Last year’s ice storm turned into our 1st Universal vacation

Disney Addicted

DIS Veteran
Joined
Aug 29, 2011
I actually rarely eat breakfast so I do not know how Bayliner compares, but the food in the bowling alley was surprisingly tasty and unique to Cabana Bay.

The walk to the water taxi, if you follow the walking path, is 10 maybe 15 minutes. The other option is to just cross the street out front and not take the pedestrian bridge over Adventure Way which is quicker by far, but feels a bit like a game of Frogger with the drivers!!

Sapphire Falls is considered a Preferred Hotel so pool hopping is allowed. Only the two new value resorts, Endless Summer Surfside and Dockside, are "prohibited" from pool hopping.

I last stayed in a family suite in Cabana Bay in February with my two sons (21 & 16) so the extra space was amazing!! This time we are staying in a Kid Suite at Sapphire Falls: one king bed and a separate bedroom with two twin beds. We will see how that works for the 6' "kids"!

We will be there August 15-19. Nothing like the FL heat in Aug! Still, it was 99 degrees here today so its really not that much of a difference! 8-)
Next summer (labor day) we are headed to AKL for a week!! Total dream of mine to stay there so I am hoarding Disney gift cards like a fiend! I do wish Universal had a way to get discounted GC's! I'd never leave!
I remember Frogger! LOL Kids now just don't get those kind of games. We will be careful crossing the street.

Two weeks and counting for your trip! Wishing you a great time and weather. A kids suite at Sapphire Falls sounds good. Hopefully the beds are long and their feet don't hang off. :) My brother is about 6'2"

Ohh AKL - that will be so nice. That's one of the resorts I would love to stay at. My other dream resort is Wilderness Lodge. I love the theming of it.
 

Disney Addicted

DIS Veteran
Joined
Aug 29, 2011
Good morning! Now that today is the first of August, there’s this song in my head that will not go away! It just keeps humming away… “The Final Countdown” by Europe. This is the countdown picture on my phone. I found a photo I really liked online and made it into the countdown photo.

Screenshot_20190801-085844_Vacation Countdown.jpg

And it’s official. Yesterday was my birthday and I am now 50! o_O:confused3 I still can’t figure out how the years went by so fast. I’m receiving birthday money on the weekend so I went ahead and ordered these shoes. It dawned on me that two (of my three) pairs of Keen’s (one for outside, one for inside) are 9 years old and not giving the arch support I need anymore. I had discovered this pair a couple of months ago and love how cute they are. The blue pair is just gorgeous but I need a color I can wear with any outfit. My keens and a pair of runners are the only footwear I’m bringing. Actually, that is what each of us are bringing. Keens are awesome for waterparks, beaches, etc.

keen shoes.jpg

Also this past week I decided on a date for Animal Kingdom and purchased the tickets. I ended up going with the Sunday ($125 ticket day) as it worked best in our schedule. Tomorrow is our 30 day date and I get to try booking FastPasses for the first time on MDE. The last time we were in the parks it was still paper FPs. The rides/attractions/shows we want to do are:

Na’vi River
Flight of Passage
Kilimanjaro Safaris – did once 9 years ago
Kali River Rapids - missed
Dinosaur - missed
It’s Tough to be a Bug – missed (but my son & I saw it in Disneyland)
Animation – missed at DHS but my son & I did this in Disneyland
Lion King - missed
Finding Nemo – saw once 9 years ago
Rivers of Light
Pandora Utility Suits

There’s more of course but those are our highlights. We will NOT be riding Expedition Everest, Primeval Whirl or TriceraTop Spin. Otherwise we'd look like this the rest of the day.. :crazy2: Since we will be at the park until closing I figure we should be able to do it all. Right? I hope.

There’s EMH every day there’s no point in us rushing for park opening to beat the line up for FOP. It will already be long so I’m crossing my fingers I’ll get FPs for it. Everyone will want to eat breakfast so I’m planning on getting the family to Bayliner Diner for 7 AM and getting an Uber as soon as we finish eating.


Since we will be in AK until park closing (gotta see Rivers of Light) I decided to make a table-service reservation half-way through the day. This way everyone can cool down, rest, fuel up and rejuvenate for the rest of the day. Yak & Yeti! Years ago we wanted to try their honey chicken and fried wonton deserts but left AK two hours after we went in. Ohh and a Yak Attack for me… :rolleyes1 My 20 year old is not happy that she can’t have a drink while in the States. LOL 8-)
 

Disney Addicted

DIS Veteran
Joined
Aug 29, 2011
Since we had to choose specific dates for RPR, MNSSHP, and Animal Kingdom, I needed to make up a calendar to figure out which parks when. This is our daily plan breakdown.

Tuesday 27CCBR and CityWalk
Arrive at Cabana Bay. We will check out the resort and have dinner in CityWalk. While we walk to Citywalk we will figure out the way to Royal Pacific and time it.
Go inside one of the parks for a bit and upgrade to our Seasonal Aps.

Wednesday 28Islands of Adventure
Check into RPR; pick up our UL EPs and spend the day at IOA. Park opens at 9 AM so I plan to be there for 8:30 AM.
We may break for a bit and try out RPR’s pool.
Nighttime lights at Hogwarts’ Castle if it’s showing then.

Thursday 29Universal Studios
EE at 8 AM. Arrive for 7:30? 7:45?
We may break for a bit at RPR’s pool.
Cinematic Spectacular if it’s showing then.

Friday 30
- Gatorland
Since everyone will be up early the past 3 days we will sleep in first at be at Gatorland 10/11 AM.
Then stop in at Disney Springs for shopping and dinner.

Saturday 31Volcano Bay
Volcano Bay day. It’s EE at 8 AM but I doubt we will be there that early. If I try to schedule too many park openings my family will kill me. 😊 We won’t be closing down the park either. Maybe head into the parks for a couple of hours afterwards.

Sunday 1Animal Kingdom
AK has EMH at 7 AM so there’s no point in us rushing to enter at 8 AM. I’m sure Flights of Passage will have a huge line by the time we enter the park.
Spending the entire day here until the park closes at 9 PM.

Monday 2Mickey’s Not-so-Scary Halloween Party
Since we are going to be up so late this is a sleep in and relax kind of day. Hang out at the resort. Maybe get some laundry done. We’ll catch an Uber at 2 PM and take the ferry to MK. We have not taken the ferry across before. Or maybe we should walk from CR and take the ferry back when the park closes and we are more tired?

Tuesday 3Shopping
Sleep in and eventually head out to some stores. I would love to pick up a new pair of runners with GOOD arch support. The ones I have now are not working. I’m hoping there will be a better selection than what I have here. I’m also looking for chocolate gators to bring home, socks. My husband wants to check out clothing. Actually, so do the kids. Spend some time at the pool/lazy river.

Wednesday 4Volcano Bay

Thursday 5
both US and IOA one last time
 
  • macraven

    Proud Redhead
    Moderator
    Joined
    Apr 21, 2003
    Great plans!

    Do you hire out ?
    I'm lucky if I can plan which park to do more than a week in advance........lol

    Hope no rain falls in the parks when you go.

    Happy belated birthday :cake:
     

    Pumpkin1172

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Sep 14, 2016
    Your plans sound great!!!!

    I love the shoes...those look like great park day shoes. I know that big " 50 " is looming in the background for both of us here. I told the hubby that the year I turn 50...he better get ready for me to travel!!!! I will be doing several trips to celebrate. Hopefully leading up to...and after!!!
     

    bobbie68

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Aug 14, 2009
    Hi I was able to read through and catch up with your plans. Wow you saved a bundle with the reward programs. I have one major with some travel rewards, I usually use it for hotels or resorts. I do have my Disney visa that I was able to do my DD's surprise grad gift at. I can post a link to my latest trip report for you to look at if you want. This was our first time not doing Universal but the Sea World parks.

