Posted in Florida 2015

7th August 2015 (Day 15)-Magic Kingdom and Going Home

Our last day in Orlando!

hampton_inn_logoOur time at the Hampton Inn had been great.  The staff there were absolutely fantastic and so very friendly.

I’ve copied below my TripAdvisor review:

We booked the Hampton Inn because it appeared to be highly rated on a number of different review sites although we were a little worried that due to it’s low price it might be a bit tatty. I’m glad to say that we had a great stay and will definitely highly consider staying there again.

The staff were extremely friendly which made it feel especially welcoming. And a big thank you to Patrick who checked us in and was always extremely welcoming when we returned from a long day at the parks.

-The room was very clean and well maintained, with daily cleaning to a very high standard.
-Breakfast could be busy but there was a good selection, although our daughter wanted the Mickey waffles every day anyway.
-The pool isn’t huge but was always quiet in the evenings and most times we had it virtually to ourselves.
-Location is very close to Downtown Disney and not far from any of the parks (Magic Kingdom is furthest away and is about 20 minutes drive time).
-There are restaurants close by (mainly in the Crossroads complex) as well as being relatively close to those on International Drive.

We had a room on the 5th floor at the end of the corridor so was extremely quiet and we didn’t get disturbed once, but I would imagine that the ground floor (especially in the rooms between reception and the lifts) could be noisy.

Highly recommend this Hampton Inn and thank you to all the staff there for making our stay so enjoyable.

Hampton Inn
Hampton Inn
Hampton Inn
Hampton Inn

So we were really quite sad to leave.  Just took a few shots of the hotel on the way out.

Hampton Inn
Hampton Inn
Hampton Inn
Hampton Inn

magic-kingdom-logoWe had decided to spend a little time at the Magic Kingdom this morning and after packing everything into the teeny tiny car we had, which was quite a task as we now had an extra suitcase to get in, we headed down to the parks for the last time this trip.

The weather was a bit suspect so we had fingers crossed that it would be OK.

We had FastPasses for Dumbo as our first thing and headed through the park to get there. It was straight through the line and onto the ride, which in some ways was a pity as there is lots of play stuff inside the big top.  But we didn’t have lots of time in park today as we’d have to leave for the airport, so it meant we could spend time doing something else.

Dumbo
Dumbo

After the ride (I rode separately and ended up two behind as someone charged in front of me and grabbed the closest elephant). We had a look in the big top area and at the amazing cakes and candy apples.

Hmmm...cake
Hmmm…cake

Julia and Rosemary decided they wanted to ride Goofy’s Barnstormer, so I left them to it and took some pictures from the sidelines.

Goofy's Barnstormer
Goofy’s Barnstormer
Goofy's Barnstormer
Goofy’s Barnstormer

Our second FastPass was for Buzz Lightyear’s Space Ranger Spin.  And Rosemary drank lots of blue Powerade.

 

Powerade
Powerade

To be honest I had no idea what we were meant to be doing, but we had lots of fun on the ride and tried to shoot pretty much everything we could.  Rosemary ended up in Zerg prison.

Zerg!
Zerg!

We got some lunch at Cosmic Ray’s Starlight Cafe and as we sat down the rain started.  And it came down heavier than probably any other point during our stay.  It kept going for quite some time as well and everyone was coming in to shelter.  We had a third FastPass for the Enchanted Tales with Belle and were beginning to think we wouldn’t make it there without being soaked, but it did stop and we managed to get to our slot.

Rosemary played Belle’s father and had to pretend to be in prison.

Enchanted Tales
Enchanted Tales
Enchanted Tales
Enchanted Tales

And that was the end of what we could squeeze in for the day and for our stay.  Just time to take a few last minute photos of a very wet Magic Kingdom on the way out.

Enchanted Tales
Enchanted Tales
Rapunzel's Tower
Rapunzel’s Tower
Magic Kingdom
Magic Kingdom
Magic Kingdom
Magic Kingdom

We headed from the park to the airport and dropped off our car and headed into the airport.  The security line and customs was all very painless and we flew out on time.

On our way home
On our way home

A great trip as ever!

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Posted in Florida 2015

6th August 2015 (Day 14)-Animal Kingdom

 

220px-Animal_Kingdom_TPark_ColorOff to Animal Kingdom today and our last full day in Orlando, so looking forward to it.  Our last trip to Animal Kingdom changed our mind on it a bit (previously we’d found it hot and crowded, with limited interest) and I’ll state now that the events of the day have turned this around completely as we had such a fab day and such a nice way of ending our trip.

On arriving we saw that Daisy Duck was out for a meet-and-greet, and as she is someone that Rosemary hadn’t met (we got close at Hollywood Studios but no prize) we joined the queue. Which was remarkably short.

Daisy Duck
Daisy Duck

After this we headed towards the Kilimanjaro Safari, which we had a FastPass for.  It was a great ride and we saw loads of animals.  There is a full video of the ride on YouTube:

Kilimanjaro Safari
Kilimanjaro Safari
Kilimanjaro Safari
Kilimanjaro Safari

We even saw a baby rhino with it’s mum.

