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Old 01-12-2014, 11:24 PM   #1
Squirlz
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Join Date: Oct 2000
Location: Michigan
Posts: 2,787

Escape from the Frozen North! Jan. 12-19

My Wife and I flew in this morning from Grand Rapids MI on Southwast. Left behind 16 inches of snow and sub-zero temps. The flight was without incident and our *********** driver was waiting for us when we arrived. This is my Wife's very first time to WDW and she eally didn't know what to expect.

Made a grocery stop on the way...is everything this expensive in FL or is it just Publix? As we approached the Boardwalk Inn there was a massive traffic backup going the other way! Stopped traffic for miles. Must have been the Marathon.

Arrived at BWI about 12:15 PM and were serviced promptly by Bell Services. Went to the front desk to check in to our Standard View and room got helped right away. The CM looked up my name and said "You shouldn't be down here, you're in Club!" I was flabbergasted...we got bumped up to Club! Didn't even need the grocery stop. She then took up to the 4th floor and introduced us to the staff who took over from there.

Our room wasn't ready yet so we went in search of food. The Marathon runners were on the path through EPCOT so that was fun walking in to the park. We turned right on the bridge and soon came across the new Spice Road restaurant. There were plenty of tables open so we went in and got seated right away. It was very good. We had Sangria and hummus and the sampler with lamb slider, sausage and chicken rolls. Very good!

From there we started walking to the Studios where we had FP+ for ToT at 3:25. Passing by BWI I checked my txts and found our room was ready! Room 4210. Very nice with a view of the quiet pool. I called for our luggage and it arrived in about 5 minutes. Impressive.

Walked to the Studios and barely made our FP+ window for ToT. Walked past a very long line and were on within 10 minutes. She loved it! Our next FP+was for Star Tours and we got there early but the wait was only 10 minutes so we went in Standby. This is a cool attraction! When we exited we got right back on with our FP. It was a totally different show the 2nd time. On the way out I asked a CM how many versions there were and she said there were 11 segments and you see 4 each time. That makes for many combinations.

We had been by RnR earlier and the wait was anhour and FPs were gone. I checked my Lines app and it showed 30 minutes so we went there. We were in line at 5 and I think a FP window must have open because people were flooding into the FP line. Our standby line would completely stop for 10 minutes at a time. But we still got in in 30 minutes and the ride was amazing as always.

After that we made our wait to Toy Story Mania for our last FP+. We entered with a large crowd of FastPassers. Right after we scanned our Bands for the second time in side we passe by a CM at a gate who said "Two?" We said yeas and he opens a gate that sent us past HUNDREDS of people in line. Again, I don't know how this happened to us. This is a cool ride that we will have to do many more times. I got 109-some thousand points. On our way to the exit a CM gave us each a penny to make a wish in the fountain. Afterwards we kissed and she said "Awwww!"

Took the Friendship back and got off at Yacht/Beach where we had a 7:20 ADR for Beaches and Cream. Got there 10 minutes early but got right in. Burger was pretty good, my Wife enjoyed the Reuben. Back to the room, put on warmer clothes, then watched Illuminations from the balcony of the Innkeeper's Club. Now we're having drinks and getting ready to rest up for an early morning at Animal Kingdom. I'll update as I can.
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Old 01-12-2014, 11:27 PM   #2
Squirlz
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Seriously Disboards? You block the name of the Towncar service we used?
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Old 01-13-2014, 04:31 AM   #3
UK Princess
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Wow sounds like you've had a few sprinklings of pixiedust already - long may it continue!

How is the weather? We are coming over from the UK in a few weeks and really hoping for some warmth!
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Old 01-13-2014, 06:53 AM   #4
Squirlz
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It's 51 degrees this morning, expected to get to 74 later. Chilly in the evening.
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Old 01-14-2014, 10:05 PM   #5
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Yesterday we went to AK and it was wonderful! We saw Devine as soon as we entered, then went directly to EE where the wait was only 10 minutes. So we rode it once, rode it again, and then used our FP+ for a third time. By then the CM launching the ride knew us and when we requested the front row he said "Next time ride the back seat" and gave us a Rider Switch pass to come back anytime.

The Safari was great, the animals were very active. Had lunch at the Yakkin' Yeti and when we mentioned that my Wife was alleric to shrimp the server had the Chef come out to discuss ways to prevent any cross contamination. They cooked everything in fresh oil and flat tops for us. We felt sorry for the tigers as they were pacing out of boredom and that is sad.

Today was our first day at Magic Kingdom. My Wife's first time ever! Looked in a few shps on Main Street then went to the Haunted Mansion. Walked right on, no wait. Then went to Pirates, again no wait. Big Thunder Mountain was about a 10 minute wait, Jungle Cruise maybe 15 minutes, did IASW simply because it had been 40 years since I did it and it ws a walk on. Peter Pans Flight was a 50 minute wait so I redid my FP+ with my phone so we walked on.

Had a FP+ for Space Ranger Spin also so we almost got right on, but it broke down for about 10 minutes. Once on it broke down again but the scoring didn't stop so I got 597,000 points the first time I ever did it!

From there we took the train to the Monorail to check out the CR, then to TTC and eventually EPCOT. Spaceship Earth was a walk on and the photos they take were funny. My Wife wears a blue patch in her hair, and since they use blue screen technology for the photos they take on the ride it appeared she had a hole through her head!

After that we hit the Cool Zone and I poured her a Beverly to see what she would think. She LOVED it! She has very worldly tastes; I should have known.

Then back to BWI where we made dinner out of the Innkeeper's Club food, hung out on the Boardwalk with drinks, Club Lounge balcony for Illuminations and back to the room where we are now. See you next time.
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Old 01-16-2014, 10:36 PM   #6
Squirlz
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Yesterday (Wed. the 15th) we decided to hit the big draws at EPCOT by getting there early versus using my FP+ selections. We were there at rope drop and headed right for Soarin'. We were on in minutes and what a wonderful ride that is! First time for both of us. Only problem was the couple next to my Wife ran their mouths the whole time. My Wife was very disappointed. I told them 'next time please hold your tongues so others can enjoy the ride'. They appeared completely oblivious.

We jumped on the ride again, waited maybe 15 minutes and it was so much better without the running dialogue.

From there we went to Test Track and the Standby line was listed as 40 minutes. But the FastPass time was 10:10 and it was currently 10:05! So I grabbed a couple and they let us right on. We were in immediately. Had a fun time.

Then we jumped on the monorail to the TTC. The line for the monorail to MK was huge so we took the boat. Got right on and enjoyed the ride. I had FP+ for HM, Pirates and Space Mountain. We also did IASW and I can now go another 40 years before I do that again. We found a great lunch deal. Cosmic Rays has a half chicken with real mashed potatoes and green beans for only $9.99. Best bargain in the MK.

Today we started out at Studios with a FP+ for Toy Story Mania. We got there just as a Brazilian tour group arrived, all with FPS. There were a bazillion Brazilians. But again when we got tho the little gate at the bottom of the stairs the attendant let us through and past all of them. From there we went to RnR which had a posted wait of 30 minutes. But as we entered the CM said it was 50 minutes. I looked and the FP return was 6 PM (it was 11:00). So we left and walked to ToT and the wait there was 60 minutes. We are just too spoiled to wait that long for anything.

So now my Lines app says the FP return time for RnR is now 3:30. Went back and the posted FP return time was now 11:10! I grabbed two, walked right in and expressed my amazement to the CM. She said she didn't know why that kept happening. Total time from getting the FP to sitting in the FRONT ROW was 5 minutes. Amazing!

Back to EPCOT World Showcase to get Lobster Bisque in France, Chicken Curry pockets and Tipsy Ducks in China, and dropped my Samsung Galaxy III ruining it forever. All data has been recovered thanks to my super savvy Wife.

Back to the room and Club Lounge for dinner and drinks and tomorrow I pick up a rental at Alamo in the Dolphin to drive up to Leesburg to see my Mom. Later.
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Old 01-22-2014, 09:25 PM   #7
Squirlz
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So I finally have time to wrap this report up. Problem with having your own business is nothing gets done while you are gone. We have a weeks worth of orders to catch up on. Good thing is those orders paid for our trip!

So Friday the 17th we picked up a car at the Alamo counter at the Dolphin. Drove the 70 miles to Leesburg and took my Mom out to lunch. Got back early evening, had dinner at the Innkeeper Lounge. We had a FP+ for the preferred Illuminations view and that was fantastic! The flames felt very good. It was COLD!

Saturday we headed to Studios for a Toy Story Mania FP+. This was our favorite attraction. Did ToT one more time then got out as the crowd was building. Hopped on a bus to AK.

Devine was out and about as we entered. She was a different CM than we saw earlier. We rode EE with about a 30 minute wait, also waited for the front row. Had lunch in the shadow of Mt. Everest at Flame Tree BBQ (highly recommended) then went on Safari. Longest wait all week, about 50 minutes. Then one more ride on EE (front seat again) and back to BWI.

When we got back to the room after dinner at Innkeepers we were shocked to find our door propped open and the TV on. Not cool at all. I saw no button on the phone for Front Desk so I called Concierge. They said a Manager would contact me right away. Manager called, I explained the situation and she was very apologetic. SHe asked if I wanted Security to come up but I said everything seemed okay, but I was very disappointed by this breach of security.

I was waiting to hear her say what they were prepared to do but she just said "Well...sorry....bye" and hung up. I figured she was just taken by surprise and I would hear from somebody later, but no one ever contacted us. After returning from Illuminations with no message or anything I contacted the Desk again. Next morning, the morning we were leaving, they left a message saying we would get $125 credit and 3 ride passes for that day only. That did us no good as we were leaving and had made no plans to go to a park. So before our driver arrived at 11:30 AM I went to Concierge and asked what they could do. They turned my same day passes into passes good until 2030! I imagine there will be some cool new E Ticket attractions by then.

So all in all I think we did pretty good for a trip that I had no notion of until I received a discount code on November 5th! Thanks to Touring Plans and My Disney Experience for making that possible.
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