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Thread: Sue (Holland) Rayford, Boardwalk Villas w/son & grandson, May 3-5 2019

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    Sue (Holland) Rayford, Boardwalk Villas w/son & grandson, May 3-5 2019


    Who: Sue (60), DVC Member
    Chris (32), Son
    Ari (2.75), Grandson
    Dates: May 3 6, 2019
    Resort: Disneys Boardwalk Villas Resort (BWV)
    Experience: Very Experienced 27th stay at BWV

    This was initially booked as a solo trip only 3 nights since Im cruising more than normal this year. Then, I invited daughter-in-law Amanda and grandson Ari to join me, since we travel well together. That was all set, until she had a work thing in Texas this weekend. So, since Ari has a haircut appointment in the Magic Kingdom during this trip, Chris will come in Amandas place. Hopefully he wont snore although theres always the balcony (or his car in the parking lot, lol).

    Since the intent was a solo trip, I only have a studio. I was hoping the weather would still be nice in early May, but it looks to be almost 90 each day with 40-60% chance of rain. It seems summer comes earlier each year, and I hate that part of living in Florida! Maybe Ill have better luck when Im back in a couple of weeks!

    The Flower & Garden Festival is still going on, and thats the main draw along with the concerts that are part of the festival. This weekend we have Peter Noone from Hermans Hermits on Fri/Sat and a guy from the Eagles on Sunday. Ive seen Noone before and enjoyed him, so I look forward to seeing both acts this trip. We dont have any dining reservations, as this is a pretty casual trip. For breakfast I plan to get the delicious Oooey Gooey Sandwich from the Boardwalk Bakery, which will last me 2 days. Im bringing some eggs for Chris & Ari, and most likely bacon or sausage too. Well enjoy some food from the Flower & Garden Festival kiosks, and whatever else we feel like doing on a whim.

    One new factor is Chris bought a Tesla car, which is all electric (no gas). The big plus is no more fuel & maintenance (oil changes, etc) expense. The downside is it has to get plugged in to recharge, and the closest charging station is in the Epcot parking lot. When he or Amanda does a day trip to Disney, its easy for them to park at a park and let the car charge all day while theyre having fun, then they drive home (and recharge at home). This multi-day trip will be a bit more challenging. The trip to Hilton Head in a few weeks will be even more challenging, as they cant get from their home to Hilton Head on a single charge it might take 2 stops for charging, but well see.

    The plans so far are:
    Friday 5/3: Drive to WDW, Epcot
    Saturday 5/4: Magic Kingdom, Epcot
    Sunday 5/5: Pool, Hollywood Studios
    Monday 5/6: Drive to Gainesville

    DAY 1 Friday 5/3/19
    Who: Sue (60), DVC Member
    Chris (32), Son
    Ari (2.75), Grandson

    Plan: Drive to WDW, Epcot

    Actual: Chris & Ari arrived at the super charging station at Sand Lake Road by 10:30, so I decided to leave work at 11 rather than noon. The forecast rain never happened, thank goodness! Chris called me just before noon to say housekeeping was supposedly in our studio getting it ready, so he & Ari walked over to Epcot for a while. I hit a million love bugs on the drive, so I stopped at the gas station across from Boardwalk to clean some of the dead bodies off my car & windshield.

    When I got to the security booth the cast member told me my room was ready, which surprised me since when I was across the street at the gas station I still hadnt gotten the notification. I checked my phone, and sure enough it popped up. I found a parking spot under a tree, on the Convention Center side, and walked up the covered (shaded) walkway. This is more pleasant than coming up the sunny hill.

    Our studio is almost down to Jelly Rolls, on the 4th floor. We have a great view of Spaceship Earth (Illuminations later) plus the Yacht & Beach Club. Chris & Ari were on their way back from Epcot, and arrived just after Id unpacked my stuff. Ari came in dragging his Lightning McQueen and Cruz suitcase. When he opened it up, I saw hed packed a stuffed Olaf, some clothes, pail & shovel, and Amandas old camera.

    He went out onto the balcony with me and was taking pictures of the love bugs, and I went inside to get my camera to take a picture of the little photographer. Then we heard him screaming like he was being murdered. A love bug was crawling on his lower leg, lol! He insisted the bug was going to bite him, and came back inside after I brushed it off. Now it was nap time, for at least a short nap so Ari wouldnt be a holy terror later.

    We pulled down the Dumbo kiddie bed, and Ari & Olaf laid down and it took a very short while for Ari to stop moving around and actually get some sleep. Chris discovered that as usual, some of the usb ports and outlets dont work so charging stuff was not as convenient as it should be. I spent the time online, updating the report and doing other stuff. Chris took a nap as well, and then woke up Ari somewhere around 3:30-4pm.

    Before leaving the studio Chris called to notify maintenance that the usb ports and outlets needed to be checked. We walked over to Epcot, and the International Gateway is under construction, so the entry is all changed. They have what appear to be ticket booths before you hit the area, which would be for guests walking over from the Crescent Lake resorts. Im assuming theyre building a separate screening and entry area for the Skyliner guests, or maybe well have to merge in with them. Right now they have the bag check in front of the Guest Services booth, and the entry was closer to the store (the regular area was fenced off). Itll be interesting to see how it is when theyre done. We noticed the Skyliner cables were moving, but we didnt see any of the gondolas.

    We entered Epcot and turned left to head to Future World. Id missed my Soarin fastpass, but we were in the window for all of us to do Living with the Land. We parked the stroller outside the Land, and got on a boat within a few minutes. Our boat wasnt quite full, and we were able to get the front row (better view for Ari). It was a nice ride through the greenhouses, although Ari also really liked the rooster in the farmhouse scene.

    After our boat ride we walked over to the Seas w/Nemo, and did the standby queue for that. Ari seems to know his way around the parks, and as we were parking the stroller earlier he recognized the building and started pointing and saying Nemo. The standby wait was only 10 minutes, and I think that was only because it takes that long to walk through the long queue. We never slowed down. After the ride we spent some time looking in the aquariums before heading out.

    Chris had checked the wait time for Spaceship Earth (10 minutes), so we went there rather than coming back later to use our fastpass. For some reason, nobodys screen had pictures of their faces, which was disappointing. Ari chose our ending, despite not being able to read any of the questions. Afterwards he spotted a car racing game in the exit area, so we waited while he played that.

    After retrieving the stroller we walked out to World Showcase and began our first loop heading towards Mexico. In some areas Epcot felt crowded, but for the most part the Flower & Garden kiosks had no lines (or very short lines). Its so unlike a Friday night during Food & Wine!

    Our first stop was America, where Chris got Ari a kids meal cheeseburger. I went to the festival kiosk and got the pulled pig slider, then took it inside to get us a table. The slider was ok nothing truly special, but it hit the spot since I hadnt eaten since this morning. We were surprised Ari ended up eating the whole cheeseburger!

    We finished up with dinner just before the 6:45 Peter Noone concert, so we stood at the back just outside the theater and watched from there. There were a few seats inside, but standing outside meant we didnt have to go park the stroller and Ari had room to run around & dance to the music. I recognized all but 1 song, and enjoyed the concert he seemed like a really nice guy, too.

    We left before the final song ended, beating the rush. We stopped at the Fresh (or whatever its called the spot between France & Morocco), where Chris got the shrimp & grits and a strawberry beer. He said the food was ok I didnt ask how the beer was. Ari colored in a small Toy Story coloring book while we sat there.

    We continued walking, and stopped at the Honey stand. Chris & I each got the cheesecake, which comes with a scoop of ice cream and a couple meringue pieces. Its a very pretty presentation, and it tasted good too. Ari helped us both eat it eating a pretty good share of mine! I was glad to have the help, though. We continued around for another loop, and this time stopped again in America at the festival kiosk. Id bought some glow sticks at the dollar store, and unfortunately found most of them didnt fully light up - $1 just doesnt go far nowadays <g>. Oddly, the few smaller ones I had left over from the Food & Wine trip worked perfectly. We cracked them all, so Ari had a necklace then 4 long partially-lit things. He was happy, so thats all that mattered.

    Chris got the slider at America (burnt ends not the pulled pig) and ate that, then we continued towards International Gateway and walked back to Boardwalk. After a stop at a very busy Screen Door to get some milk for Ari, we returned to the studio. It was 8:45 at that point. We were happy to see some of the outlets that didnt work before were fixed, so Chris was able to charge his stuff.

    Ari got a quick bath, and was in his Mickey pajamas just after 9. He & I sat on the balcony me with a glass of wine, him with a glass of milk. We had a nice view of the Magic Kingdom fireworks and also Illuminations plus surrey bikes riding by below, people walking around, boats sailing, etc. It was very nice! Once the fireworks were done, we went back inside so he could finish his milk & get ready for bed.

    I can hear the people out on the boardwalk, even though were on the 4th floor. Hopefully there wont be any rowdy drunks later when Jelly Rolls closes. Ari was asleep by 10, and I hope to be off the computer by 11.

    Today was a great start to the trip, and its been nice to hang out with Chris & Ari. Im really happy the rain didnt happen today, although I wish it could have been about 10 degrees cooler! Its fun seeing Ari becoming a miniature Disney expert. Tomorrow we have fastpasses at Magic Kingdom in the morning, and a much needed haircut appointment for Ari! So far, all of his haircuts have been on Main Street in the MK.

    DAY 2 Saturday 5/4/19
    Who: Sue (60), DVC Member
    Chris (32), Son
    Ari (2.75), Grandson

    Plan: Magic Kingdom, Epcot

    Actual: Last night I put the computer aside by 10:30, and did a little reading (kindle) until close to 11. I could still here lots of people laughing and talking outside, so I used 1 ear plug and that was enough to take care of it. I ended up sleeping very well! When I woke at 4:45 I decided that was late enough to get up, so I made my cappuccino and brought it back to bed. Chris & Ari were both sound asleep, so I spent some quiet time online.

    The others were up by 7, so I got Ari situated with a hard-boiled egg and a sausage patty before taking my shower & getting dressed. Ari helped with peeling the egg shell off the egg. By the time Id finished getting dressed, he had finished his breakfast so Chris gave him a glass of chocolate milk. The good stuff comes AFTER the meal <g>, otherwise he may fill up and not eat the food. Chris took his shower while I dried my hair, and then he got Ari dressed while I ran down to the Boardwalk Bakery.

    I got 2 of the Oooey Gooey Sandwiches, and an oatmeal raisin cookie for later. The lady ahead of me was beyond ridiculous a million questions, and then she wined because they no longer sell the warm pecan sticky buns here. I did tell her later she could walk over to Yacht Club and buy them at their marketplace, and she thanked me.

    Back in the studio Chris ate his sandwich and I ate half of mine. They were delicious! Theyre also quite filling neither of us was hungry at lunchtime. My other half is in the fridge for tomorrow. We left for the bus stop just before 8, figuring wed get to Magic Kingdom early. Ha our plans were foiled by Disney transportation.

    The bus stop was mobbed, and soon an Animal Kingdom bus arrived with our bus just a couple minutes later. The Animal Kingdom bus had a trainee driver, a scooter to load, and then a family with a kid in a stroller thats tagged as a wheelchair. In the meantime, our bus sat with the doors closed because it was technically not at the bus stop. Finally they boarded the AK guests, and the bus was standing room only. But, it was tilted to one side. They spent a lot of time fiddling with that lowering the lift to tilt down, then raising it to tilt up. Eventually a cast member with a clipboard came over and the bus pulled away but it was still tilted and probably didnt go to the park like that. But, it let our bus pull in.

    We all had seats for the ride to Magic Kingdom, and got there a little before 9. The ferry pulled in as we approached, but since they do bag check before boarding it wasnt a problem for us. Both bag check & entry went quickly. We walked down Main Street and Chris stopped at Starbucks to get coffee. Ari & I waited outside, and I spotted my friend Mary standing in the middle of Main Street (she is one of the Main Street residents Miss Inga). I hadnt told her we were coming, so she was very surprised to see us. It was great catching up with her shes been a friend for decades at this point.

