|05-21-2008, 10:50 AM||#1|
Would love a diet on Cadbury Flakes
Admits she's strange when it comes to eggs
Join Date: Jul 2005
Location: Wiltshire, UK
Fred, Wilma and Family do Disney - Day 8
Fred, Wilma and Family do Disney Day 8 – Disney Magic at its best
Friday 18th April
Remember back on Day 1 when I said this:
Still, when we checked in, despite the late hour and my tiredness, I thought it wouldn’t hurt to ask. I was absolutely beside myself when the lovely CM checking us in said there was an opening for Friday 18th April, the day we were due to check out. What better way to end our stay at Villas at Wilderness Lodge.
So, here we were, at 7:30 in the morning, ready to head down to the lobby and meet the famous Ranger Stan. We had been told that only 6 people were officially allowed up to the roof area but that we should all go along anyway and see whether Stan would let us all go. I was more than prepared to stand down, if needs be, but Stan was great and said it wasn’t a problem. I think the relief must have showed on my face because he gave me a little hug and said ‘You’re going to love this’.
We took the elevator to Level 7 (Club level), then took the stairs up to the roof. What a fantastic view! We could see every single inch of Disney World, all of the parks and the resorts. It was incredible.
First up was Rea, with the most important – the US flag. She and Stan posed for a picture, and then she hoisted the flag to the top of the pole.
Unfortunately, there wasn’t much of a breeze – it was really warm, even at 8 in the morning – so it just hung there limply. Even so, we all stood in a line while Stan pledged allegiance to the flag. Both he and the in-laws got a little teary – it was very touching and he and Mother hugged. Then Stan took a picture of us all with the US flag (ignore the sticker on Daniel's nose!)
Next it was me, with the Wilderness Lodge flag. Again, I posed for a picture – Stan said he could never resist having a picture taken with a pretty lady. He’s such a charmer.
It was a great feeling, knowing that I was lifting a flag that hundreds of people would see that day. Daniel was next, with Mickey’s flag. It was so big he had to hold it right under his chin to keep it from trailing on the floor.
He was so excited to be pulling the rope and he did a great job. Sian’s job was to raise the State of Florida flag.
Finally, Chuck and Reeny raised the second Wilderness Lodge flag
Then Stan took a picture of the whole family. Typically, Daniel went into his 'I don't want my picture taken' routine.
After Stan presented us with a ‘Flag Family’ certificate, we went back down to the 7th floor, where we were invited to have breakfast in the Concierge lounge. As we already had a breakfast reservation at the Polynesian for 10 am, we all just had a drink and Daniel had a piece of fruit.
All in all, it was one of the most memorable experiences I have ever had at Disney World and I’m sure I will think back fondly on it for years to come. If you ever get the chance to do it, I would highly recommend it. Stan even asked the Concierge desk to print out an extra certificate with Chuck and Reeny’s surname on, for them to take home. He was such a lovely man and I hope we get the chance to meet him again.
Back in our room, I took a few moments to say a silent goodbye, knowing that it was going to be really hard to leave. Without a doubt, this has been my favourite Disney resort. Bell Services arrived to collect our luggage and assured us it would be available at Old Key West by 3 pm. By this time, Daniel was crying, saying he didn’t want to leave. He really loved the villas and the lodge as much as I did and I know we will definitely return.
I will leave you with this picture, taken from the roof of the lodge.
After collecting the car, we drove out of the lodge exit for the last time and were soon at the Poly. This is one resort I’d never seen before (other than from the resort monorail) and I was excited to explore. We were a little early for our ADR but we checked in anyway and were given a pager. The kids went off to look in the shop and the rest of us had a good look round. The Poly is beautiful but (in my opinion) just doesn’t have the ‘Wow’ factor that Wilderness Lodge does. I fear I may now be biased forever.
Our pager was buzzing pretty soon and we were seated at a table for 6 with a chair stuck on the end for Daniel. The others took a while to peruse the menu but I didn’t need to. There was one reason – and one reason only – that we were here. Tonga Toast!!!
It took quite a while for our server to take our order. I think there was a mix-up over who was looking after our table. Gary and I both ordered the Tonga Toast, Sian went for blueberry pancakes and the others all chose French Toast. Rea and I planned to share anyway as I wasn’t sure I could manage the Tonga Toast by myself.
The food came quite quickly and it was all absolutely delicious. I was right about the Tonga Toast, though. It was huge and I couldn’t even finish the half that I did have (although I had some of Rea’s French toast as well).
This was the first time during the trip that Chuck and Reeny managed to finish a meal! Once we’d finished eating, we waited ages for the server to bring the check and, in the end, I had to resort to getting up and asking someone. Finally, after about 25 minutes, we got our check. The service had been particularly poor but, of course, being a party of 7, there was an 18% tip included. I really couldn’t be bothered to argue over it so just paid the check but didn’t tip extra (which I normally would have done) and we left.
Next, we drove over to Old Key West to check in to our new ‘home’. I checked in while the others waited in the van. Our room was not ready (not surprising at 11:30 in the morning) so I told the CM we were going out for the rest of the day and would be back at tea time. She was quite amused by the phrase ‘tea time’ as she’d never heard it used before. I explained it meant about 5 pm and she said our room would be ready then and to call or come back at that time. She gave us our keys and explained that, when our room had been allocated, they would automatically be programmed accordingly so there was no need to go back to Hospitality House if we didn’t want to.
We had already decided to take advantage of the broken up day and do some shopping so first it was off to Prime Outlets.
We split up so that Chuck and Reeny could shop in peace. The girls also decided to go off by themselves so Gary, Daniel and I went to Skechers, where we bought Daniel two pairs of trainers. In the Character Warehouse, we bought a Pirates of the Caribbean baseball set for our nephew’s Birthday and Daniel spent $1 on a pair of toy binoculars. The cashier gave Daniel a load of Disney stickers, which he was really happy with. They had some lovely Mickey t-shirts but, unfortunately, didn’t have my size so I didn’t get anything for myself.
We met up with the others and decided to drive over to the Florida Mall. First stop was Gamespot, where I managed to buy two Nintendo DS Lites (one for Daniel, in blue and black and one for Nat’s son Matthew, in red and black). An absolute steal at $130 each. We split up at this point and the girls headed off, in search of the Build a Bear Workshop. Chuck and Reeny also went off by themselves, leaving me, Gary and Daniel to shop by ourselves. I bought some candles for Nat at the Yankee Candle shop (I’ll bring them with me on Friday Nat ). Gary then threw a childish tantrum because Daniel was playing up and ended up storming off so Daniel and I found the girls and we carried on looking round the shops. In M&M World, we bought some mint crisp M&Ms (different but nonetheless delicious). Rea decided against spending her money on a Build-a-Bear and opted instead to return to Gamespot to buy a DS game. On the way back, we stopped in the food court, where Daniel and the girls shared a portion of bourbon chicken and rice.
Rea bought her game and we met up with the others at 3:30. Charles was not feeling very well so we decided to call it a day and head back to Old Key West and see if our room was ready. We stopped off at Hospitality House and were told we had been assigned a second floor room in building 32. I asked if they had any ground floor rooms available, as I was concerned that Charles was struggling. Luckily, a 2-bedroom was available in Building 45, on the ground floor, which was perfect. On the way out, I stopped at the Bell Services desk and asked them to deliver our luggage and we drove down to our building. The location was perfect, not too far from the main area, with a lovely view of the river, where we could see all the boats going past. Daniel had a fine time, over the next few days, standing on the balcony and waving to everyone going past.
The room itself was lovely. It was noticeably bigger than our room at VWL and much brighter. Sorry about the pictures, the camera must have been having an off day.
Although we were still sad to have left the lodge, I was perfectly happy with Old Key West in terms of the room and the location. Our luggage was delivered promptly and we were able to unpack before heading out for our Illuminations Cruise. Other than the chicken and rice the kids had eaten at lunchtime, the rest of us had not had anything since breakfast so we decided to stop at Goods to Go for dinner. I have to say now that I was incredibly disappointed with the counter service option at Old Key West. Firstly, the menu was extremely limited considering it is classed as a deluxe resort. Secondly, there was no inside seating area and, what they did have outside, was very limited. Still, we managed to get some food (nothing exciting so I won’t bother with pictures) and then left to drive over to the Boardwalk. We parked up at the Boardwalk and walked through.
Although it was still quite early, there was some entertainment going on, in the form of a magician. He was very good and really funny. He asked Daniel to help him with a trick, involving making a ball of paper disappear. He gave Daniel a small ball of paper and had one himself, then told him to make it disappear. The magician himself was just chucking his ball over his shoulder but poor Daniel didn’t realise this and was quite perplexed that he couldn’t do it.
He tried several times and then, eventually, the magician tapped the bottom of his hand, making it fly over his shoulder and he got a round of applause. He was really chuffed and announced he was going to be a magician when he grew up.
We wandered round to the Yacht Club, where we checked in for the cruise and waited for Joanne and her daughter, Fiona, to turn up. We had arranged for them to share our cruise. This was their last night so Joanne thought it would be a nice end to the trip for them both.
They arrived shortly after 8 and we all introduced ourselves, then went off to get life jackets for the kids. Rea was really happy that she didn’t have to wear one this time.
The cruise was fantastic and our captain was brilliant. She gave us loads of interesting information about the various resorts and Disney in general. She also told us a bit about the Dream Team, as that was her job before she started driving the cruise boats. We stopped at the MGM end of the river and caught the beginning of Fantasmic – I’m really looking forward to seeing this on Wednesday as this will be another first for us. Then we headed back up (or down) river to Epcot and tied up under the bridge.
Shortly afterwards, Illuminations started and it was brilliant. Chuck and Reeny absolutely loved it, but Daniel said he preferred Wishes (it’s a 5 year old thing, I think).
Our captain dropped us off at Boardwalk (rather than the Yacht Club dock) and offered to drive Joanne and Fiona up to MGM, so they could get the bus from there back to Pop Century, which was really kind of her.
We stopped to get a funnel cake, which we all shared. Mother really liked it but Daniel wasn’t too fussed. It was pretty late by now so we went back to the van and drove back to Old Key West. Due to the change of sleeping arrangements, Chuck and Reeny now had the master bedroom and Gary and I were going to sleep in the lounge so the kids could share the second bedroom. After sitting on the sleeper sofa, though, I had second thoughts so, once again, the girls were resigned to the sleeper sofa and Gary and I opted to share with Daniel.
We were in bed by 11. Tomorrow we’re back to Epcot and we have a mini DIS meet.
2014 Reading Goal Challenge - 59/60 books read
Fred and Wilma Go On Honeymoon Fred and Wilma Second Time Around Fred and Wilma and the Girls Came Too Fred, Wilma and Friends February Fun & Frolics Fred and Wilma do DVC, DCL & DDP - The Food Fred, Wilma and Family do Disney Bad Mothers Handbook Fred and Wilma - They're Back and They're Child Free Bad Mothers and Others Fred and Wilma - The Keys to the World Friends Don't Let Friends Do Karaoke Me and My Girl - A Week in Pictures
|05-21-2008, 11:12 AM||#2|
Cleaning my Ears
Join Date: Feb 2006
Another great trip report and photos. I can't wait to read more.
Success is often the result of taking a misstep in the right direction.
1998-May-Sequoia Lodge-DLP; 1999-May-Newport Bay-DLP; 2001-March-Disney's Allstars Movies Resort-WDW; 2003-March-Holiday Inn-I Drive; 2006-April-Port Orleans French Quarter-WDW; 2007-October-Saratoga Springs Resort-WDW; 2008-October-Saratoga Springs/Boardwalk Villas&Vero Beach-WDW; 2009-Wilderness Lodge/Animal Kingdom Villas
|05-21-2008, 11:33 AM||#3|
I need a cup of tea and a big bar of free chocolate now
Was born with my dancing shoes at the ready
I will be back later to stalk some more
Join Date: Apr 2004
ooh ive been waiting for this report since you got back ! what a fab experience for you all the photos from the roof are brilliant x
Tonga toast.....put that on the list for October 09
|05-21-2008, 12:14 PM||#4|
Tomorrow, tomorrow, I love you tomorrow, you're always a day...closer to our next Disney trip
I will be opening a sack full of cards and fighting off the advances of lots of lovely ladies
Join Date: Apr 2006
Location: Sydenham, London
Fantastic views from the roof!
I currently live in London until I have enough DVC points to stay at Animal Kingdom Villas every day of the year
Sep '92, Apr '07 - Contemporary Resort ~ Apr '08 - Animal Kingdom Lodge ~ Aug '08 - Grand Californian ~ Mar '09 - Saratoga Springs ~ Mar '10 - DLP ~ Jun '10 - Inaugural Baltic Cruise
Trip Reports: WDW April '07 ~ Canada August '07 ~ WDW April '08 ~ SF & Disneyland August '08 ~ WDW March '09 ~ Smokies August '09 ~ DLP March '10 ~ Jun '10 - Inaugural Baltic Cruise
|05-21-2008, 01:10 PM||#5|
I would love to be at Ghiradelli's ice cream parlour with a massive choc sundae
Join Date: Nov 2006
OMG I have a tear in my eye. Those flags! what an amazing thing to do, and so few folks get to see that view of disney, you lucky gal.
your rooms look really nice and comfy. always nice to leave behind the mess you create in one place and start again elsewhere
fab day Joh
1994:Grosvenor 1996:POFQ 2002: Comfort Inn LBV 2007: CSR 2009:OKW 2011:POFQ&Dream HNY DLP 2012
|05-21-2008, 01:11 PM||#6|
If It's Not A Bahama Mama Then I'm Not Interested
Can I put my Christmas Tree up yet ?
Join Date: Mar 2003
Location: Nuneaton U.K.
Another great day Joh. The raising of the flags sounds like a fun thing to be able to do
Mmm Bourbon chicken - I love that, along with all the freebies that are given out at the Florida Mall
|05-21-2008, 02:46 PM||#7|
Pete and I wait and watch some lovely baby lizards
I have always booked myself
"Play Up Pompey"
Join Date: May 2004
Location: Reading UK
what a fantastic day,the raising of the flags sounds like a great thing to do
Rachel "Play up Pompey, Pompey Play up"
2000 Disneyland paris 2003 Ramada inn 2004 Quality inn plaza2005 Cumbrian lakes2006 Emerald Island July and December2007 Emerald Island May and July2008 Emerald Island and Contemporary Resort2009 Saratoga Springs 2010 Animal Kingdom lodge2011HRH Animal KingdomLodge 2012Holiday inn Miami ocean front /Animal Kingdom lodge
|05-21-2008, 03:17 PM||#10|
I was having a bit of a blonde moment
Married my prince at WDW
Join Date: Apr 2006
Location: Essex, England
What a magical day Joh! Good idea on swapping with the girls!
|05-21-2008, 04:46 PM||#12|
Lost another competition
It's absolute bliss
Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: Kent, UK
What a fantastic thing to do at WL Joh, I love the flag photos too!
The cruise sounds lovely and your OKW room looks good!
Member of the 2009 Disney World Moms Panel
Moms Panel Training TR - includes my sleepover in the Castle Suite!
The Moms Panel take on the EE5K TR
|05-21-2008, 05:08 PM||#13|
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: Newcastle upon Tyne, England
What a great experience raising the flags must have been. Clever you Joh for arranging it. So enjoying your trip report.
International Drive Aug 1991
Kissimee Sept 1996
All Star Movies Aug 2005
POFQ May 2007
CBR Aug 2008
SSR Aug 2009
SSR Aug 2010
SSR Aug 2012
Rosen inn & AKL Aug 2014
Beach Club Aug 2015
|05-21-2008, 05:15 PM||#14|
Join Date: Mar 2005
What a great start to the day raising the flags. Really enjoy reading your reports Joh.
April 2005 - Rodeway Inn International - September 2005 - Radisson Barcelo International Drive - May 2006 - Pop Century - September 2006 - All Star Music - January 2007 - All Star Movies September 2007 - All Star Movies - January 2008 - All Star Sports - December 2008 - All Star Movies - September 2009 - POFQ - September 2010 - OKW - January 2011 - OKW - November 2011 - OKW, GF & AKL - May 2012 - Kidani, OKW - January 2013 - OKW & Kidani
|05-22-2008, 04:05 AM||#15|
Won't use fake tan, wants to stay pale & interesting
Does not do sea food
Join Date: Dec 2005
sounds like a really special day with lots of happy memories. Disney is so great at it.
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