Freddie’s First Florida Fiesta – Day Two 30th August 2018

Freddie’s First Florida Fiesta – Day Two 30th August 2018

For the second day in a row I was awake at 4am. I really, really tried to go back to sleep today but failed miserably and I was up and about by 4.30. Freddie and Tom were already in the pool. Tom had fallen asleep a couple of hours before I did last night so no doubt he had been awake for hours by now.

I had some cereal for breakfast and Tom had his Outback meal from last night. That’s the right way to start a holiday.

Freddie had some toast.

As ever, no matter what stupid hour we are awake on this first day we still end up leaving for the parks later than desired. Despite me knowing that a 7.45 departure was already behind schedule, as the car was half full of first timers I shunned the Sherberth Road route and went down the 192 to World Drive so that they could experience the sign on the first journey to Magic Kingdom.

Rebecca did a fine job of capturing the moment.

and other important landmarks.

We were early (but not early enough, which would be a theme for a lot of the holiday) and were able to park close enough not to require a tram. We walked in to the TTC and security took quite a while. We of course took the monorail as nobody should be taking the ferry on the first day unless, unlike us, you arrived with plenty of time!

Once off the monorail, after emotional first views of the castle, we were quickly through the entrance and soaking in those wonderful first morning vibes…yes, I said vibes.

As we got to the start of Main Street proper, there was a trolley show just starting. Whilst everyone stopped to watch that I nipped into the Emporium to secure all the badges we needed. Rebecca needed a birthday badge as this trip was her 21st birthday present and I also got three 1st Visit badges for Tom, Freddie and Mikey.

As I returned, the show was just ending and Rebecca burst into tears. The emotion of being back here got to her, and when asked she confessed that now having Freddie with her had pushed her over the emotional edge. Emily is normally the cryer!

Now you get it” I said to her in my own special patronising way.

We all then went back into the Emporium for the procurement of magic bands. I was very happy thank you very much, with my grey plain one I got for free at the Beach Club last year. Everyone else, even those with previous bandage, seemed hell-bent on getting a new one.

With selections made, with a blunt reminder from me that time was limited and they needed to “just pick one”, we paid. The octogenarian behind the till was asked if he could/would link them for us. He didn’t refuse as such, but pointed out that we could do this via the app. Before I could stop everyone they were all downloading and logging into the app and trying to do just that. I was trying to tell everyone that it wouldn’t work as I had all the tickets on my account. A few error messages later and the task was abandoned as the show was starting at the castle. We would sort it all out later.

As the show ended, we headed left into Adventureland.

See…

We arrived at what would be Freddie’s first ever WDW ride and Rebecca and Tom went off to park the stroller.

There was of course no queue at this time and we were soon riding with Freddie transferred to his contraption.

We had all wondered how he might react to the rides, with Pirates being a decent first test. It is dark, has some loud noises and a gentle drop or two. He was such a cool customer. He just took it all in with a great deal of curiosity.

We continued round to Splash next and Louise volunteered to sit out with Freddie whilst the rest of us took advantage of the walk on.

After riding, our plan to also do Big Thunder was thwarted by a thirty minute wait time so instead we wandered down towards Haunted Mansion for which we had a FastPass. On the way, we called in at the Ticket Office in Liberty Square. I had never noticed this before but I wondered if they could sort out our Magic Band woes from earlier.

They could. The CM there was incredibly helpful and armed with his tablet device he scanned and tapped away until we were all linked up to our bands and still retained all our links on my account so I could book stuff for everyone. I apologised for the technical incompetence but he said we’d been given a bum steer by the guy who sold us the bands and he should have either sorted it for us or asked a few more questions to understand what we needed to do.

We were a little peckish now following our very early breakfast so we stopped at Sleepy Hollow for sugarific treats.

I had a Churro sandwich and it was all kinds of incredible.

Mikey had a strawberry waffle

Emily a Nutella Waffle and Louise a Breakfast Waffle, both of which I failed to capture as I was in mid-churro orgasm.

Freddie was allowed a little piece of heaven.

So now, all smacked up on sugar snacks, we used our Haunted Mansion FastPass. Freddie again took it all in his stride and didn’t seem fazed or frightened by any of it.

We availed ourselves of the Tangled toilets before making our way to It’s A Small World. There was no queue, and this, it seemed to me anyway, was Freddie’s favourite ride of the whole trip. We rode it a few times and he was totally engrossed each time.

As we retrieved Freddie’s stroller from it’s parking spot, as his body made contact with it, he fell asleep. The benefits of doing WDW at ten months old!

So again, Louise volunteered to sunbathe whilst looking after him. The rest of us piled into Philharmagic after a ten minute wait as a show had just started. It was weird having to describe what a ride/show was before going in when asked by one of our first timers. For this one, I think I went with Disney’s Greatest Hits in 4D.

As we exited it was raining so we loitered in the shop whilst messaging Louise to see where she was sheltering. She was under a brolly outside Pinocchio’s Village Haus so we scampered over there. We took the chance to lunch whilst it rained and we had some cover and I, for the first time, mobile ordered our lunches. We all had flatbreads or nuggets I think and it was about $80.

Mikey seemed to enjoy it.

Fed and watered (again) it was now time for our Big Thunder FastPass so we walked back that way. Rebecca and Tom used theirs first and the rest of us waited in the very, very hot sunshine. I parked Freddie up in the shade and loitered by his stroller so that nobody pinched him or thought him abandoned.

A Canadian lady had taken it upon herself to have a chat with Mikey and Louise, attracted by his 1st Visit badge. She was a veteran and shared stories of her travels and asked what he was making of things.

With Rebecca and Tom off the ride, the rest of us did the same.

There was some filming going on in and around the ride, and as we were about to board this lot were let on from the opposite side of the track, so they enjoyed one of my best glares.

The guy in front, with the Rays shirt, seemed to be regretting several life choices at that moment.

It surely is the wildest ride in the wilderness.

We had a message as we left saying that Freddie was having his lunch over at Tall Tales so we joined them there. Once he was fed (he is never really full!) we made our way down to Main Street (one of these times we might work out a route that doesn’t involve constantly crisscrossing the park) as we were going to get Freddie his first hair cut at the barbers.

We couldn’t get in immediately but I was able to reserve a slot for 2.40 which would follow on nicely from the parade. So we took our spot on the pavement outside, right at the end of the parade route just as the Grand Marshalls were coming past. Yeh, we were better at it.

Then the band came by.

And the rest followed.

Freddie was sweaty but happy watching it go by.

Ariel had missed me, it was clear.

Tinkerbell seemed to be regretting that Mexican last night……

That’s better!

With the parade done we made our way back to the barbers.

Freddie was soon in position.

Here is the video if you want to watch it.

With that done, we were all set and ready to go.

With first day tiredness creeping up on us we decided to head out and have a rest before our ADR at Whispering Canyon in a couple of hours. We got the resort monorail and headed for the Contemporary for a drink in the Outer Rim.

Cocktails for all but me and Freddie were ordered.

We sat and chatted and rested for a bit.

Soon it was time to head to Wilderness Lodge, so we monorailed back to the TTC and walked to the car for the short drive. Well, it would have been shorter had the new road system for Magic Kingdom resorts not confused me, but we did some sight seeing in the surrounding area and we were still on time for our ADR….just.

With a 5pm reservation we were the first in the place, so we were a little worried that the famous atmosphere may be lacking. However, it soon filled up and all was well.

We had an excellent server who looked after us very well with just enough shenanigans to make things fun. We all had the unlimited skillet thing and enjoyed it a lot.

Tom & Mikey took advantage of the unlimited milkshakes.

We had some Nachos to start, just in case an unlimited amount of food wouldn’t be enough.

Some salad arrived, sat around on the table for a bit until the server came and removed it again.

Then the real action began.

Special mention for the corn bread which we actually doggy bagged as we couldn’t eat it all.

Freddie was a fan.

And of his Dad’s milkshake.

Despite eating huge amounts, Tom and Mikey opted to have a dessert too. It was a chocolate something and they almost finished them.

Tired and so full we might die, we trudged to the car, called at the Pharmacy as we would seem to do at least once a day from here on in, and got home at 7.15.

Louise and Mikey went in the pool for a short while but everyone else took their food babies to bed very early.

Till the next time….

Appy Eater

Unlike last week’s pity fest, this post will be a moan free zone….probably.

That is more a case of my restraint from inflicting more of it on you, than there being nothing to moan about, but still, that’s progress on last week, yes?

Our holiday officially started yesterday. Sure, there were still 180 days before we stepped onto the plane but that doesn’t matter. I booted up the My Disney Experience app, updated our touring party and got on with sorting out our first ADR.

It’s not that I expected to have too much trouble getting that first one in the bag but it is still nice to get the first part of the puzzle in place. The hardest part of this ADR for our first day was predicting our energy levels at that time of day and knowing what time to make the reservation for. After the first day awakening sometime after 2am, I am slightly concerned that we may be asleep by 5pm Orlando time, but I think first day adrenaline will see us through.

I don’t expect us to have gone the whole day in Magic Kingdom and then go straight over to Wilderness Lodge, but hey, if we do then that’s a bonus, but in reality I would imagine we will head back to the villa mid-afternoon for resting and showers before driving to Whispering Canyon.

If anyone is feeling a little drowsy then the servers will soon see to that!

I’ve just tried to get our next ADR, for the following day, which will be my birthday. The Disney app is not awake yet and is giving me errors when I try. I am a little concerned about this one as we need a booking for a party of seven at Beaches & Cream. Knowing the layout of that establishment pretty well, that may not be physically possible. Hopefully they will let us book as a seven and then split us between two tables when we are seated.

We have been seated at the counter previously with a party of six, which was OK but I’d prefer a couple of booths/tables. This level of knowledge and preparation for some ice cream could be seen as over the top. You and I know better don’t we?

The time we want may help, as I’m hoping to get us in around 2pm, when hopefully the lunch rush is coming to an end, and once we have ingested a week’s calories, we shall be off for my usual birthday tour of the World Showcase with the day ending with ROE. That is of course unless Disney have replaced it by then. Rumours have surfaced this week that that this is likely and it may not be too far away. Now, as much as I would rather this didn’t happen, I always trust Disney to get the replacement right, but I would rather it happened after I had one last time to watch and appreciate it in a torrent of tears and snot.

It has been a weird juxtaposition this week. With the weather here, walking the dogs has been an absolutely painful experience. I do not handle the cold well, it is obvious that I should be living in Florida’s glorious climate. At times, as the dogs played in the snow, the biting wind was coming close to having things fall off my body, some of them I still use. Literally at the same time I was on my phone, looking longingly at ludicrous wait times for rides and watching a few Tim Tracker videos on the telly (well, I was working from home due to the snow!). Hang on, this is bordering on a moan, let’s move on.

Last night, Louise was out on a do with work, so I took the opportunity to take a beautiful twenty two year old to the cinema. Emily and I watched Game Night and it was very good. I don’t think it’ll be winning any Oscars, but it was really good fun and an enjoyable watch.

In other news, tonight we have a very welcome guest. Rebecca and Tom are off out, and we are looking after this chap.

He is even sleeping over, so we are very excited. However, if he wakes during the night, I shall be less so. Freddie has started on a few spoonfuls of baby rice this week. He is developing so quickly it is scary. Mind you, he does have to get ready for a Doughnut Burger in September so it’s for the best!

On the subject of Freddie beginning his journey with food, this was being discussed this week in our family Facebook chat group. I have to say I was quite pleased with my GIF skills, so in a rare show of self congratulation I shall end this week’s post with this…

Till the next time…..

The Adults Only Tour 2015 – Day Thirteen

Day Thirteen – 8th September

Well, who would have thought we’d still be here, writing and reading about a holiday that ended months ago? Apologies for how long this is being dragged out over but I just haven’t had the time (and often motivation) to churn more than one a week of these things. There’s still some way to go so I’ll see you at the end, which will be sometime in the early summer!!

After all this recent beach nonsense, today saw a return to sanity and some theme park action. After spending a day or two not charging from one FastPass and/or dining reservation to the next, I was suffering withdrawal symptoms and was therefore quite keen to get off to a nice early start.

Ah the joys of being the planner of the group. My notes tell me I was quite stressed this morning as this sense of urgency was not shared throughout our touring party. I stood around for what seemed like hours, seeing FastPasses die right before my eyes. It was a grumpy me that eventually bundled everyone out of the front door, regardless of their state of readiness at just after ten. Yep, you heard right!

No matter how awesomely I drove (and I did) there was no making up for that shoddy late start and I had a right good sulk all the way to Hollywood Studios. After parking in Film 28 we boarded a tram. My childish sulk knew no bounds and I even got frustrated with the seemingly endless safety announcements and procedures needed before the tram could depart. I ranted a bit about how, no doubt, the actions of one absolute bell end who managed to somehow injure themselves when sat on a tram now meant that every single guest had to have a briefing routine similar to astronauts heading for space before a tram that does no more than fifteen miles an hour could carry them half a mile.

I pined for the simpler days in the eighties and nineties when boarding said tram was like a scene from Mad Max, with a Hispanic family of seventeen crammed into one row with an unfolded stroller.

Finally, we were deemed safe to depart and we made our way, slowly, ever so slowly, to the entrance. It was just before 11am when we made it past the turnstiles. My expertly planned FastPass+ for the Rock n Rollercoaster expired at 11 so I set the pace (at high) as we made our way down Sunset Boulevard towards it. Why we just hadn’t stayed in the park after Fantasmic last night I don’t know. It would have been much easier.

We entered, using our FastPasses at a few minutes past eleven (thank you Disney for your common sense and leniency, my touring party know not what they do). We walked, with customary smugness past a forty minute queue. There was little to no appreciation of my skills in getting us here just in time as everyone was too busy wheezing and trying to wipe the sweat from their bodies.

This is the best ride to start a day with. It really blows the cobwebs off and gets the adrenaline pumping. Our next, expertly planned, FastPass+ was naturally for Tower of Terror, and it was now active so we went straight there. You will note that my sulk and need to rush everyone everywhere so far has meant that I had neither the time nor inclination to take any photos yet.

Everyone loved this ride. Even Louise, who “hates it”, enjoyed the random drop sequence. Two great rides that went some small way to putting my bottom lip back into its natural position.

It was 11.35 and it appeared that the day may be salvageable after all! With our two early FastPasses complete I allowed some time for the wandering of shops and even a visit to the restroom for those who needed it. Our next FastPass+ was not until 1.20 so we had lunch on our minds. I hadn’t booked anywhere for lunch in the park, assuming we would do counter service, but as we were walking in that general direction, I thought we’d try the Sci Fi Diner, as neither Sarah nor Nana and Grandad had done it before. It would also be interesting to see how hard they laughed at us for asking if they could take a walk in for a party of six.

The Gods rewarded me for my patience and good grace this morning by having a table/car immediately available. We were seated and went on to have a lovely meal.

We had –

Me – Chocolate Shake and a Reuben Sandwich

Louise, Nana and Sarah – Chocolate Shake and a Turkey Sandwich

Grandad – Salmon Salad

Rebecca – Oreo Shake and a Turkey Sandwich

Everything was excellent, despite a drinks order mix up which of course meant the diet coke I ordered, as well as my shake, somehow got missed and then when it arrived, it was a Cherry Coke. I drank it anyway, enjoying it much more than I thought I might. I seemed to be cursed with food order woes this trip.

The bill was $130 for the six of us and we left just after 1pm.

It was incredibly humid so we slowly made our way to the Stunt Show for our next FastPass+.

I know we go in August/September, so only have ourselves to blame, but bloody hell it is uncomfortable on those bleachers during this show. Of course, the bum numbness is a factor but it somehow feels about ten degrees hotter than anywhere else. My folds and crevasses were found by every bead of sweat.

For me, not being a huge car freak, the show is just OK. There’s too much talking in it for me, probably as I have seen it multiple times and most of the time you can’t really hear what is being said. They seem to have shoe horned in some of the characters from Cars now which, again, for me wasn’t really worth it. Having two girls, Cars was never a film we embraced too much in our house so the characters don’t mean much to us. I suppose for those with kids of the right age and gender this enhances the show so who am I to grumble?

We left the show and sought out much needed drinks. We decided to call it a day and head back to the villa as it was just too hot to do anything else. We got there just after 3pm.

We all rested, read and swam enjoying the heat much more in this scenario. We had arranged to collect Emily at 7pm from her apartment so we got ready and set off amazingly on time. We were even early enough to pop back to the Premium Outlet mall to return some shirts my Dad bought the other day and for Louise to get something pierced. I think it was some other part of her ear. She had tried on our last visit but didn’t have her ID with her so they refused. Now she had her driving licence so she could prove that the ear she wanted a hole in was actually hers and not someone else’s.

Dad was a little upset that the Izod shop wouldn’t swap his shirts for a different size. Apparently their closing down sale in which he bought them meant there were no returns or even exchanges. He informed them of his displeasure and we moved on.

We waited at The Commons for Emily until 7.15 but it was clear she wouldn’t make it back in time, mainly as she messaged us and told us she wouldn’t make it back on time so we had to leave for our ADR without her. We made it to the Wilderness Lodge for 7.45.

We checked in and found some seats in reception to await the buzzing of our thing.

We were seated just after 8 and had the usual good fun and hearty food.

Me, Sarah, Rebecca and Grandad had the ribs.

Louise and Nana had steak.

As you can see the portions are huge, which of course is great.

We of course had to ask for ketchup….

Rebecca was put in jail by a passing server as he said he had seen her on her phone throughout the meal. She had been messaging her boyfriend back home and she, he said, had to be punished.

It did not however, deter her from future crimes.

It was a dear do at $300 but it was declared the best meal of the trip so far. We went next door into the Territory Lounge for a speciality coffee. My friend and colleague Steve and his wife Di, have this down as one of their favourites when they visit so we had one in their honour and of course taunted them on social media with photographic evidence.

Overly full and more than a little tired we dragged our bodies back to the car and I drove us home. Luckily all of my sulking this morning had worked and turned the day into a success!!

Till the next time…..