Introducing WDW to my Fiancee's family - A January 2013 Pre-Trip Report

Discussion in 'Pre-Trip Reports and Plans' started by redoschi, Aug 16, 2012.

  1. redoschi

    redoschi Mouseketeer

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    It's been some time since I've completed detailing our daily schedules and there has been some changes since then, specially due to the resort changes.

    We won't be checking in at Pop on Tuesday Jan 22nd so I'm thinking of taking all of us for more shopping at the Florida Mall after Sea World.

    As I mentioned on a previous dining post I've changed Ohana to Jan 26th and brought our plans for Mara to Jan 25th as we won't activate our Photopass+ until our first DTD night on the 25th so wouldn't be able to use it for Ohana's pictures.

    On the 26th we'll most likely go again to SeaWorld, but if the day is a bit hotter we might consider Typhoon Lagoon still.

    From talking to people on the transportation boards I've changed quite a bit of our planning on the 28th. As I can't leave the car parked at the Boardwalk throughout the day and people have convinced me out of Boardwalk Bakery breakfast, I thought we could try the CS-credit buffet breakfast at Coronado Springs Pepper Market before going to Hollywood Studios for rope drop. After the HS closes at 9pm (EMH) we take our car to Boardwalk to walk a bit there and try Jellyrolls.
    I'm still thinking on what to do with DBIL while the rest of us enjoy Jellyrolls! :confused3

    As we have gotten our QSDP, some ADRs were cancelled like Teppan Edo, Be Our Guest (we'll still try it for lunch though) and Chef Mickey's that we weren't sure about.

    The ones we'll surely hit are Ohana, Sci-Fi lunch and T-Rex dinner, with a Tusker House breakfast that I'm still holding in case they really enjoy Ohana and would like to try another character breakfast hosted by our favorite from the Fab 5: Donald! :donald:

    A new ADR was Le Cellier for our last lunch. When I found out about the Le Cellier Experience which included Appetizer (Cheddar Cheese Soup!), Entree and Dessert for a nice price for lunch I thought we should do this after all on our last day at WDW to finish with a bang! pixiedust:

    After reading some reviews (please reply with suggestions, specially if you think I should do differently or to agree with our choices!) I think we'll change from trying Contempo Cafe on Jan 3rd to eating at Captain Cook's as it is said that Contempo's choices won't be that much different from what we will get at Pop and AoA and the Tonga Toast is surely something to try @ Poly!

    Updated schedule! (New stuff)

    January
    Sunday 20th - Flight from Brazil and Late arrival in Orlando.
    Monday 21st - Orlando Premium Outlets (hopefully a sale!)
    Tuesday 22nd - Sea World and Florida Mall
    Wednesday 23rd - Islands of Adventure and Blue Man Group
    Thursday 24th - Universal Studios and Orlando Magic game
    Friday 25th - Check-in at Pop Century, Mara breakfast @ AKL, Gatorland, Bridal shops and Downtown Disney evening
    Saturday 26th - Ohana breakfast, mix between Sea World, Typhoon Lagoon and/or bridal shops and Downtown Disney evening

    Sunday 27th - Trip to Tampa, Busch Gardens, Trip back to Orlando
    Monday 28th - Pepper Market breakfast @ CSR, Hollywood Studios with Sci-Fi lunch with EMH evening and later Boardwalk with Jellyrolls!
    Tuesday 29th - Islands of Adventure / Universal Studios, Mall at Millenia, drop off the car at Disney Car Care
    Wednesday 30th - Epcot
    Thursday 31st - EMH Morning at Magic Kingdom with maybe Downtown Disney evening

    February
    Friday 1st - Animal Kingdom with maybe Tusker House breakfast, Downtown Disney evening with T-Rex Dinner
    Saturday 2nd - EMH Morning at Hollywood Studios, Lunch at Beaches & Cream, Epcot for the rest of the day!
    Sunday 3rd - Captain Cooks breakfast @ Poly, MK day with EMH evening
    Monday 4th - EMH morning at Animal Kingdom and EMH evening at Hollywood Studios
    Tuesday 5th - EMH morning at Epcot, lunch at Le Cellier, return to Pop, Magical Express and flight back to Brazil leaving MCO at 7pm
     
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  3. redoschi

    redoschi Mouseketeer

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    A lot of work this past week, but as always I can never go a day or two without a disney fix from the disboards.

