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Twenty One!: The TCD Twins' 21st Birthday Jamboree at the Fort

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As my cynical wife points out, the harder it is to cook in the cabins, the less likely you are to do it, therefore you'll buy food from them...

 

Great TR btw, I have missed them....

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11 minutes ago, CoachClough said:

As my cynical wife points out, the harder it is to cook in the cabins, the less likely you are to do it, therefore you'll buy food from them...

 

Great TR btw, I have missed them....

LOL.  Your wife makes a good point, and I'm sure something like that entered into the equation.

TCD

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When we were there over Christmas and New Year's this past holiday season we were lucky (at the time) to have one of the older cabins adjacent to the 'quiet' pool area with the full oven. This worked out for us for our Christmas Eve dinner as we had room to cook, and it was nice to be able to make cinnamon rolls for Christmas morning.

Even in the pre-renovation cabins they were really lacking in basic utensils and necessities, and we pretty much have a standard list of stuff we need to bring to be able to make meals and eat there - everything from BBQ utensils to regular sized coffee mugs (and filters), baking sheets, storage containers, etc.

I would think the extra storage on the end wall is worth it if the bed is as comfortable as TCD related, I used to get tired of banging my shins on the murphy bed when it was down and the location of the couch would definitely make sleeping arrangements more practical.

Losing the extra cooking surface will impact any future trips for certain, and probably result in us bringing a slow cooker and planning more BBQ type meals for any cooking at the cabin. If the Fort had more worthwhile on-site food options I could see this reduction impacting in-room meals versus eating out, but time will tell.

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1 hour ago, shoreline99 said:

When we were there over Christmas and New Year's this past holiday season we were lucky (at the time) to have one of the older cabins adjacent to the 'quiet' pool area with the full oven. This worked out for us for our Christmas Eve dinner as we had room to cook, and it was nice to be able to make cinnamon rolls for Christmas morning.

Even in the pre-renovation cabins they were really lacking in basic utensils and necessities, and we pretty much have a standard list of stuff we need to bring to be able to make meals and eat there - everything from BBQ utensils to regular sized coffee mugs (and filters), baking sheets, storage containers, etc.

I would think the extra storage on the end wall is worth it if the bed is as comfortable as TCD related, I used to get tired of banging my shins on the murphy bed when it was down and the location of the couch would definitely make sleeping arrangements more practical.

Losing the extra cooking surface will impact any future trips for certain, and probably result in us bringing a slow cooker and planning more BBQ type meals for any cooking at the cabin. If the Fort had more worthwhile on-site food options I could see this reduction impacting in-room meals versus eating out, but time will tell.

Good post.  As you noted, there were challenges with meal preparation in the old style cabin kitchen too.

I think that convection oven could cook your cinnamon rolls.  I'm just not sure how or what kind of pan you're allowed to use.

TCD

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Let's move on. . .

We left off on the morning of Friday, May 27th.  Breakfast had been prepared, eaten, and clean-up completed.

Now it was time to check in to the campsite.

On the way out to the Reception Outpost, we checked the 1500 loop, and saw that there were three sites open, and a few with guests packing up to leave.  I made a mental note of the sites, so I knew which I would pick if given a choice.  And, just in case, we surveyed the 2000 loop- there were tons of sites open there.  Good.  They could stick obnoxious groups there where they belong and let me have a site on 1500.

At check-in, we got the same CM that we had the day before.  She remembered that we would be back today, and she got the necessary information, and tapped on her computer.  She said we had a few options for campsites, and she reached for the super secret notebook and opened it up, and placed it before me.  She began pointing to the open sites on the page she opened to.  I wasn't listening.  I stopped her.  The book was opened to the dreaded 2000 loop.  I told her that I had requested the 1500 loop, and that I would like to see the choices I had in that loop.  She told me there were no choices in the 1500 loop- it was booked solid.  I've done this dance before, and I was getting ready to again, when Twin #2 asked me not to.  They don't like me to confront CM's.  I know that this CM was only doing what she was told, and I really am more sensitive to the difficult positions CM's are put in by cowardly managers who hide in the back.  I told Twin #2 that I wanted to push just a little, and then I would let it go.  I asked the CM if she could please check and make sure nothing was open on 1500.  She picked up the phone and called someone.  I know that never works.  And it didn't.  Her answer was the same.  I let it go.  In the past, my strategy here would be to ask for a manager and point out that there were several open sites on the 1500 loop and that if they could hold those for other guests, then why wouldn't they honor the request that I made?  The last time it came to that, the manager never even came out to speak to me- he just told the CM to upgrade me to something other than 2000, and there was no confrontation.

