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Old 12-02-2017, 10:25 AM   #1
carolina_yankee
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Default Construction Cranes - Everywhere!

Each park has what Imagineers call a "weenie," a focal point that draws into the park: Castle; Spaceship Earth; Theater, er Big Ass hat, er Theater, er Tower of Terror; Tree of Life, etc.

Based on the Disney skyline this trip, I've decided the Construction Crane is the new Disney weenie: Studios, Caribbean Beach, Coronado Springs, gondola stations, roadways - they're all over the place!




So, that's the name of this Trip Report. Pictures will come in later.

When:
Nov. 20 - 29, 2017

Where:
SSR

Why:
I like to be in the parish for Advent (four Sundays before Christmas), which usually begins Thanksgiving Sunday, so we rarely get to Disney for Thanksgiving. This year, the calendar was kind so we planned a Thanksgiving trip, arriving Monday before Thanksgiving and leaving on the Wednesday after. We planned those dates so we wouldn't be flying closer to Thanksgiving. I did it again, I would fly down on Thanksgiving day and stay until the following Friday. Oh, well.

The subtitle of this report could also be "Crowds, Crowds everywhere!"

Our friends Katie & Leslie in Ft. Lauderdale joined us for Wednesday - Monday. Thanksgiving Day was the 5th anniversary of their marriage, so it was a double celebration. We have missed Thanksgiving together only twice in 12 years.

We have other friends in the Gainesville area who also came down for the long weekend, so it was a nice reunion.

Resort
We chose Saratoga Springs because it was the only place available for all of our dates at 7 months. Actually, it was dicey at 7 months. I'm glad I booked at 9 months! I had initially planned on it being a placeholder reservation with a switch to Polynesian but that never worked out.

We enjoy SSR, though, and appreciate its proximity to Disney Springs. We always stay in Congress Park and were given 1523 in Congress Park, a pretty good location. My room requests are always Congress Park and close to ice machine.

Katie and Leslie ended up in the next building. They could only get a 1 bedroom since they were booking at 4 months out, but at least all their nights were available. We could have tried to link the rooms so we could have a de-facto 2 bedroom but I din't want to make room requests more complicated. They were still pretty close.

Check-In and Room Review
We have always had good luck with online check-in and bypass of front desk. This trip there was a glitch.

First, we didn't get the room ready notice until around 6:30 pm (we had gone straight to Epcot after getting off DME), and I only got that by checking the app. Cool that it does give room assignments and room charge reviews. Interestingly, the room charges showed up before the room assignment did!

We got back from Epcot around 7:30 pm and went straight to the room - MagicBands wouldn't work. Not mine (Tiki Room limited edition I had ordered so I thought I entered it wrong), but Jim's didn't work, either, nor did my other band left over from summer. I was getting peeved about having to trek to the front desk after a long day when I noticed a house phone by the elevator outside our room. So, I call front desk (or what passes for front desk). They ask for last 4 numbers on our bands. We give them. Voila, door opens! OK - score one for a quick fix.

I was quite curious how our bands could correctly charge our room but not get us into our room, but I decided to not ask that question!!

We stay in studios. Ours was clean, surprisingly so, actually. We discovered that when I realized later that night I had lost my MagicBand. I obviously had it to get into the room so we ended up tearing the whole place apart looking for it. It had fallen behind the nightstand. No piles of dust were uncovered in the MagicBand search.

However, the room is showing its age, and I hope they have a hard good refurbishment pretty soon. The hardware on the bottom drawers of the dresser was loose, and the bottom right drawer wouldn't open at all. The tub faucet in the bathroom was loose, so loose that I worried about pulling it off when I pulled up the shower plug thingy. Otherwise, things were clean and functional, just a little worn looking.

Bed was miserably uncomfortable.

The glasses and ceramic mugs went away again (I thought they had put them back?). We didn't care because we keep the same in our Owner's Locker, but still.

Mousekeeping did a good job. We were due for full service on Thanksgiving Day. However, after a morning out, they hadn't done the room yet and we wanted to nap, so we had them re-schedule it to the next day. Glad to see they did that with no fuss and no charge. They also kept to the proper schedule so that we got Trash & Towel on Monday instead of shifting that a day as well.

