Discussion in 'UK Trip Reports Board' started by dolphingirl47, Jul 27, 2013.
I hope a great deal gets posted!
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We love brunch, too. I hope that by the time I get to book, I can still get dinner and Brunch. I need at least one as a free meal at Palo is one of the Platinum perks.
We are planning to take the public transportation to Seven Mile Beach on Grand Cayman. I have got Hell well and truly out of my system now and I did not really rate the turtle farm. There are a couple of different dolphin swim options, but I love the facility in Cozumel. I would love to visit the Botanical Gardens, but they are really too far away for a taxi and we got burned with an independent excursion that was cancelled at the eleventh hour yesterday. On the way back from our Disney excursion last year, we stopped at Seven Mile Beach and I loved it.
For Cozumel I have the same plan as you. I am hanging fire booking anything until they have their Black Friday sale on. If this does not work out, as you said even there normal online deal is pretty good or I would be also perfectly content to just go snorkelling. So whatever happens, it is all good.
So do I
The First Gown Has Arrived
My first gown arrived today and is more beautiful than even my wildest dreams and most certainly the most beautiful gown I ever owned. I will try it on tomorrow. I will have to figure out how to take photos of it. It was perfect timing, too. Today was the last day of working 9 days in a row so this was a perfect treat.
I'm so glad your first gown arrived, and I can't wait to see the pictures.
Your to do list has made me realize just how unprepared I am for our trip in 12 days!
Working 9 days in a row
Can't wait to see pictures of the gown.
Wow, 12 days is seriously close. All my planning has come to a standstill at the moment, but I still have plenty of time.
I ran out of time today and did not manage to take photos. I had a dental appointment and all kinds of errands to run today. I have to go into work tomorrow for a full day overtime, but I have Friday off and I am on "house arrest" as I need to stay in to wait for a contractor to look at our smoke detectors. I did however find a quick 10 minutes while lunch was cooking to try the gown on.
Yes, that was a lot. I was supposed to have three days off in a row now, but we are so short-staffed that they asked me to come in. There should be photos by the weekend.
This is another park that I normally give a pretty wide birth. This is a real shame as this was my favourite park when we first started to go to Florida. In those days it was still a working studio and I loved the tour of the sound stages and seeing actual animators at work. Since those elements have disappeared, I can take or leave Hollywood Studios and mainly I just leave it.
Last year, I made a point of going to see the Osborne Family Spectacle of Dancing Lights and was absolutely blown away by this. I was a bit rushed though as I decided the do Fantasmic! as well and I had an ADR at the Boardwalk that evening. So I just had enough time for a walk through and some quick photos. This time round, I will take my time and enjoy every second of it. I also heard that Santa Goofy is in residence so I will have to find him. Last year, I did not really have time to look at the other Christmas decorations, but I am planning to put this right this time round.
Of course, if even half the rumours that are around regarding Hollywood Studios are true, then this will probably be my last chance to see a lot of stuff. Rumour has it that this is the last season for the Osborne Family Spectacle of Dancing Lights at Hollywood Studios. The current rumour is that they will be moving to Epcot. If this turns out to be true, then I think Epcot may be one place to avoid in the late afternoon and evening during the holiday season. They already have a major crowd puller with the Candlelight Processional and adding another one like the Osborne Family Spectacle of Dancing Lights would probably mean wall to wall people.
Another area that is rumoured to be up for the chop is the backlot area. I have to admit that I always had a soft spot for the backlot tour even though this has been condensed over the years and is no longer anywhere near as impressive as it was when I first visited in 1998. Still, for sentimental reasons, I need to do this once more. I also somehow never managed to fit in Lights, Motors, Action. I have seen this on a number of occasions at Disneyland Paris, but never in Orlando. This is kind of surprising as I always enjoyed the show. I have heard that Herbie has been replaced by Lightning McQueen and I am keen to see this version.
Another attraction that is rumoured to go is the Beauty and the Beast show. I have always loved this and will definitely make a point of seeing this again. One show I have never seen before is The Voyage of the Little Mermaid. I don't really know why this is the case as I have always loved the film. So I am hoping to put this right. While I am in the area, I may as well have a proper look at Walt Disney: One Man's Dream. I had a very brief look at this in 2009, but I am sure this deserves a bit more time.
There is one attraction in Hollywood Studios that I love although I have only done it there once, but I have done it plenty of times at Disney California Adventure. This attraction is Toy Story Mania. The reason I only did this once at Hollywood Studios is that the lines there are insane whereas they are much more manageable in California. However, this time round I may just be in luck. While I am in Orlando, DISApalooza will take place. This will be hosted at Pixar Place and Toy Story Mania. I am rather excited about this. I have managed to sign up for this. They only sell 700 tickets so I am pretty happy that I got one.
Lots of great plans. I love the Osborne lights, very magical. It works so well in HS, I hope they don't move it to Epcot.
One Man's Dream can take a lot of time if you stop and read everything and look at all the awesome memorabilia. Very worthwhile to take the time though.
I'm not too crazy about the Little Mermaid show, but it's worth doing once every few years.
I figure that I ought to make the effort to see The Little Mermaid at least once. With all the rumoured changes who knows if I get another chance.
I am really looking forward to seeing One Man's Dream. After I had the chance to see the Disney Family Museum earlier this year, I can't wait to see all the treasures that they have at Walt Disney World.
Well the first gown has now arrived. My original plan had been to wait until both custom gowns are here and then post an update for both of them. However, the gown is so stunning that I decided that it had deserved an update in its own right. The fact I am almost bursting with excitement may have something to do with it, too.
I had high hopes for this gown,but I was also just a touch apprehensive. There were some things that I knew from the start. I knew that I wanted something that positively screamed Christmas. Following on from this, I decided that the easiest way to achieve this is going for a dress with two different colours. When I came across some dresses that combined red accents with white, I knew I had found something I could work with. Red is not normally my colour, but it is so Christmassy and I don't mind it if it is combined with something else. That other colour just had to be green for me.Just as a reminder, here is a photo of the dress that acted as inspiration for my Christmas gown.
Incidentally, this was not the first dress that I seriously looked at. The first one was much simpler, but still had red accents on a predominantly white dress. It did not have the train or the full skirt, but it did have straps instead. As the 5 night cruises do not have a full-blown formal night, but just have an optional dress up night, I figured the simpler dress would be more appropriate. The issue with the dress was that it did not state postage costs and instead said to contact the seller for the details. Well, he never replied to my message and I am kind of glad that he did not. I will probably be the most dressed up person there, but it will look great in the photos especially with the Christmas decorations in the background.
As I said, I was a little apprehensive about the whole dress business this time round. There were three main reasons for this. As I mentioned before, I only do red in very small doses. If I am honest, I don't really do green either. I never thought that this would suit me. So I was more than just a little concerned that although I love the theme of the dress and the idea behind this, I would not love the finished dress. I did not need to worry. Not only do I absolutely adore the dress, but it turns out that the green works really well with my colouring.
My second worry also had to do with colour. I realised when I got my last custom gown that you really can't tell by the colour swatches on the screen what the real colour will look like. On the screen the colour looked gold and that is what I wanted, but it turned out bright yellow. This time round the colours did not quite match either. On the screen it looked like a very dark green with a slight hint of blue, but it real life, it is a true emerald green. The good thing is that I like this even better than what I was expecting.
The last thing that I was concerned about was the embroidery. On the original dress this was white. I knew that this would not really go with the colour scheme and most certainly not with the vision I had for the dress. I asked for this to be changed to either gold or a green that matches the green fabric. This was never acknowledged in any way, shape or form. So I had absolutely no idea what I would be getting until I opened the package. It turned out to be gold and this not only looks stunning, but works perfectly for the Christmas theme. So here is finally the dress:
There has been a small change as far as another dress is concerned. I ordered the first of the dresses that I want to wear for dinner at the end of August to make sure that it fits well and that the 50s style suits me. Well, this was a success in both respects. I found myself sitting on the fence about the dress that I had picked out for the dinner at Lumiere's though. Although I loved the colour and the design of the fabric, the actual style of the dress did not wow me. I had a good look at their website looking for alternatives and found that they do the 50s style in the same fabric so that is what I will go with.
Dress I will get now:
WOW!!!!! That is absolutely gorgeous!
Epcot has always been my favourite park and it is also the park I am looking forward to visiting the most this time round. Originally the plan was to just spend one day at Epcot. Fortunately since then I managed to snag a night at Beach Club Villas for the night before we fly back home and with an evening flight as well, I can spend a few bonus hours at Epcot. I am quietly hoping that by then they will have rolled out Fastpass+ to the general public by then. I will stay onsite the nights before both visits to Epcot and especially for the bonus visit, this would really help. Still, I assume that I will be using the normal Fastpass service.
