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Old 08-24-2007, 09:05 AM   #1
CustardTart

I am sooo proud, happy, relieved and impressed - it's a great day...
 
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Smile Girls Only Fabulous Food & Wine Fiesta Trip Report - COMPLETED...

Girls Only Fabulous Food & Wine Fiesta!

Cast.
Me: Karen (a.k.a Kaz) 40-something. Loves all things Disney, a Kir Royale in Mizner's Lounge and spending DH's $$$...
Her: Sophie (a.k.a Soph) Slightly younger 20-something. Like her Mother, loves all things Disney. Like her Father, loves a Kir Royale in any Lounge and the exchange rate...


As we've just paid the balance on the above shindig, I thought I'd start a quick pre-trippie to get in the mood.

A few years ago, when my DD, Sophie, hit 21 and I crashed face first in 40, we decided that we should celebrate those milestones with a Girls Only trip together. After much brainstorming and Haribo StarMix we realised that, for us, the only place on earth was the Happiest Place on Earth and duly booked a vacation for May 2005 - a 3 night DCL cruise followed by a week in the Beach Club to experience the EPCOT's Flower and Garden Festival. To cut a long, rambling and rather girly story (of character photos, fine dining and excessive shopping) short, the trip was rip-roaring success and we promised ourselves another asap. Sadly life, university and finances got in the way but, finally, we decided to stop prevaricating and take advantage of an offer Virgin Holidays had last year where, if you booked 7 nights, you got 3 free. So, in a few short weeks, we will be enjoying 10 nights at the Yacht Club, sampling the delights of the Food & Wine Festival!

The beauty of this vacation is that it's the first time my DD has paid her way - so to celebrate her success as a wage slave we're booked onto Premium Economy flights with Virgin! I knew this whole "Mom" thing would pay off eventually!

Now some of you clever DISfolk out there will have realised that I am cruising just prior to this trip and yet it would appear I am flying back to the UK for a mere 6 nights before returning to Florida with DD. How ridiculous, I hear you cry! What abysmal planning! How eco-unfriendly! Yes, yes and yes, I totally agree but, before you tear up my lime-green Mickey ears in DISgust, please understand there is at least some method to my madness - honest! We booked this trip way before DH and I decided to cruise and for an unbeatable price. In addition, DD's vacation dates were fixed by the time we booked the cruise with no margin for moving them to suit both vacations. Also, I really didn't want to wave goodbye to DH and stay in WDW on my own - much as I love the Mouse, I love my husband more and it didn't seem a fitting end to our most romantic of vacations. So this clumsy 18-extra-hours-on-a-plane scenario proved to be the only solution that suited all parties. And, as far as I'm concerned, jet-lag is not an option...

Anyway back to the trip and our itinerary which is as follows:

October 5: Leave home for LGW and spend some time browsing duty free before having a celebratory cocktail in the Virgin Clubhouse. Arrive at Orlando, board the Magical Express and make our way to Disney's Yacht Club. After check-in, we'll head off to EPCOT to pick up our APs and the essential DDE card...

October 6: This morning we're doing the Around the World on a Segway tour. Later in the afternoon, we've booked the Party For The Senses so a full day in EPCOT...

October 7:
We're keeping the day fairly free to visit whichever parks take our fancy but we have an ADR at the Rose & Crown in the evening so we can eat and see Illuminations. I can't believe that we've been coming to WDW all this time and have never seen this firework display! Outrageous!! Crazy!!!

October 8: Another free day. As it's Columbus Day (so could be madly busy) we may just relax by the awesome YC/BC pool, Stormalong Bay. We have MNSSHP tickets and a ADR at Liberty Tree Tavern for 5.35pm to look forward to! This will be our first time at this event and we can't wait!!! Trick or Treat, anyone..?

October 9: Today's the day I collect our hire car from the Dolphin in advance of our full day at Universal Studios/Islands of Adventure! Now this will be my first time driving in the US so I'm a little nervous although my DH tells me it's peasy and, as I used to drive thro' Paris, what have I got to worry about?! Mmm, famous last words.. Anyway, assuming we get to US in one piece, we are armed with Front of the Line passes so will be taking advantage of those plus our 2 year APs purchased last summer to enhance our thrill ride credentials. Fire and Ice anyone? And I want a photo with SpongeBob!

October 10: Nothing in the diary but an ADR for Jiko at 7.40pm. This will be our first time visiting the AKL and we are very excited. Not least because we have both bought DVC points at AKV and want to get a feel for the place...

October 11: Today's another free and easy day with our South African Wine Adventure at EPCOT the only fixture cast in stone.

