Walt Disney World & World Travels

Posts Tagged ‘Boardwalk Villas

Our last night at the World

All freshened up after our afternoon in the pool, we head over to the Beach Club Resort  for our dinner at Cape May’s Clam Bake.  Our ADR was for 6:50, but we went early and were seated within 15 minutes. While we waited we listened to a choir group perform in the lobby.

They were very good!  I love all the “extra” stuff Disney does during the Holidays!

Our server was Mary. I remember her name only because she has waited on us 3-4 times over the last 6 years. On our very 1st trip she taught DS to color on the mussel shells (after DH was done with them). I do miss the buckets they used to have for the clams & mussels, but they still tasted fantastic!  DD & DS made out just fine with the non-seafood options.  They had ribs, chicken w/pasta -from the adult buffet- and pizza, chicken strips, hot dogs & mac and cheese from the kiddie buffet.  DH & I enjoyed the clams, mussels, clam chowder, peel & eat shrimp and more that I can’t remember.  Of course we also had the oreo bon bons off the dessert buffet  and maybe a few other desserts.  After a very good dinner, we decided to go back to the room & change. The temps were dropping more than we had expected.  By the time we were ready to walk back out the door, DS decided he was just too tired to go anywhere and he just wanted to go to sleep.  We set up the beds (the kids don’t/won’t share a bed, so we had the sleeper sofa & a twin size aerobed in the living room) I gave DS my cell phone and told him to call us if he needed anything, then the 3 of us left to go watch Illuminations one more time, and see what else we were up to doing. It was Extra Magic Hours at Epcot that night.  It was strange having 3 of us, with DD as the 3rd.  Usually she’s the one off on her own, but DS looked like he’d be asleep before we got to the elevator. We made our way to Epcot and found a spot near Canada to watch Ilumminations.

As soon as it was over (so sad) we went to Canada to check out the new movie.  It had been on our “to do” list, but we hadn’t gotten to it until now. While we waited, we talked about calling DS and checking on him, but didn’t want to wake him up, so we head in to watch Martin Short tell us about Canada. Don’t you know that’s when the cell phone rings.  He’s fine, just wants to know what we’re doing.  We’ll call you back after the movie! Gotta say, this was a huge improvement over the old movie.   DD decides she’s just to cold & too tired to stay. She heads back to go “relax” in the hot tub.  Ok, we call DS back and he say’s great, he’ll put his suit on and wait for his sister.  DH & I decide to stay and walk around the World Showcase.  I don’t really know what possesed us, I’m so tired and my legs are killing me, but we go walk. From Canada we head towards Mexico. Stop in Norway to ride Maelstrom, then just wander for awhile. It’s so nice to just be a couple.   DS calls and asks where his sister is.  DH calls her, oh she had her suit on under her clothes and went straight to the hot tub!  Called DS back, he goes to meet her.  DH & I continue to walk (no other choice at this point!)  We get to check out the shops in Germany and Italy.   We slowly make it back to the International Gateway and catch a Friendship home. It’s midnight (somehow we did the whole EMH time we were so tired, we obviously weren’t moving fast)  Got back to the villa, and no children.  Call DD again and watch from our balcony as she got up to check her phone.    She wants to know if we’re gonna join them;  It’s 12:15am are you nuts??!! Oh my aching body. Ok, maybe the hot tub doesn’t sound too bad,  DS really should have gone to sleep hours ago, he’s babbling incoherent statements, but happy as can be.   After soaking for a little bit it’s time to go to bed. Gotta pack in the morning.  

Next up:check out and spend the day

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Friday Fun

No sleeping in today, DH & I have a golf date this morning.   Amazingly the kids are showing signs of life, I really thought they’d sleep a bit longer.  That’s ok, it lets us lay down the ground rules with them. The last few trips we’ve let them wander/hang out around the resort while we played golf, this time, they’re getting a little more freedom.  Since DD has done so well, and we’re “next to” Epcot, we’re giving them the option to go to the park this morning. They must stay together, no fighting, and if either one wants to leave, they both leave.  It’s really amazing how much better they seem to get along, when we’re not around!

The valet pulls my truck around front and DH & I are off to play our “home course”, LBV (Lake Bueana Vista Golf Course at Saratoga Springs Resort). We had really wanted to play here in June, but they closed the course a couple of weeks before our trip to redo the greens & tee boxes.   So now we get to play on a brand new course. It’s a very pretty course, I wish my golf game matched it.  The cousre starts at Saratoga Springs Resort, winds thru Old Key West Resort and even comes up by Port Orleans Resort.

Let’s just say what little ability/talent I do have, seems to have been on vacation today.   The only good hole was the one I was most scared of.  There is a beautiful par 3, Island Green (#6 or 7) I have a mental block when it comes to water on the golf course, I usually tend to land in it.   Disney Magic time! I clear the water  ……….. and land in the sand trap short of the green  ……but the Disney Magic came back and I had a great shot out of the sand with a short putt for par. I don’t get many pars when I play, so this was a good hole!   

Shortly after this, the entire week caught up with me. OMG, I was so tired, so sore, so completely drained of energy. I don’t know how I made it through the rest of the round. The golf wasn’t pretty, but at least the course was. Here’s a view of Saratoga Springs Resort from the course:

It was a great morning; the weather was fantastic, the course was beautiful and the company was perfect.

The kids seemed to be having a good time. Throughout our golf round we got text messages and pictures of where they were. They rode Test Track (again) Mission Space Orange, Soarin’, Maelstrom & Grand Fiesta Tour (boat ride in Mexico, better but still not good) on their way back to Boardwalk Villas they stopped at the Beach Club and got themselves lunch at Hurricane Hannah’s, then hung out at BWV’s Community Hall.

We all met back at the room around 3:30pm and headed down to Luna pool. Today was our warmest day so I had promised we could go to the pool and they could tryout the Scary Clown Slide.  I managed to make it to the hot tub and hoped that a Captain’s Mai Tai would make me feel better … It helped a little .   DH & the kids tried out the slide and said it was “ok”. We were all surpised at how small the pool actually was, from the walkway & pictures it had looked bigger .  The Luna hot tub is bigger than the quiet pools’, but wasn’t as hot. It was more like a “warm tub”  which wasn’t all that enjoyable for me. 

Dad called to let me know they made it back home. Their flight had been delayed out of Sanford, so getting up so early was for nothing. Unfortunately Jackies cat was sick when they got home and a family friend has passed away so as soon as they got back, they were at the vet and the funeral home for the visitation.   Not the best way to end a vacation, but he said they had a wonderful time with us at Disney.

We all went back to the room to rest and change before dinner. Tonight we’re going back to Cape May Cafe, this time for their Clam Bake (yum!)

Next up: Our last night at the world

AK & Boma continued

DS looks a little nervous as we get close to the front of the line (ok, I’m a little nervous myself, the backwards bit scares me) DS is my baby, and he usually wants to be with me if anything is wrong, scary, not feeling well…. does he want to ride with me? NO! Mommy is good for snuggling on “nap” rides like Space Ship Earth & Ellen’s Energy Adventure,  Daddy is for “thrill” rides.   Allright, DH & DS are in the row ahead of us, so I can’t see how he’s doing. This is a really cool ride, it starts with a nice train ride and then boom, it’s thrill the rest of the way! It stops and I get a thumbs up from DH, DS loved it!  Now he’s having fun!!

We had agreed to meet Dad & Jackie at the front of the park at 5:15pm, so we had time to go use our fast passes for Dinosaur.  Good thing we didn’t bring Dad on it, it is a lot more wild/bumpy than I remember. It would have really hurt his back. We had fun though! We decide to skip Kali River Rapids. It’s one of our favorites, but the warning “You will get wet, you may get soaked” should read “you will get wet and Chelle will get soaked”  I always end up being the one completely drenched– able to wring water out of my clothes for days drenched– on this ride.  After Splash Mountain the night before, I just didn’t want to do that again, and not before dinner at Boma.  Maybe tonight, if we come back for Extra Magic Hours.

Time to meet Dad & Jackie.  We’re supposed to meet at the front of the park, just before the turnstyles. Don’t see them…. Dad calls DH (not me?), they’re out of the park by the Christmas tree. OK, off to Animal Kingdom Lodge.  This is such a pretty hotel.  Even better, they’re having a wine & food tasting in the lobby.  Ok, I didn’t try the food ( a berry crumble sort of thing, maybe?) but the wine was very good!   A South African Riessling.  Our ADR is for 6:20 and it’s around 5:20 now. Jackie has mentioned that she’d like to see Fantasmic at the Studios, her sister had told her about it. Well, if we can get seated early, they should have time to go over there for it.  DH goes to check us in and ask if we can get in early. DS & I take Dad to see the savanah off the lobby. DH calls and says we’ll have a table in 10-15 minutes. The rest of us make our way downstairs and just as we get there, it’s time to be seated. I really wish I had skipped lunch, because I wasn’t hungry enough to do justice on all that yummy food. Dad stuck to all the “safe, normal” food, Jackie tried a few things. The rest of us found our favorites and tried a few new things as well. DS mostly enjoys the strawberries.  I have to say, those strawberries were huge and delicious!   Time for the dessert table.   So yummy! Love it all, and now I need to roll out of here after eating more than my fair share of Zebra Domes.

We stop in the gift shop on our way out, I look over and see Dad handing the kids money. Their Christmas present apparently.   DD immediately buys a “Green is the new Black” t-shirt that she’s had her eye on since before dinner. DS needs to think about what he wants.  We send Dad & Jackie off on a bus to the studios and now I can relax a little.   What do we want to do?  Extra Magic Hours or head back to Boardwalk Villas?  DD wants to go to the pool, but the main pool closes at 8pm and it’s 7:20pm.  We decide to go back to Animal Kingdom. DH has really been looking forward to riding Expedition Everest at night and DS is now very excited!

The temperature seems to have dropped a bit, and I didn’t think to bring sweatshirts for the evening. DD is wearing her cute strapless Animal Kingdom dress that she bought last summer and is cold.  She decides she wants to go back to the room.  With orders to text when she gets to the busses, to the Boardwalk Villas and again when she gets to the room, we let her go.  Time to have fun in the dark at Animal Kingdom.

Animal Kingdom looks so different in the dark, it’s still beautiful, but in a different way. It’s also very peaceful. The only thing we really want to do is Expedition Everest, so we make our way back there. Standby line is 20 minutes posted, only took about 10. Family behind us in line started playing with the bells in the queue, the girl and I decide Expedition Everest  is a Christmas ride — there’s snow, bells, the Yeti is also known as the Abominable (sp?) Snowman & he’s in Rudolph’s Christmas show, so this must be a Christmas ride!  We then decide that we should sing Jingle Bells the whole way through the ride. When we get loaded into the “train”, I’m in the back row with a single rider, DS is riding with DH and the other family is right in front of them.  Off we go “Dashing through the snow, in a one horse open sleigh” Let me just say that it gets hard to sing when you start going backwards in the dark!!!! The view is amazing at night, we could see Epcot, and the Swan & Dolphin clear as can be. Absolutely beautiful! That was fun! So much so, that we got right back in line with our singing family This time we were in the front of the train, so 3 rides- front, middle and back. You can see a lot from the front when the train comes to the “broken track”, we even joked about seeing DD walking from the Swan to the BW (she had been texting updates her whole way back) The view from the front row was great, but I liked the last row best for the ride experience. Now I’m tired, heart is pounding, but tired. Kali will have to wait till next trip. It’s time to head “home”.
It’s hard to see in the dark, but Everest is behind DS

Up next: I love DVC

Tuesday is MVMCP day!

I had told Dad and Jackie to get 4 day passes. We got them tickets to Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party as a Christmas gift.   That took care of them for their 5 day trip.

The morning was spent fairly quiet and seperate. Everyone needed a little downtime and space. Dad & Jackie were going to Downtown Disney and maybe the pool at SSR.  DH & DS went to play golf at Disney’s Oak Trail. –It’s the family walking course, we played there last year. It’s nice, but not on the same level as the “real” courses on site. — DD surprised us and was up early.  Don’t see that often! I really just wanted to rest and relax, so I’d be ready for the party. She wanted to go ride Test Track  again.  So, I took a deep breath and let her go to Epcot by herself.   She’s gone in by herself and met us, but never went by herself for the whole time, so I was a little nervous, but she did fine. I kept getting text messages, “single rider line, no wait” “Here now….” She’s actually pretty good about keeping in touch, and she was having a blast!  I drank my coffee and then wandered thru the shops at the Boardwalk. Around 11ish, I met up with DD on her way back from Epcot. –Now, before our trip, I had been reading/posting on other trip reports & pre-trippies on the Disboards.   Apriateslife4evr was going to be at Boardwalk Villas some of the same dates, and going to some of the same places, so I had kept an eye out for her & her parents all week. –DD and I are walking down the boardwalk and I see a lime green tag on a bag. The girl has a “katie holmes/posh spice” haircut & 2 older people are sitting on a bench with her. Only in Disney World can this happen, but I walk up and ask “Are you Donna?” she says yes and I tell her who I am. I’m now getting a hug from a “friend” that I’ve only just now met in person.  We talk for a little bit, she’s actually getting ready to go home  but it was really neat to catch up. So here’s my shout out to the disboards, this place is so cool!  DH & DS are back now, so we meet up back in the room. They’re tired but had fun. Time to relax for a little while, then off to Saratoga Springs Resort to meet Dad & Jackie. We have a late lunch Advanced Dining Reservation at Turf Club (2:45pm) and then we’ll go check out the Grand Floridian before going to the Christmas Party.

Sometimes Disney transportation can drive you nuts. Give yourself lot’s of extra time, and you get where you’re going way to early; cut it a little close and the bus you need will have just pulled away  We caught a bus to DTD and thought we’d save our feet and catch a bus to SSR. As our DTD bus pulled in, we saw the SSR bus leave, so we walked quickly over to Dad & Jackies room. Met them outside and walked over to Turf Club for lunch just a little late.  No problem, we were seated within minutes and for the longest time I think we were the only people there. We had several good meals here in June, so we were looking forward to this one as well. We started by treating DS to the Pirate Punch w/Captain Hook clip on light so he could have something special   Jackie and I had the crab cakes, Dad had the onion rings, DH had the calamari and DD had the buffalo chicken strips. All of them were very good, and large! DD ended up sharing with DS who decided to try them. He liked them, but I’m guessing they were pretty “hot”, he was getting pretty sniffly. Sinuses were definitely clearing!  Really those appetizers could have been a meal, but now it was time to order our entrees. Dad had the angus chuck cheeseburger, DH had the ribeye steak sandwich, DD had the reuben and Jackie & I had the same thing again, the penne pasta with shrimp. All were very good, although DD said the reuben wasn’t as good as it had been this summer. It may have had something to do with the appetizer filling her up, but who knows  Everyone is full and I mention that we still get dessert. Gotta love the Disney Dining Plan!  While we wait, Dad & DS go shoot pool and have a little fun. Dad had the individual apple pie, DH decided that the mixed berries would be good after such a filling meal, DD got the cheesecake and gave her daddy the berries that came with (she doesn’t do veggies or fruit) Jackie & I finished ordering the same meal with the chocolate lava cake. Yummy Yummy Yummy! If you like chocolate, you have to try this!  Did I mention this was Yummy!

We rolled out of the Turf Club, and made our way to the bus stop. Next stop, Magic Kingdom.

Next up: Party Time

Lot’s of eating scheduled, I hope Dad & Jackie find their way!

It’s now Monday morning, the first full day of the trip for Dad & Jackie. Oh, and it’s really cold! 38 degrees!!! I thought we were in Orlando, but apparently we were at the North Pole. Todays plan is to “show” dad the value of the DDP. Breakfast at Cape May Cafe (BC), day at Epcot and Les Chefs de France for dinner immediately followed by the holiday Illuminations.

I had watched the weather for weeks, up to the day we left and never were 30’s in the forecast, so all I packed were a few sweatshirts and a golf windbreaker for myself. Talked to Dad and told him that breakfast was at 10:20, so they should leave SSR by 9:20. Take a bus to the Studios and then get on the boat that we rode on yesterday to Boardwalk Villas and we’ll meet you there. Well, in their defense it had been really dark when we were on the boat Sunday and they were tired. At 10am Dad calls and says they can’t find the boat  they’ve looked all around in the park and can’t find it.  “Ok, Dad where are you now?  Outside the gate, good, facing the gate look to your right and you’ll see the boat dock.” OMG, it’s gonna be a long day!  We tell them to just stay on the boat till it gets to the beach club and we meet them there.   When they show up Dad is wearing a new hat, that he bought in the Studios that morning. Guess it’s a really good thing they got those park hoppers after all! Now the Beach Club is one of my favorite places, especially at holiday time. The gingerbread carousel with the chocolate horses is unbelieveable!

  It smells sooooo good! We check that out while waiting for our table (we were only about 10 minutes late). Breakfast is great, DS can eat a breakfast buffet like an adult with no problem, so he was very happy.  Dad & Jackie both loved all the food and then were surprised with the characters. Did I forget to mention that it’s a character breakfast?? Goofy coming up behind my dad was pretty funny! DD is not a morning person or a breakfast person and was very disappointed that the hashbrowns they used to serve weren’t on the buffet.  Her mood is slipping fast (as teenagers are known to do) so when she asked to go back to the room for awhile and meet up with us later it sounded like a good idea. So she got her 1st taste of freedom of the trip. She had her room key (with charging privileges) and her AP. Bye! The rest of us finished a very good breakfast and left feeling very full. Won’t be riding Mission Space anytime soon.

We walked over to Epcot and once inside, DH collected all the passes (except DD’s) and he & DS ran over to Soarin to get fp’s. Dad Jackie & I strolled through the World Traveller, and most of the shops in England and some of Canada. We then met up with DH & DS and headed over to Test Track & Mission Space.  Test Track had a long wait (shocking, I know) so we went to Mission Space.  DD called and was on her way to meet us, so I waited for her while DH, DS, Dad & Jackie went on Mission Space.  We decided it would be safer for dad to go on the green version. I waited for DD, who arrived just after the others went into Mission Space.  She loves Test Trace, so she took off to ride the single rider line real quick. Here I am, all by myself.   Oh well, I sit in the sun and try to stay warm.  DD is back from Test Trace and we’re still waiting on the rest of the group.  There they are!  Dad looks a little green, oops forgot that he’s very claustrophobic. He liked the ride, just not the capsule closing around him.   DH had warned Jackie to look straight ahead at all times, and she did fine. Thought it was pretty cool. Now we make our way to Innoventions, DS plays some robot building game that takes forever, Dad wanders off to who knows where, so Jackie, DD & I go see the house of tomorrow. Pretty cool, but doesn’t seem as groundbreaking as it has in the past. When we finish with the house, Dad, DH & DS are just walking by so we all head out and head to the Living Seas with Nemo.

DD is now hungry because she didn’t eat breakfast, so she & DH go to find a snack and will meet us in Living Seas. I see the clam shells only have a 5 minute wait, so we go in that way. It’s not a bad ride for a 5 minute wait. I know that Dad likes aquariums & animals, so I figured this would be right up his alley and it was. We saw the dolphins and the sharks and the manatee experiment and all sorts of fish.

Next up The Land. It’s not quite fast pass time so we go on Living with the Land.  I actually really like this. I love to garden, so to see all the stuff they grow and how they grow it is really neat. Everyone else enjoyed it too. Now it’s time to go Soarin! Jackie is getting a little nervous, but we tell her it’ll be ok and keep moving. Thank Goodness! They get off the ride and are glowing, gushing, raving about it .  It was so not what they expected and they were absolutely wowed! Now DH grabs all the passes again and goes across the park to get Test Track  fast passes. We’ve debated this quite a bit, whether dad could do it or not with his back and he decides to give it a try. While we wait for the fp’s we wander a bit, go thru Mouse Gears (love this store!) work our way up front and Yay! Space Ship Earth is open for previews (we did see it Sat, but had to go again). DS & I go 1st (he likes to ride with me to snuggle, thrill rides he goes with his daddy), DH & DD, then Dad & Jackie. Halfway up, Jackie yells to DH and asks “this isn’t a roller coaster, is it?” Nope, but that would be really cool! The update is good, but I miss the American boy “talking” to the girl in Japan scene. It’s getting to be a long day and certain people are starting to get grumpy. Do we go ride Test Track or back to the room to rest? I’m leaning towards the room, but DH doesn’t want to have to come back to Future World  later in the week for Test Track so we push through and go to TT.

I like Test Track, but don’t really consider it a thrill ride. Maybe it’s just that I’m in a car, going 60mph that my brain says “that’s slow compared to most days”   The “boys” rode in one car and the “girls” in another. Dad thought it was pretty cool and liked it. Jackie may have screamed a bit and yelled something about it being a roller coaster. I think it may have been more than she was expecting, but she was a really good sport about it. 

Now it’s time to go back to our room. That’s the great thing about staying at Boardwalk Villas, it’s right there.  Dad & Jackie came with us, we all stopped at the Bakery on the way to get a snack before our late dinner. Eclairs & cheesecake brownies are really yummy, and very rich. Most were finished for breakfast later in the week.

