Posted in Florida 2015

3rd August 2015 (Day 11)-M&M World and Downtown Disney

7891_logoWe had plans to go to a water park today but we were a bit uncertain because of the weather and decided to give it a miss and instead do a few quiet things and have a relaxing day.  So we started off by heading to the Florida Mall. The route our sat-nav took us was quite convoluted and we saw some of the grottier bits of Orlando on the way.

When we finally arrived we headed to the M&M Store.

M&M Store
M&M Store

It’s easy to find from the car park with a giant M&M outside.  Got a few bits and pieces, including some things for future Christmas presents at prices which were much lower than the UK.

They also do a meet-and-greet in the store.

M&M's
M&M’s

We had a mooch around the shops and then went from the Mall to Downtown Disney.  We managed to park in the actual car park this time rather than across the road and get the mini-bus.  Again it was a mooch around the shops and built light sabres in one of the stores.  Did get some candy apples though from the Candy Cauldron.

Candy Apples
Candy Apples
Candy Apples
Candy Apples
Candy Apples
Candy Apples
Candy Apples
Candy Apples
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Posted in Florida 2015

2nd August 2015 (Day 10): Magic Kingdom

magic-kingdom-logoBack to the Magic Kingdom again today!

Our second visit having come a few days ago. Planning a relatively low key visit though as energy levels were a bit low and the weather was still not ideal, with quite a bit of rain. We had booked to have an early lunch at Be Our Guest so wanted to just get a couple of things in before that and then spend some time afterwards on some rides.

We went towards Fantasy Land first and went on the Mad Hatters Teacup ride, which Rosemary loves and just wants to spin faster and faster (in the video at the end so no photos of this).

Unfortunately the weather turned on us again after this after visiting a few shops we headed over to Be Our Guest for our 10:55am reservation.  We booked this quite late so this was all that was available as would have preferred a little later.

The entrance was really impressive.

Be Our Guest
Be Our Guest

Ordering is a little confusing for a first timer.  You queue up and choose and then pay at the till.  We’re then told to go and find a table and our food will find us.  We had read that you get a Rose to put on the table, but no such offer.  So bit confused we found a good table in the main ballroom.  And pretty quickly our food appears.  Found out they find you from your Magic Band.  Big Brother Mouse truly is watching!

The Ballroom
The Ballroom

Rosemary had chicken and Julia had the French Onion Soup, which was excellent.  I had the beef sandwich.

Be Our Guest
Be Our Guest
Be Our Guest
Be Our Guest

And of course we had to have the Grey Stuff cupcake.  We’d heard it’s delicious.  It was!

Grey Stuff
Grey Stuff

The Ballroom is amazing and was Julia’s favourite of the 3 rooms.  I preferred Beast’s room where there is a holographic rose.

The Ballroom
The Ballroom
Rose
Rose

We all thought it was an amazing place to have lunch and really glad we booked it.  The level of detail is just so high, including the picture which changes when there is lightning in Beast’s room.

After lunch we went to Mickey’s Philharmagical show and then used our FastPasses to do another princess visit.  This time Cinderella and Rapunzel in the Princess Fairytale Hall.

Cinderella
Cinderella
Cinderella-Autograph
Cinderella-Autograph
Rapunzel
Rapunzel
Rapunzel-Autograph
Rapunzel-Autograph

Both fantastic, as you would expect.  Rapunzel saw Rosemary’s dress and declared that she wasn’t needed and sent Rosemary over to her meet-and-greet spot while she stayed back with us.

We then used our second FastPass for the Peter Pan ride.  Only ever done this once before because the queue is crazy, but with the FastPass we were only in a few minutes.

Peter Pan
Peter Pan

We headed back through the park to Tomorrowland as we wanted to do an absolute classic attraction which we have never done, the Carousel of Progress.  It’s sort of hidden away in the back and we thought it was about time we saw it.  Well, we’ve done it now anyway.  Kind of OK, quite dated and the music gets under your skin.

Carousel of Progress
Carousel of Progress

When we came out Buzz Lightyear was doing his meet and greet under a bit of shelter just to the side.  He even came out and gestured for everyone to come under the shelter so they didn’t get wet.

To Infinity
To Infinity
Buzz Lightyear-Autograph
Buzz Lightyear-Autograph

After seeing Buzz it was emptying again so we went around on the Carousel of Progress for a second time.  Took the opportunity to have a quick nap.  But then it was improving again and we went to go on the River Boat as a nice little trip and, again, an opportunity to have a sit down.

Liberty River Boat
Liberty River Boat

As we came back we caught the very end of a parade, so stayed for a few minutes to watch.

Parade
Parade

And finally on the way out we used our final FastPass to see Tinker Bell.  She had moved since our last visit and was now at the Town Hall.  I thought the previous location was better and it’s now just Tink (last time you got another Fairy as well, which was Periwinkle when we went).

Tinker Bell
Tinker Bell
Tinker Bell-Autograph
Tinker Bell-Autograph

So, that was the end of the day at Magic Kingdom.  Weather has been a bit bad for the last couple of days but we hadn’t let that spoil anything and just moved our plans around to suit.

Posted in Florida 2015

1st August 2015 (Day 9): Epcot

Off to the Epcot again today (second visit this trip, having been a few days ago) and an early start as we had breakfast reservations at Akershus for a Princess breakfast buffet.  I think we had a table at 9:35am and Epcot opens at 9am.  So we got there for the park opening time and went in a couple of minutes before 9am.  There was only a small group waiting to get in (not like the big crowds at Magic Kingdom).

We weren’t in a huge rush so walked slowly upto the World Showcase entrance.  This area doesn’t open until 11am but as we had reservations we were allowed through.  It felt like we had the whole park to ourselves.

Empty Epcot
Empty Epcot

Just us and some squirrels.

Empty Epcot
Empty Epcot

We got to Akershus a bit before our reservation and were taken straight in.

Akershus
Akershus

In hindsight we should have waited because we were in the middle of the princess interactions rather than the beginning.  Would recommend waiting for your seating time to get the most out of it, although we did get to meet all the princesses and Rosemary got to do the parade with them and totally enjoyed it.

First up you are greeted by Belle.

Meeting Belle
Meeting Belle
Belle-Autograph
Belle-Autograph

We then got some breakfast from the buffet and hot food arrived as well.  Food was excellent.

Breakfast Buffet
Breakfast Buffet

The other princesses then started to come round to see us and sign autographs.

Cinderella
Cinderella
Cinderella-Autograph
Cinderella-Autograph
Snow White
Snow White
Snow White-Autograph
Snow White-Autograph
Jasmine
Jasmine
Princess Jasmine-Autograph
Princess Jasmine-Autograph
Ariel
Ariel
Ariel-Autograph
Ariel-Autograph

All the children then get to join a princess and parade around the restaurant with them to a Disney song.  Rosemary joined Jasmine and got to carry the flower basket.  I think this was the best of the interactions I saw (those with Cinderella were sat back down before Rosemary had finished dancing with Jasmine).

Princess Parade
Princess Parade

After finishing our breakfast (loads to eat and we asked for a coffee to take away with us) it was just before 11am, so the World Showcase still wasn’t open.  But by the time we walked back to the entrance to it they were taking down the barriers.  Our plan for the day was to spend time in the World Showcase, starting in Canada, which is where we headed to first. We watched the 360 degree show and visited the gift shop.  Nice planting there but not a lot else to see.

Canada
Canada

Next round (we were heading anti-clockwise for some reason) was the United Kingdom.   We met Alice there, who was frightfully posh.

Alice
Alice
Alice-Autograph
Alice-Autograph

And had a quick walk around the area.  Unfortunately Mary Poppins wasn’t coming out on the day we were there.

United Kingdom
United Kingdom

We took a short break on leaving the UK and sat down for a moment where the boat launches leave and arrive from various resorts.  We just missed seeing the Evil Queen, who was off to cast a spell on someone no doubt.

Evil Queen
Evil Queen

Next up was France. Just visited briefly really and had a quick look round.  Didn’t stop to see princesses here (Belle and Aurora) as we’ve done that before and there were long queues.

France
France

As we headed out the skies started to darken and it looked like more rain was coming in. The view back to Spaceship Earth was pretty threatening.

Incoming Storm
Incoming Storm

By the time we reached Morocco it was pouring and we took shelter there.  Are worse places to spend a little time though.

Morocco
Morocco

While we were waiting we went to visit Aladdin, who was very friendly, very chatty and made Rosemary laugh a lot.

Aladdin
Aladdin
Aladdin-Autograph
Aladdin-Autograph

She also got the chance to colour in a Duffy and had her name written on the back in Arabic.

Arabic "Rosemary"
Arabic “Rosemary”

After waiting a good while and it looking like it wasn’t going to stop anytime soon we headed out into the rain and the gift shop in Japan.

Japan
Japan

We stopped for something to eat in the American pavilion, eating at the Liberty Inn, before carrying on.  Unfortunately still raining.

Through Italy

Italy
Italy

and into Germany.

Germany
Germany

Things were improving by the time we reached China and I joined the queue with Rosemary to see Mulan.  One of her princesses she still hadn’t seen and this is (I think) the only place she does a meet-and-greet.

Mulan
Mulan
Mulan-Autograph
Mulan-Autograph

Once we had finished things were much better and it had stopped raining completely.

China
China

We were most of the way round the Showcase area by now, and stopped in Norway for some afternoon cakes and coffee.  Rosemary had a Frozen Fever cupcake and we had school bread (as recommended on the Disney Food Blog).  They were excellent. And the coffee was very strong (as it seems to be everywhere at Disney).

Cupcake
Cupcake
School Bread
School Bread

Just Mexico to go.

Mexico
Mexico

We went inside the zigarat and went on the Gran Fiesta starring Donald Duck ride.  Lot of fun and nice sit down boat ride.

Gran Fiesta
Gran Fiesta

And we got to see Donald, who Rosemary absolutely loves.

Donald Duck
Donald Duck
Donald Duck-Autograph
Donald Duck-Autograph

And so, having walked all the way around the world it was time for us to head out of the park.  Our last visit to Epcot for this trip.

For dinner we went to Red Lobster at the Crossroads of Lake Buena Vista for some excellent Lobster, Gruyere and Spinach dip.

Red Lobster
Red Lobster