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Old 05-12-2013, 10:48 AM   #16
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Well done on your race times. Such cute photos of Isabella.
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Old 05-12-2013, 09:23 PM   #17
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Good for you on your race. What a cutie your little girl is.
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Old 05-18-2013, 08:23 AM   #18
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Quote:
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Well done on your race times. Such cute photos of Isabella.
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Good for you on your race. What a cutie your little girl is.
Thank you for your comments, we are pleased with both the times and the photos!
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Old 05-18-2013, 08:39 AM   #19
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Day 4 - Taking it Easy

So after yesterday’s long and action packed day we were woken up at 5.30 by Isabella, but thankfully, after a feed, she fell back to sleep until 8.10.

Having gone to bed at 9 the night before, this was probably the longest sleep Jo and I had had in 2 years!

As today was a rest day we were in no rush to go anywhere and decided to have breakfast in the room. Isabella had some porridge and Jo and I had some toast.


Where's my porridge dad? I'm starving!

Isabella had woken up grumpy and remained that way all day unfortunately.

After stopping by the guest laundry to put some washing on, we headed over to Downtown Disney to meet up with Janet and Ivor - today was Janet’s birthday and we had some presents to give her.

One of the great things about Saratoga Springs is how easy it is to get to Downtown Disney, either by boat or by walking.

We decided to walk over and let Isabella try out her new pram. It was about nap time when we ready to leave and she fell asleep almost instantly, which was amazing because she never slept in the pram at home. It had definitely been worth getting the pram, and we’d worked out how to fold it up and down now too, thanks to the manual which we found online.


Sleeping Beauty


Where's my mum?!

Today was also Marathon day and it was turning into a real scorcher. We were glad we weren’t out there today and felt sorry for those that were.

We’d arranged to meet Janet & Ivor by the Lego shop but hadn’t specified whereabouts. We waited in the shade outside the World of Disney shop and they were waiting the other side by what used to be the McDonalds but is now Pollo Campero (which has now shut down apparently). Eventually I went and found them and we gave Janet her birthday presents.


We found them!

After some debate about where to use counter service dining plan credits for lunch we headed to Wolfgang Puck Express.

Me: Rotisserie Turkey Club sandwich

Jo: Cavatappi Chicken Alfredo pasta

Janet: Rotisserie Turkey Club sandwich

Ivor: Pepperoni Pizza

Jo and I had never been there before, and we were very impressed with both the food and the service. It was nice and quiet sitting outside too, and Isabella was able to explore.


Where's my lunch dad? I'm starving!


I can't believe I forgot nanny's present!

After lunch we walked back to the Saratoga Springs and then we headed to Publix on Universal Boulevard again to do some shopping.

After an uneventful shop we headed back and got ready to go for dinner. Tonight’s choice was the birthday girl’s and was to be at Tutto Italia Ristorante in Epcot.

The restaurant itself isn’t very intimate; it’s more like a big room full of tables than what you’d expect from an Italian restaurant. The food was very nice though and the waiters sang Happy Birthday to Janet and bought her out a birthday cupcake - Jo had put on the reservation that it was her birthday.


You're gonna need to blow harder than that nan!

Here’s what we had:

Me: gnocchetti / cannoli

Jo: polenta valsugana (traditional Northern Italian creamy polenta) / cannoli

Janet: salmone / torta di nocciole (hazelnut polenta cake)

Ivor: osso buco d'agnello (braised lamb shank) / sorbetti (sorbet)


Mmmm... cannoli


Mmmm... cannoli


Raaaaaaar

Unfortunately Isabella didn’t really enjoy the meal as she was tired and grumpy and I had to take her outside in between courses as she was very restless.

After the meal we headed back and left Janet and Ivor to enjoy what remained of the evening in peace!

Isabella went straight to bed and Jo and I sat on the balcony and relaxed. I began writing up these notes and we watched the fireworks at Magic Kingdom and Epcot. We could also hear the Marathon after party at Downtown Disney.

