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Thread: Sue Rayford, Saratoga Springs early September 2021

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    MousePlanet Columnist
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    Sue Rayford, Saratoga Springs early September 2021

    Who/When/Where:

    Who: Sue (62), DVC Member
    Holli (50s), friend
    Chris (34), son
    Amanda (32), daughter-in-law
    Ari (5), grandson
    Dates: September 2 6, 2021
    Resort: Disneys Saratoga Springs Resort & Spa
    Experience: Very Experienced 29th stay at Saratoga

    INTRODUCTION:
    This was booked as another club level trip at Jambo House, with other studios for Holli and Chris & Amanda. By last Memorial Day weekend (another club level stay that didnt happen) I accepted the ugly truth that club level wouldnt be open for this trip either. The concierge lounge would have been our gathering spot, so without that I jumped online to check availability for something big enough for all of us, and Saratoga Springs was the only thing available. It means Holli will have to use my bathroom (and sleep in the living room), but the resort is so pretty now (after the refurb) it was worth it to us. Weve also been spending more time at Disney Springs since in this heat/humidity I have no interest in the parks, and Saratoga is very convenient to that. Im looking forward to cooler weather for the later part of the Food & Wine Festival, and will happily go into Epcot to enjoy that (walking in from Beach Club or Boardwalk stays) but beyond that I could care less about going to any other park without fastpass being back. As it turns out, Disney made a liar out of me and a few weeks before the trip announced the concierge lounge would be opening August 26th! I was heartbroken, and of course nothing there was available, so Ill just need to make the best of it.

    For Saratoga I booked standard view since thats all that was available at the time, and Ive requested the Paddock. That section has a very nice pool area, with a slide for Ari to enjoy. Its also fairly convenient to the Carriage House. When going to Disney Springs Im undecided on Disney transportation vs driving driving may win out since we dont have to wear masks in the car, but well see how it goes.

    At Disney Springs there are a number of possibilities for Holli & me. Wed like to hit Jock Lindsay Hangar Bar for happy hour one day, which is from noon til 3pm Mon-Fri. Its possible well share the sliders at the bar at Splitsville some day. Gideons is ridiculously fattening, but so good no doubt well be there early in the trip. Close to 60 days before the trip I made some dining reservations and set our game plan. Arrival day well do the Gideons virtual queue and Jock Lindsay Hangar Bar while waiting for the villa to be ready. I booked Splitsville lunch for Friday, but we may just show up and sit at the bar. Were interested in the sliders, which we can share. Saturday I booked lunch at Terralina, and Sunday well wander over to the Lava Lounge to check that out (somewhere new to me hoping its in air conditioning).

    In terms of the parks, my park pass is valid but my willingness to endure the heat, humidity and crowds is lacking. I did book a reservation for Epcot on Friday, figuring since the park is open late I could visit Food & Wine at night with Chris family. Holli doesnt have a park pass, so shell be enjoying a resort trip. Chris family arrives Friday they were both able to get out of work early so theyll pick Ari up at school (hes in kindergarten now) and hit the road. They have park reservations for Saturday through Monday and included me, but I will have canceled myself from most of them prior to the trip.

    A few weeks ago I got an email from DVC about a member preview opportunity for Remys Ratatouille attraction in France at Epcot. I joined the queue and secured spots for us (not Holli, since she doesnt have a park pass) on Sunday. I absolutely did NOT want to be going into the parks on these hot days, but I knew Chris, Amanda & Ari would want to do this and they couldnt if I wasnt there. I also did not want to deal with the ridiculous 5 bus stops at Saratoga and then being dumped at the front entrance to Epcot, having to sweat my way back to France and then repeat the trip getting out of there. Fortunately someone I know is staying at Beach Club Villas, so Ill drive over there to visit them, dash into Epcot/France for the preview, then head back out.

    Were not planning to do the full blown faux concierge lounge each night this trip, since we have proximity to Disney Springs and will be eating more than we did on the previous faux lounge trips. Well see. I dont think Top of the World lounge is open yet, or wed consider an evening there to watch the Magic Kingdom fireworks. I teased Holli I should have my butt parked in the real concierge lounge, where someone else cuts up the cheeses and lays things out, so Im going to sit in the living room like a prima donna slug while she does all the work <g>.

    A couple more developments occurred around a week before the trip. On a personal note (most people already know), my dad passed away. Chris & I flew up to Boston Sunday for the services Monday and flew back to our homes Tuesday 2 days ago. Thank you for the many messages of support on Facebook. Also this week Disney announced their new annual pass tiers and pricing, which are so ridiculously higher than before were not sure what the future will hold for us in terms of Disney trips. I do enjoy the resorts, and I could definitely dont want to be in the parks when its hot, but since I still work doing weekday trips doesnt work. That will be a great retirement plan, but that would leave out Chris, Amanda & Ari, so I dont like that. So, time will tell. For now I just renewed my pass, so I am fine until early October 2022. Well see what the 2022 Food & Wine trip looks like <g>.

    The plans so far are:
    Thursday 9/2: Drive to WDW, Disney Springs, Jock Lindsay Hangar Bar
    Friday 9/3: Pool, Splitsville, Food & Wine evening
    Saturday 9/4: Pool, Terralina, Resort
    Sunday 9/5: Pool, Remys Ratatouille preview, Lava Lounge
    Monday 9/6: Drive to Gainesville


    DAY 1 Thursday 9/2/21
    Who: Sue (62), DVC Member
    Holli (50s), friend

    Plan: Drive to WDW, Disney Springs, Jock Lindsay Hangar Bar

    Actual: Today we only worked until 11 so we could get here earlier. With the covered parking garages at Disney Springs we figured we could arrive around 1, join the virtual queue at Gideons and then sit at an air conditioned bar for a light lunch while waiting for the Gideons return time and room ready text. Once we pulled onto Disney property I saw the notification that our villa was ready, but we still decided to stick with the Disney Springs plan.

    We parked in the Orange Garage, which had more empty spaces than Id ever seen before. At Gideons they werent doing the virtual queue since the line wasnt long enough, so we joined the standby queue and within about 15 minutes were inside the building. I got cookies for Chris & Amanda, and a couple for myself. Holli got cookies to bring back to her adult sons and one for herself. From there we walked across the road to Jock Lindsays Hangar Bar. There was going to be a 10 minute wait for a table (there were several empty tables) but half of the bar was empty so we asked to sit there and were let inside right away.

    Our bartender provided good service, and we appreciated the air conditioning. Its a small place, with more seating out back (on the lake), but it was a bit warm for that. This place does happy hour Monday Friday from noon until 3pm. We each ordered the happy hour wine white for me, red for Holli. She really liked hers, while mine was just ok a very ordinary California chardonnay, and chardonnay is my least favorite white wine.

    For lunch we shared the empanadas appetizer. It comes with 2, but theyll add a third for an extra $2 so we did that. I didnt want more than one, so this was perfect. They had some type of sauce/dip that was excellent with it. A couple sat next to us and they ordered the $32 candied/chocolate dipped bacon appetizer with the smoke under the glass. It comes with 2 beverages, so they had a couple beers. It was pretty cool, but the effects were gone in seconds. The bacon didnt last much longer, so I guess it was good <g>.

    After lunch we got the car and drove over to Saratoga Springs. My requests were met top floor, Paddock section, one of the buildings next to the Paddock pool. We brought everything up to the villa and settled in, then went out to walk over to the Springs section to get Holli a room key (shed left her magic band in her car at home). Along the way we checked out the Paddock pool, then walked over to the Springs via the bridge across the water.

    Fortunately we had the sense to bring umbrellas, because we did encounter some rain. Most of it occurred while we were inside, so after getting Hollis key and checking out the shop we walked through Turf Club Lounge and stood on the covered patio for the closed Turf Club restaurant while it poured outside. It blew over very quickly, and then the sun was shining again so we walked back to the villa. I caught up some work stuff, and we turned the local news on the tv.

    For dinner we fixed crackers & cheese and poured some wine. One of the cold bottles was Nobilo sauvignon blanc, which Holland America Line has on their wine list. If I like it Ill stick with the regular (signature) beverage package that came with my booking, but if not Ill need to upgrade to the elite version. We both liked the wine, so its a winner. Holli may still upgrade so she can order some of the more expensive whiskeys at the whiskey bar, but since I dont drink that stuff Im fine where I am.

