Walt Disney World & World Travels

Posts Tagged ‘Saratoga Springs Resort

The last day certainly did not start well .   Thankfully some Pixie Dust must have been thrown our way and it all turned out just fine.  The Manager at Saratoga Springs Resort that gave us the extra time in the room was great (even though we didn’t end up needing it).  DH was really sure that the prices at the Car Care Center would be ridiculous, but it was under $160 for everything. He said he couldn’t have done much better at home.

Funny story about the “missing” golf clubs, the morning we checked out I checked my email before packing up my laptop and saw that I had a voicmail at home from a (407) number –but I never remember how to check my home voicemail.  When we got home, it was from the pro-shop at Osprey Ridge telling us that they couldn’t send our clubs to the pro-shop at LBV so they sent them to bell services at Saratoga Springs Resort.   2 lessons learned: If our first & last name had been on the bag tags, they probably would’ve been easier to locate & always use your cell phone # as the contact #, so they can get ahold of you while you’re on vacation.

We had a good trip home. Everyone was getting hungry shortly after leaving so we stopped at a restaurant that I used to go to with my grandparents. We went to Toojays in Lake Mary (there are quite a few locations around Orlando) Really good deli! We ate till we were stuffed and then got back on the road for the trip home. We stopped a few times to stretch and were home around 9:30pm.

All in all it was a very good trip. DD finished the first round of antibiotics and did need to stay on them for another 5-6 days, but she finally recovered and is busy planning our December trip.

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So sad when you wake up and have to load up to go home.

DH & I got our stuff packed up and I packed up the kitchen/living room stuff.  He was going to run up to the clubhouse/proshop  at Lake Buena Vista to see if our clubs had come back (there was some confusion about whether they could send them back to Lake Buena Vista from Osprey Ridge since the course was closed) UH-OH, he was back a lot faster than he could’ve driven to the clubhouse.   My truck didn’t start!   He called the front desk (I know, he really talked to someone in Oklahoma ) they sent someone over to jumpstart it.  Not a great way to start the day.   He then ran over to the clubhouse, and nope, no golf clubs.  A very nice lady at the pro shop said she would hunt them down and drop them off at our villa.  DH came back, locked the truck with it running and (thank goodness for free internet) looked up where to get a new battery.   He ended up going to the Car Care center on property. The car care center is running a diagnostic on my truck, the golf clubs are still missing and it’s now 10am, and we’re supposed to be out of the villa at 11! 

DS had finished his packing, so he took off to the arcade & Community Hall for a bit. DD finished her packing. I walk up to the Carriage House to see if we can get a late check out somehow. I told them I was having a very “unmagical” day, the Cast Member at the counter didn’t understand to0 well (English was not her 1st language) but a Manager overheard and came over to help. She checked a few things and said we could stay in the room till noon and if that wasn’t enough time for my truck to be fixed to let her know.   All she asked was that I call when we did leave the room.   Thank you!!! I really couldn’t have asked for anything more and was very grateful. 

As I walked back to our room, I saw a golf club cart pull away from our building. When I walked in, there were all 3 sets of clubs!  Things were starting to look up  DH called and said they were installing a new battery and he was happy that he was not being overcharged.   He made it back and we loaded up and were in the truck at 11am.  Guess I didn’t need the extra time in the room after all. 

Originally the plan for the day was to hang out, play some mini-golf, maybe go to a park for a bit then head out late in the day. We were just too tired and it was going to be really hot so we decided to just drive home.  So long Saratoga, until next time Mickey!

Day 6 -Friday

We wake up Friday morning–ok, DH & I wake up Friday morning, the kids are still out cold. The plan is to go to Typhoon Lagoon today, come back to change and then dinner at Yachtsman Steakhouse (a new one for us )

Again, I love this 2BR villa! We get up, make the coffee, shower/dress, sit on the couch watch the news while we drink our coffee….and the kids continue to sleep. The weather forecast is calling for a greater chance of storms this afternoon. Do we go wake the kids up and get moving? Should we let them sleep? What if we just wake up DS, since he’s the one that really wants to go to Typhoon Lagoon?  Maybe we should just have DH & DS go?  Too many questions without enough coffee!  Dinner is at 6:30pm, maybe we should push that back to later so we’ll have time to go to Typhoon Lagoon.   No problem, called and changed our Advanced Dining Reservation to 8pm. DS finally got up after 10am and wasn’t really ready to get moving.  We finally decided that it’s unlikely we would get enough time to enjoy Typhoon Lagoon and that we would save it (and the money ) for the next trip.  Unfortunately, Typhoon Lagoon is always closed for refurb when we come down in December, so it might need to wait till next June. The one thing that we have decided is that it will be scheduled for the first day (or so) of the trip and not the last, so we won’t be too tired.

DD finally woke up, but just wanted to read her book, so DH, DS & I headed to High Rock Springs pool. DH & I enjoyed a cocktail and read our books by the pool while DS had fun going down the slide. We grabbed lunch from Artist Palette  and ate by the pool. DS had the cheese flatbread and I had the roasted vegetable flatbread, both were very good! It started to rain while we were at the pool (good thing we had a table with an umbrella) we played in the pool in the rain for a bit, I even went down the slide. The sky started to look a little scarier, so we thought it would be a good time to head over closer to our room. Told DD to meet us at the Grandstand Pool, by the time she was ready, we were walking back to the room.   We all changed and headed to Downtown Disney  to do some shopping before going to dinner.

We had to get Mickey rice crispy treats, pretzels, and marshmallows at Goofys Candy store. I got my Christmas ornaments (learned last December to get them before they run out) and wandered around for a little while. We were all getting hungry and tired and decided to catch a bus for Yacht Club. Wouldn’t you know we arrive at the Yacht Club around 6:20.   Good thing we moved our dinner ADR to 8pm!   We walk up to Yachtsman and tell them our little story, the girl looks at us and then gives us a pager.  DD notices that she writes “long story” next to our name on the reservation book. 

We were seated right after our 1st ADR time. Sadly, I really wasn’t in the mood for a drink, so we all ordered sodas. We started by sharing 2 appetizers: the Seared Maine Diver Scallops and the assortment of artisan cheeses.  The scallops were incredible!  they were huge, cooked perfectly! They came on a frisee & Shtake mushroom salad with a warm bacon vinagrette. I could have licked the plate it was so good.   I don’t remember which cheeses were on the cheese plate, but they were very good. The bread came out about the same time as the appy’s. I love good bread and it came with a little dish of incredible whole cloves of roasted garlic. Ohhhh, yum! A little butter and a clove of garlic spread on the bread.   Then it was time to order our entrees. DS had known for months that he was having the filet (we ordered it with the winesauce on the side) DD decided to try the NY Strip served with peppercorn brandy sauce and potato gratin with Diamond white cheddar. DH decided to go with the Ribeye served with Horseradish Mashed Potatoes and Red Wine Butter and I couldn’t make up my mind.   I love ribeyes, but that’s what I always order when we go out for steak, so I decided to have the filet mignon with mashed potatoes and a red wine sauce. All were fantastic! DD loved hers, and the potato gratin was very very good.   She ate every last bite and then helped her brother finish his mashed potatos.   DH seemed to enjoy his meal, all I know for sure is his plate was pretty clean.  DS & I both enjoyed our filets.  The redwine sauce was very good, but a good thing that we ordered it on the side for DS since it was a little too strong for his taste.  DH & I ordered coffee after dinner while we decided what we wanted for dessert. Nothing on the dessert menu was really hitting us since we were so full.

 
 Gotta say, love Disney Dining Experience! This was a very good, but pricey meal.  My only complaint was that our server just wasn’t very attentive. I don’t like my drink to go empty at Applebee’s, I certainly expect more service at a restaurant like Yachtsman. Fantastic meal and I’m sure we’ll go back.
After dinner we walked around the Beach Club  for a bit and walked over to Beach Club Villas to look around there.  We decided to go to Beaches & Cream for dessert.  I was really looking forward to my No Way Jose  sundae.  Chocolate & peanut butter, yummy!   Again, those plans don’t always go the way you think. DH decided we should just go ahead and get the kitchen sink.   The kids have wanted to try this for a long time, and really it’s cheaper than ordering 4 sundaes.  For the unintiated, here is the menu description of the Kitchen Sink:
Quote:
Kitchen Sink – 8 scoops of vanilla, chocolate, strawberry, coffee and mint chocolate chip, smothered in every topping we have $21.99
When they say every topping, they mean EVERY TOPPING! When they bring it out, they turn on these flashing lights and announce that a family is about to “take on the Kitchen Sink”, describes it to all and then delivers it to the table.
Oh Dear Lord, here it comes!

Up close as we dive in

This is good!

We did pretty good

Wow, this was something! 8 scoops of icecream with 4 people doesn’t sound too ridiculous, it’s when you put the whole can of whipped cream; jar of marachino cherries; marshmallow topping; strawberry; pineapple; peanut butter; hot fudge; butterscotch; chocolate syrup; bananas; sprinkles; anglefood cake; oreos; candied orange slice; bundt cake and chocolate & peanut butter morsels.  YIKES!

It was around 10pm by the time we rolled out of Beaches & Cream.  We made our way to the boat dock figuring it would be easiest to catch a boat to Disney’s Hollywood Studios  and then a bus to Saratoga Springs Resort.  It was a pretty good plan, except that since Epcot had been closed for an hour there were very few boats running, so we had to wait for a bit.  Still completely full from dinner & dessert, we made it back to our villa without incident.

To make life a little easier when we get to our real world home, I finished up some laundry.  Tomorrow is the sad day that we pack and head home.  Tomorrows plan is to pack and load the truck up. Maybe play some mini golf and get on the road late afternoon. We’re not planning to get home until Sunday.

I can’t believe it’s over already.   All that time waiting & planning, and planning and waiting and now it’s over and time to plan the next one.

Cast of Characters for this trip: Dear Husband 39, Me 37, Dear Daughter 14 & Dear Son 11

We left home (Charlotte NC) Saturday June 7th, 2008 and drove down to Altamonte Springs Florida.  We’ve found an Embassy Suites there that is very nice, full hot buffet breakfast and only $115 a night. Plus it’s only a half hour to Disney on Sunday mornings.  We arrived at the Embassy Suites before dinner, allowing us time to relax, eat and play in the pool.

 
We drove over to Disney’s  Saratoga Springs Resort  on Sunday morning and checked in at 9:30am.  We got our request of the Grandstand, but not the building we wanted.  We had wanted the building overlooking the pool and backing up to the golf course. The Cast Member did look to move us,  but  the building by the bus stop was closed because of noise from the road work, so they were full at the other building.  It worked out just fine though.  Our room was ready, a dedicated 2BR, 1st floor with a courtyard and golf course view.  Room 9111.  It was perfectly clean, everything worked, nothing was broken. The only thing missing was the cable for the internet but that was brought down after we called about it.
 
The plan for the day is take it easy and relax. Magic Kingdom Extra Magic Hours till 2am tonight,and we plan to go in the late evening.
After unpacking and settling in we went to Artist’s Palette for lunch right at noon. No crowds, no line.  Got our food to go and went back to our room to enjoy.  As always, the food was excellent!

A little back story, DD had been fighting an Upper Respiratory Infection for about a week & half.  We’d taken her to the Minute Clinic the night before her final exam in Geometry and on Wednesday before the trip to her regular Dr. “Viral” is what we were told.  She was on cough medicine, an inhaler, zyrtec and motrin/tylenol for fever & throat pain.  She was feeling worse when we got to Florida on Saturday and even worse on Sunday.

After lunch, DD went to take a nap and DH, DS & I went to the main pool for the Welcome Home party.  DH & I had our books and drinks  and DS was off in the pool until the party games started.  They had a Hula Hoop contest (done by age group) DS is really good at hula hooping so he was very excited to join in this.  When they got to several people who were still going, they had them stop and add a 2nd hoop and then there were 3 left who added a third hoop.  Jason from North Carolina was the last one standing and recieved the new Pixar edition of Monopoly.  He was soooo excited! What a great way to start our vacation!

