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Old 09-23-2012, 03:27 AM   #46
wayneg
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We love SW but can never get the shows to work for timings, usually have to go in a couple of times to do them all although we never spend a ful day there. Dine with Shamu sounds great, hope it stays at the lower price til next year and we will consider it. Enjoy AK
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Old 09-23-2012, 09:18 PM   #47
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Wayne - the show was great, good value for the buffet alone let alone the experience.

Animal Kingdom today, had a reservation for Tusker House at 8.20am. Got there bang on time - was definitely a sleepy day today! Didn't realise how huge this restaurant was until today, it's massive. Had our photo taken with Donald and went inside. Was very impressed with the huge array of food on offer, would give even the fussiest eater a run for their money! We had a table for four in the main room, could see Daisy, Goofy and Mickey in the distance. Took the girls up to pick and they came back laden with bacon and a few token gesture potatoes - these two are serious carnivores! There was the usual bacon, scrambled eggs, toast, waffles, cereals, fruit and so on, to the not-so-usual rice and cooked ham! There was also a pretty wicked table of pastries and doughnuts.

The food was great, the wait for the characters not so much. The problem being that all three characters were working in the same room so it was all-or-nothing with a long wait in between. We had totally finished our meal and paid and were still waiting to get our photos. The photographer then came around with our Donald photo which we could buy for the stately sum of $30.....maybe not.....

Well we managed to leave at around 9.40am and headed over to EE. There was a plan to leave around lunchtime as we only had a few things left to do from our previous visit, but who can pass on a ride on EE?! We sneaked in two rides and then made our way over to Nemo which DD2 had been begging us to see since we left on our previous visit. Sat down for the 11am show which was great as usual, the girls really do seem to love it.

After we got out headed down to Dinoland to fit in Dinosaur. We all went on but I very quickly realised it was too much for my youngest, she spent the entire ride clinging on to me with her eyes closed. Bless....after we got out I took her on the little dinosaur ride instead which seemed to suit much better while DD1 went on Primeval Whirl with DH. We then visited a few shops, picking up a few things ready for Christmas and did a meet and greet with a few Up characters before deciding it was too hot and the pool was calling!

On our way home we did a detour to pick up an iPad from the Apple shop. Bought the 32gb wifi version for $599, was absolutely mad in the shop but according to the sales assistant it was better than first thing in the morning when everyone was there to pick up the new iPhone 5. The store had sold out its shipment in a few hours everyday since they had been released.....

Picked up some cheesecakes to go from the Cheesescake Factory on the way out and then headed home for the pool. We popped into the Welcome Centre on the way through as had received a phone call regarding the timeshare pitch and although I have never been to one or intended to go, was tempted by the promise of $125. Spoke to a very nice lady called Liz, who explained the set-up and turns out we could book an 8am session which includes breakfast and only have to stay for total 90mins. Tomorrow is a water park day so the 8am slot wouldn't affect our plans (you could also go at 10 or 12). Well after a quick negotiation we decided to go for it as $125 was a decent amount of money. Just to note the starting payout was $75 so if you do go don't take the first offer! Will let everyone know tomorrow if it is worth the pain! Got given the money up front and two light sabres for the girls so at least we know there is no way of not getting the money.

We went to our pool for a few hours, where we got the girls a snack from KFC, DH and I were still full from breakfast! We then got changed and headed to Downtown Disney. It was quite busy as to be expected from a Sunday night but there was a good atmosphere and there was a guy on the stage getting the kids up to dance and teaching them new routines. My two love this so we sat here for half an hour before moving on. We bought another few Christmas presents before picking up an ice cream and heading home - tip....weather is too warm for ice creams to survive long and so after bitter experience we now order the ice cream in a cup to make sure it survives. If you like the cone, just ask for an extra cup when you pick the ice cream up from the counter.

So tomorrow plans...timeshare presentation and breakfast, off to a water park (give girls the choice in the morning of which one) and then off to MK in the evening to watch the parade and Wishes - one of my favourite parts so here's hoping it goes well!
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Old 09-23-2012, 09:49 PM   #48
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Be interesting to hear about the timeshare presentation. I always imagine there to be a bit of pressure put on you... Almost bullying like tactics!!
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Old 09-24-2012, 08:16 AM   #49
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Loving your report!

