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Old 16 Oct 19, 01:27 AM  
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:) Going Out in a Blaze of Glory - Summer of Sorcery 2019 - DAY 1 The Road to the Yacht Club.

Welcome back - you made it...I hoped you would!

This really did feel like a 'proper start' to any holiday - fever pitch and a day 1 that was just beyond compare. Hope you enjoy it.

Our travel day is here if you missed it

The index to the whole trip is here


Today is another long read but is a trip from Boca Raton to the Yacht Club and to Epcot.
Welcome to...

DAY 1 -Wednesday 24th July

From Boca Raton to the Yacht Club!

As always, the first night sleep in Florida can be a strange one – not for us though, we were shattered after such a long travel day and a relaxing end to it too!

Our choice of the Hilton Boca Raton Suites a good one, we had booked through Expedia ages ago and then found a little offer just 5 weeks ago, we were then able to cancel and rebook to save a further £14.

The overnight stay brought no resort fee, a free breakfast and the free bar last night for just £100 including all taxes.

Can highly recommend it- as it takes a lot for us to sleep so long on a first morning in Florida!

We woke to the lovely view from the balcony and we did manage to take some pictures of the rest of the hotel too.













We did well to sleep until around 6-30 and by 7-30 were on our way down for a free breakfast- another added bonus in this hotel.

The food was all freshly cooked to order and there were many options too. Omelette or scrambled egg with a choice of added extras. Waffles/ fruit/ muffins and pancakes too.

I think the chef had sussed where we were heading!











The breakfast was very good and a much needed start to our day.


I have to admit – we stayed here with just a thought of an overnight stop – it actually showed just what is available in Hotels in the US that aim to provide for the traveller and really go that extra bit more to ensure you have a good stay.

Lovely staff who made an effort to make our stay such a good one was a memorable highlight.

Tip left with the restaurant staff with many thanks (they really were fantastic) - we packed up the car and headed north.

The old Garmin sat nav (now on its 11th or 12th visit) which had lost so much time on the road yesterday, showed an ETA of 12 clock.

The journey was much better today, and by the time we made a quick stop off at Vineland Road Walmart for essentials beyond the dining plan, I had shaved 30 minutes off our arrival time- driving according to the speed of everyone else on the turnpike, I hasten to add (ish)

You know when you have arrived in Orlando when...


You see a car like this



Those essentials in Walmart consisted of just beer, wine and some of the mozzie spray from the fishing aisle!


Obviously, we did not want to complicate the Dining Plan options!


We did, however, make first use of the Revolut card for this trip and were delighted to see it was working fine, know it sounds odd but once you use it having had it frozen on the app for so long, you feel a little more reassured that it is a viable spending option.

We exited more quickly than ever before, and amidst a huge rain storm were Disney bound with some huge excitement building. Along with the incoming weather!










Whilst driving this is such a difficult thing to contain and possibly explain in words especially as I was driving and concentrating on the road, whilst the rest of the car the mood was at best described as jumpin’ -the musical playlist perhaps was adding to it, but we were all at seriously maximum excitement mode.

We were not going to get ahead of ourselves though, our last check in at a Disney hotel (POR last year) was such a shambles we all knew not to be too over excited!

So, as we arrived at The Yacht Club, I turned the music down.




We were met at the gate by the security person, who welcomed us, checked our name off the list and told us to head up to reception. We parked just short of the Valet parking bay, just so they did not get too over excited at a possible ker-ching moment!

We entered the front doors with all the suitcases and stuff left in the car, apart from every bit of check-in paperwork that is known to mankind(just in case! ), to be met by a CM with an Ipad who instantly told us our family surname, welcomed us to the Yacht Club and that check in would be on our right….
We had not even been Magic Branded yet and they knew who we were!
I have to admit - this welcome took our breath away - it was everything that last year was not. So special we still talk about it now.


Speaking of which, our Magic Band pick up was shortly to be upon us- I had been one of those pesky people who managed to order on the US site and had email confirmation that the new offering of different Magic Bands, for onsite guests, at just $10 extra per band.

To cut a long story short – we paid, then were refunded, then charged for 3 and then had to buy another using a discount code and get it delivered to the YC. I have to admit I expected us all to be in just one shade of grey and with nothing that had been ordered.





When you are ready for the worst – you can only be thrilled when you are met at check in by Anthony



I only wish he was at Port Orleans last year !

His care, thought and sheer sincerity in getting us booked in was a joy to share – just as it always should be when checking into any hotel.
He went that bit further than anyone we have ever experienced and made a point of highlighting this to the general manager of the Yacht and Beach club - simple email to Kim Marinaccio

He was fab, our 3 pre-ordered Magic bands were there, along with a blue one for Josh.

We then gave him the order made through mydisneyparks.com and the special delivery code provided by them – one phone call and 5 minutes later we had another magic band to add to the collection.







Minor miracle, but something that I have posted online about – after all of the shenanigans in ordering something that should have been so simple, and having read other stories or different outcomes , I can only say we were all thrilled – the whole thing worked!

