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Old 01-11-2010, 09:08 AM   #151
RinkyTinkyTinky
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Whooo I am behind! Where do I begin........... Loved the resort tour! I have to get over to the Boardwalk/Beach Club area. It is so beautiful. The gingerbread stuff is amazing!

Loved the window displays. Just makes me want to go back right now!!

You got to stay at AKL! That place is so awesome! It would be at the top of my list of places to stay for sure!

Your girls are just adorable. They look so happy. Who can blame them! I'd be happy on this trip too! Can't wait for more!
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Old 01-11-2010, 08:32 PM   #152
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I love the picture of your girls where they are imitating Pluto and Goofy from the store window! That is so cute! Even with a hole in the pants.

Love it!
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Old 01-12-2010, 12:02 AM   #153
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Yay for LOTS of shopping!! One of my favorite things to do!! And WOW--AKL is beautifully decorated for Christmas!! And the view from your room is phenomenal!!
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Old 01-12-2010, 08:37 AM   #154
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So the AKL pics are up
We have been before for a meal at Boma and the lobby impressed us then, it was nighttime so it was very dark, so I am excited to see it in the daylight and the animals! As well I love their gift shop.
We're planning a resort day while there so DD can get in the crafts etc they have. I had read about the ornaments, so it's nice to see the girls making those.
11 more days for me and I will be there!

We are thinking about a 3 day cruise in the fall, so I am reading your report to see how you enjoyed it! Thanks for sharing
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Old 01-12-2010, 08:41 AM   #155
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Love the AKL pics! My kdis would be in heaven with those bunkbeds! Maybe next trip we'll have bunk beds.

Your girls are funny- too cute acting out the window scenes!
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Old 01-12-2010, 08:47 AM   #156
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Could your girls be any cuter??? Love all the posing in front of the windows in DTD!! AKL is so beautiful, I know my DH wants to stay there someday, he likes the thought of looking out the balcony at animals, the decor in there is just breathtaking! Also fun to see the cute projects the girls did, what a nice homemade souvenir, I hope both the ornaments made it home okay
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Old 01-12-2010, 09:29 AM   #157
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mndisneygirl View Post
Look at the characters swinging around! And the Mickey ears water tower!
Those two pieces are Department 56 and I think I recognized some more off to the side, too.

They could be yours!

Heehee. I learned how to insert a link.



Loved, loved, loved the resort pics!!! I felt like I was there! Sometimes pics just don't make you feel that way, but yours certainly did!

Ahhh, AKL. My favorite place in the world. I hope I took a pic of the zebra chair on the balcony...I can't imagine I wouldn't have, but if I didn't, I'll need to steal yours. Do you mind?
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Old 01-12-2010, 10:29 AM   #158
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RinkyTinkyTinky View Post
Whooo I am behind! Where do I begin........... Loved the resort tour! I have to get over to the Boardwalk/Beach Club area. It is so beautiful. The gingerbread stuff is amazing!

Loved the window displays. Just makes me want to go back right now!!

You got to stay at AKL! That place is so awesome! It would be at the top of my list of places to stay for sure!

Your girls are just adorable. They look so happy. Who can blame them! I'd be happy on this trip too! Can't wait for more!
Thank you so much - I loved AKL!! Someday a longer stay would be nice! The girls really had a lot of fun despite us running all over the place.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Panotchr View Post
I love the picture of your girls where they are imitating Pluto and Goofy from the store window! That is so cute! Even with a hole in the pants.

Love it!
Yeah, it was Sarah's idea to pose like that. She's a big poser when she wants to be in a picture. I don't think there's too many more pictures of those pants left!!

Quote:
Originally Posted by ladybugmom View Post
Yay for LOTS of shopping!! One of my favorite things to do!! And WOW--AKL is beautifully decorated for Christmas!! And the view from your room is phenomenal!!
I went a little nuts on the shopping this trip. All that Christmas stuff is one of my weaknesses. I was really impressed with the resort decorations. Yup, I loved that view.
Quote:
Originally Posted by drakes View Post
So the AKL pics are up
We have been before for a meal at Boma and the lobby impressed us then, it was nighttime so it was very dark, so I am excited to see it in the daylight and the animals! As well I love their gift shop.
We're planning a resort day while there so DD can get in the crafts etc they have. I had read about the ornaments, so it's nice to see the girls making those.
11 more days for me and I will be there!

We are thinking about a 3 day cruise in the fall, so I am reading your report to see how you enjoyed it! Thanks for sharing
I hope you have an awesome stay at AKL - there's really a lot to do there - be sure to check your activities schedule in your room! I probably won't get to the cruise part until after your trip - so be sure to check in when you get back. Plus I want to hear about your trip!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Monny2AE View Post
Love the AKL pics! My kdis would be in heaven with those bunkbeds! Maybe next trip we'll have bunk beds.

Your girls are funny- too cute acting out the window scenes!
Yeah, the bunk beds were a big hit. I just had to keep them from jumping off the top! You should try AKL next time! Sarah's the idea girl behind acting out the scenes. Clever kid!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Cory's Gal View Post
Could your girls be any cuter??? Love all the posing in front of the windows in DTD!! AKL is so beautiful, I know my DH wants to stay there someday, he likes the thought of looking out the balcony at animals, the decor in there is just breathtaking! Also fun to see the cute projects the girls did, what a nice homemade souvenir, I hope both the ornaments made it home okay
Oh thank you! The ornaments did make it home and were hung promptly on the tree. They are now safely secured in the ornament box awaiting next year when I have a dedicated real Disney tree! I did buy an awful lot of ornaments, and we already had plenty!

Quote:
Originally Posted by trixiequilts View Post
Those two pieces are Department 56 and I think I recognized some more off to the side, too.

They could be yours!

Heehee. I learned how to insert a link.



Loved, loved, loved the resort pics!!! I felt like I was there! Sometimes pics just don't make you feel that way, but yours certainly did!

Ahhh, AKL. My favorite place in the world. I hope I took a pic of the zebra chair on the balcony...I can't imagine I wouldn't have, but if I didn't, I'll need to steal yours. Do you mind?
Trixie - you're too funny! Congrats on the link. We do have a Dept. 56 village (the original)! I was thinking when we were there that it reminded me of that too. Thanks for the compliments on the pictures. We got a new camera since our last trip and the pictures are way better. More settings and I learned how to use them! HA! You may steal any of my pictures!

I should have an update up today. We might actually get inside a park!! I just have so much stuff to share - lunch at Kona and BLT will be next!
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Old 01-12-2010, 11:58 AM   #159
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Bye AKL, Hello BLT

Sunday 12/6/09

Well, we woke up and promptly looked out from our balcony to see who else was up. It was such a beautiful morning, if a bit cool. We knew it would warm up! At AKL they put an info sheet in your room with pictures and descriptions of all the animals so you can check off how many of them you see. It was so fun - we saw giraffes, gazelles, wildebeest, some kind of cattle (I wish I had the sheet with me at work for reference! HA!) and a bunch of birds too. We made a little pot of coffee in the room and got all showered etc. The girls just got dressed and looked outside!
We headed down to The Mara for breakfast around 9. We all shared, but got two kids meals with a waffle and bacon, a bagel and cream cheese and a chocolate croissant (mostly for me). It was all I could do not to eat zebra domes for breakfast! Total was $15.09.
After wandering around the resort a little more - checking the pool area out (there were a couple people swimming already) we headed up to pack up the room. The lobby area was buzzing with people - they have this really big beautiful fireplace and people were sitting around it reading. Lots of people taking pictures by the big Christmas tree.

Our plan was to drive over and park at the BLT, check in (again, knowing our room wouldn't be ready) and take the monorail to Poly for our lunch at Kona. So we were taking our time, soaking up the atmosphere. I'm not sure what time we left AKL, but I know housekeeping did knock before we left. She was super nice and said she'd come back later.

When we drove to BLT, we had to go this way and see this:



Isn't it cute how they changed the decor of that too??
Dave checked and no one was behind us, so he slowed down so I could take that picture. Might have even been with my phone!
So, we drove up to the security gate and the guard checked us on the list and gave us our parking pass. He told us to go park by the Contemporary entrance temporarily. The valet there moved our car out of the way while we checked in. Now, if you are staying at BLT, here's what I recommend:
Park at BLT.

Walk to the Contemporary entrance.
Check in.

Walk back to your car.
Unload at BLT.
No reason to mess around parking twice or having the valets have to deal with your car. You're going to park over by BLT anyway!

We went up to the counter after a nice lady CM directed us to an open CM. There wasn't a real line marked off, but she was sort of directing traffic. We had not done online check in (I was nervous about getting rooms near each other) and there weren't that many people waiting so it was no big deal. But of course, it takes too long for the girls. They were antsy, so we took some pictures while Dave talked with the CM.




Yup, that's Dave's head in the corner. I was trying to get the light fixture and some decorations!





A few minutes later, we were all set with our packet and KTTW cards (that would not open the door of any room just yet). But they did have the dining plan credits all ready to go!!
After we parked our car in the right place, we checked out the entrance to BLT and Contemporary a bit before boarding the monorail to Poly.








This wreath was so cool! They lit it up at night!


Out back of the Contemporary


This was in the Contemporary on the 4th floor near the shops and restaurants. The mural is designed by the artist who did IASW. Did I hear recently that she just passed away? I might have imagined that. Anyway, it was a gingerbread tree and they were selling gingerbread "tiles" at the counter.

And we hopped on the monorail and headed to Kona. I think it was on this ride that we met a woman and her daughter that were part of Pop Warner. She said that her daughter was a cheerleader and did not have any practice or competition until Monday. They had been at MK and saw the Jonas Brothers perform. Apparently the parade stuff all got rained out on Friday and some Saturday. So they postponed a lot of filming and were doing it on Sunday. Later as we rode the monorail around, we could see HUGE crowds! We hoped it would clear out for MVMCP that night!!

Up Next: Lunch at Kona!!
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Old 01-12-2010, 01:22 PM   #160
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Kona lunch

I just noticed that some of my pictures have the correct date and time stamp and some don't. Not sure what that's about. Needless to say, if it says 1/5/2007, that's not correct!!

Kona!!!
Our ADR was for 12:05. We got there about noon and checked in. We maybe waited 5 mnutes before our pager started buzzing. That makes sense, since I saw a number of empty tables.



The CM who was going to show us to our table noted that we had two kids and she held out a basket of crayons and said "pick your favorite color". All of the crayons were BLUE! They both looked quizzically at us and laughed! So they each take a blue crayon and she says, "that's my favorite color too!" I loved that!!

We sat off to the right side in a curved booth not too far from where they display the desserts etc. (oh boy!) We decided to pay OOP for this. Mostly because I wanted an appetizer. You guessed it - I wanted Sticky Wings!!
And by golly, I got them!



These were SUPERB!!! Dave and I shared them. Super yummy!
I ordered the Pan Fried Chicken with coconut and mango sauce. It came with macaroni salad (which I did not touch). The chicken was pretty good and I liked the sauce. I would give it a 6 out of 10. Not earth-shattering, but pretty good. I thought the chicken would be more flavorful.



Dave didn't order an entree, since he had a bunch of wings and said he wasn't that hungry. I think he was saving his appetite for dinner.
The girls both ordered the kids hot dog meal, which came with dessert.


Sarah's dessert


Paige's dessert - she was trying to block me from taking the picture.



I hemmed and hawed about whether to order dessert, and we all know how that was going to end. I figured when I started using DDP, I was going to eat desserts all the time. Might as well start now!!

Yummm!!! Banana chocolate creme brulee!!! So awesome! The chocolate is on the bottom - the banana was caramelized, it was phenomenal!!! I highly recommend this dessert!
All in all, a very good experience. I lost the receipt, so I have no idea what it cost (I could go to Allears and add it up, but so could you!)
During lunch, Dave's sister Donna called and said they had arrived at BLT and were also all checked in. They hopped on the monorail and came over to meet us. Apparently SIL Debbie (with Steve and SIL Sharon) had JUST LEFT their house in LaBelle (near Ft Myers) around noon. So we decided to take the monorail over to the Grand Floridian and check out the big gingerbread house. (This had been my plan anyway!!!) I really hadn't expected that Donna and them would have arrived at that time, but they were perfectly willing to go anyway. Donna really wanted to see all the decorations.

up next: GF gingerbread house - tasting and shopping and finally a look at our BLT room!!!
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Old 01-12-2010, 03:18 PM   #161
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GF and BLT!

Just to let you all know - I am thinking I am not going to be able to put my update notification in the title anymore. Every time I do it, it messes up the whole post and I have to fix it - it's those dang asteriks again!

Okay - on to the fun!
We took the monorail to GF and you enter the resort up on the second level and overlook the huge lobby/atrium. That's the area where the gingerbread house is. It's in the opposite corner from where I took this picture (see the little crowd of people?)





This lady was explaining how they did it. There were also samples of gingerbread. That's where my kids went!!





The "snow" hanging on the ledges was made of frosting and the flowers were gum paste. Stunning!!








This is the side of the house - if you look through the window you can see the people inside that are selling the goodies!




Yes, I had to buy something! I told you I did a lot of shopping on this trip! Of course, I don't know where those pictures are! Dang photobucket.. I'll put them in the souvenir post later! Anyway, they were selling gingerbread "shingles", decorated gingerbread cookies and chocolate "ornaments" among other more pricey things. I think you could buy a small house too. I have the price list at home and will check. I bought a gingerbread snowflake cookie and chocolate ornament. Problem is - they are too pretty to eat. I imagine they are getting stale in my cupboard!

Outside the main floor they had someone roasting and selling chestnuts. And we found this lovely lady outside 1900 Park Fare.



I just loved all the pretty garlands!




Well, we still hadn't heard from SILs Debbie and Sharon and we hadn't gotten our text from BLT yet. We headed back on the monorail to the Contemporary and noticed at the MK stop the HOARDES of people!! Man, I hoped they would not all be staying for MVMCP!!

I have a note in my phone that says at 3:15 we were waiting for Debbie and Sharon and I was hanging out in a lounge on the 4th floor near Contempo Cafe. Dave decided to go and get the scooter we had ordered for Sharon from the Contemporary bell desk and bring it so she would have it right away when she got there. Then he heard from them - they were at Ft Wilderness. Now how was Sharon going to get to BLT with her luggage? Dave to the rescue!! He took our car - STILL LOADED! over to get her. I sat with the girls and the scooter.

Shawna and I were exchanging texts throughout the day - she was at MK in that crazy crowd and they had a dinner ADR at CRT. So I texted her and played games while we waited. I would have gone shopping but didn't want to take or leave the scooter sitting.
Finally we got our text and Dave was on his way back with Sharon. So my nephew drove the scooter to the front entrance of BLT and we met them at the door. Off to our room!!!




The little lobby



You had to use your KTTW card to get in the main door so don't go thinking that you can just come on over and visit!!

cont...Room pictures!




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Old 01-12-2010, 03:31 PM   #162
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BLT room

Updating at work has it's drawbacks. If I forget something, all my info and papers are at home!!
So I can't remember my room number but will post it later. We were on the 6th floor I think!(?) and I remember that the rooms were all numbered with 7XYZ where X was the floor you were on. The 7 meant nothing. Very odd to me. We all had rooms close by each other. We had a studio. So there was a queen and a fold out sofa. We had a kitchenette.












[IMG]

Our balcony
http://i407.photobucket.com/albums/p...9/DSCN0945.jpg[/IMG]

Looking left from our balcony

Yes, that's MK!!!

Looking straight from our balcony


Looking right from our balcony


So we really lucked out with our view since we paid for a Bay Lake view!! The room was nice - not as roomy as I thought. The bathroom set up was odd. First the toilet and tub were in a room that had a sliding door. It was not a door that shut all the way nor did it lock. I've read other complaints on the boards about this. Then the sink for the bathroom was in the same room as the kitchenette. On the left was the bathroom counter and on the right was the kitchen. Hmmm.... interesting design technique.
The bathroom had those wonderful H20 products again and high quality towels and toilet paper. All in all we liked the room well enough, but I much preferred the room at AKL. I think you also have to like the modern "contemporary" style and theme. But the location can't be beat!!!
I'll have some more tidbits about BLT as we go along in our adventure. Feel free to ask any questions.

Okay, I'm going home.
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Old 01-12-2010, 04:03 PM   #163
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I made it over!! It's also fun to read the report of another Minnesotan. What a great start you have here. Though, I cannot believe you drive all the way from MN. What brave souls you are!! You girls are just adorable. I'm pretty sure we have the same Christmas ornament bought at the same location days apart. A mirror Mickey with the year 2009 on it, right? Did you also get 50% off? I can't wait to read more!!
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Old 01-12-2010, 04:59 PM   #164
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That chicken you had looks really yummy, I want it now

I'm going to be staying at Bay Lake Towers in a month so I'd love to hear all you have to say Any tips on staying there or anything, I want to hear it all
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Old 01-12-2010, 09:13 PM   #165
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Originally Posted by Lovemy3babes View Post
I made it over!! It's also fun to read the report of another Minnesotan. What a great start you have here. Though, I cannot believe you drive all the way from MN. What brave souls you are!! You girls are just adorable. I'm pretty sure we have the same Christmas ornament bought at the same location days apart. A mirror Mickey with the year 2009 on it, right? Did you also get 50% off? I can't wait to read more!!
I don't recall getting 50% off! I sure hope I did. Thank you for the compliment on the girls. We really aren't brave, but a tad bit on the crazy side! As I've said, if it were up to me, I'd fly everywhere. But it is easier to pack when driving and depending on timing and airlines, it is often cheaper. Especially when you don't stay in a hotel on the way! That's the crazy part.

Quote:
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That chicken you had looks really yummy, I want it now

I'm going to be staying at Bay Lake Towers in a month so I'd love to hear all you have to say Any tips on staying there or anything, I want to hear it all
Thanks for joining in! I will have lots more stuff about BLT as we experienced it. Are you staying on DVC points?? We did not - had a cash ressie. So we were not able to use the Top of The World Lounge up on top. You have to either be DVC or staying on rented points.
I see I messed up a picture of the balcony. Hopefully this will be better. I wanted you to see how big it is. Our room was 7606. My MIL and SIL were next door in 7608. My SIL was on the opposite side of the hall and they faced the courtyard straight on and if you looked left you could see Bay Lake.
If you are looking at the building it is shaped like a C. The front of the building would be at the outer rounded part of the C. Our room was at the top of the C on the outside of the curve. I hope that makes sense.



I checked on our AKL room location. Technically it was on the Zebra trail, but on the first wing off to the right. So our view was of the Uzima Savanna. The opposite side of the wing faced the Uzima pool. I liked our location because it was on the same side of the resort as the Mara, Boma, and the pool (even tho we didn't use it) and it was not far from the lobby.

I am uploading the rest of my trip pictures to photobucket tonight, so hopefully I can put together a souvenir post and you can see my loot!!!
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