Discussion in 'Completed Trip Reports' started by bumbershoot, Dec 21, 2010.
Okay, them I am not alone.
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Oh goodness. I think I would be terrified out of my mind waking up to a giant skull and crossbones in the morning!
Love the pics and report so far!
I am also in. Have not been on the boards much but have been real curious as to how your experience went.
Woo, the pressure's on!
Right now I'm working on the banking stuff, trying to figure out how well we worked within our budget, and how well the budget worked (note: more money for souvenir budget!). My eyes are crossing!
I'm sending you happy thoughts!
Oh it's all good, no worries. The only worry on our trip was when Royal Pacific had a hold AND was charging us, and at the same time OKW was doing the room charge...that was obnoxious! Just yesterday got a letter dated the 19th, which was AFTER the hold had come off and after I'd paid the whole thing in full, from the CC company saying "you've gone over, you naughty child, you'd better pay!" Dude, the 19th is long gone....and the "overage" was only in your minds b/c of the stupid hold....
And why does our credit union take the money from checking *instantly*, but wait two full business days to put it onto the CC? Hmm?
Anyway, the budget stuff is just like with DLR...gotta learn the lessons; where does the money REALLY get spent? Can I trust my husband when he says "all I want is this ONE thing"? (answer? NO NO NO) Can I trust my own self to not want to run through the keychain departments, dropping twenties along the way? (answer: I can't trust myself to not WANT to, but since I didn't do it, I can trust myself to be virtuous...though since I know I can get the time-turner keychain, the department of magical mysteries keychain, etc etc, ONLINE...am I REALLY that virtuous????)
I found a new addiction when I was at DLR. Normally I am happy with a key chain, and an antennae ball of some sort. But, this trip I found reusable grocery bags!! So I came home with 4. I also found that they sell them at the Disney Store. I love reusable grocery bags.
Ugh. Don't even get me started on "holds" and Disney hotels, as we all know about my mess.
Anyway, I can see that I would love the CBR. The grounds are lovely. Actually, I think I would have a real problem at WDW because I may end up wanting to spend more time wandering around the hotels than in the parks. I would need an extra, extra long trip. I can't wait to see the photos from AKL!!!
I'm so glad that Universal turned out to be great too (even though I know we haven't heard the details of that part of the trip yet). So far it's sounding like the entire trip was a huge success and that everyone had a great time.
So does this mean that the Great Disney Snowball will be rolling more towards Orlando on your next Disney-related trip, or will it be rolling back to Anaheim?
Sherry, I've been trying to work out a DSE that involves the Premiere AP, but the math is problematic. Especially b/c we got the WDW APs at the DVC cost (which is $100 less than normal cost for the normal WDW AP), and a 7 day ticket to DLR is less than upgrading to the premiere. Help me make the math work with possible DLR trips this year, along with a "well we got the APs so we gotta do it" WDW trip so I can upgrade!
Michele, I like the reusable shopping bags too, but I put a hole through mine. So now I like them less.
You know those thin backpacks that can be folded up and put away. I have seen them called gym backpacks, why I am not sure. I love them, I use them to carry my crocheting and other stuff to Scotty's bicycle races. Unfortunately I am always wearing them out.
December 2, Day 3
Sidenote from my brain...when choosing a vacation start date in the future, it will not be the last day of the month. Because this whole "day one dec two" is getting on my nerves. "day one, dec one" would have been much better.
Okay, so anyway! This was the day that most of the family arrived. We were so excited and nervous! We didn't know when they would get in, though we knew that Sh was anxious to get going. It takes about 1.5 hours to drive from their town, so we just figured we'd do what we needed to do until they got there.
We had everything packed, and opted to leave things in our CBR room with the privacy thing on the door so that we could just move from there to OKW without involving Bell Services. This worked out well. For breakfast, we decided that we wanted to try Sassagoula!
Sassagoula is the counter service place at Port Orleans French Quarter. They have beignets. mmmmmm. Now the full name is Sassagoula Floatworks (Float Works?). I figured that the name meant they had rootbeer floats.
I was wrong!
Turns out that the room is designed to look like a big warehouse where they keep parts of the Mardi Gras floats. So there are gigantic bits and pieces of what you might see on a parade float. That would be fine if it weren't for Mardi Gras...as it was, there were huge faces all over the place. DS...not a fan. And I understood; some of the faces were rather creepy.
Not this one, though. We liked Mr Sun.
Reminded us of Paradise Pier Hotel's sun theme. Plus, he's so benevolent, looking over the food court.
Again, typical egg/biscuit/etc platters. This is where Robert bought his mug. Which...isn't really in line with the rules. Let's just gloss over that from now on, shall we? Especially since I brought my own teabag, snagged a cup, used their water, their cream, and their sugar.
But we did get a platter with eggs and whatnot, and a french toast order, and, it appears from the receipt, a banana.
Sidenote: I didn't see a SINGLE Florida orange while in Florida. (obviously we didn't make it to Orangeworld) What's up with the CA oranges???
OK so along with those things, we got an order of 6 beignets.
The way they do the beignet orders is weird. Or it was weird on that day. Inside the food court, before you get to the registers, there was a place to walk up and order the beignets (also muffins, cupcakes, cookies, etc). For beignets, they gave me a slip of paper (if I'm remembering correctly) and told me to wait on the *other* side of the registers. Without paying. Well, R and E were getting food (and getting snippy b/c it had been quite awhile since dinner), I ran away, er, went over, to get the beignets taken care of. When I saw the weird payment thing, I called Robert over to grab the slip. He did, he paid, and handed me back the slip.
They were *supposed to* go over and start eating. It only makes sense, since they are the ones who have a hard time controlling their attitudes when hungry...right? Harumph.
I waited for quite awhile, but at last was rewarded with an order of NINE beignets. Wowie!
So Robert and I shared the platter while E got his own food, and we all shared the beignets... It was too bad that they hadn't started eating yet because we still had to get coffee and tea and whatnot, but it all worked out in the end.
It's loud in there, and the ginormous faces are overwhelming. But the food was pretty good. And I love beignets. And these were better than what they serve at Disneyland, absolutely. (though I do like the "fritters" at Royal Street Veranda at DL)
While eating, I was getting texts and calls from my cousin! They were getting close, they were there, they had to stop at Hollywood Studios to get new season passes (theirs had gone through the wash) and to get my aunt her ticket as well.
We finished up, enjoyed the happy chaos of checkout/checkin (it was around 10ish by then), and went back over to CBR. Poor Robert, his leg hurt so bad, so he was forced to man the vehicle while I got all the bags. He hates that, but one of the reasons he liked me when we met was because I am a basically capable, strong woman who can manhandle luggage on her own! I enjoy it, actually.
Then we got the text that they were at OKW waiting! Woo! We went over there as fast as possible, loving turning into the area with the big OKW sign on a pretend water tower... Such lush grounds! When you turn in, and as you drive around, you see golf course throughout the resort. I don't play golf, and I tend to be drastically allergic to groomed grass like that, but my eyes can't deny that a golf course is pretty in its own way.
We parked the Nitro (myyy preciousssssss, loved that thing) and chose to live dangerously by leaving stuff in the car. My cousins were right there in the sort of breezeway between the lobby and the store (Conch Flats)! Oh, happy hugs, joyful tears....
I promise we'll hit a park soon. For now I want to post this and take a little break.
Nine beignets? It's a good thing you liked them since you received 9 of them!
I think the theme of Sassagoula is an interesting one. I wonder how it would go over in our NOS out here. But I think the idea of the giant faces only works for those who appreciate giant faces!! I might have been a little creeped out by that too. See, we don't really have any enormous faces staring at us in NOS. It's more beads and elegance and that whole 'back alley' vibe, as you know.
You're right - Mr. Sun is very PPH-esque. At least we know Mr. Sun has a home in Anaheim if he ever gets booted out of Sassagoula!
I will say that the beignets are smaller than the ones at Cafe Orleans. And not Mickey shaped. So 9 wasn't as overwhelming as it could have been.
But we still had to throw one or two away. Had to happen!
December 2, Day 3, continued
I had to confer with Robert, b/c it's now been a bit too long and I can't totally remember exactly what happened! After talking with him, I'm a bit surprised, but here we go.
The cousins were there, the cousins were there! I can only hope that they were thinking the same thing.
We decided to run in and see about our room. It was early, so we did not have high hopes. With DVC, your room is available *after* 4. But why not try, right?
We had done online checkin and requested a ground floor room, for the sake of my aunt's knees. Well, our room was not available, but they were able to figure out what building we would be in.
While our Cast Member was struggling with the new system (called Lilo), my cousin procured balloon swords for the kids. Oh, wait, no, the little girl cousin (Lady) got a balloon flower. There was much merriment out in the breezeway, and then...E fell down hard. Aw dang. I should have mentioned that he'd already scraped his chin on something, then he had banged his head at Olive Garden, and now this! Scraped up his arm and his leg. Poor dude. I got him cleaned up (while A got him a new balloon sword, his sword having popped when he fell on it) and then we reconvened.
We decided to go to a park, since we didn't have a room to hang out in. Which park? Well, this is where the conversation that A and I had had before came in handy. We had sworn to be honest and open and to state our wants and needs and not be passive aggressive or martyrs or anything. So when the question came up of what park to go to, my answer was "Eamon really wants the FIRST thing he does at WDW to be the Indiana Jones Stunt Show, so let's go to Hollywood Studios!"
It sounded like a good plan to the others, so we got ready.
We stashed our bages with Bell Services, while the cousins lived dangerously, LOL, and just kept their bags in their car...we caravaned over to the building that our room would be in, got various jackets and supplies and whatnot.
We were in the South Point Road section of OKW (here's the map), just across the street from a bus stop. During our long stay, we sometimes drove, sometimes took their transportation. Sometimes we had good luck with buses, sometimes we didn't. I don't recall anything spectacular on this day, so I assume nothing amazing or bad happened with the bus. We waited, it showed up, we boarded. Woo!
What's weird here is that I don't remember arriving at DHS on the bus. How sad is that?
[you know what else is sad? this computer!!! how does Robert manage on it?]
But that's OK, because I snapped a pic of my little dude putting his own ticket into the turnstile slot at 11:03am on December 2.
DHS is....weird. It's parts of DCA, but different. It's open, but small. Fake looking but kinda real. I do NOT have a handle on it yet. This is not the biggest surprise to those who know me, because I still don't know where the entrance to the "other" side of Matterhorn is, and how many times have I been to Disneyland??? I'm the navigator when we're driving, but toss me into a Disney park and I get very turned around, and don't really seem to care all that much.
Well of course we turned in and found the schedule for Indy. It wasn't for almost 45 minutes. OK, what to do? Well, there was this well with a rope and a sign saying to not, er, well, "not" was crossed out, pull the rope.
Well, Lady fell asleep, and my aunt decided to stay out with her. We went towards the show, but found out we couldn't enter yet, so I believe there was a bathroom break, some wandering over towards the Jedi area, and just milling about. Then it was time to go back, and somehow we were seated in the FRONT row!
The part before the above picture, when the things came out of the ground, scared Eamon SO badly! Remember, he hasn't seen the movies, and has only played with Indy Legos and the Indy Lego videogame, so he just wasn't prepared for the intensity.
Not a good idea, Indy....
Psst, look behind you...
The rest of it, and the very beginning before the show part of the show starts, is all about how they make these exciting scenes. At the beginning, they choose some volunteers that show up again later. There is a little game they play that you find out much later; I won't give it up here, though. (Though if you've seen the dolphin show at San Diego Seaworld and remembered the little game/trick in that...it's similar.)
The acrobatics shown above reminded me that there was a death of a stuntman last year, while rehearsing for the Indy stunt show.
While we were at the show, Robert got the text from OKW saying our room was ready. Yay!
Of course we watched the rest of the show.
After the show, this is where we made the decisions that sort of changed the tone of everything. Usually when I'm at DLR, I go go go, right? Stay in the parks at all costs. Right? (for those who aren't used to my reports, the answer is "right")
But after the show, we were all sooooo excited that we left! Just took off. Got on the bus, went back to OKW. Now we must have been given our keycards already, and we had the text with the room number, so in we went!
This would be a GREAT point to put pictures of the room. If only I'd taken some that day. But I was just so excited to be there, and we were all so thrilled with the room, and with 3 kids running around...there just wasn't a moment to do it, or rather a moment to think to do it.
But I did take some later, and here they are.
The master bedroom in unit.
Master bathroom with the big ol' jacuzzi-jet tub.
There's no door between that room and the master bedroom, but then there is a door leading to the toilet/shower/more sinks room. And then there's a door from that room to the laundry room. And a door from the laundry room to the hallway that can lead to the master bedroom or the living room and beyond.
By the way, I absolutely adored the functionality of that corner shelf unit.
It allowed me to unpack the toiletries, but also have things look much neater than when they are strewn all over the vanity. Unpacking was a BIG DEAL for me this trip. I didn't do it until our second day at OKW, but once I did I felt so much better. Even though I knew I'd just be packing again, it made the days feel somehow that much longer, because I wasn't living out of a suitcase.
We were in a dedicated 2 bedroom, which means that it can't be split up into a 1 bedroom (which has the full living room and kitchen and laundry room) and a studio (which would otherwise have a mini-kitchen, but the dedicated one doesn't have that mini-kitchen). With a regular 2 bedroom, we would have had two porches (or balconies if we were not on the ground floor), but we just had the one.
Because of the temperatures, we did NOT get to enjoy the balcony much at all.
A view of the living room.
Both the couch and that chair that you see can be folded out to a bed. My aunt LOVES sleeping on pull-outs, for some unknown reason, and really enjoyed the pull-out chair. The first night, we unfolded the couch as well, just in case the snoring person drove the not-as-loud-snoring person from their room...but BreatheRight strips and earplugs were just perfect.
We needed to unload the cars. For whatever reason, this ended up falling to the women. Countless trips, back and forth. Even though we had our main bags with Bell Services (we called and had them bring our stuff) we still had stuff in the Nitro (my precious.....). So A and Syl are hauling items from Syl's minivan, and I'm hauling flats of waters, etc etc... A and I started joking about it. Neither of us *minds* the physical work of it, we're more than capable. But we still thought it was funny that our tall and strong husbands (though Robert did have the leg strain excuse) were sitting inside caring for the kids and gossiping while we were hauling the provisions.
When we went back inside, the guys must have realized what was going on, and they both thanked us profusely. So that was nice.
Ooooh! I love OKW so far! I love the bathroom. Love the hardwood floor. I love the balcony (with the not-so-hidden Mickeys in the railing). I'm so used to just a hotel room when staying onsite at DLR. It's been so long since I've been on a trip where I stayed in a place that was actually somewhere people could live! But when I have stayed in cottages or apartments or places that were more like that on trips, I felt much more comfortable overall!
It really was cool to have this "house" to come back to. But if we hadn't bought DVC, I'm quite sure we would have had this trip take place at least partially at one of the rental house places in the WDW area, like Windsor Hills.
And BING, lightbulb moment...I gotta look into that as a way to get the family back together!!! We never did an EMH at all while together, so there's no real need to stay onsite, and we drove about half the time while together... Intriguing idea....
Geek moment for me. I would go to WDW just to see the Indy show. I love the look of anticipation on E's face while he was waiting. The room (not really a room but for lack of a better word) is great. The bathroom is wonderful.
It is a cool show. However, things don't always work. That time, everything worked. R & E saw it once or twice more during our trip, and each time less worked because of the cold weather. Props would get stuck and couldn't be moved aside, so at one point they had to drop the whole airplane scene, because they couldn't get the marketplace props out of the way.
Oh that is kind of sad. But, even Disney is a slave to the weather too.
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