A few reminders: Pre Trip Report: http://www.disboards.com/showthread.php?t=2200291 The Cast: Me- Pete (27) Last WDW Trip Nov 07, with plenty of DLRP in between. Jo (29) The second veteran from our Nov 07 trip, has also been to DLRP ten times in the last eight years Kathryn (21) WDW Virgin, mad on Princesses, Alice in wonderland & Mary Poppins Paul (21) Known as Kip, just along for the ride and cocktails if you ask me Amy (23) Younger sister of Chris is over there working ,massive Princess and Tink fan. But she does hate all things HSM, so we may clash, eek! Supporting Cast Chris (25) On his year working in the Rose & Crown in Epcot Kayleigh (23) see above These two have proved very useful in the holiday planning / dining reservation department!!! -------------------------------------------------------------- Day 3 (Chriss Birthday) So after a nice lay in (well compared to the last three days) we surfaced at 9am, and started to get ready for our late character breakfast at 1900 Park Fare over at the Grand Floridian. To our dismay as we got to the bust stops, the queue for Magic Kingdom was massive, but luckily two buses turned up together, we made it onto the second, and true to form I was standing, but to my relief the other four were as well! Once at MK we breezed through the entrance area taking in the hordes of people entering (a sure sign of things to come later) and made our way up the monorail queue line and onto a monorail with minimal wait. Once on the monorail and seated the group looked at me horrified as it glided off in the opposite direction to the Grand Floridian. I dont know why they were blaming me, and I didnt see any other queue line open to board any trains going in the other direction. So we settled down to enjoy the somewhat longer journey than anticipated. No-one really cared though, it was funny, and we all enjoy the monorail anyway. This was everyones first time at the GF and as we walked in we all fell in love instantly, the Grand of its title is no over-statement and things here were in stark contrast to our own precious All Stars. Silently I made a vow that my days of staying in values ended with this holiday. Not that Ill be staying at the GF anytime soon mind you. We spotted Chris and Kayles waving from across the imposingly opulent reception area like some misplaced extras in a period drama and we made our way down to the ground floor to join them, and wish Chris a Happy Birthday. No Matt today as he had already gone in late once this week. Chris and Kayles had already announced us to the desk, and the pager was flashing as we greeted each other so we made our way straight in, after posing for a random photo with Cinderella just outside the restaurant. Our table was large and almost dead centre of the restaurant underneath Big Bertha the organ. Breakfast was nice, and a little fancier than yesterdays Eggs Benedict in a Lobster Sauce anyone? And the bacon here seemed nicer than that in Chef Mickeys. But I think overall I enjoyed the food more in Chef Mickeys. The characters this time were, Pooh, Tigger, Alice, The Mad Hatter & Mary Poppins. I dont think Kathryn could have been more excited about Alice and Mary. Alice was wonderful and so was The Mad hatter in fact, but Mary was actually a little disappointing, seeming a little uninterested in really spending any time with our group when she got to our table, before moving onto the next. After breakfast we were headed to the MK at last, but decided to take a slow walk through the pretty grounds of the GF down to their pier to get one of the Resort launches across the lagoon. Not the fastest mode of transport, but definitely a pleasant enjoyable one. As mentioned earlier, MK was heaving, and today was easily the hottest day yet. But it didnt dampen the groups spirits as we strolled onto Main St USA and everyone got their first glimpse of That View. We made our way down towards the castle and as we got to it, realised that the Move It, Shake It, Celebrate It Street Party was just getting into full flow, stopping to watch, Chris and Kayles took each of our park tickets and dashed off to Splash Mountain to claim a fast pass for everyone. Jo went to sit down for a bit as her knees were playing up, and before we knew what had happened, Amy and Kat had thrown themselves fully into the street party, and were soon dancing and congaing with Woody! It was hilarious, and how they could do it in such heat was beyond me. I was sweating like a sweaty thing just watching it all. Once we regrouped and made a few restroom visits it was time for Dream Along With Mickey. I was ecstatic, as I loved this show last