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Old 08-15-2013, 06:22 AM   #1
Earning My Ears
deploylinux's Avatar
Join Date: May 2013
Location: San Diego, CA
Posts: 32

BLT - Our First Deluxe Dining Vacation.....

I'll keep this short...Our family is from San Diego, we'd never been to WDW before or even to any of the disney resorts, but we bought into Aulani a few months ago (350 pts) and decided that our two kids have just reached the minimal age where splurging on a trip to Florida might actually be of sufficient benefit for the duly allocated yearly vacation.

First, the roundtrip airline tickets were $1200....we didn't think we would need a car, but knew that the food at the parks would be quite expensive....the pricing on the dining plans were scary, but we felt that we were essentially insuring ourselves against an unknown cost....~$1500 for the dining deluxe plans if I remember correctly....Finally, wow...$1200 for park tickets?

The trip out was fine. We arrived in Orlando at 5:50am on a Friday. We had our room at 10:30am, despite the fact that the resort was essentially full.

I'm still downloading about 3000 photos, but it is sufficient to say that everything about the BLT resort is nice! Especially, the lake view from our room balcony. We had four family members sleeping in a 1 bedroom. We miss the room already...and housecleaning did a great job in having it all sparkingly clean before we arrived. Laundry and the full kitchen were a godsend.

What we didn't like:
- Someone set the thermostat to 65 degrees, and had the fan set to continously on.....Our first nap was not nice.
- Where are the blankets??? We're used to sleeping in 71-82 degree temperatures where a/c does not turn on at all most summer nights and temperature control is based on how many blankets are on the bed. It took two calls to the front desk before we got three sets of rather skimpy blankets delivered.
- Who can eat three deluxe meals/day? Our resort refrigerator filled up with more and more leftovers each day. And, even then, we couldn't keep up with the meal and snack alotment. My wife ended up trading 5 meals for 3 snacks each before we left and then converting the snack entitlements for chips bag and other things we could put in a large luggage bag and bring home...
- The reservation system...seriously...I understand there needs to be advantages to booking early, but really....should the early bird get to eat at the $$$ restaurant on site every night while the late ones are never even to get a reservation for a single meal there? We ended up spending way too many evenings at the wave....which while being a good restaurant, didn't really interest us in any other manner than that it always had reservations available and happened to be on the first floor of the contemporary.
- When we checked out, the tags for only 1 bag were delivered and the early airline checkin did not have one of our passengers. We joked that we would have to leave him behind...
- The kids loved Epcott, liked Magic Kingdom, were neutral about Animal Kingdom, and hated Hollywood Studios. The pirate show at HS was also quite bleh. However, Test Track at epcott was our favorite ride.
- My youngest son loved finding out that the parent bathtub had a built-in pump, and had an amazing bubble bath....but for my own use, I found the lack of a straight wall on the end to create a relatively poor posture which actually exaberated the pain from carrying a heavy backpack all day through the parks...

We did love the excellent service everywhere at WDW and BLT.....it's nice to find a place that still believes in it. It was hard to find anyplace that disney/dvc skipped corners..

The kids also loved the pool at BLT! We have our own home pool, so we didn't think our boys would want to swim again during their vacation...we were horribly wrong...they saw the slide and pool and insisted on going in it every night.

That all said, I think our next vacation will likely be either to Aulani, a cruise, or Hilton Head....and, we'll probably take the grocery/cook in room approach if we don't do the cruise.

Last edited by deploylinux; 08-15-2013 at 06:29 AM.
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