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Old 10-11-2014, 10:06 PM   #1
eporter66
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Join Date: Nov 2003
Location: Saratoga NY
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SSR - Pools, Parks, & Relaxing 10/5 - 10/9

Another Disney Vacation in the books, and what a great time we had (as usual).

We were all a little bummed as we cut our vacation a little short this year. We usually go Saturday to Saturday, but we decided on Sunday (10/5) to Friday (10/10). That was the only bummer about this vacation.

Sunday 10/5 - We arrived at Orlando Airport around 11:15 am, and basically walked right on the Disney Magical Express to Saratoga Springs. We arrived at the resort a little after 12:00 and to our surprise the room was ready. We were in the Paddock area - Room 6714 - 1 bedroom. This building was at the end, so we used the Congress Park bus stop for the week.

We decided to head over to DTD and go to our favorite The Earl of Sandwich for lunch. DW - Holiday Sandwich, DD - BLT, and I got the original. Yum.........we love the EARL!! Had lunch and went back to the resort for a swim. The temp was upper 70's, but the Paddock pool was very warm.

We got back to our room and unfortunately only 1 of our 2 bags had arrived. We were going to MNSSHP, and of course the bag that did not come had our costumes. We waited until 4:30, and then figured no big deal and just went to the party. We love MNSSHP - and had a blast. The parade is great, and the Fireworks are amazing. We were on Big Thunder Mountain for part of them, and saw the finale standing outside the ride, it was great. We did all the mountains (space mtn 3x), the only disappointment was that Pirates was down, and we only did Haunted Mansion once - usually it is a 5 minute wait, but it was about a 30 minute wait. Our DD was getting tired, we were up at 5 am to get to the airport to get our flight. We called it a night around 11. We also did not do the Seven Dwarfs coaster - that had about a 70 minute wait.

Monday 10/6 - RELAXING DAY Woke up to a beautiful day, and headed over to DTD and the EARL for breakfast this time. We had no plans for this day, figuring we would be out late at the Halloween party, we wanted a relaxing day.
We decided to head over to the Wilderness Lodge and rent bikes. I had been out exploring some of the resorts on our last couple trips, and fell in love with the Ft Wilderness area. So, we rented the bikes and rode the trails over to Ft Wilderness. We saw a few groups of deer, and just enjoyed riding through the resort, stopping to get a drink and enjoying the scenery. Many of the camp sites were decorated for Halloween, very cool.
We had dinner at the Portobello in Downtown Disney. I had Chicken Parm which I thought was good, but could have used a little more flavor from the sauce. DD - Spaghetti & Meatballs, and DW - Chicken Farfalle which she enjoyed. There are so many restaurants in Disney that we have not tried, I cant say this was good enough to get me to come back, but it was good. We like to do one nice dinner each trip, and this was our choice this year.
Of course we ended the night at Ghirardelli for some ice cream. We wanted to make this an early night to get our sleep in for the rest of the week. We got back to the room around 10:00.

Tuesday 10/7 - EPCOT This is one of the main reasons we love to go this time of year. I just love the F&W Fest, and we made the most of it this year. They had early magic hours, so we got there at 8:00 and went right to Soarin. Then got our fast passes for Test Track, and went over to Mission Space. I am always surprised that this is usually 5 and no more than 15 minutes throughout the day. I love this ride. So we did MS 2x, then went back down to Spaceship Earth (2x - our DD still loves this ride), then went into innovations and did a few. Sum of all thrills is just a great ride that I dont think most people know about. We did a few other things and then went to Coke place and tried some new flavors (bilbo? and some others that were not there last year). Then - on to F&W......

Here is what I remember - Patagonia (Beef Empenada), Mexico (Shrimp Taco) China (Pot Stickers), Japan (Chicken Teriyaki in steamed bun), Canada (Cheddar Cheese Soup), Hawaii (Pork Sliders), Puerto Rico (Carne Guisado) - and we enjoyed them all. Our favorite beer of the fest was the Kona Castaway IPA (it was great). DW & myself are both hopheads, and there were not a lot of IPA's to choose from, but this one was really good.

We ended up leaving around 8:00 - making it a 12 hour day in the park. We saw the fireworks at MK on Sunday night, and we just ran out of gas and decided to skip Illuminations.

BIG DISSAPPOINTMENT THAT OFF KILTER IS NO LONGER PERFORMING AT EPCOT My wife was really disappointed, she loves that band. I thought the British Revolution (that replaced British Invasion) did a good job. But the logger show at the Canadian Pavilion was pretty lame. Bring back Off-Kilter Disney!!!

Wednesday 10/7 - AK / HS / EPCOT Our big day, we got park hoppers for one day and decided we would do it like this and save our last day for another relaxing day at the pool. We got to AK at opening and went right to the Safari ride, about 15 minutes, and we got to see a lot of animals, one of the best we have done. Then over to Everest, about 15 minutes, so we did that 2x. We hit Kali River Rapids and that was only 10 minutes or so, and finally Dinosaur, which was also quick, and is DW favorite so we went 3x. Then we walked both animal trails and took our time enjoying those. It was pretty hot, but we felt we did great with the rides, crowds were not bad at all. We left AK around 1:00 and headed over to HS - we had fastpasses for TOT, Aerosmith and Star Tours (DD's favorite). Star Tours only had a 15 minute wait, and we had time before our fast passes, so we did that 2x, and then over to TOT and Aerosmith - those rides never fail to thrill me - just fantastic!!! We went back and did Star Tours 3x, and then decided to head over to EPCOT for dinner. First we would hang out at the Boardwalk for a little bit and take in the fun. Got my Fish & Chips in EPCOT, and my daughter went back for the pork sliders and my wife for the Cheddar Cheese soup. We made our way down to the Living Seas and spent some time watching the fish - love it there! We ended our parks with Spaceship Earth for our daughter.

Thursday 10/8 My daughter wanted to spend the day at the pool, and the weather was perfect, upper 80's. We went over to Artist's Palette for breakfast and coffee. I walked the resort a few times while they went to the pool, and then joined them for a swim. They were at the main pool most of the day. Around 4:30 we headed over to DTD for some merchandise, and got burgers at the House of Blues and just sat outside listening to the band. Then back to Ghirardelli's for ice cream. We made it back to the main pool for Monsters University and a final swim.

Friday morning I got up early and took a walk around the resort, just love it. As usual the vacation went much to fast, but Disney always does. We really had a relaxing enjoyable vacation, took my mind off of work for awhile and just really enjoyed our family time.

A few other notes : We had amazing weather, no rain, almost all clear sunny days. The room, hallway was absolutely silent. We heard barely a peep the whole week, I know there were people around us, but it could not have been quieter.

This was bittersweet for us. Our DD10 is in her last year of elementary school, and we have always pulled her out for a week. I know we wont be able to do that as easily as she goes into middle school. I am going to have to figure out a way to go, but I really dont want to go during school vacations, so I guess I will need to be creative

This was also our first time using the Magic Bands, and I thought they worked well. Not sure I like planning so far ahead for the fast passes, but they did work out just fine!

We just love SSR - it is a great place for us, and thanks again Disney, you exceeded our expectations!
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Old 10-11-2014, 10:20 PM   #2
ptjohns
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Thanks for sharing a great trip report! It sounds like an awesome vacation.
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