Wonderful as always - lengthy

Discussion in 'Completed Trip Reports' started by Cary's Mom, Aug 28, 2002.

  1. Cary's Mom

    Cary's Mom Earning My Ears

    Aug 19, 1999
    My DH does our trip reports and decided this time to make it one long report instead of breaking it up into days - so here it is:

    Cast: Wilbur DH turned 55 on trip
    Amy aka Cary's Mom - age 45
    Cary DD turned 6 on trip

    WDW Trip Report - August 2002

    August 2: We were on the road by 5:20 AM (the plan was 5:00, so not too bad a start). Traffic around DC was relatively light so we breezed around the beltway and headed south. We made a breakfast stop at the Cracker Barrel in Ashland, VA at about 7:30. Breakfast was good and quick, so we were back on the road shortly after 8:00. We encountered very little traffic through the rest of Virginia and made the outlets near Smithfield, NC around 11:00 AM. Amy did a little Christmas shopping in two or three stores, but it was mostly a chance to get out of the car. We had covered the first 300 miles quicker than expected. We decided to eat lunch at the Texas Steakhouse that is near the outlets. We've eaten there before and always had good, reasonably priced food and good service. Today was no exception. After a pleasant lunch, we were back on the road. We made brief stops for gas and the Santee Outlets (it's almost a ghost town, probably 75% vacant, but it was another good break). The traffic was moving in South Carolina, so we breezed through the state and arrived at the Fairfield Inn at the Savannah, GA airport before 6:00. After checking in, we had dinner at a nearby Zaxby's. This was a first for us; their chicken strips, wings, and fries were excellent and very reasonably priced. Cary and I spent about an hour in the hotel pool after dinner and then we settled in for the night. I think the other two are sleeping as I finish this up. It's up by 6:00 and on our way to St. Augustine.

    August 3: We were up and dressed around 7:00 A.M. so we headed down to see what this Fairfield had for breakfast. We were pleasantly surprised. They had one of Cary's favorite yogurt flavors, Strawberry Banana, and the powdered donuts she likes. Amy and I also found things that would work for breakfast, so we had a decent breakfast and the price was right (nothing). We hit the road and encountered very little traffic so we arrived at the Florida Welcome Center for our complimentary orange juice at about 9:30. The weather began to cloud up as we entered the "Sunshine State", so we decided to hit the St. Augustine outlets first and then decide what to do in the afternoon. We have been listening to Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone on CD and completed the 5th of 7 discs today. If Cary doesn't insist on something else in the morning, we should be able to finish most of the rest before we arrived at Old Key West tomorrow. Amy found a few things in the Disney outlet and discovered a sale on Disney Cardew pots at the Home Style store, so the stop was a success. We had lunch at the mall food court and then headed for St. Augustine.

    It began to rain as we headed into town, so we decided to check out some indoor attractions. Our first stop was Whetstone Chocolate for their chocolate factory tour. The tour was interesting and we each got a piece of free chocolate before spending $12 on chocolate to take with us. It rained very hard while we were there. The rain continued and some of the streets were flooded so we decided another indoor stop was in order. The next stop was the San Marcos Winery. They had a self-guided winery tour. You walked around to 6 wine stations and got a sample of wine at each. Cary ate the chocolate dolphin she got at Whetstone while we sampled wine. We purchased 4 bottles of wine on the way out the door, two as gifts and two for WDW consumption. The winery's vineyard is near Orlando. I don't think Florida is going to rival the major US producers for quality, but the wine was good and this was a good day to visit. The rain had stopped when we left, so we drove into town and found an open space in the parking lot near the old fort. Cary enjoyed walking around the fort. We stayed about 45 minutes until the heat and humidity began to take its toll. We headed back to the comfort of the car's air conditioning and decided it was time to head to World Golf Village's Renaissance Resort.

    My spring trip to California had qualified me for two free weekend nights at a Category 4 Marriott hotel, so we had decided to use one on this trip. The Renaissance is a very nice hotel and would be a perfect golfing vacation. It looks like they have a decent kid's program so this is more of a family resort than I expected. The rain had stopped, but it was still threatening so we decided to pass on the pool. Cary played in the hotel playground area for a while and we ate dinner at the nearby Bill Murray's Caddyshack Restaurant. We were very pleased with the food. In addition to the chicken (Amy), pizza (Cary), and ribs (Wilbur) that we had, Amy said the garlic mashed potatoes with a scoop of garlic butter on top were the best, mashed potatoes she ever had. We have added Caddyshack to our list of places to visit going to and from WDW. We had a brownie, ice cream, whipped cream, and hot fudge dessert that was excellent plus it was big (we all shared it) and reasonably priced. It was about half the price and size of RainForest Café's volcano and much better quality brownie. After dinner we decided to take it easy, watch some television, and rest up for the beginning of the main event tomorrow. All in all, not a bad birthday, we found Disney stuff at the Belz Outlets, a chocolate factory, a winery, and had more wine and chocolate at dinner. I got a Caddyshack shirt too.

    August 4: We left the hotel around 7:30 and headed south. We went about an hour down I-95 and stopped for breakfast at a Perkins at the Palm Coast exit. We made good time again this morning and arrived at the Belz Outlets on International Drive around 10:30. We hit both Disney outlets and made a few purchases and then headed on down International Drive to the Mercado. Most of the stores we have visited in the past have closed, so we didn't stay long and then head for Old Key West. We finished the last of the Harry Potter CD's just before passing under the arch for WDW.

    Old Key West was having trouble with its computers, so we were told we'd have to come back to get our room keys. The CM told us they had met our room requests, but said the room wasn't ready. We decided to have a light lunch at Olivia's since we had early dinner reservations at Chef Mickey's. Lunch was very good and there was new DVC merchandise in the store to check out. After lunch, we walked around the pool and playground area and then decided to check on the room. I wasn't hopeful since it was 2:00 and we knew they had computer problems, but they said room 4315 was ready for us. We only had to wait about five minutes to get our keys and we were off to unpack. The room was fine and based on the slightly damp carpet appeared to have had a recent thorough cleaning. We had requested Turtle Pond preferably building 43, so we were pleased.

    After unpacking and freshening up, it was time to head over to the bus stop for the trip to the Contemporary. We decided to take the bus to the MK and walk over. Despite the afternoon heat, that seemed like the best way to get there. We waited about 15 minutes for our MK bus and arrived at the MK at 4:35. We walked over to the Contemporary, with Cary fussing every other step about the heat, and checked in for dinner. Cary seemed impressed that Mickey knew it was her birthday. We had a great dinner of prime rib, roast pork, and various other items. Cary got a birthday cupcake with a candle and a special visit from Mickey to help her blow out the candle. After two visits from Mickey and visits from Chip, Dale, and Minnie plus too much food, we headed out. We saw Goofy on the way out of the restaurant and got one more photo. We checked out the shops in the Contemporary and Amy bought some pins.

    We took the monorail around to the Magic Kingdom and realized it had begun to rain. Magically the shower stopped before we got to the MK and the clouds and shower had cooled the afternoon heat. We stopped at Guest Services and got Cary's annual passport and then headed into the park. We expected crowds so we decided to walk around and do a few things that didn't have long lines. We rode Small World and Pirates and visited the Country Bear Jamboree. Most of the other attractions had 30+ minute waits so we decided to delay them until later in the week. We left the park around 8:30 so we could get back and get some sleep before Cary's big Birthday Blast tomorrow. The wait for the bus was about 10-15 minutes again and we were soon back at OKW. All in all a great start to our vacation.

    August 5 (Cary's Birthday): The wakeup call came at 5:30 and we were all dressed and out of the room by 7:00. We were the only ones on the first MK bus - only the Cinderella's or Tony's breakfast crowd had any reason to be headed over that early. The bus driver informed us that he couldn't go to the MK bus area until 7:30 so he would drop us at the TTC. (Why did the bus come to the resorts 10-15 minutes before it could go to its designated resort?) We got on a resort monorail and started the circuit toward the MK. At this point Amy realized that we only had two of our three AP's with us. This turned out to be no more than a minor inconvenience as the CM's handling early entry for dining guests were able to get a one day pass cut for her based on some info about the missing AP. With that problem resolved we joined the other guests who were waiting to be admitted at 8 AM. Cary was wearing her birthday button and was already getting Happy Birthday greetings from CM's.

    We were in the first groups admitted to Cinderella's and got a window table. All five princesses were in the area near our table almost as soon as we were seated. Cary saw Cinderella, Belle, May Poppins, Aurora, and Snow White before breakfast. Cary got a special certificate designating her as a princess and each princess signed it on the back. There was pixie dust on our table because of the birthday girl. We all ate a good breakfast and Cary got an iced, chocolate cupcake complete with birthday candle for dessert. Cake for breakfast? - we're in Disney World and it's her birthday, so why not. We finished breakfast, got a picture with the Fairy Godmother downstairs, and then headed out just as the rope dropped. Cary and I walked quickly to Dumbo and were first on the ride. Afterwards we rode Snow White and Pooh with no lines.

    At this point, Amy told Cary we had to meet a friend at the wishing well near the Castle. When we arrived at the well, there was no friend, but in the corner was a package with instructions for Cary and a small bottle of magical spirit bubbles, Pearls of Happiness, and Roses of Kindness. The instructions told us that the Disney princesses needed a new princess friend and Cary had been chosen to receive their royal gifts. First she had to prove herself worthy. We had to go ride Pooh first to get a sweet start to the adventure. Then Cary was to ride Snow White's Adventure and blow bubbles every time she saw the queen or wicked witch. The bubbles would spoil her powers and make her go away. Next she was to ride the carousel and leave the pearls around the neck of the horse that she rode. Finally, she had to ride Peter Pan's Flight and count the number of mermaids in Neverland. Having completed that task she was to drop off the roses at Ariel's Grotto as a gift to Ursula. This was to ensure that her acts of nobility were noticed. If she completed all of her task she could return to the wishing well to see if the crown and gifts were there.

    Fantasyland wasn't very busy this morning, so we breezed through the tasks. The most interesting turned out to be the first. As we walked in to Pooh, the CM hurried us into a waiting car and there sat Eeyore. Cary thought she was supposed to sit in the back with us, but we convinced her quickly that she was riding with Eeyore. What a thrill for a 6 year old to get to ride with a character! As we left the ride, Pooh and Tigger were waiting for Eeyore to head out into the park, so Cary got to see them quickly before they left for whatever adventures they had planned for the morning. Our other rides and tasks were somewhat anticlimactic after Eeyore. After finishing everything we headed back to the Wishing Well and there was another package, but this one had a crown, a princess necklace, and princess beach towel. Jane, of Gifts of a Lifetime, was sitting there and offered to take a family picture of us. It never occurred to Cary that this lady had anything to do with her quest. I don't know how Jane got Eeyore in the deal, but it made it very special to Cary.

    Having finished her adventure, Cary wanted to ride the tea cups and then go to Toontown. With air conditioning, character pictures and autographs seemed like a good idea. I rode the tea cups with Cary and Amy rode Barnstormer with her twice before we ventured in to see Chip, Dale, Minnie, Cinderella (again), Perla, and Suzy. Having cooled off and it only being about 11:00, we decided to take the train to Frontierland and check on the mountains. Both had fairly long standby lines, so we got a Splash Mountain FastPass and headed over to Big Thunder. We decided a 40-minute wait would use most of the time before our Splash Mountain FastPass, so we got in line. It was a long, hot wait, but the ride was as good as ever and it was almost Splash time. We got wetter than usual on Splash Mountain, but it felt good today. We completed Splash around 1:00 and took the train to Toontown Fair. We walked from there to Tomorrowland and rode TTA and went on Carousel of Progress. As Cary pointed out every ride on COP could be our last. We made some quick stops along Main Street and exited the park.

    After a short wait, the OKW bus arrived and took us home. When I opened the door to our studio, Cary was amazed. She had six balloons, a cake, and flowers. Amy had arranged through Jodi (DVC member) of Town Center Florists to have the things in the room when we returned today and it worked perfectly. Cary had a group of plush Disney characters that she brought with her on one bed and six of the characters were now holding the balloons. Everything looked great and Cary was very surprised. The cake had Cinderella and the prince on top and Happy Birthday Cary.

    I downloaded our first round of photos while Cary played with her balloons and other things. We left the room at 4 for our last planned birthday event, dinner at RainForest Café at Animal Kingdom. We drove over to the park and after circling the parking lot twice we found a parking place that wasn't too far out and walked to Rainforest Café. We had a great dinner. Cary ate all of her kid's pizza, sampled some of my dinner, and then ate some of the ice cream off of her birthday Volcano. By the time we left Rainforest we were all full and happy. Thanks to one of the surviving Internet Rewards Program we had $50 in gift certificates which covered most of dinner and dessert. We went to the Disney outlet in the center off of I-4 and then went to the new Publix to pick up some supplies for the week. After that it was back to the room to try to calm Cary down so she would go to sleep. When she finally put her head on a pillow around 8:45 she was out within minutes and Amy wasn't far behind.

    It was a great day. Cary said it was her best birthday ever. With the birthday button she got lots of birthday greetings from CM's and even some guests, and she got a few freebies along the way. The CM's seem to go out of their way to make birthday kids feel really special. Cary asked if she could wear her birthday button one more day because she had such a good time. One CM gave her a pin from her lanyard when she realized Cary had traded her last trading pin. I won't reveal the location because she said she wasn't supposed to do it, but she just called it a birthday present. It was hot today, but not unbearable. The lines weren't as bad as they could be, so that helps when it's around 90. We didn't get any rain today, which made it easier to get everything done.

    August 6: We had breakfast in the room (cereal and yogurt) and headed to the bus stop at around 8:30. Cary had switched her preference from Studios to EPCOT, but decided to get on the first of those two buses that arrived. It was EPCOT, so off we went arriving just before 9. We rode Spaceship Earth with no line and then headed back to Test Track to get FastPasses. The standby line said 45 minutes, but didn't look that long, so we decided to do that while we waited for our FastPass time. 10 minutes later we were in the pre-show. Since we got on so quickly, we had about 30 until our FastPass time. We decided to do the Universe of Energy that we hadn't done in years. We had a brief wait for the next show and then were on our way. It was better than I remembered and Cary loved the dinosaurs. We headed back to Test Track and used our passes with no more than 5 minutes to the pre-show. Next Cary and I rode Body Wars and then we watched the Making of Me movie. With a grandchild on the way Cary has had lots of questions and the movie seemed to satisfy that curiosity for now.

    We were getting hungry so we stopped at the Electric Umbrella for Cary's hot dog and burgers for us. We checked out the pin station and then went to Ice Station Cool. Our next stop was Imagination to check out the new ride. We all thought it was an improvement over the non-Figment variety. Since there was almost no line, we rode twice. We decided to take a short break and check out the AP lounge at the Land. It's definitely a big improvement over the lounges we've seen in the past. After a few minutes there we went to the Circle of Life movie (one of Cary's favorites). It was about 2:30 so we decided to head back to OKW and get ready for our 5:00 Hoop Dee Do show. The heat hadn't seemed so bad today. We decided it was our more leisurely pace and the number of indoor attractions in Future World that made the difference.

