Aug 19, 2012





Goodbye Contemporary and Welcome Home to Old Key West


It was time to move. We woke up around 6.30 and walked right to the balcony. There were just a few more hours left to enjoy the wonderful view and we wanted to take in as much as possible.

Then, after having taken showers, we headed over to the lounge for breakfast. This time it was much fuller there, but we easily found a table after picking up tea, coffee and orange juice. Drinks put on the table we went back for some food. Tom got a bagel, which he toasted, cream cheese and some melon slices and I picked up a croissant, some marmalade and some pineapple. We sat, enjoyed our breakfast and went even back for seconds but far too soon it was time to give up our table with a view again and head back to our room. All that was left to do was to pack up the rest of our stuff. That didn’t take very long and after having checked everywhere we called bell services. We took turns sitting out on the balcony, so not to miss bell services knock and enjoyed the location and view to the fullest. About 10 minutes after our call, there was a knock at the door and we asked to have our luggage transferred to Old Key West, which was happily agreed to. Luggage gone, we picked up our little gift bag for the concierge and walked to the door, turned back and one more trip back to the balcony before it really was time to say goodbye. Once we had finally closed the door behind us we walked to the concierge desk, thanked them for their services and handed over our little gift bag, filled with European chocolates and got into the elevator.

On the first floor we headed over to our self parked car, got in and sadly said goodbye to the beautiful Contemporary resort. It was around 10am and we were sure that our room would not be ready at Old Key West, but we drove over to check in and start our Free Dining stay. So, within a few minutes we heard that friendly “Welcome Home” at the gate and parked the car in front of Hospitality House. Walked over to the front desk and since we had done Online check in, everything was ready and waiting for us. As we had thought our villa was not ready, but we received our Key to the world cards and were told to call back for the room number, but our request of Turtle Pond Road had be granted and we knew we would be on a higher floor. Our Keys to the World were loaded with our dining plan credits and since we were both thirsty, we walked over to Goods to go and picked up our Resort mugs, rinsed them out and got some soda. We sat down at the tables right outside and enjoyed being back at our new home away from home. Thirst quenched we headed back to the car, but not without a visit to the General Store, where we found a lot of neat new resort specific items. We didn’t want to buy then, so we just headed outside to the car and off we went to do some exploring.

We drove over to the new Art of Animation resort, which had opened a short while ago, to check it all out. We parked the car in front of the check in hall and headed over. First off, it was nice to get out of the heat and into the air conditioned building. The front desk looked slightly familiar having stayed at some value resorts before, but the theming was awesome. Next up was the shop. There were a lot of resort themed items too and a lot of things to check out. Our next stop was the restaurant. We both weren’t hungry, but we checked out the different stations and were sure to be back there, to give it a try. Then we walked outside.

First stop was the Nemo section, which was so awesome and cute with the larger than life icons. We were stunned that the had decided on having inside corridors instead of the outside, motel feel ones and we headed inside and even inside the theming continued and it all looked really nice.

Once we had finished our walk through we headed over to the next section, the Lion King buildings. Again, the outside theming and icons were just awesome and we watched some kids playing before we headed inside the building again, the check out the inside décor. While walking through some of the doors, of obviously unoccupied rooms were open and we peeked inside while walking by and the rooms really look great. Our next stop was the Cars section, which was again so well themed, with all the cars from the movies and so many different icons. Again, we walked back on the inside of the building and we were able to peek into some of the Family suites again and they all looked so awesome. Should be awesome to stay in them one day, even without kids.

The last part we wanted to check out was the then unfinished Little Mermaid section. But we quickly realized that it was still all closed off and you could not see too much, so we headed back to the Animation Hall for a biological break and to cool off a bit. Once we were sufficiently cooled down again, we headed back out and back to the car. Tom took the top down and we drove over to Downtown Disney. The carpark was getting full already in the early afternoon, but we found a spot close to World of Disney and headed right for the shop. It took us quite some time to get through all the different rooms and check out the new merchandise before we walked over to Wolfgang Puck’s Express to use up the first of our free dining credits.

We put in our order, picked up our glasses and filled them and then found a table to sit, sip and chill until our lunch arrived. We both had ordered old favourites, which we had been craving for about half a year. Tom had ordered the Barbequed Chicken Pizza, red onion, cilantro, tomatoes and smokey BBQ sauce on a crisp pizza base. I had wanted the Four Cheese Pesto Pizza, Parmesan, mozzarella, fontina, goat cheese, plum tomatoes, fresh basil and sun-dried tomatoes for a long time and was happy to dig in, when it arrived at our table. We both had ordered their Crème Brulee for dessert and enjoyed every little spoonful of it. It was already 2pm when we were done and headed back to the car.

