Senior Citizens Trip Report – BCV & GF June 2-8


#1

This was our 45th wedding anniversary trip …. without the kids, of course. Since we’ve been to WDW a few times before, always on the cheap, we decided to splurge this time on things we’ve never done, like staying at a “deluxe” resort, attending shows instead of rides, and touring areas of the WDW complex that we’ve never seen. So, to kick things off we rented points at the Beach Club Villa and made a bunch of reservations at the nicer restaurants, as well as schedule a couple of non-park days. Kind of expensive and for adults only. Despite rain every day, it turned out to be one of our most memorable visits ever at WDW. The last couple of trips we stayed at POR, but staying at BCV's was only slightly more expensive for a “deluxe’ level room. BC resort is everything it’s billed to be: big, spacious, great location, cool pool and great accommodations. But quite honestly, very crowded and noisy too. After checking in the resort in late afternoon, we headed off in the rain to California Grill for our anniversary celebration dinner. The California Grill is sinfully expensive, but it was probably the single, best dining experience my wife and I have ever had, anywhere. Since we’ve been home, it is the first thing my wife brings up when anyone asks about our trip. She even took photos of our dinner. I guess women do that sort of thing. The view from the restaurant was great too, but all that was overshadowed by the outstanding food and service. Plus, we returned later that evening for a roof top view of MK fireworks.


On day 2, we headed to AK. We did the Kilimanjaro Safaris, Flights of Wonder, Festival of the Lion King, and Finding Nemo Musical events, among others. Thoroughly enjoyed every one, especially Festival of the Lion King. We walked thru Pandora, which I thought was a bit on the small side. Our only “ride” at AK was Na’vi River Journey, after which I was left wishing I had FP’ed Flight of Passage instead. Na’vi was okay, but lacked any “wow” factor for me personally. Frankly, it seemed like a rather short ride too. We booked to the River of Lights dinner package at the Tusker house. Again, a great restaurant. And a character dinner to boot. I have no idea what half the stuff was that I ate, but it all tasted so good that I left absolutely gorged. Despite the torrential rain downpour, the River of Lights show went on. The ponchos didn’t keep out much water in the rain storm, but this show proved to be my wife’s favorite.

Day 3 was an Epcot day. We slept in a bit but stopped at Les Halles for a pastry “brunch” before heading to Future World. Our single favorite show of any at WDW is Turtle Talk with Crush. I know it is designed for kids, but at its heart is improv comedy. No matter how many times we see it, it never fails to impress. We departed from our “shows” agenda this day and took in several new rides, the refurbished Soarin’, and the new Frozen. Again, I couldn’t help but notice how short those 2 new rides seemed to be compared to the more traditional Disney rides. In the middle of the afternoon we headed back to BC for a break to take in their fabled sand bottomed swimming pool. Oh, the advantages of staying within walking distance of Epcot! Later that evening we returned to Epcot for the Illuminations show.
Day 4 … hello Hollywood Studios! It was so long since we were there, it was called MGM Studios then. Now just a short boat ride form BC. Again, we focused on the shows … Frozen Sign Along, Little Mermaid, and Indiana Jones Stunt. All great. We accidently stumbled onto the March of the First Order during the afternoon. Online photos don’t do it justice considering the music and sound effects added in at the park. Loved it! Took lots of pics for the grand kids. We opted for the Fantasmic dinner package at the Brown Derby. Again, an outstanding dining experience. This is the first time I’ve ever seen Fantasmic, and IMHO the very best outdoor show Disney puts on. The wife’s favorite is still the River of Lights. Fantasmic is now mine.


Day 5, the very first time we ever visited WDW without spending a day in some park. Like I said earlier, we intended to see areas of Disney never visited before. We took the opportunity to walk thru nearby Yacht Club and Boardwalk Resorts. I really liked the Yacht Club. Much more aesthetically appealing and acoustically quieter (more carpet and wood flooring) than the Beach Club. Then it was off to Kidani Village for lunch at the Sanaa restaurant. The African setting and wildlife view was gorgeous. Nor did the Sanaa restaurant disappoint. All my wife and I ordered for lunch were appetizers: spiced naan bread, a salad sampler and lamb skewers. We left stuffed, and the food was sooo good. Add in gazelles, zebras, giraffes, kudu, and ostriches walking outside the restaurant windows as we ate … memories for a life time! Then it was off to Disney Springs. My wife wanted to eat at one of her favorite Iron Chef restaurants, Masaharu Morimoto’s Morimoto Asia. Again, a truly wonderful dining experience. The food was every bit as good as any other high-end Disney restaurant, but a little less expensive :blush:. As luck would have it, Masaharu Morimoto was actually at the restaurant that night too. You could tell as the staff was nervous and on their best behavior. It was as if my wife met a rock star. The waiter even managed to finagle an autographed menu for her. Then off to La Nouba. Since we heard this show would be discontinued at the end of the year, we did not want to miss it while in Orlando. No one visiting WDW this year should miss that show! Seriously. I’ve never seen anything before with such high energy and so entertaining as La Nouba. Wow.



#2

Great report and pictures. So glad you had such a good time.


#3


#4

On our very first trip to WDW with the kids years ago we stayed at the Poly. Soon after boarding the monorail for our day at MK, we rounded the bend and the Grand Floridian came into view. I didn’t even know that resort existed back then and was awe struck by the view. I turned to my wife and said, “Someday we’re going to stay there.” Fast forward 25 years … it’s just 2 weeks before we are leaving for another trip to WDW for our 45th anniversary. For some unexplained reason, we decide it would be nice to stay just one more day. But on such short notice there was no more availability at BCV. Not much anywhere else for that matter either. So, I tell my wife I found a few places on MDE where can stay, and oh by the way the GF even shows a room available, but only one. “It’s also horribly expensive and they call it ‘club level’ whatever that is.” She says, “Well you’ve always wanted to stay there.” I love my wife.
So, on day 6 we check out of the BCV and head over to the GF Resort for a single night’s stay. It didn’t take long to realize that we weren’t in Kansas anymore. As we drove up to the resort the outside attendant motioned our car to the entrance and promptly placed all our luggage on a cart. I’m pretty much a self-service kind of guy at most hotels, but in this case, I was informed that a cast member would secure our luggage and make sure it was taken to our room. Oookay. After parking the car, I walked in the resort where my wife was in the lobby sheepishly standing next to cast member who then personally escorted us to our room. Even though we were 3 hours early for check-in, somehow Disney managed to get us in our room. It was slowly dawning on me just what “club level” meant at the GF. We stayed at the Sugar Loaf Key building, a completely secured building reserved for concierge level rooms. After our luggage arrived, we grabbed a quick snack in the club lounge. As I looked around for the waste container to throw way my napkin, a cast member standing nearby asked if she could assist. “Where it is the trash bin?” I asked. “Oh, just leave it on the table and we’ll take care of it,” was the response. As it turned out, I never did see any trash receptacles in the room. It was all surreal, like royalty in a Hallmark Channel movie where personal servants were standing in every room against the wall waiting to take care of your every need. Our room was indeed VERY luxurious compared to any other WDW resort we’ve ever stayed at. Larger rooms, more comfortable mattresses and pillows, more furniture, a full chest of drawers, DVD TV’s, better central HVAC, and more amenities like bath robes, bottled water, … even complimentary insect repellent.


After pinching ourselves to make sure this wasn’t a dream, we headed off for more exploring. We rode the monorail a while like little kids again. Then revisited Poly for a stroll down memory lane. Finally, we took a boat over to WL to see what that was like. We weren’t disappointed. It was an impressive resort. While there we stumbled onto a promotional video being produced in the WL lobby for the new Copper Creek VC Villas. At first, I thought a TV crew was onsite shooting a news story. It was fascinating to watch. There were even actors staged in the background behind the narrator to simulate resort guests walking around. Unfortunately for the production crew, they had to constantly re-record the scene as real resort guests (like us) accidently walked thru the set while the cameras were rolling. If you took photos they did ask you stop so the narrator wasn’t distracted. We headed back to the GF, snacked in the club lounge again (didn’t bother going a restaurant), went swimming since the weather started to clear, and then finished the evening by watching MK fireworks from the boat launch at GF. What a day. Bucket list … check!


#5

Great report! Can you tell me what that is in the picture from California Grill? It looks delicious! I love the YC too! I always saw it through photos but the first time I actually went into the lobby I was amazed!


#6

Was there two queen beds in you GF room?

Thank you so much- I cannot express how much I am enjoying your report!


#7

Seared Hokkaido Scallops, they were amazing. Yes, 2 queen beds in the GF room.


#8

Thanks! I have a voucher for a two night CL stay and I have been thinking maybe GF?


#9

If you can afford it, why would you stay anywhere else? The GF has to be the ultimate in self-indulgent pampering at WDW. We will remember this trip fondly long after I've forgotten how much it cost.


#10

What a fantastic report! I've always wondered about GF, it's beautiful but I am afraid I'd feel too "out of place" there. My DD and I are going for breakfast and to the spa this summer, I can't wait to check it out!


#11

I have goose bumps reading this report. What a special trip you had for such a special occasion!!! :heart:️ Congratulations on 45! Wishing you many more!!


#12

Great report and loved the pictures! Thanks so much for sharing your 45th Anniversary trip with us - it sounds like it was absolutely wonderful!


#13

I'm glad you had such a great anniversary trip!


#14

Thank you for bringing a smile to my face with your report. Between the pictures and your descriptions how much the two of you enjoyed yourselves really comes through.


#15

Lovely trip report, really enjoyed you sharing your special Anniversary visit with us.
Congratulations on 45 years!


#16

Sounds like a fantastic trip!


#17

I really enjoyed your trip report! Thanks for sharing! :sparkling_heart:


#18

Thank you for one of the most endearing trip reports I've ever seen. Best to you and your wife.