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Old 07-02-2011, 01:01 PM   #76
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I'm enjoying your trip report b/c we are thinking about going in June next year and have never been in the summer. Was the heat really bad? We're from PA so I'm sure we'll think it's worse than people from the southern states. You all do not look overheated in your photos.
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Old 07-02-2011, 02:18 PM   #77
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Originally Posted by ADisneyQueen View Post
I'm enjoying your trip report b/c we are thinking about going in June next year and have never been in the summer. Was the heat really bad? We're from PA so I'm sure we'll think it's worse than people from the southern states. You all do not look overheated in your photos.
I read a lot of June/July trip reports before we booked a summer trip as well. I want to give you a good answer and what I have to say is this. It is always awesome to go to Disney, no matter how hot or cold it is. I live in South Carolina and the week before we left, we had temps here in the low 100's where Orlando was in the low 90's. I was joking to everyone that I needed to take a trip to Florida just to cool off. So we were really acclimated once we got there.

The thing about Disney is that there is always a place close by that has AC or a shady place to stand, so we never really felt that the heat was overwhelming. We had mister fans that were nice to have. It was hot, but it never really bothered us because we expected it. We planned for it ahead of time and just went with it. Most of the attractions are inside anyway. And we always went back to the resort after lunch to swim or rest. Early mornings were pretty nice and it didn't really get super hot until after lunch.

In my opinion, the hottest part of the parks was World Showcase in Epcot. There just isn't a lot of shade in that area. That was when we really felt the heat. This was our best trip ever because it was planned out so well, so regardless of when you go, if you have a good pan and stick to it, any trip will be fantastic. And remember to stay hydrated, or course. Also, I think what is very important is that you wear comfortable clothing. Don't wear a black shirt during the day. Always wear light weight cotton or a dry fit material. Wear a visor instead of a hat. If you wear a hat, make sure it has good ventilation. Also ... shoes. Make sure they provide good support and good ventilation. We wore crocs or tennis/walking shoes. Our shoes had a mesh like top instead of being solid leather.

I hope those tips help. We really enjoyed our trip and the heat, although present, didn't stop us from having a good time. It also helped to have our own car there. We did have to walk out to the hot parking lot, but we were always in control of when we left and didn't have to wait around on a bus in the heat.

Thanks for reading and I hope you enjoy your trip !!


*********************************

Day Four - Part Six

After our refreshing slushie drinks, we went to ride Kali. And this was the longest wait we had all day. 15 minutes … in the fast pass line. We rode, we got soaked ….. not a dry stitch on me. I had to borrow a small dry corner of DH’s shirt to dry my glasses off. It was fun and we always ride it right before we are getting ready to leave the park, so if we get soaked we don't have to walk around in wet clothes all day. We rode with a fun group of people who had never ridden Kali before and they all wanted to get soaked. Especially the lady next to me. DH said that if she was sitting next to me, she would definitely get soaked because I always get soaked on this ride. She turns to me and says "cool". And we both got soaked. After that we were done and reading to slosh our way back to the car. And it was 2:00 PM. We had accomplished everything we wanted to do at AK (except the Lion King show) and we had most of the day ahead of us.

We went back to the resort and DH took DD to the pool while DS and I decided to stay back at the villa and rest. I ran a load of laundry and DS took a nap. I watched some tennis (Wimbledon had just started and in addition to being huge South Carolina Gamecock fans, we are huge tennis fans as well) and even I got a few winks in. DH and DD came back and we all cleaned up and had a few pretzels and some cheese to tide us over.

Our plans for dinner were to eat at Wolfgang Puck’s Express. We debated taking the boat to Downtown Disney but since there always seemed to be a stray thunderstorm and Disney not only closes the pool every time they hear a rumble, they stop running the boats as well. So since we had a car … we just drove. And I was surprised to see just how close this resort is to DTD.

Not far at all.







Before we went to dinner, DH went to the LaNouba box office to get our tickets for the following evening. If you have an annual pass, you get 30% off the tickets. Last October, DH was able to take his older daughter to see it at 50% for Category 2 seating. So I think the discount depends upon the season and whether it is busy or not.

We found WPE



And ordered. The cashier was not friendly at all. So not good for business.

I got DD a kid’s cheese pizza and a cookie





She isn’t pouting because of the pizza. Her new look was the pouty face. She ate it all. Every last bit.

