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Old 10-19-2008, 05:19 PM   #1
TigerLaw
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First time coming home to BCV trip report w. lots of pics!!

The Cast:

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

Melissa, wife of the fanatic, fellow lover of WDW, just nowhere near my level. This will be her eleventh visit (eleven visits together)

The Time:

Saturday, September 27, 2008 – Sunday, October 5, 2008.

The Resorts:

Polynesian Resort (just the first night of the trip)
Beach Club Villas – one bedroom room (nights two – eight).

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. In the fall of 2007, I achieved a life-long dream (OK, it was a recent dream really) and talked Melissa into us buying into DVC. Unfortunately, various circumstances led to us not being able to use our points until now.

The Planning:

In November of 2007, we did up a major trip to WDW during my absolute favorite time of year to go to Disney – right after Thanksgiving. (Trip report is linked on my signature block). The plan was originally was to make that trip sorta like a big blow out and then to do some other stuff for awhile. Having said that, life led us back to WDW in both good and bad ways. First, Melissa’s job sent her to a conference in Orlando in Feb. 2008 at the Portofino Bay Resort at Universal. We ended up making a short week trip out of it, first staying at the Hard Rock Hotel for a few days, and then at the PBR. While at the HRH, we did universal and sea world on free passes, and then Melissa was doing her work stuff, I went over to Epcot and MK for a couple days and then we did together our first pirate and princess party. The second thing that happened was that my mother passed away right before my birthday in early july. Without getting into a sob story about everything that happened, Melissa knew I needed to get my mind off of the situation, and she offered to make a trip we were planning to dustin (her favorite childhood vacation) to a trip back to WDW so long as she could get a full day at blizzard beach and lots of pool time.

We originally started to plan for a trip in late August, but then Melissa started interviewing for a different job which led us to plan for a second possible trip time in late sept. Eventually, given that we were using DVC points, we had to come to a decision, and so the late sept. trip won out. As far as the actual planning details, the goal always was to stay in a DVC one bedroom at the beach club. Reaching that goal has been a real exercise. I have called 2-4 times a day to see if there are any room cancellations and so far, got us four nights in a one bedroom. (At various times, we had DVC room on cash instead of points and also had nights booked at Saratoga on points – lots of room changes along the way and well leave it at that). Airfare was higher b/c of oil prices, but not that much more. (One thing of note was that the flights were later this time a bit, so we get to sleep in a bit more on the travel day, but less time in Orlando).

Here is a quote from my last trip report: “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.” Once again, it was true. For awhile, we were going to stay the first night in a BCV studio room for cash (Saturday night, major point usage, etc). She decided one day that we should stay at the Polynesian instead and given the AP discount, it wasn’t that much more. She also wanted to go to the California grill, so our first night, we can do that, use the monorail, and then come back and watch the fireworks on the beach!: The last bit of planning scoop was I got a ford taurus car rental for $120 for the whole trip like two weeks before we left - what a deal!


COMING UP - THE PLAN OF ATTACK
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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

Last edited by TigerLaw; 11-17-2008 at 02:56 PM.
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Old 10-19-2008, 05:20 PM   #2
TigerLaw
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THE INITIAL PLANS:

Sat. 9/27

fly in – check in - poly pool afternoon
CA Grill dinner, then watch fireworks from poly beach

Sun. 9/28

Kona café breakfast
Epcot (9am - regular open time) (just doing mostly the big stuff)
lunch – san angel inn? SWITCH HOTELS
MGM – EMH night (park closes at 8, EMH-11 pm) )fantasmic at 8 (& 9:30?))
Dinner – cape may 5:45 pm

Mon 9/29

MGM (9am open) (see how much we like toy story)
breakfast snacks at MGM bakery - lunch at B&C?
afternoon – rest up for long night
MK EMH night (EMH 9-12, spectro 8, wishes 9)
Crystal palace 4:55pm

Tues 9/30

Typhoon Lagoon (10am open) or Animal Kingdom (9am open)
Cape may breakfast 7:35
Yak & Yeti 12:30
Epcot night – R & C 7:50

Wed 10/1

breakfast at spoodles?
Epcot (9am open)(longer day–walk around WS, do more stuff) LUNCH-ESPN??
AK EMH night – do shopping, dinner at rainforest 5pm

Thurs 10/2

MK EMH morning (8am open) - CP for breakfast 10:20
Halloween party Tony’s – 5:05 pm

Fri 10/3

Typhoon lagoon (10am open) or animal kingdom (9am open)
Early evening DTD shopping, then Ohana’s 8:25 wishes 9pm, MK closes at 9pm (remember, also a Epcot EMH night)

Sat 10/4

MGM EMH morning – got sci fi for 12:05
flying fish 6pm and then last illuminations?

Sun 10/5

cape may breakfast
__________________

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 10-19-2008, 05:21 PM   #3
TigerLaw
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Saturday, September 27th

Parks: None
Dining: Kona Café, lunch and California Grill, Dinner

Our flight left at 8:15 am which for us was actually like an hour later than our usual flights, so we got to sleep in a bit before leaving. One interesting wrinkle to the night before was that it was the first TV presidential debate. (I promise not to ruin a trip report with politics, but both my wife and I are into politics, so while the debate put most people to sleep fast, we couldn’t let it do that us b/c we were both way behind in the packing game!) Anyway, flight was uneventful. Had little difficulty getting our bags or our rental so by noon Orlando we were on the road to WDW!

We drive up to the Poly and have to admit, I had some trouble figuring out their parking lot. Eventually, I dropped Melissa and our bags off at the front, self parked and checked us in. Upon check in, we got our first magical surprise when we were upgraded from a standard room to a lagoon view room in the Tahiti building (room 2016)!

Given that we were both starving by that point, we asked for a walk up at kona café for lunch (it was now about 1-1:30) and got in w/in 10 minutes or so. Truthfully, we would have been better off eating at the poly food court. The food was way overpriced (even for disney). I had the mix plate of meet and rice with a teriyaki sauce that actually wasn’t all that bad, and Melissa had a glorified turkey sandwich that had some kind of dressing on it that made her hate it. You could also tell that the place was way understaffed, so our service was bad, but our waitress was trying hard, she just had too many tables to deal with.

After lunch, we went to the luggage stand and actually got driven over with our luggage to our room. The driver was great, best CM we experienced the whole trip- talked with us the whole drive over, was funny, everything good. The drive made us realize just how far and away the building was to the center of the resort, but with our view, we could have cared less:



Our room was great (you could tell it had been rehabbed recently with the flat screen and all) our view was incredible (we could see the castle, space mtn. and the contemporary) - what more could you ask for?!? Simply put this was one of the best room we have ever had during all our trips at WDW. (and we got a towel design too!)



We talked about going swimming in the afternoon, but Melissa was tired, so she took a nap and I walked around and took some pictures given it was our only afternoon we would be staying at the poly.

I also (thanks to our luggage guy) moved our car to a different self parking lot that was much closer to our building. Additionally, I went to the front desk and asked for a late check out (having forgotten to do so upon check in - the excitement of the upgrade I guess made me forget!) and met a CM who grew up less than 10 minutes from me, so I think that helped us get a 1pm late check out. (the later the check out, the more time for us in the parks, and the hopefully easier change over to the beach club villas).

For dinner, we went to CA Grill. To get to the restaurant from the monorail was a bit confusing for us, but we got there. We had gone to CA Grill during our first or second trip and I guess had a different memory of it - more fancy than we experienced now I guess. Melissa had some fish and I had the steak. For appetizers, we both got the chicken and bacon flatbreads which we both loved. After dinner, we came back and Melissa crashed from the long day. I watched from my window the electrical water pageant and wishes. I had some initial plans of going into MK just to see spectromagic, but I was too tired, so the fireworks were the end of my night.

Here are some CA Grill and firework pics ( I love how tired we look in the pics, Melissa doesn't love it so much) :




Coming up: Our first day in the parks
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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 10-19-2008, 06:29 PM   #4
PutnamDS
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You say it is confusing to get to California Grill off the monorail. I'll be doing just that next week. Can you give me any tips? I don't want to get lost!

Deb
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Old 10-19-2008, 08:33 PM   #5
TigerLaw
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I hope I can explain it right - from the monorail, take the escalator down one level so that you are on the gift shop/chef mickey's level. from there take another escalator down and you will be on the conf. room level - you should see the check in stand there.

if I got this wrong, I'm sure someone will point you in the right way. it was confusing to us as we didn't see any signs telling you where to go.
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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 10-20-2008, 05:56 AM   #6
PutnamDS
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Thanks - very helpful. I would probably have looked to go up! I forgot about the check-in desk.

Deb
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Old 10-20-2008, 11:16 AM   #7
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Thanks for posting your TR and your great pictures! Looking forward to your next installment!
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Old 10-20-2008, 05:41 PM   #8
TigerLaw
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Sunday, September 28th

Parks Visited: Epcot and MGM
Dining: Ohana’s (breakfast) and Cape May Cafe (dinner)


Our original plan was to go to Kona Café for breakfast, but for whatever reason, they just didn’t have their stuff together at opening, so we went over to Ohana’s for their character breakfast instead. We had had it years ago when we stayed at the Poly, but we didn’t remember it being this good - both Melissa and I liked it a lot. The characters were Lilo, Stitch, Mickey and Pluto - here are a couple pics:



From there, we took the monorail to the TTC and then switched monorails for Epcot. We got into the central plaza about 15 minutes before opening, so we saw some of the fab five (I don’t know anywhere else where they are all together like this) and I got some pics of the characters there:



From there we headed over to Soarin, got a fastpass and then did the stand by line twice w/o any wait! Upon leaving the second time, the ride was still basically a walk on, but we headed over to Living with the Land (a Melissa favorite) also with no wait. It seemed like they were a little low on pumpkins this year, but given it was Halloween time, they were probably all on main street at MK. After our boat ride, we used our FP for our third Soarin ride of the morning. What was interesting was that it was a walk on going in still (and this was like at least an hour past opening) but when we got out it had a 40 minute stand by time.

Leaving the Land building, we went over to do Turtle Talk with Crush, but the line looked too long so we decided to skip it. We crossed over future world to do Test Track. There was no stand by time posted, so we went into that line, but it didn’t move for a long time, so we switched over to the single ride line and did the ride w. no wait. After riding it once, Melissa went over to mouse gears while I rode it a second time. From there, we rode Spaceship Earth for the first time since they rehabbed it. There was actually a long line, but it moved quickly so at most it was a 10 minute wait. As far as the ride goes, for whatever reason, I still have trouble w. hearing the narrator and don’t know if the downwards part is an improvement or not, but the on ride video screen was fun to play with.

Coming Up: We get to hear “welcome home” for the first time!
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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 10-20-2008, 05:55 PM   #9
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You are a planner.

I'm loving your trip report. And love your pictures.
And....

Welcome Home!!

Love hearing those words.
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Old 10-20-2008, 07:26 PM   #10
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Welcome Home!! Looking forward to more trip report!
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Thanks eandesmom!!!
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Old 10-20-2008, 09:35 PM   #11
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Thanks for sharing your trip report. We make our first trip "home" in 3 weeks. It is fun to read about your trip!
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Old 10-21-2008, 07:36 PM   #12
TigerLaw
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After we left Epcot, I got lost trying to get us back on the monorail, but eventually we made it out OK and back over to the poly. We got to the Beach Club at around 1pm or so and figured there was no way we would get our room early, but our good room luck continued and our room (319) was ready. Turns out, it was really close to the main elevators and kinda on top of the main entrance so we loved the location. Here’s a couple pics of our new “home away from home”



Needless to say, for disney geeks like us, DVC ROCKS! (I do have to say, Art the greeter wasn’t at the Beach Club the entire week we were there, and having him be there when we first arrived would have made it perfect, but you know what 99.9% perfect ain’t that bad either!)

After getting settled in, we drove over to winn dixie to get some snacks and other food. This was one of those weird times I felt like a first time DVCer b/c while you want to stock up, you don’t want to overbuy and then waste food - where’s the line? Eventually, we made it back to the room and vegged for a bit before dinner.

We had ressie for the cape may clambake before heading over to MGM for extra magic hours. The food was good, although for some stupid reason mister beef-eater TOTALLY forget to go to the carving station! Ultimately, we made it over to MGM like an hour before closing. We headed straight to Toy Story Mania but the standby line was 80 minutes long. I asked if they were going to reopen the FP machines during the extra magic hours, and they said no. Instead, we did the Great Movie Ride and Muppet Vision 3D, both with little to no waits. By then it was 8pm, or regular park closing time. We went down Sunset Blvd. and was surprised to see that RnRC was a walk on, so we did that twice and got FPs for it, all before Fantasmic ended and the masses came back to hit the rides. Melissa decided to take a ride break, so while she shopped, I rode Tower of Terror once. Once I got off, I tried to ride again, but by then the lines had gotten huge b/c Fantasmic had let out, so we used our FPs for RnRC one more time. We walked back over to TSM to see how the line was, but it was still a 40 minute stand by line. We knew we had two MGM mornings planned, so we called it a night and headed back to out NEW HOME!

Coming up - our longest day of the trip
__________________

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 10-21-2008, 07:48 PM   #13
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Great report! I am excited to read about your impressions of BCV because I will be staying there for the first time in December.
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Old 10-22-2008, 02:49 PM   #14
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Thanks for the Beach Club pictures! I will be staying there in 18 days and looking forward to it!
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Old 10-22-2008, 06:53 PM   #15
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I'm really enjoying this. Living through your TR! We own at BCV and love it. Glad you are having a good time. We would tend to agree with you about Kona. We went there last June, and just were not overly impressed. Did like that macadamia/honey butter with the bread though
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