How EMH saved our trip-Doing the World on West Coast Time! Completed. Stop by my PTR!

Discussion in 'Completed Trip Reports' started by eandesmom, Feb 24, 2009.

  1. cjackearl

    cjackearl DIS Veteran

    Joined:
    Feb 15, 2008
    Messages:
    1,909
    Hey lady! There are a couple of replies at the bottom of page 22 that I didn't want you to miss.:rolleyes1 I would hate for you to think I didn't reply to your update.:goodvibes
     
  2. Avatar

    Google AdSense Guest Advertisement


    to hide this advert.
  3. eandesmom

    eandesmom I'm with Beast

    Joined:
    Jan 5, 2009
    Messages:
    13,893
    Aack! I can't believe I missed you :( SO hot here today my computer and fingers were sticky! 60 minutes is too long for (almost) anything!

    Oh no! you mean he'll still look like that as a tween? :scared1:

    somehow it won't surprise me a bit. DSD12 has a friend who looks like that when she eats, it's a riot!

    He loves his food that's for sure. Often there is humming involved. :)

    Too hot to be in front of the computer today. Or go to a baseball game for that matter, I thought DS10 was going to melt on the mound! Hope to get an update up before it heats up tomorrow and I run away.

    lame! I am lame! I'm glad you said something! Sometimes my first unread thread is not right, which drives me nuts! So sorry!
     
  4. SunnieRN

    SunnieRN DIS Veteran

    Joined:
    Aug 14, 2005
    Messages:
    3,001
    Sorry that it took me so long to respond to this. I hope that everything works out well and that you can return! You make a lot of good points for returning next presidents day!! It's always so hard when someone else holds the trump card though, as it kind of keeps you in limbo. It does sound like you have the potential for a wonderful vacation, no matter which destination you choose!!

    As for a week in Washington DC, it takes several days just to see the Smithsonian Museums from what I understand. You could also go to NYC for a couple of days if a week is too long, Have fun!!:goodvibes

    Woo hoo for karma fast pass!! That is so awesome!! We always end up giving a lot away when the kids poop out!

    Love your post Kali family picture! Great memories when you look at that one I bet!:)
     
  5. eandesmom

    eandesmom I'm with Beast

    Joined:
    Jan 5, 2009
    Messages:
    13,893
    Well my hope is DC for Presidents Day and then Treehouse in August. Not that August is my dream time to go but the kids breaks don't coincide well this year and Presidents is only a long weekend for the older two.

    DC in August is less appealing than Florida. At least in FL we can escape back to the pool!

    So we will see... I think I can safely say we've postponed Germany til 2011 since now my little sister is getting married here in late June.
     
  6. eandesmom

    eandesmom I'm with Beast

    Joined:
    Jan 5, 2009
    Messages:
    13,893
    When I left off we were slightly drippy, but excited to head...FINALLY...over to EE!

    We had been waiting for this ride the entire trip.

    Before the trip.

    From FOUR years ago as we watched it being built.

    The anticipation was ridiculous (and rarely do things live up when you've built it up that much!)

    Of course, watching Stacey talk about it all week didn't help lower the excitement factor either!

    Wall-E had been wanting to buy a pin all week but my rule was no ride pin unless you've been on the ride!

    The standby line was still quite long. I can't recall what it was but think it was about 40 minutes.

    It wasn't EMH yet so it was not dark but the sun was beginning to set.

    I did not take any pictures. I think after Kali I'd put it into DH's backpack, "photo'd" out for the day if you will.

    Tink of course was non stop with the questions as we worked our way in. And we really had NO idea what to expect, other than it was tall, there was a Yeti and well, that's about it.

    So the anticipation was huge to say the least. I think however we all were thinking about the parts in the dark, the idea of going backward. What never, ever occurred to me was...

    The view as you go up the mountain, at night, with the Tree of Life Illuminated has to be one of the most Spectacular things I've ever seen at WDW. It was just stunningly beautiful.

    Gasp worthy.

    And then

    I realized

    JUST HOW FLIPPING HIGH UP WE WERE!

    I think, being in the dark, exaggerated it. I can't really compare, not having ridden it during the day.

    Holy Moly!

    And then, we were off.

    The Yeti was pretty humorous I must say but I really REALLY enjoyed this ride, backwards broken track and all.

    [​IMG]

    Tink however, not so much.

