August 2010 Magical Trip: Getting our “socks knocked off” WDW style!! 10/10 update

Discussion in 'Completed Trip Reports' started by emmysmommy, Sep 4, 2010.

  1. emmysmommy

    emmysmommy DIS Veteran

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    How funny is this... I just checked out your TR and here you are! Gotta love that Aladdin encounter...:woohoo:
     
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  3. emmysmommy

    emmysmommy DIS Veteran

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    We had just entered the Kingdom.... at least we had passed the magical sign.

    12 minutes later we were checked in at the Contemporary Resort lobby for our Bay Lake Tower 1 bedroom theme park view room.

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    We received our welcome packet and off we were to find our room – 7720.

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    We enter the room and WOW! Look at that view through the living room window. It took my breath away! I had a moment and actually needed a tissue. It was so much better than I anticipated – seeing the castle in all its glory and the view of the Seven Seas lagoon with the Grand Floridian across the lake and the Poly on the shore opporsite the Magic Kingdom. It was an amazing view and worth every penny!!

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    Panoramic view:
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    After a quick photo tour of the room we decided to head to Magic Kingdom since we were hungry (apparently coach passengers are no longer deserving of meals on planes and the DME bus driver didn’t offer to drive through McDonalds for a quick burger and fries – hmph!) and we needed to see the castle up close and personal.

    We used the walkway from the resort (an easy 10 min. walk) and arrived just as the Main Street Electrical Parade was starting. We would see that another time just get us some food….Noodle Terrance wasn’t open, no pizza place in Tomorrowland like at Disneyland but hey we did find a place that I had heard of… Cosmic Ray’s Starlight Cafe. Let’s try it.

    Forget the separate dining review…You lucky folks, I’m bringing it here!

    Actually, if you really want to skip this part you can find my dining review for Cosmic Rays here with photos.

    I had seen Cosmic Ray reviews and I recall with fondness seeing photos of the rotissiere chicken with green beans and mashed potatoes. The green beans were ok - nothing exciting and the mashed potatoes were, well just a bit off since they had an uncharacteristic sweet undertone to them. Not sure what that was about but I ate every last bite of them! For dessert Em ordered the chocolate cake and enjoyed it while I ordered the carrot cake and saved it for later since I was full from the abundance of food.

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    For those non-foodies (what is wrong with you?) you may resume reading here:

    Now that we had our bellies full, it was almost time for the Wishes fireworks show. We were able to get a fairly good viewing spot near the bridge to Tomorrowland. Just for the record, I’m not one to push and shove our way into a 3 square foot empty piece of pavement just because it’s a slightly better vantage point but apparently other people are because once the fireworks started people were invading our space like we were joined at the hips. I don’t mind taking a step back for a little kid so they can see but come on people, your entire family can’t stand on my feet!! Anyways, the show was fantastic!!

    We walked back to the hotel and found that our checked bags had arrived. Whew! I could banish the mental picture of being stranded without my curlers and face cream! Well, actually I don’t use face cream but I did have 6 pairs of shoes in my checked luggage in addition to my electric curlers. (You ask why curlers in August – I now ask the same thing!! The pursuit of beauty apparently doesn’t have any common sense.)

    By the way, the beds at the resorts we stayed were VERY comfy! I slept so good – not that it had anything to do with a long day of travel and not making it to bed until 1am.

    Comfy bed:
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    One note regarding a couple of issues with the room. I went to use the hair dryer in the Master bathroom and it didn’t work; however, it worked in the secondary bathroom – so it was issue with the electrical outlet. Also, the TV in the living room didn’t power on with the remote although the remote worked for the bedroom. Good thing we don’t watch a lot of TV or else it could have been traumatic. I called maintenance the next morning and by the time we returned from a day at the park everything was fixed. And finally, what is up with the ceiling shower head that drips cold water on you??? Was it just me? I couldn’t adjust that sucker to turn completely off – it had about 27 other settings except "off".

    Ok, that's enough for now since this is getting really looooongggg!

