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Old 11-05-2018, 08:59 AM   #11
Kathy O
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Wow! You did a lot in one day! It's amazing how fast you can get around when you're solo!

Last edited by Kathy O; 11-06-2018 at 08:08 AM.
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Old 11-05-2018, 10:40 AM   #12
Lamima
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Happy birthday!! Looking forward to more of your TR!
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Old 11-05-2018, 10:10 PM   #13
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Yes, the rain isn't normal for November...neither are temps approaching 90. I'm so over both of those things, and wish the weather wasn't waiting until AFTER my trip to get nice!

DAY 2 – Monday 11/05/18
Who: Sue (60), DVC Member

Plan: Pool, Epcot

Actual: My room was completely silent last night – no noise from the villa next door, the hallway, or any nearby balconies. I only have a neighbor on one side, and I think it’s a nice quiet couple without kids. I got up a little after 5, and discovered the fridge was either not working or was set too warm. I played around with the knob and will check it again later. If I’ve lost everything in there I’ll be complaining to the resort. This happened to Chris & Amanda when here earlier this year, and they had to throw out everything – but the resort did give them a credit on their account so they could replace stuff.

I made my cappuccino and did some online stuff, then made my breakfast around 8. I also booked a short weekend hear next October. It’ll be hot, but hopefully I can enjoy food & wine at night. Outside I see a clear blue sky, so it looks good for lounging in the sun this morning.

After changing into a swimsuit, I filled my contiga with ice water and headed out to the beach – arriving there before 9. I was surprised to see others there already, although they didn’t stay long. I dragged a chaise lounge by the fence (at the water), and spent a lovely 3 hours reading and watching/hearing the boats passing by. It got pretty hot at times, but other times there was a breeze. By the time I went back inside (just before noon), there were a lot more clouds building up.

I heated up the leftover margherita pizza for lunch, and had that along with a glass of wine out on the balcony. After lunch I took my shower and got dressed, then headed out to the bus stop around 1:15. I didn’t have any delays entering Animal Kingdom, and the bus came pretty much right when the board said it would (1:30). My first fastpass was at Primeval Whirl, which was crazy busy. Everything was crazy busy! The standby queue was 45 minutes, and even with my fastpass it was nearly 15 minutes of waiting.

After riding I decided to check out the standby wait for Dinosaur, thinking I’d do that now instead of during my 3:55 fastpass window. When I got over there though, the line was out the door and the wait time was posted as 65 minutes!!! Holy New Jersey Week – this really sucks! I walked through Asia and into Africa, where I found a place to sit & check emails until it was time for my safari fastpass window. The standby there was 75 minutes.

It was a good safari, although the driver wasn’t as observant as most drivers. We passed animals she never pointed out – including a giraffe only a couple feet from our truck (standing in some trees). When the safari ended I headed for the exit, as I didn’t want to sit around waiting for the Dinosaur fastpass.

At the bus stops there was a long line of people at the Yacht/Beach Club stop, so I was happy that the bus would be arriving sooner rather than later. It did, but then we had a driver change. Then the new driver fiddled with all his buttons, adjusted & readjusted his seat & steering wheel, and did god knows what else up there. I shared the seat directly behind the driver with a lady from upstate NY and Naples, and we started talking about what a crazy situation this was. By the time our driver FINALLY started moving, the next Yacht/Beach Club bus pulled into our spot right away. Our driver fiddled around for 20 minutes!

He then sat forever letting all the pedestrians and other buses go first at an intersection. At the light near All Stars traffic going into those value resorts was backed way up not moving at all – what a mess! We were held forever at the light, perhaps because a fire truck and ambulance were in the McDonald’s parking lot. Finally we were on our way again. At Yacht Club the damn driver discharged passengers and then sat there. They sit & wait a short period at the parks, but not at resorts! The lady next to me said something to him, as she was rushing to meet her Magical Express bus. He finally got moving, and the entire journey took about an hour to get from Animal Kingdom to Beach Club!

I stopped by the studio to drop off my sunglasses and grab the camera, then walked over to Epcot. Entry was quick, as there were no real lines backed up & all the stations were open. I decided to head towards America, thinking I may need to get a seat for the 5:30 Boyz II Men concert early. Arriving there just before 5, I was shocked to see the theater was full – every seat, every spot along both walls (both the side facing into the theater and the side facing out). The ropes were up to prevent any more people from going in, and people were 3 deep standing up behind the ropes. I looked over at the American Adventure and every spot along the walls surrounding trees or a fountain were also taken – it was just insane! I continued walking, and the line for the 6:45 show was already snaked around in Italy. They had lots of extra security, too.

Since I obviously wasn’t going to be getting a seat for the concert, I continued walking to find dinner. The lines at the Food & Wine booths were insane too – many of them extended beyond the roped off queue. Spain was the only one I came by that didn’t have a huge line, but I wanted the korma chicken from India. Fortunately, that line was snaked but within the queue, and it moved quickly. I even found an empty table across the way. The chicken was good, but when the naan bread cools off it’s kind of tough.

After eating I walked back to America and found a curb in front of the American Adventure entrance and sat down. I could hear the concert just fine, and they sounded good. When it started, many of the people who had been sitting on walls stood up (not on the wall – on the ground) but I can’t imagine they saw anything. Knowing it would be a mob scene, I left during the final song, and headed into Future World.

I noticed Canada and the other booths that generally have 2 sides only had 1 operating tonight. I’m thinking Disney was caught off-guard by the huge crowds today, but a lot of it was their doing. They closed the Magic Kingdom at 4:30 today for a cast service party, so people had to go somewhere! When you consider they close it at 6 multiple times a week for the Halloween or Christmas parties, it limits the options for people who want to see the fireworks and evening stuff there.

Future World was also very busy. I went to the Festival Center and picked up a ghiradelli sample to take back to the resort. After leaving Animal Kingdom I added a fastpass for Spaceship Earth at 7:45. I checked to see if I could move it up, but they were all gone for the day. I checked the standby time, and it was something like 50 minutes – no way! So, I walked back out to World Showcase even though I knew I’d run into the concert crowd getting out of the 6:45 show around 7:15.

Everything was still extremely busy, with long lines everywhere. I counted 30 people waiting for crepes in France. Once I hit the concert crowd it was gridlock. Thank goodness I’m small, quick, and solo – at least I was able to get to the outer edge and weave past the slowpokes. The people on scooters had to be out of their minds to be here on such a busy night – they could barely move.

I ducked back into Future World, arriving at Spaceship Earth 8 minutes before my fastpass time. The cast member worked some magic to turn my blue light green, and let me in. He was commenting about how strange it was to be so busy like this on a Monday night. Spaceship Earth needed more air conditioning – it was pretty sweaty in there most of the time. Afterwards I walked over to the Flavors of Fire stand and finally found a short line! I only had to wait for a couple people, lol!

