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Thread: Sue (Holland) Rayford, Memorial Day Weekend 2017, Beach Club Villas

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    Sue (Holland) Rayford, Memorial Day Weekend 2017, Beach Club Villas


    Who: Sue (58), DVC Member
    SB (59), my husband
    Chris (30), son
    Amanda (28), daughter-in-law
    Ari (10.5 months), grandson (8th WDW trip)
    Tiana (49), friend
    Dates: May 26 29, 2017
    Resort: Disneys Beach Club Villas Resort
    Experience: Very Experienced 40th stay at this resort

    Wow, its hard to believe this is my 40th stay at Beach Club Villas! Although, I guess it shouldnt be too surprising since Ive had my DVC points for such a long time and I really love this resort. You just cant beat the location, at least for most of my trips!

    Id kind of given up on coming to WDW on Memorial Day weekend, since it would be so blasted hot. As I get old(er) I am just over the whole heat & humidity thing, and generally dont even want to be here. But, Ari is here now and I knew it would be a weekend Chris & Amanda could get away. So, I will suffer through what I am sure will be a miserably hot weekend, and will try to not go overboard whining about it every day. Next year Chris & Amanda will be in North Carolina for a wedding this weekend, so Ill head to Hilton Head, hoping for at least slightly more comfortable weather.

    Another plus for this year was learning that Flower & Garden Festival was extended to end after the holiday, and the group performing (Spinners) is someone well probably enjoy. What wasnt such good news is the opening of Pandora at AK during the trip and the Happily Ever After fireworks show at MK opening just before the trip. I have nothing against those things, but dont look forward to the increased crowds they will draw this weekend.

    We have 2 studios booked this time, and requested they be located near each other. I figured SB would be here for 1 night at the most, so we will suffer through a studio for a night. A couple weeks before the trip I invited Tiana to join us Saturday and spend that night (SB will leave Saturday), so for 2 of the 3 nights my studio wont be my own. We dont have any dining booked, which is a good thing since we didnt know until this week whether SB would be able to stay overnight. Plus, its a short trip so not having dining reservations gives us more flexibility. Theres always the Flower & Garden food out there, too.

    Ari is now almost 10.5 months old, and hes had one ear infection after another, with almost no break. His parents took him to a pediatric specialist, and he had tubes put in his ears the day before the trip. The doctor said he was fine for both Disney and going into the pool. Hopefully he wont have any issues related to the procedure and will be his usual happy self. But, just in case, its wise to not have many plans made other than some fastpasses.

    SB & I should get on the road at noon Friday, and thats when Amanda is getting off work as well. Thatll put us there by 2:30 and the Hollands should arrive around 4. We have fastpasses in Epcot, but only 1 of them is for all 4 of us at the same time. Originally I didnt expect to see them until after 8pm, so I included them in our 2nd tier fastpasses but booked their 1st tier for the Frozen ride at 8:10-9;10. Last time Ari rode he slept through it, so Chris & Amanda chose that one over Test Track or Soarin. We also hope to catch the Spinners concert, and munch around World Showcase.

    Saturday we are getting up really early stupidly early. Animal Kingdom is opening at 7am, and it will be mobbed. We must be nuts, but were headed there. Amanda really wants to see the new land, so although we werent able to get fastpasses for the new stuff, we can at least walk through the area before our 8:15 safari fastpass. Maybe if we get there early enough we can do the standby line for the boat ride. The flying banshee thing can wait until we have fastpasses, especially since wed have to ride separately due to Ari. I dont feel like seeing what the baby swap process is here, since the wait will probably be really long by 7:05 anyway, lol! Amanda asked if we could have more pool time, which is fine by me. We may or may not use the other AK fastpasses.

    Tiana should arrive sometime Saturday afternoon, and well see the Spinners again unless they sucked the night before. Amanda wants to see the Happily Ever After thing on the castle at the Magic Kingdom, so we may head over there after the concert. We do have the option of watching the fireworks from the Top of the World Lounge if we hear MK is too crowded to be tolerated, or we can just save it for a future trip when its not a holiday weekend.

    Sunday is our Magic Kingdom morning, including Small World and seeing Aris buddy Mickey Mouse. I wasnt able to get Mine Train early enough, so we wont get to do that this trip. Hopefully theres more pool time today, and Epcot that night. Although, Chris & Amanda may want to see Rivers of Light, but Im not sure its worth trying without a fastpass this weekend.

    Monday we have some Epcot fastpasses in the morning, before heading home. This is their Soarin opportunity, and I may suggest they go over alone to do Test Track right at opening, then use their Soarin fastpass while I hang back with Ari for a bit before walking him over to meet them after Soarin. I will probably plan to get back to the resort before 11 to grab my stuff and hit the road, while they finish up at Epcot.

    So, its a short trip but we may be pretty busy. Itll be nice to have everyone together, even if its just for one evening and part of the next day.

    The plans so far are:
    Friday 5/26: Drive to WDW, Epcot
    Saturday 5/27: Animal Kingdom, Pool, Epcot & maybe Magic Kingdom
    Sunday 5/28: Magic Kingdom, Epcot
    Monday 5/29: Epcot, Drive to Gainesville

    DAY 1 Friday 5/26/17
    Who: Sue (58), DVC Member
    SB (59), my husband
    Chris (30), son
    Amanda (28), daughter-in-law
    Ari (10.5 months), grandson (8th WDW trip)

    Plan: Drive to WDW, Epcot

    Actual: Today went pretty well. Work was less crazy than the other days this week, so I actually left a few minutes before noon. What I didnt see was the email letting me know my room was ready! I assumed it wouldnt come before 1:30, so by the time I started checking it was too far back to be seen. SB followed me but detoured off to get a bite to eat in Ocala. I arrived at Beach Club Villa at 2, which was right on schedule.

    I was able to carry everything but a jug of water, and went to check on my room in the Villas lobby. Unfortunately, that wasnt open not sure when that changed. I took my stuff over to the regular Beach Club lobby, and stood in line at the front desk. I wasnt particularly happy about this, and there were 2 cast members out front but both were with a single guest and didnt even look up to notice me approaching and passing with luggage, cooler, etc. I was obviously checking in. Plus, the security cast member at the parking entrance had called up to report that Id arrived. When I got to the front of the line one of the cast members from outside asked if she could help me, and she gave me my room number and packet.

    Im in a room Ive had before good location but in a corner so people in a couple other rooms can see into this studio. On the balcony there would be no privacy at all. Oh well, its only 3 nights. I started unpacking, and soon SB was on the phone asking for the room number, and he arrived a minute or 2 later. We watched the end of General Hospital and I worked on the report while we waited for the Hollands. Theyre due around 3:30. SB & my first fastpass is 2:50-3:50 so I asked him what he wanted to do, and he said wait for Ari! That works for me too. On my way in from getting the jug of water I noticed theyve moved the smoking area at the quiet pool to outside the fence! This is much better people enjoying relaxing around the pool shouldnt have to smell that stench. The smoking area has some shade, and a table, so they can sit there and play cards or set their drinks down.

    Chris & Amanda arrived around 3:20 and are a few rooms away, around the corner. We waited for them to get settled and then went to their room. Ari has changed a lot since our last trip in March. He crawls like a speed demon, walks quickly when pushing a toy, and can stand on his own (without holding anything) for a little while. He hasnt figured out how to walk without holding onto something or someone yet, but he will. He seemed a little unsure of SB, who he hasnt seen on the last trips so SB is more of a stranger.

    With a diaper change, general organizing of stuff, and a feeding, it was after 4 before we left the resort to walk over to Epcot. We had no wait at the security check or entry, which was nice! Once in the park it was somewhat crowded, but not horrible. Amazingly, we never encountered lines at the food kiosks and we were there until 8pm. Imagine that on a Friday night during Food & Wine, lol! Our first stop was in the UK, where both Chris and SB bought overpriced beers.

    We headed to the Land first, and used our fastpasses there. Chris & Amanda had Living with the Land, while SB & I had Soarin. We were able to get the center seats in the front row of the center section, so it was perfect. They were waiting for us in the exit area when we came out of the attraction. Their ride went much quicker, so they had time for Ari to crawl around and play with other kids & flirt with people, lol.

    By now it was 5:23 and there was no way wed get to the 5:30 concert so we walked over to Spaceship Earth. I was shocked to see hardly any standby line (10 minute wait posted, but it didnt look that long). We used our fastpasses since there wasnt anything else we were trying to do. Ari rode with us, and upon entering the vehicle he selected our language Chinese! A few years ago Chris chose Japanese for my car, so I guess Aris a chip off the old block, lol! Our narration was in Chinese, and the words printed on the screen (in Chinese characters). Ari enjoyed the sights, and at the end we let him choose the answers to the questions since Chinese is more his language than ours. Also, at the beginning, for the picture I held him up in front of my face, so the ending video was SB and Ari.

    We headed out to World Showcase, after a detour through Club Cool and a restroom stop. Amanda gave Ari strawberry yogurt in a tube, which he loved. Shed wanted to try the frozen violet lemonade but missed it last time, so we went there next Pineapple Promenade. SB got the pineapple soft swirl (dole whip) and Chris had the spicy hotdog, which was piled with some salsa that included pineapple to offset the really spicy stuff. He seemed to enjoy it. Amanda loved her frozen lemonade, which tasted more like berries than lemonade.

    We continued walking, getting to America about 15 minutes before the 6:45 concert. Chris & Amanda took Ari into the air conditioned counter service place to feed him (Amanda had brought some baby food shed made spaghetti & meatballs today) and get a snack themselves. SB & I found great seats in the front row of the 2nd section, close to the center of the stage. The Spinners put on an EXCELLENT concert! They sounded great, and while SB knew every song, there was only 1 I wasnt familiar with. The theater wasnt even quite full, but the people there thoroughly enjoyed it. This is definitely a group well hope to see again, and I think Tiana will really enjoy them tomorrow.

    After the concert we met up with the Hollands, who were standing by the fountain outside the American Adventure. We continued walking, stopping in Norway for a photo before going to Mexico and riding the boat ride. We asked for the front row, so Ari could see everything. He seemed to really enjoy it, and we had fun watching him. After this it was almost time for their Frozen fastpass, but we went to the festival food kiosk first.

    I got the grilled chicken w/red and green bell pepper served with salsa chile morita and garnished with micro cilantro and edible flowers. This was delicious, but very spicy! I took it to a table in a nice shady spot, and the Hollands joined us after getting food from La Isla Fresca for Chris. He had the sugar cane shrimp skewer with steamed rice & coconut lime sauce, and the flan. He seemed to love them both. I tried a bite of the flan and it was very tasty.

    We parted ways at this point they went to ride Frozen before returning to the resort. SB & I walked back to the resort, with him having pain from walking suddenly after not walking or exercising at home. We stopped at Beach Club Marketplace for his dinner, getting him the clam chowder and a frozen pot pie. To my surprise, he said it was a great dinner he loved it, lol! I worked on the report and we had HGTV on in the background.

    Today was a great start to the trip, although I wish SB would get himself used to walking! Ari is such a joy its wonderful having him around (his parents too, lol). Tomorrow were starting really early, leaving here at 6:30 for Animal Kingdom! I hope we can walk through Pandora, but if not itll be here next trip.

    DAY 2 Saturday 5/27/17
    Who: Sue (58), DVC Member
    SB (59), my husband
    Chris (30), son
    Amanda (28), daughter-in-law
    Ari (10.5 months), grandson (8th WDW trip)
    Tiana (49), friend

    Plan: Animal Kingdom, Pool, Epcot & maybe Magic Kingdom

    Actual: We made it a fairly early night last night, with lights out at 10. Chris had brought us a couple ibruprofen for SBs leg pain (its all they had), so hopefully hes feeling better in the morning. We can always stop at first aid in the park to pick up something for today to have just in case.

    Id set my alarm and got up at 5, although I was awake quite a bit through the night. I brushed my teeth, turned on the little coffee pot (filled it with water the night before) and made my cappuccino. I took my laptop over to the couch, and turned on the tall lamp in the corner since the only lights by the bed are directly overhead of both sides and that doesnt work well when someone else is trying to sleep on his side!

    SB was awake before 6 and decided to skip the park and just join us for the pool. Hopefully hell get his legs in shape before the Food & Wine trips. I left him with the computer and his passholder card (for 20% off when he gets breakfast). The Hollands were here at 6:30 and we drove over to Animal Kingdom. They parked us in what used to be the cast parking lot, so we were really close! There wasnt much wait at bag check, and they had both sides plus some extra stations open.

    At entry the lines were backed up almost to the ticket building, so we picked one of the shortest lines and began inching our way forward. The lady & daughter in front of us had some problem with their passes, and were holding up the line (of course). Amanda went ahead & did her magic band but wasnt able to get around these 2. Finally the cast member ushered them out of the way and since Amanda had already done her band she said our party could enter but we were the last ones they were full to capacity. We figured out they were staggering groups to enter, rather than having gridlock by 7:10 a.m.!

    Once inside the park, resort guests went to the right and were held for a minute and non-resort guests went to the left. They would be held further up ahead (going nowhere) until 8am when the park opened. The resort guests were verified (scanning magic band) and allowed to proceed, where we were hung up once again in a waiting line. We cut through the shop, not realizing wed be waiting in a line when we came out wed just assumed everyone was entering Pandora. Instead, they allowed a certain # of guests to go, and then held everyone else. Once some people had come back out, around 7:20, they started letting more groups to enter. For the attractions, they had the boat ride people on the left, and the banshee ride on the ride. Those of us doing neither just walked down the middle. The line was already 2 hours long for the boat ride, and I think it was 4.5 hours at that point for the banshee. That would only get longer as it approached 8am and beyond!

    We walked through the area, and although I havent seen the movie and Im not familiar with the story at all, I liked the setting. Had I seen the movie I guess I would have known what I was looking at, or known its significance. To me it was just a bunch of cool looking stuff. Chris thinks some of the stuff will be illuminated at night, which should be very pretty. I wont be anywhere near here at night for a while! We took some pictures, and Chris went live on Facebook and filmed while passing some of the thousands of people in line for the banshee thing.

    When we came to the shop, we saw there was a LONG line of people extending out the door. Only at Disney do people line up for the chance to buy stuff, lol! We waited in line, and it had to be a good half hour or more just to get inside. Chris went immediately to the banshees, which also had a queue set up. Both areas to pay for stuff also had crazy lines. Amanda and I browsed around, and she got some shirts for her & Chris, and a toy banshee for Ari. The lines were so long she got in one of the lines to pay, so Chris could join her once he got his banshee (you wait in line to select/receive it, then have to go elsewhere to pay for it how ridiculous). Ari was getting tired & also tired of being in there, so I took him outside and put him in the stroller. Strollers arent allowed in the store.

    I was going to walk him around, but it was so crowded I had to settle for a short strip of pavement and rolled him forward & back until he fell asleep. By now the counter service canteen was full and had a line out the door, so we didnt get to try that. Earlier while in line to enter the store Amanda got a frozen drink (strawberry & lime with passionfruit balls on top) and then later while still in line to enter the store Chris got some type of drink and a couple pineapple cream cheese spring rolls. Those were very tasty!

    We exited Pandora, hearing about longer and longer waits for the attractions. I cant believe anyone would spend half their day in line for a single ride! We entered Harambe from Pandora, over by the Lion King show. Since Ari had recently fallen asleep, Chris chose to skip the safari so we didnt have to wake him up.

    Amanda & I entered the fastpass queue and were on pretty quickly. While there I canceled my remaining fastpasses and booked a couple for Tiana & me at Epcot later. We had a great safari, with a really informative driver. Most of the animals were out, including several young ones. Even the cheetahs were up and walking around. Once we finished we met up with Chris & Ari, who was awake now and enjoying the drummers on the stage.

    It was almost time for the 9:35 fastpass window, so they headed over to Expedition Everest for Amanda to ride, while I detoured to First Aid to get ibruprofen for SB. Once I had that, I walked to Asia and joined Chris & Ari at the Everest viewing area. Before long we saw Amanda fly by on the ride. We headed toward the exit at this point, and the line just to get into the Pandora area was backed up all the way to the park entrance! That is crazy I heard it was a 2-hour wait just to get in and walk around. The standby for the boat was 210 minutes, and the banshee was stuck at 250 minutes. Im thinking thats as high as the app will go, and the wait was probably longer than that.

    We were happy to have driven, as we just got in the car and were back at the resort in about 10 minutes or so. We agreed to meet down by the kiddie section of Stormalong Bay. SB had enjoyed his quiet morning. We changed into swimsuits and went down to Stormalong Bay, where all the chairs around the kiddie pool area were already taken! There were some a level up behind the pool, so we set up the towels on 4 of those.

    SB headed to one of the hot tubs and Amanda texted to say they were on the way. I texted back with the location, and soon they found us. We took Ari into the shallow pool with sand on the bottom, and he loved it. He could sit & splash, but he also did a lot of walking around (holding an adult finger in each hand). Next time well bring him a couple toys to play with. SB came over to join us, and we hung out with Ari. Chris & Amanda left to go down the slide, and Chris made a loop in the lazy river like he used to do when he was a kid. Eventually SB decided to get on the road hes going to detour to Tampa to go to the dog track there. The Hollands stayed a bit longer, then left to get ready to go to Disney Springs. Chris wanted to eat at the Polite Pig and they each had a shop or 2 they were interested in. I stayed until about 12:30, then went upstairs to change.

    Lunch was the kids cheese pizza from Beach Club Marketplace, which I always like. I spent time updating the report, and then had an hour to relax before Tiana was due to arrive. SB called and said hed been in awful traffic since leaving, and had changed his mind about the track. Unfortunately, he left 3 hours ago, and ended up driving to Tampa and was now just a bit north of Tampa headed back to Gainesville on a 5-hour trip instead of 2-2.5 hours.

    Tiana also was delayed, but arrived just before 4:30. The Hollands were all sound asleep then, so Tiana & I headed into Epcot. We walked over to the Land and used our fastpass for Living with the Land. The standby line wait looked really long, but it was posted as 20 minutes. It sure looked longer to me, though. We were on a boat pretty quickly, and enjoyed the ride.

    We left the Land and by the time we got to Imagination we were able to use that fastpass. Tiana hadnt ridden this before, and I think she liked it except for the skunk smell, lol! On the way out we stopped at the DVC lounge so she could see that, and while there she got a soda and I got some water. It was really hot outside, so this helped!

    She was hungry, and had been wanting the shrimp & grits SB got last time, so we headed in the direction of Canada to begin walking around World Showcase. Florida Fresh is located between France and Morocco, and while she went to order her shrimp & grits I was able to secure one of the 3 tables with chairs. She loved the shrimp & grits, and spotted someone with the Key Lime Tart. She asked what that was, and decided she wanted one. She came back with the other food item (carne asada beef on a black bean cake, topped with sour cream) as well as the Key Lime Tart. I tried a bite of both. The beef was very good, but the key lime tart was outstanding! Its a big portion, so I saw some couples sharing one.

    We were getting short on time so she took the key lime tart with her and we walked to America to get seats for the 6:45 Spinners concert. This time we were in the very front row, even though it was only 15 minutes until showtime. Tonights 6:45 concert was the same as last nights 6:45 concert, which is what I was hoping for. The mix of songs was so good, I wanted Tiana to experience a great concert. As expected, she absolutely loved it!

