|05-27-2013, 07:03 PM||#1|
Join Date: Oct 2012
April 2013 - Our last hurrah!
Table of Contents
The Day Before
Travel Day - Part 1
Travel Day - Part 2
Travel Day - Part 3
Travel Day - Part 4
Day 2 - Animal Kingdom, Sanaa & Epcot - Part 1
Day 2 - Animal Kingdom, Sanaa & Epcot - Part 2
Day 2 - Animal Kingdom, Sanaa & Epcot - Part 3
Day 2 - Animal Kingdom, Sanaa & Epcot - Part 4
Day 2 - Animal Kingdom, Sanaa & Epcot - Part 5
Day 2 - Animal Kingdom, Sanaa & Epcot - Part 6
Day 3 - Hollywood Studios, Via Napoli & Downtown Disney - Part 1
Day 3 - Hollywood Studios, Via Napoli & Downtown Disney - Part 2
Day 3 - Hollywood Studios, Via Napoli & Downtown Disney - Part 3
Day 4 - Epcot, Narcoossee's & Magic Kingdom - Part 1
Day 4 - Epcot, Narcoossee's & Magic Kingdom - Part 2
Day 4 - Epcot, Narcoossee's & Magic Kingdom - Part 3
Day 4 - Epcot, Narcoossee's & Magic Kingdom - Part 4
Day 5 - Art of Animation, pool time & Victoria and Alberts - Part 1
Day 5 - Art of Animation, pool time & Victoria and Alberts - Part 2
Day 5 - Art of Animation, pool time & Victoria and Alberts - Part 3
Day 5 - Art of Animation, pool time & Victoria and Alberts - Part 4
Day 6 - Crystal Palace, Magic Kingdom & Kona Cafe - Part 1
Day 6 - Crystal Palace, Magic Kingdom & Kona Cafe - Part 2
Day 6 - Crystal Palace, Magic Kingdom & Kona Cafe - Part 3
Day 6 - Crystal Palace, Magic Kingdom & Kona Cafe - Part 4
Day 6 - Crystal Palace, Magic Kingdom & Kona Cafe - Part 5
Day 7 - Hollywood Studios, Epcot, Kouzzina & Downtown Disney - Part 1
Day 7 - Hollywood Studios, Epcot, Kouzzina & Downtown Disney - Part 2
Day 7 - Hollywood Studios, Epcot, Kouzzina & Downtown Disney - Part 3
Day 7 - Hollywood Studios, Epcot, Kouzzina & Downtown Disney - Part 4
Day 7 - Hollywood Studios, Epcot, Kouzzina & Downtown Disney - Part 5
Day 8 - Magic Kingdom, Cinderella's Royal Table and a move to Hard Rock Hotel - Part 1
Day 8 - Magic Kingdom, Cinderella's Royal Table and a move to Hard Rock Hotel - Part 2
Day 8 - Magic Kingdom, Cinderella's Royal Table and a move to Hard Rock Hotel - Part 3
Day 8 - Magic Kingdom, Cinderella's Royal Table and a move to Hard Rock Hotel - Part 4
Day 9 - Islands of Adventure, Universal Studios & Bubba Gumps - Part 1
Day 9 - Islands of Adventure, Universal Studios & Bubba Gumps - Part 2
Day 9 - Islands of Adventure, Universal Studios & Bubba Gumps - Part 3
Day 10 - Universal, Island of Adventure & BiCE - Part 1
Day 10 - Universal, Island of Adventure & BiCE - Part 2
Day 10 - Universal, Island of Adventure & BiCE - Part 3
Last edited by Hannikins; 10-05-2013 at 05:43 PM.
|05-27-2013, 07:05 PM||#2|
Join Date: Oct 2012
The Day Before
The Day Before
I’ve pondered whether to include a ‘Day Before”, I’m not sure who reads them? Well I do, but does anyone else? I love the build up, you can feel the excitement in the page… so what the hell here goes!
The day started as everyday had started for the last 50 days, the marking of the calendar, made more ‘official’ I feel by the use of a big fat red sharpie.
Today was the big one though, the FINAL mark! Eeee!
This was it, we were off!
Well not quite.
I still had a day of work to finish first! The day was as manic as expected. websites to get live, servers to go down, those ‘helpful’ last minute client requests just as you think you’re almost there! I did however do all of the above with a spring in my step, and if my colleagues were still under the illusion that I was a normal human being, some Minnie ears!
I kid you not
The Ariel mug is a standard feature, but I think it goes well with the overall ‘theme’ of the photo don’t you :D
FINALLY at 3.40, only 40 minutes later than planned I was out, free! Leaving a trail of paperwork that “could wait” in my tracks.
Once home packing was completed, cats were carted off to the cattery and at 7pm we left ‘sunny’ Blackpool on our way to ‘gloomy’ Manchester (I lied, they were both pretty rubbish)
We like to stop for dinner on our way, let the holiday start early, you know. After the nastiness that was ASK last year we opted for an old favourite, Frankie and Benny’s.
No sooner were we through the door than cocktails were ordered!
well a cocktail for me, a beer for Adam :D
We shared a tomato garlic bread to start, not wanting to overdo it before we got chance to sample the Disney freebies!
NOTE: First food photo and I FORGET! I get better, honest :nonono:
Followed by a burger for me
and chicken parm for Adam
I managed HALF of my burger, things were not looking good. Months of fasting had clearly shrunk my stomach to the size of a pea!
Adam didn’t finish his either, but when chicken parm is being served with corn, spagetti AND chips I’m not really surprised!
By now the cocktails and stressful day was taking its toll. I felt like curling up on the booth bench to sleep. Unfortunately I was given no such opportunity, as we had the chattiest waitress in the place! She was amusing though, in a rather unintentional way I think. For example, in a strong Turkish accent she told us how lovely it was to talk to some people who didn’t look like they belonged on Jeremy Kyle. I felt like asking what she expected, we were in Bolton… but I thought better of it :D
So... coming to a Frankie and Benny's booth near you!
but seriously some of the google result for Jeremy Kyle are scary, peopleofwalmart have nothing on some of the onesie wearing monstrosities presented to me, I'm offended for Bolton :d:
Finally, after our lovely ‘chat’ (sorry Bolton!) we were back on our way to Bewleys.
