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Old 07-14-2009, 08:51 PM   #1
glennbo123
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I Paid Someone $5 for a Catchy Trip Report Title, and This is All I Got-Updated 12/29

(Index at bottom of post)

Welcome to my first trip report, I hope you enjoy it! Let me lay some of the groundwork. We’re a family of 5 , and this is our 3rd trip to Disneyworld together. This will be our first trip as DVC members, though.

Both my wife and I have been to the Magic Kingdom on short trips during our childhoods, and we visited Epcot once upon a time, before we had any kids. Our previous “bigger” trips occurred in 2001, when my parents celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary by treating all of their kids’ families to a week at Animal Kingdom Lodge with them. And then in 2005 my wife earned a few days (which we stretched into a week) at Port Orleans Riverside as a sales incentive through a direct-selling business she participates in.

In early 2008 I got curious about the vacation club and looked online and lo and behold discovered they were building a new resort as part of Animal Kingdom Lodge. We loved it there in 2001, and it is home to one of our favorite restaurants, Boma. So, with that newfound info., we almost had to buy in. And by June, we had. But, since we had emptied the vacation coffers with a cruise earlier that spring, not to mention the DVC down payment, we planned our first trip for late June and into the July 4th weekend of 2009.

The cast of characters. Here’s a picture of us at the spring game of the Penn State football team back in late April. Left to right it’s DD15 (Lauren), DW (I’m not that foolish that I’d post her age!) (Judy), me – early 40’s (Glenn), DS9 (James), and DD12 (Marlene).



Hopefully this picture will suffice for the pre-amble. You’ll see enough of us as we go through the report, or at least my wife and kids (my peeps!) – I’m behind the camera a lot.

Our plan is to arrive on 6/27, spend one night at Port Orleans Riverside, then move to Kidani Village at Animal Kingdom Lodge through 7/5.

For you dining review lovers out there, (although we won’t be doing the dining plan, so not a huge amount of restaurants to visit) we have ADRs for:

Sanaa
Biergarten
50’s Primetime
Boma
Kona Café
‘Ohana
and Whispering Canyon Cafe (although I end up cancelling this one – sorry!)

And one last subject for this introductory post – the trip report title. Boy, they’re hard to think up and decide upon. Some of the others I considered were:

“Livin’ the Suite Life at Kidani”
“Kinda Commando, Kinda Crazy, Lotsa Kidani”
“The ‘Hold up, Dad’s taking another picture’ Trip Report”
“It’s a Good Thing I had an 8 Gig Memory Card”
“Stop Yer Snorin’ and Let’s Get to Soarin’”
“We Almost Made Rope Drop”
“The Fastpass Volunteer Gains No Weight”
“The Trip Planner Somehow Always Gets His Way”
“Our Fun-Filled and Exhausting Disney Trip, Even If the Title’s Not That Original”

I didn’t want to settle on a title before the trip, in hopes that some event or theme would stand out. I don’t know that any one thing did, it was a fantastic trip from start to finish. So, in the end I shamelessly went with something that I hoped would pull you readers in. And here you are!

Day 1 coming soon.