    When Chris came out he didnt see us, but he texted and I told him to find us in the middle of the street at the intersection. We visited a bit longer, then said goodbye so we could keep the schedule on track. We walked through the castle and parked the stroller by the carousel. Ari loves this and wanted to ride, so we did that first. He rode on a horse and Chris took the one next to him, while I put our bags on the bench in front of that row and took pictures. Its a very short ride!

    From there we walked over to Small World and were able to ride in the front row. Ari enjoys this one too it was the first attraction where he was really engaged, back when he was an infant. After sailing with the multinational little kids, we retrieved the stroller and went back down Main Street to the barber shop. It was pretty busy, but some people must have been walk-ins. We had an appointment, so had hardly any wait at all. In fact, Ari was in the restroom when his name was called but they waited for him.

    The barber was impressed that all of Aris haircuts have been done there, and he did a nice job making Ari look spiffy again. Chris declined the crap theyll put in your hair (treasure), probably figuring it was worth cleaning it out of the tub at bath time, lol! Ari was given several Mickey Mouse stickers on the way out, and we headed back up Main Street to 7 Dwarfs Mine Train.

    Chris doesnt like to ride this, as hes too tall to sit comfortably. Ari is finally tall enough, so he & I rode. Id like to say this was a good move, a great special memory, but it was pretty much an epic failure. Not long into the ride he freaked out, and was NOT happy. Even during the slow part in the mine, he wasnt having any part of it. He survived, but doesnt want to ride it again <g>. When hes a bit older we can try again, but now we know Slinky Dog is definitely off the table at this age!

    While I was torturing my grandson on Mine Train, Chris was able to change our next fastpass from Pirates (Ari didnt like that last time they did it) to Dumbo. When we met up with him outside we walked over to Tomorrowland, where Chris Mine Train fastpass was actually Buzz Lightyear (I may have set it up that way, with Chris being a late addition to the trip). He & Ari rode Buzz, which had a 65 minute standby wait. It was barely 10am! I waited for them at the entrance to People Mover, after parking the stroller.

    People Movers queue had gotten long while they were on Buzz, but when we joined the line it wasnt as bad. We didnt end up with the front car, but didnt ask for it. When we got into Space Mountain the lights were all on, so that was down. I rode it once with the lights on, and thought it was scarier that way vs in the dark! I think my friend Darla was with me for that one.

    By the time we got off, the love bugs were swarming everywhere. Chris got Ari a bottle of bubbles for his Mickey bubble blower, and Ari freaked when a pair of love bugs landed on him. We keep telling him they wont bite, and hes slowly getting braver about them. We walked over to Dumbo and rode that of course Ari manned the controls, fastened the seatbelt, and then unfastened the seatbelt when we landed. Hes an old pro Grandma is just a newbie along for the ride <g>.

    By now it was about 11, so we decided to get Ari lunch at Pinocchios in Fantasyland. While Chris went to order food, Ari & I snagged the last empty table at the window. Then, Ari announces he had to pee! I texted Chris to get over here, and he took Ari to the restroom & left his backpack on the table while I went to pick up the food Chris had ordered. We didnt want to lose the table!

    Since Chris & I werent hungry, he just got the kids pizza meal for Ari. Ari sat by the window and waved to all the boats below on Small World, but he ate his pizza while doing so. We didnt have to prompt him very much at all. He had a great time, and Chris & I really enjoyed the air conditioning. When we went back outside we felt much better.

    It was almost noon, so we headed back down Main Street one last time and used our fastpass to meet Mickey & Minnie in their colorful new clothes. Even with a fastpass it took a little while, but nowhere near the 90-minute standby wait! Ari loves both of them and gave both a big hug. He didnt want to leave with us, so Mickey held his hand and gestured for us (Chris & me) to leave, lol! We waved goodbye to Ari and got partway out of the room before Ari had second thoughts and joined us <g>.

    We exited the park and had just a short wait for our bus. The Swan/Dolphin bus was already there, but that stop had so many people it would be standing room only AND they had a screaming child. We decided waiting for our bus was a better choice! When it arrived we had seats, and it wasnt even half full. The entire ride back Ari was focused on the love bugs.

