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Old 11-30-2003, 11:22 PM   #91
SueM in MN
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Originally posted by Janet2k
SueM in MN, thanks to your eagle-eyes, I just made a correction in my post at the top of this page. You are correct – at the Haunted Mansion, I rolled myself right out of the building, while at Pirates, I took an elevator upstairs.

(I am wondering if the Haunted Mansion at Disneyland has a moving sidewalk because for some reason I seem to remember being on one as I heard the Ghost Hostess beckon, “Hurry back… Hurry back…Be sure to bring your death certificate, if you decide to join us…” Then again, I am getting more forgetful as I age – too much stuff is cluttering up my memory banks. )
I think you figured it out. I haven't been to DL since I was a little girl, but I remember reading recently that the "shrinking room" at the HM in DL takes you down because you need to go below the train tracks. So, it only makes sense that to get out of the DL HM, you would need to go back up.
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trip report link in Memory of eternaldisneyfan, who lived these words: Some people are always grumbling because roses have thorns. I am thankful that thorns have roses. Alphonse Karr
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Old 12-02-2003, 12:20 PM   #92
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I have decided that since you had so much fun on this trip, I am going to go the same time you do next trip and just follow you around! LOL

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Old 12-02-2003, 12:27 PM   #93
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I have decided that since you had so much fun on this trip, I am going to go the same time you do next trip and just follow you around! LOL
Sign me up, too.


You should start a travel tour company. :D
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Old 12-04-2003, 03:26 AM   #94
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You guys are too funny! Thanks for the kind words!

I went back to work this week. Yahoo! Of course, my leg is swollen like you wouldn't believe, so it hasn't been easy. But it certainly feels good to be back with my coworkers again. This evening a whole bunch of 'em took me out for dinner. Since I work in the high-tech field, being female certainly has its advantages sometimes -- I was the only female at a table of no less than eight guys. Oh, yeah, it feels good to be back with my buddies again. But that means that I’ll primarily only have weekends to work on my trip report. I promise to do as much as I can as soon as I can.
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Old 12-04-2003, 08:34 AM   #95
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Hey, count me in too!

When is your next vacation Janet?
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Old 12-06-2003, 04:46 AM   #96
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Pixiechick, my but you have a great memory. Don at the AKL is my favorite Disney Cast Member. I love it when he tells people that he and I “go way back” (to just before the AKL opened, that is!). He has never been anything but decent and kind to my family. I was so happy that we had the opportunity to visit with him during our vacation. He’s such a doll.

Helenk, Floridafam, and Terry S., you think my vacation has been fun so far? Just wait until you read about Day 11 (which I’ll probably title “Beach Club Villas Day Three”). You ain’t seen nothin’ yet…
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Old 12-06-2003, 04:53 AM   #97
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Most of my photo links are probably broken, thanks to Yahoo...

I thought I should mention that several days ago Yahoo changed their photo storage system. Due to their changes, most of my photos appear to have been lost. I am hopeful that Yahoo will be able to fix their problems and get all of my photos back for me. I thought I should mention this in case some of you are clicking on my photo links and are seeing error messages instead. Once Yahoo fixes their issues, I will go back and update all the photo links in this thread. In the meantime, I am adding new photo albums to my Yahoo account as I continue posting in this thread. Hopefully, those new photo links will work.
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Old 12-06-2003, 06:09 AM   #98
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Grand Floridian Day Seven, Part 1…

As I answered my morning wake-up call from Mickey Mouse, I wondered where the time had gone. I couldn’t believe that we were already one week into our vacation. It seemed like only yesterday that I was packing my suitcase in preparation for our vacation to begin. I guess the old adage is true: “Time flies when you’re having fun.” And my family surely was having more fun than we ever imagined we would have.

I hung up the phone and raced my daughter to the shower. Since her little feet were quicker than my wheelchair, she won so I had to let her go first.

Once my family was showered and dressed, we made our way to the concierge lounge. My daughter enjoyed a bowl of cereal while I enjoyed several slices of cinnamon raisin toast (for some odd reason I craved toast that morning). Once we were done munching, we headed outside to the pool. I wanted to spend a lot of time at the pool today since it was our last full day at the Grand Floridian Resort.

