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Thread: Disney World - 9/27/17 - 10/6/17 - Offsite

  1. #1

    Disney World - 9/27/17 - 10/6/17 - Offsite

    Hi

    I just realized that I never posted my trip report from our Disney trip in Sept/Oct 2017.

    I wrote it after we returned, but just forgot to post it

    Hope you don't mind seeing a report that's almost a year old now

    Thank you
    Noreen

    Last edited by Noreen411; 05-18-2018 at 10:15 AM.

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  3. #2

    Sept/Oct 2017 – Disney World


    WHO ARE WE?

    Noreen – 49 years old; Senior Vice President at an Investment Banking Firm in New York City. I will be the author of the report.

    Scott – 48 years old; my husband; Independent contractor and owner of BounceU in New York

    Guest Appearances by:
    Dana, Herman and their kids (Aaron, Sara, Ariel) – they live in Florida about an hour from Disney
    Kalli and Pamelyn - employees/friends who work in the Tampa office of my company
    Karen & Jay. Friends of mine that I met in 2011 on a cruise after my first husband died. We’ve become great friends and have cruised together several times. They recently moved from Massachusetts to Florida
    Unexpected appearance by Elicia, Mike, and Abbe. I met Elicia on that same cruise in 2011 that I met Jay and Karen. We became close as well. She moved from NJ to Key West years ago and we haven’t seen each other in 5 years. Due to Hurricane Irma, they were evacuated from their home in Key West and have been staying with Jay and Karen.

    PLANNING

    The last few years I ended up in Disney World in August which is something I would normally avoid since it’s so hot. We’ve been doing family trips and my sister didn’t want to take my niece out of school. This year late August we all went on a cruise to Bermuda for my niece’s Sweet 16. The way things worked out this year we ended up booking to go late Sept/early Oct to Disney. This time will hopefully be slightly cooler temperatures than we’ve had the last few years. And we’ll be there for the Food & Wine Festival as well as Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween party.

    We will be there from Wednesday 9/27 to Friday 10/6

    I will meet the ladies from the Tampa office on Saturday 9/30/17 for lunch at Datz in Tampa. Originally there were a few more joining but they couldn’t for various reasons.

    Plans to meet up with Dana, Herman and their kids will be finalized once we’re in Florida

    Plans to meet up with Jay and Karen will be finalized once we’re in Florida

    Lodging
    We are going to stay at my timeshare – Vistana Resort. I booked this online on July 6, 2017. I own one week in a 2 bedroom/2 bath villa, but when it’s just Scott and I, I like to book the 1 bedroom premium villa. If you don’t just book a week, you can use “options” and it costs more options to stay in a 2 bedroom than a 1 bedroom so we can stay longer than 1 week and still have options left over.

    Transportation
    I booked our flights on Wednesday 8/2/17. We are flying on Jet Blue out of Newark to Orlando. On Wednesday 9/27 it’s flight number 27 leaving Newark at 5:45am and landing in Orlando at 8:19am. On Friday 10/6 it’s flight number 928 leaving Orlando at 11:41am and landing at Newark at 2:17pm. For both flights I booked extra space/extra speed seats for us which cost a total of $170 just for adding extra space/extra speed. Our flight price before that was $627. So with tax and insurance our flights are costing $860.

    I reserved a Full Size car with Alamo for about $466 on 08/02/17. That’s crazy expensive for a rental car. I will continue checking and expect that I can get a better price as it gets closer

    I kept checking prices and rebooking but it never got below about $365.

    One day I checked the Avis website and was able to reserve a Mustang for $370. I thought Scott may enjoy driving that.

    Activities
    I got an Annual Pass in advance of the trip.

    I got Scott a 9 day pass in advance of the trip. We ended up upgrading him to an annual pass when we were at Disney.

    I started making my fast pass reservations as soon as I was able to and would log on each day to make the next day’s reservations. Since we’re staying off site we can’t make fast pass plans until 30 days before (on site can do 60 days) so there was one attraction we couldn’t get at all, the new Flight of Passage ride in Animal Kingdom.

    Dining
    I had a handful of restaurants I wanted to try to get reservations for. Many of them weren’t available at all such as Be Our Guest and O’Hana. But I made some others. Scott wanted to go back to Shula’s.

    We have the following meals booked:
    Wednesday 9/27 – Homecoming at Disney Springs at 8pm
    Thursday 9/28 – Shula’s at the Dolphin at 6:45pm
    Friday 9/29 – Tiffins at Animal Kingdom at 5:05pm
    Saturday 9/30 – 50s Prime Time at Hollywood Studios at 4:40pm
    Sunday 10/1 – Kona Caf at 10:40am
    Monday 10/2 – Skipper Canteen at Magic Kingdom at 4:50pm
    Tuesday 10/3 – Boathouse at Disney Springs at 6pm
    Wednesday 10/4 – Biergarten in Epcot at 5:55pm
    Thursday 10/5 – Brown Derby at Hollywood Studios at 6:35pm

    I didn’t keep many notes this trip so am trying to recreate what we did from memory and by looking at my pictures so I’m sure I’ll forget stuff


  4. #3

    DAY BY DAY
    The week before the trip
    It was the usual being busy at work and getting ourselves ready like we have for any trip.

