Posted in Florida 2016

24th December 2016 (Day 7)-Magic Kingdom

Back to Magic Kingdom today, and Christmas Eve already.

The weather today was amazing with bright blue skies and very warm.  So different to experience weather like this so close to Christmas when we would normally have grey skies and probably rain in the UK. So we definitely were going to make the most of it. Plan was to stay all day and see the fireworks at the end of the day, so we didn’t rush down to the park.  We were a little concerned about how busy it would be but it actually wasn’t too bad at all considering it was Christmas Eve.

Rosemary was wearing her amazing Christmas dress.

Christmas Dress
Christmas Dress

On the way in we grabbed some more photos in front of the tree, making the most of that free Photopass.

Happy Holidays
Happy Holidays

We had a little browse through the shops on Main Street.  And found a giant rice crispie cake to add to our “Never Eat Anything Bigger Than Your Head” series.

Never Eat Anything Bigger Than Your Head
Never Eat Anything Bigger Than Your Head

We had Fastpasses sorted during the day but first we went into Country Bear’s Jamboree.  An attraction we’d never been to before.  Sorry no pictures (they didn’t come out well).  But after that we used our first Fastpass for the Jungle Cruise.  For Christmas everything is rethemed as the Jingle Cruise and the puns are absolutely as terrible as usual.

Jingle Cruise
Jingle Cruise
Jingle Cruise
Jingle Cruise
Jingle Cruise
Jingle Cruise

Afterwards we were in the Adventureland area and decided to visit the Tiki Room and watch that.  Didn’t want to exhaust ourselves as we were planning to stay late, and it was a good chance to sit down in the cool. Think we might have been our first time actually going into the show.

Tiki Room
Tiki Room

After that we used our second Fastpass to meet some Princesses.  Elena and Cinderella this time.

Princess Elena
Princess Elena
Princess Cinderella
Princess Cinderella

We had lunch reservations but had a bit of time before that and could hear something going on around the castle.  We went to investigate and it was a dance party.  So we stopped to watch and Rosemary joined in a little bit.

Dance Party
Dance Party

What was good was the different characters in the parade, including those from Zootropolis.

Dance Party
Dance Party

By this time we could go for our lunch reservation at Jungle Cruise Canteen.

Jungle Cruise Canteen
Jungle Cruise Canteen

This was a new restaurant from our last visit (I think) and although the food was OK it wasn’t that impressive and thought it was a little pricey for what it was.  Was nice though and a good experience.  Just not sure I’d worry about it again.

When we had finished with lunch we tried to catch the Christmas parade but were a little stuck on the Adventureland side with a lot of people in between.  So it was a bit further away than would have been ideal, but we did still get to see Santa before he goes off on his busy night.

Santa
Santa
Santa
Santa

Our next Fastpass was for Pirates of the Caribbean, so we headed back into Adventureland.  Stopping on the way to visit the Robinson’s Treehouse.  Rosemary was a bit unimpressed.  No ride features or animatronics.

Robinson's Treehouse
Robinson’s Treehouse

And then onto Pirates!  No photos from the ride as it was so dark. Great ride and that drop at the start still catches me out.

Pirates of the Caribbean
Pirates of the Caribbean

We then had some time to wander around the park and do some browsing in the shops.  The rides were pretty busy but honestly we weren’t that worried and it was just a good opportunity to see the park at night.  We thought the castle looked amazing all lit up at night.

Disney Castle
Disney Castle

But when all the lights came on it was even more amazing.

Disney Castle
Disney Castle

We weren’t feeling that hungry but wanted a snack so headed to Gaston’s, which was really quiet.  We got warm cinnamon rolls and coffee.  And the coffee is still the worst ever.

Gaston's
Gaston’s

The cinnamon rolls aren’t quite as big as your head but are pretty big.

Gaston's
Gaston’s

Gaston’s looked really good at night.  We’ve not spent that much time at the parks after dark because Rosemary would get tired and we’d head back.  So it was really good to see things.

Gaston's
Gaston’s

We bumped into one of the Photopass photographers by the Little Mermaid ride and got this great photo.

Ariel's Castle
Ariel’s Castle

We checked out the store at Storybook Circus and Rosemary had a short play in the water bit there.

Storybook Circus
Storybook Circus

Julia really wanted to see the Hall of President’s (again something we have never done) and it would give us a little break while we sat down.  Photography and video isn’t allowed in the hall and so just this picture from the lobby with the Seal of the United States. Interesting show, although some of the animatronics were a bit creepy.

Hall of Presidents
Hall of Presidents

By this time it was nearly the start of the fireworks show so we headed back towards the castle.  The position we ended up in wasn’t ideal but we still got a great view.  The light show on the castle is great and the fireworks were excellent.

Fireworks
Fireworks
Fireworks
Fireworks

By this time it was getting really late so we headed out of the park (along with pretty much everyone else) to head back to the hotel.  We had a busy day the following day so wanted to get as much sleep as we could.

Back at the hotel it was just time to hang up things ready for Santa.

Christmas Eve
Christmas Eve
Christmas Eve
Christmas Eve

What a lovely way to spend Christmas Eve!

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Posted in Florida 2016

23rd December 2016 (Day 6)-Discovery Cove

Off to Discovery Cove today and big day for Rosemary as she is going to get to swim with a dolphin.  May be an understatement that she was quite excited by this.

We got there nice and early, well before the pools had opened up, so we could complete our check-in and have some breakfast, and then we would have an absolutely complete day for all the activities.

Discovery Cove
Discovery Cove

While at checking we met a very nice sloth.

Sloth
Sloth

We were allocated a mid-morning swim with the dolphins which was just perfect, and then went and got some breakfast.  Nice buffet selection and didn’t skimp on the portion sizes.

Breakfast
Breakfast

By this time the swim areas were opening open and we got some wetsuits and went to the river to do a little snorkeling.

River
River
River
River
Swimming
Swimming
Snorkling
Snorkeling
Snorkeling
Snorkeling

We stopped for a quick drink and then went for out dolphin swim.  Although this was not Rosemary’s first time at Discovery Cove it was her first time in the water with the dolphins, as you have to be over 6 to do that.  It was an amazing experience with feeding the dolphin, petting them and also being pulled along by them in the water.  We spent time with Thelma and Lunar.  We obviously bought the photos which the professional photographers took as it was the only way to get them, plus we then got pictures of us all together.

Dolphin Encounter
Dolphin Encounter
Dolphin Encounter
Dolphin Encounter
Dolphin Encounter
Dolphin Encounter
Dolphin Encounter
Dolphin Encounter
Dolphin Encounter
Dolphin Encounter

After our encounter we went for some lunch (everything is included in the day including all your food, snacks and drinks).  Sitting outside having just swam with dolphins 2 days before Christmas was a bit surreal, as it was freezing cold at home.

Lunchtime
Lunchtime

After lunch we visited the Grand Reef.

Grand Reef
Grand Reef

The river is maintained a really warm temperature but since there are the fish swimming in the reef the temperature is much lower, and it’s quite a shock when you first get into it. We snorkeled around for a while looking at the fish and following the rays around.

Grand Reef
Grand Reef
Grand Reef
Grand Reef
Grand Reef
Grand Reef
Grand Reef
Grand Reef

We also spent some time looking into the shark area, which is all behind glass but you sort of forget it’s there which makes the experience that much better.

Watching the Sharks
Watching the Sharks
Shark Zone
Shark Zone
Shark Zone
Shark Zone

But it was still quite chill being in there and Rosemary was getting quite cold after a while.

Julia decided to go and get showered and I went with Rosemary for a few final goes round the river area. Virtually had to drag her out of the water.

Last Swim
Last Swim
Last Swim
Last Swim

And unfortunately that was the end to our day at Discovery Cove.  An awesome day.

Discovery Cove
Discovery Cove