stopher1's (it was) LIVE "Triple Whammy" Report - THV/AKV/VWL - Jan 11-22


DIS Veteran
Feb 26, 2008
So I’m going to attempt to do a LIVE report while we are here, but I’m not promising that I can keep it up each day….but I’ll do my best!

We arrived today for a 10 night “triple whammy” split stay – THV, AKV-Kidani, and VWL. Both the Treehouses and Wilderness Lodge are “first stays” for us - but then Kidani is too, even though AKV is not as we've previously stayed in Jambo House. For many DVC’ers it is certainly not your ideal trip with more than one resort change, and honestly not what we originally wanted to do, but we’re kind of excited about it after a few days of thinking it all through. (Originally we were only going to be in 2 resorts, but due to some scheduling changes with the various folks in our party – and the relatively last minute nature of those changes – this is what we ended up with for the last 2 nights of our trip…but it’s an adventure, right?) :)

Our trip is kind of a “family reunion” of sorts. My family of 5 and my folks are here as well from Oregon. My brother (from Hawaii) was supposed to join us, but due to some very serious issues at work that developed in the past 2 weeks, he had to cancel out. We were all sad initially, but we totally understand the work issue. So 7 instead of 8 – and the kids don’t get to spend time with their uncle…but other than that, we’re good with it.
So far in all of our travels to WDW we have flown (DW does not do well in the car beyond 5 hours, so the 14-15+ hr drive from Indy is not exactly her idea of fun, to say the least). So this morning we headed off to the airport for our 2 hr flight to Orlando. Full but relatively short flight and we are there – gotta love it!

Our kids always love to “sit up front” on the shuttle over to the terminal…in 8 years of trips, it’s definitely become tradition for them.

On to Magical Express - with only a 5 minute wait for the bus after checking in (a 2 min process as there was NO line). The bus was half full, and we were stop 2 of 4 (OKW, SSR, POR & Ft. Wilderness). Because we were about half way back, I didn't get my usual & favorite welcoming shot of the WDW sign ... but oh well, I have many of those already.

We loved the carriage, so had to get a picture

I know that many photos of the Treehouses have been floating around since they opened last June, but I’m going to share some here anyway. Our favorite parts? The faucets in the bathrooms & master tub! Oh wow – I know that we could go out and purchase some like them at our local home improvement store for a pretty penny – and may just do so in the future, but they are so very cool. ALL 7 of us were just marveling at them. It’s the little things today, I guess.

I’ve read many, many different posts from other people that the décor of the THV’s just isn’t there “thing” – and that’s cool by me. I personally really, really like them. They are such a cool throw-back, retro feel to the woodsy cabins that I grew up vacationing in throughout my youth. AND – the best part, is that my very woodsy wife absolutely loves it is a huge, huge plus (she who wanted to work as a park ranger in Yosemite in her youth). We both are very enthralled with these treehouses.

We requested a “water view” – and did get one, just not the one we wanted. Oh well. We got a pool view. As the lady at check-in said, “it is filled with water”. I was hoping for a river view to watch the boats pass by, but nothing was available. Oh well. We’re just moments from the boat launch and the path over to the main part of Saratoga… so in the end, it’s all good.

We experimented with Garden Grocer this trip, and overall it was a good experience. I will use them again. We grilled chicken tonight, had pasta & green salads, fruit and then after dinner some cupcakes in honor of my middle child’s birthday last week (the grands wanted to celebrate with him too!)
The biggest bummer of all actually turned out quite nice though. We forgot to bring a filter for our Brita water pitcher. I was so mad at myself. Both my wife and my stepdad will NOT drink Florida’s tap water. I ordered one case of water and then planned to refill them with the filtered water from our pitcher. Garden Grocer doesn’t carry them, and of course the Artist’s Palette doesn’t either. My oldest and I walked all the way over to Goodings in Crossroads Village – no dice. Oh well – garden grocer will be delivering more water for us! But my son and I had a very enjoyable time together. The walk was invigorating.

After leaving Goodings and heading back towards DTD to go by Guest Relations and get our TIW card. We were both really enjoying how very, very light the crowd was. I’ve been here several times in January in years gone by and always enjoy it… my son has only been here in January once and didn’t remember how light the crowds can be. Let me just say that he is so STOKED. Granted it will be busier over the weekend because of MLK Day, but wow, he can’t wait to see the crowds in the parks while we’re here over the next week and a half. We took the boat back to SSR from DTD, and only he and I were on the boat – and almost every other boat we passed only had one or two people on them.

After dinner we played games and just enjoyed sitting and talking after getting the kids to bed. So far – day 1… very enjoyable. Even with the cooler than normal temperatures. Today was about 53 when we arrived. Not super warm – but about 30 degrees warmer than home. It should be up into the mid-60’s and low ‘70’s in the next few days (at least it was stated as such in the weather report on the news tonight), but we’ll see. We’re not complaining at all. My DW cannot stand Florida’s heat and humidity (so we don’t come during the oppressive summer months), so this is definitely a nice treat/change for her!

Tomorrow is an MK day – so we’ll hopefully get some good photos there too. I’ll try to post more after that.


