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Old 11-07-2019, 09:04 PM   #1
wdw1972
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Default Sue's Food & Wine Weekend - Beach Club Villas

Who/When/Where:

Who: Sue (61), DVC Member
Pete & Judy, dvc friends from NJ
Dates: November 08 Ė 12, 2019
Resort: Disneyís Beach Club Villas Resort Ė studio
Experience: Very Experienced Ė 48th stay at BCV

INTRODUCTION:
Since the ďrealĒ Food & Wine trip just ended 4 days prior to this one, it may seem odd that Iím going again so soon. The bottom line is I get $25 birthday credits from Landry and Levy Restaurants, but they donít start until November 1st (midway through the last trip). I donít want them to go to waste, so the obvious answer was to book another 4-night stay to make sure I had time to use them both, lol! This trip Iím solo, so itíll be nice to just chill out and take it easy. Pete & Judy will still be here, so itíll be kind of like the old days before SB came into our lives. Their family leaves Saturday, and Pete & Judy will move offsite to a villa at a non-Disney resort. I added them to my reservation, so this way they can drive over and park at Beach Club Ė we may even enjoy Stormalong Bay at some point. They donít need Magical Express, since they always rent a car.

With Levy Restaurants, a great use of the $25 birthday credit is happy hour at Terralina (formerly Portobello), but itís impossible to use it all as a solo. Pete also gets the same credits, for his Oct 28th birthday, so we may be able to work it out to get both applied for the 3 of us. The Landry credit was used at Rainforest Cafť with SB the day we were at Animal Kingdom with Pete & Judy last weekend. If Blue Zoo (Dolphin) still does their happy hour, thatís another option, but weíll see. Disney has raised prices and shrunk pours on their wines to the point that itís hard to justify buying anything there (in Epcot).

The concerts this weekend are the Hooters on the first night, then Big Bad Voodoo Daddy to finish out the trip. Pete & Judy love Big Bad Voodoo Daddy, and I really enjoyed them last year as well. Itíll definitely be worth checking out the concerts every night, especially since Iím right outside the back door (International Gateway Ė a true ďCrescent Lake SnobĒ).

Booking fastpasses was a bit of a challenge, as I knew Saturday was a moving day for Pete & Judy. Plus, I was wanting to make this trip more relaxing. I ended up with afternoon fastpasses, which leaves the morning free for beach or pool time. Thereís a good chance I wonít bother with the afternoon fastpasses some/most days. Iíd rather relax and enjoy the resort!

The plans so far are:
Friday 11/08: Drive to WDW, Food & Wine
Saturday 11/09: Pool, Animal Kingdom
Sunday 11/10: Pool, Terralina, Food & Wine
Monday 11/11: Epcot, Studios, Food & Wine
Tuesday 11/12: Drive to Gainesville
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Old 11-07-2019, 09:33 PM   #2
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Forty eighth visit to BCV! Wow! You truly are an expert Happy Birthday! Can't wait to read all about it.
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Old 11-07-2019, 09:39 PM   #3
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Sounds good to me. Enjoy!
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Old 11-07-2019, 10:38 PM   #4
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Wow! Forty eight stays! I wonder how many times you've gotten the same room. Enjoy-BCV is my favorite resort at WDW.
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Old 11-08-2019, 06:14 PM   #5
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Looking forward to reading your report.

BCV, we'll be there ourselves in 23 days.
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Old 11-08-2019, 06:51 PM   #6
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Love your Trip Reports.
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Old 11-09-2019, 06:47 AM   #7
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I have gotten the same room, but not often. I pretty much know what section of the hall each room is by the room number - which cuts down on needing a map ;-)

DAY 1 Ė Friday 11/08/19
Who: Sue (61), DVC Member
Pete & Judy, dvc friends from NJ

Plan: Drive to WDW, Food & Wine

Actual: I was on the road by 12:15 and arrived at Beach Club at 2:13. I never got any texts or notifications about the room, and think it may be because I didnít order more magic bands (donít want more, but you canít decline them online anymore). After parking in the Villas lot I walked up to the desk in our building, where the cast member told me my room was ready.

I checked it out, then went to the car to get my stuff, then got settled. It sprinkles every now and then, and is supposed to rain tonight, so my Food & Wine Festival time will be limited to this afternoon today (most likely). Just before 3 I walked over to Epcot. It felt cooler than the 80 degrees it was said to be, thanks to the breeze, dampness, and drizzle. I was glad to have my umbrella, and used it quite often.

I started by turning right towards France, and with the rain my options for food were limited to something I could eat with one hand. In Germany the bratwurst on pretzel roll sounded good, so I ordered that. I was able to eat it as I walked. In Africa I got the Cederburg chenin blanc, and realized I think I had this before but evidently didnít mark it in the passport. Itís pretty good, but not necessarily something I would have repeated. I want to try the blueberry almond dessert at The Alps, but since that takes 2 hands (one to hold the plate, one to hold the fork), today is not the day.

At the old Odyssey I went inside with my chenin blanc and watched the continuously playing movie. It showcased new stuff that was coming, but didnít really give many details. They changed the lighting over the Epcot model in the middle of the room, depending on what was happening in the movie on the wall (360 degrees). It was worth stopping in for, and doesnít take too long.

Coming back outside, I reversed my course and when I came back to Morocco I got a piece of baklava to take back to the room. Overall the food booths were not very crowded. A few places had big lines, but more places had either no line or a very short (couple people) one. So much nicer than last weekend when the half marathon people were all here!

At International Gateway I left the park, and took the baklava back to the resort and put it in the fridge. I grabbed my light jacket and walked back over to take the Skyliner to Caribbean Beach. I havenít been over there in many years (probably decades), and I always hated that resort in the past. Iíve even said Iíd stay at a value before Iíd stay there.

There was a pretty good line of people waiting to board, but it moves quickly. They were putting parties together, to pretty much fill up the gondolas. Strollers have to be folded up to board, which is something I didnít know (we never brought the stroller when riding w/Ari). I rode with a big family of British people (assumed due to their accents), who had mixed feelings about the Skyliner. They were riding just to check it out, and a couple of them couldnít wait to get off. I later saw them by the bus stops, so they were looking for an alternative way to get back, lol!

I walked around Caribbean Beach, and found I still absolutely hate it. Itís cheap-looking to me, and way too sprawling Ė and donít get me started on the motel style rooms. The newly renovated food court (Center Market??) is pathetic. The shop is nice & big. Overall, itís a place Iíll never stay at Ė even if I didnít have my dvc.

I walked back to the Skyliner and rode back to Epcot, this time with people who were ok with it, lol. From there I went to Beach Club Marketplace and got the new caprese sandwich for dinner. Itís big, but thatís because thereís so much bread!! It comes with some of their homemade chips, which are pretty good. I brought it to the room and decided I was in for the night Ė with the rain off and on, there was no reason to be out there.

The sandwich was good but not great Ė the massive bread detracted from it, and the bread was kind of dry. I tried peeling off some of it, which helped. The rest of the night was spent doing online stuff and watching reruns on HGTV since I wasnít interested in being out in the rain.

I ended up forgetting to send out the report Ė discovered that the next morning, so here it is. I didnít bring the big camera this trip, so Iím not planning to do an album. Today was a nice start to the trip, other than the rain. Thankfully, thatís temporary Ė should be nicer once it stops in a few hours! Saturday Pete & Judyís family leaves and they check out of Boardwalk. Weíll spend part of the afternoon either at the pool or at Animal Kingdom, then weíre doing Blue Zooís happy hour for dinner.
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Old 11-09-2019, 10:27 PM   #8
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DAY 2 Ė Saturday 11/09/19
Who: Sue (61), DVC Member
Pete & Judy, dvc friends from NJ

Plan: Pool, Animal Kingdom

Actual: I slept well last night, with little noise. There were some loud people who walked down the hall, but they didnít linger and other than that it was silent. I woke early but dozed off again and didnít get up until after 5. Thatís when I discovered Iíd never sent out yesterdayís report!

It was still raining, but it should end in the next couple hours. I made my cappuccino and took it back to bed to enjoy while I got online. One of the HAL ships was approaching Port Everglades, so I watched her sail in. My next ship (Koningsdam) arrives Wednesday from Europe for the Caribbean season. Theyíll do the 11-night itinerary, then itís my turn for the 10-night itinerary.

A little before 7 I walked over to Boardwalk Bakery for an Ooey Gooey sandwich. The rain had stopped, but it was still very damp. Once the sun breaks through though, it should be pretty nice today. There was no wait in the bakery, and I took the sandwich back to my room, eating half today and saving the other half for tomorrow morning. It was delicious, and the bread was a thousand times better than what Beach Club uses on their caprese!

After breakfast I showered and got dressed, then let Pete know to come the long way since the stretch of road between Boardwalk and Beach Club is probably closed (construction??). Around 9:15 I left for the outlets over on Vineland. My only objective was to visit the Disney shop there, since itís been a long while. Last time people were lined up waiting for the store to open, and within a short time the queue to wait to pay for anything was ridiculous. But, since they charge for parking here (which is ridiculous and offensive) I only come over early enough to snag one of the relatively small number of free spots Ė and then hike over to the store I want. If I parked in what used to be the free garage, that costs $10 regardless of whether Iím here all day or 15 minutes Ė not gonna happen.

Along the way I stopped for gas at the station across from Disney Springs. At the Premium Outlets I found the lot I used last time, and parked at the end closest to Character Warehouse. I got to the store by 9:45 and was absolutely stunned by the line of hundreds of people snaked on both sides of the entry door!

Eventually the cast member managing the line came by and I asked him what was going on today. He said today was nothing special, but they sell merchandise for 50-90% off and people get there early because when itís gone, itís gone. Well, thatís always been the case (about the pricing). I talked to the people behind me who said thereís a whole online culture now where people post what they found, and perhaps whatís going to be there gets leaked, so many come over early to buy up bunches of the same item to turn around and sell online. What a shame.

It was 10:30 before I got in the store, and then I noticed the line to check out (pay) extended outside of the roped queue and snaked throughout the entire store. I wandered around but didnít see anything worth another 45 minutes in line to pay, so I left. I need to remember to NEVER go back there Ė this was truly my worst decision of 2019!

I was back at Beach Club shortly after 11, and soon Pete & Judy said they were on their way. Itís turned into a really nice day Ė warm in the sun, and not too cold in the shade. Weíll see what they decide they want to do. I went down to wait for them by the quiet pool, but they ended up entering the building at the first entrance (before the pool). Pete texted when they got into my studio and I wasnít there. They waited for me on the balcony, and I came up to join them.

Pete & Judyís trip had a couple moves built in. They started with 3 nights in a Boardwalk studio while they were solo. Next they moved to a 2-bedroom Boardwalk villa for 7 nights when their family arrived. They wanted to add a few more nights in a studio at the end of the trip, but nothing was available and their waitlist never came through. They checked for a studio anywhere on Disney property recently, but itís all booked up. So, they booked a 1-bedroom villa at Vistana offsite. Since theyíre not in a Disney resort room I added them to my reservation, so thatís why their magic bands work to get into my studio. This way they can meet me here, park their car without issue, and itís allowed because theyíre registered guests here.

We walked over to Epcot, arriving close to noon. It wasnít horribly crowded yet, but as we reached the second half of World Showcase it became unbearable. We started with France, and although the booths had lines they werenít excessive. In Germany Judy & I grabbed an empty picnic table by the water while Pete got them some food. He was back in no time, so the line must not have been long. They shared the bratwurst on pretzel roll and the schinkenoodln (mac & cheese w/ham). They enjoyed them both. When we got up to leave, we saw the line at the food booth was extended beyond the limits of the queue Ė yikes!

As we continued walking, we frequently saw lines that had at least twice as many people as the roped-off area would hold. At the margarita stand in Mexico, the queue was filled in, spilled out, and ended on the other side of the bridge! China was backed up pretty much to Norway. It was just crazy, so Iím glad they got something when they did! We decided to head back to the resort, which was a little challenging due to the big crowds. We made it though!

They went to their car to get their swimsuits, and I went up to the studio and changed into mine. I grabbed a table with an umbrella, close to the rest rooms where theyíd be changing, and we met back up out there. The quiet pool was nice and quiet, and it was very pleasant. We discussed our next HAL cruise, which looks like itíll be the 10-day itinerary in March 2021. SB gets to come on this one, so itíll be the 4 of us. Iíd printed a bunch of info for Pete & Judy, so we went over that, and I updated them on what had changed since their last (first) HAL cruise with me several years ago. Around 2:30 we went up to the studio so they could see the various wine packages and other stuff on the HAL website Ė some of it is only accessible when youíre already booked. This gives them an idea of what to expect.

Around 3 they headed over to Vistana to check in, and I ate the leftover chips from last nightís sandwich and got the report updated. They sent pictures of their villa, and it looks very nice. Much cheaper than Disney, too <g>. But, they had to pay a higher rate to avoid the timeshare sales pitch, which is probably very high-pressure and time consuming.

Pete & Judy were back before 4:45, and I met them outside the villasí lobby. We walked over to the Dolphin, arriving at 5:03 for happy hour which started at 5pm. I was surprised to see most of the bar stools full and all of the booths in the immediate bar area taken (last time I did this it was me and one other table Ė nobody at the bar). I asked a server if the tables in the next section were considered the bar and she replied yes so we sat back there with a few other parties. We were right across from the LSU/Alabama game, which Pete was interested in.

Happy hour here is 7 days a week from 5-7 and is a really nice experience. Judy and I had the house white, which tasted a lot like a chardonnay (I remember it being a blend a couple years ago). Pete went for vodka martinis, which are not on happy hour. They have 4 food items Ė classic flatbread, crab nachos, fried calamari, and fried green beans w/truffle aoli. We asked the server how big the portions were, and based on her reply Pete & Judy chose to order 1 item for the 2 of them (and had a little bit left over). I ordered the classic flatbread and ate half (excellent) and took the other half back to the room. They got the crab nachos, which they really enjoyed.

