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Old 11-03-2008, 07:03 PM   #1
t1lersm0m
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Free dining September 2008 (sorry no pics)

I only took a few pics of our food, and they are not loaded onto my computer, so there won't be any on my trip report. Sorry.

Our trip consisted of me, DH 34 and DS 10. We have been to WDW a few times before and every trip just gets better and better.

Day 1-Friday September 19, our travel day:

I worked 6-10 AM, then had to go to school to take a test that I was missing while away. I went home, and finished up packing. I realized I never printed out our rental car confirmation, and I was pretty certain I had rented our car from Hertz. I had my husband on the phone with them over 30 minutes trying to find the reservation, when I realized I would have to go back to work to get the print out. 25 minutes down the mountain and I got the email and printed it out. It wasn't Hertz, it was Alamo. I have terrible credit thanks to my husband (sorry, that's another story) and it's hard renting a car without a credit card or a security deposit. But Alamo came through! As long as you are flying into and out of the same airport and you can show them your return itinerary, you're all good!

So, we got on the turnpike around 4 PM to drive to Philly. I dropped my husband and son off with the luggage so we wouldn't have to shlep it on the bus to the airport, and I parked the car. We checked in, and sat and waited. Because of my fiasco with the rental car, we didn't have a chance to eat. I got Tyler (DS 10) Burger King and DH pizza. Around 7:30'ish our flight took off and we were headed for Orlando.

My husband and son got the luggage and we headed to the Alamo counter. The guy in front of me was arguing that he wanted a brand new car, and kept asking a million questions about the make and models of the cars available. I get to the front of the line and that's when I find out I need my return itinerary to get the rental car. So I go back upstairs and a very nice woman in lost luggage from Southwest prints out my return itinerary. Thanks whoever you were!!! You were very friendly and professional, even at 11 at night!

I go back to the rental counter and wait for my guy to get done with who he is helping. He told me not to get back in line since I already waited at least half an hour. So he is done with the people he is helping and then he helps me. We get our paperwork and go pick our car. Tyler picked the car, it was a nice dark gray Chevy ahhhh I can't think of it right now. It's a full size car....It will come to me later.

So we drive to All Star Sports and get checked in. By the time I unpack and we hit the hay, it is 2 AM. Day 1 is over and we have arrived safe and sound.
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All Star Sports 2008 Pop Century 2006 HoJoAnaheim 2005 (Happy B Day Disneyland!) Animal Kingdom Lodge August 2004 Fort Wilderness March 2004 Liki Tiki Village (Kissimmee) 2003 Fort Wilderness 2001
I joined Weight Watchers October 24, 2008. Weight loss to date 7.4 pounds.
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Old 11-03-2008, 07:30 PM   #2
t1lersm0m
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Day 2

We didn't wake up as early as I had hoped, but we never do. Disney's Hollywood Studios had EMH that morning, but we were going to skip it since we slept in. My son was really excited to ride Rock N Roller Coaster, so I said we could go to DHS and if it was packed we would just leave and go to Epcot. I must say having a car is wonderful. In 2006 we stayed at Pop Century with no car, and being at the mercy of Disney buses was terrible!

I believe we had lunch in the food court before we left since we slept in. I'm pretty sure DH had a double bacon cheeseburger, I can't recall what DS had (probably a hot dog), and I had the chicken fettuccine alfredo. We all had chocolate cake. Then we drove over to DHS.

We entered the park and headed for Tower of Terror. As a side note, it never failed that we always parked in a row all the way at the end, the farthest from the trams. We just had horrible timing I guess.

Anyway, we got in line for ToT, posted wait was 20 minutes. Not bad considering it is now after noon and the park opened early for EMH. The family in front of us felt the wait was too long and after a few minutes got out of line. I looked at my watch when we got in line, it was 20 minutes total including the time it took to experience ToT. My son felt it was boring until the drops at the end. Oh well...........

Next up, Rock N Roller Coaster. Posted wait was 60 minutes. Oh well, we are here, we might as well get in line. The line only ended up being 30 minutes. For some reason I didn't keep my head back and I had a sore neck when I got off. The posted wait was now 30 minutes so DH and DS got back in line. While waiting I got a delicious fruit smoothie at a stand right next to Rock n Roller Coaster. Over an hour later and my DS and DH came off the ride and got their own smoothies. They loved them.

