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Old 12-30-2007, 02:23 PM   #1
TigerLaw
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Join Date: Mar 2000
Location: st. louis, MO usa
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Doin' Disney Holiday Style!! (UPDATED 1/16 - REPORT CONCLUSION)

The Cast:

Michael, eleventh visit to WDW (Disney fanatic for years)

Melissa, wife of the fanatic, fellow lover of WDW, just nowhere near my level.



The Time:

Friday, November 23, 2007 to Sunday, December 2, 2007.

The Resorts:

Animal Kingdom Lodge - concierge level (from 11/23-11/25)
Beach Club - standard room level (11/25-12/2)

The History:

Melissa and I first went to WDW in September, 2000. Since then we have gone every year at least once. Highlights of the different trips include Melissa surprised me with a mini-vacation to WDW for my 30th birthday and going to Disneyland for the 50th anniversary festivities.

The Planning:

In May of 2007, we took a four day cruise on the Disney Wonder to get the cruising bug out of our system. Afterwards, we stayed at the beach club for three days and did both the end of the Epcot flower festival and the first day of Star Wars weekends at MGM. Having already spent a ton of disney-related money, the idea initially was to do a holiday trip after thanksgiving back to WDW but to go somewhat on the cheap. By way of background, immediately after thanksgiving is my absolute favorite time of the year to go to Orlando - the holidays are in full swing, crowds are low, not to hot. I think Melissa likes it too, but doesn’t like not being for sure able to hit the pools. Anyway, we decided that we would initially stay at the Swan and booked a decent discounted rate. We had never stayed there before, so we thought this would be a good way to stay in the epcot resorts area and not spend a lot of money.

For the purposes of this report you also need to know that while I obsessively plan, Melissa will just come up with ideas just out of nowhere - things that I never think of. To that end, after watching a travel channel show, she said we should stay at the animal kingdom lodge (AKL) so we could do the sunrise safari tour. I was surprised by this b/c the one time we had been at AKL before, neither of us came away with any thought of ever staying there - too far away, bugs everywhere, etc. Nevertheless, I was game, so I booked us for a two night stay at AKL on Thanksgiving Friday and Saturday so we could do the safari on our check out day - Sunday the 25th. Now I should also say that while I had booked the Swan, I had in the back of my mind that I would still be able to pull off a decent discount rate for the Beach Club (BCR) and get us there. To that end I double booked us (yeah, I know, bad me!) and then waited for the room discount codes. When the codes finally came out, I must have not know for only like a day, but by that time, the code rooms were gone for our stay time. I continued to check in for weeks with no luck and then finally on like the 20th call back into WDW, I got us into BCR for like only $50 dollars more than the swan’s rate - so needless to say, beach club here we come!

The other big planning idea was to go on a guided tour on thanksgiving Saturday so we could have something to do that would counteract having to deal with the crowds. Initially the keys to the kingdom tour was booked up, but eventually the concierge desk at the AKL got us in.
Otherwise, in terms of planning, nothing us too excited occurred. We got a good nonstop rate for airfare (much better than we had when we came down in may for the cruise). Speaking of the cruise, we came down to Orlando on a Saturday (the cruise left on a Sunday) so we used our rental to go to the outlet mall so Melissa could hit up the coach outlet. We decided to rent a car for a day and go to the outlet again and then over to citywalk to eat at bubba gump’s, which we both loved when we ate there on our honeymoon in Oahu. Again, this was an “out of nowhere” Melissa idea that worked into our plans.

COMING UP - THE PLAN OF ATTACK
__________________

Sept. 2000 - Caribbean Beach & All Star Movies / Nov. & Dec. 2001 - Caribbean Beach / July, 2002 - Dolphin (30th Birthday trip!) / Oct. 2002 - Polynesian / Sept. 2003 - Hard Rock Hotel & Beach Club / May, 2004 - Hard Rock Hotel / Nov. & Dec., 2004 - Hard Rock & Boardwalk Inn / Dec. 2005 - Disneyland 50th Anniversary trip at Grand Californian / Sept. 2006 - Beach Club / May 2007 - 4 Night cruise on Disney Wonder (our first cruise ever!) and 3 nights at WDW (Beach Club) / Fall, 2007 - Became owners at Beach Club Villas / Nov. & Dec. 2007 - Animal Kingdom Lodge (concierge level!) & Beach Club / Feb. 2008 - Hard Rock Hotel & Portofino Bay / Sept. 2008 - Polynesian & Beach Club Villas (Our first time at our DVC home!) / May, 2009 - Polynesian & Beach Club Villas / July, 2009 - Old Key West / Oct. 2009- Disneyland - Paradise Pier / May, 2010 - Bay Lake Tower & Beach Club Villas May 2011 - Hard Rock Hotel / Feb 2012 One More Disney Day (ASM)/ July, 2012 - Beach Club Villas (40th B-Day trip) / Nov. 2012 - Beach Club Villas


