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March Break at CR – with stops at Poly, GF, WL, BW, BC, YC, MK, Epcot, HS, DD, and TL

Discussion in 'Completed Trip Reports' started by JanetMom, Mar 21, 2010.

  1. JanetMom

    JanetMom DIS Veteran

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    So, here goes… my trip report.

    Some background – We are a Canadian family of 3, my husband, 13-year old son, and myself. We seem to find ourselves at WDW every three years. We usually go in February to take advantage of the low crowds and discounts during the slower season, but now that my son is in middle school it makes more sense for us to go during the March break where Canadian schools shut down for 1-2 weeks.

    We have always avoided any trip during March break as that is the busiest time of year at the airports and we don’t like crowds. We actually don’t even like amusement parks that much, so naturally we chose to travel to Disney. ;) When we realized we were ready to face the airport crowds, we developed a short list of WDW, Vegas or Turks & Caicos. Vegas was crossed off because we thought we would not let our son out of our sight and that didn’t seem fun for a 13-year old. Turks & Caicos was crossed off because the cost of the flight alone made it far more expensive than the other options. That left WDW, and we quickly realized we wanted all the ease of vacation travel that Disney provides.

    So, way back in May 2009 I made a reservation for a CL room at our beloved WL. We stayed at WL in 2004, woods view, and in 2007 CL courtyard view. What they say about club level is true – once you stay CL you can’t go back. So there was no question we were going back to CL. Then, I waited, read the DISboards and waited, and waited. Finally in September the 4/3 discounts were released, and I called immediately, only to learn that the WL CL was not available but the CR was, and with the discount it was ~$1500 less to stay at the CR than to keep the WL reservation, so it was a no brainer and we switched our reservation and I started to read all about the CR on the DISboards.

    Now on to the trip report…

    Day 1
    We were up and off to the airport by 7:30 a.m. and were to land in Orlando at 1:00 p.m. It was a perfect flight and I was so excited when we landed at 12:45 p.m. – we were getting to start our vacation 15 minutes early! Well, not so. There was a plane at our gate so we had to sit on the runway for an agonizing 30 minutes. Eventually we made it off the plane, stopped for a quick lunch and then down to the Magic Express. (For the record, US airports are way better than Canadian ones. There are so many shops and restaurants at your airports, making lunch an easy stop.)

    Magic Express was perfect. No lines, we practically walked straight onto our bus. The drive to WDW was smooth but sadly CR is the last stop, so we had to sit back and watch our fellow ME travellers as they were delivered to Poly, GF and WL.

    Stop at Poly
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    Stop at GF
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    Stop at WL
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    Finally the CR comes into view :cheer2:
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    Then came the moment that all CL addicts dream of. Our bus pulled up to the CR and Janet from the concierge team was waiting for us. She came us asked for our names and escorted us straight to the club level. It is just a great feeling to get that personal greeting. We had reserved a 12th floor CL, lake view room, so it was a great surprise when she told us we were staying on the 14th floor, and an even better surprise when we walked into our room and saw the amazing view.

    Our first views from our room
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    Well, I’m still tired from travelling, so that is all for now, but I’ll continue the Day 1 report soon.
     
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  3. roomthreeseventeen

    roomthreeseventeen Inaugural Dopey Challenge finisher

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    Awesome pics. Can't wait to read more.
     
  4. Sazzo'sMommy

    Sazzo'sMommy DIS Veteran

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    Awesome! Keep the report coming! We will be there in 12 days!:thumbsup2
     
  5. reyasmommy

    reyasmommy DIS Veteran

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    Great view... Looking forward to more. :)
     
  6. JanetMom

    JanetMom DIS Veteran

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    I'm jealous of you that you get to be there so soon. I have a nice pic of the BW pool that I'll post when I get to that day. The BW area is so nice.
     
  7. thechesters420

    thechesters420 Mouseketeer

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    Beautiful! Can't wait to hear more!
     
  8. CR Resort Fan 4 Life

    CR Resort Fan 4 Life DIS Veteran

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    I can not wait to read the rest.
     
  9. JanetMom

    JanetMom DIS Veteran

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    Day 1 – continued

    After checking out the view we marvelled at the size of the room. It was so big. Since the 14th floor is slightly different than the rest of the hotel, this room had lots of storage space 7 drawers, big closet, plenty of in-closet shelf space. We had no problem finding room for our stuff. The bathroom was amazing. It was a handicap accessible room, so there was no tub, but it did have a great walk-in shower.

    Enough about the room, on to the park! We booked our first ADR for 4:05 p.m. at Liberty Tree Tavern. It was a great choice for a first activity. We hadn’t eaten much all day so we were hungry and we were all tired enough that we didn’t want to make any decisions. The atmosphere at LTT was good fun and the food was so good. We had the family style dinner with turkey, stuffing, roast beef, ham, salad, rolls, mashed potatoes, macaroni, green beans, and the best apple cobbler with vanilla ice cream. MMMM

    (Sorry folks, I’m not much for taking food pictures, so I don’t have any food porn to offer you.)

    First glimpse of the Magic Kingdom
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    Waiting for our table at LTT
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    Random topiary shot
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    After supper we had the whole park ahead of us, so we chose to go on Small World. I think my husband and son were just trying to get it out of the way. The wait time said 30 minutes, but we were on a boat in 10 minutes. The line looks long, but it wasn’t.

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    After Small World it was off to check out the new Space Mountain. The stand-by line said 100 minutes, but the Small World line went fast and we were feeling optimistic so into the line we went. The refurbishments included some fun video games in the line, so the time passed quickly… until… they had to shut the ride down for technical difficulties. The shut down lasted approximately 20 minutes and they turned all the lights on, so it took much of the magic out of the ride and everyone looked very tired in the line. In the end we did have to wait longer than 100 minutes to enjoy the ride, but we did get our turn and it was fun.

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    The line waiting and waiting during the temporary shut down.
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    After Space Mountain we decided to head back to our room and enjoy the view of the fireworks. For those who wonder which takes longer, walk or monorail, we decided to test it out. I took the monorail and my husband and son walked. I made it to the room about 3 minutes before they did, so it seems to be a tie.

    For my final photo tonight – a blurry one, but a good one. For those who have heard the trick to request an odd-numbered room at the CR, it’s true, you can see the castle from the bed! This picture was taken from the bed! (We booked a lake view, but requested a magic kingdom view, odd-numbered room. The person on the phone thought I was a bit crazy, but I think the requests paid off!)
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    Next instalment – day 2, the long day.
     
  10. kamikazecat

    kamikazecat DIS Veteran

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    I am here and can not wait to read more. :goodvibes

    I love the view. I don't think it gets much better than that. :lovestruc
     
  11. thechesters420

    thechesters420 Mouseketeer

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    another great update! Love all the info about the Contemporary
     
  12. tinkgurl

    tinkgurl DIS Veteran

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    Hi! When in March were you there? We just got home from our 14th to the 20th trip. I'd love to see if I ended up in any of your pictures! :laughing:
     
  13. cbmstephanie

    cbmstephanie Mouseketeer

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    We leave next week for CR CL...can't wait to read more of your adventure!
     
  14. mpbest

    mpbest Mom to disney addict in training!!!

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    I'm in and can't wait to hear all about your trip. We are heading to the world in a month and staying at the CR. First time on disney property and I am soooo excited!
     
  15. Señor DonDuck

    Señor DonDuck DIS Veteran

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    Joining in. Love that room view!
     
  16. micandminforever

    micandminforever DIS Veteran

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    Love the pictures we are staying at BLT in June, so the walk or monorail advice tip was great.
     
  17. JanetMom

    JanetMom DIS Veteran

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    We were there from March 13-20, so I'd say it is highly likely you are in our shots. :rotfl: After all, there weren't too many other people there then.

    Keep your eyes open and let me know if I have caught you on camera.
     
  18. tinkgurl

    tinkgurl DIS Veteran

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    :rotfl: Okay!
     
