Day 6, Part 1: D23’s Diamond Horseshoe Brunch + Root Shoot at Bay Lake Tower

Today was the second day of D23’s Magic & Merriment event, and it was even MORE jammy packed with events than the first day!

In the morning we checked out of Beach Club Villas and drove over to Bay Lake Tower for the ordeal that was check-in. There had been absolutely no point in my doing Online Check-in because they had only one (huge) line and no Online Check-in desk open. I’d done a ton of research and knew that there were a few rooms in the Lake View category that also had a view of the Magic Kingdom, so I was keeping my fingers crossed that we could get for one of these and I could fulfill my dream of watching fireworks from a bubble bath (I don’t ask for much—just a spectacular view of a world-class fireworks show from a decadent Jacuzzi tub in an astronomically priced resort!).

However, when we finally got to the front of the line we were told that not a single room in the 428-room resort was available yet, not even the ones with crappy parking lot views. As you may recall from Day 5, Part 1.07539, we’d had to change the time of our Bay Lake Tower photo shoot with the Roots because we couldn’t get a good time for our D23 Cinderella Castle tour. This meant that I needed to get into our BLT room early so I could get ready—nearly always an impossible task at a DVC resort on a Sunday. When they said they had no rooms ready til 4pm (our shoot was at 2pm) I kinda sorta lost it and started crying, which freaked Patrick out and freaked the desk agent out. She promised they would text us the minute they had a room ready, so we trudged off for the Magic Kingdom and the first D23 event of the day—lunch at the Diamond Horseshoe.

Looks like we rode Snow White’s Scary Adventures before lunch!

Favorite part of the ride…

There was already a line at the Diamond Horseshoe, but we weren’t too far back this time. The instant they opened the doors, a line formed at the buffet. I dashed to the front to grab a table while Patrick hopped in line and started shooting.

What we didn’t know was that in addition to the clammy cold cuts in front of us, off to the side under the balcony were pulled pork sandwiches, soggy Monte Cristo sandwiches, Walt’s Chili, and (my favorite) Elias Disney’s Irish Cheddar soup.

For dessert there were Butterfinger tartlets and pecan tartlets, lemon squares, Mickey bars and Mickey ice cream sandwiches, and… some kinda pumpkin somethin’…

This was a red-letter day for me: I finally tried that classic Disney dessert, the Mickey Bar. I’d always assumed they’d be that grainy, cheap vanilla ice cream with a thin layer of waxy chocolate-flavored coating—definitely not worth the five bucks, or whatever Disney’s charging these days. But since D23 was giving ’em away for free, I figured I’d see what the fuss was about. OH MY GOODNESS! Now I know why everyone’s always talking about these! The ice cream was really creamy and the chocolate was so rich and delicious! We grabbed four more to take back to the room with us…

(Mickey Bar not pictured)

While we were eating, Becky or maybe Jeffrey or maybe both got up on stage and told us about the day’s itinerary. They also gave away the chance to be Grand Marshal in the parade (why do I never think to look *under* the seats when I’m choosing a place to sit?). During lunch, we got a text that our room was ready—hooray!

Back to BLT!

However, when we got to the room they told us to go to, my heart sank when we discovered that A) the maid was still cleaning it, and B) the so-called “Lake View” we’d paid for was actually a view straight into the rooms across the way. So much for a bubble bath with a view of *anything*—not the fireworks, not even the lake, just the curtains we were going to have to keep closed day and night if we didn’t want people looking into the room (because Bay Lake Tower’s rooms don’t have sheers). ARGH!

"Lake" view from the bedroom

"Lake" view from the living room

"Oh wait – if you press yourself up against the glass and into the corner, you can see some lake!"

When I called down to the front desk to tell them our room was actually NOT ready because the maid was still there, nobody could figure out why we’d been sent a text message, and they tried to move us to another room… that was also not ready! I told them to forget it, we were staying cuz I had to get primping.

So while I was getting ready, Patrick took this photo tour of our one-bedroom villa for you:

This is the room number to request if you like to peep into other people's windows

To your right as you enter is the second bathroom…

Jensey says the sofabed is comfy!

Master bath

Possibly my favorite part of the whole place: in-room laundry!

