Time of Year: Summer
Travel Method: Personal Car
Ages Represented in Group: Elementary, Adult
WDW Experience Represented in Group: Veteran, DVC Members
Comments: Rhona's husband had the misfortune of having a convention in the Orlando area, so the whole family joined him in a brief DVC outing.
We had a wonderful vacation at WDW last week. I am Rhona Grumet. My husband, Mark and our two kids Jay(almost 11) and Rebecca(5 ) , came along with me ( I am the Disney fanatic). We are DVC Members and stayed at OKWR. We live in South Florida and the drive up to Orlando takes about 2 hours.
We left early Wed morning and stopped in Jupiter Fl to have breakfast at McDonald's right off the Florida Turnpike and I had to buy a Disney tape for the car trip. We also listened to Heigh Ho Mozart (an anthology of Disney tunes in various styles of Classical Composers). The kids love this tape. (Hey- Al Lutz- hear that?).
We arrived at OKWR about 11AM. I usually express check in which OKWR did away with so there was this long line in the lobby, but to my surprise there was a CM going up to all the people waiting and helping them. When she got to me, I told her I was disappointed about the lack of express check in and she said," Everyone is already checked in- What is your name?". I told her, and she went around the counter and brought back my check-in envelope. We just had to have our hotel ID's validated at the counter and off we went. BTW- our room wasn't ready yet but the CM reserved one for us in the building I requested.
We rode the bus that morning to World Showcase and the kids had a wonderful time validating their passports at all the countries. We had our video camera with us and I taped all the CMs greeting my children in their native languages.
On the way to World Showcase, I passed Barb's fountain which was dancing but alas, Barb was nowhere to be found. I would have to wait until FRIDAY the 13TH to see her at the TOT radp meet.
We got back to OKWR about 4PM- our room was ready- building 14- room 1432-we had a studio on the 3rd floor with the most spectacular view- Dottie- I had coffee on my porch every morning in the treetops overlooking this fairway by a lake. I loved my view!!
We took the kids to Spoodles that night so they could make their own pizzas. They had a ball- and Mark and I enjoyed the food very much. I had a Red Snapper and Shrimp over couscous in a light wine sauce, and Mark had the seafood Paella. There was so much food that I couldn't finish it. The kids found the Hidden Mickey above the kitchen. We first ate at Spoodles in August of 1996, shortly after it opened, and the menu has drastically changed- Most of the tapas (sharing dishes) was gone and more single entrees were added.
We walked over to World ShowCase to the the live statues in France and we laughed at their performance with the crowd for about 20 minutes. We then had to try those Canadian Beaver tails- and boy were they delicious. We first ordered one to share, but ended up buying another.
We left just before Illuminations- we had seen it many times before and we were exhausted from the long day. It was a long, tiring, but wonderful Disney Day-Full of great family memories- I love Disney World.
It was Thursday and the kids really wanted to go to the Boardwalk's Clown pool ( Luna Park). So we said," Why not?" We drove over to the Boardwalk and got there about 9AM. It was overcast with the sun peaking through the clouds every once in a while - but I didnt mind. Being DVC members - we just had to show our resort ID cards and we can use the facilites at the Boardwalk - had no trouble getting towels or getting discounts on renting the tubes for our kids.
The pool was almost deserted so we had a lovely morning there going down the slide and clowning around in the pool. About 11AM we changed in the restrooms. A lovely CM who was selling sundries by the pool came over to me and offered me a plastic bag in which to put our wet suits. There was that first class Disney service again!!
We then rented a bicycle surry and had a grand time riding around the whole complex- from the front of the Boardwalk hotel- all around the lake to the Yacht and Beach Club Resorts and back around again. The kids loved this-(so did my husband, Mark and I did too).
We then had lunch at the ESPN club. It was delicious and very reasonable. Our coach (thats what the wait staff call themselves) was adorable - I thought it was funny when I called her a CM and she didn't know what I was talking about. I said, "Why, YOU are a CM - a cast member"! (evidently this is a newsgroup abbreviation).
We rested up at OKWR before going over to Dixie Landings food court for dinner. Some friends of ours were staying there. I love Dixie Landings - It is a beautiful resort and I always feel wonderful at the sights and sounds there. The roasted chicken in the food court was delicious.
