Thursday, 11th August.
We start the day with our cinnamon rolls and muffins from the next before. Definitely a good option for breakfast.
On our plan for the day is Magic Kingdom and California Grill this evening. I’m really not sure if we will like California Grill, and have a last minute change of heart, so i phone up and try and change it to somewhere less posh. Unfortunately, I’m told it’s too late, and if we cancel at this late stage we would have to pay a fee, so we decide to stick with CG.
We are off to Magic Kingdom this morning, and I’d have liked to get there for Extra Magic Hours at 8am, but it’s almost 8 when we finally leave the room. We walk up to the Bus Stop. We are in the Old Turtle Pond road area, and the bus stop is a 5 minute walk away. We don’t have to wait long for the bus, and just as I am boarding a voice shouts out ‘Are you Bev?’, it’s MossyFlossy from theDibb. Unfortunately, it’s time to catch the bus so we don’t have a chance to speak properly.
The bus is quite crowded, but I end up talking to the lady next to me who is visiting with all her kids and grandkids on a family reunion. There is something about a Disney bus that gets people talking in a way they never would on the way to work!
We are in Magic Kingdom by 8.45, and there are characters everywhere, so I send Phil over for some FP’s for Mickey and the Princesses, whilst we queue and meet Disney Duck. Phil comes back with the first FastPasses of the day, they actually had to start up the machines so we could have them. The lady tells him we could just walk in, but I want to get straight over to see Tinkerbell as we never managed to see her last time due to the long queues.
We head on up Main Street. This is my favourite spot. I try and soak it in, but also hurry everyone along. We arrive in Adventureland and find Tinkerbells’ Nook. It’s just as soon as you enter Adventureland on the righthand side. We walk in and it’s very quiet, so we have a really short wait and then we are shrunk down to Fairy size and we get to meet Vidia and Tink herself. Vidia is quite funny (Molly tells me she is the mean fairy), she really hammed it up and refused to sign the girls autograph books on a green page, as that was for ‘Stinkerbell’, instead she chose a Purple page to match her dress. She was funny.
Tinkerbell ticked off the list, we decided to visit Pirates as we are quite close. Its still early and we walk straight on. This is a daft cheesy ride, and we all just love it. For some reason my scardy cat kids have never been scared of this. On the way out, Molly spots a really cute Pirate ears set, so we buy that for our cruise, and we take a peek at the Pirate Makeover area. They have a girly pirate option as well, which is really cute and pink.
We walk back down Main Street and use our Fastpasses to see Mickey and Minnie,
and then Princess Aurora, Belle, and Cinderella. It’s not even 10am and we’ve met 8 characters with virtually no queuing. I know some people like to dash straight to Space Mountain, or Splash Mountain, but this is a great result for us.
Molly really wants to ride It’s a Small World, so we walk back up Main Street, and as we get to the Castle the show is starting, so we stop and watch the show.
After the show, it’s getting quite hot and I would like an ice-cream, so we head back down onto Main Street and Katie and I get some ice-cream cookie sandwiches from the Bakery. Molly wants a Mickey Bar, so she and Phil get those and we sit down in the shade and have a snack. We can hear the Piano lessons from the rooms above the shop, and then the lessons change and it’s a Tap lesson. I love all these little details.
After our break, we head up into Fantasyland. We start out by picking up FP for Peter Pan, the ride with the most inexplicably long lines at all times. We walk straight onto It’s a Small World, which has changed. They’ve swapped the sides for the lines. I’m not exactly sure what that has achieved but we are straight on a boat. I know there are mixed views on IASW but it’s one of our must do rides, and we start most of our trips with a ride.
Up next, Mickey’s Philharmagic and again no line really to speak off, we just have to wait for the next show to start. We all love this one, but it is a bit dramatic and there are lots of kids crying at the start. It reminds me of our first trip when Katie was scared of everything we went on!
As we exit this ride, it’s time for our Peter Pan fastpass. Even with FP there is a bit of a queue. We don’t wait too long and we are on board. This is really the most pointless ride, I can’t imagine waiting an hour for it, and yet there are always people in the standby line.
After Peter Pan, we pick up Fast passes for Pooh bear, and Molly asks if we can go on the Peoplemover, so we walk over to Tomorrowland. On the way, we take a good look at the construction going on in Fantasyland, we can see bits of the Beast’s castle and lots of tents. It looks like it will be good, and add quite a large new area to the park, but it feels quite strange at the moment, especially around the back of the tea cups where the old entrance to Toontown is all blocked off.
Straight onto the TTA, which I noticed has been relabelled ‘PeopleMover’, I don’t notice any other changes though. This is a nice pleasant sit down for 10 minutes, and we have a rest and watch the world go by.
We still have a little while before it’s time for our fastpass, so we decide on the Laugh Floor. This looks quite quiet, but we seem to wait for ages, there are 2 holding areas before you actually get into the show, so I think you must wait through 2 or 3 full shows before you get in. The show is very clever and I might even laugh once or twice. Fortunately, we didn’t appear on any of the screens.
