Friends Reunited - TRIP REPORT!! - COMPLETE

BethEJo

<font color=blue>I left the house at 5.45am - that
Joined
May 27, 2008
After breakfast, we headed outside to meet Lady Tremaine, Anastasia and Drizella. These are my favourite characters to meet and we always have so much fun with them!


Here, Lady Tremaine was telling off Anastasia for showing her ankles as she compared her dress to Tanya’s


“You know, I don’t think there’s any magic in that wand; it says it’s made in China”


Whilst we were in the area, we decided to do Philharmagic next! Somehow we hadn’t done it this holiday yet! I love it! :cloud9:

We then headed over to the Storybook Circus area – Jo and I hadn’t seen this new part of the park yet. It was still quite early in the morning but it was already getting very hot – typical, the nicest day of weather so far, and it was on our last day! I was regretting wearing trousers!


I loved this area and I wanted so much to play in the Casey Jr Splash n’ Soak area! Would have been a great way to cool down. We did Goofy’s Barnstormer first, and Jo and I tried to squeeze in the same car – it was a tight fit and we were in stitches! :lmao: This was also the quickest coaster in history - it was over in seconds! As soon as we were squeezing into the car we were trying to push each other back out! All good fun though :)

Tanya and Emma wanted to do Dumbo next but Jo and I weren’t too keen and sat it out. We found a shaded spot next to the splash area/restrooms and got chatting to some Mums with babies who were also taking a break in the shade. When the girls had finished we headed to the circus tent and decided to meet Donald and Goofy!




At the moment, we didn’t fancy waiting for over 30 minutes again to meet Minnie and Daisy on the other side of the tent, so made our way out through the gift shop.

Shock horror, but I had never taken the train in MK!! We decided to do it now, and made our way to the train station. As we waited, we played around with the camera.




The many faces of Bethan John!

The family in front of us saw us and offered to take a photo of us all together. The guy ended up taking like 20 photos from all different angles… not sure what was going on haha! :lmao:


Soon the train arrived and we boarded.








Excited to be on the train face!


The view from the train at Main St Station

We were originally intending to make a full loop on the train, but once we got to Frontierland we decided to get off as Tanya wanted to meet the fairies. I was really keen to meet the Three Caballeros caballeros – they were in Epcot for Cinco de Mayo week as part of the Limited Time Magic promotion and today was their last day. Jo and Tanya decided to stay in MK and meet the fairies whilst Emma and I headed to Epcot for an hour or two.

We caught the monorail over to Epcot and made our way over to the Mexico pavillion. It was extremely hot and the line was quite long and unshaded – however, it was going to be worth it! Whilst Emma got a place in line I headed over to one of the Mexican festival kiosks and got us a Konga Fruit Punch each! It was very refreshing and just what we needed but we finished it way too quickly! It wasn’t the best use of a snack credit as they were served in very small cups, but it was still nice! We waited in line and watched the Mexican band play – they were ace!


Soon it was our turn to meet Jose, Donald and Panchito! Emma went up first whilst I took some photos. They were so cheeky and there was great interaction!


Whilst Emma was hugging everyone, I think Jose felt a bit sorry for me taking the photos and came right up to the camera and gave me a hug and a kiss! Love this picture as he was coming up to me:




Jose had just kissed my hand and all the way up my arm – I didn’t blush (much!)


Continued (again) in the next post...
 

BethEJo

<font color=blue>I left the house at 5.45am - that
Joined
May 27, 2008
This was all so much fun and I wanted to stay there all afternoon! Instead we decided to head for some lunch instead. Emma wanted to get some Nachos from Mexico but wanted them without the refried beans. However, the cashier informed us that this wasn’t possible as they were already mixed in with the meat. Instead we decided to head to Sunshine Seasons in The Land. I love this for a QS option – so much choice! I didn’t know what to go for so went for my usual turkey sandwich! I decided to leave the apple-y salad side that they serve it with… that’s just weird! I hate fruit and savoury things together!


We also had giant M&M cookies for dessert! These were huge, and as we weren’t massively hungry at the moment, we ate our sandwiches but put our cookies in bags to take away with us – they’d be good snacks for later!

The Land was chaotic today, and we really struggled to find a seat for a while! And that seating area is huge! Fastpasses had already ran out for Soarin' – just over a week ago, we managed to get a Fastpass at this time for later that evening. This along with the fact that there was a GIGANTIC line outside Spaceship Earth made us realise that it was extra busy at Epcot today!

After lunch we headed back over to MK wanting to make the 3 o’clock parade. We caught the monorail over to the TTC and then the boat over to MK. As we approached the boat dock I saw a great chalk Daisy on the floor.


I love the views that you can get from the boat and dock!




As we headed into the park Marie was out with hardly any line so we decided to say hello! We hadn’t had a hug from Marie this holiday yet! She’s such a cutie!


We then met the girls outside the Emporium on the bottom corner of Main St, where we grabbed a seat on the kerb to watch the parade starting in around 40 minutes. Luckily we were in the shade! Whilst we had been in Epcot, Tanya and Jo had also had a great time in MK. After meeting the fairies they had done a few rides including Space Mountain before heading to Cosmic Rays for lunch.