Today, though, I let it go.  There were sites open and ready to go on 2000, and there was one that I've always looked at and thought I would like- 2024.  So, I took that site, and everyone was happy.  Except for me.

I kid.

I really appreciated that the original CM had come through with one of the 100 loop cabins, and it would only be Mrs. TCD, our oldest daughter, and me on the campsite.  So, for this trip, it wasn't that big of a deal.  Plus, I got to try a site that I had always wanted to try.

From here, I hitched up and headed to the 2000 loop, and the twins enjoyed their luxurious cabin accommodations.  We did have tentative plans to go to Epcot in the afternoon to visit Soarin', which was re-opening that day, but we decided not to bother, as the twins were planning to go back to Epcot with friends on Saturday, and I figured I'd catch Soarin' another time before the new film starts.

I don't have photos from Friday afternoon.  I spent it setting up my campsite just so.  I liked this site a lot, because it had a lot of privacy and space.  More than what we had the previous month on a premium site.  My only objection was that it was a long way to the 100 loop.  But, that problem was self-inflicted, as I asked for the 100 loop cabin, and I was close to the regular cabin loops.

While I was setting up camp, the twins looped by a couple of times to bring me water and to check on my progress.  They were enjoying a nice Fort day before their birthday celebration began in earnest.

After my campsite was set-up to my satisfaction, I got a shower, and headed back to the cabin.  I am not sure if I mentioned this, but the AC in that cabin was awesome.  It was so nice and cool in there.  The AC in the TCD pop-up is adequate, but not as good as central air.

At the cabin, we got busy with doing some decorating.  We hung up some banners and paper lanterns outside:

5%2028%2016%20127_zpse4zlljuk.jpg

(those are our two Kenny carts BTW)

5%2028%2016%20128_zpst2sgsx2s.jpg

And we had some lanterns left over for the inside too:

5%2028%2016%20129_zpsj1vqkpl4.jpg

We had just snacked during the afternoon and didn't have a proper lunch, so the plan for tonight was to have a Giddyap And Go chicken dinner from Trail's End takeout.

I walked over there.

That's sweet.

I ordered the chicken, and got my buzzer, and hoped that there would be an empty rocking chair on the porch for me.

There wasn't.

But, there was a space on the bench.  And that would have to do.

It wasn't real busy around there considering it was 5:30 on the Friday of Memorial Day weekend:

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Remember when they took away some of the rocking chairs and picnic tables so they could add those crappy high top tables and chairs on the porch?  Well, the crappy tables and chairs are now all gone, but the rocking chairs are still just the reduced numbers:

5%2028%2016%20132_zpsqefjrc9q.jpg

And while I am raising questions about management decisions, do you remember how the old ring carving kiosk was replaced with a beer cart?  Has anyone ever seen the beer cart open?  If they don't open it on the Friday of Memorial Day weekend, do they ever?:

5%2028%2016%20133_zpshwzbvlhs.jpg

I've noticed that crepe myrtle trees around where I live have started to bloom already, but the crepe myrtles there in the middle of the Settlement haven't yet:

5%2028%2016%20134_zpszdwagkib.jpg

5%2028%2016%20135_zpschte6b1v.jpg

Also missing from the porch are the little checker tables and stools:

5%2028%2016%20136_zpsmg50mxcc.jpg

My chicken was done quickly, and I fetched it and brought it back to the cabin:

5%2028%2016%20137_zpsbihljyo0.jpg

The chicken doesn't come in a bucket anymore- it comes in a box:

5%2028%2016%20138_zpswq4vzply.jpg

We dug into our GAG, and enjoyed it like we always do.

It's still the best deal on property.

After dinner, there was time for looping.

I checked on the 1500 loop and saw who got all the sites there.

Check out this site- five or six? large tents on one site:

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5%2028%2016%20141_zpsiynpcrtz.jpg

An adjacent site had three large tents on it:

5%2028%2016%20142_zpsq0etgbjt.jpg

On another site, they had a big cooking area set up, with a big blue tarp, and 10 or so picnic tables:

5%2028%2016%20143_zpsmhmyrz46.jpg

5%2028%2016%20144_zps0qqxf57z.jpg

There were two more sites with multiple tents:

5%2028%2016%20145_zpsq0s9fc6d.jpg

5%2028%2016%20146_zpsvqoyuufi.jpg

So, what we have here is a group of about 60 or so guests on 5 campsites.

The next day, while looping, I saw that they were middle school aged kids- boys and girls.  My guess was a church youth group, not scouts.  When I looped through on the cart, the kids were in the loop road blocking it, with no intention of moving until one of the few adults present told them to.  Rude bunch of snots.  I feel sorry for the rest of the guests on the 1500 loop, and was glad that I was banished to 2000.

I don't know why I have no photos of my campsite from Friday except this one- I took it from across the canal behind my site.  There's the good old TCD camper and hammock:

5%2028%2016%20147_zpsivxuappx.jpg

I really liked the site- look how much privacy I had on either side- and so much space for hammocks!

My neighbors on each side were tent camping families.

Nice, quiet, and respectful.

Friday night is when things started to get crazy.

The twins had one of the Disneyland College Program roommates flying in to spend the weekend in the cabin, and the oldest TCD DD was also flying in.

There was some discussion about me picking up both girls, but the twins wanted to pick up their friend, who was arriving an hour earlier, so they could get on with their planned evening activities.

So, we made separate trips out to the airport.

After I picked up the oldest TCD DD, we converged on the cabin, and the twins and their friends were preparing to go out for the evening.

It's a thing these days when kids turn 21 to go to a bar and have a drink at midnight on your birthday.  And that's what the twins were going to do.

While this was going on, I kept my camera stowed.  The twins don't like a creepy old man taking pics of them and their friends.

So, I had to swipe these next photos from various social media sites.

Here are the twins and some of their friends getting ready to leave the cabin to head to the bar:

friday%20night_zpswar03yde.jpg

Here are some of their cabin photos:

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The only rule that I insisted on for the Friday night festivities is that there would be no drinking and driving.

So, I ran all the kids out to Disney Springs in the Big Blue Excursion.

I told them I'd pick them up whenever they were ready, and then I headed back to the cabin, and the oldest DD and I hung out there.  A bit later, one of the twins texted that a friend with a car had joined them, and he would not be drinking.  So, I was free to head back to the campsite and call it a night.

Here are a few photos from after midnight, showing the TCD twins drinking alcohol for the very first time:

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The kids ended up hanging out at the Hangar Bar, and liked it very much.  They also hit up the Sprinkles cupcake ATM.

Poor Twin #2 had to work on the morning of her birthday, and asked me if I could stop by the cabin early to give her a ride out to her car.  I told her sure.  I was worried that she might oversleep after her late night, so I thought that was a good idea.

That wraps up Friday.

Saturday was the 28th and the twins' actual birthday.

Mrs. TCD would be arriving, and we would be hitting the Hoop Dee Doo.

Make sure you check back to hear about that!

TCD

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When in convection mode, it is nothing more than a glorified toaster oven. There is a heating element inside with a fan to keep the air moving inside the device so that there are no hot spots. 

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Our convection combo cooks much slower than a traditional oven, despite the name. We can use anything you'd normally put in an oven when we use it in convection mode. 

I love the cabin decorations. How did you get them in the tree? 

Great swiping! (Do they ever read your TRs?)

And it looks like you were actually better off in the 1500 loop. I bet that group of kids was loud! 

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The last two times I was in 1500 loop there were big groups in it, one group must haves been at least 50 - 60 people on about maybe 4 sites with no responsible adults paying attention to what to kids were doing. 

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Late to the party but am enjoying the trip report.

Count me in as another one who looked at the decorations and wondered how the heck you got them up there.

 

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19 hours ago, Specularius said:

When in convection mode, it is nothing more than a glorified toaster oven. There is a heating element inside with a fan to keep the air moving inside the device so that there are no hot spots. 

Thanks.

It sounds like it would be a challenge to cook a turkey in a convection oven.

