Trip to Orlando – day 11

Oh no,  I don’t even like typing Day 11.  The ‘it’s nearly time to go home’ panic is starting to set in,  and we are really starting to look at what we haven’t done yet,  and cram everything into the last few days.  Today was supposed to be Animal Kingdom,  but we had a very short day at Hollywood Studios last week and throughly enjoyed it,   so we decided that we would leave AK and go back to MGM (as I prefer to call it,   since it’s easier to type!)

We had quite a late night last night,  but I was determined to be at the park for opening as I wanted to do the new Toy Story ride and last week the fastpasses had run out quite early.     I managed to get everyone awake y 8am although Molly was very tired,   and she got out of my bed (where she had slept) and next time I looked for her,  she’d snuck back into Katie’s bed and gone back to sleep!  I think we are demanding these children have too much fun!

We had toast and cereal in the room,  no time to waste with proper breakfasts,   we have rides to do and schedules to keep.   We eventually leave the room about 8.45 which isn’t too bad considering how late we all woke up,   and we walk to MGM.   It’s a slightly shorter walk to the ferry dock,  but then you have to wait for the ferry,  so I think it’s faster to just walk to MGM,  funnily enough we never walk back home at the end of the night.    We don’t walk particularly quickly and we arrive just after 9,  not too shabby.   First stop is to collect Toy Story fast passes,   even as we are waiting to get them, you can see the times ticking away,  as we approached they were for 10.45  and by the time we got ours it had reached 11.05.    However,  we have the very precious fastpasses,  so now we can relax and enjoy the day.

We ride the Great Movie Ride – straight on with no queue!  I’ve never done that before.  We get taken hostage by a gangster,  but fortunately we are rescued before the end of the ride.

After the ride, we walk around to watch the HSM show.   This is exactly as you’d expect,  pure cheese,   all the songs from the musical and kids in East High clothes dancing and singing.   It’s not really my thing but the kids love it,  and it’s all very catchy and cheerful.

We decide to visit Playhouse Disney  this was always a favorite show when the kids were younger and it featured Bear in the Big Blue House,  but Bear is gone,  and now it’s Mickeys Clubhouse with Little Einsteins, and Pooh & Tigger.  The kids are really getting a bit old for this show, but they are never going to admit that as they really enjoy it,   so in we go.   I quite enjoy half an hour sitting on the floor,  although getting up is admittedly more difficult than it ought to be!

As we leave the show,  there are characters around for autographs but we have no time for that,   it’s 11am  and that means we can ride Toy Story.  I’ve been looking forward to this for months.    We enter and the fastpass queue looks enormous,  loads of people in the queue are wondering if the standby line is actually shorter,  but then the standby people disappear (presumably off into a cavernous space filled with metal railings to shuffle between)  and we go up a flight of stairs and onto the ride.

I do like Fastpass.    The ride is really good.   I had read a few things about it,  but hadn’t really understood what it was about.   It’s sort of like Buzz Lightyear’s Space Ranger Spin  but it’s so much better.   It’s much easier to actually play,   on Buzz Molly often gets 100 points,  so she was thrilled with her score of 10,000.   We all really enjoy the ride,  so as soon as we get off,  we go and get another fastpass,  this time for 3.30.  We aren’t sure if we will still be in the park at 3.30  but we take the pass just in case.

As we walk away from Toy Story,  the little mermaid show is starting  so we walk straight into that.  Considering it’s August,  we have done very little queuing this trip.   We haven’t seen the Little Mermaid in a few trips,  and I was a bit disappointed in it,  it’s looking quite dated compared to some of the shows in the park and unless you know the story,  the plot is impossible to follow.    It’s quite cute though,  just not a highlight of the park.

The Beauty and the Beast show is our next stop,  they are only running a few shows today, so we have to make this one or wait until late afternoon.   We wander through the shops on the way there and spot a few nice things.  Molly decides to buy a watch with some birthday money (thanks Granny Flo) and Phil wants a new Mickey tie for work.    They have a tote bag on offer if you spend over $30 so I get the tote bag,  and also get to carry everyone elses shopping.    We get really good seats for B&B and I really enjoy this show,   this is superb  and well worth seeing.

