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Thread: Sue (Holland) Rayford, Jambo House Club Level, Aug 30 - Sept 4, 2017

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    Sue (Holland) Rayford, Jambo House Club Level, Aug 30 - Sept 4, 2017


    Who: Sue (58), DVC Member
    SB (60), my husband
    Chris (30), son
    Amanda (28), daughter-in-law
    Ari (13 months), grandson (9th WDW trip)
    Dates: August 30 September 5, 2017
    Resort: Disneys Animal Kingdom Villas Jambo House, Club Level
    Experience: Very Experienced 27th stay at this resort

    This is one of my favorite trips of the year, despite the fact that its miserably hot & humid, and with the concierge lounge I undoubtedly eat and drink more than I should. Sigh. I could easily make it a resort-only trip, but with family coming along I end up having to spend some time in the parks. Luckily grandson Ari loves the pool, so his parents will opt for more pool time than usual this year.

    Club level is more expensive than savannah view (or standard view or value), and since SB will only be here at the start of the trip and I dont want to move twice, we will have to suffer/make do with a studio. We really prefer the 1-bedrooom villas, but thats a luxury I cant afford on this trip. As it is, Im moving from club level to value for the final night. Chris & Amanda will still be here, so I can stash my stuff in their studio and even shower there if I need to before my new studio is ready. This saves me half the points for that last night, and I still have access to the concierge lounge until midnight (the lounge closes at 10 or 11 though).

    This year Pandora is the hot ticket, and Flight of Avatar is the attraction thats hardest to get. As expected, no fastpasses were available for the start of the trip, since people arriving before me can book their entire stay. The first available fastpasses were mid afternoon on Saturday! I arrive Wednesday! I grabbed them for SB & me, and was able to book another pair for Monday morning. Chris & Amanda had to renew their passes, and once that was done NO Avatar fastpasses were available, so I changed the party for the Monday pair to them. SB wont be there anyway I booked them for us with the intent of changing them to Chris & Amanda. He cant be here Saturday afternoon either (returns to work Saturday morning), so Ill end up changing his fastpass to Chris or Amanda (they can fight it out, while the loser stays with Ari).

    I was not exactly happy to learn Food & Wine Festival would start early this year, during this trip! First, its way too hot & humid to enjoy the festival. Second, I dont want to give up concierge lounge evenings. Im glad no great bands are performing during this trip, as Id be frustrated having to make that choice. Ive planned a couple Food & Wine lunches one with SB on Friday, then again on Sunday with Chris & Amanda. Well all have another hot/humid Food & Wine trip in late September, and then SB & I will be back for a much nicer experience with Pete & Judy in late October/early November.

    None of us have seen Rivers of Light at Animal Kingdom in person, so I booked that for SB & I on our arrival night (we can head over after eating in the lounge well just miss the desserts). I booked it for us again on Saturday night, and was able to add Chris & Amanda to that one after they renewed their passes. Im not sure Ill bother to go twice, but I have that option in case I want to.

    We have no restaurant reservations no reason for them this trip. We can get 20% off at Mara if were at the resort, but between making breakfast and having the evening stuff in the lounge I should be all set. Im sure the others can fend for themselves, and nobody will starve!

    The plans so far are:
    Wednesday 8/30: Drive to WDW, Concierge Lounge, Animal Kingdom
    Thursday 8/31: Pool, Studios, Concierge Lounge
    Friday 9/1: Epcot/Food & Wine Festival, Pool, Concierge Lounge
    Saturday 9/2: Pool, Animal Kingdom, Concierge Lounge, maybe AK again
    Sunday 9/3: Epcot, Pool, Concierge Lounge
    Monday 9/4: Animal Kingdom, Pool?, Concierge Lounge
    Tuesday 9/5: Drive to Gainesville

    DAY 1 Wednesday 8/30/17
    Who: Sue (58), DVC Member
    SB (60), my husband

    Plan: Drive to WDW, Concierge Lounge, Animal Kingdom

    Actual: I worked until 11:45, which is a little later than I planned, thanks to a lot of drama. This time the drama resulted in the dismissal and immediate arrest of one of my staff talk about having a bad day! Once I got on the road I was almost to the highway before I realized Id left a magic band behind. I didnt really need it, as I had another one with me, but I wanted to have both. I called SB but of course his phone was turned off because the battery was low (he was planning to charge it in the car). Figuring he wouldnt turn it on until he got on the road, I turned around and went back home to get the magic band. At that point I decided to skip any stop at the Character Warehouse, as this other crap ate up my available time. If the thunderstorm forecast for Saturday remains true, I might head over there in the morning if the pool is off the table.

    The drive was easy, and I pulled into the Jambo House parking lot just as I received the room ready text. Now theres nobody outside waiting to greet you, so I took a chance that my magic band would work in the elevator (access to the concierge lounge floor is limited to those guests, who have to tap their magic band on a reader) and it did! I stopped at the concierge desks and they gave me a bag with a welcome gift I havent opened it yet to see whats inside. From there I went straight to my studio and was initially thrilled to see a door on my right immediately after the entrance. I was thinking that was the connecting door to the 1-bedroom villa next door, and this would be a quiet studio. Ha!!! Boy, was I wrong!

    Once further into the studio, I saw another door in the sleeping area, next to the wardrobe. This was the actual connecting door, and the family from hell was next door with their 2 pre-school age loud sons. I actually shouted out loud enough already in the hopes theyd hear me and be a little quieter, but I think the parents are pretty much deaf by now, raising these kids.

    I unpacked, which didnt take very long. Im on the savannah side, and have a nice view, but nothing was out there boy sounds like our recent Kidani Village stay, lol! I checked out the offerings in the lounge, and saw SBs favorite oatmeal raisin cookies. There was only 11 minutes left to this particular group of foods, so I went back for the laptop and returned to the lounge.

    I took a couple oatmeal raisin cookies (thinking one for each of us), and a tiny piece of a cookie, and set up at a table. I ate the tiny little piece, which turned out to be a good thing since he scarfed down the 2 whole cookies when I wasnt paying attention, lol! I was getting ready to discuss the mornings work drama but wanted to check in w/SB first. He was in the Kidani parking garage and wanted to know which section we were in, lol! Hello last time I checked, the concierge lounge is in JAMBO HOUSE, not Kidani, lol! I swear men listen to maybe 4% of what you say.

    With SB redirected, I talked with work about the dismissal/arrest and other stuff until SB arrived. Thats when the oatmeal raisin cookies mysteriously disappeared! I did go check with the concierge staff to find out when my neighbors are checking out, and unfortunately they check out after me. This is going to be hell! I guess Ill be spending my resort time in the lounge rather than in the studio! If theyre too noisy at night Im not afraid to call them to politely ask them to quiet down and as the cast member told me theres always the option to call security. The trouble is, the problem is the *****y soundproofing theyre not in there committing bloody murder or anything!

    SB asked (hoping the answer was no) if we had any plans today/tonight. I reminded him for the 11th time we had fastpasses for the Navi boat ride thing and Rivers of Light. I could care less about Rivers of Light since I watched the live stream last week (we both did) and I really dont like going in and sitting waiting for stuff. But, I am interested in the boat ride, and tonight seemed like a good time since theres almost no chance of rain. Plus, you cant book Flight of Avatar AND the boat ride, so it will be good to get the boat ride out of the way tonight. However, SB is still having some leg issues and doesnt want to walk tonight. So, perhaps Ill run over just for the boat ride, and to take some photos in Pandora after dark not that I know what any of it is, lol!

    SB want to the studio to relax after his cookies and Tusker, and I stayed in the lounge with the laptop for a while. It was busy but never overcrowded, and it wasnt noisy at all. Any kids that were there were obviously well behaved. The cappuccino machine is out of order right now, so they just have hot water and regular coffee available this didnt matter to me. In addition to the usual stuff from last year (cheeses, bread/crackers/veggies) they also had a bowl of fresh fruit, the ham/cheese pinwheels, and chicken nuggets. The chef prepared Mozambique duck, which neither of us tried, and a pasta dish that was basically macaroni & cheese made with tiny spiral pasta. SB thought it was ok but I really liked it. The chilled item was cream of strawberry soup.

    I stayed out there in the lounge, reading my kindle, until just after 6:30. Back in the studio SB was complaining his leg/foot was cramping and he was in pain. I keep suggesting maybe he should stop laying down as soon as he gets off work, and get out to walk a bit or go to the gym and use the recumbent stationary bike, but he doesnt ever do it. Its insanity to expect something to change when you dont change anything youre doing, and structurally there is nothing wrong with his knee/leg. So, its very frustrating. I was happy to leave for Animal Kingdom, and more determined than ever to keep taking care of myself!

    I had about a 10-15 minute wait for the bus, so I just have just missed one. When it came it wasnt crowded, so everyone had a seat. Id purposely come with only my camera, so I wouldnt have to deal with the whole bag check nonsense, but those tables werent terribly busy at this time. Still, it was nicer to just walk right in without slowing down. I headed straight for Pandora, where I had about 10 minutes left in my fastpass window for the Navi boat thing. The standby was 65 minutes, so it was great having fastpass (later the standby was down to 40 minutes). With fastpass its pretty quick getting onto a boat, and its a nice little ride. Ive never seen the movie, so I have no clue what any of it is or what it means, but its visually pleasing. Its pretty short, too so a long standby wait is definitely out of the question!

    Afterwards it wasnt dark yet so I wandered around the area, browsed in the shop, then sat on a wall for a while and watched the people going by. Many were downright scary in terms of what awful shape they were in (and having difficulty getting around, looking pained). Eventually I got up and walked around, figuring moving made more sense than sitting on my butt, and it let me get the rest of my 10,000 steps in. Once it started getting dark some of the stuff in the plants lit up, so I got to see Pandora at night. It was nice, but not something Id go out of my way to see. Again, maybe if Id seen the Avatar movie Id have greater appreciation for it. The Flights of Avatar attraction had a standby wait of 100 minutes when I arrived, and 110 minutes when I left. Thats another one I wont be doing without a fastpass!

    I left the park around 8:30 and was pleased to see my bus waiting at the bus stop! They were loading a lady in a scooter, and unfortunately she got off at Kidani (first stop) and another lady in a scooter boarded. I should have just gotten off and walked from there, but I didnt see the lady waiting to board. I got back to Jambo House a little before 9 and passed through the lounge to see what they had before going to the studio.

    SB had gone to the lounge while I was out and had a sugar cookie and a granola bar for me. I tossed the granola bar, but ate the cookie and also made a trip to get us a few more items. He had a couple chocolate chip cookies and some milk, while I had half a lemon cupcake and half a brownie. The other half of each was for him but he didnt eat them, so they got tossed as well.

    Now were both in for the night, and Im hoping for a better day with him tomorrow or as a last resort, for him to just go home. Theres no room for bad moods at Disney! Thankfully, the neighbors have been quiet, so theyre probably in a park, lol!

    Tomorrow the plan is pool time in the morning, Toy Story fastpass in the afternoon, then concierge lounge. I need to get outside to see the animals at some point, too!

    DAY 2 Thursday 8/31/17
    Who: Sue (58), DVC Member
    SB (60), my husband

    Plan: Pool, Studios, Concierge Lounge

    Actual: Last night it was lights out by 10:30 and there was no noise from next door at all. I slept well, with the bed and air temp being very comfortable. Id planned ahead, by placing my walking clothes on the bathroom sink, so just after 5:30 I got up & got dressed quietly. After brushing my teeth and making a reasonable attempt at my hair, I headed out to walk. With it being so humid outside, I did my walking indoors. I covered all of the 5th and 4th floors, and half of the 3rd, giving me 52 minutes of walking and around 7,000 steps. When I returned SB was starting to wake up.

    He was still planning to go home, thinking he was holding me back and I wanted him gone. We talked a bit Id rather have him stay, but not if hes going to be pissy <g>. The only fastpass we have today is Toy Story in the afternoon, and since the heat index is supposed to be over 100 degrees by lunch time, I am perfectly happy skipping the trip to the park! I suggested he try a jacuzzi & see if that helps at all, or perhaps something in the fitness center. I also asked if hed brought anything for the pain, but of course the answer was no men! I made my cappuccino and sipped that while we watched the morning news.

    Around 7:30 we went out to the lounge and gathered up breakfast items. I took a greek yogurt and put it in the fridge in case I wanted something later. For him we took a hard boiled egg, some fruit, a bagel and some milk. Back in the studio I toasted his bagel, forgetting to turn the setting to light it burned, lol but he ate it. I cooked us each an egg and slice of bacon in the microwave, having brought those items from home. It was a great breakfast, and its nice having access to real plates and cutlery (instead of paper & plastic) while in a studio these items are in the lounge, just a short walk away.

    We decided to make it a pool morning, despite it being so hot & humid out there. I changed into a swimsuit & coverup, then went down to secure us a couple chairs in the sun. Theres a fence around the pool now, and I thought it was locked (until 9am when the pool opens), so I went to my preferred spot on the far side of the pool. Once I was out there I started thinking with SBs leg issue maybe closer is better, so I saw some people inside the pool fence and decided to join them.

    By the time I got there most of the sunny chairs were taken, but I did manage to snag 2 at the end of the row, just as you entered the main gate. I realized Id forgotten to take any bottles of water down with me. I called SB but of course his phone wasnt on. I went back upstairs and found the housekeeper doing the room on club level we get full daily housekeeping. I got the water and went back downstairs to our chairs, and soon SB found me.

    He spent most of his time in the pool, and I went over and sat on the edge with my legs hanging in the water. There were quite a few people out here already, and its certainly a more comfortable choice than a theme park when its hot & humid like this! Once he had enough and decided to go inside I retreated to my chair and did some reading along with trips to the pool shower to cool off a little. I thought Id stay out until noon but couldnt take it much past 11:30. I cleaned up my stuff, wrapped myself in a towel and sat in Mara to cool down a bit before putting on the coverup and going up to the studio.

    SB was watching sports on tv. I offered to get him lunch, and went down to Mara. His first choice was the rotisserie chicken, but they only have that at dinner. So, I ordered him the new spicy chicken BLT. It was prepared quickly, and was very big! There was a pile of French fries as well, but the sandwich was impressive. I loved that they used a long cheesy bun. Once I got it back to the studio, he grabbed a lemonade and 2 chocolate chip cookies from the lounge. I tried a few bites of the sandwich, and it was very good! Id never order it for myself, as its way too big, but Ill be happy when he gets it <g>.

    I took my shower while he was eating, and then I grabbed a few spicy cashews from the lounge. By now SB had a dunk contest on the tv, so I updated the report and watched a few of the contestants. He decided to head back home after the contest, since he was full from lunch and wasnt going to be doing anything that involved walking. Hes thinking he needs to find a chiropractor.

