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View Full Version : Rick J - April 21 - May 1, 2008 - Offsite



Rick J
04-20-2008, 08:34 AM
Travel dates: April 21-May 1
Travel method: Air, Rental car
Resort:off site, various
Accommodations: hotel, condo
Ages Represented in Group: Early 50's
Disney Resort Experience Represented in Group: WDW 1986, 1999 DL 1991
Comments:
Cast of characters: Rick, Lynn.


We are finaly leaving tomorrow for our first trip since our kids left home. This should have a different flavor to it from previous trips. We intend to spend a lot more time at Epcot and Pleasure Island. The Ventures and BJ Thomas are the flower power groups while we are there. The Pleasure Island plans are to spend a full evening at the Adventure's club and Comedy Warehouse. We also intend to hit all the parks to take in everything that is new in the last 9 years since we last visited and to revisit all of our favorites, witch I think is everything. I have been off work this last week and had intended to do a lot more planning but a lot has happened this last week and all the information I have gathered is kind of sitting in a pile. I have been a faithful reader of trip reports on MP dating back to Brian Bennet's site so I think a lot of the info has stuck in my head.

I have the park hrs and schedules and because we are staying off site we will hit the each park at opening the day after the morning extra magic hours. We have not made any ADR's intending to use counter service and off site dining a lot. Maybe try to get into 50's prime time or the Sci- Fi if we can.
I feel a need to get a Turkey leg, the last time I was there I ate it outside the dinosaur play ground. Felt a little like Fred Flintstone, I know that is mixing Hanna Barbera with Disney, but it's my fantasy world.

Tomorrow we leave home at 3:30 am to catch our flight out of Winnipeg and arrive in Orlando at 2:20 pm. Pick up our rental car and head to Daytona for 2 nights. We plan on going to Daytona Speedway, spend some time on the beach and go to St. Agustine. There was a Space Shuttle launch scheduled for Thur. April 24 when I booked airfare but I suspected that it would be a long shot that it would go when we were there. I have always wanted to see that and they will stop flying the shuttle in 2010. If feeding my Disney addiction was not enough reason to go I have another excuse to get down more often.

I will update this report every day or so while we are there. We will probably not be in a park until Sat. unless we go to a water park on Friday.

shordiebecka
04-20-2008, 12:49 PM
Have fun!! If you have to choose between Sci-Fi and and Prime Time, Prime Time has much better food, IMHO. Sci-Fi has an excellent atmosphere though. Looking forward to the Trip Report!!!

TinaMouse
04-20-2008, 07:37 PM
YAWN!!!! 3:30? It's always best to do the 1st flight of the day. Have a terrific trip. Enjoy your empty-nestedness!

Rick J
04-21-2008, 07:31 PM
Have fun!! If you have to choose between Sci-Fi and and Prime Time, Prime Time has much better food, IMHO. Sci-Fi has an excellent atmosphere though. Looking forward to the Trip Report!!!

Last trip we ate at the prime time and had a peek inside the sci-fi. I'm hoping to eat at both this trip. I love the atmosphere in the prime time, it reminds me of my parents house waaay back when I was a kid. I may just have a beverage in the lounge. I was not able to do that waay back then.

Rick J
04-21-2008, 07:41 PM
YAWN!!!! 3:30? It's always best to do the 1st flight of the day. Have a terrific trip. Enjoy your empty-nestedness!

I agree the first flight of the day usualy means that you are not paying the price for other peoples delays. However the second filght would have gotten us here at the same time. We had an extra hour between planes in Minneapolis. I just waited too long to book the flight and it sold out. But we are here now and having fun. Those kids sure slowed us down in the past.:)

Rick J
04-25-2008, 05:52 AM
Travel dates: April 21-May 1
Travel method: Air, Rental car
Resort:off site, various
Accommodations: hotel, condo
Ages Represented in Group: Early 50's
Disney Resort Experience Represented in Group: WDW 1986, 1999 DL 1991
Comments:
Cast of characters: Rick, Lynn.


Yesterday, April 24 we walked into the line for the Sounds Dangerous show and were awarded Dream Fast Passes. Basically a card on a lanyard with pull off tabs good for one fast pass on, Tot, RnR, Little Mermaid, Indiana Jones, Star Tours & Lights Motors, Action.

It was not a cruise or a night in the castle but kind of neat any way. We get here about once every 10 years and I know that there are people that get here ten times a year that have not been lucky.

The park was busy and we were able to get more rides done. We wound up doing RnR 4 times. Just before we won I gave away some Indie FPs that we could not use so maybe I got some pixie dust for that. We also managed to get last minute ADR for 50's Prime Time.

Pammer
04-25-2008, 11:42 AM
Congrats on winning a YoaMD Dream Fastpass! I think it's so much fun to win something, no matter what it is. :)

Rick J
04-27-2008, 07:17 PM
Congrats on winning a YoaMD Dream Fastpass! I think it's so much fun to win something, no matter what it is. :)

Yes it is fun to win. If I'm not smiling enough when I'm here you should have seen me wearing that pass.

Rick J
04-27-2008, 08:11 PM
Travel dates: April 21-May 1
Travel method: Air, Rental car
Resort:off site, various
Accommodations: hotel, condo
Ages Represented in Group: Early 50's
Disney Resort Experience Represented in Group: WDW 1986, 1999 DL 1991
Comments:
Cast of characters: Rick, Lynn.

Day 1

Holly and Chris came out to rthe house when they finished work at midnight and we got up around 1 to visit for a while before Chris drove us to Winnipeg to catch our flight. We may not be seeing much of Chris for a while as he is leaving on May 2 to begin his training with the Royal Canadian Mounted Police and in 6 months he can be posted any where in Canada. It is a tough selection process and he worked very hard to get in and we are very proud of him.

The flight was on time, during our lay over in Minniapolis we grabbed a quick second breakfast at Mcdonalds. Then it was on to Orlando. When you step off that airplane, smell the humid air and get on the monorail to the main terminal you just know where you are. You'd think my face would hurt from smiling so much.

Budget gave us a few problems as they had no cars ready, not enough help to get them cleaned was the reason I was given. After a 1/2 hr wait I was given the keys to a Spectra, examining the car I found a lot of minor scratches and the back seat was soiled. I refused the car and after another 20 minute wait they gave me a Malibu. Not a bad car, the V6 is good on the freeways and it is a 3 class upgrade from the Focus I had reserved for $240 for the 10 days. I guess it was a good deal but it did cost me an hour of vacation time.

We had booked 2 nights at the Best Western Mayan Inn at Daytona Beach. The hotel itself is older, probably very popular with spring breakers but we found it to be good for our needs. We were on the 6th floor over looking the beach, the room was a little worn but clean and we paid only $75 a night.
there was N/C for internet or parking or for a basic high carb breakfast.

It was a long time since we had eaten back in Minneapolis so it was time to find something suitable. There was a Seafood Resturant next door, the Ocean Deck. Cold beer and fresh seafood, We did not even feel like we had been up for 17 hrs with only 3 hrs sleep the night before. There is even a
70's band starting at 9:30, but after a beach walk we decided to turn in for the night. We fell asleep listening to the sound of the surf.

We have no real plans for the next 4 days, We want to go to St. Augistine and tour the Daytona race track, beyond that we are in explore mode and open to possabilities.

hmsharpe
04-28-2008, 08:31 AM
Oh, I do love a live from site trip report! We leave in 12 days from Calgary so it is great to get a live report. congrats on the prize, that is so cool, I would love for our kids to experience something like that (okay and me too!)

Rick J
04-29-2008, 05:42 AM
Oh, I do love a live from site trip report! We leave in 12 days from Calgary so it is great to get a live report. congrats on the prize, that is so cool, I would love for our kids to experience something like that (okay and me too!)

Hi from WDW. I don't know how live this TR is going to be. We are spending longer days in the parks than I had planned. They are busy, we are getting to enjoy everything but even with getting in at rope drop and closing them down there is not a lot of down time. We will take it easier today and tommorow so I may get caught up.

The fast passes are neat, make a great souvenier. A great conversation starter in the lines too.

Enjoy your trip. Funny thing is I could be in Calgary when you are here. Sorry about the Flames.

hmsharpe
04-29-2008, 08:30 AM
Sorry about the Flames.

Yeah, too bad about that-last time I was in WDW for a work conference was the year they went almost all the way and we got to watch them play against Tampa at the ESPN sport centre-I was hoping to do that again, but oh well, excuse to go back another year! have a great time, can't wait to hear all the details.

TinaMouse
05-02-2008, 06:22 AM
Wave when you come back through! I'm 20 minutes from the MSP airport.

Hope you're having a great time! Looking forward to hearing your tales....

Rick J
05-19-2008, 10:23 AM
Travel dates: April 21-May 1
Travel method: Air, Rental car
Resort:off site, various
Accommodations: hotel, condo
Ages Represented in Group: Early 50's
Disney Resort Experience Represented in Group: WDW 1986, 1999 DL 1991
Comments:
Cast of characters: Rick, Lynn.

Well so much for keeping this TR up dated while we were away. There was just no time! Most mornings we were out before 8 and pretty much closed something down every night. Then it was back to work and catching up on life back in the real world. One of our dogs passed away the week after we got back and that kind of knocks you down for a while. I have some time off now and will keep posting installments until I am done.

Day 2, April 22

Today's plan, No plan

We were up early, who can sleep in with the ocean just outside your door. It was wonderful drinking coffee on the balcony and watching the sun come up over the ocean. We got ready for the day and headed out to see what we could see. We first headed to the speedway to find out what there was to do there. For $25 there was admission to the exibits and a tour of the track but if we came back the next day for $50 there was a much better tour that took you behind the scenes and was a lot more in depth so we decided to go up to St. Augustine and explore. The drive up A1A was nice, right along the ocean. We parked in town and just started to walk around, past Flagler college and down St. Gorege St. Lots of interesting shops along there. Then it was on to Castillo de San Marcos. Visiting a historic site like this sure gives you a new perspective on the history of our continent and how the English, French & Spanish conflicts have shaped our 2 nations.

There was lots more that we coild have done in St. Augustine but we headed back up to Daytona. Had supper at Sonny's Real Pit BBQ on International Speedway Blvd. It was pretty good' the portions were big enough to share so it turned out to be a fairly cheap meal. Then it was another beach walk and a night cap on the balcony.

Tommorow night we will be with out a hotel booked so I spent some time on the phone with Disney reservations trying to see if they had anything available for the next 2 nights. As I had thought from reading trip reports there was absolutly nothing aviable. I guess that means the parks will be busy too. Before I had left home I had taken a tip from Sheri Niklewski and reserched the Travellodge East Gate Orange. A quick call to them had us booked in for 2 nights for under $50 per night.

relaaxedwheniamthere
05-19-2008, 02:10 PM
:cool: WOW YOU SAMPLED SOME OF OUR SONNYS REAL PIT BBQ . PRETTY GOOD FOR A CHAIN. ST GEORGE ST ALWAYS IS INTRESTING TO ME.

Rick J
05-23-2008, 08:28 AM
Travel dates: April 21-May 1
Travel method: Air, Rental car
Resort:off site, various
Accommodations: hotel, condo
Ages Represented in Group: Early 50's
Disney Resort Experience Represented in Group: WDW 1986, 1999 DL 1991
Comments:
Cast of characters: Rick, Lynn.


Day 3

Today's plan is to go to Daytona International Speedway and do the VIP tour. Drive to Orlando in the PM check into the hotel and maybe spend the evening at Downtown Disney.

We are both race fans and the chance to see the speedway up close was something we did not want to pass up. The tour was $50.00 each, which included access to the exibits in the Daytona 500 Experience including 2 simulator rides, an in depth 2 1/2 hr. tour of the track, the press box, one of the luxury suites,pit and garage areas and lunch. We started by touring the Daytona 500 Experience. They had this year's winning car on display just as it was when it crossed the finish line, win the race lose your car for a year. I guess the purse includes the rental. There was a chance to try changing a tire in a pit crew race. I thought our 18 sec. time was not bad until we walked by in the afternoon and another crew had done it in 6 sec.

We wound up being there from just after 9 am until about 4:30 so it was pretty much a full day. So after a day of high speed stimulation I have to get in a rented car and hit the freeway. The nice thing about being a little older is you start to learn some self control. I would like to come back sometime and do the Richard Petty driving experiece. I think after that I would try not to drive on public roads for 24 hrs. I'm sure Budget would appreciate that.LOL.

After an uneventful drive to Orlando we found our hotel, Travel Lodge East Gate Orange. I had wondered about the name, eastgate I could figure out, the orange part became clear just driving down 192. It is just behind a gift shop shaped like a giant orange. I could remember the gift shop from our first trip in 1986, so it has been around for a while. I don't know how long the hotel has been there but I would guess that it is of about the same vintage. Clean but worn. We had room #122 facing the pool which was not a problem noise wise and the 2 night total was $114.02 including taxes. There was a fridge & microwave in the room, the internet hook up was free and worked well, the continental breakfast was included so all in all it was not a bad value. Thank you Sheri for the tip.

After checking in we headed out for supper at a Chinese buffet west of I-4. I can't remember which one, take your pick there are lots to choose from. I had heard horor stories about the traffic on 192 but there were no problems with volume while we were there, the only thing as with any tourist area is you really have to watch out for the other guy, I saw a few quick and nasty cutacrossthreelanestomakemyexitbecauseidon'twantto havetocircleback. Watching the Disney busses I can see that some of the drivers have a fairly loose hold on the concept of what a red light means. But other than that the driving was easy with only a few wrong turns.

Just a note, I sure can see why Walt wanted to buy as much land as he could for WDW. I've been to Disney Land, and the way that the surrounding areas have been built up with tacky would make you want to have a buffer. I've read that this is something that bothered Walt a lot. In Florida he was able to keep it away from his door step, it's still there but some one staying on site would not know it. A strong arguement for staying on site.

