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

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:

Caution
Caution

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.

Yoda
Yoda
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.

Posted in Florida 2013

10th December 2013 (Day 9): Aquatica and Downtown Disney

Aquatica_Logo_640Aquatica 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.

Chocolate Custard
Chocolate Custard
Chocolate Custard
Chocolate Custard

After having a look at the Commerson’s Dolphins we went back to the water.

Commerson's Dolphins
Commerson’s Dolphins

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.

Aquatica
Aquatica

Which was probably just as well because Rosemary was asleep before we left the car park.

Asleep
Asleep

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.

Candy Cauldron
Candy Cauldron
Candy Cauldron
Candy Cauldron

And we went into World of Disney and tried on lots of ears and hats.

World of Disney
World of Disney
World of Disney
World of Disney
World of Disney
World of Disney

 

Posted in Florida 2012

18th March 2012 (Day 7): Relaxing Day

After several days of hectic activity and already having visited 3 theme parks we had a day off (Sunday as it happens) to relax, do a bit of shopping and take things slow.

outletWe went to the top of International Drive to the outlet stores there and had quite a successful few hours looking around and getting quite a few bargains, including some designer stuff for Rosemary. Including Tommy Hilfiger and Ralph Laren Polo.  Got myself some bargain walking boots in North Face which were reduced from $120 to $24.  Great deal as they were 80% off.  Woohoo!

Shopped Out
Shopped Out

TRexWe decided to go to Downtown Disney to have a look around the shops there but first headed straight for the T-Rex restaurant for dinner.

This is a big, big restaurant which is themed with animatronic dinosaurs and was really popular to the extent that even though we were really early for dinner we still had to put our names on the list.  Fortunately we really didn’t have to wait very long before being led all the way through the restaurant to our table.

The designers had done a good job and there is foliage everywhere (all false I’m sure) and there are dinosaurs visible everywhere.  We had some leaning directly over our heads.  They move a little bit all the time but every 15 minutes there is a meteor storm when the lights go down and there is lots of flashing and noise.  The dinosaurs move a lot during this and the “ice cave” changes colour. (apologies for the poor photos but I only took my iPhone and the little Canon Ixus camera went flat because I had forgotten to charge it the night before).

T-Rex
T-Rex
T-Rex
T-Rex
T-Rex
T-Rex
T-Rex
T-Rex
T-Rex
T-Rex

The food, considering the massive size of the place and the fact that people probably don’t really go there for the food, was actually pretty good.  Rosemary particularly enjoyed her macaroni cheese.

Mac and Cheese
Mac and Cheese

And the non-alcoholic cocktail (which was quite frankly revolting) went down quite well.  Not sure the colourings were a very healthy option though.

Cocktails
Cocktails

(Incidently, still don’t like the flash on the iPhone4S which always seems to wash everything out.)

Some posed shots with the dinosaurs.

Mammoth
Mammoth
He bites
He bites
With the T-Rex
With the T-Rex

That’s the same dinosaur as in the picture above but he had bent right down and was trying to bite us.  Rosemary wasn’t too worried though.

By the time we left the queues were really big.

Outside
Outside

Downtown_Disney_Area_LogoOnce we had eaten we had a walk around the shops in Downtown Disney, where there is a really huge Disney shop selling literally everything you would ever want that has a pair of mouse ears on it.

Disney Store
Disney Store

Regretted not bringing my SLR as there were a lot of opportunities for some good pictures amongst the items on the shelves.  Had a go with the phone camera but not as good.

Dolls
Dolls
Mickeys
Mickeys
Mickey
Mickey

Walking back through we couldn’t help stopping at the Candy Cauldron to have a look at the Toffee Apples which they make in the shape of Mickey Mouse ears.

Toffee Apples
Toffee Apples
Toffee Apples
Toffee Apples
Toffee Apples
Toffee Apples

Finally, a picture with Mr Potato Head.

Mr Potato Head
Mr Potato Head