INDEX

Day 1 – Part 1: Let the adventure begin
Day 1 – Part 2: Will we catch a fish?
Day 1 – Part 3: Downtown Disney and POR’s River Roost Lounge
Day 2 – Part 1: An AP panic attack
Day 2 – Part 1: An AP panic attack (continuation)
Day 2 – Part 2: A sudden case of cheese allergy
Day 2 – Part 3: Kidani suite pictures
Day 2 – Part 4: Dinner at Sanaa
Day 3 – Part 1: Stop yer snorin’ and let’s get to Soarin’
Day 3 – Part 2: Lunch at Biergarten
Day 3 – Part 3: Club Cool’s Beverly and wrap up the day
Day 4 – Part 1: Visitors and Disney Hollywood Studios
Day 4 – Part 1: Visitors and Disney Hollywood Studios (continuation)
Day 4 – Part 2: Lunch at 50’s Prime Time
Day 4 – Part 3: Stunt show, rides, and a run-in
Day 4 – Part 4: Boma-centric
Day 4 – Part 5: An SSR sneak peek
Non-trip Detour: Introducing the Hound
Day 5 – Part 1: Lots of resort pics on a non-park day
Day 5 – Part 2: More of my walking tour
Day 5 – Part 3: Fun at the pool
Photopass Catch-Up
Day 5 – Part 4: Excuse me, what is a zero-gravity pool?
Day 5 – Part 4: Excuse me, what is a zero-gravity pool? (continuation)
Day 6 – Part 1: Yeti bribery
Day 6 – Part 1: Yeti bribery (continuation)
Day 6 – Part 2: Two sets of fastpasses in a span of about 10 minutes
Day 6 – Part 2: Two sets of fastpasses in a span of about 10 minutes (continuation)
Day 6 – Part 3: Another spin of Kali River Roulette, and will James conquer Everest?
Day 6 – Part 4: A walk on a trail near the Tree of Life
Day 6 – Part 5: Date night!
Day 7 – Part 1: The beginning of the end
Day 7 – Part 2: A misty Minnie moment
Day 7 – Part 3: A Final Test
Day 7 – Part 4: Dinner at ‘Ohana
Day 7 – Part 4: Dinner at ‘Ohana (continuation)
Day 7 – Part 5: Fireworks and Spectromagic
Day 8 – Part 1: July 4th at the Studios
Day 8 – Part 2: More July 4 at the Studios
Day 8 – Part 3: July 4th at Animal Kingdom
Day 8 – Part 4: Last night choices -- night swimming or night-vision goggles
Greatest Hits – Vol. 1
Greatest Hits – Vol. 2
Greatest Hits – Photopass
Greatest Hits – Food Porn
Greatest Hits – Outtakes
Day 9 - All good things must come to an end

Last edited by glennbo123; 01-10-2010 at 03:25 PM.
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Old 07-14-2009, 11:24 PM   #2
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Day 1 – Part 1: Let the Adventure Begin

All right. Here are my peeps in the Philly airport on Saturday 6/27, excited about flying to DisneyWorld. This will be the second time flying for the kids, the first time was last year’s cruise. Well, the kids pointed out that this will be their third flight – you have to count the return flight from last year’s cruise separately. Okay, if you wanna get technical.



The obligatory Magical Express pic.



I wasn’t able to get a shot of the DisneyWorld sign over the highway. We were too far back in the ME bus and it had started to rain also.

We were heading to Port Orleans Riverside for one night. When I was making airline reservations I found it was more expensive for us to fly out on Sunday 6/28, which was when our DVC stay would begin, than it would be to fly out a day early on Saturday the 27th. So I called Disney and found that with the money I’d save on airfare I could book a room at POR. We could get all 5 of us in a room with a trundle bed in the Alligator Bayou section. So, it was a no brainer – gimme more Disney! And in the weeks that followed I was able to get the room cheaper after they released some public discounts. Airline fares only went up!

We checked-in and took our bags to the room. Here are some pics.










We were starving, so headed over to the Riverside Mill Foodcourt to get something to eat.

On the way over.



We got in the pizza and pasta line because it was the shortest, but it took forevvvver. They are a little overwhelmed in this foodcourt. Here’s Marlene while we’re waiting for the pizza. She told me she was trying to turn her drink into food with her mind.



Finally we get it. Pizza and brownies. Does it get any better than that?



So we finished that and went back to the room to get changed into our swimsuits. We thought we should check out the trundle bed, and I guess I pulled it out farther than Judy expected, and I ran over her bare foot. Ooops. Sorry, dear! There was no bedding for it so we had to call housekeeping to bring sheets, etc.

I had talked about doing some cane pole fishing at the fishin’ hole and Judy pointed out that it closed soon, so we needed to get going. The girls didn't want to fish, so they went on to the pool while James and I stopped at the fishin' hole. We got the last poles they distributed that afternoon. Here’s James hoping for a bite.





We really fed the fish a lot of worms. I spent most of my time baiting hooks. James decided to try the other side of the dock.