    The cheeses were a couple of cheddars (one with ale, one soaked in red wine), merlot bellivitano, herb & garlic soft cheese, and honey goat cheese. We put out 4 different types of crackers as well, and it was all good. We scaled back on the quantity, and it was nearly perfect not much leftover to put away. While I did that Holli washed the platter and our plates.

    Id searched the villa for the extra blankets but came up empty handed. The only extras were on the top shelf of Chris & Amandas room, but both containers only had pillows. I called housekeeping and in no time at all they were here delivering 4 blankets. I put 2 in their room, kept one for myself and gave the other to Holli. Were probably in for the night at this point, so I was able to wrap up the report fairly early.

    Today was a great start to the trip I never expected the villa to be ready before we got here! The room location is great, and just what I asked for. The master bathroom has a door from the living room, so Holli will be able to use the bathroom without coming through my bedroom. I gave her the sink in that room, and I put my stuff on the sink in the room with the bathtub (next to my bedroom). Well have to share the toilet room and the shower.

    Gideons went very smoothly, despite not having the virtual queue. It was great trying a new place Jock Lindsays Hangar Bar. The food we saw being consumed there all looked good, and its a cool atmosphere.

    Tomorrow we hope for pool time, although Im concerned about the pool gates saying they dont open until 10am. Im so tired of this crap a pool not opening until 10am in the hot weather is not acceptable! If I cant get in at the paddock I may walk or bus over to Carousel or Congress Park to get in there earlier (without a slide theres no lifeguard and therefore the hours may not be limited). Holli & I have a lunch reservation at Splitsville at 1:30 but we also have a covid call at 1:30. Most likely well head over early and just sit at the bar we can do the call from there. Later Ill head to Food & Wine Festival (unless its raining) with Chris, Amanda & Ari.


    DAY 2 Friday 9/3/21
    Who: Sue (62), DVC Member
    Holli (50s), friend
    Chris (34), son
    Amanda (32), daughter-in-law
    Ari (5), grandson

    Plan: Pool, Splitsville, Food & Wine evening

    Actual: Last night the villa was nice & quiet and my bed was very comfortable. I woke up early but probably dozed off and on for a while, eventually getting up just before 5. I made my cappuccino and brought it back to bed. A little before 7 I noticed the living room lights were on, so I went out to join Holli. Shed just made her pot of coffee and was enjoying some of her coffee cake cookie from Gideons. She said the murphy bed was very comfortable.

    We watched the morning news while doing our online stuff and chatting here & there. I reached out to cruise buddy Fran to see how shes doing up in NJ (post Ida). Its now 88 days until our next cruise! I spent more time stressing over the new WDW annual pass choices, but thankfully I dont have to decided until October 2022. My current pass expires in early October 2021 and Id already renewed it a couple weeks ago. Im leaning strongly towards the cheapest option, which means no Saturday or Sundays in the parks. I figure Saturday can be a pool day (or maybe water park) and Sunday I go home Ill just need to do more Wed/Thu arrivals where possible.

    Around 8 I cooked my egg and slice of bacon, taking it to the dining table for breakfast. After cleaning up we changed into swimsuits and walked over to the Congress Park pool hoping it would be open 24 hours. Sure enough, there was no sign at the gate and no lock! A few other guests were already there so we grabbed some pool towels and got set up on some chaise lounges in the sun. Eventually Holli went into the pool with her book, which she said was delightful.

    I noticed the work email that we were having an emergency covid team meeting at 9:45 so I let her know. My friend Michael from work texted to see if I could talk, and we spent most of the rest of the time leading up to the call on the phone. Our damn stupid unvaccinated staff continue to cause breakthrough infections in our vaccinated residents. The good thing is because theyre vaccinated they have zero or mild symptoms (like a minor cold), but we still have to yank them out of their home and move them to an isolation home for 10 days. This creates some major issues for some, as theyre prone to inappropriate behaviors to start with and have no comprehension of why theyre in a strange setting with unfamiliar people. Thank you unvaccinated *******s this (along with my dads death) is directly related to you.

    We did the call at 9:45, and thankfully only 1 out of 13 residents had tested positive. Holli & I enjoyed the pool until around 11:30 and then dried off and walked back to the villas. Rather than staggering showers I took my towel & shower stuff and used Chris & Amandas shower while Holli used the master bathroom shower. That let us both be ready about the same time and with 3 hairdryers in the unit even that wasnt a problem.

