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Old 02-25-2013, 10:34 PM   #16
appleorchard
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I'm so glad to see you all! I'll try and tell an amusing but honest tale of the good, bad and really horrific trip events. All magic, though-- Disney is magic. Otherwise we wouldn't keep doing this. It's our escape, especially M's and mine. Maybe because she's adopted, or because she's the only girl, or because we had so darn many kids, but she needs and appreciates more "mom" time than the rest. We spend a lot of time together and go lots of places, but nothing is like Disney.

I'm working for the rest of the night--I'm writing a piece on how long to boil pacifiers. I'll bet you always wondered who wrote this crazy stuff on the internet. Well, now you know. I do!

Thanks for being here!
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Old 02-26-2013, 09:48 AM   #17
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I will definitely be reading along!

Your writing style is so entertaining! Can't wait to hear about all the ups and downs of your trip!
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Old 02-26-2013, 10:41 AM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by appleorchard View Post
Oh, boy-- readers! So glad to "see" you both. I'm struggling to master the photo thing, Photobucket really doesn't seem to be working very well. We had a great trip--with some caveats, like losing J temporarily-- and I can't wait to write it all down.
Looking forward to more great reading!
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Old 02-26-2013, 11:12 AM   #19
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Wecome to Bay Lake Tower; There's Nothing Fawlty About It!

Photobucket is busy downloading my 5,000 or so photos, which will probably take all day. So we might as well move on to the next installment; hopefully I can get the pictures in before 2014.


J is up for anything a lot of the time, but she's also a creature of habit. So when we decided to stay at BLT in August, we figured she'd need some time to adjust to a new hotel after her beloved Port Orleans French Quarter. What sealed the deal for BLT and made it her favorite for all time was one thing -- the nightly Electrical Light Boat parade.




The perfect place to watch the Electric Boat Parade on our last trip

The first night it went by, J was almost asleep and her mom was outside at the DSA indulging in a habit I hate. When the music started, she bolted straight up in the bed and flew to the sliding door. It's really heavy, she can't open it herself, so I helped her. She stopped dead in her tracks with her mouth hanging open. When she finally spoke, she said with an awe that I can't possibly transmit on paper,

"Grandma, why did they bring this parade RIGHT PAST OUR HOTEL???"

J loves parades. They're one of her favorite Disney things. So this was awesome beyond belief. She couldn't stop talking about it. She wanted to watch it every night. She dragged Lamby and whichever other new animals she'd acquired during the day out to watch it every night. That led to nightly exchanges that went like this:

"J, get Lamby away from the railing. J, stop throwing Lamby in the air on the balcony. J, if you do that one more time, Lamby will have to go back in the room."

But Lamby survived and getting a room where we could see the parade each night was way high on our priority for our February trip.

But not too high up. This request amused the DVC reservation team no end. According to several of them, we were the only ones who ever asked to be no higher than the fourth floor at BLT. I'm afraid of heights, not for myself, but for people related to me. I know I won't fall off the balcony, but I'm not so sure about them. M is afraid because J is not afraid of heights, or much else, either.

My kids love to recount how, when my sister and I took our small children to Niagara Falls many years ago, we wouldn't let them get out of the car because we were afraid they'd fall over the falls. Now, my sister and I grew up near Niagara Falls, and our parents let us out of the car, because, as most of us who grew up in the 50s remember, our parents rarely had any idea where we were or what we were doing.

What I should have been worried about that day was the fact that M wasn't an American citizen yet, and we blithely crossed in to Canada (because we'd done it all our lives) without once thinking that we'd need some way to prove that this Korean kid belonged in our family. Suffice it to say the border guard finally did let us cross back into the states, but not without a lot of crying and promises never to be so stupid again.

The point of all this is that on this trip, we were hoping for a low floor and a view of the Electric Pageant, or whatever the official name is. So when the check-in guy said he hadn't been able to meet our request, I was a little unnerved. We were on the fifth floor, which turned out to be quite awesome, because it's the same floor as the walkway to the Contemporary. But I was worried about both the height and the view. We had a lake view, but we faced the pool, and I was worried about the angle for viewing the parade.

Well, it was actually almost perfect. We not only had a good view of the lake, but there was also a LEDGE underneath our balcony! So if either Lamby or J managed to fall over the rail, they would fall on the ledge and not the ground! This made me pretty happy.

[IMG][/IMG]

Our wonderful balcony, which nobody fell over during our stay

If you've never stayed at BLT, the reports that the studio rooms are really small might put you off. They are smaller than other DVCs, but there are compensations. For one thing, the kitchenette is a whole separate room--its narrow, but its a room! There's tons of storage, a sink, a small fridge and a microwave. There's also lots of storage space in the front hall and in the cabinets in the main part of the room. We're quite comfortable there.



Our kitchenette at BLT. The other side of the room also had shelves. Excuse the mess, we make ourselves at home.

Except for the bathroom. J isn't tall enough to reach the sink, so someone has to lift her up to wash her hands. Every. Single. Time. And the bathroom lock -- at least they finally put one on, finally --doesn't work very well. While J has recently developed a sense of privacy about her own toilet time, it doesn't extend to anyone else's. So we spent much of the first day reminding her not to barge in on us, with partial success.

We called down for my Owners Locker --one of the top ten most brilliant ideas ever--and our grocery order. We used Garden Grocer this time; we go back and forth between them and WeGoShop. Whenever I get aggravated with one I use the other for a while. It didn't take long to unpack $70 worth of groceries, surprisingly, and then we were ready to hit the parks.

Except we didn't have M and J's tickets yet. I have an AP. They were doing the YES program this time, because we really wanted to have tickets for all 6 days we were there. The YES program offers discounted tickets for kids in exchange for 2 1/2 hours of your precious vacation time to attend a kid-oriented semi-educational class. Except I thought it was 1 1/2 hours at the time. J's class was "How Things Move."

We can get the very cheap 4 day military tickets, but to use two each to cover 6 days negates just about all the savings. So we figured we'd try the YES program. J and M could spend a little quality time together, and grandma could actually have a few hours to do the things she wanted to do without M saying that my choices --like Carousel of Progress were--

"Booorrrrring!"Accompanied by a gagging motion. In many ways, she's still not very mature, my dear daughter.

So we headed off down the magic path to the Magic Kingdom for a quick stop to pick up our tickets and start our fun-filled trip. If only it had really been that easy.


Next chapter

Last edited by appleorchard; 03-28-2013 at 12:07 AM.
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Old 02-26-2013, 12:16 PM   #20
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Ohhhh... I gotta sub this..
If you got a trip to the "room" the crying MUST have been bad.
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Old 02-26-2013, 12:28 PM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Plaid Sheep View Post
Ohhhh... I gotta sub this..
If you got a trip to the "room" the crying MUST have been bad.
Yeah-- it was!
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Old 02-26-2013, 12:46 PM   #22
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Oh I am hooked - I can't wait to read more. Also interested to read about traveling at this time of the year since we only can go during Easter week, for now at least.
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Old 02-26-2013, 12:51 PM   #23
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Smile

I'm in, love your writing style and looking forward to following you on this TR!

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Old 02-26-2013, 01:00 PM   #24
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Originally Posted by sommergirl25 View Post
I'm here! We were there from the 4th -12th at All Star Movies.
Wasn't the weather great? Unless you wanted to swim, of course--then it was not so great.
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Old 02-26-2013, 01:07 PM   #25
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Hi from Texas .. looking forward to reading more!
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Old 02-26-2013, 06:35 PM   #26
appleorchard
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I have to apologize for the lack of apostrophes in these posts. For whatever reason, they don't survive the trip from Word to the DIS, so I'm having to go back through and put them all back in. I seem to use a lot of apostrophes, too. Just wanted to let people know I do know how to use them!
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Old 02-27-2013, 11:31 PM   #27
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If it's the YES program, why do they keep saying no?

We thought getting the YES tickets would be easy. Go to Guest Relations, pick them up and cue the magic. We had all our paperwork. But everywhere we went to try and get our YES tickets, all we heard was NO.

Because we wanted to hit the MK on our first day, we naturally started there. We love the walk from BLT to the MK. You can hear the train whistle as it comes around the corner. Space Mountain is practically in your face. And looking at all the poor people getting on and off the buses gives me a wonderfully smug feeling about not having to ride the bus.

The bag line was nice and short, but it still took us forever to get through, because Queen M packs an unbelievable stuff under the stroller. And then she never remembers that she has to take it all out so they can sort through it, piece by piece, as if they were looking for a lost diamond in a pile of trash, until she’s standing in front of the security guy. If I were a person behind her in line, I’d be highly annoyed with us. J will probably be in a stroller until she’s 21, because M needs the basket space underneath for all her stuff.

[IMG][/IMG]

The always-overpacked stroller

We finally made it, though. I handed the person behind the counter, explained what we were there for and confidently held out my hand for the tickets.

Deep down in my heart, I think I knew it wasn’t going to be that simple. And guess what? It wasn’t. My guest relations person looked at the paper, then looked at the computer screen. Again. And again. Then she went and got someone else and they both looked at everything. Queen M dragged out her confirmation papers so that they could scrutinize everything in duplicate. After about 10 minutes – and Disney is the only place I ever have this kind of patience for this kind of nonsense – I finally asked if there was a problem.

Of course there was.

“Our computer says you bought two adult tickets, not one adult and one child.”

Me: “That’s not even possible. It’s the YES program, you need to take a kid with you.”

Her: “Well, that’s what the computer says. But the paper says you bought one adult and one child ticket.”

Me: “So what’s the difference? Just give me two 6-day tickets of any kind and I’ll go away and leave you alone.”


Her: “We can’t do that.”

So she looked for a while some more in the computer and then she had a brilliant idea to get rid of us.

“We don’t have those tickets here.”

After 15 minutes of flipping through computer screens, this was her final decision: they don’t have the YES tickets at the Magic Kingdom. She even highlighted, in yellow, a section on our confirmation that said we had to get the tickets at any park except the MK. In case I started to argue with her. Can’t argue with yellow highlighter.

It did say that. So I couldn’t be too upset, except that she had wasted 20 minutes of our time to tell us that.

So we trudged out through the convoluted route you have to follow to get to the monorail and up the ramp to get on the monorail and go to the TTC. I think it would be wonderful if they made it a little easier to get to the monorail. Wouldn’t it be nice if you could just walk straight there?

Now, at this point, we were still happy. J might even have fallen asleep and it wasn’t quite 5 pm yet, so we had plenty of time to enjoy the park. And the whole thing was probably my fault for not reading the papers more closely.

It was with only slightly less confidence than we’d started out with an hour before that we handed our pages of paperwork to the person manning the TTC counter. And it didn’t go well from the start.

He looked in the computer, he looked at our papers, while our sense of déjà vu and doom grew with each passing moment. Then he sighed. Always a bad sign.

“I can’t find this in the computer,” he finally said.

Now we were going backwards. We went from having the wrong thing in the computer to having nothing at all.

So we explained. And he got more helpers. And we gave him even more confirmation papers. And I showed him the confirmation on my phone. And then he disappeared for 10 minutes.

“Nobody’s here who can do this right now,” he said when he finally reappeared.
“There’s only three people who know how to do this here and they’re all gone,” the other guy helpfully added.

I finally lost my mind. J was swinging on the chains, threatening to strangle herself, fall smack on her head or break the chains and throwing popcorn all over the ground at the same time. Queen M went off to indulge in her unspeakable habit at the nearest DSA.

I went into a little tirade about how we weren’t leaving without these tickets and we were wasting one of our 6 park days doing this instead of doing magical things at the magical kingdom.

“The park’s open until 9,” he said, completely unmoved. Plenty of time for magic, he seemed to think.

So I told him again about our wild goose chase that began at the MK, and he and his friend just rolled their eyes when I said they couldn’t give us the tickets at the MK. I don’t know what made them feel so superior, THEY couldn’t give us our tickets either.


But if you stand in front of someone’s window long enough, eventually they have to do something to get rid of you. He went somewhere, was gone again for a very long time and came back with two 6-day tickets.

One was a child’s YES ticket, one was an adult hopper with water parks and more added onto it. I suppose that was the only adult ticket they could find lying around. We didn’t care. We took it and ran. It was 6 o’clock and we had to get our money’s worth out of our ticket day.


Next chapter

Last edited by appleorchard; 03-28-2013 at 12:06 AM.
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Old 02-28-2013, 01:17 AM   #28
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Your trip report rocks!

I love your writing style and sense of humor. The title alone is worth stopping in to find out what happened.

Fun, fun!! Can't wait to read more.
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Old 02-28-2013, 01:24 AM   #29
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Can't wait to read more!
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Old 02-28-2013, 11:38 AM   #30
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Thanks all! This was not the crying trip to Guest Relations, BTW. The person who really wanted to cry was the poor guy behind the counter. He was being completely obnoxious, but I could tell he was also incredibly frustrated. I'm not sure why Disney offers this program and then makes it so hard to get the tickets!
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