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Old 11-19-2013, 09:50 AM   #1
Kelleigh710
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Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: Boston, MA
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On A Scale Of 1 to 10...IT WAS A 20!!!!!

Hey everyone! We just returned from a glorious ten day trip to the World! We did a split stay with 3 nights at the beautiful Dolphin resort and 6 nights at Bay Lake Tower. We usually like to split our stays up so we can experience new things and be in the proximity of our two favorite parks (EP and MK). Although i was concerned about not having access to FP+ for the first leg of my trip, it turns out that there was nothing to worry about at all. In fact, the Swan/Dolphin started testing for FP+ just a few days before I got there. Although we were not able to utilize magic bands, we had the ability to head to a FP+ kiosk with our Dolphin room key and reserve 3 rides per day. Honestly, our touring style is very relaxed so we didn't utilize this service as much as most people would. I'm getting ahead of myself though. Let me introduce us first!

My husband and I head to Disney every year for some amazing fun, good food, relaxation and of course, magic. My name is Kelly and I work in higher education for a technical school here in Boston. My husband Trevor, is a home health aid for patients with cerebral palsy. We work hard and more importantly, play hard. We have made the decision not to have children which surprises so many people because of our supreme love for Disney but we are both very dedicated to our careers. I tell people all the time, I go to work 40 hours a week and I'm responsible for 300 "kids" daily and I love it! Here we are:
__________________
~Kelly
2009 Dolphin ~2010 SSR ~ 2011 BWV (Honeymoon)
2012 Swan/BWV/BLT ~ 5/2013 CSR
11/2013 Dolphin/BLT ~ 11/2014 BLT
Just me and DH
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Old 11-19-2013, 10:05 AM   #2
Kelleigh710
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Day 1: Arrival at the Dolphin and Dinner at Chefs de France

Usually we take the first flight available (which is usually 6:00 am) out of Logan in Boston, but this year we opted for the 9:15 a.m. flight, arriving at 12:30pm in Orlando. This worked out perfectly for us. We never rent a car for our Disney vacations as we never want to leave the property, but we do take a towncar from the airport to the resort as opposed to DME simply because we like to do a quick grocery stop on the way and it's a nice relaxing ride for the two of us. We use Florida Tours and have utilized them for the past 6 trips. They have been nothing short of professional, cordial, and they are always on time!



We arrived at the Dolphin in record time and check-in was a breeze. I was able to score a free night from our SPG reward points and a great AAA rate by booking in advance. Since it was our anniversary, they upgraded us to a balcony corner room and it was beautiful! Here are some pictures:









Balcony View:


We decided to hang around the resort for a few and get lunch at the quick service restaurant, Picabu. Picabu is convenient because it is open 24 hours, has a decent menu, and is also a general store. However, they have now instituted a service charge on all items, including take-out which I just do not understand. It's like tipping, but no one bringing your meal. Needless to say, we paid $17.00 for 1 tuna wrap and 2 fountain drinks and were none to pleased at the price. Here is Picabu and our meal:



__________________
~Kelly
2009 Dolphin ~2010 SSR ~ 2011 BWV (Honeymoon)
2012 Swan/BWV/BLT ~ 5/2013 CSR
11/2013 Dolphin/BLT ~ 11/2014 BLT
Just me and DH
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Old 11-19-2013, 10:21 AM   #3
Kelleigh710
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Day 1 Part II

After lunch, we made our way over to Epcot and got our Photopass+ card. I had heard some horror stories of photos not coming thrugh with the magic bands, so I opted to turn my PP+ voucher in as soon as possible and get the physical card instead:


We decided to do some of our favorite classics like Spaceship Earth and Captain EO:




As far as dining is concerned, I had an ADR for dinner for every night of this trip. We did not get the DDP because we had the TIW card. TIW works well for us because we love appetizers and the occasional glass of Sangria and the 20% discount applies to all.



We checked in to the restaurant at 5:30pm and it was jam packed! The staff were wonderful and had us seated within 5 minutes of arriving. We had a waiter who was "earning his ears" in training and another seasoned server helping him out. Each of them were exceptional! Trev and I both started with the Salade Maison:



To drink, Trevor had a glass of red wine and I tried the imported French lemonade. Can I just tell you, it was AMAZING! It's is light, carbonated, refreshing...just delightfu!



For entree's, Trevor had the Roast Duck:



I had the beef filet and smashed potatoes:



We each cleaned our plates. The food came out piping hot and the meat was very tender. We opted not to have dessert because we had something else in mind that we always wanted to do....

We decided to take a walk out of the International Gateway and head to the Beach Club to see what all the hype was about. Well, let's just say, it lived up to it all! We were seated within 10 minutes at the counter and we opted to share the No Way Jose sundae which is chocolate and vanilla ice cream, peanut butter sauce, hot fudge, chocolate chips, peanut butter chips, and whipped cream. Oh.My.God:





It was absolutely ridiculous and more than large enough for 2 or more people to share! The decor and Beaches and Cream is that of a 1950's soda fountain/diner which just makes it that much more fun!

Coming up: Day 2 in Epcot and dinner at the Garden Grill!
__________________
~Kelly
2009 Dolphin ~2010 SSR ~ 2011 BWV (Honeymoon)
2012 Swan/BWV/BLT ~ 5/2013 CSR
11/2013 Dolphin/BLT ~ 11/2014 BLT
Just me and DH
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Old 11-20-2013, 06:34 PM   #4
Kelleigh710
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Day 2: Epcot and Dinner at the Garden Grill

Day 2:

We always keep a very relaxed touring plan. Trev and I are not the type to be at the park first thing for rope drop, it is a vacation after all! We got to Epcot at around 10:30 a.m. and the park was still pretty empty. I was surprised we were able to get FP for both Soarin and Test Track as all of the hype here on the DIS really made me believe that unless I got there first thing, FP's for headliners would be seemingly impossible. However, this was not the case at all! After doing a few rides, we headed to Sunshine Seasons for lunch:

Trev had grilled Salmon:



I had sweet and sour chicken with noodles:



Of course, we had to share the world famous Strawberry Shortcake for dessert!



The rest of the day was spent roaming around Epcot and having fun taking ridiculous pictures like these beauties:





Before we knew it, it was time for dinner at the Garden Grill. We had never been here before and I am so glad we tried it! We were seated within 5 minutes of checking in. The concept of this restaurant is really cool. Unlike many, I really love the Living with the Land ride in Epcot, so to be in a restaurant that rotates its way through the ride was just a fun experience. For those that get motion sickness, have no worries because it took our whole dinner to do one full rotation. You barely notice you're moving. Dinner is all you can eat and is served family style:







I can't forget the hot rolls with the maple butter!!! OMG!



Here is the main course:



Dessert was just as lovely! It was a berry filled cobbler type cake with a big dollop of vanilla bean whipped cream. Also, in honor of our anniversary, they also brought us a little slice of Mickey chocolate cake!




The main reason everyone comes to Garden Grill is for the character interaction. I have to say, the amount of time each character spent with each table and child was amazing in comparison to other character breakfasts/dinners we had been to in the past. The characters really took their time with everyone and it made for some great pictures!







On our way out the the Land Pavilion after dinner, I saw a man walk by me and my jaw hit the floor. He was COVERED from head to toe in Disney trading pins. When I asked if I could take a picture, I asked if he was a lifelong Disney fan. I was surprised to hear him say that he has only been a Disney fan for the past 6 years, but he wishes he had understood the magic of it sooner. I thought that was awesome. Here he is!



Before we left the park, I went into the Art of Disney store. I always like to check around to see what kind of merchandise I can grab with Jiminy Cricket on it because he truly is my favorite. I found an amazing little trinket box and for only $20 it was a steal!



Until next time....
__________________
~Kelly
2009 Dolphin ~2010 SSR ~ 2011 BWV (Honeymoon)
2012 Swan/BWV/BLT ~ 5/2013 CSR
11/2013 Dolphin/BLT ~ 11/2014 BLT
Just me and DH
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