A very merry, friend filled, unexpected unbirthday trip (report) August/September 2019 - updated Oct 19

dizneeat

DIS Veteran
Joined
Apr 9, 2006
What an amazing spot for the parade!!
We could not believe that this was where we were supposed to watch from. Such a great spot.

I don't think I've ever seen parade photos from that perspective before. Great spot!
It was such a surprise to be pointed towards that area and then that no one had claimed the spot. So easy to take pics without having hands or heads in it.

Great spot for the parade! Love your pictures!
That package was so worth it. Food was great and then that view. We were so happy to have booked it.

Wow, what an awesome spot to watch the parade from - great pics!!
We loved that spot. I guess when we go back to Disney and they still offer the package, this is one we will definitely do again.
 

dizneeat

DIS Veteran
Joined
Apr 9, 2006
That spot for the parade was fantastic.
It definitely was ....... and the fact that it had stopped raining and the parade was running! :)

Awesome view!!
The BEST! :thumbsup2

So fun to find a knowledgeable CM to talk about the train with.
He was awesome. And you could just tell that he really loved trains, his enthusiasm was contagious. So fun!

I"m here! Great start to your budget trip!

Jill in CO
:welcome: Jill!
Love that you are here - you are one of the players in this TR!
 

dizneeat

DIS Veteran
Joined
Apr 9, 2006
Ohmygosh, I made it to the second page!
YES! You made it, Christine! :welcome:

I am SO excited to be back, and hopefully will be able to keep up and even post. ( Typical of many of us with MS, I read and immediately forget what I’ve just read 🤣.)
I would love you to stay with me and post! But I have to warn you ....... I sometimes take some :-)rotfl2:quite some) time to update, when work gets more hectic. But I really try to finish my TRs. If you need a finished one - the one from 2017 is done ........ link is in my signature.
And as far as forgetting ..... welcome to the club!
:flower3:

I can’t wait to find out about the CL stays and how you wound up there!
Not to get too much ahead of myself, but I can tell you that we LOVED it. Both the CR and YC club levels were awesome. Such a treat.

Always such a delight to read your TR, Karin. 😊 I think this will put me back in the Disney Spirit again, which has been sadly missing for too long. 😉
Thank you for the praise, Christine and I really hope, that I can spark some Disney magic, so you get back into the swing of it. Such a shame that there is not much going on any more on the Tagrel pages. I miss my Tag - friends.

What a fabulous spot for the parade! When we take Sophia we’ll have to look into that pkg.
I was so glad I had picked that package. We don't really wait around for the parade usually, but this really gave us a front row "seat" (standing room only) and we loved watching the parade coming straight towards you. Food was good (apart from the desserts, but then it looks like I am very picky when it comes to desserts). I am sure you would love the leisurely lunch and parade.

While I was not much a fan of the DP (too much food) with dining prices sky high now it might be the wise thing to do.
Tom and I bought into DVC in 2011 and ever since have never even thought about getting a DDP. But when they came out with the Free Dining last winter and I ran the numbers it made sense for us (especially since I had used up all my DVC points and borrowed from this year). We bought 10 day hoppers and upgraded them and I took note of the cost of everything we ate (and drank) and when I substracted it from the rate rack cost, my room cost came to 43$ a night. Win, win!

Would you recommend POP? I stayed there a few times when it was new for MouseFest (a fun December fan gathering that no longer happens) ...it was fine for a long weekend but not sure for longer. I would surely miss a balcony....of course, if the price is right and we need to do a budget trip... 😉
We quite enjoyed it. I made sure we had a standard room (quieter) on the highest floor. The rooms are freshly renovated and while the rooms are smaller than the DVC units we had more than enough space, even travelling with a lot of luggage and an Owner's Locker's box.
Yes, we miss the balcony too, but since this was supposed to be a budget trip we were fine with it. Didn't turn out to be quite the budget trip in the end, but the way it turned out it was more than worth it!


Looking forward to the next installment! :flower1:
Coming up soon!

Wow! That spot for the parade was so awesome...Now I am going to have to think about doing that package and try to sit there!
It was a great spot! And for us being on the regular DDP it was a win anyway, as the package includes a starter, main and dessert and you can even order an alcoholic beverage. It's well worth the money.

I'm glad the parade didn't get rained out, you had an awesome view. Looking forword to the rest of your trip report!
We were so hoping it would not be cancelled and it was so worth waiting just a little longer to enjoy that awesome view.
More coming up soon!
 
  • dizneeat

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Apr 9, 2006



    Day 3, August 16

    Another night ends with a bang - Part 3

    It was now mid afternoon and we decided to rest for a little while before we were to head out again later that day.


    Around 5pm I got our gifts together for Michelle and her family and around 6pm we were on our way over to Fort Wilderness where they were enjoying their vacation and celebrating their 25th anniversary.

    They were waiting for us in their golf cart when we arrived and as soon as we had parked the car and we had hugged each other we were on our way and given a tour of the resort.
    We have been to Fort Wilderness before and knew the layout, but since they stay there often they knew every little bend and pointed out a lot of things we would not have seen otherwise. We finally ended up at their campground and sat outside chatting and sipping Champagne in honour of their wedding anniversary.

    I am pretty sure everyone would agree that we all had a great time.

    Around half past eight we all got onto the golf carts again and off we went to the Marina. They had booked a fireworks cruise and we had been invited to join them.
    And today was the very first of the new Halloween Fireworks so we were all pretty excited.
    When we arrived the boat was nowhere in sight but after a short while it got in and after a few minutes we were able to get on board.
    Didn’t take long and we left the marina and started our cruise around the area.
    Our female captain pointed out a lot of stuff and since Michelle and her husband and kids live locally they all knew a lot and we all chatted until we “hit” a stray raincloud.
    We went from nice clear sky into a shower within seconds, but our captain had come prepared and handed out towels.

    And within two minutes the shower was over.

    Shortly before the fireworks were to go off our boat was positioned in front of the train station and soon enough the fireworks started. They pipe in the music, so it was a great experience and we sat there waiting for what was to come next and taking it all in. Tom taped part of it















    click for video

    and before we knew it the fireworks were over and we just sat there and watched the Water Pageant go by before we were on our way back.
    Our captain was going pretty fast and when another boat crossed our path we hit a few waves and while we all thought that it was going to be rocky a big wave splashed inside the boat.
    We all sat there feet in the air and laughing hard.
    A few minutes later we arrived back at the marina and got off the boat.
    It was late already and Angelina, their grown up special needs daughter was tired, so Vito took us back to our car and we said our goodbyes.
    Tom and I went back to Pop Century and once we were back we talked about the day's events, but we both were tired too and soon were ready for bed and once we turned off the light we were out like the light.


    To be continued .......
     

    Minnie&Nana

    Dreams do come true!
    Joined
    Feb 20, 2004
    YES! You made it, Christine! :welcome:

    Thank you, Karin! :flower1:

    I would love you to stay with me and post! But I have to warn you ....... I sometimes take some :-)rotfl2:quite some) time to update, when work gets more hectic. But I really try to finish my TRs. If you need a finished one - the one from 2017 is done ........ link is in my signature.
    And as far as forgetting ..... welcome to the club!
    :flower3:

    Perfect! :love:

    Not to get too much ahead of myself, but I can tell you that we LOVED it. Both the CR and YC club levels were awesome. Such a treat.


    Sounds like it would be easy to be hooked! In 2006 I received one the historic pin codes for 45% off CL..after much back and forth my friend and I decided we wanted to be at the Poly, which the pin code did not include (we did have an AP rate). Well, later I wished we had taken advantage of the CL discount and stayed CL at BC or YC . Live and learn!


    Thank you for the praise, Christine and I really hope, that I can spark some Disney magic, so you get back into the swing of it. Such a shame that there is not much going on any more on the Tagrel pages. I miss my Tag - friends.

    Karin, you ALWAYS spark Disney Magic, my friend! :love:

    I was so glad I had picked that package. We don't really wait around for the parade usually, but this really gave us a front row "seat" (standing room only) and we loved watching the parade coming straight towards you. Food was good (apart from the desserts, but then it looks like I am very picky when it comes to desserts). I am sure you would love the leisurely lunch and parade.

    I really only enjoy the MNSSHP and MVMCP parades but being able to have that view would make it worth the experience!

    Tom and I bought into DVC in 2011 and ever since have never even thought about getting a DDP. But when they came out with the Free Dining last winter and I ran the numbers it made sense for us (especially since I had used up all my DVC points and borrowed from this year). We bought 10 day hoppers and upgraded them and I took note of the cost of everything we ate (and drank) and when I substracted it from the rate rack cost, my room cost came to 43$ a night. Win, win!

    Holy cow! I need lessons from you for our next trip! :D
     
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    Minnie&Nana

    Dreams do come true!
    Joined
    Feb 20, 2004
    Oh, Karin, what a wonderful evening! The fireworks cruise is amazing...and to end with the EWP...be still my heart.:love: While I love MVMCP fireworks, I think the MSSHP are the most awesome!

    So happy you had such a lovely evening with your friends - spending time with friends at Disney is what makes it extra magical for me. :flower1:

    p.s. Because we travel with our furbabies we have seriously considered the Ft Wilderness Cabins, but I would miss a Lobby. We enjoy strolling through the Lobby almost every time we return to the resort...and having food options readily available is a huge plus. :flower3:
     
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  • dizneeat

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Apr 9, 2006
    Sounds like it would be easy to be hooked! In 2006 I received one the historic pin codes for 45% off CL..after much back and forth my friend and I decided we wanted to be at the Poly, which the pin code did not include (we did have an AP rate). Well, later I wished we had taken advantage of the CL discount and stayed CL at BC or YC . Live and learn!

    I really only enjoy the MNSSHP and MVMCP parades but being able to have that view would make it worth the experience!


    Yes, CL can draw you in very easily. You are so pampered and the staff is so super friendly and helpful. And having the lounge to go get a snack or drink is not bad either.
    Ah, I remember the infamous pin codes. We never got one, but I remember people being over the moon happy when they got one and they used to be super good.

    We have not seen Festival of Fantasy often, as it usually is so hot during the day, but with that package it was really awesome. Love MNSSHP and MVMCP parades too. The new fireworks during the Halloween party are AWESOME!!!!!!!!!


    QUOTE="Minnie&Nana, post: 61166051, member: 62025"]
    Oh, Karin, what a wonderful evening! The fireworks cruise is amazing...and to end with the EWP...be still my heart.:love: While I love MVMCP fireworks, I think the MSSHP are the most awesome!
    [/QUOTE]

    It was such a great start to our trip to meet up with our friends. The fireworks cruises are so nice and it was especially great as this was the first time they officially showed the new Halloween fireworks. :goodvibes

    So happy you had such a lovely evening with your friends - spending time with friends at Disney is what makes it extra magical for me. :flower1:
    Michelle and her family are such sweet people. They have an adult special needs daughter, but Angelina loves Disney and her eyes just light up when she sees Mickey. She also loves the fireworks and we have shared several fireworks cruises. So beautiful and so peaceful with no crowds and a boat with free drinks and snacks. ;)

    Because we travel with our furbabies we have seriously considered the Ft Wilderness Cabins, but I would miss a Lobby. We enjoy strolling through the Lobby almost every time we return to the resort...and having food options readily available is a huge plus. :flower3:
    You are right about the lobby part - don't think there is one when you come in on the bus, but food should not be a problem. There is always Trail's End and the WL and CR are just a boat ride away.

    I've never done a fireworks cruise - sounds wonderful!
    It's one of the best experiences we have ever done. Yes, it is a bit on the pricey side, but what's not at Disney and if you fill the boat (up to 10 people if you want one with the music piped in) it's quite reasonable.
    For HEA or special MK fireworks they drive you all around the lakes for an hour before settling in front of MK and the Illuminations ones went all the way up to HS, then parked under the bridge to France with an awesome view of the fireworks and if you are really lucky and the timing is right they might even take you back to HS for the fireworks as well. :thumbsup2
     

    Minnie&Nana

    Dreams do come true!
    Joined
    Feb 20, 2004
    The Illuminations ones went all the way up to HS, then parked under the bridge to France with an awesome view of the fireworks and if you are really lucky and the timing is right they might even take you back to HS for the fireworks as well. :thumbsup2
    [/QUOTE]
    We have done an Illuminations Cruise twice ...both during Mousefest which was usually the first full weekend in December. It was so cold the CM handed out blankets, and we had brought hand warmers. They had hot cocoa and cookies for us. It was cold and windy, but awesome! :love:
     
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    ncc1701

    Scotty I need Warp 10 to WDW
    Joined
    Sep 21, 2009
    What a great way to watch the fireworks. If we ever win the lottery I know what I'll have to book.
     
  • jenseib

    Mommy to Claire
    Joined
    Oct 28, 2006
    What a great way to end the day. I am having withdrawals so I loved watching the little video clip too
     

    mickeystoontown

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Oct 2, 2006
    I've been reading along but haven't had time to stop and post. I love it when we, as guests, get to interact with cast members such as the one you and Tom were talking to about the steam trains.

    A fireworks cruise sounds like the perfect way to end the day!
     

    maiziezoe

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Mar 30, 2007
    Your lunch looked delicious and your parade spot was perfect! How wonderful that you and Tom were able to celebrate a special anniversary with your friends! :love:

    Loving your report so far!
     

    TNGirlwCamera

    Mouseketeer
    Joined
    Jun 19, 2017
    What a great spot for the parade! Love the dragon pics! That firework cruise looks super fun! Glad you all had a great night.
     

    dizneeat

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Apr 9, 2006
    What an awesome night, you had a perfect view for the fireworks!!
    It was such a perfect start to our trip, being able to spend time with friends and watch the fireworks with them. :love:

    What a great way to watch the fireworks. If we ever win the lottery I know what I'll have to book.
    During the summer months it got more and more difficult to watch the fireworks from Main Street. People popping their kiddos on their shoulders, IPads held up high and balloons are just a few of the things that make it more and more unenjoyable. So we have retreated to doing Dessert Parties and watch from different locations like ToTWL and CG. To watch from the water is expensive, but it is one of the best ways to watch them from outside the park. :love:

    This sounds like a nice way to watch the fireworks, and even better that you had the music to go with it!
    It's a wonderful way to watch the fireworks without being squished on Main Street. The 10 seaters all have the music piped in and it is such a great way to experience the fireworks and this was the first time they showed the new Halloween Fireworks, so that made it even more special. And we had so much fun with our friends. :goodvibes

    What a great way to end the day. I am having withdrawals so I loved watching the little video clip too
    It was such a wonderful day and great start to our vacation.
    We have only been back for six weeks and I am having withdrawals myself. Wish I lived closer. We have a long weekend coming up and our APs for DLRP are blacked out. Can't believe that from all the days our headmistress to decided to use as extra free days she picked the ones where our AP is not valid. :scared1::rotfl2:
     

    dizneeat

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Apr 9, 2006
    I've been reading along but haven't had time to stop and post.
    Welcome to my world! ;) :goodvibes

    I love it when we, as guests, get to interact with cast members such as the one you and Tom were talking to about the steam trains.
    It is one of the perks we enjoy when we are in the US. Cast members are living the Disney life, whereas in Europe it's rather a job and it's the rare exception to find someone who really is into it.
    That young man at the trains was really outstanding. I did let Disney know about him and I hope our praise made it all the way to him. :goodvibes


    A fireworks cruise sounds like the perfect way to end the day!
    It is an awesome way to see the fireworks and end the day. You should definitely try for yourself if you haven't yet. ::yes:: It's great.

    Your lunch looked delicious and your parade spot was perfect! How wonderful that you and Tom were able to celebrate a special anniversary with your friends! :love:

    Loving your report so far!
    It was really good (apart from dessert, which was so so), but the parade spot was unbelievable. I was so happy to have discovered that dining package and if it is still around the next time we go, we will definitely do it again.
    Michelle and Vito and their (adult) kids are such nice people. And to be able to share their special day with them was wonderful.


    What a great spot for the parade! Love the dragon pics! That firework cruise looks super fun! Glad you all had a great night.
    It was the best spot we have ever had. The parade was coming straight at us and the castle as a backdrop, what else can you wish for.
    The fireworks cruises are so much fun. We have done them several times now, Wishes, Illuminations and now the Halloween fireworks. So special to sit on the water, slightly rocking and listening to the music, while watching the fireworks. Heaven!
     

    dizneeat

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Apr 9, 2006



    Day 4, August 17

    It’s another friend filled day - Part 1


    Finally we were able to sleep in until 8am.

    We rolled out of bed, took showers and then grabbed our mugs and headed out to the food court for breakfast.
    Tom decided to have another




    Cinnamon Roll, while I tried a



    Cherry Danish and we shared a



    Pineapple Cup. And while Tom went to get some hot beverages I took photos of our food and then noticed someone out of the corner of my eye.
    The Cast Member who had rung up our bill the last few days had been “promoted” to wipe the tables.
    Don’t be fooled, she took some time to do that as well.

    When Tom came back we enjoyed our breakfast and after about 20 minutes we were on our way back to our room. We were in no hurry and took our sweet time before we walked out the door and down to the car.
    We wanted to check out Disney Springs, or rather the Marketplace and World of Disney.
    Pop Century is pretty close to Disney Springs, so within a few minutes we had reached the parking garages and headed for the lime garage. Car parked we walked over to the World of Disney and took a good look around, checking out many of their new merchandise.






    There were so many new and fun things to discover, we had a blast looking around and finding new things.







    We took our sweet time to slowly make our way over to the Christmas Shop, picking up a souvenir or two.
    n one of the shops we found a tea infuser shaped like a hedgehog and we had to buy it for our housesitter, who was also in charge of feeding the hedgehog family that lives in our garden.
    t was already quarter to one when we finally made it to our lunch destination, Wolfgang Puck’s Express.
    There weren’t too many people in the restaurant and it didn’t take long and we had ordered our food and drinks and asked for a cup of ice-water. Tom filled the cups and we were on our way to look for a table. And before we knew it, a server came by and delivered our drinks, a glass of




    Wolfgang Puck’s Chardonnay and a glass of



    Budweiser for Tom and some cutlery. A quick photo of our drinks and before we knew it our entrees were served. Tom had ordered the



    Bacon Wrapped Meatloaf, served with Mashed Potatoes, Crispy Onion Strings and Portwine Sauce. My choice had been the



    Oven Roasted Salmon, served on Cauliflower Puree, accompanied by marinated Tomatoes and Broccolini. Both were delicious and we enjoyed our lunch very much.
    It had taken us about 45 minutes to have our lunch and once we were done, we headed right back to the parking garage and our car. And within a few minutes we had made it back to our room.

    We had not been back for long when we got messages from Michelle and Pamela, stating that they were both on their way to Epcot.

    They come from different towns and both take about an hour to get to Disney. So that meant that Tom and I had about half an hour to rest.
    We chilled for a while, then freshened up and got our things together, before we headed down to the car again. Our room was only an elevator ride and about a 30 seconds walk from the parking lot, so we made it there in no time.
    Got in and off we went to Epcot.
    It’s only a 10 minute drive and soon we scanned our Magicband at the entrance to the parking lot.
    We were assigned a spot towards the end of a row, which was no fun, but we were late already, so we parked, grabbed our stuff out of the boot and headed towards where we thought the tram would pick us up.
    Only, there was no tram, we were instead directed to walk towards the park entrance.
    Yikes!
    So we tracked down all the way, then on to the left and back to the right and off to bag check.
    And finally we scanned our bands and walked into the park.
    We can’t have made more than 10 steps when I got a text from Pamela that she had just parked her car. Michelle and her family were already in the park and on their way to Test Track, so we decided to wait for Pamela and since there was a Photopass photographer we got in line and had some photos taken.






    We kept texting back and forth with Pamela and waited right inside the park gates



    and then finally she went through the turnstiles and we hurried towards each other and hugged and were so happy to be together again, and much sooner than we had thought. We stood and chatted for a few minutes and then made our way over to Test Track to meet up with Michelle, Angelina and Vito.

    To be continued .......
     

    Minnie&Nana

    Dreams do come true!
    Joined
    Feb 20, 2004
    Karin, please refresh my old Disney memory : where is “ToTWL and CG”, please? Usually I know these but these two have me stumped. No doubt, I think. Oh, of course, as soon as you tell me. :flower:Must admit...all the little ones on shoulders, and now iPads, is rather annoying. I had small children and never would have put them on shoulders to see. We made sure we were early enough for a good place to stand...and might pick them up them help them see, but never raise them in a way that could block other guests view.

    Oh, that dreaded feeling when we take the car to a Park and they direct us to the end of the road...all I can think of is more walking. lol I had an handicap placard - wasn’t thinking clearly when I gave it up because I didn’t want to use it before absolutely necessary...now there are times when I wish I’d kept it handy in the glovebox. 😉

    How nice to meet friends...timing was perfect to Pamela! 💖

    Looking forward to reading about your afternoon and evening with Pamela, Michelle, Angelina, and Vito! :lovestruc
     



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