    She did great all week on the fast and furious rides but being outside and seeing how high up we were freaked her out. Not crying, screaming freaked out but as you can see, she looks awfully pale in the pic!

    Wall-E has his new "I'm holding my glasses so they don't fall off" look and Steven is raring to go. I think the pic of Scrooge and Goofy didn't turn out or they were blocked by hands or something.

    For the rest however it became a great internal debate, which was the better coaster, RRC or EE.

    Afterwards, once we escaped the mandatory gift shop clutches (not escaping until we'd bought the picture and a T shirt for Goofy who still had some $$ left) it was officially EMH!

    The boys all wanted to do EE again and Tink and I headed back to...

    you guessed it....

    Dinosaur!

    Which was a riot and a half I have to admit. I get suck a kick out of that ride. Afterwards we all decided to so some last minute shopping, Scrooge wanted a espresso and Steven still needed his smoothie.

    I finally found myself something!

    I picked up this

    [​IMG]

    Which gets an awful lot of wear. I love this shirt. I've never had a princess shirt before, and likely will never again but I love this shirt.

    Scrooge was less than thrilled, saying he wasn't a beast and reminding me that I wouldn't let him get the shirt that said "I'm Grumpy because I'm with Dopey". Which actually wasn't true, I'd tease him he couldn't get it and then he'd say he didn't want it b/c I'm not really dopey lol.

    I reminded him that Beast turns out to be a pretty cool dude.

    I also found some great pj bottoms, black with cheetah print mickey heads. Sadly they are a wee bit short, I like them long and they did shrink but that happens with most pj pants. I still wear them anyway!

    Steven took FOREVER looking at more necklaces but in the end, I don't think, bought anything else.

    More so than any other park, all week, probably b/c it was our last night we really meandered with the shopping on the way out. Tink had some of her own money and picked up a very cute eyeore nightshirt. Tired to get me to get the Morning Minnie one but I'm not a nightshirt fan....too much material to twist around the legs, ugh! But of course, when I was Tink's age, I lived in them.

    Finally..shopping was done and it was time to say goodbye. One last think to take care of though

    the Photopass guy!

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    See how beautiful the TOL is lit up? Now imagine, looking out at that as you ride up to the top of EE.

    Spectacular!

    Our PP guy was so cute. He was like "hey, you guys are smiling, that's so cool!" and I asked why, don't most people smile?

    And he said....you'd be surprised!

    :confused:

    Finally finished, a wee bit sad, we left AK and headed over to AKL for dinner at Boma.

    Either I was wiped out, focused on getting a cocktail or just thinking about how dreadfully early we had to get up the next day but like a total idiot, I didn't take a single picture of our last dinner!

    So...I stole some :)

    The restaurant is GORGEOUS!

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Our reservations were for 8pm. We checked in about 10 minutes early and within 5 minutes our pager was vibrating and we were escorted to our table. Boma is a BIG restaurant and very pretty. It was also pretty darn busy. Our table was right in a main traffic path but as it sat eight we simply moved one chair down so we didn't feel in the path and that worked well.

    Scrooge ordered another African Amber and I went for a cocktail of some sort. Obviously nothing special as it is NOT jumping out at me, I think it was a Bahama Mama. It was ok. I was kind of bummed as there had been one cocktail at Yak and Yeti (a Yak attack I think) that I'd hoped would be on the menu, and it wasn't. Oh well.

    The younger kids got the mandatory light up cars drink, not on the plan. I'd been surprised that they hadn't asked for it at Kona so I let them get one here (and pre-empted any fighting over my glow cube from PTC). Steven was able to get a different smoothie than we'd seen elsewhere as his beverage and really liked it. Some orange concoction.

    Off to the buffet. Boma is in pods and you do not have to go in order but, most people do. If you don't you actually may get a look like you are cutting in line! The menu varies quite a bit. We were there on a Wednesday and the menu included the short ribs and the nut crusted salmon as well as a spice rubbed chicken.

    Highlights:


    1. Soups! Their soups were simply unbelievable. In particular the Coconut Curry Chicken Stew (medium in thickness with moist chicken and a wonderful base. I would have LOVED to pour this over rice and eat as an entree) and the Carrot Ginger Soup (melt in your mouth subtle flavor creamy delight). Seconds were had on both of these by several of our gang.

