Discussion in 'Completed Trip Reports' started by MEK, Jun 24, 2012.
Signing on Mary Ellen! I'll catch up when I can.
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We were off to claim our bags and get our rental car. I scored an excellent rate on a car through Alamo. $146 for 10 days - full size car! I have to thank the transportation boards for that.
I'm just now joining in on your trip report...better late than never! I love your writing style and bless your heart for traveling with so many boys!
I'm new here on the DIS and I've noticed that many people don't take advantage of Magical Express services and instead, rent a car. Why is that? We always use ME, but now I'm wondering if we're missing out on something when we do...
You didn't miss much at all. I am going to try to update twice a week this summer, so we'll see how that goes.
Your right - there is only ONE good D Day and it never involves returning home.
I have a funny story about the Galant. It involves the gas station.
Really? Peacocks? That's pretty cool.
I bet he was exhausted walking around either property. There have been so many times when I have considered attending a conference there, but now that I've seen it, I am sure I would get lost. I'll wait for a conference on Disney property.
Glad you liked the outside pics and I'm glad we had the extra time to take them.
Rosie! I will be posting more this afternoon and if you have any questions about the treehouses, fire away!
Slacker! So glad you made it! I'm anxious to hear all about your trip!
I heard that Frontier is coming. If its a non-stop flight then that is great news. I know they don't have any non-stops from PHL or BWI. I loved the airport. It was awesome. I will definitely consider flying from there again when I'm flying with Denny. In October I'll be flying from PHL because its just me and I need a ride.
That's probably one of the funniest things I have ever heard on a flight.
It was the weirdest cold and it hung on forever. As it turns out, both Nick and I ended up with the cold. I didn't get it until the day before we left.
I would love that. We had lunch there when we got back into town and it was good food and good beer. I would definitely like to go back when I have more time to sample the brews!
I agree, outside of the bubble is definitely different. I think I have been in the bubble so long that I forgot was the outside was like.
I am going to post inside pics in my next update.
Hmmmm - good question about the mugs. We did use them quite a bit because we walked over to the grandstand pool and they have a station there. Plus, as you will see, we ate at several other resorts so we used them there as well.
I think the whole family had a good time despite the trip getting off to a rocky start. And YES - that train ride was crazy long.
I visited Saratoga Springs a couple of summers ago for a soccer tournament and I really enjoyed the few hours I got to spend in the city. Here is one of the few resemblances I found (taken at the real Saratoga Springs)
I agree that a restaurant themed after a real Saratoga restaurant would be cool!
Trip down memory lane - Here's another pic I took there and I thought it looked cool!
Something like that, but it involves a ton of incense!
Are you home already? If so, I hope you had a great trip. If not, I hope you are still having a wonderful time and thankfully avoiding this fun heat.
callicourt! Thanks for joining in and WELCOME to the DIS! This is a great place with tons of information and friendly people (well, at least here on the TR boards).
We always rent a car because my husband would feel like a captive if he couldn't get out of the Disney bubble if he needed to. He is notorious for forgetting to pack things, so our trips always involve a Walmart run. During this trip we also planned a visit to Daytona Beach because my DH's college roommate lives there. Plus we changed resorts during the trip. For this trip it really made sense for us. We also like having a car for when we resort hop for meals. We visited a bunch of different resorts this trip and we would not have been able to do all that without the car.
When I do my girl's trips I never rent a car. I have used ME plenty of times and it is a wonderful service. I hate to drive when I am on vacation, but if my DH wants to be a chauffeur, well OK then.
Trains and Treehouses
Before I start my next update I would just like to thank everyone for joining in! It's so great to have my old readers come back for more MEK trip reporting AND I am thrilled to have so many new readers. I hope everyone sticks with me!
Ok then - in my last update we had arrived at the Treehouse Villas to tour around the place while we were waiting for our villa to become available.
Meanwhile, my brother and his family were stuck on the Auto Train somewhere outside of the Sanford Station.
The three of us were hanging at the treehouse pool trying to decide our next move. Nick seemed quite happy texting with his GF
I was pretty relaxed myself and was debating between changing into my bathing suit or going over to the main pool. I was in the mood for a pool drink, but it was only 11 am. Seemed a tad to early for even a pina colada.
Maybe I was starting to get a little bored when I took this picture of an outdoor light fixture.
I didn't have time to give it much thought because at 11:10 I got the text that our villa was ready. Wow? Already? Awesome! That made planning easy and I was secretly relieved that we would be able to unpack before my brother's family arrived.
We were villa 7028 and when we checked in the CM said it was water view. Here's a picture of the treehouse villa and map and if you look at the bottom of the page you can barely make out the top of an arrow pointing to our new home.
You know a resort is really big when you get TWO maps at check-in. Here's the rest of the resort! (edited to say that this picture WAS the right direction when I posted it originally)
I also have to give a shout out to Moira (Mary Ellen) who was kind enough to go out of her way to leave a gift certificate for Planet Hollywood at check-in for me. She was not able to use it during her trip and it was certainly an unexpected surprise!
So are you ready to see the inside of the villa? I have to admit I was very good about keeping the boys and the luggage out of the way while I took pictures. What I didn't do was open the drapes or turn the lights on. If I had, these pictures would be a lot better.
We left our car parked in the extra parking space near the pool and just wheeled our stuff over. We were greeted by a house keeping supervisor who welcomed us and told us that maintenance would be buy shortly to fix a broken towel rack. She told us not to hesitate to call should we need anything. Very nice touch. I felt very welcome.
After climbing 21 stairs we opened the door to 7028.
The first thing you see is the kitchen area
The granite is really the highlight of the kitchen and this picture does it no justice what-so-ever. It's a myriad of brown and earth tone colors. Just lovely. I like it better than the granite in my kitchen.
I should have put my flash on for these pictures, but in my quest to be a better photographer I rarely use a flash. Rather, I try to work the shutter speed and aperture settings. Sorry. I should have done better, but I was just too excited.
Denny was worried we may have a casualty here but, thankfully, we didn't!
Kitchen light fixture
The table is off to the left of the front door when you walk in
Pull out sofa and chair.
Artwork above the pull out chair
End table near sofa
View out the window from the living room
Living room TV
Chair on the other side of the sofa
Now picture the kitchen as the center point of the villa. To the right of the kitchen area are the two smaller bedrooms and bathroom.
The first room on the right is the bunk-bed room. This room was small, but certainly adequate for a 17 year old and a 12 year old.
It had a nice size closet to the left. TV above drawers.
The next room was the double bed room (I think it was a double, but I'm honestly not sure)
Straight ahead was the bathroom. Great tile floors and a cool granite counter top
Continued in Next Post...........
Continued from previous post.....
Picture in keeping with the whole wildlife theme
The master BR is to the left of the kitchen. You really can't judge the size from these photos, but I would say its standard MBR size for all the DVC villas
Of course, what stay is complete without seeing this little beauty?
There is a night stand on each side of the bed and adjustable lights overhead
Behind the door are the drawers. There were 4 in total and Denny and I had plenty of room for our clothes
I didn't notice whether there was an ihome in every room.
The desk and TV. To the right of the desk is the picture window and to the left is a big pull out drawer. (not pictured) We stored our dirty clothes in there.
We could NOT see the water from this window, only the trees. Now here's something interesting. Nick walked into our room and immediately noticed that the bottom pane of that middle window could be pushed out. The pin that help it locked was missing. We had the maintenance man fix it for fear that we might lose a child through there.
The MBR bathroom is very spacious
The toilet is in a separate area
Straight ahead is the tub. This is actually behind a glass door. A see-through glass door!
Up close of the tile
Cool window in the shower area
tub (which we never used)
tile floor outside the tub (much, much more vibrant than this in real life)
So let me explain this shower set up. After you walk through the glass door you stand on that tile floor and take your shower outside the tub. I didn't even realize that at first and couldn't figure out how I was supposed to take a shower. Doh!!!!!!!!!
Again, this granite was beautiful and this picture is a dud.
Now there is something I have to mention about the treehouses and this is very important. THERE ARE NO LOCKS ON ANY OF THE DOORS IN THE TREEHOUSE! Yup, only the outside door locks. So imagine how I felt about taking a shower behind a glass shower door in a bathroom that doesn't lock, in a bedroom that doesn't lock. Really, NOT a fan!
I also forgot to mention that there is a nice sized closet in the MBR. Plenty of hangers and plenty of room to store two big suitcases. There was also plenty of storage space in the MBR bathroom.
So, that's my treehouse tour.
Let's get back to the train now, shall we?
Just as we were finishing putting our clothes away we got a call from my SIL. She said, "Should we follow the signs to the Magic Kingdom?"
What?????? My immediate thought they were already heading towards the MK!!!!!!!
I said, "I gave you the address. Did you put it in the GPS?"
Her answer, "No, the GPS is in the back of the car. I can't reach it."
What?????????? Clearly, she is NOT married to Denny. But in this situation I can't figure out, for the life of me, why they weren't using the GPS to get to Saratoga Springs.
I said, "No. NO. Don't go to the Magic Kingdom. Follow the signs to DTD. From there you will see signs to Saratoga Springs. Go through the guard gate. Have your license ready and meet us at the main pool, the Springs area".
I told the boys to hurry. I thought that they were almost here.
In actuality they had probably just gotten on the road because I called my SIL when we got over to Artist Palette. They were still about 20 minutes out, so we got our lunch and sat down to eat.
I got the vegetable flatbread
Denny had some type of chicken salad with cranraisins
I didn't take a picture of Nick's meal so I don't know what he ate. In fact, I didn't take any pictures of Nicks food. I did take pictures of my food so I could calculate out whether I got my money's worth from the QSDP.
We had cupcakes for dessert.
The nice thing about eating here was we could fill our mugs and take a beverage back to the villa.
Decorations at Artist's Palette
Continued in Next Post........
When I was done eating I got a call from my SIL that they were at the guard gate. I went outside to wait for them and to direct them where to park.
Some pictures while waiting for them to come through the pool area.
While I was standing there I actually was able to see my brother's car pass, but it seemed like forever until they actually came into eyesight.
Unfortunately, the little guy in the orange fell asleep in the car and he was quite cranky.
What time do you think my brother's family actually arrived????? 12:45!!!!!!! Yikes! That was on LONG train ride.
I herded everyone inside and tried to explain the dining plan to my SIL. I helped her get the kid's mugs and helped the kids fill them. I also helped grab desserts. Talk about a 3 ring circus.
Is he not the cutest?
Did you notice the First Visit pin? I gave one to each of the boys.
After their first Disney lunch we went to the cars and I gave them their parking pass. Then they followed us to the villa.
All I can say is it's a darn good thing they didn't fly because they had the car packed like a beach vacation. We had enough water and drinks for an army. In no time we filled the entire fridge.
Once everyone was settled the first order of business was swimming!
The pool was a big success and it was certainly what everyone needed after that long train ride.
Around 3:30 ish we headed back to the villa. The plan was to go to the Magic Kingdom tonight, ride a few rides that everyone would enjoy, and see the parade.
Would that happen? And exactly how long to the first meltdown?????
Let's try this again
forget it. It's rotated in photobucket, but not here. Sorry!
I often have the same problem with rotating pictures, and sometimes later they just turn the right way!
Thank you for remembering "my" fixture! I do have to say one thing I don't like is that if you have hard water (like I do) you see the hard water deposits on the spout. Makes it a little less attractive. But my DD9 loves it and actually likes to wash her hands in that bathroom!
How many tree houses are there anyway? And they all sleep what, 9?
That's exactly what happened. The picture is no rotated corrected. Go figure!
I have hard water too so I know what you mean. They are really unique fixtures. They looked great with the granite, although you can't tell because my pictures are so dark.
I counted 60 on the map, but I may have counted wrong. Yes - they all sleep 9 and we had plenty of room.
Wow, the rooms in the treehouses are amazing! I especially loved the lamps that looked like they were made from branches.
No locks, huh? Weird!
It looked like lunch and some pool time really hit the spot. But I fear that the dreaded meltdown is right around the corner.
I have never seen the inside of the treehouses before. I am betting it was perfect for a larger group!
Oh oh oh! I'm sitting here sighing out loud at that treehouse! The wooden headboards and the tree stump lamp and the gorgeous kitchen and that huge bathtub! I'm drooling! Although I got a good giggle thinking of the whole family in there with no locks and a see through shower door!
And the pool is so pretty too, I love that top part with the natural looking river rocks.
Glad your bro finally arrived! What a lonnnng day for them already.
Ok, how long until the first meltdown? Well, long train rides would be a major factor. I say you get a half hour in MK before the first one.
Its always a huge bonus when your room is ready early; like winning the lottery. Sorta.
Wait...looking at the map...there are that many treehouses? When you take the journey up the river, it looks like there are only a handful.
The villa looks beautiful, somehow rustic and woodsy and modern all at the same time. The bathrooms are beautiful. I really think that Disneyworld is home to some of the most beautiful bathrooms in the world.
I really liked the main pool at SSR. The rock formations were cool and I loved how secluded the hot tub was.
The boys are super cute.
Ha -- about the packing of the car. I'm currently debating whether I should bring some cereal for Max in the morning and I think that's a lot. I don't miss all the packing involved in beach vacations.
Hope MK went well...but I sense some uneasiness there at the end.
The villa really was amazing and it really is one of those things you need to see with your own eyes, not my suboptimal pictures.
I bet that was to avoid multiple daily calls to maintenance to pop locks. I am guilty myself of having to call them once when my boys locked themselves in their bedroom (and they were teenagers).
It really did hit the spot. The pool was perfect and we had it all to ourselves. And, yes, there is ONE BIG MELTDOWN before this day is over.
Because it was 4 adults, one teen, and 4 kids it worked out perfectly. Best possible arrangement because it gave Nick, 17, his own sleeping area and I think teens need their own space.
The Villa is really pretty!! I love all of the details, and the granite looks beautiful! The no locks would bother me though! How strange!
Yay for your brother's family arriving! They look happy to finally be in Disney!
Enjoying your TR I am from the Lehigh Valley (Northampton) & I agree ABE is one of the easiest airports to fly from. So simple.
Oh my goodness, the treehouse is gorgeous! I mean, I know it's a deluxe villa resort, but I still never pictured it to be so pretty. I mean... it's a treehouse. Awesome!
Oh man... I hope there were no incidents with the glass shower and no locks!!!
Wow, that train ride must have been agonizing. Glad they all got there in one piece though!
First things first, there is no way unless I was just travelling with my daughter or my one sister that I am super close to that I could handle a bathroom with no locks. That would freak me out! Were there any mishaps because of this? Oh dear!
And I am dying to find out when the first meltdown happened and who it was! Does that make me an awful person?
Finally, God bless you for taking a trip with such a large group!
The tree house really was lovely. I am very happy that we got to stay there and that MBR and bath can certainly spoil someone.
The lock thing - Oh brother - at least put a door on the shower than you can't see through. Every time I got in there I said to Denny, "make sure no one comes in here".
The main pool really is quite beautiful. SSR has some very lovely pools.
The train ride was definitely a major factor in the meltdown.
I just realized I have about 150 more photos for the next update pre meltdown, so I'm not sure if that will come in the next update or not.
I agree. I didn't expect the room to be ready until about 2pm. I was so excited to be in there and unpacked before 12!
Yup. I guess only about 1/4 to 1/3 are actually on the river. They are also pretty well hidden when you are in the complex so its almost impossible to figure how many are there. The entire area actually seems pretty small compared to the other SSR areas.
That's a great description. Rustic and modern all at once. And I agree, WDW does have some really nice bathrooms, especially in the DVC resorts!
It's a beautiful pool, plus I am a suck for red umbrellas, It just brightens everything up.
I am going to the beach in a month. Should be interesting to see if we can get everyone and all our crap in one car. Fortunately, we live close to the beach so if we have to take two cars its not a big deal.
Uneasiness - there's a gentle word for how the night ended.
The villa had wonderful detailing and it really was a comfortable place to stay. I loved our MBR. I would say it was my second favorite villa MBR. Could have been my first had there been locks on the doors!
They really did arrive in reasonably cheery moods and the kids were very excited to be there, although they got tired pretty early. Still, I'm glad we got into MK on our first night evening though it didn't end really great.
Kimmy! I loved your little neighborhood airport. It was great. Seriously, you guys are so lucky to have that. I hope I get to fly from there again. It was a great experience.
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