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Trip Report **completed**Our not so perfect, but good enough July 2021 trip

Hi, all! It took me much longer to get this started than I wanted, but my computer decided it didn't have room for any more of my photos and I had to get an external hard drive and transfer some in order to start! We've also been a little busy getting everything ready for Logan to leave for Iowa in 2 weeks!

So, if you didn't follow along with my PTR, we were supposed to be on a cruise to celebrate Logan's HS graduation, but instead had to switch gears and decided to spend a few days at WDW.

Now, the specifics:
Who: Me (Amy), my husband Brian, Logan (18), Lily (16), and Owen (13)
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Where: Cabana Bay Beach Resort and Pop Century

When: July 11-20, 2021

Why: as I previously mentioned, this trip was to celebrate Logan's HS graduation. He asked for a cruise, so I do have another one scheduled for next June and we quickly threw together the Disney portion of this trip (so I guess we can call this his preliminary graduation trip!!)


We had some truly magical moments on this trip and some definitively un-magical moments as well! Unfortunately, our first day held one of the most un-magical moments.

We drove from Ohio and always try to leave very early to try to avoid as much traffic as possible. We set an alarm for midnight and our goal was to leave the house between 1 and 1:30 am. We were spot on!
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We made a quick stop at McDonald's for Cokes and were on our way. It was smooth sailing all the way to northern Florida. We even made it through Atlanta with no drama or slow downs!!
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Florida was stop and go the whole way, but we still made decent time and were pulling in to Cabana Bay Beach Resort about 4:00 which was about 1-1.5 hours later than we had anticipated, so not too bad! However, that is official check in time, and the parking area was a mess, as was the lobby!
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Luckily, they had sent me an email that allowed me to check in prior to arrival and that line was fairly short! The regular line was wrapped all the way around the lobby and was said to be 2 hours long! Brian dropped me off and found a parking spot that he probably shouldn't have been in to wait for me and sent Logan in to the lobby to guide me back to the car!

Now for the most un-magical moment of our trip! I had booked a 2 bedroom volcano view suite as a surprise for Logan since it was his celebration trip and I thought it would be cool to see the volcano lit up at night and watch all the activity in the park from our room. I paid way more than I normally would for a room, but felt it was a reasonable splurge. Well, we get to our room which happened to be on the second floor and this was our view:
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Yes, that is the back of a service building and the very tip of the volcano!! I don't understand how they can charge the same amount of money for this view as they can for the higher floor rooms (which I did request)! They need a lower partial or obstructed view charge for the rooms on this floor. I did say something and no one cared at all and basically told me to stuff it! Needless to say, we won't be back there any time soon!
 

TheMouseFan

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
There was some sort of argument going on when we got back and they were still calling for more storms, so Brian and I decided that we would walk back to the lobby and pick up dinner for us and bring it back to the room.

Some pics on the way back to our building:
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Lily got grilled cheese and fruit
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Logan got chicken alfredo
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Brian got a Cuban sandwich and pasta salad
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I got a pizza
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And Owen got a bacon cheeseburger and fries that I apparently neglected to get a picture of. Everyone enjoyed their food except Lily. However, Brian said her sandwich was good, so not sure what she thought was wrong with it!

Then the next un-magical moment happened. Brian was up sick all night long! He's not sure if it was something he ate, just a bug he caught, or he seems to think he is becoming lactose intolerant and it was the ice cream. Not sure, but it made for a long night!! Luckily, he did feel better in the morning!
 

Songbird76

Well-Known Member
Lily ordered the filet with seasonal vegetables.
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Logan ordered the filet with fries.
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Owen and I shared the filet with carrots and smashed potatoes. We also had a side of the pork belly mac and cheese. When I see smashed potatoes, I think of mashed potatoes with the skin left on. That is definitely not what we got. We got cooked potatoes that were "smashed" flat! They were awful, but everything else was delicious!
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Brian ordered the bison burger and fries. He liked it, but decided he will get the filet in the future if we go back!
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We ordered the tableside s'mores for dessert. They were served with regular marshmallows, specialty vanilla and chocolate marshmallows, chocolate bars, peanut butter cups, and graham crackers. There was enough for each person to have one, but they would have brought more out if we had wanted it. They were nothing spectacular, but a fun way to end the dinner!
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I am so sorry about the room view...that's really sly of them! Was the room more expensive than the higher level hotels' standard rooms? We stayed at Royal Pacific in 2019 and it was amazing. We don't spend much time in a hotel room, so I don't splurge for specific views, but I was upset when we went to DLP and I paid for a preferred room that was supposed to keep us closer to all the amenities like restaurants and lobby, etc, and they put us in the very farthest room in the main building, as far away from everything as it was possible to get and still be in the main building, and some of the rooms in separate buildings were even closer to all the stuff than we were, even though I paid more specifically to be closer. I hate it when companies milk their customers with carefully worded scams to get them to pay more. It's so unethical!

I have never even heard of "smashed" potatoes except someone who mistakenly called "mashed" potatoes "smashed" I didn't know that was a thing! They don't look appetizing. The seasonal veg looks really good though! Even the fries don't actually look like fries.
 

Songbird76

Well-Known Member
The rain finally stopped, but we kept hearing thunder and seeing lightning, so they still wouldn't allow anyone in the water. We decided to check out the stores and get some ice cream while we waited.
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Sorry for the blurry ice cream pics, but Logan, Owen, Brian, and I got the Waturi Fusion which is a combination of banana, strawberry, blue raspberry, lime, etc and Lily got chocolate with sprinkles.
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The cabana looks sooooo nice! Can I ask how much it costs to rent one for the day? What all is included in the price? How accessible is it? When we went to Volcano Bay, the only chairs open were uncovered and in a sandy area. I HATE sand. Do you have to walk through sand to get to the cabanas? Being able to close the curtains would be so nice!
 

TheMouseFan

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
I am so sorry about the room view...that's really sly of them! Was the room more expensive than the higher level hotels' standard rooms? We stayed at Royal Pacific in 2019 and it was amazing. We don't spend much time in a hotel room, so I don't splurge for specific views, but I was upset when we went to DLP and I paid for a preferred room that was supposed to keep us closer to all the amenities like restaurants and lobby, etc, and they put us in the very farthest room in the main building, as far away from everything as it was possible to get and still be in the main building, and some of the rooms in separate buildings were even closer to all the stuff than we were, even though I paid more specifically to be closer. I hate it when companies milk their customers with carefully worded scams to get them to pay more. It's so unethical!

I have never even heard of "smashed" potatoes except someone who mistakenly called "mashed" potatoes "smashed" I didn't know that was a thing! They don't look appetizing. The seasonal veg looks really good though! Even the fries don't actually look like fries.
The only 2 bedroom suites are "Volcano" view, so they charge the same price for all of them. There are regular two bed rooms in that tower that are not Volcano view that cost less than the ones with a "view".
 

TheMouseFan

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
The cabana looks sooooo nice! Can I ask how much it costs to rent one for the day? What all is included in the price? How accessible is it? When we went to Volcano Bay, the only chairs open were uncovered and in a sandy area. I HATE sand. Do you have to walk through sand to get to the cabanas? Being able to close the curtains would be so nice!
I got the cabana for $250 this year, but it has always been more in the past. I think I got such a good deal because I called right after they announced the reopening dates of Volcano Bay. They are typically in the $4-600 range. We did not have to walk through the sand to get to ours, but I think you do for some of them. You get the basket of fruit and pastries, bottled water, 6 towels that they will refresh throughout the day, a Tapu Tapu kiosk to use, and a server who will bring you food and drink.
 

DiSnEyF@n

Well-Known Member
I’m so in for your TR. I’m sorry about your un-magical moments. It doesn’t look like it put a damper on your trip though. Your family is beautiful and it looks like you’re all enjoying some “together” time.
The Volcano Bay looks so nice. The waterpark looks intense and it looks like there’s lots to do. I have to say that the last post with the grilled cheese…. When I saw it, I thought- yuck… but maybe the pic didn’t do it justice? Anyway… looking forward to what’s next! 😃
 
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TheMouseFan

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
I’m so in for your TR. I’m sorry about your un-magical moments. It doesn’t look like it put a damper on your trip though. Your family is beautiful and it looks like you’re all enjoying some “together” time.
The Cabana Bay looks so nice. The waterpark looks intense and it looks like there’s lots to do. I have to say that the last post with the grilled cheese…. When I saw it, I thought- yuck… but maybe the pic didn’t do it justice? Anyway… looking forward to what’s next! 😃
Thanks for following! The sandwich definitely tasted better than it looked (and looked better in real life than in the picture!)! She didn't like that it had multiple types of cheese instead of just American. We did have a nice trip despite our un-magical moments!
 

TheMouseFan

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
Tuesday, July 13 Disney Springs

We were able to sleep in a little bit this day as I had been unable to get a Chef Mickey's brunch ADR. In hindsight, it's a good thing I didn't since Brian still wasn't 100%. He definitely felt better, but was exhausted and watched closely what he ate. Brian and I ate some fruit that was left from the cabana and the kids munched on some donuts that were left from the car ride down, then we packed the car up and headed to Pop Century.
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I had already received the text saying our rooms weren't ready, but I still wanted to stop at the front desk to be sure they knew we wanted connecting rooms and to be sure the rooms weren't handicap accessible. She assured me that they were regular connecting rooms and that they would let us know when they were ready. The kids were hungry and wanted to ride the Skyliner, so we headed to CBR since I knew they had a grab and go section open in the food court and Pop did not.
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TheMouseFan

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
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We were on very quickly. Brian was kind of nervous as he doesn't like heights, but ended up being fine with it. Owen was the one who surprised me by being very nervous about every little stop, start, and slow down. He didn't really enjoy it, but admitted it was better than a bus! The rest of us loved it and feel like it is a game changer! I hope they expand the system. I know people were worried about the no air conditioning, but we had a nice breeze each time we rode it. We were at CBR in no time and made our way over to Old Port Royale.
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TheMouseFan

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
This poor guy was stuck under the fence:
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He was gone the next time we walked by, so all ended well!

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It is not a true Disney trip to me until I've had my favorite breakfast of a chocolate croissant and Coke.
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Lily had a chocolate chip muffin and the boys had cinnamon rolls. I think Brian had a banana, but everything was being inhaled by the time I got the camera out!!

In hindsight, I wish I had just forked out the extra money and gotten us rooms at CBR. Not that there was anything wrong with the rooms at Pop Century, but every time we were in the Skyliner, someone commented about how they missed CBR!

After filling our bellies, we headed to the bus stop to go to Disney Springs.
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TheMouseFan

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
Once we arrived, I was on a mission to find Gideon's to join the virtual queue since I had heard such good things about their cookies!
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We found it quickly, but there was only a stand by line at that point. They told us it would be a 35-45 minute wait, but probably not really that long, so we jumped in line. Logan and I stood in line in the sun while Brian, Lily, and Owen found some shade to sit in.
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A "hidden" Mickey on the wall:
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It was well over an hour before we reached this point and I had some not so happy campers on my hands!
 

TheMouseFan

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
We all went in together and placed our order. I got the original chocolate chip, Brian got the key lime pie chocolate chip, Logan got the triple chocolate chip, and Lily and Owen both got the cookies and cream. We also got the peanut butter chip one to share. We did not eat them right away, so the cookie picture was taken later and Lily and Owen did not wait before starting on theirs, so no picture of theirs!
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Here is the triple chocolate, the peanut butter, and either the original or the key lime as they looked exactly the same:
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Owen and Lily loved theirs, but Brian did not like the key lime one at all, and I thought the original chocolate chip was way overrated and only ok. The same with the triple chocolate and the peanut butter. Needless to say, we won't be going back in the future! I'm glad we went, as the inside was really cool to see, but definitely not worth the wait.
 

macefamily

Well-Known Member
A few last pics of the Fearless River:
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Then we exited and Lily and Owen rode a few slides while I waited since I had the camera with me and they wouldn't let me take it on the slide.
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We met up with Brian and Logan and decided it was time for lunch. Logan got pizza, Lily got mac and cheese, and Brian, Owen, and I got hot dogs on pretzel buns with pineapple salsa. We took it back to the cabana to eat, and made it just in time before the sky opened up and the heavens started rumbling! We were very grateful to be in the cabana at that point! We had to close the curtains to keep the wind and rain out.
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Unfortunately, the rain lasted about 2 hours. It started to let up some after about an hour and we were able to open up our curtains.
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Awesome pics of Fearless River. I've never been there, but your pics make me want to get there on our next trip. Some of the effects remind me of the river ride at Atlantis in the Bahamas; not too lazy, more exciting. Unfortunately we were passing through on a cruise and only got to spend about four hours at Atlantis.
 

TheMouseFan

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
Awesome pics of Fearless River. I've never been there, but your pics make me want to get there on our next trip. Some of the effects remind me of the river ride at Atlantis in the Bahamas; not too lazy, more exciting. Unfortunately we were passing through on a cruise and only got to spend about four hours at Atlantis.
Thanks! We are hoping to visit Atlantis next year during our cruise. Glad to hear they have something similar!
 

fizzieee

Well-Known Member
Loved all your photos at Volcano Bay! I've been to Universal a few times since VB opened, but haven't had a chance to visit that park yet. Bummed to hear Gideon's was kind of overrated.... That's not the first time I've heard that opinion recently. Oh well, at least the theming is fun/interesting!
 

TheMouseFan

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
Loved all your photos at Volcano Bay! I've been to Universal a few times since VB opened, but haven't had a chance to visit that park yet. Bummed to hear Gideon's was kind of overrated.... That's not the first time I've heard that opinion recently. Oh well, at least the theming is fun/interesting!
Thanks! You definitely need to go to Volcano Bay. I am not a water park person normally, but absolutely love VB.
 

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