    We headed over to the bus stop around 12:30 and the bus arrived at 12:32. The driver needed to use the restroom, so we waited while we did that, and were the only ones on the bus at first. We then stopped at Congress Park and the Springs before leaving the resort for Disney Springs. In the past the Disney Springs bus was the reverse route, so we would have been the last stop but evidently that has changed.

    At Disney Springs theres no more temperature check and no metal detectors for people arriving by bus, but we had to go way to the right to enter and then backtrack to where we were headed (which seems ridiculous). It wasnt very busy today either much less than I would have expected. At Splitsville they were not busy and we got there just after 1pm for a 1:30 reservation. I told the guy at the desk we had a reservation but wanted to just sit at the (empty) bar. He canceled our reservation and we went to take our seats.

    The bartender was very nice, and we had a great lunch. We started with the house wine (sauvignon blanc for me and merlot for Holli), then shared the cheeseburger sliders. That comes with 3 excellent sliders, so 1 for me and 2 for her. Later she added one of the cocktails (a bourbon thing she loved) and I had another glass of the wine. Everything was great, and it never got busy. After settling the check (with dvc discount) we walked back to the bus stop just as our bus pulled in.

    Arriving back at Saratoga Springs we went first to the Springs (coming in via back entrance), so we got off there and walked across the bridge to our building. It started to rain as we got there, so we walked through the interior of the building to stay dry. I think with the latest annual pass changes eventually I may find that Saratoga Springs is the logical place to stay (easy to get at 7 months), since my park time would be limited to Fri night or Thursday night & Friday, then the rest of the trip I could easily access Disney Springs for some drinks/dining. Who would have ever thought??

    Back in the villa I caught up the trip report while Holli did stuff on her tablet. Chris & Amanda were on the road later than planned, as daycare picks Ari up from school so rather than getting him when school gets out at 2:45 they had to pick him up at daycare at 3:30. As Rodney knows, Chris doesnt have a real car", so they may need to stop and charge his Tesla before arriving, which delays them further.

    Holli & I had some wine and Amanda confirmed that they needed to stop at the charger before arriving. Their ETA at the charger was 6:40, pending no delays on I-4. I gave them a friends name whos staying at Beach Club Villas so theyll park there. Since Ive been drinking wine I decided to take the bus rather than drive, and I can do the long walk through Epcot. By 6 the wind was blowing and the sky across from the balcony was dark & stormy. Food & Wine is no fun in the rain, but hopefully this will blow over quickly and be gone by the time the Hollands get here.

    Holli said she planned to go to the Paddock pool once I left to meet the others, and fixed herself some cheese & crackers before then. I held off, since Food & Wine Festival was going on and I wasnt even hungry. Shortly after 6 I headed out, hoping for the best but carrying an umbrella.

    At the bus stop there was no arrival time for the Epcot bus, so I figured Id just missed it. Quite a bit later it popped up with a time almost 20 minutes away! After a while it sped up by 5 minutes. Meanwhile Chris & Amanda were on I-4, and were running into traffic.

    I got on the bus when it arrived, and soon it started raining harder (with thunder). We stopped at Congress Park, and it rained harder. On the way to the Springs Amanda mentioned they were sitting still in traffic on I-4. I decided to get off the damn bus this just wasnt worth it! I texted her to let her know, and we agreed to just cancel the park reservations and give up on Food & Wine tonight. Not knowing what time theyd even arrive was part of the consideration.

    I walked through the rain to get back to the villa, getting pretty wet even with the umbrella. Holli never made it to the pool, obviously. I poured a glass of wine and cut up a little cheese to go with a few crackers and joined Holli on the couch. The Hollands arrived shortly after 7:30, and Ari was excited to see me <g>. That always makes a grandma feel good!

    Chris & Amanda brought me a bottle of wine from the Outer Banks, so I put that in the fridge. Ari had a snack and Amanda tried some of her Gideons lemon poppyseed cookie. I got to try a bite and it was actually very good. She loved it! Id also brought a gold necklace that belonged to my mom and gave it to Amanda so shed have something from her.

    Ari had some play doh so he & Holli set about making each other jewelry and then snowmen and other creatures. He also brought her a Frozen necklace hed made, similar to the one he made for me. Around 8:30 Amanda took Ari in for his bath, and the rest of us hung out watching My Lottery Dream Home on HGTV.

