A Haunting, A Run, & Some Food & Wine: 3 Fall 2013 Trips - Complete

Discussion in 'Completed Trip Reports' started by Dis_Yoda, Jul 7, 2013.

  1. Dis_Yoda

    Dis_Yoda DIS Veteran

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    Table of Contents

    Pre-Trip
    Introductions
    Fall Trip #1
    Fall Trip #2 - The Run Portion
    Fall Trip #2 - The General Plan
    Fall Trip #3
    Fall Trip #1 - Hotel Selection
    Fall Trip #2 - More Dining Reservations
    Fall Trip #2 - More Running Updates
    Off Topic: Shula's of Naples - Napa Wine Dinner
    Fall Trip #2 - Citricos Wine Dinner
    Food & Wine Festival Special Events
    Food & Wine Festival Booth Menus
    Food & Wine Demonstrations
    Food & Wine Festival Special Event Bookings
    Fall Trip #2: More Dining Reservations
    Fall Trip #3: Dining Reservations
    Fall Trip #1: Updates & Plans
    Fall Trip #2: Detailed Plans
    Fall Trip #3: Detailed Plans
    Fall Trip #2: Running Update
    General Travel Rambles
    Fall Trip #2: Magic Bands
    General Travel Updates
    Tequila Dinner & 5 Days Out
    Fall Trip #3: Changes

    Fall Trip #1
    September 20th
    Travels & Arrivals
    Beginning the Horrors
    Mmm, Beer & Drunk People
    Closing the Night

    September 21st
    Pamper Me, Please
    A Poolside Lunch
    Before the Horrors
    Cabins & Video Games
    Raise The Dead (or Terror)

    September 22nd
    Going Home

    Fall Trip #2
    October 4th
    How Much Did You Fit Into That Car?
    We did come here to race!
    I don't remember doing this?
    Pirates & Princesses
    What Does the Fox Say?
    Finishing Up Magic Kingdom
    A Relaxing Night

    October 5th
    I'm Doing This For Fun Right?
    Why do I trust other people with my camera?
    I Guess I Need New Shoes
    Taste, Shake & Indulge Like the French
    Mmmm, Bacon

    October 6th
    Trekking
    I Got A Big Head & Little Arms
    I'm Hiding
    Down In Africa
    Hello Old Friend, You Have Changed

    October 7th
    Good Morning, Good Morning
    Under the Sea!
    Rain, Rain, Go Away

    October 8th
    Oops
    Beer
    Educated Guess Wine Dinner

    October 9th
    Hooray For Hollywood!
    Rock This Way
    Bowling & Booze
    Mostly Window Shopping
    Dinner & Movie

    October 10th
    Journey
    Imagination
    Gluttony
    Beginning The End
    Flying Fish Signature Adventures in Dining

    October 11th
    Lazy Morning
    Southern Twists
    Crowded Afternoon
    Our Final Night

    October 12th
    Going Home

    Fall Trip #3
    October 31st
    Counting Down The Hours
    Omakase Act I
    Omakase Intermission
    Omakase Act II

    November 1st
    It's An Early Morning
    A Hollywood Morning
    Hollywood Glam
    A Hollywood Lunch
    Recharging
    Whiskey Lullaby - Part 1
    Whiskey Lullaby - Part 2

    November 2nd
    Its A Blissful Morning
    Of Ice And Men
    Avoiding the Crowds
    An Enchanted Evening

    November 3rd
    A Beachside Breakfast
    EPCOT Morning
    Mmmm, Truffles

     
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  3. Dis_Yoda

    Dis_Yoda DIS Veteran

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    Introductions​


    This past December, I relocated to Southwest Florida for a job. My husband followed a month later once his company let him transfer. This move has been great for us. I grew up in Florida so I was happy to move back to my home state & enjoy the benefits of being a Florida Resident. My husband grew up in New England but is loving living in Southwest Florida. There is so much to do here to keep us busy outside of work. We are both WDW annual pass holders and DVC members.

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    Dis_Yoda @ Splitsville July 2013

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    Mr. Dis_Yoda @ L'Artisan des Glaces July 2013
     
  4. Dis_Yoda

    Dis_Yoda DIS Veteran

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    Fall Trip #1​


    Ever since I was sixteen, I've been wanting to go to Halloween Horror Nights. As a teenager, I could never convince my mother to let me go alone or for her to take me as she did not want to be scared.

