The Darling Family June 2011: A Last Minute Budget Vacation

Discussion in 'Completed Trip Reports' started by dismagiclover, Aug 20, 2011.

  1. dismagiclover

    dismagiclover Mrs. Darling: Mom to Wendy, John & Michael

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    We headed back to our room and found Wendy and DH waiting for us. How was Wendy? She was feeling much better! :dance3: So what should we do? Go swimming of course! We spent a lovely afternoon in the pool.

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    We rented tubes and I spent most of my time floating around the well named lazy river. One funny incident. At one point I was on the side and was attempting to hop into my tube. I plopped my bottom down and then proceeded to flip over backwards tube and all.:lmao: I’m sure it was quite the sight. In fact it still makes Wendy laugh whenever I mention it. (She was lucky enough to see it.) Another amusing tidbit: The kids decided to play tag in the lazy river. They kept tagging me. Which was fine by me because I wasn’t playing tag. So they would get bored of me being It (because really how fun can tag be if no one is chasing you:laughing:) and would approach me begging me to tag them. It amazed me how many times they continued to tag me. I always thought my kids were pretty bright, but I was wondering about that this afternoon.:rolleyes1 Anyway we had a great afternoon at a fabulous pool. If my kids were still really little or not good swimmers this pool might have been stressful because it is a big pool and there were no lifeguards. For us, however, it was great.:thumbsup2

    After our fun afternoon we had to determine where to head for dinner. Because we had the luxury of the car we decided to venture off property to save a little money. (Always thinking about that budget.;)) So we decided to go with Sweet Tomato which is one of those soup/salad/pasta bar places. It is in Crossroads Plaza which is right by Downtown Disney. Very yummy place and much more economical than anything on Disney property (or at our hotel.) The kids loved it so much they want to go back every time we are in Disney. (They just liked the self serve soft ice cream.) After our yummy meal we headed back to Epcot. DH and Wendy were really hoping to use some of our fast passes from earlier in the day since they had missed most of Epcot. My boys had one thing on their mind. What was it? Duffy.:rolleyes: They wanted to visit every Duffy coloring spot. They even named their mission. Duffy Quest. I had a different mission. I wanted a family Photopass shot. So that was the first thing we did first.

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    Then we sent Wendy and DH off to Soarin while the boys and I continued our Duffy Quest. Since we’d gotten Mexico earlier in the day we decided to start in Canada. There are such lovely gardens here.

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    Here is some Canadian Duffy Questing

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    Here are some kilt wearing Canadians.

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    Duffy Quest continued as we headed towards the UK.

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    We were distracted for a bit by some Mickey Style Hopscotching.

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    I have no pictures of Duffy Questing in England, but after the boys were finished they said hello to some old English friends.

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    After this I’m pretty sure we colored Duffy in France and Morocco, but I have no pictures. I then told the boys our quest would have to take a break because I had another mission. The Sounds of Summer concert series was going on and it was Eagles night. So we found a seat in the auditorium and got our groove on.:cool1:

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    Well I got my groove on. The boys were bored to death. So I took them over to Duffy Quest in America and listened to the music from there. At the very end of the set Wendy and DH showed up. By this point Illuminations time was approaching. We staked out a pretty good spot by the railing to the side of the auditorium. We had a great view of the globe. This picture isn't from this night, but you get the idea.

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    After the show we followed the masses out the Epcot main entrance. At this moment we were of course missing our Boardwalk home, but Bonnet Creek was right around the corner too. (We just had to drive there instead of walk.) We snuggled into our comfy bed, but I was already anticipating tomorrow because we were checking into Old Key West!
     
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  3. schmass

    schmass DIS Veteran

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    Wow, Duffy Quest brings the Duffy obsession to a whole new level! I think it's so cute.

    That pool looks seriously amazing!
     
  4. dismagiclover

    dismagiclover Mrs. Darling: Mom to Wendy, John & Michael

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    Believe it or not the Duffy Quest thing gets worse! Wait until Day 7popcorn::
     
  5. Queenofallthings

    Queenofallthings DIS Veteran

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    Great update my friend! Ok...that pool looks spectacular! We found Duffy pretty awesome! It was our first time seeing him too and I thought he was so adorable!
     