Eventually we both got tired and headed to bed.

Not exactly the most exciting day, but one that we desperately needed after the previous three days of organised chaos!
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Old 05-18-2013, 09:55 AM   #20
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Sometimes you just need a chill day.
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Old 05-18-2013, 11:27 AM   #21
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Excellent report, do keep posting You're little girl is making be broody. I have had to remind myself that 6 weeks ago I paid my last child care fees (been paying child care for 15 years) and I'm not wanting to start again !!!!!

Looking forward to reading the rest.
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Old 05-18-2013, 04:28 PM   #22
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A down day is always needed. I always plan one when I go to Disney. That way you get to enjoy the pool and resort.
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Old 05-19-2013, 02:26 PM   #23
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Well done...really enjoying your report..I had planned to do the princess 1/2 but never made it this year....hopefully 2014!!!
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Old 05-25-2013, 07:34 AM   #24
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Quote:
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Sometimes you just need a chill day.
Absolutely! As much as I love Disney and Orlando it's anything but relaxing!


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Excellent report, do keep posting You're little girl is making be broody. I have had to remind myself that 6 weeks ago I paid my last child care fees (been paying child care for 15 years) and I'm not wanting to start again !!!!!

Looking forward to reading the rest.
Glad you're enjoying it, much more to come!


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A down day is always needed. I always plan one when I go to Disney. That way you get to enjoy the pool and resort.
We usually like to try and fit a couple in if possible


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Well done...really enjoying your report..I had planned to do the princess 1/2 but never made it this year....hopefully 2014!!!
Thanks for reading, we talked about doing the Princess one year too.
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Old 05-25-2013, 07:40 AM   #25
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Day 5 - Animals and Fireworks

Day 5 started early when Isabella woke up at 6. We were supposed to be getting up at 7 anyway as today was our first proper park day at Animal Kingdom. Based on every previous visit to Animal Kingdom we expected rain! No lie, every year we go to Animal Kingdom it rains, usually quite heavily! We hoped today would be different.

So with an extra hour for getting ready we were able to spend a little bit more time over our coffee and breakfast, and we were ready to leave by 8 (for Extra Magic Hour), and we loaded Janet, Ivor and Isabella in the car and headed to the park.

One of the great things about staying on Disney and having a car is how quick it is to get everywhere, and the free parking. We were at Animal Kingdom in 20 minutes, and once inside did what anyone who’s ever been to Animal Kingdom does and headed straight to Expedition Everest.

There was no queue, so Janet and Ivor went on first while Jo and I fastpassed it, just in case there was a huge rush (there wasn’t). Ivor enjoyed it so much he decided to go on again with Jo and I. Janet took Isabella, who was very grumpy this morning, for a walk in her stroller.


"Hey, how you doin?"


Daddy and Isabella enjoying the sunshine

After being chased off the mountain by the Yeti, it was time for a snack. I think Jo had been looking forward to a jalapeño cheese stuffed pretzel for about 2 years so she had one of those while I stuck to a normal, VERY salty, pretzel. Janet and Ivor had coffee and a danish pastry, which looked really nice and made me regret getting a pretzel.

After our snack we headed to the Harambe Wildlife Reserve to join the Kilimanjaro Safaris. Isabella loved seeing all the animals and also made friends with some American teenagers sitting behind us. This is a much better ride now that it doesn’t have the silly elephant poacher story, although I do miss Winston saying “Come in Simba One” on the radio, although Jo does a very good impression.


Going on safari


"Hey dad"


Zebras

All the excitement of seeing zebras, cheetahs, lions, giraffes and various other African animals had made Isabella sleepy so Jo and I put her back in the stroller for a nap and went for a wander round the park while Janet and Ivor went off and did their own thing for an hour or so.

It was really very relaxing walking round the park and so far the Animal Kingdom rain curse had held off and the weather was lovely.


