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Thread: Disney World - 9/16/18-9/28/18 - Offsite

  1. #1

    Disney World - 9/16/18-9/28/18 - Offsite


    Noreen 50 years old; Senior Vice President at an Investment Banking Firm in New York City. I will be the author of the report.

    Scott 49 years old; my husband; Independent contractor and co-owner of BounceU in New York

    Potential Guest Appearances by:
    Dana, Herman and their kids (Aaron, Sara, Ariel) they live in Florida about an hour from Disney
    Kalli, Don, Dana, Tiffany, and Pamelyn co-workers/friends who work in the Tampa office of my company
    Karen & Jay. Friends of mine that recently moved from Massachusetts to Florida


    The last few years we ended up in Disney World in August which is something I would normally avoid since its so hot. Weve been doing family trips and my sister didnt want to take my niece out of school. In 2017 we did a family cruise late August to Bermuda for my nieces Sweet 16. Scott and I went to Disney late September/early October 2017. We bought annual passes so need to go to Disney before they expire on September 27, 2018

    This trip went through a few changes. Originally it was Disney from Sunday 9/16 Friday 9/28 (12 nights). Then we received free cruise vouchers and decided to cruise on Allure of the Seas from 9/9-9/16 then go to Disney from 9/16-9/23. We later realized there is a conflict as Scott has a commitment on 9/9 for a charity event he participates in every year. We ended up cancelling the cruise and are back to the 12 nights at Disney.

    We will be there from Sunday 9/16 to Friday 9/28
    We will meet the folks from the Tampa office on Sunday 9/23/18 for lunch at place in Tampa.
    We will meet up with Dana, Herman and their kids on Saturday 9/22/18
    Plans to meet up with Jay and Karen will be finalized once were in Florida

    We are going to stay at my timeshare Vistana Resort. I own one week in a 2 bedroom/2 bath villa, but when its just Scott and I, I like to book the 1-bedroom premium. If you dont 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. Since this reservation went through a few changes, I couldnt do it online and ended up calling to adjust our reservations as our plans changed.

    As crazy as this sounds, when we went on a cruise out of Fort Lauderdale in April 2018, we rented a car and drove to Florida. We flew home after the cruise.

    We enjoyed the road trip down so much were planning to drive back and forth this trip.

    The more we started thinking about using one of our own cars and putting all those miles on it, we started to think maybe we should rent a car to drive back and forth. We both lease our cars. I reserved a car with Avis in Paramus NJ to pick up and return to that location (avoiding the airport). I made that reservation on Monday 8/20/18. I reserved a SUV

    We both have annual passes.

    I started making my fast pass reservations as soon as I was able to and would log on each day to make the next days reservations. Since were staying off site we cant make fast pass plans until 30 days before (on site can do 60 days)

    I would log on and try to make my reservations each day exactly at 7am whether I was at work doing it, or doing it from the gym on my phone. I would be all ready to push the buttons at 6:59. Even doing this daily at 7am, I was unable to get reservations for some of the newer/more popular attractions such as Slinky Dog Dash, Avatar Flight of Passage, 7 Dwarfs Mine Train, etc.

    One thing that is disappointing is that as an annual pass holder I can only make 1 weeks worth of fast pass reservations in advance. I understand there needing to be a limit but I think it should be two weeks rather than one week. We often will visit Disney for more than 1 week at a time.

    I saw some information about a place called Void at Disney Springs. Scott likes Star Wars so may be interested in this. I have no interest in Star Wars but being a good wife will try this if he wants to. Turns out he wasnt that interested after all.

    Scott also mentioned some interest in Kennedy Space Center so we may spend a day there

    I had a handful of restaurants I wanted to try to get reservations for. Since we started planning this trip much earlier in the year than we normally do, I started to book dining 6 months in advance. Even starting exactly at 7am each day, there were some places that never were available such as Cinderellas Castle and OHana. I will keep trying and move things around if they become available.

    Update 6/12/18 I was able to get Cinderellas Royal Table. It wasnt the ideal time or the ideal meal (I wanted dinner) but its a late lunch at 2:45. Later update I was able to change the time to a very early dinner at 4:05 rather than late lunch. Not ideal but better than it was.

    We have the following meals booked:
    Sunday 9/16 HomeComing at Disney Springs at 6:20pm
    Monday 9/17 Trattoria Al Forno at the Boardwalk at 6:30pm
    Tuesday 9/18 Be Our Guest at Magic Kingdom at 5:55pm
    Wednesday 9/19 Tiffins at Animal Kingdom at 6pm
    Thursday 9/20 50s Prime Time at Hollywood Studios at 6:20pm
    Friday 9/21 Le Cellier at Epcot at 5:40pm
    Saturday 9/22 Kona Caf at the Polynesian at 9:45am
    Monday 9/24 Cinderellas Royal Table at Magic Kingdom at 4:05pm
    Tuesday 9/25 Flying Fish at the Boardwalk at 6:55pm
    Wednesday 9/26 Yachtmans Steakhouse at Yacht Club at 7:05pm
    Thursday 9/27 Narcooses at Grand Floridian at 7:20pm

    I didnt keep many notes this trip so am trying to recreate what we did from memory so Im sure Ill forget stuff. I would send myself texts throughout the day to remind me what we did. Between the texts and the pictures, Im hoping to be able to remember most of it.

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  3. #2

    The week before the trip
    I went to get my manicure and pedicure at the spa. I did what I call a Donald Duck Blue pedicure on my toes. I did a shellac manicure (so it lasts the whole trip) on my fingers in what I call a sparkly pink princess color.

    Hurricane Florence is headed towards the east coast so we may need to alter our plans or delay our plans to drive down. Of course our possibly delayed drive pales in comparison to people who live there and have a lot more to worry about.

    The day we start our drive to Florida – Saturday 9/15/18
    Since we were driving and on our own schedule, the day stated pretty normal for a Saturday. We worked out, then picked up bagels and Starbucks.

    We picked up the rental car at Avis in Paramus around noon. We have a burgundy Chevy Equinox. We drove back home and got the car loaded up. We definitely overpack. And since we were driving it was easy to bring things we normally wouldn’t if we were flying. In addition to the normal luggage, we had our car bag with a throw blanket and snacks. We also had a cooler with water and soda in it.

    We left the house about 2:15 to start our drive. With all the issues from the hurricane, we were told to try taking 78 to 81 South rather than 95 South. 95 was closed in areas due to hurricane damage.

    It shocked me when I went into my Waze app on the phone and plugged in Disney World to see what way it would send me. Instead of giving me a way to get to Florida, it said something like “No Route Found”.

    It was odd not knowing where we are since trip tiks had us going down 95 which is closed. We would stop and fill up with gas anytime we got to ½ a tank because we didn’t know when we would hit an area with no power and no ability to get gas.

    We reached West Virginia around 6:25

    Instead of the original detour of 81 to 77 and 95 which would have added maybe an hour or so to the trip, there were road signs directing us other ways. We are taking 81 to 75 in Tennessee to 16 East then to 95.

    There was crazy rain in Virginia. At one point we’re driving along in the downpour and we were the only car on the road.

    There were big signs saying go to Tennessee and not across to 95 yet

    Sunday 9/16/18

    We reached the Tennessee Welcome center at 12:45am. It was a very nice clean building that was open

    At 2am we were in North Carolina.

    We just kept going and following various signs until we were able to get back to 95.

    We kept seeing signs for Peach World in Georgia and it said it was right off 95 so we decided to stop. We got to Peach World around 8:30am. It was more ghetto than we expected. I thought it would be a cute farm where you could pick your own peaches. It was a little shop with an outside stand selling peaches. We bought peach jam and peaches.

    We got to the Florida Welcome Center around 10:30am. This was the most crowded rest stop we stopped at this trip. There were a lot of people here.

    The ride through Florida seemed to take a long time.

    Once we got to Orlando, we stopped at Publix for a few items.

    We arrived at Vistana about 2:30pm. I went to the regular check in area and they sent us to VIP check in. The villa was not ready yet, so they said they will text when it is. Rooms are normally ready by 4pm so we were a bit early but there have been times the room is ready earlier.

    We pulled out and crossed to the other side of the road for Scott to watch a football game he was interested in. Just as we turned around, the phone rings and our villa is ready so we head back.

    We are in Cascades building 5 room 2410. We used one of the luggage carts by the elevators to get all our stuff upstairs.

    We walked over to see where the gym is in relation to our villa. The only request I made was that our villa be near the 24-hour fitness center and it was.

    Scott did some cleaning in the villa. I know they have cleaning people and it’s clean when we get there but he likes to do more cleaning. Normally we bring a little packet of Clorox wipes that he’ll use to wipe things down. But since we drove he brought more cleaning supplies. He cleaned the various surfaces in the villa. We ran the dishes/glasses/silverware through the dishwasher. We filled the Jacuzzi with water and bleach and ran it, emptied it and did that a few times.

    At first I thought some of the cleaning was a bit over the top, but there is even a note in the cabinet about the dishes being clean but not necessarily sanitized. That made me feel like maybe we aren’t that nuts to run the stuff through the dishwasher before using anything.

    I unpacked while he was cleaning.

    Scott went to the bar by the pool to see some of game while I finished unpacking.

    He came back and helped me finish pretty quickly.

    We took showers then drove over to Disney Springs

    We had dinner at Homecoming. It was quick but it was very good.

    For appetizers we shared a Shrimp cocktail, a half order of fried green tomatoes, and chicken biscuits. I didn’t like the shrimp cocktail and Scott didn’t like the fried green tomatoes. We both really liked the chicken biscuits. That was the best appetizer of them all.

    For an entrée, we shared the BBQ plate. We were pretty full at this point so had most of it boxed up to go.

    We also got dessert to go; a piece of hummingbird cake

    We stopped at Sprinkles and got a pumpkin and a red velvet cupcake to go

    We drove back to Vistana

    Our new NetFlix binge watching show is Supernatural. Scott brought his apple TV box and hooked that up and we watched an episode; we’re only on season 3. We both fell asleep by 9pm.

  4. #3
    Monday 9/17/18
    I went to the gym about 5:45am. Scott was still tired so he slept in this morning

    When I got back I went in the Jacuzzi then showered and got dressed. We had breakfast in the villa. Cheerios and peaches. The peaches from Peach World were very good.

