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Thread: Another awesome Disney Vacation!!! Trip Report

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    Default Another awesome Disney Vacation!!! Trip Report

    We got home last week from a wonderful WDW vacation. This time I booked the Yacht Club for the first two nights because we stayed there the first few times we took ds then 3 years old. He is now 12 and I thought he would get a kick out of staying at the Yacht club and swimming in Stormalong Bay and trying the pirate ship slide. We checked in with no problems and our room was lovely, on the ground floor with a small patio and views of the water!
    We put on our suits and hot the pool, the water was warm but it was still great to be swimming. We gave the giant slide a try and it was fast and fun. We grabbed a bite of dinner and purchased our refillable mugs and decided to go to Hollywood Studios for the evening.
    We dressed and drove to Hollywood studios purchased our annual passes and annual water park passes then we headed for the animation studios. My son loves to draw and this is one of his favorite attractions in Disney. Even though we live 16 hours away and visit usually once or twice a year most of the cast members know him and recognize him when he shows up. We were able to catch 3 drawing classes (Eeyore, Chip & Pooh). We rode the new star tours ride 4 times and ds was the spy on the last ride, which made him very happy. We did some shopping in the Villains store and vinylmation trading and finished the evening with the Fantasmic show!
    Day 2 I encountered the largest hornet I have ever seen in my life in our room. I brushed past it with my foot on the way to the bathroom, when I looked down I saw a huge bug with wings so I quickly flipped the trashcan upside down on it. I called my husband and when he lifted the lid you could hear a very angry buzz and when he lifted off the trash can liner paper and saw what it was he smashed it with the in room book of information, it took about 8 hits and he completely severed the head from the body and the antennae and tail were both still twitching!!!
    We decided to visit Magic Kingdom, it was hot and crowded but we managed to get on Buzz Lightyear's Space Ranger Spin, Pirates of Caribbean, Big Thunder Mountain Railroad and the Haunted Mansion. We also saw Mickey's Philharmagic and did some pin trading and vinylmation trading before we got too hot and headed back to the Yacht Club. We swam for awhile then we dressed for dinner at the Captain's Grille, excellent steak for husband and crabcakes for me, more than I could eat. We then finished our dinner and headed back to Stormalong bay. We swam and rode the slide until the pool closed at midnight. Although they are rather abrupt at kicking you out of the pool area at closing time and they do not give you an option as to which exit to take. They closed the front gate and would not even give you the option of leaving that way. We ended up with a very long, walk from the pool to the beach club then back to our room. I am used to POR where they announce the pool is officially closed and the life guards are going home and they leave, you are welcome to swim at your own risk and enjoy the lounge chairs etc. I tidied up the suitcases for easy room transfer tomorrow.

    The Yacht Club was comfortable and the bedding was plush the bathrooms were not really any different than POR other than decorations and different soaps and shampoos. We enjoyed our stay at the Yacht club and the use of the pool. All in all we had a nice stay at the Yacht club and enjoyed the restaurant and re-living the memories of past visits, but were not really feeling like we were "home" until we checked into POR. ....more later
    Last edited by MdCaterer; 08-15-2011 at 12:20 PM.
    Thanks bs4free!
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    Quote Originally Posted by MdCaterer View Post
    We got home last week from a wonderful WDW vacation. This time I booked the Yacht Club for the first two nights because we stayed there the first few times we took ds then 3 years old. He is now 12 and I thought he would get a kick out of staying at the Yacht club and swimming in Stormalong Bay and trying the pirate ship slide. We checked in with no problems and our room was lovely, on the ground floor with a small patio and views of the water!
    We put on our suits and hot the pool, the water was warm but it was still great to be swimming. We gave the giant slide a try and it was fast and fun. We grabbed a bite of dinner and purchased our refillable mugs and decided to go to Hollywood Studios for the evening.
    We dressed and drove to Hollywood studios purchased our annual passes and annual water park passes then we headed for the animation studios. My son loves to draw and this is one of his favorite attractions in Disney. Even though we live 16 bhours away and visit usually once or twice a year most of the cast members know him and recognize him when he shows up. We were able to catch 3 drawing classes (Eeyore, Chip & Pooh). We rode the new star tours ride 4 times and ds was the spy on the last ride, which made him very happy. We did some shopping in the Villains store and vinylmation trading and finished the evening with the Fantasmic show!
    Day 2 I encountered the largest hornet I have ever seen in my life in our room. I brushed past it with my foot on the way to the bathroom, when I looked down I saw a huge bug with wings so I quickly flipped the trashcan upside down on it. I called my husband and when he lifted the lid you could hear a very angry buzz and when he lifted off the trash can liner paper and saw what it was he smashed it with the in room book of information, it took about 8 hits and he completely severed the head from the body and the antennae and tail were both still twitching!!!
    We decided to visit Magic Kingdom, it was hot and crowded but we managed to get on Buzz Lightyear's Space Ranger Spin, Pirates of Caribbean, Big Thunder Mountain Railroad and the Haunted Mansion. We also saw Mickey's Philharmagic and did some pin trading and vinylmation trading before we got too hot and headed back to the Yacht Club. We swam for awhile then we dressed for dinner at the Captain's Grille, excellent steak for husband and crabcakes for me, more than I could eat. We then finished our dinner and headed back to Stormalong bay. We swam and rode the slide until the pool closed at midnight. Although they are rather abrupt at kicking you out of the pool area at closing time and they do not give you an option as to which exit to take. They closed the front gate and would not even give ytou the option of leaving that way. We ended up with a very long, walk from the pool to the beach club then back to our room. I am used to POR where they announce the pool is officially closed and the life guards are going home and they leave, you are welcome to swim at your own risk and enjoy the lounge chairs etc. I tided up the suitcases for easy room transfer tomorrow.