In the next installment: time is running out, will we catch a fish?

Link to next installment

Last edited by glennbo123; 11-15-2009 at 10:49 PM.
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Old 07-15-2009, 08:16 AM   #3
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You pulled me in with the title.
Glad to see a "dad" posting a TR.
You guys tend to see WDW in a different way.
Did your son catch anything?
We've stayed at POR 3 times now. I love the place.
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Old 07-15-2009, 02:33 PM   #4
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Hello from a fellow Pennsylvanian! It sounds like you had a great trip-looking forward to the next installment. Your family is darling-nice pictures!
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Old 07-15-2009, 02:48 PM   #5
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Another Pennsylvanian here Great report so far. Love the pictures.
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Old 07-15-2009, 05:04 PM   #6
glennbo123
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Yeah, some replies!

Quote:
Originally Posted by OhMari View Post
You pulled me in with the title.
Glad to see a "dad" posting a TR.
You guys tend to see WDW in a different way.
Did your son catch anything?
We've stayed at POR 3 times now. I love the place.
Thanks. I'm still not sure I'm crazy about the title, but it's the report that counts, right? As long as it got you here.

I'm the planner in the family, even on non-Disney trips. I think I just like to control my destiny. There are things I want to do, and that's how I can make sure they happen. Fortunately, it suits my wife just fine. She's happy with what I plan, and glad that somebody's doing it.

I think I kind of mentioned in my intro. installment that this was our 2nd stay at POR. We love it too. If only the rooms had the space that we had at Kidani -- but you've gotta stay tuned for that.

Quote:
Originally Posted by SLM View Post
Hello from a fellow Pennsylvanian! It sounds like you had a great trip-looking forward to the next installment. Your family is darling-nice pictures!
Welcome! Yes, stay tuned. Thank you!

Quote:
Originally Posted by jessily View Post
Another Pennsylvanian here Great report so far. Love the pictures.
Thanks!

Another installment will be up this evening! Check back often!
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Old 07-15-2009, 07:55 PM   #7
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Day 1 - Part 2: Will we catch a fish?

Well, the worker-guy at the Port Orleans Riverside fishin' hole started cleaning up and putting things away, and came by to tell us “5 minutes”. James decided he’d kind of had enough, set his pole down, and wanted to just to watch for a while. I pressed-on a bit more, hoping we could get one. I waited for a nibble, waited, then yes….something's messing with my bait, and I jerked back on the pole to set the hook. And boy, did I set it. I handed the pole off to James so I could grab my camera. When I was ready I told him to bring it in. There are no reels on these poles, so you just…lift it up. Here he is, with our blue gill.





I worked and worked to get the hook out, it’s just catch-and-release here, but couldn’t get it. I asked the worker-guy if he had any more experience with this than I did and he gave it a shot.



Just when I thought this poor fish was gonna be a goner, he got the hook out and I tossed him back in for somebody to catch tomorrow. So, with almost no time to spare, we did catch a fish. A little Disney magic on Day 1.

So then James and I headed over to the Port Orleans main pool (just a few steps away from the fishin’ hole) to catch up with the rest of the family. I love this pool….lots of places where water is dropping on you or spraying you, and a nice slide.





I had to get a picture of each kid coming down the slide. I got a new camera for this trip, and it has a continuous shooting mode, which I used to be sure I got a good shot of them at the moment they were about to enter the pool. Kinda cool -- you feel like a sports photographer. I could give you a bunch of shots of them sliding further and further down the slide and into the water, but I'll spare you. These should do.







One last shot that pretty much shows the whole pool. You can see it was a little crowded that day.



After enjoying the pool for a while, we decided it was time to go back to the room, change, and head to Downtown Disney to get our Annual Passes and have dinner. I got a shot of our room location, 3713.



We walked to the Port Orleans boat dock and waited a few minutes for the next boat.