Taking a break


Mummy and Isabella relaxing in the park



Gorilla minus the mist

When Isabella woke up it was time for lunch and we’d arranged to meet at the Flame Tree BBQ. Lunch turned out to be a disaster as Isabella was scared of all the birds that were around. Jo ended up having to take her away and so we had to eat our lunch in shifts.

Because of this, I have no idea what we had although I seem to recall it was quite nice. I’d advise you not to eat there if you don’t like birds though, as they’re all over the place waiting to pick up anything you drop or leave unattended.

With lunch done it was time for a nappy change (Isabella, not me) and then we headed to Flights of Wonder. We wondered whether this was a good idea after the lunch debacle, but Isabella seemed to enjoy watching the birds flying. We’ve now come to the conclusion that she loves animals as long as they can’t touch her. We have two rabbits who live in our garden and she loves helping me feed them and waves to them out of the window but if they come anywhere near her she looks terrified!

The hot weather was making everyone tired so after we did the Pangani Forest Exploration Trail we decided to call it a day. We were planning on returning again later in the holiday.

At this point I thought it would be worth sharing Jo’s amazing schedule that she put together for us. She’s extremely organised as you can see!


Jo's Schedule

Once we got back to our room we had a quick shower and gave Isabella a bath and then we headed out again to ‘Ohana at the Polynesian Resort, which was one of our favourite meals last time around.

On the short drive to the Polynesian she fell asleep in the car and we hoped that this meant she was going to be better during dinner than she was last night.

So far she’s not been great at meal times, which was the one thing we didn’t expect, as at home she’s so well behaved whenever we take her out for lunch or dinner.

We were a little early as we’d planned to have a Lapu Lapu before dinner, so we told Janet and Ivor to go in while we sat in the car with the sleeping baby.

Eventually we had to go in even though she was still sleeping, so Jo carried her. We met Janet and Ivor at the bar and I ordered Jo and I a Lapu Lapu each. Try one if you ever get the chance, they serve it in a hollowed out pineapple. Be warned though, they’re pretty strong.


Ready for dinner


Jo was determined to enjoy her Lapu Lapu


Pot stickers and chicken wings


Noodles and stir fried veg


Bread pudding with Banana Foster sauce

Isabella was still asleep when it was time to be seated, but she woke up in time for the food although she didn’t really eat anything - I’m not sure Polynesian cuisine is her cup of tea.

The food was as fantastic as it was last time and the bread pudding was amazing - I think they’ve changed it since we were here before.

After eating as much as we could we left the car at the Polynesian and jumped on the monorail to Magic Kingdom to watch the Wishes Nighttime Spectacular. We arrived in time to catch the Main Street Electrical Parade. Isabella enjoyed both the parade and the fireworks so it was definitely worth the brief visit.


"Hey, you guys!"


The parade was dragon on a bit


The castle looked spectacular...


...As did the fireworks


Mummy and Isabella


The many faces of Jo


With Wishes finished we got back on the monorail and headed back to the Polynesian to pick up the car and head back to Saratoga Springs.

Isabella was hungry when we got back as she’d not really eaten anything so we gave her some Cheerios before bedtime.

Can’t believe that we’ve done five days already, the holiday felt like it was going too quickly!
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Old 05-25-2013, 10:45 PM   #26
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Loving your updates and pictures. It looks like your family were having a great time. Time does fly by when you're having a great time at Disney, doesn't it?
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Old 06-08-2013, 07:07 AM   #27
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Loving your updates and pictures. It looks like your family were having a great time. Time does fly by when you're having a great time at Disney, doesn't it?
Thanks for reading, it certainly does go too quickly, especially when you're having so much fun
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Old 06-08-2013, 07:12 AM   #28
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Day 6 - Showcase to Market Place

Day 6 was going to be spent at our favourite park - Epcot.

Isabella had a bad night’s sleep and ended up sleeping in till 8, it wasn’t going to be an early start!