Resting is a good thing! By 7:30 we were warm and ready to go for our dinner in France at 8pm. Les Chefs de France is one of the few restaurants that we haven’t tried before, so we were really looking forward to it. This was also the reason we wanted Dad on the DDP because we knew he would look at the prices and say he wasn’t hungry. This is a really pretty place and the Christmas decorations were very nice. Our waitress was good, she seemed to be “playing” french (distant, snobby) more than the really was. DS had been practicing a few french phrases before the trip and he really won her over with that . Dad & I started with the french onion soup, very good. Too hot for me, but just the way Dad likes it. Jackie and DD tried the lobster bisque, it was ok. DD wasn’t impressed and decided that she just doesn’t like lobster. We told her not to judge lobster based on the soup, it was really bland and didn’t seem to have much lobster in it. DH got to have escargot. He liked it, I don’t do snails, but the garlic butter sauce was very good. DS wanting to be grown up decided to have the kids salad as his appy. It was a nice thought, but not for him.  I thought it was good though. DH, Dad & Jackie all the the filet of beef and liked it. Although DH said the filet at Le Cellier was much better. DD, who we thought would get her favorite food, roast chicken, decided trying new foods was pretty cool. She ordered the beef short ribs braised in Cabernet with polenta. She liked it, but didn’t finish it. The Cabernet was very strong, a little too much for her. The polenta was amazing, it was so smooth and creamy. Delicious! DD decided she really liked DH’s green beans (a green veggie? wow). I had the the sauteed scallops & black tiger shrimp with spinach flan and sorrel sauce. I cleaned my plate! I think I had the best meal of the night, the rest were good, buy mine was excellent. Of course with DDP we get dessert, and we were looking forward to it but it was getting late and we didn’t want to miss Illuminations. I had the profiterolles (yum) Dad & Jackie both had the chocolate torte w/banana & coconut (they liked it) DD & DH had the creme brulee, which DS also enjoyed.  We kindof rushed through our desserts and made it outside with a few minutes to spare. Now it was getting really cold again, especially after having been inside eating nice warm food. My family loves Illuminations, I have the CD, we know the music & words by heart, so we always sing along when we watch. It was really neat to watch Dad & Jackie though. This is their first time experiencing Disney fireworks. They were amazed! But it was so cold at that point that we didn’t really discuss it. We walked them part way through the park (to make sure they didn’t get lost) told them where to catch the bus and said see ya tomorrow!

Other than the transportation issue in the morning, and a little wandering off in Innoventions, it had been a pretty good day. I think they’re really enjoying it. I’m a little tired & stressed making sure everyone is happy (why do I try? It just drives me crazy ) Time to go warm up and rest. Tomorrow is the Christmas Party!

Next up: MVMCP

Le Cellier and Dad’s arrival

The plan for today is Epcot in the morning, Le Cellier for lunch and meet Dad & Jackie when they arrive at Disney’s Saratoga Springs Resort in the afternoon to help them check in and get a feel for Disney transportation. Get Counter Service dinner and head to the Studios for Extra Magic Hours. Dad and Jackie were getting 4 day non-park hopper passes, so EMH would let them get the most park time for the 1st day of the tickets.

We love Epcot and tend to spend most of our time there on trips. So much so, that we tend to wander and I don’t always remember what we did when, because we’ve done it all so many times. I know we went on Soarin, and we asked to wait to ride center, top row. Wow! I love this ride anyways, but it was really cool to be all the way up with no feet above my head. And the oranges, ooh I love the smell of the oranges! I think we went to see Figment that morning too. We like to sing along through the ride, so if you heard us, sorry if we were out of tune.

We had an early lunch at Le Cellier in Canada.  This was one of the reasons we decided to do the Disney Dining Plan.  We almost always have lunch here and always want to get the filet, but then look at the prices and end up having the steak sandwich instead (which is very good, but not a filet) so we were really excited about this lunch. Our waitress was very good, helped DS customize his kids meal so he could have all the things he wanted and feel like he was having as much stuff as we were. DH, DD & I all had the same things until dessert time. Cheddar Cheese soup (YUM!), and the 5oz filet. DH had gone to the restroom and of course that’s when the food arrived. I waited for a minute, then decided I needed to make sure it was cooked right.   DD was again enjoying her fine dining experience and so that DS wouldn’t feel left out, I offered him a bite of mine. I told him to let it sit in his mouth a minute and then I saw that look on his face … My baby is growing up. He’s now decided that he really likes filet and that if his dad isn’t back in a minute, he’s gonna eat his filet!  Thankfully DH got back in time and didn’t lose out on his filet. We decided to all order different desserts so we could try as many as possible. DH had the creme brulee (which DS decided was his new favorite dessert), DD had the chocolate whiskey cake (very good) and even though I’m the chocoholic in the family, I had the apple crumble so we’d have something different to try. It was very good, but I’d have preferred the chocolate. It was a fantastic meal, and when DH saw the bill, he decided he really liked the DDP! 

