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"Visiting Home" for the First Time - A PTR ... And Now a TR!!!

Discussion in 'DVC Trip Reports' started by joelp, Aug 25, 2012.

  1. joelp

    joelp DIS Veteran

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    Waiting for lunch to digest a bit before tackling the yardwork - so instead of reading other threads, I decided to start a PTR ...
    :)

    We closed on our AKV 100 pt Dec UY contract August 14, and got all our member info (after a call to Member Admin) August 23 during my lunch break at work ... So after my post-work run (it had a nice calming effect ... :hyper: ), I sat down in front of the computer and logged on as a DVC Member for the first time!!! :woohoo:


    We bought a fully loaded contract resale - with all 2010 and 2011 points banked, so we had 100 pts to use by this Dec ... In prep for this, I had a spreadsheet set up with possible trip dates (so the DD wouldn't miss more than a day of school ...) and flight times/costs ... :surfweb: ...

    I'll spare you the gory details, but by minimizing luggage and seat charges, I got a flight on Spirit from Atlantic City to Orlando for the 3 of us for less than $600 round trip for Nov 15-18 (all the other dates were at least $250-$300 more ...).

    The question was: would any DVC rooms be available?

    The answer: Yes!! :banana:


    After about 30 minutes checking a whole bunch of possibilities, we were down to three options: 1 - 3 nights in the same 1 BR at SSR, 2 - spend the first night in a Treehouse at SSR, then switch to 1 BR at SSR, or 3 - a couple of different "room switch" possibilities at AKV ...

    Points weren't an issue - we had 100 to use or lose (or rent ...)

    I was leaning towards the Option #2 - how often would we get a chance to spend a night in a SSR Treehouse?

    But the DW thought we should spend our first DVC trip at our home resort, and the DD just wanted to stay at AKV (because it's AKV!!) so we'll be "Visiting Home" for our first trip ... [or as I kid the DW - "We've bought a retirement home in Florida!!" :rotfl2: ]

    So we decided on Kidani - but now I have a problem, because we're spending our first night in a 2 BR Savannah View ... :banana: ... and then moving to a 1 BR Standard ... so the DW and DD may be a bit disappointed after we move ... :rotfl: ... AND -

    - we may have to book 2 BR Savannah rooms from here on out ... and that's kinda hard to do with only 100 pts per year ... :scared1:

    As for the Cast Of Characters - see the siggie ...

    Time to mow now ...

    I'll be back ... :3dglasses
     
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  3. kato0627

    kato0627 DIS Veteran

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    Welcome to DVC!!! We are South Jersey too =) You will love AKV, a great resort.
     
  4. beansf

    beansf Mouseketeer

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    Hi there! We just bought DVC ourselves. I am trying to figure things out. I look forward to seeing how your trip goes. We bought 160 at AKV, but our first trip will be to Grand Californian in March.
     
  5. joelp

    joelp DIS Veteran

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    A really quick update: one of our Waitlists came through last night ...

    Goodbye 2BR Savannah View ...

    Hello 1BR Kidani Savannah View for all three nights ... :thumbsup2

    Now we won't have to change rooms ... will have a Savanah View for all three nights ... :) ... will have used 99 of the 100 "use or lose" 2010 UY banked points ...

    ... and the DW won't be "spoiled" by that first night in the 2BR Savannah View - and then "let down" by switching to a 1 BR Standard View ... ;)

    Since the DD will want to live in the pool (let's hope for warm mid-November Fla weather!!:worship: - I've already done the 70-degree, steam coming off the pool, early December swim-thing with the DD ... :crazy2: ), can anyone suggest a good room location?

    Thanks!! pixiedust: ... and here's some PD for you ...
     
  6. joelp

    joelp DIS Veteran

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    A really, really quick update: Our DVC Membership Cards arrived in the mail yesterday!!

    :banana: :cool1:pixiedust:
     
  7. joelp

    joelp DIS Veteran

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    I have a few minutes here (I hope ... :scratchin ...): the DD is auditioning for a play Tuesday night and the DW needs to take a "head shot" of her ... If this post comes to a screeching halt somewhere mid-sentence, you know there's been "trouble in River City" ... ! :rotfl:

    We have our tentative, draft, work-in-progress plans drawn up (more or less ...):

    Thursday Nov 15 - our flight arrives at MCO 8:30 pm, so I figure we'll be at Kidani Village by 10-ish, and in our "home" by 10:30 ... Check out the resort a bit, then early to bed, because early the next morning ...

    Friday Nov 16 - we're off to Universal Islands of Adventure, where the DD and DW can get their fill of Hairy Otter and Fiends ... :lmao:

    If any of you have any IoA and HP suggestions, they'd be appreciated - we've never been there ...

    Saturday - sleep-in (for us, that's about 7 am ... :crazy2: ) Then it's over to DTD for some shopping and lunch - where we should meet up with the DW's cousin Claire (from Tampa) for lunch. Claire plans to head over to the MK - while we head back to Kidani for some pool time, activities, animals, etc. - with dinner at Sanaa (ADR already made :thumbsup2 ) Claire may or may not spend the night with us ...

    Sunday - maybe a quick a.m. dip in the pool before checking out (leaving our bags with Bell Services ...). Then its over to the MK (which we will not enter ...) to jump on the Monorail for a spin to (and around - but not in:drive: ) Epcot ... and then back to tour the "monorail resorts", check out the Christmas decorations (they should be up - right?), and have lunch ...

    And then back to Kidani to catch the ME bus to MCO around 6:30, for our 9:30 flight back to NJ ... And hopefully the DD will sleep on the plane (Benadryl?? :dance3:) - because she has school Monday morning (but the DW and I won't be going to work ... :banana: ) -

    But we won't be in WDW, eithor ... :sad:

    That's the basics, more or less, in theory ... :)

    And no WDW theme parks this very short trip ... although - one could consider AKL/Villas a theme park in themselves ... ::yes::

    Until next time ...
     
  8. belias21

    belias21 DIS Dad's Club Member #717

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    I love this plan! What a great way to use those old points from that loaded contract you snagged. We just picked up a 100 pointer ourselves (OKW) but unfortunately it was stripped and we don't get our first points until Aug 2013.
     
  9. joelp

    joelp DIS Veteran

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    26 Days to go ...

    And our Magical Express docs just arrived in the mail!

    I've been doing a little research on lunch possibilities at the "Monorail Resorts" when we do our Sunday Chritsmas Decoration tour ... but nothing has really WOWed me at this point ... :(

    Anyone out there in DISLand have any recommendations?

    We've never been to the Poly, so a place there would be a plus ...
     
  10. joelp

    joelp DIS Veteran

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    15 Days to GO!! :banana:

    Cleaning up from our Hurricane Sandy "visit" ... fortunately no damage to our house, etc. :duck: but lots of leaves, twigs, branchlets, etc ... (i.e. the usuall Fall mess, but concentrated ... )

    We must have had a REALLY strong burst of wind directly from the east at some point: a whole bunch of trees (mostly pears) were ripped up or battered on the 2 streets that run perpendicular to our street - but no trees were down on our street ... weird ...

    We lost power Monday night at 10 - right after watching Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince. I got under the covers in bed, turned on the TV to get the latest weather, and the newscaster said some thing like "There are reports of numerous power oiuages ..." And everything went dark!
    :rotfl2: Perfect timing ...

    The neighborhood kids were going crazy - they actually had to play outside, board games, card games ... it's amazing they "survived"! :rotfl:

    Power finally came back last night around 6:30 ... :woohoo: And yes, we were literally :dance3:... And five minutes later the DD was upstairs watching TV!! :lmao:

    WDW-trip wise we finally decided on our DTD lunch place: Paradiso 37 ... The DW liked the menu (and so did I ...) - and we get 20% off as DVC Members ... :thumbsup2

    OK - back to house cleaning: some friends are still without power, so they're coming over for dinner later ...
     
  11. joelp

    joelp DIS Veteran

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    :cool1: :cool1: :cool1:

    We'll be picking up the DD at her school in about 2 hours and heading down to Atlantic City to catch our flight ... :hyper: She had two weeks off because of Hurricane Sandy, and now we're pulling her out for another day to go to WDW ... Needless to say, she's happy about that.

    I was planning on putting a bit more into this PTR last week: but then we got hit with a snowstorm (8-9 inches of the wet stuff!!), and a couple cars decided to take out the electricty and cable/internet poles feeding our neighborhood ... :drive: :crazy2: .... :badpc: so we didn't have internet for 5 days, and we've been playing catch up ever since ...

