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View Full Version : Part 3 ~ Days at the GF



Slowhand
21-10-2009, 03:10 PM
WARNING. Sorry again! Although a lot of detail is omitted, this has still ended up a long post! :surrender:

As usual we normally fancy a bit of added luxury when we visit WDW and also give my DW a break from household chores at our villa, so we again used some of our DVC points to fund a 6 night stay at the GF from Sept. 20th – Sept.25th.
Having having stayed there loads of times since the early 90`s, it really does feel like home when we arrive at the security booth and are given the parking pass to place on the dashboard. We also tend to use this portion of our vacations in order to do the WDW parks and to dine on site each evening.

The first thing we noticed on entering the lobby was the amount of works that were taking place to the floors surrounding the central lounge area.
New marble sections of flooring are being installed which must have cost an arm and a leg as many of the sections are unique and contain images of the Disney characters surrounded by decorative borders. It will look fabulous when the works are completed.

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Our preferred building [Sago Cay] had just been refurbished the previous week and were fortunate to secure a room there overlooking the boating marina, just what we wanted. :thumbsup:

View from the GF room # 5307

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The other thing we noticed was how quiet everywhere seemed compared with our previous visits.
The first day was spent just lounging around on the beach with a break for a snack lunch at Gasparilla`s where we both received a “welcome back” hug from a Chinese CM called Aimee who has worked there for many years…this really did make us feel at home. :hug2:
Dinner tonight was at the YSH with Tom [catrancher] and his DW [Carol] as stated in an early report.

The following day we had breakfast at 1900 Park Fare using the reservation that Luz [Ricardo`s wife] had made for us. This was our first visit there for breakfast and IMHO it was, well…ok. It could work out rather expensive though especially if you purchase the photograph which every guest is encouraged to pose for before entering the dining room for breakfast. :thumbsdown:
We then decided to take advantage of the lack of crowds and caught the monorail to the MK where we literally walked straight onto several rides..the Pooh ride, Mickey`s Philarmagic, POTC, HM etc. to name but a few. It was great being able to do these rides without having to stand in line especially as it was so hot.
After a spot of r & r back on the beach at the GF it was soon time for us to go to Citrico`s for dinner where we had arranged to be served by Gwen who is a friend of Ricardo`s and who has been our server several times in the past.
After an excellent dinner as usual, coupled with great service etc. we left the restaurant just in time to see the MK fireworks which we viewed for the boating marina….a great end to the day.

MK fireworks

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On Tuesday we had breakfast at the GF Café where we were greeted by Louise at the podium with a loud “Hello the Vxxxxx party! Welcome back!” It was also great seeing Marvin working there. Marvin is a CM who escorts you to your table at the Café and who has recently been in poor health. As such we didn`t see him on our last visit but we were given daily up-dates at the time on his progress from his wife [Judy] who also works at the Café. Seeing him back was a great start to the day, he really is a nice guy and we chatted away for ages before we were served.
Again, taking advantage of the low attendance levels we went to DHS and again we were able to walk straight on to the Great Movie Ride, the Muppet Show, TOT, the Ariel show etc.etc…..we could get used to this freedom! :lol:
This evening was to be at MNSSHP where we had arranged to meet up with Tom & Carol for dinner at Tony`s Town Square.
This was our first visit at this restaurant but sadly we were given a very cramped booth and the server seemed to be in quite a rush to get rid of us! At one stage she started to clear our plates despite Carol being still part way through her meal! This was probably the worst service I have ever experienced at a WDW restaurant :thumbsdown:, however the company was excellent and after the meal we stood outside and selected a spot to watch the parade which was to start shortly.

MNSSHP parade

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Again, this was our first time at MNSSHP and we really enjoyed the evening. The parade was really good and as soon as it was over we all made our way to a spot in front [to the side] of the castle to watch the fireworks which were spectacular and lasted a lot longer than the normal show.

MNSSHP fireworks

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I wanted to ride HM now that I was in “spook mode” but as expected on tonight of all nights, the line was huge, so after a stroll around part of the Mk we all decided to call it a day and went back to our respective resorts.

On Wednesday, as we had arranged to meet Ricardo for the visit to the Disney building this morning at DTD, it seemed like a good idea to sample the Characters in Flight balloon while we waited for him to arrive. As there was hardly anyone around we were the only folks doing the ride and so we had much longer to experience it than usual. From up there [400ft.] you get a great view of WDW and it makes you realise how wooded the area is when viewed from that altitude.
After the visit to the Disney building with our excellent guide and a snack lunch at the GF we went over to Bay Lake Towers to view the room models which were available for DVC members for a few hours in the afternoon each day.
We took several photos, mainly to send to Michelle & Doug [our friends in LA] who have just become DVC members and BLT is their home resort. Although I`m not a big fan of the Contemp. as a holiday resort, I have to admit that DVC have done a great job with BLT. All the rooms we saw seemed so light and airy and with a great view of the MK to boot! :thumbsup:

Bay Lake Towers

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Dinner tonight was at AP which was excellent, this being the only on-site restaurant we visit where I know exactly what I want to order before seeing the menu! [Buffalo Steak/Fruit Cobbler]. :dine:

Thursday was the day where we went over to the Poly with Ricardo to see his wife`s performance in the Latin American dance competition between the GF and Poly CM`s as mentioned in an earlier report.
This took place at 1.00pm so after another snack lunch back at the GF we lazed around on the beach for the rest of the afternoon before driving to the Boardwalk for dinner at the Flying Fish, another of our favourite restaurants on-site.
For some reason or another it took us ages to finish dinner and it was around 9.00pm before we left the restaurant in order to go to the upstairs lounge where we had arranged to meet Tom & Carol [their last night at WDW], and Wendy & Chris who had just arrived from the UK.
By the time we arrived our friends had already made their introductions, probably assisted by my descriptive text to Wendy describing Tom`s appearance as this was the first time they had met!
A few drinks followed along with a good old “chin wag” before all to soon it was time to say our goodbyes to Tom & Carol and our “see ya real soon” parting gesture to Wendy & Chris. :wave:

On Friday after breakfast we took the bus over to AK. Probably due to it`s relatively small size compared with the MK there seemed to be more folks around. Despite this we did all that we had set out to do, aided by a Fastpass for the Safari Ride and at least I was able to see my favourite animals, the tigers!

Tiger at AK

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Having been to the Disney parks so many times, it`s great being able to take them in at leisure, doing only those things that take our fancy at the time rather than dashing around like headless chickens like we used to do. Owning AP`s also means that we aren`t wasting money by only visiting the parks for half a day or so.
This evening we had dinner at the Blue Zoo at the Swan/Dolphin complex where we experienced the best service at any of the WDW restaurants [apart from the YSH of course! :hide:], and the food was fabulous, even I was tempted to have a fish dish instead of my customary steak.

So far we hadn`t been to Epcot [my personal favourite park], deciding to leave it until the Food & Wine Festival was in full swing after our return from VB in a few days time.

keith
21-10-2009, 03:27 PM
Fantastic report thanks! Glad to hear about Bay Lake Towers as we're due to stay there for part of our trip next month

Isafari
21-10-2009, 03:36 PM
Brilliant report Terry :thumbsup: I love the tiger photo!

Slowhand
21-10-2009, 03:36 PM
Fantastic report thanks! Glad to hear about Bay Lake Towers as we're due to stay there for part of our trip next month
What type of accommodation have you booked there Keith?

keith
21-10-2009, 03:38 PM
What type of accommodation have you booked there Keith?

oh gosh only a tiny, apparently v.v.tiny, studio overlooking MK

Only the two of us so hopefully we'll be able to shoehorn ourselves in there somehow :lol:

Slowhand
21-10-2009, 03:42 PM
oh gosh only a tiny, apparently v.v.tiny, studio overlooking MK

Only the two of us so hopefully we'll be able to shoehorn ourselves in there somehow :lol:
Believe me Keith, the studios are not tiny at all.
We were amazed how spacious they are. I`ll email you a few shots I took in one of them. [The shot in my report is of a 1 bed appt.though.]

Slowhand
21-10-2009, 03:43 PM
Brilliant report Terry :thumbsup: I love the tiger photo!
Thanks Diane. I thought of you when I posted that shot!

catrancher
21-10-2009, 03:43 PM
Dinner tonight was at the YSH with Tom [catrancher] and his DW [Carol] as stated in an early report.

And a fine dinner it was too, Terry! Both Carol and I haven't stopped talking about it yet. The best steak either of us have ever put in our respective mouths. And the chance to meet Ricardo! Marvelous! :yes:

Oh... and really fine company too!


This evening was to be at MNSSHP where we had arranged to meet up with Tom & Carol for dinner at Tony`s Town Square.
This was our first visit at this restaurant but sadly we were given a very cramped booth and the server seemed to be in quite a rush to get rid of us! At one stage she started to clear our plates despite Carol being still part way through her meal! This was probably the worst service I have ever experienced at a WDW restaurant :thumbsdown:, however the company was excellent and after the meal we stood outside and selected a spot to watch the parade which was to start shortly.

I apologize for having recommended Tony's. We've eaten there numerous times in the past and NEVER had issues like this last time. In fact, it's always been one of our most enjoyable meals. Not this past time however. :nono:
At least, for us, it wasn't the worst one on this trip. The worst this time was on our first night at Le' Cellier. However, that's a story for another time and place.


By the time we arrived our friends had already made their introductions, probably assisted by my descriptive text to Wendy describing Tom`s appearance as this was the first time they had met!

Oh dear! What ever did you tell her? Wendy did indeed recognize me but I thought that was because of some of the pictures I'd posted here in the group. I had no idea that you'd briefed her beforehand. What was it? Look for the "old, fat, guy with the scraggly mustache who looks like he's recently lost his mind".


A few drinks followed along with a good old “chin wag” before all to soon it was time to say our goodbyes to Tom & Carol and our “see ya real soon” parting gesture to Wendy & Chris. :wave:

But it was a delight seeing you and Sue one more time and getting a chance to meet Wendy and Chris!

These are great reports, Terry! Do keep them coming!

Tom (:macwave:... I wanna go back! Right now!)

keith
21-10-2009, 03:45 PM
Believe me Keith, the studios are not tiny at all.
We were amazed how spacious they are. I`ll email you a few shots I took in one of them. [The shot in my report is of a 1 bed appt.though.]

Thanks that would be great!! :yes:

I was offered a great deal on the mk studio so took it gladly but was later told that the studios were (american accent required here) "like some kinda really small RV"

I can't say we've ever minded the size of the rooms at ANY of the Disney resorts we've stayed at but I was left a LITTLE concerned :lol:

Slowhand
21-10-2009, 03:52 PM
I apologize for having recommended Tony's. We've eaten there numerous times in the past and NEVER had issues like this last time. In fact, it's always been one of our most enjoyable meals. Not this past time however. :nono:
There`s no need to apologise at all Tom.
The meal itself was fine but I thought that the service we received did let us all down a bit.
Despite that, it was a great evening and it was good being able to share it with you two. :thumbsup:


Oh dear! What ever did you tell her? Wendy did indeed recognize me but I thought that was because of some of the pictures I'd posted here in the group. I had no idea that you'd briefed her beforehand. What was it? Look for the "old, fat, guy with the scraggly mustache who looks like he's recently lost his mind".
No need to worry Tom....your eye patch, peg leg and scar on your face was a dead giveaway! :lol:


But it was a delight seeing you and Sue one more time and getting a chance to meet Wendy and Chris!

Ditto from all of us. :thumbsup:

daveann
21-10-2009, 04:00 PM
your trip reports are really good :)

uscwest
21-10-2009, 04:53 PM
On Friday after breakfast we took the bus over to AK. Probably due to it`s relatively small size compared with the MK there seemed to be more folks around. Despite this we did all that we had set out to do, aided by a Fastpass for the Safari Ride and at least I was able to see my favourite animals, the tigers!

I love the tigers and this is a great photo. However, I must chuckle at your size statement as AK is the LARGEST of all of the Disney parks.

Dawn
21-10-2009, 05:15 PM
I'd just like to point out that there is another way to give your wife a break from the household chores at the villa. Get your pinny on boy! :wink:

Disneybumble
21-10-2009, 05:51 PM
Great report Terry. I now have a very vivid picture of Tom :yes:

Slowhand
22-10-2009, 09:43 AM
However, I must chuckle at your size statement as AK is the LARGEST of all of the Disney parks.

:oops: you are quite correct John.
Somehow AK always seems rather small to me compared to say Epcot where the walkways are much bigger. The paths at AK seem confined especially with all the fauna that is around.

Slowhand
22-10-2009, 09:44 AM
I'd just like to point out that there is another way to give your wife a break from the household chores at the villa. Get your pinny on boy! :wink:
Perish the thought! :lol:

daveann
22-10-2009, 09:48 AM
did you add more pics or was it just my computer didnt show them 1st visit :)

Tink
22-10-2009, 10:36 AM
I really enjoy your descriptions of your visits to the GF. It really is like you are visiting old friends, after a time isn't it?

Yes, the AK is the largest park land size wise, but not for the people section. That's what it feels small, because it is! The sections where guests are allowed are smaller land size wise than other parks. It's difficult to walk around there too if you have any mobility issues at all. Herself's mother doesn't like that park because it's too "bumpy" for her to walk on the walking areas. We love the park, of course. I'm quite hurt Mr. S. No photos of my precious gorillas? :sigh: :(

Don't you just HATE it when you recommend a place where you've had good food and service, and then it doesn't deliver, Tom? We had that happen more times than I can count. I now qualify any recommendations! Sorry to hear Le Cellier wasn't up to snuff.

Thanks for another great report with lovely photos! I am another one who can't wait to try BLT! We are on for Kadani Village this weekend. :yes: :9:

uscwest
22-10-2009, 10:55 AM
:oops: you are quite correct John.
Somehow AK always seems rather small to me compared to say Epcot where the walkways are much bigger. The paths at AK seem confined especially with all the fauna that is around.
Quite true about all the fauna.

Slowhand
22-10-2009, 04:22 PM
I'm quite hurt Mr. S. No photos of my precious gorillas? :sigh: :(


Just for you Tink! :lol:

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I did take a couple of others behind the glass in the viewing area, however they both had their backs to us. We were told that they were sleeping off their lunch!

Slowhand
22-10-2009, 04:24 PM
did you add more pics or was it just my computer didnt show them 1st visit :)
I don`t think so Ann.
I THINK that I added the photos as I went along in creating the post. :sorry: