Salty Caramel trip review Oct. 22-29 POFQ

Might was well dive in – I’m really trying to finish this one!!!

October 22-29
Bay - alllllmost 56, Wesley - nearly 62, Woodrow - fulltime CM

Saturday, October 22
Requested Building 6 Garden View but was upgraded to Building 2 River View. I was grumpy about that and refused to take our luggage out of the car until I’d had a chance to assess the change. So pretty!!! Nice and quiet!!! Kept the room even though the frog fountain was on the other side of the resort.

Wesley got Greek salad with grilled chicken at Sassagoula (food court); it was perfectly fine. We bought refillable mugs and I learned that you have to put the mug down on the platform under the spout so the machine can read the chip. Technology beats me again!

Woodrow and I wanted Disney Springs, so we drove to the Lime Garage, which was full except for the top floor (duh, Saturday!).

Got a bacon cheeseburger to split at D’Luxe, which y’all didn’t much recommend.

D’Luxe Burger Review: Awesome!!! Very surprised it doesn’t get better reviews! That was the exact burger I wanted: crisply toasted, super eggy bun; juicy hamburger patties, smoky bacon, good “special sauce,” etc. – can’t ask for more. Yum!!! Fries were crisp-on-the-outside, fluffy-on-the-inside perfect with the right amount of seasoning. So glad Woodrow split it with me!

Went to Sprinkles for beloved Salty Caramel cupcakes, some confusion happened at the order-for-yourself tablets; our order disappeared. Waited for about fifteen minutes while lots of other people got their cupcakes or ice cream and left. Guy finally asked me what we wanted, brought me a bag and said, “Happy vacation!” WOO HOO!!!

Sprinkles Review: LOVE IT. Salty Caramel cupcakes are the best cupcakes ever. Woodrow got Carrot Cake and said it was too carroty. Wesley got Salted Oatmeal Cereal Cookie and decided he needed to take cookies back to his best friends at home. More Sprinkles coming in this trip report!

Afternoon nap: WOW. Love the beds at POFQ!!! I sort of expected them to be less awesome than the beds at the Boardwalk. Not so! Very comfy; plenty of fluffy pillows, nice linens, too. POFQ is ringing all the bells.

Also: Decorated our window! First time ever!
Steakhouse 71 for dinner – a little confusion at check-in. Couldn’t find it on the app. Went to the podium outside the tunnel; lovely girl checked us in, said we’d be seated soon. Went into the restaurant to sit in the waiting area. Waited. Waited some more. And waited… Finally went to the second desk in front of the bar, and the girls sniffed and said we hadn’t checked in. Hm.

Another ten minutes or so, finally were seated and ordered.

Steakhouse 71 Review: WOW. Loved it!!! Great waiter, great food, great appetizers. I didn’t take any pictures or notes because I was pretty tired and grumpy from all the traveling, but the prime rib was divine and huge. I really ordered that entrée for the Yorkshire pudding – and because prime rib always reminds me of the first really great meal we had in the MK in 1989. (Liberty Tree Tavern. Yum.)

Forgot to take pictures, mostly, but here are Wesley and Woodrow while waiting for our table:

No dessert because we had cupcakes back at the room!

Crashed with our alarms set for Stupid:Early O’Clock.

General notes about POFQ:

  1. The mini fridge in the room has a sticker which warns that its temperature is set to beverage cooler temps only. So it’s really not supposed to be used to keep food.

  2. POFQ does not have laundry service. There is no laundry bag. There is no laundry checklist. No one will pick up your dirty laundry, wash it, and bring it back to you.

  3. The POFQ laundry room is card-only, and it will not text you when a load is done.

  4. There’s a difference between Scat Cat’s Club and the Scat Cat’s Club Café; one serves adult beverages; the other serves Joffrey’s coffee products and beignets. The Club has a door; the Café is open to the lobby.

  5. River View: Hm. We paid for a River View in 1998 and thought it was not worth the price tag. This time, we paid for a Garden View and were upgraded for no additional cost. If you get the upgrade without paying, it’s worth it. Still love the Garden Views, though!!!

  6. OOO!!! The new Disney resort TV!!! I don’t know what they call it. I only experienced the resort tv channel last September at the Boardwalk and then last May at the All Stars, and I LOVED IT. The music loop was great! The info was all there!!! I loved the very subtle little animations that were specific to each resort.

Well, the new resort tv is … Let’s just say I’m not a fan. The graphics are very crisp and sharp, but the music at POFQ isn’t a playlist; it’s one song. Over and over and over. The info is spread out among tabs at the bottom of the screen, so you have to click through a bunch of stuff to find what you want. The animations are actually a little unsettling – the curtains move in some of the windows. Made me feel like I was being peeped upon. Maybe others will have better impressions. I would like to know if there’s more music at the other resorts, because that one song became rather annoying after a couple of days. I miss the old resort TV channel, and I barely knew it.


I love this trip report already! Following for more. Especially love the review format with lots of details. I will admit to being jealous of you having a kid as a CM. My dream :face_holding_back_tears:


That is bizarre! This is the first time I’ve heard of a resort not having this! I wonder if your room was overlooked for restocking of these supplies? Did you inquire at all? Need to make note of this!

Eek. Their laundry game is weak


Yes, we did inquire. Wesley went to the lobby specifically to ask about it.

Doing the laundry turned out to be fine – I did it on our day off and spent time at the pool in between loads. I just wanted to be spoiled and act like the world didn’t have a pandemic that really changed a lot of stuff.


I feel this.

Also, I love your writing style (which I already knew, from your other posts). I can’t wait to read more.


Sunday, October 23
Animal Kingdom

Leapt up before the crack of dawn and headed off in our car to the park, only to be stopped at the driveway by pylons and a security guard. We were directed to loop around to the left, and soon we were driving into the parking. Second car in the lot! Hike to the tapstiles…! (Woodrow says Disney calls them “touch points.” Harumph!)

Dang. Buses had gotten there before us. Still got in a really good position for early entry. Chatted with cute couple from California who had pre-purchased Genie+ and were picking their LL’s.

Rope dropped FOP, walked through the queue at a brisk pace. Never saw the floating blue alien, just a big tank of bubbles.

FOP: Great technology; unimpressed by storyline/setting. Enjoyed the thrill; really hope Disney does something Earthly with this tech. My ride vehicle malfunctioned and did not unlock at the end; had to be released by a CM who didn’t notice I was trapped until the next group was trying to load.

KS: Walk-on! Great truck driver named Sebastian was hilarious; not a lot of animals out and about. No lions at all. Oh, well, them’s the breaks! You never know what you’re going to get on the safari. Sent a Cast Compliment for Sebastian and gave him a “you’re so awesome” altered domino, too.

EE: Five-minute standby, if that. I ducked out but was able to find Wesley and Woodrow during their ride because Woodrow waved a silly wave with both arms as he was going up the hill – and then I recognized them on the swoop downhill because of their t-shirts. Fun sitting one out!

Breakfast: We split up to conquer – Wesley got a breakfast bowl and coffee at Yak & Yeti market; Woodrow got a loaded biscuit at a cart somewhere, and I got iced pumpkin spice lattes at the Anandapur Tea Company stand. We shared the breakfast bowl and biscuit between the three of us. Coffee: Good! Food: Adequate.

Shopping: I was in search of the newish Moana playset (for the tilting-head Pua figure) and a particular shade of pink Minnie ears. Didn’t find either of those in the AK. Did find little ceramic planters with little bamboo plants, but I forgot to buy one before we left.

Up Close With Rhinos: Very enjoyable! Cried! I petted a rhinoceros! Wish I could have fed him. Learned rhinos have prehensile LIPS! (?!?!) Enjoyed the backstage part. Guide joked with Woodrow that it was just another day at work for him, huh? Really enjoyed seeing the triceratops statue that used to be in front of Countdown to Extinction (before it was changed to Dinosaur!).

Street Corn at Harambe Fruit Market: Delicious! Highly recommend! Healthy young athletes chased us down and demanded to know where we got it, LOL.

At this point, we left the park for a nap. We are nap people!

Back to AK after nappity nap nap nap, and honestly, this was the best part of the day.

Maharajah Jungle Trek: Swoon! Fruit bats!!! Kitty cats!!! (That’s the most active I’ve ever seen the tiger!) Giant pigeons (also known as winged rats)! Srsly, I love that trail; we lingered and savored everything.

Gorilla Falls Exploration Trail: Naked mole rats! Meerkats! More birds!! This was another leisurely stroll through the exhibits, very enjoyable.

Discovery Island Trails: We spent so much time at the other two trails that we didn’t get to go through more than one trail around the Tree of Life. :frowning: :frowning: :frowning: This might have been the highlight of the day, though. I’ve never spent that much time picking out animals on the tree; we were all trying to find everything, everywhere. It was fun.

Satu’Li Canteen Review: YUMMMMMM!!! We all got variations on bowls. Woodrow got noodles with chicken and creamy herb dressing; Wesley got salad with beef and black bean vinaigrette; I got black beans & rice with chicken and green onion vinaigrette. All were awesome!!! Woodrow and Wesley drank beer; I think I had unsweetened iced tea. We were all very happy. Atmosphere was a little … cafeteriaish, but overall, it was fine.

Fun CM: Pandora ladies’ room was hoppin’, and the custodian was boppin’ to keep that place as clean as it could be! I caught up with her just outside the door and thanked her for a job well done; she called me sweet; I asked her name and hometown; she said she was a military brat, but I got a peek at her nametag: Sierra! As I headed up the hill, I heard my son’s voice behind me. Woodrow came out of the men’s room, said, “Hi, Sierra!” and Sierra exclaimed, “Woody! What are you doing here?!” So I turned around and whisper-yelled, “HE’S MY SON!” And there was much laughing and whatnot. Fun! I sent her a Cast Compliment.

Tree of Life: Awakenings – Woodrow wanted to wait through all the shows and get a picture of the tree as it is lit up at the very end of the day, but I had read that the tree isn’t lit up as it was during the summer. So as we walked to Discovery Island, Woodrow warned us that it would be crowded. Holy moly! It was so crowded! We were way in the back. Then the show ended, and the crowds began streaming out from around us. Woodrow turned to us and said, “Most people are going to leave now because they think that’s the only show. It’s not the only show. There will be more shows, and then some will repeat, and then there’s a big finale, and then the tree will be lit.”

A man behind us said, “WAIT, WHAT?” Woodrow explained again. A woman to our left said, “HOLD ON – THERE ARE MORE SHOWS?!” Woodrow said yes. Someone asked, “How do you know?” And I said, “Because he works here.”

And this became our evening – a tree show, more people would leave, and we would move closer to the tree. It went on this way for a while – no one really knows how long --but after a while we were like, “Is that the finale? … How 'bout now? … Is that it?”

At one point, the woman we had spoken to earlier came and asked, “Is THIS the finale?” We laughed together, and she confessed that she was stalking Woodrow. “If he’s still here, I’m still waiting for the finale!” But we finally gave up because we were tired little peoples. It was, like, 8:50 by then. Park had been “closed” for almost an hour.

Back to POFQ where the boys got beignets and I ate my second Salty Caramel cupcake… and regretted it! No more Salty Caramel 'til Tuesday, dang it. Why, oh, why doesn’t Sprinkles deliver?

Anyway. Zzzzzzz! :sleeping:


But it did freeze our water in July.


That is very cool. [Pun intended!] I didn’t test it; I just noted the sticker. It surely looks like a mini fridge!


It does, and it was only the bottles on one shelf that froze, but ours at least did get very cold.


My favorite as well! I could sit in the bar room or the aviary all day!!

I like to watch from the back. Less peopley and the bonus of the reflection in the water :heart_eyes:


I think you might mean bat, but bar works too


:rofl: I did but I’m leaving it because yeah I’d do both :grin:


What a fun day! Y’all are a lovely family. And we are nappers too lol.


So much fun!!


Loving this report!


Monday, October 24
Epcot! And MK

Cosmic Rewind Virtual Queue was confusing and had three or four extra steps that weren’t there last year when the Virtual Queue was for Rise of the Resistance, but I snagged Group 84 and was told that we would be called back around 4:30. Whew! That would leave time for our precious nap!

Woodrow didn’t join us; he had to work.

Wesley drove to the Boardwalk while I mobile ordered one bagel breakfast sandwich and two cups of coffee from the Boardwalk Deli. Worked like a charm!

I ran to the deli while Wesley parked in self-parking.

Boardwalk Deli: Fine as always. Not sure why they felt the need to rename it. The food is just the same as it was last year when it was still called a bakery. We sat at a table in front of the Abracadabar and enjoyed the glorious Boardwalk atmosphere.

Epcot: Tried to rope drop but didn’t make it quite in time. Still got in for early entry and made it to Remy ahead of the real crowd.

Remy’s Ratatouille Adventure: Walked through the queue at a quick pace – adorable queue!!! – and rode in no time. Soooo cuuuuuute!!! The dad and adult daughter in the seat behind us were fun – well, the daughter was. Twenty-something or so. After the very first time a champagne bottle popped and spritzed us with both wind and water, she exclaimed in that droll millennial tone, “STOP!” At the end, she was laughing. We were laughing, too. Such a cute ride!!! A+, Disney!

Hiked up to The Land (happy sigh!) –

Soarin’ – Walk-on! Didn’t ask for the middle, didn’t get the middle. Smelled so good! Didn’t experience the smells last year because masks were still required back then. Yay, Soarin’! (But I still think the old California version was better.)

Mission:Space (Orange): A walk-on! Absolutely adore this ride; it never gets old; love it, love it, love it. I could ride it three times in a row. Except the line gets long really quick once the park is open.

(Had to get pic with the last vestige of Horizons, d’accord!)

Back to the Land… but Living with the Land, now open, had a 45-minute line! ==:o No. No, sir.

Sunshine Seasons: Started off just getting ice water, but Wesley’s blood sugar dropped. He ended up getting orange juice and a banana. I watched a statistician making notes about wait times, traffic patterns, and crowds and wondered for whom he was working. … The line for Living with the Land was still long, so we headed for the World Showcase.

BrewWings: They give PILES of wings. That’s not a tasting; that’s a meal! Wesley got something sriracha (so, hot); I got garlic parmesan and hard cider. Wesley had beer. Found one of the old talking trashcans!!! Nearly cried at the delightful surprise!!!

Mexico: Mariachi band just starting, so we stopped. I remember when there were just 4 guys on the bottom steps of the pyramid back in '89 – the band got bigger, huh?! They were fabulous. One of the anniversary couples for whom they played a love song included a husband who knew the song and sang with them. So cute!

Norway: Explored the little church (stave) thoroughly. Such cool stuff in there!!! [“Loftis” is probably Viking by way of Ireland, so this stuff was really interesting to Wesley.]

China: Uhhhhhhhh… starting to forget stuff…

India booth: Crispy paneer and wine, both OK. Obnoxious The Villages residents letting their friends in line in front of them NOT OK.

Don’t remember much 'til just after Germany. Wesley’s blood sugar was dropping again [brittle Type I diabetes with fancy new insulin pump and sensor (it’s really an awesome new set-up but it took many months to arrive after ordering it last fall so he had less time to get used to it than he had planned)]; he suggested chocolate glace in France, but I was like, “Um, that’s really far and the line will be long. Let’s get gelato LIKE RIGHT HERE.”

Gelateria Toscana: WOW!!! Fast line, divine gelato! Got the coppa del nonno with vanilla, chocolate, and cookies’n’cream gelato, chocolate syrup, whipped cream, and tiny almond cookies. Shared it and loved it!!! Highly recommend! Wesley ate most of the almond cookies for me. (Not crazy about almond anything, but I tried one cookie because I’m a grown-up and that’s what grown-ups do to try to keep open minds about things like that.)


Morocco: Ladies’ room! Nice chat with 10-year-old girl who really needed to go. We complimented each other on our ears and whatnot. She had borrowed her mom’s ears because the ones she picked were too heavy and hurt her head. I let her get in front of me when she started dancing around. (Build more ladies’ rooms, Disney!!!)

The rest of the World Showcase is a blur.

Finally exited at the IG and walked to the Boardwalk, went to the lobby, smelled the divine lobby smell that I didn’t smell at all last year. Went to the ladies’ room and met a really nice CM whose name I forget now, but I sent her a Cast Compliment the moment I got in the car to go back to POFQ. Such a cutie!!! She loves her job. Definitely DCP. She was from Danville, Illinois. “I lived in Decatur for a year!” I told her, and she practically squealed to speak to someone who used to know where Danville is. LOL

Back at the POFQ, Wesley crashed for a nap, and I took a fast fast fast shower. So hot and sticky! Plugged my neck fan in to charge up, put on my CPAP mask, laid down… and my phone made a noise. Checked it … OMG. Boarding Group 84 was being called!!! Uggghhhhh, need naaaaaaaaaap. Didn’t wake Wesley. Just went nighty-night.

After nap, the fan wasn’t charged. It broke. Stupid Micro B USB port! So flimsy. Grrrrr! Told Wesley about boarding group; he was OK with skipping. We would save Cosmic Rewind for Friday when Woodrow could join us. For the evening, we were going to the MK where we had an ADR for Skipper Canteen.

Before we headed to the bus, we stopped by the frog fountain on the other side of the resort. Sniff! Love it so much!

At the MK, we walked through the Castle (first time in years) and watched Mickey’s PhilharMagic. We were alone when we saw it last year. It’s so nice with a lot of people around you. So many people still grab at the air!!! That surprised me. Also loved the new Coco part! Srsly love this attraction and wish the gift shop were still Donald-centric.

Walked slowly around to Skipper Canteen and checked in on the app. Sat on a rock bench near the entrance and waited for the “table’s ready” text… which came after about 10 minutes! :smiley: Went in to the podium, where a fairly grumpy girl said, “I’ve been calling for you. Your table is NOT READY. You’re SUPPOSED to check in HERE. NOW I know you’re HERE. You can wait OVER THERE.”

Yikes. :confused: Sheesh. Um, OK. A parent made their child stop lying across two crates so I could sit down. Yay, fun.

Instead of a text message or a push message, someone yelled our last name and we hopped to. We were led inside where chaos reigned. I couldn’t hear a word the girl who was leading us said. We were seated at a two-top next to a couple with a toddler.

… Yeah, I’ll keep this short.

Skipper Canteen Review: Loud and chaotic. Didn’t get any fun stuff from the nice but harried waitress. Tried to read the books in the nook going toward the library, which I thought was supposed to be full of puns or dad jokes. Found two jokes/puns. The rest weren’t … funny? – The food, though, was very, very good. We started with the Brazilian cheese bread (duh!). I had the Asian-glazed pork shoulder and Wesley had lamb chops. He loved his dinner.

Not sure we ever need to go back… Glad the MK has a restaurant with good food; but the atmosphere was not as fun as advertised.

Headed out toward the Hub; just before Crystal Palace, we were forcibly detoured behind the Main Street shops to the end next to the firehouse. A CM told us we could go back to Main Street if we wanted to watch the fireworks, or we could … leave.

I couldn’t decide, and the crowds were nightmarish, so we went into the Emporium, which was so full we could barely move.

Shopping: No Moana playset, no just-right pink Minnie ears, but I found a Shoulder Jiminy Cricket which I could not resist, not at all, not one bit, because my conscience IS my guide, so I bought it even though Woodrow wasn’t there to save me some moolah with his spiffy CM discount.

(He fussed at me later about that, LOL!)

We left. We stopped outside the train station and had some pictures taken by a PhotoPass photographer.

Got on a bus and went back to POFQ where I added Jiminy to my window display and hopped in bed.

Wesley tried to watch football, but ESPN had disappeared from the TV. He went to the lobby to ask about it and laundry pick-up; they said they would work on ESPN, but there was not to be any picking up of laundry.

Long day! Day off Tuesday! Didn’t set the alarm at all!


I got a notification when my laundry was done in October. I used the laundry view app or whatever it was called. It was a push notification and not an actual text though.


Love the window…but I can’t see all of Jiminy!! . :blush:


That was not an option by October 25. Now I wish I had taken pictures of the prompts on the machine on the wall! There was no way to put in a phone number or email address or anything like that.

However, the machine was very responsive when one of the washers just stopped washing in the middle of a load and didn’t finish. We were promptly refunded our $3, and by the time I went back to unload our dryer, an “Out of Order” sign was on the washer that had stopped washing.

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I don’t think this one’s any better! I’m sorry! I really struggled to take pictures this trip. Not sure what my mental block was!