    We had a pair on the window (inside) and at first he wouldnt let Chris touch them. Eventually he worked past that, and would watch them crawl on Chris fingers or hand, but he would say no when asked if he wanted to touch them. He eventually changed to yes, but he could never bring himself to actually do it. He touched the ones on the outside of the window, lol but that doesnt exactly count. We could tell he was torn wanting to do it, but afraid to do it, and after we got off the bus he was stopping at every group of love bugs we passed (only about 300 or so) so we had to hustle him along or wed never get inside.

    Walking down the halls of the resort, Ari will usually put his finger up to his lips to shush and whisper that we need to be quiet. He learned that on a trip with Amanda & me, when we told him we needed to be quiet because people might be sleeping. So now he remembers that, and tells us. That works for me nothing is more obnoxious than people walking down the hallways talking at the top of their lungs.

    Back in the room we folded down Aris bed and he was asleep pretty quickly. Chris ran over to the Studios since they had some limited edition magic band (540 quantity) selling there today for Star Wars day. Of course, he came back empty handed (as expected). Evidently they were gone in 30 minutes, and hes seen them on ebay for $200 already. He laid down to rest/relax, and I continued updating the report & doing stuff online while Ari slept.

    By 2:30 it was raining lightly. Id gone out on the balcony to talk to SB before he went to work, and noticed the boardwalk changing color (raindrops). I could hear thunder too, yet wasnt calling for rain. By 2:34 it was pouring. By 3:30 everyone was up and getting ready to head into Epcot. On my way down the hall I commented that I left my sunglasses behind, but Chris was pretty sure I wouldnt need them. I should have known leaving them behind would result in a sunny day, and thats exactly what happened!

    I brought the umbrella because it was cloudy, but after barely a sprinkle in part of Epcot, the sun came out for the rest of our time in the park. We again turned left after entering the park, and Chris got the braised beef with pigeon peas & yellow rice. He thought it was just ok. We continued walking a bit, then decided to use the fastpass Id made at Imagination. Ari likes Figment, but he doesnt like the blast at the end of the ride.

    We parked the stroller outside Imagination and were shocked to find the standby queue extended outside! It was posted as 20 minutes but sure looked longer. Thank goodness for fastpass! As expected, Ari came off the ride crying, freaked out by the blast again. Hes ridden this since he was an infant, but now hes at the age where he can be scared of things. He was fine by the time we got to the exit area where he could play <g>. After doing that for a bit, we went up to the DVC lounge and spent a little time there thats when I noticed the sun was shining brightly.

    We left the lounge around 5:30 and walked back out to Future World. The playground was closed, we assume from the rain earlier. At the Citrus stand I got the chicken, and it was better than the last time. Its nice that theres no longer a ridiculous line of people buying those Orange Bird cups now you can actually get food in a reasonable time.

    After I ate we continued walking, and this time we stopped in Mexico. Ari likes to see the Coco displays in the lobby, and we decided to ride the boat ride. The line was longer than Id ever seen it completely filling the queue, with 4 additional switchbacks running along the restaurant. It moved steadily though, and its not like we had to be anywhere else. Its a cute ride, and a good choice for a toddler.

    We went back outside and continued our loop, stopping in America to get dinner for Ari at the counter service place. While I secured a table, Chris did the mobile ordering to get a kids chicken nugget meal. Ari did really well eating his lunch today, but dinner was slow going. After wed been sitting there for quite a while I heard the 6:45 Peter Noone concert starting, so I left them inside and sat outside to listen to the music. I thought perhaps without me as a distraction Ari might eat faster, but that didnt hold true.

    Chris & Ari came out during the last part of the concert, and Ari sat with me while Chris got himself a couple items from the festival booth here the brisket in a baked potato, and the slider he got last night. He finished it just in time for Ari to announce the need for another restroom break (hes been done with diapers for months now).

    We continued walking, stopping in Morocco for me to get a piece of baklava to take back to the resort, then we left the park. On the way back we heard a little thunder and must have commented that thunder was coming. In the elevator and before, Ari told everyone we met that thunder was coming, and were going inside. Of course, nobody could understand what he was saying until I told them, lol.

    Back in the room Ari had his bath, then drank his milk. I worked on the report, and Ari joined me up on the bed. We found Lion King on tv, but hes not used to commercials so when the commercials came on we played with jigsaw puzzles on my computer. At 9 we went out to the balcony for fireworks. Unfortunately, the lightning must have caused a delay for the Magic Kingdom fireworks and cancellation of Illuminations. We sat out there until nearly 9:30, and Ari was hysterically serious telling Chris every time he saw lightning.

    Ari was in bed by 9:40 and I finished up the report and then put the computer aside for the night. Once again the noise from the boardwalk is pretty loud, so I used the one ear plug again. Thats definitely the con when staying boardwalk view. Theres really no excuse for the crappy balcony doors, and better construction would have blocked out that noise.

    Today was a great day its always a treat seeing Mary, and other than scaring Ari half to death on Mine Train, he enjoyed his time at the Magic Kingdom. We were lucky with the weather, getting inside before it ever got bad. Tomorrow looks like another questionable weather day, so well spend time at the pool if its not raining. Chris & Ari will be heading home after that, and Ill have the rest of the day to do whatever including a Slinky Dog fastpass that I wont bother with if its raining.

    DAY 3 Sunday 5/5/19
    Who: Sue (60), DVC Member
    Son (32), Son
    Ari (2.75), Grandson

    Plan: Pool, Hollywood Studios

    Actual: I slept well once again, other than waking up at 2:45 and hearing snoring despite the ear plug. I looked over at the sleep sofa and could see Chris was flat on his back, so thats evidently the reason. He didnt respond to my verbal prompting, and I didnt want to wake Ari, so I finally got up and gave him a nudge while telling him to roll over and he did. That solved the problem and I fell back asleep. When I woke again it was just after 5, so I got up and made my cappuccino.

    Checking the local weather, it looks good for spending time at the pool this morning, but the rest of the day looks like a washout. Well see what really happens. It wont be the end of the world if I spend the time at the resort, but itll be a shame to miss the concert tonight (guy from the Eagles) since Ive never seen this one.

    The others were awake around 7, and since I had 3 eggs and 3 sausage left, thats what they shared for breakfast. I ate the rest of my breakfast sandwich, which was still delicious. Before breakfast Ari joined me in my bed and we did several jigsaw puzzles online, with him picking out each one. Its funny how he remembered this from last trip, and kept wanting to do it again.

    After breakfast we cleaned up and got ready for the pool, getting down there around 8:20. This morning the weather is sunny, but heavy rain & thunderstorms are expected all afternoon and most of the evening (starting around 1 at this point). The main pool opens at 9, but the quiet pool is open 24 hours. I was surprised to find people already sitting out there at a few of the tables.

    Ari got one of the life vests and soon headed into the pool with Chris. I dragged a chaise lounge over to a sunny spot, but between taking pictures and watching Ari, I only had about 10 minutes to do some reading before it was 9. We moved over to the main pool, and for a while Ari was the only kid there.

    He & Chris got to ride the keister coaster repeatedly, without a wait. I wasnt excited about the prospect of having to take Ari up the stairs to the top of the slide, so we took a chance hed follow instruction. Hes done enough Disney water slides to know to wait for the light to turn green before shoving off. He did well, other than coming down face first a couple times. I think he got a time out from the slide for a while after he did it twice in a row. When he went back to sliding, he came down feet first each time but his last trip he didnt wait for the green light. Overall, he did well considering his age.

    I spent an hour reading, although I took a break to swing Ari over the side of the pool and drop him in for a splash landing he enjoyed that. Eventually Ari dried off a bit and spent some time at the playground, then we went upstairs to the room. I didnt realize it yet, but I left my water bottle down there.

    Chris gave Ari a bath, and I decided since rain was coming Id just put on yesterdays clothes in order to get a walk in I can shower later. Ari decided to come with me, but I insisted on him riding in the stroller so we could move faster. Once we were both dressed, he took his moms old camera and we headed out to make a loop around Crescent Lake. It was so hot & humid we ducked into air conditioning every chance we got.

    First stop was the Swan, but we didnt spend much time there beyond looking at the fountains with water coming out of the swans mouths. Next was Dolphin, and I noticed the happy hour information was missing from everything visible at Blue Zoo. Maybe theyve discontinued it? Back outside we took the long way over towards Yacht & Beach, and I gave Ari the last packet of Scooby Doo dog bone cookies, along with his water.

