No kids; AKV/BWV split stay; V&A; BM Tour; Lots of pics & video

Discussion in 'Completed Trip Reports' started by saintstickets, Nov 15, 2010.

  1. saintstickets

    saintstickets DIS Veteran

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    This will be my second trip report (1st at link below) but my first pre-trip report. I hope all are as kind and forgiving as the first time around. :lmao:

    DW and I have been to WDW a couple of times together and a few times separately before we met. All of our family loves Disney but I am the official "nut" in the family. I love to plan the trips almost as much as the trip itself and the family members are happy to let me do everything. I ask what they want to do and go from there. They just show up and have fun. If I didn't enjoy planning the trips so much I would say there's a slight imbalance in this formula! :rotfl2:

    Last year at this time we took a leap and purchased a small DVC contract at OKW. From that purchase, we planned our trip this past May for DW and myself, DS1, DD and DDbf staying in a 2br at OKW. There's a disease among DVC owners called "addonitis". It seems that no matter how many points you have, you're always wanting more. I was struck by this dreaded disease and we found another small contract at BWV. From that purchase, we made reservations for this trip 11/28-12/04/10 before we made the May trip! I told you it was a disease! I promise not to succumb again before this trip and since it is less than two weeks away, I might just make it this time! :sad2:

    Here is the makeup of our Disney family.... DH-55, DW-47, DS1-26, DS2-26 and DD-22. DS2 lives in CA and DS1 lives in AL. DD is in her last year of college and will be heading to medical school next fall. DW and I will soon be empty nesters. We are BIG Saints fans (hence the screen name) but that only takes up 10 Sundays a year for home games during the regular NFL season. Grandchildren are not in the near future so Disney trips seemed like a great way for DW and I to spend our time until we can start taking our children's rug rats years from now. This will be our second trip without any kids. The first was in 1985 just before DW had her 1st back surgery. We might not know how to behave without the children but I'm sure we'll manage some how! :cool1:

    Here are DW and I during our May, 2010 trip....
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    We are trying to stay in as many of the DVC resorts as possible before the disease strikes again in order to experience them all. Therefore, for this trip, we are doing a split stay. From 11/28-12/01 we have a studio at AKV-Kidani and then from 12/01-12/04/10 we will be in a studio at BWV. We are on a waitlist for a 1br at BWV but I doubt it will come through at this late date. Because it is just DW and I this trip, we plan to take it easy, eat, take a tour, eat, visit other resorts, eat, check out all the Christmas decorations and then eat. See the pattern developing here? Here is our schedule so far....

    11/28 (Sun) Arrive at AKV mid-afternoon. ADR at Jiko-9:00.
    11/29 (Mon) Resort hop during the day. ADR at Victoria & Alberts-8:30.
    11/30 (Tue) AK early and then MK after lunch. ADR at Crystal Palace-6:20. Fireworks and then MVMCP.
    12/01 (Wed) Move to BWV. EP for the day. ADR at Tutto Italia-5:20. Candlelight Processional at 8:15.
    12/02 (Thu) Backstage Magic Tour from 9-4ish. ADR at Flying Fish-8:35. Jelly Rolls after dinner.
    12/03 (Fri) No plans for day. ADR at Bistro de Paris-8:30.
    12/04 (Sat) Head back to Mississippi.

    Did I mention we were going to take it easy this trip? :rolleyes1

    Those are the plans as of now....always subject to change. I plan on taking tons of pictures and video. We hope to make it to the Osborne Family Light Show as well. I hope to post some while we are at WDW but no promises. I do promise a full TR when we return. No DDP this time either. We will use our TIW card. I'll let you know how that works out too. Ask any questions - before, during or after the trip. I have enjoyed other DISboard member trip reports and learned about a lot of things I never knew existed. I hope in some small way I can give it back with this TR.
     
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  3. Teri1

    Teri1 DIS Veteran

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    Love the SM picture! Sounds like you have a great trip planned. DH and I are empty nesters too, with no grandkids in the near future, so we are enjoying our trips alone for now. We tried to get DD2 to go with us after graduating from college, but she was lucky enough to get a job right away so she had to cancel on us. DH says we'll have to wait for grandkids and share our love for WDW with them.:thumbsup2

    Looking forward to hearing about the Backstage Magic Tour.
     
  4. saintstickets

    saintstickets DIS Veteran

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    Thx Teri. We are not allowed to take any pictures during the tour but I plan on keeping notes about what we experience. I am really looking forward to it.
     
  5. saintstickets

    saintstickets DIS Veteran

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    12/01 (Wed) Move to BWV. EP for the day. ADR at Tutto Italia-5:20. Candlelight Processional at 8:15.
    12/02 (Thu) Backstage Magic Tour from 9-4ish. ADR at Flying Fish-8:35. Jelly Rolls after dinner.

    Great...Weather Channel forecast is 50-60% chance of rain on Wed (12/01) and Thurs (12/02). Do they cancel the Candlelight Processional due to rain? Do they continue the Backstage Magic Tour in inclimate weather? Stay tuned and we shall see. We leave in 5 days!! :cool1:
     
  6. saintstickets

    saintstickets DIS Veteran

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    Back from the trip. WHEW!! For a trip that was supposed to be relaxing and easy going, DW and I sure were spent! Speaking of spent, spent too much on food! We both gained at least 5 lbs apiece! :rotfl2: As usual though, it was a great experience. A few trials and tribulations here and there but what vacation doesn't have them? Now for the TR...
     
  7. saintstickets

    saintstickets DIS Veteran

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    It's Sunday, 11/28/10 and we head out just before 7:00 for our 9.5-10 hour drive to WDW. Since it was just the two of us this trip, we debated whether or not to fly. I have been checking flights and fares for several weeks hoping for a last minute deal but none emerged. Besides, with all the horror stories in the news regarding airports, pat downs and scans, it's fine that we are driving. DW has had back surgery 3 times and has a rod in her back. I can only imagine what TSA would do to her when a scan would show something that looks like a gun barrel along her torso!! :eek: It would take only one inappropriate "pat down" and I'd be in jail and we'd never make it to WDW!

    The drive is uneventful until we get about 15 miles from the I-10 & I-75 intersection just outside of Lake City, FL. It's between 2 & 3 in the afternoon and should take at most 2.5 hours from this point. Traffic starts to get heavy and by the time we get to I-75, it is bumper to bumper! I didn't know this many people from south FL went north for the Thanksgiving holidays!! What should have taken us 2.5 hours to get to AKV, takes us 4.5 hours!! :sad2: Before we make the turn onto FL's turnpike, we come to a complete stop at least 2 dozen times on the Interstate. There weren't any accidents; it was just VERY heavy traffic.

    We finally arrive at AKV about 7:00. We have done the online check-in thing so we weren't worried about our ressie but DW called anyhow just to let them know we would be later than we estimated on our arrival time. I don't know about you but it is difficult to get directions to the WDW resorts from MapQuest or through a GPS device (we have a Garmin Nuvi). If you try to put the AKV address in MapQuest (3701 Osceola Pkwy), it will not recognize that address. The same thing goes for a GPS. We were told by a CM that the address is on private property and not documented like public roads. Therefore, we looked at the coordinates when we stopped at the security check-in post so others can use this instead. The coordinates for AKV are N 28 21.108; W 81 35.985. Just put those in your GPS and it should get you close enough to follow the signs anyway.
     
  8. saintstickets

    saintstickets DIS Veteran

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    We had requested an upper floor room close to the lobby and were not disappointed. We were in room
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    As you can see by this map of Kidani Village, we were near the lobby.
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    Room 7809 is on the 4th floor...go figure. It has a parking lot view which was fine for us. We did not plan on spending much time in the room so a Savanna view was not that important. Parking is underneath the resort which is nice.
     
  9. saintstickets

    saintstickets DIS Veteran

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    We had a studio room. Here are some of the accommodations....
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  10. saintstickets

    saintstickets DIS Veteran

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    Did you notice this on the bed?
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    How about this in the bathroom on the shelf?
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    You've gotta love those little Disney touches.
     