I don’t have to tell you that it was another glorious Florida day (click here). Painted above the Grand Floridian Resort was the usual brilliant blue sky (click here) with white fluffy clouds scattered here and there. As I swam in the pool, I constantly found myself staring up at the sky. I was trying to etch that view into my mind – I wanted to take it home with me, ~sigh.~

My Mom spent the day reading underneath the umbrella (click here) while my Dad split his time between reading and swimming. My daughter, my husband, and I pretty much spent the whole time in the pool (click here). I think the only time we came out of the pool was to eat lunch (soup, chili, sandwiches, and pizza from Gasparilla Grill).

Before I knew it, the entire day had passed us by. My parents bid us goodbye because they knew that my daughter would soon be attending the Grand Floridian’s Haunted Pirates Cruise. As always, my daughter gave them both kisses and bear hugs (she's a great bear-hugger).

My daughter, husband, and I headed back inside the Grand Floridian. As we went through the concierge lounge, my daughter took some photos of the afternoon’s offerings (I've included her photos below -- I'm sorry that some of them are blurry).

The snack offerings were varied and included a nice selection of cheeses (click here), crudités (or what my family prefers to call “veggies & dip” - click here), freshly made salsa (click here), and crackers (click here and click here). For those guests who craved something lighter and healthier, they had to look no further than the lounge (click here).

Once again the Grand Floridian had not forgotten their littlest guests – the children. Their special buffet table was filled with all sorts of goodies. Some of the goodies included peanut butter and jelly sandwiches (click here), cupcakes (click here), and fudge brownies (click here).

The afternoon drink selection included both soft and hard drinks. The “soft” drinks included various teas and coffees. It also included iced tea and two flavors of lemonade – regular and “pink” (click here). The “hard” drinks included a nice selection of wines (click here).

I thought I would also post a couple photos of the concierge lounge for those of you who haven’t had the opportunity to visit it yet:
Photo # 1 (click here)
Photo # 2 (click here)
Photo # 3 (click here)
Photo # 4 (click here)
Photo # 5 (click here)
Photo # 6 (click here)
Photo # 7 (click here)

Since my family had eaten lunch outside by the swimming pool only a few hours prior, we only grabbed something cold to drink. With our drinks in hand (in disposable cups), we headed back to our room in order to prepare for the evening’s activities.

Last edited by Janet2k; 01-03-2004 at 07:31 PM.
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Old 12-06-2003, 07:48 AM   #99
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Grand Floridian Day Seven, Part 2…

Earlier in the day, I had telephoned the concierge and had signed up my daughter for this evening’s Haunted Pirates Cruise. We had stayed at the Grand Floridian Resort before on Halloween night and had read about the cruise in the resort newsletter, and yet we had never signed up our daughter for it. Why? The only reason I can think of is that we had tickets for Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party. Well, we had tickets for the party for this evening, too, but this time I decided that the party could wait until my daughter had returned from the Haunted Pirates Cruise. The cruise sounded like fun and I didn’t want her to miss it. (I should note that the cruise might only be for guests of the Grand Floridian Resort – it was noted in the newsletter that it was not listed in the Disney Dining Reservation System.)

After a long day at the pool, my daughter was ready for some different kind of fun. She put on her Halloween costume and we headed downstairs to the Grand Floridian’s marina. When we got to the marina, we saw that most of the children were dressed in their Halloween costumes too; everyone looked great and ready for action.

I will let my daughter describe the Haunted Pirates Cruise for you. What follows are her words:

- - - - - - -

When we arrived at the Grand Floridian’s marina for the Haunted Pirates Cruise, the parents signed the children in while the children put on their life vests. Then we got some instructions from a Cast Member on how to act during the cruise (click here).

Then these two pirates kidnapped Cast Member Carrie from the marina. The pirates were wearing black eye patches, red bandanas, fake swords, fake guns, puffy shirts, baggy pants, and black knee boots. They kidnapped Carrie because she knew where the treasure was. They put her on the Shore Patrol boat and they quickly left the marina (click here).

Cast Members Susan, Bobbie, and Cory said, “Oh, you rascal pirates! We have to get the treasure tonight otherwise if we can’t, we’ll have to stay up until midnight and try to figure out where the treasure is!” (click here).