We had the usual ‘discussion’ about how you got to Bewleys and Adam rather kindly took me on a lovely drive to the outskirts of the airport and back before we finally arrived, I can’t complain he doesn’t take me anywhere I guess!
No parking as usual so we pulled up on the nearest verge and settled in.
The room was the same as usual, I toyed with the idea of using last years photo, but someone would be bound to notice :P
stunning isn’t it? But it was free, so I can’t complain :D
I had a bath (ALWAYS do this in hotel rooms, hot water is expensive at home you know! I like to get my monies worth!), called reception to book the shuttle for 7.30 and then we called it a night… NO MORE SLEEPS!
It gets more interesting tomorrow… promise :P Especially as I’m adding a ‘feature’ to this years report!
NOM OF THE DAY
Each day I will feature a ‘nom’ of the day. Basically THE most amazing thing we ate all day, a recommendation of the highest order… prepare yourself!
|05-27-2013, 07:06 PM||#3|
Join Date: Oct 2012
I’d set the alarm for 6.15 but I needn’t have bothered, we were wide awake!
I think this sums up how we both felt…
We tried a little snooze but we were both up and ready to go by 7am. I called meteor so they could come and get the car. We had arranged for them to pick it up from bewleys carpark instead of the airport to save repacking the suitcases back into the car to drive less than a mile to departures!
Unfortunately they were busy that morning and couldn’t get to us any earlier than the 7.30 time I’d booked, although they did say they would try their best!
7.30, that rang a bell… ah yes that’s when we are getting the hotel shuttle, marvelous!
Adam went down to reception to see if we could move the shuttle pickup to a little later but apparently they had 4 shuttles coming at around 7.30 so we should still be able to get on one.
At 7.15 we made our way down to reception to wait, one shuttle came and went…
At 7.25 meteor arrived and we handed over the keys before jumping on the second shuttle, phew made it!
The airport was very quiet, the virgin desks were dead so we made the silly walk, zig zagging through the empty queue line to the front.
Bags were weighed and handed over (one was only 2kg off the limit EEK!) and we were let loose into security, again very quiet.
As usual Adam was stopped for an additional bag search. They say this is random but he is stopped EVERY TIME. We can’t decide if it’s his strange foreign surname or his dark features that do it! :D
We ignored all duty free and made our way up the stairs to the airport lounges, we were off to experience the v-room!
Well we thought we were, until we saw this..
Yep, shut :P we were just a tad to eager, it didn’t open until 8am!
######. Not wanting to be the annoying people you sometimes get starring down the staff to open up early we headed back down to mingle with the commoners for 10 minutes.
10 minutes, what to do for 10 minutes….
I left Adam with the bags and went SHOPPING of course!
I was very restrained though. I only bought an eyeshadow from MAC, Virgin made me do it you see :P
As I walked back to Adam I noticed the booze sampling, which triggered a niggling “what have I forgotten” thought….
MY DRIVING LICENSE.
I’d left it at home, ARGH! There goes my drinking dream unless I carry my passport then, booooo!
By the time I got back to Adam and told him my bad news it was time to try the v-room again.
Still closed! It was definitely 8am now, LET ME IN!
FINALLY we were allowed through. The first in, boy were we eager!
We had the pick of any seat in the house but for some reason I choose to ignore the nice bar area…
and plonked us down by the window near the gaming area and soft play.
I settled myself and noticed Adam had already headed off to the hot plates. Nothing keeps my hubby away from food, especially if it’s free!
I decided to check out the cold plates first.
They had some cute little popcorn cones and crispy cakes (I had both later and they were yummy!)
fruit and yogurt
I grabbed some fruit and a smoothie and then headed for the hot food as well.
They had a nice selection, the usual, beans on toast, sausage sandwich. I decided on the “jet set” breakfast plate
I didn’t realize but they also had beans and toast so I really should have grabbed some of those as well. It wasn’t the same without beans ☹
I also grabbed a pastry for dessert
It was a pleasant breakfast, definitely on par with what we would have had at Frankie and Benny’s. If you really wanted to you could have had ‘seconds’ but with the nerves setting in I couldn’t manage anything else.
After filling up on the freebies we headed over to this:
While most of the kids were busy on the soft play we couldn’t resist something a little more retro
I think it’s safe to say that Adam won by a fairly wide margin… but I let him win, honest!
We did check out the other gaming consoles and the rather cool kinect/wii room they had, but we kept coming back to the fuzzball table. I did get a little better, but I was still beaten everytime, on purpose of course!
It’s amazing how exhausting fuzzball is, I was exhausted, so I headed back to the table and blogged for a bit. Over the last few months I’d seen lots of people boasting that they were in the v room at the start of a wonderful holiday, while usually I was sat at work, so I was determined I was going to be one of “those people” :P
We also looked over the cocktail menu, it seemed very reasonable and it was cocktail o’clock SOMEWHERE in the world rather then 9am right?
HAPPY COCKTAIL O’CLOCK! We grabbed a cocktail each.
Mine was sparkling wine with orange liquor and Adam’s was I think vodka, orange and cranberry juice.
They were £3.50ish each, which I didn’t think, was bad! Mine was very strong, I was getting squiffy near the end!
It was now an hour before boarding so we spent the time watching the news, reading the complimentary magazines and finishing our drinks.
I also asked the holiday reps if they would photocopy my passport, thinking that might come in useful, which they did which I thought was nice of them ☺
When it was time to leave the rep gave me another magazine to take with me and we headed to the gate.
We had ordered extra legroom seats so we were towards the rear of the plane so had to wait a while to board, but we did eventually make it and I was able to grab the last complimentary copy of wallpaper* before we boarded, today was a good day!
We found the usual array of goodies on our seat, which was a surprise. I thought we had to ask for blankets now, apparently not!
We also had the new entertainment system, which looked very swanky!
I had a quick scan through the options, nothing had caught my eye on the virgin website but I was pleased to see the first episode of smash season 2 on there, that was added to the save for later list alongside Wreck it Ralph and Anna Karenina.
We were on our way, finally. I was one happy lady.
see, happy ;P
I won’t bore you any further with the events of the next 9 hours, we watched our favourite lists, we ate food (sausage for me, curry for adam) and I snoozed. I will however share some observations
Extra legroom seats are worth it – VERY worth it. I paid £25 extra each and the extra room made sleeping easy and the 9 hours generally more relaxing. We had the first row behind the exit row seats and felt we had plenty of space.
