Better Late than Never: Our c-c-c-old January visit to The Boardwalk Inn:COMPLETE

Discussion in 'Completed Trip Reports' started by Carol17, Jul 19, 2010.

  1. Carol17

    Carol17 Mouseketeer

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    Ok, I admit it, I am starting this trip report late…very late! Having written a trip report for our stay at the Yacht Club last April, I had every intention of doing one for this trip as well. But, time got away from me, and well, I thought, oh never mind, it’s too late now. :confused3 However, after reviewing our pictures I realized that I really wanted to share some pics on the DisBoards! So, I have decided to give a somewhat abbreviated version of our trip. Less talk, more pictures!

    So, if you are looking for lots of pictures of the Boardwalk Inn with Christmas decorations, you’ve come to the right place. If you are looking for food pics, and pictures of the Club level offerings, as well as lots of pics in all the parks, you are also in the right place! If you are looking for lots of storytelling of all the craziness of keeping up with the kids at Disney World, you are in the wrong place. This will be a quick overview of our (two adults) chilly week at WDW with lots of pictures. I hope you enjoy it!

    INTRODUCTIONS

    If you care to learn a little bit about us, or would like to read our previous trip report, take a look here:

    http://www.disboards.com/showthread.php?t=2178485

    Long story short, we are great friends that love Disney. We live in Ontario and have been to Disney several times, and enjoy trying out a different resort each visit. Having stayed at the Yacht Club last year, we decided to stick with an Epcot area resort. You can’t beat being able to walk to Epcot and even walk or take a short boat ride over to DHS.

    So, enough rambling, let’s get down to business!

    DAY 1-January 1 2010

    Happy New Year! party:What a way to start the year! Our bags are packed, the cats are being taken care of, and we are ready to hit the road!

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    Happy to leave the snow behind for sunny Florida!

    The roads were a little treacherous as we made our way to the Port Huron border crossing.
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    We finally made it to the border and had about a half hour wait.

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    Fortunately the drive went smoothly after crossing the border. However, I was in much need of coffee! Now, as most Canadians know, we live on Tim Horton’s coffee. Unfortunately, Americans don’t. Apparently, America “runs on Dunkin”. So, fine Dunkin it is. So I kept my eyes peeled for signs for good old Dunkin Donuts. I searched, and I searched. Lots of McDonalds, but no Dunkin! I have no idea HOW America runs on Dunkin with so few of them around! Even the trusty GPS came up with very few. In my despair for the lack of coffee, I decided to go here instead:

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    Liquor Barn?! I have no idea why this place struck me as funny, but it just did. It’s so big! The name is funny to me too! Liquor Barn! So, I had to take two pictures of it!

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    I can’t even remember where it was. Anyway, although the lack of a decent coffee did nearly drive me to drink, I did not go into the Liqour Barn.

    So, after about 10 hours of driving,we finally made it to the hotel!

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    Good old La Quinta! I like that name almost as much as the Liquor Barn!

    Having driven to WDW 4 times in the last two years, it has become a tradition to go to the Olive Garden on our first night! We used to have Olive Garden here in Ontario, but they’ve all disappeared! So we make a point of looking up Olive Garden locations close by the hotel we book on the first night. We found one!(unlike the darn Dunkin Donuts!)

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    Mmmmm, breadsticks!

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    Fortunately they were open on New Years Day. However, as usually, the place was packed and we had a long, cold wait shivering by the front door as we waited for a table. I usually sit there and ask myself, why are we doing this? I’m cold. I’m tired. But, after getting the glass of wine and my toasty warm soft breadsticks, I am happy we waited it out! And after all, it’s a tradition!

    So with a good day of driving(despite the lack of coffee) and a good meal, we are happy to hit the sack and do it all again tomorrow!

