Category Archives: holiday 2016
We had a really early start today, we needed to be out of the Villa by 10 O’Clock, but also Simon had booked a fast pass for Cinderella and Rupunzel between 11 and 12. We needed to drop our bags off at early checkin at Disney Springs, so we actually left the Villa at 9:05.
We drove up to Disney Springs, dropped the bags off with the Virgin rep, Simon was smug because he had weighed all the suitcases and knew they were under the luggage allowance, whereas the people in front of us had to do some juggling between their suitcases. We then spent a little time trying to get out of the car park in the end Simon found a lorry which looked like it knew where it was going.
We arrived in plenty of time to see Cinderella and Rupunzel,
then we got lucky outside and had our pictures taken with Fairy Godmother who was lovely,
we got accosted by a Lady in waiting walking across the courtyard.
For breakfast we went to Gaston’s and had a warm Cinnamon bun (which wasn’t warm) which was a little dry but quite nice, a fruit cup between us and two cups of coffee which weren’t very nice.
Then to ride Big thunder railroad for the final time 😦 and splash Mountain before going to Columbus Harbour for a Lobster Roll, we had one last walk round before getting in the car and driving to the Airport.
Day 11 and 12
We spent today in the magic kingdom, we bought the last of the gifts, and rode Big Thunder Mountain Railroad again.
Day 12 was about finishing up our holiday, usually we don’t queue for anything but Tigger and Winnie the Pooh arrived at their photo spot as we walked past, so we decided to wait for them, I’m assuming that because of the thickness of the suits and the heat they were only allowed out for 15 minutes at a time. Half way into the line they went off either to cool off or change for another set of Tigger and Winnie the Pooh.
After the success of waiting for Tigger and Winnie the Pooh we decided to try our luck with Jasmine and Aladdin
We had a fast pass for Ariel in her grotto
I didn’t take my camera with us so we only have a couple of photos from my phone
We spent the day a Universal, we had early access passes from our Holiday Supplier (Virgin) which meant we could get in an hour before the Park opened, and Simon had purchased Express Passes for both of us which meant that we could go on all the rides without waiting, these didn’t include the Harry Potter Rides but with did those first before the Queues got too big.
We went on Harry Potter and the forbidden journey which was brilliant, Simon got to go on this year, last year the shoulder strap thing wouldn’t go over his shoulders so he was unable to go on the ride but this year everything was hunky dory.
Then I went on Flight of the Hippogriff which is a rollercoaster, not too scary and you don’t go upside down. Then a quick jaunt on the Hogwarts Express over to King’s cross Station in Universal Studios Florida, where I went on escape from Gringotts. Out of the three rides I would definitely recommend Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey as being the best.
They do have a lot of 3d rides at Universal, Spiderman and Transformers appear to work on exactly the same movement software and the stories have been changed to fit the branding, both make good use of the action and it really makes you feel that you are part of the action.
We saw the mystery Machine parked on the side of the road.
Men in Black was a great fun ride, it makes you feel like you are in the middle of a video game, the back story is that you are in training to become a MIB agent and you have to go and shoot the aliens that have escaped/invaded I only managed to get up to 7000 something the people in front were up to 24000 and 120000 points.
The Simpsons and Minion mayhem are along the same lines as Spiderman and Transformers they might use the same software but they made different use of it.
I rode The Mummy and Hollywood Rip Ride Rockit on my own as Simon didn’t fancy them, the Mummy was ok but I was left with a ‘just get on with it feeling’ as they setup the story with jerking you about a bit in the dark first but the second part of the ride was very good if not quite long enough.
Hollywood Rip Ride Rocket was really good as a roller-coaster but I was surprised that it didn’t have over the shoulder safety harness instead of just a lap bar, there were a couple of times where I was slightly concerned I might fall out, I did nearly lose my lanyard with tickets my over my head.
It was a long day but completely worth it we then went up to the Florida Mall and had cheesecake at the cheese cake factory.
Day 7 – 8 – 9
Not much to report for day 7 so here are a couple of pictures
We went to the magic kingdom and took some nice photos of the parade, these were taken from the top of Main Street.
It was Mothering Sunday over in America on the 8th of May, Simon wanted to check out the changes made to Downtown Disney since we were there last year. They had just started the rebranding to Disney Springs and it looks like they have almost finished.
In hindsight Mothering Sunday probably wasn’t the best day to go to Disney springs, not only was it very hot it was also packed.
The main thing we came away with was, we preferred it last year and the new shops that we went in were hideously expensive.
We also went to Hollywood studios for a meet and greet with Mickey and Minnie Mouse, we also rode the Rock and Roller Coaster, which was very good, though if Simon had read up on it more he probably would not have gone on it.
Because tomorrow is going to be a really busy day, we decided to have an easy day so it was shopping at the Premium outlets early, we were out and about by 10 o’clock then Dennys for a pancake breakfast then home for 1 o’clock where we lazed around the pool all afternoon.
Day 6, Shopping and Wishes
Not much to share for day 6, we decided to take it easy, so we went to the Premium Outlet to go shopping and we had a couple of late Fast Passes, so we had the afternoon off and went over to the magic Kingdom to do The Haunted Mansion and Seven Dwarves Mine Train, we also had a very nice Lobster Roll from Columbia Harbour House which was surprisingly good value.
The Haunted Mansion wasn’t quite what either of us expected, Simon thought it was just a walk round thing, and I thought it would be a Ghost Train with things jumping out at you. There were lots of visual effects and some animatronics, but no Jumping out at you.
We also caught a glimpse of the electrical parade
Simon had read somewhere that if you can’t get fast passes for Wishes one of the best places to see it was from the ticket and transportation hub, this had the added bonus that once it finished you were on the carpark side rather than having to catch the ferry/monorail with all the other people.
Day 5 Animal Kingdom
We didn’t do Animal Kingdom last year, so we decided we should do it this year.
We did the African safari which was amazing and totally worth the car parking, it was running a little behind but as we had fast passed it we didn’t have long to wait.
The ‘safari’ takes you though a couple of different bits of habitat.
With the driver pointing out various sights and giving little pieces of information, once the safari is finished there are a couple of walks that you can take.
I rather stupidly didn’t make a note of which animal was which but here are a selection on photos taken on the walks
I think that the picture above is one of the best photos I have taken
After leaving animal kingdom we had a quick trip to Magic Kingdom and then on to Epcot to watch the fireworks
Day 4, Star Wars day
This is going to be a very photo heavy post….
Today it was absolutely chucking it down, but we were determined to get over to Hollywood Studios for Star Wars Day so there we were in our one use ponchos which although keep you dry do insist on sticking to your legs and/or riding up your skirt.
Hollywood Studios is in the middle of a lot of renewal, which meant that a lot of the stuff we liked walking around last year (streets of America ) and the backlot have been taken out and boarded off so that they can build Star Wars Land and Toy Story Land.
Although the show is supposed to be on every hour for some reason they don’t have a show at 3:30 which of course was the showing we would have been ready to see.
We went to the Star Wars Launch bay attraction which consists of videos where people involved in the Force Awakens talk about what it means to them to be part of the Star Wars experience.
Then we went out side to see the show
Day 3 Universal Studios
Day three was rather overcast, but luckily not too cold, we went to Universal Stuidios, just to have a quick look round and get some Ice-cream from the Harry Potter shop. We have a ride pass for next Tuesday so we weren’t going to go on any rides.
It doesn’t look like too much has changed from last year, but it was nice to walk around and take some pictures that we missed last year.
The Salted Caramel Ice cream which was so delicious last year in Florean Fortescues, was downright disappointing, they had obviously changed it for a soft sickly sweet version, so we won’t be trying that again.
We also had a walk round the Marvel part and I don’t remember seeing these before
Still have quite a few days to get through so bye for now….
Epcot day 2
Just a quick post, as I appear to be getting very behind, we went to Epcot on the Monday.
I’d read and been told that we had missed a whole load of stuff at Epcot last year, and they were correct. We had just walked round the outside of the countries and not investigated into them.
The following pictures are just for Ann….
We also did quite a few meet and greets, also because the memory maker came as part of our holiday package we made the most of the on site photographers.
We had fast passes for a Mickey and pals for later in the day and for the Epcot fireworks.
Simon appears quite taken by Minnie…
Unfortunately once we came out of the Mickey and pals it quickly became apparent that the fireworks were going to be cancelled as it was tipping it down and we were right in the middle of a thunder storm.
We got soaked going back to the car but at least it wasn’t cold!
Back in Florida this year, after enjoying last year so much we couldn’t wait to get back. After the atrocious weather back in the UK, the Florida sunshine is lovely and gives me a chance to wear a lot of my recently made clothes.
We arrived two hours later than expected which rather scuppered Simons plans for Crab legs at the Red Lobster for the first evening, so we settled for a trip to the Publix and a Papa Johns Pizza, which has a delicious barbecue base that we can’t get from Papa Johns in the UK.
Our first full day (Sunday 1st May) was taken up in the morning with the mundane, registering with the Villa people and talking to the Virgin rep about changing our hire car. After a quick trip back to the Airport to change the car, never hire a Jeep, Simon is very happy now with a Toyota we rushed over to The Magic Kingdom, our first Fast Pass ran out at 13:30 we made it with minutes to spare.
With Big Thunder Mountain out of the way, we could now relax, have a little walk round and enjoy the sunshine, before heading back over to Splash Mountain.
We had lunch at Casey’s Corner, which was packed and where we made a rookie mistake and ordered the larger meal instead of the normal meal, needless to say neither of us managed to finish our meal, the chips (fries) were delicious.
After Splash mountain, which was a great at last year, but appeared to be a good deal wetter, I spent the next hour with a very damp bum 🙂
We also did Peter Pan’s Flight which was quite magical, and I think that we will have to ride it again as there were a couple of bits we didn’t see properly, it was a bit daunting getting on to the ride as the cars don’t stop, so you have to juggle with the moving walk way and the moving car and my total lack of coordination.
Peter Pan’s Flight the cars are suspended from the top, one of the cast members sprinkles pixie dust on the safety Bar which then lowered its self. Then it takes you on a flight across London and then on to Neverland, where you can see the Mermaids and the Indian camp, Pan fighting Captain Hook and Hook fighting with the Crocodile, my words aren’t really doing it justice.