    [​IMG]

    2. Hummus! I'm sorry, you can't go wrong with a hummus bar and flatbread! Yum yum and yum.

    [​IMG]

    3. Short ribs. I am not a huge rib eater. These were amazing. They just fell off the bones so no fingers where needed. The recipe I just made for the 4th of July reminded me of these, I need to go look this one up and compare.

    4. Salmon. Mnn! I have a spice rub from Tom Douglas that is very reminiscent of the seasoning the used and then coated with crusted nuts. Outstanding.

    5. Spice chicken. Classically simple, nice spice, very moist.

    6. Potatoes with attitude. While the name says it all these seasoned red potatoes were little gems of flavor. On a side note Steven got the last of one pan and they looked pretty pathetic. Wait for a new pan if they are running low, or ask!

    7. Banana Bread Pudding. Not the best bread pudding ever but it was quite good. None of the other desserts really grabbed me and none of my gang really commented on the rest although people tried most everything. I thought the coco-misu was just ok. Fine but nothing super special.


    Lowlights:

    1. Prime rib. Scrooge liked it but it just wasn't anything special to me.
    2. Salad offerings. Nothing was awful, but nothing really grabbed me either.
    3. Desserts in general. Ok I may get flamed for this one (b/c I know a lot of people love the Boma desserts) but over half of the items had alcohol in them and while that might be great for Scrooge and I, who wants to be the mean parent at a buffet telling their child they can't have it. I did let Goofy taste one and he didn't like it but I would have expected a better non-alcoholic selection than cookies (which looked like nothing special though the kids liked them.

    I would eat here again. AKL is a bit out of the way but if at AK I would go here though I'm more likely to try Sanaa next time. I'd liek to do Jiko but if I'm paying OOP for a signature there are others in front of it in my line up.

    I'm just not a big buffet person so that is more likely the issue and on day 6 we were all a little burnt out from too much food. I truly can't imagine the DDP!

    For Scrooge though it tied as his favorite meal!

    The kids ate well, a bit more mac and cheese than usual but Wall-E downed 2 bowls of the Carrot Ginger Soup and Tink dived into the Coconut Chicken Stew which was a pleasant surprise.

    Up next, how long will it take to get back to the resort? boarding passes and billing and a last minute travel change.

    plus, the last towel animal. Which wasn't an animal. What was it?

    and....having fun, at work, with ride pictures....
     
  7. eandesmom

    eandesmom I'm with Beast

    Joined:
    Jan 5, 2009
    Messages:
    13,893
    recognize this face shot?

    :lmao:

    [​IMG]
     
  8. Angies1274

    Angies1274 DIS Veteran

    Joined:
    Sep 7, 2007
    Messages:
    2,376
    Great update!!!:thumbsup2

    We are so excited to ride EE our next trip!!:woohoo: Well...I'm still working on DS6, he's still a little unsure of the Yeti...poor kid.:laughing: Glad to hear that you enjoyed it!! Love the ride pic!

    Great family picture in front of the TOL!! We've never been to AK at night before, the tree is just beautiful all lit up.

    We definitely have to try Boma!! It looks awesome inside and the food looks and sounds yummy!! Sorry you were disappointed in the desserts. It's too bad they don't offer a better selection for kids.
     
  9. cjackearl

    cjackearl DIS Veteran

    Joined:
    Feb 15, 2008
    Messages:
    1,909
    No worries on the missed replies, I just didn't want you to think I'd not replied to your update.:goodvibes Wow, I'm so impressed that you all rode EE. I couldn't do it, although I'd love to experience the queue, and seeing an "aerial" view of the park would be pretty darn cool. Poor Tink! She does not look happy in the ride picture. I :rotfl2: at what you did with your ride picture. You've got some skills, lady. Have you ever thought about digital scrapbooking?

    Your family picture in front of the TOL is a stunner! But the green TOL looks to me like, um, a big piece of brocolli.:blush: I'm sure it looks nothing like a cruciferous vegetable in person, though.:laughing:

    I want some chicken coconut curry stew, please. The short ribs sound really good too. I wonder if they're the same ones on the Sanaa menu. The hot tables at Boma look nicer than heat lamps and chafing dishes. Thanks for the restaurant picture, stolen or otherwise.;) It really looks like a beautiful place.
     
  10. pixleyyy

    pixleyyy DIS Veteran

    Joined:
    Feb 6, 2006
    Messages:
    1,314
    What did you think about the crowds at the evening EMH? Did you find them to be much busier or was it a great choice to utilize those? Just wondering if we should avoid evening EMH for our December trip.
     
  11. TarzansKat

    TarzansKat Not all treasure is silver and gold, mate.

    Joined:
    Mar 8, 2008
    Messages:
    12,755
    I'm impressed that the whole fam went on EE! Wow, they are some brave souls! Me, not so much. Pirate I may be, but cowardly as well. :lmao:

    I'm glad to hear you liked Boma. We had a not so great breakfast there once, and I'll be hard pressed to convince DH to go back, but I'd love to try dinner at some point. It does look quite yummy. :thumbsup2
     
  12. lisalonglash

    lisalonglash <font color=green>I have a <font color=teal>thing

    Joined:
    Jun 21, 2007
    Messages:
    2,220
    Good rule! :thumbsup2

    :scared:

    Sounds lovely! :woohoo:

    What a GREAT picture! :cheer2:

    I feel Wall-E's "keeping the glasses safe" pain :laughing: I found what worked for me was to have my glasses on a cord around me neck and I just took them off my face and tucked them into the front of my shirt for the fast rides :thumbsup2

    You are so brave! Dinosaur freaks me out (not that I saw a whole lot of it because Mickey was demanding that I cover HIS WHOLE FACE during most of the ride, so I was kind of sideways trying to cover his face LOL :rotfl:

    Adorable shirt! :love: it!

    ::yes::

    More fantastic pictures! :woohoo:

    I'm :confused3 by that too!

    This is the restaurant that I know we will get the boys their light-up Cars cups because we're going to Boma for dinner on our rest day, so we can take the cups right back to the hotel room afterwards and not have to schlep them around kwim? :thumbsup2

    Oh boy, I cannot wait for our Boma dinner! Most of the stuff sounds like it's right up our alley! We love food that is a little off the beaten path :banana:

    Thanks for the great review - I am a teensy bit of a food porn addict and love seeing food pictures :rotfl2:

    Not long, I hope! Oooh, a towel "animal" :dance3:
     
  13. eandesmom

    eandesmom I'm with Beast

    Joined:
    Jan 5, 2009
    Messages:
    13,893
    If you blink, you might miss the yeti :)

    :rotfl: on the broccoli! yes, it kind of does! Ah digital scrapbooking....yes, but there is the time factor!

    The park really cleared out in the evening, EMH was outstanding!

    Aw, EE really was quite fun, it was just HIGH! which was cool. Freaky. But cool.

    Boma was good. I'm not a buffet girl but love the style of food and am sure I'd love Jiko.

    ITA on the cups on the last night, it worked out well. And we still use them!
    LOL on covering up Mickey's face on Dinosaur.

    I should get Wall-E some croakies or something, but he'd wear them year round. I think I'll let him discover them on his own! And I'm sure he will. It just seems like false pretences to have pin if you haven't been on the ride. Kind of poser ish. I'm sure that's a little silly of me but...then the pin means more!
     
  14. OneTreeHillAddict

    OneTreeHillAddict CNC Photography of Myrtle Beach, SC

    Joined:
    Apr 14, 2008
    Messages:
    3,100
    What a GREAT picture of you guys from Everest! :thumbsup2
     
  15. Happydog

    Happydog DIS Veteran

    Joined:
    Mar 10, 2007
    Messages:
    4,965
    HI!! How did I miss your update yesterday?!! I was a bit distracted with trip preps, we leave for Oregon on Saturday! OH wait, HOT in Seattle? UM what?! Are you seriously complaining??!! We have 90 here and HUMID. BUT I can't complain, because this week is the first week when we have had such weather practically all summer... it has been an amazing summer frankly!

    OH I saw in a chat response that you were thinking about DC in February? COLD it will be, so just be ready for that... Snow or ice very likey that time of year -- tends to come really early or really late here... You can catch some of the highlights, no need to do it all. Plenty to see and you'll be busy!

