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Old 01-22-2009, 02:23 PM   #1
cj9200
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Disney over New Years? Are you insanely NUTS? (One last thing)

Pre-Trip

The title comes from the reaction I get from friends and colleagues when I tell them I am headed back to Disney. They don’t get it like true believers do. For this trip we are staying at the Boardwalk Villas, Boardwalk View beginning December 28 and checking out on January 4. This is the third or fourth time at attempting a trip report and I even completed one once. No promises on this one, but I will try to finish it. I am posting at both the Dis Trip Board and DVC Mousecellaneous.

Some introductions are in order.

Me – aka Dad. No longer a forty something but I still look good for my age. Just don’t ask anyone who actually knows me. DVC member and Walt Disney World veteran. Love coasters but can’t handle tea cups. Can be sarcastic at times, OK, almost always, so keep that in mind if you read any further.

DD – aka Princess, aka Pooh. The apple doesn’t fall far from the tree. It will be close to her 15th birthday on this trip (yes we will fib and she will be wearing a birthday button). Indoctrinated in all things Disney at an early age. Trip planer in training and is a better guide in the parks than I am. A coaster junkie like her dad AND loves the tea cups. Princess will fly up to Georgia Christmas night to be with her mom until they drive down on the 28th.

DM – aka Mom. Over the last 18 months, Mom was struck with a neuro-muscular disease that eventually confined her to a wheelchair. We have not been together for a few years but are still close and remain friendly. Also a Disney veteran and a real foodie. DM and SIL will be with us from the 28th through New Year’s Eve. Which brings me to…

SIL – aka SIL. A big heart and is taking care of DM in Georgia. Years ago she lived in Orlando and was familiar with the mouse but has not been since a 1995 trip we went as a group when DD was just a little one.

Where are we staying? – Home.
Well, our home away from home, the Boardwalk Villas.

This was taken from our balcony last year at Christmas. That is Mickey looking out to the Leaping Horse Libations and the Luna Park pool.


How did we become DVC members? On our second trip with DD in 1996, I tried to get a room at one of the monorail resorts. That was before knowing that a trip to Disney involves some planning and you can’t get a room at a monorail resort a couple of weeks before you leave. The CM suggested I try this place called Old Key West where they had a special rate for a 1 BR. We booked it and as soon as we opened the door to our room, we were hooked. “Look, a full kitchen. Look at the whirlpool tub. Cool.” Of course we took the tour and on it we were told of this new DVC resort called Boardwalk. I loved the location and decided to buy there. We checked in on the first “official” day the resort opened and we signed our paperwork that day.

I realize that living in South Florida and being able to afford DVC membership we are lucky and I am grateful. We have had many wonderful vacations and memories with many more to come.

Back to this trip. For various reasons, I wanted to splurge. I booked a 1 BR Boardwalk View (usually I get a standard view to maximize points). We have the following ADR’s.

12/28 Tea for the ladies at the GF
12/29 Dinner at the Flying Fish (Do not know what made me do this one since I hate fish)
12/30 Breakfast with Cindy at her place
12/31 The big enchilada, dinner at Victoria and Albert’s. Do they serve enchiladas at V&A? Maybe I should ask for one when we eat there.
1/01 Hoop Dee Do for DD and I
1/02 Yak and Yeti for a late lunch
1/03 Chefs de France for dinner

As I said, it was a splurge but I want this trip to be special.

Our Park Plans
The parks will be an afterthought at least while Mom and SIL are there. They will get a 1 day park hopper so we can have breakfast with Cindy and I hope to hit EPCOT that day after we do a few things at the MK. We will also look at the holiday decorations at the parks we visit and a number of the hotels. DD and I have a 4 day park hopper and plan on hitting the parks heavy after Mom and SIL leave on the first. It feels a bit awkward not having an annual pass in my pocket but alas there are no new trips planned on the horizon.

The countdown clock is slowly winding its way to zero. Why is it that the closer you get to a vacation the longer it takes for time to go by? Anyway, that is all for now, thanks for reading.

Here are the links to each segment of our journey. Sorry, I am not tech savvy enough to figure out how to rename the link as the title of the segment but if you click the URL next to the title it should get you there. I think. Hope. Maybe. Don't hold me to it.

Day 1 Part 1 - Getting there, drooling on myself then going to ESPN http://www.disboards.com/showpost.ph...37&postcount=2 Or you can just scroll down to the next message. This one was a test.

