Falling off the Diet Wagon

by nicholmom3 on August 22, 2008

You know the feeling…it is hard to believe that it is already over…all the months of planning and anticipation.  BAM! In the blink of an eye, it is time to get back to the real world and work.  Sigh…

Here is our Disney World Trip Report:

We left armed with our Disney gift cards I earned with Sunshine Rewards plus the bonus gift cards from our DVC (Disney Vacation Club) purchase.  I had  $100 in Landry gift cards to use at Rainforest Cafe, $775 in Disney gift cards, and $1500 in Visa gift cards from our DVC purchase.  We used our Visa gift cards to purchase our Premium Annual Passes which left us only about $200 out of pocket.  The $775 paid for our dining plan for the last 6 nights at SSR.  All in all we were armed quite well with gift cards. 

We were in Disney World from December 26 until January 8, 2009.  It was the first time we have been during Christmas break and will most likely be the LAST.  Whew…the crowds were UNBELIEVABLE.  You would never know that the economy is in the shape it is in and that record numbers of people are without jobs.

While the decorations and lights were simply gorgeous, dealing with the crowds was just too much. 

We stayed at several resorts because what we wanted simply was not available for our entire stay although I booked back in April.  We did stay at places that we had never stayed at which was nice to be able to explore new resorts.

Our first night we stayed at Port Orleans French Quarter and checked in at about 3:10pm.  I must say that it was much prettier than I even imagined.  I loved the theme and decor.  The pool was nice too.  We didn’t plan to do anything the first day/night but to relax and enjoy the resort and the pool.

The next 6 nights we stayed at Port Orleans Riverside which meant we had to check out and into the next resort asap.  They were kind enough to transport our luggage and us to Riverside via the golf cart which was wonderful and greatly appreciated with a nice tip.  :)

Can you believe that we were checked out of PO French Quarter and into PO Riverside in less than 30 minutes? We checked into PO Riverside at 8:10am and they had our room ready for us which was just wonderful!  We put our things in our room and headed out to explore the resort.  Riverside was very nice and totally different from the French Quarter.  It was like strolling around a big southern Civil War era mansion and grounds.  The horse drawn carriages made it seem even more so! We couldn’t resist taking a carriage ride one cool night with a nice blanket and a mug of hot cocoa.  What a nice treat.

The pool was very nice at Riverside but VERY crowded.  We enjoyed the quiet pool most of the time.  The down side of the quiet pool is that there is no hot tub. :(   I think each pool should have at least one hot tub.

We brought along our Hidden Mickey book so that we could do scavenger hunts since we knew the parks would be too crowded to do much of anything.  We just love finding the Hidden Mickeys.

We ate lunch on our 2nd day at our favorite counter service restaurant at Downtown Disney – Earl of Sandwich.  It is hands down the best counter service you can get.  They are very busy, but very fast at getting your order ready.  I highly recommend The Full Montague.  We shopped and walked around Downtown Disney until dinner time.  We tried the Ragland Road for dinner.  The Seared Scallops appetizer was just divine! After that, the meal and dessert was just so-so.  It is not one we will do again.

Sunday morning we had breakfast at The Crystal Palace which was nice.  We have had lunch there before but not breakfast.  After riding Space Mountain a couple of times we were ready to go back to our resort for lunch and some pool time due to the horrendous crowds.  My daughter and I did grab a wonderful snack on our way out…a pineapple float.  Yum!

For the evening we headed over to Epcot for dinner at San Angel Inn.  We have enjoyed lunch there several times and thought dinner would be just as great.  WRONG!  The service was HORRIBLE to the point we never even got a refil on our water and soft drinks.  The selections on the dinner menu were pitiful at best and not even the normal Mexican fare you are craving.  We all  ordered the:

Filete a los Tres Chiles – Beef tenderloin served with a corn relish and a three pepper sauce $34

When it came, it was the most unappetizing looking meal I have ever had.  ICK.  The beef had NO taste whatsoever and was so tough and dry I could hardly chew it.  With nothing to drink to wash it down, it was a total waste.  The sauce underneath the beef was a disgusting greenish brown color. 

We decided that we were not even going to tip the waiter because we never saw him again to tell him the food was disgusting and we needed refills.  Alas, he brought us the bill and we told him we were very unhappy with the meal and did not even want a dessert.  We were on the dining plan and signed the paper without a tip.  The waiter followed us all the way out into the market courtyard shouting at us about not tipping him.  I told him if he had paid any attention to us at all he would have gotten a tip, but this was the most attention he had given us the entire night.  It was a horrible experience.

Monday morning, we ate breakfast at Hollywood and Vine for the first time.  We were the first family seated and Steven our server and the entire staff made a big tadoo out of it giving us a certificate to commemorate it.  It was wonderful.  The food was great and the service was superb! Kudos to you Steven….you love your job and it shows.  He joked and cut up with us the entire meal.  It was so much fun.  Although my kids are really too old to enjoy the JoJo’s Circus characters, it was still a lot of fun.  We gladly left Steven a nice tip.

The lines for the rides and even the fast passes were so long ( 2 hours or more ) we decided to do some shopping and then head back to the resort for a nice nap and then some pool time.

We headed to the Magic Kingdom to watch the Spectro Magic Parade and to dine at the Liberty Tree Tavern which has THE BEST ROAST BEEF ever! We love eating here!  We headed back to our resort after dinner because it was so crowded you could hardly walk.

Tuesday, December 30 we had breakfast at Chef Mickey’s which is another favorite.  This reservation was for 7:05 am which was a bit early for us, but we really wanted to eat there.  We shopped in the gift shop and headed back to our resort to take a nice nap.  We played in the pool and had lunch at PO Riverside.  We decided to try Boatwrights at PO for dinner.

Since we were on the Deluxe dining plan, we were able to have a smoothie as a drink.  I decided to try the Lava Smoothie which is raspberry puree blended with pina colada mix.  It was delicious!!! The meal was very good also.

Wednesday, December 31 – New Year’s Eve we went to Animal Kingdom and rode Expedition Everest 3x in a row.  It is awesome.  We ate lunch at Yak and Yetti for the first time.  We found it to be very good.

We went back to the resort to rest up for the night’s festivities. 

We headed to Hollywood Studios for their New Year’s Eve party and concert.  MK had already closed 3 different times and all of the parks were at capacity.  We were told to have our resort keys to prove we were resort guests.  We had dinner at Mama Melrose which is another favorite of ours.  We checked out the Osbourne Family Lights which was really neat and they even had snow falling.  It was very festive.

Thursday, January 1 we slept in a bit.  We headed to Epcot for lunch at LeCellier.  The fare didn’t seem as tasty as our last trip in March for some reason.

It was too crowded to do much of anything so we headed back to the resort to play in the pool and hang out.  We went to Artist Point for dinner.  It was delicious as always.

Friday, January 2 we checked out of PO Riverside and moved to Saratoga Springs our home DVC resort.  We would have stayed here the entire time but it was booked.  We took a taxi from PO to Saratoga so that we would not have to wait on our luggage to arrive later.  We arrived at SSR around 8:00 am and were able to upgrade from a 1 bedroom to a 2 bedroom resort which was perfect! Not only that, our room was ready for us to move right in! YAY! Can’t get much better than that.  After settling in at SSR, we went to Downtown Disney to walk around.  We came back to the resort and cleaned up to go to Epcot for dinner at the Coral Reef.  We were anxiously awaiting the parks to clear out some through the weekend so we could actually ride some of the rides.

Saturday, January 3 we decided to head over to Cape May Cafe for breakfast and to work on finding Hidden Mickeys. 

After working on Hidden Mickeys, we headed back to SSR to play in the pool.  It was so nice in the 2 bedroom to have the space and a washer and dryer! I was excited not to have to do a ton of laundry when we headed back home.

For dinner, we did the Clam Bake at Cape May Cafe.  Cameron and Kennady got bucket after bucket of clams and mussels.  Ick!  They loved them.  I was hoping to have some seafood other than the clams and mussels but only found boiled shrimp in the shell and salmon.  I was hoping for some fried shrimp or scallops.  Oh well.

Sunday, January 4 was going to be such a nice hot day, we decided to go to Blizzard Beach.  I found us some seats way off to themselves because I found people to be smoking all over the place.  Kennady has asthma and just cannot breathe around smoke.  What galls me is that people do not even seem to care that it is a non smoking park with smoking only in designated areas.  This family sat down close to us and all of the adults lit up while their little ones toddled around them. 

