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Old 03-17-2005, 12:21 PM   #1
allie5
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Talking Allie's Very Merry Christmas Trip Dec 04 PT 15 A Busy Day At MK

Part 15: A Very Busy Day At MK

Main Players

Allie
Neil
Jessamy (4)
Daniel Noah (2)
Nanny Sylvie (off sick in today’s report)

Tuesday December 21st 2004

Nanny Sylvie is still feeling fragile this morning, so opts for a day at home.

The rest of us are off to put in a big day at the Magic Kingdom, as I feel this will be one of the very last quiet days before the Christmas crowds arrive .

On paper, this seemed like a fantastic plan, however, how was I to know that the Christmas crowds fooled me and turned up a day early?? BAH, Tourists, you can NEVER rely on them to be consistent, can you?

I knew something was amiss when rather than parking on the front row of the car park we are today, parked somewhere just off the coast of Cuba.

We can’t get on the first parking lot tram. Or the second. We squeeze onto the third by practically sitting on the laps of a Japanese family. They don’t seem to mind and bow politely, even when our stroller falls over into their expedition sized rucksack collection.

Things don’t improve as we try to board the monorail. The line is snaking down as far as the ticket booths! Hmmm, well this isn’t cricket at all. Luckily, our family have their very own Disney Expert in their midst and we by pass all the suckers in the queue and skipety skip onto the deserted Resort monorail!

Hooray for the super intelligent being, known as ME! We breeze round the loop and are at MK before you can say “There are far too many tourists here today”.

Amazingly, the security line isn’t too bad. They are slacker than normal and are barely checking any bags. One would have thought they would be EXTRA diligent at this time of year, but obviously not. Disney Security must reckon terrorists will be too busy Christmas shopping to bother smuggling explosives in 4 days before Christmas. Personally, I wouldn’t have minded a longer line and a more thorough check, but hey ho, what do I know ?

First task of the day is to have a quick scout around some of the shops for that elusive monorail set. Neil even offers to go and check out a store in Tomorrowland where he saw one last week. Don’t be fooled into thinking what a generous fatherly action this is…Daddy trekking miles to find a toy for his son for Chrissy. The dirty truth is HE wants it more than anyone and is desperate to find one!

Well, unsurprisingly, none of the shops have one, so we turn our attention to RIDES! Neil is becoming pretty good at this Disney thing and had picked up some fast passes for Buzz whilst he was in Tomorrrowland. You learn fast, my young apprentice :D.

Kids are pestering for Fantasyland, so we head there first. The rest of the teeming masses haven’t got this far yet, so we are able to ride the teacups (no line) and Pooh (about 20 mins wait). By the time we exit Pooh, Fantasyland is full to bursting! The line for Dumbo is nearly an hour and Peter Pan an hour and a half!

On the brightside though, the weather is VERY Floridian today! It’s lovely, warm and sunny, so although it’s busy, we make the most of wearing T shirts and hats !

Next we pop over to Toontown. It’s my turn to ride the Barnstormer with Jess and we get to pick which seats we want. Jess chooses the back ones today.

Daniel has got a little bored waiting for us do the Barnstormer (Neil is sporting a lovely orange stain where Daniel chucked his beaker of OJ over him in a paddy). We know that CHARACTERS are needed to calm him down and luckily there are in abundance at Toontown.

We pick the “Princess” line today, as Daniel is rather partial to a Princess or two. Like father, like son.

Don’t have to wait to long and we are ushered into a room with Cinderella, Sleeping Beauty and her Prince (NO idea what he is called).

Daniel spots a Princess snogging opportunity and hastily runs into the arms of a waiting Cinders. She obliges with a couple of large smackers and he is as happy as a clam. However, he is also very reluctant to relinquish her to others and clings to her possessively, like a giant boy sized barnacle.

He forlornly whimpers “kiss, kiss” and gets another one, this time (calm yourself, menfolk reading this) on the lips!! One big hug and he finally leaves. Cinders promises she will wait 16 years and will marry him at the castle !

They both meet Aurora and her mystery Prince, though Daniel isn’t fussed about her!