The car got opened up again and off we were again to Old Key West. Tom let me hop out at the front desk to ask if the room was ready and yes, it was and within a few minutes we were on our way. We wanted to check out the villa first, then head back to bell services to pick up our luggage. Within a few minutes we arrived at Old Turtle Pond Road, found our building, but didn’t find the right staircase to go up. When we had finally found it, we were happy to see that we were on the top floor and that the villa was in tip top shape. We headed back to the car and got our hand luggage and computers and put them in the room, before we decided to still let our luggage at bell services and instead head over to Publix to fill the fridge. Publix is about a 10 minute drive from Old Key West and soon we were pushing a cart through the isles, filling the cart with lots of treats. With a cart full of shopping bags we returned to the car, filled the trunk and off we went again, back to Old Key West. We brought all our purchases upstairs, then headed back to the car, with the top already down and went to bell services to pick up our luggage. Some of our luggage had to go on the back seat and the rest was stuffed into the boot and within a very short time we were back at our villa with all our belongings. While Tom stocked the fridge with our new goodies, I started to unpack and do a load of laundry, since we had already travelled for more than a week.

We had some coffee and Coke out on the veranda and relaxing and enjoying the view. We had a long night ahead of us with Extra Magic Hours at the Magic Kingdom. The rest of the afternoon was spent at the villa just kicking back. Around 6pm we got ready for dinner at the Wave. We were a little late, well, about half an hour late, for our reservation, but they happily honoured our reservation and we were asked to sit in their lounge. It didn’t take more than five minutes and our table was ready. We were led to a table for two along the wall and handed the menus. And after having a look at the Drinks menu we both decided to get something extra.

So after ordering the standard Diet Coke, we both opted for something extra. Tom tried the Organic Beer Flight which consists of 3 Orlando Brewing beers.  The flight included three 5oz. samples of their Blonde, Pale and Brown ale, which he really enjoyed. I had my heart set on the Pineapple Upside Down Martini, Skyy Infused Pineapple Vodka, Frangelico, Pina Colada Mix and freshly squeezed lemon juice, topped with whipped cream. It was delicious. In the meantime our server had delivered some slightly warm wholegrain bread, with a nice crust and some butter sprinkled with sea salt. It didn’t take long and our main courses arrived at the table. Tom had ordered the Grilled Beef Tenderloin with Shallot Butter, Potato Gateau and Spring Ratatouille. It looked and tasted wonderful, but my main course was equally good. I had ordered the Locally-sourced Thompson Farms Pork Tenderloin in a Charred Herb marinade with Bread Salad and Bourbon-grilled Florida Peaches. It was definitely heaven on a plate. Since we were on the Disney Dining Plan we HAD TO tackle dessert.

Tom went for the sorbets. That day’s offerings were Pineapple, Mango and Coconut. I stuck with the more cake like desserts and ordered the American Flavours, Key Lime Cube, Ganache-dipped Banana mousse cake, and a Coconut bar.

They were all very good and filling and once we had stuffed ourselves we settled the bill, which was quite some puzzle to do, as part of it was paid for by the DDP and the rest went on a regular bill which we used the Tables in Wonderland card for. Once we were done we headed over to the MK for Extra Magic Hours. The park was still pretty crowded, but we were sure once the Extra Magic Hours would kick in, it would thin down.We explored most of the shops on Main Street, and after Extra Magic Hours had officially started we headed over to the Peoplemover. And were shocked! There was quite a long line.

When we had finally made it over to the Cast Member at the entrance we showed our resort key and went up the moving walkway, then got into the line that snaked around some handrails. Happily seated in our vehicle we began our ride all around Tomorrowland and were still stunned by the masses of people that were still holding out. Once we got off we walked around Tomorrowland, then crossed the hub and walked over to Adventureland. The park was still pretty crowded, but we were sure once the Extra Magic Hours would kick in, it would thin down. We explored the shops on Main Street, and after Extra Magic Hours had officially started we headed over to the Peoplemover. And were shocked! There was quite a line. When we had finally made it to the Cast Member at the entrance we showed our resort key and went up the moving walkway, then got into the line that snaked around some handrails. Happily seated in our vehicle we began our ride around Tomorrowland and were still stunned by masses of people that were still there. Once we got off we walked around Tomorrowland, then crossed the hub and walked over to Adventureland. We always love to ride the Jungle Cruise during Extra Magic Hours, as the skippers crack a lot of non scripted jokes, but this time the line was pretty long.

We thought about it for a few seconds and decided to get in line anyway, the crowds would subside until we were done. It was a fun ride in the dark, with lots of laughs and old and new jokes and when we got off, the line for the ride was even longer and it appeared that the crowds had increased instead of getting less. We headed towards Pirates of the Caribbean and it only had a 15 minute wait advertised, so we jumped in line, the left line that is. It WAS a 15 minute wait until we made it onto the boat and the loading area was crowded too. By that time we were about halfway into Extra Magic Hours and we were getting pretty tired of fighting crowds that appeared to be heavier than during the day.

There was a 50 minute wait for Splash Mountain and a 40 minute wait for Big Thunder Mountain Railroad and we decided to pass on both. We strolled over to Liberty Square and decided to try the Haunted Mansion. Score, only a 10 minute wait and since most visitors chose the new line, it even shorted our wait time. We walked back into Fantasyland and hopped onto It’s a small world, which had a 10 minute wait as well. While on the ride we decided to leave before Extra Magic Hours would be over. So, when we got off the ride, we slowly strolled towards the exit, headed back to the car and arrived back at Old Key West a little before Extra Magic Hours were supposed to end. We had a nightcup and watched a little TV before we finally headed to bed.