    Today was a mostly great day. Both Holli & I loved the morning at the pool. Splitsville was great, and Holli really liked that cocktail she ordered. The rain was very disappointing, as was the traffic the Hollands encountered on I-4.

    Tomorrow the Hollands head to Magic Kingdom. Holli & I will go back to the Congress Park pool, then later we have lunch at Terralina.


    DAY 3 Saturday 9/4/21
    Who: Sue (62), DVC Member
    Holli (50s), friend
    Chris (34), son
    Amanda (32), daughter-in-law
    Ari (5), grandson

    Plan: Pool, Terralina

    Actual: Once again I slept really well love the quiet! I was up by 5 and heard Holli raising the murphy bed around 6:15. I enjoyed my cappuccino from bed and did online stuff, then joined her in the living room around 6:30. Ari was the first Holland to emerge, and he ate one of the hard boiled eggs Id brought for him while his parents got showered and dressed. They headed out to the Magic Kingdom by 8.

    Holli & I got ready for the pool and walked over around 8:30, going to Congress Park again. I really like this pool, and its not a long walk at all. The pool wasnt busy when we arrived, but it got very busy by the time we left at noon. There were a few families with young children, who I assume didnt want to have to wait until 10am to use a pool. It was a nice crowd no obnoxious noisy people. It felt a little more comfortable than yesterday too, thanks to clouds passing over more frequently. Holli spent her time mostly in the pool reading her book and I did my reading on my chaise lounge.

    At the Magic Kingdom Chris, Amanda & Ari were on People Mover when it broke down, and they got evacuated off the ride. They didnt mind, as its a new adventure. They were given a fastpass for the inconvenience, which they used to ride Buzz Lightyear after lunch.

    Back at the villa I took my shower first, since Hollis sink area is in the room with the shower. This way I could exit into my area, leaving the shower room free for her to shower & get ready. It worked well and we were out the door before 1. We walked over to Disney Springs it wasnt horrible walking over but it was very warm walking back.

    We checked in at Terralina and said we wanted to sit at the bar, so they canceled our lunch reservation. The bar wasnt busy only 1 other couple while we were there. Unfortunately some jerk parents somewhere in the restaurant had a small child that would shriek an ear-piercing scream pretty frequently. I wanted to find them and slap the parents, but I refrained. It was totally uncalled for and I dont know why those jerk parents didnt take their child outside to stop bothering everyone.

    Lunch was very good. We each had a glass of wine (me white, Holli red). She had the eggplant parmesan sandwich, which she said was very good. I got the caprese salad Id had last time, and this time some of the tomatoes were a little less ripe. I still enjoyed it, but it wasnt as wow as last time. After getting the dvc discount on the food and settling the check we headed back outside.

    Chris had texted me a photo while we were having lunch and asked if Id look for the item. It was a popcorn bucket, from the Nightmare Before Christmas. Its exclusive to passholders, and limited to 2 per person (thank goodness Disney is doing more of this so many people buy up everything and then resell it all on the internet to make money. We had no idea where the popcorn bucket might be found, but a google search indicated a few possible locations none particularly close. When we came out of the restaurant I noticed directly across from us was a popcorn cart with the bucket on display! There was no line either, so we went over there and bought the bucket Im sure its for Ari.

    With that done we walked back to the villas, and sat in the air conditioned living room with HGTV on to relax and cool down. Amanda & Ari were napping in their room and Chris took the car to the charger. Holli & I did some online stuff, and eventually Chris came back. Hed gone to Publix while the car was charging and brought back more refreshments for them.

    It was probably 4 or after when Ari woke up, and Amanda followed. Shed gotten a really cute spirit jersey for the 50th anniversary. Id brought a new puzzle so we worked on that only 100 pieces so it didnt take too long. Ari was a bundle of energy and was bouncing off the walls a bit. At one point he had to sit by the front door (time out), but then came back for more fun & games. He has a ton of energy!

    They decided to go over to Disney Springs and left around 5:30. Amanda texted later to say theyd eaten at Enzos & Maria (or Maria & Enzos) and had shared the spaghetti & meatballs but were unable to finish it. She thought it would be great for SB! Holli cut up some cheese and I pulled out the crackers, setting up a small platter for our dinner. We poured some wine Indaba chenin blanc for me and the rest of a red wine for Holli.