    January 2, 2010

    Well, I must have slept through this day, because I don’t have a single note, picture or memory of this day besides looking for Dunkin Donuts. Tony tells me we made a stop at Eddie Bauer to buy a couple of sweaters and boy did we ever need them! Anyway, needless to say, this day went smoothly but we still didn’t find a Dunkin. We stopped in Valdosta, Georgia for the night. We prefer to get to WDW early afternoon on the 3 day rather than late the second evening. Anyway, let’s move this report along and get to the good stuff, shall we?

    January 3, 2010

    Today we hit the road at about 9 am. I had given up on my quest for finding a Dunkin Donuts. However, it finally appeared! A sign for Dunkin Donuts! Better late than never I suppose. So after more than two days of driving across the country(well, down the country actually), I finally got my Dunkin Donut! Too bad I had to wait til Florida to get it!

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    Tah Dah!

    So with a stomach full of donuts and my required caffeine fix, I am ready for Disney!

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    Heading to the Boardwalk:

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    Up next: Checking in…Club Level!
     
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  3. Carol17

    Carol17 Mouseketeer

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    January 3 continued…Part 2

    We pulled up to the Boardwalk Inn and was immediately whisked away upstairs to the Club Level Check Inn area. Check in went smoothly and quickly and we were taken to our room. We were a little disappointed that we didn’t get the Boardwalk view we requested, but it was a nice room nonetheless!

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    This is a little note and treats left on the bed from the Innkeeper’s Club:

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    Here is the view from our room:

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    As it turns out, our room was right next to the club level lounge! How convenient!

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    Yummy tarts! I think I may have had a few more than my share. But hey, Tony didn’t have any, so I had his share!(By the way, just to be clear, this isn't a picture of MY plate of tarts. I'm not THAT greedy people!)

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    After having a snack at the lounge we decided to take a walk around and check out the decorations before they were taken down.

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    So many beautiful decorations! I am glad we were able to get in a few days of Christmas Disney style. Day by day, all the decorations were slowly disappearing.

    Coming up next…more Boardwalk décor inside an out!
     
  4. Carol17

    Carol17 Mouseketeer

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    January 3 2010...decor continued...Part 3

    Here are a few more pictures of the Beautiful Boardwalk Inn...

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    Time to bundle up and head outside to explore the grounds!

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    So, did you notice anything about the pool and the Boardwalk? Not a single person in sight! Did I mention how cold it was that week? Very, very cold! Apparently we got there just in time to enjoy record breaking low temperatures for Florida. We have been to WDW 3 times in December/January. It has never been this cold, for this long, ever!
    Coming up next....time for a late lunch at Beaches and Cream and an evening at Magic Kingdom.
     
  5. antnyh

    antnyh Proud BLT Owner May 2010

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    Very nice photos! It looks like you were the only one there!
     
  6. Queenofallthings

    Queenofallthings DIS Veteran

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    Better late than never!! I am so happy you started this TR....your pictures are gorgeous!! I am subbingpopcorn::
     
  7. Carol17

    Carol17 Mouseketeer

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    Hi Antnyn and Queenofallthings! Thanks for stopping by. I hope to have the next installment up tomorrow night, so stay tuned!
     
  8. MEK

    MEK DIS Veteran

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    I am so glad you decided to write your TR. It's always better late than never. I followed your Yacht club TR last year and I really enjoyed. :thumbsup2:thumbsup2 to you for driving that far. I didn't realize you drove last year. That is one heck of a drive and I can't believe you had to wait until you got to florida for a Dunkins. You obviously did not come down the east coast or you would have seen them everywhere.

    Anyhow - I love your pictures. The Boardwalk looks beautiful. Isn't it fun to try a new resort every visit?
     
  9. Carol17

    Carol17 Mouseketeer

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    Hi Mek! So glad you stopped by! I just found your most recent trip report and I'm trying to get caught up. Better late than never yet again! I am enjoying your report so far. Looking forward to reading more! As I mentioned, this report will be mostly pictures with a few comments thrown in here and there. Nonetheless, I hope people enjoy the pictures. We took a little Disney break in April and decided to try out the Hard Rock Hotel at Universal Studios. It was a nice change. I was going to do a report on that trip as well. Who knows, maybe I'll get around to throwing something together for that trip as well!
     