I spoke to the life guard about them smoking in that area and something was said to them.  We went to ride some slides and came back later to find all of them smoking again and just laughing at us when we walked by.  I think that people who do not obey the rules should be ejected.  I have a right to BREATHE clean air.  I am sick of SMOKING.  I HATE IT.

I had to take Kennady out of the area we had our things because she began coughing.  I just do not understand people.

We had the same problem throughout the parks.  People smoking everywhere.  Why don’t they enforce this?  What is the point in being smoke free if you do not enforce it?

We headed to the resort to clean up and get ready for dinner.  We had our VERY best meal at Wolfgang Puck Cafe` but the service stunk.  It seemed every other area was getting great service except for the 4 tables in our server’s section.  We waited an HOUR for our food after ordering as did the other 3 tables.  But, the tables outside his area had great service.  Their food arrived about 20 minutes after they ordered.  They got refils on their drinks.  The four tables in my area got no attention at all.  I could tell the others were getting very aggravated and two even called for a manager.

I was glad to get out of there.  Even though the food was great, the lack of service really took away from the overall experience.

Monday, January 5 the crowds seemed to be getting better slowly.  We went to Epcot and were able to ride Test Track and Soarin.   We ate lunch at Biergarten which was so-so and definitely not something I would do again.

We had an appointment to finally get to meet our DVC guide Nikki face-to-face.  She called me and said she would send a DVC van to Epcot to bring us to SSR DVC to meet her.  That was awesome!

Nikki is so sweet.  She is the BEST DVC Guide ever! She hooked Cameron up with some DVC Fastpasses for each of us.  I told her we were interested in adding some Beach Club points if possible.  She told me she would go and put me on the wait list.  She came back and said she had some great news…that there were 110 Beach Club points available for our use year right now! I was so excited.  I told her we would take them.  :)   The kids had some ice cream and we headed back to SSR to take a nap and rest up.  Nikki told us the papers would be ready for us to sign first thing the next morning and they would take us to wherever we were headed for the day.

 For dinner we decided to try the Turf Club Bar and Grill at SSR.  The food was ok…nothing to write home about. 

Tuesday, January 6 at 8am we headed to the DVC office to sign our papers but they were not ready.  We waited and waited and waited for the guy to get our papers to us (Nikki had to go to a meeting and was not available)  we told them we needed to go so they took us to Hollywood Studios.  The crowd levels were much better but still crowded. 

We headed straight for Toy Story Mania to get some regular Fast Passes and to use our DVC Fast Passes to ride it immediately.  We LOVED it.  We headed over to Rock N Rollercoaster to use our other 2 DVC Fastpasses so we could ride it 2x in a row.  How awesome is that?

We had lunch at 50′s Prime Time which we love.  They have THE best milkshakes!

After that, we headed back to SSR.  I met up with Nikki to pay our deposit on the Beach Club points.  I was so excited!! She gave us another set of DVC Fast Passes because we had to wait so long that morning and never got to sign the papers.  She is one awesome lady. 

We had dinner scheduled at Chef Mickey’s for dinner at 9:05pm which is a bit late for me.  However, we headed over to the Contemporary early to see if we had a chance of getting seated earlier.  We were in luck and got a table at 7:30pm. 

We went back to our room to get things packed up for our trip home the next day.  It is always sad to have to leave Disney World.  LOL.

Thursday, January 8 we got up at 4:30am to get our things together.  Bell services took our luggage down at 5am and we met our ride to Sanford Airport at 6am.  I hate it that the flight home is so early.  There is only one flight out on Allegiant to home and it is at the crack of dawn!

Much to our chagrin, our coveted vacation was now over.  :(

Now it is time to start plainning our next adventure!

If you want in on the Best Kept Disney Secret, please:

  • Visit dvcfriends.com to view or order a DVD
  • Call (800) 840-3708. (Outside the U.S. or Canada, call (407) 566-3100.)
  • Mention   Anna Belk, Chattanooga, TN   when they contact Disney Vacation Club.
  • Ask for our Wonderful DVC Guide:  Nikki McKinney! Tell her Anna Belk sent you her way.
  • Related Articles:

    Post Footer automatically generated by Add Post Footer Plugin for wordpress.

    Be Sociable, Share!

    Leave a Comment

    Previous post:

    Next post: