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Trip Reports & Member Reviews Discuss Lou's Surprise WDW Trip - A quick trip report from WDW in the Vacation Planning forums; Here's a quick "mini" trip report from my first day in WDW! (I'm still here, so not much time to write! So much to do, so little time...) DAY ONE ...
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    Lou Mongello's Avatar
    Lou Mongello is offline Lou Mongello (AKQJ10) - Disney Expert, Host, Author, Speaker and Entrepreneur
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    Thumbs up Lou's Surprise WDW Trip - A quick trip report from WDW

    Here's a quick "mini" trip report from my first day in WDW!


    (I'm still here, so not much time to write! So much to do, so little time...)




    DAY ONE – JUNE 21

    OK, so try getting two kids up at 4 a.m., get them and yourselves dressed and to the airport for your 8 a.m. flight. No, really... try it. It's fun! Actually, I take that back - my kids were suprisingly happy, especially Marion, knowing she was going to "Disney World!!!"


    So fast forward to when we actually arrived at WDW. We were set to stay at the Boardwalk Villas. However, when we checked in, the Cast Member said otherwise. Long story short – we were upgraded to a Concierge-level Cottage SUITE at the Inn!! This charming, romantic "room" is actually two floors, with a living room, bathroom and kitchen on the first, and a bedroom, huge shower and pool-like tub on the second. But the best is the entrance – Each of these 15 suites looks like a little house, with a white-picket fence, birdhouse mailbox, garden path… WOW!!!

    We grabbed some "quick" lunch at the ESPN Club. I put quick in quotation marks since we had to wait almost 50 minutes for a chicken sandwich, burger and hot dog That's alright – I'm still stoked about the upgrade!

    Since our room hadn't been ready yet, we finally were able to get in. My only little hiccup was, sadly, the smell. It appears that the Guests before us either didn't see the 500 No Smoking signs, or just had no respect for them or whomever was to follow them. The smell was literally overpowering, especially for non-smokers (with kids). I must say, though, that Mousekeeping came right over, sprayed, and when we returned later in the evening, it was almost gone entirely, and at the very least, bearable.

    Later. we went to Epcot. My Annual Pass expired about 40 days ago, so I had to get a new one. $440 down the tubes, but worth it IMHO. Hot as it was that day, we still went to Journey Into Your Imagination with Figment (PLEASE change that attraction, John!), and went to the Seas. The "line" (i.e. mob of people) for Turtle Talk with Crush was about 1:40, so we looked at some of the little tanks, went to observation deck, and just let the kids enjoy the fish a bit. I was disappointed at the condition of the pavilion a bit, but magic takes time, and I'm looking forward to the Clam Strips.. I mean… Clammobiles.

    We hit Ellen's Energy Adventure, and since it had been a LOooooooooooooong day, we weren't going to make the Biergarten at 7:30. We grabbed some chick strips (surpringlysurprisingly very good) at the Electric Umbrella, and headed back "home."

    After giving the kids baths, I headed over to the Innkeepers Club to check out what the Concierge Level really afforded Guests. Located on the 4th floor of the Inn, this room, with Guest-key access only and a Cast Member at the door, was a large, high-ceiling, living room type space with couches, tables and chairs, a TV, and CM Concierge Desk. I went at around 8:40 p.m., so there were desserts, cordials, coffee and sodas. The CMs were very attentive, always asking what, if anything, they could do for me. I took advantage and made a dining reservation for the next day. At 9, I joined the other Guests out on the balcony to watch the "top" of Illuminations, anchored by a view of France's Eiffel Tower.

    It was getting late, though, and it was a 15-hour day on 3 hours of sleep (let's not get into my server issues just in time for the Mouse Tour announcement, OK?) LOL




    So, that's my quick-and-dirty "live" review and trip report from WDW! I'll try and get some photos up ASAP. I have to go anwser a ton of emails, and maybe sneak over to the Innkeeper's again for a little snack.




    I'll TRY and keep up with this daily, but can't make any promises. So far, it's been great, though! Wish you were all here!!


    Lou Mongello
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    vixen101485's Avatar
    vixen101485 is offline Queen of the Swaps, bow before me
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    See you should have taken us with you...plenty of room in the suite. Glad you are having a good time. Get some sleep tonite and have fun the rest of trip.

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    disneydame2004's Avatar
    disneydame2004 is offline Celebrate Everyday!
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    Wow, that sounds awesome! Why doesn't that ever happen to me???? Take lots of pictures so I can imagine how nice it must be

    Not too late to take me up on the babysitting offer...
    -Pat (Disneydame2004)
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    flutter's Avatar
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    Wow sounds great Lou, have fun

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    Keep us up to date - it's almost like being there! Well, except for the faint smoke smell - sorry you had that. I've not had any problems like that for about 5 years, and I travel a bit. Surprised you'd have a problem at such a luxury suite.

    If you get to the HM, please confirm my querry on J.Thaddeus in the Pet Cemetery

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    mini-V's Avatar
    mini-V is offline Home at last near Mickey!
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    What a great surprise...the upgrade, I mean. I travel with a bottle of fabreeze after having a similar experience in a non-disney hotel.

    Yes, sounds like you had enough room for all of us. We wish we were there too.
    mini-V What will you celebrate?

    Adult daycare for the kid inside you.

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    nick.jeschke's Avatar
    nick.jeschke is offline Annual Passholder
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    Glad to see you and your family are having a great time! I am a bit confused about the upgrade, but it reminds me of the upgrade my dad, step-mom, and I got at the Polynesian Resort. There was a little room with tons of food all the time and chairs and a big TV for kids to watch cartoons. And your rooms sounds like the one I saw on the DVC tour at Seratoga Springs. Its fun to hear the report, but first and foremost we all hope you enjoy yourself.

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    GaRain's Avatar
    GaRain is offline I love a guy who can make me laugh!
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    Hmmm, what is the secret to those upgrades? Maybe they knew they were dealing with THE LOU!!!!!

    Sounds like a great trip so far - can't wait to hear more. But don't worry about us here, and just have a great time with your family!
    Nothing to countdown to, so just smile and be happy everyday!




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    Turkey Leg's Avatar
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    Lucky Dog!! Have a Turkey Leg for me!


    Ex-Castmember, DVC Member, Animation Expert. . . 100% Disney Maniac!

    Next trip : October 2006 / Beach Club Villas.

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    Princess Sarah's Avatar
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    I'm glad you're having a great time, Lou! Buy all of us DWTers a present!
    You just have to decide if you’re a Tigger or an Eeyore.
    -Randy Pausch

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    We hail thee, Carolina...

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    Winnie's Avatar
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    Awwww....we missed you by 3 days!

    Where are the Cottage SUITE at the Inn located? I have never heard of it before?

    Hope you are having a GREAT time Lou!

    I had a No Way Jose for you at Beaches and Cream before we left. I also had a couple of Dole Whips for the others out here in DWTland!

    BETH ~ I BELIEVE in Make Believe,Dreams & Wishes
    Is It time To Go Back Yet??
    Happy DVC Member - Beach Club Villas
    BCV - October 2011 - Family Trip & Food & Wine Festival (Met up with Lou and the Walk-about Crew! Met Deanna!
    Met the Petermans!)
    BCV - October 2010 - Family Trip & Food & Wine Festival and MNNSHP!!!
    BCV - June 2009 - Family Trip
    BCV - October 2008 - MNNSHP-Just the two of us!
    BCV - May 2008 - Flower & Garden/Epcot - Just the two of us!
    BCV - January 2008 - Marathon Weekend - Just the two of us! (We finally got to meet Lou & his wonderful family)
    BCV - May 2007 – Family Trip, Flower & Garden/Epcot and Star Wars!!!
    BCV - October 2006 – Family Trip, Anniversary, Food and Wine/Epcot & MNSHHP!!!!
    ASM & BCV - June 2006 – Family Trip, Flower & Garden/Epcot and Star Wars!!!
    BCV - October 2005 - Family Trip, Anniversary, Food and Wine/Epcot & MNSHHP!!!!
    OKW & BWV - March 2005 - Quick and needed fun trip! Just the two of us!
    BCV - June 2004 - Family Trip
    BCV - October 2003 - Family Trip, Anniversary, Food and Wine/Epcot & MNSHHP!!!!
    BC - Honeymoon- April 2002
    Off Site - 1997 - I was a poor college student staying with my favorite aunt!

  12. #12
    Lou Mongello's Avatar
    Lou Mongello is offline Lou Mongello (AKQJ10) - Disney Expert, Host, Author, Speaker and Entrepreneur
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    As for the upgrade, it had nothing to do with me or anything like that - luck of the draw I guess! Never happened before... but sure hope it happens again! It was a $400 a night rack rate room increase!!! :shocked:

    I'll post a picture of the map and cottage, but it's located on the Inn side, right across from the quiet pool (another nice bonus!)
    Lou Mongello
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    Lou Mongello's Avatar
    Lou Mongello is offline Lou Mongello (AKQJ10) - Disney Expert, Host, Author, Speaker and Entrepreneur
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    DAY TWO – THURSDAY, JUNE 22
    We woke up… well, suffice it to the that the KIDS woke up nice and early and we grabbed some continental breakfast at the Innkeeper's Club (concierge lounge) at the Boardwalk. The normal fare of cereal, bagels, pastries, fruits, etc. We chatted with some very nice people, and ever say ex-New Orleans Saints head coach Jim Haslett there. No I didn't go over. What do you say, "Hey coach… I mean.. umm.. ex-coach… too bad you got fired?"