After the show,  it’s time for lunch.  We decide to go to the ABC commissary,  primarily because it’s air conditioned and you can sit inside.   We have a fish & chips (shared by the kids),  chicken bleu sandwich, and a Chicken Curry which comes to $24.   We take our time and enjoy the air conditioning.   It was very very hot yesterday in Magic Kingdom,  so we are trying to keep out of the worst of the heat today,  as it wasn’t very comfortable getting that hot.

The kids are very anxious to have another go at drawing a character,  particularly Molly who seems to think if Phil draws her initial circle then that will be her all sorted and she’ll be able to do it perfectly.    We go around to the Animation Tour and wait for the next show.   Last week this area was full of characters,   absolutely loads of them,  today the sun is shining and there are very few characters about.   We played on the computers,  and apparantly I am just like Cinderella!  I wonder if that means dressed mostly in rags ??

When we go into the drawing class we discover we are drawing Eeyore.  I’d rather draw Mickey, but it’s the luck of the draw….  geddit? luck of the draw…..   Moving swiftly on.   Phil draws Molly’s circles,  but she still ends up with a rather deranged looking eeyore,   and mine is a bit worrying,  but Katie and Phil create some very passable Eeyore’s.  Phil’s obviously very proud of his as he stays behind after class to finish of some shading and other details.     You really can’t take him anywhere.

Next on my list of must-do’s   is the Backlot Tour,   so we head directly there and straight into the show.   This is quite entertaining,  I particularly like when you go through the costume department,  it seems to be the only glimpse of working life at Disney that you see anymore.  When we go through today,  everyone appears to be doing yoga with a piece of fabric.  I’d love to know what is actually going on.

After the Tour,  we have half an hour before we can use our Toy Story fastpasses,   so the kids play in the Honey I shrunk the kids playground for a while,  and then we walk back.  We pass the Writers Stop,   every trip I say I am going to go in their for a coffee but it’s not happened yet.   I think it looks like a nice quiet place,   and they don’t even put it on the park maps so I suspect not many people realise it’s there.

We walk on to Toy Story and there is no Fastpass queue at all, so we are on the ride very quickly.  It’s as excellent the second time around and I can see it becoming a firm favorite.  This time Molly has really got the hang of it, and scores 30,000.  She is dead pleased with herself and makes me take a photo of the scoreboard.

As we leave the ride we decide (well,  I decide) it’s time to leave the park.   We are running out of days and I want to do some shopping,   plus we have done most everything we wanted to do.     We take the boat back to the Boardwalk and collect our car and head up to the Florida Mall.

Shopping doesn’t make for a thrilling trip report,   but we visited loads of shops and bought very little.  I just couldn’t seem to find anything much that caught my eye.   We did get a great bargain in Old Navy.   The girls want some skating pants,  and I found some smart looking yoga pants for $5 each,  they will be great for skating & dancing,  and as they were so cheap they each chose a few different colours.

We had tea at Ruby Tuesdays.  This was fine,  but I think I prefer Applebees from last night.   The bill was about the same,  but we had a lot less food tonight.  The girls were hungry but not sure how much they could eat,  so they shared a kids meal of ‘mini burgers and mashed potato’   The mini burgers were as big as normal burgers as far as I could see,  so each of them had a burger and  mash,   and they also shared some cheesy fries.  The kitchen split it all up into 2 portions,  so they had their own food.   It worked really well,  and neither of them finished the burger so I was pleased I didn’t order them each a meal.

I had a crabcake and mash, which was lovely but not particularly large,  just the one crabcake and a scoop of mash,  and Phil had a burger and fries which did look very nice.  The bill came to $40.

We headed home from the mall about 8:30pm,   it had been a long day and we were all tired and dare I say it,  a little cranky.  Then the car started talking to us ‘Fuel Low’  it kept saying,   so we consulted Mapman’s map,  and found a petrol station and made a little detour to fill up.    We put in $20 worth of petrol and the tank is almost full.   Wouldn’t that be nice every week?

Back home,  kids in bed and a little time spend updating the trip report.

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