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Thread: Sue Rayford, April 2023 Beach Club Villas

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    Sue Rayford, April 2023 Beach Club Villas


    Who: Sue (64), DVC Member
    SB (65), my husband (4/20 & 4/21)
    Tiana & Jonell, friends (4/21 only)
    Dates: April 20 23, 2023
    Resort: Disneys Beach Club Villas Resort
    Experience: Very Experienced 58th stay at Beach Club Villas

    As is typical, this was booked as a solo trip thats why it was booked for a studio. I had a couple days of Flower & Garden Festival prior to a HAL cruise last month but knew Id want more than that, so at 11 months I booked a studio for this solo trip. Before Christmas I had the idea of tickets to the new Cirque du Soleil show (Drawn to Life) being one of SBs gifts, and this was the first trip that would work to add that. I figure we can manage one night in a studio and he can enjoy Flower & Garden Festival Friday before going home.

    Later we added our friends Tiana & Jonell to Friday theyll drive down (1.5 hours) for the day. The four of us will spend our usual time at Epcot enjoying Flower & Garden Festival (and margaritas from Mexico for SB & them). I added their names to my resort reservation and booked their park reservations. For any festival in Epcot (which frankly is probably close to 50 weeks out of the 52 weeks of the year at this point) nothing beats Beach Club Villas! Boardwalk Villas is a close second, but BCV is definitely the most convenient. We really dont care about the other parks and spend most of our time in World Showcase.

    SB & I have the Florida resident annual pass thats only good Monday Friday, for two (2) reasons. First, the increase in price to the annual passes that include weekends (including holiday weekends) was ridiculous! Second, I cant stand the extra crowds the weekends attract. So, Im very happy to skip all parks on Saturday and Sunday. Ill miss having Sunday night to wander around whatever festival is happening, but Ill go home Sunday at a leisurely hour vs driving before dawn Monday morning to get to work.

    For Cirque du Soleil I went with the 8pm show doors open at 7:30. I was afraid if we had any nonsense with the room not being ready, I didnt want to stress getting to Disney Springs in time. Id planned to book dinner for us at the Boathouse but was a few days after the 60-day window opened and all that was available was 10:15pm! Thats absurd, and although its possible availability would have turned up earlier if Id kept checking these past months I didnt want to deal with the nonsense. Instead, I booked a 5:30 dinner at Splitsville thats close to Cirque and they have a wide variety of items on the menu (the food is good too not fancy, but very good). If we have time to kill between dinner and the show, we can have a drink at the bar or any other bar in the area.

    Friday will be the only Flower & Garden Festival day, so well make our rounds at as many food stands as we can manage. Most likely Tiana & Jonell will leave after that not sure about SB. I may hit the pool, although its supposed to be pretty warm this trip! Ill definitely return to Epcot for the evening, for one last chance at Flower & Garden (Ill be back in late May but will be staying on the concierge level at Jambo house not leaving the lounge plus its too hot to bother with the parks).

    Also on Friday Chris, Amanda & Ari will be arriving at Riviera with Amandas mom. Martha (the mom) doesnt have a park pass as far as I know, so it will be just the three of them heading to Epcot. They hope to arrive by 5, so I can spend the evening with them. Perhaps SB will decide to stick around that late too.

    Saturday will be my solo day, and I dont have any particular plans beyond spending some time at the pool most likely morning. Disney Springs is insane on the weekends, so thats not something Im considering. I could ride the skyliner or head to a resort for a late lunch/early dinner.

    Sunday Ill drive over to Disney Springs and wait for Gideons to open buy a cookie and then head back to Gainesville.

    The plans so far are:
    Thursday 4/20: Drive to Disney, Splitsville dinner, Cirque du Soleil
    Friday 4/21: Epcot/Flower & Garden Festival, Pool
    Saturday 4/22: Pool, Resort
    Sunday 4/23: Gideons, Drive to Gainesville

    DAY 1 Thursday 4/20/23
    Who: Sue (64), DVC Member
    SB (65), my husband

    Plan: Drive to Disney, Splitsville dinner, Cirque du Soleil

    Actual: Today I worked until noon, went home, changed clothes, loaded the car and we were on the road around 12:05. SB followed me (we need both cars since hes going home before me). Traffic was not bad, even with the construction areas along the FL Turnpike. Spring Break is definitely over, and the snowbirds arent an issue.

    I checked my phone every once in a while, but never got any notifications about the room. We pulled into Beach Club Villas at 2:05 and since we had no room, we put SBs stuff in my trunk. We turned to walk towards the resort, and I got a notification the room is ready! We quickly returned to the car, removed our stuff and went to our studio. SB expressed belief that I could possibly know where our room was located based on the number he asked how can I do that. I just asked him how many times have I stayed here??

    Were on the 4th floor (newly refurbished room), close to the main elevators and with the view I prefer. Ill be able to see the Epcot fireworks from here. We quickly unloaded our stuff. Theres a letter on the table advising that tomorrow morning somewhere between 2:30am and 4:30am they power will be cut off for an hour. Were generally up wanting to get online around 4:30, so hopefully the outage will be on the earlier side of that period.

    We have Epcot park reservations, although since its after 2 we could have entered the park without them. We walked over to Epcot and got right in with no delays. We turned left towards United Kingdom and made one loop around the countries. At first there was a nice strong breeze but later as the breeze would subside it was pretty hot! Thankfully it wasnt humid, but it was still uncomfortably warm. The crowds werent bad and the lines at the festival booths were generally very short.

    SB was keeping an eye on the menus, but I knew Id wait for dinner to eat anything. We ended up stopping in America where I secured a spot for us at the end of a shaded picnic table and he got himself some food & drink. He came back with the muffaletta, spicy chicken/sausage gumbo and the bayou cocktail. The cocktail was very tasty reminded me of a Bahama Mama but more pink. The gumbo was very spicy but he ate every bite. He said the muffaletta was ok I wasnt impressed with that.

    After hed had his snack we continued the rest of the way, exiting at International Gateway and returning to Beach Club Villas. As usual, time is flying! We had about 30 minutes or so to relax in the air conditioning before headed to the bus stop for the trip to Disney Springs. I used the time to update the report and check some online stuff. He undressed, laid down, and watched ESPN.

    Just before 4:15 we left for the bus stops. The sign had the next Disney Springs bus coming at 4:31 so we had about 10 minutes to wait on a bench. Precisely at 4:31 the bus pulled up SB was impressed! With the Beach Club people added the bus was fairly full but we also stopped at Boardwalk. At that point it was standing room only. Thankfully its a short trip!

    We were dropped off at the entrance and I was surprised to not find the metal detectors. Were they never here, or did they get removed at some point? I was happy to see them gone, as I dont have to dig things out of my bag that might set it off. We turned left and walked over to what was the West Side (not sure what they call it now). It was quite busy and got busier as the afternoon/evening progressed.

    We arrived at Splitsville early but it was no problem getting seated they werent busy at all this time of day. Our table was up on the second floor, which was new for us. They have bowling lanes up there too and a section with people playing pool. Theres another bar as well.

    Our server was excellent and we were her only table for most of our time there. I drank the house sauvignon blanc and SB had beer. For food I ordered the sliders, which are 3 good-size sliders. The menu says theyre for 2 or more people (appetizer) and its definitely too much for 1 person. SB got the classic cheeseburger, which came with fries, and he managed to also eat my third slider. The food was excellent, and he liked the atmosphere as well. I could have done without the bowling ball noise, but otherwise I thought it was a good choice too. Well definitely keep it on the list but next time ask to be near the windows rather than bowling lanes.

    After dinner we still had some time to kill so we decided to walk down towards Cirque and find a bench to sit on. Along the way SB wanted a dessert. We tried Salt & Straw (ice cream) but the line was long and not really moving so we bailed out. Heading towards Cirque he saw key lime pie on the menu at House of Blues, but I wasnt sure how to get that without going into the restaurant. Across the way at City Works they had key lime cup listed on the bar menu so we went to the counter and ordered that.

    We took one of the high-top tables outside and when the key line cup came it was huge! It was very good, but between us we ate a little more than half. I joked to SB that this $8 key lime cup comes in a bigger plastic cup than the Disney festival cocktails that cost a lot more than that (and may be filled with ice cubes)!

    About 7 we gave up the table and went to sit outside Cirque. I looked in the shop but didnt see anything I wanted or needed. At 7:30 they took down the chain to let everyone in. Our seats were my ideal for Cirque shows front row of the 2nd section, pretty much dead center. The light or sound booth was next to us so there were only 2 seats in our row on our side of the aisle perfect! The show wasnt sold out there were many empty seats.

    This show has a lot of Disney elements and some of the performances were simply amazing. There was also a lot of animation and of course they had the clown characters as well. We both enjoyed the show, but when talking about this one vs La Nouba both liked La Nouba better. I guess I go to Cirque for Cirque not Disney Cirque, if that makes sense. La Nouba I attended several times. Im not sure Ill come back for this if so, it wont be any time soon.

    The show lasts 1.5 hours and when it ended they were passing out leftover boxes of popcorn to anyone who wanted one. We took one, but Im not sure itll be any good by morning. We walked to the bus stops and had a short wait for the Yacht/Beach/Boardwalk bus. A new driver was waiting as well and he told the family ahead of us the bus would be here at 9:58. Sure enough, at 9:58 the bus pulled in SB was impressed again.

    We were back at the resort shortly after 10:15 or 10:20. I quickly finished up the report while SB watched basketball until it was lights out for us both. Today was a great start to the trip it was a lot of fun! Tomorrow Tiana & Jonell plan to be here around 8, so we can get into Epcot for early entry. Looking forward to seeing them both!

    DAY 2 Friday 4/21/23
    Who: Sue (64), DVC Member
    SB (65), my husband
    Tiana & Jonell, friends

    Plan: Epcot/Flower & Garden Festival, Pool

    Actual: We both slept really well and were up at 5. During the early morning hours, I was aware of the power going off shortly after 4 and it came back on around 4:41. It may have gone off briefly earlier than that. Once I was up, I struggled to remember how to work the damn coffee maker (the new kind pod or pot). For a pot the smallest choice is 6 cups and evidently, I didnt use enough water for that quantity. I had more than enough to make my cappuccino, so I poured the hot water into my mug and shut the machine off until tomorrow.

    We got online and I turned the local news on the tv. At 7 I joined the virtual queue for Guardians of the Galaxy and got #85. I wasnt sure what number I would get (or even if Id get a number at all) so it was hard to select an accurate party. I was hoping for an earlier time so Tiana & Jonell could try it, but they plan to leave by 2 and I would guess our queue wont open until closer to 5. That may work for Amanda, though.

    We got showered & dressed and I made my egg and slice of bacon for my breakfast. SB thinks the others will grab something from Beach Club Marketplace when they arrive so hes waiting to get his breakfast with them. We talked with them just before 8 and learned they were caught up in the turnpike being closed due to an accident. They have been on the road 2 hours at this point, and are somewhere near Clermont on highway 27 (detour). SB decided to get breakfast and not wait for them so we headed down to Beach Club Marketplace. Before we left he got a call from his supervisor at work letting him know one of his co-workers has agreed to work for him tomorrow. There goes another day of my solo trip, lol I was ok with him staying another night but reminded him we wouldnt be seeing Ari and couldnt go into any parks. Hes ok going to the pool with me in the morning, and I imagine hell head home sometime in the afternoon.

    At Beach Club Marketplace they have a deaf cast member working there. He uses a couple small white boards to have guests write down their name and order, then he rings it in. He doesnt speak either, so he points out the total on the register. He was very nice and its great Disney was willing to hire him despite the hearing/speaking issue. SB ordered the Bounty Breakfast and got a bottle of water even though we have bottles of water in the room <g>.

    We sat at a table outside and enjoyed breakfast. I ate his small Minnie waffle (it had a bow so wasnt Mickey unless its that silly Disney grooming our children through waffles, so hopefully the governor wont find out). The food was good and we talked to Tiana & Jonell again. They were still not back on the turnpike, and then theyd need to get off and take 429 to Disney so we decided to go into Epcot and meet them when they arrived.

    SB & I walked right in via International Gateway. He had a problem with his pass working, but a cast member fixed that. It was just barely 8:30 and we went straight to the Land and walked directly into the loading area in Soarin. I think we were the first showing of the day, and it was not full. We had the center section, second row.

    After Soarin we walked over and rode Living with the Land, which also wasnt full. It still wasnt 9am yet so the hordes of people hadnt arrived. Afterwards we checked with Tiana and Jonell again to see how they were progressing. They were on Disney property, pulling into Beach Club so we walked over to Canada and waited on a shady bench there to meet them.

    It took forever! First, they started walking over to Boardwalk before realizing they missed Epcot and had to backtrack. Then Tianas pass wouldnt work and she had to go to Guest Services. The computers at Guest Services wouldnt come up at first. Finally, they made it into the park and met us around 10am! It took them 4+ hours to get here.

    Jonell needed something in his stomach and the donuts & crap from stands just wasnt going to cut it. I knew the cantina in Mexico opened early so we headed there and were welcomed right inside. Tiana & Jonell each got an order of tacos. SB ended up getting a huge nachos platter and margaritas for the three of them. I got us a nice shady table by the water and ended up picking at the nachos to the point it ruined any chance of getting lunch from the festival kiosks. Everyone was full!

    We continued walking, stopping in Italy for me to get a prosecco from the cart outside the wine shop & gelato stand. We finished the loop without stopping for any food, but as we started around again we stopped in Norway at a non-festival kiosk. SB & Jonell each had a Norwegian pilsner and Tiana got some frozen drink. We sat on a wall in the shade for quite a while just talking and enjoying the nice weather. Eventually we got up and rode the boat ride in Mexico, which was the first time for Tiana and Jonell.

    Wed been keeping an eye on the Guardians of the Galaxy virtual queue and it was moving faster than expected. We had about 65 minutes left and Spaceship Earth had a 15-minute wait time so we decided to ride that. By the time we got there the wait was 20 minutes but since we had nothing better to do we joined the queue. Id say the wait time was pretty accurate the line mostly moved but we did have some periods of standing still. That should have been a red flag!

    Once we boarded and got underway the attraction slowed several times (normal slowing for people who need extra time to transfer) but it also came to a complete stop many times. A few of the stops were pretty hard sudden lurching stops with accompanying mechanical noise. SB decided we need to write this attraction off. Of course, he doesnt make those decisions but I agreed to his terms of not doing it for a couple of months since his next trip isnt until October, lol!

    While on Spaceship Earth the virtual queue had gotten up to group 84. Were group 85. We walked over to Guardians and had to wait for that final number. Once it popped up, Tiana, Jonell and I joined the queue. SB sat on a bench with my bag, as he wasnt riding this ever again. The queue area here is very long on par with Flight of Passage. It was all filled in, so we had about an hour wait before we got to the loading area! Had I remembered that I may have thought twice about joining this virtual queue!

    Finally we were boarding they put me with a solo lady in the front row and Tiana/Jonell were in the second row. This is an amazing ride so smooth, but fast and exciting. I could hear Tiana shrieking in the next row but it sounded like fun shrieks vs scared to death shrieks. The lady next to me was riding for the first time and she absolutely loved it. Tiana & Jonell did too they even said it was worth the ridiculous wait! Im not sure when Ill get to ride it again, as I dont like the idea of such a long wait, but I may consider Lightning Lane.

    We went back outside and found SB asleep on the bench. The lady sitting next to him smiled when she realized we were his party & we were pointing at him. He woke up and asked about Guardians. Seems the lady next to SB was waiting for her boarding group to come up and when Tiana was talking about it being wild the lady was saying oh no. We assured her it wasnt that bad. SB remained silent, lol.

    We walked back towards Future World and exited via International Gateway. When we were almost there Tiana mentioned she hadnt gotten any dessert. The Key Lime cup sounded good to her but I broke the news that wasnt in Epcot. Beach Club Marketplace might have had a key lime tart in there this morning, but in the end she decided to just get on the road. We said our goodbyes in the Villas lobby, then went up to our (my) studio.

    I was able to get the report caught up and had a little time to read emails before Chris family arrived. They ran into traffic (as usual) and then their GPS took them to Saratoga instead of Riviera! Theyve been to Riviera before so I never imagined theyd be relying on a GPS for that. We headed out around 5:40 to meet them at the Skyliner exit.

    They were in a Coco gondola so it was easy to spot them arriving. We waited on the shady bench at the bottom of the exit ramp. Once wed greeted each other we walked over to enter Epcot. Chris asked which direction we wanted to go and I said right so I could get food at France. I was shocked to find the line was very short. It was shorter than Ive seen it this entire festival!

    Chris, SB & I got in the queue. I got the croissant with warm goat cheese and SB got the large Kronenbourg (beer). Chris got the beef and potato item. Everything was very good and unfortunately SB decided to try a bite of my croissant. Hed always turned his nose up at it, saying it sounded awful. Turns out he loved it so I had competition for my croissant, lol! He was really impressed with it, so next year well get two of them.