time, and wasnt too sure if it was still being shown or not. The show was as fab as ever, and still gave me goosebumps! After so long out in the heat it was becoming unbearable now, so once the show was finished we dashed off round the castle to Fantasyland and into Philharmagic. A plus on two fronts: Its one of my fave 4D shows and its heavily air conditioned. Once we exited from here we beelined over to Frontierland and started to stake a claim on a spot for the parade. Now Im not sure why we were doing this, as it was still 45 minutes, and like I mentioned, today was massively hot, so standing around in this heat doing nothing for forty-five minutes didnt really appeal to me. I think everyone realised our strategy here may have been a little flawed, so we all ended up moving on anyway and popping in for a ride on POTC. Once queued and been on this ride the timing was now perfect and we ended up coming out just in time to enjoy the parade over by Libert Sq then diving into Haunted Mansion as soon as the parade had passed by. Haunted Mansion of course has aircon, so I enjoyed it, whilst thinking of the poor dancers on the parade who had skipped by literally looking like they would sell their mothers right now to be somewhere where they could benefit from some aircon. After this we had a quick mooch over to Fantasy-Land where we all indulged in some Frozen cokes before nipping into Tinkerbells Treasures and lounging around on the floor outside the changing room, whilst Amy tried on one of each of the Princesses dresses. (Aged 11-12) Shes very small, so they actually fit her! After a mooch round some more we set off for a leisurely walk stopping off at various stalls and shops towards Splash Mountain. As we arrived at Splash Mountain I finally realised what the faint smell of singeing was that I had been smelling for a while now My skin. Yes, it turns out Id been wrong about not needing any sunblock yet. My arms were literally bright red, I was stopping traffic, and scaring small children! So after SM we decided it was time to get back. We returned to the entry by the MK Railroad, which Ive never been on. So that was nice. Upon reaching the bus, the Gods were smiling upon us, and I actually had a seat to rest my weary soul upon. We spent a few hours back at resort, showering, resting, applying after sun and beautifying ourselves for Chriss birthday dinner tonight at Ohanas. Once we were all tarted up we made our way to reception and ordered a cab to take us to Polynesian. Chris, Matt and Kayles met us outside, and to my joy, Chris and I were wearing almost identical shirts. We had a small wait for the table so all indulged in some Cocktails from the bar. I passed on the Maragaritas this time and had a Strawberry Mojito. Our pager was soon vibrating and we were ushered to our table, by one of our Ohana Cast-Member Cousins. Chris and Kayles old Manager from Epcot had recently moved here as the F&B manager for the Poly, so theyd been sure to mention him when we arrived for our booking and how he knew we were coming and had promised us a good table. He wasnt working tonight, but it was enough to convince the staff to give us one of the best tables in the house, right by the windows, with a fabulous view of the Castle and the MK. I have to say this was probably food-wise, my favourite meal of the holiday. The food was lovely, especially the steak pieces. And since I was quite tipsy as the evening progressed, I even decided to do something Ive never done, and try a shrimp. I dont eat fish you see? Well no-one had ever explained to me that before you could eat a shrimp, you needed to take the whole thing to bloody pieces! Anyway, my mission failed, and I shant be eating Shrimp again. As we drew closer to 9 Oclock a lady came out and pranced around the restaurant playing her ukulele and singing. Which was nice, but she was very happy and positive, again, too much for a natural misery like me. And she didnt seem to be stopping. She did though and just in time for Wishes!!! Whoo!!! It was nice, and of course not as good as seeing it in the park. But definitely fun and I liked the free Lays that were handed to us. Not sure if I spelt that correctly? But I mean the flowery things you put round your neck. After dinner we wondered out to the back of the hotel past the fabulous looking pool and its flame torches, and then a quick wonder around the beach down by the lagoon. It was very atmospheric and lovely. Again this would make it hard returning to ASM. But thats what we did next, wondering back to reception and clambering into yet another God Fearing Cab for the ride back to resort.