Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Trip Report from January, 2012: Boardwalk Resort, continued...

Saturday 1/14
Nick and I walked over to Epcot around 9:30am, and went through the shops. We rode Imagination to see Figment and to smell the skunky smell. It reminds me of when Nick and I started dating and my little dog was hit by a skunk at a party I was having; Nick was the only one who stayed to help clean him (or was it me he was spraying with that hose?)!

Then we headed to Italy in the World Showcase.

We had 11:30am reservations at Via Napoli with John and Kandi. Nick had the calamari appetizer, and Nick, Kandi and I split a large pizza with mushrooms. John had the soup and Chicken Parmesan. Really good. Afterwards we walked into the plaza, where a show was going on. We had no idea what it was about, but no sooner had we stopped, then I was being pulled into it! From what the rest of them could gather, it was some sort of fashion show. I think it had to do with me being one of their long lost sisters. Really, we are all still clueless. But I had a great time hamming it up anyway.

We then walked down to the Land, to ride Listen to the Land. We met briefly with a couple of Nick's Facebook friends, and then headed to Spaceship Earth.

After that we headed back to World Showcase, for sipping and snacking. Mmmm, I loved the snacking part, and Norway is my favorite place to find snacks. We met up with Robyn in Germany, and talked for a while. It was getting very chilly and windy out, so we walked back to the Resort to get warmer clothes. We said our goodbyes to Robyn, as she and Scott were heading home.

I started to feel quite ill, so I stayed behind to hit the gift shop's cold and flu section, which surprisingly, was well stocked and had everything I needed. John, Kandi and Nick went back to Epcot to continue their food and drink tour. They met up with Millie and Ken at the Liberty Inn, in the American Pavilion, and continued their tour. They eventually wound up in the United Kingdom, Millie and Nick with beers thanks to Ken, and watched Illuminations. Looking back on this and other trips, Disney friends are the best!

Monday, January 30, 2012

Trip Report from January, 2012: Boardwalk Resort, continued...

Friday 1/13
Nick and I met Robyn and her husband Scott at Disney's Hollywood Studios at opening, and we went right onto Toy Story Midway Mania. Afterwards we met Gail and her husband Joe, and we all rode Rockin Rollercoaster, which is a ride that Nick and I never seek out. We should ride that more often.

We then went over to Tower of Terror. I've never seen lines that long! It was popular that day.

We grabbed a bite at Starring Rolls, always good for a nibble...

and then went on to Star Tours.

Our friends were good luck for us, as we finally got the Podrace scene. We were really getting tired of Hoth. We met up with Ken and Millie outside the ride. Some of the group went off to Epcot, while Ken, Millie, Nick and I rode the Great Movie Ride.

We went back to our room to get ready to go out to Fort Wilderness, for the 4:00pm Hoopty Doo Musical Review. We took a bus to the Magic Kingdom, and a boat to FW. We met up with John and Kandi, and waited to be admitted.

We'd been told to get there a half hour early, yet weren't let in till exactly 4:00pm. We had booked 3rd tier seats, but because the show wasn't even half full, we were seated on the floor, not to far from the stage. This, we thought, was great, a magical start to the evening. But, sadly, no so much. To start, our server, Bob, didn't come around to take a drink order for several minutes. Then acted surly when I asked for salad without dressing for Kandi and myself. Our drinks were never replenished without a great deal of show on our part. Food was a little better. Except dessert. Strawberry Shortcake. If you've seen the show, there is a big song and dance about Strawberry Shortcake. The wait-staff is in it, even. Well, Bob danced off that stage with a shortcake for everyone around us and vanished, never to be seen again. We never got ours! In fact, none of the other staff was seen again. It seemed to me that they were hoping we'd all just eat dessert and go away, and ask for nothing else. Maybe they spend more time with the "evening diners" but we paid the same as the later showing. Trying to move the 4:00 show along just so they could set up early and relax is unacceptable.

Nick was so annoyed, he couldn't enjoy the last portion of the show. And, we are in agreement, the show is just okay. It's a fun show, sure, and, absolutely, our perception of the whole evening is tainted by the poor service, but the overwhelming popularity of it? We just don't get it! The food, especially the chicken, was awesome, but it's the same food next door at Trail's End Buffet, for a fraction of the price and superior service, even for a buffet!

John spoke to a manager afterwards, and we got a resolution to the problem. But we won't go back, and we would never recommend it to anybody; when Trail's End Buffet next door is so much better, with more variety and less costly, and everyone is very friendly there. We do recommend that.

That evening, we went to Downtown Disney, and Nick bought some Vinylmation at D Street, and got a couple of great figures, and even traded with another guest, which cheered him up.

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Trip Report from January, 2012: Boardwalk Resort, continued...

Thursday, 1/12
Despite the late night, Nick was up at 6:30am. (of course) We walked over to Disney's Hollywood Studios, and made our way back to Toy Story Midway Mania, which was down. We got a couple of FastPasses, and went to Tower of Terror, riding twice. I got a little one on one time with Minnie which was a treat as we both wore pink that day! Nick and I went to Starring Rolls and got a Chocolate Peanut Butter muffin, and a Strawberry parfait. While checking out, a Cast Member handed Nick a Mickey shortbread cookie with chocolate dipped ears to give to me, I had said something nice to her and turned around to take some photos, so I was oblivious to the transaction. I immediately ran back in to give her a big hug!

As we were finishing eating, the Citizens of Hollywood were just starting their Citizen Roll Call, so we watched that, then headed to get our photos with characters in the Animation Building.

We got our photo taken with Pooh.

Then we spent about an hour going through One Man's Dream. Nick loves this attraction/exhibit. I love the historical items they have displayed, Walt's early school desk is displayed where he carved his initials, his office and all the furniture is set up in a room, so many personal items. It is something worth walking through if you have always passed it by.

