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Thread: Sue (Holland) Rayford, Boardwalk Villas solo weekend, May 17 & 18 2019

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    Sue (Holland) Rayford, Boardwalk Villas solo weekend, May 17 & 18 2019


    Who: Sue (60), DVC Member
    Dates: May 17 19, 2019
    Resort: Disneys Boardwalk Villas Resort (BWV)
    Experience: Very Experienced 28th stay at BWV

    Its nice to be coming back so soon! Ill actually have an even shorter time between WDW trips in November, when I check out on the 4th and come back on the 8th for a few more nights. In between, I will be at work! But, back to this trip. Its only two (2) nights, which is not normal for me. But, since were leaving Wednesday for Hilton Head, I prefer to get home Sunday morning rather than Monday. That way I have most of the day to pack & get ready.

    The only reason for this short trip is seeing Starship perform at the Flower & Garden Festival. When their dates were announced, I checked DVC availability but didnt expect to find anything. The studios were all gone (I dont even consider staying anywhere but Boardwalk or Beach Club for stays where Epcot is a priority), but there was a standard view 1-bedroom available for just these 2 nights. I grabbed them and figured since Tiana LOVES Starship, this gives her a place to sleep if she decides to stay over.

    When I told her, I learned this is the weekend of the bowling tournament she & her husband go to each year, so she wont be able to make it. In the final days before the cancellation window hit, I thought seriously about canceling. In the end, I decided to keep it and enjoy a very short solo trip. The big drawbacks are the hot weather, potential to still be inundated with love bugs, and not having the weekend before the Hilton Head trip free for any running around and preparations for that. But, on the plus side its always nice to get away, I love Starships music, and itll be nice to have the 1-bedroom villa to myself (even if thats a bit excessive).

    Ill arrive late Friday afternoon, and will listen to Starship that evening probably the first couple concerts. Saturday Ill spend the morning by the pool, then clean up for a 2:30 lunch at Chefs de France. Its been years since Ive eaten there, so this will be nice. Later itll be more Starship, then Sunday morning Ill head home. I do have a couple Fastpasses in Epcot both days, if I choose to use them. This time I wont have to deal with noise from the boardwalk, since Im standard view (so no ear plugs).

    The plans so far are:
    Friday 5/17: Drive to WDW, Epcot
    Saturday 5/18: Pool, Chefs de France, Epcot
    Sunday 5/19: Drive to Gainesville

    DAY 1 Friday 5/17/19
    Who: Sue (60), DVC Member

    Plan: Drive to WDW, Epcot

    Actual: Having left earlier than normal for the last trip (2 weeks ago), and knowing Im taking most of next week off, I delayed my departure today from the normal noon, to 1pm. I figured that should also help ensure my villa is ready when I arrive, but of course theres no guarantee. I do know I want to get settled before heading off to Epcot, since this trip is so short.

    I left work at 1, was on the road before 1:15, and was pulling into Boardwalk around 3:15. Id gotten the email (before 2pm) that my room was ready great news! Once again, I parked by the conference center and walked up that way. My villa is not too many doors away from the elevators, so SB would have loved it. My view from the living room and bedroom (2 separate balconies) are a couple big trees, and off to the left I see the front entrance to the resort. For 2 nights its no big deal I saw the fireworks really well last trip, and dont have to have them again this time.

    I unpacked quickly, and was walking over to Epcot by 3:45. It wasnt terribly crowded, and I had no wait until I got to the magic band readers. Why they only open 1 side of each pair is beyond me its ridiculous! They have a cast member stationed at each one surely each cast member can manage/monitor 4 band readers. Anyway, I got into the park and headed to Future World to use my first fastpass at Spaceship Earth.

    Passing the Honey stand I thought of the tandoori chicken there, and stopped to check the description. I know Amanda & I shared it on the first trip, but I didnt remember whether I really liked it or not. It sounded ok, so I kept that in mind for later. Although it was nearly 90 degrees, the humidity wasnt bad and when the sun was behind a cloud it was really nice outside. When the sun was shining, it was a little brutal maybe a lot brutal, as Id find out later.

    I got to Spaceship Earth and used my fastpass. The photos of the guests are still not showing up in the ending, which is a shame. Thats what made it cool now it doesnt have that factor. I randomly selected answers to the questions, and got some different elements in my future.

    After the ride I walked back out to World Showcase, stopping at the honey booth to get the honey tandoori chicken flatbread. The tables there were all in the sun (like an oven), but there were more in a shady area next to Pineapple Promenade so I took it over there. That was much more comfortable, and I enjoyed the little flatbread.

    Once I finished eating I continued walking towards America, stopping to sit on a shady bench in France with a glass of wine, but then realized for the first concert people are allowed into the theater at any time. So, I got up and walked over there to find a nearly full theater. I ended up snagging a seat at the far left end of the second row of the back section, but it was in the sun. I was sweating like a pig as were others around me. I put up my umbrella, which provided minimal relief.

    About 10 minutes before the show, they let people in the front section move up to the reserved (dining package) section, then let the rest of us move up. I still ended up in the sun, but this time at the far left end of the 2nd row of the front section, lol. Since nobody was to my left, I kept the umbrella up to block some of the sun.

    The show was excellent and all their songs are great. Mickey Thomas doesnt seem to age from year to year, and sounds the same as he did years ago. Stephanie is always outstanding, and tonight was no exception. After the show I wandered around a bit, then decided to turn around and join the queue for the second (6:45) show. Once again, I ended up in the sun.

    When they let us in, I got a much better seat in the shade, towards the middle, near the front of the second section (on the end of a row). During this show I didnt sweat at all, lol! It was another great show, and they only repeated a few of their biggest songs the rest was all different from the first show.

    After this one I walked over to Norway and used my fastpass to ride Frozen. Here I ran into a party of 4-5 people having trouble, and were blocking the reader on the left. Another party was behind them, standing right behind them doing nothing. I told the guy there was another reader to the right, and he shrugged and told me I could go. Yessiree, I certainly will no point standing with my thumb up my *** because people up ahead are having a challenge <g>. Fastpass works pretty well here, and it seemed like I was in & out in no time.

    Of course the attraction exits guests through the shops, but thankfully they were not crowded so it was easy to get back outside. I walked back to Germany and got the warm cheese strudel with berries, and took it to a shady table. A nice couple asked if they could share my table, and we chatted a bit while we each ate our different items from Germany. Once I was finished I wished them well and continued to America. Theyd already let people in for the final Starship show so I decided to stay for it. Once again I had a great seat, and no sweating.

    All three shows were excellent I hadnt planned on seeing all three, but Im glad I did. I headed for the exit after the third one, getting back to my villa shortly before Illuminations started at 9. As it turns out, I have a great view of the fireworks from the living room balcony.

    I finished up the report, and will do some online stuff before heading to bed. Its great being here, and although this 1-bedroom villa feels awfully wasteful, it definitely feels more like a home than being in a resort room.

    Tomorrow Ill get my favorite breakfast sandwich and spend the morning at the pool, the head into Epcot for a late lunch, fastpasses and more Starship concerts. Cant believe my last full day will be here tomorrow, lol!

    DAY 2 Saturday 5/18/19
    Who: Sue (60), DVC Member

    Plan: Pool, Chefs de France, Epcot

    Actual: Last night I left the living room and went to bed around 10. After a little time on the Kindle, it was lights out by 10:30 only to be awakened at ten minutes after midnight by the beep, beep, beep of a luggage truck backing up (a long distance, given the number of beeps). Once that ended, Tiana texted to thank me for sending her a Starship clip last night. After that, it was quiet & I fell back asleep, getting up just before 5.

    I was going to take my cappuccino back to bed & get online, but I barely had an internet signal from there. I got up with the laptop and once I moved away I had full strength, so I guess in this villa my internet time will be in the living room. The luggage truck arrived again around 5:30, but since I was already up it didnt bother me.

    Boardwalk Bakery opens at 6:30, so just before then I walked over there and got an Oooey Gooey Sandwich to bring back to the villa. The bakery had just opened, and a few people were ahead of me. It seemed to take forever, thanks to some guy evidently getting breakfast for his part of 4 or 5 people! The cast member at the cash register kept banging open rolls of coins, so evidently people were paying cash and he didnt have his drawer set up in time for opening. By the time it was my turn, the sandwich was already done and sitting in the paper bag waiting for me.

    Back in the villa, the sandwich looked smaller than it did a couple weeks ago, but since I have lunch in 6-7 hours, thats not necessarily a bad thing. I ate half, and it was delicious definitely a little smaller. The other half went into the fridge, along with the apple slices.