  11. saintstickets

    saintstickets DIS Veteran

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    The tile in the shower keeps with the AKV theme....
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  12. saintstickets

    saintstickets DIS Veteran

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    We had originally planned on arriving about 5:00 and make our way to HS to see the Osborne light show before returning to our dinner reservations at Jiko's at 9:00. The heavy traffic took care of those plans. No problems. One of the things we wanted to do this trip is see the Christmas decorations at various resorts so we walked around AKV. Here is the lobby tree at Kidani Village....
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  13. saintstickets

    saintstickets DIS Veteran

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    We made our way over to Jambo House. Here is their tree in the lobby....
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  14. saintstickets

    saintstickets DIS Veteran

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    The lobby at Jambo House is huge.
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  15. saintstickets

    saintstickets DIS Veteran

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    We walked around a little more and then made our way to Jiko's for dinner. This was our first time to Jiko's or to AKV for that matter. We weren't sure what to expect but due to the many raves from fellow DISboard members, we had to try it. Besides, DW and I are pretty adventurous when it comes to food and like to try new dishes. We were seated and our CM was Ron from Pakistan. Here is the menu from Jiko's....
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  16. saintstickets

    saintstickets DIS Veteran

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    Being from south Mississippi, we do not have much exposure to this kind of epicurean fare. Now if you want to talk about fried catfish, collard greens, crawfish or venison stew, we can dance! But when country comes to town, we have found that asking the waiter for their recommendation works well, especially at WDW. The CM's are very knowledgeable of their menu and Ron did not disappoint. For appetizers, DW had the Roasted Butternut Squash Soup and I had the Barbecue Chicken Flatbread. Hey, I'm from the South, don't give me a choice of BBQ and expect me to pick something else!! :lmao:

    The flatbread was excellent. The apple-jicama slaw with the cheeses were a great compliment to the tangy african bbq sauce. The butternut squash soup was very thick like a bisque or chowder and the toasted almonds with coconut blended exquisitely with the mild butternut squash. We could have made a meal of this alone!

    For our entrees, DW had the Grilled Marinated Lamb Loin and I had the Braised Beef Short Ribs. (Ribs? C'mon...I had enough adventure earlier today on the Interstate!) DW's lamb was probably the best lamb she/we have ever had. We don't have it often but this was fantastic. The meat was cooked to perfection and the spiced swiss chard/apple cider reduction gave it a flavor that melted in your mouth. My ribs were so tender and lean that a knife was not necessary. It came with a Truffled Potato Puree. That's a fancy way of saying mashed potatoes blended with mushrooms! :rotfl2: It doesn't matter what you call it, it was great! The cabernet-tamarind sauce on the ribs with the potatoes, pearl onions and soft baby carrots matched up very well. OMG we were stuffed! WDW restaurants never scrimp on portions so we could have left sated at this point but why not go all the way with dessert? It is a vacation after all.
     
  17. saintstickets

    saintstickets DIS Veteran

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    The dessert menu....
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  18. saintstickets

    saintstickets DIS Veteran

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    We were so full from the dinner so far and starting to fade fast after being on the go now for over 15 hours so we decided to split a dessert. DW loves creme brulee so we went with the Amarula Creme Brulee. I was leery about the cranberry but it was all soooooo good. The top "crust" was very thin but melted in your mouth like cotton candy. The white chocolate, cranberry and pistachio biscotti made for a very, very good accent to the custard. It was delicious!!!

    They had a good choice of after dinner drinks but we passed this time. It was late and we were tired so we paid the bill, thanked Ron and walked back to Kidani Village. It is a short walk and we needed the exercise!!
     
  19. saintstickets

    saintstickets DIS Veteran

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    It's Monday, 11/29/2010 and time to get up and get going. We take the bus to EPCOT and immediately get fast passes at Soarin'. We head to the International Gateway to take a boat to BWV, YC and BCV to look at their decorations. The crowds are almost non-existant...

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  20. saintstickets

    saintstickets DIS Veteran

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    The boat ride to the Boardwalk is nice and has a great view...

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  21. saintstickets

    saintstickets DIS Veteran

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    We decided to get a bite for breakfast. We walk in the Boardwalk Bakery and the aroma was fantastic! DW and I got a ham, egg & cheese croissant each and we should have shared one - these things are huge. Somehow I managed to eat it all which ends up being a recurring theme this entire week! :lmao: There was a gingerbread house for sale at the bakery that DW wanted. We'll have to remember to pick one up before we leave at the end of the week. Next we walk around the boardwalk...

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