Just Back from WDW
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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Location
    Montreal, CanaDA
    Posts
    73

    Thumbs up Just Back from WDW

    It was our 7th visit, but our first in 6 years. This time, we wanted to do something different. It would be an Orlando/WDW vacation. We had never rented a car on any of our previous visits, so that was this would be a first for us. First, after doing some research, I learned that Alamo was the least expensive. The best deal option on their main page is not the best deal. I saved $200.00 over 10 days by first becoming an Alamo insider (automatic discount), then applying a (found on-line) free upgrade code and finally simply going through the process of reserving on-line without any short cuts. I did pre-register, which meant that as soon as we were ready to leave the airport, we bypassed the lines. I handed over my voucher (printed at home) upon which I was directed to a row of cars and told to pick one, and go. We had a full sized car for the price of a small car. So far so good.

    We stayed at The Lake Buena Vista Resort and Spa. Very reasonably priced for a 2 bedroom condo with 2 baths and full kitchen. The outlet Mall was across the parking lot (a short walk, and great deals...if you're a Canadian-I am, 3 pair of shoes for less than what I would have paid for 1 pair at home). The uber Walmart was 5 minutes away, so shopping for food was not an issue.

    We explored Orlando. Drove to the coast. Visited the other outlet Malls etc...(this was our Orlando half of the vacation

    On to our Disney experience. The next 5 days we stayed at the Pop. We decided on only visiting 2 parks (MK and Epcot), but also try exploring other aspects of WDW that we had never seen before. We ate at the Crystal palace. It has somewhat become a tradition for use to have our first WDW meal there upon each visit.

    We were lucky enough to get dinner reservations at Be Our Guest. If you haven't been there yet, trust me, no photo can do it justice. It is very impressive. Generally, I have always considered the food at WDW fair, especially considering the price in some places. The food here was amazing. We each (4 of us) had a different meal, and were tasting off each others plates. Although, the desserts were not as impressive. We had hoped to try the Seven Dwarves mine train, but could not even get a fast pass reservation, and a 2 hour wait was not an option.

    We also managed to get a front row table at the Spirit of Aloha Show (Polynesian). The show was fun, and once again, the meal completely surprised us. It was really very good. Of course, we did visit DTD. There was a lot of construction going on at the old Pleasure Island Site. T-Rex looked to be a very popular dining option. The line was endless. Fortunately, we had no intention of eating there. Instead, we went to Crossroads at House of Blues. Again, a great meal.

    We explored the Grand Floridian and Animal Kingdom lodge. Quite nice to be able to walk out the back and into a viewing area and see all the animals. We also visited The Boardwalk and rented the Surrey Bikes. I am a pretty strong cyclist, but when it's that hot, and the other 3 passengers are not pedalling their weight, the seemingly small inclines are a killer.
    My daughter tried the basketball game on the boardwalk. You know... the one with the undersized rim and net, and the ball is overinflated. Funny thing, she took her first shot, the ball bounced off the rim and directly into the neighbouring net. They gave her the prize.

    Epcot was a great day. We managed to get into every attraction we wanted. We ate at Via Napoli. Trust me when I tell you (my Wife is Italian, and I have eaten her Nonna's homemade sauces, sausages, pasta, and meatballs for over 25 years), the Pizza (Margherita) and meatballs here were the best I have ever had. My only issue with Epcot, as great an attraction it is, Soarin' s projection needs to be upgraded. High def is the norm these days. The old film with dust and scratches doesn't cut it anymore. BTW, I know it's geared towards very young kids, but we cracked up at Turtle Talk with Crush.
    I'M NOT CRANKY, I JUST LOOK THAT WAY

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    Near Banbury, Oxfordshire, UK
    Posts
    10,183
    It seems like forever since we've had a trip report - I'm really glad you took the time to post. Thank you!!

    Great report. Sounds like you had a blast!

    I'm very tempted by BOG now too. I wonder if I'll be able to get an ADR?
    There's a great big beautiful tomorrow
    Just a dream away!

    TALK DISNEY ADMINISTRATOR


  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Location
    Montreal, CanaDA
    Posts
    73

    Re: Just Back from WDW

    Winkster. I tried to get a spot at BOG and Aloha 3 month before leaving, to no avail. Then it occured to me that people would book as much as possible in advance, and eventually edit their choices as their arrival date neared. Two weeks before leaving, I started checking for availabilities every 2nd day. I managed to get both within the 6 days prior to leaving. Not sure if it was my strategy, or simply pure luck, but I'm glad I thought of it.
    I'M NOT CRANKY, I JUST LOOK THAT WAY

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    Near Banbury, Oxfordshire, UK
    Posts
    10,183
    Great tip - thanks. I'll try that when our trip finally gets close enough to make ADRs.
    There's a great big beautiful tomorrow
    Just a dream away!

    TALK DISNEY ADMINISTRATOR


  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    Phillyburbs
    Posts
    1,277
    I agree, it has been a while since we've had a trip report. Thanks for taking the time to post! How was the weather and crowds? How did you like FP+?
    Couldn't imagine life without WDW!
    Last Trip: Oct 2015
    Upcoming: Feb 2016
    Treehouses(2) Vaca. Villas(2) Poly(1) Contemporary(1) CSR(1) CBR(4) POR(1) Sports(4) OKW(1) SSR(2) AKL(1)
    **Oo-de-lally, Oo-de-lally, Golly, what a day!**

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Location
    Anderson indiana
    Posts
    968
    Thanks for sharing. I really want to go to the boardwalk on our next trip. We have been four times and have never been there.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Location
    Montreal, CanaDA
    Posts
    73

    Re: Just Back from WDW

    Kid, FP+ was great. I really liked the idea of the magic band being the the only thing you had to worry about. it was very cool, checking in, then being presented with a box, which, when opened, very beautifully displayed the bands, and each was labelled by name. The FP= does have limitations though. You can arrange 3 FPs in advance, then only when all three are complete can you add an additional FP (one at a time there after). We made it a point to get FPs for the attractions we anticipated would have long lines. Then again, some were already unavailable. Seven Dwarves mine train was all booked for over a week before! Some of the "popular" attractions had line waits listed at 2 hours, while others were surprisingly short. For instance, The Character Spot at Epcot was 15 minutes, Spaceship Earth was 15 minutes. We had evening FP for Space Mountain at MK, but it started to rain quite heavily at around 6pm and didn't stop. It was quite hot 38C (for us Canadians) 100F for our neighbours to the south. It rained a little each day, although only on our visit to MK did it affect any of our plans. We had visited in July once before. We swore that we would never do it again, but we had no choice since it was the only time of year that we could all manage to go together. All things considered, I can't complain. Perhaps it was meant to be, or simply sheer luck, but it seemed that any time we went anywhere, a bus to our destination pulled up to the stop as we got into line, and never once was a bus/monorail/boat overcrowded. We always had a seat.
    I'M NOT CRANKY, I JUST LOOK THAT WAY

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Location
    Miami Fl
    Posts
    5,282
    Great trip report! I agree the FP+ is a great and so are the magic bands. I too agree no more Disney during the summer. We just went a couple of weeks ago and it was in the 100's. Even the resort pools were way too hot. We did the mine train but I still haven't done be our guest.
    Frying pans! Who knew, right!?

    Talk Disney Moderator


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  9. #9
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Location
    Montreal, CanaDA
    Posts
    73

    Re: Just Back from WDW

    Just a quick note, The Malificent Dragan at the end of the new Parade at MK is Jaw dropping. The while parade is great, but that Dragon is incredible.
    I'M NOT CRANKY, I JUST LOOK THAT WAY

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