    Next up: Our 1st full day in the Kingdom.
     
  4. glennbo123

    glennbo123 DIS Veteran

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    Hello Emmysmommy. Looks like a fun trip so far. I'm not sure if I'm the obsessive planning, Excel-loving, DISer you borrowed your spreadsheet format from, but it looks like what I do. You gotta have a plan, right?
     
  5. disneyfav4ever

    disneyfav4ever No matter how your heart is grieving, if you keep

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    Great start! Ariel doesn't look very happy in your signature pic though, lol.
     
  6. emmysmommy

    emmysmommy DIS Veteran

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    Absolutely! No spreadsheet = no plan! (At least in my warped tabular world!)

    I'm glad you mentioned that! She was the most un-princessy character we've ever seen. I was joking around with her and Eric and she wasn't liking me for some reason. Maybe because my red hair is real?? More about that later...
     
  7. MommyMcQueen

    MommyMcQueen DIS Veteran

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    Hi Brenda!

    Glad your arrival went smoothly (except for lack of food ;)) and your room looks wonderful! Awesome view!

    Nice to be able to take a short walk to MK and glad you got to see Wishes your first night! We noticed too that people get very jammed in and pushy. We had a good spot for Wishes, all the parades though we just got completely squished. We made sure to be there early and get a good spot, then people pile in behind you and start pushing in! It gets a little frustrating.

    Glad you had a good first night and can't wait to hear about your next day!
    Karen
     
  8. JMat

    JMat Mouseketeer

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    Great pictures! Im in :) Cant wait to read more updates!!
     
  9. emmysmommy

    emmysmommy DIS Veteran

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    Thursday August 19, 2010 – Magic Kingdom Day

    This was our first full day at WDW. We were looking forward to just being in the Park with no particular plans to structure our day except our dining reservations. Well, I suppose that is structure enough since we had a breakfast, lunch, and dinner ADRs that day.

    We caught the monorail in the Contemporary lobby to go to the Poly for breakfast at Kona Café. We had an 8:15 reservation and it didn’t take but 10minutes to leave our hotel and be checked in for breakfast.

    Here is my dining review for Kona Cafe with photos. I REALLY liked Kona. It was those pineapple macadamia nut butter pancakes were awesome!

    Following breakfast, we briefly toured the Poly, taking photos and enjoying the atmosphere before hoping on the monorail to go to the Magic Kingdom. I wish I had checked out the beach and other areas of the resort but we wanted to get to the park.

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    We made it past the bag check and into the Magic Kingdom at a little after 9am. We were so happy to be there that we literally skipped down Main Street. Well, just a little skipping took place, I didn’t want people staring but we were definitely happy.

    I had pre-purchased the photopass CD and I was determined to get my $99.95 (plus $2.95 in shipping charges that they hit you up for when you actually get the photopass CD mailed.) worth of photos. In the end we had over 180 photos on our account. Stay tuned because a LOT of them were from a special event that took place later…..I know, such a tease!

    So… we headed to Fantasyland after having the requisite castle photo taken and a few other backgrounds. We hit up Peter Pan, Snow White, and the Tea Cups within the first 45 minutes. The lines were fairly short. We decided to try Mickey’s Philharmagic which was a pretty cool 3D attraction.

    Castle pose #1
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    Castle pose #2:
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    Next we wandered to Liberty Square where we needed to cool off so chose to see the Hall of President’s attraction. It was definitely cool and by that I mean the temperature. The show wasn’t bad either. This was followed by a refreshing ride on Splash Mountain. What exactly does zippity doo dah mean anyway?

    We had a 2pm Liberty Tree Tavern reservation which we checked about 15-20 minutes early for and were seated after about a 10 minute wait.

    Here is my Liberty Tree Tavern review with photos.

    It was still pretty hot outside so we decided to do some air conditioned attractions. So… we headed to Tomorrowland and decided that Stitch’s Great Escape looked interesting. It was a cute show but can someone tell the imagineers that the shoulder harness contraption crushing my scapulas is not comfortable at ALL!!! Yikes, thought I was going to have to bring shoulder pads back into fashion if that thing did not let up the pressure. [I’m exaggerating only slightly.]