    When I went to college, I couldn't justify the cost of the trip for that reason as I didn't rent a car on my Disney trips.

    Our other past trips, we just kept finding reasons to not go.

    When we found out we were moving to Florida finally, I told my husband, we are making a weekend of it & going to Halloween Horror Nights, no more excuses.

    He agreed without protest. pirate:

    September 20th to 22nd we will be staying at some still unnamed hotel and enjoying HHN on the 20th & 21st. The Rush of Fear tickets are currently on sale for $72.99 a piece. We decided on those tickets as its cheaper than the individual nights along with having the option of going back during Fall Trip #2 if we miss something during Trip #1. Now I just need to actually order those tickets which I plan to do in the next couple of weeks.

    I haven't made hotel reservations as we've changed our minds a few times. We initially were going to stay at Animal Kingdom Villas in a Value Studio but I changed my mind & wanted to stay on-site as driving back to the hotel past midnight when I usually go to bed by 10pm just doesn't seem like a smart decision. Plus, now I get to use those points for Fall Trip #3. Right now we are debating on staying at either Hard Rock Hotel or Portofino Bay. We'll have a decision by the end of this month.

    We have no real plans for Saturday during the day other than relaxing. We may enjoy the spa at Portofino or enjoy a movie or mini-golf at City Walk.
     
  5. Dis_Yoda

    Dis_Yoda DIS Veteran

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    Fall Trip #2 - The Run Portion​


    Our Fall Trip #2 is from October 4th to 12th @ Bay Lake Towers in a Lake View Studio.

    My husband and I are trying to be healthier. He's lost a lot of weight in the past year. I'm 2 months into being serious about it and have lost 10 pounds so far.

    About a month ago, I mentioned doing a 5k just to see if we eventually could go for a longer race. It also helps me keep motivated to work out if I have a goal in mind outside of just 'losing weight.'

    Disney requires you to maintain a 16 minute pace before you are swept. Before paying for our registration, I wanted to see if it would even be possible for me. Luckily the treadmills have a 5k option & the other Saturday I decided to see if I could maintain it or see how much work I need to do to get there.

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    5k Try #1
    Excuse the blur as I used my cell phone & was a bit tired after that try ;)

    This puts me around a 14:30 minute pace which isn't that bad considering I'm new to this running distance thing. I hope to improve to an 11:00 minute pace before the big day.

    My husband hasn't done a full 5k on the treadmill yet. He does run his gym work out mile in about 8:00 minutes. He will try to do the full 5k sometime in the upcoming month.

    So we are now officially registered for the Happy Haunted Trails 5k on October 5th!
     
  6. momminnie

    momminnie DIS Veteran

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    i'm on board
     
  7. Dis_Yoda

    Dis_Yoda DIS Veteran

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    Thanks for joining in!
     
  8. Dis_Yoda

    Dis_Yoda DIS Veteran

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    Fall Trip #2: The General Plan​


    As previously mentioned, we will be staying at Bay Lake Towers from October 4th to 12th.

    I am slightly ashamed to say to date I've only made 3 ADRs & I'm going to be canceling one of them as it is the same day as the race.

    I'm waiting on Dining Reservations until after the Food & Wine Special Event List is announced with all the events, dates, pricing & times.

    For the events that have been announced so far, here is what we are initially planning on:
    • Culinary Adventures in Signature Dining (depends on what is offerred while we are there)
    • Food & Wine Pairings
    • French Regional Lunch
    • Hibachi Experience
    • Kitchen Memories (Depends on who it is)
    • Parisian Breakfast
    • Mixology Series: Taste, Shake & Indulge Like the French

    We are planning on skipping the 3-D Dessert Discovery Party as its just too much sugar. The items given in 2011 were pretty much the same as 2010 which disappointed us as well.

    Our park plans obviously might change based on the events but here is where we are at so far.

