Four Yorkshire folk on t'road - Pre Trip

PudseyChancer

Mouseketeer
Joined
Oct 6, 2007
I don't suppose that it would be too much of a shock to all you seasoned Orlando campaigners to know that due to excitement and anticipation, we beat the alarm by just shy of an hour, waking up at 5am, though there was a bit of coaching involved in making it that far.


Excitement on the kids faces, terror on Caroline's ahead of the 9 hour flight

Despite only taking out the bare minimum from the luggage, it still took half an hour of tidying to sort the room out and we checked out with no bother, getting the seven o'clock shuttle over to terminal one. Past experience had meant that I hadn't pre-booked the seats for our flight over, but since then I'd found out the plane we were flying on was a 3-3-3 formation, no doubt with Biggles at the helm and the red baron in hot pursuit. The thought briefly crossed my mind to ask for three together and a seat with the pilot, but even I wasn't going to push my luck this early in the holiday.

We passed time in the the airport by getting some breakfast (full English, well almost, I was too intimidated by the gargantuan black pudding to complete the job!), and unsurprisingly, when we tally up at the end of the holiday, one of the most expensive when equated to quality, at £37.00 for the four of us - and Bill only had a bacon sarnie!!

We were on the plane and off exactly on time, Shrek four passed the time, Caroline had done the kids a brilliant travel bag, so Isabelle was able to regale us with dastardly deeds from her horrible history book, Billy initiated those around by singing to his Leeds United tape, oblivious to everyone else with his headphones on. We bought some rum and Jack Daniels for some evening medicine from the duty free (if that still exists?), the kids were awesome - we obviously had concerns about the long flight, and despite our constant coaxing neither succumbed to sleep. Upon arrival at Sanford the kids were almost at breaking point, but the wall of heat as we stepped off the plane was enough to bring everyone round, and despite the tiredness, Billy and especially Isabelle, charmed Homeland Security and we were through to hitch up with Marty, who we'd booked our transfer with. His pimped out van was hooked up a plasma in the back and he played clips of the parks and ran through some hints and tips which the kids loved, it was a great way to fill the transfer time to Old Key West.

First impressions of Old Key West were superb, it looks the part with the pastel coloured buildings and the lush greenery, it's a very pretty resort. The kids were caught out by the "Welcome Home!" greetings that we got, but were suitably impressed, even more so when we hooked up with Bell Services who gave us a lift over to our room on their cart, our room was 4126, second floor and the nearest to the Turtle Shack pool. Everyone was really polite and friendly, and recognising of our long day of travel, the kids were fussed over and given badges, stickers and balloons fashioned into flowers and swords, they were really taken aback, but it was a good sign of things to come. :thumbsup2

The room was great, don't know if it was recently refurbished or not, but it was really clean, had a flat screen tv, and was generous in size, plenty of room for us four, the dream of having an evening drink on a water view balcony wasn't a goer, partly because it was a view of some shrubbery, and partly because I had underestimated how boiling hot it is, even in the evening! Any moans about the non-view paled into insignificance when the location of the pool was taken into account, we were literally the nearest room to the pool, it was an absolute godsend, especially on the devilishly hot afternoons we were to encounter.

We wandered back over to Hospitality House once we'd settled in to pick up some rations for the room, a loaf, some milk, coke and sprite and some doughnuts, the cornerstone of any healthy diet. We strolled back, and having read some comments about OKW being sprawled out, walking through it certainly gave some perspective, and you get to appreciate the peace and quiet, a fantastic bonus when staying onsite - we couldn't have picked a better hotel for being in the middle of the action, but having the ability to get away from it all at the same time. In essence, we were 10 minutes walk from Hospitality house, if we waited for a bus, there was one stop prior to us returning to Hospitality House, we were also the third stop for buses returning back to OKW from the parks.

We snacked on some of our goodies and then retired for the night at about 10.30pm - the kids had been awake for approx 22 hours and not a complaint in all that time - truly a herculean effort and one both Caroline and I were amazed at. I'd like to say we spent some time drinking our duty free Jack Daniels and putting the world to rights, but I was asleep 1.3 seconds after the kids.... night all.
 

ely3857

<font color=ff3300>Would love to be a Librarian -
Joined
Mar 5, 2005
Glad the kids were on their bestest behavior for ya!
 

PudseyChancer

Mouseketeer
Joined
Oct 6, 2007
Wake up time was 6.30am, though I don't think I aided that, after a bit of tossing and turning, I sneaked over to the telly and then woke up all of Old Key West and Saratoga Springs as I inadvertently started watching "Disney's must-do attractions" with the volume at level 1062. My first telling off of the holiday (though remarkable that I had made it this far without a yellow card - the ketchup incident being a real let-off) was interrupted by the footage of Splash and Thunder Mountain - a real get of jail card moment as we were headed for the Magic Kingdom today.

I'd read some comments about the bus service at OKW, so it was with trepidation that we headed off to the bus stop - however within five minutes the four parks were serviced as well as a Downtown Disney bus, (though the MK was the last of that lot - typical!!), and we were on our way. The kids were amazed by literally everything - the signs, the monorail tracks, the beach of the Polynesian, the spectacle of the Grand Floridian - the sheer scale is amazing, especially though to a five and eight year old on their first visit. Funny how a simple bus ride can remind you of the reason for coming in the first place.

Into the park and the temptation to meet and greet the characters was immediately put in front of us, with Pinocchio and Daisy Duck - however the queues quickly formed and the heat was so searing, even at 9.15am, that we reasoned with the kids that we would have a better chance seeing them at one of the character meals that we had booked.


Our first family photo on Main Street, Billy has yet to master the art of being photographed

We skipped the lines and headed straight onto Splash Mountain, a walk on and a welcome dousing later we were headed over to Thunder Mountain. Billy's tolerance for thrill rides was pushed a step too far, and he was quite scared - though he managed to keep things together and this allowed us to set the standard for the remainder of the holidays. We did intend to get a snack but unbelievably, none of the snack carts held anything other than drinks at this time in the morning, a real surprise to me given Disney's expertise in relinquishing us of our hard-earned. We headed back to Adventureland intended for Pirates of the Caribbean but were sidetracked by the Tiki Room - a first time for all of us but quite funny and Isabelle loved the theatrics. We then got ourselves back into Billy's good books by going on Pirates, and then onto the Magic Carpets ride.

We wandered through to Liberty Square, where got our picture taken with Donald Duck, and then I had twenty minutes of indulgence, having my photo taken with the Liberty Bell and then into the Hall of Presidents.


I thought I'd asked for a photo with a Liberty Belle, not a Liberty Bell...


I'm a big history buff, especially American History and I absolutely loved this, I'm a big fan of John Adams and his famous writings, I've got books on most of the main players, Washington, Jefferson, Franklin, Adams and Revere - so this was right down my street. Billy cracked me up by saying that he "Knew that some of them were real, do you know that them that were talking were real, because I saw them with my own eyes!" - Barack Obama was very impressive. We wandered over to the Liberty Tree Tavern and not for the first time this holiday, the dining plan went out of the window. We had intended to do a counter service meal on account of a visit to Kona Cafe in the early evening, but the chance to dine with some Patriots was too good to miss, so we asked and there was walk-in availability.


Sharing a Liberty ale with a fair maiden

I didn't just want to spend two weeks eating steak just because I could, so I tried to look beyond the obvious, and though I was tempted with the pilgrims feast, I opted for the tri-corner sandwich, Caroline had a cheeseburger with mushrooms and provolone, Billy had a cheese pizza and Isabelle had macaroni cheese, the kids had ice cream sundaes, I had the apple pie and Caroline the toffee gooey cake. Total with drinks and tip came to $74; I'm going to make a conscious effort not to focus on the price too much because we got the dining plan for nothing - it's not like we feel tied to it, and we're flexible about eating elsewhere. The quality however was very good, the interaction with the 'in-character' waitress was brilliant, plenty of focus on the kids and quick serve times. We felt like we had received good value, the portions were extremely generous - so the first opinion on the DDP was very good - I'm not normally a pudding man but both the apple and toffee puddings were superb.


