Being a week behind on my Monday round-up, I know I’ve been procrastinating this post. I debated making Week 15’s and back-dating it, but instead this seems like a better solution – rolling them into one! Not only that, but I’m only going to be brief with my round up, as over the next few weeks I’ll be recapping my whole holiday in some form or another! **I’ve since procrastinated a further 4 days and now this is late for both weeks!!**
Picking up where I left off after Week 14’s round up, Monday (6th) was another day in Magic Kingdom. It started early with breakfast at Cinderella’s Castle (Cinderella’s Royal Table) which included an initial meet and greet with Cinderella herself and then also meets with Snow White, Aurora, Jasmine and Ariel while we were eating our breakfast. Amy and Olivia were there too, though we were booked separately, but this was the first time we’d seen them as they’d only arrived in Florida the day before. We spent majority of the day in Magic Kingdom, meeting Winnie the Pooh and Tigger, riding the Barnstormer, Peter Pan’s Flight and Haunted Mansion. However after lunch we headed back to the villa and had a relaxing afternoon, a little nap and then heading back to Magic Kingdom to see Celebrate the Magic, Wishes and then the Electric Parade.
On the Tuesday we headed back to Universal Studios and Islands of Adventure. We’d had our “Harry Potter” day there and so this day was to do all the other stuff. We originally met up with Amy and stayed with her for a while in Hogsmeade, largely so she could get the use of her dining plan (we went to The Three Broomsticks). After we went our separate ways though, the four of us decided there wasn’t much we wanted to do in Islands of Adventure and instead caught the Hogwarts Express again, back to Universal Studios. There we went on Twister, Shrek 4D, E.T. Adventure, Terminator 2 3D and finally Minion Mayhem. We also had photos taken with Minions and Gru. It was fairly late by the time we left and the four of us grabbed McDonalds and Taco Bell on the way home.
Wednesday we were having a day away from the parks and we instead went to Kennedy Space Center. While it wasn’t really high up on anyone’s list, it was something we felt we should do when we had the opportunity. It was actually incredibly enjoyable and we all enjoyed our day – especially as it was much slower paced than other days. We enjoyed a coach tour as well as several museums/foot tours. The shuttle launch simulator was by far the best part of the day however and after a great day we all went back to the villa for dinner.
Thursday was an early morning again as we had breakfast at The Grand Floridian – 1900 Park Fare. This was another character breakfast and we saw Winnie the Pooh and Tigger again, along with Alice in Wonderland, the Mad Hatter and Mary Poppins. The breakfast was buffet style and it was really nice. After breakfast we headed to Magic Kingdom, this time we rode The Seven Dwarves Mine Train and The Voyage of the Little Mermaid, went on Enchanted Tales with Belle and met Cinderella and Rapunzel in Fairytale Hall. We also had a drink in Gaston’s Tavern and worked on our Sorcerer’s of the Magic Kingdom quest. When we were finished for the day, we headed to Downtown Disney for a little while, to look around and see what was there. Afterwards it was back to the villa and into the pool.
Friday was Animal Kingdom. I was in two minds as to whether or not to visit this park so we only scheduled one day. I enjoyed the park but it really did only need one day. We went on Kilimanjaro Safari, rode Expedition Everest and saw the Lion King show and also Nemo the musical. The girls also met with Pocahontas and Dug and Russel from UP. We finished the park around 4.30pm and made our way to Blizzard Beach which was a great way to cool off after a very warm day. For dinner we called in at a Denny’s on the way home and had a delicious meal there.
Saturday was Epcot, another one day scheduled for a park. I didn’t expect to like Epcot but actually I really did. We quite happily spent a whole day there but there was a lot of walking involved. The morning was spent in Future World, where we rode Mission: Space, The Seas with Nemo & Friends and Spaceship Earth. We also dropped into the Character Spot so the girls could meet Mickey, Minnie and Goofy and then saw Chip and Dale just outside there. At lunchtime we walked into World Showcase, to Norway and Akershus Royal Banquet Hall where we were meeting Amy for a princess filled lunch. We had a meet and greet with Belle on entry, then also saw Cinderella, Snow White, Ariel and Aurora once inside. After lunch we made it around World Showcase and it’s countries, meeting with various characters. We saw Donald Duck, Jasmine and Aladdin, Mulan, Belle (in her blue dress) and Duffy Bear. This took majority of the afternoon but then we headed back to Future World to ride Soarin’. Finally we got something to eat and drink, before settling in on a bench and saving a spot for the evening’s IllumiNations display. It was truly beautiful and one of my favourite memories of the whole holiday.
Sunday we were back in Magic Kingdom. We had breakfast at Be Our Guest booked, then I insisted on going to meet Gaston. Again, this was one of my favourite moments from the whole trip. After that we took on a mission to get as many meet and greets as we could, using the day to get the majority of the ones we were missing. We got the Fairy Godmother, Lady Tremaine (the sisters were on time out), Merida, Buzz Lightyear and Stitch. After all that we needed a rest so we did both Monster’s Inc. Laugh Floor and Stitch’s Great Escape. We also rode Space Mountain. We then took a wander, rode the Dumbo ride and did some shopping where the girls bought themselves hats with ears and got their names stitched on them. We then went into Peter’s Silly Sideshow and met Minnie and Daisy, followed by Donald and Goofy. When we got hungry, we ate at Pinocchio Village Haus, then did more of our Sorcerer’s of the Magic Kingdom quest. In the afternoon, the girls met with Tiana, Ariel and then Anna and Elsa, all before we went back to Be Our Guest for dinner. After dinner we met with the Beast and this was another highlight of my trip. Since the park was pretty quiet we got in a few more rides, this time the People Mover and Buzz Lightyear’s Space Ranger Spin. We then headed out and back to the villa.
This was the end of Week 15, so onto Week 16!
Monday (13th) was a day at Hollywood Studios. We had only scheduled one day and to be honest this was probably enough. That said, we had to make sure we scheduled carefully throughout the day to ensure we saw all the shows we wanted. We began the morning with meeting Baymax and Hiro. This was a must for the day so we needed to get in the queue early. After this we went off to ride The Hollywood Tower of Terror, then over to Star Tours for Chris and Amy to ride. We then went to see the Indiana Jones Stunt Show, followed by a wander and Muppets Vision 3D. After that the girls had their pictures taken with Lightning McQueen and Mater (though it was pretty pointless), saw the Cinderella carriage and then met with Mike and Sulley from Monsters Inc. After that we met with a Green Army man (from Toy Story) on our way to see Beauty and the Beast live (which was awesome). Next we rode Toy Story Midway Mania (which was so good) and then queued to see Buzz and Woody. Afterwards we went to meet up with Amy and some of her friends, to wait for Character Palooza. However it got rained off and so we ended up going our separate ways. Next we saw Voyage of the Little Mermaid and got some dinner. Finally we headed to Fantasmic where we waited quite some time to see the show but it was definitely worth it.
Tuesday was our final day in Magic Kingdom (though we didn’t necessarily know it at the time). We rode Splash Mountain, Big Thunder Mountain and saw Mickey’s Philharmagic show. We also had lunch at Be Our Guest, met with talking Mickey Mouse, and Jessie & Woody. Finally we did some more on our Sorcerer’s of the Magic Kingdom quest, but on asking realised there was 9 quests and we’d only done 5 so we weren’t going to get it finished. When we left the park, we headed to Typhoon Lagoon to end the day and cool off. Unfortunately it closed at 5pm (not 6 like we’d thought) and so we weren’t able to do that as it was almost 5 anyway. Instead we headed to Downtown Disney briefly as Megan was searching for a dress she wanted and instead we found Tsum Tsum’s and she bought loads of those. We headed back to the villa for dinner.
Wednesday was our last full day on holiday. We spent the morning back at Universal Studios and Islands of Adventure, letting the girls use their wands on all the “hotspots” around the park. This took us till just after lunch but we headed to Florida Mall and ate there – the girls having Taco Bell while Chris and I had Five Guys. We then wandered the Mall, going to Hot Topic and the Disney Store mainly. A friend I’ve known for 14 years, came to meet us at the Mall (we haven’t seen each other for 7 years) and it was lovely to catch up and wander around. At 6pm we headed to the villa to get my mum – the girls drove with Tim and so Chris and I just rode together for the first time all holiday. When we got to the villa, Tim suggested somewhere for dinner and we all headed out together. The place we ate was called The Cracker Barrel and it was lovely. The food was amazing and we were all stuffed. Afterwards we shopped a little in the store attached and then said a very sad farewell to Tim. We all headed home to the villa and the packing began. A few tears were shed and then we all headed to bed.
On Thursday morning the decision had been made to spend the last few hours of holiday in Hollywood Studios and then Magic Kingdom. However the girls were up late and I didn’t wake them as I decided it was better they slept. The three of us headed out to Hollywood Studios as the Animation Academy was the one thing Megan had really wanted to do and didn’t get chance. When we got there it was about 10am but the first class wasn’t till 10.30pm, we waited and while we did so, we played on the “which disney character are you?” machines. Lily got Tinker Bell, Megan got Ariel and I got Lady Tremaine (I did say I wanted to eat nice people for lunch…). We then did the Animation class and got to draw Baymax. Megan also got given the artist’s drawing to take home with her. After this we decided it wasn’t really worth going to Magic Kingdom as it would take too long to catch the tram to the car, then drive to Magic Kingdom, then get the tram to the park etc. all before we needed to head back. Instead we waited to see Mr Incredible and Frozone, before riding The Great Movie Ride which was the one thing I’d wanted to do and hadn’t fitted in. Finally we said a sad farewell to the park and to Disney generally as we got onto the tram and rode back to the car.
We then drove back to the villa where Mum and Chris were waiting, pretty much ready to leave. We packed everything into the car and then headed back to Florida Mall. There we got lunch – this time the girls got Subway, I got pizza and Chris and mum got Five Guys. We went to Hot Topic to spend our Hot Cash, then Lily and I ran to the Disney Store to spend the last of her dollars while everyone headed back to the car. We drove to the airport, dragged all our bags in and checked in. Without a blow by blow of everything then, we obviously boarded the plane and this took us to Washington. The plane was delayed but luckily the connection was too. We then boarded the second plane and this took us home.
It was 11am on Friday morning when we arrived home and got off the plane. It obviously took us some time to get our bags, go through security etc. By the time we got to the car it was gone 12pm and mum drove us to a place in Northamptonshire where she was spending the weekend. Once mum was gone, we headed home, stopping at the first services we got to. There we had KFC for lunch and Starbucks to keep us all awake. We drove back to mum’s where I’d left my car and then swapped all our stuff over. We had to call in to see the kids’ dad at work but then we headed home, stopping only for bread and milk on the way. It was about 6pm when we got back and all of us just collapsed for a while. Despite the girls being tired I let them stay up a while so it felt like they had some time at home but then they headed to bed. Chris and I ordered takeaway and spent the evening watching TV. However we only made it till about 10pm before going to bed ourselves.
Saturday and Sunday were really just days to relax. I didn’t get dressed at all on Saturday, just managing with the few bits we had in the house to eat. Nat came around in the evening and it was so nice to catch up. Sunday we had to take Chris to work so it meant getting dressed and on the way home we did the weekly shopping. However the rest of the day was spent lazy, trying to recover and get ready for the girls going back to school. So this ends my round up and also our holiday. I hope to get on top of blogging soon and update you all on the trip properly, as well as share my favourite moments, top tips and tons of photos!