19 hours ago, Momof6....aka Marty said:

I wonder if these are the right directions for the microwave/convection oven?

http://c.shld.net/assets/docs/spin_prod_833476512.pdf

Yes, it looks like that is the manual.  It would have helped to have one in the cabin.

18 hours ago, CCIntrigue...aka Gwen said:

I can't believe there were no more people than that at the Settlement on Friday afternoon before Memorial Day!

I thought the same thing.  I assume that things were busier before the first Hoop Dee Doo show, but still, it was very quiet around there.  I think you could have walked up and be seated at Trail's End without and ADR.

17 hours ago, CoachClough said:

Unruly children make me angry.  Its why I coach, I can punish children that aren't mine!

I've been around plenty of middle school kids in my recent past, and they are naturally unruly.  But, they also tend to respond to authority.  I assume that these weren't bad kids, they were just acting like middle school kids do when there isn't a responsible adult around to keep order.

It irks me that the Fort management allows this.  Heck, they obviously encourage it.  Who do you think set up all those picnic tables for the mob on that one campsite?

17 hours ago, momof3kids-Yvonne said:

 

Glad to see there was at least one responsible adult with the unruly youth.

Oh and what did the twins order for their first 21st birthday drinks?

From what I heard, Twin #1 had something called a Monkey Head, and Twin #2 had a Singapore Sling.

11 hours ago, Littleolwoman.aka.Kristie said:

Also what bar did they go to? 

They went to Jock Lindsey's Hangar Bar in Disney Springs.

It is connected to the new Boat House restaurant, and the back story is that it was founded by Indiana Jones' pilot:

Jock Lindsey – The Backstory

How did Indiana Jones’ barnstorming pilot Jock Lindsey end up in Disney Springs? Read More
How did Indiana Jones’ barnstorming pilot Jock Lindsey end up in Disney Springs?

Fans of Raiders of the Lost Ark can’t forget Indy’s easygoing pilot Jock Lindsey—owner of a pet snake named Reggie—but how did Jock arrive here?

The two globetrotters stumbled on Disney Springs in 1938 while chasing down a mythology-based tip in central Florida. Attracted to the town’s natural springs and lush terrain, Jock bought some waterfront property and eventually settled down, piloting seaplane tours across the fast-growing Sunshine State.

Jock eventually built an airplane hangar, air tower and runway, and invited fellow members of The Society of Explorers and Adventurers to pay him a visit. His home base soon became a popular stopover and watering hole for world travelers and locals alike.

Jock Lindsey’s Hangar Bar was born!

Today, thrill-seeking families cross borders and continents to soak up the rugged charm of this artifact-strewn hangar bar, with its spare airplane parts, salvaged equipment and dusty mementos of glory days gone by.

https://disneyworld.disney.go.com/dining/disney-springs/jock-lindseys-hangar-bar/

I still have not been, but it looks interesting, and the girls had a great time there.

10 hours ago, GaDawgFan.....Kelly said:

Our convection combo cooks much slower than a traditional oven, despite the name. We can use anything you'd normally put in an oven when we use it in convection mode. 

I love the cabin decorations. How did you get them in the tree? 

Great swiping! (Do they ever read your TRs?)

And it looks like you were actually better off in the 1500 loop. I bet that group of kids was loud! 

I like the space saved by having a convection oven, but it sounds like they aren't the easiest thing to use.

There is a clue in one of the photos that shows how we got the lanterns up there in the trees.  I used a technique I learned back in my Scouting days from when we had to hang our food in trees to keep it away from bears.

The twins occasionally read my trip reports, but they are not faithful readers.  They find me rather boring.

After I encountered that group on the 1500 loop, I was glad that I didn't end up there.  But, it still makes me mad that the management allows this and chooses the 1500 loop for groups like this.

10 hours ago, fladogfan aka Gretchen said:

Yes, that is my question also, How or who hung the outside lanterns?

5%2028%2016%20127_zpse4zlljuk.jpg

The girls and I hung those lanterns.  It wasn't difficult at all.

10 hours ago, BigTom said:

The last two times I was in 1500 loop there were big groups in it, one group must haves been at least 50 - 60 people on about maybe 4 sites with no responsible adults paying attention to what to kids were doing. 

It seems to me that the 1500 loop has become the loop of choice to place groups, especially on holiday weekends.

I hate it.

But, I reckon it's a big money maker for Disney. So, it doesn't matter what I think.

TCD

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10 hours ago, BigTom said:

The last two times I was in 1500 loop there were big groups in it, one group must haves been at least 50 - 60 people on about maybe 4 sites with no responsible adults paying attention to what to kids were doing. 

I can't imagine the effect on the comfort station either 

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22 minutes ago, Tri-Circle-D said:

There is a clue in one of the photos that shows how we got the lanterns up there in the trees.  I used a technique I learned back in my Scouting days from when we had to hang our food in trees to keep it away from bears.

Fun game, I've learned so much about "bear bagging" from the interwebs today.

Still not sure which technique you used since I can't find the clues, but look forward to finding out.

Great TR and what a happy birthday for the twins!

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My fave so far...

Marrison Haul System

This simple but effective mechanical advantage hauling system was developed by Chris Marrison for the Outdoor Action Program (see Figure 6.28). It's particularly helpful when you have heavy food loads. Bears are very intelligent and some bears are smart enough to know that by cutting the diagonal rope to the tree, they can bring down the food bag.

  1. Find a tree with a live branch. The branch should be at least 15 feet (5 meters) from the ground with no object below the branch that could support a bear’s weight. The point at which you will toss the rope over the branch should be at least 10 feet (3 meters) from the tree. The branch should be a least 4 inches in diameter (10 centimeters) at the tree and at least 1 inch in diameter (3 centimeters) at the rope point.
  2. Throw the rope over the branch. Test the branch to make sure it is strong enough to hold the weight (don't be standing directly underneath when you test). Make a Truckers Hitch about 6 feet (2 meters) from the ground and clip carabiner 1 into the bight.
  3. Feed the running end of Rope End B through Carabiner 2 and then through Carabiner 1.
  4. Pull the end of the Rope End A to move Carabiner 1 as close to the tree branch as possible. Tie off Rope End A to the tree.
  5. Attach the food bag to Carabiner 2 and haul the bag as high up as possible. Tie off Rope End B.
  6. To retrieve the bag, untie Rope End B and lower the bag to the ground.

Bear Bag 6

Figure 6.28

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47 minutes ago, dvccamper said:

Late to the party but am enjoying the trip report.

Count me in as another one who looked at the decorations and wondered how the heck you got them up there.

 

Check below for more details on the lantern hanging.

17 minutes ago, Beckers said:

I can't imagine the effect on the comfort station either 

True.

It can be truly awful- especially on the women's side.  There was a smaller group of Spanish-speaking females on the 2000 loop over the weekend we were there, and they basically commandeered the ladies' side of the comfort station for hours at a time.  Mrs. TCD and my daughter reported that they had all of their make-up, hair dryers, etc., set up around the sinks, and wouldn't move to let other guests wash their hands or take a peek in the mirror.  And, for whatever reason, this demographic loves to speak to each other at full volume.  Truly rude and unpleasant.

13 minutes ago, GradyBunch said:

Fun game, I've learned so much about "bear bagging" from the interwebs today.

Still not sure which technique you used since I can't find the clues, but look forward to finding out.

Great TR and what a happy birthday for the twins!

You know what?

I just looked back so I could point out the photo with the clue in it, and it looks like I never posted it.

Here it is:

cabin%20decs.1_zpsap0kggwo.jpg

See what's there on the picnic table?  That's one of Twin #1's Chaco sandals and a roll of twine.  I just tied the twine to the sandal and then lobbed it over a branch.  I tied a simple slip knot and then slid the picnic table under so I could stand on it to tie the lantern on.

There was a Snapchat story that showed all of that, but, thankfully, it's long gone now.

 

11 minutes ago, GradyBunch said:

My fave so far...

Marrison Haul System

This simple but effective mechanical advantage hauling system was developed by Chris Marrison for the Outdoor Action Program (see Figure 6.28). It's particularly helpful when you have heavy food loads. Bears are very intelligent and some bears are smart enough to know that by cutting the diagonal rope to the tree, they can bring down the food bag.

