Who we are etc! Day 1 Day 2 Day 3 Day 4 Day 5 Day 6 Friday 8th February Day 7 Under the Boardwalk, Down by the Sea? and Cape May Cafe Plan: US/IOA am Move to CS!!! Late morning Requested Cabanas 8A or 9B Fort Wilderness & Boardwalk? Hours: US 9-7 IOA 9-6 FIS 8pm Food: Breakfast: Lunch: Dinner: Cape May Café 5.50pm Notes/Budget: Mardi Gras starts at US Actual: So how do you describe the day you have to move from the Hard Rock Hotel? A bit sad but the only thing that makes up for it is that were off to Disney, Coronado Springs (CS) to be precise! After a leisurely start, its another visit to Dennys for fry ups and fruity pancakes before returning to pack and bid farewell to our room and lovely hotel. Im allowed another visit to Michaels as Steve has decided on the golf clubs he wants across the road, and bags three woods (bendy ones apparantly!!) My halo is up in the clouds as I spend absolutely nothing (sorry Janice!!) Before we know it we are rolling under the Welcome archway, it all seems so much more familiar. No right turn down to Dixie Landings this year, we go straight on for the Animal Kingdom Resorts, and Coronado Springs. Even the sun is trying to shine, wow! The entrance to the resort is stunning, and I clutch all my bits of paper and check in. I had asked for Cabanas 8a or 9b before leaving home, and luckily there was one room left in 8a which we had. A very short walk to the Dig Site (main pool) and Bus Stop 4, and a shortish walk to the Food Court. I had picked those two buildings as they are away from the conference area and are perpendicular to the car park so no car park views. Room 8210 was on the second (ie first!) floor facing away from the lake. Our only complaint (the same as Dixie Landings) is that the rooms are so dark. Perhaps we should pay for a waterview? The room seems identical in size to Dixie Landings, and is cheerfully decorated in a Spanish/ Mexican theme with bright bedspreads and yellow headboards. There is just one sink outside the bathroom, which we preferred, as there was more bench space. A coffee maker and supplies are provided here, as is an ironing board, iron and hair dryer. The room felt more spacious as there isnt that useless box thing that isnt a bed, seat or storage at Dixie Landings. A quick stow of the clothes and swimming costumes donned, its almost pool weather folks! The whole resort is visible around the lake, less landscaping than Dixie Landings, but beautiful at night with all the lights reflecting in the water. The Cabanas are alongside a sandy beach with hammocks (like the Polynesian) although we always headed for the pool. The Dig Site pool is big, and the pyramid provides a pleasant backdrop for photos! The pool is more open, less to explore than Ol Man Island, but the slide is much bigger. However there is a pool bar and refillable mugs and refills are available here. Three mugs purchased ($9.99 each) and were off!! Why have the life guards got their red shell suits and fleeces on, we think its quite warm!! There is also a massive hot tub that I will admit to spending a bit of time in, and a childrens pool. Round the back is quite an imaginative playground, but aimed at younger children. We explored the main building after changing for dinner, it houses the check in area, shop, Pepper Market Food Court, a nasty games arcade and Maya Grill Restaurant. The shop is excellent, and has the usual milk and doughnuts at reasonable prices. The food court has a check in system, each person has a card that is stamped at the food outlets, and you cant get out without your card, which is when you pay. I had to ask for a refill pass to get in to fill mugs, which is a little annoying, but at least the queue can be bypassed!! 10% gratuity is also added at the food court, for what we werent sure. However, the food was more adventurous, and the surroundings much more pleasant than your average food court. The value varied too, so a Chinese combination platter served two if you werent ravenous for $14 but a fruit bowl at $5 had 4 lumps in total of watermelon and pineapple in it!! We enquired about the bus direct to the Boardwalk, but nobody seemed to know of its existence. We asked a downtown Disney bus driver and he said his bus went to the Boardwalk via Downtown. We didnt want to risk missing our dinner date so hopped in the car and drove over to the Yacht Club, OK Ya!! Well we find out that Cape May Café is located at the Beach Club, but we like exploring!! The vibrating pager didnt allow time for a bathroom visit, and we were seated. The restaurant is very pleasant, the tables are covered in paper cloths that the children can doodle on with the provided crayons. Sally loved leaving a message for our server at the end!! The buffet is in a central square island, which made navigation easier than some buffets, and boy was it good. Its a seafood buffet (mussels, clams, salmon, the spicy peeled shrimp was gorgeous etc), with plenty of meat options, delicious salad (but avoid the strange pink marshmallow one), childrens and scrummy dessert options!! I was very good and saved pud until last, but couldnt manage them all. As we all love seafood we enjoyed ourselves immensely. I asked if Kate could be a child as she had turned 12 two months earlier, but at every buffet there was no leeway at all on being lenient with age. This is galling when you have tall children, there were teenagers next to us (could tell from school conversation) who were declared children by their parents, they looked no older than Laura!! Therefore, buffets have now become less good value for us, however the bill was around $100, and I can thoroughly recommend this one. Great for a non park day!! An hour or so later we did the waddling duck impressions, to stretch our stomachs, down to the International Gateway at EPCOT, via the Real Pearl stall, to exchange our 7 day hopper plusses for the real thing. This is the sort of wonderful time saving advice you learn on UK DIS! Having paid £174 for our 7 day hopper plusses, £145 for child, I did wonder if the full US price would show up to credit towards Annual Passes (Aps). Disney are not daft, the computer showed up the special offer status, and it would have been $100 each to upgrade, which is still excellent value if you have more than one holiday planned. However, times five it was too much, and to convert mine to get discounts would have given me no water park days!! The whole process took less than five minutes with not a soul about, way to go!! We jumped on the Friendship Boat over to the Boardwalk, admiring the Swan and Dolphin, and walked back to the Yacht Club hoping for some entertainment. Lots of scaffolding up in the boardwalk area, but we did enjoy watching a corny Texan Rope trick/lasso demonstration by a very nimble lass. Yee Ha! (In fact the illusion was shattered as Kath informed me a couple of days later that the girl isnt Texan at all, I cant remember where shes from!!) Back in the car (quite glad that we hadnt got to wait for a bus via Downtown) and home to bed. What a wonderful non-park day. When we get back to the room the phone is flashing, a message from Katholyn (NativeTxn) who is also staying at CS for our first four days. It was great to hear from her, she was so excited as she was filmed on Tower of Terror to go on Good Morning in the UK in April, totally by chance!! Apparantly the presenter is really cute, but I couldnt comment as I never watch daytime TV!! We provisionally arranged to meet at the bar/food court at 9pm-tomorrow night. Children in bed and I go off on a long hike across the bridge for some hot chocolate, except that choccy is not a refillable mug option here, boo!! Arrived back with a mug of tea (=happiness) to find Steve having a tot of whisky and eyeing up the female Spanish weather forecaster on The Weather Channel!! The weather is supposed to improve tomorrow!! Unpack the little bottle of neglected and unloved Merlot tomorrow perhaps? Tomorrow: Animal Kingdom, Spectromagic and not meeting Kath!!