The Liberty Tree - a replica of the Boston original, made famous by the Sons of Liberty

We wandered out and had a few photo's with characters before the heat of the mid-day defeated us, we headed back to OKW and straight into the pool, the kids had decided that that was the main attraction of the day and we spent a good couple of hours chilling out. Billy really benefitted from us having the pool to ourselves, he's not the most confident in the water but was quickly venturing further out than he has done previously, whilst giggling and laughing throughout - a good sign and a clear confidence boost for the little man.


Encouraging Billy in the pool, by the end of the holiday he was jumping straight in, making his mum very proud

A quick shower and change and we headed down to the Premium Outlets where we dropped a fairly large wedge for a selection of Ralph Lauren, Nike and Tommy Hilfiger gear that would see us through the holiday, though purchase of the day went to Billy who located some Krabby Patties (a la Spongebob) and delighted on chomping them throughout the remainder of the day. Back home and then onto the ferry over to Downtown Disney, with the intention of picking up some supper, Billy chose the chippy (surprise, surprise!), and I tucked into some battered sausages and chips, Caroline and Isabelle had chicken and chips, and Bill had a fish that was almost as big as him, we all had a cookie that we didn't eat, but brought home. Just as we were about to leave a horrendous thunderstorm struck, the savagery of which I found fascinating, especially as there appeared to be a ground strike at the far end of the the car park near Cirque du Soleil, Billy was quite scared and it caused a bit of a problem as we were stuck, the downpour was just a solid wall of water - and we were stuck there for a good twenty minutes.

Eventually it passed, and as a nod to how well the kids had done we used up a snack credit or two at Goofy's - and as the rain clouds gathered again we hopped on our bus and were homewards bound. The kids were asleep almost as the door to our room had closed, though we managed to slip in a rum and coke each before we too hit the sack.

We genuinely thought we'd done a bit of something for everyone today, the kids had picked up a couple of souvenirs and were well pleased, we'd seen both sides of the Orlando weather scale. Our first day proper had seen a park, the pool, and the shops - not a bad start.
 

Alibaba

Ali in Wonderland
Joined
Oct 28, 2006
What an absolutly fabulous day, i am loving reading how to children coped with everything. Althought we took our little boy when he was 18 months i think this time around (now 3) it will be a different experience all together.

I am really looking forward to reading the rest, especially te foodie bits

Ali

P.S nice try friday evening united, you'll never beat the rovers. ;)
 

dixonsontour

DIS Veteran
Joined
Apr 14, 2008
Great first day report - glad the kids (and you) are having a fabuluous time.

that pool looks great - wondering about requesting a room near there - okw looks great in your pics - we'll be there in 3 weeks.
 

PudseyChancer

Mouseketeer
Joined
Oct 6, 2007
What an absolutly fabulous day, i am loving reading how to children coped with everything. Althought we took our little boy when he was 18 months i think this time around (now 3) it will be a different experience all together.

I am really looking forward to reading the rest, especially te foodie bits

Ali

P.S nice try friday evening united, you'll never beat the rovers. ;)
Hi Ali, the kids are loving it, dunno how they're going to cope with re-adjusting back to reality very shortly! And even this far across the Atlantic, word has reached me that you were very fortunate that Mr Somma's goal was disallowed for offside! :rolleyes1

Great first day report - glad the kids (and you) are having a fabuluous time.

that pool looks great - wondering about requesting a room near there - okw looks great in your pics - we'll be there in 3 weeks.
Hi, our room is right next to the pool on Turtle Pond road, it's absolutely ideal. There are quite a few refurbishments going on around South Point meaning that there's an alternative bus stop in that area - probably would want to avoid being round there. I'll post some more photo's of OKW later on, it's absolutely beautiful - very calm and relaxing and a really laid back vibe. So glad I chose OKW over Saratoga Springs, having looked at the two, there's no comparison! :thumbsup2
 

dixonsontour

DIS Veteran
Joined
Apr 14, 2008
Glad to hear good things about the resort. Did you notice if the snack bar at turtle pond is open for drink refills?
 
  • mark&sue

    <font color=teal>I keep trying to convert everybod
    Joined
    Nov 8, 2004
    Dave, this is one of the best reports I have ever read on the DIS, has bought tears to my eyes. I can just see you showering in the dark. Me and my DD have just loved reading all about your plans and what a bonus to read your live up-dates.

    Can't wait to hear more when you get back. DVC resorts are all wonderful, it just feels like another world and you can truly forget work for the whole vacation.


    susan
     

    PudseyChancer

    Mouseketeer
    Joined
    Oct 6, 2007
    Glad to hear good things about the resort. Did you notice if the snack bar at turtle pond is open for drink refills?
    Yeah, the turtle pond is good for drink refills, you just get the server to do it for you, though it does shut at 5pm I think. :thumbsup2

    Dave, this is one of the best reports I have ever read on the DIS, has bought tears to my eyes. I can just see you showering in the dark. Me and my DD have just loved reading all about your plans and what a bonus to read your live up-dates.

    Can't wait to hear more when you get back. DVC resorts are all wonderful, it just feels like another world and you can truly forget work for the whole vacation.


    susan
    Thanks very much Sue, this holiday has been loads of fun, even if some (most) of the laughs have been at my expense! I've taken a few notes across the two weeks and have plenty of ammo for the trip report, will post them early next week, once I've managed to defeat the post holiday blues!

    We've really loved our time at OKW, so much so that we are now DVC members, with Bay Lake Towers as our home resort! :banana: We're really chuffed, and can't wait to look at what we're going to do for our next Disney holiday!!! :cheer2:

    Anyway, Hoop de Doo review tonight, before the dreaded flight home tomorrow... :sad2:
     

    PoppyAnna

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Jul 29, 2006
    We've really loved our time at OKW, so much so that we are now DVC members, with Bay Lake Towers as our home resort! :banana: We're really chuffed, and can't wait to look at what we're going to do for our next Disney holiday!!! :cheer2:

    Anyway, Hoop de Doo review tonight, before the dreaded flight home tomorrow... :sad2:
    :banana::banana::banana: Woo hooo......congratulations Dave and Caroline, DVC eh? So you should be chuffed, Wicked! :worship: :thumbsup2

    Like Sue, I have really enjoyed what you have written so far, you always crack me up anyway. I'm glad the holiday was worth all the overtime ;)

    Enjoy your last night, safe travels - I hope the little 'uns nod off for you;)
    See you on the other side........
     
  • ely3857

    <font color=ff3300>Would love to be a Librarian -
    Joined
    Mar 5, 2005
    Lovely MK day Dave, glad everyone is settling into the Orlando lifestyle. xx
     

    mark&sue

    <font color=teal>I keep trying to convert everybod
    Joined
    Nov 8, 2004
    wow Dave, so pleased for you all. The best thing about being DVC members is just knowing that you will always be going back to Disney. If you want to have a few years off you can always rent your points out.

    Congratulations on your purchase :woohoo::cheer2:


    Susan
     

    PudseyChancer

    Mouseketeer
    Joined
    Oct 6, 2007
    :banana::banana::banana: Woo hooo......congratulations Dave and Caroline, DVC eh? So you should be chuffed, Wicked! :worship: :thumbsup2

    Like Sue, I have really enjoyed what you have written so far, you always crack me up anyway. I'm glad the holiday was worth all the overtime ;)

    Enjoy your last night, safe travels - I hope the little 'uns nod off for you;)
    See you on the other side........
    Hi Jo:wave2:
    The holiday was worth the overtime, though I always knew it would be - the kids absolutely loved it - though Billy was overawed on quite a few occasions - not sure he knew what to make of it!

    You'll not be surprised to know that both tried to keep awake for the full flight home, though both gave in and had about two hours each! We're walking on eggshells this afternoon, temper-wise! :rolleyes:

    Wow DVC members - was that the plan or spur of the moment?
    .
    Looking forward to your trip report
    Hi, it wasn't on the spur of the moment, we'd discussed it previously but without much commitment. The presentation was excellent and the way the DVC works it is perfect for us, especially as it covers the holidaying we would like to do over the forseeable future. Longer term it fits in with how Caroline and myself would like to travel also. :thumbsup2

    wow Dave, so pleased for you all. The best thing about being DVC members is just knowing that you will always be going back to Disney. If you want to have a few years off you can always rent your points out.

    Congratulations on your purchase :woohoo::cheer2:


    Susan
    Hi Sue,
    I agree with your sentiment wholeheartedly, we're really pleased that we've purchased, I'm sure I'll be in touch for some help and advice along the way as a fellow DVC member! :worship:
     

    PudseyChancer

    Mouseketeer
    Joined
    Oct 6, 2007
    Isabelle was first up this morning, apparently at 7.20am though I wasn't aware of anything until 8am, excitement was rife as we had breakfast planned at Rainforest Cafe at Animal Kingdom. It's amazing the difference in motivation when it comes to getting dressed in the morning, when you're putting on shorts and a t-shirt rather than a shirt, tie and some trousers. We were soon headed for the door, and our run of outrageous fortune with the buses continued as the Animal Kingdom bus was the first one that turned up, just as I had parked my not insignificant behind on the bench.

    I almost regretted heading for breakfast when I saw the crowds at the entrance to the park, but the rumble in my belly told me in no uncertain terms that this was not an occasion to go against the grain.


    Dave was insistent that the flash must be used on every occasion, whether necessary, or not

    The kids enjoyed rainforest cafe when we were in France, and once they knew there was one in Orlando, they wanted to go, I had the eggs benedict, Caroline had the sliders, Billy had scrambled eggs, bacon and breakfast potatoes, Isabelle had a massive waffle. As in the eating kind, not the talking continuously kind. There was a bill, we paid it, but didn't save it. Those hoping for an idea of the cost of the meals on my reports will need to flip a coin as to whether it'll be included, I mean well, but I have the memory of a fish, and one that has been battered and served in newspaper, at that.

    We headed straight to Kilamanjaro Safari in order to try and catch the animals before they headed into the shrubbery to avoid the searing sun. It was only a five minute wait before we were on our way, and with the exception of the big cats, the animals were playing ball.


    One of my better attempts at snapping the wildlife

    Isabelle was in her element, Billy less so, as he didn't quite grasp the fact that it involved looking away into the distance to see the various animals, he was a little less enamoured with the bumpy ride as well. I have to say that this was probably the best of the three occasions that I've been on the Safari, the guide wasn't anything special, but you can beat seeing the animals. We jumped off and decided to traverse the Maharajah Jungle Trek, something that I've always bypassed in the past, so to speak. It was absolutely fantastic. We went bird spotting (the kind that doesn't get you a clip round the ear from the Missus!), encountered some gorilla's, the kids tracked some wild animals, (turned out to be a rhino, though Isabelle's suggestion that it might have been a 'Waterhog' got a few laughs from me), though the trail ended somewhat prematurely when a spider the size of Mount Rushmore was located, dangling inconveniently within a two mile radius of the two girls, so having been shown a clean pair of heels by both, I caught up with them at the train to Rafiki's Planet Watch.


    Dave, here's a list, could you find them all for me?

    Again, in the past I've scooted through this part of the park and totally missed the point of it, this time, with Isabelle in particular totally engaged in the surroundings, it wasn't hard to get caught up it ourselves. There was an operation going on whilst we walked through which was absolutely fascinating, a team of seven or eight vets were operating on a deer (I think), that had recently arrived but was suffering with some bowel-related issue, even upon first glance it looked pretty hardcore with the images of the tools being used being beamed on massive screens in HD quality for the passing Joe Public to enjoy. Being a particularly squeemish wuss, I had already managed to mince past without seeing anything too gruesome, but being the (mildly) responsible adult in charge of Isabelle, the fact that she had her nose pressed up to the glass window of the operating theatre meant I had to return to one of my worse nightmares. Metal implements were prodding, cutting things that shouldn't be cut, tieing things that shouldn't need to be tied, all with a camera an inch away from the main action areas. With such detailed coverage, I half expected Andy Gray to tell the Vet to "take a bow son" upon completion of a particularly challenging part of the operation, but I digress.

    Fate intervened and someone held up something mildly less disgusting further on , and we were on our way again. We ended up out in the petting area, where again, I felt that something had been lost in translation, as it wasn't the sort of petting I was anticipating. As a result, we spent less time in this area than I had imagined. It was at this point that the heat began to get really noticeable, it was boiling. I was struggling a bit, but Bill was losing the will to live, so we made the decision to exit via Dinoland and head back to the pool to cool off, we went on TriceraTop Spin which was brilliant, we attempted to get on Primeval Whirl but Isabelle failed the measurement test, I felt bad as Isabelle is extremely brave and loves rollercoasters and is probably ready to step up to the next level of intensity, but today was not the day. Her disappointed face has stayed with me and I wish we'd've investigated the height requirement on this ride first, and therefore not mentioned it as an option to her, but she took it well and talked about going on the ride next time we came on holiday...

    We went back home, and chilled out by the pool, we burned some counter credits at the Turtle Shack snack bar, some tortilla's and cheese dips, a turkey sandwich, a cheese pizza and a hot dog for Billy, Caroline and I had our first beer of the holiday, which seems a little ridiculous, and something to improve on as the days go by, no doubt. We headed back to the room an hour or so later to try and have an afternoon kip, with the intention of getting the boat over to downtown Disney, the bus to the Contempary, and then a ride round the monorail to the Poly to try and re-book Kona Cafe for a different evening, having cancelled our previous booking when we ate at the Liberty Tree Tavern previously. We would then have a cocktail before getting the boat over to the Magic Kingdom to watch the evening fireworks. A rather convoluted plot no doubt, but it meant we crossed off the monorail and boat ride on our 'to do' list, which was Billy's main concern.

    It all went swimmingly well until neither Isabelle or Billy, despite all manner of coaxing, encouragement, threats, bribery or superglueing of eyelides, would surrender to the evils of a mid afternoon nap. There were a few tears and tantrums, but I soon came round and dried my eyes. I knew the kids wouldn't be able to last the evening, but we set out on our journey anyway, no sooner had we arrived at the Poly when the kids announced that they were starving, so we chanced our arm at the Kona and got a walk-in, with just enough time for Caroline to have a Lapu Lapu and me to have a Polynesian Pale Ale.


    No, it doesn't count as one of your five a day. Unless you're talking about alcoholic beverages, of course

    If you haven't visitied the Kona Cafe, I would heartily recommend it, Caroline and I both had Teriyaki New York Strip which was awesome (my threat to stay away from steak lasted one meal!!!), it was served with broccoli and sticky rice, Billy had another hot dog and Isabelle had grilled Mahi Mahi with rice, which she absolutely adored. Tiredness caught up with the kids mid meal, so much so that they turned down their ice cream sundae's, Caroline and I got our white chocolate cheesecake and coconut tart to go, and we caught the monorail back to the Magic Kingdom and got our bus back to OKW. The bus back was busy, but some kind folk took pity on Isabelle and budged up so she could sit down, she repaid their kindness by instantly falling asleep and lolling all over them until we were home.

