Sunday, December 30, 2012

The great "Little Things" at WDW

   The first time I went to Walt Disney World it was back in 1994 when we packed up the family and headed out for a long anticipated adventure.  I was just amazed at the sheer scope & size of the place.  There was 3 theme parks back then, and all of those hotels, a Water park, and Downtown Disney, it was overwhelming and fantastic.

   15 years later, we made it back and it was even bigger.  Now there were 4 parks, more hotels, 2 Water parks, and Downtown Disney had changed so much.  It was just as fantastic, and more overwhelming!

Sitting at an umbrella table off of Main Street is a simple pleasure.

   Now that we've been hooked and accepted our role as hopeless Disney Nerds, we've made several trips in the last few years, became DVC members, and have taken friends & family with us to share the wonders of this 43 square mile wonderland.

   It's fun to dig deeper into this place, and go beyond what you first see - The attractions, shows, restaurants, resort hotels - and dig way down into the "Little Things" that you start to see after you've been there enough times to feel like a "Disney World Resident".

The Stave Church (Epcot) 
A neat little Viking Mini-Museum

I had seen the building on previous trips, but never thought to actually go inside and check it out.  But after reading about it somewhere, I couldn't wait for our next visit to Epcot so that we could step inside and check it out.  It's a tiny little space with a few exhibits on display.  Viking tools and figures are colorful and interesting.  It's also a curious feeling when you think about the thousands of people who walk right by and never even consider what might be in this little building.

Rocking Chairs (Magic Kingdom & Animal Kingdom Lodge - Kidani Village) 
"Ringside seats for the Frontierland show"
We happened to find a couple of unoccupied rockers on the streets of Frontierland and took some time to just sit back and watch the world go by.  It was easily one of the highlights of the trip.  Comical and mischievous birds were making us laugh!  People watching, and then the band came along to perform and we had a ringside seat! 

Dan with the Frontierland Band

 More info on: The Frontierland Band

The Walkway between Space Mountain and Storybook Circus 
We found a neat little Walking path that goes between Space Mountain and the Storybook Circus area.  There were some little cutouts and plants, but it was just a nice quiet little area that made us feel like we were away from the crowds for a short time.  We could see the Autopia cars zipping around, and the train going by.  Just one of those little things we love about WDW.

The Walkway along the water between Disney Hollywood Studios and Epcot 
We took a nice stroll along the walking path between DHS and Epcot.  It's a beautiful walk watching the friendship boats glide by and waving back to fellow WDW enthusiasts.  It's just a little over one mile, we strolled at a leisurely pace and took our sweet time, enjoying the sights.  It was pretty secluded at the time of morning that we were walking.  We passed the Boardwalk Resort, and then the Swan & Dolphin as we made our way around and entered Epcot through the International Gateway entrance.  You can also take the Friendship boats, but we just wanted to "walk the walk".

Enjoying a Dole Whip in a quiet place
Get away from my Dole Whip!
 The line at Aloha Isle in Adventureland was short, so I HAD to get me a Dole Whip.  There are usually lots of folks sitting around the immediate area enjoying their treats, but we know that if you walk just a little further towards The Hub, there's a nice little area that is usually pretty deserted and BINGO!... It was wide open!  A wonderful break with my favorite treat (and favorite gal) was just what the Doctor ordered!

Those are just a few of the many wonderful  little things  to be enjoyed at Walt Disney World!  What are some of your favorites?  I'd love to hear about them... and probably try them!

Friday, October 12, 2012


Our group of 7
We've done a few Walt Disney World trips now, and have learned that nothing is perfect, not even at WDW.  Our group consisted of 5 WDW veterans, and 2 first timers (well, practically first timers).  The group put their trust in my knowledge and experience to be the "man with the plan".

Would you trust this guy with your WDW trip planning?

   Sometimes it's Disney's fault when something goes awry.  Sometimes it's our fault, and we realize that we are in the middle of one of those "oops moments".

   There were a few of these events on our last trip:

1. The Room Key:

Disney's Contemporary Resort

   Upon our arrival at The Contemporary Resort, we checked in, and we headed to our room.  When we got there, we did not know how to use the key card reader!  We were looking for a place to "slide" the magnetic strip card, but there was no such place.  Eventually we figured out that you don't slide the card into this type of door, but rather, just touch the magnetic strip to the reader.  We did this, and it flashed RED!

   We tried all 5 of our cards, and they all flashed red.  I went to the elevator lobby, used the house phone to call down to the front desk and explained the situation.  They said that they would try something from there, and if it did not work, they would send someone up to let us into the room until they got it straightened out.

   After a little while, they told us to try the key, so a member of our group went to the room and tried their key... it worked!  It was a rocky start to the trip, but it did get fixed and we were into our room ready to rest up for a big day of touring in the morning.

2. Where is our Magical Express Luggage?

The walkway connects Bay Lake Tower with The Contemporary Resort
   We got into our room, called down to have our Garden Grocer goodies sent up to our room.  We put away our food, and things from our carry-on bags, had something to eat, and waited for our checked in bags to arrive from Disney's Magical Express service.  An important item contained in one of those suitcases was the air mattress for our little Grand Daughter to sleep on.  I explained to the group that we should be patient and it could take 3-4 hours from our airport arrival time for the bags to make their way to our room.

   About 5 hours later, it was getting late, and concern was beginning to set in with our Daughter.  I kept defending Disney's honor, but finally became a little concerned myself and made a call down to the bell services to ask about our luggage.

Disney's Bay Lake Tower

   I noticed that the message button was blinking on our phone, so I hit it and listened to the message...
explaining that bell services made an attempt to deliver our luggage to our room, but The "DO NOT DISTURB" sign was hanging on the door, so they did not attempt delivery!

   MY BAD!  Yes, I was the one who hanged the Do Not Disturb sign on our door!  So I called them, and explained what happened.  The same gentleman that left the message was the one who answered, and he just laughed and said "no problem", "things like this happen all the time" - and that he'd have everything sent right up.  Like I said, sometimes it's Disney's fault... sometimes it's ours.  We got to bed kinda' late on our arrival night.


   We had some friends with us, and told them about Epcot's American Adventure.  We felt it was a "must see" for them, and made sure to be there for one of the showtimes during the day.  We were seated, enjoying the presentation when about 15 minutes into it, we realized that we could HEAR the voices, but there were no audio-animatronics on the stage!  A few minutes later the curtains closed, and the cast member brought up the house lights, and gave the "We are sorry, but due to technical difficulties..." Spiel.  We were disappointed.  Our friends liked what they got to see of the show, but I wish they could have seen the whole thing.  That final scene with Ben Franklin & Mark Twain in the torch at the top of the Statue of Liberty is a classic.  Oh Well...Things happen.

4. THE EPCOT BUS (...from The Contemporary)
Disney Transport Bus at Animal Kingdom

   On our Epcot day, I had it all planned out.  Our friends (2) were staying at Kidani Village, and we (5) were at Bay Lake Tower.  I filled them in on the importance of  "rope drop" when visiting the parks.  Especially if you want to ride Soarin'.  I had them be at Epcot as close to 8:30am as possible, and we would meet them there.  We went to the bus stop at the Contemporary and were ready to roll.  The Animal Kingdom bus pulled up and about 2/3 of the people waiting got on that bus.  I said "Good, most of these folks aren't going to epcot!".  Then a Disney Hollywood Studios bus came and the bus stop got practically empty.  It was looking good.  We waited as a few more buses came and went.  Time was ticking away, and I started to get a little worried.  Where was the epcot bus?  

Monorail to the rescue!

   Then it hit me... We are on the monorail line, maybe there isn't a bus to epcot!  I ran to the next bus that pulled up and asked the driver if there was a bus to Epcot.  The funny thing is THE BUS DRIVER DIDN'T KNOW and started to call HQ to find out!  As he was calling, a couple that was sitting on the bus told me that there was no bus to epcot from the contemporary, and that we would have to get on the monorail and then transfer at the TTC to the Epcot monorail!  I goofed again!  We headed up to the monorail, hopped on, transferred at the TTC and finally made our arrival at Epcot.  Our Daughter had called our 2 friends who were waiting patiently on a bench by Spaceship Earth, and explained what was up.  As the monorail made it's way through Epcot, we could see them sitting on that bench waiting for us.  We made our way in, and I made a fast-pass run for Soarin'.  I felt a little bad about this happening, but it all worked out good.  With Fast-Passes in hand, we had a bite to eat at Sunshine Seasons.  We were able to do a walk-up booking for The Behind the Seeds Tour, and the timing was perfect for Soarin'.  We then hopped on Living with the Land, and met up with our Daughter's family to continue our tour of Epcot.  Yup, I goofed again... but it all worked out pretty good.  I didn't do a good job of planning the way to get to Epcot, but it did feel good to at least have enough WDW smarts to make a "plan B" on the Fly!


   One of our friends that was with us really wanted to take a ride on Splash Mountain, and since I had 4 Fast Passes burning a hole in my pocket, we were on our way and riding in the time that it took to walk from where we were to the boarding area.

   After the ride, as we were unloading, I hear my Wife say.... "Oh NO!", I turn around and she says "I dropped my cell phone".  It seems she had it tucked into the tight little pants pocket above the regular pocket, and as she was getting out of the log vehicle, it worked it's way up and popped right out of her pocket, into the narrow space between the log and the dock - maybe 1 foot wide!  A perfect shot right into the drink!  I immediately told the nearest Cast Member, and they stopped the ride to take a look and see if there was any way to retrieve the phone. 

   I looked around and saw the line of people waiting to board, many had that "What happened?" expression on their faces.  The CM's made a valiant effort to retrieve the phone, but it was nowhere to be found, and even if we had pulled it out of the waterway, it would have been ruined.  So we felt bad for about 5 minutes, as I teased my poor Wife for "throwing things into Splash Mountain".  It was an ancient relic of a cellphone anyway, that looked like a miniature walkie-talkie.  I guess it's time to upgrade!  I just hope Brer Rabbit doesn't use up all of our minutes!

Tuesday, October 2, 2012


 Another great WDW trip is now history.  7 Nights at the Bay Lake Tower in a 1 Bedroom Villa.  Our Daughter, Son-In-Law, and Grand Daughter (almost 3 years old) got the Master Bedroom, and we took the Sofa Bed.

Our room at Bay Lake Tower

 There is much to share from this trip.  Lots of great discoveries, memories, and old favorites.  Among the discoveries was our first actual visit to The Grand Floridian resort.

 With the DVC wing set to open in late 2013 or early 2014, we thought it would be a great time to go explore the "Grand Flo".  Being on the monorail line from the Contemporary/Bay Lake Tower, this was an ideal time to dive in and go explore this beautiful resort.

The Disney Vacation Club wing is moving along!

   Tammy and I had a dining reservation for the Grand Floridian Cafe, so we took the bus from Disney's Hollywood Studios to the resort, and felt welcomed as soon as we got off of the bus.  Yes, it's a little "fancy", but it's Disney fancy!  We were greeted by a warm "Welcome back" and thought this was a really nice touch.  We strolled the grounds, walked over by the Wedding Chapel where a couple and some of their friends were doing some wedding plans and waved at us with a hearty "Hi!".

Lobby of The Grand Floridian

 Lots of construction walls as they were working on the DVC wing, and one of the pools.  The grounds are very nice and well maintained.  With the Polynesian, Magic Kingdom, and Contemporary/Bay Lake Tower off in the distance, it's beautiful no matter which direction you look out onto Bay Lake.

The Polynesian Resort is walking distance from The Grand Floridian

 We went back to check in at the Grand Floridian Cafe where we were given a pager, and after less than a 10 minute wait, we were seated. 

It's a beautiful thing when the beeper goes off for dinner!


 With some fine restaurants available, dining is a pleasure at the Grand Floridian.  In addition to the Cafe, there is also Citricos, Narcoossees, 1900 Park Fare, Victoria & Alberts, and Mizner's Lounge, With Victoria & Albert's being the very formal and elegant dinner spot.

 In my opinion The Grand Floridian Cafe is a wonderful "entry level" eatery to try at The Grand Flo.  It's beautiful, light and cheerful, without being too formal.  The greeters and servers were all so pleasant and helpful.  We were seated at a nice little table for 2 by the window, but there are windows all around, so you can always see out to the beautiful resort grounds.

The Grouper was fantastic

 They brought us out some warm rolls, Sourdough and Multi-Grain, which were both delicious with butter.  And then the main event, both were amazing. 

Possibly... the BEST Burger ever?

For dinner Tammy tried the sustainable fish of the day, which was a grilled Grouper, served on a bed of veggies.  I had been looking forward to the famous Grand Floridian Burger which is an Angus Chuck burger topped off with butter poached Lobster, and served with house made chips!  We were savoring every bite and every moment of our evening.

Dinner for 2 at the Grand Flo Cafe, what a treat

 Our server - German - from Colombia made us feel right at home.  We sparked up a conversation with him, and found out that he's been working at The Grand Floridian Cafe for 10 years, and says he LOVES working there!

 We had some Coffee and Dessert to seal the deal.  It was a great meal.  How great?  Well...

The Grand Floridian is Disney's "Flagship" Resort

 A few days later, on our final night after a day of touring at The Magic Kingdom,  we had a hankerin' to share our new discovery with our group, so I offered to take them there, and called from our room to get an advanced dining reservation.

 We hopped on the monorail, cruised right over to The Grand Floridian for a mini-tour of the grounds, and another wonderful dinner.  Our server was "Dot" who had come over to the GFC from the 50's Prime Time Cafe.

 Tammy and I decided to do a little "Surf n' Turf", so I ordered the NY Strip Steak, and she got the Grouper, then we went half & half with our entrees.

Another Grand Floridian Burger fan

 Our Son-In-Law got the Grand Floridian Burger, and really enjoyed it.  Daughter got the NY Strip and a Caesar Salad.  The Seasonal soup was a Corn Chowder, and was out of this world good!  Our little Grandy just ate off of Mom & Dad's plates.

The NY Strip, cooked just right!

 The servings are pretty generous, and with the soup appetizer + rolls, we were pretty full, so we went with the Dessert Sampler which usually "serves 2" but was enough for us all to get a taste of the different desserts.

The Dessert Sampler plate was almost too pretty to eat. (I said ALMOST)

Guess who got to eat the chocolate Mickey Mouse?

 It was a great way to spend our final night of this WDW trip.  A great discovery was made, not only The Resort, but this great restaurant really made an impression on "Disney Dan & Tam".


Wednesday, August 15, 2012


   Growing up in the Los Angeles area meant lots of trips to Disneyland.  One of my favorite attractions at the time was The Adventure through Inner Space by Monsanto.  This ride was in the location that now houses Star Tours in Tomorrowland.  Your approach to the attraction was pretty exciting, the building was futuristic looking, and  the peoplemover moving along overhead added to the set up.  As you walked up to it and went into the building there was a winding queue area.  Very modern looking (to a 10 year old kid).  You would look up and see cars filled with riders that would seem to enter a machine of some kind, and then would come out MINIATURIZED!  I remember looking so closely at the people in the cars (called Atom-Mobiles) that had been miniaturized.  I was amazed and thought "Is it possible that I'll actually be shrunk like that?".

   The voice of Paul Frees was perfect for this attraction.  He sounded so technical, so serious, almost alarming.  As you boarded your vehicle and got settled in, Frees' narration began and explained the adventure you were about to experience.  I remember him saying something about his thought waves being suspended in this world (or something like that), and then he would tell you that his thoughts would be your only connection to the world once you passed the limits of "normal" magnification.... and then there you were!

   He would explain how you were shrinking smaller and smaller.  The gigantic snowflakes looked like big pieces of styrofoam but I was sold, we really were shrinking!  With mostly cut outs and projections of flashes that were supposed to be molecule particles it was quite entertaining.

   Finally a feeling of relief as the narrator would explain that they've tracked you and are bringing you back!  You would look up and see a giant eye looking at you through a microscope.  You were on your way home!

   You would cruise past some displays of the Monsanto corp. and there was also a post show area which featured information about all that Monsanto does.

   This ride was in Disneyland from 1967 to 1985, when it was closed to make room for the new Star Tours simulator attraction.  I think one of the things that made it so popular, was that it didn't require a ticket!  This was back in the days of the old ticket books (A through E tickets), and when you ran out of tickets, it was off to  Adventure thru Inner Space! 

   I'm surprised that I didn't get kicked off of the ride when I went with my nephew (who is about 3 years older than me) and we were lighting firecrackers and throwing them in the ride... how we didn't get caught, I don't know, but yup, we were two obnoxious little creeps doing that!  (We only threw about 3 during the whole ride).

   This is one of those classic attractions that is missed by Disneyland fans. Star Tours being the incredible ride that it was (especially for it's time!) helped to take away some of the sting of losing such a beloved Disneyland ride.

If you never got to experience it, or want to remember it, here's a link to a youtube video that pays tribute to this great ride:

and here's a link to a great website about Monsanto's Adventure Thru Inner Space:
Yesterland: Adventure Thru Inner Space

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

OUR VISIT TO CELEBRATION, FL - "The Town that Disney built"

   During our 2009 visit to Walt Disney World we took a "day off", grabbed a rental car, and headed out for a visit to the town of Celebration.

   It's a short drive from WDW property to the downtown area of Celebration.  The pastel colors of the buildings in the downtown area are soothing.  The lakeside setting says "C'mon and relax!".

We stepped into the Market Street Cafe on Front St. for breakfast.  It was a family restaurant with kind of a diner atmosphere.  We had a booth by the window, and could see out to the lake.  We were very entertained by a couple of birds that would swoop down out of the nearby trees, and grab packets of Sugar & Equal, and strut around the tables with them in their beaks as if to show off their prizes.  It was kind of an unscripted Flights of Wonder show.  The WDW part of the trip was something that I had really planned out, but the visit to Celebration was something of a pleasant surprise to us.

   We strolled the streets, walked the path around the lake, and walked the boardwalk that leads between different phases of Celebration's residential areas. It was quiet and peaceful, something that this old Grandpa-to-be (at the time) appreciated.  Plenty of critters to watch, and with the signs around, we were very watchful for Alligators.

    Lots of green grass and shade trees makes for a nice way to spend your off day(s) while visiting Walt Disney World.  Some very interesting architectural styled buildings too.  Even though this town has only existed since the mid 1990's, it has a  very historical feel to it.  It's a clean town, lots of civic pride is felt as you walk through the different parts of town.

   Even though this town was actually built by the Disney Corp.  It has since broken away from Disney to become it's own entity, and has taken it's own identity as a Florida town rather than a  Disney Creation.  It is a fun place to visit for anyone, but for someone who has actually read several books on this town, it was a highlight of our 2009 WDW trip for me.  I was impressed.  I look forward to showing off my new discovery to friends and family on future WDW trips.

   No rides.  No tours.  No admission price.  Just a nice town with a very gentle feel to it.  A place that makes you say "I wonder if we could move here?". It's just that nice.

   But as DVC members we've already moved to Florida.  A couple of weeks a year anyway.  In Celebration, I've found another well, filled with water from the Disney Fountain of Youth.

Celebration Town Center Website

Wednesday, May 23, 2012


   On our last trip to WDW in Feb. I wanted to plan a really special meal for  "Mrs. Disney Dan".  We booked an ADR for lunch at The Hollywood Brown Derby in Disney's Hollywood Studios.  

   We did not really know what to expect.  The only thing we knew for sure was that we wanted to try the famous Cobb Salad, and end the meal with their famous Grapefruit Cake.

   After a short wait in the lobby, we were called to be seated, and we were greeted by "The Paparazzi"!  They were taking pictures of "Mrs. Disney Dan" and fussing over her.  It was a fun way to start the special meal.  Later towards the end of the meal, they brought her a souvenir document which told the story of this "famous star" having lunch at the Brown Derby.  It was one of those memorable, magical Disney touches.

   It was so easy to let our imaginations go, and imagine that we were in Hollywood, California.  In our roomy curved booth with the framed caricature drawings all over the walls.  We had fun spotting pictures of famous actors and stars.  The dark coloring of the place adds a feeling of formality, but in such a fun way.

   It was a great meal, a fascinating place to dine.  The staff really went beyond the call of duty to make it an enjoyable time.  There are so many interesting places to eat at Walt Disney World.  I can't really name just one favorite eatery, but Hollywood Brown Derby joined Le Cellier and 'Ohana towards the top of our list.

Monday, March 26, 2012

TRICKS OF THE TRADE -Coffee in the Value room

 Disney "Nuts" (like me) are always looking for tricks and gadgets to use for making the most of each trip.  We tried out a new gadget on our last visit.  It was our first time staying at a Disney value resort, so we knew we would not enjoy the luxury of having a coffee maker in our room.  Our plan was to bring individual packets of instant coffee and instant oatmeal and use this wonderful little gadget called an "Instant immersion heater".

 It's a metal coil that you plug into a wall socket.  It heats up the water in your coffee cup very fast, and voila!... Coffee is ready!  You can heat up a cup of water and use it for instant Oatmeal too.  It didn't take any space in our luggage and really worked great.  Yes, we had to bring our coffee mugs, but we just wrapped them good in bubble wrap, placed them between clothes in the suitcase, and they made the trip without breaking.  We brought plenty of coffee packets and creamers which, again, didn't take much space.  The instant oatmeal didn't take much room either.  It all worked out great.  Gotta have that coffee in the morning to get energized and head out to the parks.
Yup, I LOVE IT when a plan comes together!

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Disney Magic on Main Street!

   While there are so many exciting and thrilling attractions in each theme park at Walt Disney World, sometimes it's a totally unexpected surprise that just takes your entire trip up a notch.

   On our last visit, just my Wife and I, we were treated to such a moment, and will never forget it.

  As we were walking down Main Street on our way to lunch at Tony's Town Square, we passed by the world famous Dapper Dans as they were serenading a young man in a wheel chair.  We stopped to enjoy the moment, and I thought how lucky that gentleman was as he was just sitting there taking it all in with his family and others gathered around enjoying the delightful harmonies of this group.

   I gave a wink to one of the Dans as they were singing, and nodded my head towards my Wife who was wearing her Happy Birthday button.  I didn't think he got the "telepathic" message that I was hinting at, so we just clapped and walked away talking about how great the Dapper Dan's are.

   We walked into Tony's about 10 minutes early for our ADR (Reservation), and were sitting in a little waiting area when in walked the Dapper Dan's.  They walked right over to us and introduced themselves to us...

                                 AND THIS HAPPENED!

   It is now one of the top ten classic moments of our Walt Disney World experience list.

   I 'owed' her, because many years ago, we went out to the Olive Garden to celebrate my birthday, and she told someone there that it was my birthday.  After the meal, the wait staff came over and placed what looked like some kind of hat made out of Balloons and a Coffee Filter on my head and sang "Happy Birthday" to me!  I vowed that  some day she would pay for this dastardly (but fun!) deed.

The moral of the story is...  Revenge is a dish best served up cold, and...
                                     ALWAYS WEAR YOUR CELEBRATION BUTTONS AT WDW!  (or get others to)!

Monday, February 13, 2012


   Just finished another visit to WDW, and although we've been there enough times in the last few years to really feel like "Disney Experts", we experienced a lot of "firsts" on this trip.  Some eateries, some things in the parks, even exploring some resorts.  One of the biggies was where we stayed.  After passing through to drop people off on the magical express bus while heading to Animal Kingdom Lodge's Kidani Village, and always saying "Some day we're going to stay at Pop Century!"... we finally did it!

The Resort:
We wanted to save our DVC points for another trip this year, and booked 6 nights at Pop Century with an Annual Pass discount.  We always wanted to stay there, and the price was right for a budget trip.

It is a colorful place.  All about fun.  Kids will love the color of it all, and adults (like us) will just eat up the nostalgia that is around every corner there.  The food court gets a little "crazy" but there are lots of offerings, and we enjoyed getting a whole pizza there, then taking it back to our room for a relaxing evening "in".  They offer in room pizza delivery service, but we saved a few bucks on the delivery fee, and just ordered and walked back to the room.  I'm sure the smell of pepperoni pizza trailing us was making folks hungry as we strolled by!

It is a pretty large complex.  If you've stayed there before, you probably have your favorite "section" (or decade) you prefer to stay in.  We agreed that we didn't know exactly what we wanted, so we just checked in and let them put us wherever they wanted.  We ended up on the 3rd floor of the "90's" building.  It turned out to be a great location for us.  Not facing a pool which meant a little less noise.  Close to the bus stops and Classic Hall (where the food court and shops are).  And the building had an elevator!
even the elevators are fun at Pop!

 There is no doubt that we loved the Pop Century!  Once we were settled in our room, we felt like we were "home" each afternoon or evening when returning from the parks or Downtown Disney.  We even watched the Superbowl in our room while enjoying our tradition of having sandwiches on Superbowl Sunday... The Earl of Sandwich can't be beat!  Pop is a great base of operations while touring WDW.  The pools are great, the food court offers lots of choices, the shop has a lot to offer, a game room, well marked bus stops, it has everything you need. ...and A LAKE!

I'm sure we'll be returning there again.  And when the Art of Animation resort is finished, it will be a short walk across Hour Glass Lake via the "Generation Gap" Bridge to even more fun and exploration.
There were some other firsts on this trip, but your first time at any Walt Disney World Resort is always memorable.