Decisions Decisions...What to do at Disney without the toddler?

Discussion in 'DVC Trip Reports' started by DisneyRegulars, Jul 8, 2012.

  1. DisneyRegulars

    DisneyRegulars DIS Veteran

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    Hi! Welcome to my second trip report. My first report was all about the trials and tribulations of traveling with a wussy two year old, this trip we are leaving him with Grandma and Grandpa. (Cue maniacal laugh...wahahaha).

    I cannot even begin to express my excitement for this trip. I just checked in online, and the next ten days cannot go by fast enough. My husband (Grizzly) and I will be celebrating our 10th wedding anniversary during this trip. It is our second DVC stay, and we'll be spending 3 nights at the Boardwalk from July 18th -July 21st. This will also be the very first time we are both traveling together without our 2.5 year old son which is probably what is contributing about 95% of my excitement.

    Trip planning so far has consisted of many many nights lying awake planning out with each other what our perfect trip would be. We have gone back and forth between going commando and hitting all our favorite attractions in our short 3 day visit, or taking advantage of not having the toddler around and sleeping in past 6:30am in the morning and moving leisurely around the parks. It's such a tough choice, but knowing us(we are not the move leisurely type) we will end up doing our commando thing, being there for rope drops (if the rope drops are back) with some adult drinking around the world thrown in at Epcot.

    The only day we actually have plans for is Friday, our official anniversary. We have a 10am breakfast reservation at the Polynesian because after reading a ton of trip reports I am dying to try the stuffed french toast. After breakfast we are going to make our way over to Beaches and Cream for the kitchen sink for lunch. Dinner we have reservations at the California Grill followed by extra magic hours in the Magic Kingdom that evening.

    Stay tuned and I'll fill you in on what transpires. Also feel free to post what you consider to be the most romantic thing to do at Disney. My favorite is to ride the Tomorrow Land Transit Authority but I'd love to hear if there are other things I'm missing.
     
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  3. treborq

    treborq Earning My Ears

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    Cirque du Solie(sp?) at DTD was great and I believe discounts for DVC members are available
     
  4. DisneyRegulars

    DisneyRegulars DIS Veteran

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    More pre-trip ramble... I'm normally a last minute packer, the only thing I usually do beforehand is make a list of stuff to pack. Well it's three days before my trip and I already have my son all packed up to stay at Grandma's. This was mostly for her benefit because she's a bit OCD, and will worry if I don't bring all his stuff over ahead of time. I'm fairly certain that she thinks the sky will come crashing down if his four pairs of socks aren't lined up on the dresser three days ahead of being needed. That said, because of her OCDness I know my son will be well taken care of because she worries about everything and will watch him like a hawk. I've left Grandma with a sheet of contact information for doctors, urgent care facilities, people she could call if either Grandma or Grandpa end up in the hospital and they need someone to watch the beast, and the direct phone number to our hotel. The only thing left to do on that front is to rearrange the furniture in their guest bedroom so that we can move the large bed against the wall so that my beast can only fall out of one side. We'll line that remaining side with pillows, and he should be all set. So it's Sunday, and my beastie is all ready to go to Grandma's, once I do a load of clothes I'll be ready to pack my stuff, but I won't do that until Tuesday night, let's not get carried away here. Oh, we also stopped by Walmart and picked up some $0.88 ponchos, 6 of them, one set for each day of touring. I figure i can always return them if they don't get used or keep them for future trips. Alright, I must be off to continue my battle with not sleeping while lying awake excited about this trip.
     
  5. DisneyRegulars

    DisneyRegulars DIS Veteran

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    I wish the title of this was love from Orlando, but alas we are temporarily stuck in atlanta. The first part of the journey went off okay, my husband works in rochester and I work in buffalo so we flew from our respective airports down to atlanta. It was so nice traveling with only a backpack, I haven't done that in ages, but this trip I actually packed light! Our flight to orlando has now been delayed until 10:45, I'm beginning to worry it will get canceled altogether. While waiting we did grab a bite to eat in the B terminal at a little yet fancy place called the intermezzo cafe. Grizzly had a beer, I had a chocolate hazelnut martini, and we shared a nutela banana crepe. It was a nice way to start off our anniversary trip, now if only the plane would get here so we could start the real fun!
     