  19. JanetMom

    JanetMom DIS Veteran

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    Additional fact from day 1 – When talking about LTT, I forgot to mention that they do not serve alcohol, so you cannot get beer or wine with dinner. (You understand why that is a point of note, when we get to Day 5 – also known as “flight day” :) )


    Day 2 – the far too long day

    Our second day began with a wakeup call so that we could make it to the Kona Café for breakfast. I’m good at scheduling our ADRs but less good at matching them up to our travel fatigue or extra magic hours. Given that we were still tired from travelling it would have been much nicer to sleep in on our second day. We also came to realize that we should attempt the extra magic hours from 11:00 p.m.-2:00 a.m. that evening, since the park crowds were fairly heavy.

    By the way, the darn spring forward time change happened during the night – I think it is a complete rip-off to have one hour of Disney time snatched away by a time change! (And it contributed to our being tired.)

    Back to our day, we began by taking the monorail over to the Polynesian. We find on our Disney trips that we get really tired of the Disney food by the end of the week. (I’m convinced there is only one Disney kitchen buried deep underground with the same food going by long conveyer belts to every restaurant, it just gets some special flavouring if the restaurant theme dictates it.) We decided the best way to add variety to our food, escape the park crowds, and see some new places, was to book our ADRs all over WDW, covering as many different resorts as possible, so that is why we went to the Poly (and many other places.)

    Mural shot on the way to the monorail
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    Once at the Poly we went straight to the Kona Café to get us some of the famous Tonga Toast. It was so good and lived up to its reputation. I booked the Kona early in our trip in case we wanted a second helping of Tonga Toast on another day. While the Tonga Toast was good, it is just too much for us and we did not book a second Kona breakfast.

    After breakfast we wandered around the Poly grounds and took pictures of the beautiful views from the beach.
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    After Poly the plan was to go to Magic Kingdom, but since we were going to go there in the evening we changed our plans to Epcot. On our way back to the main lodge to find the monorail, we wound up on the path directly to the TTC. The TTC is very close to the Poly, so no need to take the resort monorail and transfer.

    Incoming Epcot monorail at the TTC
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    Once at Epcot it was straight to Soarin’ to grab some Fast Passes. Then to fill the time we went to Mission Space which I rode with my son – the Green version! When we did Mission Space back in the crazy pre-calm version days, my husband and I were sick for the rest of the day. My son, of course, loved it. So, the deal was I would ride Mission Space, but only the Green version. My husband sat the ride out.

    Random garden shot
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    Next we went on Test Track. I love this ride, but hate the line. I find it very stressful listening to all the banging and loud noises coming from the speakers. After Test Track it was back to the nice and short Fast Pass Soarin’ line.

    Now it was time for lunch. We didn’t have an ADR, but we decided to try to get into the Rose and Crown. Here in Toronto we are regulars at a pub called “The Rose and Crown”, so we always like to go there in Disney - it makes us feel at home. Even though we didn’t have an ADR, we were seated within 10 minutes with a great table overlooking the Showcase Lagoon. We had a nice meal and my husband took home a souvenir beer glass.

    The view from our table
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    Given that we were planning on a late night we decided to take it easy and head back to the hotel. On the way out we took some more pictures, bought some pins (St. Patrick’s Day Mickey head, Jack Skellington on a running shoe, and another Jack Skellington.) Of course, on the way out we did have to walk by Canada and couldn’t resist a family shot. Thankfully some nice stranger (maybe it was you tinkgurl) was kind enough to take our picture, which we paid forward by taking the next family’s shot (maybe that was your family tinkgurl.)

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    Lion King garden shots
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    The sphere (I miss the Mickey hand sign for Epcot which was no longer beside the sphere :sad1: )
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    Once we arrived at the hotel, it was back to the balcony to take more pictures (this looks the same as day 1, but it is a different day :) )
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    That’s all for tonight, Day 2 will be continued later in the week.
     
  20. tinkgurl

    tinkgurl DIS Veteran

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    Aw darn it. Nope that wasn't us! This was March 14? We were at MK this day/night.

    You'll have to head over to my TR sometime so you can see if you made it into any of my pics too! :laughing:
     
  21. thechesters420

    thechesters420 Mouseketeer

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    love love love your pics! Great update again!
     

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