A brief history of three weeks

Discussion in 'UK Trip Planning Forum' started by scarletlancer, Aug 28, 2009.

  1. scarletlancer

    scarletlancer Mouseketeer

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    Hello everyone, it is now five days since I returned from WDW and i feel that the pain has become dull enough for me to write a very brief trip report :goodvibes .

    First things first, me, my wife and my five year old daughter had three wonderful weeks at SSR on the free dining plan. I must begin by saying that this was our first time staying at a Disney resort (though far from our first time at WDW) and we absolutely adored it. Indeed, I suspect that all subsequent trips to see the mouse in the immediate future will very likely be based around stays here. We stayed in a one bedroom villa with our original plan being that we would put our little one down in our bed and then move her to the sofa bed when we turned in, however, once we saw the size of the big bed it very quickly became apparent that we would have an extra little body along with us. After a great deal of detailed planning and reading I had requested a room in Congress Park in order to be a reasonable walking distance from DTD but once we checked in the very friendly cast member (whose name I forget) informed us that we were actually in the Carousel. My first reaction, based on reports that I had read, was that we would be far too isolated in this huge resort and that walking to DTD would be out of the question. Well, I am very pleased to say that this reaction was completely wrong. While the resort is large, we regularly walked to and from DTD with a five year old in tow and it never took us more than about 15 minutes to do so. What's more, because the grounds are so beautiful, it was an absolute pleasure to do so. Another gripe that I had read previously was about the frequency of the bus service, and once again I have to say that our experience of it was nothing less than excellent. We did not have a car, so we relied completely on Disney transport for three week and I can honestly say that we never waited more than 10-15 minutes for a bus at any time. For us the proximity of SSR to DTD made it the ideal resort, as we would rather be within a walk of the restaurants and shops on offer there and still have the relaxed atmosphere that was just far away from the hustle and bustle of the parks. Probably the only very minor issue that I would have with the resort was that there should either be a data port in both rooms in the villa or that they should switch the in room broadband connection to wifi as my wife and I wanted to take advantage of being able to watch some new US tv shows on hulu while our daughter was in bed and since the only data port was in the bedroom it meant that we had to sit on the floor in there and be quiet so we didn't wake her up. However, as I say this is a fairly minor complaint and certainly not one that would put us off staying at the resort again.

    Since this brief report is starting to get a little less brief, and I haven't even ventured out of the villa yet I will add more later if people are interested.
     
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  3. happyj

    happyj DIS Veteran

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    We own at SSR and also love the resort.Keep up the trip report.:thumbsup2
     
  4. karentan

    karentan <font color=green>my main job for tomorrow is to g

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    yeah keep it going!
     
  5. Pegasus928

    Pegasus928 DIS Veteran

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    Definately - do a proper trippie with pics and EVERYTHING
     
  6. Netty

    Netty <font color=deeppink>A six foot palm from Wal-Mart

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    Get typing :thumbsup2
     
  7. scarletlancer

    scarletlancer Mouseketeer

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    Thanks for your responses. :thumbsup2

    After the long flight over, and DME to the resort it was early evening so on our first night at WDW my wife put our daughter, Annabel to bed and I strolled over to Artists Palette to bring us back some take away flat breads, my wife had the grilled vegetable while I had the buffalo Chicken. Both were nice although I was a little surprised by the Carrots on mine. The rest of the evening was pretty much a veg fest in front of the TV with both of us trying to stay awake until a reasonable hour to try to get in sync with Florida time.

    On our first day proper we decided that we would have a relaxed day to let Annabel get used to the heat and the overwhelming scale of everything so we had some breakfast in the room and then strolled over to DTD. We spent much of the morning having a wander around the shops, after a very out of character emergency stop in McDonalds (for some reason both my wife and I were absolutely starving even after having toast etc, I put it down to still be a bit up in the air after the flight because it didn't happen again!). Because of the supplemental breakfast we skipped lunch and headed on over for a game of mini-golf at Fantasia Gardens.

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    We played our round of golf in glorious sunshine and then right on cue as we finished the skies opened up for a typical Floridian storm. The rain was on and off intermittently for the rest of the afternoon and early evening which made for three rather bedraggled holiday makers as we made our way via the Boardwalk and the International gateway to the first of our ADRs at Nine Dragons.

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    If I am honest I was a little disappointed with Nine Dragons. We had eaten there before and really enjoyed it but while it was certainly OK this time, I wouldn't say that it was anything special. After our meal we took a leisurely stroll back through Epcot, took the SSR bus back and had another quiet evening in preparation for our first proper park visit the next day.


    On our second morning we had reservations at the Poly for Ohana breakfast. Unbeknown to Annabel my wife's sisters were meeting us there to join us for the first two weeks of our holiday. We had previously arranged that they would meet us in the restaurant but we didn't realise that the whole party had to be seated together so we checked in with a wonderful cast member who made a real fuss of Annabel and made her feel really special (you will have to get used to the fact that I am rubbish at remembering names so 'wonderful cast member will have to do). Annabel's little eyes lit up when she saw her aunties (who she is really close to) arrive and it was a nice way to really start our holiday. The breakfast was very good and great fun, we all loved the tropical juice that they served and I must have had my glass refilled 7 times. Annabel loved meeting the characters and both she and I joined in with the parade around the restaurant (she was too shy to do it on her own - well that's my story and I am sticking to it.)

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    After breakfast we all hopped on to the monorail and headed over to EPCOT for our first day in the parks. We all spent the full day at Epcot (mostly in futureworld) and then took the bus back to SSR. My wife's sisters, who were staying at the Hilton at DTD went of to the cinema at DTD while we decided to eat at the Turf Club. The meal was really nice (I had the Pork Tenderloin, can't remember what my wife had) but it was overshadowed in my memory by the beautiful view of a perfect rainbow over DTD.

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    To be continued...
     
  8. howlongtillsummer?

    howlongtillsummer? DIS Veteran

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    Keep writing we love it!!!

    Welcome back! So glad you had a good time:yay:
     
  9. disneyholic family

    disneyholic family <font color=teal>Wayne always catches me<br><font

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    getting on board for the trip report!!
    great report and pictures so far!! looking forward to MORE!!!! :goodvibes
     
  10. suzycute

    suzycute DIS Veteran

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    Great trip report - keep it coming! :thumbsup2
    We own at SSR and had a fantastic holiday there last year so always happy to hear other's opinions! :thumbsup2
     
  11. scarletlancer

    scarletlancer Mouseketeer

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    Wednesday - Day Four

    Today was the big day for Annabel. Her fifth birthday had been exactly one month before on 5th July and her big present from Mummy and Daddy had been the promise of the full Princess makeover at the Bibbidi Bobbidy Boutique. Her appointment was at 9.30am at World of Disney so we once again ate breakfast in the room and then walked over to DTD. Annabel very quickly decided that she wanted the beautiful, white Princess wedding dress that she had seen but unfortunately they seem to have discontinued it as the ones they had in the store (or anywhere else in WDW for that matter) were either too small or too large for her. While she was a tiny bit disappointed she soon decided that she would like to be Ariel in her green ball-gown and her magical makeover began. I must say that while this experience was certainly not cheap, it was worth every penny to see her treated and made to feel like a real princess both during the makeover itself and for the entire day that followed. I truly believe that it will be a memory that she will treasure for a very long time.

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    Once her transformation was complete we went to the Photopass studio for her photo session, which made her feel even more special and after that it was off to the Magic Kingdom, after all a Princess must be seen in her realm. The highlight of the morning for Annabel was when she got to meet Ariel who commented that she looked very pretty in her dress.

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    Just before 1pm we met up with my wife's sisters and went to Cinderella's Royal Table for lunch. This was another of the magical experiences for us on that day. Annabel adored meeting Cinderella, Belle, Jasmine and Aurora and receiving her wand and wishing star. In addition to the magical atmosphere I have to say that the food was really tasty, I can recommend Major Domo's Pie.

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    For the rest of the afternoon we did lots of rides and shows and my wife and I generally spent most of it enjoying seeing our little girl's face light up each time a cast member or another guest commented on how much of a princess she was. Two Japanese tourists even asked us if it was ok for them to pose for pictures with Annabel, which she was more than happy to give her royal ascent to. Once evening arrived, we all made our way to the Tomorrowland Terrace for the Wishes Dessert Party that I had booked as a surprise treat for everyone. The Desserts were delicious and wishes was truly magical, although Annabel was tired by this time her face lit up once again as Tinkerbell flew right over us to light the greatest firework display she will probably ever see. Indeed, perhaps the only downside of going to WDW at the age of five is that a box of standard fireworks in the back garden on Guy Fawkes night is never really going to impress her again. All in all I would certain recommend all of the wonderful experiences that we did on this day.
     
  12. disneyholic family

    disneyholic family <font color=teal>Wayne always catches me<br><font

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    the picture links in the most recent update didn't work for me... :sad1:

    what a wonderful birthday gift!!!!!! sounds like a glorious day - for a 5 year old or anyone!!!!
     
  13. Tammy Stringer

    Tammy Stringer <font color=red>I love babies - all milky and baby

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    Wow what fun your little girl is having

    Can't wait to see her pictures at the BBB - hope you can fix the links. Looking forward to reading more

    Tammy
     
  14. jockey

    jockey Runs for Wine!

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    Really enjoying your report, looking forward to more :)
     
  15. Netty

    Netty <font color=deeppink>A six foot palm from Wal-Mart

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    great report! :thumbsup2
     
  16. scarletlancer

    scarletlancer Mouseketeer

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    Hi folks, thanks again for your responses. I'm not sure what is wrong with the picture links as they work for me every so often if I keep refreshing, perhaps it is because they are too large, I will try some smaller ones.

    update: they seem to be working for me now.
     
  17. joolz1910

    joolz1910 <font color=green>I would have gone down to recept

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    What a wonderful day for your daughter. It sounds just perfect.:goodvibes
     
  18. Hodkys

    Hodkys Mouseketeer

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    loving the report. I'm reading out your report to DH and kiddies whilst they're eating their tea. Everyone's smiling and linking your experiences to ours. Making us all excited about our trip back in October....keep writing.....:thumbsup2
     
  19. scarletlancer

    scarletlancer Mouseketeer

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    Once again thanks for your kind and encouraging responses

    Day Five - Thursday

    After a very long day in the Magic Kingdom, a huge and rather tiring day for Annabel, we decided that it would be best to have slightly later start on Thursday, so we didn't make a wake up call and all slept in until an unheard of 9am. Once we did get up and get ready we headed on out to Animal Kingdom for a day of communing with nature :goodvibes

    We had an enjoyable morning wandering through the various animal trails and riding the Kilimanjaro Safari, even if Annabel was a little disappointed that the Pocahontas and her forest friends show that she had so enjoyed when we came two years ago was no longer showing at Camp Minnie Mickey. By the time that we had done these attractions it was getting close to our ADR time at Yak and Yeti so we strolled towards Asia, taking in one of Animal Kingdom's most overlooked gems, Flights of Wonder along the way. For anybody who has walked past this really engaging show thinking 'how interesting can a bird show be' I would encourage you to go in and watch it, you will not be disappointed. Unfortunately, a little like Nine Dragons, we found Yak and Yeti to be another dining experience (these were really the only two) at WDW that, while by no means bad, just wasn't quite as great as we had hoped it might be. My wife, Sarah, had the Miso Salmon, which she thought was ok while I had the Shaoxing Shrimp and Steak. I really liked the tempura battered shrimp but the skirt steak was just ok. Some people may be wondering why I have not mentioned Annabel's dining experiences in any of these meanderings and I would like to reassure them that we did not starve her for three weeks, but I am afraid that food does feature particularly highly on my daughter's agenda so her couple of bites of cheese pizza were usually augmented by some beans on toast back at the ranch! Anyway back to Yak and Yeti, I would not like to give the impression that we didn't like the restaurant, we did, but the truth is that compared to the extremely high standards set by some of the other places that we ate we just didn't love it. We finished off by sharing the Chocolate Brownie Sundae which was nice but a little bit on the heavy side for us. After our meal we took a slow (there is often no alternative after having eaten a Disney meal the size of a small family car!) stroll around the Pangani Forest exploration trail and then back to Africa to take our place for the parade. I must say that grabbing a Dawa Colada frozen cocktail (think frozen Pina-Colada with added Raspberry goodness) from the Dawa Bar to watch Mickey with is a very civilised way to while away an afternoon.

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    After the parade it was clear that the previous day's exertions had taken their toll on all of us, so we called it a day early and hopped on the bus back to SSR, had a quick dip in the quiet pool at the Paddock and then headed back for an early night for Annabel and for Sarah and I to start watching a fantastic new Sci-Fi show called Defying Gravity (apparently it's coming to BBC 2 later this year - so look out for it) on Hulu.

    Day six coming soon...
     
  20. Mrs Doubtfire

    Mrs Doubtfire DIS Veteran

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    Great trip report :thumbsup2

    Must be me - but I can't find the photos??
     
  21. scarletlancer

    scarletlancer Mouseketeer

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    The pics work for me but it has just occurred to me that perhaps my mobileme gallery doesn't allow linking so I will try to link them from somewhere else
     

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