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Old 11-21-2010, 06:33 AM   #16
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Yay! You got another day! How much longer until you find out where you're staying?
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Old 11-22-2010, 09:22 PM   #17
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Yeah, about that...ugh! I just asked DH what time on Friday I will know and he told me he had bad news. His boss is off all week! Okay, so I guess DH will have to call me first thing Monday morning.

GRRRR!!!!
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Old 11-27-2010, 01:17 PM   #18
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Where to stay? Where to stay?

It looks like I need to wait two more days to call member services! I will have to make sure I am completely ready to teach Monday morning. Hopefully, I will be spending a portion of my planning period making my reservations!

Then, I can get this pre-trip report going!

Here is my list in order of where I hope we can stay:

from Orlando Attraction Magazine

Bay Lake Tower - my girls really want to stay here. DH and I aren't in love with it, but want to give it a try. We don't like the use of the extra points, so staying during value season for a short trip is a great way to try it out.

about.com hotels

Villas at Wilderness Lodge - DH and I would both only want to stay here during a winter trip (at least we think). So, why not give it a try this trip. I like the idea of taking the boat to MK.

Disney

Animal Kingdom Villas - I love AKV! It is so warm and inviting. I love Mara's food and the animals all over the resort. We've had great bus service.



BWV - This resort was lovely. I don't like the lack of counter service, but the bakery is right there. Also, my girls love community hall.



BCV - Absolutely love the hop, skip and jump to Epcot. Otherwise, for a winter getaway, ehh. Transportation to the other parks not fantastic.


4 vacations. com

SSR- Would love to try this resort. I think this is the resort that many people only stay at when nothing else is available. Then, they probably fall in love and want to return. I have heard that you should have a car when staying here. This is not high on the list for January since we won't have a car.

time share expert . com

OKW - We have this as last because we are thinking this is where we want to stay this summer.

If you could choose any of these for a four day trip in Jan, which would you choose?

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Old 11-28-2010, 08:37 PM   #19
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Wilderness Lodge - hands down! Of course, you know me and my trees...
But, I also have to say that boat to MK is awesome! Plus, you can always take a boat to the Contemporary and hop on the monorail.
We didn't have a chance to go check it out last summer, but from the water it looks gorgeous!
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Old 11-28-2010, 09:02 PM   #20
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WL is my fav resort! I've never stayed at the villas but I love the lodge!

BLT, I would like to stay just to see how it is and you're right to use the extra points when it's a value season!

AKL, I haven't stayed at Kidani but we enjoyed the lodge even though it's a huge resort! We still enjoy WL over it even though it has the animals!

BWV, never stayed there. We would if it was between that and something else.

BCV, LOVE IT! That's more a summer resort. Jan weather can be up or down so I wouldn't waste the points on that in Jan.

SSR, you're right, it helps to have a car, the resort is HUGE. I've only stayed there with my friend who has DVC and we've always had a car.

OKW, is my least fav. We stayed on friends points and were really disappointed. We thought the rooms were run-down, lack of counter service, the main pool was very crowded and smaller than it looked in pics and that was in late April. We were glad that we tried it once but even if they did a refurb, we still wouldn't return based on the amenities it lacks. It is also very large. We did have a car but I took the bus once and it took quite a while to get around as we happend to be the last stop.

Those are just my opinions! My top 3 for you based on the time of year would be: BLT, VWL, and AKL..BWV would probably be next.
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Old 11-29-2010, 03:38 PM   #21
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Drum roll please....

DH texted me at 8:30 and said: Book it.

Of course, member service opens at 9 (I think) and I have classes from 8:45 to 10:27. At 10:29, (my lunch) I was on the phone with Member Services...the CM who helped me was fantastic, but she had the voice of a princess. I had difficulty understanding her.

For our dates, the only resort that had all of our nights was SSR for 69 points. I hated using that many points! OKW would only be 56 points. So I looked into a split stay...I know, I am nuts.

Most of the resorts had days in the middle of our stay...but

For our first two nights, we have a Savannah view at Jambo. For our next three, we have a room at OKW. This totalled 64 points.

I am excited...I would have been excited no matter what. We love AKV, and I think it will be cool to stay in a savannah view. Also, I like that we can check out OKW before commiting our summer vacation there. (We wanted to try it this summer.)

Regardless, we will be in Disney!!!!
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Old 11-29-2010, 07:59 PM   #22
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CONGRATS ON FINALLY HAVING A PLACE TO SLEEP!!!

Are you pretty much set on what you've booked or are you going to be put on a waiting list?? I know my friend wait listed her Disneymoon because they wanted BLT and were wait listed but they ended up just doing 6 nights at AKL and the last night at WL. Split stays are not uncommon. We're doing a split stay next week because our first night isn't free dining but the free dining begins on the next day. I know of people who split all the time. It's easier if you have a car of course but you can do it without too!
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Old 11-30-2010, 11:49 AM   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by disneydreamingdebby View Post
For our first two nights, we have a Savannah view at Jambo. For our next three, we have a room at OKW. This totalled 64 points.

I am excited...I would have been excited no matter what. We love AKV, and I think it will be cool to stay in a savannah view. Also, I like that we can check out OKW before commiting our summer vacation there. (We wanted to try it this summer.)

Regardless, we will be in Disney!!!!
Sounds awesome!!! I agree - no matter what you will be in Disney! And hey, you never know. I heard very mixed reviews about FW and the size and quality of stay there and such-and-so. Turns out we loved it and haven't even thought about staying anywhere else!!

I can't wait to hear more planning now! So, does OKW not have a counter service? I guess you guys will just have to eat in the parks - which you mostly do anyway right? How does that change the refillable mug situation?
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Old 11-30-2010, 04:31 PM   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mgsmom View Post
Wilderness Lodge - hands down! Of course, you know me and my trees...
But, I also have to say that boat to MK is awesome! Plus, you can always take a boat to the Contemporary and hop on the monorail.
We didn't have a chance to go check it out last summer, but from the water it looks gorgeous!
Totally knew your first choice ...Maybe next winter? The points are very high for VWL, though!

Quote:
Originally Posted by TinkerbellLuvr7 View Post
WL is my fav resort! I've never stayed at the villas but I love the lodge!

BLT, I would like to stay just to see how it is and you're right to use the extra points when it's a value season!

It will stay on our must try list, but can't imagine that it will become a favorite.

AKL, I haven't stayed at Kidani but we enjoyed the lodge even though it's a huge resort! We still enjoy WL over it even though it has the animals!

BWV, never stayed there. We would if it was between that and something else.

Loved BWV; it felt like home.

BCV, LOVE IT! That's more a summer resort. Jan weather can be up or down so I wouldn't waste the points on that in Jan.

SSR, you're right, it helps to have a car, the resort is HUGE. I've only stayed there with my friend who has DVC and we've always had a car. It was more points for a stay at SSR than the split stay between a savannah view and OKW. I just couldn't spend the points...

OKW, is my least fav. We stayed on friends points and were really disappointed. We thought the rooms were run-down, lack of counter service, the main pool was very crowded and smaller than it looked in pics and that was in late April. We were glad that we tried it once but even if they did a refurb, we still wouldn't return based on the amenities it lacks. It is also very large. We did have a car but I took the bus once and it took quite a while to get around as we happend to be the last stop.

OKW was just recently refurbished. It is lovely now. Since we spend so much time in the parks, I am hoping that we don't mind what you found it lacked.

Those are just my opinions! My top 3 for you based on the time of year would be: BLT, VWL, and AKL..BWV would probably be next.
Quote:
Originally Posted by TinkerbellLuvr7 View Post
CONGRATS ON FINALLY HAVING A PLACE TO SLEEP!!!

Are you pretty much set on what you've booked or are you going to be put on a waiting list?? I know my friend wait listed her Disneymoon because they wanted BLT and were wait listed but they ended up just doing 6 nights at AKL and the last night at WL. Split stays are not uncommon. We're doing a split stay next week because our first night isn't free dining but the free dining begins on the next day. I know of people who split all the time. It's easier if you have a car of course but you can do it without too!
I think I am going to stick with it; it is a bit complicated point wise. If I choose something that is less points, we lose points. We did a split stay at AKV, BCV, and BWV over the summer. Moving wasn't a problem, but I totally overpacked and that bothered me.

Quote:
Originally Posted by mgsmom View Post
Sounds awesome!!! I agree - no matter what you will be in Disney! And hey, you never know. I heard very mixed reviews about FW and the size and quality of stay there and such-and-so. Turns out we loved it and haven't even thought about staying anywhere else!!

I can't wait to hear more planning now! So, does OKW not have a counter service? I guess you guys will just have to eat in the parks - which you mostly do anyway right? How does that change the refillable mug situation?
I hope to get back to planning soon. I am swamped with school work! I worked from 4 to 11 at my dining room table last night with about 30 min for dinner. I have an additional class temporarily to help out while a colleague is out.
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Old 12-05-2010, 07:01 PM   #25
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Philadelphia Outing Trip Report

On with the planning, but first a mini trip report around Phila....

Yesterday, my mom, cousins (32, 16, and 14) and I had a girls' day! We went to Philadelphia and as my cousin told me "Disney did us well" because I had a tour plan for the entire day...

First, we headed to the Cleopatra exhibit at the Franklin Institute. It was wonderful, but quite overwhelming as far as information goes. I really want to get a book about Cleopatra now.



Cleopatra and Caesar's son: Caesarion


After Cleopatra and some exploration around Franklin Institute, we went to Reading Terminal Market for lunch. Of course, I had to ensure that I had food porn. (I can't remember what everything was though!)

My lunch: Chix Caprese - mediterranean


My cousin's lunch: Middle Eastern - hummus, etc.


I found a hidden Mickey...



We then, briskly walked to the Comcast Center for their Christmas Show. It is a "movie" on the wall in their lobby. It begins with light bulbs dancing to the music. People pop up on the screen who look real throughout the change of the scenes. At one point, it was like Soarin through Phila. We went through a snow scene from the perspective that we were in a sleigh. It was amazing technology. Throughout the day, I was switching between my coolpix and using my dad's iphone (it is my mom's now, but she only uses it to play words with friends...). I am hoping that Verizon releases the iPhone in Jan like rumored for years! I had practice with it most of the day, but at the Comcast Center, I just wanted to enjoy the experience. No pictures.

After this, we headed to the restroom and saw a jewelry store that had a Pandora display. My mom decided to buy each of us a charm to celebrate the day.(My mom paid for the entire day for us already. She is a wonderful mom and aunt.) We picked the sleigh (Christmas time and because of our next adventure.)

All of us with our bracelets; my mom wasn't wearing hers, so we had her hold the display cupcake!


After putting our charms on our bracelets, I received the call that our shuttle would arrive in 3 to 5 minutes. We walked out and met Kevin, our driver, and he took us to our horse drawn carriage in front of the Liberty Bell. We headed out for our one hour tour of the city. (It was quite cold, but interesting enough to not mind the cold.)



Independence Hall - Did they get this idea from Disney?


The signer...but with American Idol popularity affectionately known as the singer...


I didn't take too many pictures...it was cold...my theme was to take shots of some watering holes to take my beer snob DH to.





I can't recommend this company highly enough. The reservation included the shuttle to and from different locations in the city, and for five people for an hour, it was $120. It would have been $100 if we didn't reserve a time. Philly Trolley Works: http://www.phillytour.com/

After our ride, we visited the Liberty Bell (to stay warm while waiting for our shuttle). We'd all visited it multiple times throughout our lives except my one cousin, so it was good for her to see it.





Next stop was Macy's for the Light Show and the Dickens Village. We sat in front of the railing on the third floor and waited 30 minutes. People stood behind us, and we hoped they'd be able to see when we stood up. It made me consider the parade dilemma. We couldn't stay seated at the rail because the spindles blocked our view, and we were waiting there much longer than the others.

After a few minutes, my cousin and I decided we would rather see the Dickens Village before the crowd moved there. The light show was cool, but pretty low tech. We couldn't hear the music or narration well, which was probably the biggest reason we only watched part of the show. Still, I would recommend it, but sit on the red carpet on the first floor.





Dicken's Village was cool. It was The Christmas Carol brought to life. It was well done with attention to detail just like in Disney rides.

After Macy's we headed back to Reading terminal to pick up some desserts before heading home.



We headed home and watched Knight and Day. My cousins all stayed at my mom's house, and I headed home.

It was a great day!

Last edited by disneydreamingdebby; 12-05-2010 at 07:13 PM.
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Old 12-05-2010, 08:16 PM   #26
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Hey!! So glad you posted on my TR about your NEW PTR or I never would've known you are going back again so soon!!! Jealous!!!!

Your description of your day out in Philly had me laughing at many points! I don't know if I said this in my TR or not about my day out in NYC, but the opening scene of the Radio Christmas Show is like Soarin' over New York!! How funny that you thought the same about your show! It is amazing that our minds ALWAYS go to Disney! That's why I laughed at your Hidden Mickey cupcakes and the facades on the construction....I totally would've related those to Disney too!

So excited for you next trip and can't believe it's so soon! Hope the girls are doing well!
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Old 12-06-2010, 07:59 PM   #27
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What a fun day! I have never spent time in Philadelphia - now I know what to do when I get there!
Lovin' the hidden mickeys -
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Old 12-10-2010, 03:19 PM   #28
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NikkiLovesWDW! View Post
Hey!! So glad you posted on my TR about your NEW PTR or I never would've known you are going back again so soon!!! Jealous!!!!

Your description of your day out in Philly had me laughing at many points! I don't know if I said this in my TR or not about my day out in NYC, but the opening scene of the Radio Christmas Show is like Soarin' over New York!! How funny that you thought the same about your show! It is amazing that our minds ALWAYS go to Disney! That's why I laughed at your Hidden Mickey cupcakes and the facades on the construction....I totally would've related those to Disney too!

So excited for you next trip and can't believe it's so soon! Hope the girls are doing well!
We are quite sick with all of the Disney connections, aren't we? I keep them to myself though. I have to share here because my family and friends do think I am crazy!

The girls are well. Third grade is very different from second, but they have adjusted without a snag. Me, on the other hand... What grade are you teaching this year?

The trip is coming so quickly; I really better get planning!

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What a fun day! I have never spent time in Philadelphia - now I know what to do when I get there!
Lovin' the hidden mickeys -
We don't live far -20/25 minutes if no traffic. I take the girls to the zoo several times a year, and sometimes hit the Franklin Institute or Natural History Museum, but really we aren't city oriented so we don't take full advantage of its proximity.

If you do visit, please let me know!

So back to our programming...
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Old 12-10-2010, 03:56 PM   #29
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So I am sitting here pondering...should I try to see if another resort is available??? Grrr... Disney, why have so many tempting options?

I decided that it is in our best interest to stick with AKV and try OKW now. If we don't love it, we can stay somewhere else this summer; if we do love it, we can stay there again! I did call to see if the Hosp. House was available for our stay...it wasn't when I booked, so I requested (I think) building 15, which Unofficial Guide reports as being near to HH.

So, only two of our nights were available for the guarenteed HH. I declined. I can always try again later.

Departure Day/ Arrival: This will be nothing short of exciting for us because we will be back at Disney. However, it is too late to go to any parks!

DH and I will pick up our daughters from the bus stop and say, "You've just finished school, what are you going to do now?" or something corny like that. hehe...We'll take them home, put away the school stuff, eat a snack, and load the car.

We will drive to my FIL 's house - about 25 minutes from our house and about 20min from the airport- in order to have him shuttle us in our van. So, airport arrival should be around 5:30. After we get through security, we can grab a bite to eat.

Our flight leaves Philadelphia at 6:40 with a scheduled landing at 9:40. (I anticipate that we should arrive by 9:10... it is only a 2-1/2 hour flight.)

Since Magical Express doesn't take care of luggage after 10pm arrivals, I really hope that we do arrive early and not late!

Once we get to AKV, we will float to our room and maybe take in some animal viewing before hitting the sack.
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Old 12-10-2010, 04:39 PM   #30
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DH and I figure that if we share meals, the quick serve plan might cover all of our food for the trip. We plan on sharing meals with the girls and making the credits last. We are going to avoid using the credits for kid's meals. The credits are designated so we can order adult meals for our girls.

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