We had a quick breakfast in the room, porridge for the baby, toast and peanut butter for us, and then headed to Epcot. Jo had already let Janet and Ivor know we were running late so we arranged to meet them there but had neglected to arrange a time or location, we were going to rely on “We’ll text you when we get there” and hope they remembered to check their phone.

Unbelievably, as we entered the park we saw them walking past the fountain, Jo ran after them (as if she hadn’t run 13 miles two days ago) and three became five once more.

As it was another hot day, we headed to Club Cool for free drinks of questionable taste. My iPhone’s autocorrect changed the name of this place to Club Colon - perhaps it’s got a point!

The flavours on offer are:
  • Krest Ginger Ale from Mozambique
  • Fanta Kolita from Costa Rica
  • Beverly from Italy
  • Vegeta Beta from Japan
  • Kinley Lemon from Israel
  • Lift Apple from Mexico
  • Smart Watermelon from China
  • Mezzo Mix from Germany

After we’d had our fill of “exotic” flavours of the (Coca-Cola) world (including the interesting Beverly from Italy) we headed to Test Track to get a fastpass.


"Do you mind dad, I'm on the phone"

By this time Isabella was ready for a nap. I found a nice quiet area by the start of the World Showcase between Mexico and Canada and walked her around until she fell asleep. Jo and I then had churritos from Cantina de San Angel as we walked around the world. I love this part of Epcot early in the day before the crowds get there, it’s really peaceful and relaxing.

By the time we’d walked round it was time to head back to Test Track to use our fastpasses. Isabella was still asleep so Janet stayed with her while Ivor, Jo and I tried out the new and “improved” ride.

I must confess it was massive disappointment and I preferred the old version of the ride to the “reimagined” one. Also, considering it was new there was a lot of stuff that wasn't working in the pre- and post-ride area including my RFID card and at least half of the interactive touch screen.

It was now time for lunch and we headed for Sunshine Seasons. Isabella was STILL asleep and as you're not allowed strollers inside the Land Pavillion we almost went somewhere else - Morocco was our probable choice. However, we decided to wait for Isabella to wake up as we were convinced she would be awake very shortly. Janet and Ivor were starving so they headed in and Isabella woke up about 2 minutes later so we caught up with them in the queue.

We'd never been to Sunshine Seasons and we were really impressed.

We had the following:

Me - Turkey and Monterrey Jack on Ciabatta with Chipotle Mayonnaise and Potato Salad / Carrot Cake Cupcake

Jo - Caesar Salad with Oak Fired Chicken / Strawberry Shortcake

Janet - Spicy Cashew Chicken with Vegetable Stir Fried Noodles / Danish Pastry

Ivor - Spicy Cashew Chicken with Vegetable Stir Fried Noodles / Danish Pastry

The food was really good and Isabella enjoyed it a lot.

After a lovely lunch we went on Living with the Land. Jo and I love this ride and have been on the Behind the Seeds tour twice before. Isabella enjoyed looking at the plants and the exotic fruit and vegetables.


Isabella enjoying her lunch


Isabella explaining hydroponics to Jo

After this it was time for Jo's favourite ride in the whole of Epcot, Disney, Orlando, America and indeed the World - Journey into Imagination with Figment!

All together now... "...iiiimaaaag-i-nation ...iiiimaaaag-i-nation"

After the pure adrenaline ride through Figment's house (!) we decided to slow things down and visit The Three Cabelleros in Mexico.

Janet and Ivor decided they'd had enough for the day and headed back to the resort on the bus.

After a lovely little boat ride through Mexico it was also time for us to leave Epcot.

When we got back to the room Isabella fell asleep feeding and Jo and I relaxed in the room.

Dinner was at Raglan Road in Downtown Disney, so after Isabella woke up we all got ready and walked over there.

Downtown Disney was very busy as was Raglan Road. Isabella was very restless and I took her for a little walk. We all ordered beers, I had the perennial Samuel Adams Boston Lager, Jo had the Samuel Adams Winter Lager, Ivor had Samuel Adams Cherry Wheat and Janet had Orange Blossom Pilsner. They were all very tasty.

Me: Beefy Murray / Bakewell Beauty

Jo: Serious Steak / Ger’s Bread & Butter Pudding

Janet: Lambo Italiano / Moore Street Market

Ivor: Kevin’s Heavenly Ham / No dessert

My Beefy Murray was too hot (it’s a curry pie) so Jo very kindly swapped with me about half way through (as I have the spice tolerance of a child). I didn’t enjoy eating there this time around as much as last time. Of course, it didn’t help that I chose the wrong thing and that Isabella was in a difficult mood.


Our little family

After dinner we headed back to the Marketplace and had a look around the World of Disney shop. We had wanted to buy Isabella a pillow with a character on it, but she couldn’t decide on which one she liked, so we decided to leave it. We did buy her a Mickey Mouse sippy cup though.

Janet and Ivor had decided to spend some more time at Downtown Disney having a drink and wandering around, so Jo and I took Isabella home on the boat which goes to Saratoga Springs every 30 minutes in the evening (hourly during the day) and drops you off at the back of The Turf Club restaurant which is part of the Carriage House, where the reception and Artist’s Palette quick service restaurant are.

We got in and went straight to bed, tomorrow was supposed to be a shopping day - more on that next time!


I took this photo because I work at a digital agency called Chameleon


The Market Place at night
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Old 06-08-2013, 01:41 PM   #29
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Nice update. It's making me look forward to my trip in September. Time's just not passing fast enough.
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Old 06-22-2013, 06:20 AM   #30
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Day 7 - A Supercalifragilistic Day

Today was supposed to be a shopping day, but as it was a really hot day, Janet and Ivor wanted to go to a park. Jo and I thought as it was really hot day we’d be better off NOT going to a park, but we decided to go anyway.

Isabella hadn’t had a great night’s sleep because she’s teething, so she was a little grumpy. She got up quite early but then fell back to sleep in our bed.

We were hoping that this morning’s Supercalifragilistic Breakfast at 1900 Park Fare at the Grand Floridian Resort & Spa might cheer her up as she would get to meet Winnie the Pooh (and Tigger too), Mary Poppins and characters from Alice in Wonderland (including Alice).


Our very own sleeping beauty


On our way to a Supercalifragilistic Breakfast


Close your mouth, please, Joanne. We are not a codfish.


Isabella gave the Mad Hatter's opinion a lot of thought


Isabella had never seen a tiger that bright before


Tigger does great cuddles


"I knew I could smell pooh" said Isabella


I love these Mickey Waffles!

The breakfast was a buffet and the food was really nice. Isabella wasn’t sure about the characters but the rest of enjoyed having a cuddle with Tigger and Pooh bear and found The Mad Hatter quite amusing.

After breakfast and a little wander round the Grand Floridian lobby, which is really nice, we headed back to the car. The car parking for the Grand Floridian is about 5 minute walk across the road, which must be a real pain if you’re staying there.


Isabella loved the comfy chair...


...And the flowers


She wanted to show off her piano skills too


Nanny, Daddy, Baby, Mummy, Poppa

One thing I’ve not mentioned about our car journeys yet is how much Isabella hates being in the car. Janet and Ivor were sitting with her in the back all holiday and Janet had to keep her constantly occupied, which usually involved singing a number of songs including Old MacDonald Had A Farm and The Wheels On the Bus, or reading her books. I think we were all fed up of those songs by the end of the holiday; everyone except Isabella of course!

So back to Day 7. After traipsing back to the car we were off to Hollywood Studios for the day.

When we arrived we headed straight to Pixar Place to fastpass Toy Story Mania, which has notoriously long waits and can run out of fastpasses within the first couple of hours on some days. The longest wait time we’ve seen was 120 minutes. Our fastpass was for late in the day.

With the fastpasses received, we headed for the Backlot Tour, which is feeling dated in my opinion and could do with a makeover.

