Sue's Short May Weekend - Day 2 of 2

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Sue/WDW1972

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May 21, 2022, 10:03:38 PMMay 21
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DAY 2 – Saturday 5/21/22
Who: Sue (63), DVC Member
Erica (31), my niece
Andrea/Annie (29), my niece
Renay (50’s), my ex sister-in-law
Kelly (50’s?), Renay’s sister

Plan: Pool, Concierge Lounge

Actual: Yesterday I forgot to mention that while I had plenty of idle time standing in Boardwalk Bakery I couldn’t help but noticing the portions of almost everything were much smaller than expected. The prices seemed typical when I had looked online before the trip, but I was shocked seeing the actual items being smaller – especially in the salads, sandwiches and yogurt parfaits. My banana bread was a decent slice so I didn’t care that it probably cost me $4 or more.

The others had arranged an uber for 6:30 a.m. and we agreed to meet in the Beach Club lobby at 7:20 am. I forget what time I turned out the lights last night it was most likely by 10. The room was very quiet & comfortable and I slept pretty well. Around 4:45 I got up to make my cappuccino and bring it back to bed. I used the app to purchase Genie+ for today, and it was pretty easy. I’m not sure it’s going to be worth the cost at Epcot, especially since we’re going to be there for early entry, but the others have it on their tickets and I wanted to match.

On the local news they said we got nearly 7 inches of rain yesterday, and could see another 2-4 inches today (afternoon & evening). The morning should be pretty good, but starting by 2pm (at this point) it’s widespread thunderstorms & showers with localized flooding since everything’s so saturated. Yuck. At 6 I got up and took my shower & got dressed.

Renay texted around 6:40 saying they were in the Uber. I cut half the banana bread and spread a little cream cheese on it for a quick breakfast. It’s not chocolate chip like at Riviera but it’s still very good – nice and moist. I was out the door just before 7 and walked over to Beach Club.

When I walked inside the lobby I saw Erica and Annie so I joined them. Renay & Kelly were at the front desk getting checked in. Once that was done we took the luggage over to Bell Services, which is now where the concierge used to be. I’d brought their bottles of wine and the plastic cups so we added that to their pile of bags. We were a bit ahead of schedule so we wandered through Beach Club Marketplace. Kelly wanted to refill her water bottle and was able to do that by the soda machines. Annie got a coffee or cappuccino. We stood around talking until it was around 7:40.

We walked over to International Gateway and it was good we had some extra time. First Renay set off the alarm – the only thing we can figure is maybe she didn’t hold her umbrella far enough out in front of herself. She was directed to the bag check, where the first person in line had packed enough crap for a 2-week trip into a big backpack and the cast member had to go through everything. The next couple of people had to be wanded – maybe an artificial hip or joint? Finally Renay could join us.

The next step was park entry. At the resort the cast member told Renay all she needed to show the picture of her pass on her phone. Renay asked didn’t she have to go to the next screen with the QR code, and the cast member told her no – just this first picture. That didn’t sound right, and of course it wasn’t right. Once they started letting people in I saw there was nobody in the passholder line so I went there and zipped right through. When nobody else was coming I asked the cast member if the rest of my party could come through even though they’re not passholders and he said yes.

I waved them up and when they showed the picture of the pass the cast member said you need to go to the next page to get the QR code, lol! Kelly and the girls got through, but Renay’s was not working. Eventually they sent a supervisor over to check things out and issue her a plastic card – which is really what she preferred in the first place. With that she was able to enter the park. We walked up the hill and at the top scanned my band to show the resort stay (for the party – they only scan 1 person per party) and we wandered through United Kingdom. We were held up somewhere by UK or Canada, and at 5 minutes to 8 they let us through.