    I'm excited about Disney having bought Lucasfilm! :thumbsup2 Maybe now they'll be able to add more SW and Indy stuff to DHS even making the rumored Star Wars Land with Mos Eisley Cantina! :cheer2:

    There is one thing I'm not so excited though. Sea World has increased their prices on regular tickets and even more on the annual passes. Now the 2-park annual pass (SW-BG) that I was planning to get has gone up from $169 to $199! :sad: I'm remaking some calculations to see if it will still be best to get us an annual pass for parking and dining discounts or if just 4 regular 2 park passes would work best. I believe that now it will depend on how much we eat and buy at the parks while before just the free parking was incentive enough! :(

    Another note, a lot better one this time, I've purchased our Blue Man Group tickets for Wed Jan 23rd! ;) And they are great tickets! :cool1: We'll seat on the second row of the regular, non poncho area (not really in the mood to get splashed with paint! :joker:)

    I've also ordered the Photopass+ as it has dropped in price to $149 (link). Can't wait to be able to get all those ride pictures (main reason for getting PP+) and the package from Ohana. I guess I'll have to convince everyone to take lots of Photopass pictures, specially some Magic Shots!
     
  4. redoschi

    redoschi Mouseketeer

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    Just finished making the last payment on our Disney package! :cool1:

    Next month it will be time to buy Universal, Sea World and Gatorland tickets! :yay:
     
  5. shalom

    shalom DIS Veteran

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    Been busy lately and just following the threads I'm subscribed to, but apparently I haven't been getting the updates on this thread. :mad:

    Your daily schedules read like mine, but did I see you say you haven't done TSMM? :eek: I'm with you on the "I'd sure like to do breakfast at the Main Street Bakery/Starring Rolls at HS, if only it didn't cut into that prime touring time!" thing. Josh at easywdw suggests you tour hard the first couple of hours and then take a break around eleven or eleven thirty -- early enough to avoid the lunch crowds but late enough it won't cut into prime touring time. Although I would guess that's also when the "front of the park bakeries" get mobbed (his examples are always further back), so I dunno.

    Well, I do know with HS -- stop then at Writer's Stop for a carrot cake cookie. ;) But at the MK I'd just get lunch then, which isn't quite the same as a bakery breakfast. *sigh*

    Depending on how late and how long you're going to stay, he may be happy just hanging around and watching the entertainers or the people going by. :) You said you guys weren't drinkers, but some of the lounges also serve food and might be a nice place to hang out -- Belle Vue lounge at the Boardwalk is on the second floor and is supposed to be quiet and cozy, although I'm sure in the evening that means Disney quiet. ;)

    I was thinking the Belle Vue was one of the lounges that serves food but I suppose I was remembering the breakfast; went looking and doesn't look like there's food at night. :worried: They play radio shows and music from the 1940s there, though. :p The Crew's Cup Lounge in the Yacht Club does serve food -- it's by the Yachtsman Steakhouse and they share a kitchen. So that's another possibility.

    Are you staying onsite that night? I've lost track. :blush: But if you are, you could just send him home to bed. ;)
     
  6. redoschi

    redoschi Mouseketeer

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    I haven't done TSMM yet :sad1: Last time we were at Disney (December 2007) it was a few months before it opened, but I'll surely do it this time, multiple times!