    It was almost time for General Hospital so I went out to the lounge for a handful of spiced nuts (with part of the sandwich earlier, this would be my lunch) and asked for a glass of the chenin blanc. This is the first time theyve had 2 whites the chardonnay and now a chenin blanc. The cast member carried it too my room for me, which was her idea. It kept me from having to set something on the floor to open my door, since I also had a cup of ice. The chenin blanc was really good so this will be my new wine when here. Chardonnays are always my last choice, and reds are completely off the table because I dont like any of them at all!

    After General Hospital I decided to walk around the resort for a bit. Since Ive been here, Ive not seen a single animal. New this year is a loud motor running outside near my studio, and I wonder if the noise is keeping the animals from coming over here. A truck was out early this morning (before sunrise) putting out hay for something to eat, and as of 3pm it hasnt been touched.

    While I was walking, I passed a window looking onto my section of the savannah and saw an addax had meandered over there. When I returned to the studio around 4pm, he and a buddy were laying under a couple of shady trees. They had scones in the lounge today, so I took one of those and ate part of it on the way back to the studio. I really like those, and didnt see any yesterday. It is good that they have slightly different things on different days, though.

    Around 4:15 I took the laptop and went out to the lounge. As I left the addax were up and munching on this mornings hay finally! In the lounge I took one of the 2-top tables, since Id be solo. When the lounge gets busy I wouldnt want to be taking up a table that could seat 4. As it turns out, but 5:15 it got really busy up there! Tonight the chef was preparing a pork rib and chicken corn chowder. The cheeses were different, and instead of pinwheels and chicken nuggets they had uncrustables and Tamarind meatballs. The cold item was a tabbouleh salad. With the cheeses they had slices of Italian sausage, too.

    The lady sitting next to me commented that everyone was drinking wine, but she didnt know anything about them. I suggested the chenin blanc, and talked to her about it briefly. She took glasses for herself and her husband, and they both loved it. She kept thanking me, lol. I enjoyed some of the moon cheese, Italian sausage and crispy stuff. The pork was ok, but not great enough to finish, and Ive had the chicken corn chowder before and didnt need it tonight.

    I did some reading, but also talked a lot with the couple next to me, and others. It was a very social night, which doesnt always happen. Its nice in a way, but not great in another way, but overall it was good. She used to work in the concierge area at Grand Floridian, and definitely recommended this over GF. Theyve also done over 50 DCL cruises and were shocked to learn I travel and cruise solo! We had a long discussion on the merits of solo travel (vs being lonely) and why I prefer HAL to DCL.

    At some point I noticed they had the different lounge menus rotating on a tablet, so I took photos of the main ones so well know what will be there each day. I was ready to leave around 7:30, and said goodbye to the couple she gave me a hug & kiss, lol! I also met another couple, who happen to live in Naples, not too far from my Ft Myers home.

    I grabbed the camera from my studio and went down to the Arusha Rock viewing area, where many animals were present. I took a few photos, but it was getting dark quickly. A truck came by to stock a giraffe feeding box and one of the giraffe made a bee-line to get over there, eating as the cast member was putting the stuff up. When I went back inside it was just after 8, so the evening desserts were out in the concierge lounge.

    They had oatmeal raisin cookies, along with the everyday stuff, lemon bars, strawberry tarts and chocolate crme. I took an oatmeal raisin cookie and a chocolate crme back to the studio both were great! I could also hear the kids next door being loud again its so peaceful when theyre out! Hopefully theyre young enough theyll be going to bed soon.

    At this point Im in for the night watching HGTV and relaxing online. It was a really nice, relaxing day, despite the incredible heat & humidity. Since SBs not here to eat stuff at Food & Wine Festival, Im skipping my plans for that tomorrow. It is simply not worth trudging through a park that feels like 100 degrees to sample a couple food & wine items. Ill be there Sunday with Chris & Amanda, and I can wait until then. Instead, Ill relax by the pool again, and be cleaned up by the time Chris & Ari arrive in mid-afternoon! Tomorrow night in the lounge is butter chicken, which is a favorite!

    DAY 3 Friday 9/01/17
    Who: Sue (58), DVC Member
    Chris (30), son
    Amanda (28), daughter-in-law
    Ari (13 months), grandson (9th WDW trip)

    Plan: Epcot/Food & Wine Festival, Pool, Concierge Lounge

    Actual: Last night before turning in I happened to see the menu prices and photos for the Food & Wine menus, so I spent time browsing there before finally going to bed close to 11. A storm had come in, bringing lots of lightning, and the signal for HGTV was lost about 30 minutes or more prior. Thats why well never have one of the satellite tv services it seems to happen too often here.

    I slept really well, and got up just before my 5:13 alarm. I put on my sneakers and walking clothes, and headed out to the hallways for my daily walk. Today it was 54 minutes, giving me close to 7500 steps. The other 2500 will happen just from wandering here and there at the resort. Back in the room, I made my cappuccino, finished the scone from yesterday and got online for a bit.

    At 7:30 I went out to the lounge and picked up some grapes, a mini blue berry muffin, and some fruit loops for Ari to snack on later. I dont know if hes ever had fruit loops, but if he doesnt like them they can be tossed. My breakfast was the usual egg/bacon, which I prepared in the studio microwave. It looks like a sunny and HOT morning again, but theres a much higher change of rain by 2pm, with the greatest percentage by 6pm. I hope it doesnt interfere with Chris & Amanda getting over to AK to do their Navi River fastpass tonight (assuming she gets here in time).

    By 8:30 I headed down to the pool, this time remembering to bring a cold bottle of water. The fence gates were locked, so I wandered around to the animal viewing areas, and then sat on a chaise lounge by the bridge to your right. Since the chaise lounges are cushioned, and it had rained last night, they were sopping wet. I figured that was a good thing, as maybe it would help keep me a little bit cooler.

    I noticed people waiting for the gates to open, even sitting on the ground, lol! They were unlocked a little before 9, and people stormed in there to select their chairs. I got the last one in the sunny row the next chaise would be behind the life guard chair. The 6 chairs to my left were taken but stayed empty for a while people secure their chairs, then go have breakfast. Is that against the rules? Yep, most likely it is. But, I wasnt going to sweat it when Im just happy to be here!

    The wet seat cushion did keep me cooler for a while, as the towel was immediately wet when I laid it down. I did spend more time IN the pool, since it was pretty hot outside. That helped a lot, too. Once again I didnt make it all the way to noon before giving up, but I had a nice morning out there. Id texted with Amanda and stopped in Mara to pick up some ranch dressing for her to use in the lounge when the chicken nuggets appear tomorrow. Tonight Ill fix her a couple plates to eat since shell most likely arrive after the food is pulled.

    I went up to the studio, and housekeeping wasnt there yet (yesterday she came by 8:45), so I took my shower and got dressed, then ate half of the greek yogurt Id taken yesterday. That was the healthy part, as after I dried my hair I had a delicious oatmeal raisin cookie from the lounge! I could see the housekeeping cart at the end of my hallway, so I grabbed the computer and sat in the lounge. Some spicy nuts and a glass of chenin blanc rounded out my lunch quite nicely!

    It was fairly quiet in the lounge, and I sat in the far corner on a cushioned bench with a couple throw pillows behind me, and spent the time online. Just after 2 I went back to the studio and watched General Hospital while dealing with some work stuff. Eventually Chris texted to let me know he was about 40 minutes away. He drove up with Ari and Amandas mom Martha. Shes staying in Saratoga Springs with her son Matthew & his girlfriend Carla. Amanda is riding up with them, and I learned from Chris that Amanda was pissed because although shed told Mathew for days/weeks to be ready to hit the road at 4pm, today that was not happening. As a result, she wont be here for her Navi River fastpass. It may be raining then anyway, but I understand her frustration at her brother!

    Chris texted when they got here, and I went downstairs to meet them & take Ari while Chris unloaded the car. Both of them had gotten the room ready texts early into the drive, so Chris was able to put all his & Amandas stuff in their studio. Martha wont get to Saratoga until after Mathew gets here with Amanda.

    It was great seeing Ari again he is so stinkin cute, and so full of expressions! We let him walk around the lounge, and he loved looking through the railing at the lobby down below. Hed been cooped up in a car seat the past 3 hours, so he was ready to run around a bit. He followed me down to my studio when I went to get something, and we wandered around a bit. Just before eating I took him down to the lobby to watch people doing a cultural experience with drums and other instruments. He was intrigued by that, but preferred watching from a distance. When we went down so he could participate, he all but climbed up me to be held, lol! He did earn a drum bead on a string for his effort <g>.

    At 5 the food came out, and it included tomato basil soup and the butter chicken with rice. They also had mealie dogs (corn dog nuggets) and the ham & cheese pinwheels again. Ari ate part of a ham & cheese thing, and all of the chicken in one of the butter chicken dishes. Unfortunately, he didnt like the rice, and spit it onto the table. Hed eaten a lot before the food came out, so he clearly wasnt hungry any more. The table near him got cleaned up and we didnt offer him anything else but a plate of goldfish which were also played with after the first couple, and so were taken away.

    The adults enjoyed the food, and it was nice chatting with Martha. I put together a cold plate (cheese, ham & cheese pinwheels) and a hot plate (corn dog nuggets) for Amanda, and took them to my studio later adding a couple of the butter chicken and a fork. This way she can have some real food when she gets in.

    Around 6 Chris & Martha left to walk around the resort with Ari, and I got my laptop to update the trip report in the lounge. So far it still wasnt raining, but its expected. When they got back we agreed to ride over to Animal Kingdom. Martha would transfer to a Saratoga Springs bus there, and Chris & I would take Ari on the Navi River thing. I quickly changed Amandas fastpass to me, and then we were off. Unfortunately, Amanda wouldnt be arriving in time to get to the park and make it to the attraction before the fastpass window closed (7:30-8:30).

    It was around 7:15 so we had no trouble entering the park I took Ari & the stroller through the no bag entrance while Chris went through the regular line with the backpack. I was traveling with just my phone, which was in Chris pocket. With the rain coming, I didnt want to risk the camera.

    We got over to Pandora and waited for the fastpass window to open, letting Ari run around a bit. That kid is a bundle of energy, and so cute! So many strangers smiled or spoke to him, and hed smile back but then turn shy. Hes in that stranger danger phase, which isnt necessarily a bad thing. At 7:30 we parked the stroller and entered the fastpass queue, and soon were on our boat. Ari enjoyed all the different lights, and Chris thought the ride was pretty cool. I think he agreed its not worth a long wait, though. Amanda was bummed to miss it so since the park opens at 8 for extra magic hours tomorrow morning theyre going to come over to ride it standby.

    We walked over to Harambe to see if the Pangani Forest Trail was open, but it had already closed for the day. We headed towards the exit, and as we left the park we noticed the sky ahead was very ominously dark and stormy. We did not want to get caught in that storm, so we picked up the pace and made it to the waiting Animal Kingdom Lodge bus. We ended up getting back to Jambo House just after Amanda arrived, and she was waiting for us in the lobby.

    We went up to the concierge lounge, and Chris & I went to my studio to get Amandas food. She said the butter chicken was her favorite too, so I was glad I got her a couple of those! She had her dinner, Chris had some desserts, and Ari ate a little bit of everything he was like a bottomless pit today! I had a couple apples slices with peanut butter & a little chocolate cake thing, then grabbed a chocolate chip cookie on my way to the studio after the others left for their room.

    Tomorrow we were planning on the pool for the morning, but as of right now the thunderstorms are supposed to start by 10. Hopefully that will change by morning, but well see. If not, I may head to the outlet. We have a Rivers of Light fastpass for tomorrow night, and the rain probability is down to 20% during that time (as of right now). Well just hope for the best!

    DAY 4 Saturday 9/02/17
    Who: Sue (58), DVC Member
    SB (60), my husband
    Chris (30), son
    Amanda (28), daughter-in-law
    Ari (13 months), grandson (9th WDW trip)

    Plan: Pool, Animal Kingdom, Concierge Lounge

    Actual: I slept well once again, and got up before the alarm to do my walking. Today I got 8000 steps in, since its not likely Ill be walking a lot later. If its going to be raining, Id rather not be trudging through a park, but well see how it goes. After walking I made my cappuccino and got online while watching the local news. Chris & Amanda were planning to get to the lounge for breakfast around 7 (in order to be at AK before it opened at 8), and they texted at 7 to say they were there. I went out to join them, and Amanda gave me a pair of Mickey & Minnie earrings shed made theyre really cute!

    Ari enjoyed his breakfast (egg, muffin, fruit loops, blueberries) and Chris & Amanda also got theirs. I sat with them but didnt eat anything out there. When they got up to leave, Chris noticed a lot of Aris food had fallen to the floor under the high chair and table, so he got down on the floor and cleaned it up. I cant stand when people let their kids trash the place and then just walk away, so I was glad to see this! They headed out around 7:20, and I went back to my studio, grabbing a greek yogurt for later.

    I cooked my egg and bacon slice, then got back online. The sky is very overcast, so its not looking good for the pool today. Chris called around 8:15 to say theyd waited 20 minutes to get into the park, walked over to Pandora, and everything is closed technical difficulties! He also said it was sprinkling a little at one point. They decided to wait a bit longer, hoping for the best. Her mom, brother & girlfriend are on their way to AK as well, so maybe theyll get to meet up there. I decided to abandon my pool hopes, and around 8:30 got up to take my shower and get dressed.

    I allowed time to stop for gas, but when I saw it was $2.64/gallon decided to take my chances elsewhere. It was early enough to not have traffic driving through Disney property, and once offsite the gas station there was listing $3.29 gas. I passed on that, and the notorious $5.99/gallon place (which amazingly had 2 cars getting gas)!

    I got to the outlets just after 9:30, and there were quite a few cars in the parking lot already. I could see the Addidas store was open for business, so I took a chance and found Character Premier (or Warehouse) was open as well! They must have opened at 9 for the holiday weekend, instead of the usual 10am. This was great, as they werent very busy yet.

    I didnt find anything for me or SB, but found a really cute Goofy outfit complete with a hat w/goofy ears for Ari. They only had the 12-month size, which is what hes wearing now, but since it was marked way down to $5 I didnt care that hed outgrow it soon. I bought it, then wandered around the outlets for a little while. Chris called to say the Pandora attractions never came back up! He also said the lines had gotten huge of course everyone heads there.

    Theyd met up with Martha, Matt & Carla, and did both of the walking trails (Africa and Asia), and rode the dinosaur Dumbo ride in Dinoland. Evidently Ari didnt like that one much, as he cried on it! Chris thinks maybe he didnt like the height. They were getting ready to leave the park and head to the Polite Pig at Disney Springs to do that today instead of tomorrow, and I agreed to meet them over there despite not planning to eat. Id had my breakfast later, and I figured Id enjoy some of the spiced nuts in the lounge later.