    We headed over to Fort Wilderness at about 3:45 so we could walk through the store there and go to the petting zoo before the show. This plan worked well as Cary liked the petting zoo and was particularly impressed that they had pony rides ($3). They also had a pony that she could pet in front of Pioneer Hall, so she had two opportunities to interact with a pony in less than an hour. Hoop Dee Do was as corny and entertaining as we remembered and the food was good. Cary loved their fried chicken and bread, so we had no problem getting her to eat. She enjoyed the show, as did we. The cast worked well together and it was hard to tell at times which apparent mistakes were real and which were just part of the script. We returned to OKW after the show and Cary and I played in the quiet pool for about an hour. We returned to the room for some birthday cake (not that we really needed anything else to eat tonight) and early lights out.

    Correction from August 3: I confused the fort name with the winery. It is the San Sebastian Winery (St. Augustine/Clermont).

    August 7: We planned to sleep in this morning and go to the pool. I woke up around 7:00 and noticed it was raining. A check of the local weather forecast changed our plans for the morning. They had replaced the isolated thunderstorms in last night's forecast with showers and thunderstorms and it was obvious that the morning would be a washout. We decided to take our time this morning and then go to Downtown Disney. We would head over to EPCOT for the afternoon if the weather cooperated. The rain stopped around 11:00 so we wrapped up our shopping shortly thereafter and drove over to Boardwalk to park. We walked through the hotel and shops and then took the boat to EPCOT. We arrived in the back area of the UK to find Mary Poppins, Pooh, Tigger, and Eeyore. With the early rain holding attendance down, the characters were playing around with each other and the few kids around so Cary had an opportunity for pictures and play.

    Cary started a mask in the UK and we started a routine of Cary going to the kid's station with me while Amy checked out the shops. We headed to Canada next to have lunch and work on the mask. Le Cellier was busy, but not full at 1:00 so we were seated promptly and enjoyed a nice lunch. We headed for Mexico next as the thunderstorms rolled toward us. Amy bought our yellow ponchos on the way. We arrived safely in Mexico ahead of the storm, Cary worked on her mask, and we rode The River of Time. It was obvious by the rain gear on the people coming in to Mexico that the rain had started. After waiting a couple of minutes we donned our raingear and headed for Norway in heavy rain. We arrived with wet feet, but otherwise, no worse for the experience. As we were walking through the shops looking for the kids' station, we spotted some people who looked familiar. One of Cary's best friends and her family, who live on our block, were standing there. They knew we were going to WDW, but hadn't realized we were going the same week. We chatted for a couple of minutes and then they headed off to Mexico to continue their girls' masks and Cary worked on hers in Norway. It was still raining, but not as hard, so off we went to China. We decided to watch the movie since we hadn't seen it in years and we hoped the rain would end while we were there. Cary liked the movie, particularly the Chinese scenery.

    The rain had almost stopped by the time we left China, so we were able to make the kids' stations from Germany to France without further incident. In addition, we stopped in Germany for wine, in the American Adventure to see the World Trade Center flag, and in France for pastries. Having successfully toured the world in about three hours and finished Cary's mask, we decided it was time to exit the park since it was starting to look like rain again. It never really rained hard again, but there were a few light showers. We walked back to Boardwalk to get the car and then headed for the "Big Orange" store on 192 to get some citrus candy for gifts. Having completed that chore, we went back to the room to pick up our restaurant gift certificates and then headed off to Bahama Breeze. We had an excellent dinner, made a quick outlet stop, and headed home to OKW for the night.

    August 8: We were up early this morning and at the bus stop shortly after 8. The weather was beautiful this morning, low 70's with a forecast high in the upper 80's. There was a nice breeze most of the day. We had a short wait for the bus and were on our way to the MK. After about a 15-minute wait, we were in the park and Cary and I headed for Tomorrowland while Amy stopped for coffee and got FastPasses for Space Mountain. Cary wanted to ride Astro Orbiter and Buzz Lightyear. We were the first riders of the day on Astro Orbiter and had the ride to ourselves. Next we rode Buzz twice in a row and Cary had her best scores ever with a high of 2200. Next it was off to TTA, because we had about 20 minutes before Amy's FastPasses. Cary and I waited in the arcade while Amy rode. When she came out she asked Cary if she wanted to go on Space Mountain for the first time. After some discussion she said she would go with me if I would reach over the seat and hold/touch her during the ride. We had a couple of moments in line (less than 10 minutes) when she wasn't sure about going, but she stuck with it. I was able to keep contact with her shoulder during the ride and she did great. When we got off she was ready to go again. We got three more FastPasses for Space Mountain and we had some time to kill so we were off to Adventureland to do a couple of things there that we didn't get to do earlier in the week. There was a short line at Jungle Cruise so we rode it and then did the Tiki Bird show. It was now time for the FastPasses, so we headed back to Tomorrowland. This time we all rode together and Cary was equally impressed with her second ride.

    It was about 11:30 and Cary had a date with Alice for tea at 1:30 so we exited the park and headed for the Grand Floridian by monorail. We went to their snack bar and got fast food for lunch. That occupied most of the time before the 1:15 check-in time for tea. We checked in Cary and then headed out to the pool bar at the GF to relax for the hour of freedom we had. Cary had a great time at the tea. They had a cupcake, apple juice, and chicken nuggets and spent some time with Alice and the Mad Hatter. When we went back to get her, she had flowers for us and they gave each kid a picture they took of the child with the two characters. We took the monorail back to the MK and then took the bus back to OKW. We changed and headed to the pool for an hour.

    At about 5 we headed back to the room to get dressed for our 6 PM dinner reservation at Boma. We arrived at the restaurant about 15 minutes early and were seated almost immediately. We all enjoyed our dinner, wine, and desserts. The soups and all of the dishes and desserts we sampled were excellent. In addition, we had an outstanding server named Lee. He bonded with Cary immediately. He explained the buffet very well and his recommendations were right on. All in all it was a great experience. (Note to those going in November who are afraid of the spices, the kid's menu includes chicken, macaroni and cheese, and spaghetti with meatballs. There was prime rib and several dishes with only modest amounts of curry or other seasoning.) After dinner we walked around the resort for a few minutes and saw most of the animals on the property, many very close to our vantage points. We headed back to OKW around 8 and settled in for the night. Tomorrow is our last full day at WDW and we are going to try to include visits to AK, Studios, and EPCOT.

    August 9: We were up on time, ate breakfast in the room, and headed out for AK by car. As we were exiting OKW the Character Caravan bus was entering. We turned around and parked just as the characters were exiting the bus. Amy got coffee while Cary visited with Tweedle Dee and Tweedle Dum plus the Queen of Hearts and Minnie. We headed out again and parked near the entrance to AK and walked in. The gates were already open (about 8:45) and we entered to be greeted by a group of characters and a mob of people. Cary got pictures with Daisy, Baloo, and King Louie before we decided to head back to the Safari. The standby line was only a 10-15 minutes wait, so we were off on safari and to save Little Red once again. It was cool (relatively speaking for Central Florida in August) and overcast, so almost every animal was out and active (eating or walking around). We walked the Pangani Forest trail next, but the gorillas weren't in the mood for visitors this morning, so we just checked out the other animals and headed back to Harambe. Cary wanted to go to Rafiki's Planet Watch so we were off on the train. That area wasn't very busy, so Cary got to pet a bearded dragon before going out to pet the goats.

    It was after 11 and we were beginning to think about lunch, so we headed to the AP Lounge at Pizzafari and picked up preferred seating passes for the 3:45 Festival of the Lion King show before getting pizza and breadsticks at Pizzafari. We decided to go to Camp Minnie Mickey next and see what characters were out. The crowds weren't bad, so Cary was able to see Goofy, Daisy, Minnie, and Mickey with minimal waits. The mister fans were going full force in that area and it was almost cold standing in line. Before we left the area, Cary got Ratcliffe's autograph (actually she got Amy to get it for her because she doesn't like villains). We headed over to Dinoland next to ride Triceratops Spin. The area was very busy, but the wait was only 15-20 minutes. We checked on Primeval Whirl, but as we thought, Cary is about 1 1/2 inches too short so that ride will have to wait until next year. Cary wanted to play the ball toss game and won a stuffed frog on her first throw. We played a couple of other games, but that turned out to be our only winner. Cary wasn't interested in Dinosaur, so we left Dinoland.

    It was now about 1:30 and the sun was peaking through the clouds periodically warming the park and increasing the humidity. We decided to head over to Harambe to the Dawa Bar to cool off and relax. We arrived as a show was starting next to the bar. We watched the show and enjoyed popcorn, wine, ginger ale, and a Harambe Cooler. We decided we would check on the safari and go if we had time before our LK show. We also decided to pass on our original plan to go to the Studios today and go to Fantasia Gardens Golf when we left AK. The standby time was 25 minutes (actually took about 20) for the safari, so we helped save Little Red one more time. This time we saw giraffes (the only animal we missed on the morning trip) and even saw the male lion on his feet. When we exited the safari there was about 30 minutes before our preferred seating time for the LK show, so we shopped on the way over and also got ice cream. We arrived at the designated spot at the theater in Camp Minnie-Mickey 20 minutes before show time and were promptly seated on the front row of the warthog section. It sounded like the normal seating area for AP priority seating was a few rows up, but with less than a full house we got the front row. It was nice sitting so close to the action and we all enjoyed the show. After the show we made our way out of the park.

    We drove over to Fantasia Gardens under threatening skies, but thought the weather would hold off so we could get in a game. With our AP discount (half-price), the total was less than $15. Amy found some signed Disneyana pins from a couple of years ago that they happened to have on sale there and promptly bought one of each. We played the Garden course and Cary showed signs of getting the hang of miniature golf. She rarely hit the mandatory maximum of 6 strokes and had several excellent shots. The sky was still threatening and a few raindrops were falling as we left. We had planned to go over to Boardwalk for dinner and then on to EPCOT for the Tapestry parade, but decided not to risk getting caught in the rain. (Note: It never really rained.)

    Instead we headed to the Polynesian to have dinner at Kona Café. Dinner and dessert were good, but the service was only adequate. They weren't very busy, but the guy didn't check back with us regularly. He missed an opportunity to sell Amy a second glass of wine and wasn't attentive to other beverages either. Otherwise, he got the food and dessert to us promptly and wasn't bad with the check. After a week of excellent service everywhere, this guy's average performance stood out and his tip reflected it. We walked around the Polynesian shops after dinner and then headed back to OKW for the last time this trip. Amy began packing for the trip home and Cary and I watched cartoons and tried to stay out of the way.

    August 10: We packed the car, said goodbye to WDW, and were on the road around 9:15. We stopped in St. Augustine for lunch and to check out the Disney outlet one more time. After making a few final purchases we were on the road again by 1:00. Traffic wasn't bad and we checked into the Fairfield in Florence, SC around 6. We had dinner at a Red Lobster across the highway and then went to the Disney Store at Magnolia Mall. We also checked out the new Target store that has opened recently near the hotel. The Fairfield Inn in Columbia is an older property with outside entry and smaller rooms that the typical Fairfield. We probably won't stay there again.

    August 11: They didn't have anything at the hotel's continental breakfast that appealed to Cary, so we went next door to Shoney's and got their breakfast buffet. We were on the road by 8 and only made stops for gas and lunch and arrived home at about 5 PM. We had a great time on this trip and we'll be back at the World in 33 days.
  2. Annie&Hallie'sMom

    Annie&Hallie'sMom <font color=deeppink>Things turn out best for peop

    Oct 26, 2001
    Great trip report. I love long reports with lots of details and yours satisfied that need! ;)
  3. erica_mutterer

    erica_mutterer Mouseketeer

    Jul 27, 2000
    thanks for sharing your report...sounds like you had a wonderful trip and the Birthdaygirl had an extra special time! We were there that same week and that Wednesday sure was a rainey day. Glad you had fun in the rain too!

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