    We entered Yacht Club and walked inside as much as possible. There were people with a baby in a cute & elaborate dress, sitting on a table and across the way was one of those ultra-fancy cakes, but the girl looked way too young for it to be a first birthday. She didnt look thrilled not sure if it was the hot dress, the hot weather, or being used as a prop when she had no clue whats going on <g>.

    Once we got to Beach Club we went back inside and stopped at Beach Club Marketplace. If its pouring all day once the rain starts, I dont want to have to head out in it to get something to eat and right now all I have in the fridge is most of yesterdays baklava. I bought the fruit & cheese container, which came with several crackers. Chris texted as we were leaving Beach Club, and I let him know we were on our way.

    He was all ready to go, so I put the grapes and some of the cheese in a bowl for Ari, then we said our goodbyes. Well be back together in a few weeks (5/22) at Hilton Head along with Amanda and SB. I updated the report, then uploaded the photos going into this trips album. Its on Snapfish, at

    At 12:30 I checked the weather, and when I learned the rain was now pushed back to 2pm I decided to head out for more walking. Being here and not even getting 10,000 steps just seems wrong its easy to get lots of steps, but when Im not going into parks those steps are hard to accumulate!

    I had already walked around the lake, so I decided to walk around World Showcase this time, since when staying on Crescent Lake, Epcot is in your backyard. Theres no unpleasant Disney bus rides or that awful front entrance at Epcot to deal with. I turned to the left, because I was planning on bringing something back from France.

    The park was pretty busy, and several people were carrying their umbrellas for later. It was breezy and often cloudy, but with the humidity it still felt way too hot for early May. Im glad I held off on the shower earlier! The love bugs were swarming around, and Ill be real happy if theyre gone by my next trip (May 17th).

    In France I joined the festival booth queue and ended up in the middle of a big party. They suggested I go ahead of them, as they were likely to take a while I was appreciative of that! I got the chocolate macaron, with another plate to hold over it for the walk back to the resort. The baklava wasnt as great as the version theyve had at Food & Wine in the past, so something chocolate sounded good.

    As I approached Boardwalk I could hear thunder coming from beyond the Swan. Too bad Ari wasnt here to tell me thunder is coming, lol! I got back to the studio by 1:30, put the macaron in the fridge, then made a quick update to the report. The clouds were thickening, the wind picked up, and the thunder was getting more frequent & longer, so Im glad I was able to get out a bit before the weather. My fitbit registered over 13,000 steps at this point, so I can live with that. By 1:42 it was pouring rain out there.

    I got some ice, then had some crackers, cheese & wine while I captioned the photos and did some other online stuff. This rainy day was a good day for HGTV, even though the episodes are reruns. At 3pm I got an email from Disney saying Star Tours was down, so I couldnt use my 3-4pm fastpass right now. No problem Im cool & dry inside my Boardwalk studio <g>.

    By 4 it looked like the storms had mostly passed for a while, so I got up and headed over to Hollywood Studios for my 4:05 Slinky Dog fastpass. Id hoped for the boat but it was nowhere in sight, so I walked around the end of the Boardwalk and walked to the Studios. I learned the boat was at the Swan dock, so it would have been a long wait for another one. The path is open again, which is nice.

    The bus stops still seem like theyre awfully far from the entrance here. They had some gondolas on the Skyliner, with one of them unwrapped. They werent moving, however. I entered the park quickly and walked over to Toy Story Land, which was busy but not insanely mobbed. Most likely the rain cleared some people out earlier!

    The standby queue for Slinky Dog was only 75 minutes, which is about 70 minutes longer than I like to wait. Thankfully, fastpass works really quickly here. While walking through the fastpass queue a young woman jumped from the other line into this one, and was soon joined by a girlfriend. They were directly behind me, and when we got to the 2nd checkpoint to scan to prove you have a fastpass, they turned around and headed back. Idiots or should I say, crooked schemers <g>.

    I asked for and received the back row, and was seated next to a woman riding it for the first time. She agreed it was a lot of fun, but very short! After the ride I headed for the exit, talking with SB as I walked. Outside the park I saw guests coming up from the boat dock, so I ran over there and was able to get a seat out back on the waiting boat. The other day when Chris, Ari & I rode Living with the Land I saw something I wanted to send a picture of to a friend but didnt get my phone out in time. So, I checked the app and was able to add a fastpass tonight, but I had to modify it a couple times to get it pushed back safely so I could get there after the concert.

    I should have stayed on until Yacht Club, but got off at Swan/Dolphin. It didnt really matter, since I was passing the Yacht Club dock as the boat was starting to disembark guests. From there it was a quick walk into Epcot, and I got to America just a few minutes before the 5:30 Don Felder (Eagles) concert. At first the theater wasnt full, and I had a great seat with the offer to move up to the front few rows but I decided to stay where I was.

    The concert was great, and although Ive heard of the Eagles I had no idea so many of the songs I like were done by them. Of course, he closed with Hotel California the concert ran about 35 minutes. When I left the theater, I walked to Future World and the Land. The standby wait was pretty much nonexistent, so I really didnt need the fastpass. I took the photo and sent it, then after riding walked over to Mouse Gear to get the latest festival passholder magnet (Daisy). They were giving out both, but Id already gotten Pluto back in March.

    From there I walked back to International Gateway and returned to the Boardwalk for the final time this trip. My fitbit was now up over 26,000 steps which is more respectable for a day at Disney!

    I dont have much to pack up, but what I do have, Ill mostly need to use in the morning. It was a little after 7 now, so I packed up the clothes, then fixed more crackers and cheese for a little dinner. Later Ill eat the macaron for dessert.

    We did find out this morning that Illuminations had been canceled last night, which explains the lack of fireworks. Evidently they had a big travel-related group there for Illuminations, so Im sure that didnt go over well. Tonight I dont see any reason why I wont be enjoying both Wishes and Illuminations from my balcony at 9pm.

    Today ended up being a much better day than expected, as once again the rain was nowhere near as bad as forecast. I could have done without the heat & humidity, but itll get worse before it gets better.

    The overall trip was great I really enjoyed spending time with Chris & Ari. He (Ari) finally gets my name right now, although it sounds like Gramma. Thats better than being called Papa, which he kept doing the last few trips. Its fun seeing the changes in him each time as he gets more vocal. If theres any lasting trauma, Ill apologize to him one day for taking him on Mine Train <g>. At least that didnt scare him off future attractions he did everything else like normal.

    My next trip will be an actual solo trip, and its unusual in the sense that its shorter than usual and closer than usual. Ill be back here at Boardwalk Villas for 2 nights in only 12 days from now. I really enjoy Starship and when they were announced on the concert schedule, I checked online to see if any rooms were available. I had to take a 1-bedroom, but I booked it figuring my friend Tiana would want to join me. However, she & her husband have a bowling tournament out of state that weekend, and after much consideration and thought about canceling it (another trip starts 3 days later) I decided to keep the reservation and go myself. After all, you only live once!

    Thanks for reading along!

    Sue (Holland) Rayford

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  3. #2
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Aug 2012
    Drexel Hill, PA

    Love your report as usual. On my trip next month my great nephew will be with us and hes not quite 2 so I like to see how Ari handles these trips. Im glad that your son was able to bring him on this trip. Looking forward to your next trip report

  4. #3

    Another lovely trip report Sue! Thanks for taking the time to write them. Goodness, but Ari is handsome and adorable! So happy that you get to spend time with him and make great memories (minus the Mine Train, of course).

  5. #4
    MousePlanet Columnist
    Join Date
    Apr 2001

    Thanks! Yes, hopefully Ari will forget all about that Mine Train incident ;-)

    Sue (Holland) Rayford

  6. #5
    Registered User ericles's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2002
    Maryland's Eastern Shore

    Thanks for the report. I'm always in awe of how detailed you are!

  7. #6

    I haven't been reading trip reports for some time and just realized how long it's been since I read any of yours. I had no idea you had a grandson and he's almost 3. Such fun getting to see it through his eyes. Thanks for your report!

  8. #7

    I had a 1-bedroom all to myself on my last trip to SSR, too. Don't regret spending the points in the least



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