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Old 12-04-2000, 11:26 AM   #1
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Hunzi's Holiday Happenings Day 3: MGM

Cast of Characters: Me: major Disney fan, grew up going to WDW, has visited a dozen times; DH: been to WDW twice, once for Grad night when we were in high school, other trip when we took a major vacation in January to celebrate his retirement from the Air Force and spent 17 days at WDW/Space Coast/Disney Wonder. DS: 11, had a great time on his first trip in January, and DD, 6, loves everything Disney.

Day 3: MGM & 50's Prime Time Café.

We slept in until the sun woke us up a little before 9am. We had some snacks in the room, took our time, dressed and headed off to MGM mid morning. DH still couldn't get a hot shower, even with it turned all the way to hot. We arrived and found some new characters outside for the kids to add to their autograph books. We zipped in, and got our stroller. We got one each day, both to save DD from wearing out too soon, but also so we could stash our backpack with water bottles, snacks and camera, and save our backs. It was more than worth the $6/day.

We went right to Tower of Terror, and got our Fastpass. Then we watched the Beauty and the Beast show. Then we wandered our way down New York Street, on our way to the Backlot tour. On our way we paused twice, first for a fabulous jazzy band, and then for DD to get Beast's autograph. I also stole a kiss from DH under a huge sprig of mistletoe hanging high above the street. He hadn't even noticed it, nor had anyone else that I saw.

When we arrived at the Backlot tour, we just missed the tour before us. We waited, but just when the tour was due to start, we realized we'd never make our PS at 50's Prime Time on time unless we left right away. So we bailed out, and worked our way to the café.

We waited in the reception area for around 20 minutes, and then we were seated with Aunt Debbie to care for us. Lunch was terrific. I had meatloaf, DH had the fried chicken, DS had his usual hamburger, and DD had mac & cheese. Aunt Debbie christened DD "cousin Hoover" after she snarfed the M & C. We cracked up when she asked "did you even chew?" ;-) We also had the Smores for dessert. Yummy. Lunch at Prime Time: grade A+

After lunch, we hopped right on the ToT. Then, we wandered the streets, and found Cruella De Ville autographing books. What a hoot she was! There was a mom who got snippy with Cruella because her little darling was next, and Cruella disagreed. She stayed totally in character, and made it clear that the mom was being a total *&^(#! She did end up signing the little boy's book, but the mom left in a huff. When she got to DD, wearing a Tinkerbell shirt, I was cracking up because she was soooo Cruella. "You, Tinklerbell, get over here!" My DD wasn't afraid of her at all. We joked later with DD, that it was a good thing Pluto had stayed at the hotel that day.

We then sat on a bench and people watched a bit, then decided to head to Epcot. On the way back home DD began to be really irritable, so we decided to head to the hotel for a break instead.

We camped out in the room for a short time, then headed down to the pool for a while. DD and I swam, DS didn't want to, and DH announce he had left his swim trunks at home. What a great pool system! We swam in the Springs pool for a while and DH & DS explored the pool area, but I really wanted to get into the hot tub for a little while, and finally talked DD into playing in the splash pool for a bit while I enjoyed it. DD just wasn't quite tall enough to let her stay in the Springs pool with no one in the pool with her, unless she had a life vest, and the cabana was already closed when we arrived. DH watched DD in the shallow pool while I relaxed for a few minutes in the hot tub. Then we headed back to the room. DD & I dressed and we decided to go to Beaches & Cream for burgers.

We got there around 8pm and were told we'd have around a 20-minute wait. It had begun to rain, so folks began filtering back from the parks early. Our 20-minute wait turned out to be an hour and 20 minutes. We had almost given up hope. We got a booth, then ordered burgers, followed with ice cream. The burgers were good. DD ordered a hot dog but only ate one bite; she passed on the dessert too. Dinner at Beaches and Cream: grade B+

We walked back and hoped to catch a launch, but realized we were too late, so we walked back to the Swan. DD began to say she wasn't feeling well. We decided most of her problem was probably being overly tired. She perked up half the way back and raced her brother to the elevator. We fell in our beds, and decided to sleep in again the next day.

Always ;-)
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Old 12-04-2000, 12:53 PM   #2
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I can't believe you haven't complained about the hot water and non-existent rollaway.

You got some neat autographs. Cruella sounds great! :D

Thanks for sharing your report with us.


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Old 12-04-2000, 01:23 PM   #3
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I should have probably fussed more about the rollaway, but DS & DD had sorted out the sharing of the bed, and I really wasn't sure how we'd walk in the room is we got it. If the kids hadn't cooperated, or if DD had nasty bug that kept her vomiting, I would have considered complaining more. I think I felt, we had a really cheap rate, we had been given an upgrade to a balcony, and it wasn't worth the fuss.

On getting the balcony, at first I thought it was a non-event, something we'd never use. (Our room at the Poly had a patio, and we did use it several times, and the kids used it as a shortcut to the pool, but I didn't think we'd use it as much this time.)

However, once DD became ill, DH and I used it the first night as a place to chat while DD slept, and the second night just to air out the room, which made a big difference in everyone's comfort. Before the trip, I wouldn't have been willing to pay for a balcony, but now I think I would if I needed to.

I was very thankful for the upgrade.

As for the showers, I've stayed in other nice hotels that had problems with hot water during peak useage times, so I think I was a little more tolerant of it than DH was, but I do think it shouldn't happen at all. DH wanted to complain, but my thoughts were, what can they do? I guess we could have changed rooms, but that would have been a bother too. It just seemed like a no win situation, we just needed to either take showers at non-peak hours, or maybe run butt naked down to the Grotto.

Always ;-)
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Old 12-05-2000, 09:55 AM   #4
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We love 50's Prime Time Cafe! We had lunch there the end of January (with no P.S.!), waited about 20 mins for a table, and thoroughly enjoyed our time there. They have THE BEST chocolate malts!

What grade do you give the Grotto Pool?

I've just seen an awesome aerial shot of the Grotto Pool and it looks fabulous!

Did anyone in your family go down the water slide?


<font face="Lucida Calligraphy"><font color=blue>Offsite 7/94, Offsite 9/95, Shades Of Green 4/98, Dixie Landings 11/98, Coronado Springs 8/99, Polynesian 1/2000, Next WDW Adventure; April 2001 Swan!</font>
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Old 12-05-2000, 02:26 PM   #5
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Hi Blondie!

I didn't get a chocolate malt! Gee now I have to go back.

We really liked the Grotto Pool area. We went early evening once, and the slide was closed. The second time we went in the afternoon, and it was open. My son went down it a couple of times, but my DD went down once and then floated looking pitiful for a few minutes...we asked her what was wrong and she said the water was too cold, so we went back to the Springs pool. It was 76 degrees in the Grotto. She was happy as a lark in the Springs pool which was 85 degrees.

Keep in mind for poor or non-swimmers the Grotto pools are variable in depths. My 44" tall DD had troubles in the Springs pool because it is only 3 feet near the sides, but 4 feet in the center. So I didn't feel comfortable letting her play without me, or a life vest, because she'd bounce herself into deep water (for her) in a few hops. I spent most of my time in the Springs pulling her back to the sides.

The big Grotto pool does the same thing, 3'1" in some places, but 3'9 a few feet away, but mostly that pool is 4+ feet, so I wouldn't let her play there without the life vest, even if it wasn't too cold.

I'd give the pools an A- only because of the coolness of the big Grotto pool.

Always ;-)
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Old 01-22-2001, 11:08 AM   #6
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A fun filled day for everyone - except for the lack of hot water - can I see the video of you running "naked" through the grotto! Thanks for posting!
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