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Old 09-16-2009, 09:34 PM   #1
meriface11's Avatar
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: CT
Posts: 416

The Castaways Take a 5 Day Tour! Adults Only 9/8-9/13 Trip Report

A little about us...DH Jim (37) and I (35) bought into AKV DVC on our September trip last year and got 160 Developers Points for SSR, so we decided to get a 2 bedroom villa for our annual trip and brought our BFs Jamie (37) and Cari (34) on their last Disney vacation without kids (their girls are 5 and 18 month, and were left at home with grandma and grandpa). We all took a trip to WL 3 years back and had a great time, so we wanted to treat them to one last Adults Only trip.

DAY ONE, Tuesday 9/8: We arrived at SSR a little after 11am, and were quickly checked in to our Villa in the Springs section. We were very pleased with the central location of our villa, and the bellman told us that they anticipated this week to be one of the slowest since Sept 11--SWEET!. After a tasty lunch at Artist's Palette, it was off to DHS! Jim and I picked up our APs and or MNSSHP tickets at will-call, and it was off to TSM. We got FPs, but there was only a 20 minute standby line, so we decided to get on line. I kicked Jim's tail by 30,000 points, which was awesome since he beat me every time last year, but he beat me when we went back on our FPs. We did most of the rides, except for Great Movie Ride, before it was time to hop a bus to Ft. Wilderness for HoopDeeDoo. Enjoyed the show, filled up on ribs and cornbread until we couldn't eat anymore, and then headed back to SSR as we were pretty tired from being up for our 645am flight (plus I had run a half-marathon on Monday, so I was extra tired).

DAY TWO, Wed 9/10: When we got to Epcot at 10am we discovered that the CM who processed our APs made a mistake and made them expire on 9/8/09 instead of 9/8/10 so they had already expired! The wonderful CM at guest services quickly remedied the problem AND GAVE US 15 MONTH PASSES as a courtesy for our trouble!!!! so now oour APs will not only take us through our January trip, but our trip for next Sept as well (who knows, maybe we'll sneak in another trip for the first week of December 2010 as well!) Again, crowds were extremely light. We walked right on Soarin', TT and Mission Space. Had a fantasic lunch at Tangerine Cafe in Morocco, the boys did some beer sampling around the World, tried the KimPossible mission in Norway, but it was pretty basic, so we didn't try it in any of the other countries. By the time our 7:15 ADR at Coral Reef rolled around we had done everything except for Universe of Energy. We were promptly seated, which was a relief since we saw a lot of other parties waiting both inside and outside, and had a great table front and center of the tank. I was bit leery after reading some of the reviews, but we had a pretty good meal. Jamie loved his grouper, the special of the day. I was a bit underwhelmed with the dessert options, but hey, that's what snack credits are for, right? We managed to get out just for the start of Illuminations, and then headed back to the Villa. While we loved being the last stop for the bus on the way out to the parks, we realized downside of being the last stop to get home.

DAY THREE, Thurs 9/10: I had a rough night of sleep and was exhausted when we got up in the morning. It was early EMS for MK, so we normally would have avoided this park, but we had brunch ADRs for Chef Mickey's so we decided MK would be best so that we could just walk over to the Comtemporary. We got to the park just before 9am, and the crowds weren't bad. We did the HM, SM, BTMRR, POTC, and the Tiki Room before we headed out for Chef Mickeys. We were all starving and ate way too much! The boys each ate two plates of the turkey hash and were regretting it later. We headed back to the MK where the crowds were a bit heavier than we had seen all week (it was the "park to avoid" according to Touring Plans), but still managable. We did Stitch, Monsters Inc, Fantasmic, and I took a much needed nap in the Carousel of Progress. We then waited on the longest lines of the week (a whopping 25 minutes!) for Pooh & Peter Pan, headed over to Adverntureland for some Dole Whips (I had a float, Cari had hers straight up) and then back over to Frontierland to SM again and Tom Sawyers Island. The boys were still stuffed from lunch, and we had 6:15 ADRs at Boma. I made a quick call and was able to change it to 7:40. Now that we had some more time, Jim and I decided to head back to SSR for a quick shower while Jamie and Cari stayed at the MK. Jim and I walked over to DTD and took the bus to AKL from there. We hadn't been there before and were excited to check it out since AKV is our DVC home resort. Dinner at Boma was incredible--we all agreed it was our best meal of the week. We hopped the bus back to DTD, and then walked back to our villa at SSR. I brought some Peppermint foot bath from home, so we filled up the bathtub and all soaked our feet. I have a very cute picture if I can figure out how to post them to this trip report.