Extra legroom seats are not well positioned – The big negative, they are near the rear of the plane which means you’re last on, last off and fed and watered last to. I felt we waited an age for everything.
EXIT row seats are wasted on the never satisfied – The woman in front in the exit row seats complained the whole time. She clearly had expectations of upper class but not the funds to cover it. She had a hostess run ragged by the end of it! She had everything she could possibly want on a flight… SPACE, what more did she want! ;P
Flying is scary – The woman across the aisle from us spent the whole flight wearing sunglasses and in tears for the whole 9 hours. On take off I thought she was going to pull the armrest off she was gripping so tightly. Still, kudos to her for suffering something that so clearly terrified her in order to take her kids to Disney!
Finally we landed, everyone jumped up eager to get going…. But nobody moved… for AGES.
FINALLY the cabin manager came over the tannoy with an announcement.
“We apologise for the delay, we have been asked by ground staff to remain onboard as the customs hall is currently full”
The holiday gods must have been in a forgiving mood today though as soon another message was delivered, this time by the captain.
“Just a few more minutes and then we can start to disembark, the customer staff are just changing over and then we should get the go ahead from ground control”
Being at the back of the plane did not give us much of an advantage for what we were about to enter. We emptied into the customer hall, fearing the worst…
NOTHING. Dead. Our flight was clearly entering an empty hall, we must have been held for the staff changeover only and not because it was full, hurrah!
I definitely prefer the new queuing in one line setup, it’s less of a free for all, and less annoying than when you realized you’ve entered the slowest queue.
We must have only waited 30 minutes and we were entertained by the family in front. Their young daughter kept looking at Adam’s face and breaking into a fit of giggles and gurgles. To be fair, I fine his face hilarious most of the time to. She was super cute.
Finally we made it into a smaller queue for a customs desk, guess who was in front? EXIT ROW WOMAN!
She took AGES! Turns out her family were spread out in the queue in front and behind us and she had everyone’s documentation. This was clearly customs fault and she made a big show of having to pass the document back and forth between them. Why not get in line together, as a group, stupid woman.
FINALLY we were through, gave everything but a stool sample to the cheery customs lady and then we were off to pickup the bags. Because of the customers saga there was no waiting so we were soon though and on the monorail to the main terminals.
I knew we had to pickup our discovery cove tickets from the virgin desk before getting the magical express. The difficulty was that one was in terminal A and the other was in B so it was a bit of a trek.
First, to get the tickets. It took a while to find the desk, it’s very hidden away. We were given the discovery cove tickets, our universal early entry ticket and two happy potter keyrings, which were our ‘free gift’.
Tickets packed away it was back across the terminal to the B side and onto the magical express. We found this a lot easier, we were getting the hang of the ‘levels’ we checked in and were directed to a bus. The bus was rather empty so I thought we’d be waiting a while. However after a 5 minute wait we were on our way.
We were going HOME!
More coming in Part 2, it’s not over yet! If you made it through all that I salute you, it’s boring stuff but it has to be done for the sake of ‘completeness’ It gets a lot more exciting and interesting I promise ;P
|05-27-2013, 07:11 PM||#4|
Join Date: Oct 2012
Now where were we? Oh yes we were on the magical express!
Now we were officially on Disney property (the bus counts right?) the Minnie ears were back on!
The driver informed us that he would be stopping at 5 resorts, and our was the last one, bad times.
However we did get to see a few of the other resorts on the way
Port Orleans Riverside – Just as we remembered and it was nice to return
Wilderness Lodge – HUGE and very impressive
Old Key West – Nice but I was glad we weren’t staying there.
Then Saratoga Springs! – no idea why we didn’t stop at the mystery 4th resort but I wasn’t complaining.
We hopped off the bus and I left Adam to get the bags while I headed into the lobby.
I was welcomed home by the doorman and directed into the large grand reception and straight to a desk. I handed over all the necessities and we were checked in. The reception lady handed us a map and started to explain the various locations…
Cast Member: “We are here” (big marker circle in the middle) “and your room is here in the Grandstand area” (big circle to the far left) “to get there you ne…”
Me: “erm no”
Cast Member: blank stare
Me: “We’ve requested congress park, I know a high floor with a downtown Disney view is pushing it but we really don’t want to be right at the other end instead”
Adam looks puzzled by this whole exchange, I might as well have been speaking welsh.
The cast member makes a few calls, congress park is full… oh poo. The cast member asked if there was anywhere else we’d be “happy”. I asked her to check if there was anything in the paddock, the building next to congress park.
A Looooooooooooong telephone exchange occurred but by the end of it there was! One room left in fact, a 4th floor room, we’ll take it I said. My faith finally restored in the Disney magic :P
She advised we went to baggage services to get to our room but on consulting the map I suggested we walk and check out the view on the way.
Halfway across the bridge and I was regretting this decision! It was HOT!
We did eventually make it and were greeted by a lovely towel animal
It was our one and only since we kept forgetting to leave a tip daily! Oops!
We had a quick explore, Adam loved the fact we had a balcony to sit out on. But there was no time for that, we had places to be and my tummy was rumbling!
We dropped the baggage in the room and I dressed for the change in weather, that sounds rather organized doesn’t it? In fact I just removed my leggings gig: Then we were off!
Adam decided he wanted to take some photos on the way so we took the ‘scenic’ route
Our room location was directly opposite the congress park bus stop so we walked towards it and through congress park to get to the downtown Disney walkway. From here you’re hit with a lovely view of the downtown Disney shoreline so direction wise you can’t go wrong, there are signs just in case though!
In less than 10 minutes we reached the marketplace and although it was probably my imagination I followed the smell of bacon wrapped meatloaf to wolfgang pucks express. This was to be our first Quick Service meal of the holiday!
I made a loose suggestion to Adam that we didn’t need to eat here if he preferred to go somewhere else but as he had no idea what was here I think I had the advantage gig: Seeing pizza on the menu I don’t think he was to fussed!
There was a short queue, which gave me chance to look over the menu, although I knew exactly what I wanted.
Or did I? Now with the menu in front of me I wasn’t sure if I ‘FANCIED’ bacon wrapped meatloaf, maybe I wanted a turkey sandwich instead! Annoyingly the menu above the cashier doesn’t describe the items so I had to go outside to see what a ‘turkey sandwich’ included. Sounded good, until Adam convinced me American Turkey ‘wasn’t the same’…. So I was back with the meatloaf.