    I'm surely thinking on doing a stop like that at Writer's Stop. Can you believe I didn't know about this place until a couple weeks ago? :sad2:

    Yes, it will be on our 4th night at Pop (we check into Pop on Jan 25th and stay until Feb 5th), but as a teen I believe he will prefer either to hang around the Boardwalk seeing the entertainers or in ESPN than to just go back to Pop to sleep! :rotfl2:
     
  7. shalom

    shalom DIS Veteran

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    Okay, I'll restore your Legit Disney Fan card then. ;)

    :upsidedow

    Ya never know. In our family, except for my husband, the in-laws always crash hours before the blood relatives. And age has nothing to do with it -- my SIL would wipe out on us early (by our standards) even when she was a teen! The guy I dated last before hubby would also start drifting off at about 10:00 p.m., despite his youth. :confused3

    That said, I had forgotten your DBIL was that young. If the boardwalk or ESPN don't cut it, there are a couple of arcades -- the Yard, which is down by ESPN, and then the Side Show Arcade, which is up in the courtyard green near the health club. I think he could find enough to keep busy. :)
     
  8. redoschi

    redoschi Mouseketeer

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    Thanks for restoring my Disney fan card! :thumbsup2

    I'll look into those arcades as I think he might enjoy them as well. :scratchin
     
  9. redoschi

    redoschi Mouseketeer

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    Was looking through (again! :lmao:) all the park hours (I hate that SW and Universal haven't posted their January hours yet! :confused3) and noticed that AK is open until 7pm on weekends! I don't know how that escaped me!

    I was sad that AK doesn't have EMH anymore which we enjoyed a lot last trip (EE and the Tree of Life in the dark are amazing! :goodvibes) and didn't notice that we could still see them in the dark (sort of as it is just till 7pm and sunset for that day is expected at 6:06).

    I began rethinking my park schedules (I hate changing schedules, specially since I've got them pretty well settled in my mind! ;)) and thought about a secondary schedule that could accomodate the change of AK to a weekend.

    I'd like to know the opinion of all of you about this.
    Here are the changes I've thought about:
    • Go to AK on a weekend and stay until park close to see it in the dark. I've decided to do this on Sunday Feb 3rd and then take a bus to MK for EMH evening on Superbowl night.
    • As with this AK would have had just 2 days between both full park days (only days we're going to AK) I believe it would be best to change the order a bit. AK from Feb 01st to Jan 30th, Epcot from 30th to 31st and MK from 31st to 01st.
    • With this, our DTD night after AK will happen on Jan 30th without T-Rex (couldn't get an ADR) so we're doing Cookes of Dublin or WPE. Managed to get a 9pm ADR for T-Rex on Jan 25th though.
    • As Jan 30th is EMH and Feb 3rd isn't, I've gotten a new ADR to our possible Tusker House breakfast on Sunday (8:15) as to not lose EMH time with breakfast (we can do Pizzafari after doing at least EE and Kilimanjaro Safaris and gotten our FPs for another run at EE).
    • Epcot, based on touringplans.com, will be less crowded on the 31st than on the 30th as it will be the eve of a EMH night there, so it is a nice change based on crowd levels.
    • MK on Feb 01st won't have EMH morning, but it also has lower crowds and we'll probably get a monorail to Epcot for evening EMH there (its Friday night and it will probably be crowded, but we should be able to get some extra things done by then, specially as we wouldn't watch Illuminations again).
    • Feb 03rd would change from full MK day to AK day to see it at night and then get a bus to MK for EMH on what I hope will be a less crowded night than usual due to Superbowl.
    • Feb 4th would change from AK-HS to MK-HS.
    Updated secondary schedule! (New stuff)

    January
    Sunday 20th - Flight from Brazil and Late arrival in Orlando.
    Monday 21st - Orlando Premium Outlets (hopefully a sale!)
    Tuesday 22nd - Sea World and Florida Mall
    Wednesday 23rd - Islands of Adventure and Blue Man Group
    Thursday 24th - Universal Studios and Orlando Magic game
    Friday 25th - Check-in at Pop Century, Mara breakfast @ AKL, Gatorland, Bridal shops and Downtown Disney evening with T-Rex dinner
    Saturday 26th - Ohana breakfast, mix between Sea World, Typhoon Lagoon and/or bridal shops and Downtown Disney evening
    Sunday 27th - Trip to Tampa, Busch Gardens, Trip back to Orlando
    Monday 28th - Pepper Market breakfast @ CSR, Hollywood Studios with Sci-Fi lunch with EMH evening and later Boardwalk with Jellyrolls!
    Tuesday 29th - Islands of Adventure / Universal Studios, Mall at Millenia, drop off the car at Disney Car Care
    Wednesday 30th - EMH Morning at Animal Kingdom with Downtown Disney evening
    Thursday 31st - Epcot

    February
    Friday 1st - Captain Cooks breakfast @ Poly, Magic Kingdom with maybe EMH evening at Epcot (or Downtown Disney)

    Saturday 2nd - EMH Morning at Hollywood Studios, Lunch at Beaches & Cream, Epcot for the rest of the day!
    Sunday 3rd - Animal Kingdom with maybe Tusker House breakfast, transfer to EMH evening at MK
    Monday 4th - Magic Kingdom, transfer to EMH evening at Hollywood Studios

    Tuesday 5th - EMH morning at Epcot, lunch at Le Cellier, return to Pop, Magical Express and flight back to Brazil leaving MCO at 7pm

    This would probably cut a bit into our MK touring time (Feb 4th wouldn't be a full day or we wouldn't do anything at HS) but will give us 3 days there (an extra day to get SotMK cards! pixiedust:)
     
  10. redoschi

    redoschi Mouseketeer

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    No suggestions? :confused3

    I've been thinking and I believe I'll change the order of Jan 30th, 31st and 01st anyway (regardless of our Feb 03rd/04th changes) as the crowd calendar is expecting better distribution for us this way and we'll get to enjoy EMH evening at Epcot on a night we were earlier gonna spend at DTD.

    For a moment I also thought to do EMH morning on MK on the 31st, but have already dismissed that because we won't have gone there yet and to experience MK for the first time for just a couple hours before heading to Epcot isn't very nice. I want that the first time we go to a park that it be a full day at that park. Leave park hopping to our second days at each of them!
     
  11. shalom

    shalom DIS Veteran

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    Maybe everyone thinks they're already perfect. ;)

    My only thought was that you probably "missed" the longer hours at AK because they changed them, however I haven't gone back to make sure the dates you're going were among the ones changed. Your touring preferences are kind of the opposite of ours -- we avoid EMH parks and don't park hop and etc -- so mostly I look at your schedules and the only thing that comes to mind is, "Wow, that looks exhausting." :p

    Premium Outlets doesn't have any big January sales I've heard about, but I'm not a big shopper. Have you signed up for the Premium Outlets VIP club? I know you get a coupon book with that, at least. If you guys are interested, I've heard that you should get a Sunday Orlando Sentinel offsite for the best sales flyers. Supposedly the onsite newspapers don't have the sales brochures in them -- Disney doesn't want you leaving! :rolleyes: So pick one up in the airport if there are any, or ask at your hotel if there are any newspapers with flyers left. Maybe you'll luck out and there'll still be some floating around.

    :thumbsup2

    That makes a lot of sense to me. :)

    One suggestion, if it turns out people are getting a bit burned out, is to shift to quieter restaurants for lunch the second half of your trip. For instance, Saturday the second, I'd go to the Captain's Grille at the Yacht Club instead of Beaches and Cream -- it'd be a more peaceful experience, and for me that'd mean I'd be more ready to hit Epcot. And the upside of the quieter places is that it's easier to get reservations later; especially since you're going offseason, if you want to change those reservations while you're there, your odds of getting a quieter resort restaurant for lunch are pretty good.

    Also, if it turns out some people in the group need some downtime, hitting the near-by resorts can be a bit of a break as well. The resorts are pretty quiet in the early afternoon; I love going to the Contemporary and getting a snack at the Contempo Cafe and just sitting there watching the monorail go by. :cloud9: Half hour of that, maybe wander the shops a bit, and I'm ready to go back to the park and tackle the crowds again. :teeth:

    Taking the MK boat out to the Wilderness Lodge and, if it's noisy, wandering out to the villas lobby and playing a game of chess or just sitting in the Carolwood Pacific Railroad Room and watching the fire is even more relaxing. If some people are flagging in the early afternoon some days, that might be a nice option for them.

    The resorts are not quiet, quiet -- for instance, the Belle Vue lounge at the Boardwalk is often empty during the day, but there are still radio shows playing -- but compared to the noise and bustle of the parks, they're pretty peaceful, and, except for Animal Kingdom, there's always a resort either within walking distance or a short boat- or monorail-ride away. Little more complicated with park hopping, though. :scratchin Actually, using Disney transportation for park hopping, depending on who is around, sometimes the bus or monorail trip is comparatively peaceable! :p
     
  12. redoschi

    redoschi Mouseketeer

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    Yeah, maybe I didn't miss those longer hours, they were simply changed recently.:thumbsup2

    About the Premium Outlets, I believe that there is a Martin Luther King weekend sale (we arrive late on sunday of that weekend to hit the outlets on Monday), At least I remember reading about MLK sales in the past.

    I'm a member of the Premium Outlets VIP club (used it on both our last trip to Orlando in 2007 and on a trip to NY last year), but I didn't know about the Sentinel sales flyers! As we'll be at MCO on sunday evening, I'll try to get one of those! :woohoo:

    Let's see how people are keeping up with my Commando touring tactics and if needed I'll include some more downtime for the second part!

    I haven't tried Capt. Grille's yet, but I doubt I'll give up on Beaches & Cream. That burger was the best I've had in WDW (and is surely on my top 3 ever!) and their desserts are also amazing! :cool1:
     
  13. redoschi

    redoschi Mouseketeer

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    Noooo! :scared1:

    When you mentioned no planned sales for January I simply thought that they hadn't been posted yet, but now I decided to go into Premium Outlets site and there really isn't any huge sale planned for January (1st 2013 sale is on President's Day Weekend in February!)

    I hope they still decide to do a MLK sale, but it probably won't be a huge one. :worried:
     
  14. shalom

    shalom DIS Veteran

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    Huh, I'd heard the Beaches and Cream desserts were great but I got the impression that the burger was only okay. :confused3 It's admittedly on the Disney Food Blog's "Three Best Burgers" list, but then they describe it as "pretty flat, pretty thin, and pretty standard," and go on to say it's all about the environment and the sides/desserts. :rolleyes:

    Although people could be raving about it and I suppose I wouldn't notice, since I tend not to pay attention unless there's something different being offered -- the cheeseburger at the Captain's Grille is supposedly good, but it's the Captain's Burger, with the crab meat and choron sauce, that I think sounds interesting. Whether I'd actually order it if I was there, I dunno. I'm thinking about hitting the Captain's Grille while we're at Hollywood Studios, which is early in our trip, so I might give it a shot -- I'm a more adventurous eater at first, but then the longer we're gone, the more I start craving the familiar!

    :sad1:

    Martin Luther King Day sales are pretty common, so maybe if they don't have one there, the Sentinel will have some great ads for somewhere else. :) Heaven knows there are plenty of outlet malls in Orlando, although admittedly that one's the most convenient to WDW. There are a lot of outlet stores out by the Festival Bay mall, at the far end of International drive, basically the other side of I-4 from Universal Studios. There's another Premium Outlet there, but there's also VF Outlets (whatever that is :p ), Outlet Marketplace, and a bunch of individual stores I think.

    And now I realize you don't mention which Orlando Premium Outlet mall you meant to go for (I had it in my head you were going to the one off Vineland), so you may already know all this! :upsidedow
     
  15. redoschi

    redoschi Mouseketeer

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    If there really was a large sale I thought of hitting the 3 Premium Outlets (Outlet Marketplace is small but is a part of their outlet chain as well) in one day. Start early at the old Prime outlets (Premium Outlets Int. Drive), stop by Outlet Marketplace as I've read they have a couple nice bridal shops in there (I know we're planning to go to bridal shops :bride: later in the week, but if there was one that participated in a huge sale it could be interesting because wedding gowns are not cheap!) and then spend the rest of the day on the one at Vineland Avenue (the one we went to last time!)

    Most stores are the same between the Int Drive and Vineland locations, but there are a few that stand out in each one like Lancome and Armani (a bit more expensive than usual, but I'm thinking of getting my wedding suit there! :groom:) outlet stores at the Vineland outlets and Victoria Secret's and several eletronics and kitchen stores at the Int Drive outlets.
     
  16. redoschi

    redoschi Mouseketeer

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    Wow! It has been a long time since my last post! :confused3

    Lately it has been a crazy season at the office! :eek:

    And I've been looking for a lot of wedding preparations with DFi :bride: :groom:
    In the past few weeks we have chosen the place where we'll have our wedding reception (until now the only things that had been chosen were the date and the church!) as well as the wedding caterers! Looking for those things is fun, but pretty time consuming and I didn't have that much time to spend on the Disboards. :sad2:

    That doesn't mean that my Disney planning stopped completely. I continued reading several blogs and trying to keep up with my disboards thread subscriptions (specially the WDW Commando Club! :cool2:) and listening to some podcasts.

    After we closed the wedding deals in the past few days I balanced the wedding and Disney planning a bit more and today I got our Universal 3-Day Park-to-Park tickets! :banana:
    And also got my Sea World / Busch Gardens Annual Pass and regular tickets for the rest as we really only need 1 AP for free parking and 10% off dining and merch!;)

    Last week I've also made appointments for DFi and DMIL at 2 bridal shops in Orlando: Casa di Bella in Celebration and Carolyn Allen's near Sea World. Does anyone here know these stores? I've read some reviews and they seem nice and by looking at the collections at their websites they have some very beautiful gowns! :cloud9: We're also planning on going to Camille La Vie at the Outlet Marketplace that I mentioned earlier.

    If you have any other bridal shop suggestions we're still looking for other nice ones! I've found some others, but they are closer to Downtown Orlando and we weren't planning on going that far on the days we'll go to Bridal shops (mainly on Jan 25th and 26th).
     
  17. shalom

    shalom DIS Veteran

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    You might post your bride shop questions to the Disney Weddings and honeymoons subboard. :confused3

    Here I was, thinking that planning a family Christmas right before a WDW trip was a bit much -- doesn't compare to planning a WDW trip and a wedding! :rotfl:
     
  18. redoschi

    redoschi Mouseketeer

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    And an apartment! :thumbsup2
    Its building is still in the final construction months and we will probably get the keys to our unit next May and we'll have about 3 months to put it all together before the wedding!

    Thanks for the tip about the Wedding boards, I'll post some questions there as well!
     
  19. shalom

    shalom DIS Veteran

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    I guess we moved so much when I was a kid that moving never bothered me much -- until I had kids. Do not like moving while pregnant or monitoring little ones. :scared1: But other than that, I think weddings and planning the first family Christmas at a resort are more hassle, probably because I haven't done them as often. :upsidedow

    Spend some time in your unit before you move in proper, if you can -- new places usually need a shakedown cruise. ;)
     
  20. redoschi

    redoschi Mouseketeer

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    Thanks for the tip!
    I moved just twice as a kid (when I was 1yo and 8yo) and never had to supervise the installation of all the flooring, cabinets and other stuff! :scared:
     
  21. redoschi

    redoschi Mouseketeer

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    Wow! We're down to our twenties! 29 days until we fly to Orlando! :cheer2:

    I've just made my online check-in through the new mydisneyreservation site and requested a lake view room at the 70s building.
    From what I've read it seems that the 60s building is mostly preferred rooms (we booked a standard one) and it could get louder because of the pool, but the 70s is still close to the main hall, quieter and if we score a lake view in a value resort it could be great!

    I'd like to wish you all reading a Very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!!! :santa:
     

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