DD was feeling a little better after her nap, so after we all got ready we headed out for Magic Kingdom.  We waited almost 40 minutes for an MK bus, the people already at the bus stop said they had seen 3-4 of all the other busses.  In the end, they waited just over an hour. I might have thought they were exagerating, except that as we went to all the other stops, others were saying the exact same thing. The bus was packed, but we eventually made it to the Magic Kingdom.

We had decided to start the night in the back of the park. Debated getting Big Thunder Mountain Railroad or Splash Moutain  fast passes, decided to get BTMR.  Then went and got dinner at Columbia Harbor House.  First time there, thought it was pretty good.  DS said the new chicken nuggets were much better than the old strips, DD said they were fine.  After our dinner we walked on to Haunted Mansion, then made our way thru the Spectro crowds over to Splash Mountain but the wait was up to 50 minutes so we headed over to Adventureland.  Kids hopped on Flying Carpets as Wishes started. That was neat. As soon as they were done we went over to the Jungle Cruise.  I love the Jungle Cruise, I love every single corny joke.   Maybe because I had friends on the College Program that were Jungle Cruise Skippers, but it’s one of my favorites and my dear family only indulges me every couple of trips.  Pirates in undergoing refurb, so I get to go on Jungle Cruise.  nce Wishes is still going we’re able to walk right up and get on the next boat. Captain Sarah is great, and we play along with everything.  Now I have to say, the other group in our boat did not seem to get the jokes (or the point of the ride), that’s ok, I was having fun. Then something that I’ve never seen happen, we come up on another boat who’s captain yells over that there’s a boat in front of her that’s dead in the water. Yep, we got stuck on the Jungle Cruise.  Poor Captain Sarah, she said it was her first night and I’m sure it’s one she’ll never forget/  She went thru every joke she learned, then I tried to help by asking about the “local vegetation” So she was able to show us the “High”biscus and the “low”biscus.  The Captain of the boat in front of us started yelling out knock knock jokes to our boat and then moved on to singing “if you’re happy and you know it”   Boats are now backing up behind us and none of the radios seem to be working. I really wish I could have seen what was happening at the dock when there weren’t any boats showing up.   After a good half hour, they managed to get a boat out there to tow the dead boat back home and then we resumed our three hour tour (oops, sorry wrong story )

Crowds dropped significantly after Extra Magic Hours started and we were able to ride Splash & BTMR a couple of times with practically no wait.  We went over to Fantasy Land and DS & I rode the Tea Cups. DD was starting to crash, and not feel well at all.  She toughed it out, mainly because she’s 14 & stubborn and she was the one talking about staying at Magic Kingdom till 2am since park hours were released.  It was time for a snack so went and had Dole Whips (in honor of  Bawb–for those who listen to the DISunplugged podcast).
We moved over to Tomorrowland, rode the Wedway People Mover, Space Mountaintn & Buzz Lightyear Space Ranger Spin. We left the park just before 2am, got a bus no problem and were back to our room in no time flat.

All in all, a very good 1st day, Just wish DD would feel better.

check out and spend our last day in the world

We really should have gone to bed earlier! It’s after 8am and no one is moving. We still need to pack, undecorate the tree, and breakfast might be good – I’m hungry. After all of the obsessive planning with the Disney Dining Plan, DH & I have realized that we didn’t add it up right and we still have 3 Table Service credits left (2 of us, counting multiple times  and we came up with the same wrong # every time)  We also have 5 Counter Service credits and a whopping 13 snack credits left!!! Our thought last night was get a couple of Counter Service breakfasts from the bakery and then we’ll have lunch at DTD with the TS credits. Goofys Snack Co. will be a good place to “blow” our snack credits with stuff to take home.  But first people need to get up and get moving!

Ok so that plan doesn’t seem to be working.  We’re up, packed and manage to call Bell Services just before 11am (check out time). Breakfast is not going to happen.  New plan, lunch with Table Service and Counter Service at Earl of Sandwich to take on the road with us. That could work .  While DH loads/packs the truck, I take our tree to Bell Services to leave for the next family on the tree exchange.  Hope they enjoy it as much as we did!

We head to Downtown Disney and it looks pretty busy. Lot 1 is closed already.  We decided to park by Pleasure Island.  We can have lunch at Planet Hollywood, walk to the Market Place and back to the car.  Sounds like a plan! We walk into Planet Hollywood and are seated immediately.   Allright, last big meal of the trip.  We order the potato skins, Texas Tostados & the Spinach dip for our appetizers. We shared amongst the 4 of us.  All were very good and easily big enough to have eaten as entrees.  Our waitress told us there was only 1 item on the menu that wasn’t included on the DDP (I don’t remember what it was, but the price made it obvious-I think it was something for 2 people)  Since DD had tried so many other foods during the week, she was ready for the Roasted Half Chicken w/mashed potatoes. DH had the LA Lasagna that he tried & loved in June. I figured what the heck, I had the 14 oz Ribeye. Mmmmm!  It was perfectly cooked and delicious, but I couldn’t finish it.  Not after the appetizers, and there was still dessert to order.  DS had enjoyed our appetizers, and the kids pizza and didn’t have much room for dessert.  Until he heard that there was a creme brulee on the menu.  DH was pretty full, so he & DS shared the Banana Split Creme Brulee (they loved it, and ate every last bite!) DD & I both ordered the Double Chocolate Brownie sundae.  Wow, so rich, so delicious!  Ok, good thing we planned to walk to Market Place and shop. There’s no way I can get in the truck for a 8 hour drive right now! 

Time to shop. DS still hasn’t figured out what to buy with the money my Dad gave him. He doesn’t want a new hat, he’s not into charater shirts, ok what? Maybe a coffee mug for cocoa? Nope, the only ones he likes are the super huge ones that he can barely pick up, so we keep looking.  And looking!  DS isn’t very good at making decisions (especially when it comes to spending his money) so we talk. Dad had wanted to buy him some pins, because he watched DS pin trade all week, but since Dad didn’t know anything about pins he thought money would be better. DH & I tell DS that we can probably order a bulk set of pins online, for a lot less money per pin and then he’d have lot’s of “traders”.   That’s what we’ll do. Good, now I just grab a Baby Pooh Bear for my niece’s 1st Christmas present.

Now to kill off the food credits. We look at Earl of Sandwich, but we’re so full nothing is looking good or looking like it will travel well. We’ve heard some people say you can get a couple of snacks (like we really need more of those ) for 1 Counter Service, but Goofy’s Candy Co. says no.  Each kid gets to pick out 1 snack, special for them. After a lot of thought (and time) they each decide on cotton candy. We ordered 4 create your own snacks (2 Mickey Rice Krispie treats & 2 fudge covered cookies) that’s 6 snacks, 7 more to go.  We grab 3 boxes of cookies, 3 packages of lollipops and a chunk of fudge. That was a lot of work! We might have used more snack credits at the beginning of the trip, but I was afraid we’d run out of them. Boy was I wrong about that!   What do we do with the Counter Servuce credits?  I really don’t want to let them go to waste, so we decide to get out of the craziness of DTD and go to Artist Palette at Saratoga Springs Resort.   It’s right around the corner from DTD, very convenient and they have great food.  We end up getting 2 Turkey & Brie sandwiche combos, which come with chips, drink & dessert (really need more desserts ) 2 fruit plates, with all of the above & they let us make a “meal” out of a bagel, piece of fruit (got an orange), drink and of course, dessert.  DH was very happy when he found out he could get his special Saratoga water as the drink, so we got 5 bottles of Saratoga water.  We got 2 brownies & 3 cookies from the bakery section as the desserts.

Food gets loaded into the cooler, everyone gets buckled up and we leave Disney for our drive home (at 4pm yikes! we’ve spent 5 hours eating and shopping -mostly for food)

Next up, odds & ends and final thoughts


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