    We all forgot the buses dont go from the parks to Disney Springs this time of day, so they caught a bus to the Boardwalk and transferred to a Disney Springs bus. I drove over and parked in the Orange garage, then browsed around until they arrived. I was looking for a replacement hot water kettle for our Gainesville home and wasnt having any luck. Finally in Gourmet Pantry I asked a cast member and she said they no longer carry them. Darn!

    I got my chocolate sample at Ghiradelli and spent some time inside World of Disney (not too busy, and nicely air conditioned, lol) before getting the text they were getting off the bus here. Somehow I must have been inside the store across from the Polite Pig when they arrived, because I stood outside waiting for them afterwards and by the time Chris wanted to know where I was (what was taking me so long) I found they were already seated inside, and were halfway through their lunch, lol! I sat and chatted with them, but didnt bother getting anything. They have a tomato & watermelon salad that sounds good, but maybe next time.

    After lunch Amanda was nursing Ari, Martha was waiting for cake, and the Hollands were planning to head to World of Disney next. I decided to go back to the resort, and brought Aris leftover chicken tenders with me since Amanda wanted to put them in my fridge anyway in case there wasnt anything he liked tonight in the lounge. The others are planning to join us at Epcot for Food & Wine tomorrow, so thatll be nice.

    I walked back to the garage, got the car, and decided to fill the gas tank at Boardwalk. I hear after Harvey prices are going to go way up for a while, so theres probably no point in fussing about it. My car is so good on gas, it took less than $17 to fill it up, lol and I had almost 200 miles on the last tank. Back at Jambo House I grabbed the laptop and went out to the lounge, but a family with kids had taken over the back corner (waiting for their room to be ready) so I took a table in the alcove near the stairs. Nobody will come there, so its nice & quiet. Plus, I have an electrical outlet so no having to be concerned about the battery.

    I took a handful of the spiced nuts, and when the cast member came by I asked for a glass of the chenin blanc. Unfortunately, they are completely out of that what the heck???? They wont get another delivery for a few days, too. So, I got the chardonnay, which isnt nearly as good.

    By 1:20 I could see that both Navi and Flights of Passage were operating one with 120 minute wait, and the other 130 minutes. I did some jigsaw puzzles on the laptop, and eventually Chris came up to join me. Hed put their laundry in a washing machine but had to wait for one to be available. Luckily, he found the website that tracks all of the DVC laundry rooms so he knew exactly what time one of the washers would be finished. He got there just as the people washing arrived to move their stuff to a dryer (maybe they use the website too).

    He had a couple Tuskers, and the cast member told me theyd gotten a case of the chenin blanc brought up and it was chilling now. Hopefully itll be ready for tonight nice! Amandas mom is thinking of adding more dvc points, so we were looking up the Disney selling prices much, much higher than anything I paid! The prices we paid back in the first 10 years or so almost seem like stealing by todays standards, lol!

    At the appropriate time Chris went down to get their laundry out of the washing machine and check on Amanda & Ari. I checked my email and saw the latest photos of damage to the marina in our Ft Myers homes community from the heavy rain last weekend. The boat ramp was damaged, along with part of the seawall which then compromised the parking lot. Thankfully none of the waterfront homes were flooded. Its nothing compared to the mess in Houston though, and by us everyone should have flood insurance theyre fools if they dont! Back when I had a mortgage, it was a requirement.

    I grabbed my backpack and camera, then met them on their floor. We went out to the bus stop and saw several people waiting for an Animal Kingdom bus. Eventually I checked the monitors and it was about 4 minutes away. Once it arrived we all got seats together, so that was good. At Animal Kingdom we realized it was sprinkling lightly, so I was glad I at least had my small umbrella. Entry into the park was quick, and we went straight into Pandora. Chris decided to wait with Ari in the Satuli Canteen, while Amanda & I rode. We asked about baby swap and were given a paper fastpass good until September 30th. Wow.

    They seemed to be having some challenges still, as the pre stuff was taking forever and getting a bit repetitive. The couple in front of us had ridden before, and said this was taking longer than normal. After endless briefings and being told to move around we were finally in the boarding area. For someone my size the banshee vehicles are perfectly comfortable. When the back and leg things went into place I didnt even know the leg things were there. I had to push my legs back to even feel them. Overall I found it very comfortable.

    Ive never seen the movie, and doubt I ever will (attention span is way too short), but I was impressed with this attraction. Its similar to Soarin but so much better! Visually its stunning, and its a lot of fun. My one complaint is the frequent mist I could live without that. Also, the ending seemed rather abrupt to me, but maybe thats because I dont know the story. Overall, for me, its a great attraction!

    We met up with Chris & Ari afterwards, and since we were gone for half an hour, Chris decided not to use the baby swap fastpass not wanting to spend that much more time. Granted, hed passed the time watching the Florida game on his phone <g>. We headed out of the park, and once again the bus was waiting. Amanda & I ran up ahead and caught the driver after hed closed the door and was about to pull away. Had he pulled away without seeing us, we would have had to wait for the next bus, and it was already 5pm!

    We got seats once again, and Ari amused himself playing peek-a-boo with a couple who were sitting in the seats next to us but up a level, in the back section of the bus. The kid is a people magnet, lol! Back at Jambo House we went straight to the concierge lounge, where all the 4-top tables were taken. We set up in the nook by the kiddie tv, which was quietly playing Disney Junior cartoons.

    Tonights chef items were the African stew w/broccolini mashed potatoes, and the falafel thing. Both Chris & Amanda enjoyed those. I stuck with the cheese, crispies, and apple slices with peanut butter. As expected, the chenin blanc was back and nicely chilled. Ari had some chicken nuggets, banana, lots of blueberries, cheese, and a tiny bit of uncrustables. Quite a bit ended up on the floor, but we cleaned it all up before leaving.

    Around 6 or so Chris went down to their studio to rest, and Amanda & I took Ari, intending to go to the playground. Unfortunately, it was raining, so we visited the animal viewing areas instead. First we covered the Arusha Rock area, and stopped so Ari could watch the campfire and people toasting marshmallows. Hell get to do that in Hilton Head in January! From there we went out to the area beyond the pool, and saw some Ankole cattle. Amanda told him to say hi to them, and Ari actually said hi and waved to them! She was stunned & thrilled, and told him again, and he repeated it again. Another first, lol!

    After that we looked at the flamingos for a while, but skipped the playground since it was so wet. We came back inside and spent time on my balcony, watching the addax lounging down below, and Ari goofing around. Amanda took him back downstairs around 7, with plans for them to come back up at 8 for desserts.

    They were back around 7:45, so I joined them in the lounge. Tonight they had strawberry tarts and the chocolate crme. I gave Ari a spoon of the chocolate crme, and he loved it must be in his genes, lol! They ate up their desserts and then left for Magic Kingdom by 8:30. Martha and the others were holding a spot for them to see the fireworks. The rain was just ending, too. Well see how long before Ari falls asleep, lol!

    I went back to the studio and was not pleased to be hearing the 2 young boys next door even though my tv was louder than I liked! I am so sick of this family I dont understand how they can allow those loud voices and how they put up with the whining and crying.

    I went out for one more really short walk, since I was so close to 25,000 steps. Once that was done I was in for the night. Tomorrow were headed to Epcot, with fastpasses for Soarin. I hope thats not too big of a letdown after the Avatar ride! Were also going to check out Food & Wine Festival as soon as it opens for the day!

    DAY 5 Sunday 9/03/17
    Who: Sue (58), DVC Member
    Chris (30), son
    Amanda (28), daughter-in-law
    Ari (13 months), grandson (9th WDW trip)

    Plan: Epcot, Pool, Concierge Lounge

    Actual: Last night the kids eventually went to sleep, but it was later than normal. I will be glad to get away from them tomorrow! Thank goodness Ari isnt a miserable child like those 2, but then some of it may be that Aris parents do a better job being considerate of others.

    I was up at 5 to do my walk, this time stopping at just under 7700 steps. As usual, I made my cappuccino and got online, but the internet was very frustrating so slow! Simple pages wouldnt even load, so eventually I shut everything down and restarted the computer hoping that would help. It did, so perhaps part of the problem was me <g>.

    Since wed be eating Food & Wine early I decided to skip my egg and bacon, and texted Amanda to see if shed like me to make it for her. She gladly accepted! I took my shower and got dressed, and not long after that Chris & Ari knocked on my door. Ari looked so cute in his Goofy outfit, although the hat was too small & he wanted no part of that! Once Amanda was on the way I fixed her egg and bacon, and Chris took it out to her in the lounge. The lounge was quite busy, so we ended up sharing a 2-top table in the nook by the stairs. Ari had a high chair and I pulled over one of the heavy wooden stools across the way.

    Id taken a greek yogurt yesterday, so I had that for breakfast. The others ate stuff from the lounge, plus the cooked egg and slice of bacon. We took a paper coffee cup with some fruit loops and the rest of Aris grapes, so hed have stuff to munch on, and headed down to the bus stops. We had about a 10 minute wait, but had 3 Animal Kingdom buses come before the first Epcot bus. The Magic Kingdom stop was packed, and 2 of those buses arrived at the same time, which was enough to accommodate everyone.

    At Epcot getting into the park went pretty smoothly, which Chris going through no bags with Ari & the stroller while Amanda & I each went through a bag line. We didnt have to do the metal detectors in fact, I havent had to do them at all this trip. It was now around 9:30, so we walked towards the Land. Amanda decided to skip Soarin and took Ari to meet the Baymax characters instead. Chris & I pretty much walked right onto Soarin, getting the 2nd row but not caring since weve done this so often. We were off to a side, so the Eiffel Tower had a definite curve thats not there in real life!

    After riding we learned Amanda was in the restrooms by the Character Spot, so we met her over there since that was our next fastpass. Once we spotted her we were able to enter the fastpass queue, which still seemed to move slowly. The standby wait was 30 minutes, but based on our wait it seems like it would have had to be a bit longer than that. We tried putting Aris Goofy hat on, but that pissed him off he did not want that on his head. He doesnt like hats, so this probably wasnt the smartest thing to do because nobody wants to listen to a crying kid in a line! Thankfully it didnt last long, and he was ok by the time we got in to see the characters. In here there are 3 greets Mickey, then Goofy, then Minnie.

    As usual, from a distance he was excited. Up close, when any of them got into his space he got scared at first. He cried with one of them (Mickey?) but stopped in a few seconds when enough space was restored. Chris made a point of shaking Mickeys hand, so then Ari reached out to touch Mickeys glove.

    Right outside this area are some of the Food & Wine booths, including the new Flavors from Fire and the Light Lab. We looked in the Light Lab they thought it was cool but I wasnt impressed. I saw people eating giant donuts I assume the frosting glows the dark. I commented to Amanda how odd to see people wasting their time eating donuts at Food & Wine, and she thought it was great but she loves donuts, lol! The odd part to me is those things are sold at least a couple places around World Showcase 365 days a year so theyre not special for the festival. But, some of these people may not know that.

    We didnt buy anything in there, but Chris got a flight of beer from the area right outside. From there we went outside to Flavors from Fire and he got the Piggy Wings. This was a couple pork ribs with Korean BBQ sauce and sesame seeds. They had a lot of meat on them, and he said they were really good. Ive read the corned beef dish here is excellent, too.

    We walked out towards Future World and up to this point it had been completely overcast so it was very humid but bearable. Soon the sun came out, and it was absolutely awful! I dread the next trip, for this reason but next time well be smart enough to not be out here until the sun starts going down!

    They have that delicious dark chocolate raspberry torte again this year, with a $.25 price increase (well worth it). Its in the same location, but we skipped it today. Next time well be staying at Beach Club Villas, where its easy to carry it back to the room refrigerator. Today it would have been a mess, and wed have had to eat the whole thing.

    In World Showcase we turned towards Canada and right away noticed Greece had moved. In fact, several countries are in new locations now. Canada was surprisingly not busy, and they had both sides open. We didnt stop until we got to Ireland, which is in its usual location. Amanda got the warm Irish cheddar cheese and stout dip with brown bread. She let Chris & I try it and it was excellent! It reminded me of the cheese soup in Canada/Le Cellier. The pretzel roll in Canada is better, but the cheese & stout from Ireland is better.

    We continued walking, and soon the sun was blazing down upon us. I was ready to go back to the resort, but I trudged along happy when I heard Chris say they were doing one loop and getting the hell out of here! We stopped in America and sat in the shade while Chris had the smoked beef brisket and pimento cheese served on griddled garlic toast and probably a beer of some type.

    The next stop was India, for my lunch. I got the Korma chicken w/cucumber tomato salad, almonds, cashews and warm Naan bread. This was spicy, and delicious also a very generous portion (at least today sometimes it varies, lol). I also got the pistachio cardamom bundt cake with chocolate coconut mousse and gave half to Amanda. I was glad I tried it, and it wasnt bad, but its not something Id waste calories on again. Id repeat the chicken, once I got through all the other stuff I want to try (or if someone shared it with me).

    We continued walking, and ran into Martha, Matt & Carla as we passed through Norway towards Mexico. They were eating stuff theyd gotten at the Mexico stand. We chatted with them, then continued on our way it was so hot we were melting standing there talking to them. The next stop was the Odyssey for the craft beer thing, where Chris got a beer and the cheeseburger handwich. We also looked at the Epcot 35th anniversary display and merchandise, but mostly just enjoyed a few moments of air conditioning.

    Our last stop was the Festival Center for our passholder buttons, so we walked over there next. Chris didnt bring his ID, but the cast member let him have a button anyway since Amanda had hers and they have the same last name. We then got our Ghiradelli sample and looked at the chocolate displays there they had 2 from the movie Moana, one from Pandora, one from Wreck it Ralph, one from Beauty & the Beast, and one that looked familiar from last year with Panda bears.

    At this point we were done, so we left the park and ended having a ridiculous long wait at the bus stop. Nobody else ever joined our queue, which may have hurt our chances of Disney sending a bus in our direction. It seemed to take forever, but finally our own private bus arrived to take us back to the resort. We still stopped at Kidani Village first, then went to Jambo House.

    Amanda, Ari & I sat up in the lounge while Chris went to Mara to get a hot dog & fries for Amanda & Ari. They all ate from the lounge too, and I had some of the spiced nuts. Chris said the line at Mara was really long, and it took a long time for him to get the food & join us. Despite eating quite a bit in the lounge, Ari was still hungry for some of the hot dog. Once he got full though, he started playing with the food so he was done.