    For the last few cruises Ive been getting the gel/shellac manicures since theyll last the whole vacation. A regular manicure starts to chip/crack after a few days. So I did a shellac manicure for Disney too a nice bright sparkly pink that reminded me of Princesses.

    My pedicure was a regular one in a bright blue.

    Knowing we were staying in the timeshare with a washer and dryer, we packed a little lighter than we normally do. We are both terrible over packers. We still had two suitcases to check (a big one and a medium one) and we each had our smaller rolling carry-on bags.

    The day before the trip Tuesday 9/26/17
    I worked remote (from home) this day knowing we had such an early flight. After work, I was able to finish our packing without having to deal with a long commute home.

    Wednesday 9/27/17
    Our day (or maybe its still the middle of the night) started at 2am when we got up. We fed the cats and fish, did some last minute stuff, showered, got dressed and were ready to leave the house by 3:15am to drive to Newark airport.

    We parked at Corporate Park and were in their shuttle van to the airport by 4:10am. When we arrived, we quickly got into the shuttle and we were taken immediately to the airport with just us in the van. This was a much better experience than we had last year at the Parking Spot at JFK. We also had a very early flight last year but there was a long line of cars to park and a line to get on the shuttle bus, it was not very organized there. Im a big fan of Corporate Park and always use them when I fly out of Newark.

    Luggage check in and security was very quick. We were at our gate by 4:30am. We bought a bottle of water and a granola bar.

    We were practically the 1st people to board the plane. With the extra space/extra speed seats thats my favorite perk. We booked seats 4A and 4B. However, there was a large man sitting in 4A (the window). I asked him if he wanted to move to the aisle but he said he was OK there. Scott didnt realize that was really his seat. The man was very nice and friendly, but he took up not just his seat but half of the middle seat. Scott was nice enough to sit there and I sat on the aisle. Poor Scott was sitting crooked and squished the whole flight. It was a full flight so we couldnt go elsewhere (I checked with the flight attendant).

    I have to give a plug to Jet Blue. They are my favorite airline. Even with this uncomfortable experience. I called them after we returned home and told them what happened. They gave us a $50 credit each towards a future flight for our inconvenience.

    They didnt have to do that but I am glad they did.

    The flight left right on time. The pilot was funny and as we were getting ready to take off he was making comments like there is no traffic on the runway now since only us early birds are up.

    We landed a bit early by 8am. We got our luggage pretty quickly and went over to Avis to pick up our rental car.

    The woman checking us in at Avis asked us if we wanted to upgrade for $5 a day to a Camaro SS. Our new favorite Netflix binge watching show is Hawaii 50 and thats the car they have on the show so we upgraded.

    When I was younger I used to always get unique cars on vacation. Now I usually just get a basic full size. Since the price of the more interesting car was only a few dollars more than the standard one, we figured why not? It will also make it easier to find the car in the parking lot among the standard rental car sedans usually filling the Disney lots

    So we get to our little black Camaro and it is very nice looking. However, the trunk is teeny tiny. We managed to get one suitcase in and the others were squished into the little back seat. I cant imagine anyone other than a child actually sitting back there. So we leave to head to Vistana. The car is very noisy, drives kind of rough, and is very low to the ground. So far Im not really that impressed with it.

    We get to Vistana just after 9 and our villa isnt ready yet. They will email me when its ready. We expected that so we changed our clothes, left our luggage with bell services, and headed to Epcot. We picked up our Disney passes. It was very empty in the park.

    I didnt book any fastpasses for today since I wasnt sure if our flight would be delayed, how long it would take us to get checked in, how wed feel getting up so early and flying, so basically left the day open to do whatever we felt like.

    We went to Test Track first and rode on the Single Rider line. The wait for single rider was listed as 0 minutes. The regular standby was listed at 30 minutes which isnt too bad, but 0 is much better. We ended up one car apart from each other.

    Its a bit hotter than usual for this time of year in Florida. Someone told us they are having a heat wave. It was in the 90s and humid.

    We walked into World Showcase just before 11am. We were hungry since all weve eaten today is our granola bar that we shared on the plane.

    I was excited to try some of the items at the Food & Wine festival booths. Our first stop was Brazil where we shared the cheese bread. This was just OK. It was kind of greasy. We did this with all the food we sampled, just shared it so we would be able to try more things.

    In America we got the Lobster roll. This also was just OK. We went into the fast food restaurant in America and got some soda. When Scott came back from the bathroom, he had me cracking up because a baby lizard or salamander jumped on him as he was walking back. Of course, I find this very amusing.

    We saw the 12pm showing of American Adventure. I like this show and its also a nice cool break when its hot outside.

    We stopped in Germany and had bratwurst on pretzel bread. Again, it was just OK.

    So far Im not that impressed with the food and wine festival offerings.

    In Mexico we rode the 3 Caballeros boat ride.

    We stopped at the booth that had loaded mac and cheese. This was the best item of the day from the festival booths.

    I received an email that our room was being cleaned at Vistana.

    We left Epcot and headed to Publix to buy some groceries and things for our stay. We bought Honey Nut Cheerios cereal, milk, 2 cases of water, soda, cookies, fruit, detergent, bleach, etc. We also got Scott sunglasses and a hat since he forgot his. We bought Scott a cute T shirt that said Florida on it. Last year he bought a few of the Publix T shirts that said Florida and he really liked them.

    We received another email from Vistana that our room is ready. We had to stop back at the check in area to get our keys and find out our villa number. We are in the Cascades section, building 2, second floor, room 2145.

    We stopped at Bell services to give them our room number and they said they would be right over with our luggage.

    Its a very nice room, typical of Vistana. I bought in the Lakes section and usually stay there but figured it could be fun to try a new section. I didnt choose it, they just told me at check in that we are in the Cascades. In the past I booked my stay on the phone and requested the Lakes but this time I booked online and didnt make any special requests. The nice thing was there are 2 fitness centers near our building in Cascades that are open 24 hours. The one in the Lakes section didnt open until 6am and closed in the evening.

    We have a premium one bedroom villa. We have a full kitchen, living room, dining area, screened in patio, bedroom with Jacuzzi, bathroom, washer and dryer.

    We just got up to the room and the luggage arrived. We put our stuff from the grocery store away and I started unpacking the suitcases while Scott started to clean things.
    He put some cereal bowls, spoons, glasses and a few things into the dishwasher and ran it. He filled the Jacuzzi with bleach and water, ran that, drained it and repeated that cycle. He wiped things down with Clorox wipes. Maybe it is overkill but it makes us feel better.

    We took a walk around the Cascades section to see where the closest fitness center is and take a look at the pool (which we can see from our patio).

    We got into our bathing suits and went swimming at the pool. Poor Scott had another animal encounter since he was lying in a chair at one point, closed his eyes relaxing and suddenly jumps up. There was a squirrel in the tree and it dropped a nut on his head. Another amusing moment.

    We showered and changed to go to dinner. Scott was ready first so he went to the pool bar to have a drink while I finished getting ready.

    We drove over to Disney Springs where we have a reservation at HomeComing. It was about 6:30 when we got to Disney Springs. We wandered around a bit but were hungry so went to HomeComing to see if we could eat earlier than our reservation. That was no problem and we were told wed get a text when our table is ready. We turned around and the text came two seconds later. I like using text to let you know rather than giving people those old pagers that light up or buzz.

    We were seated right away and Ashley was our waitress. She was very nice but seemed a little overwhelmed. Scott had a gin & tonic. I had a watermelon cocktail. I also had a sprite. Im a lightweight drinker and one drink gets sipped for a long time. I like to have soda too since I can drink that more easily.

    For appetizers we shared the chicken on biscuits. This was really good. I was a little skeptical at first since I dont like dark meat chicken but it was so good.

    For our entre we were originally going to share the shrimp & grits but saw so many people ordering the fried chicken that we decided to go with that. The fried chicken dinner comes with biscuits, sausage gravy and potatoes. We asked for French fries instead of mashed potatoes, but they brought us mashed. We ended up liking them so didnt have it changed. This was a huge portion. Even sharing it we barely were able to eat all the chicken.

    Suddenly we hit the proverbial wall; we were exhausted. We got the shine cake to go. Once back at Vistana we each took a forkful of the cake and didnt like it.

    We really enjoyed everything at HomeComing except the shine cake. We would definitely return.

    We got changed into pajamas and were asleep very quickly.


    Thursday 9/28/17
    We were in the gym by about 5:45. Its nice that the Cascades gym is open 24 hours. Its small but has most of the things we use.

    We have a pretty good routine in the morning on vacation where Scott finishes at the gym a little before me and heads back to take his shower. By the time I get back hes just about done. We throw the laundry in the washing machine. I like to go in the Jacuzzi for a bit then take my shower. We had our cheerios and some fruit for breakfast. By the time we were done, the laundry went into the dryer and we head out for the day.

    One of the great things with the timeshare is that we can freeze bottles of water and bring them to the park so they stay cold most of the day.

    We went to Magic Kingdom and arrived just around opening at 9am.

    The Disney App said 7 Dwarfs Mine Train had a 35 minute wait so we headed over there first and got on line. It ended up being over an hour wait. I was texting with Dana during the wait making plans to meet up for dinner on Sunday. The ride is cute but not worth that long a wait. We have fastpasses for 7 Dwarfs Mine Train for later today but figured a 35 minute wait is worth doing.

    It was time for our fastpass at Big Thunder Mountain Railroad so we headed over there. Doing that right after the mine train to compare, we liked Big Thunder Mountain better.

    The heat wave is still ongoing and its going to reach 100 degrees today.

    The standby wait for Pirates of the Caribbean said 35 minutes so we got in line. We should have learned our lesson from Mine Train as the 35 minutes was more like an hour. While we were waiting I added a fast pass for Haunted Mansion.

    We walked over to what used to be the Dole Whip Stand but its something else now. I asked one of the cast members and she said the Dole Whips are now at Aloha Isle so we headed over there and got a Dole Whip Float to share. There was a line to order at Aloha Isle. While waiting Scott noticed that they have mobile ordering here (kind of like Starbucks) so if we come back here well try that. And try to remember to look for that option at other places too.

    It was time for our fast pass at Haunted Mansion so we went on and enjoyed that attraction.

