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Thread: Sue (Holland) Rayford, Beach Club Villas, April 12-15, 2018

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    MousePlanet Columnist
    Join Date
    Apr 2001
    Location
    Florida

    Sue (Holland) Rayford, Beach Club Villas, April 12-15, 2018

    Who/When/Where:

    Who: Sue (59), DVC Member
    SB (60), my husband
    Chris (31), son
    Amanda (29), daughter-in-law
    Ari (21 months), grandson
    Tim (60), Chris dad
    Vince (60s), Tims husband
    Martha (50?), Amandas mom, DVC Member
    Linda (60), childhood best friend
    Karen (?), friend of Lindas traveling with her
    Assorted RADP (internet newsgroup) people
    Dates: April 12 - 16, 2018
    Resort: Disneys Beach Club Villas Resort (Sue & SB)
    Disneys Polynesian Village Resort (Martha, Chris, Amanda & Ari)
    Disneys Jambo House Resort (Tim & Vince), Marriott World Center (Linda)
    Experience: Very Experienced 43rd stay at BCV

    INTRODUCTION:
    This trip started out as the usual mostly solo long weekend to enjoy Flower & Garden Festival before it gets too freakin hot to stand being at WDW then morphed into this big event. Sometime after I booked, I saw that Martha had booked herself and Chris family the same weekend just by chance. She became a dvc member on a trip about a year or so ago and owns points at Poly so thats where theyre staying. I thought about moving over there, but I didnt want to look like I was intruding on her trip with the kids, plus who in their right mind would stay over there if Beach Club (or Boardwalk) was an option? Yes, I am a definite Crescent Lake Snob, especially when theres a major event happening at Epcot. So, I decided to stay put, figuring Id get to see them during the trip.

    The next change was when Tim decided he & Vince really wanted to get back to WDW when we were all there, as it has been several years since their last visit. They were hoping to be able to manage the trip, between needing park passes and looking for offsite lodging. Theyve both always been great to us, and Tim in particular does a LOT to help me out as an absentee homeowner down there, so I was able to snag the last studio at Jambo House for them for their dates (the only other option was Saratoga Springs, which is no big deal). With that covered, it was an easier decision for them they were able to get the 3-day FL resident hopper pass deal, and were all set.

    Then, one of the regular and popular posters on RADP mentioned in his last trip report that he & his wife would be back this weekend. Someone suggested a mini meet, and 3 of us quickly responded. All 3 of us currently have or recently have had cancer breast, prostate and brain. When a healthy poster whod recently surprised people by showing up for a mini meet mentioned interest but didnt know how he could make it happen, someone said based on the participants thus far a cancer diagnosis would do it, lol. Another guy joined the group, but I dont recall which cancer he had (sorry), and then finally a healthy person decided to join us so I think there will be 5 of us, and possibly a couple spouses. SB can be hit or miss when it comes to meeting strangers, but I hope hell come, as Im sure hell enjoy them.

    The final change was about 2 weeks before the trip, when my childhood best friend wanted to surprise me by showing up on the trip. Shed texted Amanda, who did the right thing and mentioned I had plans and might not appreciate being surprised. Linda knows everyone but Martha, and while I wasnt going to abandon plans already made with the others, I was able to include her in the Friday & Saturday plans. She flies in Thursday, but were busy that day. She flies out Sunday and wont have park access (she got a 2-day hopper), so I wont see her that day. Id booked extra fastpasses for a friend on Friday, and since that friend isnt coming once Linda bought her pass I was able to change the party to drop that person and add Linda. On Saturday I was able to do the same with the 7 Dwarfs Mine Train fastpass and just add her to the Haunted Mansion. I wasnt able to get her into our meeting with Mickey, but well ask nicely and see if they let her join us if shes there in time.

    The weekend before the trip Linda texted me with news that a girlfriend of hers (Karen) decided to join her, sharing the cost of the Marriott. Karen got her pass, and managed to become friends with Linda on the Disney app, and Linda made some fastpass plans for the 2 of them. Hopefully Friday we can get Karen in with us at the Epcot attractions, and it looks like Saturday theyll be doing different fastpasses than the rest of us at Magic Kingdom. With only 2 days, they will be running more commando-style, which is understandable. Im glad Linda has a travel buddy to do that with, as its definitely not my style and I want to spend time with grandson Ari since were not staying at the same resort this trip.

    Chris, Amanda, Martha & Ari had a reservation for lunch at Be Our Guest on Saturday, and I was able to get one for myself but 5 minutes prior. When Tim & Vince were added, they could only get a party of 1 for 5 minutes before me. Theyre just ordering lunch for both of them under that reservation, and the other person can just walk (or ride if Vince) in and get a table. The rest of us will join them. We wont get our food all at the same time, but thats no big deal. I invited Linda, but she declined, saying shed leave it a family lunch. Shes family too, but maybe she wasnt thrilled with the menu not going to worry about it, plus now with the addition of Karen that would have been pushing the limits even further.

    SB will follow me over to Disney on Thursday, and plans to stay long enough Friday to see Ari. Time & Vince will arrive around 10 on Friday, so well hang out with them and Linda & Karen will join us then. I just realized, she was going to surprise them like last time, but Tim and Vince both get this trip report and will read this before Friday. Damn! I checked with Linda, then let Tim know shed be coming. Chris, Amanda, Ari & Martha should arrive around 4 and most of us want to see Smash Mouth in concert that night.

    Saturday were doing Magic Kingdom in the morning, then Im not sure what will come after that. Sunday we have fastpasses at Animal Kingdom, including Flight of Passage. Theyll all head home sometime Sunday, while I dont leave until early Monday morning. Sunday evening will be a nice solo night in Epcot, and I learned Smash Mouth has been replaced by Rick Springfield for Sunday/Monday. I hope the forecasted rain wont cause it to be canceled, as itll be fun to see (or at least hear) him! I havent been at WDW since last November, and wont be back until late August, so Im looking forward to soaking up the atmosphere!

    The plans so far are:
    Thursday 4/12: Drive to WDW, AK/Flight of Passage, RADP Mini-Meet
    Friday 4/13: Epcot, Concert
    Saturday 4/14: Magic Kingdom, Be Our Guest lunch, possibly Epcot evening
    Sunday 4/15: Animal Kingdom, Epcot evening
    Monday 4/16: Drive to Gainesville


    DAY 1 Thursday 4/12/18
    Who: Sue (59), DVC Member
    SB (60), my husband
    RADP People Steve, Mark, Bob, Sandi?

    Plan: Drive to WDW, AK/Flight of Passage, RADP Mini-Meet

    Actual: Today was a really great day. I worked until noon, and it was busy enough that the time passed quickly but not so crazy I was frantic about leaving early! SB was standing by my trunk with my suitcase when I got home about 12:01. Thankfully, no dress shoes on him this time! I changed clothes, packed the cooler, and we were on our way (both cars) by 12:14. As I was backing out of the driveway I noticed I had the email telling me my room was ready very nice!

    SB detoured off to get a burger en route, but there were so many cops out I was being careful with my speed and he ended up arriving only about 5 minutes after me. The same guy is still working the security booth here, and hes always very nice (Joe). I parked and went straight up to the studio and started unpacking. SB arrived before I finished, and unpacked what little bit he had.

    In the interest of time, we decided to drive over to Animal Kingdom rather than risk being held hostage by Disney transportation. It was an easy drive, and I was surprised to see the high-rise building going up inside Coronado Springs. That resort already has 2,000 rooms and theyre adding more! I assume its due to the convention guests, but still thats a lot.

    At Animal Kingdom we were lucky to park near the tram end of the row, and the tram arrived just as we got there. The guy in the back talked on the microphone constantly, and was actually pretty funny despite being loud. I know our friend Pete would have been annoyed by it, though! SB was a bit, but thankfully stayed in a good mood. Bag check was a breeze, and entry went pretty quickly even though they only had a few lanes open. The passholder line had someone at the back reader and several people behind her. Nobody had the sense to use the empty other reader in front of her, so I walked up and entered the park. Hello people it helps to pay attention. That woke the other people up, and they started using both readers at that point. SB stayed behind and entered after they got through.

    We headed back to Harambe, where the standby wait for the safari was 30 or 35 minutes. We waited about 5 minutes and then entered the fastpass line. There was one brief delay, which was probably due to an animal not wanting to move somewhere, but mostly it moved pretty quickly. We were seated in the second row of the truck, and had a great driver/guide. Normally we do the safari in the morning, so this was a nice chance to see a few different animals due to the different time of day. The hippos were out of the water, walking around, and we saw the baby hippo. We did not see any lions. As we got to the area with the flamingos just past the elephants, there was a group of eland and one was at the side of the road too close for the truck to pass. Right next to the truck waiting was a cluster of palm trees, where a giraffe was busy munching away soon joined by a couple more giraffe.

    We sat there waiting, but the eland had no sense of urgency and was really enjoying the specific grass he or she was eating. Eventually a cast members truck came and the cast member shook a bucket of treats, hoping to lure the stubborn eland over. It wasnt interested, so the cast member got some branches and got out of the truck to wave them around near the ground. That got the elands attention and eventually they all moved off far enough for the trucks to resume. Thankfully, it was a beautiful day with a nice breeze, so nobody minded the delay. The only negative about the safari was for most of it there were so many screaming little kids (some crying, some whining, just talking as if someone in Tampa needed to hear them and god forbid a parent actually teach them to use a reasonable volume), it was hard to hear what the driver/guide was saying. It was a bit obnoxious.

    After our safari we made a stop for SB to get a soda and popcorn, then sat on a wall on the path to Pandora while we ate the popcorn. We arrived at Flight of Passage about 10 minutes before our fastpass time (standby was 105 minutes), and were going to see if wed be let in early, but both cast members were busy with other guests. One was a baby swap party, which was taking a lot longer than it should have. A woman could give birth in less time. The other didnt seem to be anything other than goofing around. Eventually I just put my magic band on the reader and it turned green, so we walked into the queue.

    This time the preshow stuff all worked without repeating, but its still quite a chunk of time to actually get onto the banshee. I think we entered the queue just before 4:15 and we were back outside a little before 5. It was a great time, though this is a fabulous attraction. I could do with a little less of the misting water, though. SB said he saw things hed never seen before, but I think theres just so much you cant really see it all in one experience similar to a Cirque du Soleil show!

    After this we headed to the exit, rode the tram back to the car, and drove back to Beach Club. It was 5:17 when we arrived there, so we went straight to Marthas Vineyard Lounge to meet the RADP group rather than stopping at the studio. We found Sandi, Mark, and Bob sitting outside. As introductions were made, Steve and his wife Barbara arrived. That was the whole party, so we went inside and pulled a few tables together to make room for the 7 of us. It was a great time, and conversation flowed easily. We have a lot of recent cancer in the group, but the oncology talk was kept to a minimum just updates on the current cases. Were the only ones who arent retired, and the retirees are really enjoying retirement! Bob used to live in Rochester, where SB had played & coached for several years, and he had seen him at the ballpark many times. Small world!

    We ordered drinks, and SB also had some wings that he enjoyed. It was a very enjoyable mini-meet, and it was really nice to meet Mark in person after knowing him for probably a couple decades now! After the meet we stopped by the marina to see an old friend Bill, but it turns out at the last minute Bill gave his shift away (he drives the fireworks cruises) when something came up.

    We went back to Beach Club and stopped at Beach Club Marketplace to get SB dinner for later. They had a half chicken with mashed potatoes and corn on the cob for $12.99 so he got that. I tried the potatoes and they were very good. I left him in the studio and headed out for Epcot at 7:40.

    Id told Chris Id check at International Gateway for a magic band Amanda wanted, but they didnt have it. They said Mouse Gears would be the location. I walked over there, and struck out at the first set of registers (after waiting in line) but was told the next group might have it. I went there and stood in line, but was told they were sold out. Plus, its a limited release so there wont be more coming in. Whenever Disney does these things, people just go nuts. I imagine the bands are available on ebay for an even higher inflated price <g>.

    Since I was in the area, I swung by to get my free passholder Minnie magnet, then headed back out to the countries. It was getting dark by now, and was a perfect night for walking around. I did a loop of the countries, checking out the festival menus, before settling on the tomato & onion tart from France. Unfortunately, at this point it was 8:30 and the tarts had been sitting in the warmer so long it was pretty dried out. It wasnt terrible, and I dont regret trying it, but based on this one I wouldnt bother with a second.

    I picked up a key lime tart to take back to the studio to share with SB. This came from the location where Brazil is during Food & Wine (between France and Morrocco), and its different from last year. Last year it was really too big round, and like a small pie. This year its a thin oval strip. Its something one person could easily eat. I left the park and walked back to the resort, where SB had saved me a little of the white meat from the chicken.

    We shared the key lime tart, which was good. I worked on the trip report, and it was 10:30 or so before that was all done.

    Today was a great start to the trip, and a perfect weather day! I like the studio location, and view. Tomorrow the others arrive, so it should be a somewhat busy but fun day!