    We continued walking, this time headed to China for Ari to get orange chicken. SB decided that sounded good too. Chris stopped in America and got one of the bayou cocktails. When we got to China Amanda & I got in line while SB tried to find a table. There wasnt a single table inside or outside that wasnt occupied. We ended up finding a tall table with no chairs outside the China movie and ate there. I had some of SBs orange chicken and it was good but not spectacular. The kids meal is sweet & sour chicken so Amanda gets it without the sweet & sour sauce and I think with some of the orange sauce in a cup on the side.

    After eating we continued walking, heading into what was known as Future World. Chris wanted the booth where Flavors of Fire is during Food & Wine. I think for this festival its called Farmers Feast. The playground was just across so we took a tall table next to the playground and Ari ran around in there. Chris brought a couple of the swordfish w/baby potatoes and asparagus for him and Amanda and they both loved it. Ari wanted to do the green Mission Space because I cant handle orange yet (his words) but his parents wanted to get back to the resort and so did we.

    We made another stop at the Pineapple Promenade for Amanda to get the violet lemonade for her and Ari. SB & I went to Honey Beestro to get Chris the chicken & waffles and the frozen peach cobbler drink. I got the honey cheesecake for me. Everything was very good, and we were ready to head back to our resorts.

    We said our goodbyes outside the skyliner, then SB & I walked back to Beach Club. Were in for the night. Since this is a solo trip for me were watching HGTV. Hes already falling asleep at 8:30, lol! Well see at 9 if we can see the Epcot fireworks from here.

    Today was a really fun day although it started as a nightmare for Tiana & Jonell. It was great spending time with them, and Im glad they enjoyed Guardians of the Galaxy. It was great doing Epcot with Chris family too. The day was busier than my days normally are and while it was fun I would not want to have a trip full of such busy days! Im looking forward to just chilling out tomorrow.

    DAY 3 Saturday 4/22/23
    Who: Sue (64), DVC Member
    SB (65), my husband

    Plan: Pool, Resort

    Actual: We both slept really well again last night. I was awake first, but since SB was still sleeping, I didnt get up and start moving around until after 5. I made my cappuccino and brought it back to bed. He was awake by 6:15. I had my breakfast around 7:30 or so and then at 8:15 decided to take a walk around the Crescent Lake area. SB was watching something on his laptop, wearing his headphones.

    It looked like a beautiful morning so just before 8:30 I put on my sneakers and went for a walk around Crescent Lake. Its so nice to not have the humidity before long it will be back. SBs beloved Boardwalk to Go food kiosk is definitely closed, as is the funnel cake stand. Construction continues on the Cake Bake Shop (or whatever its going to be called). A couple of different families had children in pajamas. In my opinion youre never too young to learn appropriate vs inappropriate attire for being out in public, but some people dont seem to have a clue.

    I was back to the studio by 9 and we both went down to the quiet pool. SB spent most of his time in the hot tub and the pool, while I mostly stayed on my chaise lounge except when sitting on the side of the pool near him. The quiet pool was anything but quiet today, thanks to kids playing. Why they werent at Stormalong Bay with more to do was a puzzle to us. It wasnt obnoxious or unreasonable just unexpected. There also seemed to be a lot of chair hogs, although there was no need because it never got crowded or even half-full.

    At 11 SB decided to hit the road so I went up to the studio with him to gather up his stuff. When throwing his towels into the bin I picked up the ones that had been saving a table next to us for the past 2 hours with not a single person (or personal item) in sight. We got him on the road, and I went back down to the pool for another hour. Towards the end I got up to find shade and took a chair at a table next to the towel bin. Towels had been strategically placed there since before 9am, again with not a single person or personal item. Once I cooled down, I put my coverup on, gathered up all the towels to drop in the bin and then went upstairs just after noon.

    I took my shower and got dressed, then took my pool bag out to the car. I decided to have lunch at Primo Piatto over at Riviera, picturing myself sitting with my kindle and enjoying a relaxing lunch. I did the mobile order as left Beach Club for the walk to the skyliner. They put another pair of ladies into the gondola with me, but we had plenty of room to spread out. I got off at Riviera and they were continuing on to somewhere else.

    At Riviera I walked over to Primo Piatto and hit the Im here fix my food button. I was shocked to see a huge crowd of people standing around with their cell phones in hand, all waiting for mobile orders. Eventually I walked past to check out the table situation and there wasnt a single empty table anywhere. So much for my leisurely lunch idea, lol! I thought I might take it up to the room that looks like a library off the lobby, and then stepped into the market/bakery area to see the offerings and ran right into Martha (Amandas mom)! Chris came walking up and pointed out Amanda & Ari sitting on a bench outside eating gelato.

    Chris bought a banana bread for breakfast tomorrow and we all went out to the bench. When I got the notification my food was ready I brought it back outside and shared a seat with Ari. I ordered the tomato bisque and for the life of me could not get the cardboard container open! I didnt want to spill hot red soup on my white clothes, so Chris managed to open it for me.

    The soup was good, and I also got the banana bread for later and tomorrows breakfast. Chris & Ari played bocce ball on the court next to our seats and soon Pluto and the other characters came out. Pluto wanted to play bocce with Ari, so they did that for a bit until the other families realized he was there, and Pluto moved on to greet everyone. By now it was almost 2 so we said goodbye (again) and they went up for showers and I headed for the skyliner.

    This time they added me to a gondola with 2 grandparents, 2 parents and 2 little kids (and a double stroller). SB called to say hed gotten home safely. I walked back to the resort, deciding to swing by the Beach Club Marketplace to see what they had in terms of sweet stuff. Along the path behind Beach Club I ran into fellow dvc member and facebook friend Connie Norman! I knew she was here and had kind of kept my eyes open in case I saw her, and here she was. She actually spotted me and called out first. We stopped to chat for a bit, then continued on our separate ways.

    At Beach Club Marketplace I ended up buying a chocolate chunk cookie. From there I went up to the studio and worked on updating the report. Earlier Id called the jury duty phone number and learned I have to report Monday morning, so I also filled out the juror questionnaire.

    The rest of the afternoon flew by and just after 5 I decided to head out for another walk. This time a lot more people were out and about enjoying themselves. Stormalong Bay was busy (but not mobbed). The restaurants had just started seating people for dinner, guests were pedaling surrey bikes, and everyone looked happy. I browsed through some of the shops and ended up back in my studio shortly after 5:30.

    Id brought crackers and cheese with me but hadnt touched it yet so I cut up some cheese and fixed a plate for dinner. I also had wine in the fridge, so that completed my dinner. Im not planning to head anywhere else tonight, so itll be a quiet night in the studio (with HGTV). At 9 Ill watch the Epcot fireworks from the balcony but thats the extent of any future plans for today!

    Today was another lovely day and a treat to not be having to be anywhere at any set time. Just as I love cruising for the ships (not the ports), I love being here for my dvc resorts (the parks are secondary) so I thoroughly enjoy just puttering around doing nothing special. It makes for a relatively boring report, but it makes me happy.

    Tomorrow, I head home but most likely Ill stop at Disney Springs to get a cookie from Gideons. The cookie of the month doesnt catch my eye, so Ill have to decide between the banana chocolate chip or the pistachio toffee chocolate chip!

    DAY 4 Sunday 4/23/23
    Who: Sue (64), DVC Member

    Plan: Gideons, Drive to Gainesville

    Actual: As planned, at 9pm I went out to the balcony and enjoyed the fireworks from Epcot. I believe theyre doing Epcot Forever again, which is temporary again. Does Disney not see the irony in that? I could hear the music and it was so nice to hear music from the past that I remember so fondly. The show itself was only around 12 minutes, which is short by Disney standards and therefore disappointing. That said, Im glad I took the time to watch since Epcot Forever wont last forever <g>.

    Once again I slept really well Ill miss this room & this bed! I was awake by 5 but didnt actually get up until just after 5:30. Again, its nice to have the luxury of not having to rush off somewhere. I had my cappuccino while in bed doing online stuff and watching the local news. It looks like another beautiful day, although next week theyre expecting rain most days (some front coming through).

    Around 7:30 I showered and dressed, then finished packing up my stuff. Shortly after 8 I took my stuff to the car and then returned for one last walk around Crescent Lake before driving over to Disney Springs. I wasnt sure Id be able to get inside to walk around over there. By the time I was able to check out using the app (requiring me to sign back in, do the stupid 2-party authentication, etc) I wasnt sure Id have time for a full walk around the lake so I only did the Yacht/Beach side. When I walked through the pool area after putting my stuff in the car around 8:15 I noticed one table had towels placed on it to save the table. Disney people used to be better than that! I scooped them up and put them in the bin. There were no personal items, nobody in the pool or hot tub, etc.