Before we knew it the parade started – celebraaaaaaaaaaate! :wizard: I love the starting! We know all the words to this parade and had a great time singing along! I decided I wasn’t going to take any photos this time – I have so many already and just wanted to enjoy it. However, I just couldn’t resist – it’s like my arms have a life of their own and just automatically reach for the camera!














After the parade had finished, we headed to the boats and made our way over to the Grand Floridian. We had an ADR for the Garden View Tea Room for 3:40 – we had all been looking forward to this, especially Tanya who loves all things ‘British’. However, I just want to begin by saying that unfortunately, this was a HUGE disappointment :worried: I will never return to this tea room again and I’m getting quite angry again thinking about how we were spoken to by the server there. We were made to feel like we had no right to be there! This was such a shame and I was just itching to leave as soon as we sat down. This was the first time that I had visited the GF, and whilst it was a lovely resort I just couldn’t help but feel that I didn’t ‘belong’ there… I now have no desire whatsoever to stay there (not that I could even afford it haha :rotfl:), and I never thought I’d say that!

We arrived at the boat dock and walked through the resort to the lobby area. It was gorgeous!


We checked in with the tea room host and waited in the lobby area! It was a much needed cool down after the hot afternoon and it was lovely just sitting there and listening to the piano playing. We didn’t wait long before we were called and seated.


The tea room is lovely – nice and light with a lovely view, but surprisingly it is quite small. Our server came over to greet us and handed us each a menu. He was very pompous but I thought that he was just playing the part… after time went on though, I just think he was plain rude! The menu just contained the set afternoon teas of which the cheapest was around $30 per person and the various flavoured teas that they stocked. There was no mention of ordering individual items like trifle, scones, pastries etc. like I had read about online previously. He came over to take our orders; I had decided on the Shanghai Rose tea after his recommendation but also asked if I could order a scone with some jam and cream. His answer was simply “no Miss, that is not possible”. Umm, Ok... :confused3 I replied “is it OK if I ask why?”. He stated that they don’t sell individual items and that if I wanted something then I had to order one of the full set teas. Lunch had only been an hour and a half ago, and there was no way I could manage a ‘whole’ tea nor did I want to pay $30 for what looked like Tesco Value jam tarts and a danish or two. I just declared then I would order a pot of the rose tea and that would be it. He looked at me, and I kid you not, he asked in a way like he had just seen me spit at his kids: “you’re JUST ordering some tea and that’s it?” YES :mad:!! He looked p**sed and asked if we would all be doing that – yes sir, none of us are ordering the set tea! He was probably expecting us to spend at least $100 between the four of us, but instead we’d not be splashing out more than $25 now. Tanya also went for a pot of tea; she went for the Mad Hatters blend that’s brewed especially for the tearoom. Emma went for a glass of apple juice, and Jo went for a cider off the alcohol menu. It was now like everything was just too much effort for this man, and I swear I saw him roll his eyes! I really wish I'd had the guts to have asked him what his problem was… hindsight is a wonderful thing!

He soon brought our items over and it was immensely awkward as he set them on the table in silence – I was probably thinking about this too much but I just felt so out of place there because of how the server had been treating us. As I mentioned, I just couldn’t wait to leave. As I drank my tea, I had a glance around the room and pointed out to the girls all of the scones and pastries in the middle of the room (which we were sitting next to) that were all entirely uncovered. And there were definitely flies about – I was so glad that I wasn’t able to order that scone now! :sick:

I can’t remember exactly how long we were there for, but it definitely wasn’t long… we settled our mediocre bill and I informed the server that we would not be leaving him a tip. That’s a big deal for me, as I pretty much ALWAYS leave 20% no matter what the service. I’m a sucker I know! He just looked at me as if to say “so what”? I probably should have asked to speak to the manager or something, but hey, it’s done now.

It’s such a shame as like I said, we were all looking forward to this, hoping it would be a nice afternoon break. I think they’ve made a huge mistake of stopping guests being able to order singular items if that is indeed what they have done, but then again, the tearoom was full of people who had all ordered set teas so they were still obviously making their money and not putting people off. I think this not a place for us Brits – one of the set afternoon teas here would be quite disappointing for us I reckon, considering what we can get here in the UK. However, I guess the Americans love this chance of experiencing an afternoon tea, something that is quintessentially British. That’s what Tanya thought anyways... :)

As we made our way out of the tearoom, we had a quick look in the resort shop. Jo had run out of bug spray two days ago and for the past day, she had been bitten something chronic. She was so uncomfortable and was desperate for some bite relief cream or repellant. Unfortunately the shop didn’t sell any and she considered going back to the room in OKW :( we managed to persuade her not to though, and promised we’d try and keep her indoors as much as possible.

We made our way up stairs and caught the monorail back to MK – at last we were back where we belonged! We decided to go and meet Mickey in the Theatre now as again, shock horror, we hadn’t seen him at all this holiday yet! :scared1:


Funny story: as we were waiting in the line to see Mickey, a Character Attendant walked past us, stopped at Jo, looked at her dress and said “oh my, you look like a piano”. We all thought it was funny, except from Jo of course… she was less than pleased!! :rotfl:

Continued (again) in the next post...
 

BethEJo

<font color=blue>I left the house at 5.45am - that
Joined
May 27, 2008
Feeling all content now that we had seen Mickey, we jumped back on the train at the Main St Station to head to Frontierland… I'd never been on the train before and now we’re on it twice in one afternoon?! :rotfl: Once in Frontierland, we headed to BTMR – the posted wait stated 40 minutes, but thankfully, it was more like 10! This is the first time I had seen the new queue area and thought it was quite cool! We barred ourselves in and loved it as usual. There were two little girls who were sat in the seats in front of me and Jo – they were so cute, they kept turning around to us and saying “oh my gooooood” and laughing and cheering. They were absolutely loving it – that was the best part of the ride for me today!

Next was the Hall of Presidents. This is something that Jo, Emma and I had never done, and after the KTTK tour yesterday I was just itching to do it! I was so glad we did – I loved it! So patriotic; both Jo and I were crying! What is it about the Americans? So unified and patriotic and proud – I think we could learn a thing or two! I was amazed at the animatronics – I didn’t know they could stand up and sit down! I must have looked like I was seeing an animatronic for the very first time! The JFK and Roosevelt sections made me tear up the most!


As we left, we noticed the Hoedown Happening kicking off in Frontierland. How have I never seen this before? It was so much fun with everyone dancing – one of the CMs even dragged Emma in!


Anyone who knows me will know that equal to manatees, cows are my other favourite animal! I get weirder the more you read this don’t I?! :rotfl: Therefore, Clarabelle Cow has always been one of my faves :) I watched her dancing during this Hoedown; it was so funny! That cow has sass, and she really was strutting her stuff!






Then I got to have a photo with THE one and only!!!!


We now headed to It’s A Small World – Jo confessed that she had never done this before! How very dare she haha! It’s definitely a tradition! We had a good chuckle on the ride as one of the hippo’s eyes was stuck open so when he was bliniking, it just looked like he was winking at us! We had a massive wait in the last scene as a queue of boats backed up. That song didn’t drive us crazy at all… ;)

We headed further into Fantasyland after IASW and had our usual raspberry lemonade. We sat down and enjoyed it, taking a well deserved break. Once finished we headed to Space Mountain. The park seemed to have really quietened down now and there was hardly any wait. We had a quick go of the shooting game in the queue, where I ended up playing against a group of high school aged boys! I absolutely thrashed them with the highest score and their teacher made fun of them – girl power! They were less than impressed :P

We watched the very retro intro video in the line to the ride – it always makes us laugh as they rock side to side in the cars and we decided we’d recreate this in our ride photo! Emma forgot though!


Of course, when you ride as a four, someone always ends up with a new, adopted family! This time it was Tanya’s turn:


One of Tanya’s friends, Erica, came to meet us off Space Mountain – she was Tanya’s flatmate during the College Program, and after she finished, her parents decided to move down to Florida. Erica now works at Wolfgang Puck in DTD but also does freelance work for one of Disney’s design companies as her background was in Graphic Design. Her work sounds amazing, as she designs park merchandise! She was telling us how excited she was when she bought Disney pins from the parks that she had in fact designed!! :banana:

We decided to ride the Buzz Spaceranger Spin now (in my notes, this sentence originally read “we decided to ride Buzz”… changed for obvious reasons!) – I swear Jo has been on this before, but she seemed to have forgotten that the ride vehicles were really only for two adults. However, because we were now a group of five, Tanya and Erica rode together and we convinced Jo that we could get a vehicle for the three of us for her, myself and Emma! Well, we all squeezed in and Jo announced “Beth, are you sure that this is for three people?” :upsidedow We were all literally just sitting on one bum cheek pahaha! The guns came forward, Emma and I grabbed ours as we were on the end and Jo was confused… where was hers!? She then twigged that there were no vehicles for three people and that she would just have to be in control of the spin! We laughed all the way around purely at how uncomfortable we all were! Safe to say that this was the lowest score that I have ever had on this ride. We soon came to the ride photo, and we all decided to do “Bethan’s Dolphin Face”. Such fun!!


We next decided to do Monster’s Inc Laugh Floor – this was much better than during EMH the other night as now there were a lot more people. We had the usual people, and Buddy asked a member of the audience to pick a number. The lady who he picked for this segment was hilarious – she was an elderly lady who wasn’t quite sure what was going on as she saw herself on the big screens. She was also a bit dozy and spaced out haha – she’d clearly had a long day! When he asked her to pick a number there was silence for what felt like ages! He asked her again, only for her to reply “But I’m tiiiiiirrrreeeeddddd” – she sounded like a child who was about to start crying and have a tantrum! The audience was in stitches! The camera instead moved to her husband next to her and asked him. That’s why we love this attraction so much!

After this, Erica suggested we head over to the Rapunzel area to see it lit up in the evening. It was lovely with all the lanterns. Erica also pointed out some of the hidden Pascals that were in this area – some of them were tricky to find in the dark, but we saw one or two. Did you guys know about these?




We now decided it was time for dinner – we would have loved to have gone to Pinocchio’s Village Haus but it had just closed by the time we had arrived. Gutting. Instead, it was Cosmic Ray’s again! We had lots of credits left and so happily bought Erica’s meal too. I have no idea what possessed me to get this, but I went for the vegetable sandwich… why?! It was so foul and limp – basically just slices of grey, sad aubergine and courgette in a soggy bun. Not even hot cheese sauce could rescue it! Lesson learnt!

We took our time, and timed finishing the meal with heading out to find a spot for the castle show and Wishes. It was extremely busy again now – Emma and Tanya headed off to get a more central spot in the hub. I hate pushing in though and I know how annoyed I get when people do it to me, so Jo and I got a spot just off to the side on the bridge. I love viewing it from here – in fact I was pretty much in the same spot as I was for the very first time I ever watched Wishes! The big fireworks felt as if they were right over us and they were so loud here!

Here she goes...












Well, I’d say that this signified the end of the holiday and we were all a bit emotional. A year of planning, and now we were watching Wishes for the last time! We’d had the most amazing two weeks spending so much time with each other again in the happiest place on Earth, and we were not sure when we would manage to do this together again! We were really thankful for these two weeks :)

We headed out with the masses and caught a bus back to OKW. On returning to the room we found our Magical Express information for a journey back to the airport tomorrow afternoon. There was a sheet for Tanya, and another sheet for Emma and I, but nothing mentioned Jo – I headed to the front desk to sort out the problem, as I know 100% that I had included her on the ME booking. The desk person made a couple of phone calls and assured us that she had sorted it – Jo’s flight was a little later than ours, but she wanted to be on the same bus as Emma and I. They also told us that they didn’t need to reprint the paperwork and that we just needed to explain the situation to the driver tomorrow.

I headed back to the room and did the last of my packing – how was there still so much to do?! I thought I had done most of it last night but now it felt like I was starting again – I just kept accumulating more stuff! I weighed my case and I was over the 23kg limit but there wasn’t actually much I could do about it now! Once finished, I got on with some uni work on the laptop and sulked to bed at around 1:30am. One more sleep :sad1:
 
  • Verity Chambers

    <font color=blue>He's delicious! Rather like <font
    Joined
    May 27, 2003
    Have sat here blubbing *** it's your last day! what will I be like on my last day?? LOL!! Ive have never met anyone who loves SW as much as me, there just something about the place that I love! Simon and I are going to Jiko for our anniversary meal (leaving the kids with granny) I can't wait!! Thanks for your reports they are so detailed, I love em! Xx
     

    burly

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    May 6, 2004
    I'm so sorry you were dissappointed in the TEA. We always go, my sister and I. I do have to say one time we saw a server being terrible, not to our table. But we spoke to management and complained for that table. Another time we saw a server whom looked drunk. she was taken off the floor.
    so i guess bad experiences can happen to anyone.
    I am so glad we have had nothing but times i will treasure there!
    I hope you give it another try.
    Oh how i wish you would have said something...........
    so sad your trip is over.......


    KIM
     

    disney_princess_85

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Jan 11, 2009
    Dine With Shamu looks amazing! Must do that in October. I loved your review of KTTK too. ::yes::

    I cracked up at your Space Mountain and "Bethan's Dolphin Face" photos! :rotfl:

    So sad your TR is coming to an end!
     

    Chilly

    RIP Tag Fairy
    Joined
    Apr 25, 2006
    You seemed to pack loads in today. What a pity about afternoon tea. Some brilliant character photos.
     
  • BethEJo

    <font color=blue>I left the house at 5.45am - that
    Joined
    May 27, 2008
    Have sat here blubbing *** it's your last day! what will I be like on my last day?? LOL!! Ive have never met anyone who loves SW as much as me, there just something about the place that I love! Simon and I are going to Jiko for our anniversary meal (leaving the kids with granny) I can't wait!! Thanks for your reports they are so detailed, I love em! Xx
    Aw bless you - we blubbed many times during the day :goodvibes

    Glad to see another SeaWorld junkie - the whole place is just so special!

    And I hope you have a wonderful time at Jiko - it's a great place for a special meal :)

    I'm so sorry you were dissappointed in the TEA. We always go, my sister and I. I do have to say one time we saw a server being terrible, not to our table. But we spoke to management and complained for that table. Another time we saw a server whom looked drunk. she was taken off the floor.
    so i guess bad experiences can happen to anyone.
    I am so glad we have had nothing but times i will treasure there!
    I hope you give it another try.
    Oh how i wish you would have said something...........
    so sad your trip is over.......
    KIM
    My experience definitely seems to have been an anomaly. No idea what the server's problem was. It was such a shame, but you live and learn and there is no way I would ever let service like that go without speaking to a manager in the future. I think I was just a bit too 'chicken' at the time. And emotional haha!

    Dine With Shamu looks amazing! Must do that in October. I loved your review of KTTK too. ::yes::

    I cracked up at your Space Mountain and "Bethan's Dolphin Face" photos! :rotfl:

    So sad your TR is coming to an end!
    Yes, please do dine with Shamu! Compared to what you'd pay for counter service food anyways, I think it's great value considering the setting and drinks too :)

    Now I've got the Photopass CD, I'll make a post after the departure day post with my fave photos - there'll be plenty more to laugh at :rotfl2:

    You seemed to pack loads in today. What a pity about afternoon tea. Some brilliant character photos.
    We really did, no wonder the day seemed to go so fast! When you're in your room and you think of spending from 8am-10/11pm in a park you think you have sooooooo much time but it just flies by :(

    Wishing we'd met more characters during the two weeks, but we'll leave that as another challenge for next time :goodvibes
     

    Laurafoster

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Aug 7, 2005
    A great last day! I didnt know about the Rapunzel laterns/Mickeys. I'll be sure to add it to my list as Megan loves Rapunzel.

    I always find fireworks on the last night so emotional. The end of an amazing holiday and usually makes me want to blub all the way home.

    Look forward to seeing your photopass pics :)
     

    dolphingirl47

    In Search of the Tag Fairy
    Joined
    Dec 25, 2007
    I have really enjoyed this trip report. Thanks for sharing.

    I had the opportunity to swim with Tyler when I first did Trainer for a Day at Discovery Cove. In 2008 he was involved in a serious accident with another dolphin and I am glad that he made a full recovery and is still doing interactions.

    Originally they used False Killerwhales in Blue Horizons, but the last one, Jozu, unfortunately passed away in June last year. I wondered if they were now using pilot whales like they do at Sea World in San Diego.

    They stopped having a character meet and greet with Stitch at Animal Kingdom in December 2011. When I commented on this last year as I am also a huge Stitch lover, I was told he had been scaring the animals.

    Corinna
     

    sandshal

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Apr 23, 2003
    Followed your updates and blog on the ICP Bethan and have just caught up with your trippie. Loved the insight into Keys to the Kingdom tour and everything else come to that xxxx

    Thank you so much for sharing.

    Sharon
     
  • BethEJo

    <font color=blue>I left the house at 5.45am - that
    Joined
    May 27, 2008
    A great last day! I didnt know about the Rapunzel laterns/Mickeys. I'll be sure to add it to my list as Megan loves Rapunzel.

    I always find fireworks on the last night so emotional. The end of an amazing holiday and usually makes me want to blub all the way home.

    Look forward to seeing your photopass pics :)
    You really should check it out in both the day time so that you can find the 'hidden' Pascals and the night time to see all the lanterns lit up :)

    I have really enjoyed this trip report. Thanks for sharing.

    I had the opportunity to swim with Tyler when I first did Trainer for a Day at Discovery Cove. In 2008 he was involved in a serious accident with another dolphin and I am glad that he made a full recovery and is still doing interactions.

    Originally they used False Killerwhales in Blue Horizons, but the last one, Jozu, unfortunately passed away in June last year. I wondered if they were now using pilot whales like they do at Sea World in San Diego.

    They stopped having a character meet and greet with Stitch at Animal Kingdom in December 2011. When I commented on this last year as I am also a huge Stitch lover, I was told he had been scaring the animals.

    Corinna
    Thanks Corinna! Thanks for the info about the Blue Horizons show and stitch at AK :) I would love to do the trainer for a day experience! I bet you had a great time with that!

    Followed your updates and blog on the ICP Bethan and have just caught up with your trippie. Loved the insight into Keys to the Kingdom tour and everything else come to that xxxx

    Thank you so much for sharing.

    Sharon
    Thanks Sharon! I wish I'd had kept up with my ICP updates better whilst I was out there so decided I'd try and do a better job with this TR. I'm glad that you have enjoyed it :)


    Hopefully later today I'll post our departure day, and then the overall highs and lows and Photopass pictures!

    Thanks again for reading along this far!!
     

    dolphingirl47

    In Search of the Tag Fairy
    Joined
    Dec 25, 2007
    Thanks Corinna! Thanks for the info about the Blue Horizons show and stitch at AK :) I would love to do the trainer for a day experience! I bet you had a great time with that!
    Trainer for a Day is awesome. I have done it 4 or 5 times and also did the Marine Mammal Keeper Experience at Seaworld twice.

    Corinna
     

    BethEJo

    <font color=blue>I left the house at 5.45am - that
    Joined
    May 27, 2008
    Trainer for a Day is awesome. I have done it 4 or 5 times and also did the Marine Mammal Keeper Experience at Seaworld twice.
    Definitely something for me to think about for the next trip - as I'm sure you're aware, I just LOVE SW and DC! :goodvibes
     

    BethEJo

    <font color=blue>I left the house at 5.45am - that
    Joined
    May 27, 2008
    11/05/2013: DON’T MAKE ME GO HOME!​

    Tanya woke up early this morning – she was going to head to MK to watch the ceremony where Merida was going to be crowned as a Disney Princess. Is that an 'inauguration'? We had discussed this the previous night as it was happening this morning only and I had every intention of going with Tanya and her friends. However, I’d had a sleepless night worrying about uni stuff and getting back into the work on returning home and I truly felt terrible this morning. I couldn’t keep my eyes open and my head was all fuzzy – I decided I’d leave it and have a bit of a lie in. I was also conscious that I would be driving back to South Wales from Gatwick after the flight home and thought I should get as much sleep as possible. This was one of my biggest regrets as it sounded amazing when Tanya told us about her on her return – the photos looked great and I would have loved to have experienced it! AND TO HAVE SEEN SOFIA GRACE AND ROSIE TOO (as made famous on the Ellen show)! :lovestruc

    Instead, I got up at about 9am and showered and got ready whilst helping Jo and Emma with their packing. My case was now even heavier this morning than it was last night… how was that possible? :confused3 I had even removed stuff from my case to put in my hand luggage, and when that was full, I put some stuff in Emma’s case too?! The mind boggles!