We buy some of the “Official” photos here as our camera batteries ran out during the session. There is a lovely one of Cinders and Daniel which we couldn’t resist!

It’s now time for our Buzz fast pass, so we battle through the crowds to Tomorrowland again. Stand By is over an hour now and you cannot move near the ride. We were all going to go on, but Daniel isn’t good with crowds, so Neil sits it out and I go on with Jess.

On a day like today, fast pass is easily the best idea Disney have ever had! We have never really experienced the parks really, REALLY busy and without fast pass, the whole day would have been a waste. If you are going over Christmas or any other busy period, then make sure you know all there is to know about fast pass!

Jess and I walk straight on Buzz and yes, after many years of trying, I finally hit one of the obscure targets and get a whopping score of 899,000! Neil doesn’t believe a word of it and says only scores that he can SEE will be counted. What an untrusting soul he is!

Neil had also (rather sneakily I thought) picked up a fast pass for Space Mountain earlier, and he goes off to do that. I park up with the kids at the little snack bar. Buy some bananas and a bag of neon orange crispsy type things known as “Cheetos”. Goodness, there were more e numbers in those than in an entire Tesco sized stock of Wotsits (the UKs rather tamer version of Cheetos). I limit the Cheeto rations to a small handful per child and even that makes them hyper and are bouncing around excitedly by the time daddy returns.

Neil says it is utterly manic over at Space Mountain. The stand by line says 55 minutes, but he says the same people were in the same spot when he came out as when he went in! He thought the stand by line was nearer 2 hours!

He wasn’t keen on the ride, and says it is unsuitable for me as it’s very jerky and my neck could suffer. That’s good because there was no way I was standing in that line for two hours!

You may find it odd that in probably 20 or 30 visits to MK over the years, neither of us has done Space Mountain before (well Neil did the DLP one years ago, if that counts?). We always find there are some attractions we just NEVER get round to at the parks.

After their rush from the Cheeto induced E number trip, we decide to let the kids let off some steam in the Toontown play area. We can’t believe how busy it is! Usually we would leave, but we know things will just get busier as the week goes on, so we decide to just chill and enjoy being here.

After 10 minutes, the joy of “just being here” wears dangerously thin .

There are so many people, you cannot move without stepping on someone’s toes (or someone stepping on yours). Pushing the stroller is impossible around the clusters of people stopped in the middle of the path consulting their park maps. It’s hot and the kids are now grumpy that they can’t ride anything.

We decide we need to sit down it some air conditioned calmness to recharge. The problem is where, and the biggest pain about boasting to be the Disney Expert in your group, is all eyes swing accusingly to you when a miracle is needed.

OK, so where are we going to find a “quiet place” to eat when the park is bursting at the seams and spilling at the sides? I’m thinking hard, trying not to notice the line for Cosmic Rays has reached the back of the restaurant and the 27 Japanese tourists that are squashed against the glass as they battle for a portion of overpriced fries and a hot dog.

Yes, I KNOW I should have made a PS for today, BUT IT WASN’T SUPPOSED TO BE BUSY UNTIL TOMORROW.

I do have an idea. It’s a long shot, but we will take it. I know that not many of your general tourist types (the sort that wouldn’t be caught dead actually researching their trip or visiting informative Disney message boards) don’t actually realise that there is a restaurant inside the Castle. I am relying on the park being full of this sort today as I tentatively approach the podium. Neil reckons I don’t have a chance, but step aside my young Padawan, this is a job for a Jedi Master .

BINGO! We are in luck! Table for four can be seated right away! Hooray! Can’t quite believe that with the park so full we are going to eat in a full service place without a PS! I’m dead chuffed and swell my chest out with pride. Nearly knock out the greeter in the process, so deflate and move hastily to the lobby .

Daniel’s eyes light up like giant illuminated saucers, as whom should be in the lobby? None other than Cinderella herself! He wriggles free of my hand and launches himself at her at 100 mph! Fortunately, she noticed this speedy little projectile coming towards her and scooped him up for ANOTHER kiss !

After a few minutes snuggle and an embarrassing moment when Daniel stomped over Cinders’ beautiful dress leaving Nike prints up it, we leave the lobby in the lift to be seated upstairs.

Although we have eaten breakfast here on several occasions, we have never tried lunch or dinner, so this is all new and shiny to us!

First up, some fresh baked pretzel rolls are delivered with some ultra scrummy honey mustard butter! YUM!

Neil and I decide to share a starter and pick the crab spring roll served with chilli sauce. Next time we will order one each as this was very tasty!

Kids share a big basket of fries and some chicken strips. Both Neil and I choose the rib eye and mash for our mains. Once again, this was very well cooked and melt in the mouth.

For dessert, the children share the sundae with the chocolate crown and I have the “Fairytale Chocolate Cake”. Neil has to be careful with desserts as he is diabetic, so just opts for a small scoop from the kid’s sundae.

As we were eating Cinderella also came round to the tables (much to the delight of you know who!) so it was a bonus character meal as well!

The whole thing cost $74 which we thought was excellent, given the quality of the food and the setting. It probably would have cost us $50 for fast food from Cosmic Rays so we think this is money very well spent.

When we exit the castle, the crowds have got worse! Fantasyland is now one heaving throng of people! The parade is due to start in 15 minutes and the parade route is 10 people deep!

Naturally enough, both kids want to see the parade, and its mummy’s job to find a decent spot! After negotiating some of the heaviest crowds I’ve ever seen at a theme park, we get a spot in Frontierland. There is no chance of being down by the rope, but I take Jess to stand up on the raised corner and Neil puts Daniel on his shoulders.

There are some teenagers in the rocking chairs up on the corner where Jess and I are standing and I ask them if its Ok if Jess stands next to them. They are quite happy and I’m pretty chuffed we can see anything considering the enormous crowds.

I get chatting to an American Nanny Sylvie type (she has also been roped into coming with her family and I get the distinct impression, that this Nanny is also relied on heavily for baby sitting and parade spot staking!!). She nearly keels over when I say we are here for 3 weeks!

The teenagers have succumbed to Jessie’s puppy dog face, and have let her have one of the rocking chairs….how jammy is that! She is well happy and loses interest totally in the parade! This is fortunate, because several ignoramuses decide its perfectly acceptable to stand right in front of us as soon as the parade begins. I don’t have to say a word however, as my new American Nanny Sylvie friend soon gives them short shrift and they move on sulkily.

We don’t get the best view, but are still able to see quite a bit and the kids enjoy it. The Christmas Parade seems much longer than the Share A Dream Come True one and by the time its finished we are all roasted in the hot sun.

Hmmm, “hot sun”, those are two words that don’t appear nearly as often as I would like throughout this Trip Report.

Cut through the shop, where I buy a couple of pins for Jessie’s stocking and Neil goes on another scouting mission for the elusive monorail set! Still no luck though.

By the time we have fought our way back to Main St (via Cinderella’s Surprise Celebration) we decide to call it a day.

I have a cunning plan afoot, and I load everyone onto the Resort monorail. I am certain that if anywhere is going to have one of those darn monorail sets, it will be the Contemporary Resort. They have very cool shops, stuffed to the gills with the more unusual stuff and I’m hoping that there just maybe a monorail set amongst them!

As our monorail glides into the Contemporary, I see victory in sight! Even from here, I can see the shop has monorail sets and we triumphantly exit the monorail and march to the shops!

Of course, JUST a monorail would look silly, so we have to have some accessories as well, so we leave with a monorail (purple), a Contemporary Resort and some spare track. I also manage to get one of the very limited edition Contemporary Resort Christmas pins (which has the monorail on it) and I will keep that until Daniel is old enough to start pin trading.

We have a little snoop round the resort and I cant help having a soft spot for this place. Yes, it looks like an inner city council estate from the outside, but it is quite charming inside. It must be fab to be within walking distance of MK and I can see the appeal of staying here.

Neil notices all the watersports on offer and I can see him weakening as well!

Hop back on the monorail to the TTC and head off home to see how Nanny Sylvie is doing.

I’m glad to report that Nanny Sylvie is much improved after a day indoors (no doubt spent watching HGTV) and feels a lot better. She doesn’t want to go out this evening though, but helpfully, thinks she can manage a spot of baby sitting! Yay for Nanny Sylvie !

I make the kids a light pasta dinner, which they both tuck into heartily. Offer Nanny Sylvie the remains of the bag of Cheetos and assure her they offer a better high than any class A drug available. She will be back on top form tomorrow after a few of these !

Bath the kidlets and tuck them up in bed by 6.30pm. Neither protest as it has been a busy day for them both.

Neil and I fancy an Outback Steakhouse for dinner tonight. This is a wee bit sad, as we have one of these about ˝ a mile from our house at home (which we frequent far to often than we ought – we are on first name terms with most of the staff !!). Never the less, you can always rely on the Outback for a tasty meal, whether it be in Essex or one of its more glamorous locations across the pond and off we set.

Off site, the tourist invasion is as bad here as it is inside the parks, with all the restaurants very busy. We drive by the Outback at Formosa Gardens and its manic, with people lined up for about a block!

Decide to head to the one at Lake Buena Vista, which is traditionally quieter.

They tell us there is a 40 minute wait, but our pager goes off before I can even finish my Wallaby Darned cocktail!

We pick some items on the menu that they don’t serve in the UK…Crab cakes to start that are to die for! Neil has one of the “Griller Platters” which is either chicken, steak or shrimp served with rice and veggies. Tonight he has the steak option. I have the new Steakhouse Salad, which is sliced steak, a handful of Aussie fries and a big bowl of fresh salad. All of it was totally delicious and we find room for our favourite dessert – a Chocolate Thunder From Down Under to share! All this for a bargain $40!

Drive home via the Lake Buena Vista factory outlets, but they were closed. Stop by the Nike store instead, where Neil buys yet more gigantic size 13 pairs and I get Daniel a little pair to match!

Home at 10,30pm.

Tomorrow: Sea World....and if you thought TODAY was busy....
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Old 03-17-2005, 12:38 PM   #2
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How glad am I that we were at the front of the queue for MK today!!

It was horribly busy, wasn't it?

Another great write up though Allie!
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Old 03-17-2005, 02:19 PM   #3
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I am glad you are back with the reports

Please share the picture of Daniel and Cindy
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Old 03-17-2005, 04:05 PM   #4
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Allie

As always you have me rolling about laughing, your trip reports are so great. Would love to see some photos if you have any to share.

Looking forward to the next instalment.

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Old 03-17-2005, 04:27 PM   #5
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Here is one picture I really like of Daniel and Cinderella. I think its the real thing, what about you guys???

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Old 03-18-2005, 04:25 AM   #6
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Great report Allie and what a gorgeous photo of Cinders and Daniel When are you going to start planning the wedding

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Old 03-18-2005, 01:13 PM   #7
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Prince Charming doesn't stand a chance Allie
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Old 03-18-2005, 01:21 PM   #8
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Daniel has already come to an amicable agreement with Mr Charming. They are best buddies and Daniel has pointed him towards a certain Miss Poppins who never seems to have a Prince of her own

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Old 03-18-2005, 02:41 PM   #9
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Great Reports! Thanks for sharing them

Quote:
Originally Posted by allie5
Part 15: A Very Busy Day At MK
Yes, it looks like an inner city council estate from the outside, but it is quite charming inside.
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Old 03-21-2005, 04:08 PM   #10
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They are lovely photos Allie, Daniel certainly is a Prince Charming..... I must tell you I have really enjoyed reading your reports they are very entertaining and look forward to the next installment.

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Old 03-22-2005, 02:55 AM   #11
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Allie - brilliant photos Daniel is so cute.
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Old 03-22-2005, 01:12 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by allie5
Daniel has already come to an amicable agreement with Mr Charming. They are best buddies and Daniel has pointed him towards a certain Miss Poppins who never seems to have a Prince of her own


Jon says, paws off of Mary Daniel

(He knows he is no competition to Daniel Allie )
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