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  1. #1

    • Mkcoastie
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    Our Grand Adventure (WDW, AKL, Beach Club, and more!)

    Hello Micechatters!

    I am now settling back in after a one week WDW extraviganza, and I thought I should share some pics! This trip was a little different for my family. First off, it was our first trip to WDW as DVC members. Second, we had a large group (3 adults and 5 kids!). Then some more craziness got thrown in as the trip was originally supposed to take place the last week of August and had to be rescheduled. I had a great trip planned in August. We had a week at the Animal Kingdom Lodge, reservations for Cinderell'as royal table (eat in the castle, Yaaah!) and a bunch of little extras thrown in for good measure. All was right with the world untill the last week of May. That's when Uncle Sam (my employer) said......no. for those of you who don't know, June-July is tranfer season for the military. I got a call from my new unit and they are getting ready to ship me all over soooooo......we had to reschedule at the last minute for the end of June. A quick call to DVC and we where now going much sooner. Unfortunately, with the last minute change, reservations where harder to come by. So we ended up with 1 night at the Beach Club, 5 nights at Saratoga Springs Resort, and one night at the Animal Kingdom Lodge.

    And with that wer start our trip...........


    Welcome to the Beach Club Resort!

    As I said, this would be our first time staying on DVC points, and so it was our first time seeing the Beach Club Villas.......


    i love the entrance to the Beach club Villas, it's a beautifully themed "lobby", with lost of little hidden touches.







    The shape of this table looks familiar




    As does the shape of the vines in this rug



    This is the fiesty young red-head that DVC has hired to guard the entrance to the Villas.

    As for the room (2 bedroom villa), it was very nice. I still prefer the rooms of Beach Club proper, but the Villas still had some nice touches............



    A map of Cape May graces the wall (for those of you who don't know, Cape May is the location of Coast Guard Boot Camp!)



    Beach bound Mickey and freinds grace the curtins. They are subdued enough that they don't stand out, but they are there

    So the plan was that after our 13 hour drive, we would check in to Beach Club, and spend the entire next day swimming and relaxing at the wonderfull pool (Stormalong Bay). This worked great, but before we could star swimming, we needed breakfast..........



    Breakfast would be at the Beach Clubs maint eatery Cape May Cafe. Goofy, Minnie and Donald joined us in their beach attire.





    after Breakfast we took a breif walk to activate our tickets (tickets purchased on a Military Base must be activated at a ticket booth prior to use, we did not want to do this at park opening the next day). We did this at EPCOT's back gate. The walk from Beach Club to EPCOT is wonderful. It really is a short walk (i would wager to say it's a longer walk from the room to the parking lot in a lot of Hotels). It is also a really quiet gate that is no where near as crowded as the front entrance. I would be hard pressed to tell you if the big advantage to the Beach Club was the pool, or access to this back gate.



    The path to EPCOT



    The back side of France

    Sadly, we would not be using this entrance when we actually went to EPCOT.....but as they say in france......"pooop!"

    In the mean time, it was time to use that great pool that we where here for.....








    The Pirate ship is the water slide.

    Well, I hate to do this (as we haven't even hit the parks yet ) But, I have to post the rest later......see you soon.

  2. #2

    • 1,200 Miles from da Mouse
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    Re: Our Grand Adventure (WDW, AKL, Beach Club, and more!)

    awesome pics so far of the Beach Club...I look forward to more!

    And thank you for serving...I know how hard it can be at times, and thank you...
    The test of success is not what you do when you are on top. Success is how high you bounce when you hit bottom.
    -George S. Patton


  3. #3

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    Re: Our Grand Adventure (WDW, AKL, Beach Club, and more!)

    Great pictures! And I know how the military reschedules things, my wedding had to be planned for after my dad's deployment to Afghanistan and before my family moved to South Korea. Can't wait for the rest of the trip report!
    WDW Cast Member August 2009 - November 2011

  4. #4

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    Re: Our Grand Adventure (WDW, AKL, Beach Club, and more!)

    Thank you and God Bless You & Your Family for your service. Very nice report & photos. Looking forward to see the rest of your vacation photos.

  5. #5

    • Mkcoastie
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    Exclamation Re: Our Grand Adventure (WDW, AKL, Beach Club, and more!) !UPDATE!

    O.k., I'm Back.....now where was I? Oh yes, we were enjoying some pool time at the Beach Club Resort. So, unfortunately, due to availability, we only had one night at the Beach Club. What that meant was that, at some point, we needed to head over to the Saratoga Springs Resort. I learned something new this trip that made this resort switch much less painful. Apparently you can just call bell services and tell them you are doing a resort transfer. They come up and pick up your bags, and then take them to your next resort......and it's free! So with that in mind, we kept only a backpack with a change of clothes and swam until just after lunch. Then it was off to the Saratoga Springs Resort..............



    Now, I'm going to be honest, this was NOT my first (or second or third) choice for Disney Resorts to stay in.......but, it's what was available. I'm not very fond of the theme (never really had any interest in horse racing or Spa's). With that being said, however, it is a very nice resort (just a little more spread out than I'd like).





    This is the Main feature pool, and includes the "springs" up on top of those rocks.



    The water play area at the main Pool



    and one more of the pool (not to blow up the order of the pictures, but these where actually taken early one morning around sunrise....so just pretend they of an incredibly quiet sunset)
    so after getting settled in, we hopped in the car for a trip over to the boardwalk for dinner at Kouzzina (by celebrity Chef Cat Cora).



    the boardwalk lobby (I had to peek in)



    Dinner was wonderful! (this is my wifeís favorite) and the kids really enjoyed dessert.......





    Sorry for the horrible quality of the pics


    and with a good dinner under our belts, it's time for bed we have a busy day tomorrow which was..............


    !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!EPCOT!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Approaching EPCOT you see these banners



    While I'm never really fond of the advertising campaign banners, I must admit that it is nice to see they are at least themed to the park. For those of you who remember the multiple year "Year of a million dreams," those banners made no attempt to fit into any of their surroundings.

    And now, This....our Spaceship Earth



    (I hate those pillars)


    We arrived at park opening and I took my party straight to Spaceship Earth. This is not the best choice crowd-flow wise (other rides build long lines much more quickly), but for 4 of my 8, it was their first time to WDW (or any Disney park) and I thought that Spaceship Earth was a great intro to EPCOT.






    i use this as a desktop background


    after that it was off to the Sea's. This was special because I had signed up my wife and sister in law for the Sea's Aquatour and everyone wanted to see the aquarium that they would be swimming in.










    We also talked to Crush (Turtle Talk). We have been really lucky with this show every time, as Crush has always talked to at least one member in our party. This time was no exception and he delighted my 9 year old niece.





    After the Seas, We headed over to the Land for a quick service lunch (one of the best in the parks, in my opinion). Then we split up. My wife and Sister-in-law head outside of the park (where the Aquasea Tour meets), while I took five kids to see more of EPCOT.

    So, having gotten fast passes to Soar'n right after Spaceship Earth, It was now time to ride!



    Thatís a lot of kids! (once again very blurry....sorry
    )

    Then it was off to the Imagination pavillion







    Despite my frustration with the currecnt ride, the Kids loved it. Afterwards we spent some time playing at imageworks.





    They way this works is that if you stand on a square when it lights up, an instrument starts to play. In the past each of these squares had a picture of the instrument that would play. Those where missing this time. That makes it a little more confusing. The kids still had a ball, but I was saddened to see this missing. Overall this area needs a refresh. Poor Figment, he deserves better.

    As we left Figments house we got our first of many rainstorms (a tropical storm was brewing). This meant ice cream in the rain.........



    You will note that we are standing under the monorail beam for cover. The kids where not thrilled with getting all wet, soooooo...........



    It's pancho time!

    With test Track closed (and mission space's line a bit too long for me and five kids) I decided to bring my crew to Mexico for a tour by Donald......



    Then it was off to Norway before we met back up with the "moms"fresh off the Aqua Seas Tour..............



    They LOVED it and it was the highlight of my wifes trip. She highly recommends it!

    We then had time to head over to the "Brave" highland games before dinner........







    I have to say that the Kids really enjoyed this and the playground (a leftover from the flower and garden festival) was quite popular. And now it was dinner time so off to france............

    "We French know that the best food in the world is served in France. The best food in France is served in Paris. And the best food in Paris, some say, is served at....."



    Okay, so it's not Gusteau's, but that didn't stop Remmy from making an apperance






    I got a couple more shots of World Showcase as we took the boat back







    Yup......they are still here.

    It was time to say goodnight to EPCOT...........tomorrow we go see a Kingdom of Animals


    more to come soon...............................



  6. #6

    • Indiana Scott
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    Re: Our Grand Adventure (WDW, AKL, Beach Club, and more!)

    Looking forward to more!

  7. #7

    • Mkcoastie
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    Exclamation Re: Our Grand Adventure (WDW, AKL, Beach Club, and more!)

    Hello! quick update this time.


    So, on to Animal Kingdom



    As I said before, at least these are themed to each park.



    a sad reminder that there should be dragons here



    I give you, The Tree of Life!
    As you can see, the clouds are approaching, despite this it still managed to achieve the average temperature in Animal Kingdom (that being 10000000000000000000 degrees).

    Our first stop is Africa.............





    I always marvel at the detail put into the theme of this area. beautiful.







    This cast Member (she was at posted at the kilamanjaro safari's Fastpass) was being extreamly friendly and interactive. I love seeing cast members like this.

    Lot's of luck on the safari this morning.........











    Although you cant really tell in this pic, it has been pointed out that the Island is a hidden Mickey



    Pumba?

    on the way over to Asia, we found what we have taken to calling a 'tree spirit" performer.









    on to Asia, the Yeti calls (it's Disco Time )



    You can get some great shots on the path from Africa to Asia



    oooooo......panoramic!





    This was pretty cool.





    The Asia section is just as beautifully themed as africa.


    Now this is usually the point in the trip Report that i start to climb up on my soapbox and complain angrily about Dinoland USA. This is usually accompanied by glaringly ugly photos. I will refrain from this today, and leave it only with a small thought.

    The quick service eatery RestaurantAsaurus is a perfect example of what a missed opportunity this land overall was. This restaurant is very whimsically and wonderfully themed. You can almost imagine the motley band of ragtag paleontologists that make this place home. With little items and displays set up in almost a paleontologist "lodge" style. It combines a true "dino" experience with just enough light heartedness to keep it from being too scary for the little ones. If only this same theme could have been extended out into the god awful Chester and Hester’s...........well, if only.


    and finally, after many trips where we just didn't make it, we got to see Finding Nemo the Musical!



    O.K., see you later............Next Stop, Magic Kingdom
    Last edited by mkcoastie; 07-06-2012 at 05:12 AM. Reason: missed a picture

  8. #8

    • formerly very helpful
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    Re: Our Grand Adventure (WDW, AKL, Beach Club, and more!)

    A great trip report. And thank you for my freedom.

  9. #9

    • MiceChat Round-Up Crew
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    Re: Our Grand Adventure (WDW, AKL, Beach Club, and more!)

    Great report
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  10. #10

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    Re: Our Grand Adventure (WDW, AKL, Beach Club, and more!)

    <3 the report and all the pics. Thank you for your service.

  11. #11

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    Re: Our Grand Adventure (WDW, AKL, Beach Club, and more!)

    Great trip report. Love the pics!
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  12. #12

    • Mkcoastie
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    Exclamation Re: Our Grand Adventure (WDW, AKL, Beach Club, and more!)

    I'm back and................It's Magic Kingdom Day!!!!!!!!!




    Sadly the Skrims where still up when we went







    So our first stop is adventureland, for morning ride on jungle cruise





    The eighth wonder of the world



    "awwwe, look, Those lions are babysitting that sleeping Zebra.........he looks dead tired"

    Then my wife led the kids in some Tiki running fun........







    So then, after a trip on pirates of the Caribbean to get us in the mood, it was time for the pirates League!.

    This is basically a supped up pirate version of bipity bopity boutique. The area is really nicely themed and the "pirates" who do it are awesome. You have some choices: a selection of general pirates, Jake (From the Disney Jr. show Jake and the Neverland Pirates, this is a new one), Pirate Princess, and Mermaid. Well, since we had lots of girls, we ended up with a lot of mermaids. The whole experience is really fun. After starting out by using a ships wheel contraption to choose your ne pirate name (the ships wheel turns a treasure chest filled with special pirate dice). You are taken to the pirates that will transform you. Here are some mermaids from my party:







    In addition to the makeup, mermaids also get a color changing flower (show here), A mermaid necklace, and a sash.

    next up my two boy got the "jake" treatment:



    The Jake package comes with the Jake hair and bandana, a "pirate gold" necklace and a sword and sash

    Finally, my wife got the pirate princess package:



    This one comes with a bandana, eye patch, sword and sash, and a necklace.

    some pictures of the room











    After the transformations, you say an oath and are taken over to a corner. There a sercet door is revealed and you go into the "treasure" room. the treasure is the necklace that is hidden is hidden behind some false books on a shelf. The room is actually a nicely themed photo studio. after having your picture taken you are now free to pillage and plunder.

    now it's off to the rest of the magic kingdom



    Weeeeee







    Mirida Was greeting folks at her new home where Repunzel had been

    and finally a ride on the new Barnstormer before we head over to the Poly for a swim and some fireworks







    I'll see you all later....................................

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