    The Yacht Club was comfortable and the bedding was plush the bathrooms were not really any different than POR other than decorations and different soaps and shampoos. We enjoyed our stay at the Yacht club and the use of the pool. All in all we had a nice stay at the Yacht club and enjoyed the restaurant and re-living the memories of past visits, but were not really feeling like we were "home" until we checked into POR. ....more later
    Looking forward to reading the rest of you TR and so sorry about your bug encounter! We learned two visits ago to never get a room on the ground floor. We were staying at BCV and on the second day I got up in the morning, flipped on the kitchen light and I saw the biggest Palmetto bug (cockroach to me) that I've ever seen in my life. Tried to find something to wack it with but it quickly disappeared under the cabinet. OK, now I'm freaking out that this thing is in our room, I won't be able to sleep. Called the front desk to get our room switched, no rooms. Called back again and REALLY insisted that we needed another room. In the mean time they called the "bug man" yes there is such a person at WDW, if you ever see him, he rides around on a bicycle with the license plate on it that says Bug Man! The bug man assured me that he would get it and not to move to another room because of it...long story short, we never saw the big bug again but from them spraying we got a little one, belly up the next day. Disney was extremely generous...buying us lunch ($80 worth) the next afternoon and when we returned from the parks we walked into our villa and there was a huge white chocolate Mickey on a plate with choc. covered strawberries and a nice card. So needless to say, I will not be staying in a ground floor room again. Now back the the regularly scheduled TR...sorry for highjacking!
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    Quote Originally Posted by PSL1013 View Post
    Looking forward to reading the rest of you TR and so sorry about your bug encounter! We learned two visits ago to never get a room on the ground floor. We were staying at BCV and on the second day I got up in the morning, flipped on the kitchen light and I saw the biggest Palmetto bug (cockroach to me) that I've ever seen in my life. Tried to find something to wack it with but it quickly disappeared under the cabinet. OK, now I'm freaking out that this thing is in our room, I won't be able to sleep. Called the front desk to get our room switched, no rooms. Called back again and REALLY insisted that we needed another room. In the mean time they called the "bug man" yes there is such a person at WDW, if you ever see him, he rides around on a bicycle with the license plate on it that says Bug Man! The bug man assured me that he would get it and not to move to another room because of it...long story short, we never saw the big bug again but from them spraying we got a little one, belly up the next day. Disney was extremely generous...buying us lunch ($80 worth) the next afternoon and when we returned from the parks we walked into our villa and there was a huge white chocolate Mickey on a plate with choc. covered strawberries and a nice card. So needless to say, I will not be staying in a ground floor room again. Now back the the regularly scheduled TR...sorry for highjacking!
    I have seen those Palmetto bugs and they are HUGE. We saw one by the pool one night a few years ago and there was one on the wall of the train we took last Christmas when we headed to Florida for our Christmas cruise. They look EXACTLY like giant cockroaches and they do give you the creeps!! After the hornet had been neutralized and we were in the parks I thought I should have maybe reported it to the staff at the Yacht Club but by then we were already on to the next big adventure! No problem with the hijacking I love to hear about other's adventures in WDW chime in anytime!!
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    Day 3 we got up and my husband loaded up the car. My son and I hit the gift shop for some vinyls we had seen that we could not live without (gotta love the Disney (signatures, pins, vinyls...) collections obsessions!!!) We decided to do Epcot since we could just take the boat from the dock at the Yacht Club. I checked us out of our room and asked if they could call POR and put a note on our ressie requesting a Mansion not the Bayou. The young lady behind the desk pulled up our reservation and said the room was ready and she even printed me keys to our POR room!! Talk about an easy breezy check in!! I had already done the online check in for both reservations so that made it simple for everyone! My son did some pin trading in the lobby and even got his father to go back out to the car to find a Woody character pin we had to trade with the cast member in the lobby whose name was Woody!