    Cabana Bay and Portofino are the two at the top for us. We love both resorts and usually do split stays. You made a good choice with Cabana. We love the Bayliner Diner. We have eaten breakfast, lunch and dinner there. We always had great meals and a good price. The gift shop there is one of my favorites. The lazy river is awesome. We usually spend most of our time in there. The hot tub is a little small that would be my only complaint. We had the suite last time and enjoyed the extra room with the teens.

    Happy Belated Birthday. I turned 50 last year and have been going through some things with it. It really makes you look at your life back and forward. I wonder where the time has gone when I see my DD.

    I like your schedule, boy are you busy.

    Volcano Bay is amazing, it is our favorite water park. I totally understand about the family wanting to kill you with the early entry. However, if you can go to early entry one morning, especially from Cabana Bay it is so easy with it's own entrance. You will really benefit from early entry especially that it is Labor Day weekend and it will be busy. We made sure of any of the parks we did that one.

    I look forward to keep following you and your family. It's getting close:cool1: This was this years trip.

    https://www.disboards.com/threads/my-first-pre-trip-report-yay.3601999/

    These two trip reports have Volcano Bay in them. The first one was when the park first opened so there were some changes. It could be used as a reference. Any questions just ask.:D
     
  • Pumpkin1172

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Sep 14, 2016
    I have already told my hubby, that he better be prepared for a HUGE travel bill when I turn 50,. I want to celebrate with a couple of trips :lovestruc :love1: :rotfl:I'm a January baby...and want to spend one birthday where I don't have to freezing to death because we all know how awesome the weather is in Northern Canada in January :crazy2: and I would also love one trip with my kiddos as well.
    Have a fantastic time - love from a fellow Canadian:) Hubby turns 50 in November (and we will also be going to Florida at that time - bit of Disney and lots of Universal). I turn 50 next June - perhaps I should start hinting for a trip lol.
     

    Lynne G

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Mar 29, 2009
    Yay, following along on your great planned trip. I will leave the light on, as we leave today, for some Universal fun, have to use up some more days in my kid’s seasonal pass, that we bought last year, and used for 11 days so far, 5 more now, before it expires the day after we leave. I will think about renewing it, but may not. She will be starting college soon, so not sure how much use in the next year.

    Awesome job with getting so much savings done. I think you will still like CB more, more room with family is always a good thing, as I have adult kids now, and bed sharing is not ideal for any length of stay now. And even better, you can walk to VB. No buses or Uber needs.

    Getting closer now!

    We love the summer heat in Florida, as water park fun and water rides are more fun when you are not wanting to get wet or freezing when the temps are not so hot and steamy.
     

    AJA

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Sep 16, 2008
    Following! I can't wait to read your trip report.

    My family loves Universal (even more than Disney) and we are staying at CB for the first time next month, have stayed at RPR and SF a few times, but the cost/savings of the family suite at CB is amazing! Then looking over the resort it seems perfect for teens (we have a 15 yr old daughter). Can't wait to see your photo's and how your teen liked it.
     

    Disney Addicted

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Aug 29, 2011
    Gosh, I am so sorry so much time has passed. At this moment I can't even recall what all has happened but I was so busy.

    We are sitting and waiting at the airport for our flight! Up at 3:35 AM, out the door at 5 and arrived at 6. Traffic through Toronto is great at that time.
    I wish the rest of my family would settle down now instead of distracting me.

    Two bits of news. My daughter finally has her braces! A week before we left. Putting the top braces on was a 2 week procedure. But she's finally eating semi soft foods and is not complaining much. She goes back in October.

    Also, I ended up with a part-time job starting when we get back. I'm a SAHM so I can easily do this and bring in a bit of extra cash. I'll be a crossing guard as of Sept 9.

    Ohh and we had a minor snag a couple of days ago.. our washing machine quit. Ugh. Towels, bedsheets, and clothing to wash and pack. Do you know how expensive laundromats are? We will have to take care of the washer when we get back.

    Yesterday I had to bring the kids to school to get their timetables fixed. My son took and passed his Grade 10 English in July. He was able to take Grade 11 into to computer programming instead.

    My poor husband has been worried about his ears and flying the past couple of weeks. He even asked me how I felt about driving to Florida again! He saw the doctor no less than 3 times in the past week and a half. No infection. A bit of liquid in one ear. The doctor is not worried and gave him nasal stuff and decongestants. My husband gets anxious on flights so I think it's more a symptom of anxiety.

    Great plans!

    Do you hire out ?
    I'm lucky if I can plan which park to do more than a week in advance........lol

    Hope no rain falls in the parks when you go.

    Happy belated birthday :cake:
    Thank you! I have this one friend who gets me to plan her Disney trips every time. Lol I think it's more that she doesn't want to spend the time, or enjoy it, herself.

    Your plans sound great!!!!

    I love the shoes...those look like great park day shoes. I know that big " 50 " is looming in the background for both of us here. I told the hubby that the year I turn 50...he better get ready for me to travel!!!! I will be doing several trips to celebrate. Hopefully leading up to...and after!!!
    The shoes are packed! I love that they are waterproof and cute. I think your plan is great! Cant go wrong with Multiple trips.

    Have a fantastic time - love from a fellow Canadian:) Hubby turns 50 in November (and we will also be going to Florida at that time - bit of Disney and lots of Universal). I turn 50 next June - perhaps I should start hinting for a trip lol.
    Thank you. Yes, you need a trip as well! I didn't plan it this way but it sure worked out.
     
    Last edited:
  • Disney Addicted

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Aug 29, 2011
    Hi I was able to read through and catch up with your plans. Wow you saved a bundle with the reward programs. I have one major with some travel rewards, I usually use it for hotels or resorts. I do have my Disney visa that I was able to do my DD's surprise grad gift at. I can post a link to my latest trip report for you to look at if you want. This was our first time not doing Universal but the Sea World parks.

    Cabana Bay and Portofino are the two at the top for us. We love both resorts and usually do split stays. You made a good choice with Cabana. We love the Bayliner Diner. We have eaten breakfast, lunch and dinner there. We always had great meals and a good price. The gift shop there is one of my favorites. The lazy river is awesome. We usually spend most of our time in there. The hot tub is a little small that would be my only complaint. We had the suite last time and enjoyed the extra room with the teens.

    Happy Belated Birthday. I turned 50 last year and have been going through some things with it. It really makes you look at your life back and forward. I wonder where the time has gone when I see my DD.

    I like your schedule, boy are you busy.

    Volcano Bay is amazing, it is our favorite water park. I totally understand about the family wanting to kill you with the early entry. However, if you can go to early entry one morning, especially from Cabana Bay it is so easy with it's own entrance. You will really benefit from early entry especially that it is Labor Day weekend and it will be busy. We made sure of any of the parks we did that one.

    I look forward to keep following you and your family. It's getting close:cool1: This was this years trip.

    https://www.disboards.com/threads/my-first-pre-trip-report-yay.3601999/

    These two trip reports have Volcano Bay in them. The first one was when the park first opened so there were some changes. It could be used as a reference. Any questions just ask.:D
    Hi Bobbie! Yes, I loved I was able to get so many things paid through rewards. Couldn't have come up with all the cash needed right now. I also ended up getting one Gatorland AP through Air Miles as well. 700 miles.

    What was your daughter's surprise grad gift? Yes, I'd love to read your trip report. Is it one of the two links you provided? I'll take a look at those. It might not be until we get back though.

    I'm so glad to hear you enjoy the meals at Bayliner. I sure am looking forward to the space. And thank you for the birthday wishes. I must admit I don't like thinking about how many years have gone by as I don't like change much. Too many changes over the years, you know? I hope you will be ok with what you are going through.

