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Old 11-03-2018, 02:34 PM   #1
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Default Sue's Nov 2018 Food & Wine Trip - BCV & BWV


Who: Sue (60), DVC Member
SB (61), my husband
Chris (32), son
Amanda (30), daughter-in-law
Ari (2), grandson
Pete & Judy, DVC friends
Tiana (51), friend
Dates: November 4 – 12, 2018
Resort: Disney’s Beach Club Villas Resort (4nts) & Disney’s Boardwalk Villas Resort (4nts)
Experience: Very Experienced – 45th stay at BCV & 25th stay at BWV

Finally, the “real” trip is here. Most people come to WDW for at least a week, so my usual 3-4 night trips just seem so short. I’m thankful I get here so often, and keeping most trips short are the only way to manage that while still working, but I still really look forward to more traditional-length trips! I also enjoy both solo trips and trips with family or friends. This trip will be 8 nights, starting with a solo stay and then moving to a family (SB, Chris, Amanda & Ari) trip – unfortunately with a resort change, but that was my choice to maximize the use of my dvc points. The only downside was Pete & Judy’s plans changed and their trip begins shortly before we leave – we enjoy hanging out with them, but I wasn’t willing to give up Food & Wine Festival to more closely match their dates. So, we’ll just have a few days together this year.

When my fastpass window opened, I fully expected to have a hard time getting a Slinky Dog fastpass because I have 2 separate reservations for 4 nights each. However, the entire trip was available to me at once. Oddly, I was able to include Chris & Amanda (who arrive on the 2nd reservation) immediately if I was part of the party, but could not book separately for them. They are not listed on my first reservation.

Many months ago I tried to add the weekend to my first reservation, so I’d come in on 11/2 rather than 11/4. Of course, it’s not available unless you book it right at 11 months! SB was planning something 11/2 for my 60th birthday (actually 11/4), so I only waitlisted 11/3. Months went by – no success. I even called the morning of 11/2 on the outside chance something had opened up for the next night, but no way. Between Food & Wine and the Wine & Dine Half Marathon, there were no rooms. Beach Club Villas is insanely popular, with good reason – plus it’s small, so fewer rooms to fill. The one plus is I learned I’d been assigned an accessible room, with a roll-in shower! I hate those, but the cast member was able to contact the resort and get me switched to a regular room – whew!

The first 4 nights are in a studio, since this is the solo portion of the trip. When the concert lineup came out and Boys II Men were during this stay, SB was going to join me for the final night but later changed his mind. Since it’s November, I’m hoping for better weather (less hot, not humid). I plan to drive down fairly early Sunday morning, since I get up early anyway. The studio won’t be ready, but I can park at Beach Club Villas and head to Magic Kingdom for some fastpasses. Hopefully the half marathon will no longer be impacting the roads or transportation by that time. It’s supposed to rain most that day & evening, so between the weather and the leftover marathon crowd I think I’ll skip Food & Wine and instead use my birthday credit at Terralina over in Disney Springs. They have a nice sounding happy hour Sunday – Thursday. Monday is a nice solo day – hopefully lounging by the pool, with Food & Wine later. Tuesday Tiana plans to join me, so I booked Epcot fastpasses. She wants to see Boys II Men, so she’ll head home after that. Wednesday will be more pool time, and Food & Wine.

Thursday I move to a 2-bedroom at Boardwalk Villas, and Chris & Ari arrive. Figuring we’d be homeless for most of the day, I booked Soarin for early, and then a couple afternoon Epcot fastpasses. The evening will be Food & Wine, with the Hooters being the concert group. Friday is pool time, then Hollywood Studios (including Slinky Dog) in the afternoon. SB arrives this morning sometime, and Amanda arrives this afternoon. Pete & Judy also arrive this day.

Saturday we have Animal Kingdom fastpasses, and plan to see the holiday stuff at Hollywood Studios that evening. In between is anyone’s guess. We’ll do breakfast at Rainforest Café at Animal Kingdom, since I have a birthday credit there too. Sunday we’re back to the Studios for Slinky Dog in the morning, then pool & Food & Wine to finish up the day (Big Bad Voodoo Daddy is the concert group). Amanda has to leave today. Monday SB, Chris, Ari & I check out. SB & I are having breakfast with Pete & Judy at Ale & Compass, but I’m not sure SB & I will stick around at all afterwards – not sure what Chris & Ari plan to do before leaving.

As usual, there are no restaurant reservations (other than breakfast w/Pete & Judy) booked – initially I had one, but canceled it a couple months ago since Food & Wine is really the priority.