October 12: OK - time to get serious and shop till we drop! Today's the day we pound plastic until our credit cards beg for mercy. No expense will be spared as we have many suitcases to fill!

October 13: This morning we have an early start (for us) as we're booked to the Keys to the Kingdom tour at MK! I've wanted to do this for a while so I'm rather excited! In the evening we have another first, an ADR at Todd English's bluezoo!

October 14: Our last full day (sob) so whatever else we do, we'll be sure to spend some time chillin' out in Stormalong Bay! Time too for some last minute shopping, methinks...

October 15:
After DTD check-in, we'll head back to EPCOT and take in the sights, sounds and tastes of the Food & Wine Festival one last time before heading to MCO...

That's all, folks...
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Last edited by CustardTart; 11-25-2007 at 07:21 AM. Reason: Updating...
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Old 08-24-2007, 09:11 AM   #2
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Sounds wonderful. Wish I had someone to go with and wish DH would let me! May see you on Stormalong Bay on the 14th, that's the morning after we arrive and we'll be heading over to AK for an early breakfast! Enjoy yourself.
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Old 08-24-2007, 10:52 AM   #3
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Sounds wonderful Karen, have a great time
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Old 08-24-2007, 12:41 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CustardTart View Post
[The beauty of this vacation is that it's the first time my DD has paid her way - so to celebrate her success as a wage slave we're booked onto Premium Economy flights with Virgin! I knew this whole "Mom" thing would pay off eventually!
oh i can't wait for that moment !!!!

great start Karen !! hope you have a fab trip(s)
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Old 08-24-2007, 01:09 PM   #5
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sounds wonderful - can't wait for the full trip report!
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Old 08-24-2007, 05:04 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by natalielongstaff View Post
oh i can't wait for that moment !!!!
It's definitely worth the wait, Nat!
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Old 08-24-2007, 05:54 PM   #7
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Hope you all have a fantastic time.
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Old 08-26-2007, 12:07 PM   #8
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Great pre-trip report, Momma- reading it has made me even more excited!! Can it get any better than epicurean Epcot or trick-or-treating with the Mouse?!
I just hope your costume looks as good as mine..

Sophie xx
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Old 08-27-2007, 02:44 AM   #9
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Sounds brillant Karen
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Old 09-05-2007, 04:41 PM   #10
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wow - sounds great


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Old 09-05-2007, 05:05 PM   #11
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Sounds great
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Old 10-30-2007, 08:23 AM   #12
CustardTart

I am sooo proud, happy, relieved and impressed - it's a great day...
 
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Day 1: The One With The Upgrades...

So after just five sleeps in my Beckenham bed, it was time to pick up those cases and head out, once more, to Orlando! Somehow I'd escaped jet-lag and once my vacation clothes were duly washed and re-packed there wasn't much left to do but say goodbye to the delightful Dick and drive off to Gatwick. Again. Now this trip was a little different from my previous one as most of the planning had been left in the capable Sophie's hands and the benefit of this showed itself right from the start. Firstly we were able to park in Gatwick's short stay car park for the half the normal cost! I don't know which part of her soul she had to sell to deliver this deal but I loved it. And who needs a conscience nowadays?! Anyway, we were able to drop off our luggage with comparative ease before heading through security to what I believe is called the Departures Concourse! This is where Sophie's skill as a master planner again shone through. She had procured a couple of complimentary tickets (a corporate perk) to the Virgin Clubhouse and before you could say "I Heart Sir Dick", we were tucking into a jolly nice brekkie and waiting to be called for our Cute Boots pedicures... Then came the news that our flight was delayed. How we laughed as we ordered a couple of cocktails and asked what was for lunch!

Still it didn't seem too long until we were boarding and relaxing on the flight. I know Premium Economy isn't as comfy as Upper Class but I still love that upstairs cabin and we had a great time. Upon arriving in Orlando, we were swiftly through Immigration - I was even asked on a date by the official! I politely declined but noted the name on his ID. After all, if this whole next 25 years thing doesn't work out with Dick, it's good to have Ignacio as a back-up, right...? Anyway, waving goodbye to my suitor, we collected our luggage (ignored the second baggage claim thing as we could easily wheel our Kipling cases) and made our way through to the Virgin desk with ease. We were directed to the Mears coach stop outside and boarded the bus. We briefly waited for another couple and then were off. The lady driver dropped us off first and we entered the relatively familiar lobby of Disney's Yacht Club resort. We stood in the small line, waiting to check in, when a roving lobby Cast Member directed us to the Concierge desk as an alternative to queuing. Or so we thought. Imagine our surprise when we were presented with gold-coloured room key cards and advised that we'd be staying on the fifth floor with concierge privileges! And consider our confusion when the concierge explained that our package included park tickets and the Disney Dining Plan!!! Sophie kindly picked me up off the floor and jiggled my jaw back into place. Simultaneously speechless for the first time ever, we silently stepped towards the elevators whilst the bellboy explained how to access the fifth floor (you had to use your room key) and chattered about the weather and what was happening at WDW...

