Austin Family Blowout Aug. 2017

JodyLynC

DIS Veteran
Joined
Sep 7, 2001
When we started planning this adventure, I realized this would be the last WDW trip while my DDs were still in school. We have been twice with them. Once when they were 2 1/2 and again shortly after they turned 5. The first time we stayed in a Poly standard room just to be close to MK. We were there for 3 nights. The second time we stayed at the Fort Wilderness cabins. Again, only 3 nights.

This time we are going all out. We are doing all the things we have always wanted to do:
  • Longer Stay
  • Club Level rooms
  • Split Stay
  • Illuminations Cruise
So who are the players? Me, DH, and my 14yo twin DDs

How did we get here? My rambling planning stage can be found at https://www.disboards.com/threads/and-so-it-begins-aug-2017-vacation-at-the-world.3521940/

When will we get there? Our WDW vacation begins on August 1st, but we will be going to Florida three days early to visit MIL and BIL in Tampa.

Where will we be staying? We will be doing a triple split between Poly CL, YC CL, and AKL std.

Where will we be eating? We have ADRs for
  • BOG lunch
  • Scifi lunch
  • 50s PTC lunch
  • BnC dinner
  • Boma dinner
Other meals and snacks? Since we are staying CL level on most of our trip, we will try to get most of our food from the CL lounges, but we do have some other places in mind as well. Here are some other places/foods we have in mind. I have a lot of places listed, but we will be sharing our snacks and QS meals. Let's see how many we hit.
  • Dole Whip (either at MK or Poly)
  • Gaston's Tavern for Lefou's Brew
  • Ohana Twilight Feast
  • Captain Cooks or Kona Isle for QS dinners while staying at Poly
  • CHH for lunch on our second MK day
  • Cheeseburger Egg Roll. I've heard this is an awesome snack
  • Sleepy Hollow? We might try the chicken and waffle if the mood strikes us.
  • Epcot World Showcase - We like to snack around the world by sharing snacks or a QS meal. We are planning 2 days at Epcot so wherever we stop on Day 1, we will pick up on Day 2.
  • Crew's Cup at YC
  • Satuli Canteen at AK
  • Flame Tree at AK on our second AK day
  • Sanaa for breakfast while at AKL
  • Mara for QS dinner at AK
So join us for our big adventure!
 

JodyLynC

DIS Veteran
Joined
Sep 7, 2001
Day T minus 3: Airport and Day 1 in Tampa

Got up at 3:00am to get ready for our 6am flight. The house sitter will be coming over later.

We debated on whether we were going to leave our car at the airport or take Lyft or Uber. We even went so far as to download the Uber app, but after 40 minutes of "you need to text xxxx to xxx" and receiving confirmation that the text was received, but still getting the "you need to text.." when trying to make a reservation, we gave up. We decided to park our car at a highly rated, but inexpensive off site parking lot.

Uber app - 0 stars

The Parking Spot Check in - 5 stars. Fast service. Wonderful staff.

John Glenn International Airport (formerly Port Columbus)- 5 stars. Smaller airport. Easy to get around. TSA well organized. Moved you thru quickly.

Southwest Check in - Did early bird check in got in the latter A group. Used the kiosks to get boarding passes and baggage check. Relatively quick.

Southwest Flight - 4 stars. Good service, but not entertaining. Flight arrived 15 minutes early

Tampa International Airport - 3 stars. Very spread out. Cluttered in some areas. Open in others.

Alamo Car Rental Check in - 2 stars. Sonja messed up our reservation. Very friendly and helpful. Was shown the section of cars to go to in the Alamo lot. Then got to pick out the one we wanted.
 
Last edited:

GADisneyDad14

TPAS Moderator
Moderator
Joined
Jul 3, 2014
I've never spent much time over here on the Trip Report thread but since this involves Poly CL and I know you've been planning this for a long time, I'M IN! Hope you have a great trip!
 
  • JodyLynC

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Sep 7, 2001
    I've never spent much time over here on the Trip Report thread but since this involves Poly CL and I know you've been planning this for a long time, I'M IN! Hope you have a great trip!
    Thanks! We are super excited.
     
    Last edited:

    NYCgrrl

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Jul 13, 2017
    Having read your pre trip thread I now better undertand why you flew into Tampa:).
    You had my in happy happy joy mode for a moment thinking I could bypass MCO and the winter flight cost which is vastly different from the summer's.
    Ah well, back to reality:D.
     
  • JodyLynC

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Sep 7, 2001
    T minus 2: Tampa day 2

    Rain off and on all day yesterday and storms today. I hope it doesn't follow us to Orlando.
     

