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Old 04-17-2013, 05:20 PM   #2161
madelyn
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I read post #1 and found out answers to some of my questions but will ask for some clarification here. We are a family of 5 and I am pricing out an early June trip. Main purpose will be to make use of some Universal Studios annual passes and for those 3 nights we will stay off-site closer to Universal. I was originally thinking of staying off-site for the full week and stay at the same place, but now my son is saying he wants to stay on-site. He loves the nighttime Extra Magic Hours at MK. I tried to tell him that they weren't as good (shortened to only 2 extra hours) but he still prefers to stay on-site. Our kids are 14, 11 and 6. If hubby doesn't go, we will likely stay value. If hubby decides to make the trip, the cheapest option for our family of 5 would be POR but it would be a tight squeeze (we have been at CSR as a family of 5 before my youngest was 3). I found the $189 rate for the Dolphin and that seemed to be a better deal than POR but once I add in parking ($12), resort fee ($17) and rollaway ($25), I am up to $243 plus tax. That is a great deal more than POR although I agree that the Dolphin is much nicer than a moderate. We stayed there about 8 years ago. If we opt not to get the rollaway, there is no additional charge for the 5th person? If so, we might have to have someone sleep on the floor or get an aerobed. Hate that I missed the discounts for the Disney resorts for early June. Most likely will not be able to get this trip down cheap enough to go. We have a Disney cruise planned for the end of the year and we would be using old non-expiring tickets we already have if we did find a way to get this trip cheap enough.
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Old 04-17-2013, 05:38 PM   #2162
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Originally Posted by patty57 View Post
Dan, Glad you had a good vacation. Any good info to share about the food and drink offerings at the F&G booths?
Nothing I can add personally, Patty. We did one day, a shorter one, at Epcot. I saw a lot of food/drink booths and 'popup' buildings, but did not stop at any.

Have you seen this.........

http://allears.net/tp/ep/fg13/epcot-...rages-2013.htm

http://allears.net/tp/ep/fg13/epcot-...aces-foods.htm

http://land.allears.net/blogs/kristi..._garden_1.html

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Great, Dan!! Did you do or see anything different this trip? :-)...
I spent time down by the Grotto pool area while my grandsons and daughter were enjoying the pools and slide. It was beautiful.

Also, seeing the parks through the eyes of the little ones, their smiles, their wonderment.

New things we did (new to me also) (well, it was all new to them) were Pirates League, Wishes dessert party, Pirates and Pals fireworks cruise. Things I have done before, but new to them were a number of character breakfasts and dinners along with La Nouba.

A great trip, hope to have them with me again.
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Old 04-17-2013, 05:52 PM   #2163
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How wonderful, Dan! How old are the "kids"?

We did the Wishes Dessert Party for the first Time this past January. LOVED it! Even DH, who isn't a dessert fan loved it for the sheer fact we had reserved seats and a pleasant view for the show and thoroughly enjoyed it to the end, then waited for the crowds to ease.

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Old 04-17-2013, 05:55 PM   #2164
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Dan, Sounds like a really great trip. Is it wrong that I can't wait for grandchildren and my boys are still in college?
I'm doing the dessert party and La Nouba in May as well. Have done both once before, but it's been awhile and I'm ready for round two. I'm also doing an Illuminations cruise for the second time. I'm really excited to share these things with my best friend.
Also, thanks for the links. Josh at easyWDW had some pretty in depth reviews as well.

Last edited by patty57; 04-17-2013 at 06:01 PM. Reason: typo
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Old 04-18-2013, 11:00 AM   #2165
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Originally Posted by SingingMom View Post
How wonderful, Dan! How old are the "kids"?....
Jeremy, far left in my signature, turned 6 on the trip. Christopher, second from the left, will be four in Sept. Those photos are about a year old. Was a lot of fun.

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Dan, Sounds like a really great trip. Is it wrong that I can't wait for grandchildren and my boys are still in college?...
No, it is not, LOL. It is really a different experience with the little ones. a good experience. Looking forward to doing it again.
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Old 04-19-2013, 11:04 PM   #2166
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To Dan
Having breakfast with you, Natalie and the boys was a wonderful experience!! They are so well behaved (the boys, that is), and we had the best time.

Thank you Dan and Natalie, and tell Christopher that as soon as I upload the picture of the "big bug" on the shutter, I will add it to this post.
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Old 04-20-2013, 10:04 AM   #2167
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Originally Posted by lovingthemouse View Post

To Dan
Having breakfast with you, Natalie and the boys was a wonderful experience!! They are so well behaved (the boys, that is), and we had the best time.

Thank you Dan and Natalie, and tell Christopher that as soon as I upload the picture of the "big bug" on the shutter, I will add it to this post.
Caroline ~ Always great to meet a fellow Diser (thinking of a meet in Wrentham many years ago) and doing it in WDW makes it special!
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Old 04-23-2013, 06:34 AM   #2168
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I'm doing a split stay between YC and Poly and now I've decided to tack on a pair of Swan/Dolphin days at the end of my trip for some relaxing, pool time. Is the pool area nice? A good place to lounge with drinks while watching the kiddies splash?

Another question, how do you choose between them? Is there much of a difference? thanks so much!
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Old 04-23-2013, 07:27 AM   #2169
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Originally Posted by SwirlyGirly View Post
I'm doing a split stay between YC and Poly and now I've decided to tack on a pair of Swan/Dolphin days at the end of my trip for some relaxing, pool time. Is the pool area nice? A good place to lounge with drinks while watching the kiddies splash?

Another question, how do you choose between them? Is there much of a difference? thanks so much!
I stayed at the Swan last June, and am staying at the Dolphin beginning next week, so I don't have personal experience yet with regard to differences. I know the Dolphin is larger, has double beds instead of queens, has laundry, and a counter service restaurant.
I DO know about the pool area. The Grotto Pool, which serves both resorts is great. A very large pool, with slide and hot tubs. I'm not a fan of sitting in the sun, so spent time in the grotto, very comfortable having drinks in the shade. I also think the pool bars at the Swan/Dolphin make much better drinks (at least ones with alcohol) than any of the WDW pool bars. Food is good also. Each resort also has their own quiet pool.
After years of BC and BW pretty exclusively, I finally tried the Swan last year, and didn't hesitate to book the Dolphin for my trip this year. I'm saving over $700 by staying here instead of BC.
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Old 04-23-2013, 08:58 AM   #2170
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Swirly - I prefer the Swan. It,s smaller and feels more intimate and relaxed.

We've had some great snacks and cocktails at Cabana near the pool.
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Old 04-23-2013, 11:36 AM   #2171
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SwirlyGirly View Post
I'm doing a split stay between YC and Poly and now I've decided to tack on a pair of Swan/Dolphin days at the end of my trip for some relaxing, pool time. Is the pool area nice? A good place to lounge with drinks while watching the kiddies splash?

Another question, how do you choose between them? Is there much of a difference? thanks so much!
We prefer the Dolphin because it is bigger and noisier. Lol. More "energy". The Swan I think is nicer for the romantic couple. Cozy, intimate. The Cabana Bar & Grill and more activity goes on poolside closer to the Dolphin. In season there are games for kids, sometimes a DJ, etc.

And I love the Dolphin lobby to have a drink and "people watch" on the "comfy couches"!

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Old 04-23-2013, 06:28 PM   #2172
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Originally Posted by SingingMom View Post
Great, Dan!! Did you do or see anything different this trip? :-)
There was something else new, I think. In the past, I have posted instructions here from the S/D engineering folks as to how to bypass the default settings on the thermostats for cooling/heating. On this trip, and I think the one in Dec also, I noticed that the thermostat stayed at whatever temperature and fan setting you set it at, rather than returning to the default after a short period (unless bypassed in the past).

With that the case, we found that it was wise to set the thermostat a bit higher when we left the rooms in the AM so as to not waste energy. Upon returning to the rooms, if we wanted it a bit cooler, the system brought the temperature down quite rapidly.

Quote:
Originally Posted by lovingthemouse View Post

To Dan
Having breakfast with you, Natalie and the boys was a wonderful experience!! They are so well behaved (the boys, that is), and we had the best time.

Thank you Dan and Natalie, and tell Christopher that as soon as I upload the picture of the "big bug" on the shutter, I will add it to this post.
It was great to see you again too, Caroline. Natalie, Jeremy and Christopher enjoyed meeting you also. And that bug you sent me in the email was great, will have to show Christopher. And our server, your friend (Debra?) was so nice also.

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Originally Posted by Mouseteacher View Post
Caroline ~ Always great to meet a fellow Diser (thinking of a meet in Wrentham many years ago) and doing it in WDW makes it special!
Yes it is, Karen. Hope to meet you some day too.
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Old 04-23-2013, 08:47 PM   #2173
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Originally Posted by disneyred View Post
Just to be clear for me , does this mean I can call anywhere in the United States with a different area code for free....?

How much does the Resort Service Package cost and what does it include?

Resort Service Package is $17 + tax per day and includes:

Unlimited domestic long distance and local calls
Unlimited access to the resorts health club facilities
In room high-speed Internet access
2 bottles of water daily
Plus don't we have to pay for parking daily if we drive there?
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Old 04-23-2013, 08:48 PM   #2174
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Originally Posted by disneyred View Post
Just to be clear for me , does this mean I can call anywhere in the United States with a different area code for free....?

How much does the Resort Service Package cost and what does it include?

Resort Service Package is $17 + tax per day and includes:

Unlimited domestic long distance and local calls
Unlimited access to the resorts health club facilities
In room high-speed Internet access
2 bottles of water daily
Can we opt out of the resort service package?
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Old 04-23-2013, 08:53 PM   #2175
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Originally Posted by Dan Murphy View Post
There was something else new, I think. In the past, I have posted instructions here from the S/D engineering folks as to how to bypass the default settings on the thermostats for cooling/heating. On this trip, and I think the one in Dec also, I noticed that the thermostat stayed at whatever temperature and fan setting you set it at, rather than returning to the default after a short period (unless bypassed in the past).

With that the case, we found that it was wise to set the thermostat a bit higher when we left the rooms in the AM so as to not waste energy. Upon returning to the rooms, if we wanted it a bit cooler, the system brought the temperature down quite rapidly.
Yes, Dan. We noticed that in January, too! (But I still have your thermostat directions, just in case! Lol ).

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