    October 4th
    • Park: None
    • Leave Naples after Work (still debating if I'm taking a half day or not)
    • Pick up race packet information at Wide World of Sports
    • Dinner: Citricos

    October 5th
    • Happy Haunted Trails 5k
    • Recovery @ the Pool
    • Taste, Shake, Indulge Like The French
    • Dinner: TBD

    October 6th
    • Park: Animal Kingdom
    • Lunch: Yak & Yeti
    • Dinner: TBD

    October 7th
    • Park: EPCOT
    • Lunch: Booths
    • Dinner: California Grill or Narcoossee's

    October 8th
    • Park: Magic Kingdom Morning, EPCOT Afternoon
    • Lunch: Hibachi Experience (Not sure of event time)
    • Dinner: TBD

    October 9th
    • Park: Hollywood Studios
    • Lunch: TBD
    • Dinner: TBD

    October 10th
    • Park: TBD
    • Lunch: TBD
    • Dinner: TBD

    October 11th
    • Park: EPCOT
    • Lunch: Kitchen Memories
    • Dinner: TBD

    October 12th
    • Park: EPCOT
    • Breakfast: Parisian Breakfast
    • Leave around noon for home
    • Dinner: Chinese Takeout
     
  9. Dis_Yoda

    Dis_Yoda DIS Veteran

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    Fall Trip #3​


    When we cancelled our AKV reservation for trip #1, we had 24 points that were borrowed from our 2014 UY that needed to be used. I was told to go us the points as I want for a short weekend trip. I debated between the first and second weekend of November but due to availability with DVC, I ended up picking November 1st to 3rd. I will be staying at VWL in a studio for that trip. I have a waitlist for those two nights at BWV but I doubt it will come through. The focus on this trip will be solely EPCOT.

    November 1st
    • Spirits Confidential

    November 2nd
    • Whatever booths I missed in our earlier trip
    • Revisit of Favorite Booths
    • Possibly Party of the Senses

    November 3rd
    • Sweet Sundays
     
  10. jerseytinkerbell

    jerseytinkerbell DIS Veteran

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    That is fantastic that you are doing the 5k! It's a really great thing to have as a motivator. My husband and I are currently back on the diet and exercise wagon and we keep talking about signing up for a 5k to have a definite goal to really strive for.

    I never liked the idea of the Halloween Horror Nights (I'm a big wimp about that kind of event) but I just read that there will be a Cabin in the Woods themed area. I want to go in just to see that part. That is one of my all time favorite movies and I'm curious to see how they incorporate that into HHN.

    I might check out one or two of the special events at F&W this year too. It sounds like you have done some in the past. Which ones would you recommend that are under $100 per person? I was considering the 3-D Dessert Party, but my husband isn't much of a sweets eater, so I feel like it would be a waste. The Parisian Breakfast caught my eye. Have you done that one before?
     
  11. Dis_Yoda

    Dis_Yoda DIS Veteran

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    We did keep talking about it before we did it. You should definitely sign up for one - actually paying the money towards it is totally motivating. Saturday I'm running it again on the treadmill to see where my pacing now. I think I'm going to keep doing that every 2 to 3 weeks. We do keep going on and off the diet wagon. I've been bad about the exercise wagon for a few years.

    I love all things horror. My husband teases me how I love to drag him to horror movies in the theater but then end up covering my ears in the super intense parts. I know I'm going to end up being scared to the point of probably crying but I'm excited about the Evil Dead, Cabin in the Woods & Resident Evil houses. I'm not really excited about the American Werewolf in London or Walking Dead rumors though.

    For under $100 a person, some of the Italian Food & Wine tastings are great deals as in the past, they were around $50. Taste, Shake, & Indulge was a ton of fun when we did it in 2010. Parisian Breakfast is a new event for this year so we don't know how that is going to be. I like trying something different each time though. If your husband isn't a sweets eater, the 3-D Dessert Party would be a waste. It really is a ton of sugar even after they added some savory elements.
     
  12. Linda67

    Linda67 Has a Masters in Margaritas

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    Hello there :wave2:
    Just hopped over from your dining review
    Your plans look great and kudos to you for training for a 5K :goodvibes
     
  13. jerseytinkerbell

    jerseytinkerbell DIS Veteran

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    Thanks for the info! I have been to F&W a few times but have never done any of the special events. I'm kind of lost about what to try, but your info helps.
     
  14. Dis_Yoda

    Dis_Yoda DIS Veteran

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    Thanks for hopping over!

    Once the entire list with dates & special guests is released rather than the partial I may have better suggestions.
     