We placed our orders and took a seat in the conservatory section. The ‘inside’ bit looked like this
In a few minutes our food arrived.
For Adam a pepperoni pizza without mushrooms
The meatloaf for me
For desserts we shared the cheesecake and the crème brulee
Adam preferred the cheesecake while I preferred the brulee, which was probably for the best since after the first mouthful this lady was not for sharing!
I won’t go into huge detail on the food in this report, I know some of you aren’t bothered! Instead I’ll keep my analysis to the separate food report. Let just say the pizza was nice but the meatloaf was ‘underwhelming’ :D
It’s worth mentioning that the drinks here are ‘ultimate’ so you can refill them as much as you like, in fact the wait staff are more than happy to do this for you to boost their tip ☺
The total came to $46.55 (including tax) and then we left a $5 tip.
That’s the first amount on the DDP deduction. I’m going to keep a running total so I can see how much the stay would have cost without it since I know people are interested to know that sort of thing :D
While we were eating look what came over.
A minion blimp! well done Universal for muscling in on Disney property gig:
We were done and dusted by 7.30. In the trippies of sane normal people now is usually the point at which they start to wind down and head back for a good nights sleep, it is 12.30am to my body after all, however those of you that have read our NY trippie (if you haven’t, WHY NOT?!? :P) will know we are not normal people. Instead we view an early night on arrival day to be a pure waste…. so we headed out towards the bus stops, it was EMH at MK tonight!
On the way we just HAD to check out Goofy’s candy company to see what treats awaited us later in the holiday.
Nom nom nom nom
|05-27-2013, 07:12 PM||#5|
Join Date: Oct 2012
We decided to catch the first bus heading for a monorail resort and the Grand Floridian arrived within minutes so we hopped on that.
As the monorail requires you to go up a level we took the obligatory photo on the balcony
I was hoping for a less drawn and disheveled one later in the holiday!
A monorail was arriving just as we arrived and it was lovely to hear the familiar tones of the recorded message. Looking at the clock in our first photopass pic we arrived at around 8.05pm.
I was part of a photopass share so I pretty much tried to get as many as I could on this trip :D
Now I hadn’t expected MK to be quiet tonight, during EMH it never is I don’t think. However I wasn’t expecting it to be quite so BUSY ☹
I shouldn’t have worried; they all seemed to be waiting on the parade so the ride wait times were not that bad.
We didn’t run straight for the rides, we took our time, soaking up the atmosphere and taking in everything from Main Street to the Castle. I don’t think any of the WDW parks are as magical as MK at night.
Now what ride to do first, our favourite of course!
Big Thunder Mountain. Ok so it’s not fast and it’s not ‘thrilling’ but it’s the most fun you can have in the dark at a Disney park, legally, in my opinon :D
It was miles away! I can’t understand how MK in Paris is supposed to be bigger than the MK at WDW, the walk to big thunder mountain there is tiny in comparison. I was exhausted by the time we arrived.
It’s recently had a refurb so the queuing area has had an update. As it was quiet I don’t think the ‘interactive’ bits were accessible but they had some lovely new signage
We rode this 4 or 5 times before deciding we’d ‘done it’ for the evening. Considering ourselves DLP Big thunder mountain vetrans having spent a whole evening reriding it back in 2010 the ‘bullet dodging’ bit was a nice surprise. I still prefer the DLP version though :D
|05-27-2013, 07:13 PM||#6|
Join Date: Oct 2012
We wandered through Frontierland into Adventureland and jumped onto Pirates. We miss the drops on this version, far to tame. I do like the added ‘tottie’ element here though, with Jack Sparrow popping up all over the place.
While dodging the spitting camels we noticed a fairy meet and greet which had popped up as part of the limited time magic event Disney are running this year.
“Lets do it while it’s quiet” said Adam
Surprised he was up for a character meet and greet, especially one which involved females ‘taking his arm’, I went along with it.
20 minutes later we emerged and I think he regretted his decision. It was like being in a room with 4 hannah montana’s he said with a shudder. I think this photo best sums up his ‘experience’
Look at the tortured pain in those eyes gig:
They were VERY in character though, full of ‘energy’ let say :D
It didn’t help that apart from tinkerbell I hadn’t a clue who the others were! I’m guessing the one in blue/purple is supposed to be too cool for school but the rest were just hyper.
The conversation centred around my floral dress and how many flowers I’d had to pick to make it :D
As we emerged we caught part of fantaillusion, the good bit with the princesses, so I didn’t make Adam watch the rest. Instead we headed towards the jungle river cruise. We’ve never ridden this in the dark so thought it worthwhile.
We had a funny castmember on board but the real comedy came from a father and son, the Dad was playing along with gusto. The son couldn’t have looked more ashamed of him if he’d tried! The ride couldn’t have been over soon enough for him I don’t think!
We decided on one final ride before we headed off. Space Mountain was the ride of choice.
It had been closed on our last trip so we’d never been on a ‘lapbar’ version. It was brilliant! We loved it, feel less secure that the overhead bar on mission 2 in DLP so it was far more thrilling, we laughed the whole way round and even had a second go.
It was now 11.30pm so we decided now might be a sensible time to leave before the park closed at 12am. On the way out we grabbed a few photos
It was at this point that things went ever so slightly wrong…
Remember we are staying at SARATOGA SPRINGS! Let see now long it takes you veteran dissers to notice our error (I’m blaming the lateness of the hour rather than blatant stupidity).
We left the park and saw that the queue for the Transportation and Ticketing Centre was huge. Not to worry says I, the resort monorail also stops there and there’s hardly any queue!
Not believing our luck we jumped on and soon arrived at our destination.
Now to find the resort buses….. but all the signs say “buses to car parks” or “Epcot”
Hmmm, puzzled me decided to ask. I found the nearest cast member
Me: “Excuse me, where can we get the bus to Saratoga Springs?”
Cast member: “Ermm, where have you come from?”
Me: “The Magic Kingdom”
Cast Member: “Ok well you can’t get resort buses from here, this is where guests who drive in come to. You’ll need to get the monorail back to a park and get a bus there”
Cast Member: “The buses run until an hour after the park closes so you have 40 minutes if you go now”
I thanked him and then legged it as best we could back to the monorail. I could have kicked myself. Not because we’d done it, easy mistake to make we reasoned, but because we’d on gone and bloomin done it BEFORE on our last trip!
We clearly don’t learn!
We arrived back to MK and then of course the bus area is bloomin obvious isn’t it. I just hadn’t looked to the left when we’d left the park! I’d just seen the huge monorail queue and become preoccupied with how to avoid it, sod whatever resort we ended up at! I don’t think it had helped that we’d arrived on the monorail via the Grand Floridian so hadn’t been to the bus depot yet.
The moral of the story? JUST DON’T DO IT!
We arrived and jumped on the bus waiting. Then we were off. The time was now 12.35.
We were staying in the paddock so we got off at the paddock thinking it wasn’t too far, it was far. It was around this point when Adam decided he NEEDED a cold drink…NOW. It’s worth noting that when we are both extremely tired we are both pretty grotty to be around.
I convinced Adam I’d seen one near the room so up we went in the lift, no drinks machine. It was ALL MY FAULT.
I tried the key on the door, nothing. I tried again, nothing. I tried again with lots of handle pulling and door banging, nothing.
Again ALL MY FAULTbb
Completely disregarding the other guests we proceeded to have a ‘heated’ conversation about the fact we couldn’t get in, how the evening ‘excursion’ was ALL MY FAULT and how should Adam indeed eventually get his desparate hand on a drink, where he could shove it.
Although this was the least of our worries, we now had a looooooooooong trek to reception to work out why the key didn’t work, oh well, at least Adam could get his drink now…grrrrrr.
We left and started walking, hang on, we were in the last building, the one nearest the congress park bus stop, I remembered from checking in…
…. except that WASN’T the building we were leaving….
We started walking quickly toward our ACTUAL building, for two reasons really, one because I was anxious to get in the shower and two because we were being tailed by security, I kid you not!
‘security’ sounds worse than it was. In the US security usually means a big burly bloke with guns, but thankfully in Disney it meant an old bloke on a golf cart with a flash light. The real occupants of our fake room must have made a call to sort out the angry English couple trying to get in their room!
We tried our door again, it worked surprisingly. Adam was still moaning about his lack of drink, I think he was hoping we’d have to walk to reception so he could get one, however a cold (ish) glass of water and a steely stare from his charming wife (me obviously) seemed to convince him otherwise. Two showers later and we were ready for bed, at 1.30am. That’s my usual wake up time back home but ho hum here’s to an early morning start :P
NOM OF THE DAY
Not a huge amount to choose from today dispite it being epic in length! The clear winner has to be the Creme Brulee. Creamy, Sugary and just not big enough!
Breakfast – nothing
Lunch - nothing
Dinner – $46.55 + $5 tip = $61.55
Total for the day = $61.55
Total out of pocket - $5
Total saving – $46.55
|05-27-2013, 07:15 PM||#7|
Join Date: Oct 2012
You would think that after our epic day yesterday we would be sensible and have a lie in today… but if you thought that, you’d be wrong!
We were up at 6.30 like the completely insane individuals we clearly are! I mean come on, we were in DISNEY, sleep was just wasteful :P
6.30 probably was a bit early though, it didn’t take us very long to get ready at all so we unpacked a little more and checked out the view.
Here’s the room, looks like all the other I’m sure.
and here’s the view from the balcony, the morning was shaping up to be rather nice, finally some sun!
ok, not very impressive but nice all the same, at 7.45 we decided to make a move and started the quick walk to the congress park bus stop, except we weren’t quick enough! An animal kingdom bus arrived just as we got to the end of the building, typical!
Expecting the worst after everything we’d heard about buses at SSR being rubbish we settled down for the long haul. The Disney gods however must have been smiling on us though since ANOTHER animal kingdom bus arrive a few minutes later, hurrah!
We arrived at animal kingdom just as the guy at the turnstiles was doing his welcome speech, we couldn’t have timed it better if we’d tried! Obviously this wasn’t an all systems go park opening, we were going to be stopped further down for ‘official’ opening. Knowing this we took our time, grabbing some nice shots and getting a photopass photo in the bag before joining the mass of humanity waiting to get in
Like everyone else in the park we were heading to one of two things, the safari, or everest.
Being the coaster junkies we are everest it was!
On our last trip we’d planned on doing the same thing but the route through Africa on the left had just seemed really long, this year we were going RIGHT, heading via Dinoland!
After another brief opening ceremony we were off!
I was surprised when pretty much everyone headed left while a small group of people set off with us. We’d soon set a pace and left the scrollers and parents with young children eating our dust :D
This way definitely felt quicker and as we turned the corner towards everest we saw “everyone else”, behind a rope, being slllllooooowwwllly led towards everest… BWAHAHAHA. The looks on their faces as we darted round the corner, grabbed a fast pass and got inline was comical to behold!
So ladies and gentleman, unless you want to walk at a snails pace towards everest along with the rest of humanity, go RIGHT!
LOVED the ride, I’d forgotten how much fun it was. In fact, it was so good we jumped straight back in line :D
I managed some photos this time around too
Having escaped the yeti a second time we headed over towards the safari’s, grabbing MORE photopass pics on the way
The wait said 20 so we decided to risk it, although I think it was more like 30 in the end!
While in the queue I tried for ages to get on the my Disney experience app, the thing is AWFUL, why Disney have built such a load heavy application designed to be accessed by lots of people on very ropey wifi is beyond me, I couldn’t get past the first screen! I wished I’d picked up a paper map instead ☹
We saw the usual on the safari, lots of these
some of these
and a rare glance at one of these
And no lions, obviously.
By now it was almost 10.30 and we were yet to eat breakfast, snack credits burning a hole in our pockets as we were yet to spend one we headed to the nearest cart to investigate!
As luck would have it they had one of my list items there (if you’re unsure of what “The List” is, head on over to my food report right now!).
I ordered two, since I was in no mood to share. The guy on the cart congratulated me on my choice and an excellent use of a snack credit. See first use and I was already a pro :D
The item in question was this beauty:
that’s right dissers, after making regular appearances on food reports and loved by many I had to try one, the Jalapeño and cream cheese filled pretzel.
This thing was amazing, I could have eaten one of these for breakfast every day.
I think Adam enjoyed it to
Full. For now. We headed back towards Everest to use our fastpasses. We did this and then grabbed another for later. As the queue was only 15 mins, we rode AGAIN for good measure, it would be rude not to :D
Next up we headed back to dinoland. I really hate this area of the park but I wanted to ride Dinosaur. I know we went on it last time and I think I remember it being scary but this time? Meh.