I ordered the chocolate picante, which was delicious. I walked back to World Showcase, which was still mobbed, and fought my way over to International Gateway and left the park. It felt good to get back to my nice uncrowded resort! I took the laptop out onto the balcony to finish up the report. People were enjoying the pool at first, and I could hear the music played out there – until a group came out to talk on their balcony nearby.

SB ended up having to work another double shift today, as another of the slimeballs (this time the 2nd shift supervisor) called in “sick”. But, they’re backing his extra time down tomorrow, meaning he won’t work tomorrow – so he’s planning to come down with Tiana for the day. I was able to add him to our Nemo fastpass, but not the others. I can always let him use my Soarin’ fastpass, and he won’t want to ride Spaceship Earth so that’s no big deal.

Today was a very nice day, other than the continued big crowds everywhere. This NJ week crap is for the birds – it really makes it harder to enjoy everything. Next year our trip will end at the start of NJ week, so at least we’ll have a few nice days before the hordes (NJ and marathoners) descend.

Tomorrow SB & Tiana should be here around 8 – we’ll be doing Food & Wine, and we’ll see if Boyz II Men is stupidly crowded again! If so, Tiana will be disappointed.
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Old 11-06-2018, 09:32 PM   #14
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DAY 3 – Tuesday 11/06/18
Who: Sue (60), DVC Member
SB (61), my husband
Tiana (51), friend

Plan: Epcot, Boyz II Men

Actual: Once again I slept well, getting up at 5. I had my cappuccino and did online stuff until around 6:15. I took my shower & got dressed, and later made my breakfast. SB & Tiana arrived just after 8. SB mentioned on the phone he’d forgotten his magic band. I’m not sure if he was kidding or not, but I told them I wasn’t stupid enough to rely on him to bring his stuff – I have one of his with me <g>.

Epcot is opening for resort guests at 8 this morning, so I gave them the option of getting breakfast here at the Beach Club Marketplace or over at the Land. SB really wanted the potato casserole, so Beach Club Marketplace it is. We can walk over to Epcot after they eat. I waited for them out on the balcony, since I could see the sidewalk to the parking lot.

They got in just after 8 and I met them downstairs once I saw them walking from the parking lot. They were hungry so we went to Beach Club Marketplace first. It was very busy there, but since the food is already prepared the line went quickly. SB noticed the potato casserole was missing, and they had home fries instead. I asked about that and learned the casserole was almost done cooking. The cast member said she’d bring it out to us, so SB ordered the bounty platter. He was underwhelmed with that, especially for $12. There was a small scoop of eggs, a single link sausage, single strip of bacon, a small mickey waffle, and the tiniest biscuit I’ve ever seen.

Tiana made a smarter choice of a breakfast sandwich on a croissant, that she enjoyed. When the potato casserole was ready, we were given a big portion. Unfortunately, it’s not the same as it used to be – neither of us really liked it. It was way too salty, and I remember it tasted different like this last time too. Tiana liked it, so she ate it. I had SB’s waffle.

After breakfast we walked into Epcot, commenting how nice it would be if it would stay uncrowded like this! We walked into Future World, and got there right about 9, so we saw the crowd of non-resort guests headed up to the Land. We were able to ride Living with the Land without any wait, and then went next door to Soarin’. Tiana & I had fastpasses but the cast member let SB go in with us. We ended up dead center, without having to ask.

SB & I enjoyed the attraction, but Tiana freaked out and was scared to death the entire time (with her eyes closed). She says she’s never riding that again! She did ok last time, but I won’t risk it again. It was almost 10 by now, and we walked over to the Festival Center. They each got their passholder magnet, we all got a ghiradelli sample, and Tiana bought a 2018 Food & Wine Festival shirt. We arranged to have it delivered to the International Gateway rather than having to carry it around.

We headed back out to World Showcase, as they wanted margaritas from Mexico. As we approached, I noticed people sitting at shady tables at the cantina. I also saw margaritas on their menu, so we went there rather than sit or stand in the hot sun. SB got a frozen lime margarita and bought Tiana’s frozen mango margarita to thank her for driving him down here. The lime one was really good – I had a few sips. Once 11 rolled around we got up and began our loop of the countries. Along the way we ran into Sandi Femino, who SB remembered meeting a couple trips ago – it’s always nice to run into people unexpectedly.

The first stop was China, where Tiana had the spicy shrimp & noodles. SB had that as well, and he & I shared the chicken dumplings (pot stickers). It was all good – and we had a table in the shade, lol! The next stop was Africa, where SB got the beef tips. This was pretty spicy, but he really liked it. Tiana & I tried a bite, and agreed – but it’s not something I’d get for myself. Although SB had planned to “pace” himself, now he was full, lol!

We walked around some more, stopping in Ireland. I got the Guinness bailey’s shake, and when Tiana saw it she ordered one as well. It’s a frozen drink and they sprinkle chocolate pieces on top. It comes in a cute plastic glass that says “Ireland” and it’s completely delicious! I grabbed us a couple straws from the Joffrey’s coffee cart across the way, which made it easier to enjoy the shake.

When the shakes were gone we headed towards Future World, but first rode a Friendship over to Morocco and back. We still had time to kill before our fastpasses, so we went to the DVC member lounge. It’s not a terribly exciting place, but it has air conditioning, lol! They both got a soda from the machines in there. The snack cart came around just before we left, so SB & I each got the animal crackers to save for Ari.

Our final fastpasses were 12:05 and 1:10, so we walked over to Spaceship Earth to arrive about 1pm. Just like at Soarin’, the cast member let SB go in with us even though he didn’t have a fastpass. It was a little warm in there, but not as bad as last night – thank goodness! When we got off that, it was time for our final fastpass at Nemo. SB had one for here.

It was a cute ride, and we spent some time afterwards watching the dolphin and manatees, then watching the fish in the aquariums. A few divers were in there working on the walls, and in another area I think guests were swimming with their scuba tanks. Eventually we headed out, making the hot walk back to Beach Club Villas! Along the way we picked up Tiana’s shirt at the International Gateway, and when we go back in later she plans to exchange it for a different size. I’m not sure why she bought the size she did, but I wasn’t with her at the time.

We caught the end of General Hospital, and Tiana caught a nap on the couch. I used the time to get caught up with the report, to make this evening easier. I was hungry, but didn’t want to mess up being able to eat something at Food & Wine – we were planning to go back in at 4. It was almost 4:15 by the time we left for Epcot, but everyone felt much more rested and refreshed than before. We had no wait getting into Epcot, and turned to the right to head towards America.

We got to America about 4:30 and they’d already let people into the theater, which was almost full. Tiana found the shirt she bought at the kiosk in America, but they only had extremely large sizes. Since what she bought was too small, she swapped it for a XL and hoped to find a L somewhere else. That would turn into a nightmare later. While she was doing that, I told her SB & I would grab the seats at the end of the back row – off on the Japan side, since nothing else was available and I didn’t want someone to beat us. However, when we got there a big tree would have blocked the view of at least one of us, so we decided to just sit on the wall running up the length of the theater. From there we wouldn’t have any obstruction.

