The trip where nothing really went wrong, except I couldn't sleep


#1

I’ve been dragging my feet since Friday on getting this started. I’ll get this big complaint out of the way to start. The cable TV lineup in WDW is pitiful and pathetic. At least in the deluxe hotels you can get the cartoons they run in all the lobbies on channel 96 and the official Weather Service forecast and radar on channel 98. Has anyone else noticed that as much as Disney is featured on Travel Channel, WDW doesn’t carry Travel or any other A&E channel? No Cartoon Network, no Comedy Central, and no premium movie network. At least you get the last three at Swolphin. Good thing we brought plenty of DVDs from home. Shame they haven’t upgraded the TVs in the rooms at the Boardwalk to LCD panels like Poly and Contemporary. Well, they will in the next few years when Boardwalk goes through a deep refurb, it’s first since they opened in 1995.

Well, this trip report isn’t the only thing that got off to a late start. We did. We were out of the house at 9:30 and grabbed breakfast at McDonald’s. Love McDonald’s breakfast, hate everything else there. Well, not everything, but you know what I mean. I had to drop off a key with a friend who lives south and not on the way to WDW. Side stop at Publix for some ice for the cooler. Oops, need the bathroom and seeing we’re so close, let’s just go back to the house. It’s now 11 and we’re really on the way to WDW this time. Made great time. Decided to fill up at the station across from the Boardwalk before we checked in as it was time to fuel. We pulled into the carport at the Boardwalk around 2:30. A bellman collected our bags and led us up to the outer concierge desk where we checked in. Our room was right around the corner from the Innkeeper’s Club lounge, looking into the garden/quiet pool area and the back of France and Morocco. Our room was ready so we quickly unpacked and moved into the room. We hung out for a while as we had 6:30 reservations for Chef Mickey’s. I decided to get our wristbands early and also stash my camera and tripod in a locker. As a convenience, Halloween Party guests can have a locker for free if they are available. We grabbed the resort monorail and headed for the Contemporary.
I’ll stop here and pick up with dinner and the Halloween Party later. And don’t be expecting pictures for a few more day. I really don’t feel like Photoshopping them to resize them for posting.


#2

Yay, thanks for finally getting started :blush:
I know what you mean about the TV offerings at WDW. It is a shame. Although, we don’t watch that much.
But even in my little cottages we have more than 50, including premium channels. Oh well, not a big deal for me, but I can understand your frustration.


#3

We do not even bother with TV in WDW… except maybe right before bed for a few minutes of wind down time. Way to exhausted from our day to even care for TV. I will agree the selection is sparse.


#4

Well you have solved a great mystery for me. I wondered why I remembered getting channel 96, and then couldn’t figure out why we didn’t get it a POFQ on our last visit. Only the deluxes have it?! That is weird.

Don’t blame you about not wanting to photo shop right now, I never want to do that part.


#5

:goofybounce: Eager to see what you thought of the CDs!! :happy:


#6

Thanks for the locker tip for the MSSHP! I’ll use it on Monday. I’m thinking my boy will get tired/hot of his Edmund Pevensie knight costume, so it will be nice to stash it in a locker.

See how your awesome trip reports help us?!!? THANK YOU!


#7

I’m sure you still had a good time without the TV. Can’t wait until you post more.


#8

Chast, I promise I will listen to the CDs and let you know what kind of smile I made. I just want to listen to them without interruption. I’m the same way with some movies the first time I see watch them too.
But they are right here in sight on the desk, and not getting buried.


#9

:happy: :happy: :happy: :happy: :happy:


#10

So, we exited the monorail and went down to the concourse level and wandered for a few moments to look at what they were doing to the Contemporary this time. We checked in a few minutes early and I guess we waited about 10 minutes for a table, we never eat at dinnertime. Food was OK, nothing special. The “prime” rib tasted more like roast beef than anything else. Our server was a bit slow in bringing ice tea refills, but again, it was busy, although, by the time we were finishing, Chef Mickey’s was about half full. Must have been the lull in the storm before people who were leaving the MK at close at 7 were headed that way (I guess). Mealwise, I’m not sure we need to do dinner at Chef Mickey’s again, it wasn’t that special and I’m beginning to think buffets are best served for breakfast.
We caught the monorail back to the MK and re-entered around 8 or so, a little before the parade started. We of course headed right for Tomorrowland. Things are a little muddled in my mind as we spent three straight evenings in the Magic Kingdom. I think we saw there was next to no wait for Laugh Floor, so we went in and got into the preshow queue area directly. The doors opened and in we went. Laugh floor seems to be getting better with each viewing. I wasn’t “that guy” this time, and I was two seats to the right of “Sully”. I was prepared this time, in case I was “that guy”. Because the parade was happening, lines remained short. We quickly reeled off Buzz, TTA, and Space Mountain before it was time to grab a fireworks viewing spot at the Noodle Terrace. I found a spot, told Gail to hold it, and rushed to the locker for my camera. What can I say about Happy HalloWishes now that I haven’t said before? All this time, I’m trying to figure out where we can meet up with Packerbeth. We did connect on the phone a couple times, but never did find each other. The one Alice I did see, wouldn’t answer to calls of “Beth”. We tried to find her at the end of the treat trail in Toontown, but she must have run off with the March Hare or something. It seems the only time I ever get to ride the Barnstormer is at night during these parties. Anyway, we wandered around a bit and caught the Jungle Cruise and Pirates. The treehouse was still open, so we climbed it. We also did the new version of the Haunted Mansion. I wasn’t sure if I would recognize what was new, but saw most of it for what it was. The most impressive addition, to me, is the M.C.Esher staircases. I never thought I’d see one, aside from posters. They cleaned up the sound system a bit and added lots of new eye candy. I really don’t want to do spoilers, just will say, it is better. I was thinking about doing Splash Mountain, the guide map didn’t show Big Thunder as being open. Well, Big Thunder was open, so I didn’t get wet that night. We asked and found out that Big Thunder was going down for refurb in October, so they decided to not print two versions, so they just left Big Thunder off. I rode it three times, Gail only once, and that pretty much killed the night. Boardwalk is the first stop on the bus line (Boardwalk, Swan, Dolphin), so we were dropped off first.
and now, for the first night that I couldn’t sleep all the way through. Oh yeah, the TV has to stay on because Gail can’t sleep with it off. It has to run DVDs because the commercial interruptions wake her as well. That’s one of the reasons a premium movie channel would help.
Saturday is going to turn into a wasted day pretty much.


#11

the TV has to stay on because Gail can’t sleep with it off.

Women. Sandy is the same way. Every night she falls asleep to the TV on and guess who has to shut it off?


#12

I am so happy that you started your report doug. I always enjoy them.:heart: WDw does have a lack of channels…we always just keep the disney channel on when we are there. Becasue we do take daily breaks at the resort, the tv is on a bit for us. A few selections would be nice.


#13

Great TR. I have to agree with you about the dinner at Chef Mickey’s. It is okay but there are better dinners to be had (1900 Park Fare is by far the best character buffett dinner in our opinion). Can’t wait to read more!


#14

Well, it’s now Saturday Sept 22, and we now have the days that we virtually wasted. I had planned to hit the MGM EMH, but because I’d slept so fitfully, I decided to try for a little more sleep. We had breakfast reservations for Spoodles (This and the Chef Mickey’s meal were out of pocket with DDE discount). The meal was good, well, mostly. I don’t know about the rest of you, but I like to use Bisquick for my pancakes and waffles, not Aunt Jemima type batters. We thought service was good, but our waitress apologized for bad service and didn’t charge for our ice teas. Needless to say, I tipped above 20%. Finished with breakfast, we returned to the room to see what the weather was going to do. I try to avoid the parks on Saturday and Sunday afternoons, and had originally planned to boat the Seven Seas Lagoon and then probably play miniature golf. Well, between laying back down and falling asleep and the near constant rain, I never left the hotel and Gail was feeling out of sorts and didn’t want to do anything. Somewhere around 7:30 I headed out for Epcot for Illuminations. I sensed something, so I took my umbrella and had a shower cap to put over my camcorder. As soon as I emerged from the Boardwalk Inn, it began raining. Happy with my umbrella, I walked over to the International Gateway and turned right to head for Italy. I wasn’t able to get into the preferred viewing area, but a helpful CM suggested a little pier that extends slightly into the water next to Lantern 7 in Germany. She said that Siemens executives like to take their guests there. Makes sense to me, Siemens is a German company. This is a pretty good viewing spot. Plus, because of the rain, the crowd in the park really thinned out. Shortly before 9, I called the room to make sure Gail was awake and in the carport at 9:25 so we could get to AKL in time. Called the Boardwalk, asked for my room, and a strange woman answered. Even better, she repeats my room number and says they just checked in that afternoon. I called back and asked the operator what happened. She guessed that whoever connected the call sent my call to room 4230 to another resort without verifying what resort I was calling. (Central switchboard for all WDW hotels) Called valet after Illuminations (which started about 5 minutes late) and the car and wife were waiting for me when I got there.
Dinner at Jiko. Valeted the car, parking was covered two ways, 1 DDE membership includes valet parking when dinning, 2 once valet parked at any resort, you can valet at any other for the next 24 hours. We were seated in about 3 minutes. I already knew Gail wasn’t going to eat a full meal, so I used two credits for me and payed Gail’s meal out of pocket. Oddly, an 18% tip was tacked onto her meal, the explanation being, if one guest is on plan and the other OOP, they automatically add the tip. Again, as service was good, I increased the tip slightly upward. I had what the bill describes as “shrimp appetizer”, can’t remember exactly what they were, beyond marinated jumbo shrimp on a bed of slaw; the braised short rib of beef (a large portion even without the bone) with a sweet potato/mashed potato blend, and the pistachio creme brulee. Gail had the simmered pork shoulder and a few tastes of my dessert. Overall an enjoyable meal, though I would have asked to sit at the kitchen counter if I’d realized there was an on stage kitchen sooner. I was able to look to my right and see the kitchen, but it wasn’t the same. Service was good, but the restaurant was near empty by this time.
Glad we drove, because the only other ways back were a taxi or bus to DTD and transfer.
Sunday was almost as much of a waste, but more on that later.


#15

That we did. Meeting up with strangers in WDW is always difficult.
At least we talked. Bosoxx left his charger home, so his phone was dead and we never had a chance. And after all the advice I gave him too. Then I kept forgetting to give Emamasa a call, and never even said hi. The only meeting that worked was the Illuminations cruise, but that’s not until Wednesday.


#16

Your day doesn’t sound like a waste to me…realxing and a nice meal is a great way to spend a WDW day to me.:heart:


#17

I really wanted to go boating that afternoon. I never got out in a Sea Raycer at all because I didn’t feel like hauling myself up to Bay Lake and I don’t care much for Crescent Lake. (Sounds like pool hopping?) There’s too many no wake zones and too many Friendships and not enough maneuvering room for my comfort. And the weather was really crappy that day.


#18

There are a lot of no wake zones there…all those boats all over the place… Kinda does sound like pool hopping…lol


#19

Sunday Sept. 23.
The day dawned sunny. Well, so did yesterday and we saw how fast that changed. No EMH in the morning, just evening at MK from 8-11. 9:30 reservation for breakfast at Goofy’s Beach Club at Beach Club’s Cape May Cafe. My they do have a bunch of people stacked up waiting for their tables. Breakfast was good. I didn’t bother asking for an omelet made for me as they had a meat and cheese omelet on the buffet. I guess I don’t really need to interact with the characters as much as I seem to just enjoy watching all the kids and parents with them. Usually. This was another out of pocket meal. You think I’m going to waste a table credit on a buffet AND give the server an 18% tip when I served myself more than she did? 10% is sufficient for a buffet. Time to walk back to the Boardwalk and to check how long it will be before the weather falls apart. that’s right, the weather fell apart just as we returned to the Boardwalk. Well, guess who went back to sleep. No, not me, Gail. Anyway, for whatever reasons, we remained in the room until around 5. We did have a lunch reservation at 2:30 for Coral Reef, but I canceled that because I didn’t really like the lunch menu. Never got the opening at Le Cellier as I’d hoped. The concierge CMs kept telling me that it was pretty likely we’d be able to get a walk up because so many people never keep their reservation. No way am I showing up at the door and crossing my fingers. Couldn’t get a reservation for Wolfgang Puck’s so things were a little in the air. New plan. Walk through Epcot, grab a ride or two and a meal at Sunshine Seasons, then head on to the Magic Kingdom. So, of we go, somewhere around 4:30 heading for Epcot, in rain, under umbrella. Why take the Friendship, when you can walk there much faster? We took the short path through England and Canada to get to Future World. We headed over to Mission Space and did the wimpy side, in part because there was no wait. The rains again were clearing out the park. After Mission Space we crossed over to The Land. Well, one of the ribs in my umbrella broke, so I dumped it and bought a new one at the gift stand for Soarin’. We then went to the fast pass entry for Soarin’ and handed the CM a pair of (old) fast passes. It was about this time we began to suspect this guy’s name was Dick. Gave us chapter and verse about “these are expired”. The stand by line was allegedly 40 minutes, but it didn’t look that way at all. We still had some of the special yellow passes that were given to us that don’t expire, were good for both of us, and are good on any attraction in Epcot. Well, Dick continued to be just that, delaying us, putting the pass under a proctoscope. He finally lets us join the fast pass queue and we notice there isn’t a blessed person in the stand by queue, all the way to the gate. Dick must have called ahead on the intercom because “Jane” examined the fast pass with the same proctoscope Dick used. They weren’t even holding a group to “play the game” (more on that in Tuesday’s report). I asked the CM (“Jane”) at the front of the queue where the people in the stand by line were and was told “oh, we hold them in the middle now”. We discovered this to be a lie, again, more in Tuesday’s report. We got seats out on the end (boo). Soarin’, what can I say that I haven’t posted in 20 other threads? Time for meal.
Two counter service meals with beverage and dessert $34.44 on DDP. We have 10 table, 10 counter, and 11 snack credits left. We both had the pork chop, I had the Soarin’ (orange) brulee and Gail had the chocolate mousse cake. I liked my dessert, she didn’t. We both enjoyed the pork chop. Loved the mashed potatoes so much, I had two helpings.
So having eaten a pleasant meal at one of the top 5 counter service places in WDW, we headed for the exit and the monorail for a leisurely trip to the Magic Kingdom.
We arrive and get through the gates by about 7:30 or so and got our wrist bands. Gail’s umbrella broke (yep, one after the other), so while she made a necessary stop, I went first to the fire house, then the trolley cart by the east portal and finally the Emporium to buy her a new umbrella (which we wound up not needing that night). We grabbed a spot on Main Street (no camera) for Wishes. Pardon us sir, but why did you just walk in front of us and then put your little girl on your shoulders and block our view? It’s “My Name is Dick Day” in Walt Disney World. Now, what do you expect me to say about Wishes now? The show isn’t stale yet? Do any of us have any idea how many times I’ve seen Wishes? I sure don’t. Live it’s well into the teens if not over twenty. What can I say that I haven’t said before? (It brings a tear to my eye).
After Wishes it’s on to Tomorrowland. Yes, I almost always turn right. Buzz, Space twice, TTA. Lines aren’t so bad and the crowd is thinning out quickly. Haunted Mansion, a couple rides on Big Thunder, perhaps one or two other rides. And it’s now 11 PM and the park’s closing. Oh no. What are we going to do about food. I thought I’d heard you could use two CS credits for a pizza, but the pizza window at the Boardwalk doesn’t do the dining plan. No way I’m going to pay out of pocket for a Disney pizza and the clock is ticking. ESPN! Won’t do a take out order and we don’t feel like eating inside ESPN during the end of Sunday Night Football. I end up getting the $20 hamburger from room service just before room service turns into Cinderella at midnight. Gail said she wasn’t hungry.
Doesn’t Disney management know that Sunday night is the best night in the Adult Swim line up on Cartoon Network?! Well, at least I’ve got Season One of Harvey Birdman and Robot Chicken with me.
Tomorrow’s going to be an early start, and I don’t want any excuses.


#20

:laugh: “My Nam is Dick Day” :laugh: