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Old 10-13-2011, 08:56 AM   #1
jtink60
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A long weekend at F&W Festival with a visit to the Swan and Dolphin Classic

We just returned from A great stay at the Boardwalk. I've never done a trip report before so I hope you like it. Here goes:

We stayed at the Airport Hilton Friday night so that we could leave our car there while we were gone. We had a great dinner in Old St. Charles with our son and daughter-in-law. (We have two sons, both married, two daughters and 1 granddaughter) We sat outside on the patio and watched people go by while we ate. It was such nice weather. A perfect pre-trip outing. We then headed to the Hilton and right to bed because we had to be at the airport at 5am.

Saturday, Day 1 at Disney:

We woke up early, got ready and then took the shuttle to the airport. We checked in with our other son, daughter-in-law and granddaughter who were driving down because he HATES to fly. They left after work on Friday and were driving straight through. They were just about to the Florida border. We arrived at the airport, checked in and headed to our gate.

Our flight to Atlanta was on time and went fast.

When we arrived at the gate for our flight to Orlando they were offering two round trip tickets each if you would be bumped to the next flight. We thought this was great because when my son and his family arrived they wanted to rest anyway. My husband and son were signed up for a sake seminar at 4:30. We would still make it in time so we jumped on it.

Next Sept. trip- Room at Boardwalk-DVC check
Annual Passes-check
Free airfare-check

Next Oct FOOd & Wine Festival trip- Room at Boardwalk-check
Annual Passes-check
Free airfare-check

That equals two almost totally free trips. Yay!!

Next post: Arriving at Disney
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Old 10-13-2011, 09:38 AM   #2
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Hi! I will be reading you trip report.

We just came back. We stayed at the Dolphin for 2 nights, Tues and Wed of last week and headed for the F&W and evening EMH. The weather was great.

We've taken the bumping offer once on our trip to Aruba and held it for a while. It was very good for us because we eventually went to Disneyland with those tickets.

Looking forward to reading the rest of your report.
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Old 10-13-2011, 11:17 AM   #3
jtink60
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Arriving at Disney:

It was pouring when we arrived in Orlando. we went down to the Magical Express and the lady there commented on the rain and said that they were just cleaning Disney for us. I told her I wouldn't mind if it was a little dirty.

We got on the bus and headed to WDW. We dropped off at Port Orleans Riverside first then it was on to the Boardwalk. Our son had already arrived and checked in. Our room was on the second floor right above the Screen Door. Perfect view.

My husband and son left for the sake seminar at the Swan. I unpacked and rested a little. My daughter-in-law, Sarah and granddaughter, Carlie, and I walked around the resort and I purchased a wrist band gift card for the F&W festival. (terrible idea!-more on that later)

A little after 5pm we headed to the Swan to meet the guys and go to the Swan and Dolphin Food and Wine Classic. (a must from now on!)

It was still raining so the Classic was moved inside to a ballroom. Everything was set up and looked fantastic. My husband, Steve and son, Bill met up with us after their seminar. They were so excited. The seminar was a big hit. They said that they couldn't have had a better time. They want to do it again next year. Chad from Blue Zoo was terrific. I met him later and he couldn't have been nicer.

We bought wrist bands so that we had unlimited food and wine for the evening. It turned out to be a great deal. We ate so many wonderful things. Todd English was there and I had my photo taken with him. He was very nice, very accessible and stayed for a long time. We had a great time trying all of the different things. Blue Zoo's lobster roll and beet salad was a big hit. The desserts were sooo good too. The creamed spinach and steak, pork belly, crab egg rolls, etc. All were excellent. I could go on and on about this. There was a band that was playing great music. We went back to the Blue Zoo booth and talked to Todd and his general manager Chad again. We had a great evening.

When we had sufficiently stuffed ourselves we decided to head home to the Boardwalk. It was raining sideways now. I haven't seen it rain at Disney this hard for a long time. We made it back to the room and Sarah and I got things ready for the next day while the guys and Carlie went to the lobby. Because of the rain the street performers were inside. They had fun watching the magician and juggler. We had a great day and couldn't wait for tomorrow.

Next post: Epcot future world and F&W festival.
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Old 10-13-2011, 06:32 PM   #4
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Food and wine classic 2012

We were also at the classic Sat night and had a great time. Have they announced the dates for next year ? I would love to book the Boardwalk at 11 months out. Thanks
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Old 10-13-2011, 06:34 PM   #5
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I am dying to know why the wrist band gift card was a bad idea!
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Old 10-13-2011, 07:37 PM   #6
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I don't think the dates are out yet for the Classic, but i will be watching for it. Hopefully it will be columbus day weekend again. That works for us.
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Old 10-13-2011, 08:02 PM   #7
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Today we went to Epcot. We entered through the international gateway. They are opening at 9 and there is no more rope drop. The front of the park was clearly there ahead of us. I hope this doesn't give us trouble next June for our summer vacation.

We rode Soarin' and then had breakfast at Seasons. I love the croissant berry pudding. Yum! When we were going to the Land Boat ride I looked down at my wrist and only had the wrist band on-no gift card attached. I looked all over but it could have dropped off anywhere. We went to guest services and were told that we needed our receipt. It was all the back at the Boardwalk. (I should have kept it in my purse) We walked back to the Baordwalk while Bill, Sarah and Carlie road Nemo and Journey into Imagination. It took us over an hour to get the card cancelled and a new one (that I carried in my wallet) credited with the money. They had a very hard time, and for a while they weren't sure they could do it. I would have been sick to lose $100. They finally got it done and we headed back to Epcot.

We met up with the kids in World Showcase and started eating our way around the world. We had so much fun. The lobster claw cuddlier, lobster roll and escargot were my favorites. Of course, I also tried almost every dessert With four adults it was easy to sample a lot of different things. We took turns buying and shared everything.

We spent most of the day at World Showcase, eating and shopping. (My favorite things) We walked back to the Boardwalk and collapsed in the room. It had been a long day. My husband went to the lobby with his iPad and Carlie and I watched the magician from our balcony. He was right below us. It was so much fun.

As we were on the balcony someone knocked on the door. It was a cast member delivering a tray with a plate decorated with chocolate piping that had four truffles and a white chocolate postcard of the Boardwalk in a chocolate stand. The card said, "We hope the rest of your stay with us will be magical." I couldn't believe it. It was gorgeous. The postcard was about 5 x 7 in size. What a treat. I quickly took a picture before my granddaughter gobbled up the truffles.

We were on the quick service plan, but except for breakfast at the Land we only ate F&W food. We were going to have to start using our credits before they piled up.

The trouble with the gift card was no fun, but all in all we had a great day.


Next: Magic Kingdom
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Old 10-14-2011, 08:44 AM   #8
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Today we went to the Magic Kingdom. First we had breakfast at the Boardwalk Bakery and sat on the Boardwalk watching the resort wake up. I love seeing the resorts come to life for the day. The quietness before the crowds arrive is nice.

My husband, son and granddaughter road Buzz Lightyear while my daughter-in-law and I road Splash Mountain. We both had a little Disney magic happen to us. On Splash the line was empty when we were supposed to get off the ride so they let us stay on and ride again. We didn't even have to go through the line again. That was fun.

On Buzz Lightyear my son and granddaughter went to buy the picture and the cast member said that she always lets the first person of the day to buy a picture from her have the picture for free. That was great.

We met up and road Big Thunder, Haunted Mansion and Pirates of the Caribbean. We went to lunch at the Columbia Harbor House. Their new menu items are really good. My son had the lobster roll. It was very fresh and tasty. I would order this next time. (We had three lobster rolls this weekend-BlueZoo, F&W festival and here. All were good but BlueZoo was my definite favorite.

After lunch we went to Space Mountain and the did some shopping on Main Street. We left the Magic Kingdom and headed over to Epcot for more F&W festival. We dropped off things and in our room and walked to the international gateway. (I'm so glad Boardwalk is our home resort. It's so easy to walk to Epcot). We toured the countries some more and used our snack credits for lobster claw cuddlers. We usually have the regular dining plan but this time we chose the QS plan because of the two snack credits. We used these on the highest priced F&W booths. It worked out well.

Carlie and I decided to go back to the resort to swim while the rest spent a little more time in Epcot. Sarah later joined us. (again the ease of the Boardwalk) We spent time in the pool and enjoyed watching the pool games they were playing for the kids. We went to the hot tub for a while and then to our room to get ready for dinner.

When we were here in July we went to Welcome Home Wednesday and my son won a gift card to Fulton's Crab House. They were going here tonight for a little date night and we were taking Carlie to the Rainforest Cafe.

We all took the bus to Downtown Disney and went Mickey's Pantry for the Spice and Tea store. I love the different teas they have. I bought coconut tea and coconut sugar and chocolate tea and espresso sugar. My son bought one of the big himalayan salt blocks. That sure was heavy to carry around.

They head to Fulton's and we went to the Rainforest. Carlie hadn't been here in a while and loved watching it rain and the animals come to life. We had printed off their site a paper that had a calendar that if she read at least 20 minutes a day for a month she could have a kids meal for .99. She worked on this in September. I also had bought a $15 gift card for $7.50 and they took the AP discount. Not too bad. We had a great time.

After dinner we went to Goofy's Candy Co. and made Rice Krispie Treats to take to the room. We went to World of Disney and Basin and then back to the Boardwalk.

As we were walking o the Boardwalk we noticed the juggler. We stopped and watched this and Carlie loved it. He had a hat that had light up circles on it. He would take a circle and through it at the kids and it would show up on their clothes. I don't know how this worked, but it was cool. Carlie was amazed to see her shirt light up. We went up to the room and got ready for bed.

Next up: Last day at Epcot
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Old 10-14-2011, 10:52 AM   #9
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What a nice trip, so far! Great score on the airline tickets. I'm always hoping they'll offer something like that on one of my flights, but so far it's never happened. I'm so glad things worked out with your wrist card. I'm planning a splurgey, adults-only 50th birthday trip next fall, and want to go during F&W. I'd also love to check out the F&W Classic. We definitely want to stay in the Epcot resort area, BWI or Beach Club, preferably. It'll be a similar trip to yours, so I can't wait to read about the rest of your stay.
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Old 10-15-2011, 08:14 AM   #10
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Today was check out day. My son and his family were up early to pack since they had to drive home today. We walked them to the parking lot and saw them off. They had an easy drive and were back to St. Louis by 8:30pm.

We went back to the room and got ready for the day. We packed our things, got our magical express papers and bill from under the door and then took our things to bell services and the magical express desk.

We went down to the bakery and had breakfast on the Boardwalk. Today was EMH for Epcot so we went there. We rode Soarin', Test Track and Spaceship Earth. We emailed our video from Spaceship Earth to the kids. We did some shopping in Mouse Gears and then headed to World Showcase. We sat in front of the Rose & Crown and ate fish and chips for lunch. We enjoyed watching the people go by and hearing some of the funny things they said. One mother said to her son, "Let's go back to Future World-World Showcase is only for shopping". What a shame, they missed so much.

We walked through the countries picking up F&W festival things we had missed or really enjoyed and wanted to have again. We went to the American Adventure Show and then to Germany for the Karamel Kuche (our new favorite store). We used up some snack credits and then went to France for the Boulangerie to grab our last QS meal to take to the airport. They packed it in boxes for us and it worked out well.

We made our way back to the Boardwalk and got our things from bell services. The ME bus drove up and we left for the airport. The driver was very animated and teased people throughout the trip.

We arrived at the airport and went to the food court and ate our dinner from France. We then went to the gate and flew home. Both flights were fast and I slept most of the way.

It was a great trip and now I'm looking forward to next year's trips: Guys golfing trip in Jan., Girls relaxing trip in May, Family trip in June and now with 2 free flights-Anniversary trip in Sept. and F&W festival in Oct.

As you can tell we love Disney.
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