    My kids complain I pack too much into a vacation. (wry grin). I know I do but at the cost and the few vacations we take I don't want to miss anything! Ah well. I really am going to try to slow down but I needed to create a game plan. We shall see what happens. Can I manage to relax a little or will my family refuse to travel with me ever again? 🤣
     

    Disney Addicted

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Aug 29, 2011
    I have already told my hubby, that he better be prepared for a HUGE travel bill when I turn 50,. I want to celebrate with a couple of trips :lovestruc :love1: :rotfl:I'm a January baby...and want to spend one birthday where I don't have to freezing to death because we all know how awesome the weather is in Northern Canada in January :crazy2: and I would also love one trip with my kiddos as well.
    Where in Canada are you? I totally agree with spending a birthday somewhere warm! Last night I was pulling the quilt over me and it's still technically summer. 🙁 Where are you hoping to go?

    Yay, following along on your great planned trip. I will leave the light on, as we leave today, for some Universal fun, have to use up some more days in my kid’s seasonal pass, that we bought last year, and used for 11 days so far, 5 more now, before it expires the day after we leave. I will think about renewing it, but may not. She will be starting college soon, so not sure how much use in the next year.

    Awesome job with getting so much savings done. I think you will still like CB more, more room with family is always a good thing, as I have adult kids now, and bed sharing is not ideal for any length of stay now. And even better, you can walk to VB. No buses or Uber needs.

    Getting closer now!

    We love the summer heat in Florida, as water park fun and water rides are more fun when you are not wanting to get wet or freezing when the temps are not so hot and steamy.
    Oh my gosh, I hope you had a great trip!! Are you back? Are you going to post a trip report? I'd love to read it.

    Ohh and exactly!! At home friends are always saying why go in the summer?! But we like swimming/waterparks. I like heat and really? Face it. We really don't have much of a summer. It's already over.

    Following! I can't wait to read your trip report.

    My family loves Universal (even more than Disney) and we are staying at CB for the first time next month, have stayed at RPR and SF a few times, but the cost/savings of the family suite at CB is amazing! Then looking over the resort it seems perfect for teens (we have a 15 yr old daughter). Can't wait to see your photo's and how your teen liked it.
    I will let you know for sure! Are you going for the halloween event?
     

    Pumpkin1172

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Sep 14, 2016
    Where in Canada are you? I totally agree with spending a birthday somewhere warm! Last night I was pulling the quilt over me and it's still technically summer. 🙁 Where are you hoping to go?
    Northern Alberta...the weather out west has been dismal at best this year. No real heat or summer weather. Honestly...I just want to go somewhere warm. If it's just my and the hubby, I will be happy with a quick mexico trip. If it's with the boys...I would love to be able to Orlando - Universal and Disney a couple days at each. We will have to see what happens here in the fall with the hubby's job and so how many shifts I get at the second job ;)

    Have a great trip!!!!! Can't wait to hear all about it when you get back
     

    Chickinvic

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    May 9, 2019
    Northern Alberta...the weather out west has been dismal at best this year. No real heat or summer weather. Honestly...I just want to go somewhere warm. If it's just my and the hubby, I will be happy with a quick mexico trip. If it's with the boys...I would love to be able to Orlando - Universal and Disney a couple days at each. We will have to see what happens here in the fall with the hubby's job and so how many shifts I get at the second job ;)

    Have a great trip!!!!! Can't wait to hear all about it when you get back
    That sucks about the lack of summer, it really gets to you when that happens. Happened a few times when I lived in Victoria - like no summer at all some years. Here in Ottawa the spring sucked, but the summer has been nice.
     

    Disney Addicted

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Aug 29, 2011
    We are back! Things are finally back to normal around here. Wow. Where to begin? 11 days away. I wish it could have been longer but I know my family were happy to be back home. My husband was looking forward to our own bed (which hurts my back – I slept better at CBBR); our son to his computer and games; our daughter to school. I promptly spent most of the next day (Saturday) trying to figure out when we could go back. I mean, why waste these APs right? :goodvibes

    We walked through our door about 7 pm Friday night (Sept 6th) and I thought hey, I could get two loads of laundry done. Not! I had forgotten our washer broke. Early Saturday morning I woke up to hear my husband’s car driving away. He took all the laundry to the laundromat and let me sleep. Wasn’t that sweet?! :love: I wish I could have made him breakfast but we had no eggs, milk, bread, fruit, etc in the house and Dad had my car keys. Our washing machine is now fixed but it cost $390! ($230 for a new filter/pump, service call, time, taxes). Good thing I started that new job last week.

    Unfortunately, Canada welcomed me home as well… going to sleep that night I suddenly realized my throat was scratchy. Sure enough, I woke up with a cold Sunday morning. :headache: I’m just shaking off the last of it now. Ok, Canada doesn’t need to be 40 degree warm but I do wish our summer warmth would last longer. All of June through the end of September in shorts/t-shirts would be nice.

    So… my husband had no problems with the flights and his ears.
    The beginning of our vacation was MELTING HOT!
    Due to her braces my daughter hardly ate much the entire time we were away. (wry grin)
    Doing laundry at CBBR was very easy peasy!
    Food at CBBR was all right.
    I’m very glad we stayed at CBBR’s family suite instead of Sapphire Falls’ standard room with 2 teens.
    We used the water taxi at Sapphire Falls a LOT! Walking across the street is easy.
    Would you believe we managed to avoid rain our entire stay? I kid you not!


    I’m just sorting through all our photos (over 1,600 of them) :rolleyes1 and will start posting either tonight or tomorrow!
     

    Chickinvic

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    May 9, 2019
    We are back! Things are finally back to normal around here. Wow. Where to begin? 11 days away. I wish it could have been longer but I know my family were happy to be back home. My husband was looking forward to our own bed (which hurts my back – I slept better at CBBR); our son to his computer and games; our daughter to school. I promptly spent most of the next day (Saturday) trying to figure out when we could go back. I mean, why waste these APs right? :goodvibes

    We walked through our door about 7 pm Friday night (Sept 6th) and I thought hey, I could get two loads of laundry done. Not! I had forgotten our washer broke. Early Saturday morning I woke up to hear my husband’s car driving away. He took all the laundry to the laundromat and let me sleep. Wasn’t that sweet?! :love: I wish I could have made him breakfast but we had no eggs, milk, bread, fruit, etc in the house and Dad had my car keys. Our washing machine is now fixed but it cost $390! ($230 for a new filter/pump, service call, time, taxes). Good thing I started that new job last week.

    Unfortunately, Canada welcomed me home as well… going to sleep that night I suddenly realized my throat was scratchy. Sure enough, I woke up with a cold Sunday morning. :headache: I’m just shaking off the last of it now. Ok, Canada doesn’t need to be 40 degree warm but I do wish our summer warmth would last longer. All of June through the end of September in shorts/t-shirts would be nice.

    So… my husband had no problems with the flights and his ears.
    The beginning of our vacation was MELTING HOT!
    Due to her braces my daughter hardly ate much the entire time we were away. (wry grin)
    Doing laundry at CBBR was very easy peasy!
    Food at CBBR was all right.
    I’m very glad we stayed at CBBR’s family suite instead of Sapphire Falls’ standard room with 2 teens.
    We used the water taxi at Sapphire Falls a LOT! Walking across the street is easy.
    Would you believe we managed to avoid rain our entire stay? I kid you not!


    I’m just sorting through all our photos (over 1,600 of them) :rolleyes1 and will start posting either tonight or tomorrow!
    Can't wait to see some pictures and hear even more about it. Living vicariously through you now lol.
     

    macraven

    Proud Redhead
    Moderator
    Joined
    Apr 21, 2003
    Hope you are feeling totally better now!

    All are looking forward to your pictures and anything you share about your vacation stay
     

    Connect

    Disney News and Updates

    Get Daily Email Updates

    UNIVERSAL PODCASTS


    UNIVERSAL ORLANDO VIDEOS


    UNIVERSAL ATTRACTIONS



    Top