  10. Carol17

    Carol17 Mouseketeer

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    January 3, 2010...Beaches & Cream and Yacht/Beach Clubs...Part 4

    We decided to head over to Beaches and Cream for a late lunch(or early dinner, however you want to look at it!) We were amazed at how abnormally quiet it was, perhaps due in large part to many people heading home that day, not to mention the freezing temperatures.

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    We were able to get a table right away at B&C. Tony had a cheeseburger and fries:

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    I wasn’t that hungry(too many tarts!) so I just had fries and a pink lemonade:

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    Tony always has room for dessert(but I helped a little too!) We had the Brownie a la Mode:

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    All in all it was a pretty good lunch for just under $25.00.

    Next, we decided to go back to our old stomping grounds (from our last trip) and visit the Yacht and Beach Clubs.

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    Here I am outside of the Yacht Club, all bundled up but not nearly warm enough:

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    Tony also bundled up, at our “home”, The Yacht Club:

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    Who would have thought we would ever see this:

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    Yet another deserted pool area:

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    We went inside the Yacht Club to warm up a little and to see the Christmas decorations:

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    It was nice to see our beautiful Yacht Club all decked out for Christmas!

    Up next: Magic Kingdom time!
     
  11. Carol17

    Carol17 Mouseketeer

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    January 3, 2010…Part 5…Magic Kingdom

    Wow, part 5! We sure packed a lot in on January 3rd, didn’t we!

    We finally made it!

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    Ah! The castle! That’s what I’ve been waiting to see! Sparkling in all her glory!

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    Yet another tradition that we have developed is to go to Magic Kingdom on our first night at WDW. Staying late for Extra Magic hours at MK is probably one of my favourite things to do! So, we walked through Epcot and took the Monorail over to MK. As is our tradition, we head straight to Space Mountain and the Transit Authority. Although it is only our first day at WDW, it is also 2full days of driving, checking in and out of hotels, then finally dragging our luggage to our resort room and unpacking. So needless to say, we are a little tuckered out! So the Transit Authority makes us feeling that we are making good use of our time, getting something accomplished, but it’s easy and fun to do! There is never a line up, and it’s just a nice way to start our week at WDW.

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    Space Mountain was a 60 minute wait, so we decided to go back later. We hoped to see the Carousel of Progress as well (again, getting something accomplished, but nice and relaxing as well with no wait time) but it was closed.:sad2:

    Next we headed to Mickey’s(Donalds!)Philharmagic, with only a 10 minute wait time!

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    Things were still pretty busy with most rides having pretty long wait times. Both Winnie the Pooh and Peter Pan had vey long line ups and a posted 50 minute wait! We decided to head over to Big Thunder Mountain to get fast passes, but luckily, a girl gave us her fastpasses and we were able to get on right away!(don’t you love it when that happens!)

    It was almost time for the Spectro Light Parade, so I bought a water and a churo($5.75) and found a spot to watch the parade. Hmmm, can’t find a picture of my churo and water! Darn, I hate it when I forget to take a picture of something! I’m sure you are all dying to see my churo and water! LOL! Well, maybe next time!

    So here are a few pics of the parade:

    Hello Chip!(or is it Dale.I forgot the nose colour!)

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    Hello Pluto!

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    Yikes! Look out for what’s coming behind you little piggies!

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    Next…finishing up MK
     
  12. Queenofallthings

    Queenofallthings DIS Veteran

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    I have always wanted to try Beaches and Cream and never have....maybe one of our pool days this year we'll go over for lunch!

    Great shots of the castle....I have never seen it in person with the lights, and can't imagine how gorgeous it is, because it's beautiful in pictures.
     