  1. Find a tree with a live branch. The branch should be at least 15 feet (5 meters) from the ground with no object below the branch that could support a bear’s weight. The point at which you will toss the rope over the branch should be at least 10 feet (3 meters) from the tree. The branch should be a least 4 inches in diameter (10 centimeters) at the tree and at least 1 inch in diameter (3 centimeters) at the rope point.
  2. Throw the rope over the branch. Test the branch to make sure it is strong enough to hold the weight (don't be standing directly underneath when you test). Make a Truckers Hitch about 6 feet (2 meters) from the ground and clip carabiner 1 into the bight.
  3. Feed the running end of Rope End B through Carabiner 2 and then through Carabiner 1.
  4. Pull the end of the Rope End A to move Carabiner 1 as close to the tree branch as possible. Tie off Rope End A to the tree.
  5. Attach the food bag to Carabiner 2 and haul the bag as high up as possible. Tie off Rope End B.
  6. To retrieve the bag, untie Rope End B and lower the bag to the ground.

Bear Bag 6

Figure 6.28

Wow.

That's some serious work to keep your food from the bears.

We never went to that much trouble.

TCD

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34 minutes ago, Beckers said:

I can't imagine the effect on the comfort station either 

 

59 minutes ago, Tri-Circle-D said:

 

After I encountered that group on the 1500 loop, I was glad that I didn't end up there.  But, it still makes me mad that the management allows this and chooses the 1500 loop for groups like this.

 

It seems to me that the 1500 loop has become the loop of choice to place groups, especially on holiday weekends.

I hate it.

But, I reckon it's a big money maker for Disney. So, it doesn't matter what I think.

TCD

So is it just the 1500 and 2000 loops where Disney allows it to be like the lawless old west where anything goes?

Are us lowlife tent/PUP owners $$ not as good as the TT and the rolling mansion RV's cash?

It was bad enough that the 2000 loop looks like a barrio on weekends, but now its the same in 1500?

Pardon my French, but THAT SUCKS!!!

Groups should be placed in group camping, isn't that the whole reasoning behind having that area?

Regular sites need to be regulated to 10 people in an immediate family type of situation.

 

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4 minutes ago, Travisma said:

 

So is it just the 1500 and 2000 loops where Disney allows it to be like the lawless old west where anything goes?

Are us lowlife tent/PUP owners $$ not as good as the TT and the rolling mansion RV's cash?

It was bad enough that the 2000 loop looks like a barrio on weekends, but now its the same in 1500?

Pardon my French, but THAT SUCKS!!!

Groups should be placed in group camping, isn't that the whole reasoning behind having that area?

Regular sites need to be regulated to 10 people in an immediate family type of situation.

 

It sure seems like it's confined to the 1500 and 2000 loops.  I think there were so many complaints about obnoxious groups on the 2000 loop that there was a management decision to shift them over to the 1500 loop, the logic being that there would be less regular campers to complain about the offensive group.  And no way would this behavior be tolerated on a premium loop, so that doesn't happen.

There used to be a church group that would take over the 1600 and 1700 loops on a long weekend in October.  But, they didn't ever seem to overload the campsites like we see on the 1500 and 2000 loops.

As I already said, this is not a situation where guests are sneaking in and Disney doesn't know what's going on.  Disney set up all those extra picnic tables on that site so these folks could have their communal kitchen to prepare food and serve 50-60 people on a site that does not have facilities to dispose of waste water.  I wonder where all of that goes?  Actually I don't wonder- we know the waste water with soap and particles of food is dumped right on the ground.  To hell with all of that environmental go green stuff. 

The solution for me is that I try to get a premium site if I'm going to be there during a busy holiday time.  Disney always wins.

TCD

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31 minutes ago, Tri-Circle-D said:

See what's there on the picnic table?  That's one of Twin #1's Chaco sandals and a roll of twine.  I just tied the twine to the sandal and then lobbed it over a branch.  I tied a simple slip knot and then slid the picnic table under so I could stand on it to tie the lantern on.

There was a Snapchat story that showed all of that, but, thankfully, it's long gone now.

I dunno. It looks like that might damage the tree, much like a clothesline would.

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7 minutes ago, shoreline99 said:

I dunno. It looks like that might damage the tree, much like a clothesline would.

Yeah, it could.  But not as much as when Chainsaw Guy shows up to clear-cut the understories of the loops.

A little twine is fine- Disney doesn't care about trees and that silly environmental stuff. 

TCD

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