The Dodging Dorian Tour – Day Nine

The Dodging Dorian Tour – Day Nine

I started today close to death. The onset of my cold last night had incubated nicely during the night into what I assumed was the onset of the Zombie apocalypse, as clearly no human could feel this rough and live to see next week. As I was due back at work at that time, I figured this wasn’t a bad way to go and resolved to make the best I could of my remaining time. If the cold was going to get me I figured I may as well eat myself to death and go out in style.

Luckily, today had become a non-park day. What should have been happening on day two, didn’t as we moved a theme park up due to Dorian, and so here we are on day nine, doing day two of the plan. I’m glad that’s clear.

Typhoon Lagoon was the plan and it opened at 10am, so leaving at 9.40 was just late enough to have me silently tutting that we probably would arrive a few minutes after opening, seeing every sliver of shade already taken and us crisping nicely in the scorching sun for eight hours.

Upon arrival, the car park was empty, or at least close to it and me and my budgie smugglers made our way into the park ignoring my chaffing flabby white thighs as they attempted to start a fire between my legs. Not for the first time baby!

It did take us a good few minutes of wandering to find somewhere that would allow Louise unfettered access to eight hours of blistering direct sunlight and the rest of us some cooling shade. All of the umbrella spots had gone to the people who hadn’t left their villas too late so we had to try and find a spot covered with some natural shade. As we began to set up camp, Tom, Rebecca and Freddie were already off into the water.

I sat, making good use of the toilet roll I had brought from the villa, depositing it once used into the supermarket plastic bag I had brought for that very purpose. I mean, who wants to be walking all the way to the restrooms! Fear not, I was depositing nasal secretions rather than anal, which is a sentence I didn’t imagine using in this, or any report.

I read for a while between sniffs and blows and after some time doing that I wandered off to get some bottles of water for everyone. See how everyone rallies round when I’m ill so I don’t need to do anything? No, me neither.

Eventually, the heat got the better of me and it was time to go and infect the wave pool with my germs. With every battering from the waves, I was no doubt launching ever so tiny molecules of germ-ridden snot in all directions. Caring is sharing. Hopefully, the coughing woman from the plane was in there and she caught it again.

Soon, that was very much enough of that and I had to retire back to my sun lounger, resting there like some oversized snot dispenser. Louise and Emily left me to it and went to do the lazy river.

By the time they returned it was 12.30 and I was so hungry I was about to call Bob Geldof to launch an appeal. Louise, Emily and I went off first for lunch leaving the rest to guard our possessions. My large plastic bag of snot ridden toilet roll was clearly going to be catnip for any potential thief.

Louise bagged a table and far too many condiments and napkins whilst Emily and I ordered. We had…..

Me – Chicken Burger

Emily – The Impossible Burger

Louise – A “Chicken and Rice Thing”.

Emily’s was pretty good but other than that the food was at best average. We returned to camp and released Tom, Rebecca and Freddie for their eats.

The rest of the afternoon was spent resting, for me anyway. Tom wasn’t seen again until closing, as he spent every moment sliding down stuff. Imagine our surprise at the end of the day when he returned looking like a very red thing.

Late in the afternoon, I took Freddie into the wave pool for a bit, obviously away from the major action.

We had a lovely time and he wasn’t keen on leaving at all, but we did around 4.30, having avoided a rainstorm at Typhoon Lagoon, which is incredibly unusual for us. I loved that time with him playing in the shallow end. I’ve banked that as a another one of those times to remember.

We made our sandy footed, damp bottomed way out of the park and back to the car which had attained the temperature of the sun whilst we had been away. That was handy as it would need to dry out my seat after I had made it all wet. Incontinence is a curse of the middle-aged.

We were soon back at the villa for welcome showers and changing. Our plan was to head over to Magic Kingdom tonight to watch Happily Ever After. Like some overconfident, detail averse idiot, I assumed that tonight’s fireworks would be at 10pm, so I had booked the Plaza restaurant for an 8.15 ADR. See how I subtly hint at some upcoming planning woe?

We parked in Scar, drinking in another spectacular Floridian dusk.

There are few places on earth that make me happier than a tram heading into Magic Kingdom. Freddie seemed to concur. We were again dumped and forced to walk to the TTC.

I apologise but there’s something about a WDW sunset that means I get a form of photographic Tourette’s and can’t stop myself.

It was right about now that I actually looked at the app to discover the time of Happily Ever After tonight and realised that I had once again dropped a huge ricket, as tonight for reasons that were never clear to me, it would be on at 9.15.

Still, the view was nice.

Fearing now that we wouldn’t be done eating by 9.15 I was very annoyed with myself. I haven’t been keeping count of all the absolute howlers I have committed this trip, but it’s a lot. Clearly, I need many more trips so that I can improve my planning skills. I put this one down to illness, which I’m not sure I have yet mentioned.

With the new time table in mind, I upped the pace a little as we entered the park trying to get us to the Plaza those crucial few minutes early.

I hoped that we may be seated immediately, as we arrived at around 7.55 but alas no, we waited until just after 8.15 before getting shown to our table.

Freddie had been in charge of the buzzer and was convinced it was actually a phone. I have no idea who he thought he was chatting to.

Here, you can see Tom and his radioactive complexion. He’s doing well to hide the incredible pain caused by his T-shirt touching his skin.

I look like someone who has been expelling snot from most orifices for several hours. See how I manfully suck it up, flash a winning smile and don’t mention that I’m ill at all.

Service was a little slow, or maybe that was just my perception. We ordered as today’s water park exertions started to hit Freddie like a ton of bricks. He hits the same brick wall that Rebecca used to all those years ago. As soon as the incoming food would hit his stomach we all knew it would be game over. To be honest the same would still be true for Rebecca!

Rebecca and Tom had one of the Plaza’s special milkshakes each.

Upon its arrival, Freddie suddenly perked up a little!

Louise and I had the steak….

Emily, the Fried Tomato Sandwich,

Tom and Rebecca, a Turkey Sandwich

and Freddie the PB & J

The bad news was that, as feared, we missed the first few minutes of the fireworks and I had another enormous man baby sulk.

The slightly better news was that we had a window seat and had a decent view of the stuff we were missing.

I hastily paid the bill and we made our way outside to watch the rest.

At this point, as predicted, everything had caught up with Freddie and he immediately fell asleep in his pram. Rebecca and Tom decided to set off for the car with him before the crowds all did the same. The rest of us stayed to watch the end of the fireworks and whilst doing so got a message from Rebecca telling us that the monorail was down and the exit was like a scene from a disaster movie where thousands of people try to get on a ferry boat. We immediately left, just ahead of most of the crowds but still got caught in the carnage.

The ferry still seemed like the best option and we waited fifteen minutes to board one. It was packed and not one of the more enjoyable journeys on it, but it got us where we wanted to be.

We walked to the tram pick up and were soon back at the car where Tom, Rebecca and a very much asleep Freddie were waiting. I drove us home still feeling more ill than anybody ever in the history of the world, but I don’t like to talk about it.

Till the next time…….

The Dodging Dorian Tour 2019 – Day Eight

The Dodging Dorian Tour 2019 – Day Eight

With a full day’s park touring ahead of us, now that Dorian was behind, or technically North East of us, it was handy to be awake nice and early. Alas, that did not result in us being out of the villa similarly early.

By the time everyone had done whatever everyone needed to do it was 9.30am and let’s face it, the day was ruined already. Right?

All those days ago when I booked our FastPasses for today, some sixth sense, or maybe years of experience told me not to book our first FastPass until 10.35, so our late start was not as dramatic a disaster as my protruding bottom lip might have had you believe.

Signalling another quiet day, despite our tardy arrival, we parked too close to the entrance to warrant a tram and we breezed through security without significant sack intrusion and we were into Hollywood Studios.

On the whole subject of favourite parks, I can never give a sensible answer when asked. In fact, it seems that whenever I enter any park it assumes the position of my favourite until I go to the next one. The warm virtual hug each park gives me as I enter is one of the best things about this place.

We were making our way to Toy Story Land and as you can see, the emptiness we were seeing was pleasing and encouraging.

As many now inconveniently restroomed, we observed a squirrel showing un-nerving familiarity with people for a while.

Our first FastPass was for Alien Swirling Saucers. It was upsetting to see it only had a ten-minute standby queue.

To avoid the discomfort only experienced by sardines in a can, I rode separately so that Louise and Emily could ride together. I spent the ride taking Grandad photos of Freddie and attempting the grandparent wave at high speed.

As we disembarked, Toy Story Mania was showing a meagre ten-minute standby time so we headed there. Just as we reached the ride entrance it changed to twenty-five. We joined anyway and ended up waiting for fifteen. A decent compromise.

I rode with and resoundingly thrashed Emily. I don’t always report the results of these types of rides, but when I win, it seems right and proper to do so.

As we queued, we had discussed, agreed and booked our dining plans for the day, securing Sci-Fi Diner for later. I could sense a milkshake in Tom’s immediate future. Not knowing how Dorian would play out we had left things a little free and loose, but enough about my extra large eating shorts.

Speaking of food, now it was time to tick off our list one of the snacks we had ear-marked as essential in our planning stages. A Num Num Cookie!

I secured a number of them, along with some coffees of varying hotness and coldness from Joffrees and we snacked, well. By jingo these things are superb. Soft, warm, moist….all the good words apply here.

As we scoffed, we spotted a show of some sort starting up right at the bottom of Pixar Courtyard so we wandered down that way. It was an Incredibles dance and play type affair and Freddie was up for it.

Like his Grandad before him, women naturally gravitated to him, and he spent the latter part of the show limboing with Mrs Incredible.

This was one of those unplanned, stumbled across moments that will live long in the memory. You can’t beat them.

Having wooed Elastigirl, we moved on to Ariel, as we had a (redundant) FastPass for the 12.05 show. We had to kill ten minutes in the Launch Bay before being allowed to enter.

Freddie met Darth Vader. You’ll have to trust me as it was un-photographed.

We used the FastPass entrance at Ariel with no requirement to do so and settled in for the show.

Freddie is asking his Mum why Ariel is staring at Grandad.

Freddie loved the water spray, bubbles and the laser effects and sat through the whole show enjoying what was a very good Ariel.

Outside, in the courtyard, Freddie did some character meeting…..

We did have a FastPass for the Disney Junior Dance Party show, but as that again wouldn’t be required on such a quiet day, we decided to not do that and instead we headed for Tower of Terror which was just showing a ten-minute wait. Louise was on Freddie duty, otherwise known as sunbathing and the rest of us enjoyed the ride.

We were all kinds of ready for lunch so we decided on the first place we came to after riding.

Louise and I shared a Chilli Cheese Dog

Emily had the Fried Tomato Sandwich

Tom had a foot long, but that’s frankly none of my business.

Rebecca and Freddie shared some Nuggets

We finished eating with perfect timing to walk over the road for the 2pm Beauty & The Beast.

I can’t be the only one to wish for the return of Four For A Dollar?

An enjoyable show as ever, with Freddie’s attention being kept throughout. I agreed to enter some shops after this solely because my love handles were melting.

Louise looked at and even tried on some retro style dresses in the now ever so posh shop, but decided against buying one. I had no opinion on this….

Image result for anchorman gif super duper

I chose two T-shirts as part of my birthday present package and we admired some lovely Up! art work.

See, very free and loose….

Rebecca and Tom got themselves a couple of Up! T-shirts for their MHSSHP outfits and then we ended this shopping nonsense and set off to explore Galaxy’s Edge a little more. On the way, we phoned home and spoke to Louise’s Mum, discussing time differences, the weather and Los Cadbury’s Fingres.

Freddie nodded off in his stroller during the walk so we just had a general wander, who is a lesser-known character in the Star Wars films. We started in the driod shop where we would absolutely not be paying $200 for one. Many others seemed to have no such objections.

We wandered some more…

Having taken more photos than one of those speed cameras in motorway roadworks, we left Star Wars behind, heading for another product of the Seventies, The Muppets.

This might just be me, but the layout here is a bit odd. You have Galaxy’s Edge, separated from Star Tours by The Muppets, the courtyard and the pizza place. I am surprised that they didn’t extend Galaxy’s Edge out to Star Tours, relocating the Muppets elsewhere. It just feels like a weird break in theming to have that in between the two Star Wars things.

We arrived halfway through the pre-show, but it seemed to me that the film shown in the waiting area has changed. This is not acceptable as I was not consulted. The show remains untouched and despite the challenges of the 3D glasses Freddie managed to sit through the whole thing. He was particularly fond of Sweetums and the bubbles which appeared at some point.

We wandered the adjoining shop for a bit before making our way to Star Tours.

Louise, Emily and I rode first. It was a walk-on so we didn’t have to wait too long for Rebecca and Tom to do the same. As they rode we watched some Jedi training and then went to check-in at Sci-Fi Diner and they joined us once they were done.

Darth Vader there, with a similar “red pencil” that Oli, our Old English Sheepdog, has from time to time.

Freddie was very taken with this car and spent quite some time posing in it and playing with the other kids doing the same.

After a fifteen-minute wait we were seated and despite the gloomy conditions, managed to order.

Rebecca and I had the BBQ Burger

I gave up with the photos after that one due to the absolute lack of any light.

Emily had the Falafel Burger, Louise and Tom the Cheese Steak and Freddie the child’s burger. Milkshakes all round, which were superb and we all loved this meal and experience. I failed to write down how much it came to, but I didn’t care. I was full of milk shake and happiness.

We had half an hour to kill until the next showing of the Frozen sing-along, so despite our bulging bellies, Tom and Emily joined me in a speed walk to Tower of Terror which had no wait time. I’m not over exaggerating when I say that we queued for less time than it takes me to start peeing.

We avoided throwing up and left the ride into the lovely dusky atmosphere of Hollywood Studios looking its best. Freddie was spending this little bit of free time getting his hula hoop on.

I spent it filming randomly for the benefit of Facebook and of course for myself who can now watch it months later, in a cold dreary November.

Parks at dusk are special and especially special when they are as quiet as Hollywood Studios was at this time.

Frozen was superb. It can depend on which cast members are appearing and we struck lucky with a couple of hilarious ones and Emily laughed so much I feared for her underwear.

By now, darkness was approaching and again, the place looked glorious.

To end what had been a superb day we headed to Fantasmic now, picking up drinks and ice cream on the way. It had been ages since we ate!

It was right about now that I got that sinking feeling of incoming illness. Damn that woman on the plane! The inevitable arrival of a cold was not welcome, but for now, I pushed those thoughts away and enjoyed the show.

As happens in most situations that involve fireworks, nighttime shows and characters, Emily was emotional. I have to say that ending “Some imagination huh?” does manage to get me every time. I love it.

We were too tired (or ill in my case) for the Star Wars fireworks so instead, we headed for the car. We were home and in bed by 10pm, resting nicely in the afterglow of a glorious full theme park day. More please!

Till the next time……