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Old 05-22-2005, 02:52 PM   #1
allie5
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Talking Allie's Very Merry Trip Report Dec 04 Pt 21 Boating At Downtown Disney!

Part 21 Boating At Downtown Disney

Main Players

Allie
Neil
Jessamy (4)
Daniel Noah (2)
Nanny Sylvie

Monday, December 27th 2004

After 3 whole days of gloomy skies, rain and “mizzle” (pinched this rather apt word from that rubbish Sky weather chappie, Francis), we rejoice to open the blinds this morning to sunshine!

Last nights quick Morecambe & Wise rendition of “Bring Me Sunshine”, done as a kind of offering to the weather gods, seems to have paid off!

It’s not all good news, as we obviously should have ALSO done a turn at appeasing the fickle gods of the temperature charts, as there is still a distinct nip in the air.

We have nothing set in stone today, so we don’t rush getting up and aren’t ready to leave the villa till after 10am. After the last few hectic days, this is a pleasant change of gear.

As we are soon to be departing these shores, I feel I need to partake in another ham and cheese bagel from the Maccy Ds . Rest of the family have egg Mcmuffins.

Another accident on the 192 means a very slow crawl up to Black Lake Rd, where we shoot off up the back passage (oooh Matron, it could be Carry On Disney this Trippie, couldn’t it??? ) and we are soon free of the traffic.

Nanny Sylvie still has her $100 gift certificate, burning like a red hot coal in her purse and requests a trip to Celebration to spend it!

Park up on Market Street where Nanny scoots off to spend her voucher. Neil and I take Daniel for a stroll round the lake. It’s very pleasant this morning, and the weather is warming up a little.

Daniel feeds the ducks the remnants of his egg Macmuffin and hash browns, which they seem to enjoy. Next year, maybe MacDonald’s will have opened a little teeny tiny branch on the lake just for the ducks. Of course, they won’t sell Big Macs, but the duck equivalent, the Big Quack

After an hour or 3, Nanny Sylvie and Jessie emerge from the Doll Shoppe, armed with a worrying amount of bags. I hope Nanny Sylvie is aware of her baggage allowance and that we are flying home on a 747, not a Hercules.

Jessie has managed to “persuade” Nanny into buying her a rather lovely Disney World Pop Up book, which is fantastic. It has amazingly detailed pop ups of all the parks and is crammed full of Disney Trivia. I think I have seen it at the parks as well – it’s worth a look if you can find it! Wonderful book, which, now we are home has mysteriously found its way onto MY book shelf!

Have a drive round Celebration again, as we love the houses here. Resist the urge to go and have a look at the new “model apartment” (or show home) that has just opened!

Head out of Celebration for the last time this holiday and drive up to International Drive to seek out some lunch.

I-Drive seems quite quiet, seeing as it is Christmas +2. I guess everyone is making the most of the weather and has hit the parks today. For those poor souls that arrived for Christmas, this is the first day of sunshine they would have had. Wouldn’t want to be in the Magic Kingdom today!

Neil and I want to take the others to Bahama Breeze, but we aren’t sure if it opens for lunch. Happily it does, and we are seated straight away!

They do a “reduced” menu for lunch, but there are still plenty of lovely things to choose from on it, plus a comprehensive kids menu as well – oh, and the encyclopaedic drinks menu WAS available too!

We order a side of Onion Rings and Indian Patties for our appetiser. Everyone loves the onion rings, even Daniel. No-one is over keen on the patties (except me, I thought they were yum!). For mains, kids have their usual (I swear they are growing feathers eating this much chicken!), Nanny Sylvie has salad and pizza, Neil has a burger and I have a beef sandwich.

Portions are huge, and we don’t seem to make much of a dent in our food, even after we are all stuffed! Check was a super duper $59 – amazing value!

Before we leave, we discuss our plans for the afternoon. Our choices are..1. Go back to Sea World and use our “second day free” ticket…or 2. Downtown Disney. I have kinda given the game away with the title of this report, so it is no surprise that we decide on Downtown Disney, as it’s just a little late in the day to start Sea World now.

When we get to DTD, the weather has got even better, and it’s now pretty pleasant, bordering on warm! Its 2pm, and we decide a nice way to spend the afternoon would be to hire a boat out at Captain Jack’s Marina. Neil and I did this years ago (on our very last trip as a couple!) and loved it.

Kids are dead keen and even Nanny Sylvie is enthusiastic, so over we go.

Being the Holidays, I guess Disney must bring in all the staff it can muster, and once again, I get the 15 year old trainee, whose idea of customer service is to try and chat up his glamorous co worker whilst trying to process my card.

I also get an AP discount here, so that adds more confusion to the matter. In the end, I get my voucher (we want a Canopy boat for an hour) and we go and get the kids fitted out with life vests.

Daniel has a baby vest with little boats on it and Jessie as a more grown up yellow version. Nanny Sylvie insists she can out swim any gators that may lurk in the waters and stays vestless for the voyage!

Neil takes control of the helm (he did his degree in Naval Architecture, so anything even remotely nautical, he professes a superior knowledge)…oh how we laughed then as he confidently strikes out for the lake only to discover we are still tied to the dock!!

A gamely CM saves the dock from being towed away attached to a Canopy boat and unties us hastily! We are off, happily without the boat dock as an extra passenger.

Motor up at speeds getting on for 5mph and head towards Saratoga Springs for a snoop! This resort looks lovely – but big! I think I would try requesting a room nearer the DTD end if I ever was to find myself staying here.