It was a very pleasant evening sharing stories weíd never covered before, despite decades of friendship. It was close to 7 when we finally left, and we walked through the Swan & Dolphin Food & Wine Classic on our way out. This looked really nice, and something to consider for a couple years from now. The all-inclusive price is $145/person, which is cheaper than Disneyís Party for the Senses (which weíve all done). On a Saturday night when Epcot is a disaster, this could be a nice alternative Ė or for much less money, just do happy hour <g>.

We caught the boat back to Yacht Club and walked over to Beach Club. Pete & Judy headed back to Vistana, and I updated the report briefly before changing into warmer clothes and heading over to Epcot to see how bad it would be. The Skyliner was down once again. It wasnít running when I walked over to Boardwalk Bakery at 7 this morning, and still wasnít running when I went to the outlets around 9:15. It was running when I got back. Now itís down again, and was still down when I left Epcot later. They really need to fix this Ė it needs to be much more reliable than it is!

Getting into Epcot was a breeze, with no wait at bag check or the entry. World Showcase wasnít as busy as it had been earlier, too. While many food booths had long lines, none were extended outside of the queue are and some booths had very short lines. I walked over to America, where I was shocked to see many empty seats for the 7:45 Big Bad Voodoo Daddy concert starting in less than 10 minutes. I took a seat in the front row of the 2nd section, and enjoyed the show. Theyíre a really enjoyable group, and I look forward to more of them the next 2 nights.

After the concert I continued walking around World Showcase, stopping in Epcot to get the bread pudding. There was no line to order, but I had a short wait to get the food. The bread pudding was very tasty, but a bit large for a solo person. It would be much better shared. Iím glad I tried it.

On my way past the shop at the entrance to World Showcase I looked at the festival merchandise. Itís all 25% off now, and our DVC or passholder 20% discount is good as well. I picked up a baseball cap for SB, with an original price of $27.99 but after the discounts & tax it was under $18. Good deal!

I continued towards International Gateway, noticing that Canada had no wait for the food! Too bad I was full, lol! Leaving the park, the line for the boat was much longer than usual Ė thanks to the Skyliner being down. Fortunately I just had a short walk home Ė the beauty of staying on Crescent Lake! I settled down to finish the report, and will make sure to send it out tonight.

Today was a mostly great day. The only negative was the experience at the outlets. Itís just insane that people have to stand in line for an hour to get into a store, and then stand in line for probably that long again to pay for what they selected. No thanks, no way for me! They can keep their discounted merchandise. Other than that, my ooey gooey was delicious, I enjoyed relaxing at the resort, Epcot was nice initially (before the mobs), the pool was good, and happy hour was excellent. Wrapping it up with Big Bad Voodoo Daddy was the icing on the cake.

Tomorrow is another relaxing day. I will probably make an early spin through Food & Wine before hitting the pool. Pete & Judy are coming by around 3, and weíll head to Disney Springs for brief shopping and happy hour at Terralina. After that we should make it to the 3rd (8pm) Big Bad Voodoo Daddy show.
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Old 11-09-2019, 11:34 PM   #9
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Crazy long lines ... guess I am beginning to understand online shopping trend.

Great idea to plan for Swan & Dolphins yearly events. I wonder what else is on their calendar.

Speaking of future alternatives. I was at BLT for Halloween night. Normally I always just go to party but this year It Sold Out and I was glad. So I went to Wilderness Lodge to check out their Halloween Party activities before returning to BLT. Both locations looked like a lot of fun and free for families with the same Halloween bags handed out at the MK Party and different candy stops around the area to get hands full of candy. Plus outdoor movie and craft stops. The best was the dJ playing Halloween music and all the kids on the dance floor built near the movie screen. This is great for families and thought you might consider for your family next year option. It was prob the same at all the deluxe resorts.
I am hearing many reports of non paying guests not leaving the MK and staying to watch the parades and fireworks. The crowds are just to much to expect castmembers to control anymore. So good to know the resorts are having these parties for guests.

Last edited by MMC1; 11-09-2019 at 11:54 PM.
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Old 11-10-2019, 06:31 AM   #10
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They had a big party at Boardwalk for Halloween too - music, dancing, trick or treating around the boardwalk area. It was quite crowded, and I'm sure there were lots of local people attending, based on hearing getting into the parking lot was a nightmare. In my opinion, a free party like that at a resort should be restricted to registered guests at THAT resort only - no people trudging over from a resort that might not be doing such a thing (not sure if the values or moderates do something) and certainly not locals who drive over for the freebie. Maybe for Boardwalk open it up to Yacht & Beach guests since they're in the neighborhood, but if Yacht/Beach do their own thing, then those people should stay over there.

The only time I've heard of Disney enforcing that though is at Fort Wilderness, and very rarely - I read before Halloween that the trick or treating over there (a lot is done by the campers themselves, not just Disney) you had to be staying there to participate.
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