  6. MEK

    MEK DIS Veteran

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    Fun update! I will have a car in December and will be staying at OKW so maybe that Sweet Tomato will be a good choice. I think it is good to have a couple off-Disney meals. That's for the tip!

    I am still amazed at how cool that pool is. So glad Wendy was feeling better!

    Looks like a lovely evening at Epcot. Looking forward to your OKW check in!
     
  7. dismagiclover

    dismagiclover Mrs. Darling: Mom to Wendy, John & Michael

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    That pool was pretty awesome! I'm glad to hear someone else can at least kind of understand my boys' Duffy obsession. I see you've started your trip report. I need to get over there.

    There are tons of restaraunts at the Crossroads Shopping Center right across from Downtown Disney. They really are more reasonably priced. I'm jealous that you will be at OKW in a few months. I love that place!
     
  8. dismagiclover

    dismagiclover Mrs. Darling: Mom to Wendy, John & Michael

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    We were up bright and early once again for another Disney day. We learned our lesson the day before about scrimping on breakfast so this morning we headed to the hotel breakfast buffet.

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    We like kids eat free. It was your basic breakfast buffet. I like breakfast food so I found it quite yummy. I made sure all the kids ate and drank plenty. I wanted no dehydration issues.:rolleyes1 So after a yummy breakfast we piled all the stuff into the car and said goodbye to Hilton Bonnet Creek. I would definitely stay here again, especially for such a great price. Yes, it isn’t a Disney hotel, but location wise it as good as a Disney hotel. The other non Disney place we sometimes stay is Shades of Green. I would rank Hilton Bonnet Creek higher and the rate we got was cheaper than Shades of Green. So perhaps we will be back. Anyway today was our Hollywood Studios day. Believe it or not we still made rope drop. We were, however, at the end of the street instead of up by the hat. We joined in the Toy Story dash. We’ve learned from past trips that the best strategy is to go through the standby line first and then pick up fast passes if we want them. The line was wrapping around outside by the time we reached it. We walked in the building at 9:17 and saw this.

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    The boys are waiting patiently.

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    Mr. Potato Head greeted us.

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    The ride was fun as always, but if the kids weren’t with us I’m sure we’d skip it. Just too much time and effort is required to get on it. We made it out around 9:45 and DH was dying to get his fast pass on. (Just a refresher for those that may have forgotten or may not have read my past reports. DH has a bit of a fast pass addiction. He just loves to collect them. Sometimes he uses them; sometimes he gives them away, but he is always looking for ways to obtain them. In fact he can't quite kick the addiction even when he is not at Disney World. He keeps a Soarin Fastpass in his wallet.:laughing:) So this morning he was itching to get some Star Tours fast passes because it had recently reopened. So we sent him over to pick those up while the rest of us mozied over to the Animation studio. Wendy’s top choice at this park was the drawing class so we were hoping to hit an early one. DH made it back pretty quickly with 5 passes in hand and we were all escorted into the drawing class. I really like this. I’m not much of an artist. (I am an art historian. I can tell you all about old art, but I can’t create it.) So whenever we do this I’m always proud of myself when I see the results. So here is my proud creation.

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    DH did well as usual.

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    Wendy held her own.

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    John didn’t do too shabby.

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    Michael hates the drawing class. He is too much of a perfectionist and it frustrates him. Here is his result. I try to tell him it’s pretty good for a 6 year old, but he doesn’t go for that.

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    Notice my boys just drew Mickey. Not only will they not visit with the girl ones, they won’t draw them either.:rolleyes:

    Speaking of girl stuff that is what was next on the agenda. We hadn’t seen the Beauty and the Beast show since our first trip in 2006. I wanted to see it again, and I knew Wendy would really like it. My boys. Well you probably saw this one coming. Not so much.:confused3 They do not meet the girl ones, draw the girl ones, nor do they watch the girl ones in shows. So Wendy and I were on our own. Conveniently there was a boy show taking place at the same time. So while Wendy and I headed to Beauty and the Beast, DH took the boys to Indiana Jones. Beauty and the Beast was as good as we remembered. Here are a few pictures to jog your memories.

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    It was already 12:00 by the time the show was over. This day was flying by. Where did we head next?
     
  9. okw19

    okw19 DIS Veteran

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    I'm all caught up and joining in! I was so relieved that Wendy felt better after some rest. It's too funny that the boys love Duffy so much! :rotfl:
    The resort pictures are great, I was curious as to what it looked like. Can't wait for you to get to OKW, it's my favorite. :goodvibes I'm glad you like the peacefulness so much that you brought DH to enjoy it. Some people just need to give OKW a chance and then they'd get it. :)
     
  10. wdwgirl03

    wdwgirl03 <font color=red>I'm just a big Disney Freak! :-)<b

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    How fun you got to squeeze in one last trip with your APs! I'm a little late but I'm here to catch up. :)
     
  11. DrMomof3

    DrMomof3 DIS Veteran

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    I'm getting caught up!
    Poor Wendy! I'm glad she perked up with some rest and water. Bonnet Creek looks lovely! Definitely something to consider in the future...

    Amanda
     
  12. dismagiclover

    dismagiclover Mrs. Darling: Mom to Wendy, John & Michael

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    :welcome: We were happy Wendy wasn't really sick too. That would have been a bummer. I hear you about Old Key West! I love it too. BWV is our home resort my DH just loves the location (I like it too.) Secretly though I may like OKW better. I just love the vibe there and the CMs at the pool and community center are laidback and fun. I love the lush landscape and the ability to stroll around. I could go on and on.

    Hello old friend! I'm glad you're here:hug:

    Bonnet Creek worked great for us. The only downside is technically it only sleeps 4. My boys love sleeping on the floor so they didn't mind, but they could be a problem as they get older.
     
  13. Missyrose

    Missyrose DIS Veteran

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    I'm in the same camp with you about Toy Story, it's a fun ride but the effort it takes to get on it is RIDICULOUS!

    Funny story, on our last Disney trip we didn't have a RD planned at DHS, just heading to the park on arrival day (we got off the plan just after 9 a.m.). Our plan was grab the rental car and head to DHS to attempt to grab one of the last FP's for TSM. We parked the car at 10:19 and was in the park before 10:30, but just as we got to Pixar Place, the CMs were announcing that the last FP's had been given out for the day. Boo. :sad2: As luck would have it, NASA kept pushing back the space shuttle launch we were in Florida for, so we did end up with a RD morning at DHS and did the TSM dash with everyone else!

    How funny that your boys drew Mickey instead of Minnie! Boys will be boys, I guess. :laughing:

    I hadn't seen Beauty and the Beast for years before our last trip and I forgot what a wonderful show it is! Even DBF liked it.

    Your description of Bonnet Creek has made me want to look into it. We've already got hotels/townhouse for our October '11 and March '12 trips, but I'm hoping to get one more trip out of our AP's early next October. I'm putting Bonnet Creek at the top of my list for places we should look into if we want to use cheaper lodging than Disney's hotels.
     
  14. Angies1274

    Angies1274 DIS Veteran

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    Aww..I'm so glad that Wendy was feeling better and could go back to enjoy Epcot! So cute about the Duffy Quest!:thumbsup2 Love the Mickey style hopscotching!! We'll have to try that here!:laughing:

    The Minnie (and Mickey) drawings turned out great!!:thumbsup2 Glad you were able to see Beauty and the Beast! I love that show!:lovestruc
     
  15. dismagiclover

    dismagiclover Mrs. Darling: Mom to Wendy, John & Michael

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    Great minds think alike about TSM! If you do decide to look into Hilton Bonnet Creek make sure to check out lastminutetravel.com. That is where we got the great deal. If you go directly to Hilton's website it is quite a bit more.

    We should try the Mickey style hopscotching at home too. Then it can feel a tiny bit like Disney World!
     
  16. dismagiclover

    dismagiclover Mrs. Darling: Mom to Wendy, John & Michael

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    After leaving the Beauty and the Beast show, Wendy and I met up with the boys. They had enjoyed their Indiana Jones “boy” show. Now, however, they were all chomping at the bit to get on Star Tours. This was the first time for the refurbished ride. My stomach doesn’t get along well with Star Tours so I happily sent my family on their way. What did I get to do? Anything I wanted!!! I love when my family goes on Star Tours because it gives me the time to do what I love best about Disney. Just enjoy being there without worrying about where to go next. Now I have a secret place I like to hang out while the rest of the family is on Star Tours. I reveal this only to my closest DIS friends because I don’t really want the secret out. There is a hidden gem away from the hustle and bustle of the park. Believe it or not it is quiet; it has Disney reading material; and best of all a delightful selection of delicious baked goods. What is this mythical place?

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    The Writer’s Stop. (Most of these photos aren’t my own. I borrowed them from another thread.) It honestly seems like my own secret corner of Hollywood Studios. It is right next to the Sci Fi café. Here are a few shots of the inside.

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    I plopped myself down in a reading chair and spent my time browsing a book about Disney Illustration. I loved it! It wasn’t too long before the clan finished up Star Tours. They found me in my spot (and did a bit to spoil the quiet of the store.) They had a great report. Normally my boys don’t like 3-D, but this was an exception. (Though Michael didn’t wear his glasses.) We had an early dinner scheduled so I suggested we raid the baked goods counter for a light lunch to tide us over. No one complained about that. Here is a shot of the display. It doesn’t do it justice though. It doesn’t show the yummy cupcakes available.

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    Being this was over 2 months ago and I didn’t take pictures I have no idea what we got. I do know we liked it though. We sat in the little seating area and enjoyed. Here is a shot of the seating area:

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    After our relaxing interlude we headed back out into the park. Wendy and I headed off to the American Idol show.

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    I like this show. You never quite know what you are going to get. Here are our 3 performers.

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    I don’t really remember any of them, but I liked the show. While Wendy and I were cheering on the Idolettes, the boys headed over to meet a couple of their favorite stars.

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    Phineus and Ferb! Here is their report. “It was a blast. They ran out with air guitars and the guys said they were making a movie.” Whatever happened I think they liked it. Here are a few more shots.

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    We all met up again and I had one final thing to do in Hollywood Studios. I wanted to go on the Backlot Tour. We had never been on it and I figured it was about time we did. We headed over and hopped in line. The tour was not meant to be on this day. About five minutes into our wait lightning was spotted in the area. Since this is an outdoor attraction they had to wait at least 30 minutes before resuming the ride. So we decided we’d try and hit it another day. We headed out to our car.

    Next stop: Old Key West!
     
  17. Queenofallthings

    Queenofallthings DIS Veteran

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    Jasmine, Mini Montana and I spent some time in the Writer's Shop too while the rest of the crew rode Star Tours ( I got a little:sick: on it...the joys of getting older) I love that little corner and could spend a morning checking out the books and drinking a delicious cup of coffee!!

    Phineas and Ferb (did I get those spellings right:confused3) crack me up...those purple pants:lmao:
     
  18. DrMomof3

    DrMomof3 DIS Veteran

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    I don't know the Writer's Spot but I definitely need to find it on our next trip!!! Great secret tip!
    We met Phineas and Ferb and they were awesome! It was a really fun character encounter.

    Amanda
     
  19. wdwgirl03

    wdwgirl03 <font color=red>I'm just a big Disney Freak! :-)<b

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    Ooh, I've never even been to the Writer's Spot. Glad you were able to enjoy some quiet time there.

    I also love the American Idol show. :thumbsup2

    I've never seen Phineas and Ferb but the meet and greet sounds fun.

    Bummer you weren't able to do the Backlot Tour. Guess that's more reason to plan another trip!
     
  20. Shannon84

    Shannon84 DIS Veteran

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    :goodvibes I have stumbled across that store before and it is always so nice and quiet!! I think I may need to make a stop there this time around as well, DBF will really enjoy it
     
  21. lbuzz52

    lbuzz52 DIS Veteran

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    i thought Writer's stop was just a little pastry/ coffee type shop. i had no idea that you could find a nook and read!
    and i also keep a fastpass in my wallet:thumbsup2
     

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