    As we exited the theater she saw they were doing another concert at 8 and said she wouldnt mind seeing the next one. We hung around outside American Adventure until around 7:40, then went across to get seats. The theater wasnt even half full at this point, so we chose seats in the front row of the 2nd section this time. The sun was setting, so it was a pain until partway through the first song. Less than 5 minutes before the concert I walked back to the Hops stand and got us each a glass of wine, and made it back to our seats before the Spinners walked onto the stage! Sure couldnt do that in Magic Kingdom or Animal Kingdom on this Saturday night, lol!

    Sadly, the reports I read on MouseOwners are true the Disney wine pours are now 3 ounces instead of 4 ounces, and the price has not changed. Its pathetic to pay $5.25 for a tiny Food & Wine Festival size plastic wineglass which is barely half full. Tiana thought it looked like a swallow, and she wasnt exaggerating very much!

    On a more positive note, the 8pm concert was different than the 6:45, but also great. They did some of the same songs (the biggest ones), but also some others. I had no idea so many of the songs I remember from my younger days were from this group! After the concert we continued our trek around World Showcase. It was a beautiful evening once the sun had gone down. The park wasnt overly crowded, either very unlike Food & Wine Festival.

    In Mexico I got that spicy chicken skewer again, since I hadnt had dinner and wanted something relatively healthy since it was so late. Its really hot/spicy, but I loved it! We walked back to the resort and were in for the night. Chris & Amanda ended up going to Magic Kingdom for the Happily Ever After thing, and sat on the lawn in front of Caseys per a friends recommendation (thanks Lori D). They really enjoyed it, and said that area was very crowded but not as bad as it was on Main Street. Chris thought this show is much better than Wishes was, so hes glad they went to see it. I saw their pictures of the crowds and was glad I skipped it, lol! We agreed to head out at 8 tomorrow.

    At the studio I was surprised to find the sleep sofa wasnt made up already. There were 2 packages in the closet, and between them Tiana had all the sheets, blankets & pillows she needed. I finished up the report and did a little online before turning in.

    Today was another nice day fun just hanging out with the Hollands and spending time with Ari. Hes such a good baby! The crowds at Pandora shocked me, but I guess if Im stupid enough to be there I cant criticize the others, lol! Id never be stupid enough to go there on opening day hoping to ride any of the attractions, though!

    Tomorrow were spending the morning in the Magic Kingdom, and meeting Mickey again. Tiana is heading home after MK, and the rest of us will go to the pool again. Im not sure what Chris & Amanda are planning for Sunday night, but I see Epcot in my future.

    DAY 3 Sunday 5/28/17
    Who: Sue (58), DVC Member
    Chris (30), son
    Amanda (28), daughter-in-law
    Ari (10.5 months), grandson (8th WDW trip)
    Tiana (49), friend

    Plan: Magic Kingdom, Epcot

    Actual: Last night it was lights out by 10, although I read my kindle for a little bit after that. I slept really well, and got up at 5 (had set the alarm) to have time to relax before getting ready for the day. I made my cappuccino and brought it back to bed to sip while doing some jigsaw puzzles online (my normal morning routine). At 6:30 I showered and dressed, then Tiana got up. I made us breakfast just before 7:30 and we were all ready ahead of schedule.

    Chris had gone to the Beach Club Marketplace to get breakfast for him and Amanda, so everyone was right on track. We took Tianas stuff out to her car, then went to Chris & Amandas studio. Ari was wearing one of the Mickey onesies Id bought him, and he was all smiles and laughter as he pushed his toy around and visited with everyone. Im so glad they ended up with a happy baby its so much easier!

    We walked over to the bus stop and had to wait for the next Magic Kingdom bus since one pulled away before we could get there. There were a lot of people whod boarded at the Yacht Club, so it quickly became standing room only. I grabbed the last visible seat, since I was holding Ari. He passed the trip flirting with the young girl next to me and a couple other ladies. We arrived at the Magic Kingdom before 9, and it was very crowded! They now do the bag check stuff at the resort for people staying in the MK resorts, so I expected it would be less backed up than it was. We stood in line for quite a while and of course the one I chose was the slowest one. It seemed like everyone had multiple backpacks full of crap they were lugging to the park almost more stuff than I take on a 7-night cruise! Finally Tiana & I got through to catch up with the Hollands.

    Actually entering the park had lines too, but those moved faster. It still wasnt 9am so we stopped at the restrooms outside of Tonys for a diaper change, then started down Main Street. The park officially opened as we were on Main Street. Our first stop was Small World, where we waited for the next boat in order to have the front row. Ari loved it again, pointing at things that caught his eye. By the time our ride ended the queue was all filled in, up the ramp leading down to the boarding area. I also noticed they werent displaying the names of guests in the goodbye scene.

    Since it was clearly going to be very busy in the Magic Kingdom today (Peter Pan was already at 50 minutes), we decided to squeeze in one more standby ride before using our Big Thunder fastpass. Haunted Mansion was on the way, so we walked over there. There was a 15-minute standby wait posted, and it was probably about that long and pretty warm! I took Ari, and let him stand on the top of the wall & look through the railings when we werent moving. Some of the special effects in the queue were not working today, which is kind of disappointing. Normally were breezing right onto the attraction, but today would have had time to play with the stuff.

    Finally we were inside, and Ari was getting tired probably tired of it being so warm in there too! I had just enough room to swoop him back and forth in my arms, which kept him smiling rather than fussing or crying. Once we were out of the pre-show rooms the air conditioning was much better, thank goodness! Wed stood in the right place, so instead of being trapped in the mob we were walking quickly to board our doom buggies as soon as the door opened. Ari rode with Tiana & me, and although its dark in there he enjoyed looking at the lights. As we entered the ballroom scene he stopped looking around and became still, having fallen asleep sitting up. Even with the ride jerking a bit he remained sleeping, and didnt even stir as I got up and exited the vehicle.

    We waited in the shade just outside the exit while Chris & Amanda went to get the stroller. I think they may have gotten challenged by the cast member about coming in the exit with the stroller, as only Amanda came and Chris stayed outside. I was able to lay Ari down without waking him, and we headed towards Big Thunder. Chris & Amanda made a detour somewhere, and said theyd meet us at the fastpass entrance area when we got off the attraction.

    The outside queue was quite long, and it looked like both sides were filled in inside the building, but the posted wait was only 40 minutes. With our fastpasses we breezed right past almost everyone, and only had to wait on the final ramp & boarding area. We were directed into the 2nd car from the front, but chose to wait for an extra train in order to ride in the back car. Its a much better ride from there, and it was a lot of fun!

    When we came back outside we saw Chris & Amanda with the stroller over in the shade across from the fastpass entrance. We went over and relieved them to ride. At some point Ari open his eyes and sat up awake. He didnt make a sound, but was just sound asleep one second and upright looking around the next, lol! When Chris & Amanda returned we went to the Frontierland Train Station, where the train pulled in just as we got to the top of the stairs.

    There were quite a few people on the train, so we went to the back hoping to get the row with 2 seats facing each other to have more room for the folded stroller. A solo guy was already there, so Amanda sat facing us with the stroller and the rest of us too the row behind solo guy. We had quite a wait before the train left, and it was pretty warm! We were all glad to get underway, and get a little breeze blowing. Thankfully at the next station the wait wasnt as long, and after the rest of the ride to Main Street we were ready to get off the train.

    We were well within our fastpass window to meet Mickey, so we went straight over there. That standby wait was either 50 or 55 minutes, but we were in and out fairly quickly. Amanda had just enough time to nurse Ari a little in line before we were in the room with Mickey. Ari was excited to see him and was smiling and pointing at Mickey. When it was our turn, he suddenly turned shy when Mickey was talking to him hes never done that before. There was a kid ahead of us who was afraid of Mickey, but Im not sure Ari would have noticed that and copied her behavior. He did meet spend time with Mickey, but at times he was hesitant. Mickey got down on the floor with Ari, too it was cute.

    Once that was done it was time for another diaper change, and a wardrobe change for the Hollands. They wore Moana themed clothes, since thats Aris favorite princess and Amanda wanted to get some photos. It dawned on me that Tiana has memory maker as part of her annual pass but none of the rest of us do, so once we went outside to the street Tiana gave Amanda her magic band. They got some photopass pictures done, and later Chris used Tianas phone to save and send them to himself.

    We walked down a very busy Main Street, with one fastpass to go. The others were hungry though, so we stopped at Tomorrowland Terrace. I think this place is only open when they expect the park to be busy, and today certainly qualified! I wasnt hungry enough to eat any of the stuff on the menu, figuring I could get something later either at the resort or Epcot. Amanda & I took Ari in the stroller and looked for a table. The only empty table was a small one with 2 chairs, but Amanda noticed people getting up and asked them to hold the table until we could get to them. They did, and later when we got up we made some people very happy seating was at a premium here today!

    Chris got back first, with a chicken Caesar salad for him and a fried chicken sandwich for Amanda. He also had a rocky road brownie on their tray. When getting their food hed asked the cast member what that was (he saw one on someone elses tray) and she told him and put one on his tray. He told her he hadnt paid for one of those, and she said she knew, but to go ahead and try one. Nice Disney magic! Tiana arrived shortly, with a chicken sandwich but also a kids chicken tender meal which she got for me. Disney has good chicken tenders/strips, so of course I ate one and part of another <g> while I was feeding Ari some bananas (baby food).