    Chris went down to do more laundry for them, while Amanda cleaned up the floor under our table in the lounge. I took Ari down to the playground and she met us down there. Hes got a playground at daycare, so he took off running to climb stuff and climb up the slide. The age here is 2-12, so I stayed with him plus there were other kids there. When Amanda joined us she took over climbing into things with him, and I just helped him slide down the slides. The slides were wet, so his outfit got soaked in the seat.

    We left there watched the flamingos for a bit, but Ari was mainly interested in climbing/walking on the short rocks at the fence. We went over to the animal viewing area and saw the young giraffe (1 year, 8 months old), with her mom sitting down a distance away keeping an eye on her. Again, Ari was mainly interested in climbing up the rocks, which were labeled with a please do not climb on the rocks sign so after he wouldnt obey Amanda she put him back in the stroller and we went inside.

    They went to their studio, hopefully to get him the rest of his nap (hed slept a while in Epcot), and I got the laptop & took it to the lounge to update the trip report. Eventually Chris came up and joined me, and he got a Tusker while we were there. Around 4:30 we moved to an empty 4-top table in the main area of the concierge lounge, and brought a high chair over for Ari.

    Amanda & Ari showed up right before 5, and he was still waking up some. At first he was more interested in playing with food than eating it, but he wolfed down the fresh strawberries. We also taught him to clink his sippy cup against Chris beer bottle or my glass of wine, and he loved that, lol! The chef foods tonight were the Moroccan beef patties with tomato chutney (like mini slider burgers without the bread) and Ivory coast seafood stew. I stuck with the cheese, crispy stuff, and apple slices with peanut butter.

    Chris, Amanda & Ari left just after 6, headed to the Studios to meet up with the others. I declined, preferring to hang out at the resort. Being in crowds to watch fireworks isnt high on my list of things I like to do. After they left, I moved back to the smaller table in the alcove, but the lounge never got completely busy tonight. I stayed there reading until around 7:45, then went to the studio to pack up a few things.

    At 8 I went out to check the desserts, and took an oatmeal raisin cookie and a mini cupcake w/chocolate icing. Thats it for me tonight! Theyre doing some activity down in the lobby, so its very noisy (drums, kids, etc) but at least it drowns out the noisy family who are home next door. Hopefully those kids will be asleep sooner tonight, but Im still glad to be moving tomorrow. In fact, I can hear one of them crying (again) now how annoying!

    Tomorrow I am changing rooms, so I will be homeless for part of the day. Ill stash my stuff in Chris & Amandas studio, and will hope my new studio wont take until 4pm to be ready! Were headed to Animal Kingdom in the morning, so they can do Flight of Passage and we can all do the safari. Maybe Ill get some pool time afterwards, before the rain starts!

    DAY 6 Monday 9/04/17
    Who: Sue (58), DVC Member
    Chris (30), son
    Amanda (28), daughter-in-law
    Ari (13 months), grandson (9th WDW trip)

    Plan: Animal Kingdom, Pool?, Concierge Lounge

    Actual: Once again I was awake before the 5am alarm, but I slept well and had gotten to bed a little earlier last night. This heat saps the energy right out of you! I dressed and set out for my walk, today only doing around 7000-7500 steps. I usually run into the person from room service who goes around picking up the trays from last night. I guess people are supposed to leave them in the hallway, which is unlike on cruise ships (at least unlike HAL they want you to call when youre done so they can come remove the tray). What bothers me are the pigs who think its ok to set their leftover crap from Mara or their trash out in the hallway. They have trash cans inside their room for that or they can get up off their lazy butts and take the stuff to an appropriate place for disposal.

    Back in the studio, I made my cappuccino and got online for while, then took my shower shortly after 7. Chris showed up while I was almost done drying my hair, so he got his breakfast from the lounge and ate it in my studio. I fixed my egg and bacon slice and joined him. Eventually Amanda & Ari arrived in the lounge, and she got their breakfast.

    I checked out and back in up at the lounge, and played peek-a-book with a giggling Ari across the way. Unfortunately, the cast member didnt quite get it right, although I didnt find that out until later. She assured me I was welcome to use the lounge and enjoy the alcohol and food until midnight tonight, which I already knew.

    We headed out for the bus stop, and watched as the bus in the Animal Kingdom bus stop pulled away empty. It must have been a new driver training. One other family was seated on the benches, and in no time at all our actual bus arrived. We sat Ari on an actual seat, between Chris & me, and he did pretty good. Usually someone is holding him on a lap or letting him stand on the seat looking out the window (while being held).

    At Animal Kingdom the lines for bag check werent too bad yet, and although it was only 8:45 the standby wait for Flight of Passage was 150 minutes (2 and a half hours no freakin way!). Once again it was no metal detector for me only Chris (who had gone through the no bag line with Ari).

    Im thinking maybe the park opened at 8 for extra magic hours, because we were let right in and didnt get held back anywhere. We cut through the air conditioned shop to Pandora, since it was already so hot & humid. After a restroom stop to change Aris diaper, we parked the stroller near Flight of Passage and Chris & Amanda used their fastpass for the attraction. I let Ari run around a bit, rather than keeping him cooped up in the stroller. He met an older boy who had a bunch of those glow necklaces linked together to make a ring the size of a hula hoop, and was intrigued by that. The boy let him run around dragging it. A younger sibling had a battery operated bubble blower, so Ari spent a little time waving his hands at the bubbles.

    Pretty soon, Chris & Amanda were back outside and we retrieved the stroller. We decided to take the back path to Harambe and were shocked to see the standby line for Flight of Passage extended all the way down to Harambe and curved around all the way back to Pandora!! Thats not even counting the portion of the line that snaked through Pandora before even getting to the building! Those people in line would be there until lunchtime!

    When we got to Harambe we took a break in an air conditioned shop it was pure misery outside! If it wasnt for the concierge lounge, this trip would have been pool/resort by day, little bit of parks starting at dusk, lol! Our fastpass for the safari was 45 minutes away, but the standby wait was posted as 15 minutes. I told Chris thats basically how long it takes to walk through the queue, so we did it.

    Sure enough, we walked right into the truck loading area without slowing or stopping. We had a good safari, seeing pretty much everything except zebra and addax. But, I saw addax daily in my old room, so thats ok. The male and 2 female lions were very visible, and one of the females got up and moved to another spot before plopping back down for another nap. Ari seemed to enjoy seeing many of the animals, and waved to some of them.

    After the safari they were talking about doing the Rafiki thing, but it was no way in hell for me, lol! I cant begin to describe how disgustingly uncomfortable it is in the parks this time of year the only I wanted was to get out of there as soon as possible. I wished them well, and headed for the exit, and once again was pleased to catch the resort bus waiting at the bus stop. I was shocked it went to Jambo House first, but very pleased!

    My text with my new room number had come in while we were on the safari, and I got the room right next door to them. That was great, because its a dedicated studio and only has neighbors on one side. It should be silent! I changed into a swimsuit & coverup to go down to the pool, but Amanda or Chris texted to stay the app wasnt working for him and could I try to get them a Toy Story fastpass for this afternoon.

    I tried, and the app wasnt working right for me either neither was the website, so I figured it was a *****y Disney internet problem. Once I left the room I had better luck, and was able to get them Toy Story for 3:45. I had to book it as SB & me first, after canceling our 11:40 fastpass. I wasnt sure if Chris & Amanda were going to do that one, and didnt want to cancel it & have them show up & get denied. As it turned out, Amanda texted to say they were in Mara getting lunch for Ari, lol!

    Id just set my stuff up on a chaise lounge at the pool, so I went inside to find them. I changed the fastpass party to them, and went back out to the pool. They gave up on the Rafiki area when they learned strollers werent allowed. Its too hot to be carrying Ari around. After their lunch they went upstairs for Ari to nap, and I think he slept for a good long while probably the heat affecting him, too.

    I spent about 1.5 hours at the pool reading, sitting on the edge of the pool, etc. I was thankful for the frequent clouds, as it was really hot in the sun. After I went back upstairs I got a text from Chris that Ari was still sleeping. I got cleaned up and dressed, then took a couple things out to the car so it would be easier tomorrow.

    From there I returned to the studio to get the laptop and headed up to the lounge. However, my magic band wouldnt open the gate at the stairs. This has happened before, but it would work in the elevator, so I didnt think too much about it. I went to the elevators, and my band wouldnt work there either grrr! I rode down to the lobby and went to the front desk, where a cast member confirmed that since I was now checked into another room the system had dropped me from having the lounge access. She was able to fix it, and then walked me over to the elevator to make sure it worked. It did, and I was on my way.

    The lounge was practically empty when I arrived, so I took my spot in the corner, with the throw pillows. Its in the kiddie corner, but that tv is nice & low volume. One of the cast asked if I wanted a glass of chenin blanc, which I accepted & thanked her for. I got some of the African spiced nuts and an oatmeal raisin cookie (Disney has the best ones) to round out my lunch. Chris texted to see if I was doing Toy Story with them, and I told him no. I could have said Hell NO no freakin way in this weather, but that was too many characters to type <g>. I think he was hoping I was, so he could ride alone & rack up a bigger score <g>. Hed stick me, Amanda & Ari together, and our scores would naturally be lower because of competing for the targets and dealing with an infant, lol!

    Chris, Amanda and Ari came up to the lounge for a while, getting a snack and visiting with me after Ari woke up. He slept for nearly 2 hours. I gave him a Disney oatmeal raisin cookie, but he only had a couple bites and then played with it. Guess he doesnt love them as much as his grandpa does yet! He was also still waking up, though. After getting snacks they were off to Hollywood Studios about 3pm for their Toy Story fastpass. They asked again if I wanted to come, but I just laughed & told them not even my grandson is enough to get me out there in that miserable heat!

    Once they left the peanut butter brownies and scones came out, so I put a couple brownies and scones on a plate to save for Amanda for later. Chances are the brownies will be back during the dessert period, but we didnt want to take the chance they wouldnt be & shed not be able to have any. I stayed in the lounge until around 4:15, then took the treats and laptop down to my studio. I grabbed my kindle and went right back up to the lounge.

    All of the 4-top tables were available, so I grabbed one and brought a high chair over, then did some reading. Amanda texted about 10 minutes to 5, saying they were almost there. Theyd had fun on Toy Story, but got rained on a bit. The lounge wasnt as busy as previous nights, and tonight they had several items I liked 2 good cheeses, my favorite crispy bread, the goat cheese tomato salad, and corn pudding with Durban chicken. They also had some crab stew, the ham & cheese pinwheels, and the meatballs.

    The Hollands arrive around 5:15 and Ari was pretty fussy. Amanda said he was cutting a tooth, and shed given him some baby Tylenol or something. It evidently hadnt kicked in yet, as he wasnt interested in eating and was acting pretty miserable not his normal happy self. At one point Chris got up and removed him, taking him out to the balcony near the elevators. He wasnt overly loud, but thankfully theyre not the kind of parents who let their baby/child disrupt the environment for others. How refreshing! When they came back in, Amanda nursed him and that seemed to help and maybe the Tylenol had kicked in by then. He ate some cheese and a bit of other stuff, and stopped being so fussy.

    We left around 6 to walk around & see the animals, and found it was sprinkling again. Amanda & I both grabbed umbrellas, but the guys didnt care. We went out to Arusha rock first, and a number of animals were out but no giraffe. We could see some in the distance so we decided to walk to the end of the hallway. Once there, the stairwell was on the wrong side of where we wanted to be, but we still had some animals in view. We could see more at the other end of the resort, so after a while we went back inside to walk to the other end.

    We let Ari walk most of the way, since hes young and has so much energy. Plus, its fun to watch him walk, lol! At one point we passed a custodial cast member, and after we went by he turned on this big vacuum cleaner. The noise scared Ari, lol he came running after us with his arms held up, wanting to be picked up. I did, and then we walked at my pace to the end of the hallway, waiting for his parents to meet us out there. Im not sure if it was here or at the other end, but Chris was holding Ari and took him up a half flight of stairs. Next thing I knew Chris came flying back down the stairs, alone. I asked where Ari was, and he said there were a bunch of bees up there, lol! I said what about your son, and Chris said hes up there, hes ok, lol! Amanda was beside herself and said she was going up to get him, and came back down saying it was a wasp not a bee, lol! OMIGOD it was so funny. Big ole Chris, petrified of a non-bee <g>. He claimed to be allergic to bees, but that was news to me, and these were not bees.

    We watched the animals for a bit, then went back inside and returned to our studios to relax until 8pm. I could hear Ari out on the balcony so I went out there and talked to him through the wall, then peaked underneath so he could see me. It was pretty humid out there, so I didnt stay out long. I uploaded the last of the photos for the album. I took LOTS of pictures of Ari, but tried to only use a limited number in the album since nobodys kids/grandkids are as interesting to other people as they are to the parent/grandparent <g>. The album is on shutterfly at

    The Hollands went up to the lounge a little before 8 but Ari just wasnt acting right so they texted me at 8:05 to say they were headed back down. I went out to catch them, but missed them picking up an orange cupcake and a chocolate chip cookie. They were waiting outside my room, so we got to visit for a little while, until it was time to get Ari into the bath and bed. We said our goodbyes and I finished up captioning the photos and updating the report so I could relax and watch HGTV for a little while before bed.

    This has been a great trip, except for the weather. The weather is absolutely disgusting this time of year, and Im so thankful I dont have to come here when its like this. Being in the parks even for a short period was just miserable. That said, the resort was terrific, and its so nice having the concierge lounge access! Being here for 6 nights was nice, too. For a change the trip didnt feel too short, although the 6 nights flew by.

    Ill see the Hollands again on 9/27 for 1 night at their place, then the next day we all return here for another hot/humid Food & Wine trip at Beach Club Villas. Im going to have to check our fastpass plans and rethink any daytime plan in the parks, lol! Its not going to be much better than it was this trip, and this trip was hell in the parks. Until then, thanks for reading along!

    Sue (Holland) Rayford

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  3. #2
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Aug 2014
    Gulf Coast of Florida

    I can identify, I need to lose 25 lbs. Hope to get most of it off by our next trip.

  4. #3
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Aug 2012
    Drexel Hill, PA

    Yay. Another trip report. I think it's awesome that you get to share your Disney love with Ari. He is so adorable. I appreciate your honesty because you post negative comments as well as positive. I think it gives your readers a better insight to the parks and hotels. I appreciate all the time you take to write the reports.

  5. #4
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Aug 2014
    Gulf Coast of Florida

    Thanks for all you do for our WDW fix.

  6. #5

    Hi Sue!
    Thanks for sharing your trip.

  7. #6

    Another great trip report Sue! Thanks for sharing your Disney adventures with us. Ari sounds so adorable!

  8. #7
    MousePlanet Columnist
    Join Date
    Apr 2001

    Thanks everyone! Ari has captured our hearts :-)

    Sue (Holland) Rayford



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