Kilimanjaro Safari
Kilimanjaro Safari

After the ride we took a walk around the Harambe Wildlife Reserve and saw some of the animals there.  It’s a nice walk and the animals were relatively visible because it was early in the day.

Harambe Wildlife Reserve
Harambe Wildlife Reserve
Harambe Wildlife Reserve
Harambe Wildlife Reserve
Harambe Wildlife Reserve
Harambe Wildlife Reserve

As we came out of this we sat down for a bit in the Harambe Market area and got our timing just right as they were about to open and looking for someone to help open the market.  They asked Rosemary if she would ring the bell and she got a great little experience and a certificate.

Harambe Market
Harambe Market
Harambe Market
Harambe Market

While sitting in the market we all had a snack and Rosemary had a stripey, Mickey rice cake.

Snack Time
Snack Time

After this we headed over to the Festival of the Lion King show.  We were a little late getting there and I was parking up the buggy when we were approached by a cast member who offered to help seat us.  She took us straight past the entry queue and in through a side door (this is a bit weird we’re thinking, we must be super late), and down to the bench at the very front of one of the blocks.  So we’re sitting on the floor level at the very front… Well it turns out they had picked Rosemary out to take part in the show (I guess they must have spotters out).  We think it was her bright elephant print dress that caught their eye.

So during the show Rosemary got to go up and walk around with the dancers and at the end of that she was the only child who got to go up and meet Timon at the stage.  An absolutely amazing experience for her and she was very brave to do it.

Festival of the Lion King
Festival of the Lion King
Festival of the Lion King
Festival of the Lion King

I was videoing the show (it was daft not to as we were sat so close) and got Rosemary’s bit on the camera as well.  A GoPro isn’t the best for low light, so it’s not an amazing recording but a very nice record of such a special occasion. The video is on YouTube:

Rosemary was treated to a cuddly Simba (she’d been eyeing him up the entire holiday each time we saw him) for being a brave girl.

Simba
Simba

Our next FastPass was coming up, which was for the Dinosaur ride. It is on the opposite side of the park so we headed over.  We were the last ones in our group to be let through so snapped a quick picture inside the loading area with no else about.

Dinosaur
Dinosaur

It certainly was Fast, a Blast and in the Past.  Really rough ride!

Dinosaur
Dinosaur
Dinosaur
Dinosaur

We stopped for ice creams and got Dirty Ice Creams. Basically ice cream with crushed Oreos and gummy worms.

Dirt Ice Cream
Dirt Ice Cream

This was just by the dinosaur ride so we spent a little time there and in the shop by the Din-O-Rama, which always has good stuff.  After that it was the last FastPass at the Finding Nemo the Musical show.  No need really for a FastPass here, but might as well use up the allocation.

Finding Nemo
Finding Nemo

And after that just a quick visit to It’s a Bug’s Life (as there was no queue and it was straight in).

It's a Bugs Life
It’s a Bugs Life

And that was us, worn out.

Animal Kingdom
Animal Kingdom
Posted in Florida 2015

5th August 2015 (Day 13)-Blizzard Beach

blizzard-beach-logoOff to Blizzard Beach today, which we’ve never been to before so not sure quite what to expect.  Time to unpack the GoPro and get it into the waterproof housing!

On arrival we found out where you get changed and headed into the main pool, which is called Melt-Away Bay.  There are rubber rings in this area which you can grab and then ride the waves.  These are way more gentle than the tidal waves you get at Typhoon Lagoon but very fun when you’re in the rings.

Blizzard Beach
Blizzard Beach

Rosemary used the gentle waves for a good bit of swimming practice and had loads of fun swimming around.  She had a life jacket on the whole time so was enjoying the freedom to swim but in complete safety.

Swimming
Swimming

After spending quite a while in the pool we had a little go round the lazy river, which is called Cross Country Creek.

Cross Country Creek
Cross Country Creek

But we didn’t stay in long as we headed out to get something to eat as we came round to the main area.  We had something in Lottawatta Lodge.  One thing we did was to reactivate the mug we got at Typhoon Lagoon so we could use the filling stations around the park.  Once again though there was very little in the way of still drinks (Rosemary doesn’t like fizzy drinks) and the only option was Powerade.

After lunch and a bit of a play in the kids area we went back into Cross Country Creek for a few more trips around the park.

Tikes Peak
Tikes Peak
Tikes Peak
Tikes Peak
Ice Gator
Ice Gator

We didn’t go on any of the rides, the queues were just too long and we didn’t want to waste time waiting around when we could be in the water.

And finally for the day we had a little extra time back in the wave pool.

Melt Away Bay
Melt Away Bay

After this we got changed and took some photos around the park.

Blizzard Beach
Blizzard Beach

Finally, Rosemary had an ice lolly, which melted so fast because of the heat that she couldn’t keep up.

Lolly Time
Lolly Time

Wasn’t surprising as the car was roasting when we got back to it.

100oF
100oF

There is a video I put together from the day which is on YouTube:

Great day out at a park we’d not been to before, which was great as well.  Not sure which I prefer between Blizzard Beach and Typhoon Lagoon, as each have their own merits.  For us the wave pool at Blizzard Beach was probably better for Rosemary but I think the lazy river and the rides available at Typhoon Lagoon had the edge.  So, easy really….just do both!