Thursday, April 28, 2016

Disney, days 5 and 6!

Wednesday and Thursday were Magic Kingdom days.  We still had so much to do and Magic Kingdom takes up so much time.  It was busy and lines were long.  We slept in Wednesday so we didn't make it for rope drop.  Our plan was to try to stay past the parade and fireworks in hopes for lesser crowds and shorter wait times!!  It was also forecast to rain, so we brought along our rain ponchos and flip flops just in case.

Dumbo

Tom Sawyer's Island

 

The fort on Tom Sawyer's Island

It was pretty hot that day, bordering on miserably hot.  I was waiting for the rain to start so it would cool off and some of the crowd would go home!!  We had dinner reservations at 4:00, so we ended up leaving early and riding the monorail circle a few times to cool off and pass the time.  Dinner was at 1900 Park Fare, another of our favorites. Cinderella, Prince Charming, Lady Tremaine, Anastasia, and Drucilla visit your table and the buffet is really good.  Dinner was great as always and the stepmother and step sisters are always so funny!

Riding the monorail







After dinner, we headed back to Magic Kingdom for the night.  It was still pretty crowded. but much cooler.  We rode a few things and the rain finally came.  And it rained and rained with thunder and lightening too.  It rained so much that we were wading through several inches of water on the pavement. We had split up because Clint and Val were hoping to ride Big Thunder with a short wait, but with the lightening it was shut down just as they were about to get on.  Veronica and I took shelter inside the castle as we waited for the storm to pass.  I thought for sure the crowd would thin out somewhat, but NOPE!  All of us die-hard Disney fans donned ponchos and stayed.  Once the rain slacked off enough, we headed to Carousel of Progress since it's nice and long to wait for the weather to pass.

Meeting Tinkerbell before the rain




The rain eventually stopped and the park was just as busy as ever.  The parade was delayed a bit due to the wet pavement, so we stood near Main Street and waited and waited.  They'd announce the parade was starting in ten minutes.  Then they'd announce a delay.  We were about to give up and move on when it finally began. We didn't have the best viewing spot, but we got to see most of it.  Veronica didn't want to stay for Wishes (too loud) so we went back to riding instead.  After the fireworks, finally the crowd thinned out considerably.  We stuck to the plan and stayed until after 11pm, which is very late for us!!  We would have stayed longer if it hadn't been for the rain.  The rain had picked up again and it was just miserable, so it was time to call it a night.

Thursday was our very last Disney day!!  We spent the day at Magic Kingdom and it was even hotter than the previous days.  I don't see how people handle the parks in July.  We made it a point to catch the new Festival of Fantasy parade, and the sun was just beating down on us while waiting.  We had a front row spot, so it was either stick it out or move to the shade where we couldn't see very well.  We stayed and what a beautiful parade it was.






Unfortunately we had to cut our day short because we had to pack to go home!!  We took a last trip down Main Street and said our goodbyes...    I wanted to go up to the top of the train station to take pictures down Main Street, but the train was down for maintenance and the stairs were blocked off.


Val's souvenir ears




bye monorail

Heading to the parking lot tram

The sad walk back to the car


Other than getting a little confused on where to return the rental car, our flight home was pretty uneventful.  It's nice to get away, but I missed my kitty cats and I was ready to sleep in my own bed again.


Hello New Orleans!!

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Friday, April 22, 2016

Disney day 4 - Epcot

Tuesday we had breakfast reservations at Chef Mickey's!  It's the best breakfast buffet and the fab five visits your table:  Mickey, Minnie, Pluto, Goofy, and Donald.  We've done it every trip and it's a must do now.








Then we drove over to our last day at Epcot for this trip.  It was a sunny, hot day. Surprisingly, crowds were fairly low.  We spent the entire day there and managed to ride everything we wanted and re-rode the usual favorites.


Flower and Garden Festival

Future Arendale -- aka Frozen ride!






See you next time, Spaceship Earth!