The plan for the evening is Downtown Disney, So off we go. I love driving around here, just crossing under the sign makes you feel special. Turning into the DD parking lot we had to stop for a family of ducks to cross, the little ones still being small enough to have to struggle with getting over the curb.

Once parked we just wandered in and out of the shops and soaked up the Disney air. I know that sounds dumb but I have been known to go into a mall just to go into the Disney Store so I can be on Disney property. On past trips we have not had a chance to explore all of DD, so this was a good chance to just poke around. I like the way they have opened up Pleasure Island so you can walk through it with out a ticket unless you want to go into a club. We plan to spend an evening each at the Adventurer's Club and Comedy Warehouse on this trip.

About 11 pm we decided to head back to the hotel and get some sleep. We stopped into the orange and bought a 1/2 gallon of fresh OJ. Some thing to wash down the carbs in tommorow's breakfast. I think tommorow we will actualy hit a park. I know this was to be a bit of a laid back trip but this has been 3 days without actualy being in a park, this excommando can only take so much. The question is which park, we have not really planned day by day just going to avoid the AM Extra Magic hour park and MK on the weekend.

Rick J
05-29-2008, 08:34 AM
Travel dates: April 21-May 1
Travel method: Air, Rental car
Resort:off site, various
Accommodations: hotel, condo
Ages Represented in Group: Early 50's
Disney Resort Experience Represented in Group: WDW 1986, 1999 DL 1991
Comments:
Cast of characters: Rick, Lynn.

Day 4 April 24

Today's park will be Disney's Hollywood Studios. Sure trying hard not to call it MGM. I think that this has become our favorite park. Besides every time an Areosmith song has come on the radio in the last month I have gotten a big silly grin on my face.

We made it there in time for rope drop and got to see the preopening show. Kind of fun, sure beats just standing around waiting.

First order of bussiness was to go see Mr. Tyler and the boys from Boston on the Rock n' Roller Coaster. We stopped and got fast passes then got into the standby line which was still pretty much a walk on. We both really enjoy this ride, The theming is so well done, the preshow tells a good story and the actual ride is probably the most intense Disney has. I have started to wear glasses in the last few years and just after the launch I could feel then starting to slip. I managed to get them off and held on to them, but on our next ride I put them in my shirt pocket and the restraint scratched one lens so I will have to deal with that when we get home.

The next ride was Tower of Terror, since we were last here they moved to all seat belt seats nad are now doing a random drop profile. The preshow is good and the seat belts are an improvement but we had a pretty lame set of drops. Seemed to be more intense the last time we were here. Still enjoyed it.

After using our RnR FP's and ruining my glasses we headed over to the other side of the park to do the attractions there. As I noted before this was when we got our YoaMD FPs. That is still one of the highlights of the trip. It probably costs Disney next to nothing to give these out but it sure adds to the enjoyment of a trip.

We rode Star Tours twice pretty much as a walk on, and did Muppets which was kind of a disapointment. This was a favorite attraction from 1999 but this time it seemed faded. Maybe I built it up in my mind and it did not live up to expectations.

We did not do any ADR for this trip, I don't like to plan meals when I am on holidays. I am mainly there for the parks and we are usualy happy with counter service. However the last time we were here we ate at 50's prime time and I wanted to try it again. We lucked out, they were turning away larger groups but they were able to take us with a short wait @ 11:30. We had just taken a seat in the lounge and I was going to ask my "uncle" how the Edsel was running when they called the Johnson kids. I've read of people being offended by the theming of this resturant, (keep your elbows off the table, chew with your mouth closed etc) our server was great, she kind of took it easy at first and then got more into character as the meal progressed. She took a good picture of us and gave us her card in case we wanted to send her a copy. Unfortunatly we had a very wet ride on Kali later and I can't read it.

After lunch we went to Indie, Lights Motors, Action and I think one more ride on Star Tours. We tried to get into 50's Prime time for supper but no luck, I guess you can only expect so much pixie dust in one day. We wound up eating at the commisary. Then it was back over to use our YoaMD FP's on RnR & TOT. when we got to TOT it was down so they let us use that FP on RnR. That was a total of 4 RnR rides. Did I mention that this was our favorite?

That was just about a long enough day, we did talk about going to Fantasmic but it just did not seem to be worth the effort. it was filling up when we were on our way to RnR and we prefered to do that. Thought we may possably do it another night.

Tommorow we check into Calypso Cay for the balance of our nights so probably won't do a park. Probably sleep in a bit, check out the outlet mall and I think supper will likley be Boston Lobster Feast. Bad day to be a Lobster!