Pre-Trip Report: Our Last Trip to Disney…for a Really Long Time
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(Our first visit to Blizzard Beach, plus Spoodles and Epcot)
Morning: Another hot but fabulous ...
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Pre-Trip Report: Our Last Trip to Disney…for a Really Long Time Reply to Thread
June 24, 2009, Day 6: (Our first visit to Blizzard Beach, plus Spoodles and Epcot)
Morning: Another hot but fabulous day at WDW! We arrived at rope drop at Blizzard Beach, which is a remarkable place. I love the theme here! I especially enjoy the little touches, like the dripping “icicles” and the “snow drifts.” I love the fake skis on the chair lift that make it sort of look like the riders are actually wearing skis! I must say it feels so weird to ride a chair lift in a swim suit! It’s like one of those weird dreams where you’re at work, but you forgot to wear pants. This park is not as shady as Typhoon Lagoon, and it seemed to be more crowded. We definitely had a great time, but Peter and Chris decided that they preferred TL over BB. I think I agree with them in general, but I have one reservation: Summit Plummet!! This might be the most exhilarating ride at WDW. I love the coasters, and I’m crazy about ToT, but this ride provided a bigger rush than all the others combined! (The unintended consequence is the mega-wedgie! )
Afternoon: After a morning of slides and waves, we ate lunch at Lotta Watta Lodge. It was OK, but nothing special. We were all a little tired, so we took one more dip in the wave pool and drove back to BWV for a nap. After a brief nap Peter was dying to get back in the water, so he and I spent some time in the Luna Park Pool. Not quite Blizzard Beach, but we had fun! We had plenty of time to swim and relax, because of the close proximity of Spoodles, our dinner ADR.
Dinner at Spoodles: (A useless review, since Spoodles no longer exists.) I was slightly concerned that since Spoodles would soon close, that maybe the food or the restaurant no longer represent the quality we had experienced in the past. I’ve heard great things about Cat Kora’s new restaurant, Kouzzina. I hope it’s at least as good as Spoodles. We have enjoyed dinner at Spoodles on each of our three trips to Disney World. Part of the draw is the location. We are partial to the festive atmosphere of the Boardwalk. But we have also had some extremely delicious meals there. On this occasion, I ordered the roasted chicken over eggplant and tomato stew. Fabulous! I’m a big fan of eggplant, and this dish did not disappoint! Chris was equally happy with his beef kabobs over rice, and Peter liked his Mickey shaped ravioli. Dessert was fantastic as well. Peter ate every bite of his sundae, Chris devoured his lemon pound cake, and I was completely enamored with my espresso chocolate cake. Our final meal at Spoodles was a smashing success!
I'm so hungry, I could eat Jedi Mickey!
Epcot: After dinner, we walked to Epcot for an evening of fun. Our first stop was Canada. Though we’ve spent a lot of time at Epcot, and love the WS, we had never explored Canada. I guess it’s because it doesn’t seem quite as exotic as China or France. Also, I grew up about 15 minutes from the Canadian border, and traveled all over Canada. But we were very impressed with this pavilion. It’s beautiful, and the movie O Canada is a lot of fun.
Our next stop was Mission Space, and then on to Spaceship Earth. We hadn’t been on Spaceship Earth since the rehab, and we love the improvements! The future self pictures are really cool! I emailed my image to myself, but it never arrived.
Two interesting things happened at Epcot on this evening: 1. There was a fire! We saw the trucks arriving, and we saw some smoke. The area around Future World was blocked off for a few hours. At first we thought it was a drill, but one of the CM’s told us it was real. 2. We ran into some good friends from Ohio: Jenn, Jay, and their 2 year old daughter, Taryn. We have known Jenn and Jay for several years. I thought of them earlier in this trip because they honeymooned at Port Orleans a few years ago. I didn’t realize we were going to be at WDW at the same time! Then, it began to rain. We put on our ponchos and found a spot near Mexico to watch Illuminations. We had several glow sticks, so Peter shared some with kids in our area. They are a terrific conversation starter for a semi- only child. We usually love Illuminations, and maybe it was the rain and ponchos, but it didn’t really do it for us this time. We watched most of it, then decided to walk back to BWV.
My one regret: I forgot to try a Grand Marnier slush in France! Blame it on the rain.
June 25, 2009, Day 7 (Our last day: TL, DtD, and Kona - Rest in Peace, Michael Jackson)
Since we had been to all of the parks and accomplished nearly everything we’d set out to do, we let Peter select the itinerary for our final day at WDW. His favorite discoveries, TL and DQ were his top picks for the day. He also hoped for a meal at McDonalds, but we stuck with our plan to eat our last CS meal at Wolfgang Puck Express, and our TS dinner at Kona. This would be our first time at both of these restaurants.
Morning at TL: It wasn’t exactly like the movie Groundhog Day, but pretty close. We had a morning almost identical to Day 5. I’m not saying this like it’s a bad thing. TL was fun! We enjoyed all of the same attractions, took a few more pictures…and there was one change that made Chris very happy. Chris loves donuts, and for some reason the water parks both have mini-donut carts. This snack does not qualify as a snack credit, so Chris resisted paying OOP on the previous two days. He gave in and bought some. Wow! I’m not even a doughnut lover, but I thought they were very tasty and fresh. The guys loved them. It was a great morning!