We were very close to the Congress Park laundry, which came in handy since Jim naps and I don't. I can also say that the pool bathrooms next to the laundry are some of the cleanest I've seen on property - and they have a higher quality toilet paper and kleenex than the rooms do!!

Bottom Line
We can always stay at SSR, though we like to rotate among SSR, AKV, PVB, and occasionally OKW. You can tell that we don't mind being out on the perimeter. However, I don't think any of the resorts is for us. For both OKW and SSR, Epcot is a very quick jaunt and Disney Springs is a quick stroll or boat ride. For AKV, AK is minutes away and that's become our most frequented park.

So, that's the opener. I'll give some transportation reviews, food reviews, and park reviews. I'm not going to do this as a day-by-day thing. Pics eventually.

Despite the crowds, we had a good time and the weather was generally awesome. Shorts every day!

Dirk
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Old 12-02-2017, 11:07 AM   #2
Laura D
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Looking forward to more!
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Old 12-02-2017, 11:34 AM   #3
kzrooster
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Thanks for going through the effort Dirk! I love a good trip report. Great start....
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Old 12-02-2017, 03:00 PM   #4
Brian5581
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Off to an excellent start, Dirk! Thanks for taking the time. Looking forward to much more.
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Old 12-02-2017, 05:40 PM   #5
disney65
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Looking forward for pix.
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My Trip Reports

Photobucket has disabled 3rd party hosting, so none of the photos are visible, will move to some other site soon.

2015 Spring Poly/VGF
Wishes in Pics
Christmas 2014 HHI
2015 Christmas HHI and AKL
2016 - Atlantis Spring break
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Old 12-02-2017, 06:45 PM   #6
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Great SSR review and trip report so far. Keep them coming...
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Old 12-03-2017, 03:51 PM   #7
RweTHEREyet
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Yes, as others have said, off to a great start and canít wait to hear more. Sorry the villa at SSR was not up to par. We own there and like it, but SSR is not always my first choice. Such a nice long stay, I am very jealous.
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Old 12-06-2017, 05:33 PM   #8
lovindisney
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Looking forward to hearing more! Cranes and all!
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Old 12-07-2017, 10:10 AM   #9
carolina_yankee
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Yes. I'm MIA. Busy week and major cold. I'll get back, maybe tomorrow. Monday for sure!

Dirk
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Old 12-07-2017, 10:14 AM   #10
henrycpa91
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Wow! Sorry I missed you guys. I was there Friday the 24th to Tuesday the 28th in Congress Park 1301! Would have loved to meet you in person. Love the short walk to DS from CP...


Evidently 1301 had been updated 6 months ago but we had big problems. It smelled like mildew/mold. Finally they cleaned the carpets and I think "masked" the issue but I do not feel it was fixed. I will say staff worked hard to try to fix it.

We too did not have real mugs..had to request. In fact, they did not leave us any paper ware either. And only 2 towels and 1 face towel.

Quote:
Originally Posted by carolina_yankee View Post
Each park has what Imagineers call a "weenie," a focal point that draws into the park: Castle; Spaceship Earth; Theater, er Big Ass hat, er Theater, er Tower of Terror; Tree of Life, etc.

Based on the Disney skyline this trip, I've decided the Construction Crane is the new Disney weenie: Studios, Caribbean Beach, Coronado Springs, gondola stations, roadways - they're all over the place!




So, that's the name of this Trip Report. Pictures will come in later.

When:
Nov. 20 - 29, 2017

Where:
SSR

Why:
I like to be in the parish for Advent (four Sundays before Christmas), which usually begins Thanksgiving Sunday, so we rarely get to Disney for Thanksgiving. This year, the calendar was kind so we planned a Thanksgiving trip, arriving Monday before Thanksgiving and leaving on the Wednesday after. We planned those dates so we wouldn't be flying closer to Thanksgiving. I did it again, I would fly down on Thanksgiving day and stay until the following Friday. Oh, well.

The subtitle of this report could also be "Crowds, Crowds everywhere!"