    We went to Hollywood Studios and got there before the official opening time of 9am

    We went right to Slinky Dog Dash in Toy Story Land and the wait said 90 minutes. We got in line. We were off in 60 minutes. This was a very cute ride. I’m not sure if it’s worth such a long wait, but it is cute.

    We stopped and bought a hat for Scott with Mickey Mouse in the front of it.

    We went on Star tours with our fast pass

    We walked right into Muppets

    Back in Toy Story Land we went on the Saucers with a 35-minute wait. This was cuter than we thought it would be. We were originally going to skip it, but decided to give it a try since it was new. Scott was more interested in the mechanics of the cars moving from one track to the other.

    We went on Toy Story Mania with our fast pass. Scott had the high score

    Scott went on Rock & Roller Coaster in the single rider line and I waited for him.

    We went on Tower of Terror with our fast pass. I really like Tower of Terror.

    We left the park around 2:45. There is a lot of construction underway. It didn’t feel as magical as usual.

    We Stopped at the other Publix near Vistana Villages. We needed Band-Aids and Scott found 2 T shirts he liked.

    Back at Vistana, we showered and did some laundry. It’s hot and humid out today.

    We drove to the Boardwalk for our dinner at Trattoria Al Forno.

    Scott helped a lady with lots of luggage bring it to the front entrance from the parking lot.

    We were going to walk to the Dolphin to have a drink at Shula’s bar but didn’t have quite enough time so checked in a little early at Trattoria Al Forno instead

    I had a white sangria which had lots of fruit in it. Scott had his usual gin and tonic. I also had Sprite.

    For appetizers we shared the calamari, but asked for it without the sauce on it; we wanted it on the side. Originally it came with the sauce on it, but the waitress saw it as soon as the guy that delivered it put it down and came right over to take it away and get us the correct version. It was very good with the sauce on the side. It comes with a lemon aioli and balsamic. Neither of us like Balsamic. We asked for some basic marinara. We enjoyed it without the sauce on it when we could just dip in the marinara.

    I had the meatballs with cavatelli pasta. This was really good.

    Scott had a dish with scallops and pumpkin gnocchi. He liked his also.

    Dinner was very good. We skipped dessert at the restaurant.

    We walked around the Boardwalk a bit.

    We picked up a pint of ice cream at Ample Hills Creamery to go.

    We went back to Vistana. I had some ice cream and Scott had some of the Hummingbird cake.

    We watched an episode of Supernatural

    Tuesday 9/18/18
    We both went to the gym before 6am.

    Once back in the villa, we went in the Jacuzzi, showered, did laundry, and had breakfast. We are both happy to have a normal breakfast to start the day – something like cheerios and some fruit is perfect.

    We left about 8:15 for the Magic Kingdom. After parking we took the tram from the parking lot to the TTC then the Monorail to the park. Getting to Magic Kingdom takes a while and we didn’t enter the park until just before 9am.

    There is a Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween party tonight so the park closes at 6 for everyone except those going to the party. We’re hoping for low crowds and that people avoid Magic Kingdom if they aren’t going to the party.

    We stopped for pictures by the castle.

    We walked over to 7 Dwarves Mine Train which showed a 65 minute standby wait so we skipped it. We have been on it before and it’s cute, but not worth a long standby wait outside.

    We walked right on Winnie the Pooh with a 5-minute wait

    We went right on the Carousel just waiting for the next ride. I don’t remember the last time I rode the Carousel. It was fun.

    We walked right onto Ariel

    We walked right onto Small World. While the song does get into your head, it’s always a cute ride.

    We walked right onto Haunted Mansion. This is one of my favorites. Being cool and air conditioned is a big plus too.

    Pirates was down so we couldn’t ride

    Other than the Mine Train, our logic of coming to Magic Kingdom on a Halloween party day hoping for low crowds seems to be working. We did a lot and it’s not even 11am

    We stopped at the shooting gallery and played a game

    We used our fast pass for Space Mountain

    Buzz had a 25-minute standby wait listed but it was probably more like 15 minutes. There was a nasty worker yelling at people not to stop for pictures. That wasn’t very Disney like. The ride stopped and I hit a big target when we were stopped and ended up with just under 300,000 points

    We went on Big Thunder Mountain using our fast pass. We like this ride a lot. Last year we rode this right after 7 Dwarves Mine Train and realized we prefer Big Thunder Mountain.

    We stopped for a Mickey pretzel, popcorn, and bottle of coke. Scott liked the cute Halloween popcorn bucket. Once you buy it you can have it refilled for something like $2. He ended up not carrying it back to the park for refills but he has a cute bucket now.

    We went into Hall of Presidents. This was the first time we’ve seen it since the recent upgrades. They did a nice job.

    Pirates of the Caribbean was open with a 10-minute wait so we went on. There were some changes to the content. Scott thought it odd that they are changing history to be more politically correct.

    We went on Jungle cruise with a 15-minute wait

    Tiki Birds was next with us just waiting for the doors to open for the next available show.

    We went on Carousel of Progress. I know it’s a bit corny, but I still think it’s adorable.

    We went on Peter Pan with our fast passes. This is another one of my favorites. I’m not the only one since there is always a huge wait for Peter Pan.

    We walked right into Philharmagic

    We stopped in some stores on Main Street

    We had dinner at Be Our Guest. It’s a price fixe meal now.

    We both had soda. Scott also had beer.

    For appetizers I had the octopus which I didn’t like. Scott had the French onion soup which he really enjoyed.

    For entrees I had filet mignon. Scott had the veal. We both enjoyed our entrees. It was better than I expected it to be.

    For dessert we each received a sampler plate that had a macaron, a chocolate truffle, and a white chocolate cup filled with grey stuff. The waitress mentioned that the paper on the dessert tray was edible too. The desserts were also very good. However, they were very rich and filling so we couldn’t finish them. I like the idea of the small sampler plate for dessert so you get to try different things.

    We got in line to pose for a picture with the Beast. Scott actually smiled for the picture with Beast. He very rarely smiles in pictures. Even he was shocked that he smiled when we saw the picture.

    We left Magic Kingdom not long after dinner

    We made a stop at Publix for a few more items then headed back to Vistana.

    Wednesday 9/19/18
    We both went to the gym at 5:45am

    After our workout, we showered, did laundry, had breakfast and headed out to Animal Kingdom

    We were in the park and on line for Flight of Passage by 8:45 and the line was already long. It was very organized with someone holding a sign that said “End of Line”. It took one hour and we were off the ride. The technology is amazing. It is so well done. Unfortunately, I got dizzy and nauseous from it. I was shaking when I got off. Scott loved it. I’m glad I went on and tried it but I won’t be in a rush to do so again.

    We sat outside for a few minutes and I had some water.

    We walked onto Tough to be a Bug

    I felt a lot better but not perfect

    We had a fast pass for Dinosaur. I took the chicken exit since I felt better but didn’t want to take a chance being jerked around so I waited for Scott at the exit. He missed me when he got off and was wandering around. He finally found me.

    Back at Pandora we had a bit of time to wait before our fast passes for the boat ride.

    We stopped for a colossal pretzel and a sweet egg roll from Pogo Pogo. The pretzel was good; it was bigger than Scott’s head. I didn’t like the sweet egg roll, but Scott did.

    We went on the boat ride quickly with our fast passes. Standby was 50 minutes. The boat ride makes more sense after riding Flight of Passage. I guess if you watched the movie you would also get the boat ride.

    We left Animal Kingdom and headed back to Vistana

    We stopped at the front desk area and met with Yvonne (owner concierge) to cancel the guy that wanted to deliver a basket to us in the morning.

    She answered some questions about the Marriott merger. We ended up signing up for the owner update tomorrow morning

    Maid service didn’t come yet so she changed it to tomorrow

    We went back to the villa to shower and change

    We left about 3 and headed to the Hard Rock casino in Tampa

    We arrived about 4. I found my favorite multiplier game. We played until about 6:30 and then headed out.

    We were planning to have dinner at Landry’s (a seafood restaurant close to Vistana). We saw a new place called Salt Grass steakhouse right next to it and went there instead.

    I had a tropical sangria. Scott had tequila. We also had soda.

    We shared 2 appetizers – shrimp and chicken enbrochette and seafood fondeaux. It was very good.

    This place is new and they have only been open for 2 weeks

    We got a cheeseburger to go

    We ordered dessert – a brownie skillet crumble. This was really good too

    After dinner we went back to Vistana and watched another episode of Supernatural.

  5. #4
    Thursday 9/20/18
    We were up and at the gym at 4:30am today.

    After the gym, we did laundry, showered, had breakfast and got dressed

    We went to the Owner’s update at 8:15. It ended up being a waste of time. It took way too long. And I was very annoyed at how they gave us info. Of course it all started well enough with all the new ways we can use our ownership now with the Marriott merger. Until near the end when suddenly they want me to buy more options to be able to use all the new perks. And I was told that eventually the way I use my timeshare now will dry up and I won’t find any availability. Then the next person comes in to close things out supposedly and I basically told her I am very upset at what I was told, but I’ve gotten over 20 years of great use at Vistana and if it’s not going to continue, I’m going to make an appointment at Disney and go buy DVC. This woman did a good job of calming me down and telling me that the first person told me incorrect data and I will continue to be able to use my timeshare the way I have and they don’t want unhappy owners. OK, that’s good to hear so we’re ready to leave. Then they have yet another guy come to try to sell us something too. I’m totally fed up by now and just told him we’re not interested in whatever he’s trying to sell and we’re ready to go.

    I told Scott after we left this is why I usually unplug the phone so nobody can call me to keep asking me to come to these and also why I don’t waste my time going. I can just call the owner’s number from home and ask them what changed and not waste 2 hours.

    We got to Hollywood studios about 11:15.

    Our first fast pass is star tours from 10:55 -11:55 so we headed there.

    We stopped to watch some of Star Wars show in front of theater.

    A couple commented on Scott’s St Kitts T-shirt. They were looking for recommendations so we told them about Carambola Beach Club in St Kitts that we both like. We discussed other stops on their upcoming cruise and gave them a few more recommendations.

    We went on Tower of Terror with our fast passes. This is always a lot of fun

    Scott went on the single rider line to go on Rock & Roller Coaster

    We went to use our Toy Story Mania fast pass. We both really enjoy this ride. Some friendly competition is always a plus. That section of the park is jam packed and very hot. There aren’t any shaded areas or air conditioned stores.

    We left the park around 2pm

    We stopped at Publix for more water (glad to see Dasani), crystal light, milk, granola bars, and dental floss.

    We headed back to Vistana

    We changed into bathing suits to go to the pool. Just as we stepped outside it started to rain. We walked to pool hoping it’s a typical Florida rain that doesn’t last long.

    The rain slowed down so we put our stuff under one of the cabanas by the pool and we went swimming.

    It started lightening and thundering maybe 45 minutes later so we left the pool and went back to the villa to shower

    We headed to Disney springs a little early for Morimoto. They would have seated us then but we went to the bar first to have a drink. I had the best drink of the whole trip here. It was a Mango Matcha Punch.

    They had very uncomfortable seats. I noticed almost all the tables had hard uncomfortable seats with the exception of a few booths. Scott asked if we could have a booth.

    Dinner was pretty good. The Eel avocado roll was very good. The Toro thing the waiter recommended was just eeh. The Pork bun was good. The Ribs were good but too fatty. Bib Bop dish the waiter recommended we weren’t thrilled with. Usually a waiter’s recommendations are spot on so we were surprised we weren’t as thrilled with those dishes. We skipped dessert.

    We walked around a bit and went to the Xmas store. We bought a few ornaments. As we were leaving the store we saw a lot of cute little ornaments we could use on the corner tree so will get those next time we stop in. We put up multiple Christmas trees at home.

    World of Disney looks great with the renovation which is still underway. It’s bright and open.

    We bought new Disney silverware since the old set is falling apart.

    The fitting rooms are on the under construction side of the store. I ended up buying shirts I liked in different sizes and will have to try them on and return the ones I don’t like. We also bought a few other items like a whisk, and ice cube tray, etc

    We stopped at Amorette’s and brought a box of macarons and a box of chocolate chip cookies. Scott waited outside when I went in and said he didn’t want anything, but when I saw the chocolate chip cookies (his favorite cookie) I figured he would like them.

    We went back to villa and watched an episode of Supernatural.

    Friday 9/21/18
    We were both at the gym before 6

    We did our normal routine after our workout of the Jacuzzi, shower, laundry, and breakfast.

    We headed to Epcot

    Our first attraction was the Seas with Nemo. There was a 10-minute wait

    Imagination had no wait. We were the only people in the whole train of cars

    We went on Living with the Land using our fastpass. The ride stopped near the end and we were stuck there for maybe 15 minutes.

    We went on Soarin with our fastpass. I really like this especially with the new version of Soarin around the World rather than just over California.

    We went into the Festival Center and picked up our annual pass magnets

    Scott tried chocolate beer. I’m not a beer fan, but as far as beer goes it was pretty tasty.

    It was raining when we left the Festival Center.

    We went into Mousegear and bought a figment ornament and a Mickey umbrella. Scott had his Tigger umbrella with him, but it was raining hard enough that we thought it would be good to each have one.

    We walked into World showcase

    We went on the boat ride in Mexico with no wait.

    In Norway we got on line for Frozen which said the wait was 65 minutes. It was actually about 35 minutes so that wasn’t too bad

    In Germany we got a sausage in pretzel bread from one of the booths. It was just OK.

    In America we got a lobster roll and a brisket slider. These were OK too. Better than the sausage in pretzel bread but not great.

    Scott also got a big turkey leg

    We saw the American Adventure.

    It’s very hot out. People have been commenting that it’s hotter than it should be for this late in September.

    We walked back to future world

    We went on Spaceship Earth with no wait. It’s always fun to create your future.

    Test Track had a long wait so we went on the single rider line and were on in less than 10 minutes and were a car away from each other. Single Rider lines are a great idea. I guess if it’s the first time you are experiencing an attraction; you want to do it together.

    We went to Le Cellier for dinner

    I tried a blueberry martini that I didn’t like. I also ordered Sprite so drank that instead.

    Scott doctored up his drink by pouring some of my drink into it.

    We ordered the breakfast poutine. I wasn’t crazy about it. I didn’t like the egg in it. Scott thought that was the best part.

    We had filet mignon.

    We also ordered the maple Brussel sprouts. They were a little on the burnt side but they tasted pretty good with the maple flavor

    We skipped dessert. Scott wanted espresso but the machine was not working. He couldn’t get coffee either. The waiter told us there is a coffee stand nearby and we can get coffee when we leave.

    OK – we’ll just leave and get dessert and Scott’s coffee elsewhere then.

    We were sort of disappointed with Le Cellier. It wasn’t bad but there were definitely things that needed work. The waiter wasn’t the best – his response about the inability to serve espresso or even coffee could have been delivered much better. The Brussel sprouts probably should not have left the kitchen being a bit burnt. I guess that’s another place we won’t need to go back to.

    We left Epcot after dinner

    We stopped at Saltgrass steakhouse (the place across from Vistana) for dessert. We shared a piece of cheesecake which was really good. I had Sprite. Scott was able to get his coffee. And the service here was head and shoulders better than what we received at Le Cellier.

    Back at Vistana, we did some more laundry.