We arrived at the fifth floor and introduced ourselves to the concierge team. Holding our breath in case it was all a mistake, they cheerfully directed us to our room and off we went. After tipping the bellboy, we leapt around the room like idiots! Honestly, we couldn't believe our good fortune! Our room was very pleasant - the usual size and attractively decorated with a unobtrusive nautical theme and complete with towel animals...




The only downside was that we'd been expecting two queen beds and this room had a king, a daybed and a convertible chairbed. Poor Sophie. Being so much older, wiser and stronger than her, I quickly chose the king size bed and sat on it, growling menacingly. She decided to go with the daybed. Wise choice, sweetie...

Time to explore and we were off like a shot, running along the corridor towards the concierge lounge like a couple of kids! We each poured ourselves a glass of white zinfandel and enjoyed a couple of petits fours before heading off the ground floor of the resort. The place was buzzing - even Stormalong Bay was a hive of aquatic activity! Time to head for the adjoining Beach Club, where we'd stayed back in 2005, as Sophie wanted to try using a counter service credit. I still couldn't believe this was really happening and just assumed some sort of mix up had occurred - so when she handed over her room key in exchange for a roast beef ciabatta roll, I expected the cashier to charge it to the room. But no. She had used up a credit so it seemed we were officially on the DDP! Cue excited running around the Beach Club Marketplace - well, more excited fast walking really, I had been up for approaching twenty four hours...

Returning to the room, we talked excitedly of what this meant to our vacation budget! $$$$$ is what it meant and we were just the flash British babes to take advantage of this wonderful pixiedust windfall! . Exhausted, we fell into bed. I remember sleepily confirming with Sophie that a shopping trip definitely had to happen sooner rather than later. I don't know if she replied. I was too busy drifting off to sleep as I counted the stores in Florida Mall instead of sheep. Yankee Candle, Sephora, Old Navy, Nordstrumzzzz...
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Last edited by CustardTart; 11-04-2007 at 08:31 AM. Reason: Added photos...
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Old 10-30-2007, 08:35 AM   #13
BRobson
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I will just have to enjoy Food and Wine and skip the running
 
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Yeah another trip report Wow how lucky were you both Cant wait to hear more!
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Old 10-30-2007, 08:44 AM   #14
CustardTart

I am sooo proud, happy, relieved and impressed - it's a great day...
 
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Sorry, Jackie! Looks like all that positive feedback has unleashed the Trip Report Monster within!

Seriously tho', don't be scared - once I finish this I'll step away from the laptop and sit quietly in the corner, I promise...
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Grand Floridian Resort & Spa - Christmas 1998 * Dolphin/Vero Beach - Easter 2000 * Polynesian - August 2001 * Grand Floridian Resort & Spa - August 2004 * Beach Club/DCL Wonder - May 2005 * Grand Californian Hotel - NYE 2005 * Polynesian - August 2006 * DCL Magic Western Caribbean - September 2007 * Yacht Club - October 2007 * Saratoga Springs Resort & Spa - December 2007 * Villas at Wilderness Lodge/DCL Wonder Double Dip - May 2008 * DCL Magic Mexican Riviera/Disneyland Hotel - August 2008 * Boardwalk Villas - October 2008 * Animal Kingdom Villas/Hard Rock Hotel Club - Easter 2009 * Bay Lake Tower/DCL Magic Eastern Caribbean & Tortola/Villas at Wilderness Lodge - September 2009 * Bay Lake Tower - June 2010 * DCL Magic Westbound Transatlantic - September 2010 * Old Key West - October 2010 * Sequoia Lodge/Paris - November 2010 * Boardwalk Villas/DCL Dream Inaugural Cruise - January 2011 * Saratoga Springs Resort & Spa/Villas at Wilderness Lodge - November 2011 * Boardwalk Villas - July 2012 * Animal Kingdom Villas/DCL Fantasy Western Caribbean - November 2012 * Boardwalk Villas/Bay Lake Tower - January 2014...
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Old 10-30-2007, 08:47 AM   #15
natalielongstaff
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fab trippie ! can't beleive ive got another one to read
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