Overall, I *loved* the room itself, I was just so disappointed that we’d paid all this extra money for a 1-bedroom with a lake view and didn’t actually get one. The lack of sheer drapes under the big heavy blackout curtains is confounding. Why on earth wouldn’t you install these in a U-shaped building where most of the rooms look directly into other rooms?! Do they expect us to keep the blackout curtains closed all the time? I was also disappointed to see signs of wear in the four-month-old room—a broken shade on the balcony door, big chips in the finish on the dining room table, and dark scuffs on the walls. They did come up and fix the shade when we called about it, though.

You’ll get to see more shots of the room in Day 8, Part…. III, probably, when Jensey comes over for a slumber party!

So while I troweled on the slap for our Root shoot, Patrick wandered around taking pictures, and this is what he saw:

One nice thing about the room—and I think they thought they were giving us a great room because of this—was that it was on the top floor, so we had access to Top of the World Lounge and the fireworks-viewing platform without needing a DVC escort.

Looks like Patrick took the monorail over to the Grand Floridian next.

Did you know this wreath is made of over TEN pieces?

Meanwhile, Nate and Jensey were making their way to Bay Lake Tower for our shoot!

Over ten pieces, I say!

One of the reasons I picked BLT for the shoot is the mod lobby—I love it!

The Christmas tree, however, was something of a disappointment. They could have done something really cool with a sort of Space Age ’60s feel to complement the “futuristic” Contemporary—maybe even a silver tree!—instead of the bland JC Penny look they went for.


Classic Root shot….

…Classic Carriatrick shot!

Rug Angels!!!

After exhausting the novelty of the lobby, we headed for the fireworks viewing platform and Top of the World Lounge on the roof. This was where having a room on the top floor came in handy, since it would’ve been a drag to search for a cast member to let us up there—IF they’d let us up there!

It was REALLY windy up there…

Always gotta do a toupee shot…

Top of the World Lounge wasn’t open yet, but Nathensey got me some shots through the window. Swank-o!

TEN pieces—can you believe it?!

View of the castle from the bridge connecting BLT and the Contemporary

We headed over to the Contemporary to shoot some pictures in the convention center, which has some neat mod-looking areas (mostly in the old building—the new wing of the center is very Miami Vice ’80s…)

The Roots caught us in our silly little escalator tradition… You know how some couples smooch every time they cross a bridge? Well we smooch every time we ride an escalator cuz it’s the only time I’m shorter than Patrick!

Dunno what this pose was… alien abduction?

Nate and Patrick attempting an acrobatic maneuver….

Well, Nate, anyway….

There’s a neat-looking seating area where I wanted to take some pictures, but THIS guy was in the way…

Spiderman & MJ?

Don't really know what I was going for here…

Ah yes, "Holding up the building"... I learned that one from the Disney photographer at our Magic Kingdom Portrait Session!

Cleopatra, maybe? I give up…

Back across the bridge to BLT!

And then suddenly we were “trashing the dress” in Bay Lake Tower’s water-play area!

Up Next: Photo Tour of the Cinderella Castle Suite!

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9 Responses
  • Hope
    December 21, 2011

    So really over 10 pieces? For reals? 😉

    • lurkyloo
      December 22, 2011

      Try not to let it blow your mind….

  • Tom Bricker
    February 20, 2011

    Awesome photos–I read your Tower of Terror post first and thought you looked familiar. We must have seen you at Magic & Merriment! I take it your friends, The Roots, are professional photographers? Or just really talented amateurs?

    Here’s my recap/review of the event, along with our photos:

    • lurkyloo
      February 20, 2011

      That’s so funny—nice to see you again, in cyberspace! The Roots are indeed pros—we met them when they shot our wedding and liked them so much we never leave them alone now. Thanks for the link!

  • Chilly
    January 6, 2011

    Brilliant Roots photos as always – Happy New Year

  • Jenn Paul
    January 3, 2011

    Love the update! The water shots were by far my favorite! I like that you try all the hotels! Means I don’t have to lol! BLT looks nice, if I were able to get a room that big..but until I hit the lotto, not happening ! Looking forward to more updates!

    • lurkyloo
      January 3, 2011

      Yeah, BLT is cool but definitely WAY overpriced. Even when it’s discounted, the rates are never as good as at the other DVC resorts. Guess it’s all that location, location, location…!

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