    DAY 2 Friday 4/13/18
    Who: Sue (59), DVC Member
    SB (60), my husband
    Chris (31), son
    Amanda (29), daughter-in-law
    Ari (21 months), grandson
    Tim (60), Chris dad
    Vince (60s), Tims husband
    Martha (50?), Amandas mom, DVC Member
    Linda (60), childhood best friend
    Karen (?), friend of Lindas

    Plan: Epcot, Concert

    Actual: I slept well comfortable bed, quiet room, and not much coughing by SB. The only annoying thing was the night light in the bathroom sink area. I thought perhaps hed left the bathroom light on, so got up around 2 and discovered it was the night light. Its part of the outlet and I couldnt figure out how to make it shut off, so I stacked a couple washcloths on top of his toiletry bag to cover it up. We also had to keep the drapes closed, as theres a ceiling light on the balcony, without a switch to shut that off. Oh well, first world problems for sure!

    We were both up shortly after 5. I made my cappuccino, and SB left for find the ATM over at Crossroads. I didnt even ask why that didnt get taken care of back home! He was gone a bit, and when he returned he said he got over there fine but then didnt know how to get back. He ended up in the Epcot parking lot, lol! Of course his phone was here in the studio, so he couldnt call for help <g>!

    I took my shower around 7:30, then once I was almost ready SB went down to Beach Club Marketplace to get some of the potato casserole to go with our breakfast. He also got a biscuit and an orange juice. I made the eggs, sausage & bacon in the microwave, and we both had a good breakfast. Afterwards, he took his shower and I spent about an hour doing work stuff.

    Tim called at 8:52, with an arrival time of 8:59. Hed just gotten the text that their room is ready! This is great, because they can unload their stuff and not have to take the time to go back during the afternoon. We agreed theyd let us know when they were on the bus.

    We left the studio around 9:15 or 9:30 and walked over to Epcot. Its so nice entering via International Gateway, and I hate that theyre going to ruin this area with the damn skyliner thing that will bring hordes of people not staying around Crescent Lake into the area.

    We arrived after the initial rush, so we had no waits or delay to enter the park. We decided to go sit in the DVC member lounge, rather than waiting outside near the front entrance. It opens at 10 and we got there a few minutes, but they checked us in and as soon as they dropped the rope the cast member called to me so we could go right up. Theres really not anything special up here, but SB did enjoy the free soda and we both got to sit in comfort waiting for the others to arrive.

    Linda texted first, so we walked over and met her & Karen at the bottom of Spaceship Earth. We figured Tim & Vince would follow pretty quickly, but they had one headache after another. First, when they got all the way to their studio with their stuff (of course the studio is near the end of a long hallway), their magic bands didnt work to open the door. So, they had to go all the way back to the lobby to get that fixed. Once at Epcot they went through bag check and security, and waited in line at the entry but at the reader they learned their passes were vouchers and were sent to guest services. After waiting in line there they were told they needed to go to the ticket office. They stood in line there and finally got the vouchers converted, then had to go through bag check and security again. I may have gotten the guest services and ticket windows mixed up, as I think the ticket windows are after bag check & security.

    Finally, they were in the park, and found us across from Spaceship Earth (outside the rest room area). We were well within the fastpass window for Spaceship Earth, and with Vinces scooter we had to use the handicapped entrance (which is actually the exit). We were greeted by an Asian cast member who spoke rapidly and seemed kind of rude, but we werent sure because we couldnt understand what the hell he was saying. We finally figured out we had to wait in this holding area, so we never needed our fastpasses but ended up waiting a good while to get on the attraction. Another cast member sent us up the ramp at one point, without Vince, and once we got up there we were told we were supposed to be waiting with our person in the wheelchair so we went back down and waited some more. In the meantime, different people left to use the restroom and returned. It was getting a bit crazy, but finally it was really our turn and we had some decent cast members in the loading area.

    They completely stopped the attraction so Vince could slide from his chair onto the attraction vehicle seat. Tim sat with him and the rest of us took the car in front of them. It was a nice ride, but it stopped again twice, and slowed a couple more times. Given how long getting on that took, we went next to the Land and used our fastpasses for Living with the Land. The standby queue here was 55 minutes, which was insane! The fastpass queue was completely filled in, but moved quickly. At the end we had to wait a while for the next accessible boat, but it was a shorter wait than at Spaceship Earth.

    Linda & Karen both really enjoyed the greenhouses, and it was a nice ride. Its informative but also fun/relaxing. After the boat ride we had about 20 minutes to kill, so we stopped at the very crowded Sunshine Seasons (or now it might only be called Seasons) food court. Tim & Vince shared a wrap, SB got the shrimp stir fry, Karen got a chicken Caesar salad, and Linda got a small side salad. I didnt get anything, preferring to wait for the festival food booths. I did eat a few bites of SBs rice with the sauce and water chestnuts and enjoyed that. I hate shrimp/seafood, so Id never order that item for me.

    After our little break it was time for Soarin. All of us but Karen had fastpasses, but I planned to ask nicely if theyd let her join us, figuring if they said no then Id give her my band. The cast member couldnt have been nicer, and let us all go through. Once in the loading area I asked if we could wait for the front/center row, which annoyed SB but none of the other 4 has seen the new film (Karen has never even done the attraction), so I felt it was worth another brief wait.

    Everyone loved it, and it was fun to watch the reactions of these Soarin virgins, lol! We went back outside and SB decided to head back to the resort to relax and watch some tv. I was glad, as this way he could join us later and not be sore from too much walking. We agreed hed call me when he got back in the park and wed meet up. In the meantime, Linda, Karen, Tim, Vince & I headed out to World Showcase.

    We started in Mexico and got as far as Germany! First Linda & I got the field greens salad from the Berry stand. This was good but not outstanding in my opinion. We couldnt identify the cheese that was in it, and when Linda went up to ask (after wed eaten our salads) she learned it was tofu! No wonder it was so bland, lol! It had several big strawberries, and what I thought were pecans was actually crunchy quinoa. Im glad I got it, but dont feel the need to get it again. Tim got the blueberry Moscato, and liked it but we were all disappointed it barely appeared to be 2 ounces.

    We continued on, and stopped in China. Karens daughter wanted candy from around the world, and Linda wanted to get something for Ari. Both were successful, after lots of browsing. I never really go into the shops any more, and Im not one who likes to spend a lot of time shopping. Tim & Vince waited in the shade. On the way out Linda got an order of potstickers from the Lotus Blossom Caf, and gave one to me. They tasted just like the Food & Wine Festival <g>.

    Karen was feeling like the sun was burning her, despite having used sunscreen, so she spent some time in the shade as we continued on a little further. She ended up joining us soon. We stopped at the Outpost just after China. Linda got an ice cream cone, and Tim & Vince got something to drink. I think Karen may have gotten something as well. We continued into Germany, where Tim got the warm cheese strudel with the berries. We found a shady area along the lake and just stayed there. Lindas feet were hurting, and it was hot in the sun. Chris, Amanda, Martha & Ari were almost in the park at this point. I texted them to see if they were planning to do their 4pm fastpass at the Pixar thing, but their only priority was the Smash Mouth concert at 5:30.

    I told them where we were, and they came over to join us. Chris immediately went to get a beer, lol and we made introductions. Ari is so adorable, and I really enjoyed being around him again. He sat next to me on the picnic table bench, then was watching and calling to the ducks nearby. We didnt realize he was going to do this, but he took one of his Mickey stickers and handed it to the duck which took it from his hand, scaring Ari. The duck immediately dropped it since it wasnt food, and Amanda picked it up and told Ari not to feed the duck, lol!

    SB called to see where we were, and when I said Germany he grumbled about it being as far away as possible. Ugh theres no room for lazy at Disney!! I told him to wait for us at America, and we headed over there. He was standing out front drinking a beer when we arrived, and we all went inside to the counter service place so Amanda could get dinner for Ari.

    I saw other people eating as well Linda got a beautiful cobb salad, which she couldnt finish all at one time. I dont remember what Karen got. Ari had a side of macaroni and cheese, and really liked it. SB got a bacon cheeseburger with fries, and then went back and got the fried shrimp dinner. I ate a few of his fries. I think Tim may have had a burger, and Vince had a side of the mac & cheese. Im not sure what the others had.

    As we came into America earlier, Id noticed the theater was pretty full so evidently Smash Mouth is a popular group. After eating we went back outside and people were standing up inside the back of the theater, and the walls down both sides were full as well. The wall around the fountain in front of American Adventure was also filled up in the shady spots. We decided to stand outside the theater, right behind the back of it, and ended up with rows of people behind us by the time the concert started about 12 minutes later. Ari enjoyed it too. He didnt want to sit on Chris shoulders (thought hed have the best view from there), wanting to be held by me instead which was fine with me. After each song hed clap, which was so cute. I liked the music, but only recognized the last 3 songs.

    SB left before it ended, wanting to hit the road and have some time to relax with Netflix at home. Hed also gotten an ice cream cone after dinner, so he wasnt ready to eat anything at the food kiosks and I was sure he wouldnt want to walk all the way to Nemo for our fastpasses! After the concert Tim & Vince headed back to Jambo House it had been a long day for them, with driving up early this morning. Linda & Karen were back inside, where Linda was eating more of her salad (and taking it easy). World Showcase was mobbed with people leaving the concert.

    Chris & Martha headed over to the Land to use their Soarin fastpasses. I stayed with Amanda & Ari, and Linda & Karen decided to stay back and slowly browse through the rest of the countries before heading back to the Marriott. They hope to stay for Illuminations tomorrow, but well see theyre planning an even more ambitious day tomorrow. Amanda & I had a little time to kill so we took Ari through the butterfly garden, which he loved. Some of the words he knows, he also knows (and does) the sign language sign for it, and he kept saying & signing more in there. Amanda couldnt create more butterflies, lol but we did see quite a few.

    Outside, Amanda showed Ari the flowers around the lake and told him the colors, which hed repeat. He mostly enjoyed running around a bit, although hed not really had a nap today and they kept waiting for him to turn into a holy terror. Thankfully, that didnt happen at least not while they were in Epcot. We went over to the Seas, where Ari decided that each of the 3-4 different fake fish outside were all Dory. Amanda tried to tell him their correct names, but hed point at each one and say Dory. She says hes really into Dory right now. We also watched some rabbits on the grass, then went into the exhibit area until Chris texted to say they were on their way.

    We met him & Martha outside, and did the Nemo ride with our fastpasses. Its a cute ride, and we spent some time looking at the fish afterwards. The dolphins were out, and one was swimming around with a set of 3 balls linked together by rope hadnt seen that before. He was holding onto it while swimming and even turning upside down. When we went back outside Ari took Chris over to the fake fish to let him know each one was Dory, lol. We could hear him from over where we were standing.

    We got the stroller and headed out to World Showcase, starting on the Mexico side. Amanda wanted to get the violet lemonade at Pineapple Promenade, but the line was crazy long and she decided not to wait. We stopped somewhere else along the way, and Chris got the Jamaican beef with pigeon peas and micro cilantro. We were interested in Mexico but figured the line would be long however, when we approached there really wasnt any line at all!

    Amanda, Martha and I each got the pork taco, while Chris got the chilaquiles (spelling may be wrong). We all really enjoyed our choices the pork taco was a bit messy to eat, but it was very tasty with a decent amount of spice to it. It came with an apple relish, which was nice. There were some ducks on the other side of the fence, so that kept Ari occupied. His parents were still hoping hed fall asleep, because with a short nap they could stay out later. That didnt happen, though.

    After eating, we continued walking, and I think we didnt stop until America. I walked around the area with the stroller, hoping Ari would nod off plus if the stroller wasnt moving hed want to get out and his parents didnt want that. They got in line at the Smokehouse while I pushed Ari around. At one point I thought maybe he was going to start falling asleep, but then the 8pm Smash Mouth concert started, lol!

    Chris & Amanda each got the brisket slider, and Im not sure what Martha had. They also had a chocolate cake without nuts for Amanda, and one with nuts for me. I shared some of mine with Ari, since he loves chocolate. I think Amanda shared with Martha. It was good, but I didnt think it was great. The carrot cake during Food & Wine is better, and Im a definite chocoholic!

    We continued walking, and as we approached International Gateway I asked Chris if they were leaving or doing another loop, and he said they were going to make a couple more stops and head out (since Ari didnt nap). They planned to get the marscapone cheesecake and the violet lemonade, which were at booths right next to each other near the entrance to Future World. They hadnt been able to move into their studio earlier, since it wasnt ready when they arrived (almost 2 hours after the time they said on the online check in). Theyd called periodically from Epcot, and werent given a room number until this evening but no text or email.

    I left via International Gateway and returned to my studio for the night needing to do a whole days trip report in one sitting! This is pretty rough, lol! Im not used to being in the park all day. I later found out Ari fell asleep right after I left, and they let him sleep until they got to the monorail but then woke him up so hed sleep later. I talked with SB, whod had a nice time and made it home safely. He was watching Netflix, lol.

    Later Chris started texting with the fiasco that was going on over at the Polynesian. They got all their stuff and went to the room, and their magic bands wouldnt work. I think theyve stayed there 4 times and this has happened 3 times or maybe it was 3 stays and this happened twice. Once again, some of them were sitting in the hallway while someone went to the front desk to get the bands reset. Ari was cranky at this point, since it was past his bedtime and he really hadnt napped properly.

