The Race Is On.... COMPLETE 14/7: Now with index


Earning My Ears
Aug 16, 2011
Day 12 - Brought To You By The Letter "Urgh"

This morning I was still feeling ill but fortunately wasn’t sick again. Unfortunately after eating some toast with Isabella on the pull out bed I started to feel really unwell again and needed to lie down, so Jo took Isabella out around for a while and ended up at Artist’s Palette again for lunch. I ended up laying in the room watching Sesame Street while they were out and attempted to finish off my toast.

Breakfast in bed

Our princess

When Jo came back, Isabella was asleep in the Ergo and I felt like I should get outside so we walked (slowly) over to Downtown Disney. This turned out to be a good idea as some fresh air made me feel much better.

We headed to Disney’s Days of Christmas shop and carried on our tradition of buying a red and/or white Christmas decoration for our tree.

After a little more browsing round the shops in the Marketplace we headed back to the resort. Isabella had stayed asleep the whole time we were at Downtown Disney and was still asleep when we got back so we walked over to Artist’s Palette and got a Rice Krispie treat.

She eventually woke up as we headed back to the room and after getting changed we decided to pop to Magic Kingdom for a little while before our (second) trip to ‘Ohana.

We drove to the Polynesian and then jumped on the monorail for the short trip to Magic Kingdom. We didn’t have much time there and as we were passing the castle the “Dream-Along with Mickey” show was starting so we decided to stop and watch. Isabella loved the show and made Jo cry a little when she waved at Mickey!

"Hello Mickey"

"I just need to make a call"

Isabella's new cushion

We then headed to the The Emporium on Main Street, U.S.A because we wanted Isabella to choose a Disney Princess cushion. She couldn’t decide which Princess was her favourite so Jo and I decided for her. We settled for Belle.

It was now time to head to ‘Ohana at the Polynesian Resort for dinner. Unfortunately this time around I didn’t enjoy the food as much as I wasn’t feeling 100%. Jo assured me that it was just as nice as last time and she really enjoyed it, which obviously made me feel much better...

After dinner we drove back to the resort and headed straight to bed. Unfortunately Isabella had a bad night and was sick a little bit again. It was taking a long time for her to shake this virus but she was being so brave and still enjoying being at Disney.

  • stewie

    Earning My Ears
    Aug 16, 2011
    Day 13 - It's All Part of the Plan (More or Less)

    Today was another character breakfast, this time at Hollywood and Vine at Hollywood Studios. Fortunately I was feeling a lot better this morning and Isabella had a good night’s sleep.

    It looked like it was going to be another hot day; we’d been a little surprised by the weather, as last time we came in January it had been mostly cold, interspersed with the odd warm day. This time around the weather had been hot most days, as mentioned in an earlier post, this had been the hottest marathon weekend they’d ever experienced.

    Hollywood and Vine was busy, as expected, and we could see the characters we were going to meet. There was Special Agent Oso, Handy Manny, June (from Little Einsteins) and Jake (from Jake and the Neverland Pirates).

    The waitress was a few years past her sell by date, as was most of the food on the buffet by the taste of it! Even the coffee left a lot to be desired.

    We had a really good seat as we got to sit next to where some of the characters were doing their dancing. Isabella was really excited to see Oso, Jake & Manny. She was wearing her Special Agent Isabella vest and Oso made a big fuss of her, which she really loved.

    We’re glad Isabella got to meet the characters, but the food was terrible, aside from the Mickey waffles and the watermelon.

    Special Agent Isabella

    A unique stuffed (dancing) bear

    Isabella enjoyed Oso's dancing

    The Special Agents meet at last

    Isabella was a little wary at first

    But it was all part of the plan (more or less)

    Jake was there too minus the rest of the Neverland Pirates

    Handy Manny also popped over to say "Hola"

    Isabella had no idea who this was, neither did I at the time, we don't watch Little Einsteins

    Smiling despite the food

    We then left and headed to Animal Kingdom and the weather got a lot cooler. We were wondering whether our Animal Kingdom rain curse would strike again!

    We’d already done Animal Kingdom earlier in the holiday so we wanted to visit some of the parts we didn’t have time to visit last time around. When we got there we got the Wildlife Express Train over to Rafiki’s Planet Watch. We knew that Isabella would enjoy seeing all the animals, she saw some goats, donkeys and a pig, and she also enjoyed running around. Before we came on holiday she’d started walking but wasn’t that confident, over the last couple of weeks she’d really progressed.

    It was now time for lunch so we headed back to Africa and then went to Pizzafari on Discovery Island.

    Me: Hot Italian Style Sandwich / no dessert
    Jo: Vegetable Pizza / Chocolate Mousse

    The food was nice although I still wasn’t feeling 100% so didn’t have a dessert.

    After lunch, there wasn’t anything left to see so we decided to leave and go to Premium Outlet Mall at Vineland Avenue to do a little bit of shopping.

    Jo assures me this was Rafiki

    Isabella enjoyed seeing the animals

    Isabella fell asleep in the pram on the way back to the car and we managed to get her in the car without her waking up.

    She stayed asleep on the journey and when we got to the mall Jo managed to get her into the Ergo still asleep.

    The mall was very busy and it wasn’t a particularly successful trip, although I did buy a pair of Nike Free 7.0's running trainers.

    We really wanted to go to Gap as well but it was right over the other side of the mall and we had a dinner reservation at Sanaa at Animal Kingdom Villas - Kidani Village so we needed to leave. Isabella woke up, we drove back to Saratoga Springs to get ready, and headed out to dinner.

    This was our first visit to Kidani Village, just as our visit to Boma earlier in the holiday had been our first time to Jambo House too.

    We both preferred Jambo House and Boma to Kidani Village and Sanaa.

    Me: Sampler (which doesn’t appear to be on the menu anymore): Butter Chicken and Spicy Durban Chicken with Basmati Rice / No dessert again

    Jo: Vegetarian Sampler: Stewed Lentils and Paneer Tikka with Basmati Rice / Banana Kulfi Sundae

    The food wasn’t great Jo’s was too spicy, even for her (she has a palate of steel - her words not mine!), and Isabella didn't like it. The staff were very friendly though but we won’t be returning there in a hurry.

    After dinner we headed straight home and Isabella had a good nights sleep.


    Earning My Ears
    Aug 16, 2011
    Day 14 - Fantasyland FAIL!

    Isabella got lots of sleep last night, which we were pleased about. Breakfast this morning was at Kona Cafe at the Polynesian Resort. Jo had been talking about Tonga Toast for months and we finally got to try it - it was very sweet. We shared that and a Big Kahuna breakfast, which was nice.

    After breakfast it was off to Magic Kingdom via the monorail - we’d driven to the Polynesian.

    Isabella likes to dress up for breakfast

    This year was Limited Time Magic at World Disney World, and as part of that today they had rare character appearances from Disney’s Robin Hood (amongst others). Jo and I were both fans of Robin Hood growing up so we decided we’d queue up to meet them, as it wasn't very long. We never usually do this as we don’t want to waste precious time in queues but we thought this was a one off chance.

    The queue was moving slowly due to people taking a lot of time getting photos taken and it was getting very frustrating. After waiting for about 30 minutes there were only two people in front of us when the Cast Member informed us that they characters had to take a break! We were very very annoyed at this, surely they knew how long it was taking and could have told us earlier rather than make us waste our time. Never again!

    So after that extremely frustrating diversion we took Isabella on “It’s a Small World” and “Peter Pan’s Flight” and then headed to New Fantasyland. It wasn’t all complete but what they’ve got so far looked really good.

    It's a small world after all

    It's a small small world

    Isabella & Mummy

    Jo had really wanted to eat in “Be Our Guest” and even though we’d arrived about 15 minutes before it opened there was already a long queue so we decided to give it a miss - the day had not started well.

