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Old 08-17-2009, 03:48 PM   #121
Flossbolna
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Update 8/17 We have a room!!

As said before this should be the first in a row of updates, but first I want to start with the proper PTR stuff, there are a number of things t mention:

First:


We have an official reservation!!! We will be staying in a pool view room at AKL! We booked a package with 9 days MYW tickets with park hopping, but no water park option. If we go to a water park (more on that below), we would get an extra ticket, that's cheaper. Now we just sit here and hope for a nice code to come out. Actually the 4+3 deal would not work for us so great... It would be 6+3 for us... Still better than nothing, though.

I am so happy that we will stay at AKL again, I just feel at home at that place. And it was the hotel that Katharina thought was the most interesting to her as well (she has good taste! ). So we decided to go with that. I really missed being close to AK when we stayed at the Poly, it is such a beatiful park and I am sure Katharina will like it, too. So we are planning on spending quite a lot of time there. I guess we will spend the least amount of time at MK since this is the park concept that Katharina knows best. So AKL's location actually works for us.

I booked again through the travel agent I have used before. She has been great for past trips, even when I sometimes get impatient and would like a reply the minute I send an email . I was thinking about booking myself, especially since online ADRs now make it much easier to make those (but maybe not for us, see below). Before I really did not want to call a call center in the US for those. I did it for a few reservations last time, but found it very tedious. Also there often is a language problem. While I have no problem with British English (I went to university for a year in London and used to have an English boyfriend), there are American accents that I don't understand at all. Very annoying if you have to ask after every second sentence for it to be repeated... Makes me feel very stupid. But then my TA has been great to get discounts for us as well. And considering that 7 am (when those phone lines open for booking discounts) is 1pm for me and I am at work at that time, it still will be a service that can be useful! I got the booking confirmation from her last week and it looks great. Since we knew our flight details, Magical Express is already set up for us as well.

Oh and I decided to pay off about half of our undiscounted package and hope that I won't have to send too much money to Disney anymore because we will get a fabulous discount...

Second:

ADRs! We still haven't decided where we want to eat. We have a few thoughts, but I think Katharina should post about her ideas for her birthday herself (you will need to wait for that, she is on a hiking trip in England at the moment).

BUT: 180days ADRs are coming back. All unofficial websites seem to post that now that 180days ADRs will be available again starting 10/27. Our 90 day window would have started 10/29. So we will fall in this mad rush on 10/27 when not only everyone whose vacation starts at 1/25 will call, but additional 90 days worth of people. I can only imagine what a chaos this will be!! I am actually quite glad that I have a TA who will take care of our ADRs, even though I am aware that she most likely will have a lot of clients who need to be booked on that day. But then I think that we will not have lots of difficult ADRs: no character meals (perhaps Tusker House breakfast), no Le Cellier, no Ohana... Last time we booked all our ADRs at 50 days or so and had no problem, gut everything within 20 min of what we wanted.

Third:


Water Parks: If the weather cooperates we are set on visiting a water park! I know from experience that Florida can be chilly during that time frame, and we don't need really hot days for swimming, but something around the mid 70s would be great! And now I have found out that it looks like we will be having fun at Typhoon Lagoon!! TL is closed for refurbishment in November, so it looks like Blizzard Beach will then be closed after Christmas. I am fine with that and Katharina was actually leaning more towards TL anyway. I have been to both once and thought BB had the better slides, it seemed like there was more to do. But TL is fine as well. It also means that we don't have to bother with any bus stopping at BB along the way.

So, those are the trip related updates. Next will be underwater pictures from the lake and a walking tour through Nuremberg. There might also be the one or other surprise update thrown in there... Also I really need to update my dining review...
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Old 08-17-2009, 08:12 PM   #122
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Hooray for the booking! AKL is such a beautiful resort, you will have a wonderful stay! And TL is fun for the wave pool and Slusher Gusher. If you can stand the cold water, it is fun to snorkel over the sharks!
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Old 08-17-2009, 08:54 PM   #123
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YAY so glad you are now "officially" booked! And what a wonderful place Even though we haven't stayed SV yet, I have no problem already declaring that pool view is my favorite view. If they had had it available with the discount for our upcoming trip, I would not have even considered SV.

Here's wishing you luck with your ADR's and that you have no problems getting everything you want. I can't wait to hear what you decide.
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Old 08-18-2009, 09:59 AM   #124
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Congratulations on booking your resort. When I book a room, the trip always feels "real" to me. I love the AKL. It's going to be a wonderful place for you and your sister for the week.

That's great that you won't have to worry about making your ADRs. Belive me, it's not just you with the accents. I had to call for prices once, and couldn't understand anything the cast member was saying to me.
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Old 08-18-2009, 11:38 AM   #125
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Yippee for booking AKL!!! It's so beautiful! I can't wait to go back there in Jan!!
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Old 08-18-2009, 01:36 PM   #126
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tiggrbaby View Post
Hooray for the booking! AKL is such a beautiful resort, you will have a wonderful stay! And TL is fun for the wave pool and Slusher Gusher. If you can stand the cold water, it is fun to snorkel over the sharks!
Crush n Gusher is a lot of fun!! I really loved that slide and that's the reason why I am really looking forward to TL. Just make sure that the tube you get is properly inflated. We ended up with one that was a little bit flat and therefore experienced a few bumps... The wave pool I was not so happy with, those big wave seemed rather violent to me, I never managed to ride them... I guess I will get an opportunity to try that again!

Quote:
Originally Posted by TyRy View Post
YAY so glad you are now "officially" booked! And what a wonderful place Even though we haven't stayed SV yet, I have no problem already declaring that pool view is my favorite view. If they had had it available with the discount for our upcoming trip, I would not have even considered SV.

Here's wishing you luck with your ADR's and that you have no problems getting everything you want. I can't wait to hear what you decide.
Yes, AKL is wonderful, I agree! I just wonder wether I will ever manage to make it into that Jambo Wildbunch Gang...

I really like pool view because you are guaranteed a room that is close to the pool and therefore to Mara. I am afraid that discount availability for pool view is always not so good at AKL. For our 2008 trip we had decided to change to standard view to take advantage of a discount because pool view was not available. But our TA managed to get a CM who got us the discounted room nevertheless. IF nothing becomes available, I might be tempted to change to a discounted savanna view, just for having stayed there once...

Quote:
Originally Posted by If U Had Wings View Post
Congratulations on booking your resort. When I book a room, the trip always feels "real" to me. I love the AKL. It's going to be a wonderful place for you and your sister for the week.

That's great that you won't have to worry about making your ADRs. Belive me, it's not just you with the accents. I had to call for prices once, and couldn't understand anything the cast member was saying to me.
We have flights and resort and tickets booked now. So this trip really is taking shape!! But knowing for sure that we will stay at AKL (I know I could still change this around a million times if I would want to...) makes it so much more liek a real trip. I also feel much more comfortable to start planning out park days and such.

Quote:
Originally Posted by mickeysmyboy View Post
Yippee for booking AKL!!! It's so beautiful! I can't wait to go back there in Jan!!
I am really excited about staying at AKL again. Katharina at first seemed not interested in it, but then it turned out that she thought that I would prefer to stay at a new place and AKL would have been her no. 1 choice. So it seems only natural to stay there. Last January when I stayed at the Poly I was really aching that one evening we ate at Boma because I didn't want to leave...
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Old 08-18-2009, 01:37 PM   #127
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Sea days are just so relaxing!
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8/18 Underwater Pictures!

As promised before here are some of the pictures we took at the Stechlin lake in Brandenburg a few weeks ago. It was a disposable camera which had a 800 ISO film and was best by May 09. So this might explain the colours a bit. Also, you can't really look through the view-finder underwater, but there was a plastic frame which you could use instead. It was still difficult to aim at the object. Also Katharina can't open her eyes under water, so the pictures of me were taken just swimming towards her while she was standing with head above water. Still I am rather impressed that the pictures are all ok. The lake was really clear for lake water, but still not as clear as a pool, so they look a bit murky. I must say it was really strange to take pictures and not see the result immediately...

