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Old 09-06-2010, 08:25 PM   #16
wlake
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Thank you -- it all makes complete sense! I've never had those numbers work out for us, so I was curious to see how they would work. I think the difference for us is that we stay at a moderate (POR) and with 4 of us, even with two kids, the dining adds up quickly. Next time we go my oldest will be over 9 so I think that makes a difference too. Now that we've been twice in two years, I'm hoping to get some pin codes sent to me. Maybe then the numbers will work out enough for DH to agree!
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Old 09-06-2010, 09:39 PM   #17
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My sister created a spreadsheet for our trip in July. I appreciated her efforts once we arrived.

Can't wait to read more about your trip.
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Old 09-06-2010, 10:19 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wlake View Post
Thank you -- it all makes complete sense! I've never had those numbers work out for us, so I was curious to see how they would work. I think the difference for us is that we stay at a moderate (POR) and with 4 of us, even with two kids, the dining adds up quickly. Next time we go my oldest will be over 9 so I think that makes a difference too. Now that we've been twice in two years, I'm hoping to get some pin codes sent to me. Maybe then the numbers will work out enough for DH to agree!
Whew! Glad it made sense!

And good luck with PIN codes and talking hubby into a return trip!!


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My sister created a spreadsheet for our trip in July. I appreciated her efforts once we arrived.

Can't wait to read more about your trip.
Thanks for joining! See, those "spreadsheet people" are good for something!!
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Old 09-07-2010, 02:07 PM   #19
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Originally Posted by emmysmommy View Post
Thanks for joining! I have a lot of photos of the room, views, and the lounge so hang in there for that!

It looks like you were at the BWI this year - that is on my list of resorts to try one day. It was nice to see the Boardwalk all lit up at night from across the lagoon.
Definitely hanging in

I love the BWI, it's a beautiful resort but it's going to be fun for me to try somewhere new next time.
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Old 09-07-2010, 02:23 PM   #20
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Hi Brenda!

Saw you started your TR and had to join in! Looking forward to hearing about your trip!
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Old 09-07-2010, 11:55 PM   #21
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Originally Posted by MommyMcQueen View Post
Hi Brenda!

Saw you started your TR and had to join in! Looking forward to hearing about your trip!
Karen
How funny is this... I just checked out your TR and here you are! Gotta love that Aladdin encounter...
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Old 09-08-2010, 01:17 AM   #22
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Checking in at BLT

We had just entered the Kingdom.... at least we had passed the magical sign.

12 minutes later we were checked in at the Contemporary Resort lobby for our Bay Lake Tower 1 bedroom theme park view room.







We received our welcome packet and off we were to find our room – 7720.





We enter the room and WOW! Look at that view through the living room window. It took my breath away! I had a moment and actually needed a tissue. It was so much better than I anticipated – seeing the castle in all its glory and the view of the Seven Seas lagoon with the Grand Floridian across the lake and the Poly on the shore opporsite the Magic Kingdom. It was an amazing view and worth every penny!!



Panoramic view:


After a quick photo tour of the room we decided to head to Magic Kingdom since we were hungry (apparently coach passengers are no longer deserving of meals on planes and the DME bus driver didn’t offer to drive through McDonalds for a quick burger and fries – hmph!) and we needed to see the castle up close and personal.

We used the walkway from the resort (an easy 10 min. walk) and arrived just as the Main Street Electrical Parade was starting. We would see that another time just get us some food….Noodle Terrance wasn’t open, no pizza place in Tomorrowland like at Disneyland but hey we did find a place that I had heard of… Cosmic Ray’s Starlight Cafe. Let’s try it.

Forget the separate dining review…You lucky folks, I’m bringing it here!

Actually, if you really want to skip this part you can find my dining review for Cosmic Rays here with photos.

I had seen Cosmic Ray reviews and I recall with fondness seeing photos of the rotissiere chicken with green beans and mashed potatoes. The green beans were ok - nothing exciting and the mashed potatoes were, well just a bit off since they had an uncharacteristic sweet undertone to them. Not sure what that was about but I ate every last bite of them! For dessert Em ordered the chocolate cake and enjoyed it while I ordered the carrot cake and saved it for later since I was full from the abundance of food.



