Posted in Florida 2016

22nd December 2016 (Day 5)-Magic Kingdom

Going to be a long day today with lots of stuff packed in.  So we got up early, had breakfast at the hotel and headed to Magic Kingdom.  We got there early because the park would be closing early for the special ticketed Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party.  We had decided not to get tickets for this because of the extra cost, the fact that it would likely be very busy as it was the last one and Rosemary would probably be tired and we’d only stay a couple of hours.

The big tree was at the top of Main Street and there were various meet and greets going on there.

Magic Kingdom Tree

The countdown was also getting close to the big day.

3 Days to Go

While we sorted ourselves out after unpacking everything to come through security I snapped a quick picture of Rosemary with Walt and Mickey.

Rosemary with Walt and Mickey

Main Street was pretty busy but we caught a bit of the Royal Welcome show, which features Princess Elena being welcomed to the park by Cinderella. The Christmas decorations along Main Street were all (of course) Mickey shaped.

Mickey Decorations

And then headed towards Tomorrow World where we had our first FastPass.  But as we were still a little early for it we went into the Carousel of Progress.  Possibly not the best use of time as it’s not a ride which will ever be busy but we were in the location and didn’t want to walk off somewhere else.

Carousel of Progress

When we came out we got a pressed penny (we had got a few already and Rosemary’s collection is getting pretty large now).

Pressed Penny

And by this time our first FastPass was active for Buzz Lightyear’s Space Ranger Spin.  I went with Rosemary and Julia went on her own.  She was also the only one who realised there was a ride camera along the way and posed for it.

Buzz’s Spin

But we beat Zerg at least (partly because the ride paused for a while in one spot and I kept shooting a 5000 point target).

Zerg is Defeated

And when we came out we found Buzz meeting his fans just beside the Carousel of Progress so we went and side “hi” and got some fist-bumps.

Fist-Bumps with Buzz

We started to walk towards our next FastPass and on the way the wait time for It’s a Small World was only 5 minutes so we went basically straight onto the ride.  It’s the only ride in any of the parks which we have done every single time we’ve visited with Rosemary, so it will have to be our tradition to always ride it no matter what.

It’s a Small World
It’s a Small World

After that we went to use our second FastPass at the Haunted Mansion.  I’d booked them early in the day (although it’s often much easier to get on rides at that time) because we knew we were leaving mid-afternoon and being unsure on how busy things would be I wanted some guaranteed rides.

Haunted Mansion

As we came out we were going back towards the Castle and saw that Peter Pan was out beside his ride.  We’d never even seen him before in the parks so wanted to join the queue (which wasn’t even that long).

Peter Pan

Having a little time before our next booked event and being as it was snack time, we got Rosemary a Premium Mickey Bar (is there a non-Premium one that’s cheaper perhaps?) and had a little breather.

Mickey Premium Bar

While sitting down I checked the park app and saw that the wait time for the Mad Tea Party was basically zero.  So as we were so close we headed over to pick up another ride.  It’s such a short ride, which was a little disappointing because there wasn’t really anyone waiting for it and I thought they could probably have let it run a bit longer.

Mad Tea Party

But when we got off it was time to use our third and final FastPass to meet Rapunzel and Tiana at Princess Fairytale Hall.

Princess Tiana
Princess Rapunzel

After the app again came in handy for the wait times, which now shows that the Under the Sea ride was down to 10 minutes or so.  So straight in again (nice and cool in there as well).  The UV lights on the ride really lit up our clothes.

Under the Sea

Our last booking at the park today was going to be a treat for Rosemary, which she didn’t know about, and was to go to the Crystal Palace for a slightly late lunch with the characters from Winnie the Pooh.  Bit confusing when you first arrive but our waiter told us who was coming round and what would happen.  There aren’t any Disney photographers in the restaurant so you take your own pictures.  We got to meet Eeyore, Piglet, Tigger and Pooh.  Food was pretty decent we thought and there was a good choice.


Pooh was the last to come round and we’d finished eating by the time he appeared.  He was worth the wait though.  And his chaperone offered to take a family picture for us.


We really liked it as a restaurant.  Nice and airy.  Julia recognised the biscuits as being special for the Very Merry Christmas Party (for the Disney Food Blog) and not available all the time.

Crystal Palace
Christmas Biscuits

On the way out we just stopped for some of the PhotoPass photographers to get some family photos.

Cinderella’s Castle
Under the Tree

And that was the end of what turned out to be a really packed day at Magic Kingdom, but not the end of our day. We left the park and instead of getting the monorail back to the Ticket and Transportation Center we got the resort monorail to the Grand Floridian.  We wanted to have a look at the hotel decorated for Christmas really.

Grand Floridian

A Previous time we came (in 2013) we went for dinner there, which we weren’t doing this time but instead going for a look round. The tree was really amazing, but very hard to get a good photo of. Hopefully I caught a little bit of the glamour and size of it.

Grand Floridian Tree

And there is a huge gingerbread house as well, which they sell hot chocolate and gingerbread from.

Gingerbread House

While we were looking round a couple asked us if we were waiting for Mickey and Minnie, which we knew nothing about.  So we waited and sure enough they made an appearance. So that was a really nice and unexpected bonus.

Mickey and Minnie

We then headed back to the car via the monorail and went to Disney Springs (Downtown Disney).  Parking was a bit of a headache but we ended up at the very top of one of the multi-story parking blocks.  We had a quick look round and visited the Coca Cola store, which had a great glass display.

Coke Store

And the World of Disney as well just to see what they were selling and get an idea of what we might want to get as souvenirs.

World of Disney

And that was as much as we could do for the day.  Time to head back to the hotel and bed.

Posted in Florida 2015

25th July 2015 (Day 2): Shopping

unnamedTaking it easy today to get over travelling tiredness and get used to the heat.  So we had breakfast at the hotel, which was very good for a free buffet, and headed to the Vineland Avenue outlet shops (which are the closest ones to the hotel).  We had forgotten that it was a Sunday though and the shops didn’t open until 10am, so we had a bit of time to kill as we had arrived earlier than this.

Did take a picture of the teeny tiny car we had though.  We did think that the colour would mean we wouldn’t lose it in the massive car parks at the parks though!  Turned out it was so small that it was usually hidden behind something else.


A very green car
A very green car

One warning sign that shows you’re in Florida was interesting:


Weren’t as many bargains to be had as in the past (seems to getting less each time we come, although the exchange rate this trip was one of the worse we’ve had at $1.5=£1, so guess everything seemed to feel a bit more expensive). But did get some things for Rosemary, as normal!

After shopping we decided to go to Downtown Disney, now known as Disney Springs.  Parking was a bit of a hassle as we ended up across the road in the staff parking area and on the minibus shuttle back to Disney Springs itself.  We didn’t have any great plans although we wanted to get some Magic Bands today so we would have them ready for the parks tomorrow.  So we took a wander through.

The Candy Cauldron looked as good as always and definitely going to get some this trip.

Candy Cauldron
Candy Cauldron

And we did what every Star Wars obsessed fans do (and even Rosemary is a bit of a fan) and tried on all the hats in the shops.

Leia Mouse
Leia Mouse

We went to get our Magic Bands (picture another day) and chose the ones we wanted.  We thought we were going to have to set them up at magic Kingdom and endure the queue but the very friendly man in Disney Pin Traders told us we could get our tickets, which had been bought from the UK at the Guest Relations desk at Disney Springs which we didn’t know.  So picked up the credit card style tickets from them in 5 minutes flat and back to Pin Traders.  All set up for us and linked to our Disney Experience accounts so all our reservations etc were all linked up to our Bands. Very helpful!

Earl_of_Sandwich_(restaurant)_logo.svgWe weren’t feeling particularly hungry at this point but it was dinner time and we wanted an early night ready for Magic Kingdom tomorrow.  So we got a sandwich from the Earl of Sandwich.  And turned out to be just what we wanted.  We’ve never been in there before (we’re from England, we have sandwiches all the time and why would we want one on holiday) but enjoyed what we had and added to that it was pretty cheap.