for 7:45 to 8:45. We had dinner reservations at Tony's at 8:15, so we would have to get back there pretty fast, but went ahead and got the FPs. The boys were excited to try it, even after seeing the big hill.

We wandered back out of the back end of the park, and noticed that we could see the Country Bears with just about a 5 minute wait, so we walked on in. Here we are waiting for the show to start:


OK, I HAVE to learn to sit up straight. I am not pregnant, I swear! Hello, belly fat! That's Buzz with me.

Here are D. and Woody:


As you can see, Woody is getting a little tired already.

We all enjoyed the show. As a side note, I was really surprised by where Country Bears were. In DL, they are more back in a corner over a bridge, and I guess I just still know my way around that park better!

The boys decided that they were ready for Haunted Mansion. We kept repeating that it was "silly, not scary!" and they seemed to buy into it. Woody rode with me, and the funniest thing was that he continued to look for the hitchhiking ghost over his shoulder. He'd look in the mirror, then look behind him in the Doom Buggy, then repeat!

It was about time to head off to Tony's for our 8:15 ADR, so we started out of Liberty Square and happened by It's a Small World. Now, I know I'm a dork, but I love this ride. There was only a 10 minute wait, and the boys seemed interested.

Now, I didn't realize this before, but D. really, really doesn't like IaSW. I knew he didn't want to go on it, but I didn't realize how deep it went. I thought it was just the normal, manly thing about not liking it.

Apparently, though, the one and only time he went to WDW, back in 1985 or so, he was on IaSW when the ride broke down! He was stuck, with the song, for at least a half hour! He really does almost develop a twitch.

We made him go on, though, and the look on the kids' faces was all worth it. They were just entranced. It was very sweet. We survived without any mishaps.

We then dodged the crowds gathered up for the 9:00 Spectromagic parade and headed off in search of Tony's. For the life of me, I couldn't remember having ever seen it, so, although it's right there, we just had to find it!

We found it with no problem, but then I couldn't figure out how to get in! For some reason, I didn't think we were supposed to go in where the photo center is, and then we couldn't find any other entrance. I finally had to ask a couple sitting on the outside patio!

Once we made our way in, it was just about 8:15. I gave our name to the reception type lady. The waiting area was pretty full, so I wondered how it would go. We did have to wait about 15 minutes, but were seated by 8:30, in the sunroom type area at the front of the restaurant.

D. got the tomato/mozzarella salad and I got the garden salad as our "appetizers" and the kid meals came with a small salad as well. Woody got mac & cheese, his favorite, and Buzz got spaghetti & meatballs - HIS favorite. I ordered the chicken pesto pasta, and D. got the diavolo.

The salads arrived right away, but then Spectro started coming down the way. The main courses arrived fairly quickly, but the boys were standing over by the windows watching the parade. It was pretty late by this point. We got them back to eat a bit. Woody declared that he "didn't like the mac & cheese" which worried me for the rest of the week, as I knew it was all the Stouffer's stuff throughout the parks. Buzz ate a good portion of his spaghetti. We finally gave up and just let them watch the parade - there were no tables filled by the windows at that point, so they had an unobstructed view with the bonus of not bothering anyone. They watched the parade as D. & I ate. Our stuff was fine, nothing too special, but nothing too awful. I am a pesto fan, and it wasn't pesto-y enough for me, but it wasn't bad.

The waitress brought the kids ice cream sundaes without us really saying. That would normally be OK, except that Buzz doesn't like chocolate and won't even eat the ice cream that isn't touching the chocolate sauce. Oh well.

D. ordered the tiramisu, and I got the Chocolate Bomb. They were good! but we were pretty full, and didn't eat them all.

As we were finishing up, Woody said, "Can we go home to the hotel now?"

We had planned on trying to go back and use our FP for Splash, late, but the wisdom of the 5 year old prevailed.

We put the boys on our shoulders and headed out to the bus. We got a bus just about 10 minutes later, and headed on home. Both boys fell asleep on our laps on the bus ride. We carted them in through the gift shop door (it was just that much closer.)



We put the boys to bed, after some discussion of what our plans were for the next day. D. returned to the gift shop to get a bottle of wine. He and I sat on the balcony, watching the giraffes and the bongos, drinking our wine. It was a lovely end to a long, but happy day!
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Last edited by cmp1111; 06-04-2007 at 08:31 PM.
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Old 06-04-2007, 08:36 PM   #103
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It sounds like y'all had a productive day. I love Spectro...there's just something about the music. Your boys are adorable. The wine on the balcony...sounds so romantic. I can't wait to here more. I hope your boys loved Splash Mountain.
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Old 06-04-2007, 08:40 PM   #104
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It sounds like y'all had a productive day. I love Spectro...there's just something about the music. Your boys are adorable. The wine on the balcony...sounds so romantic. I can't wait to here more. I hope your boys loved Splash Mountain.
It went pretty well for a half-day with no plan! The wine worked well. I don't particularly love sleeping in the same room with the kids, in hotels or visiting relatives, because their little noises bug me. The wine and the balcony worked well, both to give them some quiet inside the room, and us some "down time" on our own before trying to sleep! The beds at AKL were comfy, by the way!
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Old 06-05-2007, 01:39 PM   #105
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He had lost his Key to the World. Looked all over, as he had to have used it to get into the room - remember, I didn't go. He did finally find it - in the refrigerator!
In the fridge

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We wandered down Main Street - I admit I teared up a little -
It does get you doesn't it

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We had tried to learn the song before we left, so everyone sang along.


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funniest thing was that he continued to look for the hitchhiking ghost over his shoulder. He'd look in the mirror, then look behind him in the Doom Buggy, then repeat!
Awww so sweet, they do look real

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Both boys fell asleep on our laps on the bus ride. We carted them in through the gift shop door (it was just that much closer.)
Bless
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