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Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Disney Day 3 - Animal Kingdom

Monday was our only day at Animal Kingdom.  We are not big fans of AK and had skipped it completely on our last Disney trip.  There just isn't a whole lot that interests us there.  I had fast passes for Kilimanjaro Safari, but the only times I could get were late in the afternoon.  I didn't want to stay late, so we went first thing and just waited in the regular queue.  The safari is cool because it's never the same twice. You never know which animals are going to be out and about, so your ride is always different.  In the middle of our tour, we had to rhinos block the road, so our driver radioed someone who came in a truck to herd them off to the side.





After the safari, we headed over to Kali River Rapids.  I don't have any pics because I put all of my things in a locker so they wouldn't get wet!  Clint videoed it with his phone - excuse the shakiness:



Valerie and Veronica wanted to get a glimpse of Expedition Everest, so we walked over to it and watched for a bit.  Val had said for a while she wanted to ride it, but after seeing it in person, she quickly changed her mind!

It was time to leave for our lunch reservation at Whispering Canyon.  I had read rave reviews and how fun this place was.  Loud and full of silliness.  It took us a while to find the place and we got a little lost, but we made it in plenty of time.  We were seated right away.  And we sat, and sat and sat.  No server in sight. The restaurant was not busy at all and it was pretty quiet.  A card is placed on your table and if it's green, it means you want to play.  If it's red, you just want to watch.  Ours was green because we wanted to have some fun.



Finally our server appeared to get drink orders.  Then it took forever for him to bring them.  We must have been there 35 minutes before our gasses of coke appeared.  Needless to say, we were not impressed.  People next to us were seated, ordered drinks, received drinks, ordered food, received food, and we were still sitting there waiting.   There wasn't anything 'fun' going on either.  FINALLY our food showed up and it was good, but nothing spectacular.  The kids got a kick out of asking for ketchup:


When someone else asked for ketchup, they got to deliver it to the next table.  Clint also got a gallon jar of Diet Coke when his drink was refilled.  That was about the extent of the silliness and there wasn't any interaction other than that.  Perhaps it was an off day or dinner is full of shenanigans and lunch is not.  Either way the service was horribly slow and we will not be dining there again.

I gave Valerie and Veronica a choice to return to Animal Kingdom or some pool time at Windsor Hills.  The verdict?



And that was how we spent the rest of the afternoon!

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Monday, April 18, 2016

Magic Kingdom

Disney recap continued!

Sunday, we were up very early once again.  We wanted to be at Magic Kingdom for rope drop.  By getting there so early, most of the attractions would have little to no wait. I knew the parks were going to be busy, and this was our only day to see the opening show.



It takes so much time to park, get on a tram, catch the monorail or ferry, go through bag check and now they have random metal detector screenings also.  We arrived before 8am and were through all of that just in time for the opening show, or "The Good Morning People," as Valerie and Veronica like to call them.

on the parking lot tram

rope drop crowd

opening show

characters arriving at opening show

I'd decided that the FIRST thing we needed to knock out was to meet Anna and Elsa!!  Even after all this time, the wait times for those two are ridiculous.  Our last visit was 4-5 hour waits.  It's around 2 hours now, but there is no way I will stand in that line....  It was about a 10 minute wait at park opening.






After that, we had coveted Mine Train fast passes, which Clint rode with the girls (I do not like coasters at all.)  Val and I encountered a crazy lady in the Haunted Mansion queue who threw a fit because I'd moved ahead of her.  Never mind it isn't a 'line' ride and that a crowd of 50++ people are shuffled inside a giant room all at once.  The line isn't really a line at all....it's a constantly moving crowd. Val was upset and scared that she was going to 'turn us in' that put a big damper on her mood the rest of the morning.

Val did finally cheer up at our fun Crystal Palace lunch:








We spent the afternoon going from ride to ride.  It was pretty hot so I let Veronica get soaking wet playing in the splash area.  About 4:00 we had decided we'd had enough, so we hopped on the train to ride it to the Main Street train station to exit, and by the time the train had circled the park, it was cooler and we felt much better and ended up staying.  It was 8:00pm or so when we finally did leave, so that was 12 straight hours at Magic Kingdom.  It was a great day, but I was more than a little beat...



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