    Once lunch was done we continued into Tomorrowland, which was VERY busy! We used our fastpasses at Buzz Lightyear, and got on very quickly. Ari rode with Tiana & me, and seemed to like the lights & colors. He knows Buzz Lightyear, too. I hate this attraction, as it hurts my thumb/hand to press the stupid trigger button. Chris really loves it, though. Tiana scored around 28,000; I was at 71,000 and Chris got 686,000. I dont know what Amanda scored, but it was probably closer to Tiana & me, lol!

    We were going to ride the PeopleMover and then leave the park, but the line was ridiculous! It wasnt worth waiting in the sun, so we put Ari in the stroller and headed back down Main Street and out of the park. The bus was waiting when we got to the bus stop, but once again it was pretty full. We did find seats in the back section, although not all together. Hardly anyone got off at Yacht Club almost everyone was headed for Beach Club.

    Tiana left to drive back to Gainesville, and the rest of us went to our studios and changed into swimsuits. I think Amanda nursed Ari and then they texted to say they were ready to head down. We went to Stormalong Bay again, once again to the kiddie pool. We tried an infant life jacket on Ari, but he was having no part of that! He was very happy sitting & splashing in the water, or walking/crawling around.

    At one point he spotted a big beach ball under the front of a chair near us. He was in the water, and started crawling out of the water towards that ball. Its owner was a little girl, maybe around 3-4 years old, who saw him and came running over and stood trying to hide the ball from Aris view (which didnt work, lol but it was funny to see). Her mom was standing back watching, and when she figured out what was going on she had to keep from laughing as she told her daughter hes just a baby he wont take your ball. Poor Ari, already pegged as a thief by a preschooler.

    Im not sure how long we were out there, but we headed back in by 3:30. Amanda texted to say Ari was going to sleep, which is good since his only nap was well under an hour this morning. I got the trip report caught up and relaxed in the air-conditioned studio. Just after 5, Chris texted that Ari was awake & we left shortly after that to walk over to Epcot.

    It was really HOT out there, and felt worse than the previous days. We soldiered on, heading into France for the first loop around World Showcase. In France Chris got the chicken and rice pilaf with crawfish. I would have loved to have chicken and rice pilaf, but I didnt want any crawfish in my food (Amanda felt the same way)! As we walked around we sought out as much shade as we could find, especially when someone was eating something & we werent moving.

    It felt busier around World Showcase than the previous nights, which is the opposite of normal. The lines at the kiosks were pretty short, though and some had no line at all. Amanda was hungry, but shes a really picky eater and couldnt find anything as we were going country to country. When we got around to Pineapple Promenade she got a violet lemonade, since she really loved that the other day. At Urban Farm Eats she thought the pork tenderloin sounded good, so we walked in and I grabbed a tall table in the shade while Chris ordered and came back with 2 of the seared pork tenderloin items for Amanda and their version of a bloody Mary (Urban Mary). Amanda enjoyed the pork tenderloin and loved the fingerling potatoes it came with, but left all the mushrooms for Chris. Although we were in the shade and there was a slight breeze, I could feel sweat trickling down my back. Chris said it was still 94 or 95 degrees at that point, and Im not sure what the feels like was.

    We decided to take an air conditioning break at this point, and walked into Future World to the building behind Club Cool. It was time for Ari to eat, and he ate more than Ive ever seen him eat at one time he must have been hungry! He had chicken casserole, then orange pineapple applesauce, and then capped it off with savory beef & vegetables! He really hadnt eaten much earlier, though.

    Once Ari was finished we walked to the Nemo attraction, which had a 35 minute standby wait. We just walked in the exit and looked at the aquariums and exhibits, which was plenty to kill some time while it was so hot outside. By the time we came back outside the sun was dropping behind the trees, so we headed back to World Showcase and started on the Canada side to maximize the shade from the setting sun. It was still hot the temp had dropped to 88 but the feels like was 92. This was around 7:30 pm!

    We made several stops this time, for the last chance at Flower & Garden food. In Florida Fresh Chris got the carne asada and a beer, while Amanda had the key lime tart. In Morocco Chris got the chocolate baklava to tide him over until we got to Germany. There he had the warm cheese strudel with berries, which is always good! At Mexico Chris got the tres leches (vanilla sponge cake with stuff on it) and I had the spicy chicken brochette one last time. I really liked this!

    At Pineapple Promenade Amanda said she wanted another violet lemonade, and since this was her last chance, she got one. We planned on walking back to the resort the long way (past Boardwalk, Swan/Dolphin and Yacht Club to Beach Club) so Ari could see all the lights. As Chris & I were waiting for Amanda to join us with her latest lemonade I noticed Aris head was slumped over to the side. Hed fallen asleep, lol! We reclined the seat a bit, and continued walking, leaving through the International Gateway.

    We decided to stick with the original plan, and walked through Boardwalk, and around to the other resorts. Ari slept through it all, even when a cast member was next to us pushing a noisy cart. Eventually we were back at the Beach Club, and cut through the main lobby in order to get into the air conditioning! I left them at their studio and went to mine, then noticed I was less than 2000 steps shy of 25,000 today. So, I went back and walked the air conditioned hallways until I got to 25,000 steps.

    Back in the studio I finished up todays report, which took until the normal bedtime since we got back so late. It was a great day, other than being too hot and the Magic Kingdom being a little too crowded. We enjoyed everything we got to do, and had fun together. Tomorrow Were headed to Epcot but Ill be leaving early. They may continue on to the Studios for a little bit, but well see. My final installment will hopefully get done Monday evening, after I get the photos sorted out and uploaded.

    DAY 4 Monday 5/29/17
    Who: Sue (58), DVC Member
    Chris (30), son
    Amanda (28), daughter-in-law
    Ari (10.5 months), grandson (8th WDW trip)

    Plan: Epcot, Drive to Gainesville

    Actual: I was up later than normal but slept well and was ready to get up when the alarm went off at 5. I spent a couple hours having my cappuccino and doing stuff online, before getting up to shower & dress around 7. Amanda texted at 8 to say Chris had just gotten back with their breakfast. I ate my egg and bacon, then packed up everything but the laptop. That I can put away once they drop off Ari.

    Chris & Amanda are heading into Epcot for opening, planning to do Test Track in the standby queue, then go to Soarin for the fastpasses. Ill go over a little later with Ari and meet them at the Soarin exit to pass Ari off to them. Its going to be as has as 98 today, and its clearly very humid, based on the condensation covering the glass doors to the balcony. I have stuff to do back in Gainesville, so I doubt Ill stay here beyond 10am today.

    The Hollands arrived before 8:30 and Ari & I spent time in my studio until he & I headed out right about 9am. Amanda reported that theyd walked straight to Test Track, and they didnt even start letting people inside until 9:10. When they got there the standby line was already backed up so far they got in the single rider line instead. They watched lots of people RUNNING to the Frozen attraction yikes!

    Ari & I had a nice leisurely (but warm) stroll through International Gateway and into the park. There was no wait at bag check or the entry point. As we were walking through Canada Ari was leaning forward with his arms up over his head, waving them back and forth with the music, lol! We went into Future World and I browsed through Mouse Gear for a little while, then decided to go ride Nemo.

    The standby wait was posted as 5 minutes, so I parked the stroller over near the Land rather than moving it after Nemo. Boy, that Nemo queue is a long one when youre carrying your grandson! It was good to sit down, and I really appreciated all the air conditioning. Ari enjoyed the attraction, as hes very familiar with the Nemo movie & characters. I got a text from Amanda, saying Soarin was also insane 65 minute standby wait, with the queue backed up to the doorway! Thank goodness they have fastpasses, or they wouldnt be riding.

    After Nemo I walked over to the Land and I was shocked to see the Soarin standby queue was now 105 minutes, and the line snaked out into the outer area and then was curved into a roped off section of the exit waiting area! Ive never seen it like that before, and it was only 9:45! Ari & I waited there until Chris & Amanda came off the ride, then we all went back outside to retrieve the stroller. It was just after 10 by now, so time for me to head out. We said our goodbyes, and I walked back to Beach Club Villas. They went to the character spot for their 10:30 fastpass and Amanda said the standby was already 65 minutes. They later took the boat over to the Studios to try to do an attraction or 2, but it was so crazy mobbed over there as well, they just got something to eat and headed back out. I guess Memorial Day weekend is no longer a time thats worth going to WDW unless Im planning to just enjoy the resort & pool not the parks!

    Back at Beach Club Villas I grabbed my stuff (had gotten it all together and put by the door before going out this morning), took the privacy placard down, and went to the car. Luckily the drive home wasnt bad lots more cars than normal, but no traffic slowdowns. I get the feeling had I waited until later it could have been miserable.

    The photos are on shutterfly at

    So, other than the weather being way too hot the last 2 days of the trip, we really enjoyed this weekend and the chance to see Chris, Amanda & Ari. Well see him again in mid-July for his first birthday, then he has his 9th Disney trip with us over Labor Day weekend.

    My next trip would have been Labor Day weekend, but SB is turning 60 on July 27th so I booked us a villa at Kidani for 2 nights. His daughter and her husband are flying in to surprise him, and I have dinner booked for all of us at Whispering Canyon Caf one of his favorites. SB has no idea about any of this not even that were going to Disney, and he wont find out about his daughter until they walk into our villa. Should be fun! We wont be going into any of the parks this is a short resort trip. Until then, thanks for reading along!

    Sue (Holland) Rayford

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  3. #2

    Ari is SO cute!! Great pix, and thank for the trip report. I can't wait to get down there & see Pandora, but it'll have to wait until F&W.

    "A little Consideration, a little Thought for Others, makes all the difference." --Eeyore

  4. #3

    This seems like one of your busiest visits to the parks! Probably because of the holiday weekend but it was very entertaining to read. I'm hoping when we go in late August that it will be less crowded.
    Ari is getting so big and cute. I wonder which ride will end up being his favorite.



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