  13. Minne's Friend

    Minne's Friend Earning My Ears

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    We were in WDW the 2nd week in January 2010 - I agree it was so cold and we did not have enough warm clothes with us. The heat in the room was running day and night - I hope next year is a little warmer.:rotfl:
     
  14. Carol17

    Carol17 Mouseketeer

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    Yes, exactly! At least it wasn't rain though, right? LOL! Thanks for stopping in Minnie's Friend!
     
  15. Carol17

    Carol17 Mouseketeer

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    January 3, 2010…part 5… calling it a day!

    After the parade we went back to Space Mountain. It showed a 60 minute wait, but it was only about 25 minutes! Unfortunately Carousel of Progress was still closed and the Transit Authority was also shut down for the night. We headed back to Main Street to watch Wishes. I’ve seen it a few times, but it’s still, I don’t know, magical!

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    We were pretty tired out and ready to head home. We got one last picture of Main Street:

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    So pretty isn’t it?

    Overall a great first Day!



    January 4, 2010

    Popped over to the lounge to see what was there for breakfast. Lots of tasty things like cinnamon rolls, danishes, cut fruit, bagels, cereal, coffee, juice etc.

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    I am not a big breakfast eater, but it was great to able to get a couple little rolls or danishes and a cup of(not that great) coffee in the lounge each morning. Very fast and convenient, not to mention very tasty!

    We spent the morning continuing to explore the Boardwalk area. At about 2 o’clock we went to Hollywood Studios.

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    Man, was that place ever packed! Everyone seems to congregate in the Tower of Tower/Rock’n Roller Coaster area.

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    We walked around for a bit, dodging people mostly, then went to Sci-Fi for our 3:30 ADR.

    Started off with the onion rings:

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    Tony had the burger(where’s the beef?)

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    I had the turkey club:

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    All in all, a pretty good lunch for $41.00.

    After lunch we went on Star Tours and the Movie Ride had a relatively short wait of 30 minutes. We walked back to RNR, but the wait time was 70 minutes. Toy Story was 90 minutes. I was starting to think that we will never get on Toy Story. We just don’t have that much patience for waiting over an hour!

    We also saw the stage show Beauty and the Beast. It was a great little show although it was chilly sitting on the cold bench seats.

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    Continued in the next post….
     
  16. Carol17

    Carol17 Mouseketeer

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    January 4, 2010 continued...

    Before leaving we headed over to see the beautiful Osbourne Spectacle of Dancing Lights.
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    It too was packed with lots of people all bundled up:

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    I bought a hot chocolate and enjoyed the show!


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    The line up for the boat back to the Boardwalk was veeeery long. So, we decided to walk. It was a very nice(though cold) walk along the path back home. We didn’t see and boats pass us on the way, so needless to say, we beat the boat back home!

    We got back just in time to get a bedtime snack in the lounge(tea and tarts!) then watched Illuminations from our balcony. A great way to end the evening.


    Up Next…. My required sick day lands on my birthday
     
  17. MEK

    MEK DIS Veteran

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    Great mega update. You really got a lot of great night time pictures. It's amazing how pretty and sunny it looks and yet I know it was freezing.

    Beaches & Cream - Looks so yummy! I really want to eat there one of these days.

    I love the lobby of the Yacht club. So lovely.

    :thumbsup2 to gifted FP's for one of the mountains. Nice!

    Nice afternoon in HS, but mega crowds. I hope the crowds start to thin out soon. I love your pics of the Osbourne Lights.
     
  18. Carol17

    Carol17 Mouseketeer

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    January 5, 2010


    If you’ve read my previous trip report, you know that I rarely get though a vacation without getting sick. This trip was no exception. We had a lot planned today including a Segway tour at Epcot and my long awaited birthday dinner at le Cellier. We’ve been trying to get a Le Cellier ADR for a long time, and we finally managed to get one this trip. One benefit of staying club level is that reservations can be booked by itinerary planners. So perhaps having them book a birthday ADR increased the chances of getting the reservation.

    So today we were up at 6:30 am and got breakfast in the lounge. We walked over to Epcot to meet our Segway tour group at 8:00am.This tour is called “Segway Nature-Inspired Design. Here is a brief description as listed in the Tours Section at the WDWinfo website:


    This three hour tour at Epcot allows you to experience the relationship between nature and the nature inspired designs at Epcot. You will ride Soarin, tour the greenhouses in the Land pavilion, visit The Seas with Nemo and Friends, and meet with life support scientists. Finally you will take a Segway off road tour.

    We were really worried about being so cold while using the Segways, so we were really bundled up with multiple layers, mitts and hoodies. A few people in our group were very underdressed. Fortunately, the kind cast members running the Segway tour actually took some people to the store to give them some mitts and hats to stay warm for the tour. I thought that was really great of them!

    We have done a Segway tour before at the Fort Wilderness Resort, so we were well prepared and quick learners. We were taken to a room in Innovations to practice before heading out behind the scenes of Soarin’. Part of the tour included front row seats for Soarin’ without having to wait in line. It was great to be able to walk right in and be first in line!

    Next on the tour was to go behind the scenes of Living the Land. We had a cast member show us all of the fruits and vegetables that are grown on property. We snacked on cucumbers before heading to tour the Aquarium at Nemo and Friends as well as getting a behind the scenes look at the water filtration and monitoring systems. It was amazing to see the complex systems going on behind the scenes. After that we had a bit of time to spend on the Segways including going up and down grassy hills. It was a lot of fun and we had a great time! Unfortunately we are not allowed to take pictures on this tour, as is the case with most behind the scenes tours.

    After completing the tour we got fast passes for Test Track then went on Ellen’s Energy Adventure ride. We then headed back to the resort to rest up a bit and get changed for our long awaited ADR at Le Cellier.

    Cue sicky girl. :sick:So, this ended up being my time to become sick. About an hour before our ADR I started feeling really sick. I am starting to think that it’s all psychological at this point. I always ruin at least one meal that we are really looking forward to! So regrettably, I called and cancelled the ADR and we ended up staying in for the night. After a couple of hours I was beginning to feel better, so we ordered room service.

    Tony had a chicken caesar salad

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    I had soup and a turkey club:

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    So that was my birthday. A great start, but I predictably ruined dinner. Luckily Tony wasn’t too upset about missing out on Le Cellier. He has grown accustomed to my often queasy self and just takes it all in stride. After all, we’ll be back! We will try again next year.


    Wednesday January 6, 2010

    Today we planned to do an extensive tour of Epcot’s World Showcase. The realized there were quite a few countries that we really hadn’t spent much time in, so today, we covered them all! I hate to keep griping about how cold it was, but it was really cold!! At least it was a beautiful and sunny day despite the cold. So let’s take a little tour shall we?
    CHINA

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    FRANCE

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    We got a hot chocolate and a cookie at a kiosk in the World Showcase area. I felt so bad for the Cast Members who had to work out in the cold all day, but especially first thing in the morning. Not to mention in the shade where they couldn’t even get a touch of warmth from the sun.

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    Up next…finishing up our tour then lunch on the Boardwalk
     
  19. Carol17

    Carol17 Mouseketeer

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    Hi Mek,

    Yes, the photos can be deceiving. There wasn't a cloud in the sky and it was so bright and sunny! I love the Yacht club too! As I said, we are starting to regard it as home. Although we have only stayed there once, I am sure we will return soon!

    Thanks again for reading!

     
  20. Carol17

    Carol17 Mouseketeer

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    January 6, 2010….continued…


    Continuing our tour around the World:

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    Lovely Miss Mary Poppins;

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    MEXICO

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    MORROCCO

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    UNITED STATES

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    So having finally toured the World extensively, we decided it was time to head back home. We decided to get a hot dog on the way on the Boardwalk. It was much too cold to eat outside so we found a table inside the Boardwalk Inn. Not the most appetizing picture in the world, so suffice it to say that it tasted better than it looked!

