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  1. #1

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    "Just Back from Vacation" Observations by Barbaraann

    I just returned from my 7 night vacation to Florida. I am planning on doing a trip report, which will include some of the 1,669 photos that I took. I spent 3 days at the Magic Kingdom. One day at Epcot, and one day at Islands of Adventure at Universal. My last day was spent visiting the Atlantic Ocean and walking on the Beach.

    I traveled to Florida with my friend Annette, who was excited to see Magic Kingdom, which she calls "Disney". Last time she was at "Disney", she felt she was unable to enjoy herself fully because of the limitations of her handicapped children. So we planned a trip for the two of us. I provided the room, with timeshare points at Wyndham, and she provided the rental car. We both paid all of the other expenses respectively. We also planned to spend time at Universal Orlando, and spend one day at the Beach.

    I live in Chicago, and it's only about a 2 hour flight. Our travels to the airport went quite smoothly. The actual flight was quite pleasant. We spent a little bit longer than we liked at the car rental, due to problems with the car's keys and the Cube Car that they wanted to give Annette that she refused to drive. Once Annette finally felt comfortable with the car that she was about to drive, we left the car rental and started driving for our hotel.

    We stayed at the Wyndham Bonnet Creek Resort, which is very close to Caribbean Beach, Pop Century, and the Walt Disney World Entrance Sign itself. Throughout our entire trip Annette had trouble finding her way around. We got lost numerous times. Not sure if that was her problem, or the problem of the signs that are provided throughout Disney World. We especially had trouble finding the Bonnet Creek Sign. We soon abandoned the car, and took the Hotel Shuttle. Parking per day at the themeparks is $14 a day. Our shuttle cost was only $10. for the two of us.

    Wyndham Creek is a very nice resort, but I will never stay there again, due to the numerous times that we got lost. The Shuttle will never get you to the Themepark for Park Opening either. I have decided a return trip to Disney World, will include a stay in a Disney Hotel for sure. I would definitely rather let Disney do the driving. From the airport, and to the themeparks.

    Magic Kingdom is my favorite of the 4 WDW parks, and as you can see, I spent three days there. I enjoyed myself a lot. However, I did learn that I am better off traveling alone, rather than with others. My age has slowed me down, and I was always left behind by both Annette, and my grandson who joined us on our first day there. My grandson was in Florida with his mom who had personal business to attend to at the same time we were there. Some things at Magic Kingdom never change. You do need to get there early at park opening. Learn how to use the Fastpass System, and keep using it throughout the day in order to ride all the rides you want to ride. Reservations for meals are almost a necessity, otherwise food choices are limited. Crowds are always present. I wonder if Magic Kingdom is ever not crowded. It is also a fun option to get out of the Magic Kingdom during the afternoon and have lunch in one of the Monorail Hotels. I did that at the Grand Floridian one day and that was so relaxing.

    I have mixed feelings about the New Fantasyland. I will wait until it is totally complete before I pass final judgement. I did get to ride all the rides that I wanted to ride throughout the park, at some time during my three days at Magic Kingdom. Some of those I rode multiple times. I missed riding the Tea Cups, which were not operating. I especially enjoyed Small World. Dumbo is twice terrific, now that there are two, and only if you are smart enough to do it first thing in the morning. Best route is the Train to Fantasyland.

    I did like the fastpass choice for the Princess Meet & Greet, and the Mickey Meet & Greet. I felt that the castmembers throughout all of Disney World were very pleasant and helpful. When I travel alone, I always come home with a lot of photos of me in various places. It just does not seem to happen when I have other people with me.

    Epcot was great. Just as I remembered. Our trip coincided with the Flower and Garden Festival. We got rained on that day, but we just waited until it stopped, and then we continued on. We took a lot of pictures of the topiaries, but should have taken more pictures of each other. We rode plenty of rides in Future World, and Annette was smiling all the time as she saw World Showcase for the first time. It was her first time ever in Epcot. I always have fun in Epcot, and this time was no exception.

    The monorail is still a joy to ride. The Ferry ride to Magic Kingdom is still a glorious way to see the Magic Kingdom for the first time. The TTC Monorail was not operating on the one day of our trip at all.

    My feet gave out each day earlier than I wanted, and so I never saw either Wishes or Illuminations. I did stay for the Electrical Parade, and that did not disappoint. I am disappointed that I don't have any night Castle Pictures on my camera, but that is due in part to a family emergency, which caused me to have to leave the Magic Kingdom on the last day I was there.

    So to summarize. I had a great time. My motto for vacation is this:. If I don't have fun on vacation, then it's my own fault. I did have fun. Was it perfect? No. Will I go back? Almost definitely. However, I want my next vacation to be different. I will most definitely go alone, stay in a Disney Hotel, splurge on Photopass, stay as long as I can afford, and grin and bear it through the Orlando Airport.

    Any questions, for me?

  2. #2

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    Re: "Just Back from Vacation" Observations by Barbaraann

    Did you take a balloon ride? Looking forward to seeing your pics.