    We hoped a boat over to Epcot. We managed to ride Test Track, Soaring, Living with the Land, Green Mission Space, window shop at the Pin Station, buy vinyls at Mouse Gears, taste some colas at club Cool, visit the Disney Art store, do the Piggy Bank Game and Sum of all Thrills (X3) and have lunch at the Land. The storm clouds started to roll in so we decided to head to POR and check out or room. We hopped the boat to Yacht Club, jumped in our car and drove to POR.

    Our room was in Parterre Place and was very easy to access on the 2nd floor top of the steps from the parking lot. This suited us perfectly because we use our car to get around Disney! I was pretty good this year and cut way back on my packing but still took too many clothes, I did not totally unpack which made packing back up very simple. And loading and unloading too! We relaxed for about an hour then put on our suits and headed to the pool. It was very relaxing. Later we decided to get a bite to eat and then get a good night's sleep.

    Day 4 already!!! We got up early and headed out to Animal Kingdom. Today we were on a mission to find a cast member friend we met years ago in Magic Kingdom.
    BACKSTORY:His name is Bill and he was my son William's first pin trade back in 2004! He and William hit it off and became fast friends. Bill found out that William liked Captain Hook, before we left Disney World on that vacation we were called by the front desk and told we had a package waiting. Inside the package was a special Captain Hook pin, a signed picture of Captian Hook and a pirate hat that said "Captain William" with a note saying he hoped we had a great vacation, your friend Bill! Needless to say that was some mighty powerful pixie dust as we were leaving from a vacation!!! When I got home I wrote a letter to Disney (Lee Cockerell) about Bill and his kindness. The next year when we returned to Disney we looked for Bill at Magic Kingdom and he told us we had made him famous (apparently with the letter). Now it is not a vacation at WDW unless we get to spend some time with Bill. We usually get together on his day off and he comes to the park to hang out with us and have lunch, we look forward to this as much as anything!
    Anyhow, Bill had asked to transfer from Magic Kingdom to Animal Kingdom and had made the switch after our vacation last year so we did not know exactly where to find him in the park so this was our treasure hunt!!! (I have Bill's cell phone number but we like to surprise him) We looked high and low at Animal Kingdom and we asked a TON of cast members. Finally, when we got to the trading store in Africa a cast member immediately knew who we meant and another cast member went to check his schedule. Turns out he was off that day and the next so we decided we would have to call him. Besides having fun on our treasure hunt for Bill we managed to seeing Finding Nemo, The Festival of The Lion King, rode the Safari and we were all supposed to ride Expedition Everest but I chickened out so my son and husband went. Then we headed back to POR and hit the pool because it was beastly hot!!!

    While at the pool we called Bill and he suggested we meet at Epcot tomorrow. After swimming we decided to venture to downtown Disney.
    That place was packed full! There were hardly any parking spaces and the stores were crowded beyond belief!! We made a trip through The World of Disney and were saddened to see the Villain's room full of jewelry and things not very villainy! We made a few pin trrades and then headed outside and took great pictures of Jack Sparrow and the skelton pirates in the windows. The close ups of Jack were to be able to get all the beads and doodads he now wears in his hair for the most recent movie. We visited the Pin Store, The Art of Disney and D street to feed my vinylmation obsession!!! Then we hit the hotel to get some rest tomorrow is early opening at Epcot!!!!
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    Great report, sounds like fun

    I am helping my brother plan another trip and they are going to stay at POR this time. Why did you request a Mansion and not the Bayou?

    Any other helpful hints for staying at POR?
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    Quote Originally Posted by LuvMyBoys View Post
    Great report, sounds like fun

    I am helping my brother plan another trip and they are going to stay at POR this time. Why did you request a Mansion and not the Bayou?

    Any other helpful hints for staying at POR?
    It's a personal preference. We have stayed at POR at least a dozen times and we love the decor and everything about them. One time we stayed in the Bayou...it has a camping type of theme and is more buried in woods, with chirping cricket sounds and seemed to be farther to walk to everything. I just did not care for it, but to be fair some people absolutely love it. I am certain you can probably pull up pictures from the inside of mansion rooms and bayou rooms. Please fell free to ask e any questions.....I love POR I will pull together my thoughts and hints and tips and post them for you. When are they traveling?
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    Thanks for the insight The only experience I have with Port Orleans is all of our trips to the French Quarter CS restaurant for numerous beignets

    They are going in February, first time staying there and really excited since they were not fans of the value resorts.
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    They will love POR. They can swim at either themed pool Old Man River at Riverside or they can hop the little boat over to French Quarter (and get beignets) and swim in their Mardi Gras or Jazz themed pool. Those same boats will take them to downtown Disney too or they can just ride it for the fun of it. The life guards at Old Man River play games with the kids during the course of the day (they play giant jenga or throw coins in the pool, etc. they used to play bingo and I believe they are bringing that back). Both pools are great, if the boys are younger they may really enjoy the serpent's tongue at French Quarter. There are also quiet pools in between each of the mansions and they are never crowded.You can also do laundry while you swim because the washers & dryers are located at the quiet pools. There is a nice playground right beside the Old Man River Pool, they have an arcade in the building that houses the lobby, bar, restaurant & store.
    For the adults the man that sings in the piano bar really gets them singing and standing and carrying on (I think he is there evenings Wednesday thru Saturday). They have a surrey you can rent to peddle around but you need someone with strong legs!! They also have carriage rides in the evening. You can go fishing down by the pier and they also have movie night at the mansions where they play a Disney movie outside for anyone who cares to grab a towel or blanket and go watch.

    The restaurant, Boatwrights, has wonderful food I can highly recommend the bbq pork chop with homemade onion rings and fresh cornbread!! The food court is huge and offers a wide variety of choices icluding the typical burgers & chicken fingers, pizza, pasta, awesome sandwiches muffaletas & homemade chips, salads, roast turkey & beef). They have toasters and a microwave that you can use so have them pack some microwave popcorn. I hope they have a blast!!!!
    Last edited by MdCaterer; 08-16-2011 at 09:00 PM.
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    Great TR! i love reading about great visits to the world,

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    Thanks, I will try to hurry up and finish! Sorry I posted this in the wrong spot, I did not realize there was a trip report section here on the boards