Our friends Katie & Leslie in Ft. Lauderdale joined us for Wednesday - Monday. Thanksgiving Day was the 5th anniversary of their marriage, so it was a double celebration. We have missed Thanksgiving together only twice in 12 years.

We have other friends in the Gainesville area who also came down for the long weekend, so it was a nice reunion.

Resort
We chose Saratoga Springs because it was the only place available for all of our dates at 7 months. Actually, it was dicey at 7 months. I'm glad I booked at 9 months! I had initially planned on it being a placeholder reservation with a switch to Polynesian but that never worked out.

We enjoy SSR, though, and appreciate its proximity to Disney Springs. We always stay in Congress Park and were given 1523 in Congress Park, a pretty good location. My room requests are always Congress Park and close to ice machine.

Katie and Leslie ended up in the next building. They could only get a 1 bedroom since they were booking at 4 months out, but at least all their nights were available. We could have tried to link the rooms so we could have a de-facto 2 bedroom but I din't want to make room requests more complicated. They were still pretty close.

Check-In and Room Review
We have always had good luck with online check-in and bypass of front desk. This trip there was a glitch.

First, we didn't get the room ready notice until around 6:30 pm (we had gone straight to Epcot after getting off DME), and I only got that by checking the app. Cool that it does give room assignments and room charge reviews. Interestingly, the room charges showed up before the room assignment did!

We got back from Epcot around 7:30 pm and went straight to the room - MagicBands wouldn't work. Not mine (Tiki Room limited edition I had ordered so I thought I entered it wrong), but Jim's didn't work, either, nor did my other band left over from summer. I was getting peeved about having to trek to the front desk after a long day when I noticed a house phone by the elevator outside our room. So, I call front desk (or what passes for front desk). They ask for last 4 numbers on our bands. We give them. Voila, door opens! OK - score one for a quick fix.

I was quite curious how our bands could correctly charge our room but not get us into our room, but I decided to not ask that question!!

We stay in studios. Ours was clean, surprisingly so, actually. We discovered that when I realized later that night I had lost my MagicBand. I obviously had it to get into the room so we ended up tearing the whole place apart looking for it. It had fallen behind the nightstand. No piles of dust were uncovered in the MagicBand search.

However, the room is showing its age, and I hope they have a hard good refurbishment pretty soon. The hardware on the bottom drawers of the dresser was loose, and the bottom right drawer wouldn't open at all. The tub faucet in the bathroom was loose, so loose that I worried about pulling it off when I pulled up the shower plug thingy. Otherwise, things were clean and functional, just a little worn looking.

Bed was miserably uncomfortable.

The glasses and ceramic mugs went away again (I thought they had put them back?). We didn't care because we keep the same in our Owner's Locker, but still.

Mousekeeping did a good job. We were due for full service on Thanksgiving Day. However, after a morning out, they hadn't done the room yet and we wanted to nap, so we had them re-schedule it to the next day. Glad to see they did that with no fuss and no charge. They also kept to the proper schedule so that we got Trash & Towel on Monday instead of shifting that a day as well.

We were very close to the Congress Park laundry, which came in handy since Jim naps and I don't. I can also say that the pool bathrooms next to the laundry are some of the cleanest I've seen on property - and they have a higher quality toilet paper and kleenex than the rooms do!!

Bottom Line
We can always stay at SSR, though we like to rotate among SSR, AKV, PVB, and occasionally OKW. You can tell that we don't mind being out on the perimeter. However, I don't think any of the resorts is for us. For both OKW and SSR, Epcot is a very quick jaunt and Disney Springs is a quick stroll or boat ride. For AKV, AK is minutes away and that's become our most frequented park.

So, that's the opener. I'll give some transportation reviews, food reviews, and park reviews. I'm not going to do this as a day-by-day thing. Pics eventually.

Despite the crowds, we had a good time and the weather was generally awesome. Shorts every day!

Dirk
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MY WDW Visits...


1973 - First Trip out of KY and used Tickets from the Today newspaper
2004 (Alex First), 2005, 2006 (Romantic), 2007,2008,2009,2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014,
2015, 2016, 2017 (Family)
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