  6. DisneyRegulars

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    So our flight finally left Atlanta at 11:22pm. We had called our rental car place while in Atlanta and they informed us they absolutely close at 1am. Ugh! I decided not to stress and just read "Let's Pretend this Never Happened" on the airplane. This book by the way proved to be quite embarrassing to read on a plane stuck in between two strangers (Grizzly was not next to me) because I kept laughing out loud every 10 -20 minutes, and books NEVER make me laugh out loud. I would recommend it except that in between those 10-20 minutes of laughter it was sometimes painfully written so I'm torn about this book. Anyways back to the tale... When we landed Grizzly from several rows back gave me the job of airport shuttle runner while he would stay back and call the rental car place to let them know we were there, aka beg beg beg for them to wait for us. I was off the plane at 12:50am, sprinted past everyone in front of me on the plane, made it to the damn fake monorail as it was flashing its "I will chop your limbs off" warning. I decided to keep my limbs and then had to wait while everyone I just ran past caught up and secretly smirked at me thinking "ha! I walked and got on the same fake monorail as you" Sigh...a slightly humiliating start. By this point Grizzly caught up too and assured me that the rental place was waiting for us. They had stayed open because we were not the only late flight in this night. Talking to the nice man from Payless and telling him about our anniversary trip he upgraded us from 'super economy **** car' to what he said was a Nissan Altima. Well, this 'Altima' had some balls, and when Grizzly got on the gas, we actually got thrown back in our seats. Now, maybe some of you dis'ers are used to this feeling, but we both drive Honda Fits, and when you step on the gas in those cars it just makes the gerbils scream louder but you certainly don't get thrown back in your seat. We had a blast with the gas pedal all the way to Boardwalk, later when we parked the car we realised we had been given a Nissan Maxima, not an Altima. Koudos to this car. Next up our arrival at the resort and first challenge of the trip.
     
  7. DisneyRegulars

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    We arrived at Boardwalk at 1:47 am. Other people have reported being overwhelmed by the welcoming committee at BWV, and some even mentioned that they did not like all the people there to welcome you. Well, may I suggest arriving at 1:47am. That should take care of the problem. We were greeted by one overzealous bellhop who was dying to bellhop anything. We unfortunately just had backpacks, and I wasn't about to ask for help with a backpack. I think he asked us about 5 times if he could help us. Check in was smooth, and despite the ridiculously late hour there were still 3 people at reception. We were given our keys and headed out to park the car. Everytime we moved our car this trip we were able to find a spot right in front of the tennis courts which was very convenient.

    So by this point it was about 2:00am and I stood in the middle of the road for FOREVER trying to get a picture of the hotel all lit up, but my camera phone was just not cooperating, so I finally gave up. Believe me when I say it was beautiful, and then go Google Boardwalk Villas at Night to find someone else's pretty picture of it. So we get to our room, number 2063, and are greeted by this little gem:
    [​IMG]

    What's that you say, it just looks like a door lock. Well it looked like a door lock to us as well, except for the fact that we had no idea how to get in the darn thing. We tried finding a place to slide our key, no place. We slid our key across the top, along the side, tried to stuff it under it, there was no place on this thing to slide a key. Hmmm...Maybe we need to flip the plastic thing up somehow...So we tried that, tried prying the plastic thing off, just about removed nails trying to get this plastic gray thing out of the way of the sliding spot...Were just about to give up and go ask for help when Grizzly accidentally hit the gray thing with the key and it opened. Go figure! We felt like idiots, but I will blame it on the fact that it was 2am and we were just really tired.

    Up next...Room impressions and will we make our 9am park opening...? I had wanted to do more of a live posting, but on the shuttle to the rental car facility Grizzly remarked "this isn't an anniversary trip! This is a documentary!," so I toned down my writing to just notes. By the last day though he had finally learned not to eat anything until I had taken a picture of it first. :)
     
  8. DisneyRegulars

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    I loved EVERYTHING about this resort. I loved the decor, I loved the location, I loved our room, I loved the water slide....This was our second DVC stay, and previously we had spent a week in a 1 bedroom at OKW. I did not like OKW because to me it felt like staying in an apartment complex, BWV to me felt like staying at a resort, and a fun one at that. This trip we had a dedicated studio, I think they called it a deluxe garden view or something like that, but by garden view they really meant 'courtyard' or perhaps 'tree' view: [​IMG]
    If you stood by the railing and looked to the left you could catch a glimpse of the boardwalk and water:
    [​IMG]
    This room was located right off the lobby so it was super convenient, and it had a humongous balcony. Not that a balcony was going to do anybody much good in this weather, it was WAY to hot to be out there. I loved this room, mainly for the location, but I could imagine in cooler weather the large balcony would be a nice escape too.
    The rest of the room was pretty standard, mickey head towel decor on the bed, oh and a little pamphlet that we didn't see until our last day that read "We will be replacing the locks today, just tap your key on the new lock to get in" Yeah, that would have been nice to receive BEFORE we went to our room.
    Up next...the alarms are set for 7:50 am so give us time to sunblock up before heading over to Hollywood Studios. The plan before bedtime is to go to Hollywood Studios, ride Rockin Rollercoaster, Tower of Terror and Star Tours, then go to Beaches and Cream for lunch. After that we have a nap for the entire afternoon scheduled before drinking around the world in the evening. We'll see how far we make it...
     
  9. DisneyRegulars

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    The alarm went off at 7:50am and unfortunately I was already awake because my insomnia had followed me to Disney. My potential 5 hours of sleep had turned into maybe 3 hours at best. Since we only had three rides planned and lunch I dragged myself out of bed because I could make it through three rides. We got all our sunblock on and then walked over to Hollywood Studios. On the way there I made a custom touring plan through the Touring Plans Lines Ap. This custom plan instructed us to go to Star Tours, grab a fast pass for TOT, ride Rockin' Roller Coaster, then ride TOT. We arrived at the park turnstiles late for us, we are usually the first people in line, today we were about 20-25 people back. :confused3 Since they now let you in the park before the rides start we rewrote the plan a little bit and grabbed a TOT fast pass first before heading over to the Star Tours line. This was my second time on the new star tours. I had the same impression as last time, awesome ride, but riding it again would have made me feel sick. This time we went to the Wookie planet, I don't think I went there last time. After Star Tours we completed the remainder of our rides and were done everything by about 10:15am. We stopped for a picture:
    [​IMG]
    I always have to check out the Muppet merchandise so we wondered back there, in no hurry because Beaches and Cream didn't open until 11am. I was presently surprised by the Muppet gear this time. There was a shirt that I would have liked, but they only had it in a size large. :( So after the Muppet store we headed out to the exit of the park.

    There was a boat waiting so we hopped on. This boat ride reminded me of why I hate the boats. It was sooooooo slow. I felt like I could have swum to Beach Club faster than this boat was traveling. Yes it was nice to be off my feet, but this boat was way too laid back for me, I would prefer to walk and get there at the same time than take this slow boat. So after the world's longest boat ride we arrive at Beaches and Cream. We shared a chicken Caesar salad which she brought out in two bowls:
    [​IMG]
    Then for the main course we had the kitchen sink. I like the kitchen sink warning lights that they light up. I was not quite prepared for the enormity of this kitchen sink. I knew it would be big, but I didn't think that it would look like we hadn't eaten any of it after giving it our all. Here we are looking over our mountain:
    [​IMG]
    Halfway through eating our sink the warning lights went on again and we thought, oh someone else is getting a sink! But no, our sweet waitress came out with a Happy Anniversary balloon and made everyone in the restaurant say happy anniversary to us. Yuck! I didn't really like that. We were wearing our Happy Anniversary buttons, but I didn't like her making everyone else in the restaurant have to clap. Here is Grizzly with our balloon:
    [​IMG]
    The kitchen sink kind of ruined me for the rest of the trip as far as eating dessert. I normally have quite a sweet tooth, but after that sink, or maybe it was just the heat, I didn't want any other treat for the rest of the trip. Up next...will we nap as planned?
     
  10. DisneyRegulars

    DisneyRegulars DIS Veteran

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    So perhaps it was the sugar in the kitchen sink talking, but I wasn't really tired after lunch. Seeing as I had some energy now (Grizzly is never tired) we decided to go drink around the world now instead of tonight when I might be asleep. After a brief pitstop at our room for more sunblock we headed over to Epcot. Our version of 'drink around the world' meant to walk around the countries and try whatever drinks sounded good, we weren't necessarily trying to have a drink at every country because I knew I would never make it. I wouldn't even make it by sharing a drink at each country. We started by looking for a place to buy the wine passport. Once we found France we saw this crazy guy up on a bunch of chairs:
    [​IMG]
    I thought he was quite talented, but it made me too nervous to stand and watch him for long. Once we found the wine passport we decided it wasn't actually a very good deal, and instead opted for the french frozen drinks, I got a lemon one and Grizzly had the orange one. They were yummy, but I liked my lemon one way better than the orange one.
    [​IMG]
    Our plan for Epcot was to stay until it rained. Once the rain started we would head over to Animal Kingdom. This was a fantastic plan with one exception. It never rained! In Morocco we tried a Habibi Daquiri. I didn't like this drink, it was supposed to be strawberry flavored-ish, but whatever was in it made it taste like flowers. Grizzly liked it. Moving along we came across the Safari Amber from the Africa food stand. I love this beer. I had one and then we rode the Norway ride. Now it was afternoon, and normally I've found the World Showcase can be quite busy at this time, but to me it felt empty. Perhaps the heat? There really isn't enough shade over there. After Norway we obtained a lime Margarita and trotted over to Spaceship Earth to get out of the heat for a minute. Before going into Spaceship Earth we stopped in Mouse Gear and bought our son a giant mickey and a little Goofy. It turns out it was good we got the giant mickey here because we didn't see a single other store with giant mickeys the entire trip. We had them sent back to our room along with some mickey crocs and a turkey leg t-shirt we had bought earlier. Mission Space provided a nice cool relaxing escape from the heat. Since the rain wasn't cooperating with our plan we decided to head over to Animal Kingdom anyways, perhaps it was now the Safari Amber talking, but I wasn't tired. We grabbed a picture in front of the ball before we left:
    [​IMG]
     
  11. DisneyRegulars

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    It was around 3pm when we headed over to Animal Kingdom. Waiting for the bus we applied more sunblock. Even with three coats of sunblock on, the tops of my feet still got a pretty hefty flipflop tan from this day. Also, I did not anticipate being out this long today, remember we were supposed to be napping at this time, and by the end of the day I would regret wearing these flipflops. By the time we go to AK I was hungry and really hot. Really really hot. We grabbed some fast passes for Everest and then hunted down Yak and Yeti hoping we could get in with no reservation. Turns out the lack of reservation wasn't a problem at all, and we were seated right away. I loved this place, but it might have been the air conditioner talking. I was hungry but still only wanted something light, it is amazing how heat makes you not want to eat. Once I saw they had a drink called the Yak Attack I had to order it. I didn't really care what it was, it had such a cool name that I had to get it. Turns out it was mango flavored, and looked cool when it came too:
    [​IMG]
    Grizzly claimed he wasn't hungry, but there were three appetizers that sounded good so I ordered all three, the dimsum for two, pork egg rolls, and the seared tuna. All were delicious:
    [​IMG]
    We basked in the air conditioning and the waitress was nice and didn't rush us out or anything. Oh, and the non-hungry Grizzly ate half of everything which ended up being just the right amount of food for two people eating a light meal. We stayed until I got cold. It was so nice to feel cold!

    After an early dinner we headed over to Dinosaur. I love this ride. It terrifies me. I scream like a small child on it. We also rode primeval whirl because it will be ages before our son is tall enough to go on that. 48 inches really? After those two rides we still had some time before our Everest fast pass so we headed over to brave the line for Kali River Rapids. On the way we grabbed another fast pass for Everest. Kali claimed to have a 55 minute wait, and we had about that much time before our fast pass so we got in line. I think we waited 23 minutes (I timed it for the lines ap). Grizzly got soaked down his back, and I got drenched by a fire hose type thing after the main ride was through. After Kali it was time for Everest. Fast pass line was a breeze. I didn't think I would like having to stick to the strict fast pass times, but it really wasn't a problem, and I felt like the lines went smoother for both fast passers and standby lines. After our first Everest we had about 30 minutes before our second passes. Just enough time for Dinosaur again! This time I requested the front row because it is scarier. After Dino it was back to Everest and then it was time to go...but where?
     
  12. DisneyRegulars

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    So by this time it was nearing 8pm, we had been to three parks already and were working off 3-5 hours of sleep. I was getting tuckered, but the lure of going to all four parks and riding all the big rides in one day was too much for me to bear, and we headed over to the Magic Kingdom. We arrived at the MK just before 8pm. It was crowded and main street was lined with people. I thought for sure the parade was going to be starting any minute. Ha! Far from it. The parade was starting at 9pm!! I can't imagine ever sitting on main street for over an hour to watch a parade. To each his own I guess, but that is certainly not my idea of fun. I was starving at this point so while Grizzly went to get fast passes for thunder or splash mountain I headed over to Pinochios to get some chicken tender bites. Grizzly is not hungry, he steals two french fries but quickly regrets it as hit tummy has been bothering him ever since the kitchen sink. We have some goals for this evening and manage to accomplish them all: Space Mountain, TTA, The Great Goofini, Thunder Mountain, and Splash Mountain. We never did use our Splash fast passes and opted for the standby line. I was disappointed by the retheming of Goofy's barnstormer. All you do now is go through the back of a billboard. Maybe the ride looks cute from the road, but on the ride it is severely dull. Nevertheless I can't wait to take my beasty on it in September. Also the splash area in front of the Great Goofini looked like it had one goal, GET KIDS SOAKED. Looks like lots of fun to be had there, definitely bring a change of clothes if you have a kid under age 10 because they will want to go get wet and there didn't look like there was anything in there that wouldn't get you completely drenched if it got you.
    We tackled MK and headed back to our hotel right before Wishes ended giving us a bus pretty much all to ourselves.