First a few shots of the beach seen from the lake:





The next pictures were taken at a fish farm that's about half a mile from the beach. It is family owned and they sell all kind of smoked fish, mainly eel, trout and something called Maräne, my dictionary calls it whitfish, but I am not sure about that. It is supposedly a fish that need very clean water. You can either get a proper meal consisting of a whole smoked fish with fried potatoes or potato salad as a side dish, or you could get the smoked fish filet on a bread roll. We opted for the bread rolls, much easier!!





The next pictures are of us (Katharina, her DH and me) swimming over water:









And now to the ones you all have been waiting for!!



















We had lots of fun! Hope you enjoyed the picture report as well!
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Old 08-18-2009, 03:10 PM   #128
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I love the underwater shots. I have contacts and can't swim with my eyes open underwater either. Every once in a while I forget and lose a contact.
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Old 08-18-2009, 03:35 PM   #129
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YAY congrats on booking your package!! AKL is such a gorgeous resort I would love to be able to stay there sometime!! You are right you guys are going to love it and have a great trip!!! Good luck with all the ADRs I'm glad I will be able to make mine for January before the mad rush but I have no doubt you will be happy with what you get!!

Can't wait to hear about what you sister wants to do on her birthday!!!
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Old 08-18-2009, 05:04 PM   #130
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Wow! That water was very clear for a lake!
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Old 08-18-2009, 05:21 PM   #131
Flossbolna
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Quote:
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I love the underwater shots. I have contacts and can't swim with my eyes open underwater either. Every once in a while I forget and lose a contact.
I wear contacts, too. Actually I have rigid contact lenses and they are quite expensive, so never wear them in water. But I got disposable ones just for the purpose of swimming as well as the goggles. And with that combination I can see underwater! It is wonderful, especially since I am pretty blind without a lense in front of my eyes...

Quote:
Originally Posted by jenjolt View Post
YAY congrats on booking your package!! AKL is such a gorgeous resort I would love to be able to stay there sometime!! You are right you guys are going to love it and have a great trip!!! Good luck with all the ADRs I'm glad I will be able to make mine for January before the mad rush but I have no doubt you will be happy with what you get!!

Can't wait to hear about what you sister wants to do on her birthday!!!
I hope I can get Katharina to post a bit more... She is always very busy, but she is actually the writer of the two of us! She has a degree in journalism.

Quote:
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Wow! That water was very clear for a lake!
yes, I really liked that. But it also meant that you could see the fish swimming around you!
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Old 08-18-2009, 07:48 PM   #132
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Yeah, you booked your room!! It seems your heart was leading you back to AKL so you should be happy!

I hear ya on the ADR situation! My 90 days was happening right around when they went online and there were a bunch of kinks. I hope it won't be too "crowded" at the time you or your TA are booking them. Just remember, a lot of people don't know about them moving back to 180 days so I think you'll be okay, I really do!

Loved the water pictures and how fun! I'm not good in lakes and fish swimming around me!! YIKES

Oh gosh, tease me with the Nuernberg pictures!! I know I have plenty (and in my brain) but I can't wait to see them! I'm wanting to go to Mueller's like something fierce and grab me a real Nuernberger brat wurst out front! By the way, I read last week that at the Food & Wine Festival in Epcot at the Munich station they will have the famous Nuernberger brat wurst so we'll see!

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Old 08-19-2009, 10:44 AM   #133
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The underwater shots are great. Looks like you had a great time.
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Old 08-19-2009, 11:15 AM   #134
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I think going with the TA is a good idea for the ADRs, one less thing you have to worry about.

Underwater cameras are so much fun! Marc and I had one in Bermuda when we went to the Beach. So much fun. In fact my favorite Bermuda picture is of the beach taken from the water.
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Old 08-20-2009, 07:41 AM   #135
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Flossbolna View Post
Yes, AKL is wonderful, I agree! I just wonder wether I will ever manage to make it into that Jambo Wildbunch Gang...
Perhaps on the Jambo thread we need to start campaigning for it, I think that worked last time Otherwise we'll just have to say that we are going back to the AKL naked compared to our friends...we have no tag!

And the water pictures were so fun!
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