Tiana couldn’t find us at first, but called me and we were able to get her down to our seats. Once she was there, SB went off for popcorn & a beer. We figured we’d take turns, but always leave 2 people to hold the space. He was gone for a while, and came back with 2 brisket sliders and a beer flight, lol! He said the line at the popcorn & beer stand was moving too slowly, so he walked right up to the Hops & Barley stand. The sliders were huge, with lots of meat – and delicious! I’d gotten one on our first trip this year, and these were so much better! I ate part of one, and will definitely get one later in the trip.

Tiana was going to get ice cream “next door” but the ice cream was actually in France. She decided to wait, but SB went back to Hops & Barley and came back with a couple of the lobster rolls. She loved that, and ate them both. SB enjoyed his beer flight and the rest of the sliders – it was enough to fill him up again. I drank some wine, figuring I’d get food after the concert.

When the concert started, most of the people stood up! I can’t stand that – and I was so glad we were on the wall and not in seats staring at strangers’ asses for the next 30 minutes. Honestly, most of the ones we see at Disney aren’t worth looking at <g>. Tiana had been really looking forward to Boyz II Men, and I was surprised to learn after a while that she wasn’t impressed. They did a bit too much talking – when you’re the concert all you need to do is sing, not talk. We had a lady standing up who blocked SB’s view, and when we got a cast member/supervisor over she told us that unfortunately the woman was standing in the red area so she couldn’t say anything. Both Disney and the groups need to tell people to sit the hell down so others can see.

Anyway, we were all ready to leave by the time the last song started, and none of us felt the need to see them again. Give us Starship!! Tiana was wanting to get on the road, so we continued our loop around, but had no luck with the damn shirt. She finally got her ice cream – the banana almond berry sundae thing from Almond Orchard. This is so good, but it’s too big for me unless I’m sharing it. Maybe when Ari gets here!

I left them in the United Kingdom, and took her shirt to try to find the right size in Future World while they left the park and got on the road. It was feeling more humid out, and frankly was pretty gross. Most of the “Festival” shops had switched over to mostly Christmas stuff by now, and since the Food & Wine Festival is almost over it’s not surprising that many things are sold out. Mouse Gear had some things, but not this shirt. I ended up back in the Festival Center, where they had the shirt but the hangers were all S, XL, 2X and 3X. I checked them all and found a L on an XL hanger – unfortunately, it was a little dirty. It was probably ghiradelli chocolate fingers that had touched it, but hopefully that will wash out. I did ask if they had any more out back, and the cast member refrained from laughing at me when he included a comment that the festival is almost over. I figure a dirty shirt that fits is better than one too big to wear…and surely Tide or some spot remover will take care of it.

With that done, I walked back to World Showcase, walking past Test Track and the Odyssey to come out by Mexico. In Germany I stopped at the Spain booth and got the paella for dinner, taking it to a table by the lake. Afterwards, I continued my loop – stopping in Morocco for a piece of chocolate baklava to take back to the room. World Showcase and the food booths were getting busier, as people were arriving from other parks most likely.

I was back in my studio a little after 7:30, ready to be out of the humidity and relax in the air conditioning. I put the baklava in the fridge and had a glass of wine while updating the report and flipping between HGTV and election results. I’m not really interested in politics at all, but this year I’m eager to see who the new FL governor will be, and whether the current governor will beat the senator he’s running against.

Today was a really nice day, and we all had a great time. We “do” Disney well together, and everything just flows nicely. If it was about 10 degrees cooler it would have been the perfect day! Oh yeah, and if Tiana had just bought the shirt in her size to start with, lol!

Tomorrow is my last solo day, so it’ll be nice & relaxing. I plan to spend the morning on the beach again, then head into Epcot later. I have yet another Spaceship Earth fastpass, but I pushed it back from 12:25 to 3:55. I may or may not trudge up to the front to use it. I have Test Track later at night, but depending on the humidity may not stick around that late – there’s always single rider line, and I could care less about designing a car. Whatever the day brings, I’m sure it’ll be great!
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Old 11-07-2018, 09:14 PM   #15
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DAY 4 – Wednesday 11/07/18
Who: Sue (60), DVC Member

Plan: Pool, Epcot, Boyz II Men

Actual: After another good night’s sleep in a comfortable silent room, I was up around 5:15. I made my cappuccino and did online stuff until Beach Club Marketplace opened at 7. Yesterday I’d seen the kids’ meal options and decided to just do that this morning, especially since with it being so hot I wasn’t necessarily going to be over at Food & Wine for lunch. I got the cheese/tomato/scrambled egg on goldfish bread, which came with a packet of grapes, a small yogurt parfait and small bottle of water. It’s plenty for me, and I saved the parfait for later and grapes for Ari.

Fog was rolling in, which I assume is a factor of it being so much warmer than normal. I’m glad I’m not driving in it! I hung out in the studio until around 8:45, when I changed into a swimsuit and headed out to my chaise lounge on the beach. It was nice and sunny, but very hot! Some large group had a catered breakfast on the beach, but they were at the other end. I doubt they were counting on it being so warm and humid when they booked that! No other guests came out to use the beach today, and I stayed out there until just before noon. I did some reading, watched the boats, and just relaxed (and sweated).

Since this is my last day at Beach Club, I dropped my towels in the used towel bin at the quiet pool before walking back to my studio. I heated up the last piece of pizza from Terralina for lunch and tried to watch the noon news but the president was blathering and insulting reporters on tv. Hopefully he’ll be finished before General Hospital at 2! I gave up shortly after 1 and took my shower. Thankfully the press conference was finished when I turned the tv back on just before 2.

I caught up on the cruise critic message boards after General Hospital, and talked with SB. He went to the dog track in Tampa, and now is headed down to spend the night with Chris, Amanda & Ari. Tomorrow he’s hanging out with former Twins co-workers in Ft Myers and will spend the night at our place before coming up here Friday.

Around 3:30 I put on my sneakers and headed for Epcot, getting hungry again. There was no wait at International Gateway, so I got right in. When I left around 7 there were long lines entering the park. Since I hadn’t walked much today, I decided to do a loop around World Showcase, starting with France. Much of it was in the shade, so that was very nice! It wasn’t crowded or busy at the food & wine booths at all. I didn’t stop anywhere, because I’d already decided on something in Future World. When I finished the loop I entered Future World and went to the Flavors of Fire booth for the piggy wings. The people ahead of me were a pain – they wanted the corned beef but without the onions, and the piggy wings but without any sauce or sesame seeds. The cast members cheerfully accommodated them. I was fine with my piggy wings coming just as they are – sauce, sesame seeds, and little bit of slaw.

These are not wings at all, but meaty little ribs. There are 2 of them in the portion, and both of mine had a lot of meat on them. I cut the meat off the bone and had several bites from each rib – more than enough. After eating I walked over to Spaceship Earth figuring “what the heck” on riding it yet again. When I got there however, it had just gone down. I went into a nearby shop to check for the email with my fastpass information but couldn’t stay in there because it was too warm. What’s up with Disney and the lack of decent cold air conditioning these days?

I ended up in Electric Umbrella (standing off to the side), where it was much cooler. I got my email but wasn’t interested in any of the choices available for my fastpass, so I walked over to Test Track to do the single rider line instead of waiting for my fastpass later this evening.

The single rider line had a 30-minute wait posted, but as soon as I got inside I could tell it likely wasn’t going to be anywhere near that long. Had it been backed way up I would have turned around and left. I was seated with a young couple, and was very underwhelmed by this attraction. I guess I haven’t ridden it in a while, and I don’t like how it’s changed – it’s a big nothing. The only “attraction” is the high speed loop outside. All the time leading up to that is boring and useless in my opinion.

When I got back outside I checked the app and saw that Spaceship Earth was running again, so I went back there to use my fastpass. While riding I saw I had a missed call and voicemail from SB. Thinking he was lost or something, I listened to the voicemail but it was him with Ari, having Ari talk to me, lol! I called him when I got back outside.

It was time to head back to World Showcase, and now the sun was down and the sky was really pretty again. I stopped at India for a glass of the chenin blanc, then took it to an empty table in Africa. The table had 4 chairs, so when a couple came with food & drink from Africa and were going to eat balancing it on the wall, I invited them to share the table. They both had the shrimp skewer, which looked pretty big – SB might like that.

Eventually I continued walking, noticing things had gotten much busier. It was really crowded in Italy since they hadn’t let the crowd into the America Gardens Theater for the 6:45 Boyz II Men concert yet. I went to Hops and Barley, finding the queue completely filled in. It moved pretty quickly, and I got the brisket slider – disappointed that it was a smaller portion than the ones SB got last night. However, I was stuffed after eating it so I guess it doesn’t matter. The picnic tables in the covered area outside the restrooms had been removed, so I’m not sure what’s up with that. It didn’t look like they’d been added to the festival eating area, either. I ate at a stand-up table where the picnic tables used to be.

Continuing on, I was craving something sweet – but didn’t want anything too big. I stopped by Ireland and watched while someone got the warm chocolate thing, and knew it was a little more than I wanted. I still have most of the chocolate baklava in the fridge, so that will be dessert later. I headed out through International Gateway, and ran into a former co-worker from Tallahassee. I figured she & her husband were here, since they usually run the half marathon. It was nice to catch up with her, and we may run into each other again since they’re at Boardwalk until Monday.

Speaking of Boardwalk, I walked around over there before heading back to my resort – nothing much was going on yet. I didn’t spend much time, since I’ll be there the next 4 nights. I returned to Beach Club Villas and packed up most of my stuff before settling down to watch HGTV.

Today was a very relaxing, lazy day – which is a good thing! I enjoyed my kid’s breakfast sandwich and the time on the beach (although it really needed to be about 10 degrees cooler to be perfect). Food & Wine wasn’t overly crowded, and both food items tasted great!

Tomorrow Chris & Ari hope to get on the road around 7:30 or so. I did online check in while I was at Epcot (on my phone), and will probably head over to Boardwalk between 10 & 11. With it being hot again tomorrow, I’ll drive up the hill and drop my Boardwalk stuff off with bell services before parking the car. I don’t want to be lugging stuff up in the hot sun in the afternoon, or pulling a heavy suitcase down a long carpeted hallway! It’s a pretty safe bet the villa won’t be ready when I get there <g>. Our plans for the day are Epcot and a Publix run.
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Old 11-07-2018, 09:24 PM   #16
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I know the festival ends soon but it isn't over yet! THat CM shouldn't laugh....people, like myself, DH, and our friends are spending good money to come and enjoy the festival in a couple of days . It's no over until it's over!!
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Old 11-08-2018, 11:46 PM   #17
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DAY 5 – Thursday 11/08/18
Who: Sue (60), DVC Member
Chris (32), son
Ari (2), grandson

Plan: Move to Boardwalk, Chris & Ari arrive, Epcot

Actual: I slept well again, getting up just after 5. I followed the usual routine, and around 7 made my breakfast – egg, slice of bacon, and the kid’s yogurt parfait from yesterday. I still have some of the baklava, which I’ll eat before heading out the door. It’s too good to go to waste! It’s another sunny day and I would have liked to spend it by the pool or on the beach, but without a place to shower & blowdry my hair, it just isn’t practical.

I hung out in the studio, taking my shower and dressing around 8 but not heading over to Boardwalk until after 9. Chris stopped at McDonald’s for breakfast with Ari, and texted once they got back on the road with their ETA of 11:30. Around 9:15 I shut down the laptop and packed up the last things, including the cooler. I got some ice from the ice machine, but probably didn’t need it since my freezer packs had all finally frozen again once I turned the temp down in the fridge (they were in the little freezer section).

I stopped to fill up the tank with gas on my way to Boardwalk, and was lucky to find an empty pump. At the Boardwalk I drove up to the entrance and had bell services take my suitcase, cooler, and 2 other bags before driving back down to self-park the car. I decided to take a walk around the boardwalk first, so I left my backpack in the trunk. The walk got rather toasty, once I lost shade. The combination of the higher than normal temperature and the high humidity was pretty gross. It was too hot to consider walking down to the Studios, so I limited my walk to around Crescent Lake.

I retrieved my backpack from the car, then walked up to the Boardwalk lobby. I stopped at the front desk to let them know I am HERE, hoping that might make a difference in when they cleaned my villa. It ended up being 3:07 before my villa was ready, so my efforts were basically in vain. I planned to sit outside on the porch, and found an empty rocking chair there, but between the pressure washer being used below (noisy) and the humidity with a lack of any breeze, I lasted less than 5 minutes out there.

Inside the lobby, I tried a couple chairs that looked comfortable but were anything but! Eventually I settled on a sofa, and spent about an hour reading until Chris & Ari arrived just after 11:30. Ari had only slept for about 50 minutes during their trip, so that wasn’t a good sign for the rest of the day if the villa wasn’t going to be ready soon. We went downstairs to the Boardwalk Bakery and got Ari the kids’ turkey sandwich on goldfish bread for his lunch. He didn’t seem too sure about it at first, but he eventually ate it.

We left for Epcot, in the sweltering heat. We turned right towards France, and didn’t stop until we came to America. Chris got the brisket at Hops & Barley, which was a huge portion like the ones SB got the other night. Our next stop was Germany, where I got the bratwurst in pretzel roll and I think Chris got a beer from the regular stand. The bratwurst was very good.

We walked some more, but didn’t stop for any more food at this point. We entered Future World, and did our Nemo fastpasses. Ari rode with me and was spooked by the jellyfish and also by the shark. I guess he’s getting to that age where things can scare him. He was fine again almost instantly after moving to friendlier scenes. After the ride we went over and watched the manatees for a while, then the dolphins. An elderly lady was sitting by the window we chose, and she seemed to enjoy Ari. She was talking to him, and they were looking at fish. When we moved to another area, I had Ari say goodbye to his new friend, and he waved & told her bye.

We watched the fish a bit longer, then checked some of the smaller exhibits before going downstairs and heading outside to get the stroller. We still didn’t have a room number, and had agreed to skip the Spaceship Earth fastpass in favor of the DVC member lounge. First, we rode the Imagination ride, which had a 15-minute standby wait posted but it was a quick walk-on. Ari wasn’t happy with the skunk smell, or the “blast” at the end, but did seem to like Figment. Afterwards Chris had to do something for work, so I took him to play on some of the interactive things. Soon he’d forgotten he was scared, and was running around like normal.

We went up to the DVC member lounge next, and found seats to wait for the “room ready” email. Chris got some soda from the free machines. After a while he needed to take Ari to the restroom (outside the lounge), and while they were gone the snack cart came by. I got 2 animal crackers and a cheez its. I texted Chris to suggest we just go back to Boardwalk to wait for the room, and he agreed, so I met them downstairs.

As we were on our way back to the resort I got an email (at 3:07) telling me to stop by the front desk about my room assignment. Chris checked the app, and from his account could see our room number. From my app, it only showed Beach Club Villas. Back at Boardwalk he & Ari went down to their car to get their stuff, while I stopped by the front desk.

The cast member couldn’t get it to work, and told me the magic band was trying to open room 260 – which didn’t exist at Boardwalk, but was my room number at Beach Club. I stood there while he tried different things, pecking away at his computer, but we were getting nowhere. I was getting impatient. Chris & Ari finally got back, and were surprised to see me still standing at the front desk – it had to have easily been 20 minutes or more at this point. Finally the cast member said he needed to get a supervisor, and when came back the supervisor who came with him was Marlene – friend of Pete & Judy, and a front desk manager here. She remembered me, and we exchanged greetings, then she went to work with her higher level of access.

Even Marlene had trouble, as it kept wanting to link me to a BCV room even though I was clearly checked in here. She was able to make me a couple old fashioned key cards, and eventually did that. She kept my magic band (and SB’s) to continue working on the problem without holding me up, letting me know what to say to get them back when we passed by later.

A bit earlier I’d brought my bell services ticket over to ask for my luggage to be delivered, and now when I went to the elevator I shared it with the bellman who had my stuff on his cart. I commented to him that it was my stuff, so he took my backpack from me and hung it on the cart. I knew the room number so he followed me, I tipped him, and then I finally got somewhat settled. Chris had already started unpacking in their bedroom, so I did the same in mine and unpacked the cooler. Ari had filled up an ice cube tray with water for me, and it was in the freezer – but I learned the ice machine room is directly across the hall so we have options.

The villa is great – everything looks like it should, and the a/c works very well! We overlook the main pool, directly across from the clown face at the end of the keister coaster slide. The Tower of Terror is beyond that, so we have a view of any fireworks from the Studios. We needed to pick up some groceries, so we headed for Publix. Since I needed to stop at the front desk they went to the car and would come back for me. Marlene was still working on my bands, and evidently finally got them right – both scanned green. I thanked her and walked to the bottom of the hill, where Chris & Ari picked me up.

We went to the Publix over by Orange Lake and picked up mainly breakfast things. We didn’t spend too much time there. Ari fell asleep on the ride back, finally too exhausted to stay awake. Chris dropped me off at the entrance and I took the groceries while he went to park the car and carry Ari up to the resort. We had eggs, sausage, a gallon of milk, gallon of water, and box of wine. It was a challenge handling it all, but I managed – struggling towards the end. Wouldn’t you know, just as I got close to my villa, a party pushing a disabled girl in a huge wheelchair stopped dead in front of my door to talk to each other. Really people????? I was about to drop a gallon of water, but managed to get between the wheelchair & my door before that happened. What are the odds that in the long hallway, the room they stop in front of has to be the one I’m going to???

I put the stuff way, grabbed my camera and the stroller, and went back downstairs. Chris & Ari were already out on the boardwalk, so I met them down there. Ari was still asleep on Chris’ shoulder, but woke up when Chris put him in the stroller. It was too hot to keep holding him. Once he woke up, he was raring to go.

We were within the fastpass window for the character greet thing, so we entered Epcot and went straight there. I had a fastpass, but Chris did not – the cast member let him go in with us but told me next time to book a fastpass for him. We had a bit of a wait, but eventually got into the room with the characters. A party up ahead had a couple shirts to be signed, and a hat – so they took more time than most people and slowed down the whole experience for everyone behind them.

Ari enjoyed greeting and interacting with Mickey, Goofy, and then Minnie. By the time we got out of there it was dark. We needed to get Ari dinner, so we went to Electric Umbrella. I got a table while Chris took Ari to the restroom. When he came out, the line to order was long so he used the app to do mobile ordering. He was able to bypass the line, and get Ari’s kids’ cheese pizza very quickly.

Ari likes the pizza here, but he wasn’t eating very quickly. We kept prompting him to take a bite, and finally I put the last piece in the tray on the stroller, and he ate that as we started walking. We went back to World Showcase, starting with the Mexico side. Once Ari finished his pizza he got the strawberry yogurt smoothie thing that came with his meal – he sucked that down in about 10 seconds!

In Africa Chris got the beef tips, while Ari & I waited by a table. I’d brought in a couple of those glow in the dark sticks, which Ari was playing with. Chris enjoyed the beef, and it was a big portion. We continued walking, and stopped just beyond Germany so Ari & I could walk through the train village. He enjoyed seeing them all, with their lights on. Eventually we met back up with Chris and kept walking. Our timing was off for the concerts tonight, so hopefully I can hear the Hooters tomorrow. We passed by America around 7:30, and the next show wasn’t until 8.

In Morocco Chris got the beef kefta and a chocolate baklava, while Ari & I waited in front of the stage. Chris liked the beef, and it looked like a good portion as well. While we were there they took the rope down from the front of the stage, and soon the group came out to perform. Chris told Ari he could go dance, but he was being shy at first. Eventually he started moving around, although a lot of his “dancing” very closely resembled running around in a circle, lol. He enjoyed the music, and they seemed to enjoy watching him. I wasn’t sure if Ari would try the baklava, but I swiped up some chocolate sauce with an almond slice and he liked that (he likes chocolate). After a couple of those, when I offered the baklava he took a bite and liked it. Chris later gave him another bite and was shocked that he chomped down, taking a huge bite this time, lol.

We continued walking, stopping in Belgium, where I got the beef with smoked gouda mashed potatoes. This was also a very big portion, and it was delicious! I ate what I wanted, and gave the rest to Chris. It was 8 or later by now, so we left at the International Gateway and walked back to the resort.

