Our Merry-Christmas-Happy-20th-Anniversary Trip!


#1

Wow, what a trip!

We celebrated our 20th anniversary as well as Christmas, we got out of NJ before the blizzard hit, and we had a near-perfect week of low crowds. What more can you ask for?

This one was really special for a zillion reasons, and I will share as many as I can in this TR. Bear with me on the posting of pics, as my computer is not cooperating with me or my camera!

OK, let’s start with a few lessons learned: first, always rent a car, even when staying on property; always book a two-bedroom villa and then downsize later if you need to; and finally yes, two lapu lapus are plenty.

OK, on with the TR:

We took a limo to the airport, which meant we were driving on the Garden State Parkway in near whiteout conditions. I mean, it was snowing hard. We were absolutely certain that we’d be getting to the airport only to be turned away. Bizarrely, the skies cleared long enough for our flight to get out on time! Bizarre because the next JetBlue flights were postponed 120 minutes! Whew!

When we got to Orlando, we found the ME desk quickly and boarded a bus that was ready to leave immediately. BWV was the second stop, after CBR, and it was such a rush to see that beautiful lobby, the most beautiful in all of WDW, and know that we were actually going to be checking in there as DVC members!

The Christmas decorations at BWV are so incredible, and they are like what I’ve always dreamed my own little house might look like someday – ha! The gingerbread house is a gazebo with Donald and Daisy and a train that goes around, in addition to the incredible trees and garlands!

They gave us room 4129, which is 278 steps from the elevators… that’s right, count them yourselves… 278!!! However, we have stayed in rooms in that wing before, so we knew the drill, and we also knew that those rooms have the most incredible views EVER!


#2

Oh goodie a TR! My husband and DD spent the longest time at the Donald gazebo looking for hidden mickeys…


#3

How is it possible that this view is “standard” instead of preferred? We have had this view once before, and you see fireworks at EC if you look to your left, and when Sorcery In The Sky was running, you had a perfect view of that, as well!

I love this view, even if it is a hike and a half from the elevator. We use the stairwells to get to the pools and buses, to make the walk a little shorter!


#4

We’ve never had a towel critter before, and so it was a real treat to have one waiting for us when we arrived! I am not sure if it is a baby doll or a clown, but it was cute and DD set it out in different rooms each day. We really ought to name it, right? :laugh:

Anyway, I wasn’t sure if we were supposed to take it, or what. So I left a HUGE tip on the last day for the Mousekeepers, and we took the doll. I really, really hope it’s the honest thing to do.


#5

[QUOTE=MissDisney;916816]We’ve never had a towel critter before, and so it was a real treat to have one waiting for us when we arrived! I am not sure if it is a baby doll or a clown, but it was cute and DD set it out in different rooms each day. We really ought to name it, right? :laugh:

Anyway, I wasn’t sure if we were supposed to take it, or what. So I left a HUGE tip on the last day for the Mousekeepers, and we took the doll. Hope it’s the thing to do.[/QUOTE]

Ya know, I never thought of taking a towel critter until I saw this one. I too, would have left a big tip and taken the doll, she’s really cute.


#6

When we arrived at our beautiful room, I found all the groceries I had ordered were in place – I ordered via mail through BWV, and the sodas were already cold in the fridge, the food was put away in the pantry, and we were all set.

Our first stop was at Guest Services at the International Gateway, so I could pick up my AP and Tables In Wonderland. ANYONE who is not doing DDP should absolutely buy Tables In Wonderland. It’s an incredible deal that allows you to take 20 percent off almost all food and drinks – including liquor and wine! We saved so much money!

Then off to Chefs De France, where the food was lovely. My duck was especially nice. The green beans that came with the duck were maybe the best I have ever had anywhere, fresh and crisp. After dinner, we hit Test Track a couple of times and wandered around to see the decorations and then headed back home to dive into bed. I love those beds!


#7

I’ll be back later for Day 2!


#8

Oh no MissDisney, you stole the towel doll. That was sooooo wrong.[SIZE=“1”]heehee, you know I am just kidding, right?[/SIZE]:tongue:

I love looking at that lobby too.


#9

You’re not supposed to take the towel animals???:confused::blink: We had one that had a pin attached to it. Oh I’m going to heck in a handbasket. I left a big tip as well…Repent, repent…:frostyang


#10

She is just kidding you, Christine! Don’t worry.

Now, if you had taken the lampshade or the coffeetable, it would have been a different story! :laugh:


#11

OK, on to Day 2!

We woke up early and had cereal in the room. Yay! A savings of $100!

Then the guys took a cab to Bay Hill, a golf course off property that they had been looking forward to playing together for years. Once they were out of the way – er, I mean, once they had left on their adventure – DD and I headed for MK.

Going to MK with DD is fabulous. We love to do the same things, so it is wonderful when we are free to be… LOL. It was early, so we had lots of elbow room, though because it was EMH, only Tomorrowland and Fantasyland were open. No problem for us. We rode Space, Snow White an Peter Pan – which was great because the standby time for Peter Pan is usually about an hour when we are there! It’s been YEARS since we were able to ride it!

OK here is a little treat we had – behind Dumbo is a little counter called Scuttle’s Landing. They had a tiny line and eveyrone in it was buying a “Sweet Cream Cheese Pretzel” so we bought one to. O.M.G. It was incredibly excellent. Gooey cream cheese in the middle of a lightly cinnamoned pretzel. Wow, delicious and worth the stroll over there in the morning!

By this time, the rest of the park was opened, so we hit HM, which may have been my first time since the changes. It was great, and the new bride is wicked awesome – LOL get it? “wicked” – OK, never mind.

We walked on to BTMRR a couple of times and Pirates (it was a little chilly for Splash). We rode Aladdin, which was a lot of fun because when the kids were little we had Dumbo fever, so this was a nice change.

And we were able to stop an age-old argument about whether Mme. Leota’s headstone actually opens its eyes. So, does it? You decide:


#12

DD wanted to take home all the cups and napkins, because they were Christmas-y and great. I did drag them all to the room at the end of each day, but then got her to trade for a single plastic popcorn bucket, which would be easier to bring home.


#13

OK, so we head back to BWV to meet the guys and have some chicken wings and beers at the ESPN Zone. My eyes are still watering from DS’ choice of the hottest wings on the menu. I can’t remember what they are called – no doubt something like Nuclear or Napalm. Wow. So hot. The teriyaki ones and the regular hot ones were fine by me.

And off on a Friendship Launch to MGM. I love these boats. They are like an attraction themselves. We always try to sit in the outside, where we have to deal with a few fumes, but the view is so great!


#14

(When you read this next part – remember that we had just arrived from a snowbound New England! Snow on the roads and the airport had shut down just after our flight left. It was snowy, folks!)

We arrive at MGM, and it is chilly – they are only expecting the high for the day to be 62 degrees, which is putting the CMs and Florida residents in a very good mood because it feels like Christmas should. We are pretty smug about this, because we are quite comfortable at that temperature, and we were OPENLY boasting all day about how our neighbors and even the dog were stuck in snow while we were basking in the glory of a coatless sunny day! We were probably pretty obnoxious about it, especially when we saw people in parkas!

Thsi was a very good day for several reasons. First, we had dinner reservations at HBD, which is DH’s favorite restaurant. We arrived in time for a few activities before dinner, so we headed over to Star Tours, which we love. DH always jokes about how the woman who delivers the video boarding information is actually a Hidden Mickey! We walked on and had a blast. Get it? A blast? OK, never mind.

Then we thought we’d brave the standby line at Toy Story Mania, which I have been waiting to ride since it opened. Weeee-eeellll, nosirreebob. The ride was down and they were turning people away at the gate. I knew the best thing to do was to wait for the ride to reopen and be the first people in line, but that’s not DH’s style, so we left.

We walked through the backlot restaurant, sort of wandering around trying to find the way to Muppets. And yes, we were still being smug about the weather. It was getting dark and people were hauling out more and more jackets. LOL

We rounded a corner and found ourselves in the New York City area, and we got a big chuckle because we had just left New York the day before! I mean, how smug can you get??? And there was a huge crowd, but we had no idea why. But voila! Some announcments came over the loudspeaker, like TV announcers, saying that this was the Osbourne Christmas, which I had been too dumb to recognize on my own. And the lights came on and WOW! We were standing right in the middle and it was wild and so cool!

Can you guess what happened to the supersmug NJ family standing in the middle of the Osbourne attraction, gawking at what had to be millions of lights? Yep! SNOW! It started SNOWING and the crowd started to cheer. Read our comments and imagine them in unison:

DH – “No way.”
DS – “You have got to be kidding me.”
DD – “Like we never left home.”
Me – “The flakes taste like soap.”

We laughed so hard that people were starting to laugh around us – not with us but at us. We never acted smug about the weather again, and it was one of the most fun things that happened.

Dinner at HBD was delicious as always, and the bottle of wine DH ordered was excellent.


#15

After dinner, we hit TGMR, which was great because this time, we had EXCELLENT performances by the CMs. It had been a few years since we had gotten some really enthusiastic performers, but these people were really into it, and the script has changed a bit as well. Lots more fun since the last time! We had the gangster car, and our bad guy was great!

The Munchkin in the top window of this house always freaks me out…


#16

We had been warned by the boat captain earlier in the day that the last boat would be leaving at 9:30 and that after that, the dock would be closed and everyone would have to walk the path home. We made it onto the very last boat to BWV, and we were sort of amazed that once we got on and the dock was clear, they turned off all the lights to the dock and shut the whole thing down in complete blackness. If we had been a few minutes longer, we’d be stuck walking that path to BWV, which is incredibly long and remember that once you arrive, you’d still be talking about taking four flights of stairs or opting for the elevator followed by 278 more steps! WHEW!

The MGM tree was really beautiful this year, and we noticed that it had all those new lights on it, the kind that use very little energy. So we started to check out all the decorations all over the parks, and they are all that kind of bulb now. Beautiful and green! :happy:


#17

Day 3 a little later…


#18

I have bigger feet & longer legs than you, I am going to estimate about 240 steps for me. Don’t worry, next time I am there I’ll test it. :tongue: :laugh:


#19

[QUOTE=MissDisney;916813]How is it possible that this view is “standard” instead of preferred? We have had this view once before, and you see fireworks at EC if you look to your left, and when Sorcery In The Sky was running, you had a perfect view of that, as well!

I lvoe this view, even if it is a hike and a half from the elevator. We use the stairwells to get to the pools and buses, to make the walk a little shorter![/QUOTE]

When we stayed at Boardwalk in a “standard view” I personally thought it was a beautiful view too. Everything is just gorgeous around the Boardwalk area.


#20

[QUOTE=MissDisney;916816]We’ve never had a towel critter before, and so it was a real treat to have one waiting for us when we arrived! I am not sure if it is a baby doll or a clown, but it was cute and DD set it out in different rooms each day. We really ought to name it, right? :laugh:

Anyway, I wasn’t sure if we were supposed to take it, or what. So I left a HUGE tip on the last day for the Mousekeepers, and we took the doll. I really, really hope it’s the honest thing to do.[/QUOTE]

It looks like a rainbow alien, albeit a really cute one! :tongue: I don’t think there is anything wrong with taking them. I sure HOPE they wouldn’t re-use a towel animal that’s already been touched and used by another family. Right? :huh: