From Gaylord Palms to full price at All Star Movies

Was a rough night in Emerald Bay at Gaylord Palms. After the screaming kid departed the pool at 12:24am, I thought I’d get some sleep. Bed not comfortable at all and the room was a bit stuffy so I turned on the AC. Unfortunately the guests on the other side of the wall decided to have some evening activities and “move furniture” and I had to listen to that for an hour. DD was asleep and I wanted her to stay asleep, so I left the TV off and contemplated my escape from Gaylord Palms, penalty fee or not. Finally dozed off around 3am or so, and woke up promptly at 7am to call my phone friends at the Walt Disney Travel Company to see if they can find me something at Disney. Just as well I was awake as someone was running a leaf blower around 7:15am. Ugh. Will not be a good day in the parks.

Called Disney and they found me a room at All Star Movies. No kidding folks, I am paying FULL PRICE for this room, in peak Holiday Season. Not much available, and I was pretty lucky to get it. This is the first time I have ever booked a full price room-only reservation. (In fact the only time I have ever booked anything at full price was my first Disney family vacation in February 2000–didn’t know they had discounts until later 2001.)

I let DD sleep in a bit and got her up at 9:30am and told her we were going to Movies. She was pretty happy, but that also meant hauling our stuff out of the GP to the car which was parked by the convention center. Took 18 minutes to get to the car, and another 18 minutes back. At the front desk I told them that I really needed to leave and GP was “not a good fit” for me. Between the pool noise, horrible parking situation, activities of the neighbors and the lack of food I had to get out of there. She was very apologetic and told me that she would remove the resort fee. I told her that I did not expect anything to be comp’ed–I just wanted to leave and have them waive the early departure fee. She did, apologized about my poor experience, and I went to Disney just down the road. (The resort fee was “worth it”–I thought internet was good, and I took my newspaper and two bottles of water with me.)

Got to Disney and checked in, and they gave me a room and said it was ready. In “Mighty Ducks” section, overlooking pool. We head that way and I get the stuff and again haul it to the room–unfortunately the room was occupied. The “do not disturb” sign was in the lock and holiday decorations in the window, and the drapes were closed. Had DD sit at the pool area with the bags and I made another trip back to the front desk (about 5 minutes here, lol). They apologized and gave me another room. We settle into our tiny, overpriced room at Disney and drive to AK park. It is packed. We decide to have lunch at the Rainforest Cafe as I had a coupon for $10 off.

At the RFC we got lucky and were seated immediately at the bar (which was OK for kids.) Had the Tuscan Chicken and DD ordered the Sweet & Sour Chicken. Her meal was great–mine had undercooked chicken which was on the cool side and a bit slimy. Yuck. Sent that back (and yes, I am worried about eating undercooked chicken!) and got a new meal quickly. The food that came out was really good. Paid the bill and went into the park.

AK park was packed–didn’t do anything at all. Walked around and decided to go back for Extra Magic Hours from 8p-11p. Went to the hotel and checked mail, and Suzanne decided to go swimming. Its around 64 degrees and windy, but heck, why not go swimming???

After she was done with the pool we headed to the food court for pizza. They actually show the food court menus on the resort TV so I knew a pizza was $13.99 before I went down there (very nice to find cheap food!) Got pizza, two salads and with the Tables in Wonderland discount of 20% it was $18.42. Pretty happy about that, plus we have leftover pizza for breakfast. No fridge but its pretty cold out and the trunk of the car will work just fine.

Drove to AK after dinner and it was not busy at all–thank goodness for Extra Magic Hours. I know some of the “professional” written tour planners recommend avoiding EMH, but I find it worth attending. Rode Primeval Whirl (or as we call is the “twirl and hurl”) and then saw Nemo. A couple of my friends reminded me that passholders got 20% off merchandise in most stores so I picked up some stuff. Back to the hotel and to work at 10:45pm.

Tomorrow: 7am rope drop at Magic Kingdom, SciFi Dine In at the Studios for lunch, and most likely Fantasmic or Illuminations–or maybe both.   At least that is the plan!

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