    The plan for tomorrow was to get up, ride Soarin', and go to a breakfast reservation at Kona Cafe at 10am. After breakfast the plan was to come back to the hotel and lie in bed and watch movies until dinner. Will we follow our plan?...
     
  13. DisneyRegulars

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    Our alarm went off at 7:15am. We had goals to get to Epcot for Extra Magic Hours in order to ride Soarin' before breakfast. I didn't want to move. This was the first night in over a week that I had actually slept, nothing that pure physical exhaustion to cure some insomnia. After lagging a bit and debating about sleeping an extra hour we wandered out of bed, put on sunblock and headed over to The International Gateway. Holycow the lines were long! At 7:35 we were maybe 25-30 people back. Sigh....I hate not being first. Guess I'm just not used to these summer crowds after traveling in January and September for several years now. We finally make it through security and over to Soarin' at 8:13. The line says 20 min standby. After two minutes in line they make an announcement that the standby line is actually 55 minutes. Hmmm...I'm not sure if that was true or not. It did take us about 25 minutes to get through. While in line I listen to this family behind me discussing with thier daughter whether she was ranked 25 or 26th in her highschool class. Seriously? This conversation went on for about 5 minutes. It was a good thing we got loaded onto separate flights because I was just about ready to say "If you aren't first or second WHAT DOES IT EVEN MATTER?!!". Perhaps I hadn't gotten enough sleep. At 8:43 we were off of Soarin' and were headed over to our rental car to drive to the Polynesian. Up next breakfast and The Tenth Anniversary Monorail Mimosa Tour. Yum!
     
  14. DisneyRegulars

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    It took us three times driving through the Ticket and Transportation gates to figure out how to get over to the Polynesian (well one time we didn't actually go through the gates but did a u-turn and still couldn't get over to the resort road.) Note to everyone driving to a MK resort, STAY TO THE RIGHT!!! Luckily we had plenty of time. This was my first time at the Poly. I didn't really like it. The waterfall felt too loud for me. The whole place was just loud. Not for me. Though it was very lush and pretty, just not for me. We had the Tonga Toast which was delicious, and we each had a mimosa:
    [​IMG]
    This was Mimosa number one and sparked my idea for the Tenth Anniversary Mimosa Monorail tour where we would take the monorail, get off at each stop and try to find a mimosa. The Kona Cafe mimosa was $8.25 and was a typical mimosa, the strawberries attached were very nice. After our meal our waitress brought out two cupcakes for our anniversary. I'm not sure why we got so many cupcakes today and none yesterday, but this was the beginning of the onslaught. We asked them to be put in a box to go:
    [​IMG]
    After the Poly we hopped on the monorail and went over to the Grand Floridian. I've only been in this hotel once before and the opulence was just amazing. To get an idea of how fancy this hotel is, lets just start with the public restroom:
    [​IMG]
    Floor to ceiling marble! Need I say more! There were also orchids in there too. We went to the restaurant on the ground floor and ordered two Grand Mimosas. These had Grand Marnier in them:
    [​IMG]
    Turns out I'm not the biggest Grand Marnier fan, but Grizzly got talked into two of them by our waiter Jay. The second one he made fairly strong for him, and by the time we left Grizzly was feeling his mimosas. Jay also brought out our second cupcake of the day. This one was larger than the first two, and was vanilla. Grizzly ate it. I was still put off of sugar because of the kitchen sink and the Tonga Toast this morning didn't help.
    [​IMG]

    Up next our third stop on the Mimosa Tour, the Contemporary...
     