We then went on the only really decent thing left, primeval whirl before exiting the area as quickly as possible.
Sorry I just don’t get it, the sooner they flatten it and do something decent the better, and by decent I do NOT mean avatarland!
|05-27-2013, 07:16 PM||#8|
Join Date: Oct 2012
It was now HOT so we did the one thing we could think of to get cool, we went and got drenched!
Ok not massively drenched, but enough that it was a relief from the heat for a while.
Adam came off the worst I think :P
Now soggy we headed over to watch the gibbons, they were so active! I could have watched them all day.
There was a guy stood by them telling people all about the family group. He also had a stick of bamboo with him, which was obviously his “conversation piece”, not really an interesting object for discussion I didn’t think but when prompted he burst forth with a very enthusiastic tail about how tall it could grow, my he must enjoy his job! gig:
While watching I spotted another photopass guy so we squeeze in another few shots. It’s like a game finding these guys :D
The stomach filling effects of this mornings pretzel were now wearing off so we headed towards food. I stopped off first to grab something from yak and yeti while I sent a panicked Adam (no idea how or what he could have on the dining plan) off to get his from flame tree bbq and grab us a seat!
I queued for ages behind a group of oldies, all paying separately, none of whom had decided on what they wanted before they got to the front of the queue and felt the need to have a long discussion about what they all fancied….. grrrr
In the end they all went with the sweet and sour chicken, but then that’s what I usually come away with after umming and arring in my local Chinese, everytime, so who am I to judge!
I eventually made it and struggled with my goodies over to Adam to see how he’d faired.
He was already tucking in and had a seat so I guess better than I had!
He’d gone for the chicken and ribs combo with coleslaw and beans
A coke and chocolate mousse for dessert
I on the other hand had gone for my ‘usual’
Sweet and sour chicken
and an iced tea followed by a frozen lemonade
I had really wanted to get the banana mousse but I thought the iced lemonade was probably better in the heat and I could carry it with me for a while, which I did.
|05-27-2013, 07:17 PM||#9|
Join Date: Oct 2012
While eating lunch I had finally gotten the mydisney app to work and found out that a flight of wonder show was due to start in a few minutes so we headed over.
We weren’t planning on doing any other shows apart from this one on the trip, well maybe festival of the lion king if we had time (we didn’t) but this one we’d missed last time so it was very firmly on the “to do” list.
They were just starting the preshow as we arrived so we settled down with our ‘desserts’ to watch before going in to see the show.
We thought it was very good! It’s only a small show and rather hidden away so it probably plays second fiddle to the likes of nemo and simba but it’s definitely worth a watch in our option.
Another area we’d not made it to on the last trip was rafiki’s planet watch so that was next on the list.
Oh course we passed more photopass ops on the way :P
I have no idea what Adam thought we were holding. I’m guessing a human baby by the look on his face. That’s his usual expression when I hold one, it’s a mixture of fear and revulsion all rolled into one.
We got to the train area just as one left so I was able to find a seat to catch up on my trippie notes.
Adam took this picture, which he find hilarious
…. Yep, exactly I cant think what’s hilarious either:D
When we arrived I realised there was a good reason why we hadn’t been here before…. It’s rubbish.
There’s nothing here! Well not NOTHING! There was a very dishy doctor giving a talk, you know, all bronzed with golden blonde hair, obviously played on his school football team….. but I couldn’t stay staring at him for very long, Adam was getting suss :P
I did manage to get a photo with the man himself though
I guess this is the only reason people come over here!
We did go outside to see the pigs, donkeys and goats but quite frankly why would you want to while in florida, in fact anywhere? I guess this area may be more fun with the kiddies…maybe
Rather underwhelmed we headed back on the train (on which you see very little!)
In need of some serious entertainment we headed to pangani forest trail to see the gorillas.
I LOVE these guys, they have such fascinating facial expressions and some of their mannerisms are so human
In the outside area this guy was having great fun guarding with his bin lid!
Having fun on the trails is one of our favourite parts of the park so we headed next towards the Maharajah jungle trek in Asia.
Time for the tigers!
They were stunning as always.
After a look around the rest of the trail we headed back out and watched the gibbons for a little while to rest our legs!
While stood there the sky started to get VERY dark and a big blob of rain hit my arm…
We stuck it out for a little while but decided instead to join the 20 minute queue for Everest, it was bound to stop soon, just in time for us to ride hopefully!
But the queue wasn’t 20 minutes, it was 5 minutes and we jumped on the carriage just as the rain started to get a little bit heavier.
We got SOAKED!
Standing in the everest store waiting for the rain to stop we made a VERY bad decision, we decided to ride again, determined that rain was not going to stop our fun. I mean, we couldn’t get any wetter really!
There was now no queue, not surprising considering, so we jumped in and sat in the puddles from the rides last victim. I also popped on my sunglasses so I didn’t get too much rain in my eyes, and off we went…
DO NOT DO THIS!
Rain is bad! And when it is torrential and it hits you in the face at 60mph it bloomin well HURTS. A LOT!
We were soaked before we got on but now rain had embedded itself into ever possible crevice we had. I’m convinced had I showered that morning fully clothed I would be drier than after that ride.
The woman at the photo bay thought we were barmy! I really wish I’d bought the picture. Adam with his face screwed up in pain, and me with my sunglasses on giving a thumbs up while also getting pelted with rain.
So in conclusion, a fun finger up to the rain…. But not advised.
As ‘luck’ would have it the rain stopped pretty much as soon as we left the gift shop, so we found a seat to observe the aftermath
It also gave Adam chance to let his socks drip dry.
I was wearing my crocs so not an issue, clever me! :D
|05-27-2013, 07:18 PM||#10|
Join Date: Oct 2012
We decided on one last ride before exiting the park, I chose the safari’s and I’m so glad we did. There was hardly any queue and now the rain had passed the animals were out in force!
We even saw the lions!
Well one of them. Even now I’m convinced a cast member just lays out a fake one as everyone’s pictures seem to look like this!
And that was it, we called it a day! Looking back I know we missed lots of things out, ITTBAB and the discovery island trails as the ones I was kicking myself later that we missed.
Unfortunately though we had an early dinner reservation at Sanaa so I didn’t want to be late!
We did get some photopass pics at the exit though.
