Friday, 20 December 2013

Goodbye to Walt Disney World

Today was our lasts full day at Walt Disney World. Unfortunately, I woke up to a viral sore throat. Thankfully I didn't have to wake up early as the shops in Downtown Disney didn't open until 10am. While Malcolm scratched his golf itch with Elliot, Sidney and Jared, I spent the morning with the younger two helping them shop their Christmas money from grandparents and greatgrandparent. The bulky camera got left behind which was quite liberating!

Lunch was at the family favourite of T-Rex. The rest of the family enjoyed Disney Quest and resort facilities for one last time but I conked out for the whole afternoon! By the time I woke up, it was time for dinner. I was really looking forward to our meal at Raglan Road. The Irish pub didn't disappoint! The atmosphere was awesome and the food hearty and tasty. The bread and butter pudding lived up to expectations! Unfortunately, as I slept the afternoon away, we had to miss out on the dance party fun and head back to the resort to pack for our cruise.

A few thoughts...

We have been so fortunate with the weather. Praise the Lord! The temperature has ranged between 18 to 30 degrees lucky with only about 2 days of rain. The rest of our stays has seen us welcoming blue skies and low humidity.

Having the opportunity to stay at three different resorts has also been wonderful. If you were going to try a deluxe resort, renting DVC points is definitely an economical way to do it. Sharing villas with another family has also made the price very affordable. We have really enjoyed each resort. Each has its own charms. The Grand Floridian was just pure indulgence and elegance. Unfortunately, we were only able to sample their studio and our stay was only a short one.

The Animal Kingdom Lodge was an experience in itself! The setting was just so spectacular. The third bathroom was very handy with such a large group and that view from the room was just so surreal. If I were to be criticial, the villas were very dark inside despite bright sunny weather outside. And the way the resort was set out, you wouldn't want a room ALL the way down that long corridor.

Old Key West is the oldest DVC property I believe and sometimes this is noticeble with little things such as peeling paint, and bathrooms looking a little tired. However, we loved our stay here. The buildings and setting are pretty and serene. It is just so peaceful and relaxing. The extra space is phenomenal! Location wise, it is so convenient. It is a short bus ride from the parks. We were fortunate to have been allocated villa 24 which was right next to the first bus stop to the parks (the resort has 5 stops) but within an easy walk to Hospitality House, where the major facilities were including the pool, restaurant and reception. The boat dock to downtown disney was also here.

The transfers between the resorts were mostly seamless. Other than one full trolley of suitcases that got "lost" (left behind at Animal Kingdom Lodge we later found out), the moves were easy. Disney also moved our perishables for us. They have a fridge and freezer in bell services that can accommodate our cold foods.

Magic bands and fast pass plus...people seem to either hate or love them. I personally am for them. The magic bands made things so easy. I love not having to carry anything extra around like cards. Just having to flash my band for everything was very convenient. Where the system fails is the fastpass plus system. The my Disney Experience website is truthfully very clunky and difficult to use. Errors are common and we spent hours over the phone back home and hours here onsite trying to fix issues. Once issues are fixed though, the concept is great. We love not having to run around the park getting fastpasses and being able to schedule things at a certain time in the late afternoon/evening without having to be in the park early. We were fortunate enough to be here still at a testing phase. With all our troubles, we were given extra "blank" fastpasses to use which helped.

We've loved our stay here and feel rather sad knowing that in all likelihood we won't be back for a while. However, we look forward to the next stage of our journey, a cruise on the Fantasy. Bring on tomorrow!

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