I don’t remember what we did next, we were waiting to hear from Dad & Jackie. They were flying out of Lansing MI at 10:50am and were supposed to land at 1:15pm in Sanford, unfortunately they got a bunch of snow Saturday night in Lansing so their flight was delayed. They finally landed around 3pm and were taking a shuttle to Saratoga Springs Resort, so we left Epcot and headed over to Saratoga Springs Resort to meet them there. I have to explain here that Dad has only been to Disney twice in his life, one day at Magic Kingdom in 1983 and one day at Epcot in 1987. Same for Jackie, so they have no idea what to expect, I tried to tell them but until you see for yourself….

They made great time from Sanford and just after 4pm we met them in the lobby at Saratoga Springs Resort. I helped them check in, got their tickets put on the room key(they got park hoppers, that’ll come in handy later on), made sure the room request was there (it was), made sure the Disney Dining Plan was set (it was) and the Cast Member gave them 1st Trip buttons. All set, we take them to their room in Congress Park, I think they’re impressed (I hope so!) Now we show them the walk over to Down Town Disney, so they can learn where to catch the resort busses to meet us later in the week. We figured on Counter Service dinner here, we looked at Wolfgang Puck Express, then decided on Earl of Sandwich. Only problem is that my family isn’t hungry yet after that lunch at Le Cellier. So dad & Jackie eat while we watch and tell them about our trip so far and tonights plan. Now we catch a bus to our room at Boardwalk Villas and then a Friendship to the Studios, of course it’s dark now so they’re not really seeing much. It’s time to see the Osborne Lights, I’ve been looking forward to this for a long time. Wow! Dad & Jackie are amazed (ok, good start here) Did I mention Wow! So amazing, if you get the chance, go see this!

Now DS wants to go on one of his favorite rides, Star Tours. We decided that it was just too bumpy for Dad to go on with his back, but Jackie is a trooper and goes with the kids.  Jackie & the kids finish the ride, they had a good time even though Jackie gets motion sickness (I didn’t know! If I had , I would have told the kids to go alone). But she said she really enjoyed it.

It’s really starting to get cold and my family is finally getting hungry, so are Dad & Jackie. We went to the Commissary and all got Counter Service. It was ok, nothing special, not horrible (except for the burgers, they weren’t good).  We went and saw Muppet Vision (love that!) and then we went to the Great Movie Ride. We had heard the wait was an hour earlier, but it was down now. We walked right in, but waited in the movie room for a couple of rotations. This was the first of funny dad moments. After waiting through the pre show, when we were finally going in to the ride he says that the movie clips are good, but he can’t understand a 1 hour wait to see that.  Oh dad, that’s the pre-show, we’re going on the real ride now.   That he really enjoyed and thought was worth a wait, maybe not an hour, but worth a wait. It’s late now, and everyone is tired. We head out and explain where to catch the bus, and a quick explanation of how to catch a bus to the Studios in the morning and take the Friendship boat to Boardwalk Villas to meet us for our breakfast ADR.  Ok, they’re off to catch a bus, and we catch a boat. Not bad for the first day. I think they’re having fun (I tend to worry about things like that, a lot) now it’s time to  relax and go get warm. It’s really getting cold!

Next up:Lot’s of eating scheduled, I hope Dad & Jackie find their way

The Trip Begins

Allright, it’s Friday Dec 14th and the plan is to hit the road after DH gets home from work and hopefully get to the Jacksonville area for the night. It was an uneventful drive, just sat back and listened to our Dis Unplugged podcasts that we had been saving up. Made it to J’ville, stopped for the night and got back on the road around 9am Saturday.

10:30am and we’re here!!!! Drop our luggage with bell services and go to check in. Our room isn’t ready yet, so we head over to Epcot International Gateway to get our Annual Passes and then we start wandering around the world.   We played around a bit, got Test Track  Fast Passes, and then got our first meal on the DDP (Disney Dining Plan)  Counter Service at Electric Umbrealla.   I have to say I was really surprised, the food was really good and there was a lot of it! DH & DS (who was really hungry) got the Dbl Cheeseburger Combo, Coke & cookies, I got the chicken sandwich combo, coke & cookies, DD got the chicken strip combo, coke & cookies. Since there were 2 cookies in each package and we were pretty full, we each had a cookie and saved the rest for later. We went on Ellen’s Energy Adventure (45 minutes to rest, love that!) then Test Track. The excitement energy is wearing off and the travel is catching up with everyone so it’s time to head back to the Boardwalk Villas and see if our room is ready.

It’s about 3:45pm and we get our room #3093 almost at the end of the hall near the stairs. Everything looks great, the view is of the quiet pool & community hall. We get our luggage brought up and the DH & I tell the kids to relax, we’re going to get groceries. Ok, the kids don’t know, but back in late July/early Aug after making our ressies, I signed up for the Disboards DVC Tree Exchange. Because of scheduling changes with the trees, we had to go over to Disney’s Old Key West resort to pick up our Christmas tree. I called ahead and bell services was going to get the tree and have it ready for me. I get there, no tree.  Lavelle (OKW Bell Services) was fantastic, he looked & looked, then brought me & DH back into the storage room to look, then called the family on the tree that was in storage to see if they had gotten the wrong tree. In the end, we left with Lavelle promising to keep trying, but no tree.  On a whim, when we got back to Boardwalk Villas, I checked with Bell Services and there it was!!!  The previous family had it transferred over to BWV to make it easier for us, lol. Now all is right with the world and I get to surprise the kids with a Christmas tree and balcony lights for our stay.  We got the tree decorated, and hung the lights from the curtain rod so they could be plugged in while we were out of the room. If anyone saw the pink lights, that was us!

It’s time to head out for the meal we’ve been looking forward to for months: Hollywood Brown Derby. We have a 7:50pm ADR (Advanced Dining Reservation), and the park closes at 8pm.  The Friendships were out of synch & slow, but we made it. When we checked in, DD went to the desk and quietly asked if DS could get a phone call. This is something they do if you ask, and relates to the history of the restaurant, before the days of cell phones. We get seated almost immediately and hostess comes over to talk to DD. Normally they’ll seat you at a booth where the phone can be plugged in, but our table got assigned before the phone request went in, so DD is told they’ll do the best they can. We decided not to use the DDP with this meal because it is a 2TS  (Table Service credit) meal. We also have the Disney Dining Experience card and used that instead. We ordered the incredible Cobb Salad for 2. The kids didn’t bother with appetizers. The hostess came over to DS and told him that they had a “very important phone call” for him and would he please follow her to the phone. So off he went, looking a little tired and very confused!  Goofy was on the phone with him and asked him to meet later by the theater. The hostess then told DS that he must be very important, because she’s worked at Disney for a very long time and Goofy has never called her!!!  Now the salad came and disappeared pretty quickly.  Time to order dinner: DH & I both had the salmon, DD ordered the rotisserie chicken that she loves and DS ordered his hot dog off the kids menu. Here’s where DD starts to grow up, our waitress came back and apologized but they were out of the chicken. Now, DD has never been real adventurous but our waitress recommended the Roasted Hatfield Pork Rib Chop and said she would serve it with the sides that come with the chicken. DD agreed to try it and that was the best decision she’s made in a long time! I have never seen a pork chop like this, it was at least an 1 1/2 thick. She took the first bite and I swear it was one of those “priceless” commercials. I wish I had taken a picture! It was the most tender, delicious piece of meat, just like a fine filet. It melted on your tongue. DH & I each got a small bite, the rest she polished off like she had never eaten before. Oh Oh, she’s now developing a taste for fine food,  as if teenagers aren’t expensive enough?! Desserts were also fantastic, flourless chocolate torte for me, grapefruit cake for DH and pumpkin cheesecake for DD. DS had his favorite “Hidden Treasures”. What an amazing, outstanding meal. The food, the service, everything was excellent!   We left and took the walkway “home” to BWV. We were too full to be crowded onto the last boat of the night and needed to walk off dinner. There’s our room, I see the pink lights!

We had a great day. Tomorrow we’re off to Epcot, lunch at Le Cellier (another favorite) and then Dad & Jackie will be arriving in the afternoon. Time to sleep and get ready for a busy day.

Next up: Le Cellier and Dad’s arrival


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