Well, it was very hot out and after only 3 rides we headed back to All Star Sports. We went swimming, then got showered and changed for dinner at the California Grill. What a mess that was!!!!!

Our reservation was not until 9:50 (I made all of my ADR's late and was lucky we got in at all). Well, on the way there we were told there were special fireworks at the Contemporary and we couldn't drive directly there. We had to take the long way past the Grand Floridian. This night really stunk! We left All Star Sports at 9 PM to ensure plenty of time to make our reservation. We followed the directions given to us, traffic was horrendous, and we had to keep stopping to tell security guards directing traffic that we had dinner reservations at the Contemporary. We finally arrived at Cast Member parking at the Contemporary, and the lot was completely full. I drove around 4 or 5 times, but there was no hope....it was packed. So I said to DH "Should I go back to GF and we can monorail it over?" He said yes that was fine, whatever I wanted. So we did that. Well, self parking at GF was full so we had to valet. The guard at the gate said we could park in CM parking but that was a hike, or we could Valet. The choice was simple. We were already late, so we valeted. We get up to the monorail station and it's already after 10, and the sign at GF monorail station says it closes at 11 PM. I said to DH "We won't have time to get back!" We went over anyway to see if it would be OK.

We got over and told the girl in the elevator how displeased we were and explained why we were late. The reason I was so displeased was I had just called Disney Dining that day to see if I could get an earlier reservation. I felt the CM I spoke to should have had info about the fireworks and should have told me to allow extra travel time. But there was no hint of the problem I was going to have that night when I called, just "Sorry, we have no earlier reservations available."

So, we get seated around 10:30, and for some reason Wishes at MK was late that night so we got to go out and see it. We each ordered the filet which came with green beans and mashed potatoes. Absolutely delicious. The girl from the elevator told a manager about our problem and a manager came and spoke to us. She apologized. I explained I was worried about being stranded at the Contemporary as the monorail would stop running soon. There wasn't EMH at MK that night, nor was there the Halloween party. She assured me we would not be stranded and they would have their "runner" take us to GF after dinner. She told us to ask for her as we were finishing with dessert. We got dessert and asked for the manager, and she came to tell us the runner could not take us, she was going to credit our room $20 for a taxi and $10 for the valet at the GF. I was floored when she said a taxi would be $20.....oh well, such is life I guess.

We finish dessert and head down the elevator. For the heck of it we peek up at the monorail. The one at the Contemporary says it closes at midnight, and the guy had just shut off the escalator. But he waved for us to come up. WOW! What luck. We had to walk up the escalator (oh well, we needed to burn some calories from dinner anyway) and got on a monorail. We basically made out $20 for our aggravation.

Now we get to experience a new aggravations thanks to the valet guy at GF. DH gives the valet runner our ticket and he disappears to get our car. The guy at the podium begins asking me for my card. I have NO idea what he is talking about. He mentions something about dinner, so I hand him my room key, my "Key to the Kingdom". He says no, that is not what he wants, he wants the card from dinner. I explained that is the card from dinner as we are on the dining plan. He keeps going round and round about a different card that I need, then finally says "for FREE valet." Said to him "I never ASKED for FREE valet!!! I am paying for valet!!! Maybe if you explained what you were asking we woudln't be so confused!" I was FURIOUS!!!! I mean this conversation went on for at least five minutes, him telling me he needed a card, and that I was giving him the wrong card and he needed the card from dinner, me standing there in complete confusion trying to figure out what card he could possibly be talking about. I was SO furious!!!! At NO point did he apologize. I am a very nice person. I never yell at people, I am never rude (well OK, can't say never, but seriously, I am SUCH a nice person and I go out of my way to be nice, I even apologize when I did nothing wrong because I always feel like I did something wrong.) But the fact that he never even said "I'm so sorry for the confusion, I thought you wanted free valet." He was very rude.

Anyway, we got back to our room around 12:45 and headed up to bed. Hopefully tomorrow will be a better day.
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All Star Sports 2008 Pop Century 2006 HoJoAnaheim 2005 (Happy B Day Disneyland!) Animal Kingdom Lodge August 2004 Fort Wilderness March 2004 Liki Tiki Village (Kissimmee) 2003 Fort Wilderness 2001
I joined Weight Watchers October 24, 2008. Weight loss to date 7.4 pounds.
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Old 11-03-2008, 07:36 PM   #3
t1lersm0m
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Day 3 Vero Beach

DH's friend Bill lives in Vero Beach with his family. We had told him since we were getting a rental car we would drive out for the day. When we came down in 2006 for free dining, they spent the day in WDW with us. We gave them a free lunch and free dinner, as well as our 1 day base MYW tickets from our package in 2006. This time we were going to them.

I had mentioned to DH Saturday evening after the fiasco at the Contemporary and GF Valet that I needed to get off of Disney property for a day. So this timing was perfect.

We drove to Vero. Got a little lost on the way. Not too bad though. We had wanted to leave WDW by 6 AM and get to Vero by 8 AM. We left WDW at 6:30 AM, got lost a few times and got to Vero y 9 AM. Not too bad.

We were shown around our friend's house, then off to the beach. We had to stop at CVS for sunscreen on the way as none of us had any. The boys had a great time on the beach. There was a lot of seaweed for some reason (the recent storms?) We stayed at the beach 2.5-3 hours, then headed back to our friends home. They made us a nice big meal of burgers, hot dogs, potato salad, cole slaw, all of the fixings for a nice cook out. We ate and hung out until around 7:30 PM, then back to WDW and All Star Sports we went.
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All Star Sports 2008 Pop Century 2006 HoJoAnaheim 2005 (Happy B Day Disneyland!) Animal Kingdom Lodge August 2004 Fort Wilderness March 2004 Liki Tiki Village (Kissimmee) 2003 Fort Wilderness 2001
I joined Weight Watchers October 24, 2008. Weight loss to date 7.4 pounds.
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Old 11-05-2008, 03:06 PM   #4
t1lersm0m
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Well, no replies to my posts. Maybe I should introduce myself to everyone? I'm Leigh, I'm in NE PA. I went to WDW a few times growing up, then we went a few times when I was in high school. My son was worn in 1998. We took him on his first trip in 2001, and that's when I really fell in love with the place. I don't remember much of my trips from high school and before. And back then we didn't stay onsite or go to all of the WDW parks. We stayed in a Days Inn and went to MK, Universal, Sea World, and Busch Gardens, a long with St. Pete Beach on the Gulf side.

The trip in 2001 was like a dream trip. We went to St. Pete Beach for a week. Then we stayed four nights at Fort Wilderness, and three nights in the Hard Rock Hotel. An amazing trip.

Sorry my title isn't really catchy like others. Nothing really stuck out about the trip, although if I thought long and hard enough I'm sure I could have come up with something.

Anyway, before or after the 2001 trip I found Laughing Place.com, which was a great site. But there wasn't a lot of activity on there the last few times I checked. I found this site a few years ago, but haven't really posted much. There's a lot of activity here, but it's harder to keep track of which threads and posts you've already read.....

I hope to post more tonight about my trip in September.
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All Star Sports 2008 Pop Century 2006 HoJoAnaheim 2005 (Happy B Day Disneyland!) Animal Kingdom Lodge August 2004 Fort Wilderness March 2004 Liki Tiki Village (Kissimmee) 2003 Fort Wilderness 2001
I joined Weight Watchers October 24, 2008. Weight loss to date 7.4 pounds.
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Old 11-05-2008, 06:35 PM   #5
CDNCA
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Wow, what an adventure with the Contemporary. At some point I would have given up and done food court food instead.
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Old 01-02-2009, 06:54 PM   #6
OhMari
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I"m reading, I hope you come back and finish.

I remember something about the special fireworks at the MK. There was a special convention at the Contemporary, that is probably why there was no parking. Everyone probably drove with all their techno bombs.

How did the rest of your vacation go?
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Old 01-04-2009, 09:15 PM   #7
t1lersm0m
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Hi CDNCA, unfortunately when you make a reservation at The California Grill, they take your credit card number. If you don't show, they charge your credit card something like $25. Otherwise, I probably would have given up as well.

I will try to finish my trip report soon. Thanks for reading!
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All Star Sports 2008 Pop Century 2006 HoJoAnaheim 2005 (Happy B Day Disneyland!) Animal Kingdom Lodge August 2004 Fort Wilderness March 2004 Liki Tiki Village (Kissimmee) 2003 Fort Wilderness 2001
I joined Weight Watchers October 24, 2008. Weight loss to date 7.4 pounds.
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