On my full day at Epcot, I am hoping to get there for rope drop. With me staying at All Star Sports the night before, this ought to be doable. When I get there, I will make a beeline to Soarin. Hopefully I get there quickly enough that I can get a Fastpass and then get in the standby line to ride. While I am at The Land, I will have a quick ride on Living with the Land. Fortunately this is the one ride that never seems busy. Even when the parks were totally crazy last year, the longest I have waited for this ride was 10 minutes.
The next course of action depends on my Fastpass return time for Soarin, but likely I will have time to ride Journey into Imagination with Figment next. I can take or leave the ride, but I love Figment and there are persistent rumours that this whole area will go into a year long rehab in January. As they have a bad track record as far as poor Figment goes, I better play it safe and do this ride while I still can.
If I still have time until my Fastpass window opens, I will head over to The Seas with Nemo and Friends to do the ride and check out the dolphins. By then it is hopefully time to ride Soarin again before heading over to the other side of Future World. On the way over there, I may well be forced to play The Great Piggy Bank Adventure at Innoventions and stop by the new Character Spot if the lines are not too long. I definitely will check out the pin situation at the Pin Trading Station.
I am really looking forward to trying out the new version of Test Track. Last year this was still closed when we were in Orlando. I have heard and read so many mixed reviews that I can't wait to check it out for myself. Hopefully the waiting time for the single rider line is not too bad. Then it is over to Mission:Space for a quick ride on the green version.
Then it is time to cross over into the World Showcase taking advantage of any Photopass photographers on the way. I hope that Duffy is out and if he is, I go and say "hi" to him. Then I will take a slow wander over to the German pavilion starting at the Canadian pavilion checking out the Christmas decorations along the way. I have one more stop to make before lunch. It has become a tradition to pick a pearl at the Japanese pavilion. So I will do this. If I get a pearl that I want setting, this gives me plenty of time to pick this up later in the day.
Lunch that day is at Biergarten and I have booked the Candlelight Processional Package. So I shall enjoy my lunch. I don't foresee this taking very long. I love the food at Biergarten and I liked the price for the Candlelight Processional Package there, but positively hate the so called show. So I will have a couple of plates of food and some dessert, pay and get my Candlelight Processional Package sticker and head ourt again. Then I will have a look at the remaining pavilions. If I have time and depending on how long the lines are, I will do Maelstrom and Gran Fiesta Tour as I have not done them for a few years.
By the time I am done in Mexico, it will be time to hot-foot it back to Italy. Last year I ended up getting a glass of Rosa Regale to while away the time spent in line for the Candlelight Processional. So I intend to do this again. Once I have my wine, I will then get in line.
The Candlelight Processional was a huge surprise for me last year. I have to admit that this never really appealed to me and that the fact that I got to see this was really a happy accident. I was desperate for a lunch ADR at Le Cellier and had tried for weeks to no avail. Then suddenly one popped up as part of the Candlelight Processional Package. So I jumped on it. So I figured that as I had guaranteed seating for the 17:00 showing of the Candlelight Processional, I may as well use it and I am glad I did. I absolutely loved it. So when it became a possibility that we would be in Orlando during the holiday season, I made sure that I booked the Candlelight Processional Package straightaway. I can't wait to see this again.
My bonus visit to Epcot will be an entirely different proposition. I won't be able to make it for rope drop as we will have breakfast at Cape May that morning. So I will get to Epcot probably a couple of hours after opening time. Fortunately I should have an idea how long the waiting times are before I set off through the My Disney Experience app. If all goes well, I will ride Soarin, Mission:Space, Test Track and Journey into Imagination with Figment before heading back to the hotel. This should be a nice finale to our trip.
Sounds like a fun full day. Have you stopped to listen to the holiday stories? That was a highlight for me last year.
Where are you finding all this info on potential changes? I've totally missed all the news you've posted. I'll be sad to see Figment go, hopefully they'll revamp his ride.
What day is this? Is any day better for you to try and meet up?
I managed to listen to the story in France last year and one of the stories at the American Adventure.
A lot of the information comes from the Disney News and Rumors board on here and I first heard about Figment on Facebook.
This is all on December 7th. Can you remind me when you are at WDW?
I'm there 12/6-12/10. The only things planned are dinner at Les Chefs de France at 8:00 12/6, and lunch at Via Napoli on 12/8 at 2:00. You're more than welcome to join us for a meal or if you just have time for a quick hi that's ok too.
It sounds like the December 7th really would be the best option. On December 6th, I need to check in at the hotel and will spend the morning and early afternoon at Animal Kingdom before moving over to Hollywood Studios some time between 2:00 and 3:00 PM where I will then spend the rest of the day before attending DISApalooza in the evening. I am really looking forward to this and if all goes according to plan, I will get to meet Laura, who is also going.
On December 7th, I will be at Epcot all day. I have a Candlelight Processional Dining Package booked for lunch, which gives me a guaranteed seat for the 5:00 PM show. I currently have the reservation for 2:00 PM at Biergarten. If you wanted to join me for this and the Candlelight Processional, I can always see if I can change the reservation to add people or I would also be open to change this for another restaurant as I am not sure how much there would be for you to eat. Will your mom join you on this trip?
The Sunday we will spend at Seaworld to see all their Christmas shows, which are only shown on the weekends in early December. Monday we have a reservation at Discovery Cove and on December 10th I will do my Christmas shopping in the morning and then will head to Mickeys Very Merry Christmas Party in the afternoon. When is your flight on December 10th? I am probably done shopping my around noon and even with taking the bus, I could be at the Grand Floridian by about 1:30 PM if we cannot make December 7th work.
My planning hit a bit of a road bump today, but in a good way. We are staying offsite for the most part for our December trip as this is a bonus trip on a budget. However, I will stay onsite for one night as I will be attending DISApalooza that night and have every intention to be at Epcot for rope drop the next day. So it just made more sense to stay onsite especially as a taxi back to international Drive would have cost me a pretty Penny.
When I decided to do so, none of the DVC resorts had a studio available. So I went with the cheapest room only option with the Annual Pass Holder discount, which happened to be the All Star Sports. Now, I have never stayed at a Disney Value Resort and of those, the All Star Sports is probably the one that appeals to me the least, but I figured I just needed to have a bed to sleep in and wont spend much time at the resort.
Fast forward to this morning. For some reason I decided to check availability for DVC studios first thing this morning. I was very surprised when a Savannah View Studio at Jambo House showed up as available. I quickly grabbed this to keep my options open. Now I am really torn as to what to do.
All Star Sports
Booked and paid for
Resort does not appeal to me so wont resent not getting to spend any time there
Potentially better transport to the park the next day
Geographically closer to Disneys Hollywood Studios and Epcot
Due to this, a taxi back after back to the hotel after DISApalooza would be cheaper
Really dont like the sound of this resort
For a value this was actually quite expensive
Not familiar with the resort and the fact that I will get back very late and the resort is very big worries me
Food court is currently closed. So I am either limited to Grab and Go or have to take the shuttle to All Star Movies/ All Star Music, which takes more time
My favourite hotel at Walt Disney World
I have the points to use
The money that I save by going down this route almost pays for Photopass+
Very familiar with resort so no problem coming back late and then trying to find the room
As this is DVC booking, can add Disney Dining Plan. I have a character meal and a counter service meal planned so this would make sense.
Proximity to Animal Kingdom where I will go in the morning of the day of check in. So I could leave earlier, check in at Jambo House and leave my overnight bag with Bell Services and then catch the bus to Animal Kingdom
Better breakfast options with Mara
Zebra Domes need I say more?
Seeing the Christmas decorations at Jambo House
There are a few people staying at AKL/AKV that attend DISApalooza so there may be the possibility ot get a ride or share a taxi
Did I mention that I love AKL? It will be a shame to spend time at such a beautiful resort and not having time to enjoy it.
A little further to Epcot
Transportation may not be as efficient as at the value.
So what would you guys do?
I would take the studio at AKL hands down. I don't really care for the values anymore and it pains me to spend cash when I have points. I like the idea of the dining plan for a day. I would go for it!
Jill in CO
I would definitely take the AKL studio. It's very easy to get a refund for the room, I had to cancel a trip once.
Maybe we could find you at AK on the 6th. Yes, mom is joining me this trip. I could find things to eat at Biergarten but mom would have a hard time. I'd hate for you to change plans you've been looking forward to.
I hear you. When I first thought about staying over, I did look at DVC studios. I only decided on the value, because there was no availability. Anyway, I sent my travel agent an email asking her to cancel the reservation. I am waiting to hear back. I told Graham about my change of plan earlier today and his eyes just lit up. I did not even think he particularly liked AKL, but he is now thinking about joining me at the hotel for the night.
We can revisit this nearer the time. I would not mind changing plans at all as long as I get to see the Candlelight Processional. This was truly magical last year and I an getting a bit buzz out of the fact that Whoopi Goldberg will be the narrator that day.
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