Confident that there was no way it was a baby this time Adam managed to crack a smile… sort of
A bus for Animal Kingdom Lodge was just leaving so we had a little wait for another bus, not long though. Once on the bus I realised I’d forgotten which of the DVC properties Sanaa was in! Jambo or Kidani, eek!
Luckily the bus driver announced which stop we needed so I shouldn’t have worried.
We arrived with time the spare and were seated at 6.30 with a lovely view of the savannah.
The view on the other side wasn’t so great apparently ☹
This place was FREEZING! It may have been because I was still a little damp but I spent the whole of the meal shivering ☹
Our waitress came around quickly and as it was our first use of a table service credit she explained how everything worked and what we could have.
NOTE: I know I said I wouldn’t go into huge detail on the food in the main trippy but I can’t help myself! Feel free to skip my next 500 words of waffle if food is not your thing!
We both opted to start with two of the speciality drinks available on the plan.
A lemonade with wildberry foam
And a mango Lassi
The lemonade and foam was, for me, odd. The lassi was yummy but probably a bad choice considering the food we were about to eat, it was so filling!
We did look at the cocktail menu, it was in a lovely case! But I just wasn’t feeling it this early in the day, (I know what your thinking, after yesterdays 9am cocktail that’s rather contradictory but hey!)
We decided to share the breadservice to start.
We went for one of each bread and a selection of the dips that we liked the sound of. I ask our server to recommend the final one and we went with the pickled garlic.
I can’t remember what they all were, so for reference here’s the full list!
All the breads were amazing and out of the dips we like the coconut, the cucumber and the mango ones best. The hummus was ok but the pickles garlic was AWFUL! Far too strong for us and that’s saying something, we love our garlic!
While we ate the breads we decided on our mains. I was feeling a little full by now, 6 months on the 5:2 diet and my stomach was in no way ready for all of this food! I decided to go for something a little lighter than I had originally planned.
I went for the sustainable fish, there was no price on the menu but as we were on DDP I decided to throw caution to the wind!
It came with Shrimp and Scallops in a light curry broth.
And it was DELICIOUS!
I’m so glad I went for this, the fish was grouper and so meaty. The only let down of the meal was the scallops, they were hard and rubbery, which is not how I like them at all ☹ I left the shrimps as I’m not a big fan of large prawns, I’d forgotten to ask for it without.
Adam had the thai green curry with shrimp and the spicy Durban chicken.
He ate some of both, but only finished the chicken. He said he wasn’t keen on the shrimps as they tasted a little funny. I had a little of the sauce of each and thought them rather nice, not hot by our normal standards which was nice for me although I think Adam would have liked it a little hotter.
I already knew what I wanted for dessert, but we took the menus so Adam could decide.
I went for the trio of desserts but with a slight “alteration”
I swapped the chocolate cake, which usual gets panned, for a second chai crème.
Back in the uk I’m addicted to the chai tea latte’s at starbucks so I was gutted to learn they no longer served the large chai crème on it’s own anymore. They are obviously asked this a lot though as the waitress wasn’t fazed by the swap in the slightest. In fact I’ve seen some food reports where people sub everything for chai crème :P
It did not disappoint, pure spicy crème heaven. It did get a little much after a while but I managed. The third item on the plate, the kulfi, was nice to so I’m glad I kept it. It tasted what I imagine frozen lassi would taste like.
Adam went for the rice pudding. I warned him that I was sure I’d seen it on a food report and it wasn’t like ‘normal’ rice pudding but he tried it anyway.
As expected it was awful ☹ It was dry but they gave you some ‘juice’ to pour on, but it wasn’t enough. So you were left with very dry and runny rice pudding. Fine if that’s what you like, homemade rice pudding is sometimes like this, but if you’re expecting the consistency of the yummy stuff you get in a can back home, you’ll be disappointed!
|05-27-2013, 07:19 PM||#11|
Join Date: Oct 2012
By now we were VERY full after our first DDP meal so we head out onto the veranda to watch the animals. It was lovely out there. There was a big log fire so I could finally get warm and a very enthusiastic cast member telling everyone about the animals.
It really was a perfect way to end our day at animal kingdom. At 8pm we decided to make a move, not back to the room obviously, we had more parks to do!
The Kidani Village bus stop was deserted but as luck would have it the first bus to arrive when we got there was epcot, so we jumped on!
The plan for the evening was to go to epcot and grab a drink in world showcase before watching Reflections of Earth.
But I was overruled ☺
As we arrived earlier than planned we headed first to grab some photos of the entrance area, which was all decked out for the flower and garden festival.
and some photopass pics of course!
It was now 30 minutes before the start of the show so I started walking towards world showcase, however I made the mistake of going near Test Track, at which point I was informed there was NO WAY we was leaving until we’d been on it. With a 20 minute wait I gave in and we joined the queue.
On our last trip we only managed test track once and we weren’t in the least bit impressed (I don’t think the 40 minute wait because it broke down helped much).
This time it was a lot better! We enjoyed making a car and the fast bit at the end. The rest is still the same and as pants as ever but we weren’t expecting much from that bit. The only slight let down was we couldn’t get our car to ‘load’. We seemed to be driving with completely different ones, oh well we’d need to try again on another visit.
At this point it was 5 minutes until showtime and we needed to get a move on. I tried explaining to Adam that we needed to get to at least Italy on the other side of the lagoon for showtime and so we needed to go FAST. Adam wasn’t pleased about this (he was happy to watch from Canada again) and a few words were ‘exchanged’. I was moody now, after all we’d done what HE wanted to do, now it was MY turn. We reached Italy just as the show started, but I was missing something, MY DRINK ☹
I tried edging towards France but we were missing some of the show so we gave in. We ended up watching the show a little further near American, with NO DRINK grrrrrrr
|05-27-2013, 07:20 PM||#12|
Join Date: Oct 2012
After the show finished, (no tears this time, I must be immune. Either that or I was just to darn annoyed to enjoy it as much!) I was determined I was having my drink so started off towards France with a reluctant Adam in tow.
I had wanted to get the flower and garden edition of the grey goose slush but all the booths were already closed, obviously not staying open for EMH. Instead we ended up queuing to get the normal one instead. I tried to convince Adam to get the orange slush instead so we could try both but no, he wanted the same as me…. I’m sure he was just out to annoy me at this point!
We took a seat in France and soaked up the ambiance while drinking our slushes.