    Our cruise buddy Fran texted me about November at Disney. I arrive the day before she & her daughter & son-in-law leave, and were all at Beach Club Villas. We made plans to meet for a drink at Marthas Vineyard that night so I could meet the kids. She also mentioned her February 2022 fare under HALs weekend promo looked a little cheaper. Id already checked mine & Hollis the other day, and the deal we booked at was better, but I realized I needed to check SBs booking. In his case the fare would go up $20 but his crew incentive (the daily service charge - $14.50/day) would be free, so I sent an email to my travel agent to get that updated.

    We spent the evening watching HGTV, and I imagine Ari & his parents will be back before too long. There was no rain today too bad it wasnt like this last night! Today was a delightful day Holli has loved relaxing in the pool and said shes never felt so relaxed. I admitted my favorite days are the ones where I dont bother with the parks. Decades ago I could have never imagined saying that, but its the truth. Im so over crowds and queues just give me my beautiful resorts!

    Tomorrow I have the Remy preview with the Hollands, which unfortunately means I have to cut my pool time very short in order to shower and get over to Epcot in time. Holli & I are planning on Lava Lounge for lunch, but since thats technically outside (not in air conditioning) well see how it feels when we get there!


    DAY 4 Sunday 9/5/21
    Who: Sue (62), DVC Member
    Holli (50s), friend
    Chris (34), son
    Amanda (32), daughter-in-law
    Ari (5), grandson

    Plan: Pool, Remys Ratatouille preview, Lava Lounge

    Actual: The Hollands got back around 9 last night, and Ari had used some birthday gift cards to buy a Jack Skellington in a Santa costume. He said they didnt have the regular one so he had to get the Christmas one. This kid loves Nightmare Before Christmas, and has several pajamas, a backpack, assorted popcorn buckets, etc. We hung out for a while, then headed to our beds around 9:30.

    After sleeping well again I got up just before 5, made my cappuccino and brought it back to bed while I watched the morning news & did online stuff. I headed out to the living room just before 7, once I heard Holli folding the murphy bed back up into the wall. Ari & Jack Skellington soon came out of the other bedroom to join us. Eventually I made breakfast Ari wanted a hot cooked egg vs the other hard boiled egg this morning so I cooked his first and brought it out to the balcony along with his chocolate milk. Holli had already eaten her English muffin so I made my egg and slice of bacon then joined Ari on the balcony.

    After breakfast we hung around a little, then Holli & I agreed to go to the pool earlier. We changed into swimsuits, grabbed our stuff and were out the door at 8:15. Chris & Amanda had just gotten up and were getting ready to start their day. We walked over to Congress Park and once again were not the first to arrive at the pool. It was very nice out there its a shame I didnt make this preview reservation for late afternoon, but I was concerned about the likelihood of rain/thunderstorms this time of year.

    I left Holli at the pool & went back to the villa at 10. Since I figured Id be sweating over in Epcot I just cleaned up some but didnt do the whole shower, wash & dry hair thing. By 10:30 I was headed to the car and drove over to Beach Club Villas to visit a dvc friend whos staying there right now. I parked the car and walked through the pool area to the Epcot walkway out back. I was a bit concerned International Gateway would be a zoo due to the Skyliner dumping thousands of rooms of non-Crescent Lake guests into the area, but it wasnt bad.

    There was a long line, and that was for the dvc preview people. Everyone else just breezed right past and went into the park. I didnt really understand this, as nothing was checked or done in the long line, other than sweating in the sun. I think maybe if you didnt have a park reservation they would have done something to get you in but since I had one I think my time in this line was a waste.

    Chris & his family were in line at Test Track, about to board. Ari had Amanda send me a picture of the car he designed, and it was really nice! I walked towards Canada and it was hotter than the surface of the sun around World Showcase. Basically I sought out shade wherever I could. The food & wine kiosks were not very busy, but it was too hot to consider getting anything. Wine would be hot in no time, and although I love the cheese soup in Canada it just didnt sound right in this weather! I sat on a bench across from Simmering Sips to wait for the others.

    After Test Track they got Ari some mac & cheese from that booth (over by Test Track) and then walked over to meet me. We continued to France, arriving about 10 minutes before noon. They were only letting the 11-12 people in at that point so all of us 12-1 people stood off to the sides. I chose the doorway to the air conditioned perfume shop <g>, but to the side so I wasnt blocking anyone. A minute or 2 before noon they called for us to line up and it didnt take long to get into the area.