DS ordered a Margherita pizza and a brownie





He picked off the basil and tomatoes, but he liked it.

DH and I shared the Pepperoni and Mushroom Pizza and Key Lime pie.





This was really good. We ate what was left of DH’s pizza as well. I loved the food here. The pizzas have a lot of flavor and I love the crispy thin crust that they have. So even though the service leaves much to be desired, we would definitely try this again.

The kids were wanting to shop so off we went.

We checked out the Ridemakerz store, but DS was holding out for a Lego set, so we continued on.

DH stopped at the Sosa cigar store and got this:



While he was supporting his filthy habit, the kids and I went into the Magnetron store. This store was so packed, we had to wait a little just to get in the place. And I so don’t know why it was so busy. This stuff was just junk.

We left and went into the D-Street store. The kids got to color their own Vinylmation picture while I looked around. I admit that some of these little figures are interesting, but this isn’t something I would spend my money on. My first thought is that the dog would get a hold of it and chew it to smithereens. Since we got her two years ago, this is always my first thought. Otherwise, I am not sure I “get” the Vinylmation craze. And I’m OK with that, since I spend my money on other silly stuff at Disney. Like Pins.

After that we headed towards the Marketplace













Hahahaha !! He bites ?? Ya think ??

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Old 07-02-2011, 06:16 PM   #78
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Day Four - Part Seven


DS LOVES the Lego Store























Who doesn’t love Legos ??? Legos are awesome. Unless they get stuck in your vacuum cleaner … or the dog’s mouth. Then they are kind of a pain. The new store is much bigger and even though it is still complete chaos in there, they definitely have it more organized and there are more cashiers, so you don’t spend an hour waiting in line just to buy something. I encourage everyone to at least take a look inside. It really is amazing.
DD and I went into the World of Disney store. This store was mobbed as well, but I have certainly seen it busier, so it wasn’t too bad. DD bought a Rapunzel Doll that she had her eye on.



And I got some scrapbooking stuff







I can’t wait to dig into this stuff. DD and I are going to start a scrapbook this weekend. And DS scored this huge Lego set.



Note to self … DH is a pushover when it comes to the kids.
After this, we called it a day and headed back to the resort to wind down.

It was about 8 PM.

I put another load of laundry in and DH and I had a glass of wine and watched the College World Series. This is college baseball to the generally clueless. Our team, the SC Gamecocks, weren’t playing, but it was still interesting to watch.

My pedometer read 11,482 steps and 5.4 miles for the day.
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Old 07-02-2011, 07:30 PM   #79
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Great updates!!! Thanks for sharing that you used David's vacation rentals, I have looked at that and it seems pretty safe as compared to renting from a stranger. We have 3 kids, but I think we can still do a 1 bedroom at OKW. Happy 4th!
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Old 07-02-2011, 07:45 PM   #80
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Great updates!!! Thanks for sharing that you used David's vacation rentals, I have looked at that and it seems pretty safe as compared to renting from a stranger. We have 3 kids, but I think we can still do a 1 bedroom at OKW. Happy 4th!
David's Vacation Rentals was great. Everything worked like a charm. I printed out all of our receipts just in case, but we never needed them because it was all there in Disney's trusty computer. I would book as early as possible, though. And keep in mind that you have to pay everything in advance. It is still waaayyyy cheaper than paying rack rates through Disney. 3 kids in a one bedroom would be fine. The sofa folds out into a queen size bed and they also have a chair that folds out into a twin bed. So plenty of room for 3 kids. Do it !!! You will not regret it !! Happy 4th to you and your family as well.
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Old 07-02-2011, 09:19 PM   #81
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David's Vacation Rentals was great. Everything worked like a charm. I printed out all of our receipts just in case, but we never needed them because it was all there in Disney's trusty computer. I would book as early as possible, though. And keep in mind that you have to pay everything in advance. It is still waaayyyy cheaper than paying rack rates through Disney. 3 kids in a one bedroom would be fine. The sofa folds out into a queen size bed and they also have a chair that folds out into a twin bed. So plenty of room for 3 kids. Do it !!! You will not regret it !! Happy 4th to you and your family as well.
I just spent the last hour pricing out David's for a 1 bedroom at OKW and even BLT, with dining plan, and 7 day hopper - no comparison when comparing to rack rates for the DVC - huge saving. When I compare to all of us in say BC or Poly with the same DD and 7 day hop - still a savings! It's getting unaffordable to pay 'full price' and I can't imagine staying at Port Orleans in 1 room for a week with 5 of us (it's perfect for shorter stays). I think this is what we will do. It will be awhile before I have to think about it since I have this August's trip planned (just me and DS12) and then the cruise (Fantasy - 7 night eastern caribbean for my 40th) in 2012, so likely 2013 or God forbid 2014 before I can get DH back to the World. I can see myself with a kid or two and my mom popping in for a short stay while visiting FL. Oh, the planning, always thinking of the next trip and running the numbers!!! I'm sure you are doing the same!
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Old 07-02-2011, 09:26 PM   #82
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I just spent the last hour pricing out David's for a 1 bedroom at OKW and even BLT, with dining plan, and 7 day hopper - no comparison when comparing to rack rates for the DVC - huge saving. When I compare to all of us in say BC or Poly with the same DD and 7 day hop - still a savings! It's getting unaffordable to pay 'full price' and I can't imagine staying at Port Orleans in 1 room for a week with 5 of us (it's perfect for shorter stays). I think this is what we will do. It will be awhile before I have to think about it since I have this August's trip planned (just me and DS12) and then the cruise (Fantasy - 7 night eastern caribbean for my 40th) in 2012, so likely 2013 or God forbid 2014 before I can get DH back to the World. I can see myself with a kid or two and my mom popping in for a short stay while visiting FL. Oh, the planning, always thinking of the next trip and running the numbers!!! I'm sure you are doing the same!
Always ..... always ......
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Old 07-02-2011, 10:48 PM   #83
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I love your sense of humor! You are a great writer.