    After my walk I went back to the car and drove over to Disney Springs. The sign said Orange Garage was closed and would open at 8:45. I checked my phone and it was 8:44 so that worked out by the time I went up the ramp the garage was open. I parked on level 3 right at the stairs to down to enter Disney Springs. When I got down there they were holding everyone in line until 9am.

    At 9 the line moved quickly and I went straight to Gideons. I had a seat on the wall and had brought my kindle so I spent the next 50 minutes reading. Thankfully it was a comfortable temperature, since the line is in the sunshine. Next time I do this Ill definitely need to bring an umbrella for shade and maybe one of those neck fans since it will be warmer.

    They always open up around 10 minutes early so it was no surprise when the line started moving early. I was close enough to the start to be let inside immediately (not having to wait for people to finish and come out). They have a smaller queue inside so I had to wait in that before ordering the pistachio toffee chocolate chip for me and this months coffee toffee chocolate chip for Holli (she fed the cats the first two nights). I was back outside by 10:04! By now the line was ridiculous it snaked all the way around Morimoto Asia, almost to the rest rooms that are next door. Good luck to those people standing in the warm sun!

    I walked back to the garage, got into my car drove home, arriving at 12:10.

    This was a terrific trip better than I could have imagined when I booked it as a little solo trip. Having SB along was really nice this time. Hes been watching his diet/blood sugar and walking more, so this trip he wasnt whining about his legs hurting or wanting to sit on a bench to wait for me. I hope he continues taking care of himself. We very much enjoyed the evening at Disney Springs, including Drawn to Life. Spending the next day with Tiana & Jonell was great as well, and with a very leisurely pace. Although the long queue for Guardians of the Galaxy was a pain, Im glad I got to ride it again (and show it to them)! SB was a trooper sitting out on the bench for that long, too. We always enjoy Epcot with Chris & family, and its great to have time with Ari when SB is also present. Saturday at the pool with SB was very nice I think he really enjoyed it. We have a pool at home in Ft Myers but since were living in Gainesville right now we dont have access to a pool.

    I was happy to get a refurbished studio again and absolutely loved the location! It was so convenient to the elevators/stairs, the quiet pool, the marketplace, and the ice machine. Had I wanted to do laundry that was very close by as well, but that can wait until Im home. The only park we bothered with was Epcot and enjoyed the time spent there. Crowds werent bad and the weather was nice. It got a little warm at times in the sun, but its going to be a whole lot worse in a very short time. This is basically my last trip going into the parks until October. Ill skip the parks in May, June/July, and August/September. My annual pass will be valid Im just not willing to be uncomfortable in a hot/humid theme park.

    I didnt bring the big camera and therefore did not create a photo album for this trip. Next month (May) I have two trips. First is Hilton Head with SB in early May. Our friends Linda & Wiston will be there, but not staying with us. Later in May I have a Jambo House club level stay, along with studios for Holli and Chris/Amanda/Ari. Im looking forward to both of those! I pay a fortune in DVC dues but it continues to be the best investment I ever made without it I wouldnt have forked over the ridiculous Disney prices for the nicer resorts and not sure where I would have ended up!

    Sue (Holland) Rayford

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  3. #2
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Aug 2014
    Gulf Coast of Florida

    Yea, another trip report from Sue, they seem so familiar now. A great cast of characters...
    And you got political, and I was going to ask why if they aren't grooming kids, did they cancel their parade after Governor DeSantis said they couldn't have kids at their parades anymore? Or any of their adult "entertainment"
    Sure sounds like they wanted to groom some kids to me???

    "I ate his small Minnie waffle (it had a bow so wasn't Mickey unless its that silly Disney grooming our children through waffles, so hopefully the governor wont find out)."

  4. #3
    MousePlanet Columnist
    Join Date
    Apr 2001

    That was called sarcasm - not getting political.

    Sue (Holland) Rayford

  5. #4
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Aug 2014
    Gulf Coast of Florida
    Quote Originally Posted by Sue Holland View Post
    That was called sarcasm - not getting political.
    Okay, thanks again for the trip report. It has been pretty bare around here. I haven't gone for over a year.....



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