We probably could have shared one, they look small but they pile it on and it took ages to drink! I was getting a little tipsy, it had a lot more booze in it than I was expecting, queue boozy “selfies”.
It was now 10.30 and with EMH drawing to a close we decided to call it a night, the last few days were catching up on us.
The evening was not complete without a final photopass though of course!
And to prove how boozy those slushies are, and that we were friends again by this point…
NOM OF THE DAY
Hard one this, I thought it would have been the pretzel, but after thinking long and hard the nom of the day goes to…
The Chai Cream!
Next time I’m ordering this x 3!
Breakfast – two pretzels - $4.76 = $9.52 (used a snack credit)
Lunch - y&y – $17.14 & BBQ – $19.90 = $37.04 (used a QS credit)
Dinner – Sanaa - $85.88 + $15 tip = $100.88 (used TS credit)
Total for the day = $147.44
Total out of pocket - $15
Total saving – $132.44
|06-01-2013, 07:12 PM||#14|
Join Date: Oct 2012
|06-01-2013, 07:13 PM||#15|
Join Date: Oct 2012
April 2013 - Our last hurrah! - Day 3 - Part 1
We were exhausted, and sooooo ready for a lie in, but alas today was not the day! We had originally planned on booking the Wild Africa Trek for today but the weather report was a little bit iffy so we decided to leave it today and try for later in the trip. That meant today was completely freed up for Hollywood Studios, and this morning was EMH, which was why we found ourselves waking to my alarm, at 6.45am :nonono:
I know, glutens for punishment we are!
We managed to get ready pretty quickly and were out the door by 7.15. On leaving I nearly jumped out of my skin, a frog jumped from infront of me into the light fitting in the hall!
Little beauty he was
He had a great little spot there in the light ready and waiting for the bugs and moths that come to investigate!
We made it to the bus stop and there were a fair few more people than we had seen there yesterday. We thought this was a good sign that our bus was yet to arrive and sure enough in a few minutes one turned up and we all piled on.
To my dismay when the bus pulled up to Hollywood studios I saw a HUGE queue. Well it probably wasn’t huge by peak season standards but it was big enough for me!
We joined the queue behind an English family who were discussing heading for toy story mania first as that was likely to be the most busy, oh were they in for a shock!
Finally we were let loose! Adam did the usual taking of photos. One of which I will share with you since it was clearly a vista worth adding several minutes to the fast pass return time and standby queue!
Worth it? Nope I didn’t think so at the time either!
We walked/ran/funny walked to the fast pass queue and after managing to stand behind the only person who seemed to be collecting tickets for an entire tour group I FINALLY got my tickets.
We checked out the standby queue but that read 40 mins (on a serious note has anyone EVER seen is less than 30mins? I want photographic evidence!) so we gave it a miss and headed instead for Tower of Terror
This is one of our favourite rides, if not THE favourite ride at Disney so we were eager to get on, the wait said 5 mins, this was a good sign…
…. Disaster! It had broken down. We hung around by the entrance for a bit but nobody seemed to know what the problem was or how long it would take to fix so we soon gave up and headed to Rock n Roller coaster instead.
Did manage to grab my piccie with the sign while we waited so not all bad, it’s usually to congested for this!
RNR was understandably a little busier than usual but we still managed two rides within 30 mins. I don’t think it’s as good as the paris one, where are all the disco lights and such, it’s just a few neon road signs! Rubbish ☹
We headed back to ToT and hurrah it was open again, so we headed on. We managed a few rides until it got busy
Complete pro’s us
no idea how but we always end up on that side!
We tired after three go’s and instead grabbed a fastpass for an hour later.
With a little bit of time before our TSM fastpass ran out we had to decide what to do for 30 minutes… there really was only one thing we were yet to do that day… EAT!
We made a beeline for Starring Rolls. It was not what I was expecting, it was TINY. I imagine it’s utter chaos when busy. There was soooo much to choose from in there as well but there was only one item on “The List” and it needed to be in my belly.
A butterfingers cupcake
It was huge so we only ordered one to share along with two lattes (two of the smallest latte’s I have ever seen! I thought they were espressos’ at first!)
There was no seating outside, or anywhere nearby for that matter, so we ended up on a bench next to the hat.
I hadn’t picked up a knife or napkins, assuming it would just break apart, however the top had a hard chocolate ‘shell’ and after struggling to half it on my lap and getting chocolate everywhere I admitted defeat and sent Adam back for napkins and a knife!
It was yum! I have no idea how anyone eats one to themselves though, It was so sickly! If the topping wasn’t enough it’s full of chocolate sauce as well!
Despite now being full of sickly cake we headed over to Toy story mania. The entrance was in a state of confusion when we arrived since the fast pass queue was coming out the door and into the walkway, while the main queue wasn’t outside at all despite a 60 minute wait time. People were joining the fast pass queue thinking it was the main line and getting a little nasty when they found out it wasn’t! The cast member finally had enough and called down to the loading area in code which I took to mean clear the fast pass line RIGHT NOW, since no sooner had she put the phone down than we were heading down the queuing area at a rather quick pace.
I must say I don’t ‘get’ this ride, this has to be one of the most over hyped rides at Disney. It’s fun yes, but not mind blowing, and not worth a long wait for. I guess it’s one of the only good family friendly rides at HS so that’s why it’s always busy, can’t think why else.
Adam won as expected, he’s to good at the bonus points round, he just has better wrist action, gets more practise clearly :P
We considered getting another fast pass but there were now for 4pm so we left it, we had other plans for later.
Although it has been cold this morning the midday sun was now HOT and I really needed a sit down, all these long days on my feet when I’m used to being sat on my bum all day in the office was taking it’s toll!
We still had the TOT fast pass, which was almost due to expire so we went and did that one first. It’s not until a few rides that you start to notice new things. I like the eye in the transfer chamber that shows a photo of you all and when you ‘return’ from the other dimension if you’re sitting on the far right, look behind you. There’s a doll that scared the living daylights out of me the first time I saw it. I’m sure it moved!
Still looking for that seat to rest my bum on I noticed the next showing of beauty and the beast was due to start so I dragged Adam in, he hates ‘shows’, especially any involving princesses.
I still love it though, I find myself singing along and have to stop myself ☺
On the way out we spotted the first photopass guy of the day and we had some photos taken
Adam clearly thought it might be a baby again…
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