    We both noticed that the cast members dont seem as friendly or as engaging as they used to be. Maybe the heat is getting to them too.

    We waited for Small World for 15 minutes.

    In one of the shops we found a cute sweatshirt for Scott (not that hell be wearing it today). I remembered to show my annual pass and got 20% off the price.

    We went on Peter Pan using our fast pass. I always like this attraction.

    Since it was so hot we decided to head back to Vistana and go swimming.

    We stopped at a few stores on Main Street on the way out. We bought a Mickey Mouse shaped cupcake pan and Mickey Mouse tongs.

    As we were leaving there was a family in front of the train station mother, father and son. The son was lying on the floor and the parents were taking a picture of him. I thought it looked cute so I offered to take a picture of all of them. I told them they should all lie on the floor like the son was. I took a few cute pictures for them. Scotts laughing at me saying I cant believe you told that family to all lie on the floor and they did.

    The temperature in the car said 105 degrees (but its also the inside of a car sitting out in the sun).

    Back at Vistana we stopped at the General store and bought some Muenster cheese and crackers for a little snack.

    Once back in our villa we cooled off for a bit, had some soda with our cheese and crackers then headed out to the pool. In the past Ive been a total park commando getting there at opening and staying until closing, and probably hopping parks in the middle. Were enjoying this slightly less commando pace where we are enjoying some time swimming and hanging out too.

    We showered and changed for our dinner at Shulas. We drove to the Dolphin and valet parked. The valet guy was commenting on how much he liked the car. He was surprised when I said that I dont like it much.

    We were seated quickly and the restaurant was not crowded.

    Scott tried a Cucumber Collins and I tried a spinoff of a Moscow Mule. I also had my sprite.

    We shared appetizers of barbecue shrimp wrapped in bacon, ahi tuna and Scott also had Oysters. Im not a big fan of BBQ sauce so wasnt too crazy about the shrimp. The ahi tuna was a bit too spicy for me. So far Im striking out on the appetizers.

    For our entree we shared the Surf & Turf lobster tail and filet mignon. We also shared sides of roasted corn and crab macaroni and cheese. The entre more than made up for the appetizers and was delicious. We both really enjoyed it.

    For dessert we shared the Chocolate Souffl.

    Sharing food works best for us. Otherwise we have too many leftovers. Even sharing we were stuffed when we left Shulas.

    Our waitress started out OK, but wasnt that great throughout dinner. The secondary waiter (maybe her helper) was much more personable and engaging.

    After dinner we went back to the Timeshare


  5. #4

    Friday 9/29/17
    We were up stretching in the villa by 5:45am then headed to the gym. We were the only two people there for the first 45 minutes.

    Back at the villa, we did laundry, went in the Jacuzzi, showered and got dressed for the day and then had our cheerios for breakfast.

    Karen texted to see if we could get together tonight since Elicia and her family were heading back to Key West tomorrow. I’m very excited to see everyone.

    We went to Animal Kingdom arriving just at 9am when they opened. It was crowded in the parking lot.

    We headed straight to the new Pandora section. Both new rides – flight of passage and Navi river were down with technical difficulties. There was a line of people waiting to go on Flight of passage hoping it would be up and running. The cast member said that if the ride came up the end of the line would be waiting about 3 hours. That’s crazy.

    At Expedition Everest Scott went on the single rider line. Karen called just as he left so we firmed up our plans for tonight. We’re going to meet at Sushi Factory II in Melbourne Florida. Not having my normal navigation system in the car, we’ve been using the Maps app on the phone while in Florida and it’s been working great.

    I tried to cancel our Tiffins reservation for tonight online in the app but since it’s the same day we had to call. Scott called to cancel but we never received an email confirmation of the cancellation.

    In DinoLand we played some of the carnival games. Scott won a big dinosaur on the game where you throw a ball to land in different color cups. Then he won a medium sized bear at a basketball game. I gave the cup game a try and was very proud of myself for winning my own small turtle.

    We were planning to bring the big dinosaur tonight and give it to Elicia’s daughter.

    The standby wait at Dinosaur is 45 minutes, but we have a fast pass in 40 minutes (at 12:15). I think since both Pandora rides are down, the rest of the park is more crowded.

    We stopped in Restaurantosaurus originally to cool off since it’s hot out. Scott got a chicken sandwich, fries, and soda that we shared. It took about 25 minutes for him to get the food.

    We went on Dinosaur with our fastpass and it was nice to bypass the line.

    Everything in Pandora is still down. We got the Night Blossom (a non-alcoholic frozen slushy with boba balls) from Pongo Pongo to try. This was very sweet. After the first few sips we had enough and tossed the rest of it.

    We left the park and headed back to Vistana and went swimming. Scott almost fell asleep on a lounge chair for a bit.

    There was a quick sudden rainstorm – a soaking pouring rain. We moved our stuff under one of the umbrellas at a table and went back in the pool. There wasn’t any lightening and we weren’t the only ones swimming in the rain. The rain didn’t last long.

    We went back to the villa to shower and get dressed to meet everyone for dinner.

    It took almost an hour to drive to Melbourne to the Sushi place. We were the first to arrive and were seated at our reserved big table. Everyone showed up maybe 10 minutes later.

    It was great to see everyone. I haven’t seen Elicia in 5 years. Turns out 5 years ago was when we got off the Explorer of the Seas when we did a girls cruise to Bermuda (me, Karen, Elicia, and another friend of Elicia’s that I forgot her name). I met Elicia’s new husband Mike and her daughter Abbe for the first time. This was the first time she met Scott. Everyone got along great and we had such a nice time together.

    As we were sitting there we realized we forgot the dinosaur on the dining table in the villa.

    Elicia, Mike, and Abbe left when Abbe got fussy. We were hanging out chatting with Jay and Karen. We realized we didn’t get a bill yet so asked the waitress and she told us Elicia took care of it. How sweet was that?

    There were tornado warnings in the area. And it started raining hard again. Jay went to get an umbrella from his car and walked me to the car. Except I walked to the wrong car and was trying to open the door. Same car, just not ours. It was pretty funny.

    We drove back in torrential rain. This car is not good in the rain.


    Saturday 9/30/17
    We were up stretching in the villa and at the gym by 6am. Nobody was there when we first arrived but by the time we were ready to leave it was crowded. It’s not that large so a few people make a difference.

    Scott has commented several times that he preferred the gym at Vistana Villages; we stayed there last year instead of Vistana Resort. There are other gyms at Vistana but the closest one to our building is the smaller one that we’ve been going to.

    Back at the villa we started laundry, used the Jacuzzi, showered, got dressed and had some cheerios for breakfast.

    We have been doing laundry every day.

    The ladies from the Tampa office decided to take a road trip and meet me here at Disney rather than us driving to Tampa. So we’re going to meet at HomeComing at Disney Springs around noon.

    We hung out in the villa a bit. I was unable to make same day reservations for lunch at HomeComing on the app but since we’re going at noon hopefully it won’t be difficult to be seated.

    Scott and I drove over to Disney Springs when they opened at 10. It was pretty quiet and peaceful there since it was just opening and there were hardly any people there.

    We bought a hammock swing and are having it delivered to our home. No Annual Pass discount on the hammock swing.

    At the Christmas store we bought the annual ornament. We did get our AP discount here.

    At Basin we filled up 6 tubes with bath salts. We also got the big tube with the large bath bombs and also a little tube for mini bath bombs. We got our AP discount here.

    In World of Disney we got a Disney Ice Cube Tracy and a long sleeve shirt for me. Again our AP discount saved us 20%.

    I received a text from the ladies that they are almost here. We walked over to HomeComing and I asked for a table and said the others will be here shortly. It was no problem to accommodate us and they asked that I just let them know when everyone arrives.

    Scott and I hung out outside on the cushioned chairs. Kalli and her daughter Gia arrived. Gia is just one year old. Pamelyn arrived soon after. Pamelyn’s husband and daughter went off to shop/eat. Scott left to go back to Vistana to go swim. The others weren’t able to make it for various reasons.

    It was so great to see them. I haven’t seen Pamelyn in 2 years. Kalli I saw last year and she was just about to have her baby, Gia. So it was pretty amazing that here we are a year later and Gia’s sitting there with us.

    We shared the fried green tomatoes and the chicken biscuit appetizers.

    I had soda while they both had iced tea. Gia had a children’s meal.

    I had the shrimp and grits. It was just OK.

    Pamleyn had the chicken dumpling soup. Kalli had salad with chicken.

    It was so nice to just hang out with them. Pamelyn and her family have a party this afternoon and then are going to Magic Kingdom later tonight.

    When we finished I texted Scott. Pamelyn’s family showed up so they left. Kalli and I hung out with Gia on the cushioned chairs outside HomeComing until Scott texted that he was here. So we went to the garage.

    While I was enjoying lunch and catching up with the ladies, Scott went back to Vistana, went to the pool, and had lunch and a drink at the pool bar. He said it was good and he enjoyed himself. He’s very friendly and chats with people easily.

    Scott and I drove to Tampa. He wanted to go to the Hard Rock Casino. We got there around 4pm.

    We stayed for a few hours. I won $250 on one of my favorite poker slot machines. Scott was playing table games; either 3 Card Poker or Let it Ride. He lost a little bit.

    We left to drive back and once again it was pouring rain. Magic Kingdom is open until midnight and was part of our plan earlier but with the pouring rain we decided against it.

    We were hungry for dinner and couldn’t decide what to eat. We considered Blaze Pizza at Disney Springs but got a bit lazy about having to park and walk over.

    Instead we stopped at Flippers Pizza near Disney Springs and ordered a pie to go and chicken wings around 8:30pm. We stopped in Goodings Supermarket while waiting for our food to be ready but didn’t find what we were looking for (a cable to hook up the laptop to play shows on the TV).

    Once back at the villa we ate our pizza and wings. We watched Hawaii 50 on the laptop.


  6. #5

    Sunday 10/1/17
    Scott didnt come to the gym with me today. His back has been bothering him.

    Once I returned we still did our normal routine of starting laundry, using the Jacuzzi (this time using a mini bath bomb from Basin), shower, and get dressed.

    No cheerios today, we have reservations for a late breakfast at Kona Caf. I made the reservation because weve been watching Hawaii 50 a lot lately (our Netflix binge show) and they mentioned this breakfast called Loco Moco which Scott thought sounded good. I saw it on the menu for Kona Caf and thats how this reservation came about.

