I thought I would do a little throwback series for the next few weeks re-capping our holiday to Disney World in Florida. At the time of going I kept a daily blog which was only ever used for that holiday and i’m so pleased I did. Every night I would sit down and document what we had done each day even down to what kind of weather we had. I love reading it back every so often reliving the memories. Day three was all about shopping for supplies and spending some much needed time relaxing round by the pool after the long day we had travelling the day before.
So back to the current day – i’m having to play a bit of catch up – C has been poorly and we spent best part of the night & early hours of the morning in hospital with him with a possible stay. Luckily we managed to avoid him going on a drip. So i’ve been a bit busy tending to him. So after today i’ll be back to posting these daily.
Day Three – Hotel & Pool Day (Wednesday 9th November):
Todays Weather – 82F (27c)
So as expected we were awake bright and early – I think I was wide awake from 5.30am due to my body clock still thinking it was 10.30. Lauren came into us around 6.30.
We asked her what she wanted to do today and we knew what the response would have been – she wanted to try out the pool!! To be honest though we were hoping she would say that because we were still pretty tired after the journey the day before and we also needed to make the trip to Wal-Mart for supplies so a day by the pool suited us.
We did the Wal-Mart trip first – luckily it was just up the road so we didn’t have far to go to find it.
Hmmmm what an experience it was shopping there – firstly it’s HUGE .. absolutely massive, they sell everything! But we set about finding our way around the food asiles. Secondly we were so surprised with what we saw – everything they sell was from a cardboard box .. mashed potatoes come from a box, cakes, cookies, biscuits come from a box, cereals with no amount of colourings, sugar & god knows what else added to hype a child up for the day, hundreds of different types of cereal bars, gallons on Sunny D (which I believe was banned in the uk), sausages with added chicken … why would you want chicken in your sausages. No wonder people over here are seriously overweight 😮 we had to actually hunt out and search for stuff we wanted, healthy things, ingredients so I could make things from scratch rather then it being already cooked/processed. Also another thing I did notice were the prices – the non food stuffs like clothing, home, electrical weren’t too bad but food was more expensive than I thought it would have been. We were in the queue and the family in front of us had 4 boys and they must have bought about 20 boxes of cereal bars with added colourings – they give this stuff to their kids for breakfast??!!
Anyway Wal-Mart done we headed back to go to the pool. It’s gorgeous – really nice and big with plenty of seating & a pool side bar. There is a huge pirate ship with a log flume which Lauren is desperate to try but as of yet only goes up the stairs and a few minutes later comes back down again lol – I know what will happen – towards the end of the holiday she’ll try it and will love it.
At one point we did laugh – Lauren was stood talking to us and I saw something pretty large flying up to her .. only problem is I didn’t see it fly past her – next minute a huge shriek from Lauren as she noticed a rather large grasshopper had landed on her …. she panicked and flicked it off and it landed on me – I tried to get it off and put on the table but just as I did it flew off right onto Steve’s nose! Poor thing then jumped into the pool but a boy fished it out and put it on the pool side.
After about an hour of being down there Lauren made a friend – a girl her age who had only arrived the day before us from England – they hit it off really well and spent about 4/5 hours in the pool playing together.
Day 4 – Magic Kingdom (Thursday 10th November 2011):
Todays Weather 82F (27c)
We had set the alarm for 6.30 because we wanted to get to Magic Kingdom for opening at 9 – we had hoped to get there for the opening ceremony and this time of the year the park closes at 9 so we knew we would only have 12 hours there.
Huge excitement when the alarm went off – Lauren came running in grinning she was off to see Mickey :o)
We headed off around 7.45 so we were there in plenty of time – found Disney World with no problems and the signs to Magic Kingdom were easy. Driving under that sign just give you goosebumps and brings tears to your eyes – it just screams out magic to you.
We got parked up in Simba 11 parking lot – they had the parking lots named after Villians & Heroes and then numbered so you can remember where you parked. The car-parks are huge – they even had a guy whizzing round on a segway directing cars into parking spaces.
At the end of each parking lot there was a Walt Disney Cart train to take you to the Monorail.
I think the Monorail is great – love the little trip between the parking lots to the Magic Kingdom gate – it just seems to start the magic off and the views are lovely – always nice to get that first glimpse of Cinderella’s Castle and it’s pretty cool going through the Contemporary Lodge Hotel :o)
We arrived at the gate – had our bags checked & went on through – first job was to buy Lauren an autograph book & pen for those all important signatures :o)
Main street is just gorgeous – they’ve got all of the Christmas decorations up and it really did look lovely.
They also had an area taped off for Daisy Duck & Pluto to do character meets just inside the entrance gate so we queued there first – Lauren had decided on wearing a Daisy Duck t-shirt – as soon as she got to first in the line for Daisy she noticed her top, pointed at it and blew Lauren a kiss – the interaction she had with Lauren was just great – she signed her book then posed for some photos getting Lauren to stand in different poses, it was a great introduction to the park for us and after the photos & the photopass photographer took their photos Daisy hugged and kissed Lauren.
As usual the music was playing and there were the occasional street performance going on – singing & dancing. In City Hall we picked up a badge for Lauren that said 1st Visit so she wore that all day.
Mickey & Minnie Mouse & three of the Disney Princesses were doing character greets in the Theatre, the queues were a bit long so we got a fastpass and headed off down Main Street for some light breakfast/snacks (we had some toast when we left but we were getting peckish by now) We got something from the Main Street bakery & sat outside taking in everything that was going on.
Before we went back to the Theatre for the character meets we got the all important Minnie Mouse ears for Lauren and got her name inscribed on the back – something she has wanted ever since she knew they existed about 2 years ago!
Fastpass is excellent – we were able to head straight to the front of the queue – we went into see Mickey & Minnie first – I think Lauren was going to burst with excitement!
They were great – Whilst Mickey signed her book Minnie hugged her & she had her photo taken (again by photopass) and whilst Minnie signed the book Mickey had her photo taken with her. Afterwards Steve & I joined in for a photo and the photopass photographer took one on our camera for us too.
The Princesses were also really lovely – Cinderella was first – she took Lauren’s hand and took her over to sign her book, chatting away to her asking all sorts of questions then they posed for photos – Belle was second and I can honestly say the interaction with her was just fantastic – she asked Lauren’s name and personalised her book and sealed it with a kiss so she left her lipstick imprint – I didn’t see her do that with anyone else, third and last was Princess Aurora (Sleeping Beauty)
We did take photos but we got Photopasses on all of them so hopefully they’ll be a lot nicer.
After we had finished with the autographs we headed off to the main part of the park, as we walked out of the theatre we saw Mary Poppins who had just come out to sign autographs so we were first up to see her – definitely at the right place at the right time there.
Getting to the end of main street and seeing Cinderella’s Castle just gives you goosebumps how ever many times you’ve seen it but seeing your daughter see it for the first time beats anything – she was in awe <3
I have to say everyone I spoke to on the Disney Forums said November is low crowds and less queue times but we couldn’t believe how busy it was – there were people everywhere, queue times for rides were not the 15 minutes people said they would be – they were all more like 60 odd minutes!!!! We took a few fast passes for some rides so we could go back at certain times and go straight to the front but you can’t have too many fast passes valid at one time so we were limited. We went to Fantasyland first and we did ‘it’s a small world’, ‘Aladin’s flying carpets’,’Dumbo’ etc for Lauren and just generally made our way through the park and the crowds.
At around 2pm Lauren & I sat down for the parade and Steve took the opportunity to do a few rides whist the queues were quiet (which they weren’t, in the end he only got to ride the Haunted House). 3pm the ‘Celebrate Today Parade’ started and I was actually quite surprised how short it was compared to previous years we’ve seen it – 11 years ago it lasted for a good 50 minutes but now it’s about 20/25 minuted with about 6/7 floats – it was still lovely to watch and Lauren throughly enjoyed it but I did feel they didn’t put as much effort into as they had done in the past.
After the parade we did a few more rides, watched a show put on by the main characters in front of the castle, which was excellent & then headed off for some dinner, Steve then went on ‘Space Mountain’ and by the time he had done that the sun had gone down and it was nearly 7. We made our way back towards the castle for the ‘Wishes’ firework display.
As we left TomorrowLand and approached the Castle we couldn’t believe the difference in it at night – quite literally took our breathes away – it was absolutely gorgeous all lit up with the fairy Christmas lights – it really was something else. The photos really don’t do it any justice at all.
The Main Street Electrical Parade had started at 7 and from where we were stood for the fireworks we were able to see the floats which were really good.
‘Wishes’ started at 8 and I can’t tell you how good it was – I was on the verge of tears pretty much the whole time at just how wonderful it was and how magical they make it. It really was breathtaking – They started with a light effect show on the Castle projecting memories and photo’s from people and their magical moments throughout the day. Tinkerbell then flew from the Castle across the sky waving her wand at everyone to mark the start of the fireworks – no firework show will ever top that – ever. I just wanted to bottle the feeling I had and keep it forever!!
Leaving after the fireworks was really quite easy – Main Street looked lovely all lit up at night with Christmas lights and we managed to stay together working our way through the crowds – the lines getting onto the Monorail were pretty long but they have it all sewn up and the Cast Members make sure the lines are kept moving and the Monorails were in and out of the station one after the other – once off the Monorail the Transportation cart to the parking lot was ready and waiting and again as one pulled out another one pulled in – bearing in mind thousands of people were all leaving at the same time we were back in the car within about 20 minutes.
Driving home was an event – driving over here is fine and we’re used to that but things aren’t signposted very well coming home (going to the Parks is easy) so it took a while to get back in the dark and a few wrong turnings but we did it – our feet were absolutely aching after being on them for 12+ hours but it was SO worth it – we’ll have memories that will last forever – it’s such a special place.
Coming up next Seaworld.