I'm just not so sure how well this plan was though
Jun 6, 2009
The treehouses look like a great place to stay with a group. It looks like it's peaceful too.

Can't wait to read the rest of y'all's adventures.
  • DVC Mike

    DIS Veteran
    DIS Lifetime Sponsor
    Aug 25, 2007
    I love live trip reports with pictures!

    Have fun. Maybe our paths will cross this trip?


    DIS Veteran
    Feb 26, 2008
    Wow, those THVs look roomy! Thanks for posting the pics. Can't wait for more!
    They are that, definitely. They're 3 bedrooms that can sleep 9. Two bedrooms each have a queen, the other bedroom has the bunkbeds, and then the living room has a queen sleeper couch and a single sleeper chair. We have a queen at home, so it's no big deal for us to not have a king-sized bed here like the other DVC 1 & 2 br's have.

    So far this morning I'm the only one up. That's usually the way it is at home too - up and attem up before anyone else. I enjoy the peace and quiet. The sun is slowly starting to rise through the trees. It'll probably be another beautiful day here.

    We'll be eating a "big" breakfast here in the room before heading over to the MK around 10 or so, maybe 11, not sure. Want the folks to be able to rest this morning and get over their two fun filled travel days (they live in a somewhat remote area of Oregon, several hours from the closest airport - 5 hrs from Portland or 7 hours from Sacramento and Southwest airlines!) - they drove to the airport one day, and then flew east the next - a bit tired today they will be!

    Oh my lovely DD just came out from bed, I think it's cuddle time with daddy for a bit before we get our breakfast going. More later.


    <font color=blue>DVC-Trivia Contest, Apr-2006: Hon
    Nov 22, 2000
    I know I would love the tree houses, but not being an SSR owner, I'm sure I'll never have the pleasure. Thanks for the great pictures though!


    Cold enough for ya?
    Apr 16, 2009
    They certainly have that Midwest cabin feel. That furniture looks soooo much like the old stuff my family has "up north!'
    I'm usually the first one up in the mornings too. Since we do own as SSR, I foresee several nice sunrises through the trees in my future. :thumbsup2

    Enjoy your stay!


    Dis Dads Club Member #286
    Mar 24, 2009
    Oh my lovely DD just came out from bed, I think it's cuddle time with daddy for a bit before we get our breakfast going. More later.

    That is what it is all about, time with your kids, enjoy it!

    I love the Treehouses! They look like a lot of fun, the only complaint I have heard is that the walk to the transportation is a little far, how are you finding it. We are thinking of possibly renting points on a trip and the treehouses look like something we would all enjoy.

    Love the pics, keep it up. Glad to hear the weather is warming up, we will be there next week and it looks like good warm days ahead.:thumbsup2


    DVC since 1993
    Nov 1, 2000
    You are in the same unit (7056) that we were in last week. (Checked out Jan 7).
    Hope we left it in good shape for you!


    DIS Veteran
    May 10, 2008
    Great report....thanks for posting pics in your Live report! You're making me want to stay in a treehouse!


    Disney is my Happy Place
    Sep 15, 2008
    Loving your report so far! :thumbsup2 We hope to stay in the THV so our friends can come stay with us and we won't be too crowded. I hope you post more photos of the bedrooms. Would love to see those.

    And I love to read live trip reports. They are such fun and it is like we are there with you. We will be arriving down there on the 22nd of January and can't wait to get there. We are staying at SSR again. We really do love it there.

    Have fun with your family and can't wait to read about your fun day at MK.


    <marquee><font color=red>I'm a huggin' fool</marqu
    Sep 2, 2006
    Noblesville, IN in the house. Great photos!


    DIS Veteran
    Mar 23, 2008
    IN ON ONE:woohoo::woohoo::woohoo:

    Hey now, what's wrong with FL tap water:confused3;)

    You know, besides the whole sulphur smelling thing?:rotfl2::rotfl2::rotfl2:

    You do get used to it......somewhat:lmao::lmao::lmao:


    <br><img src="
    DIS Lifetime Sponsor
    Feb 11, 2002
    Thanks for the report! Don't you love those faucets? Have you read of people that didn't like the decor after actually staying there? I can't imagine. We loved it so.

    Diane, you could consider a cash stay. We don't own at SSR either but managed a week with developer points in September (one night midtrip was cash on a discount). Anyway, I loved it so much that I booked another week at a bounceback rate of 45% for the end of Feb/March. I can not wait! I don't know how hard it will be to book through DRC/CRO once all the points are sold so grabbed while I could.

    Stopher1, have a wonderful trip!

    Emma's Dad

    DIS Dad #115 Virginia Beach, VA
    Mar 13, 2008
    Oops! Didn't make the first page :rolleyes: Awesome report!! :thumbsup2:thumbsup2 I just know we are in for more fun as you write this TR! Thanks for taking to time to do this.


    Dis Dad Member #187 Keep calm and Dole Whip
    Aug 10, 2007
    Good job with the report. As SSR is my home resort I am looking into the tree houses for our Dec trip So your report is great. One Question ,how is the bus route run does it have its own stop or go to SSR,and if so what order? thanks again for your report


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