Holiday Dreams Do Come True with Pooh-Pooh Too! Family of 14 at WL (COMPLETED 3/23)

Discussion in 'Completed Trip Reports' started by exwdwcm, Dec 29, 2009.

  1. exwdwcm

    exwdwcm wishes she was Wendy Moira Angela Darling

    Joined:
    Aug 19, 1999
    Messages:
    5,046
    FRIDAY, DECEMBER 18th

    So we near the end of our trip, only 2 days left in the parks! Today’s plan was originally visit Animal Kingdom for the second time, then dinner at Le Cellier and Epcot in the evening. However, after waking up, we decided to hit the MK since it was looking pretty dreary and rainy out. We weren’t sure what to expect though since this was the ‘weekend’ before Christmas week, so I feared the crowds would start getting heavy.

    But boy was I wrong! We got to MK early as always- we usually would miss rope drop, but would arrive right at opening or 10 minutes after. This day, we headed first again for a second ride on Dumbo for the trip. As we were waiting in line, it started pouring! And I mean pouring! We were under the covered area, thankfully, but our stroller was not so lucky! Good thing I had extra ponchos, which served to cover the wet stroller later for Pooh to sit in. Then we headed for a quick breakfast on Main Street with Dumbo out of the way! We enjoyed our first time in the bakery this trip and sat down to a yummy cinnamon roll with juice! Everything looked and smelled so good in there.
    [​IMG]

    I’ll definitely be stopping in there more from now on. Just enjoying our breakfast at a table at the end of main street (near the ice cream shop) was one of those special moments I really remember and cherish- nearing the end of our trip and just taking time to relax, sit down and take it all in.
    [​IMG]

    But that didn’t last long……so off to the carousel and Pooh rides, then we let Pooh play a bit at the Pooh playground. Too many Poohs? I thought so. Fantasyland was EMPTY. I was shocked.
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    It stayed that way all morning. I guess the rain really drives folks away.
    [​IMG]

    It wasn’t really raining much, if at all anymore by this point, but still cloudy and dreary. Pooh really enjoyed the playground and did not want to leave.
    [​IMG]


    Next we headed over to Adventureland for another visit to Pirates. Afterwards, we just had good timing and caught one of the Pirate fights outside with Captain Jack Sparrow. It was so much fun to watch! So glad we got to see it. When Pooh is older, I am sure he would love to participate. The Captain looked pretty good too! J
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    We did a bit more exploring and caught Lilo and Stitch on our way out in adventureland. The line was pretty short, so we stopped for a pic. We didn’t stop for many character pics this trip, since we had so many character meals (Crystal Palace, Chef Mickey’s, 1900 Park Fare and Norway). But next time, I do plan to stop more often for them, as Pooh gets older, I think he will recognize them more. He wasn’t afraid or anything, he just didn’t really know who most of them were, except Mickey and Pooh. The kid won’t sit still long enough to watch a movie, so all he knows is short clips of watching Pooh and Mickey Mouse Clubhouse. But I did enjoy seeing Lilo and Stitch.
    [​IMG]

    So then we explored a little of Main Street and headed for the exit.
    [​IMG]
    We had 7:30pm reservations for Le Cellier that evening, so we wanted to get back and rested up. PLUS, we had a change in plans……the kids loved the babysitting service so much earlier in the trip, that we decided to use them again this evening. The first time we used them was for our dinner at Shula’s and drink around the world. Well given Le Cellier is a little more high end, and I didn’t want to deal with a toddler that doesn’t sit well at meals……we just decided it best to use Kids Nite Out again! We actually called them that morning and were able to get a sitter for that night. Talk about convenient! Mom offered to pay so we could have a nice night out again, adults only. By now, on our 8th full day, the kids could use a break and weren’t hurting for park time anyhow. We arranged to have the sitters there at like 5 I believe.

    So we had another little break and then off we went to Epcot. We set the kids up with room service pizza again and they were fine. We enjoyed a little time at Epcot first, but I forget what we did. We did check out the UK and its shops a bit. I know we headed back to Le Cellier by 7, to see if we could get in earlier. NO luck, so we waited it out.

    Finally we were called and seated at a long table near the back. There were 10 of us. Most of us had eaten here before. Our server, can’t remember his name- was fantastic! In fact, we made a point to ask for the manager when we left to let her know how fabulous he was! Hopefully he got a little guest fanatic card or something out of it. Anyhow- again, fabulous service, so we all started with some beverages, I was getting really sick by this point. You might remember that I mentioned Nancy was really sick. She had been staying in the room the last few days and only coming out on occasion, like tonight. I had such awful sinus pressure and pain. I couldn’t taste or smell much either, so I was disappointed that I wouldn’t be able to taste that well for this great meal. Bummer! But a good reason to go back (and we are planning to on this Dec 2010 trip!). Anyhow- I think I passed on the booze, since I wasn’t feeling hot to begin with. Other partook in a beer or other beverage. Some ordered salads and most of us had the famous cheddar cheese soup (which I now have the recipe for!). Yum, from what I could taste anyway!
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    Most of us had a steak for dinner. I had the famous filet I think. Everything was really good as usual and my entire family loved their meals. The server made special accommodations too for some of us that wanted a different side with our steak than what was on the menu etc.
    [​IMG]

    Everything was perfect…….again, from what I could taste! Lol I ordered the s’mores for dessert, which were good, but I think next time I’ll stick with the chocolate mousse!
    [​IMG]
    Our meal was very good and near the end, right before dessert, we hear Illuminations going off. Oh crap!!! We totally forgot and missed it. Bummer again. Unbelievable that in a full 9 day trip, we never caught it. We caught a little of it on our drink around epcot night, but not all of it. So we were pretty disappointed in that.

    We headed towards the front and stopped to ask for the manager where we gave a glowing report of our server. She wasn’t surprised and said he gets compliments all the time. It’s nice to experience that level of famous guest service at Disney. I know folks complain many cast members are mean, rude or down. But this one was great.

    We did explore the area a bit, but didn’t completely do the world showcase, we were saving it for tomorrow.

    So by the time we finished, it was after 9:30pm. But good news- it was EMH night until 12:30am! Not that any of us planned to stay that late. I know a lot of us split up to hit rides. I think we headed to do mission space (no spin)- although I would have done the spin version, but line was longer. We also checked out test track, we waited in line for a bit- probably 20-30 minutes. We had also gotten fast passes earlier. But I didn’t want to keep waiting, so I went to shop while Alan rode 2-3 more times! I went in Mousegears and shopped to my heart’s content, which was nice.
    [​IMG]
    We ended the night late, but not super late, I think we were back by 11:30 or so. We relieved the sitter again and were off to bed, with dreams of a great meal in our heads!

    SANTA’S NICE LIST:santa::santa::santa:
    • Yummy main street bakery and quality down time eating
    • Fabulous meal at Le Cellier
    • Awesome service at Le Cellier
    • Low crowds at MK that morning
    • Babysitter!!!

    SANTA’S NAUGHTY LIST
    • Rainy day
    • Wet stroller!
    • Missing Illuminations
    • Being sick!









     
  2. Avatar

    Google AdSense Guest Advertisement


    to hide this advert.
  3. heaven2dc

    heaven2dc DIS Veteran

    Joined:
    May 26, 2003
    Messages:
    3,454
    Great update :thumbsup2 It's fun to have adults night out once in awhile and esp if the kids have fun with the sitter. I've never eaten Le Cellier and hope to on our trip this December. Too bad you can't ask for a certain server to ensure a great dining experience. Do you know if a person can ask for their food to be served separately on the plate? I know this is weird but I've seen the great pics of food being served and I don't like my steak juices running all into my mashed potatoes or other dishes. I know - I'm kooky!! :rolleyes1 But 3 of my kids are the same way (darn heredity!!) :rotfl2:
     
  4. k_reile

    k_reile Slowly converting my son into a Disney lover!

    Joined:
    Jul 26, 2007
    Messages:
    1,648
    I started getting sick at Le Cellier too! It was all downhill the rest of the week from there...but luckily my mom had a z-pack on her...so at least that helped fight the fever.

    I had the chocolate "moose" this past trip...soo good! I had the smores during our first visit to Le Cellier in 2007 and i found it very hard to eat...not that I was still hungry at that part either! LOL!

    The one thing my mom wanted Caleb to do was play in Pooh Corner...but only because he likes to poo in the corner...and she just thought it was funny! LOL! It was too cold...and he was asleep for most of the times we were in the MK! LOL!
     
  5. BippityBoo

    BippityBoo DIS Veteran

    Joined:
    Jul 6, 2009
    Messages:
    1,840
    GREAT update!! YAY for low crowds! Even more yay for Babysitters :lmao:

    I am sorry that you did not feel well at such a great dinner. The EXACT same thing happened to me at Whispering Canyon. I could barely taste the delish food and had to leave early. At least you got to ride good rides and enjoy adult time!

    Can't wait for your next update!
     
  6. exwdwcm

    exwdwcm wishes she was Wendy Moira Angela Darling

    Joined:
    Aug 19, 1999
    Messages:
    5,046
    I am sure they would accomodate your request to serve the potatoes and steak separately. :) Every disney restaurant i've been to has been great about special requests. heck, one time my sister and i shared a filet at California Grill (we were having appetizers and dessert and couldn't eat a full entree). The server brought it already split and basically gave us full portions of the sides each too! You will really enjoy Le Cellier!

    yeah, the smores were hard to eat. :rotfl:i hated that was i so sick and could barely taste anything. really made those last few days of the trip not as much fun.

    oh, love WCC! yes, we did enjoy our adult time, we just might have to get a sitter for this Dec trip coming up again. it was really nice!
     
  7. khertz

    khertz Proud member of the WHO DAT NATION!!

    Joined:
    Aug 10, 2008
    Messages:
    5,618
    Man, Le Cellier looks amazing! I so wish we had been able to get this for our CP meal, because that was really the only way we were willing to pay so much for that meal. Plus, I tried getting us a reservation many times but no luck! How did you manage to score one for 10 people?! Impressive!!
     
  8. exwdwcm

    exwdwcm wishes she was Wendy Moira Angela Darling

    Joined:
    Aug 19, 1999
    Messages:
    5,046
    lol, i was up and on the phone (since you can't make ressies for more than 10 online) at 7am at 90 days out. of course as you know it was 90days back then. so glad it is 180 now!