The plans so far are:
Sunday 11/4: Drive to WDW, Magic Kingdom, Disney Springs
Monday 11/5: Pool, Epcot
Tuesday 11/6: Epcot, Boyz II Men
Wednesday 11/7: Pool, Epcot, Boyz II Men
Thursday 11/8: Move to Boardwalk, Chris & Ari arrive, Epcot
Friday 11/9: Pool, Food & Wine, Hollywood Studios, Epcot
Saturday 11/10: Animal Kingdom, Pool, Hollywood Studios
Sunday 11/11: Hollywood Studios, Pool, Epcot
Monday 11/12: Ale & Compass breakfast, Drive to Gainesville

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Old 11-03-2018, 03:00 PM   #2
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Happy Birthday Sue! Hope you have a great trip.
Visitor Since '75 owner since '09
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Old 11-03-2018, 05:33 PM   #3
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Happy Bday trip ...sounds wonderful once again for you & family.
and thanks for reminding me about Nov bday month at RainForest...
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Old 11-03-2018, 05:39 PM   #4
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I'm in.

Have fun Sue !
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Old 11-03-2018, 06:03 PM   #5
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Happy birthday!
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Old 11-03-2018, 06:53 PM   #6
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Happy Birthday, Sue! Enjoy what sounds like an amazing trip!
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Old 11-03-2018, 07:11 PM   #7
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Enjoy! Happy Birthday!
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Old 11-03-2018, 11:10 PM   #8
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Hope you have a well deserved Happy Birthday and a wonderful trip with your family. And you get raisin cookies.
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Old 11-04-2018, 10:42 PM   #9
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Thanks everyone! The oatmeal raisin cookies can wait until the move to Boardwalk....when SB is here to enjoy them!

DAY 1 – Sunday 11/04/18
Who: Sue (60), DVC Member

Plan: Drive to WDW, Magic Kingdom, Disney Springs

Actual: Last night having the clocks “fall back” an hour worked for me, but weren’t so kind to SB. In my case, I’d slept poorly the night before & had been awake since 3am (up since 4am). So, I was understandably tired last night and turned off the lights & tv by 8pm after calling SB to say goodnight. Getting up at 4:30, which was actually more like 5:30, left me feeling rested today! In SB’s case, he works in a department with a bunch of losers who think nothing of calling in sick – here in Gainesville there’s much more illness going around on weekends, and especially on Saturdays when there’s a home football game (UF – Gators). Yesterday was the homecoming game. So, SB reported to work at 3pm as scheduled, and due to all the calling out “sick” was on duty until 7:30 this morning (which was really 8:30 with the time change).

I had a small cup of cappuccino and did some online stuff before taking my shower and getting ready to hit the road. I’d offered to run out and bring back a breakfast sandwich for SB, but he was only interested in getting some sleep once he finished the 17-hour shift. I checked the weather again, and it was looking more promising – still lots of rain all afternoon, but it may clear out enough for a stroll around Epcot in the evening.

I was out the door at 6:30, stopping briefly to say goodbye & goodnight to SB. The drive was easy, with no traffic and only drizzly rain. As I approached my exit onto Disney property there were signs up that the road would be closed today from 5-8am (marathon). Lucky for me, it was 8:14am and the barricades had been moved aside.

Ari & his parents called me, so I talked with them the rest of the way in – not noticing until near the end that it was a facetime call so then I took my phone out of the cup holder. My calls come through the car radio in this car. Ari is excited to be coming back for his umpteenth WDW trip later this week!

I parked the car but of course didn’t bother to unload anything since I knew the resort was sold out last night. I walked through the Villas lobby, figuring if someone was there I could at least let them know I had arrived. That station wasn’t open yet, however. It wasn’t worth going over to the regular lobby, so instead I headed out to the bus stop.

With it being Wine & Dine Half Marathon weekend, lots of buses (Disney and other) were in service shuttling runners and their guests. The Magic Kingdom bus stop was mobbed, but the next bus time was still over 10 minutes away. Then the time kept changing to later and later, until finally one came and another was right behind it. Even with the 2 buses, there were people left behind, which didn’t bode well for what the Magic Kingdom was going to be like today! I was on the bus and we were pulling away at 9:01 to head to the park.

At the Magic Kingdom it was very busy, but for once I chose the best bag check line – it moved faster than any of the others! We all were sent through the metal detector, then I walked to the less crowded end to enter the park. Coming out from under the train station I was surprised to see the big Christmas tree and all the holiday décor was already up! It makes sense, since I think the first Christmas party is in a few days – no doubt one of the days when it’s supposed to be 87 degrees. Ho ho ho, lol!
As I feared, the park was more crowded than I’ve ever seen it this early in the day. Places selling food or drink already had lines, too. The Trolley cast was doing their show, dressed in holiday costumes. I walked through the castle and over to new Fantasyland, where I walked onto the Little Mermaid ride. There were lots of people, but the line never slowed or stopped. When I came back outside I talked with Chris’ dad while walking over to Tomorrowland – he’d called to wish me a happy birthday.

Space Mountain’s standby queue was backed up almost to the entrance, but I didn’t notice the number of minutes posted. With fastpass it was very quick, and I enjoyed the ride. My dad called while I was in there, so once back outside I called and talked with him. I decided to ride the People Mover and on my way noticed the standby line for Buzz Lightyear was snaked around outside and posted as 55 minutes! No freakin’ way! Even People Mover had a line, but at least it moved pretty fast.

By now it was time to head to Frontierland for my Big Thunder fastpass. The standby queue there was really long, and even fastpass people spend time standing still inside before even getting to the downward ramps. I was seated in the middle of the train, but with it being so busy I didn’t want to ask to wait for the back row of the next train. It was still a fun ride!

Next up was a fastpass for Haunted Mansion, but it was an hour away (11:45). I decided to take my chances on the standby wait, but when I got over there it was posted as 65 minutes, lol! I tell ya, the park was nuts this morning! It was too crowded to do anything else, and I wasn’t interested in waiting around an hour for this attraction, so I headed towards the exit.

On Main Street the trolley show was running again, and I spotted my friend Mary on the sidewalk (she’s one of the citizens of Main Street). We spent some time chatting, then I left the park. At the bus stops, there were a few people waiting at the Boardwalk stop but the one for Yacht & Beach was empty. I figured Boardwalk might arrive first, and that’s what happened. Knowing that if I waited for my bus I’d be stopping at Yacht before going to Beach, and since I was really headed into Epcot, I took the Boardwalk bus.

One of the Friendships was leaving the Boardwalk dock for Epcot as a passed by, but by walking quickly I was able to beat the hordes of people who would be headed for the entrance. Bag check took no more than a couple seconds, and I only waited for 1 person ahead of me at the band readers. World Showcase was fairly busy, but much less crowded than Magic Kingdom had been!

I turned to the left and decided to take my chances in Canada – shocked to find every cash register manned and nobody buying anything! There were some on the other side, but I was able to walk right up and order the cheese soup with pretzel roll. It was delicious, and there were a few empty tables along the lake, so I ate over there. I looked at the time, and I was just finishing my lunch as my Haunted Mansion fastpass window opened. I definitely made the right decision to leave!

I continued walking around World Showcase, but didn’t eat or drink anything else (other than the water I’d brought) since I am planning on a happy hour dinner this afternoon. SB called, and he’s not scheduled to work today but thinks they may call him if someone calls out again. Since today is a big football day on tv, I reminded him he can always not answer the phone!

At the end of my World Showcase loop I exited Epcot and walked back to Beach Club. The station in the Villas lobby was manned now, so I stopped there. My room was not ready yet but he could see one that should be ready soon. With verification that it’s not on ground floor or an accessible room, I said it would be fine. Supposedly it’s on the 2nd floor, overlooking the pool – that’s fine with me.

I got most of my stuff from the car and sat in the room between the lobby and the pool, updating the report and checking email. Around 1:15 I noticed I’d received my room number about 30 minutes ago, so I packed my stuff up and went to my 2nd floor poolside room. I know from the number that’s right by the single elevator halfway to the parking lot, so I took the easier (for pushing luggage) route through the pool (over pavement vs carpet).

As I suspected, my room is one that has a huge balcony. If only I knew a bunch of people here now – we could have a great wine & cheese party out there some evening! But, since that’s not likely to happen I focused on getting unpacked & settled in. Once everything was put away I went out to the car to get the gallon of water I couldn’t carry before – and then found my magic band would no longer open the door. I trudged down to the Villas lobby and the cast member reset it for me, then I was good to go.

It’s been a long time since I spent any time at Disney Springs, and the rain chances were continuing to diminish, so I decided I’d wander around over there before happy hour. Thank goodness it was really cloudy, as the “feels like” temperature was 89. Add sunshine to that and it would have been brutal! I left the studio around 2:30 and walked over to the bus stops. This time I saw a bus leaving as I approached, but the time for the next one was about 15 minutes away. It actually arrived a bit earlier, as I was seated by 12 minutes later.

As soon as I got off the bus at Disney Springs it started sprinkling – just like last trip! I opened up the umbrella and carried on, walking around. I have to say, much of the new portion of Disney Springs is not Disney at all. It’s very nice, but holds no appeal for me at all – especially when I’m here. I imagine the people working in these stores are employees of those companies, and not Disney cast members.