    We watched another episode of Supernatural

    Saturday 9/22/18
    We slept a bit later and didn’t get up until just before 6 am. We went to the gym.

    Our usual routine of Jacuzzi, shower, and get dressed. We didn’t have our normal breakfast of cereal and fruit since we made reservations for breakfast.

    We drove over to the Polynesian for breakfast at Kona Café. Scott had loco moco. I had macadamia pancakes. Scott had the Kona press pot for 1. I had Sprite. The food was pretty good but very heavy. We aren’t used to eating such a big breakfast.

    Our original plan was to go to Magic Kingdom but Scott suggested heading back to Epcot instead.

    We took the monorail to the TTC then switched to the Epcot monorail. We were stuck on the monorail for a bit.

    We went on Test Track using the single rider line.

    We walked around a bit in future world and then walked around World Showcase.

    We bought a few more cute shirts. We’ll have to try them all on and probably have some to return when we’re done.

    It’s been exceptionally hot and humid out this trip. Many people were commenting that it’s hotter than it should be for this time of year.

    We headed back to Vistana. I was feeling a bit dizzy. I think today it was a combination of the heat and having such a big heavy breakfast which we don’t normally do.

    Scott went to the pool for a bit and I stayed in the villa.

    We had to cancel our dinner plans since I still didn’t feel good. I felt bad to have to cancel and try to reschedule, but I wasn’t up to going.

    Scott was hungry a bit later so drove over to SaltGrass Steakhouse to pick up some food. We sat on the balcony and he ate. He brought me some soup and bread which I picked at.

    We watched an episode of supernatural

  6. #5
    Sunday 9/23/18
    We both went to the gym about 6am

    After our usual routine of Jacuzzi, shower and laundry, we headed out.

    We drove to Tampa to meet some of the ladies from my Tampa office at Ulele. Scott and I sat at the bar together until the ladies arrived. Once Pamelyn arrived, Scott headed out to the Hard Rock Casino. Kalli arrived a little after. It was great catching up with the ladies.

    Ulele was very good. I tried Grouper and it was delicious.

    After lunch Pamelyn dropped me at the Hard Rock Casino to meet Scott. We stayed and played for a while.

    Later we drove directly to St Cloud to meet Karen at Crabby Bills. Jay was working so couldn’t join us. We had a nice time catching up at dinner. We had a nice table near the window overlooking water and were able to see a nice sunset.

    We were back at Vistana by 10pm

    Monday 9/24/18
    I went to the gym about 5:30am. Scott stayed in the villa

    The usual routine of Jacuzzi, shower, laundry, have breakfast and we were ready to head out for the day.

    We headed to Epcot arriving just before the official opening time.

    We went on Soarin waiting on the standby line for about 30 minutes

    Test Track single rider was next but it was down.

    We left Epcot and got on the monorail to the TTC then transferred to the other monorail to Magic Kingdom. That took a long time. We probably should have just parked at the TTC instead of Epcot since we could have taken either monorail from there.

    We rode the Disney Railroad. Scott never did this before. We did the full loop from Main Street all around the park passing Main Street again, then got off at the Frontierland stop for our Big Thunder Mountain fastpass

    As were are getting on Scott didn’t come through the gate quick enough and it closed. I stood on the train pointing so they opened it and let him on. That was funny and I teased him about that for a while reminding him not to get left behind.

    We went into Country Bears

    We walked through the Christmas Shoppe

    We went into Monsters Laugh floor. I was part of the show. I was asked to pick a number. I had to put my hands up like antennas. I guess I put my hands up more like getting held up than antennas. They commented that I had a seat belt on since my purse was on my shoulder. It was really cute how they teased me. Scott was cracking up

    We went on Buzz Lightyear with our fast pass

    In one of the shops I found a cute shirt. I didn’t like the one I have on – it’s too long. It’s one of my new Disney shirts. I like the shirt itself that I had on, but it’s just too long. I’m going to bring it to the tailor at home and have it shortened an inch or so and then it should be perfect.

    We went on Pirates using our fastpass.

    I changed shirts into my new more normal length shirt.

    We headed to Cinderella’s castle for our dinner reservation.

    We took our picture with Cinderella. We were seated at a nice window table.
    We were given a sword and wand. I was surprised since it said those are usually given to children, but I guess since we were there without kids, they gave us them too.

    The various princesses came around for pictures.

    The food was pretty good.

    For appetizers Scott had the charcuterie plate and I had the castle salad. The appetizers were just OK.

    For entrees Scott had the fish of the day (I think it was salmon) and I had the beef and shrimp. The entrees were very good.

    Throughout dinner various princesses would stop at the table and take pictures with us.

    For dessert Scott had “the clock strikes twelve” which is a dark chocolate mousse. I had the “Jao & Gus” which is a cheesecake.

    We were pleasantly surprised by Cinderella’s castle. Scott had never been before and I warned him in advance it’s all about the atmosphere, eating in the castle, meeting the princesses and not to expect much of the food. It was better than we expected.

    We walked around a bit after dinner then took the Monorail to the Polynesian to have a drink at Trader Sam’s. The wait was 30-40 minutes to get in door and not necessarily a seat. We decided not to wait.