    We then lazed around for a bit waiting for Tanya to return, flicking through the pictures of the holiday and watching some TV. I blame this time for my new addiction to the TLC channel. That morning I watched some shows about the world’s worse tattoos and something about Amish people moving to the city. What’s not to love? Since returning home, the TLC channel has also brought me the delights of Honey Boo Boo for which I will be eternally greatful! Tanya arrived back at around 11:00 and I rang for bell services to come and pick us and our luggage up in a cart. They arrived at around 11:40 and we said goodbye to the room *Sob* :(


    Bye 5514...

    Whilst Emma, Jo and I’s ME was scheduled at 1:50, Tanya was scheduled for 12:20. She checked her bags in at the resort check in (lucky girl – we would be lugging ours with us) and we waited with her at the front for her bus.


    The saddest check-in :(

    It was now 12:25 and there was still no bus; in the mean time however, we had watched numerous ME busses pull in, dropping new guests off at the resort, and we also watched a DCL bus fill up too – I so want to do a Disney Cruise! I envied them something chronic! One day, one day… It soon arrived though, and we said our goodbyes to Tanya.


    See ya' real soon Tanya!

    There was lots of hugging, and before we knew it, Tanya’s bus had pulled away. We hoped it wouldn’t be two years until we saw her again, and she informed us that she would be saving for a trip to the UK next. We can’t wait for that – it’s certainly no Disney, but we’ve already been making lists of where we want to take her!

    The three of us were now really hungry and so we grabbed some lunch from Goods To Go. I had the tuna sandwich with fries as my ‘dessert’ (best idea ever – I might start doing that over here!); they were easily the best fries of the entire holiday! They were so hot and crunchy and perfectly seasoned. These alone would make me sad to leave WDW!



    I got a bottle of water with my meal but also managed to guzzle one of the huge bottles of the strawberry lemon gatorade that I had bought on that epic trip to Walgreens the other day haha! It was a shame to waste it, and the girls weren’t interested! It’s so good – I really wish we could get Gatorade over here, it’s far better than Powerade! I used to live on the stuff whilst I worked outside in the Honey I Shrunk The Kids Playground!

    We had 7QS credits remaining after this and with 0 TS/snacks. I think we had done pretty well! We could have bought another group’s meals there and then I suppose, but we were looking out and nobody looked very nice. They were all half naked (because of the pool, people in OKW generally don’t walk around half naked for the fun of it) and very roudy. We were right grumps haha!

    Soon it was 1:40 so I went to pick up our bags from Bell Services. Somebody had passed out on the floor outside too – she was surrounded by managers. She was OK now, but it was definitely another hot one today! The bus then arrived at around 1:55.


    The last thing that any of us wanted to see!

    As I mentioned in the last post, only Emma and I were on the ME paperwork but front desk just told us that Jo would still be able to get on the bus with it. We explained the situation to the driver and he wasn’t having any of it: “Miss, if your name’s not on this sheet then you are not getting on my bus”. Oh OK, bye then Jo! :rotfl2: Just joking… I was getting a bit flustered now and eventually one of the CMs from the Bell desk came up to us and offered to help us out. He went to see front desk whilst the three of us stood next to the bus like naughty school children. He emerged around 10 minutes later, chatted to the driver for a bit and then waved us on.

    Everyone else on the bus including Emma and I (flying with British Airways) would be flying from Terminal B. Jo was now the only one on the bus who was flying from Terminal A (Virgin Atlantic). Because Jo originally wasn’t on the paperwork for some reason, the driver had just scheduled a stop for Terminal B. None of us realised this on arriving at the airport but when we pulled up to Terminal B, the driver listed the airlines flying from here and everyone proceeded to get off the bus… everyone except Jo. It was so funny to see her sitting on an entire bus by herself… the driver then offered to take her around to Terminal A, but she decided to get off with us and just walk there through the airport.

    We made our way into the airport and the three of us just looked at each other, not wanting to say goodbye to Jo. Then all of a sudden, Jo just burst into tears, bless her. We all got a bit emotional after this amazing holiday, and after lots more hugging and planning when we would catch up with each other when we arrived home, we went our separate ways :worried:

    Emma and I joined the huge line at the BA desks. Something I forgot to mention yesterday: I totally forgot about online check-in when it opened yesterday! By the time I remembered later in the evening, I checked us in and there was literally only one set of two seats together left. They were the middle and the aisle seat of a window set of three, around three rows from the back of the plane. Not ideal, but at least we could sit together. We finally dropped our bags and we were now free to explore. The restrooms had to be the first stop – I was jumping around like I was dancing on hot coals. I was absolutely busting after all I had drank at lunch. I also wanted to have a browse in the shops in this area, but Emma said she’d feel more comfortable if we were airside and so we made our way through security. My first body scan – wooooooo! And no body seach this time, unlike in Gatwick. I was looking forward to another free massage as well haha… never mind! :lmao:

    We got some seats next to the window at Gate 80 and I read whilst Emma went to have a look at the shops and snacks available. As I waited, I watched the BA plane pull in – it was like the weather was set on a sensor or something, but literally, as soon as the plane stopped outside the window, the heaven’s opened and it poured down. Yep, the plane had brought the British weather with it! Although I was not looking forward to how much turbulence this would cause…


    Can we hitch a lift?