Eventually I came to the Marketplace, where it was much more Disney! The World of Disney store has been redone, and I really like it much better now. They had a lot of really cute stuff! Too bad my budget isn’t endless and my closets are small, or I’d have bought a whole bunch of stuff! After checking out this store, I got my chocolate sample at Ghiradelli, then browsed through the Co-op, Mickey’s Pantry, Goofy’s Candy, the Christmas store, and an art gallery. Mickey’s Pantry is scaled back from when it was the Gourmet Pantry. The Christmas store is about the same.

I like the Co-op, but the section with ugly dresses for adult women kind of creeped me out. They had a plus-size mannequin in there too, which makes sense given the demographic, but it made the dresses look even more ridiculous. I know I wouldn’t wear one of them as a slender woman, never mind an overweight woman. It’s just my opinion (so feel free to ignore it), but this stuff works better on children than adults, unless you mean it as a Halloween costume.

The art gallery store had some beautiful paintings, and the artist was there. I forget his first name, but the last name is McCullough. They had a big painting of Sorcerer Mickey for only $72,000. If it wasn’t for that limited budget thing, I would have loved to buy it! By now it was almost 4, so I headed towards Terralina but detoured to another shop I’d visited once before (forget the name). They have mostly clothing, including some that’s Disney. I ended up buying a shirt for myself, but couldn’t find anything in SB’s size. The men’s stuff looked true to size, but the women’s stuff looked huge – I bought a size xs and it will be baggy.

After buying the shirt it was raining again, so I walked over to Terralina dodging the puddles on the ground. I knew happy hour was only at the “patio bar” but I was thinking that was the seating outside along the side of the restaurant. Well, I was wrong. There was a bar out front, with tables & chairs that were all wet because they’re not covered. I asked, and learned that was the patio bar, and the only place for happy hour. The bar was full, so I waited until a couple left and then grabbed one of their seats.

The happy hour here is really great, especially in nicer weather, lol! They do half-price wine, beer and pizzas. I talked to the bartenders a bit, did some reading, and had a nice conversation with the couple next to me – from United Kingdom but they bought a vacation home in the area so they’re here often. I drank pinot grigio and ate half of a margherita pizza (excellent), taking the other half home. My birthday credit more than covered it all – I just left a cash tip. I’ll definitely make it a point to return here for happy hour if I’m in town on a Sunday – Thursday night.

I don’t remember if it was raining again, but I think not – I don’t remember juggling an umbrella with my leftovers. I walked back to the bus stops and didn’t have a very long wait for my bus. Unfortunately, from Disney Springs the bus goes to Swan, Dolphin, Yacht, Beach and Boardwalk. It was also freezing – you could have hung meat in that bus! I got off at the Swan, preferring to walk rather than wait for the 4th stop!

Back at Beach Club Villas I put my leftovers in the fridge, grabbed my camera, and headed back out for Epcot. It was 6:32 and I made it into Epcot and into a seat at the America Gardens Theater by 6:46 – pretty much in time for the 6:45 Taylor Dayne concert. I wasn’t expecting much, but she was really good! I must have been thinking of someone else when I thought she was just ok. I recognized most of the songs, even though she came along after my music years. I’m glad I went back in for her concert.

SB had called just as I sat down, so I called him back after the concert ended. As it turned out, work never called him so he got to enjoy the football games. I’d started walking towards International Gateway, but then decided to make another loop around the countries since it was so nice out (no rain). It wasn’t overly crowded, and lines were small or non-existent at the food booths. I just love the sights, sounds & smells of World Showcase, especially in the evening!

Pete called, so I talked with him while walking. We updated the plans for later in the week, and beyond – then it started raining again. By now I was almost to the International Gateway again, so no big deal. I returned to the resort, getting back by 8:30. I turned on the Mickey Mouse birthday special on the tv, then noticed I had standing water on the lowest shelf of the refrigerator. There’s a tray under the freezer compartment and that was overflowing, so I emptied that and then cleaned up the water I dripped all over the floor!

I heard Illuminations at 9, but since I’m facing the pool I can’t see any fireworks. It’s been raining since I got back here, but hopefully it’ll end before morning. Today was a great first day, even with the weather and the crazy crowds at Magic Kingdom. I don’t regret going over there, as I did a few favorites and got to see Mary. Disney Springs and Terralina was great, as was Epcot and the Taylor Dayne concert tonight. Mostly I just love being here – and I really appreciate all the birthday wishes. Turning 60 is just another day, but many of you guys made it an especially nice day!

Tomorrow I’m hoping to spend the morning on a lounge chair on the beach here, and then head to Animal Kingdom for fastpasses before returning to Epcot for Food & Wine in the evening. That’s if the weather cooperates!

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Old 11-04-2018, 11:22 PM   #10
Hi from RI
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Wow you did a ton for the first day! We're headed to BW Friday with friends in a 2 bedroom! The forecast looks a little glum hoping it will change...what's up with the rain unusual for November isn't it?
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