    Now the photos, the PPass pics, were tooo tooo precious! Very nice with your family! My DS's are too young so it is a challenge to get everyone lookin at the camera and smiling at the same time!!! Great ride shots, too! :thumbsup2 EE is mega high, I agree!!!! I was a little taken back! :laughing:
     
  16. eandesmom

    eandesmom I'm with Beast

    Joined:
    Jan 5, 2009
    Messages:
    13,893
    thanks!!!!!

    it hit 103 in Seattle yesterday!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! and was warmer where I live. 106 in Portland:scared1:

    so yeah, that's too hot and I am complaining. I'm a sun girl and lived in Chicago for 10 years so I can take the heat BUT for the 1 week of overly hot weather (and this is a good 10-15 degrees hotter than a "normal" overly hot week) that we get a year, it isn't worth it for 99% of folks to have AC in their homes. Including us. My house was 78 when I woke up. Not that I slept much.

    Good point about Feb in DC. Seriously, after this week, I am rethinking Aug at WDW.
     
  17. eandesmom

    eandesmom I'm with Beast

    Joined:
    Jan 5, 2009
    Messages:
    13,893
    After our Bombastic dinner we strolled around the lobby a bit, poked in the gift shop and headed out. We were worried that getting back to the fort would be a bit of an ordeal.

    We took the bus back to AK and then from there, to the Fort. thanks to EMH there were still plenty of buses and the trip "home" was completed far more quickly than our arrival.

    Back at the Fort I headed to the front desk to use up what was left on our visa gift card only to find out they'd already charged everything to our Disney Visa!

    Which did NOT make me happy. I had assumed that would happen in the middle of the night or am. Not at 10pm on the night before our check out date! After MUCH discussion they were able to get the rest of the card credited to our bill and adjust the DV charge but it really cut into my late night packing and I was less than thrilled.

    As we headed back to the cabin we re-evaluated DME for the am. DME wanted us to leave at 3:30 AM!

    We decided to use a towncar instead. At that hour, an hour of sleep is..an hour! And I'm sorry but at that hour I don't buy the be at the airport 2 hours early. No way.

    If we could get one! I hopped online to the DIS transportation board, got some numbers and got on the phone. Blessedly, we found a car that would pick us up at 4:30. We still had to get to the outpost by then though so scheduled a van with the fort to come get us, and our stuff, at 4:15.

    Having done most of the packing the night before, big kids took showers and little ones went to bed.

    We were greeted by this, in our bathroom.

    [​IMG]

    I wish it had been there all week, I loved it!

    I also wish I had known it was ok to take the towel animals...I'll remember that next time. Granted I would have taken this but the aardvark...maybe!

    Off to bed and then for a FAR too early wake up call. Grumpy and tired we dragged the crew out of bed, into the van and up to the Outpost. Thankfully we didn't have to wait too long for our driver.

    I wish I had something interesting to say about the flight back but I don't. Other than it really kind of sucked. We were all tired, crabby and I was really really regretting being talked into this flight time simply so Tink could make it to soccer practice. The girl was going to be a wreck and I just didn't see how it was worth it. Both she and Steven had school the next day and really just needed to go to bed. She at least slept on the plane, she can sleep anywhere but I don't think anyone else did.

    Upon arrival home my dad picked us up, took us by a classic dive for food and it was home. Scrooge then had the fun job of separating out Tink and Steven's stuff and running them to their mom's so Tink could make it to practice. He was gone an awfully long time! Turns out Steven talked him into a side trip to the DMV to get scheduled for his drivers test. While we were gone he'd passed the mandatory time period and was now eligible to test.

    Steven neglected to mention that he had a big test the next day but assured Scrooge all homework was done.

    Sadly, that didn't turn out to be the case. He bombed the test, didn't get to take his DL test when originally scheduled and it is safe to say in many ways sabotaged his own chances of being allowed to miss ANY school for trips with us in the future. We were not happy as it made us look bad and we really did ride him on his homework the whole trip and were assured, repeatedly he was on top of it. Tink did the same thing though luckily in her case, did fine on the tests despite lack of studying.

    Which is why I have to look at UGH August for our next trip!

    The good news is it appears Steven has gotten his act back together school wise, we will have to see how this year goes but the end of the year was encouraging.

    Up next.

    What we liked, didn't like and some final thoughts.
     
  18. eandesmom

    eandesmom I'm with Beast

    Joined:
    Jan 5, 2009
    Messages:
    13,893
    As I think about what we liked and didn't like, would do or wouldn't do again, I thought I'd start with the Fort.

    For those of you that are unfamiliar with the Fort, here's a little info!

    Nestled away on a 750 acre cypress and pine forest between the Magic Kingdom and Epcot, sits the Fort Wilderness Resort and Campground. This resort offers the best of the outdoors and even offers one bedroom cabins for those who prefer the "great indoors". There are 788 campsites ranging in length from 25' to 65', for tents, tent trailers and recreational vehicles. New extensions are currently being made for larger campers vehicles.

    For those who prefer the comforts of home, there are cozy freestanding Ft. Wilderness Cabins available that can accommodate up to 6 guests.

    As you might expect "in the wild", there are rabbits, ducks, geese, deer, armadillos, and peacocks roaming the grounds. The Settlement Recreation Area is on Bay Lake and includes the marina, beach, Pioneer Hall and the Tri-Circle-D Ranch.

    The Settlement Trading Post sells gifts, sundries, groceries, snacks and beverages. The Meadows Recreation Area is in the center of Fort Wilderness. This area includes the Bike Barn (for rentals) and the Fort Wilderness waterways and bicycle trails. Swimming, tennis, volleyball and shuffleboard are all available at the Meadows Recreation complex. The Meadows Trading Post is similar to the Settlement Trading Post, but includes a deli as well.

    Today, few people know that Fort Wilderness Campground was once home to a narrow gauge steam railroad that transported passengers though out the campground.

    Disney had Robert McDonnell design the overall look and graphics for the cars and engines. Disney decided to build 4/5 scale engines and coaches from the ground up.

    The Fort Wilderness Line Railroad locomotives were built in 1972 by MAPO, a division of Walt Disney Productions. Serveral modifications were made to the locos by Disney to increase operating efficiency and give the locos a nicer look. Most notably is the addition of a pony truck, over-sized headlight, and a squared-off saddle tank. Some of the operational modifications include a switch from a coal/wood burner, to diesel fuel with an electronic fuel pump.

    The trains started up operations in 1974. For the next five years guests of Fort Wilderness Campground were treated to live steam train transportation like no other. The train route was by far the longest train route at any Disney park, more than double the 1 1/2 mile route around the Magic Kingdom. The Wilderness Line transported guests through woods, fields, and over trestles. People realized this was no ordinary campground. You could take a steam train to a old swimmin' hole called River Country, or just ride and enjoy the scenery. A $1.00 ticket was good for an adult to ride all day. Imagine that! The train ran every day from 7:00 am to 11:00 pm. The fact that the train started running at 7:00 am brought up a 'over design' issue. The engines were fitted with whistles designed to be heard up to a county away under rural conditions. Guest, often camping in tents, were treated to a startling morning wake-up.

    After a sequence of seemingly minor events, Disney let the Wilderness line operation come to a grinding halt somewhere around 1980 and slowly fade into history.

    However, the Fort Wilderness RR has been resurrected...but in a new and different way. If you recall, we used the quiet pool on our trip and then the WL main pool, as the Meadows Pool was under renovation.

    Check it out.

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    With the renovation they added a hot tub and a slide and last I read a splash zone is in the works (though I'm not at all up to speed). They took the water tower here from the old River Country I believe and incorporated the railroad logo on it!

    Here is my personal take on the Fort.

    It's HUGE! Mindbogglingly huge. I've camped a lot, been to a fair amount of spread out places and wow, it's huge.

    And if you love the outdoors, like to camp, like state parks and the like, it is absolutely fabulous.

    For a large family or one that needs space it is by far the best deal in Disney. In my opinion.

    For these reasons.

    • You get a FULL kitchen
    • A FULL deck
    • It sleeps 6 with a fully separate bedroom that has a separate entry to the deck.
    • It's in the woods
    • It's incredibly quiet
    • your kids could scream their heads off and it won't bother the neighbors
    • your kids could stay up till 2am watching tv and it won't bother the neighbors
    • your kids could wake up at 6 am and bounce off the walls and it won't bother the neighbors
    • It is a MK resort! But at moderate prices. Nowhere else can you take a boat from a Mod to the MK! That was AMAZING. Not only that but it's immediate access to the Contemporary or WL and from the Contemporary it's a hop skip and a jump to GF or the Poly. Talk about easy access to a huge array of great TS options!
    So if I compare it to the other options to sleep 6 AND stay on property you have the following scenarios

    Value-2 rooms
    All other mods-2 rooms
    Deluxe-2B villas

    2 rooms at the values or the other mods could cost equal, significantly more or less depending on the options but you wouldn't get ANY of the items listed above!