For those non-foodies (what is wrong with you?) you may resume reading here:

Now that we had our bellies full, it was almost time for the Wishes fireworks show. We were able to get a fairly good viewing spot near the bridge to Tomorrowland. Just for the record, I’m not one to push and shove our way into a 3 square foot empty piece of pavement just because it’s a slightly better vantage point but apparently other people are because once the fireworks started people were invading our space like we were joined at the hips. I don’t mind taking a step back for a little kid so they can see but come on people, your entire family can’t stand on my feet!! Anyways, the show was fantastic!!

We walked back to the hotel and found that our checked bags had arrived. Whew! I could banish the mental picture of being stranded without my curlers and face cream! Well, actually I don’t use face cream but I did have 6 pairs of shoes in my checked luggage in addition to my electric curlers. (You ask why curlers in August – I now ask the same thing!! The pursuit of beauty apparently doesn’t have any common sense.)

By the way, the beds at the resorts we stayed were VERY comfy! I slept so good – not that it had anything to do with a long day of travel and not making it to bed until 1am.

Comfy bed:


One note regarding a couple of issues with the room. I went to use the hair dryer in the Master bathroom and it didn’t work; however, it worked in the secondary bathroom – so it was issue with the electrical outlet. Also, the TV in the living room didn’t power on with the remote although the remote worked for the bedroom. Good thing we don’t watch a lot of TV or else it could have been traumatic. I called maintenance the next morning and by the time we returned from a day at the park everything was fixed. And finally, what is up with the ceiling shower head that drips cold water on you??? Was it just me? I couldn’t adjust that sucker to turn completely off – it had about 27 other settings except "off".

Ok, that's enough for now since this is getting really looooongggg!

Next up: Our 1st full day in the Kingdom.
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Old 09-09-2010, 08:14 AM   #23
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Hello Emmysmommy. Looks like a fun trip so far. I'm not sure if I'm the obsessive planning, Excel-loving, DISer you borrowed your spreadsheet format from, but it looks like what I do. You gotta have a plan, right?
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Old 09-09-2010, 04:25 PM   #24
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Great start! Ariel doesn't look very happy in your signature pic though, lol.
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Old 09-09-2010, 11:51 PM   #25
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Hello Emmysmommy. Looks like a fun trip so far. I'm not sure if I'm the obsessive planning, Excel-loving, DISer you borrowed your spreadsheet format from, but it looks like what I do. You gotta have a plan, right?
Absolutely! No spreadsheet = no plan! (At least in my warped tabular world!)

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Great start! Ariel doesn't look very happy in your signature pic though, lol.
I'm glad you mentioned that! She was the most un-princessy character we've ever seen. I was joking around with her and Eric and she wasn't liking me for some reason. Maybe because my red hair is real?? More about that later...
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Old 09-10-2010, 11:01 AM   #26
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Hi Brenda!

Glad your arrival went smoothly (except for lack of food ) and your room looks wonderful! Awesome view!

Nice to be able to take a short walk to MK and glad you got to see Wishes your first night! We noticed too that people get very jammed in and pushy. We had a good spot for Wishes, all the parades though we just got completely squished. We made sure to be there early and get a good spot, then people pile in behind you and start pushing in! It gets a little frustrating.

Glad you had a good first night and can't wait to hear about your next day!
Karen
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Old 09-10-2010, 11:36 AM   #27
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Great pictures! Im in Cant wait to read more updates!!
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Old 09-11-2010, 02:36 PM   #28
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First Full Day at The World

Thursday August 19, 2010 – Magic Kingdom Day

This was our first full day at WDW. We were looking forward to just being in the Park with no particular plans to structure our day except our dining reservations. Well, I suppose that is structure enough since we had a breakfast, lunch, and dinner ADRs that day.

We caught the monorail in the Contemporary lobby to go to the Poly for breakfast at Kona Café. We had an 8:15 reservation and it didn’t take but 10minutes to leave our hotel and be checked in for breakfast.

Here is my dining review for Kona Cafe with photos. I REALLY liked Kona. It was those pineapple macadamia nut butter pancakes were awesome!

Following breakfast, we briefly toured the Poly, taking photos and enjoying the atmosphere before hoping on the monorail to go to the Magic Kingdom. I wish I had checked out the beach and other areas of the resort but we wanted to get to the park.