    At some point they learned theyd been reassigned to a different room, in a different building. But, nobody had notified them! So, they trekked over to the other building and got into their studio. There was a spray bottle of glass cleaner left behind. The room didnt look very clean, and Amanda cleaned the bathtub before giving Ari his bath. Oh, at 9:28 they got the text that their room was ready that was probably when Amanda was washing the bathtub. The other bathroom was dirty, too. When they opened the pack & play to put Ari to bed, a silverfish (bug) was crawling around. That was the final straw Marthas planned visit to talk with a manager before breakfast became an urgent priority. This is completely unacceptable!

    They ended up getting moved to another room again, in the same building and she was given a credit on her account. It sounds like this room is ok, so hopefully they can finally get some rest (it was after 10pm at this point not great with a toddler). Im not sure whats going on at the Polynesian, but they need to get it fixed!

    Overall, today was a great day, although it wasnt without some hiccups. It was fun having everyone together, although its definitely difficult (and slow) with a large party. Its like herding cats at times, lol! Still, I wouldnt have traded the time hanging out with everyone.

    Tomorrow should be a little more manageable, as everyone is already settled, and can follow somewhat more normal routines. Depending on how the late night impacts Ari, well play tomorrow somewhat by ear. Magic Kingdom opens at 8, which is not of interest to Tim & Vince (or Linda & Karen they couldnt get there anyway, coming from offsite). Our first fastpass is meeting Mickey from 9-10, which isnt a big deal for Linda & Karen. We likely wont see them until the final fastpass for Seven Dwarfs Mine Train. Ari has a haircut appointment at the barber shop at 10:40, which is in the middle of our Haunted Mansion fastpass. Most of us have lunch booked at Be Our Guest, after which it will be nap time for Ari and take a break at the resort time for me. Well all likely meet back up in Epcot later.


    DAY 3 Saturday 4/14/18
    Who: Sue (59), DVC Member
    Chris (31), son
    Amanda (29), daughter-in-law
    Ari (21 months), grandson
    Tim (60), Chris dad
    Vince (60s), Tims husband
    Martha (50?), Amandas mom, DVC Member
    Linda (60), childhood best friend
    Karen (?), friend of Lindas

    Plan: Magic Kingdom, Be Our Guest lunch, possibly Epcot evening

    Actual: I slept well once again, getting up at 4:40 so I had time to relax with my cappuccino in case they were somehow all going to be up in time to arrive at MK by 8am. I took my cappuccino back to bed and got online for a while, then took my shower around 6. I was serving as SBs wake-up call today, so I called him just before 6:30 to make sure he was up for work.

    Not knowing when the others would wake up, I decided to just have my egg and bacon for breakfast here in the studio, so I did that and played puzzles online until Chris called around 7:30 to say theyd just woken up. We agreed to meet outside the talking Mickey at 9. Since I was already dressed, I decided to finish getting ready and head over to Magic Kingdom on my own. Today is early extra magic hours for resort guests, so I can hopefully do a couple things before meeting them.

    I got out to the bus stop at 7:45 and the board showed the Magic Kingdom bus arriving at 7:52. For once, that time didnt change, and it arrived right on time. The bag check and entry was very quick, and I was walking down Main Street shortly after 8. My first stop was Space Mountain, which had the standby wait posted as 10 minutes. In reality, I walked right onto a rocket, which was great! I got the back seat, too I prefer either the first or last.

    Id gotten texts from Chris or Amanda and knew they were eating breakfast at Captain Cooks as I rode Space Mountain. I walked onto the People Mover next, but missed the entire ride since I was texting with Linda. She reported Karen was still sleeping, and she figured theyd have breakfast at the hotel before heading out. She asked how do certain things, so I advised her (WDW related) and knew it was not likely they were going to be there for the Mine Train fastpass at 11. They were planning to see Wilderness Lodge, but also wanted to ride a boat, ride the monorail, and see the Polynesian. Its amazing how much time it takes to get anywhere, especially when coming in from offsite. Even staying on property, it takes a while to get from place to place.

    I decided to stay on the People Mover for a second loop, and just after passing the last opportunity to disembark, Amanda texted to say they were in the park. I let her know where I was, and as soon as I got off the People Mover I walked quickly over to meet them at the talking Mickey thing (near the train station). We were just in time for the start of our fastpass window, so we joined the queue and it moved quickly. Ari was excited to see Mickey with the kids ahead of us, but when it was his turn he was unsure and started backing up. So, no hugs for Mickey today. Chris or Amanda held him, and he was fine. Of course, as it was time to leave he wanted to go see Mickey but it was too late.

    We got a text that Tim & Vince were on their way, but knew they wouldnt make it for the 10am Haunted Mansion fastpass. So, we walked up to Small World and rode that with Ari. Chris & I sat in the front row with him, and Amanda & Martha sat behind us. Ari loves this attraction, and would dance sitting down from time to time. He waved and said Bye to several of the dolls as wed leave their area. After Small World we left the stroller parked and walked over to use our Haunted Mansion fastpasses. We got right in, but exiting the stretch room to the boarding area was really congested. I think maybe 2 rooms dumped out too close to each other.

    Chris rode alone, I rode with Ari, and Amanda & Martha rode together. I was surprised some of the attraction made Ari uneasy, as I figured hed be too young to be scared of it. He did fine, though. After this we headed back down Main Street to the barber shop. Amanda got checked in, and we found Vince waiting outside. Tim had gone to get coffee from Starbucks (his home away from home), and unfortunately missed the whole haircut.

    Ari was called right on time, and we all went in with him. He was fine sitting in the chair, but then he accidentally got hit in the face (by his own mother, lol) with the light-up spinning toy. Then the hair cut lady went to put the cape on, and he wasnt happy about that. Chris kept feeding him puffs, and he had a sheet of stickers to play with, and that distracted him so he cooperated with the haircut. The chair next to him had a little boy who was sitting silently, mesmerized by the spinning toy while he got his hair cut. The final chair had a little girl who was screaming bloody murder, even when sitting on her dads lap. The whole thing didnt take long at all, and now he looks even more grown up.

    Vince had taken several pictures and a video, so when Tim arrived he was able to relive some of the haircut. The Move it Shake it annoying parade was about to start in a few minutes, so we stayed put to watch it pass by. Ari enjoyed seeing the different characters, and many of the dancers and stilt walkers waved to him. We headed back into the park, going through the inside of the shops rather than risk parade crowds outside. It was 11am now, so we went to Seven Dwarfs Mine Train for that fastpass. I checked my phone again, but nothing from Linda, lol. Chris & Vince sat out with Ari, so it was Marth, Amanda, Tim & I who rode. Amanda asked for the back row, so we had the best seats!