  3. #3

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    Re: "Just Back from Vacation" Observations by Barbaraann

    Quote Originally Posted by redrhino54 View Post
    Did you take a balloon ride? Looking forward to seeing your pics.
    Never got our balloon ride, I wish we had. We kept getting lost, and never found our way to Downtown Disney, despite the fact that we were actually staying very close to that area. We did see the balloon quite a number of times on our last day, when we were headed off to the Beach.

  4. #4

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    Re: "Just Back from Vacation" Observations by Barbaraann

    One more thing. I plan on a totally different report for my day at Islands of Adventure. I can probably share all of my WWOHP pictures. They turned out pretty good.

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    Re: "Just Back from Vacation" Observations by Barbaraann

    Sounds like you had a magical visit.

  6. #6

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    Re: "Just Back from Vacation" Observations by Barbaraann

    Quote Originally Posted by tofubeast View Post
    Sounds like you had a magical visit.
    Yes, I did, and once Fantasyland is entirely finished, I am hoping to save enough money to return by myself.

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    Re: "Just Back from Vacation" Observations by Barbaraann

    Quote Originally Posted by Barbaraann View Post
    One more thing. I plan on a totally different report for my day at Islands of Adventure. I can probably share all of my WWOHP pictures. They turned out pretty good.
    Share please!
    For the love of Disney....

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    Re: "Just Back from Vacation" Observations by Barbaraann

    Thanks for the write-up! Our impromptu July 3rd (7/3 - 7/7) trip will be based at the Wyndham Bonnet Creek property.

    First time staying off-property.

    Having been in DVC points villas for the past four years, we're very interested to see what you can get for your money if you book outside. How will the staff be? We've dined in the Disney Resort properties on several occasions over the years and the wait staff are generally fantastic. The front desk and room service folks are consistently five-diamond + happiness.

    I also worked in Fairmont Hotels and Four Seasons properties in my somewhat distant past, so I have to weigh my nearly flawless Disney experiences and personal hospitality knowledge against this upcoming visit and ask... what will Wyndham be like? It isn't fair, but they have a high set of benchmarks to live up to!

    BOTTOM LINE:

    Booking through Vacation Strategy (via VRBO) we got $716 for four nights, taxes and booking fees inclusive for a 2-bedroom condo that has:


    • King Bed Master Suite
    • 2) Queen Bed (2nd Bedroom)
    • Full Pull-Out Sofa in LR
    • Washer/Dryer (essential for travel with kids / packing lighter)
    • Full Kitchen


    What we know going in is that we won't get the fairly remarkable complimentary bus or Monorail service that comes with Disney Resort stays. Now that we're AP, we'll be able to take advantage of free parking, so that basically eliminates that (valuable, as far as we'd been concerned) perk.

    If Wyndham Bonnet Creek really delivers in a big way, I'll post a quick follow-up and maybe a new thread. Thanks again for the great review, Barbaraann!
    ~ Erik








  9. #9

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    Re: "Just Back from Vacation" Observations by Barbaraann

    I enjoyed the hotel. It is a beautiful resort. Almost identical rooms, like the ones that we stay in when my family stays at Glacier Canyon in the Dells in Wisconsin. I don't drive, but my friend Annette did the driving. Bonnet Creek, in my opinion needs better signs. We kept getting lost, so we took the hotel shuttle to the Magic Kingdom, and on another day to Epcot. It was actually cheaper 10 dollars for their shuttle, parking would have been 14. Although it is a long hike to the shuttle buses. Although, I thought the distance to the parking area was about the same, at Magic Kingdom.

    I admit to not using much of the amenities on the property. There are pools at each building. We did eat at the fancy restaurant in the tallest building. The food was yummy. My friend Annette thought it was expensive, but you get what you paid for. The service was very good, I thought.

    We had a few issues with the unit, but they were addressed very promptly by hotel maintenance. Everything except not enough hot water in the smaller bathroom.

    Our 2 bedroom only had double beds in the 2nd bedroom. The sofabeds, I believe are new. My grandson's mom slept on one and had no complaints.

    Personally, I won't stay there again, not because of any fault of Bonnet Creek. I want my next Disney World trip to be all inclusive Disney.

    Be prepared for the sales pitch when the hotel gives you your parking pass. A firm no, followed by another firm no, and perhaps another firm no, should do it. Bonnet Creek's one flaw is their annoying sales pitch when you just want to finish checking in.

    I did not get any sales pitch of any kind when I recently stayed at Dolphin's Cove in Anaheim. Probably because I was traveling without my husband. I am a Wyndham owner.

  10. #10

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    Re: "Just Back from Vacation" Observations by Barbaraann

    Wow, 3 days at the Magic Kingdom! WOOT WOOT! So jealous. I try to do MK 2 to 2 1/2 days every trip. Look forward to your bazillons of photos and your writing in your trip report! I'm going to Disneyland this summer for D23 and I plan on visiting WDW this holiday season again, once for Halloween season and once for Christmas season, one holiday season trip being only a weekend spent solely at the Magic Kingdom.

    I just love the Magic Kingdom and that towering castle i'll always miss.
    Micoofy Duck
    Disney Theme Park Fan #4,584,376
    http://www.micoofy.com



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