The children boarded (click here) the same boat that is used for the regular Pirate’s Cruise. Our boat had the pirate flag on the back of it (click here). Bobbi was our driver and our boat left the marina and headed out onto Seven Seas Lagoon (click here).

Cory said, “You guys have to look for a red light because Carrie is on that boat and if we get her back, she can tell us where the treasure is. That way those greedy pirates won’t get the treasure!” On the lagoon, we sailed around and looked for a red light.

The kids saw the red-flashing light of the Shore Patrol boat. We sailed over to it and saw Carrie. One pirate had a fake knife at her neck and another pirate had a hanging rope in his hand because he was going to hang Carrie off the boat if she didn’t tell him where the treasure chest was. Then the pirate boat raced away.

As they were racing away, we all yelled, “We want Carrie! We want Carrie! We want Carrie!” The pirates yelled, “Only if you find the treasure for us!” And I said, “Never! I’ll chop off your neck if we tell you! And you’ll never get the treasure!” And the pirates yelled, “You greedy kid! Next time we’re gonna get you and chop off your neck for real!” I was like, “You’re lying! Little silly pirates can’t trick me!” And quietly they said, “Shoot! She got us!”

The pirates raced away and we were slowly turning our boat around because it is so long. It took us a little while to turn around. Susan said, “Can you guys make this thing any quicker?” And Cory began singing, “Yo, ho! Yo, ho! A pirate’s life for me!” He sang the whole song, and then he said, “I want Carrie back.”

Our boat started moving a little bit quicker and again the kids spotted a red light. We all yelled, “There it is! There it is!” Bobbi said, “I’m going as fast as I can.” Then Susan said, “Well, if this is the fastest you can go, you might as well go faster.” Our boat turned around slowly and finally we began moving straight ahead. We began following the flashing red light. Suddenly, the pirates turned their light off. We were in the middle of the lagoon and it was dark. Then we lost track of the pirate boat and we couldn’t see it at all.

Bobbi said, “I have a smart idea. The way to track the boat down is to look for waves, big waves, that come from the Shore Patrol boat.” Luckily, with the kids’ sharp eyes, we finally spotted the pirate boat – we tracked it by seeing its waves and its red light.

The pirates stopped their boat next to our boat. I said, “You greedy pirates! I’m gonna chop off your necks!” The pirates said, “You greedy kids! You’re no good!” I said, “Little pirates can’t fool me.” They said, “Gosh, she got us again.”

Carrie cried, “Help, you guys! Help!” And we were yelling, “We’re doing the best that we can!” And then the pirates drove away.

The pirates were going the wrong way because we spotted the treasure chest in the other direction from them. The chest was near the Contemporary, near a flashing red light but we were far away from it.

The pirates drove over next to us again. They said to Carrie, “We’re going to throw you overboard for real if you don’t tell us where the treasure is!” And she told them where it really was and we couldn’t believe that she did that!

The pirates drove their boat towards the treasure chest but it looked like to us that they drove way past the treasure chest.

Our boat was slowly moving towards the treasure chest and we saw a Shore Patrol boat parked there that had swords and guns on it, but we didn’t think this was the pirate boat that had Carrie on it because we didn’t see Carrie or the pirates.

When we got near the treasure chest, Cory reached over to grab it and all of a sudden the pirates popped up! Cory took the treasure chest and hid it on our boat.

The pirates quickly put their swords and guns on and then they got on our boat. The kids started beating them up and grabbed the pirates’ swords and guns. One of the pirates said, “I swear if you guys don’t stop it, I’m gonna chop off all of our necks!” The kids yelled, “We’re not gonna stop! And how are you supposed to chop off our necks if we have your swords and guns?”

The pirates were forced to leave our boat and go back to their own boat. Then they raced away. Carrie was still on the pirate boat but we had the treasure chest on our boat. We headed our boat back towards the Grand Floridian.

We met the pirates once again out on the lagoon. They said, “If you give us the treasure chest, we’ll give you Carrie.” Cory said, “Okay!”

Susan and Bobbi and the kids yelled stuff at the pirates to distract them. They yelled stuff like, “You’re bad pirates!” Cory sneaked and got all the treasure out of the treasure chest. He hid the treasure in a special place on our boat.

Bobbi and Susan said to Cory loudly so the pirates could hear them, “You can’t give that treasure to the pirates!” The pirates said, “How about if you just let us hold it?” All the kids agreed with that. So the pirates gave us Carrie and we gave them (and they didn’t know it) an empty treasure chest. Once the pirates got the treasure chest they said, “Ha ha! You don’t have any treasure!” and they drove away.

Carrie sat down on our boat and we headed back to the Grand Floridian. Once we got to the marina, as we left the boat, we got our own bags of treasure (click here). We never saw the pirates again.

I had fun on the Haunted Pirates Cruise and want to do it again next Halloween (click here)!

- - - - - - -

Boy, aren’t you all glad that the kids saved Cast Member Carrie? It would have been a pretty lousy Halloween for her if she would have had to swim back to the Grand Floridian Resort in order to escape the pirates. I hear that Seven Seas Lagoon can be pretty treacherous at night. Legend has it that there is a crocodile who swims in those waters under the pale moonlight, and his belly makes a loud ticking noise...

Last edited by Janet2k; 01-03-2004 at 07:36 PM.
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Old 12-06-2003, 12:01 PM   #100
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Oh you do know how to tease, don't you Janet? Can't wait to hear more (especially day 11).

Tell your daughter thank you once again for the wonderful description of the Halloween Pirate Cruise, sounds like it was really fun!
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Old 12-07-2003, 08:14 PM   #101
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Grand Floridian Day Seven, Part 3…

As we picked up our little pirate from the Haunted Pirates Cruise, we were told that if she wanted to have some more fun at the resort, the children were to gather in front of the Grand Floridian Café within the next fifteen minutes. Once there, the children would attend the resort’s Halloween costume parade, followed by some trick or treating. Since our pirate was still dressed in her costume, she said it would be fun to trick or treat before we went to the Magic Kingdom for “Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party.” We headed over to the Café.

At the Grand Floridian Café, the children were handed a trick or treat bag (my daughter had received hers at the end of the Haunted Pirates Cruise (click here)). There were quite a few children gathered outside the Café and they looked adorable in their Halloween costumes. After about fifteen minutes of waiting for the parade to begin, however, my daughter began to feel restless. She decided that she didn’t want to wait any longer, she wanted to get to the Magic Kingdom for “Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party” since it had started almost an hour ago. My husband and I decided to let her call the shots this evening, so we took the elevator up to the second floor and caught the next monorail to the Magic Kingdom Theme Park.

Since this was actually Halloween night, tickets to “Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party” had sold out months in advance. I was happy that I had ordered mine when they had first gone on sale. Had I waited until the last minute to purchase them, I would have missed out on being able to attend the party. Since Halloween just so happens to be my favorite day out of the whole year, that would have been a big disappointment to me.

It was a short ride from the Grand Floridian Resort to the Magic Kingdom Theme Park. Immediately inside the Magic Kingdom’s entrance, we saw something that we had never seen before – a huge crystal ball that contained the head of Madame Leota. It was awesome (click here for mini-slideshow).

As we arrived in Town Square, the “Boo To You” Halloween parade was about to begin. We found a spot to sit on directly across the street from the fire station. Soon the parade music started, the gates opened, and the floats began heading toward us (click here for mini-slideshow of parade’s start). We had never seen a parade from this vantage point before. It had a nice view and thus quickly became packed with parade-goers. But that didn’t bother us because we had seen the parade a few times over the years. Click here for slideshow of "Boo To You" Halloween parade.

Once the parade was over, my daughter stated that she wanted to ride on the “Haunted Mansion” ride, and so we made our way to it through the packed theme park. As I stated before, the Halloween party had sold out a few months prior and the Magic Kingdom was literally hopping this evening. It was not easy to navigate through the crowds in my wheelchair, but somehow we managed to do so without incident.

Once we arrived at the Haunted Mansion, we entered the handicap queue. There was another family before us in the queue who also had a family member in a wheelchair. Together our two families were escorted to the proper boarding area. While we waited for the ride to be stopped for us, I noticed that the young lady in the wheelchair was dressed as Minnie Mouse and she looked lovely (I felt so plain next to her in my street clothes). After a few minutes, the ride stopped and we safely boarded our doom buggies.

There is just something about the Haunted Mansion on Halloween night (click here for mini-slideshow). The ride, per se, is no different than at any other time of year, but the atmosphere sure is – the outside of the Haunted Mansion is shrouded in fog and appears to be even more eerily lit than usual. Halloween is just not Halloween without a visit to the spookiest resting place within the Magic Kingdom.

Once the “Haunted Mansion” ride was over, we headed to the “Pirates of the Caribbean” ride. Along the way, we stopped to have our family picture taken at an official Halloween party photo location, and we hit a trick or treat candy station or two: photo # 1 (click here) and photo # 2 (click here).

My husband and daughter wanted to ride on the “Magic Carpets of Aladdin” ride (click here for mini-slideshow) I patiently waited on the ground in my wheelchair as they flew above me in their magic carpet. My daughter loves this ride because she thinks it’s funny when the camel spits at her (click here).

The theme park was so packed by this time that we decided that we didn’t want to ride any more rides for a while. That is a luxury that one can take when they have vacationed in Walt Disney World before as we have. We thought it best to wander around the theme park and soak up as much of the party atmosphere as we could – sort of stop and smell the ghosts, so to speak.

It was fun checking out everyone’s costumes. We saw many Minnie Mouses, Buzz Lightyears, Jessie the Cowgirls, Snow Whites, Wizard of Oz matched sets, and even a few I Love Lucy’s. Everyone was having a good time and seemed to be really in the spirit of the night.

Eventually we found ourselves in Fantasyland. Since I knew that I could remain in my wheelchair during the “It’s A Small World” ride, we decided to ride it. And after that ride, we went and saw “Mickey’s PhilharMagic” for the first time. We watched that show from the handicap row in the very back of the theater. From what I could see, there wasn’t a bad seat in the theater and our seats were no exception. The show was adorable.

With the theme park still packed to the rafters, we headed off in search of something to do that we hadn’t done before. What that was exactly, we didn’t know, but we knew that we would find it.

Surprisingly, we found ourselves in a less busy part of the theme park (probably due to the fact that there weren’t any major rides nearby). We saw a sign that announced story telling was about to begin in approximately fifteen minutes. We had never attended such an event before on Halloween night, so we knew that we had found the something different that we had been seeking. As they say, magic happens when you least expect it.

The Fairytale Garden theater for the story telling was small and quaint. It also was empty. Its stage was covered in fog (click here). I rolled myself up to the front row while my husband and daughter went off in search of popcorn and pop. While I sat in the theater, I listened to music playing and watched the fog constantly roll across the stage. Soon, other families began making their way into theater, and my husband and daughter returned with some munchies.

The storyteller was male and he stood outside the theater and announced to the passersby that a not-so-scary Halloween story was going to begin within a few minutes. Most guests passed him by because listening to a story on Halloween night was not their idea of a thrill. That was okay with me because I understood that Disney had something different to offer to everyone. They may not have wanted a story on Halloween night, but my family and a few other families certainly did.

In the theater, the fog began to roll out even thicker than before and the music grew louder. Just then the storyteller climbed the stairs to the stage. The story he began telling was about Count Dracula, but don’t worry, it wasn’t too scary. He got the audience involved in the story by asking them to say certain words at certain points in the story. Both the children and the adults got into the spirit of the story and the night.

After fifteen minutes, the story had ended and the storyteller asked the children to approach the stage since he had candy for their trick or treat bags. The children eagerly approached the stage for their treats. I was fortunate because once the children had been given their treats, the storyteller came over and gave me a handful too (my first Halloween candy of the night). With a piece or two of chocolate in my mouth, my husband wheeled me out of the theater, and we went in search of something else to do.

We found ourselves next to the "Mad Tea Party" ride (a.k.a., the teacups). My daughter and husband quickly selected a teacup to ride in (click here for mini-slideshow). Because this area of the theme park was not very busy, I didn’t worry about anyone falling on top of me as I wheeled myself around the exterior of the ride while my daughter and husband enjoyed the actual ride itself.

After spinning themselves silly on the ride, my husband mentioned that he was tired and ready to head back to the Grand Floridian. My watch showed that it was 11 PM, and even though my daughter complained that last year she and I had stayed at the party until the stroke of midnight, I told her that it was time to leave. She protested but I reminded her that it would easily take 30 minutes to find our way to the front of the theme park. That meant that we would really be leaving closer to the party’s end. That seemed to appease her, and so we began making our way to the front of the theme park, where we found Cinderella’s castle constantly changing colors (click here for mini-slideshow).

At the front of the theme park, we also found thousands of other guests. My husband cautiously pushed my wheelchair down the path of least resistance. It was tough navigating a wheelchair through the throngs of folks, but somehow he managed without incident (there were a few close calls, though).

Just like I had told my daughter, it was easily 11:30 PM by the time we had made it to Town Square. We said goodbye to some Disney villains (click here) and collected one last piece of candy for my daughter’s trick or treat bag (click here). Then it was onto the Magic Kingdom’s exit turnstiles.

My husband pushed my wheelchair up the steep ramp to the monorail station, and we boarded the next monorail that arrived (click here). Before too long, we found ourselves inside our Grand Floridian resort room, where a goodbye note from the Concierge staff was waiting for us (click here). It was close to midnight by this point and our beds looked very inviting (click here). And just like any good Disney fairytale, when the clock struck midnight, my two characters quickly turned into pumpkins and fell fast asleep.

I wasn’t tired and didn’t want to go to bed just yet. I began packing our suitcases because when we awoke in the morning, we would be transferring to the Beach Club Villas. So for the next hour or so, I did nothing but pack. By the time I tucked my weary body into bed, and before my head fully hit the pillow, I, too, was fast asleep.

Last edited by Janet2k; 01-03-2004 at 09:37 PM.
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Old 12-07-2003, 09:43 PM   #102
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BCV here it comes.....
I can't wait! I've enjoyed your trip report so much this far, I can't wait to get to the BCV part. But, Oh NO! It's Sunday night.... will we have to wait until next weekend

Thanks so much for taking the time to share!
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Old 12-07-2003, 09:44 PM   #103
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Grand Floridian Day Eight…

I wasn’t ready for Mickey Mouse’s phone call this morning. I didn’t get much sleep last night due to my late-night packing spree. I still had a little packing left to do, though, so I quickly got out of bed and hit the shower. I wanted my family to transfer to the Beach Club Villas before noon, and I easily had another hour left of packing to go before we could ask Bell Services to come retrieve our luggage.

As I packed the last of our personal effects, I began thinking about all the wonderful vacation memories that my family had collected so far. Here are a few highlights from our first nine days:

• Staying at PO-RS for first time
• Attending Bob Jackson’s entertaining show
• Meeting our wonderful GF Concierge Pre-Planning CM
• Meeting other wonderful GF CMs
• Seeing Nutz4dzny and spouse again
• Meeting Nutz4dzny’s son
• Meeting WeFullTime and spouse
• Celebrating wedding anniversary on VIP Safari with friends
• Visiting AKL’s Kilimanjaro Club and seeing our favorite CM again
• Celebrating wedding anniversary with GF Private Dining Event
• Attending GF’s My Disney Girl Princess Tea Party
• Attending DoomBuggies.com event & hearing Jason Surrell speak
• Seeing Bonzie1 and spouse again
• Attending MNSSHP
• Attending GF’s Pirate's Cruise (daughter)
• Attending GF’s Wonderland Tea Party (daughter)
• Vacationing with my parents again
• Attending GF’s Grand Adventures in Cooking Class (daughter)
• Driving to Gulf Coast to visit aunt
• Touring WeFullTime’s lovely home
• Attending 999 Happy Haunts Event
• Touring town of Celebration
• Attending Food & Wine Signature Dinner as guests of Nutz4dzny
• Attending GF’s Haunted Pirates Cruise for first time (daughter)
• Attending MNSSHP again
• Swimming in GF’s pools again & again & again

I finally finished packing and my husband called for Bell Services to come pick up our luggage. Once they arrived, my husband requested that our luggage be transferred to the Beach Club Villas. With our luggage taken away, we said goodbye to our lovely Grand Floridian Resort room. We then joined my parents in the concierge lounge. It was 10 AM.

Around 10:30 AM, my parents headed downstairs to get their vehicle from valet parking. My husband, daughter, and I headed to the third floor to say goodbye to the Concierge Pre-Planning Cast Member who had helped us create a truly ~magical~ vacation. We gave him our heartfelt thanks for the flawless vacation that we had just experienced. He told us that he hoped to work with us again in the future, and we assured him that he would.

We headed downstairs to the porte cochere and found my parents. When the valet pulled their vehicle around, my husband put my wheelchair in the back and everyone got in and fastened their seatbelts. Our next stop would be the lovely Beach Club Villas, where my dear friend from home would be joining up with our vacation this evening. I was eagerly anticipating my friend’s arrival when we pulled out of the Grand Floridian Resort’s driveway. Oddly, I wasn’t sad at all to be leaving the Grand Floridian, as I knew my family would be back for another stay in the future. That was a wonderful feeling to have.

Last edited by Janet2k; 12-08-2003 at 03:08 AM.
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Old 12-08-2003, 04:15 AM   #104
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Join Date: Jul 2000
Posts: 6,977

Beach Club Villas Day One...

We arrived at the Beach Club Villas at 11 AM. While I checked in, my daughter exchanged pins with a Disney Cast Member (click here).

I was pleasantly surprised when the Front Desk Cast Member informed me that my handicap-accessible studio room was ready (I wasn’t expecting it to be ready until the standard check-in time). I was given my room key and directions on how to get to it. I had stayed in the Beach Club Villas last year with my daughter, so I was familiar with the layout of the resort. My husband, however, had not vacationed with us last year so this was his first visit to the resort. I gave him the resort map and let him lead the way so that he could become familiar with the resort.

We easily found our resort room. It was located near the elevators, which was nice. However, upon entry to our room, I immediately panicked when I saw that our bathroom was ill-suited for me. Oh, sure, it had handrails installed on the wall around the bathtub; however, I could not use a bathtub with handrails, I needed a roll-in shower with a bench seat. I immediately placed a phone call to Disney’s Special Needs folks. Their telephone line was busy and my call rolled over to their voice-mail. I left a message stating my predicament and requested that they call me as soon as possible.

My parents were in the room with me and they agreed that a bathtub would make my vacation more difficult to manage. I explained to them that my prior two resort rooms (PO-RS and GF) were perfect due to their roll-in showers; I did not understand why my Beach Club Villas room did not have a roll-in shower. I was positive that the Special Needs folks had reserved a roll-in shower room for me, but somehow something must have gone wrong that I didn’t understand. (I should note that upon my return from vacation, the Special Needs folks contacted me regarding this issue. They informed me that initially the Beach Club had given them inaccurate information regarding the locations of a few of the roll-in shower resort rooms. After the problem that I had encountered with the first Beach Club Villas room that was assigned to me, the Special Needs folks and the Beach Club folks got in contact with each other. The two organizations decided that they needed to straighten out this issue so that another handicap guest would not have to go through what I went through. I was very impressed to learn that. And thankful for everything the Special Needs folks had done for me regarding my vacation; it wouldn’t have been half as wonderful if it were not for them and their hard work.)

Okay, back to my story…

I also explained to my parents that most people do not want a roll-in shower resort room; on the contrary, they usually ask for a different room if they find themselves in one.

I waited a bit for the Special Needs folks to call, but after a few minutes I decided to call the Beach Club’s Front Desk instead. I explained my room needs to them and they immediately transferred me over to their Room Assignor.

The very first words out of the Room Assignor’s mouth were, “Most people do not want a roll-in shower bathroom.” I burst out laughing (a case of déjà vu, wouldn’t you say ). I told him that I truly needed one of those “unpopular” rooms, and he said that he had just the room for me. I was thrilled to hear that. He asked me to come downstairs to the Front Desk to retrieve my new room keys. I told him that I would be happy to oblige.

(Note: I regret not taking photos of this resort room before I left it. It would have been nice to have posted photos of the room and its view.)

Within a few minutes we were back at the Front Desk and were given our new room keys. This room was ready for us and so we made our way to it (too bad our luggage wasn’t due to arrive for a few more hours). As soon as I entered the room, I rolled my wheelchair right into the bathroom. Hallelujah! It had a roll-in shower! All was right with the World (as in Disney). Please click here to view my on-line photo album of the handicap-accessible bathroom, or please click here to view a slideshow of the handicap-accessible bathroom.

I only have two other photos to share with you folks of my handicap-accessible room. Photo # 1 (click here) shows the door with two peepholes – one peephole at the regular height and the other peephole at a lower height. And Photo # 2 (click here) shows the closet with its clothes bar at a lower height. I didn’t take any other photos of the room because I already had photos of a BCV studio room from last year’s vacation (click here to view those photos). By the way, don't forget that you may also take Disney's 3-D tour of a BCV studio room (click here).

Once I was happy with my handicap-accessible room, my family and parents headed out for lunch. Everyone was in the mood for a Whopper, so we drove to a local Burger King. After we were done eating, it was time to purchase a few groceries from one of the local supermarkets (we bought Pepsi, sandwich meat, bread, soup, tortilla chips, salsa, Miracle Whip, salad, milk, etc.). Once we had our supplies, we headed back to the Beach Club Villas. By that time our luggage had arrived and we requested delivery of it from Bell Services.

With our luggage in our room, it was time to unpack. Everyone put on their bathing suits and headed outside to Stormalong Bay (click here). It was another perfect day for swimming.

My Dad is very adventurous. My daughter didn’t have to ask him twice to go down the water slide with her. I was very jealous that I couldn’t go down the slide with them (I have never been down that particular water slide). The two of them had a ball. I then convinced them to hang out in the whirlpool with me (not the Jacuzzi, the whirlpool – that part of the swimming pool complex that goes ‘round & ‘round and ‘round & ‘round). I could hang out there forever, but alas, it got too crowded and I was worried about someone bumping into my broken leg.

It’s such a shame that my Mom doesn’t swim anymore. I think she would have had a ball in Stormalong Bay with us. But she loves to read, and so that is what she did while the rest of us swam all afternoon long. Here is a photo of our usual table at Stormalong Bay – it was right in front of the Beaches & Cream Soda Shop: click here.

After a few hours, my parents decided to call it a night. I was hoping that they would have hung out with us until my dear friend arrived from the West Coast, but that was not to be (my parents are early-birds). They said they would meet her first thing in the morning. That was good enough for me.

My family went upstairs to our resort room to shower and change and wait for my friend to arrive. While we were waiting, we heard a loud BOOM outside. We went out onto our balcony and saw a few fireworks (click here and click here).

Soon afterward, our telephone rang. My friend had arrived and was already checked into her room. She thanked me for her room (I booked it via my DVC membership) and said that she loved it. My daughter couldn’t wait to see her, so the two of us went up to her room to get her, then we came downstairs to pick up my husband (who had been napping). The four of us went over to the boardwalk in search of something to eat.

Epcot was getting out about the time we hit the boardwalk (9:30 PM), so the place was really jumping. We grabbed some French fries and other munchies from a food stand on the boardwalk. We then sat on a bench and ate while we watched the boardwalk entertainers entertain the crowd. It was a warm night and my friend was so excited to be in Walt Disney World for the first time in a few years.

After we had finished munching, we headed upstairs to the large verandah off the main lobby of the BoardWalk Villas. My husband went inside the Belle Vue Room to get us some libations. He brought them outside and we sat on the rocking chairs and chatted for a bit (click here). It was a lovely way to spend the evening. When 10:30 PM hit, we decided to head back to our resort.

Once back at the Beach Club Villas, my daughter, my dear friend, and I decided to go for a swim in the quiet pool (my husband went to bed). There were lots of people in the pool that night, proving that it really was a good night for a swim. After about thirty minutes or so, we called it a night and made plans to meet for breakfast the next morning. Our first day at the Beach Club Villas had finally come to an end.

Last edited by Janet2k; 01-03-2004 at 11:25 PM.
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Old 12-08-2003, 04:26 AM   #105
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Join Date: Jul 2000
Posts: 6,977

Originally posted by tammydel
...I can't wait to get to the BCV part. But, Oh NO! It's Sunday night.... will we have to wait until next weekend
Tammydel, I went ahead and posted Day One of my BCV stay. I hope this will tide you over until I can find the time to share some more information about that resort and the rest of my vacation. My family and dear friend truly enjoyed our BCV stay. And the folks at the Front Desk of that resort were wonderful.
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