And Now For Something Completely Different...TR March 17-24

MouseDreaming

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Original Poster
Hello there! Well, I certainly have been putting off this report. I figure, it's time to get to it! First, the cast and crew

Another lovely family trip for Mr Dreaming, DS Aaron (12) and DD Anna (7), and myself.

This was our fourth trip as a family, and third time for our Spring Break. However, this trip was to be a little different. If you want to catch up, check out And Now for Something Completely Different, the PTR. And if you don't, don't worry, I'll hit the highlights!

This is the trip that wasn't supposed to happen, until Mr. Dreaming was invited to view Hilton's Grand Vacation property, giving us an excellent rate at a Hilton hotel. Even he couldn't pass it up! We have never stayed off property before, never done a timeshare tour...Let's just say we were curious how it would all go. And, of course, just happy to be going!

Thursday March 17th

Wow, could hardly believe it was already here. The kids only found out about this trip a few weekends before, but DH and I had been working on this since last June! Everyone was packed and ready to go. And of course wearing green. DS makes sure we are all wearing green for St Patrick's Day. If you aren't, you are going to get pinched.

This was one of the easiest flights we have EVER had! The sky was blue, and no delays. The forecast for FL was supposed to be great! This is the first time we ever landed on time! And I was able to get a non stop flight. Already feeling a little spoiled.



We were all very happy to be headed to our happy place!
 

MouseDreaming

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Original Poster
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What a Trip!

So, here we are, getting on a very packed plane headed to our Happy Place. As an interesting side note, I couldn't help but notice the nice collection of little vodka bottles on the tray of the woman sitting next to my DH. She then had a long conversation across the aisle with her friend, who was sitting behind the kids and me. It was very interesting. So, yes, when we landed and were leaving the plane, I was the one telling my DS this. No, it isn't normal to be drunk all the time, no it is not good to experiment with drugs, and no despite what you heard that woman say, it is not normal! My DH told me he had an interesting trip sitting next to the midwest equivolant of Snooki, and she managed to down 5 little bottles of vodka during our 2 1/2 hour trip. Whew. Got the luggage, no problems. On to the cab stand!

This was our first time being off property for any part of our trip, so no DME for us. It was a cab to DTD Hilton. The trip went smoothly, and we arrived before sunset. The lobby is very nice. They gave us a room on the tenth floor. With the lobby looking all nice and shiny, we were a little surprised when we walked into our room that looked like it hadn't been updated in a while. Full size beds. Try sharing that with a 12 yr old who is taller than you, and becomes a black belt karate master in his sleep. The view however, was wonderful







As I was taking pictures--and the kids and I were getting pretty excited that you could see SE from our window, DH discovered the safe didn't work. Which is a pain, because that is usually the home for all electronic devices that go PING when we are here. The kids wanted to check out the pool, I figured it would be nice to head over to DTD for dinner.

The DTD Hilton has two pools. However, the fancy one with the gazebo on it, was closed. The other pool was a zoo. No swimming tonight, off to DTD!
 

MouseDreaming

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Original Poster
A Long Bus...

After checking out the pool, we went over to the bus stop. There was one family sitting waiting for the bus...for over 40 minutes! Luckily for us, about 10 min later, the bus to DTD showed up!

We figured it would be a rather short ride. WRONG! Hilton is the first stop of many (I didn't count). So, despite the fact that it is across the street, so to speak, the ride to DTD took a good 20 minutes. And the bus stop is an unmarked shelter off to the side in the lot.

Wow, it was crowded that night! But we were so excited to be there. By now we were so hungry, but we decided to visit our real "home" at Disney--Port Orleans French Quarter. We took the boat over, and the moon was beautiful that night. The air was so warm, we didn't even need jackets.

The kids were pretty excited about going to POFQ. And so were we. I couldn't wait to see how the refurb was coming along. And I wanted a preview, since we were checking in there on Sunday.





When we got to Sassagoula Float Works, we were looking all over for the taco salads. Unfortunately, they are off the menu, now. So, I went with the cheese steak sandwich. I used to love them, but it was slightly on the nasty side. The roll tasted like it had been sitting out for a while. I bit into something hard, and thought I cracked a tooth. Thank goodness, I didn't. That wouldn't be such a great way to start vacation! Every one of the Dreaming family noticed the dip in quality. So sad.

After dinner, we had a little debate over going on to MK. They had changed the hours, and it would be open until 1 AM. I nixed it, though. It had been a long traveling day, who knew how long the bus ride back to the hotel would take, and we had to be up early in the morning for our time share presentation. (By the way, hubby had already tried to cancel this when we checked in.) We had to leave the hotel by 9:30 AM the next morning, and we were working on a one hour time difference. So, off to explore DTD a bit more.

The kids really wanted to go to the World of Disney.


Both got some new pins. This is the first trip with lanyards and pins, and they had already picked out which ones were traders. Well, we ended up here longer than we expected, and decided to head to the bus stop (I think it's over this way?) After a 15 min. wait, we were headed back to DTD Hilton for the night.

The bus wait was nothing compared to waiting for a roll away bed. We got back and asked about it by 10PM. It didn't show up until midnight after multiple calls. DH described the blanket on it as "less than prison quality". It was very thin. But, we all just wanted to get to sleep at that point, so we could get the next morning over with, and get on with our vacation.
 

MouseDreaming

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Original Poster
March 18th

Good morning, SE! And now to hurry to get through the unpleasantness, so we could get on with the good stuff! I won't bore you to tears with the time share tour. Let's just say it ate up some valuable time, and was not nearly the high pressured affair we thought it would be. Most importantly, it got us to go on the trip in the first place. Killed the morning, though, so we were in a hurry to get back, and get going to...Magic Kingdom!

Another blue sky lovely perfect day! This was the first time we had a bus drop us at TTC, so we had to decide... monorail or boat? Monorail it was. I have to say, going this way just didn't seem as "dramatic" to me.

We had to make a quick stop at City Hall for our pins. Since my birthday was only a week away, I decided to get my birthday pin. I am extremely proud of both my kids for their great school work, so both wore pins that they were celebrating straight A's. And the CM felt bad for DH, and didn't want him to be left out. So, he got a pin celebrating not being at work!

First ride, Haunted Mansion! A Dreaming Family favorite!



We were hoping the new part of the line would be open...and it was! DH thought we were crazy though. "You want to make the wait longer?" "Um...Yeah." But, as a bonus, we didn't have to do the ride with the screaming cheerleaders behind us.

The new interactive parts were very cool!













In the back of that last picture, you can see some of the Imagineers were out that day, seeing how everything was working together with the crowd. Kind of neat to see.

Lunch was at Pecos Bill. Love the fixin's bar, there. Now that lunch was done, off to the Jungle Cruise. Had a great Skipper that made us all giggle.

Headed over to Tomorrowland. This is the first time we ever got stuck on The Carousel of Progress. We didn't know if we'd make it out, or if we would be stuck "in time". Escaped, and went to the Peoplemover, another family favorite. Not a favorite--that dance party going on. Mostly, I felt bad for Stitch (who I never feel bad for). Had to have been very hot to be jumping up and down with all that "fur" on. Did manage to get a good sneak peek of the new FLA.



The rest of the day was terrific, however since it was EMH at Epcot, we decided to hop on over.
 

MouseDreaming

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Original Poster
Epcot EMH

Before we went on this trip, both my kids said one of the disappointing things about last year's trip was, we didn't stay all the way until midnight for EMH at Epcot. Well, last year, we were leaving the next day. But this year, it was in the early part of the trip. We didn't have anything we needed to be up for at a certain time, so, why not?

First off, I love Epcot at night. And my main complaint about our last trip was we didn't spend enough time there. As a matter of fact, I don't think we were there even once in the evening. Everything looks so beautiful lit up at night, and the sidewalk lights are pretty cool, too.

Just for kicks, we checked out wait time for Soarin'. Yeah...not happening, tonight. But we did do Living Seas with Nemo. I love walking through the line area for that one. Although, sometimes I think it takes longer for us to walk through that (yep, no wait), than the actual ride.

Afterwards, I managed to talk everyone into Turtle Talk. There was a very playful ray in one of the tanks by the door. And the kids discovered the computers with quizzes...that you can play in other languages. They did the quiz in English, and then went through the other languages. That occupied them for a while. And then the doors opened.

I figured DD and DS would want to sit on the floor. Nope. They really didn't want a microphone shoved in their faces.

Now, here is a surprising development, that kinda goes along with fear of microphones. My kids have always preferred not to deal with characters. This is true not only of Disney characters, but any and all of them. Seriously, I've never even gotten a picture of them with Santa. So, it was a little shocking when my DD suddenly decides she HAS to see Mickey! So, off to the character spot.



What was even more shocking was her brother also wanted to meet The Mouse!



So, how does one top that? Why by accepting a mission to Mars, of course. Off to Mission Space, where my family of scaredy cats are more than happy to ride the green version. I always find Gary Sinise's Midwest accent to be oddly soothing...

Anyway, after that, we wandered around a bit, and enjoyed some of the flowers and topiaries from the Flower and Garden show. Then back to DTD Hilton.

First, let me say, the Cast Member who directed us to the wrong spot, didn't need to holler and act PO'ed that we went where he directed us. Once we figured out that our pickup involved crossing into the lot, well, that was not a happy moment, either. But we took the bus back and started a new adventure...
 

