The next day we did something that was fairly rare for us. In fact, it’s something we hadn’t done since our “Disneymoon” in 2010. We set aside a day to relax at our hotel. Despite staying at several nice Disney resorts in the past two years, we had never set aside a day to actually enjoy the hotels at which we were staying. I always take time to explore the hotels and take photos in the early morning and late evening, but the options for enjoying the hotel are limited at those hours. At night, it’s usually after 1 am, and by that time there’s nothing to enjoy (unless you’re at the BoardWalk, where there are always some fun drunks to interact with by Jellyrolls). The restaurants are closed, the pool is closed, and all of the shops are closed. In the morning, even though I’m enjoying the resort, there’s usually a deadline for my enjoyment. I’m just biding my time until Sarah is ready to go. So I can’t exactly take a morning swim. Plus, I have a lot of camera gear with me, and it’s not exactly equipped for the pools.
It’s hard to explain why we don’t enjoy the resorts more. We’re down there enough at this point, and even when we visit the parks, we’re rarely have a hurried mentality trying to get as much done as we can. It’s probably because we’re often taking long weekend trips, and if we take a day at the hotel, that means we’re cutting out one of the parks (and by one of the parks, I mean a second visit to Epcot or the Magic Kingdom…sorry, Animal Kingdom!). Logic would dictate that if we’re visiting so frequently, spending more time at the hotel would be a good way to mix things up, keep our visits fresh, and prevent us from losing interest. That, of course, assumes that we’re “logical.” In reality, we love walking through the Magic Kingdom or Epcot just as much today as we did years ago, and we have never even come close to being bored by the parks. They have this allure for us that’s almost impossible to resist.
It’s difficult for us NOT to get up early in the morning and arrive at park opening. It’s downright impossible NOT to stay until the park has closed. Call us crazy, but…we’re crazy about the parks. It’s better than being regular ole crazy, I suppose.
Somehow, on this particular day, we managed to avoid the siren’s song of Epcot and the Magic Kingdom, and instead slept in a bit and headed down to the Beach Club’s pool once we got up. Apparently we view “sleeping in” differently than others, as the pool wasn’t even open when we arrived. I don’t recall the exact time, but we had to wait 5 minutes by a gate for the pool to open.
I’ve often heard people gushing over Storm-Along Bay, the pool at the Yacht and Beach Club, and in addition to location, the pool was a huge selling point for us that made us want to stay at the Beach Club Villas. Although it might seem like just a big pool with a dirty floor, in reality, it’s about the coolest thing ever. In fact, it’s so stellar that it cannot be adequately described without making up a new word. I’m not very creative, so I’ll just smash together a few superlatives to form a supersuperlative to describe it. Storm-Along Bay is awesometubtacularnesszing! Yep, it’s really that great.
Since the pool was so empty when we first arrived and we had never been to it before, we weren’t quite clear as to “pool protocol.” So when we saw other guests grabbing inner tubes, we followed their lead and grabbed them as well. About 45 minutes later, a window opened right behind the inner tubes and put out a sign with the hourly rental rates. Sarah felt bad so she returned hers. To be perfectly honest, I didn’t feel bad, so I didn’t return mine. Maybe I have less of a conscience, but my feeling was that if the Beach Club didn’t want people to use those inner tubes without paying to rent them, a sensible course of action might have been to open the rental station with the pool OR put a sign up clearly indicating there was a rental charge before opening the station OR not having the tubes out for anyone to grab at any time. If you have a random pile of inner tubes right next to a pool without any indication at all that people can’t use them without paying a rental fee, it’s unreasonable to expect people not to use them. It’s like putting an old couch at the corner of your driveway next to some trash cans and then running up to someone who tries to take it and telling them they now owe you $50.
The difference here was that no one said anything. I was floating around on the tube right by this rental station after it opened, and the Cast Member never said anything. Perhaps their philosophy mirrored mine, and they only charged for tubes once it got busy, or perhaps the Cast Members are instructed not to be confrontational about the tubes. Whatever the case may be, I used the tube for another couple of hours before returning it. To some of you, I’m probably as much of a Disney fugitive as someone who uses refillable mugs from the late-1990s. C’est la vie.
Anyway, my fugitive-on-the-run-from-justice confession aside, the morning at Storm-Along Bay was awesome! While the pool was still empty we got a lot of fun photos and floated around the lazy river. We swam a bit, and walked around feeling the awesome sand under our feet.
After about an hour of this, Sarah grew bored. Unlike me, she doesn’t enjoy swimming. Sarah claims to be quite adept at swimming, although I have never actually seen her do much swimming the entire time I’ve known her. Long-time readers of our trip reports likely recall that Sarah has fallen asleep in the Hall of Presidents and American Adventure on a couple of occasions, which is a sign of communism. Patriotic Americans will also note that being unable to swim is a sign of communism. I’m not really sure what to do about this potentially serious issue (my wife possibly being a communist), but rest assured, readers, I am conducting a thorough investigation. I will leave no stone unturned and I do not tolerate communists.
Once Sarah left, I wandered around the pool a bit more and found a better seat in the sand. After that I floated around for a bit, then went back to a lounge chair and fell asleep for a while. It’s pretty boring stuff to read about, but it was a fun change of pace. I love sleeping in the sun by water for some reason–if it were sunny, warm, and wouldn’t draw the ire of security, I would gladly have traded sleeping in our hotel room at night for sleeping on one of those lounge chairs.
I awoke to my phone ringing, as apparently I had been sleeping for a while and Sarah and a couple of our friends were waiting for me at Beaches and Cream. Luckily, I wasn’t too late, as our table still wasn’t ready when I wandered over there.
I decided to call an audible at lunch, ordering a Roast Beef Sandwich/Sub instead of the burger. It was a huge risk, but what can I say…I live on the edge. Yes, ordering one type of beef instead of another at Walt Disney World is basically the definition of “risk taking.” The sandwich was delicious, and was perhaps–dare I say–better than the burger. Even in all of its delicious glory, I did feel a bit odd not ordering the burger. Burgers and ice cream are the ole standbys of our Beaches and Cream trips, and it almost felt wrong not to order a burger. We also didn’t order ice cream. That was even more wrong and I don’t really want to talk about that colossal blunder. I’m actually surprised security didn’t detain us as soon as we left the restaurant for that one. Seriously, what were we thinking?!
We decided to wander around Epcot after lunch rather than heading back to the pool. I could have done a few more hours doing nothing by the pool, but I had already spent a lot of time “accomplishing” that. So we headed over to World Showcase and wandered around, going from country to country simply looking at the topiaries and enjoying the ambiance. It was nice. After that, we caffeinated at Club Cool.
In response to our guests’ feedback, we are striving to make these trip reports more interactive. (Disney says this and our audience likes Disney…so we assume this is true about our audience, too.) Share your responses in the comments:
Next, we were feeling ______________, so we decided to visit Universe of Energy to see some _____________ dinosaurs. __________ loves dinosaurs because dinosaurs are __________ _____________!!! The only people who don’t ___________ dinosaurs are _____________, and those people are __________!
I like this interactive thing–makes the trip reports much easier to write!
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