And a Very Happy Birthday to ME!! A Journey in October 2012 That's a Wrap! 4.27.13

Discussion in 'Completed Trip Reports' started by TinksThree, Nov 7, 2012.

  1. TinksThree

    TinksThree DIS Veteran

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    I travel not to go anywhere, but to go. I travel for travel's sake. The great affair is to move.
    Robert Louis Stevenson


    Welcome to one and all to my Trip Report! I find myself extremely blessed to be writing my third Trip Report for the year 2012!! :goodvibes That totally shocks me and I never would have considered this possibility at the beginning of the year.

    I love traveling and I have many favorite places to go but since I went to Disney in 2009, I have become pretty addicted to the place! (I count this addiction as a good thing!) Some of our other favorite locals are the Smoky Mountains, North Carolina, New Orleans and Williamsburg, VA just to name a few. Of course there are many, many other places we have been and I find the planning to be as much a part of the experience as the actual journey! I just love to go!! It is nothing for us to take a road trip on any given weekend. Exploring, learning and just making memories are what I adore about the whole travel experience!

    As for my journeys to Disney this year, I had the wonderful opportunity to join my DD16 (Madison) and her high school band in March where they marched in the parade at Magic Kingdom. Yes, you did read that correctly that it was a wonderful opportunity even with over 100 teenagers! (If you are new and want to read about that journey the link is in my signature Led Zeppelin Collides With the Magic Kingdom).

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    My second journey was in July and it included myself, my DH Keith and two of our three children-Madison and DS18 Chris. This was a great trip and I will not say much else on it since it is still currently in progress (Stop and Smell the Roses...But Watch Out for the Bees!).

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    Which brings me to my third journey...

    Shortly after we returned from our trip in July, Disney released one of those big announcements that Disney fans everywhere wait impatiently for: DISCOUNTS!!! :hyper: And the one released on this particular day included FREE DINING. The dates for this promotion just happened to fall during the Food and Wine Festival which also happens to fall in the month of October which happens to be my favorite month of the year and also happens to be my birthday so I thought this a perfect opportunity to go at one of the times of year I have wanted to go plus enjoy the Food and Wine Festival which I have long desired to go to. I brought this up to Keith and after working out schedules around Madison's fall school activities and making sure we could afford yet another trip, it looked to be a go. Soon I was off to planning and making decisions (a task I perform very poorly in when it comes to my trips)!! :guilty:

    Me and My Traveling Companion (aka my wonderful husband!!):

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    Our trips almost always consist of the family. It has been on rare occasions we venture out without taking at least one if not all of the kids! This time around it was just me and Keith. We left Chris and Madison home for school and soccer and work. (Our third, Evan, is currently living in Australia). At first we felt extremely guilty and this was especially true as the trip got closer and as we traveled south. Thankfully guilt improved and the kids never gave us too much grief about leaving them behind.

    Getting my husband on these trips to Disney has been a revolving miracle! He was always one to claim he hated Disney although he had never been. :confused3 I took Madison and Chris alone in 2009. Upon our return and their constant talking about the fun we had, he decided to let us return in 2010. In 2011 I took my mom and it was to be a girls trip (my mom, Madison and me). Then both Keith and Chris decided to join us...see a trend here? ;)

    Well, Keith is never one to concede being wrong on anything but slowly he was letting things slip. Yes, I was making him at least a believer in the magic to be found. :wizard: I was satisfied with this even if it isn't the love I hold for Disney! In March 2012, I was discussing restaurants for us to go to one day and he suggested we return that summer! Not one to allow him to reconsider, I was making reservations ASAP! Thus our trip in July was formed and you know the rest of this story!!

    Me? Well, I love Disney, traveling, photography, and stories. Thus you will see my adoration for Disney, lots of photographs (although not as many as in past trips if you are familiar with my past reports) and in some cases wordiness since I love to talk and I report as I talk!

    When?

    The trip was planned for October 27-November 1, 2012. These dates fell perfectly between the final home football game and Madison's first soccer game of the season!