    Emma returned and I left my bag with her so I could go and have a look around. I checked out the perfumes and picked one to buy when I returned home: Prada D’Iris. It’s lovely and fresh. I had about $30 dollars left on my FairFx card and a few more in my purse and decided I’d just spend them here to get rid of them. I bought a few snacks and American candy in the newsagent shop to bring home for my brother. I also popped across to Starbucks and treated myself to an iced tea with lemonade, a pack of the lime and hibiscus Refresher drinks that you can make at home, and an apple/cinammon scone. My last successful shopping trip in the USA :) I was back at the gate around 4:30 and we didn’t have to wait too long before they started to board the plane. It was another full flight.

    The flight home was OK, although I've had better! The turbulence was not to my liking – is it ever to anyone’s though? :lmao: I’m not a fan of flying, and there were a few occasions where we’d suddenly hit an airpocket or a bumpy patch and things on the trays would go crazy! I had never felt anything like it before and there were so many thoughts going through my mind! I could feel tears in my eyes, my stomach was in my mouth and I just grabbed Emma’s arm! She commented on how grey I suddenly looked, but told me to get over it and to drink another wine hahaha! Sound advice! :goodvibes

    A lady from Edinburgh was sitting in the window seat next to us and we soon got chatting. She was with her daughter, who worked for cabin crew for BA, and who was sitting two rows behind us. She was explaining the situation about free flights and working for the business – nice incentives! They had both booked some annual leave, and saw that they could go on an available flight to Florida and so just jumped on it last minute! They weren’t planning on returning home for another couple of days yet, but seeing as there were two seats available on this flight they returned home now instead of being on standby. I thought that maybe I had gone into the wrong career… :lmao:

    The food was also OK, nothing to write home about, but plane food never is, is it? It was however, more than edible and was quite tasty – we had a beef curry type of thing. As the crew were making their way up the aisle, we could hear them offering “pasta or beef”. When they got to our row however, they announced that they had now run out of pasta and that the remaining four rows would have to have beef. Well, the gentleman in the family behind us was not happy with that. First he claimed that his children didn’t want beef. When the hostess asked the children was it because they didn’t like beef, they replied “no, we actually want beef”! Ha! :lmao: The man then announced that he didn’t want beef. He was giving the hostess a hard time and she asked if he had asked for a vegetarian meal on his booking. "No", he announced, "I’m not vegetarian, I just don’t want beef this evening!" He was making such a scene and there was really no need for it. You can never guarantee that you’re going to like what’s offered on the plane but that’s not the crew’s fault You should ensure you eat something beforehand just in case you decide to act up and be and annoying passenger like this! He kept demanding something else until the hostess caved in and said she’d check if there was something left over from Club level. I have so much respect for the crew and how they keep their cool – I would have poured the beef curry over this guy’s head!

    This wasn’t the last we heard from this man though...

    The lady who sat in the window seat next to us needed to pop to the bathroom; we got up and let her through. As she returned, there was an empty aisle seat in front of this gentleman and she just sat down in it as she said she didn’t want to disturb us so soon again (we really didn’t mind though, bless her). As soon as she sat down, the man behind her, yes the horrible beef man, asked if she’d not sit there. He claimed as soon as she sat down the seat in front of us was now touching his knees. Umm… excuse me?! You’re flying in economy, deal with it! The lady said that she was just sitting there for 20 minutes or so whilst she watched a show and stretched her legs, for which he then proceeded to kick the back of the seat constantly. She had enough, got up and came back to our row. We all gave him an evil stare! :mad:

    You’d think he’d be bored by now. But no...

    Now the crew were making their way up the aisle with the trolley. This man stuck his leg out into the aisle on purpose, just so the crew would have to stop. The hostess was wheeling the trolley looking either side so that she wouldn’t hit something. She obviously saw his leg and stopped just short. No way did the trolley touch him but all of a sudden he screamed: “Owwwwwwwww, my leg. Oh my god, you hit my leg, owwwwwwwwwwww!”. Are you freakin’ kidding me?! The poor hostess apologised profusely believing that she had hurt this man, and he was absolutely loving it going all “oh don’t worry, it’s only my knee cap, what do I need my leg for?”. It’s times like this that you really wished they installed ejector seats on these planes! :rotfl:

    The flight time seemed to drag coming home – I had been hoping to get some sleep in preparation for my four hour drive home! However, I didn’t get much luck – I was hoping I could get a window seat so that I’d have something to lean against but unfortunately we were just enjoying ourselves far to much in MK yesterday to remember about checking in online! Also, I think the fact that I was constantly thinking about needing to sleep would have kept me awake by itself.. funny how it works like that isn’t it! :confused3

    Again, I made my way through the comedy selection on the IFE and I think we landed pretty much on time, just after 6am. We were pretty much the last people to get off the plane and it was lovely not to have any line at passport control! The last time I had been at Gatwick was on a flight back from Barcelona – it was an evening flight I think, and immigration was doing a very good impression of that in Orlando International. We had waited for well over an hour back then and I was half expecting it to be the same this morning but luckily I was wrong. We then headed to collect our luggage… whereas our bags were waiting for us when we arrived at Orlando two weeks ago, we seemed to have waited for ages for them now to arrive in Gatwick! I hate that panicky feeling you get when you end up being some of the handful people that are still waiting for bags whilst everyone else has left! Apologies, I must sound like such a compulsive worrier! Anyhow, they of course did eventually come around and we headed out.

    As we headed into the Arrivals area, Emma’s Dad was already waiting and welcomed us back to the UK with a big hug… no offence Tony, as nice as that was, I’d rather still be in OKW right now! I hugged Emma goodbye and arranged to meet up with her next weekend! It’s really weird… I was with these girls constantly for two weeks, and now it was going to return to just seeing them whenever we all had free weekends and not whenever we wanted to. This always makes me sad thinking about this, but what I do love is that when we do all catch up it’s like we haven’t been apart. We just need to work on getting Tanya to the UK now… :goodvibes

    I headed to the bus stop and only had to wait a matter of seconds before the car park shuttle turned up. It was now much harder to do all these kind of things like get tickets and get the car back when it’s just one of you with the cases! Getting my car back was a breeze and luckily it wasn’t parked very far from the reception desk. Thank god, because now with all the extra weight in the case, the wheels had a mind of their own, steering it everywhere!

    The drive home was quiet what with it being a Sunday morning and I breezed along the motorway. I stopped off in a service station as a McDonald’s breakfast was calling me – I hadn’t felt like eating on the plane, plus I needed something to help and try to keep me awake now. Of all the service stations we could have stopped at, I joined the line and realised I was standing behind Emma. She just couldn’t get rid of me haha! We got our orders and waved goodbye for the second time!

    I made good time getting home and unpacked as soon as I got in. My brother was eagerly awaiting his sunglasses and so whilst I dished out the presents, I thought that I may as well start putting the washing loads in! This truly has to be the worse part about returning home from any holiday! I really did my utmost to stay awake today and so I settled down to sort through my thousands of photos. And it worked until I got to about 7pm – I gave in then. My cases and bags were completely empty by this point in the evening, and it meant that the holiday was well and truly over :(

    Waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh :worried:

    ********************************************

    And so, I guess that’s it! As I think I mentioned in a previous post somewhere, I reckon the next time I’ll realistically get to return to WDW is in 2015. And that time I’d like to take my parents, and hopefully my brother and his girlfriend will be able to come too. My family has been before, last in 2009, and they absolutely loved it there… however, my parents are not terribly adventurous and everytime I mention that they should book to go again they always come up with some excuse! I think the only way to do it is for me to book something for us all and then make out that it’s non-refundable and now they have to come! Mwah ha haaaaa!

    In terms of plans for next year, I'm planning on going to Brazil! It'll be myself, Emma and also Heather, who is another friend of ours who we met at Disney but who was unable to get time off work this year to come to Florida (her and Emma are also going to Bali in September). Our plan is to go in February to catch the carnival and to spend a few days at Iguassu Falls before returning home; around a 10 day trip in total.

    Of course, I’m graduating and moving to Liverpool next month to start my first doctor job and so I’m sure the time will fly by! We can’t book it yet as I need to make sure I can take that much annual leave off at any one time during my first year, plus the girls need to pay off their Bali trip first, but it’s a pretty set decision! Let’s just hope it’s not full of tour groups :lmao:


    For those of you have read along with this, well, I hope you have enjoyed it! I certainly enjoyed writing it and referring back to my journal and flicking through all the photos – it was a great way to get over the Disney Blues and I urge anyone coming back from a trip to give writing a TR a go for that very reason! I appreciate that I’m a waffler and that I can (and have) drone on a bit, but I just wanted to get everything down! We had the most amazing two weeks and I just wanted to share that! Thank you also for all the lovely comments that you have left – it means a lot to know that people are enjoying reading along, and it’s nice to see people getting some new ideas of things to do like heading to Paradiso 37, doing Dine With Shamu etc, etc.

    However, this is just almost over! Before I finish for sure, I’ll do another post with my overall highs and lows and another post with some of our favourite Photopass pictures. Then I promise to leave you all alone!​
     

    Clare D

    Minnie Mania
    Joined
    Mar 7, 2005
    Thank you for sharing your wonderful trip report. I'm quite sad it's all come to an end. What a great group of friends you have.
    Congratulations on the new job, wishing you lots of luck in Liverpool :)
     

    missnic07

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Apr 6, 2013
    Absolutely loved reading your TR! It's made me very excited for my first visit to Disney (not until next August!) x
     

    A Small World

    <img src=http://photopost.wdwinfo.com/data/500/509
    Joined
    Feb 22, 2007
    Great report Beth - Ive really enjoyed reading it.
    Congratulations on your new role as a Dr - hope you enjoy living in Liverpool.
    I work in Wigan so you had better warn Jo that if she hears a strange woman shouting her name it will be me recognising her from your photos.
     


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