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Old 05-25-2009, 09:05 AM   #1
ClareH37
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Unhappy May Fun, Fun, Fun at the Boardwalk - Updated P.5 Going Home - The End

This is my first trip report here so please be gentle with me

A little bit of background. I'm from the UK and considered 'eccentric' by the more reserved UK population - they just don't understand that Disney is not only for kids!

I'd originally planned my trip as a solo trip - things had been tough personally and at work and I needed a week off by myself to 'chill' and be totally self indulgent and used the 'excuse' that 2009 is my big 40, so what better place than Disney. Only one big problem, I hate flying, really, I hate it. Being stuck for 9 hours on a plane, I feel every little bump and just want to get off, but dosed up with 'chill' medicine I can just about survive lol Although I'm 40 this year and I'm the female equivalent of Peter Pan in that I won't grow up

I booked my flight as soon as I could (there was no turning back then!) and when the 4/3 deal came out I jumped at it and ended up booking 7 nights at the Boardwalk Inn club level.

With less than 7 weeks to go my parents, who love Disney as much as I do, decided they wanted to come along too! OMG, I spent the next hour or 2 trying to sort flights out, I couldn't get them on the same flight as me but thankfully Virgin were feeling very generous and switched me onto the later flight so we could all fly together, albeit in different cabins - I was in Upper Class (UC) and Mum and Dad in Premium (PE). Our last trip together was May 2007 and my parents said 'never again', they find the flight too long, guess they didn't find it that long as they came along again! There's just the 3 of us, I don't have any brothers and sisters, and as a family we are extremely close. My boyfriend is not into Disney at all (can you believe it!) so the chances of him ever coming to the magic with me are pretty nil - I've been trying my persuasve charms for a while but still no joy Although my solo trip was not exactly a solo trip anymore I had made various plans to meet other Dis'ers and friends so some of the trip my parents would be keeping themselves occupied as I would be doing other things.

So, from 1 we became 3:

Me, Clare - Still 39 (very important to remember this!) obsessive planner and lover of Disney World - in real life I'm an Executive Secretary and very serious, honest
Dad - 70' odd (I'm not allowed to say his exact age)
Mum - 60' odd (ditto!)

Here we are in May 2007




The day before our flight my best laid plan was to get us all checked in online, that way we didn't have to get up so early ..... well, it didn't work out that way. After just over an hour of trying, and despite the Virgin website telling me the flight was open for online check in, the stupid thing just wouldn't work. I called numerous people at Virgin including the frequent flyer club, customer services and some other individual in India (sore point, Virgin have a call centre based in India, nice people but not always able to understand), they all told me there was no problem and it it should work, well yes I know that, but it won't let me! So, we hot footed it to Gatwick for twilight check-in (day before flight departure) where the check-in agents couldn't check us in. By now I had alarm bells ringing in my ears, would this be an exact replay of what happened 2007 when both my flights were cancelled? Thankfully my fears were unfounded and after some telephone calls to Heathrow the flight was 'unlocked' and we could be checked in. Hooray! Apparently some silly person had pressed the wrong button and locked the flight, rather than opening it for check-in!

After an unexpected trip to Gatwick we all had an early night ready for what tomorrow brings.

The next day our taxi arrived nice and early to whiz us off to Gatwick, the driver had the right hump though - all because we'd checked in the day before so we had no luggage! I would have thought he'd be happy with not having to lift our supposedly light, i.e. heavy (!), cases into his car, but no, he was not a happy bunny.

45 minutes later we arrived at Gatwick and made our way through to fast-track security where we were frisked down and searched within a couple of minutes. First stop was the Virgin Atlantic Clubhouse, to get in you have to be travelling UC or a Virgin Flying Club Gold member - a peaceful retreat from the departure lounge offering all manner of goodies, free food, free alcohol, free internet access and free beauty treatments! - my good friends Tony and Lesley were also on my flight in UC and they had offered to take my Dad in as their guest - each UC passenger can take 1 guest in and as Mum was my 'guest' it just left Dad to sort out. Tony and Lesley weren't yet in the clubhouse when we arrived but the lovely lady on the door said Dad could still go in and she would verify things when Tony arrived, we opted for a quick duty free shop in the meantime, and by the time we'd finished Tony and Lesley had arrived anyway.

Mum & Dad in the Clubhouse:


Me in the Clubhouse (relaxed, for the moment!):


It was a great start to the holiday, copious amounts of alcohol were consumed mainly by Lesley and my mother (!), treatments followed, and the staff were so short of guinea pigs for their treatments they talked Lesley into having a French manicure:

Suitably buffed and preened, we then made our way down to the gate to be greeted with a huge snaking line, I can't believe a jumbo jet holds so many people! Thankfully we were able to use the priority boarding lane and we were soon onboard, I said my goodbyes to Mum & Dad as they went upstairs to PE and I turned left to UC.

The flight passed slowly, very slowly, but good company was provided by Tony & Lesley (assisted with a champagne or 2 ).

Home sweet home for the next 9 hours 30 minutes.


Food was my usual gluten free fare so pretty ho-hum, and I just sat watching the sky map for the next 9 hours as the films on offer were pretty ho-hum too!

A nice gesture by the cabin crew was their taking some chocolates and champagne up to Mum & Dad - I hadn't asked them to, they asked if I was travelling alone and when I said my parents were upstairs in PE the next thing I know is them putting together a tray of goodies for them. I also went upstairs to see that they were OK, they were more than happy lol

We landed around 20 minutes later than scheduled at about 5.25 pm but the great thing about being on the later flight is that usually immigration is empty when you arrive - and this time it was as usual, phew! Had a great immigration officer who welcomed us to the 'United States of America' and we were through in no time at all, then onto the first baggage reclaim where our luggage had already been pulled off the carrousel as it was marked priority, through Customs, then the second baggage drop and finally down to arrivals 'A' where our towncar driver was waiting for us.

By 6.45 pm we were arriving at the Boardwalk, very impressed with how MCO seemed to work this time. Don't forget though, it was really 11.45 pm UK time and our bodes were definitely feeling it!

We were all shattered but not so shattered to appreciate our favourite resort, we were whisked up to the Inn Keepers Club on the 4th floor for private check-in where one of the CMs was waiting to greet us.





Onto the room, OMG, the room - we'd last stayed here in 2007 in the old style, but the rooms have seen been refurbished and are absolutely gorgeous.



Not only was the room gorgeous but a number of gifts were awaiting me:


Plush Pooh with chocolates, Boardwalk chocolates, flowers, Dumbo with balloons and candy, and a Tinkerbelle poster.

I'm saving the best to last though, the view!



We could hear the music from the Boardwalk in the background and I was in heaven - if only the flight wasn't so long I'd be over here much more often.

We were all by now really tired so we walked around the lake to the Captains Grill at the Yacht Club for dinner, 50 minutes later suitably fed and watered we were back at the Boardwalk, snuggling into our comfortable beds, ready for our first full day at Disney.
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Last edited by ClareH37; 06-04-2009 at 03:16 PM.
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Old 05-25-2009, 12:31 PM   #2
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Great beginning to the TR! Can't wait to read more!
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Old 05-25-2009, 01:27 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by allseas1586 View Post
Great beginning to the TR! Can't wait to read more!
Thanks, but I really wish I was back there now lol
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Old 05-25-2009, 02:39 PM   #4
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Love your TR and the pics so far! I'm looking forward to reading more.
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Old 05-25-2009, 02:54 PM   #5
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Hi Great start so far! I also HATE to fly, but if I was on Virgin with all that space and my own little 'cubicle' it might not be so bad I'm impressed that you walked upstairs to see your parents. My rule is that IF I get on a plane, it has to be a flight short enough that I won't need to get out of my seat and use the restroom I don't think my muscles (or my DH's arm) could take much more than 3-4 hours of CLENCHING! However, I would LOVE to go visit the UK sometime. I'm trying to get up the nerve!

Can't wait to hear more
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Old 05-25-2009, 03:31 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SRUAlmn View Post
Hi Great start so far! I also HATE to fly, but if I was on Virgin with all that space and my own little 'cubicle' it might not be so bad I'm impressed that you walked upstairs to see your parents. My rule is that IF I get on a plane, it has to be a flight short enough that I won't need to get out of my seat and use the restroom I don't think my muscles (or my DH's arm) could take much more than 3-4 hours of CLENCHING! However, I would LOVE to go visit the UK sometime. I'm trying to get up the nerve!

Can't wait to hear more
I was pretty impressed too, normally I just sit in my seat and don't get out - I was OK until we hit a few bumps, then I got back down those steps so fast my feet didn't hit the floor!

LOL at your poor DH, I don't think he could put up with that on a 9 hour flight to the UK. Seriously though, if I can do the flight anyone can
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Old 05-25-2009, 03:46 PM   #7
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pretty impressive room! awesome view--looking forward to more
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Old 05-25-2009, 08:10 PM   #8
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I am staying at the BWI in October for the first time and am looking forward to your report! It sounds great so far!!
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Old 05-25-2009, 09:28 PM   #9
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Oh I LOVE IT! We are checking into BWI concierge a month from now! Can't wait. Last year we were there and we were the LAST ones to check out of the old Concierge rooms- they were pulling out the lamps as we were checking out!
The new rooms look lovely! Oh you are making me so excited. I can relate to your flying fears but oh la la - manicures in the lounge now that's something I could learn to live. And those seats look super plush - that man knows how to run an airline!

Anxiously awaiting more. Now who were the goodies from?? and Happy Birthday.
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Old 05-26-2009, 01:45 PM   #10
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Quote:
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Oh I LOVE IT! We are checking into BWI concierge a month from now! Can't wait. Last year we were there and we were the LAST ones to check out of the old Concierge rooms- they were pulling out the lamps as we were checking out!
The new rooms look lovely! Oh you are making me so excited. I can relate to your flying fears but oh la la - manicures in the lounge now that's something I could learn to live. And those seats look super plush - that man knows how to run an airline!

Anxiously awaiting more. Now who were the goodies from?? and Happy Birthday.
The new rooms were amazing and the beds, OMG the beds, they were so comfy!

My presents were from some friends who live in Florida and also my boyfriend (trying to keep me happy as he does not understand my Disney passion!).
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Old 05-26-2009, 01:49 PM   #11
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Ahh - The view is awesome. Can't wait for the rest!
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Old 05-26-2009, 01:56 PM   #12
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Friday 8th May - AK and wilting in the heat

Urgh, I hate the time difference, although it was only 3.30 am US time, it was 8.30 am UK time and I was alive and kicking! I lay in bed watching the clock tick slowly until eventually at 6.00 am I jumped out of bed and showered, I couldn't stay there any longer, not when my brain was telling me it was 11.00 am. I pulled open the curtains and was greeted with this fantastic view.



I headed down the club lounge for breakfast and was the first person in there, the InnKeepers Club is a wonderfully civilised way to start the day - food offerings each morning include fresh fruit (melon, strawberries, pineapple and ruby red grapefruit), yoghurts, cereals, bagels, cream cheese, various jams, a selection of pastries which normally included croissants and a couple of choices of danishes from the Boardwalk Bakery. I'm gluten free (celiac) and the CMs had already got me some gluten free muffins, one would have sufficed (in fact they were so huge half would be enough!) but each morning they gave me a box containing 4 - needless to say no way could I eat more than 1 so there was a lot of wastage. I also had a half grapefruit each morning, I love fresh Florida grapefruit, nothing like at home!







I had booked us all onto the Wildlife Discovery Excursion, this is a 1 hour tour in a 'special' bus around the Kilimanjaro Safari with a talk by a senior animal 'expert' working at Animal Kingdom, this is available for anyone staying club level at any of the Disney resorts. I'd last done this with my good friend Jane in 2006 but it would be Mum and Dad's first time. It's a great way to spend an hour and very informative.

After the tour by the bus, it was in the mid 90's and we were wilting!



We then had a slow wander around the Maharaja Jungle Trek but only one tiger to be seen today, still that's more than all my other trips lol



By this time the crowds were very evident and I was beginning to think the touring plan crowd levels (8-9) were correct! We called it a day as the crowds and heat were starting to get too much for us on our first day, and decided to go to Piccabu at the Dolphin for lunch. Piccabu is a hidden gem, a good selection of food at good prices - Mum & Dad shared a small pizza whilst I had a Caesar salad. This is on my list of places to return to.

After lunch we strolled back to the Boardwalk to spend some 'relax' time.



I had a quick stroll around the gardens, which were beautiful as always.



I then popped up to the club lounge to see what was on offer.

Fruit tarts and cookies:






When I got back to my room there had been another delivery for me from one of my friends:


(not sure I'm going to advertise my age though lol)

Tonight my parents were going to the Grand Floridian Cafe for dinner and I was going to Seasons 52 with some friends from the UK. I made yet another quick stop at theat the lounge to see what the evening offerings where, there were quite a few people in there so I didn't take any photos but tonight's offerings included standard items offered every night - dips/hummus and pitta bread from Spoodles, crudités (cucumber, carrots, peppers, celery), selection of cheeses and 2 hot dishes which varied every evening, tonight's hot dishes were chicken kebabs and beef kebabs (from Spoodles), there's also selection of wines for the alcohol lovers (i.e. my parents).

Seasons 52 was lovely ..... now, if only it were a Disney restaurant
A good evening was had by all of us and the jet lag was really starting to kick in so no stopping off for a nightcap at the Bellevue Lounge tonight, straight to bed ......

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Last edited by ClareH37; 05-31-2009 at 11:09 AM.
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Old 05-26-2009, 01:56 PM   #13
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Love your TR so far!!! we went over to boardwalk for the day this trip and it is so quaint!!!
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Old 05-26-2009, 02:15 PM   #14
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Oh your bed looks heavenly! I am loving the pictures and I'm with you on wearing the "I'm 40" shirt- no thanks(and I'm 43 if it makes you feel better!)

The lounge looks like they added some seating? Maybe? But the decor seems very similar to what it was. Looks great and I can't wait!
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Old 05-26-2009, 02:22 PM   #15
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Oh your bed looks heavenly! I am loving the pictures and I'm with you on wearing the "I'm 40" shirt- no thanks(and I'm 43 if it makes you feel better!)

The lounge looks like they added some seating? Maybe? But the decor seems very similar to what it was. Looks great and I can't wait!
Glad I'm not the only one then lol - my parents thought I was a party pooper!

Yes, the lounge has more seating now, it's much better and I never found it too crowded.
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