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Old 01-31-2009, 01:13 PM   #46
jamal
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An unusual afternoon

So, where were we? Oh yes. We were back at the Contemporary where Shrek and A settled in for their nap. MeeMaw said she might read or go over to the MK to do some shopping. I’m telling you, she never tires.


E and I wanted to explore. I was ready to get on the boat to WL, where I knew we could rent some bikes. For some reason (maybe extra help???) I stopped at the Concierge desk to double-check bike rental locations and prices. The concierge knew nothing, but offered to call. I could have done that. Can you tell I’m a bit bitter? Anyway, he said we’d have to get our bikes at Ft. Wilderness and they closed at 4:00. It was about 2:15 so we were fine. I asked him if he was SURE we couldn’t rent at WL and he said No.

I assumed they were the victims of cutbacks or consolidation and took his word for it. I WANTED to go back to the room and check the internet, but couldn’t risk waking Shrek.

Not.


We waited (important word) for the boat then boarded for Fort Wilderness. Wilderness Lodge was the first stop, but of course (thanks, CM!!) we stayed on. We finally arrived at FW by about 2:45.


Self-portrait skills courtesy of Grammyof2.

I asked about the bike rentals at the marina just as we exited. I scanned the area for bikes. That nice CM informed us we would need to take the INTERNAL (infernal?) bus to stop #Orange/Goofy/17 or something like that.


Blood may have been boiling out of my ears as I thanked him and asked how to get to the Internal Bus stop. He was so SO nice and apologized as he explained that the WL DOES indeed rent bikes. He was honestly embarrassed for his fellow CM (a concierge, no less) and the phone CM who misinformed him.


By this point I was determined to get us on bikes so I patiently waited for all the directions, grabbed E’s hand, and started marching the ½ mile to the Internal Bus Stop.


Those buses are slower than the boats. At 3:20 ‘our’ bus picked us up and began the s-l-o-w loop around FW.


E is so patient, always, by the way. He was happy to be out and on an adventure and shared my goal of finding the bikes. My A would not have waited so well. At all.


The nice bus driver pointed out our stop and the path (still traveling) to the Bike Depot. It was 3:35 as we approached the window but I expected 25-30 minutes of biking would suffice. THAT nice CM smiled and told us we should come back tomorrow as all bikes needed to be returned by 3:45. He also cheerfully informed us that most CR guests find it easier to rent bikes at the Wilderness Lodge.


I felt the tears welling up in me. Evan walked over to the water to look at the ducks, head hanging. I spilled our story to this poor guy, who, though sympathetic, wouldn’t rent us bikes. I understood and didn’t blame him a bit. I thanked him, hung my head, and walked away thinking about our return trip (Internal Bus, walk, boat).



My son, showing a better attitude than mine.


My only impetus was informing that Concierge of his errors. I admit it.


About that time, as I called Evan away from the pond with the sad news, a CM named David rode up on a golf cart. The CM behind the bike desk told him our story and asked David if we would drive us back to the boat.
I could have kissed him. Did I?


David, my new love, asked us if we had seen all the Christmas decorations. I explained that the Campground, RVs and decorations were the reason we wanted to bike in the first place. Well, as luck (God, of course) would have it, David was a huge RV fan who delighted in touring us around the campground! He pointed out his favorite inflatables and lights displays. He told us stories about campers who stay all winter. We met a woman who apologized for having only half her displays set then explained her DH was driving from Pennsylvania with the rest of them. We took a few pictures:










DAVID!!!!


We were happy. My patient E told me we had a great story to share with the rest of the family. He said he had fun and that he never wanted to ride bikes in the first place.


Oh yes he did.


I suppose I was glad he wasn’t disappointed. Isn’t that what we try to prevent in our kids?



Looks miserable, doesn't he?

Back side of Bay Lake Tower:




I confess to finding great joy in pointing out the Concierge’s error. In fact, I was so determined to Fix the information that I stopped by the CR front desk and spoke to the Concierge manager. He was not amused and deeply apologized. He also promised to speak to the Club Concierge, which he did. I did, too. I feel certain he won’t make that mistake again, but it still irks me that he had to make a phone call (I could have done that!) to answer a relatively simple question for a guest. He should have known about the bike rentals (I did, but trusted HIM!) and double-checked when I questioned him in the first place.


Please please know I am not into bashing Disney CMs. I don’t really want to discuss the merits of their Disney knowledge or whether some guests know more. I get it. I still love Disney and appreciate what CMs are expected to know. I told the story to relate my family’s day, not throw that concierge under the bus. CM interaction is one of the bonuses of a Disney vacation. That said, I cannot say enough about David, our FW golf cart chauffeur! He was covered in pixie dust!


Up next: Chef Mickey’s and that wonderful surprise! The next chapter is almost finished. Thanks for hanging with me!
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03/06 POLY Conc (ten perfect days),:trip report:
The Fixer and The CookMaster...backstage pixie dust!!
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Old 01-31-2009, 03:13 PM   #47
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I saw this camper. LOL
Sorry about your bike adventure.
Me and my dh walked the "path" from Fort Wilderness to the Wilderness Lodge. We were told from a CM it was just a small path way. It was well over a mile.
We live and learn.
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Old 01-31-2009, 06:51 PM   #48
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Yay, you're back!

Quote:
Originally Posted by jamal View Post
He also cheerfully informed us that most CR guests find it easier to rent bikes at the Wilderness Lodge.
Oh my heck, I'd have absolutely LOST it at this point!

Quote:
We met a woman who apologized for having only half her displays set then explained her DH was driving from Pennsylvania with the rest of them. We took a few pictures:
I'm filing this one away in my "15 years with the Mouse and I never knew THAT!" file! Really, I've never been over to the Fort at all, let alone around the holidays. I'm all over it next year.

I'm so glad David helped you guys out and the excursion was salvaged!
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Old 01-31-2009, 08:58 PM   #49
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Great report so far. I would have been furious too. At least your son handled it well. Can't wait to hear more!
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Old 02-01-2009, 11:47 AM   #50
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Bless you and E! I would've lost it, for sure. And my boys would not have been nearly as understanding as E. Thank goodness for magical CMs like David!

C'mon girl, let's get back to the good stuff (i.e., FOOD). What happened next?!?!?!?
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Old 02-01-2009, 01:49 PM   #51
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Quote:
Originally Posted by OhMari View Post


I saw this camper. LOL
Sorry about your bike adventure.
Me and my dh walked the "path" from Fort Wilderness to the Wilderness Lodge. We were told from a CM it was just a small path way. It was well over a mile.
We live and learn.
Just a small pathway? Had he/she ever walked it? Hardly.

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Originally Posted by PrincessV View Post
Yay, you're back!


Oh my heck, I'd have absolutely LOST it at this point!


I'm filing this one away in my "15 years with the Mouse and I never knew THAT!" file! Really, I've never been over to the Fort at all, let alone around the holidays. I'm all over it next year.

I'm so glad David helped you guys out and the excursion was salvaged!
David was pure Disney!

Quote:
Originally Posted by carri5317 View Post
Great report so far. I would have been furious too. At least your son handled it well. Can't wait to hear more!
Thanks! Me too!

Quote:
Originally Posted by AshClan View Post
Bless you and E! I would've lost it, for sure. And my boys would not have been nearly as understanding as E. Thank goodness for magical CMs like David!

C'mon girl, let's get back to the good stuff (i.e., FOOD). What happened next?!?!?!?
Next is in the next post, Missy.
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Jamal, DH, DS14, DS8: Honeymoon '88, 5/99 ASM, 5/01CB, 3/03 POLY Conc,12/03 WL Conc,5/05 CR Conc, 9/06POP
03/06 POLY Conc (ten perfect days),:trip report:
The Fixer and The CookMaster...backstage pixie dust!!
Now playing:
The Fixer, The CookMaster, The Teacher, and The President: a 2007 sequel of sorts!!

3/07 BC CL,9/07 BC CL , Jan. 2008 AKL, June 2008 Windsor Hills(!), Sept. '08 Poly, Thanksgiving '08 CR CL!
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Old 02-01-2009, 01:56 PM   #52
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E and I managed a very short nap before it was time for our next meal. The first words out of Shrek’s sleepy mouth were, “How was the bike ride?” E just said, “Daddy, you don’t even want to ask Mom that question.”


Of course we told them all about it as we dressed for Chef Mickey’s and an MK evening.
I have to tell you: even writing it again makes me giddy (Hi Frick!). Two months later, I can hear the Chef Mickey’s music we enjoyed as we walked to the elevator.


We never take the blue-plate picture but always have our autograph books. My boys (especially E) surprised me as they didn’t want character autographs for the first time ever. Granted, they were at Chef Mickey’s last January and again with their cousins in June (No time to tell that trip story! Maybe someday!) but I was somewhat saddened this ritual was over. I knew we’d take many pictures so accepted this rite of passage and enjoyed the meal.








E’s favorite part of Chef Mickey’s is the ice cream server. Since he was three, the boy has had at least three soft-serves per trip, and he’s been there about 10 times. A likes the pizza and napkin-waving, though he’d never admit the latter.







Have I told you how my older son has Disney-love in his bones? He’s definitely hooked for life. While many kids his age find Disney losing its cool, my A loves the whole experience. Since his love language is Quality Time, he really appreciates family vacations. He agrees with me that we are at our best at Disney, mostly because we are together 24/7. Since this trip, he’s told me many times how much fun it was, especially with Mee Maw. He truly delighted in seeing HER soak up the magic. He likes to ponder Walt’s vision and what he would think of the current resort. He and I love people-watching and catching families enjoying the parks. I think he has potential to work for Disney. I sure hope he considers the College Program. They’d be lucky to have him.


We walked over to the MK (LOVE that walk!!) and straight into the crowds leaving the first Spectro. We swam upstream and sent Shrek to Buzz to collect some Fastpasses.


The ice-covered Castle took my breath away. We had seen it last year when I almost injured my neck craning to stare at it as often as possible. I think it’s creative genius! I keep taking pictures of it but none do it justice. We all love it. Watching Wishes with that backdrop is still my certain picture of Heaven.


We headed to the Liberty Bell to check out our parade spot then knew we had time for Haunted Mansion, my favorite MK attraction. It is so much better at night. I still can’t completely relax there with E as he ‘gets a nerving’ in the Stretch Room. He did great, though, and laughed with Shrek the whole time.


Across from the Liberty Bell is one of my favorite places to watch Spectromagic. Mee Maw and I took turns peeking in the shops while the boys held out places Sometime during these few minutes we were talking about money and Disney prices when Shrek christened himself the Fairy MoneyDaddy. For many MANY reasons, it has stuck. It’s a perfect name and has given our family many reasons to laugh.


Spectro was, well, MAGIC. I knew we’d have to see it again in the course of the week.


Now, what was the wonderful surprise? Well, it’s time to find out.



I’m not very good at Buzz. I’m not very competitive and have spent years riding with E and laughing at/with him. I’ve gotten a bit better on recent trips but Shrek usually skunks us all.


Not this time.


999,999.


999,999.


ME!


That was MY score, and I had it by halfway through the building! Of course I didn’t have the camera but I do have witnesses. Andrew decided then and there I was his forever future Buzz partner. Shrek was thrilled for me.
Whew! That was fun!




We rode twice before exiting the park, turning left, and loving that walk home. Did I mention the weather that day? 75 and sunny. Yep. Things were practically perfect.


I love Disney!


Up next: DHS, fantastic streetsmosphere, and the best reason to go to Downtown Disney!
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Jamal, DH, DS14, DS8: Honeymoon '88, 5/99 ASM, 5/01CB, 3/03 POLY Conc,12/03 WL Conc,5/05 CR Conc, 9/06POP
03/06 POLY Conc (ten perfect days),:trip report:
The Fixer and The CookMaster...backstage pixie dust!!
Now playing:
The Fixer, The CookMaster, The Teacher, and The President: a 2007 sequel of sorts!!

3/07 BC CL,9/07 BC CL , Jan. 2008 AKL, June 2008 Windsor Hills(!), Sept. '08 Poly, Thanksgiving '08 CR CL!
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Old 02-01-2009, 03:10 PM   #53
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I just found this and I want to tell you ....I AM LOVING YOUR REPORT. I feel like I am right there with you but getting none of the calories - lol.

Thanks for sharing.

Now I am going to pop back to your prior report.
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Old 02-01-2009, 09:45 PM   #54
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I stumbled on your trip report much earlier today. If was so well written you pulled me in. I trashed my plans for the day and I went back and read your last two reports and just finished them (6 hours later). Thank you for opening your beautiful family and friends and your trips to us. I laughed, I cried and I have ideas for my next visit.

I look forward to the continuation of this trip. You have a new fan.
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Old 02-02-2009, 08:14 AM   #55
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Yeah, a new fan for Jam!!

Those Chef Mickey pictures are great! As you know, we love us some Chef Mickey's! It must be so nice to have it right there in your own hotel.....(much as I love my Epcot resorts )

I want to know how you got that score on Buzz. But you can't tell me, can you? I'd bet you have no idea how you got it!

One of these days I'll get to see the ice covered castle in person.....
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Last edited by AshClan; 02-02-2009 at 08:14 AM. Reason: I think you've got to add that picture of you and Mickey to your FTM website. Just sayin'. It is beautiful!
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Old 02-04-2009, 04:41 PM   #56
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Looking forward to more!

So much enjoying your TR.

Quote:
Originally Posted by jamal View Post
Since his love language is Quality Time, he really appreciates family vacations. He agrees with me that we are at our best at Disney, mostly because we are together 24/7.
This kind of remark is a mother's report card. Yours? A+

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I think he has potential to work for Disney. I sure hope he considers the College Program. They’d be lucky to have him.
The College Program is the greatest thing since sliced bread. Our eldest son liked it so much, he renewed and spent a whole year. It's kind of like the Disney version of England's "gap year." Such a great time for them to spread their wings a little and try the real world on for size -- and at Disney World, no less. It was a pretty proud moment when we saw this sight for the first time:

Checked in for dinner at Chef Mickey's by our firstborn.

It sounds as though your boys would be naturals for the College Program -- and the CP would definitely be lucky to have them.

Sharla
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Old 02-04-2009, 10:11 PM   #57
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Quote:
Not this time.


999,999.


999,999.


ME!
What area did Buzz Lite Year get stalled?
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Old 02-05-2009, 01:00 AM   #58
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I'm so glad your bike story had a happy ending. I didn't realize people could stay in an RV at Disney for half a year. We camped there - yup, brought a tent and gear on the plane from Vancouver, Canada - but it was so wet we gave up after 3 nights and checked into a motel. In an RV it would have been just fine.
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Old 03-10-2009, 04:55 PM   #59
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Hi, I came upon your TR while reading Vettechick's TR!! Could you tell me about Thanksgiving day?? We are HUGH Disney fans and DVC owners and my DH asks every year if we could go to Liberty Tree Tavern for Thanksgiving dinner. Well 2009 will be our year!! But I am thinking Citricos will be our restaurant for an early Thanksgiving dinner with a breakfast at CP around 10am?? Loving your TR (my DS also adores RV's so THANKS for the idea to visit FW with all those decorations!) PLEASE come back and write some more!! Joan
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Old 03-11-2009, 04:20 PM   #60
jamal
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Hi Joan! You have shamed--and maybe motivated--me. I will get back here to answer everyone and finish up but want to tell you that your Thanksgiving plan sounds perfect to me! I'm glad you said Citrico's as that would be my preference over LTT for Thanksgiving Dinner and if you can get a 10:00 breakfast with 5:30 or so dinner you should feel happily full all day. It's a wonderful time of year to be there. Enjoy!

PS--Rent the bikes at WL!!!!!!!!!!!!!
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Jamal, DH, DS14, DS8: Honeymoon '88, 5/99 ASM, 5/01CB, 3/03 POLY Conc,12/03 WL Conc,5/05 CR Conc, 9/06POP
03/06 POLY Conc (ten perfect days),:trip report:
The Fixer and The CookMaster...backstage pixie dust!!
Now playing:
The Fixer, The CookMaster, The Teacher, and The President: a 2007 sequel of sorts!!

3/07 BC CL,9/07 BC CL , Jan. 2008 AKL, June 2008 Windsor Hills(!), Sept. '08 Poly, Thanksgiving '08 CR CL!
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