DAY FOUR, Friday 9/11: After a much needed good night of sleep, we headed out to AK for just after rope drop. We headed straight to EE where there were no lines, so we rode it twice. Did Dinosaur Primeval Whirl, and It's Tough to Be A Bug, and then headed over to Africa to pick up our Picnic in the Park lunch--lunch was underwhelming, but we sat over by the Dawa Bar and got to catch the dancers perform, which is one of my favorite things to do at AK. Then it was off to the Safari and Kal River Rapids. We didn't get too wet, but it started to rain as we headed back to EE for another go. It was pouring by the time we got off, so Jim and I heeaded back to SSR for a dip in the hot tub while Jamie and Cari stayed at AK to do some geocaching. The rain stopped by the time we got back, and Jamie and Cari met us back at the villa to get ready for MNSSHP. We headed over to DTD for dinner at Wolfgang Puck Express (Jamie couldn't believe this counted as a CS option on the DP--what a great meal, and some serious bang for your buck on the DP), and then over to Goofy's Candy Co where I got an amazing chocolate covered caramel and marshmallow square as a DP snack and Cari got a huge piece of fudge with her snack credit. YUMMY!

Jim was Gilligan, I was Maryanne, Cari, the natural redhead, was Ginger, and Jamie was the Skipper. We got a great reaction from everyone at MNSSHP. We loved the Boo to You parade and Hallowishes, and got tons of candy. Definitely our favorite part of the whole trip for all of us (which was shocking to Cari and I since we figured the boys would be unhappy with a night of no beer!! ) Exhausted from our very long day, we headed back to SSR around 11:30 for more Peppermint foot soaking.

DAY FIVE, Sat 9/12: For our last day in the parks, we planned to head to DHS to do the thrill rides one more time (Jamie LOVES the ToT) and then onto Epcot. It was steadily raining when we woke up, so we didn't head out until close to noon. Still raining when we got to DHS, but nothing our windbreakers couldn't shield us from. The park was a bit crowded since it was Night of Joy, so we got FPs for ToT, ride the Great Movie Ride, used our FPs, got FPs for RNR, ate some lunch at the ABC Commissary (our first cheeseburgers of the week-yay for us for being creative with our counterservice choices!), and then back to RNR. Jamie and Cari headed over to Epcot for some more geocaching while Jim and I walked over to Boardwalk and Beach Club since we are staying at BC in January. We took the bus to DTD for some souvie shopping for our nieces and nephews and something for his parents as a thank you for watching our dog. I should have gotten another one of those squares from Goofys! We had 8:40 ADRs at LeCellier so we headed back over to Epcot to meet Jamie and Cari around 8ish, walked over to Germany so the boys could get some beer, and were seated at LeCellier before 9 even though they told us they were running 30 minutes behind schedule. Dinner at LeCellier was wonderful, as usual (and the new Smores dessert on the menu is to die for! I couldn't even finish is, which is really saying something considering how much I love me some chocolate and marshmallow!). and then it was time to say good bye to World after a magical week. Car service was picking us up at 8:30am for our return flight, and we still had to go home and pack.

All in all it was one of our best trips. Thje crowds were light, the weather was uncharacteristically pleasant for September in Orlando, we had some fabulous dining experiences, and we had a good combination of commando and relaxation. We really enjoyed all of the room in our villa, plus the convenience of the kitchen and the laundry facilities. We liked SSR much more than I had anticipated we would. I somewhat missed the convenience of the single building resort, but Jim really enjoyed the seclusion of the condo-style resort and being away from the hustle and bustle of the main building, and with the ameneties of the villa, we really didn't have a need to be so close to the CS restaurant or the mercantile. Plus, we liked the "resort to resort" bus capability with DTD being so close. I can't wait until our trip to BC in January, and am already trying to figure out where we'd like to stay next September. I think that's the best thing about DVC--I always have a Dis vacation to plan!

Hope you all enjoyed, and if anyone can give me any tips about how to post pics, I can get our MNSSHPs up.

September 2005, 2006 2008 Wilderness Lodge
September 2009 SSR
January 2010 BC
September 2010 BWV
September 2011 BC
September 2012 BC
September 2013 BC
August 2014 AKV
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