    As we were driving over to the Polynesian, we saw huge lines heading towards Epcot. Its the 35th anniversary of Epcot and originally was our planned park today. After seeing the crowds we changed our plans.

    We arrived at the Polynesian early for our 10:40 reservation and while waiting decided we would go to Magic Kingdom instead of Epcot today and changed our fastpasses on the App while waiting. We were seated on time. I like how they text you when your table is ready.

    I had the macadamia pineapple pancakes with sausage and Sprite. Scott had the Loco Moco breakfast with a side of bacon and coffee. The food was very good and we both cleaned our plates (thats a first). We got 20% off with the annual pass.

    We took the monorail to Magic Kingdom. While I dont mind driving to the parks, Magic Kingdom is the one park its very time consuming to drive to and I like being able to take the monorail over when we can.

    We took a few pictures on Main Street.

    In Tomorrowland we used our fast pass at Monsters Inc. Its really a cute show.

    We walked right onto the TTA (People Mover) and the Carousel of Progress.

    Since those attractions were so quick we had time before our next fast pass at Buzz Lightly.

    We walked over to Ariels Under the Sea Journey and walked on with maybe a 5 minute wait.

    I saw on the app only a 10 minute wait at Big Thunder Mountain Railroad so we walked over. The parade was going on and we caught the tail end on our way. The wait was maybe 15 minutes.

    Walking back through Frontierland we stopped at the arcade for Scott to play the shooting game. He said it didnt work too well.

    We went back to TomorrowLand but Buzz was down for technical difficulties.

    We were a bit early for our Space Mountain Fast Pass and sat near it in this quiet little area with chairs and tables for maybe 15 minutes. Scott stopped at a pin cart on his way back from the bathroom and bought me a cute Mickey Mouse I Love You pin. We dont collect the Disney Pins; this is my only Disney pin.

    We went to the fastpass line for Space Mountain a few minutes before our time but the light turned green and we were able to go on. This was a fun ride.

    We headed out of the park at this point. We originally werent planning to go to Magic Kingdom today since they are having the Halloween party tonight so would close to regular guests at a certain time. Since we had to leave to meet Dana and family anyway we were leaving early. This turned out to be a great day to go to Magic Kingdom. It was not crowded at all. People probably used the same logic we were if they werent attending the party.

    We stopped at Publix for a few items.

    We went back to Vistana to shower and change.

    We have matching black and blues (bruises) and realized its from the car. I bruise very easily and noticed a huge black and blue on my right hip. Scott had a similar one on his left hip. We figured it out that its from the car. There is a piece of the seat belt that we keep banging getting out of the car. Hes been driving so his bruise is on his left while mine is on my right.

    We drove to Olive Garden in Orlando to meet Dana and family for dinner at 6pm. We dont like Olive Garden but its convenient that there are games for the kids to play to keep them occupied so the adults can spend time together.

    The breadsticks and salad were good, but the rest of the food wasnt. I had the Shrimp and Chicken Carbonara and Scott had the Taste of Italy. Its also very cheap so its not like were wasting a lot of money. While the food wasnt good, we definitely enjoyed the company and that was the whole point. We hung out at Olive Garden until about 9pm then headed back.

    Right before we got onto I4 the car died. We called Avis and they had to send a tow truck to get us. They texted us a link to this cute app where we could track the tow truck driver as he was on his way to us. It took about an hour for the tow truck to arrive and he brought us back to the airport, then he dropped the car off somewhere called the Hangar.

    Avis had to wait for confirmation that the car was at the Hangar. They took off a days charge for our inconvenience. They had a new Camaro SS ready for us. This time it is a red one. This car is much better than the original black one. It runs smoother and doesnt have that crazy metal piece sticking out giving us both black and blues.

    We got back to Vistana around midnight after that. We watched Hawaii 50 before going to bed.

    Monday 10/2/17
    A very odd thing happened this morning we slept late. We didnt wake up until 7:30. I dont remember the last time weve slept that late. We havent been setting alarms but naturally wake up around 5:15/5:30am. Maybe all the heat is catching up to us.

    We went to the gym.

    Back at the villa, Scott realized he didnt have his glasses and he left them in the broken car last night. We called Avis and they suggested we go to the airport to get them since if we go through the lost and found process it will take weeks.

    Scott jumped in his shower, got dressed and headed to the airport. I stayed at the villa, started laundry and took my shower.

    I puttered around while he was gone. I played on the internet and made some phone calls.

    Scott returned a few hours later with his glasses. He said they were so nice and helpful and drove him all around looking for the car. They found it eventually and his glasses were in the car.

    We headed to the Magic Kingdom around noon.

    We stopped to get Scotts ticket upgraded to an annual pass.

    We went and climbed the treehouse taking pictures throughout the climb.

    I changed our first fast pass to Buzz Lightyear since it was closed yesterday.

    We waited a bit before our Space Mountain fastpass at 2:40.

    Big Thunder Mountain Railroad had a 15 minute standby wait so we waited.

    We stopped at the Annual Pass Guest Service area in the park so Scott could get his magic band. He was able to pick his color (blue) but it wasnt personalized. Mine has my name on the inside since I ordered it online (this was from the last annual pass I had that expired last year). While there, the cast member noticed that I had an older version of the magic band and she said Im entitled to a new one. I got the same color as my old one (green) but this one isnt personalized with my name. The new bands are lighter and more comfortable than the old ones.

    Hall of Presidents is down for refurbishment. When we were walking past, there was a guest carrying on yelling at the poor cast member asking why its not done yet and so on. She must have been having a bad day.

    In AdventureLand we went in the Tiki Room. While waiting we talked about maybe coming back in January or around my birthday (April).

    We used our fast pass at Jungle Cruise next at 4pm. We waited a bit. Once we were back to the dock, there was a backup to get off the boats.

    We went to the Skipper Canteen for dinner. It was our first time here and we enjoyed it.

    We both had soda to drink.

    We shared the Cochapos appetizer.

    For entrees we shared the pasta and the sustainable fish. The fish was better than the pasta but both were good.

    For dessert we shared the rice pudding and the chocolate brownie.

    After eating we wandered through a few shops then headed out of the park.

    We stopped back at the villa and then drove over to the Boardwalk. We were going to rent surrey bikes since it is cooler out at night. Scott said he would prefer to do the bikes during the day.

    We picked up cupcakes from the bakery. A cream sickle one for me and an Oreo one for Scott.

    I also picked up a blueberry lemon Mickey Mouse scone from the other shop to have for breakfast (or pieces of it for breakfast)

    We were back at Vistana by 10ish.

    We watched Hawaii 50 and ate some of our cupcakes


  7. #6

    Tuesday 10/3/17
    We were back on a more normal time schedule and stretched in the villa and were in the gym by 6am.

    Our normal routine (I know we’re boring) of laundry, Jacuzzi, shower, get dressed and cheerios for breakfast. This time I also had an ear from my Mickey scone.

    We went to Hollywood Studios and arrived when they were opening at 9.

    Our first stop was Rock N Roller Coaster for Scott to do the single rider line. It was pretty quick and he was back in maybe 15/20 minutes.

    We wandered through a few stores and just browsed around for a bit.

    At 11 we went on Tower of Terror with our fast passes. This is one of my favorite attractions in the park.

    We were able to go right into the Frozen Show at 11:30 and that was very enjoyable. We were among the last people let in to that showing.

    It was time for our fast pass at Toy Story when we came out so headed right over and right on. Scott beat me by a bit and he had the high score for our car.

    We went into the Little Mermaid show without much wait. I haven’t seen this in a few trips since the wait used to be long all the time.

    We got a sweet cream cheese filled Mickey pretzel and a bottle of coke. It’s cooler out today so our frozen bottles of water aren’t melting quickly enough for us to drink.

    It was time for our Star Tours fast pass so we headed over there. Scott posed on one of the metal creatures for a picture.

    Star Tours was fun as usual.

    We walked right into Muppets as the show was just about to start.

    We did just about the whole park in a few hours. There are a lot of attractions that are under construction so you can easily do most of the park in half a day.

    We stopped in another store and found a cute shirt for me.

    We headed out of the park. We stopped at Publix for another box of cereal and milk.

    I don’t remember what we did the rest of the day?

    I remember we went to Disney Springs and had dinner at the Boathouse.

    We shared the tuna tartare appetizer and it was too spicy for me. Scott also had some oysters. I had a pasta dish (cavatappi with lobster). Scott had a burger. We spent a while chatting with the manager there.

    We picked up cupcakes to bring back to the villa probably from the Boardwalk bakery since we liked those. Scott got a chocolate one with a Mickey Mouse designed dipped oreo on top. I got a strawberry one with a chocolate strawberry on top.

    Other than that, I don’t remember. We probably watched more Hawaii 50 back in the villa.


    Wednesday 10/4/17
    We stretched in the villa and were at the gym by 6am. Surprisingly, there were more people here today than any other day so far.

    We followed our usual routine of laundry, Jacuzzi, shower, dress, and breakfast in the villa.

    We were at Epcot by 9 am when they opened.

    We went to the Imagination section and walked right onto the Figment ride. We also sent figment postcards via email. We bought a figment pot holder and key chain.

    We walked over to the Seas with Nemo and had a 5 minute wait

    We stayed to watch turtle talk with crush. I know it’s mainly for kids, but we enjoyed it.

    We looked at the various exhibits in the Seas pavilion.

    We walked over to the Land pavilion and got on the standby line for Living with the Land. It said 10 minutes but was really more like 20 minutes. Scott is interested in gardening and said he wants to take the Behind the Seeds tour next time.

    It was time for our fast pass for Soarin so we headed over there at 11:35. I like this attraction. I like the remake where you are soaring around the world rather than the older version where you just soared over California.

    We headed into World Showcase next.

    Our first stop was the Flavors of Fire where we got the sweet pancake with spicy sausage. I don’t like spicy food so Scott at the sausage and I had some of the pancake. This was pretty good.

    We stopped at Canada and got the Wild Mushroom Beef Filet Mignon with truffle butter sauce. This was very good. The best item of the food and wine festival so far.

    In Scotland we tried the potato pancake with smoked salmon and sour cream. This was just OK

    In France we tried the La Passion Martini Slush. This was just OK too.