My One Disney Day AND MORE Trip Report
Our Drama-Filled May 2010 Bay Lake & Beach Club Trip Report
--- Our 4th of July, My Bday, 1st Time at OKW Trip Report
Our 2nd Time Home (BCV) Very Rainy May Trip Report --- First Time Coming Home to BCV Trip Report
Doin' Disney Holiday Style Trip Report

Last edited by TigerLaw; 01-16-2008 at 09:02 AM.
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Old 12-30-2007, 02:38 PM   #2
TigerLaw
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OUR SCHEDULE

Friday, November 23rd - check in to AKL, hit AK in the afternoon, dinner at Rainforest (or do Yak&Yeti if open) - nighttime open.

Saturday, November 24th - wake up to watch animals, MK keys to kingdom tour - afternoon back at AKL - dinner at ragland road and shopping at DTD.

Sunday, November 25th - 7am sunrise safari (breakfast part of safari) - morning AK check out of AKL and into BCR - afternoon rest - dinner at cape may clambake - MGM EMH night (park open till 11pm) (Osborne lights)

Monday, November 26th - Epcot morning (just hitting major attractions) - lunch and afternoon open - dinner at Ohana’s and MK EMH night (park open till 11pm)(7pm spectro, 8 pm wishes)

Tuesday, November 27th - Epcot EMH morning (open at 8am), lunch at San Angel Inn - afternoon open - candlelight dinner - coral reef - 8:15 candlelight show - holiday illuminations

Wednesday, November 28th - maybe breakfast at spoodles - MGM morning (opens at 9am) - lunch maybe at sci-fi - afternoon, get rental car and hit outlet mall - then go to city walk and dinner at bubba gump’s.

Thursday, November, 29th -MK EMH morning (8am park open) - Crystal palace breakfast 10:25
afternoon rest-pool? - at night, go to Mickey’s very merry christmas party

Friday, November 30th - open day - nighttime - Epcot tree lighting and arches of winter - dinner at Rose and Crown - watch holiday illuminations

Saturday, December 1st - MGM EMH morning - lunch at sci fi? - dinner at flying fish and watch holiday illuminations.

Sunday. December 2nd - cape may breakfast and check out.
__________________

Sept. 2000 - Caribbean Beach & All Star Movies / Nov. & Dec. 2001 - Caribbean Beach / July, 2002 - Dolphin (30th Birthday trip!) / Oct. 2002 - Polynesian / Sept. 2003 - Hard Rock Hotel & Beach Club / May, 2004 - Hard Rock Hotel / Nov. & Dec., 2004 - Hard Rock & Boardwalk Inn / Dec. 2005 - Disneyland 50th Anniversary trip at Grand Californian / Sept. 2006 - Beach Club / May 2007 - 4 Night cruise on Disney Wonder (our first cruise ever!) and 3 nights at WDW (Beach Club) / Fall, 2007 - Became owners at Beach Club Villas / Nov. & Dec. 2007 - Animal Kingdom Lodge (concierge level!) & Beach Club / Feb. 2008 - Hard Rock Hotel & Portofino Bay / Sept. 2008 - Polynesian & Beach Club Villas (Our first time at our DVC home!) / May, 2009 - Polynesian & Beach Club Villas / July, 2009 - Old Key West / Oct. 2009- Disneyland - Paradise Pier / May, 2010 - Bay Lake Tower & Beach Club Villas May 2011 - Hard Rock Hotel / Feb 2012 One More Disney Day (ASM)/ July, 2012 - Beach Club Villas (40th B-Day trip) / Nov. 2012 - Beach Club Villas


My One Disney Day AND MORE Trip Report
Our Drama-Filled May 2010 Bay Lake & Beach Club Trip Report
--- Our 4th of July, My Bday, 1st Time at OKW Trip Report
Our 2nd Time Home (BCV) Very Rainy May Trip Report --- First Time Coming Home to BCV Trip Report
Doin' Disney Holiday Style Trip Report
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Old 12-30-2007, 02:59 PM   #3
TigerLaw
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The Trip Report Actually Begins!

FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 23RD

Parks Visited - AK
Dining - Mara’s for lunch and Rainforest Café for Dinner (at AK)

Since St. Louis lost its status as a hub airport city, the nonstop flights from STL to Orlando have greatly decreased. Because of this, we have on our last few trips taken a super early in the morning flight, and this time was no different. We got up at 3:30 am for a 6:25 flight down to Orlando. My wife and I always joke about me being like the little kid in the commercial who says “we’re too excited to sleep” and its still true. Anyway, I was a little nervous about what the airport crowds would be like being it was the day after thanksgiving, but we had no issues, flight left and arrived on time without incident. Upon arrival, we quickly got our luggage from the carousel (which never happens to us) and had a really nice town car driver (Melissa loves using town car service). I think we arrived at AKL by 10am or so. When we arrived, there was some confusion as to whether to check our bags or if there was an available room, but eventually, we got a room.

Now about this room. We were on the Kudu trail side overlooking the pelican lake area. The view was fine, but the room was an handicapped accessible room, so we didn’t have two bathroom sinks and there wasn’t a dedicated shower, just the same floor where a wheelchair could roll into and a bench to take a shower. Now, don’t get me wrong, we have nothing against these types of rooms being available, it just wasn’t what we were hoping for, and giving the prices we were paying for concierge level, I am sure that added to our unhappiness with the room. Having said that, we knew giving how early we were checking in (and it still being a holiday weekend) it was all that was available at that time.

By this time, we were hungry, so we when to try to find the food court area. I got us lost thinking there was a way through the hallways, but soon realized that you had to go past boma’s and jiko’s, and then past the pool. It really shouldn’t have been this difficult to get to the food court area, but maybe it was just us. We had burgers and fries and had our first experience with the new (to us anyway) straws. After lunch, we went over to animal kingdom. We must have just missed the bus, b/c it took 30 minutes at least to wait for a bus and get over to AK. Once inside, we had our first look at holiday crowds. All of the major attractions had sizable waits, so I got us fastpasses for everest while Melissa shopped in the two main stores in front of the tree of life. At 12:30, the fastpasses were for like 4:55 pm.



So once I got back, we decided to see the 1pm showing of the Festival of the Lion King. We always like seeing this and we had good seats. Here's a couple pics:



After the show, I looked at the character trail lines, but decided against waiting in the long lines. We then decided to try Everest anyway, so we did the single rider lines, with about a 20 minute wait (standby was 50 minutes). From there, we tried to do dinosaur, but it was a 50 minute wait! (I had never see it NOT be a walk on, so this blew me away). At this point, we were both getting really tired (imagine that having gotten up at 3:30 in the morning!). We ended up finding a ledge to sit on and then we waited like 40 minutes for the holiday parade. While I like the regular AK parade, to call this something different is misleading I think b/c basically, it’s the same parade with some holly and bells thrown on the regular parade vehicles.

Parade Pics:



After the parade, I tried to ride dinosaur, but it wasn’t working (a theme you will later see in this report). Once I met up with Melissa (after getting my pictures taken with pooh, tigger and eyeore),



we decided to call it a day and ended up having dinner at rainforest café with little wait. We both had clam chowder, Melissa had a crab cake sandwich and I had ribs - all pretty good.

Once we got done with dinner, we came back to AKL and walked around the hotel shop for a bit. Melissa then went back to the room to crash (it was like 6:30 - that’s how tired she was). I went up to the concierge level to check out the happy hour offerings - they had super spicy ribs and chicken wings. I soon crashed too, watched some TV and then went to bed early, as we had a big morning planned for the following day.
__________________

Sept. 2000 - Caribbean Beach & All Star Movies / Nov. & Dec. 2001 - Caribbean Beach / July, 2002 - Dolphin (30th Birthday trip!) / Oct. 2002 - Polynesian / Sept. 2003 - Hard Rock Hotel & Beach Club / May, 2004 - Hard Rock Hotel / Nov. & Dec., 2004 - Hard Rock & Boardwalk Inn / Dec. 2005 - Disneyland 50th Anniversary trip at Grand Californian / Sept. 2006 - Beach Club / May 2007 - 4 Night cruise on Disney Wonder (our first cruise ever!) and 3 nights at WDW (Beach Club) / Fall, 2007 - Became owners at Beach Club Villas / Nov. & Dec. 2007 - Animal Kingdom Lodge (concierge level!) & Beach Club / Feb. 2008 - Hard Rock Hotel & Portofino Bay / Sept. 2008 - Polynesian & Beach Club Villas (Our first time at our DVC home!) / May, 2009 - Polynesian & Beach Club Villas / July, 2009 - Old Key West / Oct. 2009- Disneyland - Paradise Pier / May, 2010 - Bay Lake Tower & Beach Club Villas May 2011 - Hard Rock Hotel / Feb 2012 One More Disney Day (ASM)/ July, 2012 - Beach Club Villas (40th B-Day trip) / Nov. 2012 - Beach Club Villas


My One Disney Day AND MORE Trip Report
Our Drama-Filled May 2010 Bay Lake & Beach Club Trip Report
--- Our 4th of July, My Bday, 1st Time at OKW Trip Report
Our 2nd Time Home (BCV) Very Rainy May Trip Report --- First Time Coming Home to BCV Trip Report
Doin' Disney Holiday Style Trip Report
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Old 12-30-2007, 06:13 PM   #4
mkluvsmickey
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I'm enjoying your report! We are staying at AKL for the weekend in February and am curious to read your opinions. Looking forward to more!
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Old 12-30-2007, 06:14 PM   #5
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Sounds great so far...I will be at Disney during this same time frame next year so looking forward to hearing how everything was!
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Old 12-30-2007, 07:40 PM   #6
TigerLaw
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mkluvsmickey - don't let our experience sour you on AKL - I think we just got a bad room assignment (you'll hear more about it upcoming) - Having said that, I do think there are some trade offs for staying there and getting the animals - like for example, how far away it is from everything. Additionally, we are beach clubbers through and through - that's home for us (as you can tell by my signature, we recently bought into the beach club villas. I know there are lots of people who love AKL, just not our cup of tea I guess (still beats staying off site - that's for sure!)


cdotla - hang in with me, the goods on the holiday stuff are coming!
__________________

Sept. 2000 - Caribbean Beach & All Star Movies / Nov. & Dec. 2001 - Caribbean Beach / July, 2002 - Dolphin (30th Birthday trip!) / Oct. 2002 - Polynesian / Sept. 2003 - Hard Rock Hotel & Beach Club / May, 2004 - Hard Rock Hotel / Nov. & Dec., 2004 - Hard Rock & Boardwalk Inn / Dec. 2005 - Disneyland 50th Anniversary trip at Grand Californian / Sept. 2006 - Beach Club / May 2007 - 4 Night cruise on Disney Wonder (our first cruise ever!) and 3 nights at WDW (Beach Club) / Fall, 2007 - Became owners at Beach Club Villas / Nov. & Dec. 2007 - Animal Kingdom Lodge (concierge level!) & Beach Club / Feb. 2008 - Hard Rock Hotel & Portofino Bay / Sept. 2008 - Polynesian & Beach Club Villas (Our first time at our DVC home!) / May, 2009 - Polynesian & Beach Club Villas / July, 2009 - Old Key West / Oct. 2009- Disneyland - Paradise Pier / May, 2010 - Bay Lake Tower & Beach Club Villas May 2011 - Hard Rock Hotel / Feb 2012 One More Disney Day (ASM)/ July, 2012 - Beach Club Villas (40th B-Day trip) / Nov. 2012 - Beach Club Villas


My One Disney Day AND MORE Trip Report
Our Drama-Filled May 2010 Bay Lake & Beach Club Trip Report
--- Our 4th of July, My Bday, 1st Time at OKW Trip Report
Our 2nd Time Home (BCV) Very Rainy May Trip Report --- First Time Coming Home to BCV Trip Report
Doin' Disney Holiday Style Trip Report
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Old 12-30-2007, 07:48 PM   #7
mkluvsmickey
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TigerLaw View Post
mkluvsmickey - don't let our experience sour you on AKL - I think we just got a bad room assignment (you'll hear more about it upcoming) - Having said that, I do think there are some trade offs for staying there and getting the animals - like for example, how far away it is from everything. Additionally, we are beach clubbers through and through - that's home for us (as you can tell by my signature, we recently bought into the beach club villas. I know there are lots of people who love AKL, just not our cup of tea I guess (still beats staying off site - that's for sure!)
Thanks for the info. We live only 2 1/2 hours away so we do a lot of weekend trips - our goal is to try each resort at least once! I figure if we don't like it - it is only for a weekend.
Can't wait to read the rest....
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Old 12-31-2007, 08:04 AM   #8
TigerLaw
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SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 23RD

Parks Visited: MK (and went to Downtown Disney as well)
Dining: Lunch at Columbia Harbor House (came with the Keys Tour) and Dinner at Raglan Road

Allow me to start off this part of the report with a long-winded piece of trip planning advice for everyone: Just because the always say go on the safari ride first thing in the morning b/c that’s when the animals will be out and active the most DOES NOT mean that you should wake up at the crack of dawn to try to see animals out on the AKL savannah!!

As you can tell, I figured that we should get up super early to see the animals, so I got up, went up to the concierge lounge, got me a coke, Melissa coffee (its one of our WDW traditions - I get her coffee every morning while she sleeps in a bit more) and some pastries. I thought I would get back, and we would look at ALL of the animals while sitting on our porch, except there was one problem - no animals! Basically, we got up early for nothing, as the only animals we saw were on the fence line.

Now if you will also allow me a brief digression, I also learned something on this trip that I never had reason to know before - women need water pressure in their showers. As I guy, this never crossed my mind, but as you can guess - our shower had no water pressure. For Melissa, this was a big deal, as it meant she had to wash her hair in the sink. She discovered this the night before, so when I went up to get coffee Saturday morning, I spoke to the person at the concierge desk to get someone to fix it while we were gone for our MK tour, and she said she would handle it. In my view, for a hotel room to have any issues like that when they are charging over $400 a night is totally unacceptable. Digression over - for a bit.

After our early morning wake up to no animals, I took Melissa up to the lounge for a couple more mini rolls, and then we were off to go to the magic kingdom for our keys to the kingdom tour. Now I had booked us at the last of the three times (9:30am) for a couple reasons - first, so we would have time to watch the animals and second, so I could get us a fastpass for splash or something before the tour. We actually got to MK by 8:30 am, so I went over to guest services and got a credit for $100 off my annual pass for becoming a DVC member. Now by the time the park opened, we both were thinking the crowds would be too much to bear, so from opening until our tour time, we shopped a bit on main street (another digression - our christmas tree is disney ornaments only, so shopping always means in part looking for new ornaments (right now we cover about 80% of the tree)) and I took some pics of the castle area.



Eventually, we made our way to the tour check in, where they gave us a water, took our lunch order and we were on our way. I don’t want to ruin the tour for people, so I will say a couple things and leave it at that. Our tour guide was Steve, and he was very knowledgeable, nice and energetic. There was about ten people in our group. They gave us earpieces that picked up Steve talking into a microphone, so that was helpful. Having said that - the tour was a lot of walking, as it went from 9:30 am to past 2:30. I know Melissa went just for me, but even I agreed with her comment that it could have been about a hour shorter. I think the first hour was spent just on main st and at the hub. While the backstage area stuff was cool, I thought there would be more of it. Also, if you are a regular on this board, you will know maybe 1/3 of what is said (for example, forced perspective on main street). Don’t get me wrong, I loved it, but I think it was one of those disney things that you build up so much in your head, it can’t ever live up.

One thing I didn’t like that I will tell you about was right after lunch in harbor house we walked over to the riverboat dock, and the tour guide told us like a 15 minute story of what HE thought was the back story to the haunted mansion. For some reason, it rubbed me wrong that our time was being spent hearing his idea of the story. Now, so I don’t come off sounding totally negative, I will tell you that backstage we saw the Woody’s Round Up characters with their heads off (it was the weirdest thing) and that we saw the backs of the pirates and splash buildings. Big deal you say? Well, think about where their respective entrances are in the parks - now the big deal I have is that the buildings backstage are less than a 100 yards apart (the pirates building is all to the right of its entrance). As far as rides, Steve gave us his version of the jungle cruise and we got to go in the back door to go on the haunted mansion. This was the first time we had been on HM since the rehab, so it was cool trying to figure out what was new besides the stair room and attic scenes and the floating crystal ball head.

After the tour, we came back to the hotel, and guess what? THERE WERE ANIMALS FINALLY ON THE SAVANNAH! I took a bunch of pics, so you can see what was out there:



When we got back to the room, I checked the water pressure issue, and it hadn’t been resolved. I went down to the front desk, and they had no record of my request for maintenance. At this point, I got really ticked off and talked with the manager on duty. Long story short, I got a sizable credit off our room bill, so given we were checking out the next day, I let the issue drop.

That night we went to ragland road for the first time. Melissa had the fish and chips and I had the shepards pie - we both liked it but weren’t wowed. We did some shopping in the marketplace area and was surprised back the lack of crowds (there were people there, I just thought it would be much worse) We scoped out our christmas ornament purchases at the Xmas store and then came back to watch Missouri DESTROY Kansas in the biggest MU/KU football game in like 40 years. (we both went to law school at Mizzou and I have season tickets, so we couldn’t miss the game).

Coming Up - Probably the coolest disney-related thing we ever have done!
__________________

Sept. 2000 - Caribbean Beach & All Star Movies / Nov. & Dec. 2001 - Caribbean Beach / July, 2002 - Dolphin (30th Birthday trip!) / Oct. 2002 - Polynesian / Sept. 2003 - Hard Rock Hotel & Beach Club / May, 2004 - Hard Rock Hotel / Nov. & Dec., 2004 - Hard Rock & Boardwalk Inn / Dec. 2005 - Disneyland 50th Anniversary trip at Grand Californian / Sept. 2006 - Beach Club / May 2007 - 4 Night cruise on Disney Wonder (our first cruise ever!) and 3 nights at WDW (Beach Club) / Fall, 2007 - Became owners at Beach Club Villas / Nov. & Dec. 2007 - Animal Kingdom Lodge (concierge level!) & Beach Club / Feb. 2008 - Hard Rock Hotel & Portofino Bay / Sept. 2008 - Polynesian & Beach Club Villas (Our first time at our DVC home!) / May, 2009 - Polynesian & Beach Club Villas / July, 2009 - Old Key West / Oct. 2009- Disneyland - Paradise Pier / May, 2010 - Bay Lake Tower & Beach Club Villas May 2011 - Hard Rock Hotel / Feb 2012 One More Disney Day (ASM)/ July, 2012 - Beach Club Villas (40th B-Day trip) / Nov. 2012 - Beach Club Villas


My One Disney Day AND MORE Trip Report
Our Drama-Filled May 2010 Bay Lake & Beach Club Trip Report
--- Our 4th of July, My Bday, 1st Time at OKW Trip Report
Our 2nd Time Home (BCV) Very Rainy May Trip Report --- First Time Coming Home to BCV Trip Report
Doin' Disney Holiday Style Trip Report
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Old 12-31-2007, 08:46 AM   #9
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Thanks for the update and posting both the good and bad. We did the Keys to the Kingdom tour back in 1997 and really enjoyed it. The earpiece is a great idea - they didn't have that way back then.

Looking forward to the "coolest Disney realated thing you've ever done"...
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Old 12-31-2007, 09:32 AM   #10
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Keep it coming...great Rerport!
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Old 12-31-2007, 02:24 PM   #11
TigerLaw
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SUNDAY, NOVEMBER 25TH

Parks Visited: AK and MGM
Dining: Breakfast buffet at Pizzafari (part of the sunsrise safari tour); Dinner at Cape May Clambake

Sunday was the day we were probably looking forward to the most because it was the day we were scheduled to do the sunrise safari. Thankfully, up to now, the weather had been good (if even a bit hotter than I thought it would have been - like highs in the low 80s) and the weather was perfect for the safari as well. We had to get up super early to go check in at 6:45 at the concierge lounge. When we got there, it looked like everyone else staying at concierge was going as well! (the tour ended up filling two whole busses). Anyway, we left around 7:30 or so and it was cool to look “behind the scenes” on the drive over to AK. We saw some of the cages and animal barns. Also, did you know that because there are no utilidors like at MK, the cast members have bicycles provided by disney to get from the front of the park to the back? Eventually, we were dropped off by the planet watch train station, and then did a short hike to our safari vehicle. Our zoologist was Chris and he was super nice (we ended up eating breakfast with him). You could really tell he enjoyed giving these tours. Here’s a pic:



How to describe the sunrise safari? Well, I would say imagine the regular safari ride. Now imagine you getting to stop everytime you saw any kind of animal. Then you could ask your guide anything you want, take as many pictures as you want, and even stand up in the vehicle to take pics. Needless to say, for a picture taker-holic like myself, it was heaven. The actual safari lasted an hour or so, and both Melissa and I thought it was probably the coolest thing we ever did at disney. Here’s some pics:

]


After the safari, we marched towards pizzifari and were swimming against those just coming into the park headed to the regular safari ride. The buffet was your standard breakfast buffet food and was good enough. During breakfast, they handed out fastpasses for the regular safari ride, but after doing what we did, we were both said pass, we didn’t want to ruin our experience. Instead, I went and got fastpasses for Everest. Now was the first time I could feel as though the crowds were starting to die down from thanksgiving, for at 10am I got us Fps for 11am. We went over and did dinosaur once as a walk on and then did everest twice in a row using the standby line with like 10 minute waits each time. From there we decided to go back to the hotel to finish up packing. We checked out and headed over to our home away from home - the beach club!

Coming up - We finally start doing the holidays at Disney!
__________________

Sept. 2000 - Caribbean Beach & All Star Movies / Nov. & Dec. 2001 - Caribbean Beach / July, 2002 - Dolphin (30th Birthday trip!) / Oct. 2002 - Polynesian / Sept. 2003 - Hard Rock Hotel & Beach Club / May, 2004 - Hard Rock Hotel / Nov. & Dec., 2004 - Hard Rock & Boardwalk Inn / Dec. 2005 - Disneyland 50th Anniversary trip at Grand Californian / Sept. 2006 - Beach Club / May 2007 - 4 Night cruise on Disney Wonder (our first cruise ever!) and 3 nights at WDW (Beach Club) / Fall, 2007 - Became owners at Beach Club Villas / Nov. & Dec. 2007 - Animal Kingdom Lodge (concierge level!) & Beach Club / Feb. 2008 - Hard Rock Hotel & Portofino Bay / Sept. 2008 - Polynesian & Beach Club Villas (Our first time at our DVC home!) / May, 2009 - Polynesian & Beach Club Villas / July, 2009 - Old Key West / Oct. 2009- Disneyland - Paradise Pier / May, 2010 - Bay Lake Tower & Beach Club Villas May 2011 - Hard Rock Hotel / Feb 2012 One More Disney Day (ASM)/ July, 2012 - Beach Club Villas (40th B-Day trip) / Nov. 2012 - Beach Club Villas


My One Disney Day AND MORE Trip Report
Our Drama-Filled May 2010 Bay Lake & Beach Club Trip Report
--- Our 4th of July, My Bday, 1st Time at OKW Trip Report
Our 2nd Time Home (BCV) Very Rainy May Trip Report --- First Time Coming Home to BCV Trip Report
Doin' Disney Holiday Style Trip Report
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Old 12-31-2007, 07:01 PM   #12
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Just thought I would wish everyone a happy new year (and of course a cotton bowl win for my Missouri Tigers!) GO MIZZOU!
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Sept. 2000 - Caribbean Beach & All Star Movies / Nov. & Dec. 2001 - Caribbean Beach / July, 2002 - Dolphin (30th Birthday trip!) / Oct. 2002 - Polynesian / Sept. 2003 - Hard Rock Hotel & Beach Club / May, 2004 - Hard Rock Hotel / Nov. & Dec., 2004 - Hard Rock & Boardwalk Inn / Dec. 2005 - Disneyland 50th Anniversary trip at Grand Californian / Sept. 2006 - Beach Club / May 2007 - 4 Night cruise on Disney Wonder (our first cruise ever!) and 3 nights at WDW (Beach Club) / Fall, 2007 - Became owners at Beach Club Villas / Nov. & Dec. 2007 - Animal Kingdom Lodge (concierge level!) & Beach Club / Feb. 2008 - Hard Rock Hotel & Portofino Bay / Sept. 2008 - Polynesian & Beach Club Villas (Our first time at our DVC home!) / May, 2009 - Polynesian & Beach Club Villas / July, 2009 - Old Key West / Oct. 2009- Disneyland - Paradise Pier / May, 2010 - Bay Lake Tower & Beach Club Villas May 2011 - Hard Rock Hotel / Feb 2012 One More Disney Day (ASM)/ July, 2012 - Beach Club Villas (40th B-Day trip) / Nov. 2012 - Beach Club Villas


My One Disney Day AND MORE Trip Report
Our Drama-Filled May 2010 Bay Lake & Beach Club Trip Report
--- Our 4th of July, My Bday, 1st Time at OKW Trip Report
Our 2nd Time Home (BCV) Very Rainy May Trip Report --- First Time Coming Home to BCV Trip Report
Doin' Disney Holiday Style Trip Report
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Old 01-01-2008, 09:16 AM   #13
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Great safari pics - sounds like a fun thing to do!
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Old 01-01-2008, 02:25 PM   #14
tksbaskets
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Great pictures. I'm enjoying the trip report!
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Old 01-01-2008, 06:59 PM   #15
TigerLaw
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Location: st. louis, MO usa
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SUNDAY, NOVEMBER 25TH (cont)

Upon arrival at the Beach Club, we checked in, got a room, went to the room, and saw it was another handicapped-accessible room. At this point, we were like “no way!” and so I went back and got us a different room. We ended up in a great room right next to the elevators on the fourth floor. After we got settled in, I went down to the gift shop and got us a sub sandwich to split to hold us over till dinner time. That afternoon, we just rested up. Here’s a pic of the BCR’s holiday display:



For dinner, we went to the cape may clambake at around 6pm. The food was good as always, but for some reason, the lines at the buffet stations were much longer than I remembered. After dinner, we took the boat over to MGM to do our first extra magic night.



On the boat, we had to stand as it was full before it even made it over to the swan and dolphin, so we were a bit worried how the crowds would be. We tried to get to see how RnRC was, but it was out of FPs and the standby was 50 minutes, so we went and did the great movie ride. There was also ran into the biggest line we had ever seen for the GMR as the line was out past the movie trailer room. The line moved quickly though, and eventually we were on our way into the movies. After GMR, we went over to try to do muppet vision, but the line was outside the door, so we walked through the osborne lights instead. We caught the end of the dancing lights to the trans-siberian orchestra so that was cool to see (we had never seen the dancing version of the lights before). After strolling through the osborne lights, we went back and did muppet vision with much less of a line. By the end of muppets, the park crowds had thinned out noticeably so we walked through the osborne lights again. From there, we did RnRC with like a 10 minute wait (even thought he stand by sign said 35 minutes). They were using fastpasses, but right after we got ours, they turned the machines off again. I then went and did Tower by myself as a total walk on and then met back up with Melissa and did RnRC one more time using our fastpasses before calling it an evening and coming home. Here are some MGM/osborne pics:





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Coming up - Day five and we finally get around to Epcot
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Sept. 2000 - Caribbean Beach & All Star Movies / Nov. & Dec. 2001 - Caribbean Beach / July, 2002 - Dolphin (30th Birthday trip!) / Oct. 2002 - Polynesian / Sept. 2003 - Hard Rock Hotel & Beach Club / May, 2004 - Hard Rock Hotel / Nov. & Dec., 2004 - Hard Rock & Boardwalk Inn / Dec. 2005 - Disneyland 50th Anniversary trip at Grand Californian / Sept. 2006 - Beach Club / May 2007 - 4 Night cruise on Disney Wonder (our first cruise ever!) and 3 nights at WDW (Beach Club) / Fall, 2007 - Became owners at Beach Club Villas / Nov. & Dec. 2007 - Animal Kingdom Lodge (concierge level!) & Beach Club / Feb. 2008 - Hard Rock Hotel & Portofino Bay / Sept. 2008 - Polynesian & Beach Club Villas (Our first time at our DVC home!) / May, 2009 - Polynesian & Beach Club Villas / July, 2009 - Old Key West / Oct. 2009- Disneyland - Paradise Pier / May, 2010 - Bay Lake Tower & Beach Club Villas May 2011 - Hard Rock Hotel / Feb 2012 One More Disney Day (ASM)/ July, 2012 - Beach Club Villas (40th B-Day trip) / Nov. 2012 - Beach Club Villas


My One Disney Day AND MORE Trip Report
Our Drama-Filled May 2010 Bay Lake & Beach Club Trip Report
--- Our 4th of July, My Bday, 1st Time at OKW Trip Report
Our 2nd Time Home (BCV) Very Rainy May Trip Report --- First Time Coming Home to BCV Trip Report
Doin' Disney Holiday Style Trip Report
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