We spend a very pleasant time cruising the water ways around some of the resorts. After passing Saratoga Springs, we head up past the old Tree Lodges that no longer seem to be in use. What a shame – these look a fun place to stay.

Although there is still a mild chill in the air, generally, if we stay in the sun, it is very pleasant.

Neil relinquishes the helm to Jessie for awhile, who loves being in charge of the boat! She does panic slightly when one of the massive Pontoon boats suddenly appears in our path from around a bend! Fortunately, Admiral Neil is on hand to take over, and a collision is avoided!

I keep a firm grip on Daniel, who is perilously hanging over the side, looking at the ducks. Luckily he gets bored of this quickly and prefers waving at the other boaters as we pass.

We make it to Port Orleans which Nanny Sylvie likes the look of very much.

Do a “u-ey” by the Port Orleans dock and decide to take the tributary we had seen going to Old Key West.

Jessie once again takes command, and now more confident, navigates round the Disney version of the nautical AA (the breakdown boat) who is moored at the entrance to the offshoot to Old Key West. The CM waves cheerily and Jessie is really pleased with herself!

We are surprised how far into OKW you can get with the boat – and we go up past the lighthouse and round so we can see the pool area. This resort also looks lovely.

We meander back slowly, then have to go full throttle as we realise we are late back – oops!

As Neil guides us back over the lake, I aimlessly look at the receipt for the trip that was in my pocket. Its then I realise that we have been charged for the more expensive Pontoon Boat, instead of the Canopy boat. Will need to sort that out when we get back.

Only arrive back 5 minutes late in the end, and no one seems to mind.

Neil and Nanny Sylvie help the kidlets out of their life jackets and I go and queue at the window to sort out the over payment for the boat.

Luckily for me, when I reach the window, the young padawan CM had been replaced with a person with “Manager” on his badge.

I hand over my receipt and tell him what had happened. He asks for my card and says sorry about that, then gives me a refund slip to sign. I notice that it has the full amount on it. Being an honest soul, I fess up and tell him that I only need a refund of the difference (about $12).

He gives me a HUGE grin, says “Don’t worry about that mam, you have a great afternoon”!! YIPPPEEE, a free boat ride!

We all agree that we enjoyed the trip even more after that! Especially Neil!

Spend the next hour or two wandering the shops. Buy Daniel a cute Mickey hockey shirt and shorts. Jessie has a quick go on the Lego slide and roundabout.

As the sun goes down, the temperature falls rapidly so we decide to call it a day. We head back to the car via MacDonald’s for the kids tea. Nanny Sylvie and Jessie have Filet of Fish and Daniel has nuggets. Neil and I didn’t intend to eat anything (hoping to slope off out later!), but kindly Mr Maccy D put an inexplicable box of 9 nuggets in our bag (not ordered or paid for). We weren’t going to walk all the way back with them, so ANOTHER freebie! Don’t these things come in threes…stay tuned!

Arrive back at the villa at 6pm. Bath the kids and they are in bed by 6.30pm.

HGTV are running a 24 hour Extreme Makeover marathon, so Nanny Sylvie is all set with the remains of the Cadburys stash we had brought with us and is happy for at least another 4 hours!

Neil and I are granted leave of absence and hot foot it to the Premium Outlets for some stroller free exploration of the shops!

We need a few more gifts for family left back home so firstly hit the Ralph Lauren store. Get some nice shirts for Neil’s dad and brother, which are priced up at $40 each. When we get to the till, we are only charged $25 each – bargain and our third “freebie” (well sort of!) for the day! Neil decides he will get a few for himself at that price and picks out two more!

After our bargains, we are getting quite peckish and fancy an Outback Steakhouse supper. Unfortunately, we can see the queue snaking outside the LBV one from the car park of the Premium Outlets, so decide to head back to our “local” one at Formosa Gardens.

This was a good move and we are seated in 5 minutes.

Decide to get a couple of appetisers to share – crab cakes of course, plus some jumbo shrimp. Both of which are ultra delish!

I have the Steakhouse Salad again and Neil has the steak griller. Again, nice, although the steak on my salad was only one step up from being alive . Rather TOO rare for my liking. No dessert tonight – too full!

Back home 11pm.

Tomorrow – Gulf Coast Day Out!

Note – the last few days reports will be shorter as I only made sporadic notes. Will try and finish the whole thing by the end of the week. All right, all right, stop cheering!

Below is a selection of photos from our trip:


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Old 05-22-2005, 03:06 PM   #2
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Allie

Another great trip report, loved the photos, which one are you? Are you the one with the long blonde hair and pretty dress

Sue
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Old 05-22-2005, 03:08 PM   #3
allie5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by florida sun
Allie

Another great trip report, loved the photos, which one are you? Are you the one with the long blonde hair and pretty dress

Sue
Busted Sue, yeah thats me! (I wish!!). Will try and include one of me in the next installment!
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Old 05-22-2005, 03:10 PM   #4
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The boat trip sounds fab We did the water mice this trip
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Old 05-22-2005, 03:27 PM   #5
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Great report. Loved the photo story board

Reid
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Old 05-22-2005, 03:28 PM   #6
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How I wish we'd had Nanny Sylvie on our trips...all that child free time! Looking forward to the last installments.
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Old 05-23-2005, 07:20 AM   #7
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Loved your report, thank you.
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Old 05-27-2005, 03:38 PM   #8
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How did I miss this one?????

I wish some certain in laws would have taken tips from Nanny Sylvie on "How to be good grandparents in WDW" Allie
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Old 05-28-2005, 05:11 AM   #9
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Would love some child-free time! Ah well, just have to wait til they're older as neither MIL is up for it

Can't wait for the rest
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