Chris gave Ari his bath and got him into his pajamas, then Ari & I sat out on the balcony while he drank his milk. While we were out there, SB called – 4 times. He forgot to pack his phone charger and only had the one for the car, so he was sitting in the car trying to call me. The phone was too dead to work in the house. Chris eventually heard the last call, so I was able to call him back. Chris asked if I’d told SB how to turn the hot water heater on at our place, and reminded me the hot water heater has been off for over a year. LOL – SB took a shower there this morning and didn’t say anything, so I guess he’ll do the same tomorrow morning. It is pretty warm down there, which helps.

Chris’ bedroom is basically a studio, and it has the Dumbo kiddie bed. That works out perfect for Ari. He got in bed, and facetimed with Amanda before going to sleep. I said my goodnights and went to the master bedroom to finish today’s report. With being out all day, it was much later!

Today was mostly a great day – I could have done without the long issues at the front desk with my magic band, and the heat is just ridiculous (but not normal). Ari is a joy, and it’s such fun being around him. Tomorrow we’re going to relax by the pool in the morning, then let Ari get a normal nap. SB should arrive before noon, and Amanda hopefully before we go to the Studios. It should be the last of the hot days – thank goodness! We’re also looking forward to seeing Pete & Judy tomorrow!
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Old 11-09-2018, 12:16 AM   #18
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Nice update. Sounds like an almost perfect day except for being homeless for part of it.

We also had an issue at BWV on our stay in September requiring a trip to the front desk and getting a key card while they worked on our MBs. Ours involved a split stay too. Looks like this is becoming a "thing" at BVW. We love the place though so it's worth it.

Looking forward to the rest of your trip. Gearing up for our own trip to BLT with the grandkids in 9 days. We have a 4 year old granddaughter and can't wait to show her the ropes. ❤️
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Old 11-09-2018, 10:53 PM   #19
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DAY 6 – Friday 11/09/18
Who: Sue (60), DVC Member
SB (61), my husband
Chris (32), son
Amanda (30), daughter-in-law
Ari (2), grandson
Pete & Judy, DVC friends

Plan: Pool, Food & Wine, Hollywood Studios, Epcot

Actual: This is another silent villa – so I slept well! I forgot to mention, last night when we returned, my magic band worked just fine but now Chris’ won’t open the door. We’ll have to deal with that later. Also, as we were walking to the room last night Ari was talking in his normal voice, which is loud enough to be heard inside the rooms. Chris told him to not talk so loud, which is what parents are supposed to do. When that didn’t sink in, I said “shhhhhh” and whispered to Ari that we need to talk quietly because people may be sleeping. He may not have really understood that, but he likes to be a copycat and immediately started whispering. By answering in whispers he stayed in that mode until we got into our villa.

I was up at 5, enjoying my cappuccino while doing stuff online. Chris & Ari didn’t get up until after 8:30. I went to the kitchen around 7:45 to make my breakfast, since I was hungry by that point. Chris made some scrambled eggs and sausage for him & Ari. They’d forgotten to pack swim diapers, so Chris went down to the shop in the lobby to buy some. Once he got back I went down to the pool and set up an area for us. They came down a bit later.

Ari wore one of the resort life jackets and immediately went to the water slide. This one’s the biggest one he’s been on yet, but he loved it. Chris went down first, then once he landed in the pool Ari pushed himself off. He wanted to do it again, so we went back up – this time when Ari took off he had both arms extended out like he was an airplane, huge grin on his face! He also spent time in the kiddie pool, the main pool, and the playground. He went down the taller slide and slide right off into the air at the bottom, lol – landing on his butt on the ground. He wasn’t hurt or anything.

I did some reading and when SB arrived had to go up to let him in because the magic band he had wouldn’t open the door. He changed into a swimsuit and came down to join us, and Ari was happy to see one of his Grandpas. He’d jump from the side of the pool and SB would catch him. Chris & Ari headed back upstairs for a shower & bath around 11, and SB went up shortly after that. I stayed at the pool until about 11:45.

Their plan was to get lunch from the Boardwalk to Go stand, and I went to the villa to throw in a load of laundry, pick up SB (and my wallet, thank goodness) and we met Chris & Ari down there. Chris didn’t realize this place isn’t Disney and doesn’t take Disney gift cards. SB didn’t like the way the booth had been redone and the menu was scaled back. So, we ended up having lunch at ESPN.

We were seated right away, and our server was great. Ari had the kids’ grilled cheese with waffle fries and apple slices. The rest of us shared the nachos, then I had tomato basil soup and the guys each had the grilled chicken sandwich (bacon, cheese sauce, arugula, tomato on a pretzel bun). The sandwich was very good – and the soup was excellent! We were too full to consider dessert, especially since we hope to be able to eat at Food & Wine tonight. We got 10% off for dvc or passholder, but with tip it was still an $88 lunch.

After lunch we went up to the villa. Chris & Ari went to their bedroom for naps, and SB watched some horse racing on the computer. I finished the laundry, took my shower, and watched General Hospital. Pete & Judy had arrived, and of course their room wasn’t ready despite being told by someone here it would be. Amanda arrived just before 3, and we headed out around 3:30.

Since the walk to the Studios is so long now (due to the gondola station construction), we decided to take the boat. We must have just missed it, since nobody was in line. I’d bought Ari a Star Wars bubble blower recently, and he was having fun playing with that – shooting bubbles everywhere. Another little boy was playing with him. When the boat arrived from Epcot, it was full – and hardly anyone got off. We boarded, and had to stand but figured we’d get seats at the next stop. At Yacht Club nobody really got off, but more people crowded on. Same thing at the Swan. Finally we got to the Studios, and thankfully it was pretty quick getting into the park.

Amanda took Ari to the restroom, while Chris went to Starbucks. We saw the stormtroopers march down the street, and Ari pointed his bubble blower at them when they passed. Once Chris had his coffee we continued into a very busy Toy Story Land. It was cute seeing all the characters there decked out for the holidays. Even the green army men were wearing red & green Christmas scarves – not exactly needed in 87 degree sunshine, lol!

We did the baby swap at Slinky Dog Dash, and had Amanda & Chris ride first while SB & I waited with Ari. They were on pretty quickly, and we were able to see them on half the track. When they came back out, Amanda went to get food at Woody’s Lunchbox, while Chris & Ari stayed to watch SB & I ride. This was the first time for either of us, and we really liked it! It’s pretty smooth, and although it goes pretty high it’s a very gentle coaster. Anyone 38 inches or taller can ride it, and there were some kids who barely made that requirement.

We met back up and found Amanda finishing her grilled cheese & tator tots at Woody’s Lunchbox. She said when she arrived there was nobody in line – that wasn’t true by the time we got there. She also got the poptart thing with chocolate hazelnut inside, and it was surprisingly good. Ari loved it too, so she saved him some to eat after his dinner later. There was nothing else we wanted to do here, so we left the park.

The boat was just leaving, and I was reasonably sure we’d make it onto the next boat so we waited. It actually came quicker than we expected (maybe 10 minutes), and we sat near the back. At the first stop (Swan) hardly anyone got off, and a whole bunch of people boarded – but a few had to be left behind because there was no more room to squeeze anybody in! When the boat arrived at Yacht Club, we got off and walked into Epcot. No way did I want to approach bag check & entry with hordes of other people. We breezed right into the park.

Pete & Judy had been living a nightmare ever since arriving at Boardwalk, with the latest problem being with their magic bands not working to let them into the room they didn’t get until after 4. Judy’s band would work, then it wouldn’t work. They made about 4 more trips to the front desk to try to get this fixed. They also had to activate their new annual passes before entering the park, but they came in not long after we arrived.

Our first stop was America, where Ari would have macaroni & cheese at Liberty Inn. SB & I stopped by the Hops & Barley booth on the way in, getting a brisket slider and bottle of water. We found Chris’ family inside and pulled extra chairs around for when Pete & Judy would arrive. Ari ate his dinner, and SB decided to get a burger – it was just ok. Pete & Judy found us, and we sat around talking while SB & Ari finished eating. It was great to have everyone together again!

After dinner, Chris’ family headed into Future World and did the kids’ dance party in front of the fountain. The 4 of us older people went to the Hooters concert. I think I’ve heard of them, but had no clue what songs they did. Turns out I didn’t recognize any of them, but we both liked them. We got good seats, about 20 minutes before the show, and left during the final song to beat the crowd.

We texted Amanda, and we all met up again by Hawaii. The Epcot Christmas tree was all lit up, and looked pretty. SB didn’t remember ever seeing it before. It’s not usually here during our Food & Wine trips, and years ago they didn’t light it until after Thanksgiving. Now Christmas is in full swing by early November, even though it feels like summer!

Amanda got the pork slider, and Pete got something else from the Hawaii stand. I had a new glow toy for Ari, but one of the sticks got a leak so we had to throw it away. We continued over to Almond Orchard, where SB & I each got one of the banana soft serve sundaes. I shared mine with Ari, who loved the ice cream but wouldn’t eat the blueberries. In the past he’d gobble up blueberries, but those weren’t on ice cream.

Pete & Judy’s granddaughter Zoe and her boyfriend arrived as we were eating the ice cream, and said hello before going to their Soarin’ fastpass. They go to college in Sarasota and are over for the weekend. We continued walking, and Chris wanted the maple boursin cheesecake so we parted ways from Pete & Judy at the entrance to Future World. They’d been up since very early, so they headed back to the resort. I hope their magic bands worked!

The rest of us went to the Cheese Studio, and Chris got the cheesecake. It’s really good, and he liked it. I might have to get it one more time. We went back to the dance party for a little while, then decided to do another loop around the countries – until we realized it was already 8:30. I bailed out, knowing I still had the report to finish & I didn’t want to be up really late. In the end we all headed back.

Tomorrow the 5 of us are having breakfast at Rainforest Café and then will meet Pete & Judy (and possibly Zoe and boyfriend) for Flight of Passage. I hope to get some pool time in the afternoon, and don’t know what the evening plans will be.
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Old 11-10-2018, 09:57 PM   #20
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DAY 7 – Saturday 11/10/18
Who: Sue (60), DVC Member
SB (61), my husband
Chris (32), son
Amanda (30), daughter-in-law
Ari (2), grandson
Pete & Judy, DVC friends

Plan: Animal Kingdom, Pool, Hollywood Studios

Actual: We both slept well. I got up at 5 and went out to the living room to have my cappuccino. It’s another foggy morning, but it will burn off once the sun comes up. Last night we decided to drive over to Animal Kingdom, so we just needed to be ready to head out the door at 8. They were ready ahead of schedule, so Ari came over to wake up SB. They played for a little while, and we were out the door on time. We rode over to Animal Kingdom in Chris’ car. We didn’t have any delays getting in, and just had the magic band scanned to enter the parking lot. After going through bag check we checked in at the elephant in Rainforest Café.

They were just opening, and we were the first party seated. Ari seemed to like the restaurant, except the frogs painted on the table scared him. No big deal – they got covered up by the kids’ menu/coloring paper. The thunderstorms and animal noises didn’t bother him at all.

It took a while for the food to come, but that’s always the case here. When it did, some of it was a huge portion, and it was all very good. SB got the traditional breakfast (Breakfast of Bandits – eggs, bacon or sausage, home fries & toast), Amanda had the French toast, I had the sliders (scrambled egg & bacon – with home fries), Ari had the kids’ menu version of SB’s breakfast, and Chris had the Mexican breakfast pizza (Pie of the Viper). Chris’ pizza was massive! Ari’s kids’ meal was huge as well – it would be too much for me or Amanda, and I can’t imagine a child eating all of it!

At one point Chris wanted some hot sauce so he asked the waiter if they had any chalupa or similar. The water said yes, and later came back and set down a glass of dark liquid. Chris asked what that was, and he replied it was the kahlua Chris asked for, lol! Chris told him he meant hot sauce, like chalupa, lol – and the waiter said he’d wondered about the kahlua but figured what the heck. He took the kahlua away and brought a bottle of hot sauce.

We took over half of Chris’ pizza with us, and threw away enough food to feed at least another adult. I used my birthday credit, and Chris picked up the rest of the check. I heard from Pete, and they were having challenges. First traffic was backed up getting into the Animal Kingdom area, and they had to wait in a long line to get to the parking booth. They showed their passholder card, and the cast member wanted to see a photo ID as well. Pete may have asked if they needed a urine sample too <g>. Then they parked, getting placed almost at the far end of the row. At the tram they had to stand in line to wait for a tram. Eventually they got into the park, and met us over by the fastpass entrance to Flight of Passage, shortly before the end of our window (9-10).

Amanda had decided to skip the ride, so she took Ari to do the Wilderness Explorer activity and walk the Pangani Forest Trail. Judy ended up sitting out and waited for us outside the gift shop. This was Pete’s first time riding, and he loved it! We all felt invigorated afterwards – it’s such a rush! We met Judy and walked over to Harambe to meet up with Amanda & Ari.

We were concerned to see the fastpass queue backed up all the way to the entrance, but it moved quickly. There must have been animals blocking the road before we got there. I think Pete said the standby wait was 90 minutes – at 10:15 am! We had a pretty good safari, and saw the baby giraffe who’s only a few months old. This driver did a better job than the one the other day – this one didn’t miss any animals.

After our safari we noticed the standby wait was now 125 minutes – and the crowds entering Harambe over the bridge were massive. Pete, Judy, SB & I decided to head back to the resort & pool. Chris’ family stayed for Amanda to ride Everest and maybe do something else before going back for Ari’s nap. They’re headed to the Magic Kingdom tonight. With all these Christmas parties, there are relatively few nights that park is open late (there was a party Thursday, Friday, and the next one is Sunday) so you know it’s going to be crazy crowded. It’s open until 11, but until 1am for resort guests. Us older folks will stick with Epcot, even though it’s a Saturday of Food & Wine.

Pete drove us back to the Boardwalk, and we agreed I’d secure a spot by a pool and text them to let them know which pool. From our balcony I could scope out the main pool, and the only table not occupied was the one in the kiddie pool area. That wouldn’t necessarily be a bad spot, since there’s hardly ever many kids in there. Nowadays kids just put on life jackets and use the real pool.

I changed into my swimsuit, grabbed my stuff, and went down to check things out. I started walking towards that table, and they announced Goofy Bingo would be starting in a minute. I immediately realized this pool is NOT the one we want to be at – none of us want that blaring noise. If we were with Ari & he was participating in it, that would be different. I walked over to the quiet pool (which was busy but quiet the entire time) and selected an area with a table/umbrella/chairs plus 4 chaise lounges. We had sun and shade, so people could take their pick.

Pete & Judy stopped at the Boardwalk Bakery and got a couple sandwiches for lunch. I think they liked them, but they could only eat half. I tried calling SB to let him know we were at the quiet pool, but his phone was off. Eventually I went into Community Hall to call our villa, and just then SB called me. He’d gone down to the main pool, couldn’t find me, and was back up in the room. Sometimes he’s so aggravating – what good is a phone if you don’t turn it on or take it with you?? He started watching the Florida game, then called to have me meet him by the elevators since he didn’t know where the quiet pool is.

We got there about the same time, and stopped at Leaping Horse Libations, where he got a Bud Light and a chili cheese hot dog for $20. It was a regular size hot dog – not jumbo. It was pretty ridiculous. Oh, it did come with a bag of chips <g>. I wasn’t hungry, and just stuck with my ice water. We walked over to the quiet pool and he ate at the table with Pete. After a while they went back to the pool bar thinking they’d see some of the game on the tv there, but some couple had requested the Penn State game so that’s what was on. They each got a pina colada to soften the pain.

Around 2 they came back to the quiet pool and SB said he was going up to the villa to catch the end of the game. I decided to head up as well, so I’d have time to relax. Chris’ family were in their bedroom taking naps, SB went to our bedroom to watch the game, and I sat in the living room to update the report and do stuff online.

Around 4 Ari & his parents woke up, and he came over to our side with his hair all sticking up from sleeping, lol. SB & I were due to meet Pete & Judy on the boardwalk at 4:30, so we left in time for that. Once we got downstairs I realized I’d forgotten something, so I went back upstairs. Chris’ family decided to go down with me and walk through Epcot to take the monorail to Magic Kingdom. We met up with the others and walked over to Epcot together.

We separated at the top of International Gateway, and would hear from them later. Pete, Judy, SB & I fought our way through a VERY busy World Showcase in the direction of America. It was absolutely mobbed, and the lines at the Food & Wine booths were very long. I guess that’s to be expected on a Saturday. Normally we avoid it on Saturdays, but with the festival ending in 2 days we decided to brave it.

When we got to America, the theater was nearly full so we went inside and could only find seats along the side wall – same spot we were in with Tiana the other day. The wait was only about 30 minutes, and it went by fairly quickly. At least the weather was nice – it wasn’t hot & humid like last time. Big Bad Voodoo Daddy put on a great show, and we all really enjoyed their music. I wouldn’t mind seeing another of their shows, but perhaps the 2nd one hoping for some different songs. It was nice that nobody in the audience stood up once the concert started. At the Hooters only a handful of people stood up, but at Boyz II Men it seemed like almost everyone did – I can’t stand that!

We left after the final song, and it was really congested out on World Showcase. We stopped in Africa, where Pete & Judy each got the shrimp on a skewer. We were lucky to find an empty table right by the exit, so 3 of us held that while Pete went through the line. They enjoyed the shrimp, but it was quite spicy – I could tell just from the smell! We continued walking but didn’t get anything else. At the entrance to Future World we decided to go get SB’s cutting board and Pete & Judy’s magnet, then hit the Flavors of Fire booth on the way back out.

Festival Center wasn’t overly busy, but there was a big crowd in the passholder line. Pete & Judy got their magnets much quicker. They got their chocolate sample at Ghiradelli, but by the time SB & I got there the person was gone. We sat on a bench and when I went back over to check I was told the person was “on her break”. I found out later Pete had just helped himself to 2 of the chocolate caramel squares since that’s what they give out. I went back a bit later and the girl had just come back from her break with the basket of samples. She wouldn’t give me one for SB though, saying he had to come over. I gave mine to SB, and he ended up giving it to me anyway.

We headed back outside and went to Flavors of Fire. The line here wasn’t bad at all – maybe a person or 2 ahead of us. I got the chimichurri skirt steak, which was pretty small but tasty. Pete & Judy shared the piggy wings, which they really liked. SB wasn’t in the mood for any Food & Wine stuff.

On the way out we stopped at the Cheese Studio, where Pete & I each got the maple boursin cheesecake – it’s excellent! Pete shared some of his with Judy and loved it. Once we finished that, we continued walking towards International Gateway. Pete & Judy took a detour to rest on a bench, saying they’d meet us at Slinky Dog tomorrow. SB & I walked back to Boardwalk and stopped at the Boardwalk to Go booth to get him a hamburger.

This didn’t go too well, as the burger doesn’t even come with lettuce & tomato or anything – just a bun. Part of the edges of the bun were hard, where the bun had been warmed but then it had cooled. The burger was cooked medium to medium rare, and he’s a well done kind of guy. He ate part of it and threw the rest away when we got back to the room. I offered to cook up some eggs & sausage, but he said he didn’t want anything.

In the meantime I’d heard from Amanda and their time at Magic Kingdom was anything but magical. The crowds were horrendous – 80 minute wait for Dumbo, 125 minutes for Mine Train. There were lines everywhere, and something was being filmed in front of the castle (for the Christmas day tv show no doubt). I tried to tell them it would be really crowded (which is why I wasn’t going near the place), and she said if they’d known it would be “that” bad they wouldn’t have bothered going over. Even leaving was a nightmare, with huge lines of people still entering the park, and long lines for the monorail and ferry.

SB & I got settled – he was dozing off & on by 8:45, and I expect to turn in early myself. Chris & Amanda came back, and Ari came running to show us both his “boo boo” from Dumbo. One of his pinky fingers was wrapped up in a bandaid, and he had a couple Mickey stickers on his shirt for being a brave boy, lol. After a little bit, they went downstairs to spend some time on the boardwalk, and might take Ari to see fireworks from the bridge by Epcot later if they last until 10pm.

Today was a great day in some ways, and not so great in others. We enjoy spending time with friends and family, and the weather was much more comfortable. Unfortunately, these crowds are tiresome, and make it hard to enjoy our time at Disney like we have on other trips.

Tomorrow is Hollywood Studios in the early morning, then pool time (probably football time for SB), and then my final evening for Food & Wine Festival.
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