    We took the monorail back to the TTC then switched to the Epcot monorail to get back to Epcot.

    We definitely should have parked at TTC instead of Epcot

    Back at Vistana we went to the Castaway bar. 6 Toe cat drink for me. Blue drink for Scott. We hung out there for a bit chatting with the bartender.

    Back in villa we showered and then watched supernatural

    Scott was hungry a little later so ordered pizza delivery. It was pretty good.

    Tuesday 9/25/18
    We went to the gym around 6am

    Our usual routine of Jacuzzi, shower, laundry, and breakfast before heading out.

    We went to Animal Kingdom and arrived a bit before opening.

    The line for Flight of Passage was 60 minutes so Scott got in line. I didn’t want to ride again after how dizzy it made me last time.

    I went on the Avatar boat ride which said a 20 minute wait but I walked right on.

    I bought Scott a replacement hat since he lost his and also found him a Best Day ever T shirt.

    I waited near the Flame Tree Barbecue as it was centrally located and there were tables with overhead fans so it was comfortable sitting there.

    When Scott found me, the hat was too small so we exchanged it in the store for another one that fit. I think the first one must have been defective.

    We went on Dinosaur with our fast pass

    We played some games in Dinoland and both won small stuffed turtles

    Scott went on the single rider line at Expedition Everest

    We left the park around 12:15

    We went to Disney Springs

    We had a few shirts to return at World of Disney

    We bought the serving set to go with the silverware we bought last week and some other stuff

    In Ghiradelli we bought bag full of squares where you pick your own and weigh them

    In the Christmas store we bought 2 boxes of mini ornaments for the corner tree. We usually set up 3 Christmas trees in the house each year. One of them is a corner tree and we usually put Mickey Ball shaped ornaments (balls with ears) from smaller sized ones near the top to larger ones near the bottom.

    We had lunch at about 1:45 at Paddelfish. We didn’t have a reservation but we just walked in.

    For appetizers we shared the lobster corn dogs and crab ceviche
    For our entrée we shared the lobster roll with fries

    The food was very good. We enjoyed this little break.

    At Amorette’s we got pastries and cookies to go

    We headed back to Vistana, put on our bathing suits and went to the pool

    We probably swam for a few hours.

    We showered and changed and drove over to the Boardwalk.

    We stopped at the DVC open house at the Boardwalk to look around.

    We walked over to Shula’s and sat at a bar table. We had dinner the last few trips at Shula’s and enjoyed it until the last time. The food was good but the waitress wasn’t and we weren’t going to come back. Scott said instead of dinner why don’t we just go to the bar, have a drink and some appetizers. So that was our plan.

    The waiter was great. We had a nice time joking around with him. We had drinks and some appetizers which we really enjoyed. Shula’s may be back in the rotation going forward. Or maybe we’ll stick to sitting in the bar area.

    We were back at Vistana around 11pm

    We watched an episode of Supernatural

    Wednesday 9/26/18
    We slept last until 6:30 and then went to the gym

    We did our normal routine of Jacuzzi, shower, laundry, and breakfast.

    Scott drove over to Publix to get more water

    We headed to Epcot.

    We had a fastpass at Spaceship Earth and got stuck on it. We’re getting stuck on a lot of things this trip.

    Standby at Soarin said 30 minutes but is was more like 15

    We walked around World showcase

    In China we tried the mango bubble tea. One of the ladies at work convinced me to try bubble tea at a place near our office (downtown NYC/Tribeca) and it was pretty good so I figured we would try the Disney version. I didn’t like it. The bubbles were too big and mushy.

    In Norway, I got a rice pudding. This is my favorite rice pudding ever so I usually try to get it once a trip.

    At the Festival center, we picked up our annual pass holder cutting boards

    We stopped at a DVC booth and asked a few questions

    We set up an appointment at Saratoga Springs to get more info information.

    We went to the DVC presentation. They are currently selling Copper Creek at Wilderness lodge. I liked the model layout of the villa for Copper Creek. I didn’t like some of the other models of other resorts they showed.

    The DVC person was very nice, gave us all sorts of info but wasn’t pushy about it. There was no pressure to make any decision right away. He said we could even do it over the phone if we decided once we went home. I thought I needed more points and he suggested starting with fewer points. He recommended 105 points to start but we would end up using 3 years worth of points for 11-12 nights in a 1 bedroom. A studio is too small and we wouldn’t get that.

    We drove over to Wilderness Lodge to look around and get a feel for where the villas are. The parking is in the main lot so could be far from the villas. The gym is far too. I don’t think this layout works well for us. But the Disney feeling is great when you enter the lodge

    I spoke to my friend Kim who owns DVC and she said Kidani at Animal Kingdom Lodge setup is better for us with the garage under the villas

    We headed back to Vistana

    We went to Salt Grass steakhouse for dinner

    I had a Pomegranate Mojito. Scott had a Gin and tonic. I also had Sprite

    We shared the crab cake appetizer

    We ordered a Bacon cheeseburger with fries and a Brisket burger with Brussel sprouts. We shared both.

