LMM's Spring Break at the World!


#1

I have just returned from a lovely spring break at Walt Disney World! Saturday to Sunday - the longest consecutive period of time I’ve spent there since 2008!

There is a little backstory to just how I managed to swing an entire spring break at the World…

For a long time, my family was undecided on how to spend spring break. I was looking at cruises and wasn’t even considering Disney because the last spring break we spent there was disastrously crowded. However, though Rachel got a break from her tech classes this week, she still had high school. So we were having to pull her out of school, and though Rachel didn’t mind, my parents didn’t want her missing too many days. It’s also been very busy at work for Dad, so he only wanted to take two days off (he works four days a week). For the days Dad could vacation (Wed-Sun), cruises didn’t line up. So, he wanted to do either Disney or Vegas. And from those options, Disney was the clear winner with both Rachel and me. So we booked Wednesday to Sunday at the Polynesian.

Well, my boyfriend, Max, also wanted to go to Orlando. His parents had been talking about taking the two of us last spring break, but after his mother’s sister was diagnosed with breast cancer, that vacation was postponed. My family booked for the second half of the week gave us an idea - I could go with his family the first half of the week, then stay at Disney with my family the second half.

Max’s mother, Marcia, was on board. She gets Hilton HHonor points through her work, so she wanted to book a Hilton hotel. Unfortunately, the Hilton in Downtown Disney and Hilton Bonnet Creek (her first two choices) were already booked solid. The second tier included the Doubletree in Downtown Disney and an off-property Hilton hotel. Marcia thought the off-property hotel looked a bit newer and nicer in photos, but Max chose the Downtown Disney hotel because he wanted to be on Disney property, and I believe envisioned us going to Downtown Disney every night to shop and hang out (I don’t think he understood how late the parks stay open).

So, after that lengthy introduction, the Cast includes…

Me, Victoria
BF, Max
BF’s Mom, Marcia
BF’s Dad, Jim
Dad, Boyd
Mom, Sharon
Sister, Rachel

I’m also going to mention that I just bought a new camera before the trip - a Nikon1. I’m very, very pleased with it. I had been planning to buy it since after Christmas, but I kept putting it off… I figured going to Disney was the perfect reason to finally make the purchase.

So, all of the pictures in my TR will either be from my Nikon1 or someone’s iPhone 4s.

Also, a little warning… this TR may not be as quick-coming as usual. It was a long vacation and I’m about to face the final 5 weeks of school. :blow: Plus, I have an architecture convention this weekend. I will try to keep it entertaining, though!


#2

Day One
Max’s Dad was at his older brother’s house in Jacksonville. He was working on a house there. The original plan was for us to meet up with his brother and his wife (who is expecting twins!) and eat lunch before heading to Disney… but then his brother ditched us for his friend who invited him to biker weekend in Daytona. So, we met up with Jim and ate at Cracker Barrel before heading to Disney.

We had the worst service ever at Cracker Barrel. Our waitor always had to justify himself. We’d ask for something and he’d say, “Oh, I didn’t bring you that because…” Really? It doesn’t matter why you didn’t bring it… we want it, so bring it to us now.

After killing over an hour at Cracker Barrel, we were back on our way to Disney!

I had never really noticed before that there is a significant difference between what is behind and outside of these gates…


Downtown Disney Doubletree by Hilton


Lobby


IMG_1370 by vshingl, on Flickr

We were on the sixth floor.

The Doubletree is “all suite.” Suite as in bedroom/living area… not suite as in fancy room. We had a one-bedroom suite with two double beds in the bedroom and a pull-out sofa in the living room. There was also a small table for four in the living area, and a 32" flatscreen in each room.


Doubletree Room by vshingl, on Flickr
It’s funny… Max’s habits are the same as my sister’s… plop down on the bed as soon as he enters the room.

He attempted to smooth the bed back for the picture…

Room2 by vshingl, on Flickr


Room3 by vshingl, on Flickr

Our view… my apologies for the terrible reflection.


View by vshingl, on Flickr

I was glad that we had a view of Downtown Disney, rather than off-property.


#3

The pool was a good size, but otherwise not very exciting…


Doubletree pool by vshingl, on Flickr

I thought it was cool that they had a children’s playground.

Playground by vshingl, on Flickr

And tennis courts

Tennis courts by vshingl, on Flickr


Doubletree by vshingl, on Flickr


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There was a bar by the pool.

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The hot tub looks small because it’s in such a large area, but it’s actually quite big.

IMG_1381 by vshingl, on Flickr

There was an arcade inside (that was really hot), and the pool table and sitting area outside.

IMG_1382 by vshingl, on Flickr

I thought the hopscotch was cute.

IMG_1383 by vshingl, on Flickr


#4

They also had a conference center…

And looked to be set up for some event.

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The sixth floor elevator lobby…

IMG_1386 by vshingl, on Flickr


#5

It was dinner time, and we were all hungry. I had made us reservations for T-Rex Cafe. I wasn’t sure how they’d like reservations, so I went ahead and made a reservation for every day, but only for restaurants that weren’t in high demand to make cancellations easier.