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    We had intended to go to T Rex at Downtown Disney for dinner that night, but after those giant hot dogs, neither one of us were really that hungry for a large table service meal. So instead, we wandered around DTD for a while.

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    Love the wreath!

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    We decided just to go see the movie 2012.

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    Up next…Animal Kingdom and dinner issues.
     
  21. Carol17

    Carol17 Mouseketeer

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    January 7 2010- Animal Kingdom Day

    Today was our second behind the scenes tour called “Backstage Safari”.

    The Animal Kingdom theme park is yours to explore. This behind the scenes tour provides fascinating insights of the challenges faced in the operation of this unique venture. As you visit the Animal Nutrition Center and Veterinary Hospital, as well as other backstage areas, the specialists will discuss what goes into the day-to-day care of the wildlife. PLEASE NOTE:Guests with special needs can be accommodated with prior notice as moderate walking and stair climbing is involved.

    However, before the tour we spent a little time wandering around. We had a snack with this fellow(not to worry, we didn’t share!)

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    After riding on Expedition Everest, we headed back to the main gate to meet up with our tour group.This was a 3 hour tour($76.68 each) and we choose to go on the 1:00 pm tour. Our group had a van to travel to each location behind the scenes. It was really interesting to see the nutrition centre and see all the work that goes into preparing health meals for the animals on a daily basis. Great care goes into monitoring the animals meals and their daily nutrition. We also got to see the elephant “barn”(hardly a barn, it is a large building) where they go in for the night and are cared for. We also saw where the giraffes are kept and spoke to a giraffe keeper at length about all the care the giraffes receive. Apparently they are one of the more difficult animals to get to go in at night sometimes. Clearly, you can’t rush a giraffe!

    Although we didn’t get to touch a giraffe, we did get to look through peep holes into their holding area. Now it doesn’t sound like it would be that great just to peer through a hole at them, but it was amazing to be that close to them and to really see their incredible size. They even peered back through the peep hole at you! Amazing creatures! Unfortunately again, we were not able to take pictures. We were given a short break with snack and drinks before heading over to a bird sanctuary. The last part of the tour was to go on the Safari. It is the same as Kilimanjaro Safari except without the “storyline”. Here are a few pictures:

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    Spot the cheetah:

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    Hungy hungry hippo:

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    On the way out we managed to get a few good pics of the gorillas. Is it just me, or are they not kinda scary looking. I find them so intriguing!

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    Yikes! :scared1:

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    So that was our day at the Animal Kingdom. All in all, we enjoyed the tour and would recommend it to those who like to see what goes into caring for the animals. Although you will not get to actually pet any animals, it is still a lot of fun to see behind the scenes!

    On the way back to our room we stopped for another hot dog for Tony, and I bought a Panini from the Boardwalk Bakery. It was a little disappointing because I was expecting the cheese to be melted and warm but it was stone cold.

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    We had planned to go to ESPN for dinner, but the line up was looong and way out the door. We were pretty tired out and didn’t really feel like straying too far away, so we decided to try out the Big River Grill and Brewing Works,also on the Boardwalk. Now, we have read some not so great reviews of this restaurant, so we were a little hesitant to go in. However, we were tired, there was no line up, and we were really hungry, so we took a chance.

    Tony had the steak:

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    I had the Penne:

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    Well, all we can say about the meal is… meh. :sad2:Not terrible, but not really that great either. Tony said his steak was “like a rubber shoe”. Yikes, I’ve never had one of those (not sure why he has) but it doesn’t sound good.

    The pasta was ok, but again, nothing to write home about. We skipped dessert and just headed back to the room. We had wanted to get to the piano bar, but we were just too tired.

    Up next… our last day and our long awaited dinner at Shula’s!
     

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