    We shared but didn’t finish our food so brought it back. Scott finished it in the middle of the night.
    Last edited by Noreen411; 12-28-2018 at 10:22 AM. Reason: error

  7. #6
    Thursday 9/27/18
    We went to the gym before 6am

    Our usual routine of jacuzzi, shower, laundry, get dressed, and have breakfast. Having the villa is very convenient and we prefer that over a hotel room.

    We went to Magic Kingdom arriving a bit before opening.

    We went on Big Thunder Mountain with a 10-minute standby wait

    We went on Haunted Mansion with our fastpass

    We were given 3 VIP fastpasses at the DVC presentation yesterday but you cant use them on the really popular attractions like Avator Flight of Passage, 7 Dwarves Mine Train, Slinky Dog Coaster, etc.

    We used a VIP fastpass at Space Mountain

    We used another VIP fastpass at Ariel

    We were planning to use our last VIP fastpass at Buzz, but it was down

    So we used our last VIP fastpass at Small World

    We shared a Mickey pretzel

    We headed out of Magic Kingdom.

    We were thinking of looking at AKL for DVC but changed our mind.

    We were planning to go to Disney springs but missed the turn

    We went back to Vistana

    We had lunch at Zimmies. We shared poutine and ultimate grilled cheese. The grilled cheese was very good but we werent crazy about the Poutine.

    There are always things going on at Vistana but we dont really take advantage of them.

    We did some packing

    We went to the pool with the ball we bought at Epcot

    We played in the pool for a while

    We went back to the villa around 6:30 to shower and change

    We made a dinner reservation at Trattoria al Forno at the Boardwalk for 8:25. It was very convenient to do this right on the app. I had previously cancelled some of our dinner reservations.

    We drove to AKL first and looked at the Kadani section. We wanted to see if we liked this set up better. It started to rain so didnt look at the Jambo side of AKL

    We drove to the Boardwalk for dinner. We were a little early so had a drink from the bar right next door.

    We enjoyed our dinner.

    We shared a Pizza del Giorno for our appetizer. It had white clam sauce, serrano ham, crispy onions, and pecorino romano. We were torn between that and one with prosciutto, asparagus, mushrooms, truffle oil so Scott asked the waitress to choose one for us. We both really enjoyed it so she chose well for us.

    For entrees I had pasta bolognese and Scott had the Chicken Parmigiana. His chicken was very dry. The waitress came by asking how things were and he mentioned it. She brought him a new piece of chicken which was much better and he enjoyed it.

    We shared Budino which is a roasted white chocolate Italian custard served with a cookie for dessert. This was very good.

    We walked around the Boardwalk a bit after dinner than drove back to Vistana

    Friday 9/28/18
    Scott couldnt sleep and went to the gym at 4am.

    I went a little later at 5am

    Our final time doing our normal routine in the timeshare of Jacuzzi, shower, laundry.

    Good thing we did a double check around the room since we almost forgot this load of laundry in the dryer.

    We finished packing and got the car loaded up. We bought a lot of stuff

    We started our drive home around 9am

    We got to Georgia about 11:30am

    We reached South Carolina about 1:30. I 95 is open again so it was a straighter ride without all the detours.

    We reached North Carolina around 4:30

    We reached Virginia around 7:25.

    I stopped taking notes at some point but there was a big backup around 2am on I95. Not due to closures but because of an accident.

    We got home maybe 4:30/5am. The cats were happy to see us.

    We slept a few hours then returned the rental car before coming back and starting to go through mail, unpack, do any laundry that we had.

    This was a great trip.

    It was very hot though. Were starting to rethink our normal vacation routine of cruising around February, Disney late September, and then another trip usually somewhere between April June. We may try going to Disney when the weather is a bit cooler. Not next year since were pretty booked up for 2019 already but maybe in 2020.

    Im really glad I have the timeshare. Its a much easier way to travel having many of the comforts of home. I wasnt happy with some of the things I heard at the owners update but I dont want to jump to conclusions. Things may continue to work the way they have for the foreseeable future. If it really gets too difficult to use the way I want, then I know buying DVC is an option.

    After many years of being a park commando where I had to be there from open to close and hop from park to park; knowing were back pretty much each year Ive started to appreciate spending time in the park, but if it gets too hot or we feel like doing something else, its OK to go swim or shop or whatever.

    Making all the dinner reservations didnt work that well for us. We found ourselves cancelling them frequently since it just didnt fit into what we wanted to do. We kept some of the hard to get ones and enjoyed most of the ones we went to.

    We werent crazy about the Food & Wine Festival offerings. We didnt try too many things but what we did try, we just werent crazy about.

    Even after all the detours driving down, Scott still enjoyed driving more than flying and would definitely want to go that way again.

  8. #7

    What a nice surprise to see a trip report from you. I have always loved your trip reports. Sounds like you had a great time. Thanks for sharing.

  9. #8

    Thank you for a great trip report. I'm glad your bout with not feeling well didn't last any longer. I would love to take a trip like this someday. I'm usually pretty commando, because I don't have very many days and I don't get to go very often...

  10. #9

    Thanks for sharing your WDW adventure! Glad you made it down there safely after the bad weather and all the detours. We own several DVC's with Disney and love the flexibility to stay at all the different resorts there. If it doesn't work down the line at Vistana, DVC is a great way to go! It sounds like you had a very laid back trip with some down time which is always welcome with the heat and humidity in September!



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