2400 pictures! Beach Club, Universal, and Bay Lake Tower Grand Villa-COMPLETE!

Discussion in 'Completed Trip Reports' started by dr&momto2boys, May 15, 2010.

  1. dr&momto2boys

    dr&momto2boys DIS Veteran

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    You're back! I hope you had a wonderful trip! Are you going to do a TR?

    I haven't done a photobook for a trip to Hawaii we took over 2 years ago! There are other trips/ yearly books I haven't done either, but I'll let DH do those (except Hawaii.) His aren't artistic in any way, but at least he does one once in a while.
     
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  3. hstrickland

    hstrickland Way Down South...

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    What is Picaboo books??? You're right about the cost of the Disney books. On DS9s first trip, I didn't have a great camera....on our adult only trip, I didn't have a great camera....therefore not tons of pictures, so it was fairly easy to use the Disney book. Although I still had to pay for extra pages. They turned out great. But on this last trip DH bought me a new camera so I was using it ALL the time....1600 pics later. There is NO WAY I can use a Disney book now. I will have to Google this Picaboo book and see what I can find. Of course I should have been doing this a month ago....we are getting ready to start school next week, so who knows when I will find time:rolleyes:
     
  4. dr&momto2boys

    dr&momto2boys DIS Veteran

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    Did you find it? It's just Picaboo dot com. It's similar to all the photo/photobook sites, but I like it because you can work offline and then upload it and the end. Also as I mentioned I like the backgrounds and layouts better. I'm close to finishing book 1 which will be the first 5 days of our trip. I'll let you know what it costs after I order it to give you an idea.
     
  5. dd50

    dd50 DIS Veteran

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    Yes, we got back on Saturday and my daughter from CA came back with us. They just left about an hour ago. We had a great time but it was so hot and I am living a few hours south. I got a rash on my arms from the sun but they are better now. We went back to the hotel every day for a few hours after lunch which isn't normal for us but I sure did like it. Probably won't do a trip report because I am to much of a procrastinator.
     
  6. dr&momto2boys

    dr&momto2boys DIS Veteran

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    Whew! Finally finished my photobook! Well, the first one anyway. It's the first 4 1/2 days which is the Beachclub and Universal parts of our trip. It was 80 pages long and I didn't count the photos but there are probably at least 500 pictures. Sometimes 1 taking up a whole page and sometimes more than ten on a page. As I mentioned previosly, I made it on Picaboo dot com and with the 25% off special this month, it was still $128 including shipping. A little pricey compared to other sites, but worth it for the way it turned out.
     
  7. hstrickland

    hstrickland Way Down South...

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    I did find it! Thanks! And have started...only on page 3, though. That price is still cheaper than the Disney book, especially with 80 pages! I need to get busy...lots to do;)
     
  8. dd50

    dd50 DIS Veteran

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    I don't think that 80 pages for $128 is to bad. I need to start one. I still have last years pics on the memory card.
     
  9. dr&momto2boys

    dr&momto2boys DIS Veteran

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    With some sites they have occasional specials on their photobooks for unlimited pages for the base price (usually $20!) They're fine, but nothing special. Compared to that, $128 is a lot. But then I think of when I used to have to develop plain film. I'd take ten or so rolls and that would cost a fortune. So overall I think it's a fair price.
     
  10. dr&momto2boys

    dr&momto2boys DIS Veteran

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    After lunch, we split up again. MIL and SIL wanted to do a little shopping and return to the hotel early. They took Avery and Max with them. This let the roller coaster riders get over to Space Mountain. We had picked up fast passes earlier.
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    Jacob has been on Space Mountain with DH at WDW and DL before, so I was excited to take him on this time. We hadn't been since the make-over though, so when we got to the front and saw the seats separated now, I was a little worried that he'd be scared. I tried to keep my hand on his shoulder the whole time which was a stretch for me! He did okay, but I was terrified! (for him.) :laughing: DH had to stay off the first time to watch Ella and Kyle, so It was his turn to go next. While we were waiting, Grandpa let Kyle and Jacob press some pennies. They did quite a few on the trip. It was kind of Grandpa's thing with the boys.
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    Next, we went to Buzz Lightyear's Space Ranger Spin. It never crossed my mind that we should do this ride early of get a FP. I was confusing this ride with the one at Disneyland which never had a wait. Here, we definately had a wait, although it goes faster than you think because it's a continously loading ride.
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    Ella was really hamming it up while we were in line!
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    As always, this ride was a hit with the whole group. And speaking of hamming it up...
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    We got a call from SIL telling us that Max had fallen asleep in the stroller, so they couldn't return to the hotel since the stroller was rented. We all decided to go back. DH would have to carry Max back to the hotel. Here are a couple pictures of our return trip.
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    The view of Bay Lake Tower from the Contemporary just before crossing the skywalk:
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    We had to skip swimming this afternoon due to the kids special hair.
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    Next up: dinner at CRT

     
  11. dr&momto2boys

    dr&momto2boys DIS Veteran

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    After a little rest, we got ready and left for dinner at Cinderella's Royal Table.
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    (This was the best place ever to wait for the elevator--look at that view!)

    It was pretty hot and we didn't feel like walking over to the Magic Kingdom, so even though it was the long way around, we took the monorail. I can't remember why Max was being grumpy, but the next series of pictures show you what a drama king he is... He couldn't leave his fingers out of his hair either, so it was taking on a funky look.
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    Upon entering MK, we found ourselves waiting for something/someone, so I took Jacob into the confectionary. He loved seeing the huge rice crispy cakes and watching CMs make chocolate covered apples and candy.

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    Then we were on to the castle...
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    The front passage was blocked. (Do they do that when CRT first opens to keep it from getting jammed up?) We walked to the right and came upon a wishing well.

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    I stood in line to check in and got to admire the lovely mosaics inside the castle.
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    I didn't get any great shots of the interior of the restaurant. We were looking into the sun. [​IMG]

    It was cute how the princesses were introduced. Jacob was psyched that his favorite princess, Snow White, was there! He had to have his picture taken alone with her!
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    Max and Avery both love Ariel! Avery was so over princesses and didn't want to wear a princess dress this evening, but she was sooo into it by the end! Max didn't want any pictures taken...until Ariel came along, that is.
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    Notice you don't see Kyle in any of these pictures. He definately wouldn't be caught dead in a picture with a princess. When Belle came by, she asked him if he was "being a Beast." :laughing:

    This is Ella's best picture with a princess. She always managed to get a goofy look on her face everytime she was next to a princess. Maybe for laughs, at the end of my TR, I'll put in the goofy pics.
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    I've reached maximum picture capacity, so see next post for the completion of our CRT dinner.
     
  12. dr&momto2boys

    dr&momto2boys DIS Veteran

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    Dinner was good, but the food certainly wasn't worth 2 TS credits. This dining experience is all about the atmosphere and the little princesses. We knew that going in and definately had a good time. I was impressed that they offered Ella her own meal at no charge--buttered noodles or something else. She also got her own dessert. I thought that was generous since we didn't pay anything for her.
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    The kids' sundaes were topped with a cute and tastey chocolate crown.
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    I had the chocolate Buckle. It was good, but I think they should come up with something more special here.
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    Next: Evening activities and Wishes
     
  13. dr&momto2boys

    dr&momto2boys DIS Veteran

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    After dinner, most of us headed over to the Haunted Mansion. DH and his sister went on Small World with Avery, Max, and Ella though.
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    It was pretty hot, so I tried to change Ella out of her princess dress, but she summoned her inner princess and would have nothing to do with it! She was thoroughly enjoying being a princess! This was the beginning of the bonding of the girl cousins. Avery made sure Ella had her wand at all times!
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    We went on the Swiss Family Tree House, Alladin's Magic Carpets, the Jungle Cruise, and Pirates of the Caribbean.
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    Jacob joined the grown-ups for Big Thunder Mountain Railroad while SIL took the other kids to the play area by Splash Mountain.
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    He gives the ride two thumbs up afterward. A brave little five year old!
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    We couldn't convince Jake to go on Splah Mountain though, so we all skipped it. We met up with the kids at the play area before finding a snack and a spot to see Wishes.

    This was a pivotal bonding moment for Ella and Avery. Avery was leading Ella around by the hand through the play structures so the big kids wouldn't hurt her. Ella was totally into that. She got hurt at one point and we rescued her and gave her a pacifier. Soon after she popped out the pacifier (she NEVER does that) and hands it to Daddy. Then she held her hand out to Avery and they they took off again. Adorable!
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    We found a pretty good spot along Main Street and I took the boys to Main Street Bakery to use some snack credits. We bought a cinnamon roll to share for breakfast the next day. We also got an uncrustable for Max for a snack and something else, but I can't recall what it was now.

    Grandma had purchased these light up necklaces for the 4 bigger grandkids for the nighttime activites. Here they are waiting for Wishes. Ella got fussy, so she and I went back to the hotel before Wishes began. I saw some of it from the monorail.
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    Ella and I stopped by a store in the Contemporary to do a little shopping. Ever since I was pregnant with her at Disneyland, I've wanted to buy her a baby plush princess, so tonight I showed her a few and let her pick one. She picked Tink and couldn't stop tweaking Tink's nose. :laughing:
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    Next up: DHS and Top of the World Lounge

     
  14. LaurenLC

    LaurenLC DIS Veteran

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    I've been slowly reading your trip report during early morning feedings and I have to tell you how cute your kids are! It looks like you guys had a great time! I can't wait to read more!
     
  15. dr&momto2boys

    dr&momto2boys DIS Veteran

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    Thank you so much! I understand those early morning feedings! Between my 3 kids, I've been breastfeeding for 5 1/2 years straight and counting! Congratulations on your beautiful baby!
     
  16. dd50

    dd50 DIS Veteran

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    Great update. I am just catching up as we have been school shopping.:sick: My poor credit card is wearing out with that and some of Disney still on it.

    Buzz is always crowded but it is so cute. We try to do it in the morning because the crowds come along.

    I am glad Jacob liked Splash Mountain. My grandson is 5 and he loves it. This year my granddaughter who is 7 even went on it and she doesn't do roller coasters of any kind.

    I agree about CRT. It is nice to experience and I did enjoy my dinner last year but don't really think it is worth the money either on dining plan or paying out of pocket.
     
  17. dr&momto2boys

    dr&momto2boys DIS Veteran

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    I'll try to get another update done today. Let's see how the upload to photobucket goes!
     
  18. dr&momto2boys

    dr&momto2boys DIS Veteran

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    Before heading off to Disney's Hollywood Studios today, the kids had fun playing while we waited for the whole group to be ready. I'd say the kids got our money's worth out of their balloons.
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    We finally found our groove! Everyone was ready in a timely manner and no big rush to get to the bus. Too bad tomorrow is the day we go home. :laughing:
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    Did I mention what a pain it was getting all the color and pixie dust out of the kids hair? Jacob's hair was washed at least three times last night and look at all the red still in there. It was permanently spiked too. I can't remember if his look above was before or after we put some gel in it and made the best of it. :rotfl:

    After a long day yesterday, Max would have nothing to do with getting in the bathtub last night, so you'll see in today's pictures that it is just a matted green mess. It was pretty funny when his whiney argument last night was "But no one will like me." He was referring to all the compliments he got on his hair that day. He thought if he washed it, people wouldn't like him anymore. :love: What a sweety. He won the argument.

    And we were off to the bus...
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    Upon arrival we grabbed our rental stroller and went straight for Toy Story Mania so we could ride once and grab fast passes for later.
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    Max was definately not afraid to ride this time! It was, of course, a favorite of all!
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    Kyle had an interest in seeing the Narnia attraction, so we did that next since it was right there. This had always been off my radar since it gets such poor reviews and our family hadn't seen any of the Narnia movies before this trip. (Now we've seen one.) I have to say, the reviews are right. This was very boring unless you're a big Narnia fan. It seemed like a movie trailor to me. :confused3

    Up next: The rest of our DHS day and Top of the World Lounge
     
  19. dr&momto2boys

    dr&momto2boys DIS Veteran

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    I got a request by PM to clarify how we saved so much money on our APs. I'll try.


    First you need to understand that no matter what you paid for a ticket, once you use it at least once, it becomes valued at the current gate ticket price.

    Buying the biggest discounted ticket and then upgrading to an annual pass gives you the most savings. Three things to remember:
    1. Don't exceed the cost of the annual pass. (Including any discount you can apply to it. (ex. DVC membership saves you $100 off an AP.)
    2. Don't get waterpark option on your tickets or you must get a premium annual pass.
    3. You must use it once before you upgrade, otherwise it's value is still the purchase price.

    Current AP price $531.44 - $100 DVC discount = $431.44
    (Exact cost is probably a little less used tax on full fare.)

    We wanted to buy the ticket with the biggest discount whose full fare would not exceed $431.44

    The best discount source for legitimate WDW park tickets is through the email links from Mousesavers(dot)com. It gets you special pricing at Undercovertourist(dot)com.

    The current price at undercovertourist (without the special link) for the 6 Day Park Hopper with no expiration is $371.95. That saves $56 off the gate price!

    So if we just did this, presently it would cost us only $27.95 to upgrade to APs from the tickets we bought.

    We saved even more though because we did use the special link and bought in 2009, before ticket prices went up for 2010. (Maybe that last part was a wash, I don't know.)

    Hope this makes more sense. Feel free to ask any questions you may have. :goodvibes
     
  20. luvpoohandcompany

    luvpoohandcompany DIS Veteran

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    Just wondering if I have old partly used tickets (from the days when all tickets didnt expire) and they have water-park options on them can I use these to upgrade to an annual passes when we are in wdw in 2011? Would it have to be a premium annual pass? We are now a family of 5 (in2004 we were 4) and my son is now an adult. I didnt know I could up-grade the tickets - I thought I could just use the remaining days. Thanks for any help you can give.
    Loving your trip report and all your photos:thumbsup2
    Makes me wish I was there now:rotfl2:!
     
  21. dd50

    dd50 DIS Veteran

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    Nice update. Love the pics. I agree with the Narnia thing. We saw it last year and I was waiting for the show to start and didn't realize that was the show. We passed on it this year.
     

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