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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    Day 4:

    The whole gang met in the lobby of RPR. MIL and SIL's family had taxied over from there close by hotel. They stayed at RPR for this one night so they could have Express Access to all the rides for this day and the next. They quickly checked in and their room was ready right away so they followed the porter to their room and dumped their stuff. (Here's a better picture of the lobby and courtyard.)
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    We all headed out to walk to Islands of Adventure. We got a little down the path when BIL realized they had left their kids' autograph books in the room. He went back to get them while we waited and the kids played. Jacob used his spray bottle to water all the plants along the way.
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    Finally BIL caught up and we got to IOA. It was already open (barely) and MIL rented a stroller for the kids since SIL's family didn't bring one, but we thought the kids would do better with the option of riding.
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    We meandered over to Spiderman knowing how busy it gets, but to my complete shock--it wasn't busy at all! We didn't even use the express line. Jacob and Kyle went on this ride and they like it, but Jacob noticed the seats were wet and was fearing getting wet the whole time. (It mists a little as one of the effects.) One thing I love about Universal is how elaboratly themed the lines for the rides are. On Spiderman, part of the lines takes you through the Daily Planet. (That's the name of the newspaper, right?)
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  3. dr&momto2boys

    dr&momto2boys DIS Veteran

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    I have no idea why most of the pictures are huge when I went through one by one and resized them to medium. :confused3 The two that are correct were resized at different times. Weird and annoying!
     
  4. MadiMouse

    MadiMouse Member of the 2011 WDW Moms Panel

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    Great update! I love IOA. DH and I found that we could do all of the park attractions by lunch time. We loved the front of the line access. ;)
     
  5. AR81

    AR81 DIS Veteran

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    Great report so far!!! I am so looking forward to those grand villa pics and reviews. If you don't mind me asking, can the grand villa be reserved with cash or does have to be dvc points? Keep the pics coming, they are wonderful....
     
  6. disneyfan61

    disneyfan61 DIS Veteran

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    How long of a walk was it from your hotel to Islands of Adventure?
     
  7. mermaid764

    mermaid764 DIS Veteran

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    Great update! The grounds at the hotel look beautiful and I love the kids matching shirts
     
  8. Nermel9

    Nermel9 DIS Veteran

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    I love the Universal pictures, and the pics of your new hotel room, it's really pretty! I'm hoping to get to Universal when my DH and I go back to FL in November, we always plan to go then decide not to at the last minute! Mostly because I can't stand the thought of being away from Disney for a whole day, but I'll have to get over it! :rotfl:
     
  9. firechick139

    firechick139 Mouseketeer

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    Subbing! I love your in-detail style of writing. I feel like I'm right there along with you.
     
  10. tracisup

    tracisup Traci

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    Guess what!? We were at Ohana AND Whispering Canyon on the same days!

    I just looked at the time stamp on the Ohana pics and it shows us in the lobby waiting for a tablke at 6:26 and eating dessert at 7:56. Were you there then? I have a few group shots of the kids that we will post when we come to that point in the report and I have some table shots that have others in them.

    The time stamp on the Whispering Canyon Cafe shows that we were seated at 8PM. I remember that we had to wait AGES for a table even tho we had reservations. I think we waited over an hour. Were you there then? Did you have a waitress that talked so much that you couldnt carry on a proper family conversation? :rolleyes1 If so then maybe you were there next to us! LOL
     
  11. dr&momto2boys

    dr&momto2boys DIS Veteran

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    I loved the FOTL too! Even though we didn't need it so much because it was slow, it came in handy a few times. There was never any wait!

    They can be reserved for cash if no one has reserved them. I read an article that said at certain times it may rent out for as much as $10,000 per night! :scared1: I don't know if that's true, and that certainly isn't our kind of lifestyle--but it makes a good story! ;) We did spend mega points on it. We saved our points for a couple of years to use on this extended family vacation.

    I'm sure the grand villas would rent out for more than $1000 per week night and more on the weekends. (Based on the rental value of the number of points we used.) It could be much more I guess. :confused3

    About ten minutes-- at least at our pace. ;) Not bad at all and it's a pretty walk. We rode the boat back, but because IOA is closest to RPR it was almost as long of a walk and a longer wait to take the boat from Citywalk.

    Thank you! My boys like picking out designs and making the shirts with me. It's become a tradition. (Until my kids get too old and "cool" for it.)

    I know the feeling, but it is worth it. Just go more days! :rotfl:

    Thanks! I'm not the writer in the family. The TR would be hilarious if my DH wrote it. I'm more of a photo journalist.
     
  12. dr&momto2boys

    dr&momto2boys DIS Veteran

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    Our ADR for 'Ohana was at 5:05pm although it took about 40 minutes to be seated because they forgot about us! :headache: So we must have been there at the same time.

    We had a 5:30 ADR at Whispering Canyon I think. So we were probably gone by the time you got there. Did you see a big group leave with a big bag of desserts? :laughing: We were too full to eat them there!

    It'll be interesting to see each others pictures! That would be awesome if you were in ours or we were in yours! :lmao: My DH used to joke that he got in the way of people snapping pictures on purpose just to be in their vacation photos. :laughing:
     
  13. dr&momto2boys

    dr&momto2boys DIS Veteran

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    I love the themeing of all the lands. Marvel Superhero Island is my least favorite, but I still like it and it's growing on me.
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    Here is Max and Avery under Wolverine's claws.
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    After Spiderman, we spent some time wrangling our group up as they wandered into nearby stores and stuff. We spent too much time on this vacation standing around.

    Here we are standing around--waiting for everyone to figure out the plan. (We had a plan--but it's hard to stick to it without being controlling! I had to exercise patience a lot!)
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    When we met back up we sent the non-coaster riders (MIL and SIL) ahead with all the kids to "If I Ran the Zoo." It's a play area in "Seuss Landing" which is nearby. The coaster riders (DH, FIL, BIL, and me) rode on the Hulk and since it was so quick we knocked out Dr. Doom's Fear Fall too.

    Dr. Doom's Fear Fall:
    I love this ride, but they make you sit in these seats so long before it finally shoots you up in the air that it does make me nervous! DH seems to hate this ride, but I think he didn't want to look like a wussy in front of the guys so he went on it anyway. Once the initial launch is over it's a very calm ride with a great view of the park as you just bounce a few times before landing.
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    By the way, for some reason Photobucket isn't working right and my photos are showing up huge, but for some of these pictures it's kind of nice since there is so much detail in the scenerey. I'll try to reduce pictures again later.

    We joined the group over in Seuss Landing (tied for my favorite themed land here with Toon Lagoon.)
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    "If I Ran the Zoo" is a play area where kids can climb, explore, and get wet. It's cute. I took Ella to nurse her while the kids played a little longer. If IOA is lacking anywhere, it's in nursing facilities. You have to go all the way to the park entrance to First Aid and ask there. They send you through a door where you ask again, and they let you go into a room that does have decent facilities. It's just too hard to get to and I'm sure underutilized. Just sayin'.
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    The best part about the whole trip was how well the cousins played together. Max and Avery were best buddies and so were Kyle and Jacob. Too cute!
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    Next up:
    The Cat in the Hat ride and the rest of Seuss Landing
     
  14. atmail35

    atmail35 Mouseketeer

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    Great trip report! We were at DHS on the same day and at MK the same day too....and we were at BLT. I would have remembered seeing those custom shirts for sure, they are awesome!

    Do you make your transfers/graphics? I'd love to know where you get your graphics etc. Do you use the iron-on transfer paper you print with your printer? I've made a few very simple items but you've inspired me to attempt more! I'd love some tips if you are willing to share :)

    I'm looking forward to reading about your thoughts on BLT.
     
  15. dr&momto2boys

    dr&momto2boys DIS Veteran

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    I get all my designs from the wonderful people on the Creative DISigns section of the DISboards. They are amazing and customize all this stuff for everyone for free! I ordered my transfer paper through Amy--one of the designers. It is the best I've tried and my kids are wearing these shirts at home now after several washes and they still look and feel great. My only secret is I really trim the designs out to make them look more custom. I may even iron-on several pieces to make one design (like MIL's shirt.) Jiffyshirts.com has great t-shirts in all sizes and styles for great prices and chaep/free shipping. Let me know if you have any questions. I'll be glad to help! It's addicting! :goodvibes
     
  16. dr&momto2boys

    dr&momto2boys DIS Veteran

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    After playing, we went on One Fish, Two Fish, Red Fish, Blue Fish.
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    If you follow the directions of the rhyme telling certain fishes to go up or down, you supposedly won't get wet until possibly at the end when it's a free for all. I got really wet though and I followed the directions! (Ella was my partner so I didn't have any resistance.) The kids didn't seem to like this as much as I thought because they were being weird about getting wet on rides today. Kyle (6yrs old) was downright upset about being coerced to go on a baby ride. He and his mom and dad bailed on the next couple rides to go meet Superheros back in Marvel Island.

    The Cat in the Hat Ride is a classic dark ride. You ride on a couch through the storybook basically. It's a little different than Disney dark rides like Snow White or Peter Pan in that the couch also spins back and forth.
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    Here's a picture of the store you exit into: (I think it's called "Cats, Hats, and Things.")
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    As usual my son has to try on every hat he sees:
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    Now it was Avery's turn to get upset. She doesn't like many rides at all. She said this one was too scary and put on a big dramatic pout show. (I'm not judging. My kids are like this sometimes too. I just think kids are funny!)
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    Now the kids were hungry so DH bought some popcorn.
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    Next we were off to the Caro-Seuss-el.
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    Avery wasn't about to go on another ride, so I waited out with her and Grandma, Grandpa, and Dad rode with Jacob, Max, and Ella. Ella is all about the rides by the way! To bad she couldn't go on many here.

    Fortunately Ella is also entertained by Food. She really digs theme park life!
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    We walked through an area themed after another Seuss book--but I can't remember the name right now. Where are my kids when I need them?
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    Now it was time for the "High in the Sky Seuss Trolley Train Ride" otherwise known as the Sneetches ride in our house. FIL gave all the kids a special Sneetches book for Christmas a few years ago. It's his favorite Seuss book because he used to read it to his kids when they were little. So Jacob had been anticipating taking Grandpa on this ride.
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    One of the ride operators was really entertaining the kids while we waited.
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    Here is one of the pictures of the great view from this ride over Seuss Landing. You can see the Hulk coaster and Dr. Doom in the distance. I'll add more next time I update.
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  17. dd50

    dd50 DIS Veteran

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    Great update. Love that you can walk there from your hotel. I really do need to look into that for next year maybe.

    Love the pics and great job on the shirts.
     
  18. MadiMouse

    MadiMouse Member of the 2011 WDW Moms Panel

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    Oh your shirts turned out so cute!!! I can't wait to wear ours in July. I feel the same way about Dr. Doom's. I get sooo nervous because you have to sit too long before the ride starts!

    Sorry about the journey to go nurse. I will be nursing during our trip and I'm nervous. Lol. I already informed DH that we have to take those kind of "breaks".
     
  19. PiperGirlInWondrland

    PiperGirlInWondrland DIS Veteran

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    What a GREAT report so far! I just read through the whole thing, I really enjoyed it! I really liked the Universal updates, I have only been there once and really want to get there again soon. It looks so fun! :goodvibes
     
  20. tracisup

    tracisup Traci

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    We had to take our dessert to go as well! The funny thing about it is that I took it back to the hotle room where it sat for a few days and then got thrown out. When you are on the DXDP, you are never hungry so there was never an occasion to eat them!
     
  21. dr&momto2boys

    dr&momto2boys DIS Veteran

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    I highly recommend it! The express pass access makes it worth it in itself, but the hotel is just beautiful and the service is great. It is really nice to be able to walk/boat to the parks.

    Good luck! I mostly nursed in bathroom stalls just for the convenience. Most parks (Disney or Universal) only have one location and the walk is killer unless you happen to be right there. This is my third child though and I've been nursing for 5 1/2 years straight so I'm not afraid to just nurse whenever/where ever we need to! :laughing: Ella often needed to nurse on the bus. Thankfully I was usually sitting next to a relative so it wasn't too bad. The nursing stations are a good quiet cool respite in the hot summer months though--so I'm sure you'll appreciate them.


    :welcome: Thank you!

    Half of our desserts went to waste too and we were just on the regular DDP. Whispering Canyon is really good at getting you to run up the bill! I think they sold shakes for drinks to half the restaurant and sent home desserts with whomever couldn't eat them there! They train their servers well!
     

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