2018 UY was a wild ride!


DVC SSR & other timeshare
Feb 5, 2004
We’ve just returned home from our final trip of the 2018 Oct UY. What a wild ride we’ve had this year!
  • Oct 2018: OKW 1BR for the Moonlight Magic event at DHS. Started a new Platinum AP!!
  • Oct 2018, 2 weeks later: BWV Std Studio for a “last minute” Food & Wine visit. We must get our four visits to Epcot to earn the Cutting Board!!
  • Dec 2018: Off-site 3BR timeshare with family for New Years. Great fun!
  • Jan 2019: SSR Treehouse with friends for the Pro-Bowl.
  • Jan 2019, about a week later: Moonlight Magic event at Disneyland.
  • March 2019: Kidani Studio for our Anniversary
  • June 2019: SWGE Preview at DLR ... resulting in new APs at DLR.
  • July 2019: 1BR at SSR via RCI for the Moonlight Magic event at DAK. Hot but we survived it and had a great time.
  • Sept 2019: 1BR at SSR via RCI (plus one night on points) for the Moonlight Magic event at Typhoon Lagoon and the Extra Early Magic Hours at DHS (SWGE), MK and DAK. Phew. We are so exhausted ... but what a special gift those extra hours gave us! Rode RnRRC soooo many times! Sometimes as the only occupants on the ride ... crazy! BTW, Oga’s for breakfast was fun; I enjoyed the Overnight Oats, Latte and sharing a table with fellow travelers.
Our WDW APs will expire in just a few days ... but I’d say we got great use from them. We did 10 park days in the last trip alone.

And best of all, perhaps, we finally got to “bond” with our one-and-only DVC home resort of the past 15+ years: Saratoga Springs. I explored the walking/jogging path, participated in Sunrise Yoga, swam in the pools and took in the lovely landscaping. We visited Disney Springs for the ‘convenience’ factor and then retreated back to the quiet shelter of our home at SSR. I fell in love.

The open spaces gave me freedom to breathe with long, deep breaths. No hurry, no pressure, not a soul in sight. Just space to breathe deep and find peace.​
The landscaping tickled my senses with different heights, textures and colors.​
The water fowl amused me with their antics and helped me overcome the loneliness of missing my own critters, each safely kenneled or cared for at home. So glad there were animals on the property!​
The buildings were graceful models in my photography sessions with interesting architectural details and colors. My shutterbug walkabouts helped me relax with a focused activity.​
The boats! What can I say. I loved them. Boats=fun. It is just that simple for me.​

Saying goodbye on Sunday was difficult. We have no return planned ... nothing booked for 2020 at WDW. We told ourselves we weren’t returning until 2021 after Epcot had completed the latest transformation. We’ll see how that goes. In the meantime, we will continue to enjoy DLR and to seek out the remaining DataPad achievements in SWGE.

So now I’m home. Yesterday I spent 7 hours driving all over two counties picking up animals and the mail. This morning I fed 19 horses, 4 cats, 1 dog, 1 parrot, 1 goat, 2 sheep and a pig ... and wondered ... when are we going back ... ?

LOL. Enjoy!


We're all just children, reaching for our dreams
Jul 7, 2019
Sounds wonderful. Our passes will expire in January and then we are taking a Disney break as well (year/year 1/2). I was pleasantly surprised at how pretty Saratoga was on my last trip. I could see really enjoying it without kids. It's just laid back and spread out. Glad your animals are well! I have a hard time leaving my animals and I only have 2 cats and 2 dogs! I enjoyed reading your post. Thanks!


DVC SSR & other timeshare
Feb 5, 2004
Glad your animals are well! I have a hard time leaving my animals and I only have 2 cats and 2 dogs! I enjoyed reading your post. Thanks!
Thank you! I’ve found that cameras help reduce the worry when I’m away from the animals. I have two on the horses and two that are frequently triggered by the cats (outdoor, working “barn” cats). These send sufficient info to put my mind at ease as I can verify the last “sighting” of a given animal. The ladies caring my “at home” critters are simply incredible and I have full trust in their judgement. The dog and bird each do well at their kennels and I receive the occasional photo when they are doing something unusual (either good or bad). Last week, the dog kennel sent a photo of my dog meeting their new pot-belly pig. My dog’s body language told an entire story ... his mind was blown and he had no idea of how to respond to a pig. (My dog is treated like royalty there ... he gets full run of the house and is not kept in a kennel run.)

“First Time” things we tried this UY:

Summer travel to WDW.
Our DVC purchase was not, originally, intended for vacation but rather to support an annual Tech Conference each January at the Dolphin/Swan/YC Conference Centers. The conference moved to Las Vegas in 2016 and we’ve been trying new things! Having an OCT UY was perfect as we figured we’d never travel or even want to travel in the summer months. So what did we do this year? A full week in July and 8 nights in Sept. Guess what? We liked it!! My skin has never felt so soft. It was like living in a steam sauna for a full week. Ok, I can do this!!

Dining, dining and more dining. We usually cook in the unit ... but didn’t do that this year. Instead, we adopted a pattern of breakfast in the unit, one table service meal each day (splitting plates) and snacking. Splitting plates was a key and worked well both financially and for portion control. We blew the pattern on the last trip triggered by the fear of missing out (“last trip!”) and sometimes splurged on two full-service meals in a given day. We might regret that, I think, when the Amex bill arrives but sure enjoyed the food!

New-to-us Dining:
The Polite Pig in Disney Springs. LOVED IT! We split a main course and added a round of sides (3 sides for $15) and were more than satisfied. Everything, including our sides (Cauliflower, Brussels Sprouts and Mac’n’cheese) were exceptional. We hope to visit again.​
Oga’s Cantina at DHS. I’d truly thought from our June visit (DL) that Oga’s was “once and one” for me. We visited Oga’s twice at DHS: once during normal hours on a reservation booked long in advance for our first park day and mid-visit for breakfast during the Extra Early Magic Hours. Indeed, standing at the bar is done for us. For breakfast we were offered a table, shared with others. The table changed our Oga’s experience. If we return, we will wait for table rather than stand at the bar.​
Cooke’s of Dublin at Disney Springs. I’ve long wanted to try their meat pies but missed out (arrived too late; found them sold out). This past trip we went in mid-afternoon and I scored a Curry Lamb pie. It was to die for ... such intense flavor presented in a perfectly prepared crust. Must do this again!​
Repeat favorites:
Yak’n’Yeti at DAK. We are Landry’s Select Club members and relish the “front of the line” seating when the park feels crowded or we are overwhelmed by heat. We paired half-portions each of the Wonton Soup with a shared Lettuce Cup plate and a Dragon Oolong tea. This was a perfect mid-day meal! The Wonton Soup has a lovely “bright” flavor coming form the ginger; we’d never tried it before and will hope to have it again. We are sad to hear that the Kale Salad is leaving the menu ... it is a favorite.​
Tiffin’s Nomad Lounge at DAK. This is so relaxing and pleasant! We prefer sitting outside if space is available ... but inside is great, too. We ponder and discuss the questions hanging from the ceilings and learn a bit more about each other.​
Prime Time Cafe at DHS. We haven’t been in ages! Loved splitting the sampler plate (I was hankering for the meat loaf!) and were blown away by the fried chicken. The server was so entertaining. He was a bit of an “energizer bunny” type and kept both banter and service moving quickly. What a blast!​
Brown Derby at DHS. We dropped in during the July travel, without a reservation, for an early lunch when heat and exhaustion both hit together. It was exactly what we needed!​
The DVC Member Lounge at Epcot. While we didn’t visit this past trip, we enjoyed it often in July. Watching a summer storm while sheltered by the glass canopy is a real treat!​
Jiko’s at Animal Kingdom Lodge. This is a long-held favorite that we haven’t visited in many years. It was our “last meal” Saturday night and a true delight. We broke the plate-splitting pattern and each ordered our own meals as my husband was unwilling to share his selection (ha, ha, ha). Yeah! That allowed me to try the grouper ... a childhood favorite that I don’t often experience. Very yummy.​
Popcorn Bucket. Never did this before ... but we relied on it heavily this last trip. Funny that refill prices vary in the different parks ($1.98 to $2.10?) and that only Epcot offers flavored popcorn options??

I might remember more later ...

FWIW, coming from California, boarding at bus at 5:15a ET for DHS Extra Early Hours was brutal. We did a total of 3 early, early days ... and an equal number of “sleep in, no alarm” days. Yawn. Could have enjoyed more “sleep in” days but the benefits of early mornings were such a draw. Glad we did them ...
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