    Day 5, we got up early for early opening at Epcot. We were able to get Fastpasses for Soaring and ride it once before 9 am when we were scheduled to meet Bill. We met him at the Big ball and we headed over to Test Track for a ride. The line was only about 20 minutes which gave us some time to start catching up on what had been happening in our lives. Bill is very excited to find out he is going to be a grandfather We are very happy for him and his daughter. Anyhow we rode Test Track then headed over to Soarin, Living with the Land, Sum of all Thrills then we hopped a boat and headed to the Boardwalk for lunch at ESPN. We had a great lunch at ESPN the Asian Chicken Salad was delicious and it was not crowded because it was early afternoon so we were able to linger and talk. After lunch we headed back to Epcot and got our picture taken together and Bill headed back home. We decided to get a copy of the picture printed for Bill and give it to him before we left so we went to get our pictures printed. My husband and I were both wearing shorts that our son had made for us with Disney characters on them I was wearing one with Maleificent on the back and my hisband was wearing one with Goofy! We got many compliments from cast members who wanted to know who made the shirts?? They were amazed when we pointed to our ds who is 12, the guys at the Photopass shop were crazy about his artwork and encouraged me to keep supporting our son's talents because he told them he wants to be a Disney Artist one day. After we got the pictures we went back to POR and changed to go to Blizzard Beach. We got there and the weather was looking a little iffy and right after we got in they closed the waterpark for about 30 minutes. It was late enough in the day and the weather was such that most people left so the waterpark was pretty much empty. We rode the family raft ride twice, a couple of the slides, my husband decided to give summit plummet a try (YIKES) even he said it was a little "unnerving" because when you lie down you can't see the slide and it seems like you will just pitch headlong off the mountain!! My son and I did some of the smaller slides, he did the hang and swing out over the water until you get knocked off ride (don't know the name). We made the most of the vacant waterpark and stayed until closing. Needless to say we were tired and went back for some sleep.
    Day 6 we decided to try Typhoon Lagoon. The water wave was very cool, I liked, my dh loved it but my ds was not so sure of the wave of water. So we tried their family raft ride which is noce but too short when you comparre it to the one at Blizzrd Beach. We enjoyed it but it was over in the blink of an eye. We tried some of their other slides, enjoyed the lazy river, decided the swimming with the sharks kline was too long so we passed on that and then we hit the water coaster! That was some srious fun, we went over and over switching between the two lines that would allow 3 riders. That was definitely our favorite ride in that park. We had lunch and enjoyed the fresh made mini donuts!!! Oh my, why don't they sell THOSE in the regular parks they are awesome!!! After a long day of water fun we headed back to POR and rested and then did a quick trip to HS and got in a drawing at the Animation studio, rode Star Tours several times and then caught Fantasmic again because we love the villains. We decided since it was Saturday night we would get some rest and hit MK for emh on Sunday night.
    Day 7 we got up and headed to Animal Kingdom caught the show Lion King,
    stopped into AFrica and said hi to Bill and gave him the picture of all of us from Epcot, then we rode the Safari and then we all braved Everest, I was not too crazy about my first ride on Everest but my son rode with me and kept me up on what to expect next. I am not too sure about going again...but he loves it! It was very hot so we decided to hit Blizzard Beach for the afternoon. Really enjoyed the family raft ride, the wave pool and the slides where you race and of course the lazy river. Got back to the room and took a rest and then got up at 10 and headed to MK. We got to see the fireworks and images on the castle,managed to do POTC, Pooh's Ride (they have changed the waiting line and have all kinds of fun interactive things to do while you wait including 4 big windows with golden hunny running down them and as you wipe away the hunny different characters are revealed.....not one person walked by that without giving it a try!! Mickey's Philharmagic, Haunted Mansion, The Laugh Floor, BTM several times and we did Buzz Lightyear's Space Ranger Spin a bunch of times dh & ds both broke the 999,999 but I only got into the 700,000s. They talked me into trying space mountain and I was terrified. However, I thought it was a little bumpy and jerky mostly because I was so stiff on the ride. It is one I think I can ride again and maybe relax and enjoy!! Back to POR exhausted!
    Day 8 We decided to go back to Hollywood Studios. We started at the Animation Studio. We got to see Derek, who is another favorite cast member who drew a picture of Captain Hook for William 7 years ago when he was 5. Then because William had watched so closely, he let William sit at his artist desk and draw his own picture of Peter and Hook. He made William the artist of the day and hung his picture in the Disney Store where he was working. I took about 8 pictures while this unfolded and they are framed and hanging in William's room. I think he knew that day when he sat at that animator's desk that he wanted to go to work for Disney. We ran into Derek about 4 years later while we were on a Disney cruise we were up at Topsiders having breakfast and Derek walked up and said, "Are you the Baxter family?" When I looked at him i realized it was Derek! He was on vacation with his wife and in-laws but he recognized our family and took the time to come say hello to us!!! Happily he is doing great and he and his wife now have an adorable one year old son!!! Then we ran into our cast member friend Isaac, he imediately recognized William and gave us a very warm welcome. We were able to catch two of his classes and I learned how to draw Woody! It was wonderful to catch up with Isaac and Derek. Then we took the backstage tour and it was really quite impressive. I can't believe we have missed it all these years. Then we headed over to ride Toy Story Mania, when we got out of the ride we were in the middle of a thunderstorm so we threw on our ponchos and headed to the 50's Prime Time Diner and had a wonderful lunch! The rest of the day was for R & R
    Last edited by MdCaterer; 08-19-2011 at 12:46 AM.
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