    Remy had a 10-minute standby wait posted, which sounded pretty good. The Creperie had a huge line of people snaked around outside the building, in the hot sun. Theres no way Id have done that! We walked up to the attraction, then waited while Chris had to go park the stroller back where wed come in, and then joined the queue. We were boarding our rat at 12:11.

    The attraction is similar to the railway thing at the Studios, and is basically a kiddie ride. You wear 3-D glasses, and they have the expected special effects. I never saw the movie, but it was a cute & fun little ride. I would not wait 40, 50, 60 minutes or more to ride it though. Id say 20 would be my upper limit which means Im not likely to be riding again any time soon <g>. They do have a single rider line here, and since the cars are 2 rows of 3 (like Test Track), there should be plenty of opportunities for single seats.

    Coming back outside they had a couple motorbikes set up, which Ari & Amanda posed on. There was nothing to prevent people from riding again, so they decided to stay & do it again. The standby wait was now 30 minutes. I decided to head out, and said Id see them later. I walked back to Beach Club Villas and texted Holli when I was almost at the car to let her know I was headed back.

    She was all showered and ready to go, so we took the bus to Congress Park and then walked from there to Disney Springs. At the Marketplace we walked over to Rainforest Caf and entered the Lava Lounge. This is an outdoor bar over the water, with several tables as well. You can get the full menu out here. With ceiling fans it was decently comfortable, and we grabbed the 2 empty seats at the far (shady) end of the bar.

    They were very busy this is a popular spot today! We each got the pinot grigio, prompting the bartender to ask if we wanted to just get a bottle. We declined, knowing wed have wine at the villa later. We shared the chicken strips, with the coconut curry sauce we like. It was a nice little lunch not filling, but tasty. After settling the check we walked back to the villa and enjoyed the air conditioning! Housekeeping came by to do our trash & towel service, which didnt take too long.

    The Hollands got back from the pool around 3:30 evidently they got back to the villa while we were at lunch and went to Paddock Pool. Theyd done Remy one more time, then left because it was so hot out. After showering and getting dressed they headed over to Disney Springs for dinner at Guys Chicken. Before they left I had Ari check the top drawer of my dresser, which is where I put his Jack Skellington popcorn bucket since he wasnt behaving yesterday.

    Once over there they refilled Aris popcorn bucket and he ate almost the whole thing. It started pouring while they were waiting to get inside Guys Chicken (or is it Chicken Guy?). It sprinkled here. A little after 5 we cut up more of the cheese and laid out crackers. We had another bottle of sauvignon blanc and enjoyed everything while watching the evening news and then trash tv shows on TLC.

    The Hollands got back around 6:30, and Amanda heated up the leftover spaghetti for Ari since he hadnt eaten much chicken. She got sucked into the trash tv shows too. Were such a bad influence, lol.

    Today was another great day. My pool time was a little short, but it was also very hot out there so maybe its not a bad thing <g>. It was way too hot for traipsing through the parks, but Im glad we were able to do the DVC preview of the Remy attraction. I expect itll be mobbed once it opens, so this eliminates any pressure to see it. Lava Lounge was a good pick, although its much nicer when its not humid and about 10-20 degrees cooler <g>.

    Tomorrow the Hollands head to Hollywood Studios and Holli & I go back to Gainesville.


    DAY 5 Monday 9/6/21
    Who: Sue (62), DVC Member
    Holli (50s), friend
    Chris (34), son
    Amanda (32), daughter-in-law
    Ari (5), grandson

    Plan: Drive to Gainesville

    Actual: Last night I slept well again, this time getting up a little after 4:30. With no plans other than heading home, the earlier I got up the more time Id have to relax here in the villa one last time. I made my cappuccino and took it back to bed. Around 6:30 I heard Holli fold the murphy bed up into the wall, so I rinsed out my cup and went in to take my shower. She followed after I was out of there.

    Ari was up by the time I finished getting dressed, and I made him another egg. He also had some leftover pancakes which Amanda or Chris heated up for him. We spent the last little bit of time together and everyone packed up their stuff. We were all out the door by 8. Amanda had snagged a boarding group for Rise of the Resistance for them, and they also have an early lunch reservation at Brown Derby. I think they were group number 34, so most likely the timing will work out well then theyll head home.

