I know all of you are hoping that I awoke this morning feeling much better, having fought off whatever super virus I had contracted. I didn’t. Never mind. As the very good song goes, we go on.
If this were a Hollywood movie, right about now, teams of men in hazmat suits would be rappelling down the outside of the villa before smashing through my bedroom window to escort me to some secret isolation facility for intrusive examinations. As it wasn’t, I swallowed a handful of pills, blew my schnoz (not a euphemism) and braced myself for the day ahead.
With a Dorian shaped hole meaning the plan made little sense this deep into the holiday, today we faced another sort of non-park day. Madness.
We did have stuff planned though, starting with a character breakfast at Chef Mickey’s and ending with MNSHHP. Last night I had told/pleaded with Louise that we needed to leave the villa by 9.40. That of course meant that I was pacing the lounge like some caged tiger listening to the never-ending sound of the hairdryer coming from upstairs at 9.55. Admittedly, it’s been some time since I used such a device, but it did seem more time than was necessary for Louise’s amount of hair.
This resulted in an aggressive drive to the Contemporary and a mild sulk from the handsome, yet slightly portly driver. We arrived at 10.30 which was far too close to the 10.40 ADR for my liking. Despite that I self-parked of course and we made our way in across the car park and into the hotel reception. This resort has never been high on my list of places I really wanted to stay. There’s nothing wrong with it of course, there are just other resorts I like more. That does not take away from the impressive size and styling in the foyer.
There was a disappointing queue to check in which was not appreciated by my rumbling tummy. It took about ten minutes to get checked in and seated in the waiting area.
Freddie took charge of the buzzer thing and we took a seat. Even at such a young age, see how he sports the “where’s my bloody breakfast” expression like a pro.
After about another ten minutes we were buzzed and seated, right at the back of the restaurant overlooking this glorious vista.
Our server was upon us immediately filling our cups and glasses with appropriate liquids and explaining how the buffet works. That was a bit like explaining snow to Eskimos and clearly, she had no idea who she was dealing with. Somebody had to volunteer to wait at the table with Freddie. I don’t know who did that, as I was away filling my plate.
The selection here is enormous and eventually, we had all visited and filled our plates.
Just so you know, that was Tom’s (first) plate. You know by now that I would never contemplate such gluttony.
Personal highlights that I need to share with you were the Tater Tots, Eggs Benedict, the cheesy potatoes and my final flourish at the waffle station. That got a bit silly if I’m honest as my creation contained chocolate chips, butterscotch chips (no, I didn’t know they existed either), caramel sauce, syrup and a sprinkling of M&Ms.
With perfect timing, just as I was getting to the stage of passing out whilst fighting the meat sweats, the characters started to arrive. First up the big man himself.
The interactions were very good. It helped that we were tucked away a little bit and we got a good amount of time with each.
As you can see Freddie was getting more confident with the characters now and really enjoying meeting them.
We left at 12, and headed back to the villa for some of that resting stuff.
Having put a brave face on things over breakfast I crashed into illness and self-pity again whilst everyone else spent time in the pool. My plan stated we should be leaving the villa at around 4pm to get to Magic Kingdom for our Mickey’s Not So Scary party. As a sign of how ill I was, I didn’t pester anyone to get ready and just left things to nature so we ended up leaving at 5.45 instead, showing no regard for the FastPasses I had booked a month earlier for that 4pm slot.
Another doozy of a headache, no doubt brought on by the reservoirs of snot up my hooter was plaguing me again. I parked us up and we trammed into the park.
Freddie was the only one in our party to make the effort and wear a costume, although his Mum & Dad followed the theme.
Upon entering the park we got wristbanded for the event and made our way through the designated party area to get our candy bags and our first handful of sweets. I’d eaten those by the time we made our way around to Casey’s for some tea.
I didn’t document it but I have a vague memory of exchanging a less than loving exchange with Louise in the queue. I blame the illness and the fact that Louise was probably in the wrong.
It was busy, but we eventually got our selection of hot dogs and corn dog bites and amazingly found a table to sit at whilst being attacked by the killer ducks in that area. We ate our food admiring many of the excellent costumes so many guests had gone to the effort of making.
We made our way through Adventureland, bypassing Pirates which we had intended to ride as it had a 25-minute wait. Instead, we walked round to Splash which was a walk on.
Riding things you have done hundreds of times is always nicely enhanced in the twilight/darkness of night. As we made our way around Splash it went from twilight to full-on dark and it was lovely.
On that note, as we left the ride, the Haunted Mansion looked incredible. My photos don’t do it justice, but it’s all I have.
We entered the queue, with this being Freddie’s first time. As ever, any concerns we had about how he would react were unfounded.
Even the noise and pitch black of the stretching room did not phase him and he spent the entire ride dancing in his Doom Buggy. I had a buggy all to myself and I may, just may, have closed my eyes for a few seconds. Again, I was ill you know.
We watched the performers on the lawn for a few minutes and then made our way through Fantasyland, collecting more candy.
Having got nowhere near riding Mine Train with a FastPass at any other time during our trip, we headed there next. Louise opted to take Freddie for a wander whilst the rest of us waited the 20 minutes or so to board.
This is a belting ride. For the amount of space this takes up, it is definitely a bang for your buck. We only seem to ride this one in the dark too, which I’m sure enhances our experience. I did feel sorry for the lady in the same carriage as Tom, who was doing his level best to rock the thing until it tipped over.
The only downside to this ride tonight was, having invested all of $5 earlier on a hand sanitiser and clipped it to Ryan, I lost it, wrestling him out of the snug space by my feet on this ride. The sanitizer was a vain attempt to infect as few people as possible and of course, protect myself from further misery. There was no way I was wasting another $5. I had a budget to stick to.
We carried on down to the teacups ride, bought Freddie a light-up pumpkin necklace thing to add to his collection before he rode with Rebecca and Tom. I don’t have many rules on these trips, but me not riding the teacups is one of them. This all stems from a post-breakfast buffet ride in the early naughties that still gives me cold sweats to this day.
After riding Freddie was restroomed and changed and we waited near Dumbo. As they returned there were many smiles as they had managed to get Freddie onto Barnstormer. They just tried him against the measuring stick as they passed the entrance, got the green light and on they went. His first coaster and again he loved every second.
I got us all a drink and we walked to Main Street to watch the fireworks which were starting shortly. It was busy but we managed to find a decent spot without too much trouble, which I guess is one of the benefits of going to one of these limited numbers ticketed events.
I have, as ever, saved you from the 257 other photos I tried which were blurred, dark or downright crap!
When the fireworks ended, much of the gathered crowd moved away and we were able to make our way forward to the same corner we occupied last year to watch the upcoming show. Again, it was excellent.
The Sanderson sisters really are a highlight and if you can get to see them you really should,
By this time, Freddie was way past his bedtime so Rebecca, Tom and a very tired Louise headed for the car. Emily and I had important unfinished business so we stayed a little longer. Sure, there was a parade to watch but more importantly, Emily had her heart set on one of the Amuck cupcakes.
Believe it or not, I wasn’t that hungry (I wasn’t feeling well you know), so I had just had a blueberry muffin when we had waited the Starbucks queue out to get them. As we did, the headless horseman rode past the shop so we knew the parade would not be far behind.
My muffin was excellent. It was moist and warm and lasted about seven seconds. A tale as old as time.
We made our way down to a spot we often use for the watching of parades, the steps of City Hall. We didn’t have long to wait at all.
I know the photo above is mainly of the chaps with the spades, but, my word, can we just address the elephant in the theme park. Those are some serious leggings. Amirite?
This parade cast member clearly spotted them too.
We could see the end of the parade coming around the hub and we decided to make a run for it, conscious that we had folks waiting in the car and it would be better to avoid the main rush of folks leaving the park.
We went home via a 7-11 for essentials like cold sore cream and Tylenol, only one of which was for me. A cold sore was probably the one affliction I wasn’t currently stricken with.
I was in bed by 12.45 and asleep before 12.46.
By the way, you may have missed the rare unicorn that is a mid-week blog post from me? If you did, and you want to hear about our next trip’s birth, then you can do so here….
Till the next time…….