TR-1st big DVC trip, AKV and BCV. The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly

Discussion in 'DVC-Mousecellaneous' started by Stinger5, Aug 22, 2011.

  1. Stinger5

    Stinger5 Mouseketeer

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    It was our first summer as DVC owners and our DIS vacation was the longest that I have ever been a part of- 12 days/11 nights of magic! Lots of planning went into this trip and here is a quick overview:

    After much debate, we decided on staying in a Studio room. DW, DD5, DD1 and I settled on a studio and save up some points for future trips when the girls are a little older. Gotta squeeze in the smaller room while the little ones are still little:grouphug:

    Where to stay- DW and I went back and forth on where to stay. Final agreement was 4 nights at AKV(we had never been there) and 7 nights at BCV(our home resort). We planned to hit up the AK park during the first part of the trip and focus on the other resorts during the last 7 nights...with many trips to the pool during both segments. Pre-trip worries- would we like AKV/Jambo house? We're city kids from outside of Boston and Animals??? What the heck-we're giving it a shot!

    Dining-decided on DDP for first 4 nights and DxDDP the last 7. We aren't big eaters but I planned plenty of dining experiences for the last week that take up a couple of meal credits. More on that laterpopcorn::

    Goals this trip- not to rush around, hit up some restaurants that we haven't tried yet, get plenty of pool time and KEEP THE KIDS HYDRATED!

    One other thing that really excites me about this trip is that a co-worker and new DVC owner is heading down for 7 of the days we'll be there and his 2 children are close to the same age as my little girls! Can't tell you how many afternoons on the job where we discussed/planned/anticipated this vacation! Vacation blastoff was Aug 9- and it seemed like it would never arrive.:rolleyes1

    More to follow...
     
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  3. Stinger5

    Stinger5 Mouseketeer

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    Our story about the long-awaited trip starts the day before! Checked-in online with Delta and discovered our family would have to pay another $100 for checking 1 bag each...and another $100 on way home:eek: can't believe i missed that before i booked the flights. We just travelled on Delta to Europe a few weeks ago and didn't have to do these fees! Not happy but too late to get really bent outta shape.

    Had an early flight out of Logan 9am so we had to get up for our shuttle at the crack of dawn. I always insist on getting to DW as early as possible on travel days to start the magic asap! Can be annoying at times but that's just me;)

    THE UGLY-
    Up at 4:30am and gather the troops and our beast of a stroller, the double jogging stroller- i'm a little under the weather, think i ate some old snacks nights before after a hockey game and there are some rumblings in the tummy:guilty:We make it to Logan, everything's going well with our transportation, fine with the little ones, fine with DW, but not the stomach...fast forward a paragraph if you are easily grossed out... At the airport, made some quick detours to the bathroom and hurled more times than i wanted to...hopefully this would be a turning point for the better. It is not the way i wanted to start our magical trip.:sad2: Got some rest on the flight and DW came to the rescue by taking care of our DD1 on the plane-she is the best:hug:

    We make our way through MCO and eventually find the ME. I'm feeling marginally better but not by much. We find the bathrooms, change DD1 and off we go. ME line is short and it starts to pour just as we are getting on the bus. Thank god they have the roof that shelters you outside the terminal and onto the buses. Unfortunatly for our driver, the roof does not cover him while he is putting all the luggage under the bus:sad2:Off we go to AKV...will we like our new home for the next 4 nights? The anticipation is building!!!

    Arrive at AKV...lobby is enormous...really cool...greeter at front door gives us the basic scoops before we get to front desk-very helpful:) Room won't be ready for a few hours:sad2: Sign up for text message and head off to Marra for lunch. Big decision for me now- to eat or not to eat...Starving but stomach is a big question mark. I go all in and eat more that i planned and...big meal did the trick! All better:wizard:We liked Marra-good counter service and nice location in relation to the Jambo pool!

    Next up-pool. We packed our suits in our carry-on. DD5 attacks the pool and quickly discovers the waterslide. One of our trip highlights! DW and I take turns walking our DD1 around scoping out the grounds. We find the Flamingo's, overlook, Boma, and Savannah viewing area by pool. We are thoroughly impressed with lodge/grounds...never got a text from desk, but we call up and VOILA-room is ready! 5521-not a bad walk and great view of the ..not the ones in the lobby, the ones in the savannah:goodvibes Only prob was that we couldn't actually see any animals at that time.


    Unpack...freshen up, and dinner at Boma. This was another worry-we are notoriously fussy eaters. Not just my girls...me too:) Wow-loved Boma. I ate plenty, loved the buffet. Waitress recommended a great fruity drink to DD5 and she loved it. Great experience, exceeded expectations...

    Need to pick up snacks/drinks for room did some research. Conclusion-go to car care center and rent a cheapo special for the day. They sent a shuttle to pick us up. Co-worker and I went half on the $40 fee and we went that evening to a nearby Supermarket. What an experience...place was called 'Supermarket'! 1/4 of shelves were empty. Met some friendly Russian girls at the registers and had a couple of laughs:lmao: Got what we needed and headed back to WD...soon found out i had a mental lapse and bought soy milk instead of 2%...i can be such a spaceshot sometimes!!!

    Day 1 in the books, kids sleeping, DW and I have a drink on the balcony to check out the animals. They were everywhere! What a view and what a great 1st day!!!
     
  4. nolanboys

    nolanboys DIS Veteran

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    Can't wait to read more. I would love to do a longer trip like that. Our longest has been a week. Some day.... Glad you like AKV. We stayed there last fall and fell in love with the resort. It really is a destination all by itself.
     
  5. SusieBea

    SusieBea DIS Veteran

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    I'm an OKW lover, but we stayed at Kidani for the first time in February for my DGS - 2 1/2. LOVED IT!

    Looking forward to the rest of your TR!
     
  6. disney1474

    disney1474 DIS Veteran

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    Glad to here your having a great time!:thumbsup2
    Go over to Kidani and check out the pool and splash area!
     
  7. DiznyDi

    DiznyDi <font color=darkcoral>If you remember, we are the

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    Great report! Looking forward to reading more.
    Hope your stomach behaves itself for the balance of your trip!
     
  8. Disney Princess

    Disney Princess Member Since Day 1

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    Sounds like a wonderful first day - minus the stomach problems. I'm happy they cleared up for you. Can't wait to read more.
     
  9. Sandisw

    Sandisw Moderator Moderator

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    Sounds wonderful!!! I can't wait until you share more!!!
     
  10. Stinger5

    Stinger5 Mouseketeer

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    The entire fam awoke early and ready to go to the Animal Kingdom park. No wait for the resort bus and we were thrilled that it was only a 5 minute bus ride. Quick aside-stomach is now fine and would be the rest of the trip! Thanks for all the inquiries:)

    At the ticket office, we picked up our annual passes that we ordered a while back and took pictures of the back of the cards-per the great advice I read on these boards. The ticket lady immediately complimented me on the good idea…As we enter the park, the rain begins and we immediately head to the safari.

    This trip on the safari is much anticipated because one of my former students is a safari guide and we arranged to get on her truck. She was fantastic and even caught me taking crazy photos with crazy poses and subtly called me out on it. We all had a good laugh. :rotfl2: DD1 had an exceptional safari ride-falling sound asleep for most of it. It was also raining like crazy the entire time…our huge stroller had puddles on it but at least we had the small ponchos for all of us to keep dry…our lunch at Pizzafari must have sprinkled some pixie dust on us because we looked in the next room to saw Lilo and Stitch were posing for pics with no line! Got some quality shots and moved on. After attacking most of the park, we followed our usual park-pool-park schedule and went back to the hotel pool. Kids had a blast. We met up with our friends later on and were quite late thanks to me:confused3 I let DW and DD1 nap while I took DD5 for some pool fun…weather had finally cleared. We spent way too much time having fun on the waterslide at Jambo!.. Next thing I know, I see we’re 20min from dinner res time! After running around like a crazed family to get ready/bus/in park, we made it to Tusker House only 20 min late. Our loyal friends were nice enough to wait for us and we had a great dinner. Kids got along fantastic and it was if they didn’t even need parents around. Nice buffet at Tusker but not overwhelmed by the place. We tipped a couple of cold ones and talked about our days adventures.

    Post dinner, all the kids came to the Jambo pool for some fun and we watched some of Cars on the video screen by the pool-what a way to watch a movie! Both moms crashed early and the dads were in charge! We polished off a few Heineken’s before turning in for the night although i'm pretty sure the kids had enough energy to swim for much longer if we let them!

    Got back to the room and DD5 quickly joined her sister in NeverNever Land. I went out to the balcony and was surprised to see what looked like an animal union meeting. Zebras/Giraffs/and 2 or 3 other types of animals(sorry-i'm a city boy!) were out in force just hanging out! DW joined me for a final quite drink of the night as we took in the scenery. Trip was off to a quality start and would get better and better!
     
  11. Disney_Mama

    Disney_Mama DIS Veteran

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    Great reprot. Can't wait for the rest.:thumbsup2
     
  12. dianeschlicht

    dianeschlicht <font color=blue>DVC-Trivia Contest, Apr-2006: Hon

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    Loving your trip report! (LOL, even if you did steal the title from me);)
     
  13. nolanboys

    nolanboys DIS Veteran

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    Sounds like a good trip so far. We skipped the safari last time because of time:guilty:. Told DH we have to go on it next time as it is one of my favorites. How neat that you were able to ride with one of your old students. Can't wait to read more.
     
  14. Stinger5

    Stinger5 Mouseketeer

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    Thanks D! I have to come clean- i did swipe the title name... from Sergio Leone's flick with Clint! Will look up your thread too:)
     
  15. Cyndibear

    Cyndibear I love my DVC's!!!!

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    Loving your report! Glad to hear you felt better for the rest of your trip. Sounds like you had a great time! Can't wait to read more!

    Cyndi
     
  16. disneyfreak2127

    disneyfreak2127 Mouseketeer

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    More please! Can't wait for the BCV portion!
     
  17. Stinger5

    Stinger5 Mouseketeer

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    Our plans for Day 3 was built around our dinner plans at Park Fare. After rising early(without an alarm!) we headed to MK. Although we know the parks fairly well, all of us were pleasantly surprised to stumble on Rapunzels castle for a meet and pic! DD5’s fav character! Short line! Pics came out great. Great start to the day. DD5 was bold and brought DW onto tea cups. I gladly volunteered to stay with DD1 and sit that one out. Don’t like the spinning!!!:rotfl:

    Eye-opener: going on Dumbo ride for 800th time, it was totally different this time. Got a great glimpse of the construction going on over the wall. An army of construction workers were busy over a huge area. Things are starting to take shape but still a way to go. Can’t wait till they finish up. Just don’t forget to hit Snow White ride on your upcoming trips…the days for that ride are numbered I here…:3dglasses

    Back to AKV for family nap time and a timely return to Park Fare for dinner. Bus to the park and we decide to take the Monorail to GF-what luck, it was waiting for us! Hot day so we don’t want to do take the ferry/boat over. Well, as soon as we get on Monorail, announcement says delay on Monorail because of this or that…we wait for 15 min and it’s gotta be 110+ degrees in there, unreal. We decide to give the ferry a try and walk down the ramp to notice the ferry just pulling out. Of course, the monorail leaves just then too! We’ll def be late now to dinner:sad2: Finally get over there and turns out our friends running even later-darn Monorail!!!:mad: My fam makes a vow to avoid the Monorail at all costs for the duration of this trip. Used to be such a cool experience but we are done with it for now…Our girls had a great time running around the huge lobby at GF and we check out their pools-love GF but underwhelmed by their pools

    Friends arrive and all of us love the dinner and characters…We end up being 1 hour late. The check-in ppl at Park Fare were incredibly nice to us!Annastasia must have thought I’m royalty cause I think she took a liking for me…dozens of pics and DD1 is not really helping out-she refuses to look at the camera, ugh! We pay the $$ for our family pic-came out awesome! Cinderella’s stepmom was phenomenal! Better than the movie version!

    Post-dinner we break out the glo-sticks for the kids and they’re loving it. Ferry to MK and boat runs by the Dragon in the water(don’t know the name of it). I am a DIS vet and I’ve never seen this. What a boat ride! At MK, both families do some rides together. DD5 insists on bringing everyone to People-Mover…then Buzz Lightyear. Wives take the first car and husbands in the 2nd car(I also have DD1). There is some bantering about the best shooters, wives talking a big game…they take some pics of my buddy and I in our cart-I’m sure we’ll be blackmailed with this one…turns out I have the most pixie dust cause I end up with the high score:wizard: even with a sleeping DD1 in one arm! Funniest part of the ride was checking out the photo the ride-camera takes of you. My friend and I have the most serious looking faces in the pic that you have ever seen…there was no way we were going to let our DW’s beat us. Thankfully nobody buys the pic because that would have been something that would have tortured us forever!:dance3:

    We have a great view of the fireworks and take our time leaving so we are not squeezed on Main St. What an adventure the bus ride was though! Packed to the brim, DD5 sleeping in my arms but stranger lady standing in packed aisle was way to close to me for my liking. When I say close, I don’t mean she was next to me, I’m saying closer than my wife has been to me since we’ve been at DIS. Thighs, arms all over me, fanny pouch coming close to my sleeping daughter-I have to keep a hand up because it kept brushing up against my sleeping DD5. I bite my lip about the closeness for the 15 min ride from hell and thank my lucky stars that she gets off at Kidani. I am not a prude and I don’t freak out about physical contact, but back in the single days I’ve had relationships with less physical contact than that! She must have taken a liking to that Boston Bruins polo I was sporting!

    Kids get to bed and parents have our nightly drink on the balcony-loving AKV…Beach Club has always been our fav resort but this place will be hard to top! Another big day planned for Day 4-Chef Mickey's! I am dead asleep roughly 8 seconds after hitting my pillow and once again no alarm clock- we will sleep till we wake up(or until DD1 wakes us up!)
     
  18. nolanboys

    nolanboys DIS Veteran

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    DH and I stayed at AKV Kidani last year and fell in love with it as well. So glad you are enjoying it. It's at the top of our lists to get the kids there next. Enjoying your TR. Can't wait to read more.:goodvibes
     
  19. Stinger5

    Stinger5 Mouseketeer

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    Original plan on Day 4 was to meet up with our friends at the OKW pool for the early part of the day/afternoon and Chef Mickey res at night. We decide to change plans and finish up at the AK park because it’s wour last day at AKV and there is still a few things we’d like to do in AK. We want to finish up that park before going moving into BCV on Day 5. Need to point out that DD5 is getting hooked on the DIS info channel and the MUST-DO’s. It has now replaced Phineus and Ferb as her show of choice…:happytv:

    Spoiler alert-skip this paragraph is you haven’t been on IT’s Tough To Be A Bug. ;) DW heads off to see the Yeti and I bring DD5 and DD1 to ‘It’s tough to be a Bug’. We’re loving the show until they spray water on us…DD1 lets out a scream and I do my best to block the rest of the water. DD1 is fine after that but DD5 isn’t to thrilled about the bugs dropping from the sky or the bugs in the seats on the way out! We survive and get a quality pic with the Bug character…DD1 is FINALLY looking at the camera and smiling for this pic but of course my eyes are closed! Oh well…I hand off the little ones and head onto the Dinosaur ride. It’s been a while and I’ve forgotten how much I love that ride! Lunch at Restaurantosaurus and random acts of kindness by worker cleaning tables leaves a great impression. Very friendly towards our little ones and she goes and gets both of our little ones an extra cookie! What a peach! We meet a nice Spanish family there too.BTW-can’t believe the multitude of Europeans here at DIS. More than I’ve seen in my 10 trips or so here. I attribute it to the weak US dollar, but who knows…

    Nemo show for first time and kids enjoy it, DW and I like it, give it a B/B+. :fish:Our fam is now officially done with AK and we head back to AKV for some pool time at Jambo house. Loving the pool again, DD5 goes right to the waterslide and DD1 is loving the zero entry. Kind of scary though, because DD1 is so excited she is running around the shallow end of pool and slipping all over the place. Got to watch her like a hawk! DD5 takes part in some of the poolside games they are running.

    Nap/rest time for me and DD1, Kidani pool visit for DW and DD5...then off to Chef Mickey’s. Bus to MK and guess what…my Monorail boycott ends after about 24 hours…We are 15 min early! Friends text me and they are a running late and they mention they are caught in the monsoon. I look outside and don’t see anything…until 15 min later…it looks like a hurricane outside, even waitress at bar in lobby says she’s never seen it this bad. Friends arrive soon and guess what-they were stuck in Monorail purgatory again!:sad1: Off to eat with Mickey and friends. Kids are beyond happy. Many great pics but you guessed it, DD1 is too busy staring at these gigantic characters to look at the camera! Just one character pic would make dad’s day but that day won’t be today! After meal, I check my Disney APP and notice parks are open till 3am-yes 3am! DW and DD1 head back to AKV and turn in early.

    DD5 and I head into MK with our friends and head over to STich’s Escape. DD5 is spooked so we quickly make our own escape from that ride. After heading to the Aladdin carpet ride, my DD5 seems to have had enough. We say goodnight to our friends and head out…but DD5 isn’t ready to turn in, she demands a People-Mover ride…then Buzz again…and at the stroke of midnight we make our way back to AKV. Shocked that she held out that long but she also was having a blast. We get back to AKV and I get ready for the Day move to the BCV. Pack most of my things before hitting the hay.
     
  20. Stinger5

    Stinger5 Mouseketeer

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    For my family, the AKV is perfect- great pool, cool lobby, we loved the eats..gotta give you credit handling DIS with 4 boys is quite an accomplishment. We have our hands full with 2; man-to-man defense is tough enough. Being outnumbered 2-1 is more than I could handle.

    We thought the long trip may be too difficult with DD1 but she was an angel. She loved the shows and when on rides she just took it all in. Meals were an adventure at times but once DW and I figured out a routine for our meals, it was smooth sailing. :)
     
  21. Stinger5

    Stinger5 Mouseketeer

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    Today is the big day…off to the BCV, our favorite resort! This is our first split stay and we are determined to make the transition to the new resort as easy as ever! We’re packed up early in the morning, call up Bell Services to grab our bags and refrigerated goods, and off to the BCV we go at about 10am. My genius of a plan- take the bus from AKV to Epcot and a bus from there to BCV but whaddaya know? There is no bus from Epcot to BCV so my fam has to walk through Epcot with all our hand bags(carry-on stuff) and to the BCV:cool1:.

    We get there at 11am to check in. We had to do this early in order to obtain our new key cards with our new DxDDP on it. Up to the counter and a stroke of magic from Mickey himself…our room is ready at 11am!!! Woo hooo!!! Get up to the room and we’re loving it but missing AKV just a bit! :wizard:

    Then it strikes me like lightning…I left my gold chain @AKV room on shelf above sink. At this point in my TR, I’m going to combine events from 3 days into a nutshell; off to Bell Services(2 trips on this day) and calls are made and nothing yet…inventory excuse. Next day 2 trips to Bell Services, they call and they are looking it up…nobody calls me back on cell as promised. 3rd day without chain and 2 trips to Bell Services(they all know me by name and I know there are 6 ppl that work that counter)- chain was allegedly found and on its’ way via runner in morning. 4pm-nothing arrives and I’m sick of wasting 30 min on each of these visits. Maid services on phone knows nothing of earlier promise, they make me explain my chain to them, say they have it and promise to send it right away. Manager at BC can see I am not happy and without even asking for him, he launches a pre-emptive strike…he comes out of his office with a Crush doll for my DD1. They really know how to smooth things over at that place!!! Next day(4th without chain) and 7th trip to desk produces my chain! Was my fault for leaving it there but should never have taken that long! Funny thing is my last stay at WDW I did the same thing…and got my chain returned in 10 minutes! This was the worst part of our trip, mainly because of the wasted time but it wasn't the end of the world.

    BCV time, DeluxeDP time, we are fired up! We hit up Stormalong Bay for a bit, lunch at ESPN Club, watch some Little League regional championships(local town from MA playing)and dinner at Cape May. Cape May is usually one of my favorites but was not overwhelmed by Seafood buffet…my own fault-fussy eater and not a big seafood guy. Worst part is I’m a New Englander and seafood places dot the landscape up here! Everything was fine @ Cape May, just not my menu preference...

    Quick evening stroll into Epcot to find some of the rides closed after 7pm. We end up riding Nemo and squeezing in a Soarin trip and utilizing the Family Swap so DD5 got 2 great flights over Cali!!!

    We wrap up the night by checking out the movie-on-the-beach schedule and head back to put the kids to bed. We then follow it up with our nightly drink on the balcony…we still have some Heineken’s left and we enjoy some adult time on the balcony…partial view of the Epcot golf ball. Have to admit, we are missing the AKV more than we thought! AKV rooms are ever so slightly bigger than BCV-our pack-n-play fit a little better at AKV; everything was a little newer and the lodge had a bit more to do. Both resorts had great pools but a huge benefit of BCV is the location-quick walk to Epcot and the Boardwalk! Either resort is a no-lose but I have to say that AKV exceeded all my expectations and I’d go back in a heartbeat! Lastly, we really didn’t mind the travel day because we were pretty prepared and it really didn’t take too long. Don’t think I’d do a split for stays a week and under though, just my opinion.

    Another thing i've noticed-the rate of picture i'm now taking per day has declined from 30 per day at the beginning of the trip to about 10 per day now! Pictured out i guess:) DW has her own pics going on too so i don't feel bad about it... More to come...
     

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