We made it past the bag check and into the Magic Kingdom at a little after 9am. We were so happy to be there that we literally skipped down Main Street. Well, just a little skipping took place, I didn’t want people staring but we were definitely happy.

I had pre-purchased the photopass CD and I was determined to get my $99.95 (plus $2.95 in shipping charges that they hit you up for when you actually get the photopass CD mailed.) worth of photos. In the end we had over 180 photos on our account. Stay tuned because a LOT of them were from a special event that took place later…..I know, such a tease!

So… we headed to Fantasyland after having the requisite castle photo taken and a few other backgrounds. We hit up Peter Pan, Snow White, and the Tea Cups within the first 45 minutes. The lines were fairly short. We decided to try Mickey’s Philharmagic which was a pretty cool 3D attraction.

Castle pose #1


Castle pose #2:


Next we wandered to Liberty Square where we needed to cool off so chose to see the Hall of President’s attraction. It was definitely cool and by that I mean the temperature. The show wasn’t bad either. This was followed by a refreshing ride on Splash Mountain. What exactly does zippity doo dah mean anyway?

We had a 2pm Liberty Tree Tavern reservation which we checked about 15-20 minutes early for and were seated after about a 10 minute wait.

Here is my Liberty Tree Tavern review with photos.

It was still pretty hot outside so we decided to do some air conditioned attractions. So… we headed to Tomorrowland and decided that Stitch’s Great Escape looked interesting. It was a cute show but can someone tell the imagineers that the shoulder harness contraption crushing my scapulas is not comfortable at ALL!!! Yikes, thought I was going to have to bring shoulder pads back into fashion if that thing did not let up the pressure. [I’m exaggerating only slightly.]





Whilst (I feel like a lady of refinement if I use that proper word) in Tomorrowland we also hit up Monsters Inc. Laugh Floor. That was pretty good with the audience participation.



The parade had come down Main Street and disappeared into Liberty Square and we decided to make our way through the hub of the park and go through the shops. The bakery tempted us with all the treats and the confectionary store had me wishing I could shove one more treat into my mouth… but we resisted all of those lovely delights and walked back to the BLT around 4:00.

It doesn't hurt to just look, right?






Here's a photo showing how far it is from the bus stops outside the park to the BLT/CR:


Back at the resort, we decided to redeem our refillable mugs at the Contempo Café. I don’t know how many ounces they hold but it was perfect for us. The drink choices for the mugs were anything from the soda dispensers, including Coke products, Powerade, and Minute Maid light lemonade, Gold Peak tea, coffee and I believe hot chocolate.

I took these photos from the balcony of our room:




We had an 8:50 dinner reservation at California Grill and we wanted to rest up and get pretty before our big night so we didn't do much in the late afternoon.

Before dinner photos: See our room!




Here is my Cali Grill review with photos.

After having a nice dinner and viewing the Wishes fireworks show from the 15th floor of the CR we headed back to our room to watch some "Stacy TV" since all of the parks were closed.

Next up: Exploring Epcot
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Old 09-11-2010, 03:07 PM   #29
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I was down at the same time.

Apparently we had similar ADR's. Aren't those Kona pancakes to die for? I almost ordered room service the last morning at the Poly just to have them.
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Old 09-12-2010, 09:10 PM   #30
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I was behind several updates, but I'm back and all caught up!

Your comment about the importance of your park bag. I'll share a little secret... By the end of our trip in July, I was going bagless! Much to the amazement of my stunned DH. Actually, we would carry in a camelback or two of water, and an empty, flattened string backpack. I also had my small camera bag, but I would open up the pockets and we would sail through the entrance without going to bag check. Then we would have the string pack to use during the day. A DISer suggested this. LOVED it!

I can totally appreciate the beauty of your Pineapple Coconut muffin. And the wonderfulness of Macadamia Pineapple Pancakes. I have ordered those 3 years in a row. They are my FAVORITE thing to eat in the World. And maybe even the world. Did you sample the Pineapple Coconut Danish at the BC CL? That was delish, too!

OMG, OMG, OMG! What a VIEW!!! OMG!

Great photo of you and Emmy at the Partners statue.

Looking forward to the next update!

Dee
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