    Around 8:45 I changed into a swimsuit and shortly after that headed down to the pool. I went to my usual section of the main (Luna Park) pool, and it was delightfully uncrowded the whole morning. For most of the time there were only a handful of other people, and nobody too close. It got pretty warm, pretty quickly. Thankfully one of the showers was nearby, so I used that to cool off every once in a while. I stayed out there reading and playing on the kindle until just after 11:30.

    Housekeeping had already gotten the trash while I was away, so thats taken care of. I puttered around the villa, and washed my swimsuit, ate the apple slices that came with the breakfast sandwich this morning, then took my shower. Around 2 I headed over to Epcot, figuring I would try to check in early for my 2:30 lunch reservation at Chefs de France.

    There was no wait to enter the park, but once inside I noticed most of the festival booths had queues that were so long they extended outside of the roped area. Thats quite a change from yesterday, when you could just walk right up to order at most of them. Later I overheard some people talking about being surprised by how many people are in the park today.

    At Chefs de France, lunch was winding down and there were lots of empty tables. They were emptying out the inside and seating the remaining guests on the front porch area. I havent eaten here in several years, and the menu looked the same as I remembered. I ordered the house chardonnay and the French onion soup.

    A warm baguette and the soup came out almost immediately and were great! I swear this is the best French onion soup anywhere Ive been! Its not salty, and just tastes great. I ate most of it, and had no room for dessert (none of them sounded spectacular anyway). The passholder discount isnt offered on weekends, so no discounts for me. It would have only been $.90 so no big deal. After paying the check, I was back outside about 3pm.

    Again, in clouds or shade it was gorgeous outside thanks to a nice breeze. In direct sunlight it was a bit too hot. I walked to Future World and used my Soarin fastpass, being seated in the top row but on one of the side. My Eiffel Tower was leaning quite a bit! I decided to skip Living with the Land, since I did it at least twice a couple weeks ago. Plus, the standby wait was 25 minutes & it was pretty busy over there. Instead, I walked back over to America and took a seat for the 5:30 concert at 4pm.

    I was center stage, front row of the 2nd section, and was in the shade for a while. By 5 the sun had come down enough that I was in the sun (HOT) but didnt want to bail out on the spot and the sun was better by the time the show started. Just as it started, the Hilton Head resort called, but I let it go to voice mail and called them between shows. It was a great concert, slightly different than the first show last night.

    After the show ended I stood back in America to call Hilton Head and learned they were just checking on my room requests. The #1 most important thing is top floor, after last years fiasco with rude upstairs neighbors. They made a note that wed like building 14 or 15 if its available. From there I joined the queue for the 6:45 concert, and they didnt let the line start going into the theater until about 10 minutes before the show. They used to do it 30 minutes in advance, but no more.

    This time I was on the aisle, a few rows back in the 2nd section (in the shade). It was another outstanding show. The band is great, Mickey Thomas is wonderful, but Stephanie is phenomenal! She gets so many standing ovations, and deserves them all. They always finish with We Built This City on Rock & Roll, since as Mickey said, if they didnt wed all be upset.

    After this show I decided to head out of the park, and since lines at the festival kiosks were still ridiculously long I didnt get any last Flower & Garden dessert item. Instead, I stopped at Ample Hills Creamery since that line wasnt too bad (last night at 8:45 it was practically out the door). I got part peanut butter cup and part butter pecan brittle, in a sugar cone delicious!

    Back in the villa I finished up the report, settled in for the night. Tonight Ill take a glass of wine out to the living room balcony at 9 and watch Illuminations one last time. Tomorrow Ill relax with my cappuccino and finish the breakfast sandwich, then hit the road. Ill probably go into the office for a little while before SB gets off work, and Ill need to finish packing for Hilton Head how nice to have the next trip starting 3 days later!

    This ended up being a nice little getaway trip, although way too short for my liking. I really enjoyed having the villa rather than a studio, although I dont really need anything larger than a studio for a solo trip. It was still nice to have all the space! The Starship concerts were outstanding, and since Ill miss their dates for Food & Wine, Im glad I got to see them this trip.

    I didnt bring the camera, so there are no photos this time. Thanks for reading along, and look for the next one in a few days!

    Sue (Holland) Rayford

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    Love your report as usual. Its making more excited if possible about my Nov. trip during food and wine even though I go at the end of June first, because we booked an Eat to the beat dining package. Its my first time going at that time. I cant wait to see at least one show if not more. Have a great time in Hilton Head



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