Thought I would do a page with the autographs Rosemary got from the Disney characters on our recent trip.
Category: Florida 2013
16th December 2013 (Day 15): Departure Day
So sad that today was our last day in Florida. But it’s only just over a week until Christmas and probably time to head home.
The hotel was just putting up their Christmas tree, which was nice.
And we virtually had to drag Rosemary out of the hotel once we had got the car all packed up.
But we finally got her into the car with all our bags.
In the past we’ve done a half day at a park but decided not to today. Instead just did a bit of shopping and had a look at some of the things along International Drive. The Upside Down House had been popular our whole trip and Rosemary often asked if we could drive past. So we finally stopped to have a look.
And that was the end of our trip I’m afraid. We drove back to the airport and dropped off the car before checking in our luggage and flew back home.
What a fantastic trip!
15th December 2013 (Day 14): Seaworld
Unfortunately we’re nearly at the end of our trip and this will be our last full day. So we returned to SeaWorld again to see some more of the things there.
The first thing we did was go to the touch pool where you can feel the rays.
Rosemary was a bit nervous about it at first, especially as some of them slap their wings against the side and you can get splashed. But got used to it and was gently stroking them soon enough. They’re really soft and feel like velvet.
We got a pressed penny afterwards which said “I Touched the Rays”.
In the Antarctica zone (we saw the penguins last time) we got a snap with the Christmas sign.
The models of the different penguins were really nice. There is a whole wall of them.
We visited the Sharks Encounter and took a photo which was similar to one we took on our previous visit.
And from our last trip:
The walk through was very scary.
We didn’t get to see the One Ocean show last visit so made sure we got there this time around. Putting aside issues of whether Orcas should be held in captivity it is a very spectacular show.
And a photo with the Shamu model at the entrance.
After the show we went to visit the Wild Arctic. As it was Christmas everything was themed around the Polar Express movie and the little movie you watch to go through to the animals was clips from the movie.
The tree inside was really amazing, probably even more so because of the low light levels.
No pictures of the animals as they didn’t come out very well. But on the way out we got a cup of hot chocolate which Rosemary said was the “best ever”. It was incredibly sweet!
As we walked around to the Christmas Market that was running there was virtually no one playing the fairground games. So we decided to have a go at Shamu Showdown and I won a Christmas Shamu for Rosemary. She was so happy about this.
And finally another picture of some of the Christmas Trees. These were at the top of the park in the gardens.
14th December 2013 (Day 13): Animal Kingdom
Edging towards the end of our visit and we used up the last day on our 5-day Disney ticket with a visit to Animal Kingdom. Now this hasn’t been our favourite park on previous visits. We find it to be busy and the pathways, especially through the animal areas are very narrow. It’s always been baking hot as well during the time we have been before.
So we went with a degree of trepidation and a plan to see the shows rather than the animals.
Each park had a Christmas Tree at the entrance and the Animal Kingdom one was nice because it was all animal themed.
We headed towards the Lion King stage area to see the show. But first we visited the characters who were there in their little areas. Rosemary was very pleased to see Donald Duck, as she hadn’t met him and she really wanted to.
There was also Chip and Dale.
The Lion King show was excellent, sort of a bit like a Cirque du Soleil show. Were were in the Lions which was very nice.
Click here and here to see some videos of the show.
Rosemary got an ice cream afterwards.
We walked around the park a bit after this, not with any great plan, and just had a look at things as we went. We ended up in the Dinosaur area.
And had an ice cream cookie sandwich.
We wanted to see “Finding Nemo the Musical” so went there next.
It was a really great show and you could imagine it being a full musical on stage somewhere.
Day was winding down by this time but we had wanted to meet Pocahontas earlier (she was with Donald and Chip & Dale) but she was on a break. So we went back just as her session was starting.
And just time to go and see the It’s A Bugs Life show, which is a 3D film with added effects like smoke and water. Plus they have really cool 3D glasses.
And finally just a couple of shots in front of the Tree of Life.
13th December 2013 (Day 12): Magic Kingdom, Downtown Disney and T-Rex
So back to start the day at the Magic Kingdom. This is the 4th day’s useage of the ticket we bought, so we have 1 more day to use on it before it runs out.
As mentioned in previous posts the Kingdom was really dressed up for the holidays and this included the shop window with Christmas Minnie and Mickey.
As we weren’t going to be staying that long today (but it was our last visit this trip the Magic Kingdom) we made sure to get some shots in front of the Castle.
We went on the Haunted Mansion ride after this but would you believe it broke down. Now look at the date of this visit and I can tell you it was a Friday. So Friday 13th struck and we were in the ride for ages, and eventually they turned all the lights on and walked us out. Bit of a shame but we got a free Fastpass and got to see how it all worked. Mainly wires in case you were wondering.
So we headed to the Princess Fairytale Hall again, this time to meet some other Princesses. They have one advertised as being there but the second one isn’t revealed until you get in. You had the choice of Rapunzel (who we met on our previous visit) or Cinderella. And today was Cinderella’s turn.
And with her today was Sleeping Beauty.
She was so nice and gave the biggest hug.
We then went over to Adventureland to see Tinkerbelle. The queue was pretty bad and we had to wait 45 minutes, which is about the longest wait we’d had at that time. Pixie Hollow is entered through some magic doors which shrink you down to pixie size.
And with Tinkerbelle was Periwinkle.
One thing I hadn’t mentioned previously is that all the characters (or nearly all) were giving out Christmas wishes. These were little cards with a picture and their autograph on them and a little wish. Made a great keepsake.
Next door to the Princess Hall there was Peter Pan and the queue was really small, so we went on that.
And same for It’s a Small World.
We decided to use our Fastpass for the Pirates of the Caribbean. Rosemary really enjoyed this, even the drop to go down to the main bit. Pretty sure this is only a few feet but it felt huge and we both lunged for her to keep her from falling out. Completely unnecessary though…
And at this point we passed out again….
We drove over to Downtown Disney to go to T-Rex Cafe.
Rosemary was still quite sleepy but soon woke up when we were inside.
Here drink had flashing LED lights in it which was fab.
Wont upload too many pictures of the dinosaurs, but I did particularly like the mammoth.
12th December 2013 (Day 11): 1900 Park Fare
Today we had a quiet day and in the evening we went down to the Grand Floridian hotel, which is one of the really swish Disney resort hotels at the Magic Kingdom. Really amazing place.
We had booked to have dinner at 1900 Park Fare where you meet Cinderella and the family.
First up we all had our photos taken together. We don’t get many family shots so we did purchase the photo.
The food was very nice. There is a large buffet and you can help yourself pretty much constantly to the food. But the main reason you come is to meet Cinderella.
The first person we met was Prince Charming.
Cinderella then came to the table.
After this we were visited by the step family, who were really funny and joked with us. Actually thought they were the highlight of the meal rather than Cinderella….
After our meal we had a walk around the hotel. It was really amazing and maybe one day we’ll get a chance to stay there. The Christmas tree was massive (something like 3 storeys) and dripping with decorations.
Even the smaller ones were amazing.
And they had a full size gingerbread house.
The hotel itself looked really nice at night all lit up.
11th December 2013 (Day 10): Magic Kingdom
Off the most magic place on earth today!
The Magic Kingdom.
The park was really decorated for Christmas. We’d been in October once before and there was a lot of Halloween decorations out then, so we were expecting it to be quite spectacular.
The first thing we did was go to Mickey’s Philharmagical show (we had to grab Fastpasses for later right beside there and there was no queue, and when you see something you want to do with no queue-you do it). It’s a 3D show with extra bits like getting squirted with water. You have to wear your 3D glasses though, not a look everyone can pull off.
Back near the castle we bumped into the Fairy Godmother who was doing a short meet and greet.
Rosemary’s favourite Disney film is Tangled and her favourite princess is Rapunzel so we had to go and visit her tower.
And we were pretty impressed that the level of detailing included the men’s toilets where there are frying pans instead of mirrors.
We walked through to New Fantasyland, which is a major extension to the park which was still in the process of being completed. You go past the Be Our Guest restaurant which has an illusion of Beast’s castle over it.
And headed to Gaston’s Tavern. They serve the biggest warm cinnamon rolls I’ve ever seen and we had that with the strongest coffee I have ever drunk.
We were so hyped up on caffeine and sugar we braved sitting in Gaston’s chair.
We then went on the Under the Sea ride, which is based on the Little Mermaid.
And from there up to the top of Fantasyland to go on the Dumbo ride. They’ve changed this so you get a buzzer when you go in and then the children can go off and play. You’re buzzer goes when it’s your time to join the queue for the ride itself. Great idea and far less boring that standing in line.
We then used our Fastpasses I’d got earlier to go to the Princess Fairytale Hall. At this point Rosemary didn’t know what we were doing next. We were of course going to meet Rapunzel. She was a bit speechless and awe struck I think.
We also got to meet Snow White at the same time.
We queued up for what seemed like a very long time to see Merida, but she was really lovely and her New Jersey accent only slipped through a couple of times (could have been what she thought a Scottish accent sounded like though).
A snack was in order by this time and we had Cheshire Cupcake Cake Cup at the Cheshire Cafe. It was sort of a cupcake with cream swirled in. Went down very well.
We were staying for the fireworks in the evening and fortunately Rosemary decided to have a nap so we went to the shops to have a browse.
There were soft toys galore.
The night-time parade was just before the fireworks and was amazing.
But nothing like the castle which was covered in lights for Christmas and were all constantly changing colour.
And the fireworks were stunning as well. We weren’t in the best place to see them but it was relatively quiet and we still got an excellent view.
After that there was nothing to do but cope with the vast crowds who were all leaving at the same time to get the boat back to the entrance and then the tram back to the car park. Think it took about an hour just to get out….
10th December 2013 (Day 9): Aquatica and Downtown Disney
Aquatica today for some swimming and messing about in the water. We started off in Loggerhead Lane, which is the lazy river at the park as well as going into the wave pool.
But by the time we came from there we were getting pretty hungry. We decided to go the Banana Beach Buffet which was an all day dining deal. So we could come back later on and have another snack.
The chocolate custard was a big hit.
After having a look at the Commerson’s Dolphins we went back to the water.
We then went to the children’s play area (Kata Kookaburra’s Cove) and did some of the waterslides there. There was one which was done with an adult which was very popular and we did it a lot of times without having to wait around.
Link to the video of the waterslide
After a quick refill snack at the Banana Beach Buffet we left the park.
Which was probably just as well because Rosemary was asleep before we left the car park.
She got a bit of a snooze in the car on the way to Downtown Disney but once there she soon got eating again with a rice crispy cake thing from the Candy Cauldron.
And we went into World of Disney and tried on lots of ears and hats.
9th December 2013 (Day 8): Epcot
In the trips we have made to Orlando we have never visited Epcot in the past, although not really sure why. But we really enjoyed it and I think it’s now our favourite park.
Coming in we took the compulsory picture of the big ball, although we didn’t go on the ride inside it.
Instead we headed over to “The Seas” area where we went on the Nemo and Friends ride.
This ride takes you through the story of Finding Nemo (although very compressed) and out into the aquarium. There are some very large tanks which are full of fish and even some dolphins as well as smaller tanks with tropical fish and some manatees.
Couldn’t resist a picture with Bruce the shark before we went and did the Turtle Talk with Crush bit. This is an interactive session with a computer generated Crush which is fun as the kids get a chance to ask questions to Crush.
As we were leaving this section we went into the Mickey and Pals section where we got to meet Mickey, Goofy and Minnie. Rosemary seemed to be getting the hang of these character meet and greets now and wasn’t in the slightest worried about them, and actually keen to meet the characters.
As we were nearly halfway through the day we decided to head into the World Showcase and start visiting the various countries. We’d heard that you can get a passport which is stamped in each country and found them in the giftshop at the entrance to the area. Finding the stand to get them stamped was sometimes a bit tricky but we did get them all done.
Before we got very far we stopped in Norway for a snack. I got some of mine at least.
In Germany we got to meet Snow White. This was Rosemary’s first Princess encounter.
I can’t remember if this was in China or Japan now…
While the Morocco area has some amazing tiled courtyards.
There were some great views from the lake.
In France we got to meet Belle.
And we had an ice cream before meeting Princess Aurora.
We stayed on for the Illuminations show on the lake, which was very good.
One thing was that the park was relatively undecorated for Christmas. The majority of the decorations were around the central area where the fountains are. Still very pretty.
So a great trip but a massive park that really needs more time to explore properly.
8th December 2013 (Day 7): Chilling and Universal Citywalk
Taking a day off from the parks and started out at Perkins for breakfast and Perky Bear Pancakes.
We then went off shopping before going back to the hotel for a swim. Or rather a “sitting on dad’s back while he swims”.
For dinner we drove to Universal Studios and went to Citywalk. Where there is a Bubba Gump restaurant. As we got there later in the day the parking was reduced cost, but was still $5.
We all had shrimp dinners which were all very good. Rosemary’s came in a Jenny boat, which went down very well.
Afterwards we walked around the shops and the rest of Citywalk. There were some great fountains for the kids to play in and try and avoid getting wet.
And we went over the giant globe for a photo opportunity.