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From Sunstroke to a Concussion: A Yacht Club Disney “Trip” to Remember

Discussion in 'Disney Trip Reports' started by Feckless, Jan 18, 2014.

  1. Feckless

    Feckless DIS Veteran

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    From Sunstroke to a Concussion: A Yacht Club Disney “Trip” to Remember

    Intro:

    For those who don’t know me, just a quick introduction to our family:

    Me, Disney nerd and part-time unpaid travel agent.

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    DH, who comes along for the ride.

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    DD, age 12, who loves the thrill rides.

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    DS, age almost 11, who hates the heat but loves the Mouse.

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    When we went to BC in the spring of 2012, we thought that we wouldn't be back to the World in at least a couple of years. That's why my last trip report was called "Trip of a Lifetime"! Well, never say never... :)

    My first plan to sneak back to Disney was to run the Tower of Terror 10 miler in October 2013, which would be great motivation. Unfortunately, I injured my knee after training for two months, and instead of working towards a 10 mile race, I had to work at physio to be able to walk without pain! So that plan was off, and nothing in its place. Right now I have the will to exercise but the knees of a middle aged Bobby Orr. :headache:

    In February, a close friend called to tell me that she and her DH had decided to take their kids to Florida for the last two weeks of August, and that the first week would be Disney as they had done Universal the previous two years. She asked if our family would like to join them, and the plan was hatched to surprise the kids. The four kids are great friends, and have known each other since birth. They have barely had a cross word to each other, and spend considerable amounts of time together, including other, shorter trips. I knew this would be a dream come true for our kids, as they have asked me on multiple occasions to try to do a trip like this with this family. We had already made plans for DD to fly to Alberta to visit with my sister for the second week in August, and also had plans to go to Toronto for the last week of August for my DS to see the Blue Jays play the Yankees on his 11th birthday. The other family’s planned Disney week fell directly in between our other two planned trips, and so it seemed to be meant to be! Then our friends said that they would be willing to stay at the Beach Club, which we loved so much last time. At that moment, I knew I had to try to make it happen. :)

    Somehow, after much time at my computer, I managed to work out flights so that we arrived in Terminal 3 of Pearson International in Toronto one hour before DD's flight arrived from my sister's city so that we could meet her when she got off her flight right at the gate. Unfortunately, the next flight to go to Orlando on that airline didn't leave until 5 hours after DD arrived, but I figured the kids could deal. Originally, the plan was to not tell either set of kids that the other was going until they saw each other in the lobby of the hotel. I knew it would be hard, but I knew we had to try! My DD knew about the Toronto leg of the trip, and DS also had some suspicions after overhearing conversations, but neither knew when we would be going exactly, or where we would be staying in Toronto. They thought that would be the extent of our surprises! Little did they know. :cool1::goodvibes

    After we booked, the search began for discounts! First I got a PIN code for free dining in the mail. Unfortunately it was for the week AFTER our dates! Boooo... So, I watched the Boards and waited until discounts came out for our dates to try to get a RO discount. Finally, they were announced! I immediately called Disney and the CM on the phone told me that there was nothing at all showing for our dates. Rechecked with the wonderful people on here and on another group I frequent, then I checked the Disney website myself. Lo and behold, there WAS a huge discount for our dates, but at the Yacht Club, not the BC. Lesson here is to never give up! Keep checking! So glad I didn't listen to the CM on the phone. Initially I was a bit disappointed to not get my beloved BC, but the discount was so good I booked it right away. The other family was booking CL which meant of course we had to as well (LOL). I spoke to the other family, they also found the discount and switched their reservation to the YC and saved about $1,000. I booked YC standard view CL for our family. It was a go!!!! :yay:

    We were going HERE. Could not believe it.

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    Next up: Surprise/Travel Day! :woohoo:
     
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  3. Feckless

    Feckless DIS Veteran

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  4. natebenma

    natebenma DIS Veteran

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    I'm in!!!

    But no. Totally not stalking you!

    :banana::banana::banana:
     
  5. Feckless

    Feckless DIS Veteran

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    Stalk away! That's part of the fun! Everyone is just tuning in to see the bumps and the black eye... :lmao:
     
  6. Pinkgirl

    Pinkgirl DIS Veteran

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    I'm stalking. Oops, sorry "in".
     
  7. TeenaS

    TeenaS DIS Veteran

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    I'm in too!
     
  8. Flyz Ondewalz

    Flyz Ondewalz Beach Club Sunken Treasure cherry eating fiend!

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    The Buzzy Fly is IN!!!

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  9. scottny

    scottny <font color=blue>You better have crackers<br><font

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    Joining in!
     
  10. Amberleefuta

    Amberleefuta Mouseketeer

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    I'm in!!!!

    Sent from my iPhone using DISBoards
     
  11. star72232

    star72232 Mouseketeer

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    You had me at "the knees of a middle age Bobby Orr". :rotfl2:
     
  12. luvpoohandcompany

    luvpoohandcompany DIS Veteran

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    I'm in and yes totally wanting to see the infamous black eye:lmao::rotfl:
     
  13. JanetMom

    JanetMom DIS Veteran

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    I'm in. Looking forward to living vicariously through all the good, the bad and the bumps.
     
  14. ClareH37

    ClareH37 DIS Veteran

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    I'm in too, looking forward to hearing all about your trip as I'm returning to the YC CL after a 8 year break from the resort (ignore my countdown, I haven't bothered to change it back to the YC yet lol)
     
  15. barneyda

    barneyda Earning My Ears

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    Can't wait for the "trip" report! I stayed at the Beach Club 3 times in the past year. Trying the Yacht Club this Sept for the first time. :thumbsup2:yay::wave2:
     
  16. Feckless

    Feckless DIS Veteran

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    Yahooooo! Didn't you get married in that gorgeous gazebo? Was that you?

    Awesome, Teena! Still can't believe I was too stupid to get a selfie with you this trip. LOL

    Buzzy, you may have some competition from DRONY THE WASP and his gigantic soda-loving family in this report. :rotfl2:

    Thanks for reading!

    Welcome!

    Ah, a Bruins fan??? You might enjoy this picture my husband snapped of me during my fall.

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    I took one every day. :rotfl2:

    Welcome, Janet! The good far outweighed the bad. The bump outweighed everything. :rotfl2:

    We LOVED the YC. We did not expect to like it as much as the BC, but it had some serious advantages. Still would go back to either!

    You will love it! I am going to talk about my thoughts and compare the two resorts as I go through... :goodvibes
     
  17. Feckless

    Feckless DIS Veteran

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    Day One – SURPRISE/TRAVEL DAY


    Unfortunately, when you work in my business, you pay for your vacations three ways: once from your bank account, once before you leave work, and again when you return. Because of the timing of the two locations and the travel days, and then the long weekend and the kids’ start to school, I would be away from work for almost three weeks, which I don’t think I did since DH and I were married 16 years ago. So, I worked well into the night the night before, which meant that I couldn't do any packing. I had been putting all things together into a beach bag in the back of the closet to hide from prying eyes, but I hadn't actually packed anything, or even gotten out the suitcases. IMAGINE!

    As anyone who has older kids knows, the packing issue is one of the hardest things to deal with when planning a surprise trip. In fact, the other family told their kids that they were going to Disney a couple of days before they left in large part because their kids had to pack themselves. We had an advantage, as DD had packed for her week with my sister and was bringing those clothes with her. The night before, we let DD know she wasn't coming all the way home, and we would meet her in the airport in Toronto. However, she didn’t know anything about the Orlando trip – we just told her that we would start our vacation in Toronto instead of her coming all the way back home. My sister had washed all her stuff and put all clean clothes in DD’s luggage, and brought home all her purchases at the West Edmonton Mall in a carry on herself (she was visiting home while we were away) so that she didn’t bring back to school clothes and sweaters and jeans to Disney in August! LOL.

    Since we were arriving at 11 p.m. Orlando time, and the cost of YC CL was so high, when I booked the trip, I decided that we would crash one night at Pop before transferring to the YC in the morning. I had some last minute second thoughts about my plan and checked a few nights before to see if we could go straight to YC, and a YC SV CL room was about $600!! I paid $89 plus tax for Pop, so that was a no-brainer. I did not want to have to dip into our main luggage until we got to the YC, so we had to pack carry-ons for sleeping, change of clothes for the next day, and swimwear. The challenge of packing was increased by having to pack for overnight and swimming for DD in my carry on, since she wouldn’t know to do this.

    The night before our trip, I had to spend the evening at my office to get ready, since I was going to be off for three weeks. I finished up my last minute work prep, and then turned my attention to FP+. I was having trouble with entering in the tickets at MDE that I had purchased through UCT the day after the prices were increased at Disney (they sold remaining stock at previous prices, and I had made a RO reservation so I didn’t have a package). At the last minute, I got a tip from the lovely Nannette from the YC/BC thread to enter the tickets as OLD tickets - I hadn’t thought that the tickets were older since I since just bought them. LOL. After I entered them, I double checked the dates of our plans made months earlier when we made the ADRs and picked out all our FP+s. Unfortunately, our friends were not able to log on to MDE because it would not accept any iteration of our city’s name. I had the same problem when I booked the year before, and had spent an hour on the phone with Disney tech support, but whatever they did worked then, and all my information stayed the same and carried forward, so I didn’t have the same problem. I just booked for us, and hoped that CL staff would be able to help match our reservations for the other family, including our BOG lunch FP reservations that I got with the help of the folks here on the DIS.

    While I was at the office, I double checked with Westjet to confirm our flight times, since I was nervous about DD flying into Toronto airport alone, and also finding her way around the Edmonton airport by herself. The first rep I contacted completely freaked me out by telling me that first, there was no guarantee that my sister would be allowed past security to stay with DD until her flight, and then telling me that my sister would need a valid passport since the flight was ending up in the US. Texted my sister, and her passport had just expired! Also was told that DD was to go to International departures. I questioned this, as the first leg of her trip was domestic and I don’t ever recall being asked for my passport on the first leg, just on the leg that ends up at an international destination. Anyway, my sister and I were freaking out, so I thought I would call again. This time, I got a different rep who told me that my sister would NOT need a passport, just valid government issued photo ID, and that she was to go to Domestic departures. Luckily the second rep was the one who was correct! My sister had no problem going in with DD through security, and watched her board the plane and texted me as soon as she was on safely. Phew!

    DDs flight left at 10 am Edmonton time, and ours left 12:45 p.m. At our end, we woke up at 6 a.m. and told DS that we were heading to Toronto right now and to help us pack. Not a lie... That’s where we were GOING. Not where we were STAYING. LOL! This was his face...

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    If he was this excited for Toronto, what would he be like when he found out we were going to have a week in Disney with his BFF???

    When we got to the airport after a crazy morning of packing and getting the house ready for the housesitter and getting our puppy to the dog sitter, we were exhausted. I managed to get our boarding passes from the automated kiosk using our passports without DS figuring out why I needed them, and managed to hide the MCO ones. When we went to the agent, I whispered to her that the Orlando portion of the trip was a surprise while DH was distracting DS. She was wonderful about it, and spoke to me in code in a way that didn’t tip him off. DS is extremely sharp and nosey so I was so glad she took such care. LOL. We had time to stop for a quick brunch at the airport before our plane took off…

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    Next thing you know, we were on our way to Toronto!

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    The trip was uneventful, except that I had problems with seat back TVs which was a complete pain. Also, there was very little legroom on the flight. It was non-stop at least, and we were all happy to land in Toronto. My main concern was getting all of our luggage, since it would have to be collected before we had to go through customs. The area is outside the gate area, so where we were waiting for DD, we couldn’t get our luggage until well after an hour after arrival. I spoke to an agent, who sent the word out to not impound our stuff! LOL. This agent also spoke in code and DS didn’t suspect a thing.

    My sister started texting me, and said that she had passed a note to the ticket agent at her airport, and DD didn’t suspect a thing. Her flight was on time, and we had no problem finding her arrival gate. As soon as they touched down, she started texting from the plane. We could see her plane coming, and I told her, and she said, “I can see you too!!” We all started jumping up and down and waving like crazy at the window like a bunch of fools when she texted back “j/k, TROLLED.” OMG we laughed our heads off. As soon as she got off the plane, I couldn’t wait. I told the two kids that I had good news, and bad news. The bad news was that their travel day wasn’t over yet. The good news was that we were going to Florida! They immediately put it together that we were going with our friends so they immediately became part of the conspiracy. LOL

    As we were waiting for our luggage at before heading through customs, DS decide to accessorize a plant. I'm sure the fellow travelers appreciated it!

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    We decided to go through customs right away so that we could get rid of our luggage. In retrospect we should have dragged it around and waited a while, because the Westjet international area in Terminal 3 is terrible! Oh well, it would just be five more hours, and I had a laptop with a bunch of Simpsons DVDs so it won’t be bad, right? RIGHT?

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    The multiple uses of the neck pillow.

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    First of all, no decent food, either food that the kids liked or otherwise. Second, no comfortable chairs. Third, no plugs and the laptop was quickly losing charge. Well, there were plugs, but people who had them, hogged them, even when they knew that we needed them. No Disney magic yet! Then I heard the announcement - FLIGHT DELAYED. The Westjet employees were really nice about it, and one guy even came on with updates imitating Mickey (he was awesome!). However, we were all exhausted, and nothing much was lightening the mood.

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    I took the opportunity to see if I could tweak our FP reservations with my last little bit of battery power on my laptop. I decided to make TT, Soarin’ and Mission Space FPs for the next day, just in case we wanted to use them while we were waiting for the other family to arrive (their flight landed at 1:30, so we didn’t expect them before 3 or 3:30 pm.) I also had an idea to get some FP+ reservations for our last night, which up until then I had not done. We had decided to eat at Whispering Canyon Cafe the last night, so I took a look at what was available at MK on that night. I was able to make Splash and BTMRR reservations for perfect times, and then I saw it - WISHES FP+. Score!!! It also gave me a bonus FP+ for Under the Sea, which I knew wasn’t going to be a big deal (since we already had them for our first MK day). All of a sudden I saw an option to change the attraction for this FP+, and I was able to change it to a FP for the Main Street Electrical Parade! So, I had FP+ reservations for the perfect times after supper to swing over to MK, ride the two Frontierland Mountains and then hit the parade and Wishes with no waiting…. What a last night! I was truly excited. Kids and DH didn’t really understand my elation however. LOL.

    We finally boarded, and I again had trouble with my seat back TV. DS slept for about 5 minutes, but otherwise, we were just miserable, with no legroom and very uncomfortable for the whole flight after such a looong day. There was nothing of interest for the kids to watch on TV at that time of night, so all in all, it was not a happy flight.

    By the time we arrived, it was 2 a.m. instead of 11 p.m., as we had originally planned. Those three hours on top of the expected 5-6 hour wait made for some cranky kiddos, but they were hanging in there (barely)! Because of the lateness of the hour we had to get our luggage first, and then go to ME. That was a real pain, I must say, and I think I will try our best to time our future flights to use ME for luggage in the future if possible. Hated not being able to use this perk… We collected our bags, and then we moved along dragging everything through the airport towards the ME check-in. We couldn’t believe how far we had to go with our stuff! Once we arrived, it wasn’t a long wait, and we were finally on the bus. I was shocked, because given the lateness of the hour I expected to be waiting for a while. Spirits were rising! When the movie started, Mickey came on the screen and DH yelled, “That’s the biggest squirrel I’ve ever seen!” Our kids cracked up, and I’m sure that our fellow travelers thought we were all insane…

    Finally the sight we were waiting for (through the rain)!

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    Luckily, Pop was the second stop. Once we arrived, I thought that we wouldn’t have a hard time checking in, but the wait was horrendous. We had done online check-in, but they were putting everyone through the same line, so there was no advantage whatsoever to have done it online. I could not believe that there were so many people checking in at that hour of the night… DH found bell services and we left our luggage with them to be delivered to the YC in the morning while I lined up. It took us at least 45 minutes to get checked in, mostly because of the confusion around the Magic Bands that the front desk CMs were giving out. We got a set of bands (grey… booo… LOL), and were told that they would work for both parts of our stay. No idea how that would work, but even though we weren’t checked in at the YC, once we got there and were assigned our room, they worked as a room key for there as well! Weird. I didn’t try to see if we could open any other rooms with them. LOL Anyway, it was 3 a.m. (4:30 a.m. our time) by the time we got our room assignment. So, we were all almost 24 hours awake by this time. Having to then go back outside into the steamy heat to find our room was really hard, but again, spirits were not exactly running high at this point! None of us were feeling the magic particularly. LOL. Luckily our room was close to the lobby, as I had requested.

    We got to the room, and it was clean, and just what we expected. The beds were fairly comfortable, but sharing the double beds was rough after such a long day combined with the very squatty flight down. There was a lot more room in the bathroom area than I expected. We managed to crash, and everyone’s eyes closed the minute our heads hit the pillows. Tomorrow was the start to the pleasant part of our Disney adventure!
     
  18. Ninja Mom

    Ninja Mom Atention People of Earth, I come in Peace

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    Nice start to your trip report! Keep it coming!!

    ~NM
     
  19. JanetMom

    JanetMom DIS Veteran

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    What a start - you totally needed a vacation to recover from the start of your vacation!

    I hated the TVs on my last WestJet experience when I flew Toronto to Fort Myers. On both the flight down and flight back the TVs were useless. I think WestJet was one of the first airlines to adopt that technology and now their fleet is old and in real need of a tech upgrade.

    I'm so impressed that you kept this a secret from your kids for so long. I don't think I could have restrained myself.
     
  20. Pinkgirl

    Pinkgirl DIS Veteran

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    Yay, what a start. I hate travel day with a vengence. Cant wait for more. :cool1:
     
  21. luvpoohandcompany

    luvpoohandcompany DIS Veteran

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    Im tired just reading about you travels but so glad you finally got to pop and got some sleep. Well done on keeping the secret(don't think I'd be able to manage not giving it away-blabbermouth that I am :lmao:) Looking forward to happier days ahead :goodvibes
     

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