We got on the next boat and were introduced to our pilot, Captain Eric, and trainee, Allan. We sat close to the front, so could hear the instruction that Captain Eric was giving Allan as Allan steered us down the canal, stopping at Port Orleans French Quarter and eventually Downtown Disney. It was interesting to hear him tell how to use the throttle to reverse momentum, to compensate for the wind, etc. We all thought that that was some tough on-the-job training for Allan, to be getting all of that instruction while having about 20 onlookers watching how you’re doing. He struggled a little at the French Quarter stop, but stopped perfectly at Downtown Disney. We all applauded and Allan got a little red-faced.

Oh, for you Saratoga Springs DVC owners, here’s a shot of a Treehouse Villa that I took on our way to Downtown Disney.



In the next installment: Downtown Disney and a little nightlife back at Port Orleans Riverside’s River Roost Lounge.

Link to next installment

Last edited by glennbo123; 11-15-2009 at 10:46 PM.
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Old 07-15-2009, 08:50 PM   #8
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Well, your title worked! I'm in for the duration.
Rather amusing, because I've already been racking my brain for my own TR title and I found one...to be unveiled next year.
Great job so far!
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Old 07-15-2009, 09:40 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by skywaywaver View Post
Well, your title worked! I'm in for the duration.
Rather amusing, because I've already been racking my brain for my own TR title and I found one...to be unveiled next year.
Great job so far!
Welcome aboard. I look forward to finding out what your title will be.

I see the Polynesian in your avatar and sig. Two different dinners will take place there further along in this TR, with lots of food pics.
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Old 07-15-2009, 10:57 PM   #10
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Nice review. Can't wait to hear more!
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Old 07-16-2009, 12:56 AM   #11
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Sorry it took me so long to get here.

Great report! Love the photo to word ratio! Your family is darling. I like the POR better after this 2nd trip than I did the first time. The customer service was so much better and the room was cleaner. The free pool view upgrade didn't hurt either.

for the photo of the THV.

I think the main pool at POR is awesome!

Can't wait to read more!
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Old 07-16-2009, 01:11 AM   #12
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We bought at the Animal Kingdom Villa's last Fall and still haven't used any of our points. But that's what's great about the DVC!! Now we get to use our 2009 & 2010 points in January and get to stay longer!!

Can't wait more pictures of our "home"!!

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Old 07-16-2009, 08:34 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by shellbelle View Post
Nice review. Can't wait to hear more!
Thanks!

Quote:
Originally Posted by rentayenta View Post
Sorry it took me so long to get here.

Great report! Love the photo to word ratio! Your family is darling. I like the POR better after this 2nd trip than I did the first time. The customer service was so much better and the room was cleaner. The free pool view upgrade didn't hurt either.

for the photo of the THV.

I think the main pool at POR is awesome!

Can't wait to read more!
Glad to have you aboard! Thank you!

The THVs look cool. One minute you can be in the middle of Disney and the next be back at your villa, secluded, with the feel of camping but without all the dirt and smoke and humidity and bug bites and back pain from sleeping on the ground and....well, you get the idea.

Quote:
Originally Posted by natale1980 View Post
We bought at the Animal Kingdom Villa's last Fall and still haven't used any of our points. But that's what's great about the DVC!! Now we get to use our 2009 & 2010 points in January and get to stay longer!!

Can't wait more pictures of our "home"!!

-nat
I'd love to have lotsa points in the bank. You'll love it!

AKV pictures are a'comin', but you'll probably have to wait for a couple of posts yet.

Well gang I just realized I have less than half an hour until I need to make next year's ressie. Gotta go get ready to dial!
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Old 07-16-2009, 08:43 AM   #14
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Okay Glenn, I guess you are ahead of me. Gotta get off my lazy butt and get to work on my TR before I totally forget everything that happened. Maybe I'll steal your title about snorin' and soarin' and that will motivate me to get going.

Enjoying so far....can't wait to read the rest. Wish we were all still there!
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Old 07-16-2009, 11:13 AM   #15
natale1980
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Quote:
Originally Posted by glennbo123 View Post
I'd love to have lotsa points in the bank. You'll love it!
!
We only have 100 points. But with 100 points banked - 200 points gets you allot further!! PLUS I could always use the 2011 points.... ahhhhhh 300 points... think of the possibilities!!!

-nat
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