    How?

    We drove....I really wanted to fly but I also wanted money to spend at Disney so driving saved us $400!! :eek:

    Where?

    Ah...the where do you want to stay conundrum! In getting quotes, I had prices for a mod and a value. The difference was about $250. Remember what I just said in the "How?" Well, yeah, I wanted more money to spend at Disney! Keith gave me the choice and he says plan it but has no interest in offering opinions until it is too late!

    I am going to rewind to 2010 since I now know that what I believed at that time when booking a resort was 110% correct and had I not made changes, all of those other trips I mentioned probably would have never happened!

    Keith is retired from the Air Force which means we are lucky enough to take part in the amazing deals Disney offers service members! I am forever grateful for these discounts but our trips have been a combination of the military discounts and other offers.

    In 2010, it was all about the military discounts and I had booked POP Century as our resort. Somewhere along the way I got to thinking that the moderates have discounts also and what would the cost difference be? Well, I called, got a quote, and soon I had a moderate booked. Which one was my difficult decision and in the end I had chosen Port Orleans Riverside.

    As soon as we got on property, Keith (who had never been) was walking around with his jaw dropped and commented to everyone that Disney knows how to do things first class. That was my first indication that I had persuaded him slightly. That trip also resulted in us adding a few nights at Coronado Springs, another resort we really liked. The future trips were all at Port Orleans French Quarter and it is our personal favorite at least thus far.

    My choices for this trip was between Caribbean Beach or POP Century. I really, really wanted CBR but in the end the money savings won out.

    I am going to go ahead and just speak on this part! All the way to Orlando-an 11 hour drive-Keith kept saying I had booked us at a "dump". Of course he was joking but I secretly hoped that it would measure up.

    As soon as we drove up, Keith said "It looks like a mall". Yikes! :scared1: I defended it and said the values just have a different vibe going and it is about the larger than life icons.

    He lets me out to go check in and as soon as I walk into the entrance I think Oh, great! I am in a malls food court!...if I think that I can only imagine what Keith will think! :headache: Sure enough, that is his opinion also. What else did he notice/say?

    1) Once in the elevator to our room, the elevators wood paneling has a huge portion missing, torn off, broken...great!!
    2) The rooms feel much smaller and the beds are doubles
    3) The bathrooms are tiny
    4) The first night someone lost their cookies on the sidewalk...the next evening the lovely cookies and the smell was still there.
    5) There is no boat to anywhere (he loves riding the boat from PO to DTD)
    6) The grounds are not kept as well as at Port Orleans
    7) The bus area does not have benches and it is not covered

    Okay, I will stop there...I will say that in many ways he was not being very nit-picky and was joking due to the whole dump jokes but honestly these were very noticeable differences. Our stay at POP was not bad and if that is my only opportunity to go to Disney, I will stay at a value but this is my second time at a value (the other was All-Star Sports) and both times honestly was a let-down.

    Walking around different places and going through different resorts, I know that our next visit (as a family or couple) will be in either Caribbean Beach-moderate-or a Deluxe. Keith has made definite approval mentions of Boardwalk, Beach Club, Animal Kingdom Lodge, Polynesian and (surprised me!:rolleyes:) the Contemporary! As a matter of fact, on one of our visits to Hollywood Studios, he stopped and looked at the DVC info. He asked me questions and I answered best I could. I have a feeling once we stay at a DVC location (I plan to rent points next trip) he may look into it more&from comments he made. I tell you, he is becoming a believer!! :hyper:

    Next we move on to the meat of this story...the actual trip!!!! And I promise less words and more pictures!!
     
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  3. TinksThree

    TinksThree DIS Veteran

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  4. amandaw

    amandaw DIS Veteran

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    I'm here! I can't wait to hear all the trip details!! :goodvibes

    If the only way I could go to Disney was to stay at a value, I wouldn't even hesitate to book it. But, I will say that the only value we've stayed at was All-Star Sports and it was definitely less than stellar.
     
  5. TinksThree

    TinksThree DIS Veteran

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    Welcome!! You're first!! party:
    I definitely wold stay at a value if that's my chance to be at Disney! ;) The rooms are clean and there really isn't anything wrong with the resort but I think we just missed the tranquilness at POFQ. Now I did like the Hippy Dippy or whatever pool!
     
  6. jedijill

    jedijill <font color=red>Chiefs fan living in Bronco countr

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    I'm in! POFQ is my favorite Mod too....although I'm really spoiled by DVC now. :)

    Jill in CO
     
  7. mickeystoontown

    mickeystoontown DIS Veteran

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    I'm here and ready to hear all about your latest adventures!
     
  8. Tangelders Ahoy

    Tangelders Ahoy Mouseketeer

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    Checking in also! We have only stayed at Deluxe resorts and in a couple weeks we are staying value at ASMovies....our son is 4 and LOVES Toy Story and 101 Dalmations plus the price difference was HUGE so we are staying value but I am nervous that I won't have the same feel as I have before but it still is DISNEY and that alone makes it worth it!! :yay:
     
  9. solana131

    solana131 DIS Veteran

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    I'm in! And I'm very glad there is no mention of bees in this title :thumbsup2
     
  10. burly

    burly DIS Veteran

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    I'm here too!popcorn::
     
  11. Soarin4Disney

    Soarin4Disney Earning My Ears

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    Im in!!!!
     
  12. TinksThree

    TinksThree DIS Veteran

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    :welcome: We really love POFQ but I have a feeling once we try a DVC we may be spoiled as well!

    Woohoo!! Glad you have made it over!!! :cool1:

    :welcome: I agree...just being at Disney makes it worth it! I went in knowing the differences and was prepared. Since Keith doesn't like to discuss plans on any trip he wasn't as prepared. I think he made me more aware of the differences than had I not had someone noticing every little thing! :)

    No bees being mentioned has to be a positive sign, right!? ::yes:: So glad you in!! :cheer2:

    :welcome: Glad to have you on board!!

    Hooray! Glad you're here! :welcome:
     
  13. saintstickets

    saintstickets DIS Veteran

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    Never any doubt that I would join in! 3 times in one year?!?! I'm jealous!
     
  14. TinksThree

    TinksThree DIS Veteran

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    I knew you would make it! You have Hawaii on me so I think we're even!! :laughing:
     
  15. sherylcin

    sherylcin Mouseketeer

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    Wow! I'm 3 days late! :( Oh, well, I'm here now and can't wait to hear all about your wonderful trip! (btw, I can pretty much assure you once you stay DVC you WILL be spoiled!) :)
     
  16. TinksThree

    TinksThree DIS Veteran

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    You aren't late at all! I have only gotten to the intro but I am hoping to do an update this evening! I am slightly afraid (or optimistic ;)) that if I get Keith to a DVC he (we) will be spoiled! From what I have heard, that could be a very good thing!!
     
  17. shan23877

    shan23877 I make lists about my lists

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    I'm in! Can't wait to hear about your latest adventures!

    I am worried that I'd feel the same as Keith if we ever booked a value, so that's why we stick with mods. We may try to rent points for next summers trip (if we can't get BC, CR, or BWI we'll stick with POFQ POR or CBR though), and I can't wait.

    Keith was looking into DVC???? He IS converted!
     
  18. Angies1274

    Angies1274 DIS Veteran

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    Joining in!!:goodvibes

    Can't wait to read about your trip!! I'm really hoping to visit in October next time we go back!

    Aww...so sorry you didn't care for Pop. We have stayed at Pop since the boys were really small and they have liked it so much we just kept going back.(We spend very little time in the room so it has worked for us) But, I can definitely understand if you are used to staying at Mods that you may be disappointed as it definitely doesn't have the relaxing feel to it. But, I am so glad to hear so many positive things about POR since that is where we are leaning for our next trip!!:thumbsup2
     
  19. TinksThree

    TinksThree DIS Veteran

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    :yay:YaY!!! So glad you made it over!!! Values are very different than the mods I know for sure. It just has a different feel to them. I think having kids along would have made POP more enjoyable.

    He is slowly becoming converted....he keeps asking me for my "live feed" on Illuminations and the castle. Illuminations was actually a You Tube video (now) but was the live version of the 3oth anniversary show. The castle is Weather Bug from the Contemp. He also watched a video of the Candlelight Procession and MVMCP parade Monday night....he never would have done this even last year!!! :goodvibes Maybe, just maybe I have a convert!!

    So far this has been our favorite time to visit...almost! For one reason it could have been slightly better. No humidity and less heat was a definite plus!

    For me POP was pretty much what I expected and I actually enjoyed it there. I did miss things from POFQ though. For Keith, there were several things he missed.....first impressions and all sometimes can change.
     
  20. TinksThree

    TinksThree DIS Veteran

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    Saturday, October 27, 2012

    “Once the travel bug bites there is no known antidote, and I know that I shall be happily infected until the end of my life”
    &#8213; Michael Palin


    We begin this journey much later than I had wanted. I like getting to Orlando around 4:30pm to have an evening after a brief rest. Since we had park tickets this day, I had hoped to go to a park.

    Arriving at 4:30pm means leaving around 4:30am. We left at 6am. What does this mean? We arrive around 6:30pm. By this time, only Epcot and Magic Kingdom are open. So what to do?

    Well, first we have to drive down there! We leave and drive through Mississippi, Alabama, and finally Florida. I took only a few pictures with my phone on the drive…

    Mobile Bay

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    The clouds were cool and I could not get my phone camera to capture the colors. These clouds were the result of a cold front moving through the area. As we get closer to Florida, the clouds from this front and the clouds/wind from Sandy combine. Sandy was something that the magic of Disney kept us from knowing just how bad this was! We were shocked when we returned home and saw the news footage!

    We make a brief stop at the Florida Welcome Center and got the free orange juice!!

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    Then we drive on until we make our usual gas/food stop in Marianna. Keith comments that when I go to Disney it is like all is right with the world and I agree to anything. I guess he is correct! I ate lunch at Taco Bell :crazy2:….and anyone that personally knows me knows this was major, major, major!!!!!

    After lunch we head on east and then south. Along the way we listen to college football!! Ole Miss was playing Arkansas so this took up a good portion of the drive through Florida. After that we flipped from game to game (XM Radio is marvelous!!). And I tried to ignore the fact that my Southern Miss Eagles were /are one of the worst football teams in America. :sad:

    Soon we are seeing these signs and the sun is beginning to get tired, as are we!

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    Then we are in Orlando and we see these wonderful signs…

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    And finally we arrive at POP!

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    We arrive at the resort and I leave my camera in the car since Keith was dropping me off. He then parks and comes inside…so no camera! Check-in is extremely quick and painless. I had done online check-in and I think it took me 2 minutes to process it all!

    He decides to step outside and see the “view” which in this case is the pool. That is when he notices Petals and a football game on the tv. So maybe this place isn’t too bad after all! We take a seat, order a beer and Pina Colava, and proceed to watch Georgia beat Florida!

    When we first stepped outside, I took two pictures of the gorgeous sky and setting sun. This is why me leaving my camera in the car made me :mad:. I contemplated running to the car but I know how fast the sunset goes away and felt it would be a wasted effort. I think these pictures give the sunset a decent representation though.

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    Game over, drinks gone, we head off to find our room! I was excited to find it was in the building I had hoped for! The 70’s! Since it was a birthday trip I thought it would be fitting to stay in the buildings representing MY decade!
    Our room was on the fourth floor (Rm #430) and we faced huge bushy tree thingies. I chose to not take a view picture. It was basically like a tree wall. We enter the room and I got a few pictures:

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    Continued in the next post....
     
  21. TinksThree

    TinksThree DIS Veteran

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    I really liked the shower curtains and wallpaper in the bathroom. I liked the softness of the sage green and beige plus the hidden Mickeys were subtle as well!

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    This was really the only thing inside the room that made it "70s"

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    Then we try to decide what to do. We contemplated ESPN to view the Mississippi State/Alabama football game. We wisely decided against that and chose to head off to DTD…no boat meant the bus stop! Now on the way I snapped a picture or two and this is when Keith made comments on my picture taking, thus I refrained from taking as many pictures as normal but I still had a ton! He rolls his eyes when I stop and sometimes he left me which meant I looked like a four year old running after Daddy to catch up. Also, food pictures taken were met with eye-rolling but at least he relented!

    As we waited for the elevator I grabbed some of those quick pictures:

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    The bus stop:

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    We load up on a bus that quickly arrived. One awesome thing was the waits for the buses were almost nothing! Many times we got to the bus stop (both at the parks and POP) to find the bus waiting on us. Ironically the times we waited more than 5 minutes for a bus was when we were going to or leaving a Deluxe! And those waits were anywhere from 30-45 minutes!!

    We arrive at DTD and thus began the “What do you want to eat?” game. I had planned this evening to be quick service and using a credit. Keith suggests Rainforest Café or T-Rex but it would be out-of-pocket. In the end he decides this is okay. Rainforest still has plastic hanging everywhere and Keith wasn’t too intrigued. We begin weaving through thousands of people and finally arrive at T-Rex.

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    We stand in the line to see what the wait would be…1 hour. By this time it is slightly after 8 pm so we nix this idea.

    We wander further down the road and look at a few menus with nothing striking our fancy. But the Halloween/Fall decorations were a nice change from what we are used to!!

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    Finally we arrive at Raglan Road. We really enjoyed this place in 2011 and had wanted to go back. But in the end we decided we were tired and a sit down dinner might not be so enjoyable. Where did we wind up?

    We found ourselves at the counter of Cooke’s of Dublin using one of those CS credits!!

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    This place was packed as well and after ordering, we found it difficult to find a table. One did open up just before the waitress brought the food to our table. The restaurant has a nice vibe to it:

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    From our table:

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    First we had to order though!!!

    I decided to order Georges bank Atlantic Scallops-Served with chips and freshly made tartar sauce ($11.95). I also got a drink and a chocolate chip cookie for desert. (Keith's is in the back...remember the eye rolling? Well, I didn't attempt a solo picture of his food! I didn't want this trip to start off badly!!)

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    The scallops were delicious and the chips, better known as French Fries, were very good too and I found myself scarfing the whole thing down! At first when I saw the servings, I didn’t think it would be filling enough but it definitely was and the cookie was taken back to the room for a late night snack!

    Keith went with The Original One & One (Fish and Chips)- Served with chips and freshly made tartar sauce ($10.95). He chose to head to the bar for a beer and also got a cookie.

    I don’t think Keith realized that the meal was “One & One” because when he saw that ONE piece of fish, he immediately said “This is a rip-off at $10.95!”. He said the fish was good but not nearly as good as Yorkshire County Fish Shop in England/Epcot. He did finish everything off and took a bite or two of the cookie. His was left behind because he isn’t really a sweets eater. What is wrong with this dude!? Chocolate is like oxygen!!!

    With supper finished, we decided to just head back to the resort. 5am had been early that morning and really I had only gotten 3 hours of sleep due to my child-like excitement!

    We made one brief stop and I snapped a few pictures.

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    Before long we were back to the resort.

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    I took a picture of this because the first one I had way back in the 80’s frustrated me so I removed the stickers and placed them in the places to make them match up. Do you know what that does to a Rubik’s Cube? It pretty much ruins it!! I will never forget that!! :lmao:

    One more shot of the 70s building:

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    Next up is our first real day and while this day was covered in one post, the following days were too action packed so be forewarned!!
     

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