Just a quick follow up on this thread. I have now brewed this recipe about a dozen time for my wife and she loves it. The key on the vanilla is to use good quality vanilla extract. We brought some back from the Dominican and it was cheap... Cider turned out great but you vanilla flavor was a little off. We can usually barely taste it at all.
I have used the 1118 as well as the White Labs Cider Yeast and both have worked very well at varying temp changes. I have found the higher the temp, the dryer the cider with a little more warming. That said, my wife seems to prefer it over the low and slow method.
I have a batch fermenting now with the WYEAST Cider Yeast at 66F, so it will be interesting to see how it turns out.