MouseDreaming

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Original Poster
Quest For the Blanket

You may remember that we had to get a roll away bed on our first night. And you might remember the terribly thin quality of said blanket. Which brings us to...The Quest.

Mr. Dreaming, who was stuck with the roll away that night, decided he needed a better blanket, and called the front desk when we got back to the Hotel. Now, we ended up not staying until the very end of EMH at Epcot that night, but it was around 11:30, and had been a long day. Remember, this day started with our "tour". So, we were all ready to go to bed. By midnight, still no blanket. By 12:30, we just all wanted to get to sleep, but Mr. Dreaming figured that if we turned out the lights, right after we drifted off, there would be a knock at the door, and someone with our blanket. So, off he went to the front desk.

Someone was finally able to wait on him when he started to raise a well timed stink. (Other people were just arriving). The person at the desk didn't want to give him the blanket at first. You see, at DTD Hilton, the only way they communicate with the person (yes, I said person for 800+ room hotel) was by computer, and there was no guarantee that it would be checked before the blanket delivery. Well, one tired and grumpy tirade later, and DH returned with 2 blankets, and passes for the complimentary Continental Breakfast for the last two days we would be there. So, now we are all settled in and lights out at 1AM.

1:30, knock on the door. The guy with the blanket. Seriously, one person to deal with all this (if we had just waited, it would have taken about 2 hours to deliver it) and he doesn't even carry a walkie talkie or cell of some sort that the desk can reach him on? We are really missing our Disney home, right about now.
 

fractal

Premium Member
Geesh! What a hassle for a blanket.

Thanks for the HM queue pics - looking forward to going through that.
 

oommggitskait

Active Member
Ugh. All that mess for a blanket! I bet though it will be one of those things that your family looks back on and gets a good chuckle!
Can't wait for more!
 

tiaragirl

Well-Known Member
Well, the Dreaming family will at least be warm for the remainder of their stay at the Hilton.. with the three extra blankets! While I am a child of the technology age, I mostly have little patience for people who refuse to do anything that involves human contact. ALSO, OBIVOUSLY you're asleep two hours after you make a call for a blanket.. no need to deliver at 130AM.

That being said, solid TR! Your kids look alike, I'm sure they loveee hearing that ;) ahahha
 

GOT2SAMMIES

Member
I have to agree with you..I have stayed in DTD many times (Grovsnorx2,Best Western) and then we FINALLY stayed on property last Nov.. Disney transportation is SOOO much better than DTD hotel transportation! I really liked being dropped off right in front of MK instead of getting dropped off in parking lot (REMEMBER THE SPOT#) and then having to take the monorail/boat over.
Looks like you guys had a great time!
 

MouseDreaming

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
Geesh! What a hassle for a blanket.

Thanks for the HM queue pics - looking forward to going through that.
I know, right?
You're welcome for the pictures. It was my pleasure to take them. Mr. Dreaming thought I was going to blow the whole memory stick on Haunted Manision pictures. Hope you enjoy it while you are there!
 

MouseDreaming

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
Ugh. All that mess for a blanket! I bet though it will be one of those things that your family looks back on and gets a good chuckle!
Can't wait for more!
I'm sure eventually we will, but mostly, I feel bad for the guy that may still be running around there in the wee hours of the morning, only to upset people who were already asleep, after they already got whatever it was they needed.
 

MouseDreaming

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
Well, the Dreaming family will at least be warm for the remainder of their stay at the Hilton.. with the three extra blankets! While I am a child of the technology age, I mostly have little patience for people who refuse to do anything that involves human contact. ALSO, OBIVOUSLY you're asleep two hours after you make a call for a blanket.. no need to deliver at 130AM.

That being said, solid TR! Your kids look alike, I'm sure they loveee hearing that ahahha
Thank you! Yes, nice and toasty with the extra blankets! I don't think anyone has ever told them that. They are mostly told how they look like various Aunts and Uncles. But, yes, you can tell they are brother and sister.

I have to agree with you..I have stayed in DTD many times (Grovsnorx2,Best Western) and then we FINALLY stayed on property last Nov.. Disney transportation is SOOO much better than DTD hotel transportation! I really liked being dropped off right in front of MK instead of getting dropped off in parking lot (REMEMBER THE SPOT#) and then having to take the monorail/boat over.
Looks like you guys had a great time!
Sometimes, you don't know how good you've got it, until you try something else. Well, we tried it...
 

HollyBelle

Well-Known Member
Great report! We were there the 16th-20th... based on your report our paths haven't crossed yet, but maybe on the 19th?!
 

MouseDreaming

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Original Poster
Great report! We were there the 16th-20th... based on your report our paths haven't crossed yet, but maybe on the 19th?!
Hi HollyBelle! Technically, our paths didn't cross, but I did look towards the Poly, and thought lots of happy thoughts your way when we passed on your wedding day. It really was a gorgeous day!
 

MouseDreaming

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
Sat. March 19



Another blue sky, beautiful day. We got up, and sent DH and DS to scope out the continental breakfast. First frustration, because they couldn't find it. They were told it was on the 9th floor, but not where on the 9th floor. After wandering for a while, they found it. Actually, it was hard to miss. It was the door with people spilling into the hall. You couldn't get in to get food, and if you did, there was no place to sit and eat it. So after more than a few people complained about it, DH was given vouchers to eat breakfast in the restaurant downstairs. It was nice. There was a small charge to be able to include the hot foods also. Everyone but me did. I didn't think it was really worth it.

Since it was our last day at DTD Hilton, we promised the kids, especially DD that we would go swimming. This is a very odd thing for us to do, to just hang out at the pool for a whole morning. Usually, I am very much on the go at WDW, because, I know I won't be back again for awhile. And there is so much to fit in! But, this trip, I wanted to make sure that I slowed things down a bit, so at the end, maybe we would feel like we had a vacation, and not we endured another one of Mom's grueling Disney-thons.

We all had a great time hanging out by the pool. The two pools were both open. They had inflatables to rent, so the kids had a blast with that. And, even though I didn't get anywhere near it, there was a neat looking hot tub that Mr. Dreaming and DS gave a thumbs up.

I couldn't handle it anymore. We were all rested, and ready to head out. Next stop Disney Hollywood Studios!



Yeah, we could have skipped it. Normally, this is DS most favorite, being the Star Wars crazed fan that he is. Seriously, he is ready to teach a college level History of the Galaxy class. But, Star Tours was closed, of course. DD promised me that this trip, she would go and see Beauty and the Beast with me this year, as we always seem to miss it. Not meant to be. Even Little Mermaid didn't have another open showing for 4 hours. TSM was "only" an 80 minute wait, but we didn't want to just wait in line. Basically, with Star Tours shut down, and not being into the thrill rides at this park, we learned that we find it quite boring, here. But we wandered around a bit, then gave in to the call of Magic Kingdom.

We were starving for dinner by the time we got over there, so first stop was Columbia Harbour House.



DH and DS had Light house Sandwiches. DD had chicken nuggets, and I got the chicken strips, figuring, if the few nuggets weren't enough for her, she could share with me. As always, the food here is absolutely yummy!

Earlier in the day, My DH had spoken to his mom (you will all be happy to know, Princess Jasmine, our little morkie girl, was just fine), and she had mentioned that if it was a clear night (he couldn't help but laugh), we might be able to see the moon, which was in it's closest orbit to the Earth in 28 yrs, and it would be that long before it was this close, again. It really was beautiful, and breath taking.



My amature pictures do not even begin to do it justice.

A lot of walking, riding Haunted Mansion and PotC later, we were on the bus (well, really, the monorail to TTC, to the bus) back to DTD Hilton for our last night there. We were really excited about moving to POFQ first thing in the morning, but DH and I were having trouble with the logistics of it. So, off to bed.
 

MouseDreaming

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Original Poster
Sunday, March 20th Moving Day!

Get up, get going, because it's moving day! We were so happy to be checking out of here and taking the "long" taxi ride to our new home--well, really our old home--Port Orleans French Quarter. Couldn't get going fast enough!

So, everything packed, and into the cab, and "here we goooooooo!!!!"
I was really hoping for a refurbished room. Not only because it would be cool to have one of theses fresh beauties, but also because, as you may recall, we have a rather large 12 year old. At one point in the planning of this trip, we had toyed with the idea of staying at Coronado Springs. While it looks very nice, and I know there are plenty of people who love it, we have been spoiled by the small size of POFQ, and we like to eat at the food court, never on the dining plan. So, we had a hard time with the extra little tax they throw at you at Pepper Market. (Yes, I know you can get around it.) However, CS had something the others did not. Namely queen size beds. Of course, when we heard about the refurb at POFQ, and that they were replacing the old beds with queen size ones, well, that just sealed the deal for us.

I hadn't bothered callilng ahead, because most of the buildings were done, one was under way, and I thought that was finishing up, and the last unrefurb'ed rooms were off line. Not the case. The first room they gave us at checkin was not a refurbed room. I bring my son next to me and ask the very nice and lovely CM, could we please get one that has been redone :)?
We wouldn't mind waiting, if we had to. She spoke to a manager, and then we were off to our very new (these rooms had just come back up the previous week) room with the number that is very hard to forget...1234. Seriously. No joke. It was a great spot. My other requirement being not overlooking a parking lot. And it wasn't. Here's the view:




The room was all ready. Dropped off all the stuff. Ooh'ed and Aaah'ed over the new digs. Now that that was all taken care of, off for today's adventure--Magic Kingdom.
 
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