    Hurricane Sandy didn't take down any of our trees, but the nor'easter brought down some big branches - so I'm gonna be cutting (more) wood when we get back from WDW ... :(

    I have my "touring plan" for Islands of Adventure (more or less): Harry Potter and go from there ... :rotfl:

    The weather looks to be OK - low-mid 70's, but I don't think the DW and I will be doing any swimming. Now, the DD ... :thumbsup2

    That's it for now - stay tuned, this PTR will soon be a TR!! pixiedust:
     
  12. disney212

    disney212 DIS Veteran

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    Sorry to hear about your storm damage but glad your family is safe. :hug: Really enjoying the PTR, we are 30 days from our next visit so I know how hard the wait is! Can't wait to read more!
     
  13. joelp

    joelp DIS Veteran

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    We're back ... :worried: ...

    So it's time to start turning this PTR into a TR ... (unfortunately, the DW just came home - and I still have to load pictures - so I'll have to keep it short and quick for now ...)

    Here are the "Top Ten" highlights to whet your whistles:

    (1) Hearing "Welcome Home!" when checking into AKV-Kidani as DVC members for the first time ... :dance3:

    (2) Walking into our 1BR Savanna View Villa "Home" - we are now beyond spoiled!! :rotfl:

    (3) Opening the curtains Friday morning and seeing all the critters right outside our room. :yay:

    (4) Being chosen as the "Family of the Day" and opening Islands of Adventure!!! :woohoo:

    (5) Not tossing my cookies on Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey ...

    (6) Opening the curtains Saturday morning and seeing all the critters right outside our room. :banana:

    (7) Listening to the DD singing here head off as she enjoyed the whirlpool tub way too much ... :lmao:

    (8) Opening the curtains Sunday morning and seeing all the critters right outside our room. ::yes::

    (9) Brunch at Boma Sunday morning (my favorite restuarant ...)

    (10) Touring the WDW resorts via car, monorail and boat (but no bus!) Sunday ...

    More to come this weekend ...

    Have a Happy Thanksgiving everyone!
     
  14. rusafee1183

    rusafee1183 DVC Owner Since 2012!

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    Glad to hear you had a good time! We will be hearing "Welcome Home" for the first time in 60 days! :cool1: We bought 120 points at AKV in May and I have been dying to get there! We have yet to stay at AKV, but have visited several times and love the area.

    Did you enjoy the resort? Was it good swimming weather? I am wondering how the weather will be for swimming in late January.

    I'm thinking ----> :scared:
     
  15. joelp

    joelp DIS Veteran

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    No - we didn't enjoy the resort - we LOVED AKV-Kidani!!! ... :rotfl2:

    We only had one time available for swimming - Saturday afternoon - and the clouds rolled in ... However, the pool is heated and my daughter (and a bunch of other kids) have thick blood, so the cooler weather did not slow her down a bit. The DW went for a quick dip, then disappeared into a hot tub ... I kept my clothes on and took some pictures ... :rotfl:

    Temps were in the low/mid 70's, which felt much warmer (and "swimming weather") when the sun was out, but much cooler when there were clouds. My guess is that you'll be sticking to the hot tub in January - or doing what my wife did ... a quick dip and then into the hot tub ... :)
     
  16. rusafee1183

    rusafee1183 DVC Owner Since 2012!

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    That's just fine with me! I'm more of a hot tub girl anyway :thumbsup2

    And it's good to hear that you LOVED it!!! :banana: It seems like you had a car from your OP. That is the ONLY thing that I am nervous about, the distance from everything by bus.
     
  17. joelp

    joelp DIS Veteran

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    We had a car because the DW's cousin drove from Tampa and stayed with us Saturday night into Sunday ... (we didn't rent one ...)

    She actually met us at AKV-Kidani Saturday morning and parked her car there - then we all took the bus to DTD for lunch and shopping - and while we took the bus back to AKV that afternoon to go swimming, my wife's cousin took a bus to the Contemporary and then walked over to the MK for a night of fun ... and then she took the bus back to AKV-Kidani when she was "funned out" ...

    In all of our trips where we've stayed at AKL/AKV, the busses have not been a problem (although it does seem to take a bit longer to get to the MK ...).

    And amazingly, this past weekend - whether it was a bus, boat or monorail - we seemed to have one pull up within a minute of us arriving at the "stop" ... pixiedust:
     
  18. joelp

    joelp DIS Veteran

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    [... I wish I had a penny for every leaf I've raked in the past 2 weeks! :) ]

    I have an hour or so before picking the DD up at school, so let's get this TR offically started ... :car:

    Thursday - Nov 15

    The DW and I picked the DD up at school around 3:00 pm and zipped down the Garden State Parkway to AC International Airport, parked on the 3rd floor of the parking garage, walked 50 feet to the elevator, down 3 flights, and walked another 200-or-so feet into the terminal ... :rotfl2:
    [Yea - it's easy flying out of AC ...]

    The DD and I grabbed a couple hot dogs for dinner, while the DW got a turkey wrap to eat on the plane (which would be a mistake - the DW's tummy did not feel 100% for about 24 hours after that ... :sad2: ) Let's just say that when we fly down to WDW next November, we'll be eating at the Parkway rest area or bringing sandwiches with us ...

    While waiting for our flight, I ran into a co-worker who just happened to be taking the same flight (if you're reading this: hi Ruth!!)

    Incredibly smooth flight and landing (a major plus considering the DW's stomach ...)

    Had a nice monorail ride to the terminal, picked up our single checked bag, and - lo and behold - the ME entance was right below the Spirit baggage claim!! :woohoo: ... so another 100 foot walk and we were in the ME line ...

    AKV-Kidani is the last stop on the ME ride - but we did get to get a glimpse of the Art of Animation resort, all 3 All-Star resorts, and Jambo House ... So, as I predicted, we walked up to the check-in counter at about 10 pm to our first "Welcome Home" as DVC members!! :dance3:

    :welcome:


    The Kidani lobby is not as impressive as Jambo House (what is???), but it is very nice, has a few little quirks, and has a very "homey" feel to it.

    I had done on-line check-in, and it worked like a breeze. I had also requested a Sunset Savanna View villa - and was pleased to get that. I had forgotten to request a lower floor room - but we got that anyway (2nd floor - no stairs or elevators!! :thumbsup2 ) But we were way - and I mean waaay - out there in the boondocks - Room 7668 ... the second-to-last "bead" on the Kidani "necklace" (yes - I know that is redundant ...)

    So we checked out the gift shopped - and picked up some cream cheese and OJ for breakfast (I had packed some bagels and other munchies) - and then started the trek to our room ...

    Although I had seen picture of a 1BR Kidani Villa - it is much more impressive "in person" ... There is sooooo much more room than a "regular" room at the AKL ...

    And a king-sized bed:

    [​IMG]


    The DD went crazy when she saw the whirlpool tub ...

    We checked out the savanna, and caught a glimpse of some zebras, but really couldn't see much ...

    The DD found the Disney Channels channels on the TV (her #1 priority ... :rotfl: ) ... and then it was off to bed.

    And the DD was VERY happy to have her own "bedroom" and bed (the sleeper couch) and TV ... :) But I set one rule: she couldn't turn on the TV in the morning until she had seen at least two types of animals in the savanna ... Which wasn't a problem at all - because as soon as the sun came up, a "herd" of zebras and a couple of Ankole cattle were just outside our window ... :banana:


    [​IMG]


    [​IMG]


    And there was also a flock of East African Crowned Cranes off to our left (but I couldn't get a good picture that first morning ...)

    We had quick showers (the DD wanted to use the whirlpool tub, but I knew we would never get her out of there if she did! :laughing: ...)

    And then it was back to the Kidani lobby to catch our taxi to Universal Islands of Adventure ... checking out the sights through the numerous savanna overlooks along the way.

    Now - I may be wrong - but when we checked in Thursday night, I don't remember the Kidani lobby being decorated for Christmas. In particular, I don't remember seeing the big Christmas tree ... But there it was to greet us Friday morning ... pixiedust:

    Next up: Friday - Novemeber 16 - and Islands of Adventure!!
     
  19. MomToPrincePhillip

    MomToPrincePhillip Mouseketeer

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    Hi there, I've just found your report and I'm enjoying it! I love hearing about all your 1st time DVC moments, as DVC ownership is a dream for DH and I, maybe one day...Thanks for sharing!
     
  20. Thumper4me

    Thumper4me Planning my next trip

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    I am looking forward to your review of Islands of Adventure and Harry Potter. We are looking at doing "that park" sometime next year.
     
  21. joelp

    joelp DIS Veteran

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    We interrupt the Trip Report with an important message (and a new PTR):

    We just booked our next trip to WDW - "Jersey Week" in 2013, with a stay at AKV-Jambo! :dance3:

    We'll be celebrating the DD's 10th birthday at the Animal Kingdom ... princess:

    We now return you to our currently scheduled Trip Report ... :happytv:

    That is all ...

     

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