With a room yet to be allocated, we also aimed to ensure that the room had not been used by anyone with a dog, due to high allergy concerns for two of us.

These were quickly allayed at reception and he also made a call to housekeeping just to ask a question. Once again fantastic detail in ensuring that our question had been attended to.

The Yacht Club still allows for a pet staying in your room, we never saw one in our whole stay there, but always worth remembering.

The only thing any of us can remember from check in is the smell – the unique smell of the Yacht and Beach club is something that has cost a few pounds over the past few years – thanks to Maple and Whisky who has an Etsy shop which allows for such a beautiful scent to fill our home in the winter months whilst typing all of these experiences up.

I type this now with a candle burning that has that same amazing feeling on your sense of smell.

I still hold a bit of the Yacht and Beach Club in my heart.

It just adds to that desire to go back to this one moment in time and just be frozen in it forever - we had every single minute of a 10 night stay ahead of us and as we looked in awe at the whole check in area that was something that will live forever.

As we went to get our DDP mugs from the shop we found ourselves immediately and completely immersed into the hotel, was it a Disney thing or a hotel thing?

I think it was everything.

It was so completely immediate, and we had not even got the cases out of the car!

The atmosphere, the smell, the hidden Mickey in the water dispenser, the whole check- in procedure, it was simply everything we had ever thought it could be and more. It was also the first chance in a few weeks we had that opportunity as a family to just take stock of where we were.
End of term, Josh had finished school, loads of other work madness and we had just stepped away into our complete happy place. 4 parks one world ? NO, 4 people one Walt Disney World and it all lay ahead...





I have to admit, one of our fears about this trip, was staying too long on site.

We had stretched to 6 nights in the past but never to 10!

We do enjoy the space of a villa and not having to listen to everyone else snore all night – as obviously I can never be accused of that!

As we awaited the email to say our room was ready, which arrived just 5 minutes later, we were all in a buzz of excitement, I can’t really describe it – we just all felt at home and just as though we were in such a place together that we had yearned for over the past few months. (I think my notes even said that above too)

As we made our way to the room there was such a heightened sense of everything.
Apart from the hidden Mickey in the water dispenser, the lift, the carpet, the hurried and excited walk towards the room and then swiping that Magic Band to enter…

Joe had the privilege!

We opened the door to find this…













A room without carpet (no pet hair lingering here then) a view of the quiet pool and tennis court and just a place we knew was more than everything we had thought it would be.


With photos taken and an awareness we needed to get the stuff out of the car, we brought all of our stuff into the room and then parked the car –

I am going to note that 2019 will be the last year that any UK visitor will get free parking at a Disney hotel and that is something I think we will consider should we ever visit in the future, it is something that I will continue to come back to throughout this trip report as I feel it is a nickel and diming of hotel guests that just goes a step beyond – especially for UK guests who will have a hire car. For listeners of The Great British Mickey Waffle Podcast, this will be a feature in the November 2019 show (such is my ire!) If you are a podcast listener I hope you have a listen.


Stay with me and I will continue to share my views throughout this trip report too!


There was simply no way any of us could contain our excitement, the boys headed for ice cream and a pool afternoon.

As we joined them a little time later at Beaches and Cream, you just dissolved into what was to lie ahead of us.










Simply catching some sun and a swim in the pool was just a holding ploy, as much as we enjoyed the place, it was Epcot that lay ahead of us and that just led to even greater excitement!


To be able to just walk into the park was one of the reasons for booking a stay here, it was made even more incredible when you see the Skyliner and the behind the scenes building of what will be the new Ratatouille ride in the vastly expanded France Pavilion.







With Illuminations having it’s finale on September 30th 2019 this was to prove a huge quest for this trip, the changes announced at D23 when we returned will also mean that so much of what we experienced in Epcot this year , will never be repeated.

I hope that some of the things we share in our upcoming days prove to be a memorable farewell to a place we have loved for such a long time.

Our First fast pass of the trip was for Soarin’ which was a fine way to start the whole adventure,





We returned to The Land and just made it into the very last Living with the Land of the day, once we got off the whole ride was closed for the day!









I do like little moments like this and I really do enjoy a trip on Living with the Land – we did the living with the seeds tour a few years ago and thoroughly enjoyed the backstage part to this, so to ride it alone was another little nod to what we had done before- have to admit we did sing the song though. One little seed still needs to be in here!


As we exited the Land Pavilion, we knew what was incoming, the big ‘greenhouses’ part of Living with the Land had made the outside look as if the lights had gone out!

The skies above shared that same story – Mouse Gear it was then, and as soon as possible since there was that whisp of wind that showed that rain was incoming. We only just made it, with a bit of a sprint at the end too.

It was a typical quick Florida shower, intense and with buckets of water that you just would not venture outside in. I do enjoy being inside and watching those caught up in the rain coming in as if they had been totally unaware.

We remained indoors and I have to admit, I was a bit disappointed as to the merch offerings in Mouse Gear, yes it will save me a fortune but nothing, except the Goodbye to Illuminations tee shirts stood out. The illuminated drinks cups were already reduced so we made the quick assumption that they were duff buys!

Joe had already staked a claim for a Forky plush (see what I did there! )

Every single till was wrapped with product recall notices of the Forky plush which had an eye that would then be a choke hazard.

That holiday money from Nan was going to be saved too! Don’t you just love shopping trips like this!

I do actually have to admit- I love buying Disney merch and on this first visit none of it was really doing it for any of us - we usually leave Mousegear with a list for the trip - not today - we just got Joe to fill in the time with stuff we would never be buying!





These all light up for the dark too

We ventured out just as the rain stopped – possibly not best time as we then all found our choice of footwear just soaked up the water.

We headed to China for the boys to get some food,











This then allowed them a quick visit to Test Track and Mission Space , whilst we walked World Showcase and soaked up the whole place and just what was to lie ahead. From some serious work moments in the lead up to the holiday - it was just a good opportunity for Alison and I to breathe, to communicate and to actually acknowledge that we had made it here in one piece.







We stopped off at Japan for dinner, with one of our favourite places that appears to go unnoticed by many looking for a quick service Dining Plan option – the food in here is always delicious and we were not disappointed.









Time was upon us and we knew we needed to grab our place to watch Illuminations- I have a feeling we will be watching this quite a few times this year, but we needed this to be where our trip started this year.
The boys joined us on the bridge between UK and France just before the start.










We then walked Back to the hotel - this is such an amazing thing about being so close to the park and it also allowed the chance of a late swim.


We enjoyed the room and then decided on a hot tub at the pool - no phones , no camera just a chill to end the whole day.

Amazing at just how much you can fit in after fireworks and before sleep!

All in bed by 11 and no sound whilst I type this and it’s not even midnight!

We were there!

DAY 2 can be read by just clicking here

Thanks for reading
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Going out in a Blaze of Glory- Our Summer of Sorcery 2019 - COMPLETE! 4 Weeks, from The Yacht Club for 10 nights onto much more Florida fun too

All of our previous Trip reports and escapades can be read here.

Edited at 01:05 AM.
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Old 16 Oct 19, 11:56 AM  
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I remember the welcome at the Yacht Club it is something special to be met at the door isn't it?
The last time I stayed was before the refurb - the rooms look lovely now they are done up
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Old 16 Oct 19, 12:40 PM  
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Wow - a perfect first day! Felt I was there with you all whilst reading - absolutely fantastic descriptions of the Yacht Club and EPCOT. Yacht Club was our first onsite stay with DDP in 2012. It really was a very special place to stay Can't wait to read more...
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Old 16 Oct 19, 06:11 PM  
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Remebering too that feeling of checking in to the Yacht Club (albeit a good few years ago and before the refurb). Can feel your family's joy and happiness in what lies ahead in your written words.

Isn't it fab when the kids are old enough to go off and do their own thing whilst you both do yours?

As a side note, hope the serious issues at work were resolved and didn't impact upon your family time together.
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Old 16 Oct 19, 08:04 PM  
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Checking in is the beat moment of any holiday, knowing you have all your holiday ahead of you!
Looking forward to the rest!
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Old 16 Oct 19, 08:05 PM  
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That lobster car is awesome! I don't think I've ever seen anything like it.

What a great check in experience a world away from the last one. I suppose the guy at the gate who let you in radioed ahead but even so, that's a classy entrance. It's a shame you forgot to ask where your red carpet was when you were greeted by name!

A lovely afternoon in Epcot, our first ever ride at WDW was on the old Soarin around California a great way for you to start your last trip and to see IllumiNations too. Aaahhh you're home.
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Old 16 Oct 19, 08:53 PM  
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Yacht club sounds idyllic! You obviously fell in love with the place and reading how they welcomed you and seeing photos of the place, I can see why. The proximity to Epcot is also a massive plus I’d think! Thanks for sharing your first day with us, it sounds wonderful
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Old 16 Oct 19, 09:18 PM  
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Sounds like a great Disney day! We are staying at the beach club next year and this has made me even more excited
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Old 16 Oct 19, 10:11 PM  
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The Japanese QSDP offering looks interest, we've never done Epcot properly I don't think so I've never seen a quick service place that I can remember, do you know the name of it?
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Old 17 Oct 19, 12:11 AM  
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Originally Posted by Tretinker View Post
The Japanese QSDP offering looks interest, we've never done Epcot properly I don't think so I've never seen a quick service place that I can remember, do you know the name of it?
It called the Katsura Grill - it is slightly hidden and your attention is always drawn towards the building on the right and indeed the beautiful pagoda too.
It sits on the left hand side of the Japan area and is always a place where we have received consistently good food. Bit of a hidden gem
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Going out in a Blaze of Glory- Our Summer of Sorcery 2019 - COMPLETE! 4 Weeks, from The Yacht Club for 10 nights onto much more Florida fun too

All of our previous Trip reports and escapades can be read here.
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