Day 1 Part 2 - THE ROOM, Tea and Crabcakes http://www.disboards.com/showpost.ph...3&postcount=15

Day 2 - Chilling and the Flying Fish http://www.disboards.com/showpost.ph...6&postcount=18

Day 3 Part 1 - Breakfast with Cindy and the Magic Kingdom http://www.disboards.com/showpost.ph...6&postcount=40

Day 3 Part 2 - Epcot and DHS http://www.disboards.com/showpost.ph...1&postcount=41

Day 4 Part 1 New Years Eve Shopping with DD, Help me! http://www.disboards.com/showpost.ph...9&postcount=48

Day 4 Part 2 - Ringing in the New Year at Victoria and Albert's http://www.disboards.com/showpost.ph...3&postcount=52

Day 5 Part 1 - The Studios and the hunt for a tuna fish sandwhich http://www.disboards.com/showpost.ph...5&postcount=63

Day 5 Part 2 - The Hoop Dee Doo http://www.disboards.com/showpost.ph...2&postcount=64

Day 5 Part 3 - A short stop at the MK at night http://www.disboards.com/showpost.ph...7&postcount=67

Day 6 Part 1 - Our morning in Epcot http://www.disboards.com/showpost.ph...8&postcount=77

Day 6 Part 2 - Yeti then Yak and Yeti http://www.disboards.com/showpost.ph...6&postcount=78

Day 7 - MK? http://www.disboards.com/showpost.ph...5&postcount=83

Day 8 - Bye Bye Boardwalk http://www.disboards.com/showpost.ph...9&postcount=84

Last edited by cj9200; 02-26-2009 at 10:08 AM.
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Old 01-22-2009, 03:00 PM   #2
cj9200
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Day 1 Sunday December 28: AKA In the Beginning Part 1

Where to begin? Christmas was over; DD flew up Christmas night to be with Mom, Aunt and Grandma. Grandma was staying in Georgia but the other three were driving down. Work was finished and I could concentrate on the trip.

The hand decorated Mickey ornament DD purchased last year.


I was watching the FSU/Wisconsin game looking at my countdown clock tick down (0 days, 6 hours, 56 minutes). Pets at the vet-check, snacks and drinks purchased-check, batteries charged and electronics packed-check, tickets money and itinerary-check, laundry done-check, clothes packed-Oops, not checked. I was going to leave Saturday but got a late start that morning. The new plan was to get up early in the morning and make the drive up. That is if I don't get antsy before then. What are the chances of that happening?

Finally packed my clothes, loaded everything in the car and filled up the tank with gas. It was about 12:00 am, the start of a new day when my head hit the pillow for a few hours of sleep. Visions of our seven day trip to the world dancing in my head. Ahh, sleep.

I woke up wide awake and looked at the clock and saw it read 1:30. Ouch. I told myself to close my eyes and catch a few more Z’s. After a few minutes I realized it was not going to happen because, “I’m too excited to sleep.” So instead of tossing for hours and still be tired, I got in the car and drove to WDW. Traffic on I-95 was light (go figure). I thought about taking a nap at the Ft. Pierce rest stop but sucked it up and pressed on. It ended up being an uneventful trip which was fine by me.

The turn into the boardwalk entrance happened around 6:30. Woo Hoo! Bell Services took the bags to storage and Charlotte efficiently checked me in (although she did not give a welcome home packet). When I made the reservation 11 months ago to the day I forgot to ask for a handicapped room. A call to member services a few months before the trip to fix that but they were already booked. I had Charlotte check again and still no dice. They did say they could give us a bench type thing so mom can slide over into the shower.

Donald and Daisy were part of the BW display.


Of course the room wasn’t ready (A CM told me they were 98% full for the weekend). The question was what to do for the next few hours? In the back of my mind a voice cried out TONGA. Of course, the Poly for Tonga Toast. The bus to the Magic Kingdom took a ridiculous amount of time. There were two scooters that pulled up as we were loading. The bus driver had a problem getting close enough to the curb so he we had to wait for the bus behind us to leave. Much backing up and pulling forward ensued. Then both the people on the scooters had difficulty figuring out how to get them on the ramp. I was going to jump out to help when the driver got off and manually loaded them. No matter, after a while I was at the MK and off to the monorail.

One of the many pictures I have taken of the construction of the new Bay Lake Towers. Would love to own there but it won’t work for a little while yet. It may be sold out before I am in a position to sign on the dotted line but so be it.


Space Mountain now confirmed to be down on our next trip


A few Por Favor Mantegases…and I was at the Polynesian. This is one of my favorite resorts but not during the holidays because I do not think it is as festive as other places. There were some poinsettias around the waterfall which were nice but the gingerbread display was pathetic. Compare that to any of the other Deluxe resorts or even some of the Moderates.

This was taken later in the day. Nice.


See what I mean about pathetic


The host at Kona Café was able to get me in after a few minutes. The reason I came here was for Tonga Toast so what did I have? You guessed it, eggs and sausage. With tea and tomato juice (Mmm, love tomato juice with breakfast) the bill was $14.94 with tip less the 20% Disney Dining Experience (or whatever they are calling it now). Breakfast was filling and very edible but some of the items could have been hotter.

On the bus ride back to the BWV I could barely keep my eyes open. Brain was saying, MUST SLEEP. I had to obey but the question was where. Since we only had 4 day park hoppers, I did not want to waste a day heading to Ellen’s Energy Adventure for a snooze. Also wanted to avoid the comfy chairs in the lobby in order to not be too conspicuous. I tried a few chairs on the deck outside the lobby. There was a rocking chair that was nice but it was right next to the stairs. Finally found one in a place that was somewhat out of the way.

No, I did not lay across it but slept sitting up.


Closed my eyes and dozed on and off for an hour. It wasn’t the best of naps. A couple of loud, unexpected noises startled me awake but then I would drift off again. I must have been a sight. Hopefully I didn’t drool. Much. The potential embarrassment was worth it even though for the first few days I could have sworn I thought people were pointing at me and giggling. Maybe I did drool. A lot. As I said, it was worth it because I was refreshed. Feeling good, it was off to ESPN to watch some football. Hint: Get there early on game days. I was there at 11:30 and there were only a couple of seats at the bar open. At 1:30 forget about getting in even for standing room.

Inside the place


Inside the place 2


This was the line at 2:00




I love coming here. On game day, it is a bit disorientating with all the games going on at once. You are watching one game, you then hear a big cheer and get whiplash trying to find out what happened.

Beginning at 12:00, they were nationally broadcasting a program called Sunday Tailgate. Never heard of it, it must be on the ESPN Obscure Channel. The hosts interact with the fans in the restaurant and it was fun. There were a lot of Patriots and Cowboy fans there and others enjoyed booing them. As a Dolphin fan, we also received our share of boos. They even encouraged booing kids if you disliked the team they were rooting for. Not very Disney like but fun nonetheless. The kids were not scared for life and seem to enjoy it.

This is one of the hosts. The topic was, Who is the NFL’s Coach of the Year?


At about 2:00 I went outside to make a call to see about the room. Did not expect anything but after being transferred a couple of times and a long wait on hold, I was told the room was ready! I did my first happy dance of the trip out on the Boardwalk. Finished my beer and gave my seat to a Viking’s fan who I was talking to earlier. Joked that I could have auctioned off the seat to pay for a significant part of my vacation.

Next Up: Where in Boardwalk is our room?

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Old 01-23-2009, 10:47 AM   #3
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I love it so far!!!
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Old 01-23-2009, 10:57 AM   #4
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I can't wait to read more - we were at BCV over New Year's -- it was great!
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Old 01-23-2009, 10:58 AM   #5
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Great report so far cant wait for the rest.
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Old 01-23-2009, 06:26 PM   #6
cj9200
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I love it so far!!!
Thanks for reading and the thumbs up. I hope to have more up this weekend.
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Old 01-23-2009, 08:35 PM   #7
cj9200
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I can't wait to read more - we were at BCV over New Year's -- it was great!
Thanks vicki_c for the comment. NY at Disney was cool. There was a party at the lawn on the Boardwalk which we mostly missed because of dinner. Did BCV do anything?

We are wait listed there for our June mini trip. My second favorite DVC resort during most of the year and number 1 during the summer. You can imagine why.
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Old 01-23-2009, 08:42 PM   #8
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I'm enjoying your report so far! More!!! More!!!
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Old 01-23-2009, 09:15 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by cj9200 View Post
Thanks vicki_c for the comment. NY at Disney was cool. There was a party at the lawn on the Boardwalk which we mostly missed because of dinner. Did BCV do anything?

We are wait listed there for our June mini trip. My second favorite DVC resort during most of the year and number 1 during the summer. You can imagine why.
We did DHS on NYE specifically and walked back after the fireworks. We were hearing the music and my husband kept saying it must be Epcot, but as we got closer to Boardwalk, we realized what it was. I was seriously wishing I didn't have kids with me at that point - I would have loved to stayed for the party! It was about 12:30-12:40 and things were really rocking there on the Village Green. I didn't see much when we got back to Beach Club, but we were beat by then! And checking out the next day, sadly!

We'll be back in June too, but on the 4/3 deal at the Poly from 6/13 to 6/20 -- we're out of points! OK, can't wait to read some more!
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Old 01-24-2009, 09:57 AM   #10
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Great report. Keep it coming.... can't wait to read more.
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Old 01-24-2009, 10:26 AM   #11
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Enjoying the trip report - can't wait to hear more.
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Old 01-24-2009, 01:06 PM   #12
cj9200
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Originally Posted by Mahusky View Post
Great report so far cant wait for the rest.
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Originally Posted by Ciciwoowoo View Post
I'm enjoying your report so far! More!!! More!!!
Thanks so much. I have to post Day 1 part two later today because we are horseback riding tomorrow with some of DD friends for what seems to be her month long birthday party. Typing away.
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Old 01-24-2009, 02:39 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by dallastxcpa View Post
Great report. Keep it coming.... can't wait to read more.
Thanks dallastxcpa. I love the sig thing under your name. Wish I knew how to do something like that. Anyway, it reminded me about a time I went to WDW with two friends when I was in college. One of them had a “protein spill” right after riding Space Mountain. It had less to do with the ride than the glasses of wine we had at dinner. First time any of us experienced fine dining and good wine. CM’s were there right away not only to sanitize the area but to make sure he was OK.

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Originally Posted by ccigliano View Post
Enjoying the trip report - can't wait to hear more.
Thank you so much ccigliano. I am glad that some people are enjoying it but the main reason I am writing this report is for selfish reasons. DD is now a freshman in high school and our trips together will soon be more limited.

This idea of writing trip reports started when I read the Springer’s family reports years ago. If you don’t know them, (and you should read their reports) they are from the UK and he has a great sense of humor. Over his musings I watched the family growing up with Disney. It made me think about DD doing the same. We did Dumbo together for the first time and have moved on to R&R Coaster and Mission Space. Great memories.
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Old 01-24-2009, 02:58 PM   #14
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We did DHS on NYE specifically and walked back after the fireworks. We were hearing the music and my husband kept saying it must be Epcot, but as we got closer to Boardwalk, we realized what it was. I was seriously wishing I didn't have kids with me at that point - I would have loved to stayed for the party! It was about 12:30-12:40 and things were really rocking there on the Village Green. I didn't see much when we got back to Beach Club, but we were beat by then! And checking out the next day, sadly!

We'll be back in June too, but on the 4/3 deal at the Poly from 6/13 to 6/20 -- we're out of points! OK, can't wait to read some more!
DD and I did the fireworks at DHS over July 4 because it is such a rare experience. Cool to see them at New Years. We did not see much of the BWV party, just the sound checks they were testing because we had to leave for dinner. Nice to know everyone seemed to be having a good time and I will keep it mind in the next NY trip category. Have a great time at the Poly, love the resort. Even though I did not do it this time try the Tonga Toast. Excellent but a bit on the sweet side. We still have points left (how did that happen) so I need to plan another trip.
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Old 01-24-2009, 06:14 PM   #15
cj9200
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Day 1 Sunday December 28: AKA In the Beginning Part 2 THE ROOM?

After the CM gave me the room number, I thought it sounded familiar but it wasn’t until I was in the lobby before it struck me. Could we have gotten THE ROOM? No, not a chance. I told bell services that my room was ready and they promised to deliver the bags right away. I do not know about you but there is always a sense of anticipation when I first go look for the room. Is it going to have a good view? How far is it from the elevator? I opened the door and…

CRAP. This is my first glimpse of the room. You call this a Boardwalk view?


Wait. This looks familiar. Could it be THE ROOM? Pessimistic Self: No way. Optimistic Self: Way. PS: No Way. OS: Way. PS: No Way. OS: CHECK OUT THE BEDROOM DUMMY. I opened the bedroom door and a chorus of a thousand angels sang HALLALUJIA! It was THE ROOM. This is my favorite room at BWV. No, this is my favorite room in all of WDW. Granted I have not stayed in a Grand Villa. Yet.

It has an oversized balcony which is cool and is in a very convenient location.


Can you imagine the New Years Eve Party or Mousefest gathering you could have here?