  15. DisneyRegulars

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    We arrived at the Contemporary at that awkward hour between breakfast and lunch. Grizzly was brave enough to ask the counter service cashiers where we might find a mimosa at this hour. The three cashiers conferred with one another and decided that the Wave would be our best bet, but it was closed between 11:00 and 12:00 as it transitioned between breakfast and lunch. Hmmm...It was 11:30ish, what to do for 30 minutes. We decided to go check out Bay Lake Tower, since we were already on the fifth floor we scurried over to the bridge. Alas we were shot down! You can't get into Bay Lake Tower without a room key. We tried our room key but it didn't work, so we hung around the entrance until some people went through and then followed them onto the bridge. They gave us the death glare, but we followed them anyways since we just wanted to look around. Once over there we took a peak at the pool, decided it didn't look that great (is it only restricted from pool hopping because of it's vicinity to MK?), and headed back to the Contemporary. Once back in the Contemporary we discovered the arcade. We took a peak around, made a second discovery that you could win tickets, and now we were like kids in a candy store. TICKETS!!!! I love winning tickets! There is nothing more satisfying than spending $50.00 to win a $3.00 stuffed animal. We put $10.00 on our card (warning to families with kids that have charging privileges on their cards, this took all of 3 seconds to do, and there is a $50.00 option!). We quickly set about playing all the ticket games in an attempt to see what we could win with $10.00. Since it was a Disney arcade my sights were set pretty low. There were several things about this arcade that impressed me:
    1. Every game we played worked! I'm used to the arcade at Hampton Beach, NH where you have a roughly 50% chance that any game you play will just eat your quarter. Dave and Busters is similarly lousy in Buffalo, but at this arcade, in true Disney style every game worked flawlessly!!!
    2. The games seem reasonably priced. It was hard to tell exactly what I was paying per game because they charged points, and the number of points you got differed on the amount you spent, I think I got 600 points for $10. The games we played ranged from 30 points to 75 points for the most expensive ticket game, so roughly $0.50 to $1.25.
    3. We won lots of tickets! For our $10 I think we won just over 200 tickets, and we were able to get a snake that jumps out of a can of peanuts, a space shuttle glider, tootsie rolls, a top, and a smiley face ring. Seen here: [​IMG] I think most kids would be pleasantly surprised at the number of things to choose from in the 1-2 ticket range.
    4. They had weird fun ticket games, my favorite being one where you were a lizard and had to shoot your tongue out at targets that were spinning around. Here is Grizzly playing another strange game that combined hitting both feet and hand targets. [​IMG]
    Once we spent our $10.00 we headed downstairs to the Wave. As we walked down the tunnel the greeters summed us up and directed us directly to the bar, they didn't even offer us a table. Perhaps it was the goofy hats or maybe the pink balloon I was now carrying around from our Grand Floridian stop, but she clearly thought we belonged in the bar and not the dining room. So off we went. They didn't have any mimosa's on their lunch menu, so we opted for some long island ice teas: [​IMG] and got the Wave for 2 appetizer because once again I was hungry: [​IMG] The appetizer was yummy, the shrimp and scallop part was very much like ceviche except they didn't call it ceviche, they called it something like shrimp and scallops in a citrus dressing. The bartender, Orlando, did not give us any cupcakes. :(
    After the Contemporary stop neither of us could drive so we left the car at the Poly and took the monorail over to Epcot. We walked back through the world and picked up two Safari Ambers on the way back to our room. We asked a stranger to take this picture for us: [​IMG] It is hard to walk and drink a beer and I kept spilling the darn thing all over me, by the time we got back to the hotel my shorts were a mess. Next up, watersliding, napping and movie watching...
     
  16. DisneyRegulars

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    Alright, we made it back to the hotel around 2pm-ish. I had long since stopped caring about the time so I'm not exactly sure what time it was. One major thing we had on our todo list was to ride the the Boardwalk roller coaster looking waterslide. I didn't want to bother putting on sunblock, so I told Grizzly we could only go down 2 times, and that we absolutely had to come in after 2 times. We joined the 5 or so kids in line and the concensus among that was that the best way to go down was to lie down on your back and roll over on your way down. Um...I don't think so. I opted for the lying on the back approach. This slide, like most waterslides, has those joints that scrape your shoulder blades. It hurts to go down, but it's also fun to go down, and the fun outweighs the hurt factor. I disobeyed by own rule and went down 4 times! I was glad to see that during various trips there were two other adults in line, one mom with her son and another lady who just wanted to go down. With my slide riding satisfied we headed back up to the room and out of the sun, but first stopped at the pool bar to get another drink. My Blue Moon met a sad fate as it sat on my bedside table un-touched. We snuggled into bed and attempted to find the pay-per-view type movie channel that all hotels have. Apparently that statement needs to be amended to read "all hotels BUT disney hotels". Our hopes of watching a recent-ish movie were dashed and we were both too lazy to go down to the community hall to borrow a movie. We settled on skimming through cable until we came across a marathon of Whale Wars on Animal Planet. Grizzly was quickly enthralled and I was quickly asleep. We got up in time to get ready and head over to the Contemporary for dinner at California Grill.
     
  17. DisneyRegulars

    DisneyRegulars DIS Veteran

    Joined:
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    With three steps out the door we immediately regretted leaving our car over at the Poly. We also were immediately covered in sweat. We joined throngs of people at the bus stop, and waited for a MK bus. The first bus to arrive was a completely packed Downtown Disney bus. Completely Packed. No-one got on or off the bus at this stop, and the 15-20 people waiting for the Downtown Disney bus were very upset. Oh no! I hope all the busses aren't like that. Our MK bus arrived within 10min or so, it emptied out, and we got seats towards the back. I was very glad that BW was the first stop. I was not glad that we apparently had the hottest bus in the world, and we sat sweating and trying not to fall asleep on the way to the MK. Finally at the MK we hopped the monorail over to the Polynesian in order to move our car over to the Contemporary. I thought for sure that getting off the bus would feel refreshing because it was sooooo hot on that bus, but it turns out it was even hotter outside. Yikes it sure was hot this trip. Car moving mission accomplished (with only two trips through the Poly parking lot to find the exit) we made it over to the Contemporary just in time.

    I wasn't all that impressed with dinner. By this point I was starving, but was also all drinked out from earlier in the day. I had envisioned ordering a bottle of wine with dinner, but the prices ($45.00 +) and my slight hangoverish feeling coupled with red monster cramps left me less than jumping at the opportunity, we opted for water. We ordered the dragon roll appetizer and I was dissapointed that it didn't look like a dragon, it did taste good though:
    [​IMG].
    I ordered the steak and grizzly ordered the scallops:
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG].
    The food was good, but I felt it was too expensive when coupled with the overall atmosphere. Speaking of atmosphere, I would best describe the California Grill's atmosphere as a 'noisy cafeteria with a good view'. It was so noisy that Grizzly and I had trouble talking to one another, and it wasn't that the noise was from music so at least you could listen to music, it was just general pots and pans clacking and loud conversations. Very noisy. Not the best placed for a romantic meal. Our bill came to $122.00 and I felt that was really high considering we didn't have any drinks or dessert, and the dragon roll didn't even look like a dragon! I'm mainly upset about the dragon roll. Silly I know, but geesh. Since we were too full to order dessert our waiter brought us out our final cupcake of the day all wrapped up in a to go box. Inside was a piece of chocolate cake that we placed in our car before heading out for a small jaunt to the MK.
     
  18. DisneyRegulars

    DisneyRegulars DIS Veteran

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    After dinner we changed into more appropriate park romping clothes and headed over the the MK. We wanted to do two things: Ride haunted mansion, and play that sorcerers scavenger hunt game. I don't know the proper name for the sorcerers game, but it was pretty awesome. I'm not a 'walk slow and appreciate the details' kind of disney traveller, so I really liked this activity because it gave you something to do while appreciating the details. I love all the clever ways the imagineers incorporated the portals into the general disney decor. We did the Main Street hunt, and we had to hunt down Cruella Deville. I imagine that the story is different everytime because the fireworks were going off while we were chasing her, and the story kept mentioning how she was using the noise of the fireworks to disguise her evil deeds. I thought this was pretty clever and kind of cool. After catching Cruella we rode haunted mansion and headed for home because I was completely beat. So much for taking advantage of extra magic hours, I don't even think we made it to Wishes. We walked over to our car, and of course our inability to drive anywhere in Walt Disney World caught up with us and instead of ending up at the BW we ended up at Downtown Disney. We finally decided to ask Jill (our GPS) how to get back to our hotel, except I set her wrong and she took us all the way back to the Contemporary again! Aaargh, stupid GPS. Our second try we successfully made it to our hotel, found a great parking spot by the tennis courts and went to sleep.
     
  19. DisneyRegulars

    DisneyRegulars DIS Veteran

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    Oh No!!!!! It's our last day. :( We had our alarms set to 10:00am which we figured would give us enough time to pack and get out of the room by 11am. We both woke up before the alarm and set about packing by 9:30ish. I was sad to be heading out, and very tired. Here I am with all my stuff ready for the plane. 1 backpack, 1 pair of jeans to change into, and 1 giant mickey for my 2.5 year old boy waiting for me at home, and racoon eyes from lack of sleep:
    [​IMG]

    Our plans for the day consisted of eating lunch at Earl of Sandwhich, and then heading over to the AMC and catching two movies. Before lunch we did a little shopping and each bought new hats. EOS was delicious as usual. For movies we watched a 1:10 Men in Black 3, and a 3:30 Ice Age 3. The Ice Age movie happened to be in the dining side of the theater so we went over there and ordered some beer and food. We both got the chicken fingers and I was a little dissapointed because they weren't real chicken tenders, but were just a glorified chicken nugget. Tasty, but I was expecting real chicken so I felt ripped off. The beer was yummy. I was starting to get really nervous by the end of the movie because they hadn't yet come around to collect our bills and it was already 5:00pm. I started fretting about the time. Our flight was at 8:05pm and we had to get gas and return a rental car. We ended up getting out of there around 5:15pm, and scooted off to the airport. On the way we saw a sign for gas so we got off, only to be told by another sign that the two gas stations were 1.2 miles and 3.4 miles away! Grrrrr....We went to the closer one anyway. Turns out there was a gas station right at the exit to the airport and it was the same price as the one in the middle of nowhere. Hopefully we'll remember for next time.

    Getting through security at MCO was horrendous. You'd think with all the amusement parks in the area someone would be able to make a decent line, but MCO has yet to figure this out. All I could think while they tried to funnel 300 people from 5 queues into 1 queue was "IDIOTS IDIOTS IDIOTS". We eventually make it through, find some of the deluxe Southwest seats at our gate and recharge our phones for the flight home. Grizzly runs and grabs us some peanut butter shakes as our final vacation snack. We get home and into bed by 12:30am. Sad our mini vacation is over, but very excited to see our son the next day.
     
  20. DisneyRegulars

    DisneyRegulars DIS Veteran

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    Overall Impressions and Future Plans

    This trip I learned that I DO NOT like leaving late on the day of departure. I prefer to just get up and get home. I hated having a flight over my head all day, it made me feel unsettled, and constantly worried about missing the flight even though it was very late in the evening. I think I inherited this trait from my Dad, who was always very grumpy on travel days when I was a kid. I hated leaving late so much that when we got home we changed our flights for our January trip so that we could leave in the morning instead of the evening.

    I loved the Boardwalk. It was sooooo nice to be able to walk to two parks. For a few hours I was actually sad we didn't purchase at Boardwalk instead of Animal Kingdom, but then I had to remind myself that AK has more years left, and has the value rooms available which we have already taken advantage of. I'm sure we'll have plenty of chances to stay at BW over the years.

    I loved having an adults only trip. It was blissful to not have to think about my son for four days. It was a nice change to be on our own schedule instead of planning everything around his much needed nap. I think we will try to do an adults only getaway at least every other year as points allow.

    I liked wearing my anniversary button and hearing people say "Happy Anniversary!" all the time. It reminded us why we were there, and amplified how happy I was that we had made it 10 years. It also helped start conversations with strangers in line because they would ask how long we had been married.

    When we got back we were going over our trip with MIL and FIL, and MIL decided she wanted to go with us. This was a huge step for her because I know she has always wanted to go, but FIL has been holding her back. Well she finally decided to go without him. We immediately changed our January 1 bedroom reservation to a two bedroom so she would have her own space. I'm glad she's going, but want to limit the stress and conflict as much as possible, so a 2 bedroom was absolutely necessary.

    So lined up for future trips we have:
    September 23-29th 1 Bedroom Value Jambo House (me, Grizzly, son)
    January 22-28th 2 Bedroom Lock off Kidani (me, Grizzly, son, MIL)

    I'm off to go learn about scooter rentals and touring plans for seniors. Wish me luck! I'll definitely be reporting on the MIL trip because it will be a miracle if I can hold my tongue for 6 straight days.

    If you made it this far thank you all for reading! See you in September.
     
  21. SLM

    SLM DIS Veteran

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    I think your anniversary/adults get-away trip sounded like alot fun-exhausting, but fun-you did so much! The mimosa monorail tour really appealed to me. We usually just sit on our balcony with a glass of wine (empty nesters) but I would love to try that!
    And happy 10th anniversary!
     

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