Our "Must-Not Do Disney" Trip Report


#1

I am going to attempt to write a quick trip report from our trip celebrating the end of my mom’s year long cancer battle. I hadn’t intended to write a report but we had some serious business pixie dust this time and it didn’t seem fair to not share with all of my MB friends who were so helpful in the planning process!

First of all, the name of the report comes from a joke my dad kept making during the trip. Every time we turned on the TV and saw our pal Stacy and her “Must Do Disney” show, my dad would say “We still haven’t done one thing she is telling us we 'must do” but we are having a fantastic time. We are having the 'must-NOT do Disney" vacation!" :laugh:

Basically we relaxed. We ate, we drank, we sat, we leisurely strolled. We were there for 6 days and went on exactly 5 rides. And it was totally wonderful, truly one of our best trips ever. It was exactly what we needed after such an exhausting and trying year. I am so glad that we did it. :heart:


#2

Any details you want to share, you KNOW we want to hear! :happy:


#3

Can’t wait for all the details!!! So glad it was a great trip.


#4

Arrival Day and Animal Kingdom Lodge

We flew out of Boston around 2:00 pm on Sunday, October 28, right in the middle of Hurricane Sandy’s trip up the east coast. I was a bit nervous about flying along the path of such a giant storm but it was a pretty uneventful flight. We arrived on time in Orlando. The Magical Express took a bit longer than usual but it wasn’t too terrible. We arrived at Jambo House to check in and were told that our Value Studio had a savanna view so we got a little dose of unexpected pixie dust right off the bat! :redface:

We dropped our bags in the room, checked out our savanna view and then headed down to grab a bus to Downtown Disney. We had dinner at Earl of Sandwich (I finally got to try the holiday sandwich - yum!) and then did a little shopping. The idea was to get all of the souvenir shopping out of the way on the first night and then not worry about it again. I got some stuff for the folks covering for me at work, my mom bought a couple of things for the neighbors keeping an eye on their house and my dad bought a mug he had been wanting since our last trip. And we were done shopping.

We finished up at DTD with ice cream at Ghiradelli. It was a bit chilly but New Englanders love ice cream and will eat it no matter what. We wouldn’t let a little breeziness get in the way of that yummy hot fudge!

We caught the bus back to AKL and stopped for a nightcap at the Victoria Falls Lounge, one of my favorite WDW resort lounges. We used my newly acquired Tables in Wonderland card and saved 20%. Score!

Then we called it a night and headed to bed.


#5

Oh cool a happy report. The title made me afraid that it might not have been a positive trip. Now I feel better. On with the details, please


#6

We started our first full Disney day with breakfast at Boma, always my favorite WDW breakfast, possibly my favorite breakfast anywhere. I had originally had a later ADR so we could sleep in but then changed it to earlier so we would have more time at the pool. It turned out to be way too cold for the pool so the later time would have been better but it was not really a big deal either way. Breakfast was yummy as usual but when we finished, we realized we now had no plans at all until our dinner reservations at Citricos.

We decided to take a walk around and really just explore the resort and the animal viewing areas. My mom was feeling a little tired from our day of travel the day before and decided to go back to the room and read and rest for a bit while my dad and I explored. He and I spent a good chunk of time at Jambo House and then decided to walk over to Kidani. We returned to the room around 12:00 and all of us ended up just relaxing. My mom and dad napped and I read a bit, then we all started showering and getting ready for our dinner at Citricos. It was probably the laziest I have ever been at WDW.

We took a cab to the Grand Floridian rather than deal with a bus to the MK and then the monorail to the GF. The cabbie got a little lost but we got there eventually. We were early for our reservation so we had a drink in the little lounge outside Citricos and watched all the people arriving for dinner at Victoria and Albert’s. :laugh:

I didn’t take a ton of photos but will post a few from our exploration of AKL and our drinks and dinner at Citricos. Dinner was tasty and the service was excellent. I was a little surprised at how crowded the restaurant was. We all had the short ribs which were very yummy. I think California Grill is still my favorite signature restaurant though.


#7

Hmm, I am having some troubles with the photos.


#8

Yummy Citricos!


#9

After dinner, we jumped on the monorail and headed to the Contemporary. We were heading for Bay Lake Tower to watch Wishes from the Top of the World Lounge. This summer, they started letting any DVC folks staying on points anywhere on property access to the lounge. I don’t know if we will ever stay at BLT so we definitely wanted to take advantage while we had a chance.

The man at the desk was not super friendly about letting people up to the lounge but we made it up there after showing photo id, member id and a room key. Geesh. It is not the White House, it is just a lounge! :laugh:

When we got up there (around 8:15 pm), it was already pretty packed. We found 3 stools near the end of the bar and camped ourselves there. The staff there was totally overwhelmed. They had one bartender, two cocktail waitresses and what I think was one food and beverage manager. She was basically pouring wine and opening beers while the totally overworked bartender mixed all the drinks. They also seemed to be running out of glassware and the dishwasher appeared to be down at the Wave (this is what we gleaned from careful eavesdropping).

I have to say that despite the fact that he was completely overwhelmed and overworked and a bit frustrated, the bartender was very sweet and very funny. He and one of the waitresses were cracking us up. We ordered a drink at the bar and then headed outside once the fireworks started. Standing on that roof deck, watching fireworks over the castle with my mom while listening to that Wishes soundtrack about never giving up on your Wishes may have made me just a tad weepy. Just a tad. :wub: For a full year, I had really only had one wish and that was to see my mom come through her fight healthy and happy and that wish came true. Standing there with her felt surreal and amazing all at once. We had many scary moments in the past year when I wondered if we would ever have moments like this one again. It was one of the best experiences of our trip. :redface:

We headed back to AKL and headed to bed, ready to check out in the morning and head to the Yacht Club.


#10

Aw, you made me weepy, too. :redface:


#11

[QUOTE=KarenWDWCP;1125135]We started our first full Disney day with breakfast at Boma, always my favorite WDW breakfast, possibly my favorite breakfast anywhere. I had originally had a later ADR so we could sleep in but then changed it to earlier so we would have more time at the pool. It turned out to be way too cold for the pool so the later time would have been better but it was not really a big deal either way. Breakfast was yummy as usual but when we finished, we realized we now had no plans at all until our dinner reservations at Citricos.

We decided to take a walk around and really just explore the resort and the animal viewing areas. My mom was feeling a little tired from our day of travel the day before and decided to go back to the room and read and rest for a bit while my dad and I explored. He and I spent a good chunk of time at Jambo House and then decided to walk over to Kidani. We returned to the room around 12:00 and all of us ended up just relaxing. My mom and dad napped and I read a bit, then we all started showering and getting ready for our dinner at Citricos. It was probably the laziest I have ever been at WDW.

We took a cab to the Grand Floridian rather than deal with a bus to the MK and then the monorail to the GF. The cabbie got a little lost but we got there eventually. We were early for our reservation so we had a drink in the little lounge outside Citricos and watched all the people arriving for dinner at Victoria and Albert’s. :laugh:

I didn’t take a ton of photos but will post a few from our exploration of AKL and our drinks and dinner at Citricos. Dinner was tasty and the service was excellent. I was a little surprised at how crowded the restaurant was. We all had the short ribs which were very yummy. I think California Grill is still my favorite signature restaurant though.[/QUOTE]

if you were at citricos on the 29th that is the same night we were there,ours to was excellent and like you I was surprised it was very busy


#12

:tinkerbell: More pixie dust for your mom’s fight…

Your comments on getting into the lounge at BLT concerns me on two levels. First, if the lounge is open to all members then you shouldn’t have to deal grief from a CM. Second, the lounge is ALWAYS crowded for fireworks and the open policy has been in place for months - there is absolutely no reason for the staff to be overwhelmed.

Please send your comments to Disney Vacation Club Member Satisfaction Team: DVCMemberSatisfactionTeam@disneyvacationclub.com


#13

Lovely report. I confess to being a little :crying: when you were describing Wishes and being there with your mom. I am so happy that you were able to celebrate with her. Looking forward to more!


#14

Loving your TR! I too got weepy. That is wonderful that your mom fought hard and was able to celebrate her victory! Continued prayers for her! Keep the TR coming!


#15

[QUOTE=rlcarmichael;1125160]:tinkerbell: More pixie dust for your mom’s fight…

Your comments on getting into the lounge at BLT concerns me on two levels. First, if the lounge is open to all members then you shouldn’t have to deal grief from a CM. Second, the lounge is ALWAYS crowded for fireworks and the open policy has been in place for months - there is absolutely no reason for the staff to be overwhelmed.

Please send your comments to Disney Vacation Club Member Satisfaction Team: DVCMemberSatisfactionTeam@disneyvacationclub.com[/QUOTE]

Thanks for the email address. I have been wanting to contact them to let them know what a great job that bartender was doing in the face of a huge crowd with very little support. I will also be sure to let them know that they should invest in some more help up there. They seemed to have a situation set up where they actually had a spot at the end of the bar roped off as a place to line up to place drink orders but I saw many people standing there for at least 15-20 minutes who definitely didn’t get waited on in time for Wishes. It was super chaotic. There was one very large party in the booths set off to the side that seemed to be keeping the waitresses very busy but they need more help up there.

The setup they have for food was also a bit weird. It seemed as though the waitresses have to go outside the seating area onto the patio and then into another door that brings them to an area behind the bar near the dishwashing room to pick up food. It was totally inefficient. We had originally planned to skip dessert at Citricos and order it there but I am glad we ended up with dessert at Citrcos after all. I think we would have waited a long time for any food up there.

The CM at the check in desk on the first floor was just grumpy and a bit rude. I didn’t realize that they needed to see our room key to verify that we were staying somewhere on points so when he asked for that in addition to our member card, I started to explain that we weren’t at BLT, but he cut me off and said “Room Key!” I started to say something and he again just said “Room key!” Finally after I showed him the room key, he explained why he needed to see it. If he had just said that up front, we could have saved a lot of aggravation! :laugh:


#16

That is when we were there. Cue the “It’s a Small World” theme music! :laugh:


#17

Thanks so much for all your kind words, everyone! I will try to add some more today.


#18

[QUOTE=KarenWDWCP;1125195]

The CM at the check in desk on the first floor was just grumpy and a bit rude. I didn’t realize that they needed to see our room key to verify that we were staying somewhere on points so when he asked for that in addition to our member card, I started to explain that we weren’t at BLT, but he cut me off and said “Room Key!” I started to say something and he again just said “Room key!” Finally after I showed him the room key, he explained why he needed to see it. If he had just said that up front, we could have saved a lot of aggravation! :laugh:[/QUOTE]

Rude. Rude. Rude. No excuse for that. What, he’s got somewhere else to go so he can’t be bothered to take time to be polite?


#19

Had he been polite, the whole thing would have taken half the time :pirate:

We have encountered this sort of attitude at the Contemporary. That’ s very unfortunate

Ok Karen, here we are, waiting for more :blush:


#20

[QUOTE=Dopey;1125219]
Ok Karen, here we are, waiting for more :blush:[/QUOTE]

Yes, Karen…Waiting to hear more pixie dust!