Finally, it’s time for Pooh Bear and we head on into the fast pass line. However, for once I can see a reason for trying the standby lines! They have added loads of activities to the standby line. There are some interactive screens, and you can play in Rabbit’s garden. It looks very good.
After Pooh Bear, it’s time for lunch. Phil suggests we try somewhere new, but I veto him and we go back to the Columbia Harbour House. I might try something new later on, but for our first trip to Magic Kingdom there really is only once choice.
We notice something new, the Quick Service places are all handing out menu’s as you enter. We’d been given a menu earlier at Main St. Bakery, and we are handed one again here.
They have also changed the menu (actually I think this happened a while ago), and they’ve taken the half sandwich and bowl of soup off the menu. Which leaves me a dilemma as I like the Tuna Sandwich, and I love the Clam Chowder. I decide to order both. For some reason the Chowder isn’t available on the DDP at all, so we have to pay with cash money. Not a crisis, but why can’t they offer a smaller bowl as a snack credit?
I am also somewhat unimpressed with the kids choices. Both kids get chicken nuggets, but Molly’s kids nuggets are your basic McDonald’s style nuggets and Katie’s adult nuggets look much nicer with bits of real chicken Food pictures here
It’s nearly 3 o’clock and I think it’s time we are heading home as we’ve had a long day, Molly is being annoying which generally means she’s tired, and we’ve got California Grill in the evening and I don’t want her to be a pest whilst we are there.
We start to head out, and have a wander through the shops on the way down Main Street. As we emerge from the shops, we are right in the corner where the parade starts, and it is starting, so we stop and watch. Standing near us, there is a Japanese couple with a video camera on a massive tripod, and they are both wearing muppet style puppets of Minnie and Mickey dressed in the same clothes they wear in the parade. They watch the beginning of the parade, but as soon as Minnie and Mickey have passed, they grab all their stuff and race off across the roundabout to try and catch the beginning of the parade again from across the road. It’s all rather odd, and I’d love to know exactly what it is they are doing.
After the parade, it’s straight out of the park, onto the bus and back home. It’s about 3:45 when we get in, which isn’t bad considering the parade started at 3 o’clock. We have dinner booked for 7:30, so the plan is to have a bit of a nap/relax for a few hours before dinner. of course, everyone is tired, but no-one will actually take a nap, so that doesn’t really go according to plan. We all get dressed up a little, and head out for the California Grill just before 7. We get there quite quickly, and I expect to have to wait a while for a table, but we are shown straight upstairs and seated almost immediately.
I don’t know what i was expecting, but this wasn’t it. There were kids everywhere. I’d sort of assumed there might be one or two kids, but it would be a mainly adult affair, and had drilled my kids in behaving well and sitting quietly etc. Well, none of that was really necessary. The kids were all well behaved, but there were loads of them. And our server was quite amusing and joked and teased Katie mercilessly throughout the meal. It was a much more relaxed and informal atmosphere than I was expecting.
We decided to order a flat bread to start, and when I asked the waiter said they were quite small, so we ordered 2, but actually they were pretty big so one would have been fine for the 4 of us.
Phil and I both ordered
‘Oak-fired Filet of Beef, Mascarpone Potatoes, Blue Lake Beans, Arugula Oil, Teriyaki Barbecue 44.00’
Katie was a bit unsure what to orde,r so she ended up with
‘Crispy Free-range Chicken with Zellwood Corn Pudding, Pole Beans, Applewood Bacon and Vidalia Jus 33.00’ but instead of ‘Zellwood Corn Pudding’, she had the same potatoes that we had.
Molly had some pretty good options here, there was Mac and Cheese, and Pizza, but also a choice of Steak, Salmon or Chicken. She opted for
‘Grilled Chicken Breast with Roasted Potatoes and seasonal Vegetables 10.00’
The menus make me laugh a little,
‘Oak-fired Filet of Beef, Mascarpone Potatoes, Blue Lake Beans, Arugula Oil, Teriyaki Barbecue 44.00’ translated to Steak, Mash and Green Beans. It was absolutely delicious, but I do wonder if the fancy words on the menu scare some people off. I know Katie found it quite intimidating when she looked at the menu.
The main courses arrive quite quickly, we aren’t rushed, but we definitely aren’t left waiting at any point either. Service is very rapid between courses.
I had my steak medium and Phil’s was rare. by which I mean basically uncooked. He said it was wonderful, but I like my meat a little more cooked that that. Mine was delicious and we both ate every single morsel.
For dessert, I chose a Creme Brulee which seems to be my dessert of choice this week. Phil had bananas and caramel, Katie had Chocolate Cake with a moulten centre, and Molly had ice cream. This was all lovely as well.
It was a superb meal, but one I can’t see us repeating if I am honest. I just can’t comprehend spending $270 on a meal, even a delicious meal. Fortunately, as we were on the DDP we only had to pay $70 which was for the 2 flat breads, a glass of wine and a tip.
After dinner we had a walk along the observation platform and watched the light show on the lagoon. We had the option to stay and watch the fireworks but it was going to be another half an hour and we were getting tired, so we decided to call it a day and head back to bed.