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Thread: Steve Russo - May 2009 - Saratoga Springs Resort

  1. #26

    Ha!!! I'll blame my not getting the joke on the fact that it was Monday!! But honestly, there was the old lady at the GF when we were there. 3 different days at 3 different times and she was just sitting in the lobby, since we had never been there before we thought maybe she was a CM and it was "part of the appeal?????" Wait until I tell mu husband that I didn't get the joke, he'll give me that disapproving look!!! And by the way, he loves Lost too, and I don't get it. I must not be on the same level as the two of you!!!


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  3. #27
    Registered User srusso100's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by adkinsfamily View Post
    Ha!!! I'll blame my not getting the joke on the fact that it was Monday!! But honestly, there was the old lady at the GF when we were there. 3 different days at 3 different times and she was just sitting in the lobby, since we had never been there before we thought maybe she was a CM and it was "part of the appeal?????" Wait until I tell mu husband that I didn't get the joke, he'll give me that disapproving look!!! And by the way, he loves Lost too, and I don't get it. I must not be on the same level as the two of you!!!
    Not to worry. Sometimes, my humor can be a little... elusive. (Sometimes, no one gets it but me.)
    Steve

  4. #28
    Self-proclaimed Diz nut TinaMouse's Avatar
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    I know the lady of which you speak (whoo--sounds so formal). We actually went and asked about her at the front desk because it seems she's ALWAYS there and never moving. The CM there told us (but who knows if that info is correct) that she is a widow. She spends most of her time there because she used to sit on that sofa with her now-deceased husband. They said it is really sad.

    Working hard for that next WDW trip!

  5. #29
    Registered User srusso100's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by tdelaney_98 View Post
    I know the lady of which you speak (whoo--sounds so formal). We actually went and asked about her at the front desk because it seems she's ALWAYS there and never moving. The CM there told us (but who knows if that info is correct) that she is a widow. She spends most of her time there because she used to sit on that sofa with her now-deceased husband. They said it is really sad.
    What a sad story. Now I feel guilty for poking fun.
    Steve

  6. #30

    Wow! Thanks for telling me! I'll have to say "hello" if we see her when we go back in Sept. How sad??? I really thought that she may work there.


  7. #31
    Self-proclaimed Diz nut TinaMouse's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by srusso100 View Post
    What a sad story. Now I feel guilty for poking fun.
    NO! Don't! How would you have known????? We thought it was weird too and were, well, poking our own fun (with each other--not toward her) when one of our group suddenly left and hit the front desk to ask. Then we REALLY felt bad. After our dinner at the GF Cafe, we were literally going to go back and find her and sit and talk to her, but she was gone. Talk about feeling guilty.... Who knows if the CM had the story right!
    Working hard for that next WDW trip!

  8. #32
    DVC Member ssmerdel's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by srusso100 View Post
    I then took a shot at Hulu.com. My other, but lesser, TV addiction is 24 so I found Mondays episode, which I had missed, put the headphones on and caught up with the trials and tribulations of Jack Bauer (for a bit of fun, count how many Dammit and Copy that you hear in each show).
    Great report Steve. I enjoyed it a lot.

    BTW....24 is my favorite show. Copy that!
    Shawn
    Past Trips: 2006-POR; 2008-POP; 2009-CBR; 2010-VB/AKV Kidani; 2010-BLT; 2011-BWV; 2011-AKV Kidani; 2013-BCV/BLT; 2014-AKL Jambo (Concierge); 2015-SSR/OKW; 2016 BCV/AKV Kidani


  9. #33
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    Quote Originally Posted by ssmerdel View Post
    Great report Steve. I enjoyed it a lot.

    BTW....24 is my favorite show. Copy that!
    Thanks. Dammit!
    Steve

  10. #34

    Thumbs down

    As an aside does anyone get upset when jacks " child" is on . Even though it appears she save his life.


  11. #35

    So I just got back yesterday from the World and have to agree with you 100% on the buses at SSR.

    I was actually staying at OKW but went to the Spa at SSR last Thursday. I was done w/my appt and at the bus stop at 11:10am. I just wanted to go to Downtown Disney for some lunch at Earl and shopping. I didn't know where the boats launched and I walked out of the Spa right to the bus stop so figured I'd try that. Well by the time the bus came and we went through ALL the stops, I was at DTD at 11:50am. NEVER AGAIN will I be using the buses at SSR.

    On a happy note...LOVED your report! Your reports always make me laugh, they are a joy to read!


  12. #36
    Registered User srusso100's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jillybeaner21 View Post
    So I just got back yesterday from the World and have to agree with you 100% on the buses at SSR.

    I was actually staying at OKW but went to the Spa at SSR last Thursday. I was done w/my appt and at the bus stop at 11:10am. I just wanted to go to Downtown Disney for some lunch at Earl and shopping. I didn't know where the boats launched and I walked out of the Spa right to the bus stop so figured I'd try that. Well by the time the bus came and we went through ALL the stops, I was at DTD at 11:50am. NEVER AGAIN will I be using the buses at SSR.

    On a happy note...LOVED your report! Your reports always make me laugh, they are a joy to read!
    Thanks and I'm glad to know it wasn't just me with the bus service there.
    Steve

  13. #37
    Quote Originally Posted by tdelaney_98 View Post
    I know the lady of which you speak (whoo--sounds so formal). We actually went and asked about her at the front desk because it seems she's ALWAYS there and never moving. The CM there told us (but who knows if that info is correct) that she is a widow. She spends most of her time there because she used to sit on that sofa with her now-deceased husband. They said it is really sad.
    What a sad story! Poor lady.

    Great trip report, Steve! I am all for boycotting the Disney beer with you ... at least the beer sold in the resort shops. Those prices are ridiculous!

    My husband and I love "LOST," too. What a confusing-as-heck, but fun-to-watch show.

    Thanks, as always, for posting!

  14. #38
    Self-proclaimed Diz nut TinaMouse's Avatar
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    Confusing (LOST) is an understatement!!! I HAVE to hang in here for next year's LAST season, but it's KILLING me!!!!!

    Working hard for that next WDW trip!

  15. #39
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    Quote Originally Posted by Teenkerbell View Post
    What a sad story! Poor lady.

    Great trip report, Steve! I am all for boycotting the Disney beer with you ... at least the beer sold in the resort shops. Those prices are ridiculous!

    My husband and I love "LOST," too. What a confusing-as-heck, but fun-to-watch show.

    Thanks, as always, for posting!
    Thank you.

    I think we're starting to see the groundswell of support for a WDW Beer Boycott. We need a catchy slogan.

    Stay with "Lost" - only one season left.
    Steve

  16. #40
    Registered User srusso100's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by tdelaney_98 View Post
    Confusing (LOST) is an understatement!!! I HAVE to hang in here for next year's LAST season, but it's KILLING me!!!!!
    Last year, I received the DVDs for Lost Seasons 1-4. I watched them all in the year until season 5 began in January. I was able to pick up some clues and some things I hadn't realized the first time around but... it's still confusing.

    I'm betting that AFTER the show concludes in 2010, there will be a lot of people watching the whole thing again to see how it all fell together.
    Steve

  17. #41

    Wonderful as always!!!!

    Hi Steve,

    As always a wonderful report!

    Even though the All-Stars is much, much smaller than Saratoga, I have to say we always have some confusion on trying to find our room as well. Even though you may know that your room is, say the Jazz Building, it is a very large building and there is no way to tell which end your room is in. Therefore, like what you had to do at Saratoga, you have to "enter the building to see the signage" to see what room numbers you are near. We have found that this is NOT a fun thing to do at 1:00 AM!!!!!!

    Even though I felt your pain about the bus system at Saratoga (just terrible!!!!) I think I am still laughing about about your taking the bus to Saratoga from Epcot, missing your stop and going back to Epcot!!!!!! I was laughing so hard when I read it, that both Jimmy and Cam heard me, and walked over to the computer to find out what was so funny. They also had a good chuckle over it!!!!

    Did you ever here anymore about the pregnant cougar??? I wonder if she was located. Hopefully so!!

    Hopefully Magical Express will be on top of their game when we go back in August. We are not getting a rental, so will be using it. We've used it before and never had a problem. I have my fingers crossed!! After reading about poor Roger and Pam's luggage, I think I will grab my luggage myself!! Good God!!!

    I'm with Barb on the Nemo show......

    What is the character is flight balloon at Pleasure Island that you mentioned???

    Those two books that you mentioned that Jason Surrell wrote, Haunted Mansion and Pirates of the Caribbean, Jimmy bought those and we have all enjoyed them very much. Very interesting!

    You mentioned a dock down below the Mansion and wondered about it. Was this the area that used to be used for the Mike Fink Keelboats? I know the dock was in that area. The last time we rode those was 12 years ago. It was memorable, because at the time the CM that was at the dock had a cane fishing pole for people to use while they waited. He baited it and gave it to Jimmy to use, who was four at the time. Jimmy dropped it in the promptly caught a fish!!! it was a neat moment. We always say, how many people can say that they caught a fish in the Magic Kingdom!!!!

    I agree with your park peeve about people blocking the FP queue waiting for their FP time. I have mentioned it in my reports too as it drives us crazy!!!! We are also driven crazy by people cutting in line at Soarin and other rides! Those four "ladies" sure had alot of nerve!!!!

    I have to collectively remark on; The little girl screaming in Ghirardelli's, Thomas on the bus, the boy at ITTBAB, UGH!!!! UGH!!!! Parents need to get a clue!!!!

    So Steve, thanks for the GREAT report, I really enjoyed it and am looking forward to the next one!! Let me know if you and Jim ever plan a meet in Albany!!!! Heidi Commerford


  18. #42
    Registered User srusso100's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by FortWilderness IsHome View Post
    Hi Steve,

    As always a wonderful report!

    Even though the All-Stars is much, much smaller than Saratoga, I have to say we always have some confusion on trying to find our room as well. Even though you may know that your room is, say the Jazz Building, it is a very large building and there is no way to tell which end your room is in. Therefore, like what you had to do at Saratoga, you have to "enter the building to see the signage" to see what room numbers you are near. We have found that this is NOT a fun thing to do at 1:00 AM!!!!!!

    Even though I felt your pain about the bus system at Saratoga (just terrible!!!!) I think I am still laughing about about your taking the bus to Saratoga from Epcot, missing your stop and going back to Epcot!!!!!! I was laughing so hard when I read it, that both Jimmy and Cam heard me, and walked over to the computer to find out what was so funny. They also had a good chuckle over it!!!!

    Did you ever here anymore about the pregnant cougar??? I wonder if she was located. Hopefully so!!

    Hopefully Magical Express will be on top of their game when we go back in August. We are not getting a rental, so will be using it. We've used it before and never had a problem. I have my fingers crossed!! After reading about poor Roger and Pam's luggage, I think I will grab my luggage myself!! Good God!!!

    I'm with Barb on the Nemo show......

    What is the character is flight balloon at Pleasure Island that you mentioned???

    Those two books that you mentioned that Jason Surrell wrote, Haunted Mansion and Pirates of the Caribbean, Jimmy bought those and we have all enjoyed them very much. Very interesting!

    You mentioned a dock down below the Mansion and wondered about it. Was this the area that used to be used for the Mike Fink Keelboats? I know the dock was in that area. The last time we rode those was 12 years ago. It was memorable, because at the time the CM that was at the dock had a cane fishing pole for people to use while they waited. He baited it and gave it to Jimmy to use, who was four at the time. Jimmy dropped it in the promptly caught a fish!!! it was a neat moment. We always say, how many people can say that they caught a fish in the Magic Kingdom!!!!

    I agree with your park peeve about people blocking the FP queue waiting for their FP time. I have mentioned it in my reports too as it drives us crazy!!!! We are also driven crazy by people cutting in line at Soarin and other rides! Those four "ladies" sure had alot of nerve!!!!

    I have to collectively remark on; The little girl screaming in Ghirardelli's, Thomas on the bus, the boy at ITTBAB, UGH!!!! UGH!!!! Parents need to get a clue!!!!

    So Steve, thanks for the GREAT report, I really enjoyed it and am looking forward to the next one!! Let me know if you and Jim ever plan a meet in Albany!!!! Heidi Commerford
    Hey Heidi,

    Yeah, laugh it up (about our bus ride). Barb thought it was funny, too - still does.

    We heard a new teaser about the cougar and, unfortunately, it was sort of a "didn't end well" but neither of us heard any details.

    DME has worked well for us 5 or 6 times now but, I agree about poor Roger and Pam. I do think that was a problem with Bell Services at SSR rather than DME though.

    Characters in Flight is a helium balloon at Downtown Disney. For $16, you can get a quick 10-minute flight up to 400' and back down. I didn't try it - and probably won't.

    I think you're right on the keel boats. I can remember them there but don't think we ever rode.

    The Jason Surrell interview is written and should appear on June 5. He is a very interesting guy.

    Jim and I need to plan a meet in Albany. We'll let you know.

    I'm still only half-way through your TR but I'm hoping to finish this week.
    Steve

  19. #43

    Nice Report and It's not you!

    Hello Mr. Russo. Thank you for another great trip report!

    My wife and I escaped for a week at Coronado Springs 4/18-4/25 and had EXACTLY the same bus problems. At almost every occasion we saw 2-4 busses stopping at empty (or few) queues while ours grew. Each time I saw a Disney van with someone monitoring the traffic.... or sleeping.... I think sleeping because the service was atrocious. I've always loved Disney Transportation and know the routes inside and out (but never really understood why they go such indirect routes) so, other than one mistake, I knew the problem wasn't me having unrealistic expectations. One day the service was so bad we had to RUN from Boardwalk to Canada (the pavillion, not the actual place)(I'd have died by the Epcot Tombstones) to make Le Cellier reservations (we ended up late) because the bus DIDN'T GO WHERE THE SIGN SAID IT WAS GOING!

    I hope to complete my TR shortly and will detail the problems encountered. Other than that we had a totally magical trip so the TR will reflect that as well (got a $405/night room for $95/night!). I'm hoping the bus problems were simply effects of the recent employment shakeup down there and not a new cost-cutting thing. Hmm, maybe the room upgrade was why they're cutting bus costs?

    Thanks
    Marc Lichon


  20. #44
    Registered User srusso100's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by marclichon View Post
    Hello Mr. Russo. Thank you for another great trip report!

    My wife and I escaped for a week at Coronado Springs 4/18-4/25 and had EXACTLY the same bus problems. At almost every occasion we saw 2-4 busses stopping at empty (or few) queues while ours grew. Each time I saw a Disney van with someone monitoring the traffic.... or sleeping.... I think sleeping because the service was atrocious. I've always loved Disney Transportation and know the routes inside and out (but never really understood why they go such indirect routes) so, other than one mistake, I knew the problem wasn't me having unrealistic expectations. One day the service was so bad we had to RUN from Boardwalk to Canada (the pavillion, not the actual place)(I'd have died by the Epcot Tombstones) to make Le Cellier reservations (we ended up late) because the bus DIDN'T GO WHERE THE SIGN SAID IT WAS GOING!

    I hope to complete my TR shortly and will detail the problems encountered. Other than that we had a totally magical trip so the TR will reflect that as well (got a $405/night room for $95/night!). I'm hoping the bus problems were simply effects of the recent employment shakeup down there and not a new cost-cutting thing. Hmm, maybe the room upgrade was why they're cutting bus costs?

    Thanks
    Marc Lichon
    Hey, Marc. Thanks.

    I'm curious which resort offered the $405/$95 deal. And which bus didn't go where it said it was going?

    Some time ago (6-8 months?), there were reports of a slippage in bus service and it was attributed to a new dispatching system. It seemed like it had straightened out but, on this trip, not so much.

    Like you, I'm a big believer in DIsney's transportation. I don't feel like I'm on vacation if I have to fight traffic and inconsiderate drivers - I do that here. I especially don't want to deal with it leaving a crowded TTC after Wishes. I've used Disney's transportation almost exclusively since 1992 and never had a significant problem - until now.
    Steve

  21. #45
    Quote Originally Posted by srusso100 View Post
    I'm curious which resort offered the $405/$95 deal. And which bus didn't go where it said it was going?
    We purchased APs and used the AP discount for a stay at Coronado Springs. The discount made the rooms $94/night. At check-in I asked if it was possible to get a king-bed rather than doubles (I understood that CS has more of those as it caters to the business crowd), and if not that was fine. The very nice lady at the desk noticed that we were celebrating our 13th anniversary and upgrade us to a Junior Suite at no extra cost! I looked it up when we got home and, for that timeframe, the rate was$405/night (mousesavers.com).

    The Bus we boarded from DtD stated it was going to the Epcot resorts (BW, S&D, etc...) but went to Pleasure Island (or whatever it's called now), Typhoon Lagoon (or was it Blizzard Beach), THEN Swan and Dolphin. So, technically it DID go where it was saying but only after touring the property and making us late. Perhaps had our overall experience been as stellar as previous trips it could have been written off as a fluke but it was par-for-the-course on this trip.

  22. #46
    Registered User srusso100's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by marclichon View Post
    We purchased APs and used the AP discount for a stay at Coronado Springs. The discount made the rooms $94/night. At check-in I asked if it was possible to get a king-bed rather than doubles (I understood that CS has more of those as it caters to the business crowd), and if not that was fine. The very nice lady at the desk noticed that we were celebrating our 13th anniversary and upgrade us to a Junior Suite at no extra cost! I looked it up when we got home and, for that timeframe, the rate was$405/night (mousesavers.com).

    The Bus we boarded from DtD stated it was going to the Epcot resorts (BW, S&D, etc...) but went to Pleasure Island (or whatever it's called now), Typhoon Lagoon (or was it Blizzard Beach), THEN Swan and Dolphin. So, technically it DID go where it was saying but only after touring the property and making us late. Perhaps had our overall experience been as stellar as previous trips it could have been written off as a fluke but it was par-for-the-course on this trip.
    Getting an upgrade to a suite is sweet (I crack myself up). No kidding, that's a great deal.

    Yes, I've been on that bus before. The best bet is to exit at the Swan and walk. This trip, I was on a bus from DtD to SSR - which is, literally, a moderate walk. We stopped at PI, then Blizzard Beach first.
    Steve

  23. #47

    As always, I really enjoyed your report! It sounds like - other than the SSR bus service and the random annoying guest - you and Barb had a wonderful time! Thanks for sharing!!


  24. #48
    Registered User srusso100's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tracy161 View Post
    As always, I really enjoyed your report! It sounds like - other than the SSR bus service and the random annoying guest - you and Barb had a wonderful time! Thanks for sharing!!
    Thanks. You have it exactly - other than the bus service and the ONE annoying guest, it was a great time.
    Steve

  25. #49

    Another great Russo report - love it!
    You mentioned the lack of signage around the resort and I had the same problem a few years ago at Port Orleans - Riverside (Bayou Section). I came back from EMH at MK one night and wandered for a good 30 minutes before I found my building and room.
    I have had some great Disney Transportion luck and some not so great...hey - at least you were not stuck on a bus for an hour because a car tried to take on the bus, and you were a witness and had to fill out reports! Um, just FYI, the car lost!

    I haven't written a TR in quite awhile - my last trip to WDW was HORRIBLE, no one wants to read that! So, I am hoping to get down later this year....Can't wait to read your next one!


  26. #50
    Registered User srusso100's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by GaRain View Post
    Another great Russo report - love it!
    You mentioned the lack of signage around the resort and I had the same problem a few years ago at Port Orleans - Riverside (Bayou Section). I came back from EMH at MK one night and wandered for a good 30 minutes before I found my building and room.
    I have had some great Disney Transportion luck and some not so great...hey - at least you were not stuck on a bus for an hour because a car tried to take on the bus, and you were a witness and had to fill out reports! Um, just FYI, the car lost!

    I haven't written a TR in quite awhile - my last trip to WDW was HORRIBLE, no one wants to read that! So, I am hoping to get down later this year....Can't wait to read your next one!
    Thanks much.

    Y'know, I've stayed at Riverside, French Quarter, Caribbean Beach, ASSports... and never had a problem finding my room (I did get real lost once in the Las Vegas MGM Grand but that's another story). But at SSR? Granted, the next time I stay there (hah!) it will be easier.
    Steve

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