Walt Disney World & World Travels

Posts Tagged ‘Samantha Brown

Saturday October 17th was a sad day for some of us, it was Art Lark’s last day at work.   Art retired after his shift on Saturday and will be missed by all.

Art is better known as Art the Greeter and until last Saturday he worked at Disney’s Beach Club Resort welcoming all who came to visit.    My first memory of Art is learning about him in a Samantha Brown ‘Great Resorts’ episode about the Beach Club.  When I met him in real life, he was as nice if not nicer than on TV.  My kids always loved hanging out with Art in the Lobby and the most special memory I have of Art is with my son.  Jason loved to trade pins with Art and one morning Art didn’t trade with him; he gave him a special pin.  It’s a Lilo & Stitch pin with an easel back.  This was probably 6 years ago, yet Jason can point out that special pin in a heartbeat.  He’s actually tried on each of our trips for the last 3 years to go see Art and show him that he still has the pin he gave him.  Unfortunately, every time it was Art’s day off.   

Art & I

Art & I

I saw Art in June and told him this and that we’d be back in July to see him.  We were even staying at the Beach Club Villas, so we figured we’d have lots of opportunities.  When we checked in, no Art the Greeter at the door.  Jason asked a CM when Art would be there and in a very unmagical way she told him that Art was out for the week at least.  We later learned that Art was having a health issue, andour timing was just bad.  Now that Art has retired, I’m not sure we’ll stay at the Beach Club anymore.  It’s still a beautiful resort, but it’ll be missing the magic that has always made it special for us.
Art will be missed by all that have ever met him.  I wish him well in his retirement and can only hope that he knows what an impact he has made on so many people.
For more about Art, an article on the Disney Parks Blog   and a video interview with Lou Mongello on WDW Radio

After a restful night’s sleep, we awoke to the phone ringing.  It was our wake up call.  We got ready quickly and met our group in the lobby.  Our 1st stop of the day: Cape May Café at Disney’s Beach Club Resort.  It was time for some delicious food.  We all ate like we had never eaten before, then spent some time with Minnie Mouse, Goofy & Donald Duck.  After breakfast I visited with Art the Greeter real quick –don’t know Art?  He’s been mentioned on Samantha Brown’s Disney travel special.  Check him out, he’s a wonderful man!  — Where was I? Oh yes, after talking to Art we toured a recently refurbished room at the Beach Club.  Very very nice!


Back on to our bus and we were on our way to Port Canaveral!  WHOO!  We were all excited!  Some had been on multiple Disney Cruises, others only cruised on other lines and a few had never cruised before.  I had cruised once before, long long ago in a galaxy far ….that’s not right.  It was almost 18 years ago when Jon & I sailed on Premiere Cruise Lines Big Red Boat for our honeymoon.  Almost long enough ago to be in the “never cruised before” category.  Anyways, we did a little training on the bus, then sat back and watched the video that all of the guests using DCL transportation watch and 75 minutes later we arrived.


Detail.  Attention to detail is something that Disney does better than anyone else.  Even though the terminal is owned by the Port, Disney touch & detail is all over it.  When you go inside, look at the floor.  You will “leave” Florida and “enter” the Caribbean Islands.  They’re all there.  The model ship in the middle of the terminal is hard to miss, and you shouldn’t!  All of us got checked in for the cruise and then our group received permission to board early for our tour of the ship.  I know it’s considered a “small” ship compared to some other cruise lines, but we toured from top to bottom, forward to aft, port to starboard.  By the end we had seen every category of stateroom cabin, the children’s clubs, the pools, and just about everything in between and I was exhausted!  We finished just as families started boarding for their vacations.


It had been several hours since we had eaten breakfast (although we worked that off on the stairs) so we had our 1st meal on the ship at Beach Blanket Buffet.  I remember the chilled strawberry mint soup (similar to 1900 Park Fare), my Bahama Mama sail away special drink of the day and the sun shining on us.  Unfortunately that’s one of the few times on the trip that I remember the sun shining L


Around 1:30pm we were able to go to our stateroom.  It was really nice!  I will say after seeing all of them, our Category 6 stateroom was a little bigger but the lower priced staterooms were nice too.  We were in 5648; Deck 5 starboard side all the way aft.  There was 1 room after hours and that was it.  Our luggage arrived a few minutes after we did. We changed into our bathing suits and headed out for the sail away party.

I can’t believe it’s over, final thoughts

Some random thoughts:

How is it that it takes forever to get to your trip, but then it’s over before you know it?

Dining Plan ’07 was great. It was a lot of food, but it opened up so many opportunities to try things that we otherwise wouldn’t have.   DD is still salivating over that pork chop at Brown Derby and when I ask DS what he wants to eat, his answer is Filet & Creme Brulee. 

I worried at the beginning about running out of snack credits, and Counter Service and tried to “save” them.  So learn from my mistakes, if you’re hungry or 1 person is hungry, let them eat.  You will not run out of credits and you won’t have to spend hours on your last day trying to figure out how to use them up.

Meeting other DISers and the tree swap were great moments of the trip. 

Surving the week with my dad thoughts:

I really tried to prepare Dad & Jackie for the trip, gave them all sorts of stuff to read, links to the Dis, allears (for menus) and the time/date of Samantha Brown’s new holiday special to watch before going. It may have helped a little, but they were still overwhelmed. They loved Samantha’s special but couldn’t believe how much “bigger” everything was in person.

I really am glad we took them with us.  It was great for them to have time with their grandkids, in such a special place and the kids loved being able to show them around and all of their favorite things. It was so much better than the few days they normally spend at our house each summer, when they go to the mall for awhile, and maybe a park and then they’re gone.  Dad is still talking about the trip and says they had a wonderful time and are so glad that they did it!   He is spoiled now though, he says he can’t imagine not going at Christmas time.   He loved the decorations and all of the special Christmas stuff, especially Candlelight Processional!

For those planning on taking parents/extra family with you, my advice is to plan, plan, plan and educate.
-We originally had a dinner planned in Norway, but after showing them the menu, Dad & Jackie said that it didn’t really appeal to them. Ok, we’ll go another time.
-Dad & Jackie have taken a few trips to Vegas and Jackie always gets blisters and throws her back out.  She listened when I told her we would be walking several miles a day and she needed good comfortable walking shoes, and she had no problems.
-ADHD Dad’s are still going to wander off and do what they want to do, tell yourself that’s fine take a deep breath and get a drink with a little umbrella.  It helps!

Thanks to all for reading and commenting. It was a really good trip and I loved sharing it with you!

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