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    Whilst (I feel like a lady of refinement if I use that proper word) in Tomorrowland we also hit up Monsters Inc. Laugh Floor. That was pretty good with the audience participation.

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    The parade had come down Main Street and disappeared into Liberty Square and we decided to make our way through the hub of the park and go through the shops. The bakery tempted us with all the treats and the confectionary store had me wishing I could shove one more treat into my mouth… but we resisted all of those lovely delights and walked back to the BLT around 4:00.

    It doesn't hurt to just look, right?
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    Here's a photo showing how far it is from the bus stops outside the park to the BLT/CR:
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    Back at the resort, we decided to redeem our refillable mugs at the Contempo Café. I don’t know how many ounces they hold but it was perfect for us. The drink choices for the mugs were anything from the soda dispensers, including Coke products, Powerade, and Minute Maid light lemonade, Gold Peak tea, coffee and I believe hot chocolate.

    I took these photos from the balcony of our room:
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    We had an 8:50 dinner reservation at California Grill and we wanted to rest up and get pretty before our big night so we didn't do much in the late afternoon.

    Before dinner photos: See our room!
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    Here is my Cali Grill review with photos.

    After having a nice dinner and viewing the Wishes fireworks show from the 15th floor of the CR we headed back to our room to watch some "Stacy TV" since all of the parks were closed.

    Next up: Exploring Epcot
     
  10. pezheadmeg

    pezheadmeg feminsit turned fashion student

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    I was down at the same time. :cool1:

    Apparently we had similar ADR's. Aren't those Kona pancakes to die for? I almost ordered room service the last morning at the Poly just to have them.
     
  11. natebenma

    natebenma DIS Veteran

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    I was behind several updates, but I'm back and all caught up!

    Your comment about the importance of your park bag. I'll share a little secret... By the end of our trip in July, I was going bagless! Much to the amazement of my stunned DH. Actually, we would carry in a camelback or two of water, and an empty, flattened string backpack. I also had my small camera bag, but I would open up the pockets and we would sail through the entrance without going to bag check. Then we would have the string pack to use during the day. A DISer suggested this. LOVED it!

    I can totally appreciate the beauty of your Pineapple Coconut muffin. And the wonderfulness of Macadamia Pineapple Pancakes. I have ordered those 3 years in a row. They are my FAVORITE thing to eat in the World. And maybe even the world. Did you sample the Pineapple Coconut Danish at the BC CL? That was delish, too!

    OMG, OMG, OMG! What a VIEW!!! OMG!

    Great photo of you and Emmy at the Partners statue.

    Looking forward to the next update!

    Dee
     
  12. emmysmommy

    emmysmommy DIS Veteran

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    Hi there Dee! Yes, I'm still learning to travel lighter. I definitely didn't need an entire tote bag. The bulky item that kept taking up room was the sweater that I always seemed to need due to the A/C when we were indoors. I need to get a drawstring pack since it is good for light days (you know what I mean with that!!)

    And yes, I definitely had one (or more) of the coconut/pineapple danishes at the BC CL... oh, so good. Man, why did you bring that up, I was perfectly content with my 100 calorie snack mix until this moment!! :flower3:

    Thanks for checking back in... more review to follow tomorrow. :banana:
     
  13. natebenma

    natebenma DIS Veteran

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    As I mentioned, this was an incredible and surprising transformation for me. Several times Mark said "Who are you and what did you do with my wife?" You need to start out with baby steps to MK when you are close to your BLT home or quick jaunts into EPCOT from BC. Can't really help you on the sweater though. Maybe you could carry that in and then slip into the drawstring bag after you get through the baggage check.

    You should be thankful I didn't post my photo of the row of danishes! Now I am drooling!
     