    And for us, those items are key. I want a full pot of coffee and space to sit down and drink it and not feel like I'm stuck in the room waiting for teens to wake up or tiptoe around making the coffee.

    I want snacks and breakfast in the room, a place for wine, beer, and appetizers for the afternoon. I like knowing that I could cook a full meal, even if I don't. I like the ability to make lunches and have a full fridge of drinks for kids (and not pay OOP for them at the parks).

    I like separate spaces for people, it makes for better sleeping for all.

    I like the woods. I love the woods. I loved having my coffee on the deck in the woods. I loved knowing that I could be on the deck but my family was still inside. In a mod or a value I'd feel stuck in the room without a balcony or I'd be stressed finding somewhere to sit outside while lazy people slept. This was incredibly relaxing, or as relaxing as it could be when I was ready to go but others weren't lol! I have been at the values and just can't see doing it again but that's just where I'm at.

    I could see trying the other mods but always come back to the kitchen and private space issue and can never seem to get past it. Our cabin and mousekeeping were incredible the entire trip. Just spotless! Basically, I'd stay at the Fort again in a heartbeat, as would all the kids. I think the younger ones may have loved it more but am not sure.

    There is SO much we didn't do there it's just embarrassing, really. I feel like we didn't "do" the Fort and that makes me sad.

    That said, here is what I didn't like

    Despite the rave reviews above, for 6, it is REALLY tight. As a group of 6, 4 that were basically adult sized, we won't stay there again. As kids get older and we become a group of 4? Probably. Very very likely!

    The cabins and the RV/Tent part of the Fort are pretty separate and there is a little bit of a weird mentality that bugs me, like being in the cabins is faux camping and you are kind of looked down on. Well, I'm sorry. I am a camper. A TENT camper. RV's are just cabins with wheels. It's no more real camping than a cabin is, the difference is that the cabins don't pretend to be. The attitude bugs me. It isn't huge but I sensed it at times while doing my homework.

    FW does NOT have a CS option. I believe that the thinking is that b/c it is set for camping and cabins the assumption is people will cook their own food before going to a CS option. The HDDR and Mickey's backyard BBQ are immensely successful but from what I understand TE has gone downhill in food quality. We didn't eat there but the reviews didn't make me want to either. Had there been a CS option we'd have used it heavily.

    FW basically has NO snacks on the DDP. Which again, is ridiculous. They could easily improve it at the trading post and it's almost offensive that they don't. Plenty of campers and cabin dwellers are on the plan. This is a huge miss.

    For some people it is not resort-y and Disney-y enough. If you like hotels and resorts, this isn't for you. If you like vacation condo's, space, privacy, quite woods and camping, it's the bomb!

    Some people complain about the transportation (non MK) at the Fort. We didn't find it to be an issue at all. Or at least any issues we had were within the normal span for any resort, I think. The internal buses ran like clockwork.

    Things we didn't do at the Fort that I'd like to do in the future

    • I would have loved to try out the new pool while we were there, it is a reason to go back.
    • We didn't rent golf carts, just too expensive and I can't see renting them next time either BUT we could have and should have, rented bikes. That is a must do.
    • Smores, campfire and movies...Didn't make it one night, would really really like to!

    Next, a dining recap!
     
  19. SLM

    SLM DIS Veteran

    Joined:
    Apr 5, 2006
    Messages:
    814
    Have you considered renting points and staying in the treehouses in Saratoga Springs? They have many of the qualities you mentioned for the cabins, but seem larger. We're going to check them out on our trip next week. I bet it was relaxing having coffee on the deck in the mornings-I loved your pictures. :)
     
  20. MEK

    MEK DIS Veteran

    Joined:
    May 8, 2005
    Messages:
    19,382
    Your last three installments are stellar and I'm not sure how I managed to miss this first one. What a wonderful last evening you had at AK. I am so jealous of your EMH ride on Everest. Will I ever ride Everest in the dark?.....I know I won't this September. :sad2:

    I just have to tell you that it completely S___KS how early you needed to get up to leave, all because of soccer practice. That is just wrong, on so many levels. And Steven and his school work. I can no longer take Brian (16) out of school anymore. He just can not stay organized enough to keep up with the work and gives me the same line, "It's cool. I'm caught up". uggghhh! Sorry Steven did so poorly when he got back. I know, all too well, how that goes.