    It started to rain but it only lasted a few minutes

    In India we tried the warm bread with dips. Neither of us liked this.

    In Norway there was a 75 minutes stand by wait for frozen so we skipped it.

    In the Norway bakery we got a rice cream and a snow globe (it’s a type of pastry that looked like a snow globe). I always love the rice cream here.

    We headed out of the park and drove to the Boardwalk. We were planning to rent the surrey bike. When we got there it started to rain again so we sat in the car a bit hoping it would be a quick passing shower. Instead it got progressively worse.

    We drove back to Vistana, put on Hawaii 50 and watched a few episodes. We were freezing in the villa and we brought the comforter out to the living room to cuddle under to keep warm. I know we could raise the temperature in the room but we like it cold when we come in from the heat. Scott mentioned that he’s either hot or cold this trip.

    After a few episodes, the sun came out and we got in our bathing suits. Just as we headed out it started to rain yet again.

    We showered and changed to go to dinner around 8pm. We went to a place nearby called Johnny’s Hideaway. It was recommended by both the bartender at the pool bar at Vistana as well as the manager we spoke to at the Boatyard.

    The wait was 45 minutes so we had a drink at the bar while waiting. I had a honeydew mojito and Scott had a gin & tonic.

    We were texted in about 15 minutes that our table was ready.

    For appetizers we shared the lobster and shrimp fritters and the crab claws. I wasn’t that impressed with either of them.

    For our entre we shared the surf and turf with fries. It was odd that they call it surf and turf. It was a steak and they poured some shredded crab on top.

    The food was just OK. I think our expectations were too high since we received such good recommendations for it.

    We went back to Vistana and watched some more Hawaii 50 before bed.


  8. #7

    Thursday 10/5/17
    The day started out normal We stretched in the villa and were at the gym by 6am for our workout.

    Back in the villa we started laundry, went in the Jacuzzi, showered, and got dressed.

    Scott didnt feel good. His stomach was upset.

    I started to get our stuff together to pack and read some of my book. It was pouring out so we just waited a bit hoping hed feel better soon.

    He got worse the poor thing even threw up and he never throws up.

    When he still didnt feel good by early after noon and was finally sleeping, I went out for a bit.

    I went to Animal Kingdom with my poncho. It was still raining on and off.

    The Flight of Passage attraction had a 3.5 hour wait. Thats ridiculous. I used my fast pass for the Navi River Journey. It was a pleasant boat ride, but it wasnt too exciting. Im glad I had a fast pass and didnt wait on a long line for it.

    I stopped in the Sunil Canteen for lunch. I got the childrens cheeseburger pod meal which came with chips, grapes, and water. It was interesting that they use real plates and silverware. The food was pretty tasty.

    Scott and I were texting back and forth. He still didnt feel that great but better than this morning and said not to rush back.

    I went on Tough to Be a Bug, walking right on.

    I left Animal Kingdom and drove over to Disney Springs.

    At World of Disney I looked for a Figment mug for Scott but they didnt have any.

    Scott texted that he was hungry but didnt want anything heavy to eat and to see if I can find him some sort of muffin or roll.

    I went to Amorettes Pastisserie and got a box of macaroons. They didnt have any basic rolls or muffins for Scott.

    I stopped at Starbucks and got him both a regular butter croissant and a chocolate croissant.

    Back at Vistana, Scott wanted Gatorade so I walked over to the general store to get him some. It was near the villa and easier to walk over than drive over.

    I got just about all the rest of our packing done.

    We watched some Hawaii 50.

    I went to the restaurant on property near our villa, Zimmies, to pick up dinner to go. I got a pesto chicken sandwich with fries for me. I got a grilled chicken sandwich for Scott. He had maybe 1 or 2 bites of his. Mine was just OK. I ate half of it.


    Friday 10/6/17
    I went to the gym this morning. Scott stayed in the villa resting. He felt a bit better since he ate the croissants from Starbucks in the middle of the night.

    No laundry this morning, but the rest of the morning routine stayed pretty much the same.

    We were all packed up and checked out then drove to the airport.

    We both have the TSA pre-check and were able to bypass the long lines.

    Once at our gate, I went and got Scott another chocolate croissant from Starbucks for him to snack on if he wanted to eat something (he didnt have breakfast this morning).

    Our flight took off on time. I watched Wonder Woman but we landed early so I missed the end.

    We called Corporate Park once we got our luggage and they picked us up quickly.

    We got home pretty quickly. And started unpacking and doing the little bit of dirty laundry that we had.



    FINAL THOUGHTS
    This was a great trip overall.

    Yes, we had a few bad things happen like the car breaking and Scott getting sick one day, but other than that we had a great time.

    Im so glad we have the timeshare, its such an easy way to travel.

    Were also deviating from our normal type A Commando get to the park at opening and stay until closing seeing everything we can. Were getting to the park around opening but were happy to go swim in the afternoon or do other things besides run around the park all day.

    Since we come here fairly regularly we dont have the same feeling of missing out that people who may only come once feel.

    Now that we both have annual passes, were trying to decide when well get back to Disney.


  9. #8

    Thanks for posting, Noreen! It's been awhile since I've seen a trip report from you, and as always it was fun to read about your trip.


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