    Anyway, from there it was off to the Magic Kingdom, where Marion had been begging to go to for, oh, I'd say about 4 months. We were able to get a photo with Minnie as soon as we passed through the turnstiles, as well as a quick, traditional photo at The Spot. Fantasyland was the first stop along the tour, hitting the Carrousel, Peter Pan, Small World, and Snow White with little or no wait. I had to pull out my one "big gun" and cash in my "front of the line" pass for Dumbo, as I couldn't justify the hour long wait. A quick snack (the first of many) at Scuttle's Landing, and finally some run-around time in the play area. Next thing you know, it's time for lunch (all we do is eat, right?) at Columbia Harbour House. We spent some time strolling around a bit, hoping the kids would nap, but lo and behold, my "Magical Moment" happened – sitting on a bench across from The Tiki Room, Marion comes to me, grabs my hand, and asks that I alone take her on Aladdin. Well, scrape up my melted heart from the pavement, but this is what the trip was all about. Sharing a daddy/daughter moment like that. Holding hands in line, sitting side by side in our own carpet… well, if you have kids, you get the idea.

    OK, there really was more going on than this, but we had a little snack (take 2) at El Pirata Y El Perico (a rarity that it was even open). As the kids were getting sleepy, we went over to Tomorrowland to either ride Space Mountain or get Fast Passes. Deanna rode while I watched the kids, and the we headed to Toontown. Marion's face as we had Goofy, Chip and Dale, Belle (can you say, "HOT"?) , and Princess Aurora was absolutely priceless. I won't bore you with my overly-gushy tales of my daughter and the characters. Suffice it to say that this is exactly what Walt wanted his park to be. We went through Mickey's House and waited a short time to get our picture with the big cheese. Now, although I said this was a family-only trip, (i.e. non-working), I DID wear a DWT t-shirt on this day. Well, it paid off for me in a goofy kid-like way, as I was (for the first time), "recognized" in the park. While Mickey was incredibly attentive to my kids (even holding Nicolas on his own), after they were done, he looked at me, pointed to me shirt, then to my face – gave me two thumbs up, pointed back to my logo, nodded and gave me a hug! I think Mickey Mouse is a DisneyWorldTrivia.com fan, people!!! OK. So that was kinda cool.

    The kids played a bit at Toon Park, and we ate dinner at Pecos Bill's, as every other site-down restaurant was booked solid. Still the best darn burgers on property IMHO!

    It was a very long and VERY hot day, and we pushed everyone just a little bit, especially having woken up so early the day before to travel, etc. I grabbed my traditional bucket of popcorn and we headed back home to let everyone regroup and recharge. I grabbed some drinks from the Lounge, and we called it a night.

    Now I see why people say they need to go back to the hotels with kids during the day.

    But we'll save that part until tomorrow.
    Lou Mongello
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  14. #14
    Lou Mongello's Avatar
    Lou Mongello is offline Lou Mongello (AKQJ10) - Disney Expert, Host, Author, Speaker and Entrepreneur
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    DAY THREE - FRIDAY, JUNE 23

    Today was a day of firsts for Lou….

    First, we woke up "late" at around 7:30. Folks, that's late for my kids. And late for me when it comes to WDW!

    We hit the Concierge Lounge again for breakfast (a nice money-saver!), and met another nice man and his daughter (Hi, Mackenzie!!) Next… well… dare I say… we headed for the pool. Yes, folks. I spent a morning outside a theme park. Had to be done. Kids would have been jelly if we tried to do another full day in the 200 degree heat.

    We went to the Boardwalk's Luna Park pool, which fortunately was not crowded as yet. We had the kiddie pool area all to ourselves, and then ventured into the big pool. Daddy rode the Keister Coaster water slide (research, people) and we had a blast! Do the slide if you stay! Lots of fun! The pool there is great, and I see why it gets such great reviews.

    As there is a limited menu at the poolside venue, Leaping Horse Libations (although they have adult drinks aplenty from what I can see), so we went to Big River Grille for lunch on the Boardwalk.

    Back to the room for a well-timed, long nap (the kinds, not me), and then an early dinner at Spoodles. (I'll have a full review on the podcast, but I really enjoyed my meal!)

    We hit the Magic Kingdom again, this time without the direct, blazing sun, which was nice. We strolled around a bit, wondered how people could walk around all day in tight jeans and got ready for SpectroMagic. My brilliant, supportive and oh-so-patient wife planned ahead, putting the kinds in their PJs before it got started. Besides the insane heat, I remember why I said I wouldn't go to WDw in the summer again, as the crowd that night (being an Extra Magic Hours night), was just nuts! The people were lined up 5 deep for the parade, so Marion watched on my shoulder (another great moment for me, despite the neck and back spasms) LOL

    We planted ourselves at the Rose Garden next. Get it? Planted… Ah, forget it… anyway, we went there for Wishes (after Lou spent 30 minutes on line for Marion's Mickey Bar)… Wait a second. Let me ask you – how do people stand on a line AT an ice cream stand, get to the front, and take 5 minutes deciding which of the 5 choices they want? Ugh.

    Anyway, we met a nice couple and chatted for a while, allowing Marion to drift off (yes, Nicolas can sleep through fireworks – and did!). We decided to take advantage and hit some of the big rides. I rode Splash Mountain in the front row and got soaked! That woulda been great at 2pm, but it was still a great ride! Deanna hit Big Thunder before we Shared another popcorn and just took in the sights and sounds of Frontierland at night. There are so many great attractions (like the two I just mentioned) that are great, if not better at night, and I think the Magic Kingdom is just an amazing, different place in the evening. As it gets later and the crowds dissipate, you begin to feel as if the park is your own. Just another wonderful experience at night. It was now around midnight, and while I was enjoying this nice time for just Deanna and I, I was even more perplexed at how SHE was till awake! So, we headed back to the resort and called it a night. Even I hit the pillow and crashed pretty quickly. A far cry from the NJ Lou, huh? LOL




    DAY FOUR – SATURDAY, JUNE 24


    Today was going to be our Animal Kingdom day, so we wanted to get an early start so we could get in and out before we got cooked in the midday heat. We all had a quick breakfast at the Innkeepers Club, where I ran into our new friend from the day before. He expressed relief in seeing me, after what happened the day before. Having heard nothing of it, he said that he knew I had two kids and was glad that I was alright. It appears that just a short time after we left, a young father of two was found floating in the pool, and all efforts at CPR had failed. His friend, who was also down for the medical conference which was the original reason for our trip, is a MD and tried to revive the person, but to no avail. (BTW, was that reported anywhere on the news, internet, etc.? I'm wondering how quiet they keep these things).

    Anyway, DAK was already getting packed by 9 am, as it was a morning Extra Magic Hour. We hit Festival of the Lion King first. Still far and away the very best show on property to me, hands down. The music, the energy, the emotions… the best!!

    We used out FastPasses for the Kilimanjaro Safari next and were pleased at the number of animals we saw close by, considering the heat.

    We had an early lunch at Tusker House, and really enjoyed the ½ chicken and chicken sandwich. We usually have lunch at Flame Tree, so this was a nice break (and in the A.C., too!)

    We took turns riding Everest as the sky began to darken. Man oh man, that is still an AWESOME attraction! I was able to ride in the front row, and I agree it is an even better experience!

    A nice, cold cup of green tea with Ginseng from the Royal Anandapur Tea Company was going to be followed by a viewing of Flights of Wonder and then trip back to the hotel, but having learned our lesson the other day, and hearing Marion ASK to go back to the room, we knew it was time to go.

    Long naps by the kids to the sounds of thunderstorms outside reaffirmed our decision to come back when we did. Baths and showers by us all, and we donned our matching Hawaiian Mickey shirts for our dinner at 'Ohana (stop laughing at me).

    We had a really wonderful, fun meal, and I'm still stuffed as I write this almost 4 ours later. Marion and I danced, did the limbo, and had a nice dinner as well. It was around 9pm, so we went down to the Polynesian beach to watch the Electrical Water Pageant. We know tomorrow is going to be an early day at MGM, so we came back and called it a night.

    In fact, we will be one of the very first people to ever experience the new Play 'N Dine at the Disney-MGM Studios, with reservations not long after the restaurant opens.

    Look for another update to the report (and review of the meal) soon!

    Good night, everybody!!!!
    Lou Mongello
    Host, Author & Site Owner
    AKQJ10 >: 4 8 15 16 23 42


  15. #15
    Lou Mongello's Avatar
    Lou Mongello is offline Lou Mongello (AKQJ10) - Disney Expert, Host, Author, Speaker and Entrepreneur
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    Oh, an BTW... I have some GREAT shots of the new POTC exterior, and some update and infro direct from a POTC CM about what's to come!! I'll get these up ASAP (I have a few hundred shots to go through already)
    Lou Mongello
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