    JodyLynC

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Sep 7, 2001
    T minus 1:

    Since we want to get the rental car dropped off early tomorrow, we decided to go to Orlando early. We are leaving Tampa at 2pm so we will beat rush hour traffic on I-4. That means finding a cheap, but decent hotel to spend the night at before starting our Disney vacation tomorrow. (cue Annie)

    We started exploring hotels at the various websites and found a few decent ones near Disney Springs at very reasonable prices. Upon looking closer at some of these hotels, we discovered that many of them come with an extra "Resort Hotel Fee" that costs anywhere from $14 to $30. Excuse me, what in the ever lovin' heck is a Resort Hotel Fee? Aren't I already paying a Resort Hotel Fee called a Nightly Rate? What is this made up fee that allows you to jack up the price? Why not just state your real price instead of doing this bait and switch? Because, friends, they want to look like they are the lowest, but in reality they are as much as or more than other hotels around them.

    So, word of caution: Always, always, always check the fine print and final price before hitting the confirm or purchase button.

    Well, I found what I hope to be a decent hotel without the extra hidden fees (just the FL sales tax and FL resort tax) about 3 miles from Disney Springs. It is the Delta hotel by Marriot. They have rather good reviews. The girls can play in the pool and/or we can spend the evening at DS. Then we will get up early in the a.m. to fill the car up (with luggage and gas), drop it off at the Car Care Center, then grab the bus to Poly for breakfast and start our magical vacation.

    I will post later how everything goes.
     

    JodyLynC

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Sep 7, 2001
    The weather channel breaking news: Tropical Depression Six Forms in the Eastern Gulf of Mexico; Tropical Storm Watch Issued in Florida

    Well, heck o_O
     
  • Simba's Girl

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Jul 28, 2000
    As a mom of a 17 and 14 year old (and a 10 year old) I'm always game for a CL trip report that involves teens.

    Can't wait to hear more!

    Hope the rain doesn't have too much of an impact
     

    JodyLynC

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Sep 7, 2001
    T-minus 1 continued: Made it to Delta by Marriott. The room is not bad, but the $15 hidden fee for parking leaves a bad taste in one's mouth. Just tell me the price up front!! Anyway, off to Disney Springs tonight for QS dinner, shopping, and a little preview of our Disney vacation.

    The weather is not too hot, thanks to the Tropical Storm over the state. It is pretty cloudy right now, but trying to clear up. Hopefully the worst of the rain is over.
     

    SCSteve

    Mouseketeer
    Joined
    Jan 24, 2008
    The storm was downgraded to a tropical depression and all the cloud cover is actually helping to make it feel less hot! So its all good!
     

    DisneyFansInNYC

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    May 28, 2012
    It sounds like a great trip. We did a 3 resort split last summer and it was so much fun. We go to the Poly soon and can't wait to hear your report. I am curious if they still have the CL desk in the main lobby. That is where we checked in last year and that is where we got our leis - then they walked us over. The kids love getting the leis. Curious if it has changed. Thanks.
     

    JodyLynC

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Sep 7, 2001
    T minus 1 continued: Delta by at Lake Buena Vista: 1/5 stars In addition to getting slammed with a hidden parking fee of $15. The sink is in the bathroom so if one person is in the bathroom. No one else has access to the sink and mirror. Almost no counter space in bathroom for your products. Also, dirty pillowcases and dirty shower curtain.

    We walked around Disney Springs in the evening. The first place we hit was Amorette Patisserie. I said "Let's start with dessert first to celebrate being on Disney Property." So, we shared 4 yummy desserts: Mickey Mousse, Pistachio Éclair, Blueberry Lemon Pastry, and the Key Lime Dessert (I forgot the name.) Everything was delicious. 5/5 stars.

    https://www.disboards.com/media/image.83392/ (sorry. still trying to figure out the photo thing)
     

    JodyLynC

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Sep 7, 2001
    We went to World of Disney and a few other shops. Then swung by Morimoto Street Food and tried the sushi. Pretty disappointing. It wasn't at all fresh. Hardly any flavor. 2/5 stars

    More window shopping including the Star Wars shop. Then we hit Bongo's Express and grabbed a couple of empanadas. We tried the pork and the beef. Both were the perfect temperature and full of flavor. We were also given a couple of free cups of water upon request. 4.5/5 stars

    https://www.disboards.com/media/image.83393/

    More window shopping including the Coke store. It was about 8:30pm now. There was a cool breeze in the air with maybe just a little sprinkling of rain. (Thanks Tropical Storm Emily) But it was getting crowded. We made our way out, gassed up the rental car, then stopped at the Chili's to grab a couple of salads to go. We finished them in our room as we got out our magic bands and other items needed for the parks. Then we rearranged our suitcase contents and went to bed early.

    Tomorrow the magic begins!!
     


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