We didn't have time for the film, as we were meeting John and Kandi for lunch at the Brown Derby. As usual, a great meal. Nick had the crab egg rolls, Cobb Salad, and Grapefruit Cake. I had the Cobb Salad, which was invented at the Original Brown Derby in California. Sometimes it's all I crave in the summer.

On our way out of the park, I stopped to ask a Cast Member if I could see her pin lanyard, a Stitch pin had caught my eye. I traded for the Stitch pin, and the Cast Member asked if I had gotten a chance to see Stitch that day. I said no, I had not seen him on my whole trip! The CM got a real big smile on her face and asked us all to come with her. We walked into a little side area next to Guest Services. The CM went "backstage" for a moment, and then Stitch popped his head out from behind a wall! Then out came Donald, Daisy, Piglet, and Minnie Mouse! We were all just floored! A big hug fest ensued. We were thrilled beyond belief!!

It was all we could talk about as we returned to the Boardwalk to get John and Kandi's rental, then drove over to the Winter Summerland Mini Golf Course. We did the Winter side, and had a very good time. This is a great escape from the parks, if you are looking for something different, or just need to get away from the crowds.

Back at the Boardwalk, we all went for a swim and hot tub. We showered and met in the lobby, and walked over to the Beach Club. Nick and John went to the arcade while waiting for a table at Beaches and Cream. At B&C, we split a burger and fries, and the 4 of us split a Kitchen Sink!

There was nothing left after we got done with it! We went to Epcot, and watched Illuminations, then made it an early night.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Trip Report from January, 2012: Boardwalk Resort, continued...

Wednesday, 1/11
Nick had a severe food hangover from Boma the night before, but we made 8:00am Extra Magic Hours at the Animal Kingdom because he never sleeps when he's in Disney. Nick and I rode Kilimanjaro Safaris first thing. Robyn and Scott met us in front of it after our first Safari, and we all rode again. Then we went to the Pangani Trail to see all the animals along that walking route,

then walked over to Expedition Everest. Scott and Nick waited while Robyn and I rode. We went for the single rider lane and it went very quickly. We then headed over to Dinosaur, Nick's favorite ride. We walked over to the tiger trail, my new favorite spot at the Animal Kingdom, and watched tigers at play. I do believe they have the most playful tigers ever.

We met Millie and Ken on the way out, and talked for a little while. Robyn and Scott drove us over to the Contemporary Resort, where we met Kandi and John for lunch at The Wave. We all agreed the food was okay, Nick loved his scallop appetizer, but the Bison burgers we ordered were barely average.

Back at the Boardwalk with John and Kandi, we attended our first Welcome Home Wednesday, a weekly Disney Vacation Club event held at the Atlantic Dance Hall. We met Deevy Cee and she was a hoot! This event is free, and very popular. There is a Jeopardy type game, where random guests are selected and gifts are given out. On the way out, we were all given a DVC baseball cap. It was a very nice gift!

We walked out into a pouring rain, which quickly subsided. We decided to drive out to the Disney outlet, outside of property, where I got a cruise line jacket marked over half off. We also stopped at D Street Downtown Disney's West Side, where Nick picked up several Vinylmations. No fun spontaneous trading occurred. For dinner, Nick, Kandi, John and I went to Big River Grill on the Boardwalk, meeting up with Robyn and Scott. Afterwards we all went to Jellyrolls, the dueling piano bar on the Boardwalk, where we were joined by Ken, Millie, Dave and Cathy, who also had 2 friends with them. It was a big group! People love this place, it is so popular. Sing alongs, dancing, celebrations of all sorts are, well, celebrated! It is however, loud-in the extreme, with strobe lights, so if you have problems with that be careful. Earplugs work for only a few minutes, really. I retired early, while Nick stuck around till 1:00am! If you haven't been, Nick and the whole gang can't recommend it more.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Trip Report from January, 2012: Boardwalk Resort, continued...

Tuesday, 1/10
Nick and I got to the Magic Kingdom a little after opening, I took some photos of the Christmas decorations still hanging around and we met up with Robyn and Scott shortly thereafter.

Nick treated everyone to Dole-Whips and then off to Pirates and then the Haunted Mansion. We ran into another marathon couple in Fantasy Land, Lisa and Rick, and while we were standing and talking, our friend Mar walked by. She was only in for a couple days and had not known any of our plans. More Disney Magic.

More and more people seem to stand around tapping on their little devices. It seems crazy since their families are right there and no one is talking to one another! Some of us went back to ride Haunted Mansion, and we all met afterwards for lunch at Columbia Harbour House. While Nick was getting our food, our friends, Ken and Millie came by. We had a nice time just talking in the upstairs area. Afterwards, most couples split off to go to their various resorts, while, Ken, Millie, Nick and I went to see Mickey's Philharmagic. (Maybe my favorite thing to do in Fantasy Land) We then rode the Tomorrowland Transportation Authority. Ken and Millie departed for an afternoon siesta, and we went into the Carousel of Progress. (Another favorite of mine)

Nick had a Mickey Premium Bar afterwards, and we meandered through the shops on Main Street. Always looking for an interesting pin or vinylmation to trade. We got back to the Boardwalk, and went to the pool for a while. Showered and met up with John and Kandi. We had 7:00pm reservations at Boma at the Animal Kingdom Lodge. The food at this buffet is out of this world, and this is another favorite, if not our very favorite place for the quality and variety of choices. The soups alone are worth the trip. Nick stuffed himself to bursting. Kandi and I took longer and worked slowly through all the great dishes. We spent hours there.

By the time we got back to the room, Nick was in a food coma.