It was then time for Isabella’s nap, so Janet and Ivor headed off to do their own thing and Jo and I wandered around the Streets of America while Isabella went to sleep in the pram. While I walked with the pram, Jo got herself a coffee and got me a Coke from Writer’s Stop.


What?


Nap time on the Streets of America


Janet and Ivor did the Tower of Terror


The lobby could use a bit of a dust


Awake and ready to eat

As it got close to lunchtime Jo headed off to meet Janet and Ivor at the ABC Commissary, she also picked up some fastpasses for Stars Tours too, while I had to do a detour to avoid a large group of Brazilians who decided it would be great for everyone to hear them sing.

Isabella finally woke up and I took her to ABC Commissary, however Janet and Ivor hadn’t arrived yet, so we all waited for them outside. Jo and I always eat here when we come to Hollywood Studios as the food is generally good, but on this day it wasn’t up to it’s usual standard - the chicken burgers in particular were dry and chewy.

Me: 1/3 lb Angus Cheeseburger and Fried Shrimp
Jo: Chicken Bleu
Janet: Shrimp Platter
Ivor: Chicken Bleu

After lunch it was time for Jo and I to tryout the new Star Tours. Ivor had already been on it but decided he’d have another go, and despite not having a fastpass got on the same time we did - albeit in a different Starspeeder.

As a Star Wars fan, I’d never really been that impressed by the original Star Tours: Tour to Endor ride, having felt it always seemed dated.

This new version, Star Tours: The Adventures Continue, was a huge improvement. In case you’ve not had the chance to try it yet, the ride sequence is randomised and there are eleven random segments of the film (two opening segments, three primary destination segments, three hologram message segments, and three ending destination segments). When combined, they allow 54 different possible ride experiences.

If you want to read more about visit Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Star_To...tures_Continue

Briefly, our ride was:
  • The Millenium Falcon intro
  • Land on Kashyyyk (Chewbacca ends up on the windscreen)
  • Hologram from Leia
  • Land on Coruscant

After a thoroughly enjoyable ride we were reunited with Ivor, Janet and Isabella and after stopping to get fastpasses for Rock n Roller Coaster we headed for the Great Movie Ride.

On the way there Jo stopped to give Isabella a feed in the Baby Care Centre. This was the second of WDWs Baby Care Centres that she'd used, and whilst it was nicer than most mother and baby facilities, the first one at Animal Kingdom was nicer and had private cubicles for feeding and loads of changing tables.

The Great Movie Ride is another ride which is in serious need of a makeover. It seems to deteriorate in quality with each year and this year’s “acting” performances from the driver and, in our case, the cowgirl were particularly lacklustre.

With the Great Movie Ride done it was finally time to do Toy Story Mania. Jo and I took Isabella in the vehicle with us and she seemed to have lots of fun being spun around and watching mummy and daddy try to shoot things!


Isabella was unsure of the 3D glasses

It was nearly time to go home, and we had one last ride to do: Rock n Rollercoaster. I’m not really sure whether I like this ride or not. The 0-57mph in 2.8 secs start is exhilarating but the rest of it is a bit boring and I hate Aerosmith with a passion! I’ve never understood why they used Aerosmith, who likes Aerosmith?!

After that was done, we all headed back to the car and once loaded up we went back to the resort.

After getting ready for dinner we drove to Animal Kingdom Lodge for our reservation at Boma.

On the way Isabella slept in the car and when we arrived Jo and I waited in the car with her while Janet and Ivor went inside to have a look round the resort and see the animals.

When Isabella eventually woke we went to meet them, and they suggested we spend the 10 minutes until our reservation outside looking at the animals.

At dinner, Isabella wasn't in a particularly good mood but the food was really good and Jo especially enjoyed it.

We were all tired after dinner so we headed straight back to the resort and, after a quick stop for coffee and a little browse in the shop, we went to bed.


Isabella thought this hat made her ears look big
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