Its getting me all excited for our trip in 2wks! Im pleased to see your having SOME good weather!!

We are thinking of doing the dine with Shamu! ive read alot of good & bad reviews which have put me off a little so im really pleased to hear that you loved it!
We have not been to sea world with the boys & so that means that Dh has never been either! Ive been at least 20 odd times (well actually double that as ive been a t least 3 or 4 times each trip i went on up to the age of 18!

we just never thought about doing it as a family till now! I think the boys will like it so much more now that they are older.
Plus we are getting to go in free due to the Military day ticket they give to forces and dependents
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Old 09-24-2012, 10:25 PM   #50
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Tinkerpea: don't worry about the weather, honestly we have only lost one afternoon since we have been here and we used it to go shopping! The rest of the days have been clear or just an odd afternoon shower and the last 3 days have been very hot! We have done Dine with Shamu twice - first time when my two girls were 3&6, and this year when they were 5&8. They were so captivated this year it was lovely to watch - I has to remind them to eat and with my two that's saying something! I was really pleased with the buffet selection too, one of the better meals we have been to "on-site". Kudos to your military tickets - hope you really enjoy your day

Thestevied: was a mix TBH, okay for 90% of the time, bit more pushy at the end but polite all the way through.

So today did start with our early timeshare presentation or as we were continuously reminded "ownership" package. We went to the allocated room where there was a selection of drinks, yoghurts, fruit cups and muffins and were given time to eat these. After this was finished we signed the girls into the kids club they lay on and they were wrist-tagged and matched to mine so only I could sign them out. There was room of video games, toys and a tv as well as colouring etc so mine were happy enough. We then had a one-to-one spiel off our representative who was a pleasant enough guy. I'm not going to go into the detail as I am sure you will all be bored but in some ways it was a good, informative pitch and we were shown around example rooms etc. This section lasted around 80mins and then eventually got taken to the end room where we were given all the figures. This was when it got a little pitchy, there was a kind of double-act going on with the rep and the "international manager" who came up with some returned lots that were cheaper than the usual price. The figures were actually very good but I am just not the sort of person who would sign up to something that important after an hour or so of thinking about it. When we said no, it was still okay but the manager person tried as a second wave. Apparently the 10-day cooling off period would be enough for us to consider this properly....we politely said no again and were then allowed to sign out and meet the customer experience agent to fill in a survey. This turned out to be a last step of offering us an option of buying a two-week stay directly with Sheraton for next year and paying monthly but again without pricing this all up independently I wasn't prepared to commit. After this we were let loose, picked the girls up (who had a lovely time) and went on our way to Aquatica.

Would I do it again? Not sure - it wasn't that painful looking at it now, but felt a long time while we were there! The $125 paid for everything we did and bought today so probably not a bad deal but not sure I could sit through it again! The other thing that bugged me was that the rep guy assumed I was the SAHM and that DH must be the big earner and so did address the dynamic around that - he asked DH about his job but didn't even bother asking me if I had one! Not dissing anyone who does stay at home with the kids (I would love to but just can't afford it!), but I am the chief earner and felt a little patronised! DH thought it was hysterical and just kept laughing when the guy would speak to me about cooking etc......

Anyway we got to Aquatica by around 10.45 and pretty much followed our usual time here. It was very quiet again and lovely weather. We left around 3.30 and had a lovely relaxing time while we here. We came back to the apartment, got changed with the idea of picking up some lunch/tea on the way through to MK to watch the parade/fireworks.

The girls voted for Olive Garden which was fine so headed here. DD1 loves having the zuppa Toscana soup that DH and I have, and DD2 eats them out of bread! We were boring and had the same meal as last time - girls had pepperoni pizza, I had chicken scampi and DH had the chicken and shrimp carbonara. We all ate our fill, all plates empty which must be a good sign! The funniest thing that happened was that I ordered an alcoholic drink and got asked for ID which I stopped carrying 15 years ago....typically I didn't have any which DH again found hysterical as I am 35.....just think we had a keen server who was trying to do everything right as he then told me not to worry, that he was just following policy and then gave it to me anyway! Gave us all a laugh anyway.....

Headed off to MK and got there around 6pm. It seemed really busy and people were already starting to pitch for spaces for the parade. I refused to try two hours out so we went over to Pirates and rode this as we still hadn't done this yet which was good as usual, was a walk-on. Most of the other character queues seemed long - I noticed a 40min wait for the Princesses, 55mins for the fairies and 30mins for Mickey. It was then about an hour and 15 mins out and as we walked over to Main Street there was no apparent seats on the kerb. We carried on and eagle-eyed DH saw a space and dived in. We then spent time going back and for in turns to get ice cream etc before the parade started. The electrical parade always makes me smile and watching the girls faces, it's apparent they love it too! Even my eldest who is too cool for most parades whispered to me that she liked this one

We waited for Wishes which I absolutely love and watched it on the street before the Castle. Tinkerbell flew which made DD2 happy too! The park felt really busy at that time - I can't imagine what it would be like in peak season! After it finished we headed with the hoardes to the monorail and then walked to the car - got home by 9.45 which wasn't too bad.

Tomorrow is the spare day in the planner - left this in case we needed to reschedule anything. Have decided to have a lie-in as we have had a few early mornings and then let the girls decide what to do!
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Old 09-26-2012, 03:11 AM   #51
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I'm enjoying your reports

I once took advantage of a Marriott offer (4 days in one of their Spanish resorts, 2-bed, 2-bath, including car for £99) but went for advice on the TUG first (Timeshare Users' group) so knew what to expect. The best tip I was given was to establish the time immediately I arrived and tell them I had an appointment in 90 minutes' time. It worked just fine

You would think that in 2012 salespeople would be on their guard about making assumptions about the roles/earning capacity of partners/spouses! You seemed to do well out of the presentation though
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Old 09-26-2012, 04:11 AM   #52
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We used to replace our car every 2 years. It is Karen's car so she wanted equal amount of attention when looking around the showrooms. I remember going into Mercedes Wakefield and walking out after 5 mins, rep totally blanking Karen, we bought a BMW instead, their loss.

I couldn't go thru a presentation for anything, I tried once in Spain, walked out after 10 mins bored stiff.
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Old 09-26-2012, 07:36 AM   #53
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Wayne, I had that same problem earlier this year buying my first car. I took my Dad and BF along and I was ignored at first and then when the sales assistant addressed me, all he did was talk down to me. Needless to say I moved on to another dealership also.
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Old 09-26-2012, 09:17 AM   #54
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Quote:
Originally Posted by yummymummywales View Post

but I am the chief earner and felt a little patronised! DH thought it was hysterical and just kept laughing when the guy would speak to me about cooking etc......


We have just come back after 3 weeks there. Impressed you are doing a TR as we were just too tired at the end of the day to do a thing.
Loving reading your TR enjoy the rest of your time there
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Old 09-26-2012, 10:43 PM   #55
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Hi all, apologies for not managing to write last night -was just too busy and then tired at the end of the night! Not holding out much hope for tonight's either as it is really late after trying to finish packing tonight.....

Well yesterday was the girls choice and Hollywood Studios got the vote. We decided to just do a morning here and then leave early afternoon to go to the pool to recover! We got there at just after 9am and it was already busy. Headed over to TSM and got a fastpass for 12.30-1.30! We decided to take things easy and maybe just do a few things that we had missed first time round. We went to the animation studio and drew with the artist. This was really good fun and the girls really enjoyed. We went to see the Indiana show, did ToT, looked in a few shops and then headed over to TSM for our fastpass - fab as usual although DH broke my winning streak and robbed me at the end! :-)

We then left and went back to the hotel pool. We went to the Cascades pool which is lovely - two ends, a "usual" pool end and then a shooting fountains part which is great for the younger ones. We stayed for a few hours and then changed and headed down to Downtown Disney to eat in T-Rex. It was madly busy even though it was only 6ish. Waited around 20mins and then got seated in the Ice Room. I love eating in this room, it's really impressive. We decided to splash out a bit as it was so close to the end of the holiday. I had a Typhoon Punch which was lovely while DH had a corona-Rita which was a margarita with a corona bottle balanced in. He said it was amazing and would have loved to stay and have some more! The food was very good too - we both had the pulled pork sandwich while DDs had the rotisserie chicken. We definitely outdid our meal value from the other night - it came to $90!

Today was our last lazy day. We decided to try a breakfast out as we had eaten mainly in our villa this holiday. We went to Sizzler and I thought it was a total waste of $25. The food was really average and limited...there is no way I would spend that again...have I missed something or did I just go to the wrong place?

We then went back to Aquatica - as you will have gathered, we have really enjoyed being in this park. Today was no different, had a lovely day and it was really, really hot! Came back and changed around 4pm, then headed out to the Cheesecake Factory for our last evening meal. This didn't disappoint - we had an amazing meal - I think probably the best meal of the trip for me. I had the chicken jambalaya pasta which was fantastic, really spicy but lovely. DH had a couple of appetisers instead and had the stuffed mushrooms and crab bites which he loved. We both had a piece of cheesecake to finish -I had the white raspberry and DH had a coconut one - both of which were lovely.....a fitting end to our time here!

We stopped off in Downtown on the way home to say goodbye....just walked around and had fun for a few hours. Then off home to finish off packing - I have done a last minute wash so there are clothes out drying everywhere now that I need to finish and pack away first thing in the morning.

Off to Downtown for the early morning check-in and then off to MK for a few hours before hearing to the airport.

Just to say thanks for everyone who has commented and read - its been my first TR and I really had no idea how hard work it was to keep up the writing every night! So I will have a new found respect, reading everyone else's from now on! Will try to update when we land..hopefully with no drama to add!
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Old 09-27-2012, 02:35 AM   #56
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Well done on the live TR!! I always wonder how Disers manage it, I'm always too tired to do anything by days end! Sounds like a lovely trip, I will agree about Sizzlers, we've been to several and found them lacking so we don't go anymore. I really must try the Cheesecake Factory on my next trip - and Aquatica too for that matter! Shame on me for never having visited that park! I'll get there some day!
Safe flight home and enjoy the last few hours in MK
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Old 09-30-2012, 03:00 AM   #57
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Great TR. As for the breakfast, we haven't been to Sizzler in about 10 years and we go now to Golden Corral instead. It's not a patch on the breakfast buffets onsite (but then it is about 1/3 of the price! There's lots of choice and much of it is freshly cooked in front of you. If you haven't been I'd recommend you try it next time. I hope you had a safe (and uneventful) journey home
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Old 09-30-2012, 04:55 AM   #58
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Your probably well on your way home now thanks for a good TR making me more excited
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Old 09-30-2012, 02:16 PM   #59
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Well home to rainy Wales! Had a uneventful last day, used Downtown Disney check-in at 9am - no queue at all so only took 5mins and we were on our way! Went to MK and did the things we hadn't managed to fit in....queued for the fairies for DD2, went and used the interactive queue for Dumbo - great! We stayed until lunchtime and then went out of the park to the Olive Garden to fill up before the plane.

All uneventful - security fine, plane boarded on time. Girls fell asleep straight after food which was good, both DH and I struggled this year - I had a noisy person in front of me who kept ordering duty free and so on which made it hard to fall asleep but never mind. Landed and met the meet and greet Maple Parking who were prompt as usual. Started on our journey home - got home around 1ish which wasn't too bad.

Weirdly we are struggling with jet lag at the moment - waking up in the middle of the night, struggling to stay awake in the middle of the day....the joys of coming home......

Already pricing up next year

Anyone know if Virgin price match?
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Old 09-30-2012, 02:22 PM   #60
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I had the worst jet lag last year no idea why. I hope you all get over it soon
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