Sunday, 16 September 2012

California Trip, Day 3

9:00 AM - Up and down to the Amber Waves restaurant in the hotel for our breakfast buffet, which came with the package we bought (room, park tickets, breakfast). Pretty average buffet, at best. Food quality was OK, but very little selection. It's the kind of buffet you'd expect at a 3 star Vegas hotel. Not that impressed.

10:00 AM - At the park gates just at the park opens. Not many guests, not too huge a surprise, but even fewer than I expected. We are able to hit all the rides we are interested in, including an extreme coaster called the "Boomerang", in about an hour and a half!

One of the rides that Tracey went on was this monstrosity:

Yeah, my wife is up there, 301 feet in the air. That takes guts. I peed my pants just uploading that picture to my blog.

11:30 AM - Packed the luggage into the car and off to the Grand Californian!

11:45 AM - Arrive at the Hotel and are greeted by a very friendly valet guy who takes our luggage and the car. Into the lineup to check in, and while Tracey is waiting I'm off to the lounge to see what NFL games they have on the TV's. I notice the Giants game is on so we will go there after we check in, assuming our room isn't ready yet (and check in isn't actually until 4 PM so I wouldn't be surprised if it wasn't ready yet). We get through the line very quickly and are quickly told that they have us booked in a "Premium Pool View room". Um, POOL VIEW?? Who the F**K wants to watch a bunch of people swim from their hotel room? I booked a Premium view of Downtown Disney, which we are told is not available. This might be the first epic fail we have ever experienced at any Disney hotel or park, ever.

We make it pretty clear we are not happy, and the young girl checking us in is obviously concerned.... it's not HER fault they screwed up our reservation. She goes to the back room a couple of times to see what they can do for us, and she comes back to tell us that she is really sorry, but the best they can do is to move us to a "Premium Theme Park View" room. Well, that's not what we booked, but whatever.... maybe we'll have a nice view and maybe even get to watch World of Colour from our room. We reluctantly agree, although we did ask her to make sure her supervisor knew we were not happy with this development.

The room isn't ready, of course, so we head to the lounge to watch the Giants/Buccaneers game. We have a couple of drinks and chat up the friendly bartenders as we are waiting, and get a nice surprise when the Giants come from way behind to win the game!

1:15 PM - Off to the ESPN Zone in Downtown Disney to see if we can get a table to watch the 1PM NFL game between Pittsburgh and NY Jets. It's a zoo, no surprise, and we'd have a better chance of finding a 3-legged ballerina than a table inside right now, but they can quickly seat us outside if we don't mind the heat. It's much cooler today than yesterday, it's about 33 degrees, so that is tolerable. We have another cocktail or two and a very nice lunch while watching the Steelers demolish the Jets. Good day for football so far!!

Tracey's lunch was so big she packed half of it up to go, so she's set for dinner tonight too!

3:15 PM - Still no text message from the resort about our room so we do a little shopping in Downtown Disney and then the gift shop inside the hotel, before sitting down in the hotel lobby to wait for the text that gives us the room number. We already have the key cards to the room so we just need to know the number and that the room is clean.

4:00 PM - Text comes in sending us up to the room. After a long walk from the elevator, we get into our room and notice this is the view we are paying big bucks for:

So yeah, that's a bunch of trees, the monorail track....and if you look way, way in the background, you might find the top of a couple of the highest rides.

HMM. That's a Premium View??? I'd hate to think what you get if you stay in a "Standard View" room. Maybe your eyes get poked out by Dwarves while you sleep?

Anyway, I'm not the kind to complain a lot, but this is something worth complaining about; Tracey calls the desk to complain and a girl says she will look into it and get back to us. It only takes a couple minutes for her to call back and tell us she has a room for us with the view that we wanted! I retract the "epic fail" comment, Disney!

4:10 PM - The girl arrives at our room with our new keys and walks us to the new room. She waits while we check out the view to make sure we are happy with it, and we are, so she takes her leave and Tracey and I spend about 20 minutes high-fiving. Now THAT is how to take care of customers!!

5:00 PM - Hanging out in the room this evening to watch the 49ers/Lions game on TV. Since Tracey already has her dinner, I guess I'm on my own. Looking across the way I see "Haagen Daaz". Ice cream for dinner? Hey why not, I'm on vacation!!!!

7:48 PM - We decided to get some room service, nothing heavy, but a nice dinner to put a cap on a great day. Still watching football, and we will just relax in the room and watch the fireworks when they start a little later.

Oh, and here is the view from our current room:

A small improvement over the other room! This is the kind of atmosphere I don't mind paying extra for. It is an especially spectacular view in the Christmas season, when all the trees get decorated with lights.

There is an excellent violinist serenading us from right beneath our room. This is such a beautiful room! What a huge difference in our trip the move from the other room is going to make.

9:30 PM - The fireworks begin and we couldn't have a better view! Who needs to fight the crowds on Main Street? Not us, we get to watch them from the comfort of our patio, and by turning on the "fireworks audio" channel on the TV, we get to hear the show as well.

10:00 PM - Show is over and we are settling into bed. Tomorrow is going to be a big day as we hit the parks for the first time this trip.

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