    We love Le Cellier- and are going back again and again. We were on the free dining plan, so of course this was a bargain!!!
    :goodvibes
     
  9. exwdwcm

    exwdwcm wishes she was Wendy Moira Angela Darling

    Joined:
    Aug 19, 1999
    Messages:
    5,046

    SATURDAY, DECEMBER 19th- DAY 10

    Boo hoo- our last full day! It was a sad one indeed, but being that half of us were sick now and we had been here 9 days, we were somewhat ready to head home. The plan today was to hit Epcot in the am and tour the world showcase in detail, something we had not done yet, plus we had breakfast scheduled at Aeskerhus Norway with the Princesses. We’ve done this meal before and booked it especially for Ally. But most of the family slept in today, and only me, Alan, Pooh and Nene/Jeff went. So just 5 of us. Our reservation was at 9:35am and Epcot opened at 9, so we headed in and I think grabbed a FP on the way for TT.
    [​IMG]

    It took forever to be called in, but soon we were getting our photo with Belle and then being seated near the window. I was disappointed in this meal. It was a bit different than our last visit. I don’t remember them having the breads/fruit set up in a buffet style before? Maybe I am wrong.

    The characters/princesses were great though. We saw Snow White, Ariel (beautiful!), Cinderella and Sleeping Beauty. Not to be mean, but Sleeping Beauty was just not that cute. Something was ‘off’ about her. Pooh could have taken them or left them- he really wasn’t all that interested in them.
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    So this meal was also a take it or leave it. Food was so so, although I did enjoy the cheesy potatoes.
    [​IMG]
    After our so-so meal, we headed out to explore the world showcase, so we split up from Nene and Jeff. This is one of my favorite things to do and I wish we had more time, but we didn’t. We continued past Norway and explored China for a bit and ran into Mulan with no line! So we got to spend some time with her.
    [​IMG]
    I love really exploring all the shops and unique gifts. Last trip, we bought a ‘snack’ for Alan’s mom in each country for her bday! We didn’t really buy anything this time, but still enjoyed looking around. Unfortunately, it was chilly today.

    We continued on, stopping for a bit in each country, but not as long as I would have liked. Of course Pooh wanted to touch everything in the stores. We did get some rice krispy treats with our snack credits to take home, since we were nearing the end of the trip and had barely used any. I think we came home with like 15 rice krispies! Lol
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    we did do the KIDCOT stations and Pooh enjoyed this. I think he will enjoy it much more this year when he is 3.

    I didn’t take a ton of pics as we were really moving fast. After hitting up Canada, we found the Cool Station for the free coke samples. Pooh really enjoyed this. The cups were ‘just his size’ and he loved it!
    [​IMG]

    We played around in there a bit and then headed to the Living Seas. We hadn’t gotten to ride the Nemo ride or explore there yet, even though we had eaten at Coral Reef earlier in the trip. So in we went, there was a 20 minute wait on the ride, but we waited. It was a lot of fun. Then we checked out the fish and dolphins, which Pooh really enjoyed.
     
  10. exwdwcm

    exwdwcm wishes she was Wendy Moira Angela Darling

    Joined:
    Aug 19, 1999
    Messages:
    5,046
    SATURDAY, DECEMBER 19TH- DAY 10- PART II

    Our time at Epcot was short lived though- we had 4:30 reservations at O’hana for an early dinner, so we said our good byes and went back for a quick break at the lodge. Our break was also short lived though. Pooh had a little nap, but not his usual long one. I also finished up packing best I could too. Which was a chore in itself. Remember, we had been here 9 days, we shopped a LOT! We had to figure out ways to get all those Christmas gifts home. We had shipped some stuff, but not all. We had 2 large lego boxes (big star wars things), plus the big disney choo choo train/railroad and tons of other stuff. We ended up taking the train out of the box and putting it all in Pooh’s small suitcase as a carry on. We also had purchased a large duffle as one of the ‘spend $50, get this for $10’ type specials, so I was able to fit a lot of gifts in there too. Plus I had come down with some overnight diapers, cups and snacks which were now gone, freeing up some room. But man, it was like playing tetris to get it all to fit. We finally managed.

    We all met in the lobby by at least 4pm to head over to the Poly. We all drove separate and arrived by 4:15 and there was no one at the podium yet. When we finally checked in right at 4:30, they said they weren’t seating folks yet. Strange. So we sat in the lounge area and soon were called back. We were all seated at one long table again. I was really pleased at how well Disney accommodated our large party at meals this trip.
    [/COLOR][/FONT]
    [FONT=Arial][COLOR=#000000]It was the first time for almost everyone to eat at O’hana, except Alan and I. We ate here on our ‘couples only’ trip in 2006 or 07. We really enjoyed it that time and had a window seat with amazing views of the fireworks![/COLOR][/FONT]
    [FONT=Arial][COLOR=#000000] [/COLOR][/FONT]
    [FONT=Arial][COLOR=#000000]So we were excited to be back. They started off with drinks, and some of us splurged on the famous Lava Colada! Then the food started coming out, hot and fresh. Again, some of us were sick- me, Nancy and my mom all were fighting horrible sinus issues. I could barely taste and couldn’t smell a thing. I was really disappointed that I couldn’t taste more, but what little I could taste was divine! I enjoyed the potstickers and ate a ton of those. Love all the dips too. Others loved the sticky wings. Pooh went nuts for this meal, he ate a TON! [/COLOR][/FONT]
    [FONT=Arial][COLOR=#000000] [img]http://im1.shutterfly.com/media/47b9cc05b3127ccef8a59af3141400000050O08RbtHLVi1B7efCQ/cC/f%3D0/ps%3D50/r%3D0/rx%3D550/ry%3D400/


    Then the meat started coming- turkey, steak, shrimp and sausage I think it was. I had some of everything except shrimp. Alan ate a ton of shrimp to make up for mine! They also served the great salad, noodles and veggies. Pooh loved the noodles and broccoli. I couldn’t get enough of the noodles either. I thought I would really miss those au gratin potatoes, and I did, but these noodles were pretty good too. I was a bit surprised by how much I liked them.
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    We stuffed ourselves silly and the kids got up to participate in the conga line and other games going on. Overall, it was a great meal, barring how crappy and sick some of us felt. This was to be our last meal at Disney, as we had EARLY flights out tomorrow. So I tried to take it all in and really enjoy. This was one meal that Pooh was really good at and ate very well.
    [​IMG]
    Maybe he was finally getting the hang of the really long sit down meals? Just in time for us to leave. Go figure.
    [​IMG]
    So then dessert was brought out- the bread pudding with the caramel sauce- yum! I am NOT a bread pudding fan, but this was good. Ice cream too of course. I have to say this was one of my favorite meals, although I couldn’t taste it fully. Alan and I are already planning to go back in December and take his parents there. Especially given how much Pooh liked it.

    What was really nice is that if you want ‘kids food’ for the kids- they will bring out a huge plate full of it- family style. So in addition to our other food, we also had macaroni and cheese, fries and chicken strips to munch on too.

    So we paid the bill, tipped well and headed out. Saying good bye to our last meal.
    [​IMG]
    We took a few pics, went out to see the pool and then headed over to the MK to enjoy one last visit. My parents, Nancy, Chase and my sister with her kiddos all went back to the room to start packing. But Alan, Pooh and Nene, Jeff and I headed to MK. We had a mission- get a dole whip! We had NOT yet had one this entire trip. I know, crazy. I love the pineapple/vanilla swirl float. So I got that and Nene kindly treated me as she had tons of snack credits left. We enjoyed it and walked around a bit, realizing just how HUGE the crowds were.
    [​IMG]
    Remember yesterday in fantasyland when it was dead from the rain? Well not today. The Christmas break crowds had obviously arrived that day and they were all in the MK.
    [​IMG]
    We went to check out the wait for pirates, but it was like 45 minutes, so we passed. At that point, now, like 8pm or so, we decided it wasn’t worth fighting the crowds and slowly made our way back towards main street. We knew we wouldn’t get to ride anything without a huge wait. So we split up from Nene/Jeff and headed towards the exit, but taking in those last precious moments in the beautifully decorated Magic Kingdom. The ‘snow’ was falling on Main Street too, and Pooh was going nuts for it.

    But WOW, Main Street was a madhouse. Neither Alan or I do well with big crowds like this. We just have no patience for the stupidity and rudeness that usually can accompany large crowds. And there was no relief from that tonight. As we walked down the street, slowly, this guest with a video camera was bumping into us continually, walking in front of us, etc. He was looking through his camera and not watching where he was going and kept running into us. Very annoying! At one point, he stepped right out in front of the stroller and got his foot ran over………didn’t even notice, he just kept on going, running into people, walking in circles. We didn’t hit him on purpose of course, but hard to avoid when he steps right in front of you at the last second.
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    So it was a bit annoying, but we still tried to focus on this being our last time at the MK for a good long time. I mean, who knew when we would be back, we have a lot going on in our lives right now. I was starting a new job the week after Christmas, we were buying a new (used) car, and at some point, we wanted to try a make a brother or sister for Pooh. Pooh is an in-vitro baby, we tried for 2 years to have him, so producing a sibling will not be an easy task and might require help again, which is expensive and time consuming. So who knew when we would get back to WDW- it could be a while if I was doing fertility treatments or pregnant, plus starting a new job- vacation time is not overly abundant. So I shed a small little tear, upset at not knowing when my next visit would be.

    In prior years, I was able to come to Orlando at least once a year on business, and get a small Disney fix by visiting downtown Disney or going to a park for a day by myself, or at least dining in one of the resort restaurants (can’t tell you how many times I have taken coworkers to Cali Grill!). Anyhow- the future was uncertain- now I was starting a job where I would not travel to Orlando every year. So my little visits were no more. So sad.

    We took it all in and took a few pics of Pooh enjoying the snow and out we went. Boo hoo!! We had 10:30am flights in the morning, so we needed to get back, finish packing and get Pooh settled in. We had called in advance to pay our American airlines baggage fees. We would be using the free luggage service and airline check in that Disney resorts offer. LOVE this feature. Even if you aren’t using DME. Wowo and Mike had an earlier flight- at 8am, as they had to get their dogs out of the kennel before noon. So they had a VERY early morning the next day.

    So we finished packing up, doublechecked the room and tucked in for the night. I watched the park clips on tv one last time. While we were ready to go home, after almost 10 days, we were a bit sad to leave our home at the lodge. So we said good night, alarm set for 6:45am, we would have to check our luggage downstairs early.

    SANTA's NICE LIST:santa::santa::santa:
    • good princesses at breakfast
    • trying cokes from around the world
    • kidcot
    • wonderful meal at Ohana!
    • precious photos of DH and Pooh on Main St as we left

    SANTA'S NAUGHTY LIST
    • chilly weather today
    • not especially great food at breakfast
    • long lines for Nemo
    • packing. boo.
    • HUGE crowds at MK
     
  11. exwdwcm

    exwdwcm wishes she was Wendy Moira Angela Darling

    Joined:
    Aug 19, 1999
    Messages:
    5,046
    SUNDAY, DECEMBER 20- DAY 11
    Departure

    So today was D-day, the day we head home and say good bye to mickey mouse. We were up by 6:30ish. Although our flight was not until 10:30am, we needed to check our bags downstairs at least 3 hours before our flight (by 7;30), so we needed to be packed up and get down there. So I finished packing and Alan got Pooh ready while I had bell services take our bags down. Now, the rules say you can check one bag per person, but they were kind and let us check more (the rest of the family too!). We actually checked 4 bags (which yes, was like $100 in baggage fees!). But we discovered on the trip down that having a ton of carry ons was just too hard with Pooh, the stroller and car seat too. It made it very difficult to get around and through security. So this time, we checked 4 bags instead of three. We still have his stroller, car seat, small roll aboard (with train inside), backpack, plastic bag with 2 lego kits in it and another plastic bag of gifts. So we still had our hands full, but not as bad.

    It was freezing outside today too and the check in was located outside. I felt bad for the two cast members working. They had a heater, but it wasn’t working. So I checked our bags, got our boarding passes printed and headed back up to say good bye to our room. I think we grabbed something quick to eat or drink in roaring forks before heading out. WE had used all our meal credits and snack credits (lots of treats going home!). It worked out really well with free dining for us.

    I took a few last pics of our home- WL!
    [​IMG]
    Roaring Forks Cafe- we spent a lot of time here refilling our mugs!

    [​IMG]
    one last sitdown in the lobby.

    We were in the car by 8am heading back to MCO. We dropped off the rental cars at National and headed into the terminal. It was so nice not having to wait in line for our boarding pass. Not that we usually wait, we usually do the machines, but those sometimes have lines too and then you wait to check your bag. I LOVED not having to lug those checked bags. What a great idea!

    So we headed on through security, took a stop in the Disney store there and then boarded our last ride- the monorail to our gate. We arrived early and our flight ended up being delayed by 30 minutes or so, so we had quite a wait. Not fun with a 2yo. He wanted to run around, so we kept walking around to wear him out. Finally it was time to board around 11 or so and we got on, got settled and Pooh feel asleep again the whole way home.

    We arrived home about 1pm on Sunday. I had scheduled a car service to take us home, but Alan had left his car at work, about 5 minutes from DFW airport. So our driver dropped Alan off at work so he could get his car. Then we were off to home. We were exhausted! I started unpacking, washing and organizing gifts, plus had to pick up our two boston terriers from the kennel. We had never boarded them before (they are 11) but they did great- we got them a ‘suite’ to share with Nene’s dog, so they had more room and a window to look outside.

    Anyhow………..returning on 12/20 was tough. I had taken off the next day to recover and I am glad I did. I actually returned to work on Tuesday 12/22 and only worked that Tuesday and Wednesday. Wednesday, 12/23 was my last day at work. I was starting a new job on 12/28. It was an easy two days and then of course, it was Christmas!
    [​IMG]
    CHRISTMAS DAY!!
    [​IMG]

    I don’t know that I will do a trip so close to the holidays again, that was rough coming home and being so busy preparing. We had already decorated our house before the trip, but still had presents to wrap and stuff.


    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    After my tearful good bye, I was till a bit excited…….as there is one thing in our trip I left out. On that Thursday, just a few days before our trip ended, we were headed back in from the boat dock at the lodge, after a morning at the MK. We passed the DVC desk yet again and I thought, why don’t we just ask them about DVC. Alan had mentioned earlier in the trip, that maybe we could check it out. They were offering a $100 gift card for anyone doing the tour. So I figured it was probably now or never, with our busy schedule. We had had a good morning at MK, Pooh was in a good mood, so we stopped at the desk. We asked if we could do a tour right then. The guide was on the phone in second, chatting up all sorts of secret codes that obviously meant, ‘hey we have a hot one on our hands looking to tour NOW!’. About 10 minutes later, a DVC van was waiting outside for us, complete with a car seat for Pooh.

    We headed over to Saratoga Springs to the preview center. We were seated and offered snacks and drinks. They got Pooh a juice box and crackers. We had brought his stroller, so he was content just sitting and resting. Soon we were greeted by Tony and escorted back to a room. Being a real estate guy, Alan knew all the questions he wanted answered. He works for a REIT, real estate investment trust and they buy a ton of property, so he had a lot of numbers related questions.

    So we sat down, got the quick overview and then proceeded on the tour of the sample rooms. We saw the Animal Kingdom Villa and Bay Lake Tower one. We knew we would probably buy one of these, if we bought. We spent a lot of time in the BLT as Tony and Alan chatted up the Dallas Cowboys.

    Both were extremely spacious and so nice! Love the kitchen and island area in both. So then we headed back to the room, where Alan asked more money questions and we reviewed a few more things, then got our info to take home and review and left. We were escorted to the ice cream parlor area, but we didn’t have anything- we just weren’t hungry. It was a very cute little set up though. There were two other families waiting on rides, so we had to wait about 10 minutes for a van to take us back to the lodge. The drivers were so nice and shared a ton of unique trivia and history with us.

    So we left the DVC preview center and it had only taken us under 90 minutes. We were given our $100 disney gift card on the way out. Now, I was quite excited at this point. I never dreamed Alan would consider DVC, so I had never brought it up before. But I think this trip converted him and it was all because of Pooh. I think seeing Pooh enjoy the wonder and magic sealed the deal, Alan was now a fan. So all my tears and questions about when we would be back…………………..well they were all for naught. Because in early February, just 2 months after our trip, we made it official and purchase 200 points at Bay Lake Towers and are now Disney Vacation Club members! Again, something I never even dreamed of happening. Now we can go to WDW every year, or at least every other year.

    In fact, we have our first trip ‘home’ booked for Dec 4-11th, 2010- just 9 months away. Yep, we are going back! We have a one bedroom booked at BLT and are taking Alan’s parents (who have never been!). We decided on BLT because of its location- close to MK, where we will be spending a lot of time with Pooh. Plus, the monorail access- to Epcot too- which is a favorite of ours. We also enjoy dining at the Poly and Contemporary, so a quick monorail ride or walk and we are there. We are not really modern/contemporary type folks in terms of décor/taste, the AKV are more our style, but in the end, BLT won out. It was more expensive in terms of the point cost, but the maintenance fees will be lower than AKV (they have to pay more for all the animal/fence support). So in the end, it will probably even out. And there is the lounge at the top too for private viewing of WISHES!! We are very excited to go ‘home’ in December and looking forward to years and years of trips and memories with Pooh and family!
    [​IMG]

    I'll post one final review and final thoughts of the trip overall. Things we might have done differently etc. :thumbsup2:santa:


     
  12. BippityBoo

    BippityBoo DIS Veteran

    Joined:
    Jul 6, 2009
    Messages:
    1,840
    WoW!!!! So many updates, I love it!!

    Where to start?

    We did the Princess Breakfast too. Princesses were great, food was ok. I loved the cheesy potatoes too and pretty much only ate that :rotfl:

    Ohana is a family favorite!!!! Isn't it just the best place? I love the atmosphere. it is so great when you have kids---keeps them entertained.

    I am so glad that you were getting out of there before the Christmas crowds came in! What a mad house. I do not know how people enjoy themselves with the place like that. The pics of your DS and your DH in the snow are awesome. Do they do the snow every night during the holidays? I thought it was only during the MVMCP. Glad to see that it is not.

    LOTS of packing and LOTS of shopping! What an ordeal to get all that stuff home :scared1: Glad your DS loved his train, it looks very cute.

    Good luck on trying for another baby :hug: I know it must be hard to go through that. It is so worth it in the end, right?!

    Last, YEAH for DVC :woohoo:

    I am SOOOO jealous. BLT looks amazing too. Can't beat the MK access with little ones! We have decided to take a tour ourselves when we go in December. Did you use the desk at the WL by the ramp to Roarin Forks? My travel agent told me about the $100 gift card. That is awesome! And the bonus is that it usually ends up getting your DH to agree on the DVC :lmao:

    I am so sad your TR is over but SO glad I got a chance to read it. It has been so helpful for my Christmas/WL trip. Thanks---cant wait to read your final thoughts :lovestruc
     
  13. Pollito916

    Pollito916 DIS Veteran

    Joined:
    Feb 6, 2005
    Messages:
    2,110
    Aww, your TR is all done! I love the pics of Will from the last night in MK though - you can really see the joy in his face in some of the shots! :goodvibes

    Now you'll get to experience it all over again this year! :thumbsup2
     
  14. k_reile

    k_reile Slowly converting my son into a Disney lover!

    Joined:
    Jul 26, 2007
    Messages:
    1,648
    We too loved the resort luggage check in and then them taking it to the airport for us. We ended up flying with Delta last minute and we would have not had this if we would have flown Southwest like we were planning too. My parents though still flew southwest. My dad called my brother and told him how bad check in was at the southwest terminal...my brother goes "oh really?? We just walked right in!" Dad didn;t think it was soo funny! LOL!
     
  15. exwdwcm

    exwdwcm wishes she was Wendy Moira Angela Darling

    Joined:
    Aug 19, 1999
    Messages:
    5,046
    Thanks for reading Katie! your trip is only like 9 months away now! :thumbsup2 Yeah, couldn't believe how bad the crowds were that Saturday. actually, i can. i worked during the holidays back in 1996 at the studios and i was cashiering at hollywood and vine cafeteria. i never saw the end of the line. it literally stretched out the door all day long on christmas day....from open to close (we closed at 4 - no dinner back then). it was insane! I know we will one day have to travel during the busier times once Pooh is in school. until then, i'll enjoy the off season!

    they only do the snow on main street during MVMCP, but i think as it gets to be Christmas week, they start doing it every night (since MVMCP has ended by then). they start running the Christmas parade every night then too i think.

    thanks again for reading!!

    Thanks Sara! Yes, he was having a fabulous time!

    lol- it is amazing, isn't it? i hope lots of people use it, it saves so much time. ;)
     
  16. heaven2dc

    heaven2dc DIS Veteran

    Joined:
    May 26, 2003
    Messages:
    3,454
    What a wonderful trip you had! Pooh is so adorable - loved his pics at O'hana. Congrats on buying into DVC! I hope to do it someday - in fact, my guy at Disney's DVC called me with an offer that I wish I didn't have to refuse - they are offering a Disney cruise aboard the new Dream cruise ship or a credit of $... per Vacation Point toward the cost of the timeshare (the amount differs at AKL, BLT & SSR but if I were to go with AKL for 200 points, I would save $3,000 plus they would double the points for the first year). This was a March promotion and unfortunately I just rented points for my vacation in Nov/Dec 2010 or I could have used that money towards my downpayment. But I'm happy with getting BWV boardwalk view for all our rooms so I'm not complaining - just wish I had the extra to come up with for the downpay to take advantage of this promotion!

    btw you guys will be arriving the day after we leave in December! We can't wait to hear all about that trip and how you like BLT :goodvibes
     
  17. khertz

    khertz Proud member of the WHO DAT NATION!!

    Joined:
    Aug 10, 2008
    Messages:
    5,618
    I absolutely LOVE :love: the pictures of Pooh going after the snow!! So very cute! But WOW was it mobbed! Luckily y'all were getting out of there before the crowds swarmed in!

    Congrats on becoming DVC owners! And on going on another December trip! I'm already anxiously awaiting the next one, even though I know it's years into my future. :laughing:

    So sad your TR is over. :sad1:
     
  18. exwdwcm

    exwdwcm wishes she was Wendy Moira Angela Darling

    Joined:
    Aug 19, 1999
    Messages:
    5,046
    I know, some good deals. We were able to take advantage of the $5 off per point at BLT. They weren't offering the cruise deal then, but we would have taken the discount on points regardless anyways. Yeah for the BMV and boardwalk view! i know those are hard to get- i hope to try it out someday!! oh, we will just miss each other. too bad! Well i'll have to follow your TR if you do one! :thumbsup2

    yeah, it was mobbed on that saturday! we just gave up. we had seen and done all we wanted anyhow by then.

    well the 'years' will pass quickly and you will be planning another trip before you know it!!! i know time seems to fly! heck, we planned this trip for 2 years in advance! lol
     
  19. exwdwcm

    exwdwcm wishes she was Wendy Moira Angela Darling

    Joined:
    Aug 19, 1999
    Messages:
    5,046
    FINAL THOUGHTS!:santa::santa::santa::santa::santa::santa::santa::santa:

    So finally wrapping up this trip report. It was an amazing ride, thank you for reading along with me.

    My parents were so gracious and kind to provide this wonderful experience for us all. I can't thank them enough for the great memories. I will cherish them forever, plus i am grateful that this trip kicked off our new adventure with DVC!!

    So final thoughts:
    • Travelling with a party of 14 is not easy, but totally doable, especially if you are as crazy and fun loving as us- and like to plan. We are now pros at this. We spent a lot of time together, but lots of time apart too and it worked out very well.
    • Sit down meals with my toddler is NOT easy! Hopefully next trip will be easier, and his patience at meals will have grown!
    • Free dining rocks! especially for our family that LOVES to eat. Seriously, i swear every family outing we have revolves around food. We really enjoyed the dining plan and would consider paying OOP for it in the future (if we hadn't bought DVC where we now have a kitchen).
    • WISHES Dessert party was awesome- would do again, barring the cold weather.
    • MVMCP- another good time and low rides for lines during first parade- loved the parade! Will do again in Dec.
    • Meals- Shula's, Le Cellier and Ohana were my favorites. Coral Reef was great too (surprised me!).
    • Even with 9 full days, it didn't feel like enough time to see and do it all. Good thing we are going back. But by day 10, we were ready to go home.
    • Cast members- to be honest, we didn't run into any rudes ones despite many of the recent comments on the boards. We did run into a few that um lacked skills in other areas (sense of urgency while waiting tables etc.), but never rude.
    • I did notice cleanliness was slightly below par in some of the bathrooms, but overall, it was not as bad as I have read about.
    • Disappointed in the rooms at the WL- ours seemed a litlte 'worn'.
    • LOVED having a rental car (multiple ones at that for our large group)- will continue to rent a car when possible. We love the flexibility.
    • Seriously, WHEN will they ever build a parking garage at Downtown disney. Parking is a major nightmare!
    • Shopping- awesome! but next time, I promise to ship more home, so we aren't pack mules on the plane back.
    • 20% discount printed on fast food receipts- love it!
    • First time with a stroller- not as bad as I thought. Sure parking it was a pain sometimes- and then trying to find it in the sea of strollers, but our bright green bandana made that easier. Loved having extra storage with the stroller though.
    • Osborne lights- AMAZING! Pooh loved it and we really created some special memories there. Can't wait to go back for my third time!
    • The little things..........we definitely took a little time to notice and enjoy the little things like fountains etc. Pooh was always interested in the details and simple things. Always involving water. :rotfl:
    • midday break for 2-3 hours was great for us. Alan got to work out some, i got to explore the resort a little alone and Pooh got a nap. Next trip we might try with no nap, we will see. But we do like having a little break, since we do early mornings and late nights.
    • We don't need to buy or bring all those snacks!!! I swear we had a fridge full of leftover milk, unopened yogurts etc.
    • We can and should pack a LOT less next trip.
    • Being sick in disney is NO fun. Especially when you can't taste the cheddar cheese soup or pretzel bread.
    • We need more time in Epcot.
    • We need to seek out more characters.
    • OUr homemade autograph books were a HIT!
    • Thank God for ponchos! We did use them the one time it rained!
    • Photopass is not worth it for us. Alan does not like having his picture taken every 5 feet. It was a good value since we all split it, but in future trips with just us, we'll pass.
    • I need a better camera.
    • You can gain 10-15lbs at Disney. True story. Dang the free dining and scrumptious holiday treats.
    • Eating one sit down meal a day is plenty, in fact, maybe too much for us. Cut way too much into our touring time.
    • Meals with 10 plus people can take foreveR! especially when the CM's have to do separate checks for free dining and can't figure it out.
    • Holiday decor cannot be beat- breathtaking!
    • Fastpass and getting there early worked wonders for us like it always does- short lines and tackle the big attractions early.
    • The Dis Unplugged TSM party was amazing!!! Thanks team! So cool to be part of a special private event.
    • You do not want to be on the same plane as us. (Yelling across aisles and seats and chatting)
    • Using kids nite out or a babysitter is heavenly. Kids had a blast too and got a break. Highly recommended.
    • Being flexible works. I, against all my being, was a bit more flexible this trip. We even strayed from THE Itinerary a few times.
    • Having an itinerary helped. With a party of 14, it was a must. 14 people standing at the front of hte MK arguing where to go next or when to eat is not my idea of fun.
    • Printing our itinerary - with meal times/ADR #s on little note cards for each family helped. No matter if we were split up, we all knew when and where to go for our joint meals. As cheesy as it sounds, those little laminted notecards helped. Yeah, we looked like nerds, but we were eating while you and your party of 10 were still discussing where to eat. :confused3:rotfl:
    • D'vine- amazing! Want to see more of the special treats like her next trip...must seek out the jammitors, PUSh and talking trash cans for my son's trash can obsession.
    • Watching the disney commercials- is it Stacey? that does them? anyhow- i could watch that channel all day and never tire of it. Crazy? maybe.
    The holidays at Disney are something NOT to be missed. Spending it with family is even more special. Alan and I were so happy to spend quality time with our little Pooh and he had a blast. Obviously, Alan did too. For someone not that into disney previously, Mickey really worked his magic and Alan seemed in awe of watching the joy on Pooh's face, so much so, he can't wait to take him back again. We truly had a fabulous time as a family. Pooh still loves looking at the photos I have put in an album i bought at WDW. In fact, he likes to flip throug, point out all the family in the photos and then stands and makes the same poses he is making in the photo, including this one where he is looking up at the 'snow' at the osborne lights. He will see that pic, and stand there with his arm up in similar fashion with the 'O' face. Too funny. Too precious.
    [​IMG]

    We cannot wait to repeat the magic again in just about 8 months! Our next adventure involves a one bedroom at our new DVC home, Bay Lake Tower. Alan's parents will be joining us for their first trip to WDW ever. They are from Oklahoma and don't travel much at all. So this will be a treat. We plan to get annual passes for us 3, and tables in wonderland card. Planning to revisit Le Cellier (so i can taste the soup this time), Chef Mickey's (breakfast this time), Crystal Palace (Pooh keeps saying 'go eat with Pooh bear'), O'hana (favorite!) and try two new places- JIKO and Teppan Edo. Everything else will be fast food or in room cooking with our fabulous kitchen! We will be there 8 full days. Cannot wait! And so the countdown to more memories continues.................

    THANKS again for reading!!!! And Mom/Dad- THANK YOU for making it all possible. :wizard::grouphug::cheer2:

    and so in closing- a few favorite shots
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    http://im1.shutterfly.com/media/47a0df04b3127ccef9667faab80b00000040O08RbtHLVi1B7efCQ/cC/f%3D0/ps%3D50/r%3D0/rx%3D550/ry%3D400/[.img]
    [img]http://im1.shutterfly.com/media/47a0df04b3127ccef967f880598600000040O08RbtHLVi1B7efCQ/cC/f%3D0/ps%3D50/r%3D0/rx%3D550/ry%3D400/
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
     
  20. reyasmommy

    reyasmommy DIS Veteran

    Joined:
    Jul 20, 2007
    Messages:
    1,729
    Thanks for sharing your TR.... I'm sad that it's over.

    Pooh is absolutely adorable and is going to break a lot of hearts when he's older. ;)
     
  21. BippityBoo

    BippityBoo DIS Veteran

    Joined:
    Jul 6, 2009
    Messages:
    1,840
    Awesome Trip Report :cool1: It was so informative and I am loving your final recap. It answers lots of questions that I have for our trip in December!!

    I have to ask, did you notice a difference in the crowd levels at the beginning of your trip vs. towards the end? I know you had that crowded day on MK during your last night. Just wondering if the 10th-17th was a little better because it is a Value time? It is so hard to tell!!

    Thanks again for writing your report. I just loved it :lovestruc
     

Share This Page