We headed straight to the Land, passing lots of people on their way to Remy. Soarin’ had a 5 or 10-minute wait posted, but really there was no wait at all. We walked right into the loading area and asked to wait for the second loading so we could get front and center. It was worth the wait to not have the images distorted. Everyone seemed to enjoy it. From there we walked right onto Living with the Land and enjoyed our trip through the greenhouses. Renay does some gardening so she was particularly interested in what we were seeing. While riding I tried to book us a Genie+ attraction but it was frustrating and eventually I learned the 3 who had a Test Track reservation were not eligible to book anything else until 10:30. It was just after 8:30 at this point.

We went to Nemo next, walking right on. There was nobody else even in the queue with us! This is a long queue, and it’s always so cold in there. Kelly, Renay & I crammed into a single clamshell – thankfully none of us are large. After the ride we wandered around looking at the exhibits and then the big aquariums. The dolphin was only out briefly, but we saw lots of stingrays and one turtle (along with many fish).

Next was Spaceship Earth, which had a 5 or 10 minute wait posted. There really wasn’t any wait at all, and we entered almost at the straight shot up the ramp to the loading area. Renay & I rode in the front with Kelly in the seat behind us, and the girls rode together a couple cars behind us. It was nice, and it never came to a full stop during the ride. Renay answered the questions at the end and when our photos came up they were both her! I’ve never seen that happen before. They weren’t even the same image – the first one had her visor (hung around her neck) and the lower half of her face and the second one had her face. I guess the visor confused the camera or something. Everyone enjoyed their futures.

Annie needed some socks, as the ones she was wearing were too low and the back of her sneaker was rubbing her ankle. We went to Connections and Renay asked a cast member where we could find socks. She walked us over to a display of ugly character knee socks, lol! However, somebody noticed normal socks on another rack, so that’s what Annie bought. We browsed around and Erica picked up a t-shirt for her son, a pair of earrings and a pin. She had cash so I took the items and bought them with my passholder discount to save her $10. As I went through the queue I eventually noticed 1 earring was missing. Retracing my steps I found it on the floor and then discovered it did not latch securely and would likely fall off her ear at the slightest touch. I saw the others waiting for me across the way so I gestured Erica over and asked her to go find me another pair of the same earrings (explaining why). At the checkout I told the cast member my niece had gone to find me another pair so she rang it up and by the time that was done Erica was back with the new earrings, which she had tested.

Once back outside we checked Test Track to see if the single rider line would be an option, but I noticed I could not hear Test Track at all. Sure enough, it was not operating. Nobody wanted to do Mission Space so the only thing left was Imagination. We walked over there, rode the Figment ride and then were going to sit in the DVC lounge but it doesn’t open until 11am (about 25 minutes away) so we left.

We headed to World Showcase, starting with Canada. Along the way they looked at the food booth menus. I’d mentioned the goat cheese croissant to Kelly and she definitely wanted that so when we got to France at 3 minutes before 11 I told her to go under the rope and get in line – once things opened in 3 minutes it would become a long line very quickly. She & Renay stood in the queue while Erica, Annie & I stood outside the queue talking. Erica asked me to talk about what my parents (her grandparents) were like. She was a young kid when my mom died, so her memories are very limited. She knew my dad better but was curious what he was like when I was growing up. That passed the time quickly, and soon Renay came to tell us to join them where Kelly was sitting.

She enjoyed the croissant and Annie ate some of it too. She offered me some but I knew with the onion soup coming up I didn’t need anything. At this point it was just after 11, we’d done the attractions we planned to do, and lunch or Test Track wasn’t for another 2+ hours. So, we decided to leave and ride the skyliner – this was new to them. We hopped on and got off at Riviera so they could see that resort, and then I realized the open houses should still be going on and they could see the grand villa. We went up to the lobby and I told the cast member I was a member and my friends would like to see the models. He was very nice, and took us first to a 2-bedroom lockoff (can be booked separately as a studio and 1br villa). After that we went to a Tower Studio.

After touring the smallest unit (Tower) he took us to the largest unit – a grand villa. They were amazed by it! It’s really a beautiful villa. While there Renay asked if a couple of them could fill their water bottles from the kitchen sink faucet and the cast member was reluctant – Renay was fine with “no”. He said he’d get her a couple bottles of water. By the time we were finishing up in the grand villa I guess he didn’t have access to water and he told them it was ok to use the kitchen faucet.

We went back to the lobby and he gave them the pretty Riviera lithographs which are the gifts for taking the tour. I passed, since I have a couple at home. As we were walking away another cast member came over with 2 small bottles of water and gave them to us – how nice! We went back out to the skyliner and decided to ride back to Epcot.

Afterwards the girls split off to do their own thing. The 3 older folks were doing the lunch reservation at 1:30 but Erica and Annie didn’t really care for the menu & were hoping Test Track would be back up for the 1:25 reservation.

Renay & Kelly suggested browsing through the shops in France so I sent them ahead and said I’d let the restaurant know we’d be a party of 3 instead of 5. The cast member said she could seat us whenever we wanted – we didn’t have to wait until 1:30. However, I’d recently placed a mobile order in Germany for one of those caramel apple oatmeal cookies to bring home for SB and the window was now through 12:50.

Meeting up with Renay & Kelly I told them of the option to be seated earlier and they liked that. I was able to change the window on my mobile order to 1:30-2:00. I told the cast member we’d like to eat now, and she said as soon as they open we’d get called in. I was surprised because it always used to open at noon, but it was 12:25 and it was clearly closed/empty. At 12:30 the doors opened and they started calling people. We were seated at a table in a window corner in the area off to the right. It was great for watching people passing by!

They don’t have the cast members back from the host countries yet, but I understand that’s starting back up relatively soon. Our server was from New Jersey, but did throw out a couple French words <g>. We started out with wine – champagne for Renay, chardonnay for me, cabernet sauvignon for Kelly. I had the French onion soup, Kelly had the baked goat cheese salad, and Renay got the ratatouille. I wasn’t sure what that was, but now I know it’s something I’ll never order, lol! Renay enjoyed it, so I’m sure it is good if you like plant based stuff. We passed on dessert. Renay bought lunch, which was very nice.

We walked towards Germany and learned the girls were by Mexico. They’d gotten lunch from Tangerine Café in Morocco and enjoyed that. They were now headed to Test Track, which was finally operating. Kelly decided to go up ahead and meet them so they could all ride together. Renay and I stopped in Germany where once again the app failed. This time it told me I have no mobile orders. Then it wanted me to sign in, which means I enter my information and then have to wait for a code to be tested before I can actually get in. By then we were inside the store and the cast member could clearly see my order on his screen. He went out back and got me a cookie, saying he’d picked the biggest one for me, lol. I really hate Disney IT.

Renay & I continued walking through World Showcase, which was quite HOT by now. We cut around Odyssey and entered Test Track through the exit. Once past the gift shop and the cars on display we found an empty bench so sat there enjoying the air conditioning. When the others got off the attraction, they exited right to where we were seated.

At this point it still wasn’t raining and it looked like the “no rain” would continue for a bit so we decided to head out of the park. They were going to get their swimsuits and hit Stormalong Bay – and get into their room at some point. After exiting the park I decided to stop at Guest Services and they continued on to Beach Club. I went inside to ask about getting a refund for my Genie+ purchase since I’d never used it. I didn’t realize at the time that the terms & conditions say it’s non-refundable. The cast member checked my magic band and confirmed I had not used it. He said he’d make an accommodation and refund the charge to my original credit card. It only took a minute or 2 and I was very pleased. I certainly won’t bother buying it at Epcot in the future. Quite honestly other than paying for Flight of Passage I don’t see myself buying it at all.

Back in my studio it felt great to sit down in the air conditioning and cool off. I updated the report and after checking the weather for the umpteenth time it looks like we’ll mostly miss rain today. The downside to that is the sun is shining and it’s HOT! The sun shines right on my unsheltered balcony, rendering it basically useless this time of year.

By 4:30 the others had gotten their room and were finished up at Stormalong Bay. Some were asking about dinner, others were not hungry at all (I’m in that group – still full from the soup). They decided to get dressed and come over via friendship to drink wine in my studio. I have more seating area, with the sofa and 2 chairs vs their 2 beds. I told them to text me when they got on the boat and I’d come down to meet them at the dock. However, I decided to just head down sooner and browse through the Screen Door.

They ended up walking and I no sooner entered the Screen Door when I had a text to that effect. I replied back saying I’d head in their direction, and ran into Renay & Kelly near the Boardwalk Bakery. Erica and Annie were showering and getting beautiful back in the room <g>. They wanted a little something and after checking the options Kelly got a kid’s ham & cheese sandwich and Renay got a yogurt and chocolate chip muffin from the Boardwalk Bakery.

We went up to my studio and discovered the corkscrew was broken so I called housekeeping to request another. We sat around chatting until it arrived, and they ate their food. The new corkscrew was the cheap kind but Kelly managed it fine. We poured wine (I stuck with my white) and enjoyed the wine and conversation.

Erica & Annie arrived with a roast beef sandwich to share, and a beer for Erica. Annie poured a glass of the red wine. We sat around talking and laughing for a while and eventually stood out on the balcony for a bit. It was getting close to 7 when we decided to head over to Epcot. Renay & Kelly detoured to Beach Club to change back into sneakers. I changed into my sneakers and then went to meet them on the bridge. I was sure it wasn’t going to rain, so sneakers would be safe. I was very wrong!!

We got into Epcot without any wait or issues and I was immediately surprised by how small the crowds were (Saturday night of a festival). Renay said “really?? I was just thinking it was so crowded”, lol. There was plenty of room to walk, the food booths had short or no lines – it was unreal! We headed towards Mexico and were able to walk right into the pavilion and pretty much walk right onto the boat ride. This is actually a pretty cute ride and everyone enjoyed it. Going back outside we made our way through more countries, stopping to browse the shops in Norway, China and Italy.

Also in Italy Kelly & Annie each got a glass of red wine, which they liked. Renay and Erica were interested in gelato until they saw the line and decided it wasn’t worth the wait. The line to get into the 8pm Tony Orlando concert extended back into Italy, but it wasn’t snaked around so I knew it wasn’t bad. We hung around in Italy a bit and then once the concert line had disappeared we walked over to check out possible seating. I was shocked the most of the theater was empty, and it was less than 3 minutes until the concert! Renay suggested sitting under cover so we took seats in the 3rd row.

I thought the show started off a bit slow, with Tony featuring different members of the band. I’m here to hear him sing his songs, not to hear the drummer or keyboard guy or guitarist sing someone else’s songs. We hung in there though, and soon he broke out Tie a Yellow Ribbon and then Knock 3 Times before doing a few songs by other artists. The small audience were mostly loyal fans, and most of us knew all the words from having lived through the 70’s. Erica and Annie missed that decade, but they soon got into it – copying what they saw the old farts doing and having a great time. Renay pulled up Tony Orlando & Dawn on her phone and the pictures of them then were so funny to see. Today you can tell it's him, but obviously he’s changed a lot over the last 50 years!

When the concert ended and we stepped out from under the cover we felt a couple rain drops. We decided to head in the direction of International Gateway. They were going to stay for Harmonious and figured it would be best to watch from near the exit in case it rained much. They’d all left their umbrellas back at the resort. I’d left my regular sized one behind but had the mini umbrella in my bag. I was hoping to get the arepas from the booth by France, but by the time we approached France I was needing my umbrella and eating wouldn’t have worked.

There was space along the railing across from Chefs de France so that was going to be their spot. I was saying my goodbyes when all of a sudden the sky just opened up and buckets of rain started pouring down! Prior to that we’d seen lightning and that continued along with lots of thunder. They decided to bail on Harmonious so we headed for International Gateway. Renay fit under the umbrella with me but we were still drenched in no time.

We stopped under the awning outside World Traveler and I could squeeze my skort with my hand and water would be dripping onto the ground. My sneakers and socks were saturated and squishing when I walked. They were in worse shape, with clothes and hair totally soaked. I checked the weather and it was supposed to continue until 10pm so we decided to just make a run for it. They got back to Beach Club and I made it back to Boardwalk – wet but safe.

In the room I wrung out my wet clothes then rolled them up in a couple bath towels to draw some of the water out. I blotted water out of my sneakers with one of the towels, then set them on the floor under the ceiling fan. I doubt they’ll be dry by morning, but I can wear my flip flops home. The clothes went on hangers and got hung from the shower rod – I’ll be doing laundry when I get home, and if they’re still damp in the morning I’ll toss them in a plastic bag with the sneakers so no big deal.

The others sent a picture of their drowned rat look – it’s pretty funny after the fact <g>. This weather has been something else! Their day looks better tomorrow, with little chance for rain so hopefully it’ll be a good day for them.

Today was a much better day than yesterday, and overall I’ve enjoyed this quick trip quite a bit. It’s been fun hanging out with my nieces and Renay & Kelly. I’m not sure when I’ll see them again but have no doubt we’ll fall right back into having fun whenever we meet again.

I finished up the report and poured the rest of my wine. I never did get dinner, but I’ll probably eat more of yesterday’s caramel apple oatmeal cookie before turning in. Tomorrow morning I’ll have my cappuccino and finish the banana bread before hitting the road for home. I’ll need to do laundry, unpack, and then pack for the next trip – which starts Wednesday. I also want to stop over at the Food Service department to see how the staff are dealing with the unexpected loss on Friday.

Wednesday’s trip is my first return to club level at Jambo House since the pandemic and I can’t wait!! I’ve listed Holli and Chris/Amanda in my studio under altered names and booked them regular studios to sleep in. Holli will be at Jambo House Thursday & Friday nights. Chris’ family will be next door at Kidani Villa Friday, Saturday & Sunday nights (Saturday was not available in any category at Jambo House at 7 months so I booked Kidani & waitlisted Jambo but it never came through). We’re all looking forward to the concierge lounge!

Sue/WDW1972

Steve Soares

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May 22, 2022, 8:01:03 AMMay 22
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Just a quick note: Connections is the Cafe(Starbucks) & Eatery(Quick
Service Restaurant). Creations is the retail shop.

Steve S.

Judy Fallon

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May 23, 2022, 7:22:53 PMMay 23
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Thank you for another TR Sue . Also, my condolences on the death of your co-worker. A few years ago, a woman whom I worked closely with passed away unexpectedly. It’s difficult to wrap your mind around it.
Take care,
Judy

JG

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May 25, 2022, 8:00:24 PMMay 25
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On Saturday, May 21, 2022 at 9:03:38 PM UTC-5, Sue/WDW1972 wrote:
> DAY 2 – Saturday 5/21/22
> Who: Sue (63), DVC Member
> Erica (31), my niece
> Andrea/Annie (29), my niece
> Renay (50’s), my ex sister-in-law
> Kelly (50’s?), Renay’s sister
>
> Plan: Pool, Concierge Lounge
>
> Actual: Yesterday I forgot to mention that while I had plenty of idle time standing in Boardwalk Bakery I couldn’t help but noticing the portions of almost everything were much smaller than expected. The prices seemed typical when I had looked online before the trip, but I was shocked seeing the actual items being smaller – especially in the salads, sandwiches and yogurt parfaits. My banana bread was a decent slice so I didn’t care that it probably cost me $4 or more.
>

These kind of food items can be bought ahead of arrival at Trader Joes or the nearby Publix or Target across I-4. TJ loaf of banana bread is $5

>
> Annie needed some socks, as the ones she was wearing were too low and the back of her sneaker was rubbing her ankle. We went to Connections and Renay asked a cast member where we could find socks. She walked us over to a display of ugly character knee socks, lol! However, somebody noticed normal socks on another rack, so that’s what Annie bought. We browsed around and Erica picked up a t-shirt for her son, a

So the Mouse created a giant soaking Rain Trap in the empty fenced area and sells dry socks nearby....Hmmmmmm
Note to self for future...pack an extra pair of dry socks into the parks.

> They don’t have the cast members back from the host countries yet, but I understand that’s starting back up relatively soon. Our server was from New Jersey, but did throw out a couple French words <g>. We started out with wine – champagne for Renay, chardonnay for me, cabernet sauvignon for Kelly. I had the French onion soup, Kelly had the baked goat cheese salad, and Renay got the ratatouille. I wasn’t sure what that was, but now I know it’s something I’ll never order, lol! Renay enjoyed it, so I’m sure it is good if you like plant based stuff. We passed on dessert. Renay bought lunch, which was very nice.

The New Jersey cast also accept baseball and basketball wagers...just never accept their offer of a tour of the back woods :)

>
> We got into Epcot without any wait or issues and I was immediately surprised by how small the crowds were (Saturday night of a festival). Renay said “really?? I was just thinking it was so crowded”, lol. There was plenty of room to walk, the food booths had short or no lines – it was unreal! We headed towards Mexico and were able to walk right into the pavilion and pretty much walk right onto the boat ride. This is actually a pretty cute ride and everyone enjoyed it. Going back outside we made our way through more countries, stopping to browse the shops in Norway, China and Italy.

A "benefit" of near $200 park tickets....smaller crowds.

>
> Also in Italy Kelly & Annie each got a glass of red wine, which they liked. Renay and Erica were interested in gelato until they saw the line and decided it wasn’t worth the wait. The line to get into the 8pm Tony Orlando concert extended back into Italy, but it wasn’t snaked around so I knew it wasn’t bad. We hung around in Italy a bit and then once the concert line had disappeared we walked over to check out possible seating. I was shocked the most of the theater was empty, and it was less than 3 minutes until the concert! Renay suggested sitting under cover so we took seats in the 3rd row.
>
> I thought the show started off a bit slow, with Tony featuring different members of the band. I’m here to hear him sing his songs, not to hear the drummer or keyboard guy or guitarist sing someone else’s songs. We hung in there though, and soon he broke out Tie a Yellow Ribbon and then Knock 3 Times before doing a few songs by other artists. The small audience were mostly loyal fans, and most of us knew all the words from having lived through the 70’s. Erica and Annie missed that decade, but they soon got into it – copying what they saw the old farts doing and having a great time. Renay pulled up Tony Orlando & Dawn on her phone and the pictures of them then were so funny to see. Today you can tell it's him, but obviously he’s changed a lot over the last 50 years!
>
> When the concert ended and we stepped out from under the cover we felt a couple rain drops. We decided to head in the direction of International Gateway. They were going to stay for Harmonious and figured it would be best to watch from near the exit in case it rained much. They’d all left their umbrellas back at the resort. I’d left my regular sized one behind but had the mini umbrella in my bag. I was hoping to get the arepas from the booth by France, but by the time we approached France I was needing my umbrella and eating wouldn’t have worked.
>
> There was space along the railing across from Chefs de France so that was going to be their spot. I was saying my goodbyes when all of a sudden the sky just opened up and buckets of rain started pouring down! Prior to that we’d seen lightning and that continued along with lots of thunder. They decided to bail on Harmonious so we headed for International Gateway. Renay fit under the umbrella with me but we were still drenched in no time.

Accuweather shows a one hour "future prediction" local radar web page... best thing for vacations.

>
> We stopped under the awning outside World Traveler and I could squeeze my skort with my hand and water would be dripping onto the ground. My sneakers and socks were saturated and squishing when I walked. They were in worse shape, with clothes and hair totally soaked. I checked the weather and it was supposed to continue until 10pm so we decided to just make a run for it. They got back to Beach Club and I made it back to Boardwalk – wet but safe.

One word... Poncho, I bet the Mexico pavillion sells a $1 walmart plastic for $15
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