  14. emmysmommy

    emmysmommy DIS Veteran

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    Friday August 20, 2010 – Epcot Day

    We slept so good in the beds at BLT just as we did later at the Beach Club. I was awake around 7:15am and we needed to hustle to make our 8:15 ADR at 1900 Park Fare (Supercalifragalistic character breakfast) at the Grand Floridian. The good news is that it was only a few monorail stops from our hotel so we didn’t need a lot of travel time.
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    When we arrived at the Grand Floridian and walked through those doors I can’t tell you what an amazing feeling it was to take it all in. I’ve seen photos but the reality of standing there was rather like my emotional rush upon seeing the view from our BLT theme park view room. The hotel is stunning. We didn’t have a lot of time to wander around but I did take a quick tour of the lobby and snap some pics.

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    If you care to read my 1900 Park Fare dining review - you will find it here!

    As far as this character dining experience - I LOVED this breakfast buffet. And not just for the characters! It was one of my favorite meals of our trip.

    Here's the photo taken by the photographers at 1900 Park Fare:
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    They sell the photo package of (1) 5x7 and (2) 3x5 photos for $31.90

    We had decided to spend the day at Epcot since we had a lunch reservation at Chefs de France so that is the direction we were headed. However, before we went to Epcot and since we had to bypass our stop to get to the Ticket and Transportation Center (TTC) we made a pit stop at our resort for me to change clothes since I wanted to wear my running shoes and something that was not a dress!

    When we eventually left BLT we caught the monorail to the TTC where the gates were open and they were still boarding. We kept walking down the length of the train looking for a car that was not crowded. We had reached the next to the last car and the Cast Member working the boarding position yelled at us to just get on a car NOW! Sheesh! Didn’t know we were upsetting her…it was a very un-magical moment and the only time in our stay for which we did not encounter a friendly Cast Member. Even the people that were on the car with us made a comment that it was un-necessary. I got over it really quickly, like by the time the train pulled out of the station!

    Since we had taken our time that morning, we didn’t get into the front gate of Epcot until around 11am. After having our “golf ball” photo taken we wandered into Future World.

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    We had no particular destination or plan….just take it all in and enjoy the day.

    We had not tried Test Track the last time we were at Epcot so that was my only “must do” attraction. The stand by line was about a 45 min wait so we got fast passes with a return time of 3:25pm.

    We saw Innoventions and decided to check it out more because it was air conditioned than because we were dying to see anything inside. However, the first thing we saw was Sum of all Thrills which I wasn’t entirely sure what it was but there was a sizable line that translated to – a very cool thing to do! We asked the Cast Member what it was and when she told us that it was where you design and ride your own roller coaster I knew it was an interesting thing to do. I had actually read a review from someone who had done this and I had it on my mental “I’m curious” list. It ended up being totally awesome!!

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    Design Lab:
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    I let Em select the type of vehicle and the ride segments. I took a lot of photos:

    The card with a magnetic strip that contains the ride we created.
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    How many people?
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    Swipe your card:
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    Designing the first segment:
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    Engineering the maneuver so that the speed doesn't cause the ride to fall off the track:

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    More designing with the "tools"
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    Almost done with this part:
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    Calibrating speed:
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    Designing the second segment:
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    Finishing up:
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    You get to name your ride:
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    Ready to move to the simulator:
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    I was a bit nervous when I saw that you had to be in an enclosed hooded thingie… I even asked the cast member how long the ride was (1 min. 30 seconds) because I didn’t want to flip out from claustrophobia and I wanted to know how long I would have to hold in my hysteria. In the end, it was entirely fun and a great experience. I didn’t flip out and I didn’t pee my pants from the 360 degree revolutions. You can see your co-rider on video in the corner of the monitor.

    This is the photo op of the ride seats without the simulator:
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    What kind of fun and antics could follow that experience? I saw Club Cool and immediately an evil plan formed in my mind.

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    Those of you who have been there know what I was thinking…..I was going to see if I could get my daughter to try the infamous Beverly Italian soda. I filled a cup and gave it to her to drink but she knew from my wicked grin that I was up to something.

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    A complete stranger and his fiancé came up to us when he saw what I was doing and played along trying to get her to take a sip. He even drank some and said that it tasted like “rainbows and monkeys.” I said that I would drink some first so with video camera rolling and my best attempt to keep a straight face, I drank that vile concoction. I don’t know what rainbows and monkeys taste like but they are not good!! Well, that didn’t bode too well with getting her to try it but eventually she played along and didn’t react just to spite me for my attempt to trick her. Well, mark that off the list of things to do. Thank you just engaged couple for playing along and helping me out!! (I know, this was just mean of me now that I look back!)

    Next up: Lunch at Chefs de France and more Epcot fun!
     
  15. LisaKeys

    LisaKeys Mouseketeer

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    I actually found your link on another DIS'rs blog - the link for your dining review. So, I did that first and then followed you over to your TR. I'm very much enjoying it, and love the fact that you separated the two reviews. Looking forward to reading more on both sites. :surfweb:

    The view from your room at the towers is priceless!!! Wow - what a wonderful way to begin your trip.
     
  16. emmysmommy

    emmysmommy DIS Veteran

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    Why thanks for reading along! Yes, the view was pretty amazing!! Now I'm spoiled for any other view. :woohoo:

    I've gotta get some more photos ready to get my next installment posted.
     
  17. natebenma

    natebenma DIS Veteran

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    The GF lobby looks amazing! FYI: I tried to follow the link to the dining review, but I just saw a photo.

    What a nice morning of trying new things! Even though one of them is the vile Beverly! We had a fun time on Sum of all Thrills, too.

    Looking forward to hearing more about your day!
     
  18. emmysmommy

    emmysmommy DIS Veteran

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    Epcot Day 8/20 continued....

    So we were in Epcot...
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    It was getting close to our 1:00pm lunch ADR at Chefs de France so we started touring World Showcase. By the time we checked into the restaurant it was about 15 minutes prior to our reservation time. We were seated within a couple minutes – early again. Steve was our fabulous French waiter. This was one of Em’s favorite restaurants and while I enjoyed it it wasn’t one of my top 3. Well, except for the cute waiters!

    For a full Chefs de France dining review with photos - check it out here.

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    After waddling out of the restaurant we decided to get some photos with Belle since she was making appearances in France near the restaurant. We had seen Beast earlier but when we were there he was a no-show.

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    We ended up touring France and watched the 16 minute film regarding the beautiful French countryside. I literally fell asleep briefly during the film – too much food and not enough digestion!

    It was about time to head to Test Track in Future World for our fast passes. This was such a fun ride and we were in the front row so I was able to video the experience. I was a bit nervous when the car hit the “open highway” and the speed was increasing – what if my camera flipped out of my hand? Well, that didn’t happen and the video was pretty good.

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    After this little adventure, I had a headache that was only getting worse. We decided to go back to our hotel and rest until our dinner reservation which was scheduled for 8pm at The Wave. I took some Tylenol and napped in the sleeper chair in the room. I awoke around 7pm and found that my daughter had fallen asleep in the Master bedroom. I didn’t feel like going anywhere since I still wasn’t 100% and I had zero appetite from our huge lunch in France. And to top it all off….I still had to pack our bags for our transfer to our new hotel the next day. So I cancelled our dinner reservation.

    We sat on the balcony and took photos of the glorious sunset – enjoying our last evening with a view of the castle and the amazing views of the Seven Seas Lagoon.

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    Around 9:30 we decided to go to the Contempo Café and get some dinner. We stopped on the walkway/bridge and watched a lightening storm off in the distance. Again, we Californian’s think this is an amazing display of nature and I was really enjoying it. They had a movie playing near the beach area as well.

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    We also saw part of the boat parade on Bay Lake:
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    Here's my mini Contempo Cafe review.

    After picking up our dinner, we made it back to the room just in time to watch the Wishes fireworks show from the balcony. Of course, I couldn’t find the TV channel to listen to the accompanying sound track so we simply watched. We watched Wishes three times all from different locations. Still on my list was to watch Wishes from the beach at the Poly.

    At 11pm we felt like going to MK for the EMH – they were open until 3am.
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    We walked to MK and were able to ride Dumbo, Winnie the Pooh, Haunted Mansion (after being directionally challenged since we were unsure where the heck in the park it was located – for CA it is in New Orleans Square). We did the Tomorrowland Speedway and then finished the night with BTMRR.

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    For all of the rides/attractions we were asked to show our room key for EMH – and yes, they even checked the dates.

    Around 1:45am we decided that we had had enough fun for the night. We stopped by Main Street Bakery to use some snack credits – we had our food purchases packaged “to go” and got a few drinks to put in our fridge.

    Our last stop was the Emporium shop since Em wanted to get a princess tiara. It was a tough decision between Cinderella and Belle but Belle won. For the remainder of the trip you will see this proudly displayed on Em’s head.

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    We called it a night and were in bed around 3am.


    Up Next: Changing Resorts - Check in at Beach Club Resort
     
  19. natebenma

    natebenma DIS Veteran

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    Again, WOW!!! The views of the castle at sunset from your room! WOW!!!

    Good call on the quickie supper and late night visit to MK. I am always in awe of people who can do late night touring. You guys were just getting started at the time I would be packing it in! :worship:

    Sounds like you had some fun night rides at MK.

    Sorry you weren't feeling better at EPCOT, but you will be nice and close very soon... As you know, I am really looking forward to the BC portion of your trip!

    Dee
     
  20. emmysmommy

    emmysmommy DIS Veteran

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    Saturday August 21, 2010

    This was a take it easy day with no park touring plans and no dining reservations until tonight. We were set to transfer resorts from Bay Lake Tower to Beach Club Resort.

    We slept in since we had a wild and crazy night before. Well....I exaggerate, but it was at least a late night - especially for me since I'm not a young pup! Because of our late night we ended up cancelling our breakfast reservation for The Wave at 7:45am. I really wanted to try The Wave but now I had cancelled a dinner and a breakfast so I’ll have to book another trip to try it out! In any event, we ended up eating our bakery items from Main Street Bakery. I had an apple turnover and Em had a huge cinnamon roll that I warmed in the microwave. Hey, I got to use an appliance in the villa’s kitchen!!!

    Last few photos of view from our BLT room:
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    We used our free time in the morning to pack and get all our stuff together.

    All packed and ready to go:

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    After one last photo tour of the hotel – the only time I made it to the pool was to take some parting photos.

    More hotel photos:
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    Pool/Beach area:
    Note: There were these large turkey vulture type birds hanging out on the beach chairs so I didn't stay long outside the gate on the beach.

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    I'm not sure what was lurking beneath the surface but there were bubbles drifting up from underwater....

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    We brought our luggage downstairs at 10:30 and checked out.

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    I decided to forgo having the hotel transfer our luggage and just take a taxi with all of our bags. It was an $18 taxi ride from the Contemporary to the Beach Club Resort and it only took maybe 15 minutes.

    Good-bye Contemporary/BLT
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    We pulled up to the guard gate, I gave them my name, and they let us proceed - which seemed to be a good sign since they didn't say that they weren't expecting me!!! Just glad to know that my name is not on a "do not admit" list. By the way, at all of the resorts for which we took a taxi for dining - the driver just announced that we were there for the restaurants and it wasn't a problem.

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    Since we were staying concierge, we were approached by Brett, who welcomed us by name to the hotel. Our bags were taken by the bell service and we were escorted inside the building. Immediately, I recognized Teena!! (Teena is a greeter at the Beach Club Resort and is very helpful on the DisBoards.) My first task was to introduce ourselves and take a photo with her. Such a nice lady! I was excited that I was able to finally meet the famous Teena.

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    Up next: Check-in and concierge lounge photos
     
  21. LMO429

    LMO429 DIS Veteran

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    subscribing :thumbsup2
     

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