Lunch/Afternoon: We drove back to BWV to quickly change for lunch. (I hope DVC didn’t cancel the free valet parking perk because of us. I lost count of how many times we used this! We’re good tippers, if that’s any consolation.) I think today’s temperature tied the record high temperature for this date. DtD was so hot! Wolfgang Puck Express is AWESOME! The food is amazing, and the portions are huge!! I was getting a little tired of the typical CS options. Does it seem l like all the desserts are the same at the WDW CS restaurants? But this was a refreshing change of pace! We ate at a lovely, shaded, outdoor table. Peter had a delicious cheese pizza and a huge cookie, Chris had a BBQ Chicken pizza with carrot cake, and I ate an incredible roasted veggie sandwich. The iced tea was perfect, and I saved my brownie for later.
A Yummy Lunch at Wolfgang Puck Express
After lunch, the guys spent a few hours at DQ. They had a blast! I enjoyed an extremely sweaty shopping spree at the shops of DtD. One item I looked for was a pair of peace sign Mickey earrings, but they were not to be found. The other was a Chamilia bead for my Pandora bracelet. I couldn’t find that either. But I found lots of other stuff! I bought Mickey dish towels for our moms and myself, Mickey Christmas ornaments for friends and family, a Disney 2009 travel mug, a Disney frame for the Photopass picture that ends up being our favorite…what else? Sweets for Chris’s co-workers, a Star Wars Jawa Racer for Peter’s friend, and Mickey head coasters. Since we got a 10% discount for using our Disney Visa card, it was almost like they were giving me the stuff! (OK, not really. ) Whew! What a haul! At the last minute, I decided to buy a Board Walk Inn and Villas ornament for our Christmas tree. I bought a similar Yacht Club ornament a few years ago. I skipped buying a Coronado Springs ornament in 2007 because I didn’t love CSR the way I loved YC and BWV. It was fun buying stuff for others, and I wanted to make sure I had plenty of souvenirs to remember this fabulous trip.
Peter at the Helm - Downtown Disney
The perfect place to cool off after a hot afternoon of shopping was the Luna Park Pool. Peter and I had a rejuvenating swim before heading to the Poly for our dinner at Kona.
Dinner at Kona, Plus our Last Evening: It was a tossup between Kona and ‘Ohana. We tried ‘Ohana in 2007. I liked it, and DH loved it. But I wanted to try something different. Why eat at the Poly? It’s beautiful, of course. My plan for the evening also included watching Wishes from the beach at the Poly. Unfortunately, the weather didn’t cooperate. A torrential rain and thunder storm began after dinner, and continued for hours. But it still proved to be a fun and festive evening. Kona was nice. Our waitress informed us about the untimely death of Michael Jackson. Like the rest of the world, we were shocked. A talented performer, no doubt, but what would the world be like without freaky Michael Jackson to kick around? Other than this news, the most remarkable part of dinner was dessert. Peter ordered a kid’s dessert, which Chris agreed to eat. Chris ordered the infamous Kona Cloud, which Peter ate. What a decadent treat! After dinner we walked around the Great Ceremonial House, looking for hidden Mickeys and waiting for the rain to stop. We bought Peter a lanyard for all of the Stitch pins he collected.
Peter and His Stitch Pins
Peter loves the monorail as much as I love the Grand Floridian, so we hopped aboard and caught a ride to the GF. The rain continued, so we walked around the GF for a little while. Since we pre-paid for the Photopass CD, I made sure we took pictures with every Photopass photographer we encountered. One had set up lights and his equipment in the lobby of the GF, and he took some really nice pics of us! This one will certainly be featured on our Christmas card!
We found a small veranda with a few tables and chairs near the photographer. It was a relaxing place to sit and watch the rain. Another family came out after a few minutes, and we had a nice chat with them. They are from Pittsburg, and had come to Florida on the Amtrak Auto Train. Their son was close in age to Peter, and the boys talked about Star Wars, and about the rides and attractions they liked best. It wasn’t the evening I had planned, but it was mellow and enjoyable. Eventually we rode the monorail back to the Poly, which is where our car was parked. We actually saw part of Wishes from the monorail, which was a new perspective for us. The view is quite good! All holidays must end, and we returned to our resort to finish packing our bags.
Our Last Trip to Disney…for a Really Long Time - The Trip Report!
June 26, 2009: The Long Drive Home We left BWV at 5:30 am. It’s hard to feel overly sad about leaving when one’s brain is not quite awake. EVERY radio station was flooded with Michael Jackson reports, music, and tributes. Even NPR! BBC America played interviews with English media personalities who had known or reported about MJ over the years. One went so far as to say that MJ was the greatest musician and dancer ever. A great performer? Of course. But aren’t we forgetting about great musicians and entertainers like Gene Kelly, Fred Astaire, Baryshnakov, Nuryev, the Beatles, Mozart, Beethoven… But it was entertaining to hear some of the old Jackson 5 and Michael Jackson tunes, especially the ones that didn’t completely saturate 1980’s radio, like Off the Wall, Lady in My Life, and Don’t Stop Til You Get Enough. Reflections on an awesome trip - We loved: Free valet parking Watching Wishes from atop the Contemporary Having GPS to navigate around WDW Typhoon Lagoon Renting DVC points Being together Having a prepaid Photopass and taking advantage of all the great poses
We Wish: It had been just a few degrees cooler, though we had a great time anyway! (Peter) We had skipped BTMR! Our angel, Ben could be with us to experience the magic. He is always in our hearts, and we feel close to him at Disney World.
We will have to return someday to: Ride EE at night (we never made it to AK on the EMH night) Eat at LeC (couldn’t get an ADR) I must try the cheese soup!! Eat at the Sci-Fi Try a Grand Marnier Slush at World Showcase (I forgot to do this!!)
Thanks for reading my Trip Report! Planning was great, the trip was amazing, and I’ve had sooo much fun recalling the wonderful time we had at WDW. Chris says we can return in 5 years...we'll see!