    We decided to head over to Tomorrowland in search of lunch and stopped at Gaston’s Tavern to get a LeFou's Brew on the way.

    Before we left New Fantasyland we went on “Under the Sea - The Journey of the Little Mermaid”. Now, perhaps it’s because I’ve not actually seen this film but I was very unimpressed with this ride and found it boring.

    We headed to Tomorrowland to find somewhere to eat. After being in the brand new Fantasyland, I realise just how tired Tomorrowland is looking, more Yesterday than Tomorrowland!

    Outside Gaston's


    Isabella tried on daddy's sunglasses

    Isabella had a costume change

    We had lunch in Cosmic Rays, which was a terrible eating experience. The day was really a total disaster, so we decided to pack it in for today and headed back to the car.

    As it was only the afternoon we thought we’d go and do a bit of shopping at Premium Outlets Mall at Vineland Avenue. We popped to Gap, Isabella had fallen asleep in the car so Jo put her in the Ergo. After wandering around the shops for a bit we headed to Publix and then it was back to the resort to start packing. :(

    While Jo was packing, we gave Isabella her new Tinkerbell stuffed toy that we bought her from Downtown Disney a couple of days earlier. That kept her occupied for a while and gave us time to get everything sorted.

    It was now dinner time and we’d booked the Turf Club for dinner as it’s on the resort. What had originally been a booking of convenience turned out to be one of favourite meals. The food was very good, I had a lovely steak and Jo really enjoyed her pasta. The staff were friendly, they bought Isabella a free bowl of blueberries. The other guests were also friendly and thought Isabella was cute.

    Me: Grilled New York Strip / Cheesecake / Sam Adams Seasonal Beer
    Joanne: Turf Club Shrimp Scampi Pasta / Maple Pot de Creme / Some kind of glowing cocktail
    Isabella: Bowl of Blueberries

    As we were leaving Isabella was playing in the corridor outside the restaurant and was really happy. We popped to the reception to pay our bill on the credit card, only to find a load of money in the safe that we’d forgotten about! Fortunately we were able to get the money put back on the credit card and pay cash instead.

    Last day tomorrow.


    Jo's glowing drink


    Earning My Ears
    Aug 16, 2011
    Day 15 - See Ya Real Soon Mickey!

    So here it is, are you ready for our last day?

    For brunch today we thought we'd try Be Our Guest in New Fantasyland again.

    We finished packing quickly, loaded the car and drove to Magic Kingdom. It was about 10 o'clock and it was busy, not a good sign. It was turning out to be a hot day too - it always is when you're dressed to go home!

    We thought we'd walk to the Ticket & Transportation Centre rather than queue for trams as the stroller is such a pain to get on, and we were parked quite close.

    We decided to get the monorail rather than the boat to Magic Kingdom as we find it's usually quicker.

    The monorail was really busy and there was a big queue, so we were naughty and got the resort monorail instead.

    We got to the park and headed straight to New Fantasyland - no waiting for characters this morning. Unfortunately Be Our Guest also had a big queue and the wait was already 45 minutes, even though it had only just opened.

    We were really annoyed as we'd had no breakfast so we looked for somewhere else to eat.

    Eventually we ended up having funnel cakes and cappuccinos at Sleepy Hollow in Liberty Square.

    After a rather unfulfilling breakfast we went to The Country Bear Jamboree because we thought Isabella would enjoy the songs. She enjoyed it for a little while then got restless.

    We then headed back to Fantasyland to visit the Storybook Circus. We fast passed Dumbo the Flying Elephant. This turned out to be a mistake! We wanted to see the new waiting area and maybe let Isabella play in there for a while but you can only do that if you don't fast pass - they should probably make that clearer!

    "Excuse me, I'm trying to have a picture taken with my mum, can you move please?"

    Where's Isabella...?

    There she is!

    "Dad, please stop taking photos"

    After this we went and had lunch at Columbia Harbour House. However Isabella was really hungry but wouldn't eat, even though she'd enjoyed the same food when we went earlier in the holiday.

    I went and bought her some fruit from the stall outside and she ended up sitting on Jo's lap and ate fruit and chicken.

    We then went and did Enchanted Tiki Room again. She really enjoyed it earlier in the holiday and liked the birds. We'd also been the singing the song to her all week.

    We still had plenty of time to kill so we wandered over to Tomorrowland and went on the Tomorrowland Transit Authority PeopleMover. As it passed through Space Mountain Isabella fell asleep - she was tired and it was dark.

    Happy family

    "Are you sure this is Tomorrowland dad?"

    We managed to get her off the ride and into her stroller without her waking up. At the stroller parking we saw some cheeky birds nicking chips that someone had left in their stroller!

    On the way out we got some ice cream from the Plaza Ice Cream Parlor and then got rid of our remaining snack credits in the Main Street Confectionary then said goodbye to Walt Disney World for another year.

    Do you think the birds got those on the dining plan?

    We got the monorail back via the resorts, not to avoid lines, there weren't any, but because we went the wrong way!

    We got the tram back to the car park this time as it was a lot less busy and then it was off to Orlando International Airport via the 192.
    It wasn't particularly scenic drive and we had to sing a lot of the way to keep Isabella (who was now awake) amused - I won't be singing Old MacDonald's Farm again in a hurry!

    Airport check in was easy as there was almost no queue which was fortunate as we had to be at the gate in about 45 mins to drop the stroller off so it could be put in the hold. Thanks to the massive queue through Security (Orlando Airport is terrible for this) we only just made it.

    We had time to grab a Burger King before getting on the plane and then it was goodbye to Orlando for another year.

    Looking back on the holiday and writing this trip report all these months later has been really enjoyable. We’ve been to Disney quite a lot over the last few years but to be there with Isabella and see her react and interact with the rides and attractions is whole new experience which we both really enjoyed. Even though she was ill for half of the holiday it didn't seem to dampen her enjoyment and she also made some really big developmental advances.

    We recently booked to go to WDW next January, staying at Saratoga Springs again. We're not going to do the Half Marathon this time and it will just be Jo, Isabella and I.

    I've enjoyed writing this trip report so much that I'm planning on writing one for this next trip. I'll make lots more detailed notes next time and take many more photos. I might even write a pre-trip report this time too.

    Thanks to all that have taken the time to read this I hope you've enjoyed it.

    See you next year!
  • nat1234

    DIS Veteran
    Mar 25, 2007
    Thanks for sharing your trip. I'm glad that you had such a great time inspite of being sick while you we're there. How great that you're going back next year. I look forward o reading about that trip too.


    Been There, Done That, Going Back!
    Apr 14, 2008
    Great report, thanks for sharing. :goodvibes

    I enjoy writing reports, mainly for myself and to share with friends and family. Its fun to come back and read them before the next trip.

    Have fun planning your next trip :thumbsup2


    Earning My Ears
    Aug 16, 2011
    Thanks for sharing, loved all the photos.
    Thank you for reading, glad you've enjoyed it

    Thanks for sharing your trip. I'm glad that you had such a great time inspite of being sick while you we're there. How great that you're going back next year. I look forward o reading about that trip too.

    Great report, thanks for sharing. :goodvibes

    I enjoy writing reports, mainly for myself and to share with friends and family. Its fun to come back and read them before the next trip.

    Have fun planning your next trip :thumbsup2

    Thank you. I've enjoyed it writing about it and it's got me so excited about next year I'm going to write a pre-trip report asap!
  • stephensmum

    DIS Veteran
    Jan 10, 2007
    Thanks for writing, looking forward to the next one. Sorry Isabella was so ill, that must of been what made her grumpy at meal times, didn't she do well considering, bet you're both so proud of her. Well done on the marathon times.


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