We took the Downtown Disney resort bus, and this was our first encounter with the awful system. They kept cramming people on, even when we already full. But, the drop-off location happened to be very convenient - right by T-Rex Cafe!

I made ressies for T-Rex by calling direct, rather than booking through Disney. However, I didn’t know that I could go straight to the check-in desk since we had reservations, so we waited in line for about 20 minutes. However, after checking in, we were seated almost immediately. The reservation proved to be very effective.


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Marcia didn’t understand why I took this picture…

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Max LOVED T-Rex Cafe! As soon as we walked in, he started telling me how awesome it was. He really liked the atmosphere and the different themed rooms. They had eaten at a Rainforest Cafe before, but never a T-Rex Cafe. It was a hit!


#6

We were seated in the Sequoia room, in a circular booth which had an ice room wall. The Ice Age room was Max’s favorite.


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Our Sequoia room friend…

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Max is a total Momma’s Boy


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#7


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#8


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#9

Wow Victoria, amazing photos! Having never been to the T Rex cafe I am fascinated by the interior. I agree with Max the Ice Age wall is fabulous! Looking forward to more great photos and the rest of the TR- thanks!


#10

Wow! We are unable to get TRex for our upcoming trip; and now I am so sad about this! Thanks for sharing all your pics- they are fantastic! Keep it coming!


#11

I heard that they only book 20% of the restaurant in advance to encourage walk-ins. Early or late in the evening wouldn’t have much of a wait.

When I booked, Disney Reservations was already out of T-Rex availability, but I called the restaurant directly (407-828-8739) and was easily able to get a reservation for the time I wanted. This restaurant also works for the Disney Dining Plan.


#12

Loving all the pics so far! I’m tempted to invest in a Nikon for our next trip, the shots look really good with it!

I think I’m also sold on making a T-Rex ressie :smiley:


#13

I can’t wait to read more! We enjoyed T-Rex but I hate the ice room. It gave many in our group headaches due to the color changes. So this last time was asked for a different section and our experience was MUCH better.


#14

Ah, I didn’t even think of that - we didn’t experience any problems with the color changes or loud noise. But, as you’ll find out, we did have quite a few quirky problems during our trip… that I had never faced before with my family. It was definitely eye-opening and a unique experience to visit Disney with another family. I enjoyed it a lot.


#15

[QUOTE=Campbell87;1105556]Loving all the pics so far! I’m tempted to invest in a Nikon for our next trip, the shots look really good with it!
[/QUOTE]

I really love it, and I’m glad I made the purchase. Also, I was just figuring out my camera on the trip, and I still pulled a lot of great shots. Once I get to know its settings, I think the pictures will come out even better.

I chose the Nikon1 because it’s compact and good for traveling. I’ll be studying abroad in Italy next spring, and I wanted a camera that will take high-quality pictures but isn’t bulky to carry around. The Nikon1 is about the size of a digital point-and-shoot camera, but has detachable lenses. I only used the 10-30mm lens on this trip because I didn’t want to mess with the 30-100mm zoom lens. However, with some of the stage shows, I was wishing I had the zoom lens to play around with. There is also a 10mm wide angle lens that they didn’t have in stock when I purchased my camera, but I really, really want it!

Another cool thing about the camera is the case. I purchased a matching leather Nikon1 case at Target that screws into the bottom of the camera so that you can carry it around on the strap and never have to worry about taking it out of the case and losing it (which has been a problem in the past). The only problem with the case is that it doesn’t have any pockets (I wished they had just included one flat pocket in the back so I could slip in my tickets and fastpasses). However, it makes it easy to keep your camera out and ready.


#16

I have never been to the T-Rex, my DGS is going to love it. Thanks another must do added to the list! ! !

More please! ! ! !

-Harry


#17

The menu at T-Rex Cafe has a very wide selection, which was great for us. I got the Tribal Tacos, and they were great. Max had the T-Rexadillas, which he loved. The food was good and the atmosphere was fun with great, over-the-top theming. If you don’t mind lots of children and the loud noise, this restaurant is a good bet.


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#18

[QUOTE=LittleMissMagic;1105553]I heard that they only book 20% of the restaurant in advance to encourage walk-ins. Early or late in the evening wouldn’t have much of a wait.

When I booked, Disney Reservations was already out of T-Rex availability, but I called the restaurant directly (407-828-8739) and was easily able to get a reservation for the time I wanted. This restaurant also works for the Disney Dining Plan.[/QUOTE]

Thank you, thank you, thank you! I just called and basically had my pick of dining times for the day I wanted. My kiddos are going to be SO excited!


#19

After dinner, we did a little bit of shopping around Downtown Disney together. First, we hit the Lego store because Marcia loves legos (she used to be PR for Toys R Us). She was looking for Disney lego sets, but we didn’t find them… it was really crowded and crazy, though, so maybe we just overlooked them.


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#20

Then World of Disney…


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LOVE…

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Then Marcia and Jim went back to the hotel, and Max and I headed to Disney Quest.