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Old 08-07-2009, 07:26 AM   #1
alan
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The 4F Trip Report - Day 02

Trip Report Index is here
Day 02 - 28-Jul - Magic Kingdom

Yaawwwwnnnnnnn...

Everything I'd read said that we would be awake really early, and so I had made plans for the morning. But it didn't seem to work out that way. All of the plans seem to think that the kids will sleep soundly, whereas ours were awake, tossing and turning, kicking and bumping, until around 5am. So of course, it was the devil's own job to get them up and out for our appointment.

However, we managed to get ourselves out to the bus stop in time



and I have to repeat just how well kept and attractive the hotel (Caribbean Beach Resort) was - the flowers and landscaping were absolutely first-rate!



Our journey involved a bus journey to Magic Kingdom then a monorail to the Contemporary resort. Jenni was really keen on taking a picture of mummy and daddy kissing, but I think that Uncle John would rather have been... well, pretty much anywhere else!



Here we are on the monorail:



Soon enough we reached the Contemporary resort for breakfast at



(last time we were at WDW the meals were our weakest spot. We'd planned everything else, but not the food. After lots of studying on this forum and others I was determined to get it right this time - Chef Mickey's was the first example of this).

The breakfast was great, although quite hectic. We arrived in and explained that we had a reservation. We were directed to the waiting area, but were no sooner there than we were invited through to the restaurant.

Our server seemed good, but very soon after disappeared and for the rest of the meal it proved hard to get basic things like milk or this stuff:



We had to keep asking servers for other tables, and at one point we saw someone who was obviously in management coming out and quietly asking "who was meant to be in charge of this table?". A shame, and I hope the girl didn't get into trouble, but it was our only experience of bad service in the holiday.

I loved the Mickey waffle



The characters seemed to be there in a rush, one straight after the other - it was really busy. At the risk of nit-picking, I'd have preferred them to appear one at a time throughout the meal.

Having said that, they were lovely. I've got loads of character photos, but I'll restrict them to this one:



And of course, this one of the delightful Minnie



The breakfast really finished after all of the characters sang and danced to some music, and everyone was encouraged to wave their napkins in the air. So I don't want the above to come across as being too negative; we still really enjoyed it and it was a lovely way to start the holiday.

We went up the escalator to the monrail platform. There is something that's just un-natural about a monorail station in the main atrium of an hotel, but it is nice!



Inevitably, we ended up on the wrong carpeted platform, and went the long way round the monorail loop. We passed these barges, which I snapped in a "ooh, there's something - let's photograph it" moment. It would be much later in the holiday that I found out what they were for



We reached the Magic Kingdom monrail station, and its welcoming banners

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Old 08-07-2009, 07:27 AM   #2
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A few minutes to apply sunscreen to the kids before going out into the sunshine, and I was able to watch the trains passing



While there, I saw people getting into and out from the front of the train, beside the driver. It seemed like a great idea, and we marked it down as something we wanted to do during the week.

And then we were able to go on to the Magic Kingdom itself. This photograph is an example of using fill flash to illuminate the subject so that the kids are not just a dark sillhouette. It also shows what happens when you use too much fill flash - they look as if they've been painted on to the scene!



But also be aware of Cameron's grumpy face - the lack of sleep is beginning to catch up with us, and it's not even mid-day yet!

So we walked up Main Street USA and found ourselves at that large circle in front of the castle while a show was on. Being an out-and-out luvvie I wanted to stop and watch it (okay, take photos too), but the rest of the family wanted to see the park. Darn! However, I did manage to snap a few pictures:









Since when did the girls in these shows get to have legs? Last time I was at WDW (2006) they all wore horrid bloomers - is this a response to the recession?

Anyway, I was forced to follow the kids to Tomorrowland where we joined the queue for Astro Orbiter. I had thought that Cameron might be excited to be given a special card that he had to show when he got to the front of the line



but you can see from his face that he wasn't really all that enamoured of the idea.

We were lucky enough to be under cover by the time the rain came on



and it had cleared up by the time we actually got our ride!



After that Jenni had her first meeting with the talking trash can



which, I think, freaked her out a little. She certainly wasn't brave enough to cuddle it!



Next stop was one we didn't do last time we were there - the speedway. Marie and her mum went out in one car. Now, I don't mean to cast aspersions on women drivers in general, but something about Marie's eyes worries me about this photograph...

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Old 08-07-2009, 07:27 AM   #3
alan
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The kids played for a little while in Toontown, looking at Mickey and Minnie's houses



and suddenly we happened on some characters. I'm not sure who these fellows are (I think one signed himself "Big Al")



But I recognised the mice from Cinderella, and felt honoured to offer them my arm(s)



That done, we went to Fantasyland - first stop was lunch



and then we did Buzz Lightyear and Mickey's Philharmagic - a wonderful show I could watch time and again!

But by then the kids were really tired, whiney and pleading to go back to the hotel and be allowed to play in the pool. All told, it seemed a good idea even though it was only around 3pm.

So, we went back to Toontown to board the train



and went back to the main entrance. We stopped for a moment to enjoy the band (I could have spent much longer there, but that wasn't to be)



Then we went back to the hotel, where the kids played in the pool





and I checked out the beach



I'd love to pretend that Marie and I really did get a chance to rest and relax in the hammocks at the beach, but I cannot tell a lie. This was a posed picture, not representative of real life!



The bulk of the rest of the evening was an exercise in keeping the two kids apart from one another as they were tired, irritable and snapping at each other all the time. Bed couldn't come soon enough!
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Old 08-07-2009, 07:59 AM   #4
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Great photos Alan. I love the Contemporary Resort and the only reason I wanted to stay there on our first trip was because of the monorail running through it.

You didn't get on the wrong platform there - you can only go one way round the loop from the hotels. Best tip if you are going from the Contemporary to MK in future is to walk (if all your party can manage it) along the walkway that runs beside the monorail track, it takes about 10 minutes at a reasonable pace.
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Old 08-07-2009, 08:24 AM   #5
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what a great day and fab photos
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Old 08-07-2009, 09:35 AM   #6
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What a great day. I love Philharmagic too & could watch it time & time again.

Shame the kids were bickering but I bet they were so tired if they didn't manage to sleep much. Hopefully they got a good nights sleep.
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Old 08-07-2009, 10:09 AM   #7
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fantastic start to your holiday brilliant photo's. glad the kids had a bit of pool time as well
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Old 08-07-2009, 12:01 PM   #8
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Great photo's and i thought the picture of mummy & Daddy having a loving moment was sweet
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Old 08-08-2009, 05:08 PM   #9
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A lovely day!
We've stayed at the Caribbean Beach twice and loved it (before we bought in to DVC) - your report is bringing back many happy memories!
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Old 08-09-2009, 01:43 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wickesy View Post
You didn't get on the wrong platform there - you can only go one way round the loop from the hotels. Best tip if you are going from the Contemporary to MK in future is to walk
Ah, you beat me to it, David.

Very accomplished photography there, my man.
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Old 08-09-2009, 04:27 PM   #11
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Great report, your photos are wonderful
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Old 08-10-2009, 10:48 AM   #12
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Enjoying your photographs which I am sure has less to do with your kit but as Deb intimates your discerning photographers eye.

We have learnt to read the troops habits and manners in an effort to reduce meltdowns. But like most parents learn to cope with these distractions
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Old 08-14-2009, 09:04 AM   #13
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A great day with fab photos. Shame about the kids being tired
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Old 08-19-2009, 07:32 AM   #14
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A great day. Shame the kiddies were tired though...loks like they had fun at the pool!
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