    I loved reading your final summary and all the good parts about staying at the fort. I have always been curious about staying there because I like the woods and the quiet. It does sound intriguing. I do think renting DVC points might be a smart plan for you. It will probably cost you what the fort cost and it will give you an opportunity to try bigger accomodations. The treehouse villas would be really perfect for you.


    Loved your TR...hate to see it end.
     
  21. eandesmom

    eandesmom I'm with Beast

    Joined:
    Jan 5, 2009
    Messages:
    13,893
    Hi!!!

    :) if you'll notice my siggie there is a picture of THV for a August 2010 trip! Or at least I hope it's an August 2010 trip! I do think they are basically upgraded cabins and absolutely perfect for our crew. My only concern with them is that while they are at the lower mod price and a complete bargain for how many they sleep compared to the 2b villas (THV are 3br!) is that there is no direct access to a park. DTD isn't a park, or a huge draw, for me. But still, it is by far the best fit. And as much as I'd like to stay at BCV for SAB...THV just feels right.

    If I had the money to buy in, I would absolutely consider DVC for THV. But that's a complete no-go right now. Darn Scrooge and his plane! LOL.

    Are you going to do a TR? I would LOVE LOVE LOVE to read it! I can't wait to read on on the treehouses. I think I only have seen 2 or 3 on the cabins, and it's really a mixed bag of reviews but I think it breaks down to either you like a cabin woods type atmosphere, or not. I see some people unhappy with them who picked them for the size and kitchen but they really prefer a more traditional hotel/resort. Others just adore them, so it's either one way or the other!

    That said, I don't think we will rent points. For a couple of reasons.

    1. It makes me nervous. I know most of the time, probably 99.9% of the time it works out fine but it takes booking out of my control and that scares me. It's a trust issue. If it was someone I knew...maybe.

    2. Given the homework issues we are going to be stuck going in the dreaded heat of summer for the foreseeable future as holiday rates are not in the budget. Which, if planned right, means free dining and I can't get FD if I rent points.

    But who knows. I have to get a new job before I can book and at that point will really compare things.

    I also have to convince DH that 18 months is long enough between trips. He wants to go to DC. MIL, her DH and I are campaigning for THV. Between me and MIL I think he knows he's already doomed and LOVES the idea of the Treehouses.

    Awwww....thanks! I hate to see my TR end too! Almost as much as I hated to see yours end. You, you lucky dog you, get to go back very very soon though! And without kids!

    I have complete faith that you will ride EE in the dark. It's not an "if", it's a "when" :)

    Yeah...for soccer practice. NEVER again. DH is in complete agreement. Not a big deal for Tink to miss 4 days of school but heaven forbid she miss a practice. Seriously. Her mom tried to guilt her into not going on the trip b/c she would miss 2 of her jr high school basketball team practices as well. Which would mean she couldn't play in the first 2 games b/c she wouldn't have enough practice time in.

    Never mind the fact that she was an alternate on the team, 13 out of 13 players (and told that she was #13) and that she had to sign a document that stated she knew she was only a "practice" player and wasn't guaranteed any game time at all.

    Yeah, I'd miss disney for that. Sorry. Vent over! I did get a good ODP update from her though before she left on her friend trip. She played on the invitational team the entire camp, not the WA team. Call back was almost 80 girls and apparently the ENTIRE S. Cal team made it and most of the N. Cal! About 5 or so from WA including our old goalie. No one from this years team though.

    Which is very very cool for our old goalie, I hope she makes the team (though I really really wish she hadn't left!), I guess the regional pool goes through the whole process again. So not quite as bad as the only 1 from Delaware scenario but on a percentage basis, not that great either.

    About the Fort....you want some great running paths.....stay at the Fort! Scrooge and Tink loved it. You can run in between FW and WL! Pretty pretty pretty!

    I"ll have to look at the points, last time I priced it it was more than the Fort and it will just come down to what the better deal is knowing that we want the DDP and could go during FD which is also value rate time. It sleeps 3 more than the Fort though and is cheaper than most of the deluxe 2brs outside of SSR and OKW (neither of which I have a burning desire to stay at though).

    We saved a TON of $$ on the DDP this trip and will definitely do it again. I loved knowing our food was paid for, it made is so much more relaxing not doing the day by day adding how we were doing versus budget!
     

Share This Page