    Tim had never ridden this, and he enjoyed it although he did shriek a few times, lol! The others could see us from the bridge, and after we met back up with them we decided to try Little Mermaid so Vince could ride something. We had about 35 minutes until our lunch reservations, so we figured wed be safe since the standby time said 10 minutes.

    I think the standby time was really at least double that, and Ive never seen the line so backed up. They have a great setup for people in wheelchairs here. Everyone waits in the regular line, but the person in the wheelchair should be in front of the rest of their party. At the very end we get detoured to the end of the area where guests disembark, and wait for the wheelchair accessible clam to arrive (unless the person can transfer). In our case it came very quickly, thank goodness. The back folds down and the guy in there backed out, then Vince was able to drive his chair in. Theres a small bench seat, so Tim rode with him. Chris & I rode together, and Ari rode with Amanda & Martha. Its always a cute, pleasant ride, and we were out of there within 5 minutes of our lunch reservations.

    Chris retrieved the stroller, while the rest of us went to check in. Wed all been smart enough to order the food in advance, so we skipped the long line standing on the bridge. I guess some people find an extra 45 minutes standing in line to place their order is a fun part of the experience that shouldnt be missed otherwise, why would you not order in advance?? Its not like that option is a secret!

    We paid for our meals and Chris found a big table in the main ballroom. A cast member helped removed a couple chairs, for Vince and for Aris high chair. The food was all excellent, and everyone was happy with their choices. I had the onion soup and the Masters cupcake (with the gray stuff). Tim & Vince had the onion soup and shared the turkey sandwich. Martha had the quinoa salad, Chris had the pork, and Amanda had the turkey sandwich. Ari really didnt eat his lunch (grilled cheese, peach applesauce, and turkey rice soup) other than the chocolate milk, so we must have gone overboard on the puffs and cheddar monkeys earlier. It was all food he liked, but he wasnt interested except to play with it which wasnt allowed. He did want some of Amandas cupcake, but shed told him no because he didnt eat his lunch. He pouted silently, lol!

    At this point we were all ready to take a break. Tim & Vince were heading back to Jambo House to enjoy the animals. They loved sitting out on their balcony last night, and spent quite a bit of time out there. I went to the bus stop to go back to my resort, wanting to get the trip report caught up so tonight wont be such a bear. The others headed back to Poly for naps they were all tired after their ordeal last night.

    As I was at the bus stop, I got a text from Linda saying theyd just arrived at MK via private car from the Marriott. I let her know we were already gone, and turns out she was the Ticket and Transportation Center, since of course cars cant get to MK. She sent a photo of them waiting to board the ferry. My bus came, and I got off at Yacht Club to walk back to my resort. I was surprised to see the Ale & Compass lounge in the Yacht Club lobby opens at 11:30 thats good to know for the future, plus they serve a number of appetizers. Most arent to my liking, but SB would be taken care of.

    Back in the studio I updated the trip report, between texts with Linda. SB called and was aggravated that for the 5th Saturday in a row someone on the second shift had called in, which means hes supposed to stay over and cover it. Hes sick to death of it, and I cant say I blame him. I poured some wine (not to be confused with whine), and after getting the report up-to-date I spent some time online. I really didnt want to get sweaty down at the pool, and the sun had just hit my balcony so sitting out there wasnt a great option.

    Eventually I did sit out on the balcony, and with the breeze it wasnt too bad. Around 4:30 I thought about walking around the boardwalk, but then Amanda texted to say they were on their way to Epcot so I decided to head over there instead. I let Linda know she & Karen may have still been at the Tambu Lounge at Poly (where they encountered an incredibly rude cast member). They were planning on returning to the Marriott to freshen up before returning to Epcot I have no idea why theyd waste that time, though.

    Epcot was pretty busy, and it was very hot in the sun. I walked up towards the front entrance, looking for a shady bench to wait for them. I never found one, but ended up outside the Camera Shop across from Spaceship Earth. It was shady, with a nice breeze blowing through there. We walked back through the butterfly garden again with Ari, then stopped at the playground set up before you get to World Showcase (just for the festival). There wasnt a whole lot here, but he enjoyed himself. I would have liked more shade, but it is what it is.

    Linda texted and said theyd just gotten back to the Marriott, lol! I told her we were in Epcot, and she said she thought we were going later. I had to explain that to us, later is anything 4pm or after, lol. Wed never wait until evening to go there not with a baby who has a bath time and bedtime, especially. We agreed theyd text whenever they came over.

    We headed to World Showcase and checked for Amandas violet frozen lemonade, but once again the line was longer than she wanted to deal with. She never got it last night, either. I should have kept notes of our stops, because tonight I cant remember what came when. I know Chris got beers at a few places, and he & Martha each got one in Germany. Before then hed gotten something with beef perhaps the Jamaican braised beef.

    Amanda wanted a Mickey pretzel, and we found that in America. The line at the kiosk was crazy long, but they also had them at the little stand next to the funnel cakes with only a few people in line. She got it from there! Chris went to Smokehouse and got some type of beer, and we sat at a shady picnic table next to the shop. Ari ran around a bit, and drank a lot of water from the water fountain. When you push the button for him, he bites the water to get it in his mouth, lol!

    Eventually we moved on, wanting to get out of there before the Smash Mouth concert ended. Linda had texted they were at Epcot, and we had a series of frustrating texts. She talks to her phone, so what appears to me as text often doesnt make sense. She asked if we were riding Soarin are you kidding?? LOL! She wanted to go to Morocco, and I told her wed meet here there. The next text had her sitting outside of the Land. I started thinking maybe Morocco was another typo, but she found her way to World Showcase.

    She then sent an update saying shed gone to Canada (like Id said) and was now in Germany! She meant United Kingdom, sigh. By now Chris and Martha had shared the shrimp & grits at Florida Fresh (right before Morocco), but Amanda missed out on the key lime tart because they were out of them. Ari was getting fussy, as it was well past his dinner time. Amanda & Martha took him to Future World to find something hed eat they were hoping for a hot dog but there didnt seem to be any on the Epcot counter service menus.

    Chris wanted a frozen drink, so we walked to France, figuring wed meet Linda & Karen there. They arrived while we were getting a glass of wine for me and the orange gran marnier slush for Chris. It was astonishing how long it took them to get to us. At this point Amanda & Martha were heading back out to World Showcase, headed towards Mexico. Chris, Linda, Karen & I walked that way, and stopped in Canada. Linda & Karen each got the seared scallops, which they said were excellent, and Chris got the maple whisky popcorn shake. That was odd, but he drank it. We had run into Amanda, Martha & Ari by then.

    The line wasnt bad at Pineapple Promenade, so Amanda finally got her violet lemonade. Id brought a package of the glow sticks, so Chris & I snapped several of those and made bracelets for everyone. Linda noticed a couple kids next to her looking at the glow sticks with interest, so we gave one to each of them. Ari had a couple, but eventually figured out how to separate the bracelet, and then he removed the small connector. We immediately took the connectors away and showed him how to wave the sticks to make a cool effect. He was good with that.

    We continued walking, and Chris & Karen stopped in Mexico to get margaritas while the rest of us continued walking. The rest of us stopped in China and watched the end of the acrobats show it was very good, and Ari enjoyed it as well. Chris & Karen caught up with us there, just as the show ended. The next stop was Germany, where Linda & I got the warm cheese strudel and Chris had the pretzel bread with ham and melted cheese. He said that was excellent!

    The others hung out at the train display while Linda & I stopped at a bench to eat our strudel it was also very good. We caught up with the rest of the group and it was only 15 minutes until Illuminations started. I dont normally bother with this, but I stayed since everyone else wanted to see it. We decided to keep walking, and stopped in Japan with about a 5-minute wait. At first Ari didnt like the noise, but by the end he was fine with it clapping and saying Bye (after it was over) to the sky where the fireworks had been, lol! They all said goodbye to Linda, and headed for the monorail.

    Karen had left before the fireworks started, saying she was getting something to eat. She missed the whole thing, lol see what I mean about herding cats? She texted Linda, saying she was near the funnel cakes, and of course Linda had no idea where that was and Karen had no idea where we were. Linda showed me the text and I pointed to the funnel cake stand just up the road a bit, lol! Karen had managed to hook up with a nephew and his family, and was talking to them. Turns out theyre staying at Beach Club, but I didnt ask if they were dvc. I was just ready to get out of there, and frankly didnt care to say anything which might prolong the conversation.

    She wasnt moving, so Linda said something to her Linda and I led the way to International Gateway, and of course when we got there (walking slowly), they were nowhere to be seen for a bit. Eventually they arrived, and after saying our goodbyes I walked back to my resort and settled in for the night. Tim and Vince never made it tonight, because Tim wasnt feeling well due to a cold. Hopefully hell be well enough for tomorrow morning.

    Today was another nice day, but not without some level of frustrating moments and things taking so much longer than usual. I cant believe in 4 hours at Epcot we only made 2 loops around the countries!

    Tomorrow we have fastpasses in Animal Kingdom, including Flight of Passage. Bad weather is expected by early afternoon, supposedly until bedtime. The others will be heading home, and it looks like Ill have time to work on the photos and do other stuff back at the resort if its too wet & stormy to enjoy Epcot.


    DAY 4 Sunday 4/15/18
    Who: Sue (59), DVC Member
    Chris (31), son
    Amanda (29), daughter-in-law
    Ari (21 months), grandson
    Martha (50?), Amandas mom, DVC Member

    Plan: Animal Kingdom, Epcot evening

    Actual: I didnt turn out the lights until nearly 11:30 last night. Thank goodness Id gotten half the report done before going to Epcot! I slept well, and got up at 4:40 again. I relaxed with my cappuccino, and took my shower somewhere between 6:30 and 7. After dressing I went down to Beach Club Marketplace and got one of the multi grain croissants to go with my breakfast. With the last egg and a piece of bacon, it was more than enough also delicious!

    By 8:30 Chriss group had their car loaded and were finishing up breakfast. Theyre driving to Animal Kingdom, and then can hit the road directly from there. Im also driving, so if its raining Im not waiting on a Disney bus! Tim is not feeling well today either, so he & Vince are headed home and wont be joining us at Animal Kingdom. I left the studio and stopped to fill up the gas tank at the gas station across from Boardwalk. Thats one less thing to do tomorrow. While there I got the text that they were on the way, which worked out perfectly.

    I drove to Animal Kingdom, and the line to park (beyond the entry booths) was really long. They were further back, but could see me, so we ended up parked not too far away from each other. I waited for them to unload and come to the end of the row to join me, then we walked into the park (from Dinosaur). The trams were really crowded, and not worth the hassle, since none of this group minds walking.

    Bag check was busy but they were all open, including some extra ones off to the side. Entry was very quick using the passholder lane other people had a bit more of a wait. It was well after 9 by now, so we walked straight back to Harambe. Ari was whiny and not feeling well probably the molars coming through. Amanda gave him some infant Tylenol and once that kicked in we had our normal happy little guy back!

    Our first stop was the safari, where the standby line was pretty backed up but we moved quickly on the fastpass side. It was a great safari, and we saw 2 of the cheetahs walking around and saw 3 of the lions. The most exciting moment was when we were sitting still and a big white rhino came running down the path directly towards us, swerving away just before hitting the back end of the truck. He (or she) then ran around in a circle near the mud hole, then ran back up the path where the other rhinos were hanging out. Maybe hes training for the Wine & Dine half marathon this year hell make good time if he has the endurance! Ari really enjoyed seeing the animals, and was making his version of elephant noises at the many elephants we saw (including the new baby). Of course, he said bye and waved to many as wed leave that area, lol.

    We were off the safari about 10:05, and decided to ride the train over to Rafikis Planet Watch (or whatever they call it these days). We had to wait for the train, but eventually it came and we ended up in the back row when others moved faster and beat us to the front row. The ride over is somewhat interesting theres pretty much nothing to see on the ride back.

    Once there we walked to the main area I know SB would have been grumbling at the distance, which is a good reason to not bring him to this. Frankly I dont care for it either we were just there for Ari, which was fine with me. After a diaper change we went to the petting zoo area, not sure if Ari would be scared of the sheep, goats & pigs. He was fine he grabbed a brush and would go from animal to animal giving each ONE brush, lol! At first he was brushing the wrong way, but the animals didnt seem to care. Chris kept showing him the right way, and finally he got the hang of it but it remained one stroke per animal mostly. Eventually he put the brush back in the bin, and we took that as our cue to get out of there.

    We spent a little time inside, and Amanda & Ari posed for pictures with Doc McStuffins whoever that is (a cartoon veterinarian perhaps). We left for the train, this time riding in the front row. We were now in our fastpass window for Flight of Passage, and it was Aris usual lunch time, so Martha & Amanda took him to Flame Tree BBQ for lunch while Chris & I used our fastpasses.

    The standby time was 150 minutes, so 2.5 hours crazy! We got the baby swap ticket for Amanda & Martha, since we figured they may not make it before the fastpass window ended. The baby swap thing is now good for that day only, and for up to 3 people. Once again the preshow stuff didnt have any delays, and we both enjoyed the attraction! When we came back outside we found the others outside the Satuli Canteen (sorry if I got the name wrong). Ari had eaten a hot dog and some other stuff, so he had a good lunch today. Amanda & Martha also ate while over there.

    I decided to head out, so we said our goodbyes. Ari even gave me a kiss my first time! Amanda & Martha headed to Flight of Passage, and Chris took Ari into the canteen so he (Chris) could get lunch. The tram was waiting, but I decided to walk back to the car since Id be sitting in the room later once the weather turned bad. I drove back to Beach Club Villas, dropped the car keys and camera in the studio, then walked into Epcot.

    I checked the weather, and the feels like temperature was 92 at this point very hot. Thank goodness for the wind, as that helped somewhat. Linda had texted letting me know their flight had already been canceled due to the expected weather (5:30 pm flight), so shes looking forward to another night at the Marriott.

    In Epcot I started with France and walked around World Showcase, going as far as Norway before turning back around. I stopped in China and got the fried chicken dumplings, which was basically 3 fried potstickers, but the peanut sauce was a nice addition. I sat on a partially shady bench and enjoyed them for my lunch before getting up to continue walking. In France I got the chocolate macaron lollipop, then carried it back to my studio.

    The trash & towel basket has been outside my door, but unfortunately they didnt get to it while I was in Epcot. Im fine with them doing that service last, as it lets the rooms turning over get ready sooner for incoming members. I updated the report, then pulled the suitcase out to pack up what I wouldnt be needed. I also selected and uploaded the photos for this trips album and then captioned them. The album is on Shutterfly, at pix.sfly.com/s0bUVAHo

    By 3 a brief shower had passed by, which was enough for them to close Stormalong Bay. I had been walking over to the counter service at Yacht Club to buy a couple big chocolate chunk cookies to take home. I found it odd they closed the pool, since my phone had the nearest lightning over 12 miles away. I thought the guideline Disney used was 10 miles and when I got back to my studio I could see plenty of people swimming in the quiet pool.

    The Yacht Club place (The Market at Ale & Compass) has delicious looking pecan sticky buns that stay under a warmer. Theyre loaded with nuts, too. I will have to walk over there to get one on a future trip some morning when Im solo. According to the tv channel, they open at 6am, which is good to know! The lifeguards were all stationed at the doors to Stormalong Bay, and any outside walkways were roped off to keep people under shelter.

    Back in the studio, I put the cookies in a zip lock bag and decided it was time for wine and laptop. I try to keep up with the Cruise Critic message boards each Saturday, so this week today was the time for my weekly visit. My trash & towel service happened at 4:45, and only took a few minutes. By 5 I was thinking that since it hadnt really rained much maybe it would be ok to try to catch the 5:30 Rick Springfield concert. By 5:06 rain was hitting the sliding glass door and the trees were blowing quite a bit. Now all I can hope for would be for the system to blow through much faster than expected, which isnt very likely. At least my car is getting cleaned off. By 5:09 I could hear the wind and rain through the closed sliding glass door what a mess for anyone caught outside, as it was raining somewhat sideways. For the most part though, it was far less significant than what was forecast.

    Shortly before 6:30 I went downstairs to Beach Club Marketplace and got the kids pizza meal for dinner. Its not fancy, but I like it and I havent gotten it this trip. It wasnt very busy yet, so I only had to wait behind one other person. The little pizza was great, and I had the macaron lollipop for dessert and really liked it, too!

    At 7:15 I grabbed the umbrella and decided to take a chance on Epcot and the 8pm Rick Springfield concert. From the studio it looked like it wasnt raining, but when I got outside I realized it was misting. I had my DCL jacket with a hood, plus my umbrella, so I was all set. Id left the camera back in the studio, but had my phone. Eventually the mist became a light rain, so I opened the umbrella and walked over to America. Epcot wasnt nearly as busy as the last couple of nights partly because its Sunday night, and partly the weather.

    It was 7:30 but they werent letting anyone in yet, and I thought perhaps they were going to dry the seats, but they werent doing that either. I went to the restroom and got a long piece of paper towel to dry off a seat for myself, then returned to wait outside the back of the theater. They let the guaranteed seating (passholders who had gotten a wrist band earlier) in first, then the standby line, then they let the rest of us in from the back of the theater. I found an empty spot on the front row of the 2nd section and pulled out my paper towel wad, but the guy next to me pulled a resort towel out of his backpack and did a much better job!

    Another solo lady sat next to me (we were on the end of the row) and we got to talking. The rain was getting heavier and heavier, and cast members told me (and others) that once the show started, the umbrellas had to be put away or we could stand off to the side or in the back of the theater. I said that was fine, knowing I would just go to the very back and stand rather than get soaked in this rain for 30 minutes! Then we noticed they were letting people line up near the guaranteed seating (under cover) in case some of the people with wrist bands didnt show up. The lady & I joined the line, and we all got in. I ended up in the 6th row, and although with the wind I still got misted on at times, it was drier than my original seat!

    The concert was very good, although I really only knew Jessies Girl. Another one was familiar, but the rest werent at all. Right from the start everyone stood up, so I did the same very annoying. The theater was not full, and Id estimate about half the people attended all 3 shows tonight (he asked). The biggest fans seemed quite a bit younger than me, which surprised me. At one point he left the stage and came through shaking/touching hands with as many people as possible. I was posting a picture to facebook but looked up in enough time to see him a couple people away and touch his hand on his way by. I could see him getting rained on, and was surprised when he then went to the outside section and circulated among the people out there for a while. As expected, Jessies Girl was the final song, which was a great ending.

    By now the rain had stopped, but I was glad to have my jacket because it was really damp and felt quite a bit cooler than it was. I walked back to Beach Club Villas, having had a really nice few days. I made a small cup of cappuccino and ate a piece of my chocolate chunk cookie (delicious) while finishing up the report.

    This was a really nice trip, and it was nice spending time with everyone who came and went during the past 4 days. Meeting up with the RADP people was a lot of fun, and Im glad I got to spend some time with Linda. Seeing Ari is always a treat, and Im glad to have DVC so he can see me often enough to know who I am (since we live 4 hours away). Its a shame Tim got sick, but he & Vince still enjoyed the trip and Im glad I was able to give them the resort stay in thanks for all Tim does for us with our home back in Ft Myers.

    My next trip to WDW wont be until just before Labor Day weekend, when unfortunately it will be hot, humid & miserable. However, next month (long Memorial Day weekend) Ill be at the dvc resort in Hilton Head! Chris, Amanda & Ari will be coming for a portion of both of those trips, too! Until then, thanks for following along hope you enjoy the photos of Ari having growing up as a Disney kid <g>.

    Sue (Holland) Rayford
    WDW1972

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