    Holli & I were home by 10, another wonderful relaxing trip behind us. I did some laundry, and have to go into work for an hour or 2, then will go out for a late lunch/early dinner with SB when he gets off work. Sadly its back to work & the real world tomorrow.

    Overall this was a great trip I love trips where Im not bothering much with the parks, especially when the weather is so awful for park touring. I would have liked less hot/humid weather at the pool, but this time of year thats not going to happen. Our lunches Jock Lindsay Hangar Bar, Splitsville, Terralina and Lava Lounge were all great. Gideons did not disappoint either!

    My next Disney trip will be a fabulous solo BCV studio stay starting October 21st. Im looking forward to pool time and Food & Wine Festival in fact my park reservation all 4 days is Epcot. Theres no reason to go anywhere else <g>. After that trip its less than 2 weeks for the main Food & Wine trip, which will last longer (9 nights) and include a great group of people!

    Sue (Holland) Rayford
    WDW1972

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

    It was so nice to see a new trip report from you. I am so sorry to hear about the loss of your father. My nephew was able to book the Remy preview for us on 9/17 so he along with his wife and I are doing a quick long weekend trip before our long trip at the end of Oct. - beginning of November. Its amazing to see that Ari is now 5 years old. It seems like he was just born.


  4. #3
    MousePlanet Columnist
    Join Date
    Apr 2001
    Location
    Florida
    Quote Originally Posted by suejacken View Post
    It was so nice to see a new trip report from you. I am so sorry to hear about the loss of your father. My nephew was able to book the Remy preview for us on 9/17 so he along with his wife and I are doing a quick long weekend trip before our long trip at the end of Oct. - beginning of November. Its amazing to see that Ari is now 5 years old. It seems like he was just born.
    You're not kidding - those 5 years have flown by! In another 5 years (or less) he'll be taller than me ;-) Have fun at your Remy preview, and also enjoy Food & Wine if it's not too hot!
    Sue (Holland) Rayford
    WDW1972

  5. #4

    Did I ever think I'd see the day when Sue thinks SSR makes the most sense for her future trips? LOL no, but am happy to see it. As my home resort, I've never regretted the decision. And who knows - once boat service returns, I won't be surprised to see you booking 1 and 2 BRS at OKW for a better use of points and more space!
    Sorry I missed you on this one. I was wrapping up my 7 nights as you were arriving. The heat was ridiculous, but the low crowds were almost eerie. I'm sure it won't be that way by Oct 1st!

    Last edited by spectromen; Yesterday at 08:13 PM. Reason: typo

  6. #5
    MousePlanet Columnist
    Join Date
    Apr 2001
    Location
    Florida

    Funny you should mention OKW, which is one of my least favorite if planning any time in the parks. For 2022 Food & Wine we're planning to bring another couple, but I don't have the points at either BCV or BWV for a 2br plus a studio for Chris' family for the weekend. I also assume our friends will be interested in ALL the parks - I'd be content just doing Epcot, and really just World Showcase for a F&W trip ;-) So, OKW makes sense for that trip, and I really hope I won't hate it! I do plan to book a solo F&W trip shortly after that one, in a studio at BCV so I can do it right, lol!

    Agree on October crowds - I never had any desire to be anywhere near WDW on Oct 1 or the days immediately following.

    Sue (Holland) Rayford
    WDW1972

  7. #6
    Quote Originally Posted by Sue Holland View Post
    Funny you should mention OKW, which is one of my least favorite if planning any time in the parks. For 2022 Food & Wine we're planning to bring another couple, but I don't have the points at either BCV or BWV for a 2br plus a studio for Chris' family for the weekend. I also assume our friends will be interested in ALL the parks - I'd be content just doing Epcot, and really just World Showcase for a F&W trip ;-) So, OKW makes sense for that trip, and I really hope I won't hate it!
    Sounds good! You'll appreciate that extra large living room for faux concierge. The only downfall I see on those units are that there's not that extra sink and entrance to the master bathroom like there is at SSR, so any guest you have who needs to use the restroom (outside of bedroom #2) has to come into your space to get to it. But it doesn't sound like that will be an issue with just 2 couples. And - enjoy that full size laundry room - that was a treat for this condo dweller who hasn't had his own machines since 2008 smh!

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