And we were at WDW from June 19 through the 26th... but I don't think our paths crossed at all
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Old 07-02-2011, 11:23 PM   #84
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I love your sense of humor! You are a great writer.

And we were at WDW from June 19 through the 26th... but I don't think our paths crossed at all
And Thanks !!! Bummer that we missed each other. Where did you stay ?? I would love to hear about your trip
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Old 07-02-2011, 11:27 PM   #85
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Day Five - Part One - Tuesday, June 21


This was going to be the ONE day where we slept in. Our plans for this day included lunch at LeCellier, pick-a-pearl in Japan and then maybe some pool time. But NOW, we had thrown a DVC tour into the mix and that kinda messes with our “rest” day. So we got up at 8:00 AM, which really was a sleep in day, but I so could have slept longer. We ate breakfast in the villa and at about quarter ‘til nine, we headed over to Saratoga Springs. They REALLY wanted to pick us up in their van and drive us over, but we wanted to be in control of the situation. Plus, we had 11:30 Am ressies for LeCellier.





This resort is lovely. I loved the horsey theme. It was very nice. Here is the DVC center.



We dropped the kids off at the kids club.



And headed back to the reception area. There was tea and coffee and juice.



I loved this room. It was octagonal and it had these murals in each panel. It was just beautiful.



















A room off to the side



This place was very elegant. We waited a bit and finally our DVC agent came out to meet us. She was very nice and cheerful and answered all of our questions. We started the tour.

Saratoga Springs









Aulani Model



Treehouse Villa Model







I just love a good scale model. I have made a few myself and although tedious, they are super fun to create. Especially when you get paid to do it.
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Old 07-03-2011, 08:52 AM   #86
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Day Five – Part Two


The first actual room model we saw was an Aulani studio











It was nice, but seemed kinda small.

Next up was the AKL studio







And then the one bedroom AKL villa.











Very nice.

Next up was Bay Lake Tower - studio





This sink was right across from the little kitchenette and it just seemed like bad design. Our DVC agent explained that the idea was to have a sink separate from the actual bathroom so one person could get ready while the other is taking a shower … or otherwise occupied (code brown !!).



Our DVC agent said they had begun retrofitting this at the resort and changing the design back to something more sensible. I’m not sure what that is. I can’t see how this set up passed the initial design development stage, but … there ya go.



DH liked the simple, retro design of this unit and I did, too. The colors were soothing and restful and the décor was simple and uncluttered.





One Bedroom Unit for Bay Lake Tower













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Old 07-03-2011, 11:53 AM   #87
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Day Five – Part Three


Wouldn’t it be so nice to lay in bed and watch the fireworks every night ?? They told us that you could go to the top of the tower and watch and if you had a theme park view, you could get the Wishes music on your TV in the room.





At this point, we are getting very worried about making it to our Le Cellier lunch ressie. We still had to run back to OKW and get our annual passes and it was already 11:00 AM. So we went and fetched the kids who were eating ice cream.

\





We were in such a rush, that we didn’t even get the fast passes that they promised us. We enjoyed the tour and should have scheduled it for when we had more time. When they tell you that it will only take about an hour or your time, they are incorrect. It takes up more time than you think.
We rushed back to OKW and get our park passes and headed to the Boardwalk where I thought would be the quickest way to get to Le Cellier. I figured we could park at Boardwalk and enter Epcot through the International Gateway and head over to have our lunch. Here is where we grossly underestimated how much time it would take to get there.

Some Boardwalk photos













It was very hot on this day and even though we are used to the heat, the kids were really dragging. We were in the HUGE hurry and we had to stop and wait a couple of times for them to catch up. DD seemed especially tired and we had to urge her along.



When we got to the International Gateway, there were a few people in front of us, but the line wasn’t moving at all. We waited about 10 minutes and there began to be some grumbling near the front of the line about how long it was taking. Finally, another CM came and opened up another turnstile and we got right through. When we left, the same people were still holding up the other turnstile. I don’t know what the problem was.

So we finally arrive at Le Cellier at noon. 30 min. late for our reservation. The hostess said that they were seating walk-ups, so it wouldn’t be a problem at all for us to get in. YAY !! We went down the path to the restaurant and waited in the very cool and dim and soothing reception area. It wasn’t long before we were seated. Finally ….

DH ordered a Moosehead and the rest of us got cokes/diet cokes.



Our servers name was Courtney and she was very nice and gave good service. We asked for just pretzel bread and that is what we got.



There were four pieces all together, BTW.

DS and I dug right in, but DD still remained tired and whiny. I know that a part of it was that she was hungry and that if I could just get her to eat something, she would be better. But she was having none of it.

We ordered her the kids pizza



Once she got going on this, she really gained momentum and finally ate everything on her plate. Where upon, her mood improved greatly. Thank goodness.

DS got the burger



Those fries were awesome !!

DH got the filet



You see his hidden Mickey ?? LOL. He said the steak was really good, but like most people who eat here, he remarked that the risotto was a bit salty.

I ordered the Cheddar Cheese soup.



I thought it was super yummy, but I couldn’t eat it all. I think I would have been more into it on a colder day. This was just kind of heavy on this hot day.

For dessert DD got the Chocolate Moose



She was a little skeptical when she saw it, but once she got going, there wasn’t a crumb left on her plate. I think DS had a bite or two.

DS was too full for dessert, so we asked if we could have a water instead. I figured it would come in handy later on and it did.

DH ordered the Chocolate Whiskey Cake (you can’t taste whiskey at all)



This was delicious !!

During dinner, I put my socks on DD’s feet because her new crocs were giving her blisters.

We enjoyed our meal here very much, but I think the rush to get there left us a little undone. We plan to go back for sure.





I just love the garden here. It really is breathtaking.





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Old 07-03-2011, 05:42 PM   #88
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Day Five – Part Four


Since we were so tired and it was so hot, we decided it was best to take the boat over to Morocco and then just walk to Japan from there.





Next up ?? Pick a Pearl for me and DD in Japan !!





I had bought a necklace for myself and DD on Ebay. It is a carriage that opens up and put the pearl inside. So I was really excited about this.



We went into the shop and there was just one group in front of us.

Then it was our turn

DD looking for a good oyster.





The girl at the counter was very cheerful and sweet. She made it more fun. She had us count down in Japanese. Sun, Nee, Itchy. That is the phonetic version. I’m too lazy to look up the correct spelling. You get the idea.

Here are our two oysters





Opening them



Digging out the pearl



Oyster #1 – 6 ¾ mm



Oyster #2 – 7 mm





Both of them together. DD wanted the bigger one, so I said OK. Here is how they look in the necklaces.











We really enjoyed this. I think I enjoyed it more than DD did, but it was still a cool experience.

After we were done, DS wanted a slushie from the kiosk near Morocco.



Can you guess what color it was ???

And I had to get a Grey Goose slushie from France



DD with the parasols



We got a photopass picture






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Old 07-03-2011, 06:20 PM   #89
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