    I guess that we were lucky today in that due to peak season being over, we've been able to take advantage of quieter times at the restaurants, and have been lucky with last minute, chance-your-arm walk-ups. In this instance, it's meant that we've managed to visit Kona Cafe having changed our minds, and it ended up being one of my favourite meals in the five visits I've visited Disney restaurants. The Polynesian also looked in rude health, and has placed itself on the radar for our next holiday at WDW...
     

    mark&sue

    <font color=teal>I keep trying to convert everybod
    Joined
    Nov 8, 2004
    Breakfast at the rainforest cafe at Animal Kingdom is an absolute must for us and we particularly like the huge Pie of the Vipers breakfast pizza thing.

    The one thing we find very hard being drinkers is managing to go out in the evenings to the other resorts via disney transport. It took us nearly two hours to get to the contempary (although we did stop and shop a bit after getting off the boat in DTD) - alot quicker getting the cab back!!! We therefore end up mostly in the DTD disney restaurants or walk to crossroads.

    The tiredness does catch up on us all.

    Looking forward to the next day.


    Susan
     

    PudseyChancer

    Mouseketeer
    Joined
    Oct 6, 2007
    The one thing we find very hard being drinkers is managing to go out in the evenings to the other resorts via disney transport. It took us nearly two hours to get to the contempary (although we did stop and shop a bit after getting off the boat in DTD) - alot quicker getting the cab back!!! We therefore end up mostly in the DTD disney restaurants or walk to crossroads
    Totally agree Susan, it's a bit frustrating that it's so difficult to get to the bars at the hotels, which generally, are the better ones. Taxis are the obvious answer, but being a tight Yorkshireman, I always consider any other option first!! :lmao:
     

    PudseyChancer

    Mouseketeer
    Joined
    Oct 6, 2007
    We were back in the habit of waking early, so at 7.30am we were up and moving about, this meant that I had to don the Chef's apron and rustle up some fine fayre for the troops, they say that a bad workman blames his tools, but if the extent your ingredients stretches to are bread and butter, what can you do? Well shame on you, as I rustled up some seared shavings of loaf, drizzled in a butter jus. Breakfast? Done.

    It was Hollywood Studio's today, or MGM to the old school. Toy Story Mania was the main draw, surprise, surprise, so it was here we headed for a fast pass. The only stipulation for the day was lunch at Sci-Fi Dine in, at 11.45; so guess what time we were allocated fast passes for? You've guessed it. Walk on was 20 minutes so we queued with the rest of the crowds, of course as soon as any form of competition is introduced, the old game face comes out. Some might say shouting "In your face!!!" to Caroline and the kids was a bit extreme, but then being so far ahead of them points-wise at the end needed some form of acknowledgement. I acknowledged the praise and adulation, though my good mood ended abruptly when it became apparent that the kids were more than happy to queue for 45 minutes just to get their photo's taken with Woody and Buzz Lightyear, no amount of cajoling or bribery would shift them from their foolhardy determination.


    Well worth the 45 minute wait!

    Further photo opportunities with some green soldiers later, we moved onto the Muppets, one of my favourite attractions at this particular park, I love the cutting humour of Statler and Waldorf, though I do wonder if something could be better could be done with the overall show, or whether it's due a rehab. We wandered round and did the Great Movie Ride, which scared Bill in places, both at the gangster shoot-out and the Alien bit, but the fact that he was allowed to drive the car for lunch was enough of a carrot to dangle in front of him to bribe our ways back into his good books. Lunch at the Sci-Fi Dine-In and was fine, cheeseburger for me, beef and blue salad for Caroline (for salad read half a block of lettuce - clearly someone has managed to convince the powers that be that not being arsed to seperate lettuce leaves any more is 'cool'!!), cheese pizza for Bill and a burger for Isabelle, ice cream sundaes all round, though I had an apple pie with ice cream. The service here was very prompt, we had barely finished drinking our coke before another had been placed in front of us, to be honest, we don't usually drink that volume of coke with our meals, but we received three re-fills - the last of which was wasted. The interaction here with the kids was very good, driving licences for them as they were sat in the front, and plenty of wise-cracks that the kids took on and used for the rest of the day. Which was amusing.

    I took the kids out as we were waiting for an eternity to get our dining cards back, we were wanting to catch the High School Musical 3 show that was due on at 1pm. Ever the artiste/entertainer, Isabelle was chosen from the crowd to dance which made her day, it was right down her street, I clearly had the moves, but not the fixed grin which was why I wasn't chosen, at least that's what I told myself.


    Isabelle's first appearance in a Disney musical!

    Indiana Jones was another opportunity to shoot Billy's frayed nerves one last time before we exited the park for the safety of the Turtle Pond pool back at OKW, though my decision to wear an illuminous shirt to this show nearly had disastrous consequences, you'll know what I mean...


    Seen this show numerous times and still love it

    As we headed out of the park, we realised that the block party was about to start, so we grabbed a space on the main strip and watched as the entertainers did their thing, some of the acrobatics were quite adventurous, especially as we were fortunate enough to be placed in front of the trampolines, I half expected to get one of the performers to come bounding straight over and knock us for six, but we escaped unscathed. Both Billy and Isabelle along with a couple of other children were pulled into the parade, and were soon strutting their stuff, their proud mum fighting back the tears.


    Loving being part of the party

    I was fighting back the tears also, but more because I was thinking of the potential cost of the Disney photo's that would be required to evidence said participation in the parade. I ushered the gang out of the park and onto the OKW bus as quickly and cost-efficiently as possible.

    After our swim back at the pool we headed over to Downtown Disney to meet Andrea and Michael, parents of one of our friends, they've been travelling down the East coast of the States, I particularly wanted to grill them about the time they'd spent in Boston as it's a place I'm desperate to go to, I was instantaneously jealous when they told me they'd also travelled down to Plymouth to see the plantation, a village that has been mocked up to represent the Pilgrim's first homes when they arrived at Plymouth rock. We caught the ferry back to OKW, showed them around and had some drinks at the Gurgling Suitcase and spent a brilliant evening catching up, though they did administer a rollicking to Caroline, as they'd spoken to her mum whilst they were in the States, something that Caroline herself had not done!


    A nice and calming place to enjoy a rum runner, or two...

    This was another opportunity to have a laugh at Caroline's expense, one which I took gratefully, as they come round far too infrequently for my liking. We had a great evening's conversation (mostly about their travels around the States, they gave us plenty of ideas of destinations to think about for future travels) and we were really glad we'd met up, as the temptation had been to just get on with our holiday and not meet up.

    It was brilliant to spend some time at Hospitality House and sitting at the boat dock was a fantastic location, just chilling watching the boats coming in and out, it was very, very relaxing.


    Looks good in the dark too!

    We waved Andrea and Michael off, and had a final cocktail before cadging a lift back to the room on a bus that had just pulled in, we had planned an early night ahead of a long day tomorrow, but things never seem to work out like you plan them, do they? A couple of JD and cokes back at the room later, I optimistically put ESPN on, before snoring almost as soon as my shoulders hit the matress, night all...
     

    Kevin Stringer

    Chat Host
    Joined
    Mar 3, 2000
    Totally agree Susan, it's a bit frustrating that it's so difficult to get to the bars at the hotels, which generally, are the better ones. Taxis are the obvious answer, but being a tight Yorkshireman, I always consider any other option first!! :lmao:
    Most of the hotels are easy to get to if you pick the right option.

    Any resort on the monorail: catch the bus to MK and then use the monorail or boats. Also Wilderness Lodge and Fort Wilderness by boat from MK.

    Boardwalk area: bus to DHS and then walk along the river or catch the boat to The Boardwalk.

    Other resorts: catch the first bus to any of the parks and transfer to your required resort from there.

    As a rule of thumb, avoid changing at DTD, it's often long winded.

    Depending on the time of year the parks may be closed after you have finished your meal/drinkies. I agree that a taxi is often the best (if not the cheapest) method to get back to your home resort.

    Puds - congratulations on joining DVC. Welcome home! I'm thoroughly enjoying your reports, keep up the good work Sir!

    Kev
     

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