Posted in Florida 2013

Florida 2013 Trip-The Autographs

Thought I would do a page with the autographs Rosemary got from the Disney characters on our recent trip.

Mickey Mouse
Mickey Mouse
Minnie Mouse
Minnie Mouse
Goofy
Goofy
Snow White
Snow White
Belle
Belle
Sleeping Beauty
Sleeping Beauty
Fairy Godmother
Fairy Godmother
Rapunzel
Rapunzel
Merida
Merida
Cinderella
Cinderella
Prince Charming
Prince Charming
Lady Tremaine
Lady Tremaine
Druzella
Druzella
Anastasia
Anastasia
Tinkerbelle
Tinkerbelle
Periwinkle
Periwinkle
Donald Duck
Donald Duck
Chip & Dale
Chip & Dale
Pocahontas
Pocahontas
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Posted in 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.

Christmas Tree
Christmas Tree

And we virtually had to drag Rosemary out of the hotel once we had got the car all packed up.

Leaving
Leaving

But we finally got her into the car with all our bags.

In the car
In the car

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.

Upside Down House
Upside Down House
Upside Down House
Upside Down House

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!

Posted in Florida 2013

15th December 2013 (Day 14): Seaworld

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.

Rays
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”.

Pressed Penny
Pressed Penny

In the Antarctica zone (we saw the penguins last time) we got a snap with the Christmas sign.

Antartica
Happy Holidays

The models of the different penguins were really nice.  There is a whole wall of them.

Penguins
Penguins

We visited the Sharks Encounter and took a photo which was similar to one we took on our previous visit.

Scary Shark
Scary Shark

And from our last trip:

Shark!
Shark!

The walk through was very scary.

Very scary!
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.

Shamu
Shamu
Shamu
Shamu

And a photo with the Shamu model at the entrance.

Shamu
Shamu

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.

Christmas Tree
Christmas Tree
To the North Pole
To the North Pole

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.

We won Shamu
We won Shamu

And finally another picture of some of the Christmas Trees.  These were at the top of the park in the gardens.

Christmas Trees
Christmas Trees
Posted in Florida 2013

14th December 2013 (Day 13): Animal Kingdom

220px-Animal_Kingdom_TPark_ColorEdging 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.

Christmas Tree
Christmas Tree

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.

Donald Duck
Donald Duck

There was also Chip and Dale.

Chip and Dale
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.

Ice Cream Time
Ice Cream Time

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.

Dino-Rama
Dino-Rama

And had an ice cream cookie sandwich.

Ice cream cookie sandwich
Ice cream cookie sandwich

We wanted to see “Finding Nemo the Musical” so went there next.

Finding Nemo
Finding Nemo

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.

Pocahontas and Meeko
Pocahontas and Meeko

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.

It's a Bugs Life
It’s a Bugs Life

And finally just a couple of shots in front of the Tree of Life.

Tree of Life
Tree of Life
Tree of Life
Tree of Life
Posted in Florida 2013

13th December 2013 (Day 12): Magic Kingdom, Downtown Disney and T-Rex

magic-kingdom-logoSo 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.

Christmas Mickey
Christmas Mickey
Christmas Minnie
Christmas Minnie

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.

Cinderella's Castle
Cinderella’s 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.

Cinderella
Cinderella

And with her today was Sleeping Beauty.

Sleeping Beauty
Sleeping Beauty

She was so nice and gave the biggest hug.

Sleeping Beauty
Sleeping Beauty

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.

Tinkerbelle
Tinkerbelle

And with Tinkerbelle was Periwinkle.

Periwinkle
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.

Peter Pan
Peter Pan

And same for It’s a Small World.

It's a Small World
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…

Pirates of the Caribbean
Pirates of the Caribbean

And at this point we passed out again….

Asleep...again
Asleep…again

We drove over to Downtown Disney to go to T-Rex Cafe.

T-Rex
T-Rex

Rosemary was still quite sleepy but soon woke up when we were inside.

T-Rex
T-Rex

Here drink had flashing LED lights in it which was fab.

T-Rex
T-Rex

Wont upload too many pictures of the dinosaurs, but I did particularly like the mammoth.

Mammoth
Mammoth
Posted in Florida 2013

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.

1900 Park Fare
1900 Park Fare

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.

Prince Charming
Prince Charming

Cinderella then came to the table.

Cinderella
Cinderella

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….

Lady Tremaine
Lady Tremaine
Anastasia
Anastasia
Druzilla
Druzilla

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.

Central Tree
Central Tree

Even the smaller ones were amazing.

Christmas Trees
Christmas Trees

And they had a full size gingerbread house.

Gingerbread House
Gingerbread House

The hotel itself looked really nice at night all lit up.

Grand Floridian
Grand Floridian
Posted in Florida 2013

11th December 2013 (Day 10): Magic Kingdom

magic-kingdom-logoOff 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.

 

Christmas Decorations
Christmas Decorations

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.

Philharmagical
Philharmagical

Back near the castle we bumped into the Fairy Godmother who was doing a short meet and greet.

Fairy Godmother
Fairy Godmother

Rosemary’s favourite Disney film is Tangled and her favourite princess is Rapunzel so we had to go and visit her tower.

Rapunzel's Tower
Rapunzel’s Tower

And we were pretty impressed that the level of detailing included the men’s toilets where there are frying pans instead of mirrors.

Rapunzel World
Rapunzel World
Rapunzel World
Rapunzel World

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.

Beast's Castle
Beast’s Castle

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.

Gaston's Tavern
Gaston’s Tavern

We were so hyped up on caffeine and sugar we braved sitting in Gaston’s chair.

Gaston's Chair
Gaston’s Chair

We then went on the Under the Sea ride, which is based on the Little Mermaid.

Under the Sea
Under the Sea

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.

Dumbo
Dumbo

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.

Rapunzel
Rapunzel

We also got to meet Snow White at the same time.

Snow White
Snow White

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).

Merida
Merida

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.

Snack time
Snack time

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.

Nap Time
Nap Time

There were soft toys galore.

Mickey
Mickey
Minnie
Minnie

The night-time parade was just before the fireworks and was amazing.

Parade
Parade

But nothing like the castle which was covered in lights for Christmas and were all constantly changing colour.

Cinderella's Castle
Cinderella’s Castle
Cinderella's Castle
Cinderella’s Castle

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.

Fireworks
Fireworks

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….