  15. Dis_Yoda

    Dis_Yoda DIS Veteran

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    Running Update​


    Saturday morning I ran a 5k on the treadmill to see where my pacing is at. My picture of the treadmill was more blurry than the last I posted so I'm going to skip posting that. I did maintain 13:36 per mile pace! Thats almost a 1:00 improvement from a month ago. Still 2:30 away from my ultimate goal but I do have 2.5 months until the race.

    I do need to buy new running shoes though. My current work out shoes are old. I think I bought them in 2010 and I was on the erg this morning, I noticed the support is starting to go. I don't like how 'bright' the shoes have become though. I'm going to visit Sports Authority this week to look at what they have.
     
  16. Linda67

    Linda67 Has a Masters in Margaritas

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    Taking a minute off your mile pace is just incredible! seriously well done you!
    Take it from me, good shoes make a HUGE difference in preventing injuries. It will be money well spent, and give you time to break them in before your race
    Keep up the great work :)
     
  17. Dis_Yoda

    Dis_Yoda DIS Veteran

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    Thanks!

    Yeah, I've been getting shin splits now when I used to never get them. I have a date with Sports Authority during Tax Free Weekend the first weekend of August. Its also the weekend after I get my bonus from work so I may end up over spending. :thumbsup2
     
  18. Dis_Yoda

    Dis_Yoda DIS Veteran

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    Fall Trip #1: Hotel Selection

    I am happy I'm officially a Florida Resident. It allows me to get much better rates at hotels at Universal than when I lived in Georgia.

    Initially I was split on where to stay. We stayed at Royal Pacific Hotel back in 2009 & thought it was just ok. I debated between Hard Rock Hotel or Portofino Bay.

    Calling them this morning, I ended up deciding on Portofino Bay as I was able to get there for $169 a night for a Garden View King Room. Thats cheaper than what I was originally expecting for the hotel. I also want to stay there as they have the Mandara Spa & Fitness Center. I'm pretty such that on September 21st during the lazy afternoon before our 2nd night at HHN occurs, I will want a spa day. My husband will probably use the Fitness Center as its $10 a day.
     
  19. Dis_Yoda

    Dis_Yoda DIS Veteran

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    Fall Trip #2: More Dining Reservations​


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    As I'm officially 75 days out from my big fall vacation, I finally decided to get some more ADRs.

    My official ADR count is now 5.

    [​IMG]

    Maybe I'll add some more next weekend after the entire Special Event gets put out next week during the Food & Wine Festival Tables in Wonderland Event (I'm not going to it - I just hope someone going to it will scan the event list)

    I do have some fun food & wine going on this week. My local Shula's is having a Napa Wine Dinner. My husband & I will be attending this on Wednesday.

    [​IMG]
     
  20. Dis_Yoda

    Dis_Yoda DIS Veteran

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    Fall Trip #2: More Running Updates

    Its been a super busy week for us.

    Tonight around 8:00pm we headed the gym as I was chiding (lovingly) my husband for not yet trying to run 5k on the treadmill yet.

    Apparently he's way better at running, which isn't a shock since he has been working out for a year longer than I have.

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    That puts his pace at 9:26 min/mile pace.

    Here is mine:

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    I'm still close to where I was 2 weeks ago at 13:36 min/mile pace. Thats not bad as I've been bad about working out the past two weeks as I've skipped about 3 days and 5 of the 11 work out days have only been about 25 minute trips (10 minutes cardio, rest strength training) We also did this after a visit to PF Changs :rolleyes1

    We are also trying to come up with a simple costume idea that isn't too expensive. I know I will want to wear my compression capris & tank top so I will have to think of something that works well overlaying that.
     
  21. Dis_Yoda

    Dis_Yoda DIS Veteran

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    Off Topic: Shula's of Naples - Napa Wine Dinner ​


    On Wednesday evening, my husband & I had a chance to enjoy a wine dinner at Shula's at the Hilton in Naples. I had received an email notification about it and jumped on the chance as the price was right for what we were getting.

    It started at 6:00pm & we were served a glass of champagne as we walked in the door.

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    We headed to a table towards the back of the private room. Overall, the dinner was great. The food was what I expected from a place like Shula's and if you wanted refills of your wines, they were easily given (Disney should take note ;) ) My only complaint is that the 'hostess' of the evening didn't know the wines well enough to talk without pretty much reading from a wikipedia page print out, but who really goes to wine dinners to listen to people?

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