Hi ho silver day 8 - What No Marks and Spencer? and Illuminations Cruise

Discussion in 'UK Trip Reports Board' started by Silver, Feb 28, 2002.

  1. Silver

    Silver Mouseketeer

    Jul 26, 2001
    Saturday 3 November - What No Marks & Spencer? And Illuminations Cruise

    Julie (38) - demented planner
    Brian (40) - planning, what’s that?
    Michael (11) - quiet, clone of his Dad, hormones just starting to kick in, auditioning for Snow White’s 8th dwarf, Grouchy
    Andrew (5½) - not quiet, mummy’s boy, very fussy eater, favourite saying of the holiday “Excuse me, is this ride scary?”

    The plan – Boggy Creek Airboats and Gatorland then dinner at Chef Mickeys - oh no, plan off track yet again !!!

    The weather forecast for today was cloudy, showers and breezy so we didn’t fancy Boggy Creek and Gatorland, and as we also thought the parks might be busy with it being weekend, we decided to make this a shopping day. We also had to cancel our PS at Chef Mickeys after making last minute arrangements to share Mike’s illuminations cruise.

    Michael had his 11th birthday two weeks before we went on holiday and was desperate for the Game Boy Advance we had promised him, but cruel parents that we are we had made him wait until we went on holiday because I had heard they were quite a bit cheaper. We had also promised Andrew one as an early Christmas present and both boys had been surprisingly patient waiting for us to fit the shopping trip into my hectic plan.

    First moral of the story is not to totally believe the weather forecast and change your plans around it. We were inside shops for most of the day but in the odd moments that we did get a glimpse of the outside world it was beautifully sunny, grrrrr !!!!

    Decided to have a lie in today until 9.00 am. Breakfast as usual in the hotel and then we headed off at about 11.00 am to the Florida Mall as I knew there was an Electronics Boutique there if nothing else. Wandered around the various shops comparing Game Boy Advance prices. I enjoyed looking round, but couldn’t be bothered looking in many of the clothes shops – I was lost without my usual first stops of Next and Marks & Spencer. Bought a really nice calendar from a stall inside the Mall and spent a long time in the Playmobil shop. This is fantastic as all the sets are out for the children to play with and it wasn’t particularly busy. Andrew had a whale of a time and would have probably have spent all day in here if we hadn't dragged him away.

    Andrew had to make a bear in the Build a Bear Workshop and it was so sweet. He chose his bear and then took it to the first stop to have it “stuffed”. First he had to choose a little red heart from a basket, rub it between his hands to warm it up and then kiss it before putting it inside the bear. That was so cute and I’m sure that this bear will always be special to him now – it will be to me anyway, his little face was a picture while he was doing it. Then he had to take it over to an “air bath” which fluffed up all the fur on the bear, then came the really expensive part – choosing an outfit. Some of the outfits were really fantastic, but cost more than the bear itself so as he knew he was spending his dollars and not ours he plumped for just a T-Shirt. You then have to register your bear on a computer which then prints off a birth certificate for you. For anyone interested the bear’s birth certificate states the following:

    Date of Birth – 11/3/2001
    Full Name – Cuddly Bear
    Height – 10 inches
    Weight – 9 ounces
    Fur Color – Light Brown
    Eye Color – Brown
    Belongs To – Andrew Davies

    This was such a cute thing to do and something Andrew will remember for a long time. I know they have similar shops in the UK now, I saw one last time I was at the Trafford Centre, and next time I go there I think I will have to make one for myself. Didn’t want to own up to wanting to make one while Brian was there so will wait for a girlie shopping trip instead.

    Got a snack from the excellent food court at the Florida Mall. Found it very hard to choose what to have because everything looked delicious. In the end we had some sort of oriental chicken dish but can’t for the life of me remember what it was.

    Decided that before we purchased the GBA from Electronics Boutique here we would just nip to the Walmart we had passed on the way, just to see what their prices were like. Stocked up on some goodies and water/fruit juice to take out to the parks with us next week saving lots and lots of dollars in the process – will definitely do this earlier in the holiday next time. $2.50 for a bottle of water in the parks is a bit steep when you can get the same water for about 60c in Walmart. Found the GBA which were $10.00 cheaper here than in the Florida Mall, but they only had two clear pink ones left which obviously wouldn’t do. The very kind lady checked the other Walmarts for us but they had all completely sold out too, not surprising really.

    So, back to the Florida Mall it was to purchase the Game Boy Advance in Electronics Boutique (they still worked out about £15.00/£20.00 cheaper than the UK) and two very happy boys and a lighter wallet later we headed back to I-Drive.

    We wanted to have a look at the Reebok and Sports Dominator shops along here as we all wanted to stock up on “sporty” type stuff but were really really disappointed. We didn’t need new trainers and other than that there were definitely no bargains to be had. In fact we could get much cheaper and better quality clothes at our local JJB sports shop which really surprised us. Still I suppose the I-Drive is a bit of a tourist trap and we never had time to go to any of the Outlet Malls. Every time we drove past the Orlando Premium Outlets which was about 3 minutes from our hotel we were too tired to stop. Never mind, on the list for next time.

    By now time was pushing on – it was about 7.00 pm and we were due to meet Mike, Juliet and the children at the Boardwalk at 8.00 pm for the Illuminations Cruise he had managed to book at the last minute and was very kindly letting us share so all we had time for was a quick bite to eat at the McDonalds at Crossroads. We really are eating gourmet style this holiday, aren’t we? The truth was we were enjoying everything else so much we didn’t want to waste time having lengthy sit down meals so food was bottom of the list of priorities for us.

    Now I have to tell you that I hadn’t really told Brian very much about this Cruise. It had only been arranged about three days before we left the UK and the last three days before our holidays we had two parents evenings and a High School Open Night so you can imagine that we didn’t really get chance to speak to each other very much that week. On the way to the Boardwalk Brian says “You have got the tickets for the boat trip, haven’t you?” (told you he wasn’t much of a planner !!!) so it was at this point that I actually came clean and said to him that I hadn’t actually booked the boat but that we were sharing with someone off the Internet who had. His reaction was (understandably) “We’re doing what. You mean you are taking your two kids on a boat trip in a strange country with someone you have never met that has been booked over the Internet. Don’t you think that’s a bit risky?” (Sorry Mike !!!!!). Well, put like that maybe he did have a point but I had ultimate trust in the fact that nobody on the DIS boards could be a psychopath, the family were from the UK and had two kids of their own (don't know why that should make a difference) and anyway it was too late to do anything about it now even if they were !!!! Must admit to feeling just a little bit nervous though.

    Arrived at the Boardwalk at about 7.45 pm and then came the hunt for car parking spaces that many of you will already be familiar with. The car park and the overflow car park across the road were both packed (it was Saturday night after all, something which had not really occurred to me) but we very luckily spotted someone pulling out of a space so jumped in quick.

    Dashed over to the Boardwalk and got to the boat dock just a couple of minutes after 8.00. We obviously had an air of “now how do we recognise the people we are sharing the boat with” about us because we were approached by a very nice man called Geoff who turned out to be our captain for the evening. Another couple Mike and Sarah from New York were there already so we introduced ourselves and got chatting. They had two children (aged 4 & 6) but had left the children at home. I asked Sarah how they had managed to get away with that and she explained that the kids thought they were in Miami – way to go Sarah, don’t think I’d get away with that with my two though.

    Anyway Mike, Juliet and the children turned up very soon after (and luckily they didn’t look like psychopaths) so we were on our way.

    If any of you have not had the chance to do an Illuminations cruise it is fantastic. Mike and Sarah had brought a bottle of champagne and shared it out and we cruised around for a while while Geoff entertained everyone with a Disney quiz and snippets of Disney info. Did you know that the Swan and Dolphin hotels have the wrong statues on top of them, but that once they had realised they were the wrong way round they decided to leave them because they were just too heavy to move again. It is pretty obvious if you look at the decoration on the outside walls of the hotels. The swan is on top of the hotel that has the waves painted on it and the dolphin is on the hotel that has the reeds and grasses painted on it.

    Anyway, after all that excitement it was time to dock up under the bridge facing Epcot in readiness for Illuminations. Over on a patio on our left hand side (would that have been the Rose and Crown?) we saw a wedding party, well we presumed it was a wedding party because the woman had a long white dress on so was definitely a bit overdressed if she wasn't a bride. What a romantic way to start married life. And then the show started, and what a show. It was truly awesome, a not to be missed experience, and especially with such a superb vantage point. Thanks again Mike for letting us share it with you and I can testify to everyone that there was absolutely nothing wrong with Juliet’s hair that night !!!!!

    Cruise over Sarah and Mike from New York disappeared but we spent ages chatting afterwards to Mike and Juliet while the kids ran round, probably annoying everyone but we just didn’t notice. Apologies to anyone on the Boardwalk that night who was nearly knocked over by our kids charging around. I didn’t say see I told you so to Brian, but I was feeling quite smug (and relieved) that it had all gone so well.

    Got back to the hotel about 11.00 pm, our latest night yet, but everyone agreed that it had been a fantastic evening and something we would definitely like to do again.

    Tomorrow - Epcot
  2. Minniespal

    Minniespal <img src="http://www.wdwinfo.com/dis-sponsor/image

    Jan 14, 2003
    Thanks for the wonderful reports - luv reading them!!!

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