The Christmas tree on the “Great Lawn.” For those that live in NY, you will know the GL reference.


The other balcony


The room all neat and pretty






Amazingly happy, bell services arrived with the luggage. Whistled while I worked putting away the refreshments and unpacking my bag. That was between once in a while running out on my veranda to do the happy dance. Called DD and they were still a while away from getting here. SIL blamed traffic. I knew it was because she was driving no faster than 50 on the interstate. They had 3:30 tea and it was decided they would go directly to the Grand Floridian where I would meet them.

Before it was time to leave, I went to guest services and asked them to print out the ADR’s for the week. One glaring error was our dinner for the Flying Fish was listed as today, not tomorrow. Why would we have tea at the GF and then dinner shortly afterward at the FF? The CM tried to get another reservation but they were pretty much booked. I went to FF and spoke to a very good CM (Halicia) who said they would see what they could do and leave me a message at our room. She was able to get us in near our original time. This is not the first time dinning has screwed up my ADRs. Ticked me off but it worked out.

Another bus ride to the Magic Kingdom, more Por Favor Mantegases… and this time I step off at the Grand Floridian. We were coming back for New Year’s Eve dinner so decided to wait to take pictures. Mom, SIL and Princess were already at their table. We have a ritual when mom and DD have tea. They have fun at the tea, I have fun at the Tambu Lounge at the Poly.

Tea went well so I was told. The waitress served DD on a past trip and remembered her. Princess loves going to tea and whenever we travel, a highlight is doing a high tea. The Plaza in New York, a place in Georgia, and of course the Grand Floridian. She has high end tastes and I tell her, she needs to either marry well or get a well paying job. I pity the boyfriend/spouse who suggests they stay off site to save money.

Pictures of tea stuff


More tea stuff


Desert?


Do not have what they spent because they put it on a credit card not the room key (they did not have theirs yet)

While they were enjoying tea, I was over at the Tambu Lounge having cocktails and crab cakes. Both parties were happy with their choices. The crab cakes have become a regular selection here. They are fantastic. Perfect little appetizer and hit the spot. Pooh calls and says mom and SIL were going straight to the BW. She pleads to come meet up with me. I guess the drive down was enough quality time with SIL and wanted to make her escape.

She monorails over and gives me a hug. Then she goes off about how miserable the trip down was. I let her vent a little while I finish the crab cakes. Mmmmm, good eating. The bill was $25.00 with tip minus discount. A little bit of a rant here. I hate that they now add 18% gratuity. Years ago, I was a waiter and because of that experience, I tip well. Rarely do I give less than 20%. My point is to let me decide. Some waiters put on the auto gratuity but some don’t. As sort of a protest, those that do not, I leave my customary tip, those that do get the 18%. Unless of course, they go above and beyond. This is another example of how nit picky they are getting with the DDE (or whatever they are calling it now).

Princess and I tour the Poly a little bit and then head back to the resort. The first bus to pull up at the MK was the Yacht/Beach Club so we hopped on that one. We toured the resort to see the displays.

Beach Club Tree


Yacht Club Tree


The Train Display




The Carousel






Atlantic Dance from the Beach Club


ESPN Club at night. Still a line?


By the time we arrive, Mom and SIL are at the room unpacking. Pooh decides to live out of her suitcase during the week. As long as she does her own ironing, have at it.

The rest of the day is spent lounging around the room. I watched the end of the Dolphins/Jets game and then turned over the TV to the ladies and the Lifetime channels.

I had some work to do and could not find the cable to hook up the computer so a quick call to housekeeping. Looking around, there was no bath soap or laundry detergent so another call. They said they would be right up and let me know that the bench thing hasn’t been delivered because they had to get it from another resort. No problem.

Our Goodnight Kiss, a view of the MK fireworks from the balcony. One thing about the Boardwalk is that you can see the fireworks displays from the three parks.




DD’s set up for sleep for the first part of the trip was cushions on the floor so Mom and SIL could have the king size bed. I was on the fold out couch which is one of the new ones and quite comfortable. No bar in the middle that is a back breaker.


About the room. It was clean but I noticed there were some of the stuff looked well used and in need of refurbishment/replacement. The end tables were scuffed up pretty badly and there were a number of stains on the hallway carpet. I read that BW was due for a major referb which is needed.

All in all, today was a good start. Everything went well including getting THE ROOM that was even ready at 2:00.

Next Up: Chilling out and the Flying Fish
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