So, here is the next holiday recap. No running, but there are some cakes so I feel it fits the theme!
On Tuesday after going to the Kennedy Space Centre we drove to Orlando. We did a spot of shopping, and then went to Downtown Disney- basically a lot of shops, restaurants and entertainment things (like bowling, cinema etc). It was really busy, and we were very hungry as we hadn’t had lunch, just a banana and half a cereal bar each, so we headed straight for the Earl of Sandwich (I wish they would catch on over here- so much nicer than Subway) for dinner, before walking around, having a mooch around the shops, and then finally driving to our hotel to check in.
We stayed in the Art of Animations resort, a fairly new one, with different buildings based on Nemo, Cars, Lion King and Little Mermaid.
Can you guess the theme of our room?
Yup, the chair is a shell.
The next day we were off to the Magic Kingdom. Because we wanted to do a few rides we got there for the park opening and went on a few (Philharmagic- I love it- a sort of 4D show with songs from different films, lovely smells- it sounds weird but it’s great), before having breakfast.
The size of that cinnamon roll! Nearly as tall as the coffee cup! We shared that and some fruit to balance it out.
The weather was fab- hot outside but not unbearable- we have been in August before where you almost can’t stand being outside in the middle of the day.
We went on plenty of rides (no rollercoasters though- that’s why I love Disney so much- they know they don’t need a thrill ride to make a great ride), had a lovely late lunch (an immense salad for me with spinach, apples, pecans, beetroot, smoked cheese, cranberries…), went on more rides…
Gotta love the Enchanted Tiki room.
Especially because it means a pineapple Dole whip is close by! It melted very fast!
I got a bit excited over the Starbucks in the park (sorry)- I don’t like fizzy drinks so unless we go to a restaurant and I can have some iced tea I just have water- sometimes it’s refreshing to have something else.
Got the last boat ride at sunset, watched the Electrical parade, watched the fireworks, and then did a couple more rides before heading back to the hotel. We walked over 22,000 steps that day, not bad!
The Wednesday was our “day off”- we had a lie in, went shopping (I got a new pair of trail shoes for about £40!) and then it was time for my birthday present from Andy- Afternoon tea at The Grand Floridian (a very very fancy Disney hotel).
They had a tea menu which is always a hit with me- I had an Earl grey blend with vanilla. They even had tea cosies! There were choices for the sandwiches but we both got the veggie ones- cucumber and dill sandwiches, roasted beet and goats cheese open sandwiches, crackers, cheese, and loads of fresh fruit.
Later (no rush) they brought out a warm scone with lemon curd (weird but good choice), apricot jam and cream, plus a jam tart.
Then later still (again, no rush- they just said to ask when you were ready) the dessert- chocolate dipped strawberry, some sort of chocolate thing, and a pastry with pomegranate mousse.
(It was called The Garden View Tearoom).
While we were there someone was playing the grand piano in the lobby too.
We had a walk around the hotel and some of the grounds afterwards.
We had a wander around the grounds of our hotel to marvel at all the theming, before heading to Downtown Disney for the evening. 20,000 steps done- not bad considering we probably sat down at the tea for a couple of hours.
On Wednesday we were off to Epcot- my favourite.
As I have said, I am not a rollercoaster fan at all. But that doesn’t matter at Disney. The best ride ever is Soarin’. Hard to describe, but the idea is that you are paragliding over California- you are suspended (gently) in the air while on a huge IMAX screen it shows you flying over Yosemite, San Francisco, the pacific coast. As you fly over orange groves or through pine woods, you can smell it too. It really is just brilliant. A gentle thrill ride. Plus brilliant music.
Anyway, Disney have had a system of Fast Passes, where you can insert your park ticket and select (for free) a timed ticket, so you don’t have to queue. Normally you had to use the machines by the ride, but on this visit we got to use the magic bands.
They worked as our room key, as a charge card (if you entered a pin number) and park tickets. There was an app which was great- it told you current queue times for all the rides, and you could edit dining or pre-book fast passes for each day. Anyway, because Epcot doesn’t have many “big” rides, they were tiered, and of course Soarin’ was in the top tier meaning we could only go on it once. Normally we can play the system and go twice! Ah well.
So anyway, as soon as we arrived we headed to Test Track- the other “big” ride (well I think the mission space one might also be a top one, but I wasn’t a big fan of it so we didn’t bother this time), and then got some breakfast before going on some other rides.
Spaceship earth is aways good for some laughs (and some annoyance as Judy Dench says “math” and not “maths”- argh!). This is my future apparently:
We did the little boat ride through their gardens- that is a peanut butter tree. Where can I buy one????
The best ride!
Then we had a walk around the world showcase in the sunshine, watched the film about Canada (makes me want to go back there asap), had a lunch/ dinner of proper Italian pizza.
It’s always fun after holidays to play the game of Venice/ Disney/ Vegas.
It’s like being in a fairytale.
I think we walked around here at least twice.
Then it was time for the best fireworks show in the world. Also a fact. The Magic Kingdom ones are good with all the Disney music, but the one at Epcot is just amazing- they have fire torches, they light up buildings, they have a spinning globe thing in the lake, amazing fireworks and brilliant music (not Disney music either).
24,000 steps that day.
Our last day was at Hollywood Studios- they have Star Wars weekends in June and July so Andy was very excited.
Excuse the thumb! There was some sort of show on the stage, at one point with rather humorous storm troopers.
The worlds most dangerous frog. Gotta love the Muppets 3D show.
Of course there were characters dressed up as star wars characters. And loads of people visiting were also dressed up, some had gone to a lot of effort.
LA or Disney? Add to the fun game.
This is such a fun ride! You are moved around a sort of games hall in a little car, and you keep stopping at different screens- you wear 3D goggles and at each screen do different things- knock down plates, pop balloons (all virtually, not really).
A big lego R2D2.
We went to a show by Warwick Davis- a special Star Wars one (he was an Ewok).
We visited the Darth Mall (get it? Maul/ Mall).
And then, because we had reached Star Wars saturation point, we went to this:
Yes. You have read that correctly. It was quite fun, and luckily they played the music loudly enough to drown out the noise of all the kids singing along!
They had some Star Wars fireworks so we watched those too, before heading back to pack.
19,000 steps that day.
The next day we flew to New York. Originally we were going to go in for the afternoon, but our flights were moved, and we only ended up with about 6 hours, and all the guidance said you needed 12 to allow enough time, so we used our air miles to stay in a hotel by the airport for the afternoon, as our flight home didn’t leave until 9pm.
A whistle stop tour, but a fab way to spend half term.
Are you a fan of rollercoasters? Or Disney? Or Star Wars? Or afternoon tea?