After dinner it was off to the Dixie game room for the kids ( this game room is fantastic) and Mark and I just relaxed in the lounge off the main lobby. I had a cappuccino which I enjoyed very much. There was a newly married bride and groom sipping cocktails in the lounge also. She was still in her bridal gown and it was a beautiful sight for the beautiful Disney evening.
The lights in the lounge kept flickering- there was a thunder storm in the distance. I asked our waitress about the lights and she said, "Oh it's that Tinker bell again"- Nice Touch CM- can't remember her name.
It was another beautiful Disney Day and tomorrow was the TOT RADP meet and I was excited about that!!
Day 3 - TOT radp meet
Today was the TOT radp meet at the Studios. Mark, my husband went to the Marriott today to attend the Florida Dental Association annual meeting - I would much rather be at WDW.
The kids and I arrived at MGM about 9AM. Characters were actually greeting guests in front of the ticket windows when we arrived. I had never seen them outside of the park before.
We went to the Backlot tour first and I taped Catastrophe Canyon. We all liked the tour very much - There was no wait at all.
We then did Star Tours and I have been on this ride at least 25 times and I still love it. My 5 year old daughter laughs through the whole thing.
Well people - Hercules toys are EVERYWHERE!! We bought some action figures at the gift shop across from the Soundstage restaurant. We ate breakfast there and walked right in at about 11AM. They sat us kind of out-of-the-way in the far left corner of the room, but our waiter, Paul, assured us the characters would come to our table. Sure enough- the Genie passed us by- but Paul grabbed him and Genie came back. The kids saw Aladdin, Esmeralda, Meeko, Quasi, and Belle.
One funny moment was when the busboy, Cody, started a fight with Meeko. 2 more CM's had to come to Cody's rescue - I got the whole thing on tape - Thanks Cody - you have a beautiful voice - Cody would sing the lyrics to all the music being played in the backround. BTW - the breakfast buffet was delicious.
By now is was about noon and we had one more hour till the RADP meet. There was thunder in the distance and it started raining, so the kids and I headed over to the TOT and waited in the gift shop area.
About 1PM we headed out to the sign and there she was!! Miss shoeless Gardenia was standing under an umbrella of a souvenier cart with a group of RaDPers surrounding her. I had met Barb last January at her fountains in EPCOT, so we already knew each other. It was an immediate hug. And then I met Kenny, Bill, Brian, Barbs kid's, Michele, Gene and a few other folks who I recognized from pictures posted on Deb's Web pages. It felt so weird finally being in everyone's company after reading their wonderful posts for over a year.
Actually the TOT was closed for about 1\2 hour and we had to wait a while for it to open again. When we finally got to the gate, the mist was incredible in the rainy weather. We were all excited. We did have to wait a long time to get to the ride because the line was all backed up from the ride being closed- but we didn't mind. It was great to wait with all those wonderful people - Michele started blowing bubbles in line-Thanks Michele.
By now you've probably all read about Barb's ride on the TOT - I am so sorry that I missed it Barb - I did go the first time with my kids, but after that, the kids didn't want to go anymore and we had to part. If I was alone, I would have spent the rest of the day with all you guys, but it wasn't meant to be.
I loved meeting all of you- It made my day even more special.
After the TOT, the kids and I went to see BATB and then HOND. Both shows were terriffic- I was able to tape the Hunchback and it came out great.
By 4PM the studios were packed, so the kids and I left and headed back to OKWR.
We rested up for a little while - I left the kids in the room and went to do a laundry at the main pool where I ran into Chris Strange who missed the TOT meet. I was wearing my RADP button that Leslie made and Chris recognized it. -"Hey are you a RADPer?" I almost hit the floor- It was the first time someone had actually recognized the button! It was nice to meet you Chris.
We had dinner at Olivia's that night after Mark got back from his dental meeting. The food was good - We then took a beautiful cruise on a pontoon boat over to the Market Place to have dessert at the bakery. We checked out the Rainforest- a 2 hour wait - but I walked into the bar to see if there were any free barstools. Not this night.
After sipping coffee for a while in front of the grocery store, we rode the pontoon boat back to OKWR. Our driver, Rufus, was a hoot. Jay, my almost 11 year old son asked Rufus if this boat ran on tracks. He suddenly did a 360 turn in the middle of the lagoon and startled everyone in the boat. "Oh Yeah, he said, this thing does run on tracks". (he was kidding). He got very punchy on that boat ride and made it very enjoyable.
It was another wonderful beautiful Disney Day and I had two more days left in my most favorite place on earth!!
Today my husband, Mark, went back to his boring dental meeting. My kids and I went to the MK. We got there about 9AM and went straight to Space Mountain. a 30 minute wait which isnt too bad for a Sat morning. The ride was fun. We then headed over to the tea cups- no wait at all- I took video of the kids going around and around from inside the tea cup. We then walked into Toon Town and walked right on to the Barnstormer. This ride is fun but short.
We got autographs of all the characters in the big tent- walked right into the princess room- Aladin and Jasmin were there and Pocahontas. Then we just waited a few minutes for the Villians- Prince John and the Big Bad Wolf were in that room.
By now it was about 11:15AM and we had PS at the Crystal Palace (my kids love characters). We walked over there and they start serving lunch at 11:30- our res. was for 11:40- There seemed like a couple of hundred people waiting to get in. Everyone was standing around the veranda and in the street. I thought we would have to wait a while to get in- but they cleared that crowd out in about 10 minutes, constantly seating people. It was great.
The food was OK- desserts were awful- But the restaurant is gorgeous and the kids had a ball with all the pooh characters. It was worth it.
After lunch we did the Pirates - about 10 minute wait - and then the Jungle Cruise - about a 20 minute wait. And then we tried the Adventureland Challange. That was fun. We ran all over Adventureland in the rain looking for clues that would lead you to more clues in search of the Golden Idol. When I finally figured out where the Golden Idol was - the CM in charge told me the game was cancelled because of the rain- "Oh No, I said", "I know where that Idol is". He said he was going to give us a prize anyway and he gave us pass to go to the head of the line on any ride in the MK.
WOW- the MK was now packed- at least a 40 min wait for anything in Fantasyland and we had a pass!!
We went to the HM and walked right on the ride with the wheel chair guests- and the CM didn't take our pass, so I still had it. Now RADPers-dont be mad at me but the MK was packed and I still had my pass!! We used it three times before the CM at MR Toad's took it. Oh Well- It was great while it lasted.
By now it was getting late so the kids and I headed out and got stuck on Main Street in the RTM parade. I was able to stick my video camera over the crowd and got great video of the parade.
We got back to OKWR about 4:30 and Mark was back from his meeting. We rested up a bit and headed over to the Poly for dinner at Ohana's. We dropped the kids off at the Neverland Club first and we were very impressed with this place. The kids had a great time and didn't want to leave, especially my 11 year old son. He was playing free video games all night.
Ohana's was terriffic. The menu changed a little- I took a copy of the new one for Deb Wills. But if you like grilled chicken, salmon, beef tenderloin, turkey, and delicious grilled veges and stickey rice- you will love Ohana's.
Mark and I took a walk on the beach over to the wedding pavilion- What a beautiful place this pavilion is- and then headed back in time to watch the water pagent from the beach.
We had hot fudge sundaes at the other cafe upstairs(forgot the name) and then went to pick up the kids.
It was another beautiful, wonderful Disney day at WDW and I love thinking about it.
Oh Well - time to say goodbye to WDW. It's me, Rhona Grumet on the last day of her wonderful vacation at her favorite place on this earth. We have Florida Resident Season Passports and they are blacked out on the 15th of June until mid-August, so today we couldnt get into any parks.
We said our goodbyes to OKW about 10AM (but we'll be back on August 30th) and headed over the Port's food court for breakfast. I remembered how my daughter when she was 1 year old (4 years ago) had constantly cooed at all the decorations on the ceiling at this place. It was a nice memory.
We decided ( we actually planned) to go to the Kennedy Space Center today. It is about a 45 minute drive from WDW. I was there about 10 years ago, but my children have never been there. The space center is a very nice place- the Saturn 5 Rocket on display on the bus tour is just awesome- unbelievalbe- I'm glad I saw it. We also saw the IMAX 3D movie which was totally more awesome than the 3D movies at WDW (because of the IMAX screens) the 3D effects are literally "in your face"- very scary at times.
We were on the road home by 5PM and arrived about 8PM in Palm Beach County.
What a great trip I had. I can not wait to return. only 71 more days!!
I hope you all enjoyed reading my rambling words- definitely not a writer like Barb who is the best writer in this news group IMHO.
See ya all in the world!!
Rhona Grumet, DVC Member