We had 4 nights booked at the Animal Kingdom Lodge, and they were over very quickly. We had hoped to spend a little bit of time around the hotel, and even had a non park day booked for that purpose, but it didn’t really happen. It is a lovely hotel, and I would happily stay there again, but I was looking forward to moving to the Boardwalk. This is our DVC home, and we have stayed here on everyone of our DVC trips (I think this is the 5th time)
We packed up at AKL, and due to the car situation we called Bell Services and asked them to transfer our bags. They said the bags would be at the Boardwalk by 3:30.
As soon as we drove into the carpark at the Boardwalk Villas, we all said how much we liked it here, and how relaxed we felt. The Lobby of the Animal Kingdom Lodge is big and impressive, but the Boardwalk is like a comfy living room, with sofas and nic-nacs (mind you not the sort of nic nacs we have at home).
Our room wasn’t ready so we were told we would get an email telling us when it was available, and then we headed off to Epcot. We walked to the park, and entered via the International gateway which was very quiet. We tried both old and new bands and they both worked.
We walked up to the World Showcase and stopped for a photo.
While we were having our photo taken, we got chatting with the Photographer who told us that the rest of World showcase was closed, except for the bakery in France. Well, that was like an invitation… We turned right instead of left, and headed for the Boulangerie…
The Boulangerie was very quiet (which is hardly surprising as it’s at the furthest point in the park for most arriving guests), and they had lots to choose from so it was hard to decide, but we managed
We scoffed all our pastries very quickly (Pain Au Chocolat, Apple Tart, Choc Brioche, Iced Cappachino, Latte, Hot Chocolate) so Katie took a few photos of the counter for you, so you could see how delicious everything looked.
Molly was pleased to inform us that Glace meant ice cream, I think she’s been paying attention in french class.
I took a few photos of the girls, some artistic (hopefully)
Others, not so much
After our breakfast, we walked back through World Showcase and headed down to Spaceship Earth for our first fastpass. I was wondering if we would need a FP for spaceship earth but when we got there that was a bit of a queue so we were pleased to have the fastpass,
I attempted to take some photos on the ride, with very little success, this is the only passable attempt
After the ride, we had a while before our next fastpass, so we decided to have a look in Mouse Gear (we are hardcore, hit the shops first thign in the morning!), Katie had been telling me about a backpack she had seen that she really liked. It turned out to be Vera Bradley and was $125, so needlessto say she shan’t be getting that this for school.
At this point, I needed the loo, so I handed Katie my camera and it would appear she took a lot of very random photographs
She does rather like Alice in Wonderland
while I was out of the shop, I saw a sign that said the Character spot only had a 10 minute wait, so we decided to go and visit Mickey and Minnie. We left the shop, and went to put our sunglasses on, only Molly realised she didn’t have hers anymore.
She had no idea where she’d put them down, but we retraced our steps back through the shop and found them sitting on a counter. She was very relieved, as she really likes her glasses.
We then walked across to the Character Spot which was still showing 10 minutes, but I have to say I think we waited a bit longer than that. All together, including seeing the character probably took about 30-40 minutes.
After our visit with the characters, it was time for the Nemo ride in the Living Seas. There wasn’t a massive queue for this, but again it was nice to just walk right past it. This is a cute little ride, but not worth a long wait.
After the ride, the girls wanted to see the Crush show, there was a bit of a wait, so I sat down on the floor in the waiting area and tried to photograph the fish
The crush show is cute, and apparently very entertaining as I never thought to take any photos, I was just engrossed In the show. It’s clever, Crush chats with the human dudes and asks the kids questions, and it’s so well done that you just accept that the turtle is talking through the tank.
Our Soarin’ fastpass time was now open, so we went straight there, the standby line was showing an hour. I’ve read on the Dibb that they were handing out paper fastpasses for the standby line but I didn’t notice that. We really like Soarin but I can’t imagine waiting an hour or longer to ride it. It’s not that good. We were boarded fairly quickly and got row 1 which means no danglng feet, however, it also means you can see the top of the screen. I love the way this show works, but they really need to reshoot the film, it’s looking very old and fussy, and there are lots of scratches on it. With modern filming it would be extremely impressive.
We had a Caesar salad, salmon and rice, Tuna and noodles, and a kids chicken and rice (which came with grapes and a cookie – it seems that grapes and a cookie are everywhere). This came to almost $50 which seems to be what we are paying for most counter service meals. I can’t decide if the food costs have gone up, or if we are ordering more as Katie is now having an adults meal, but it feels about $10 more expensive than our last trip for a meal. However, I have to say the food is nice, and we have enjoyed the meals.
While we were eating, Living with the Land was showing a zero wait time, so Molly thought we ought to ride, and I couldn’t really disagree. By the time we got there the wait was about 5 minutes which was still absolutely fine. They even have fastpass on this now, which seems crazy. It would be a very busy day when you needed to fastpass the land.
We all waved at the Jones farmhouse as we went past, it always makeas us smile to see B Jones on the mailbox.
In the green house, I spotted this sign. I had a vision of little tiny jars of peanut butter hanging from the branches.
I liked this planter form
It was getting on for 3 pm when we left the Land, so we decided to have one last ride on Figment and then head back to the hotel to get out room.
Figment wasn’t just a walk-on, it was completely deserted with the ride stopped waiting for guests. We got a full car to ourselves, as they started up the ride for us. it must be quite boring working such a quiet ride. I would imagine the days go faster when you are busy.
As we were walking up to the Imagination pavilion, l noticed a lot of people walking behind it, I’m now curious what is back there. I shall have to consult Mr Google later and see if I can find out.
The pavilion at the of the ride was extremely quiet, and commented that the novelty of emailing a photo home has definitely worn off, with everyone taking photos and sharing them all over the park. I can remember queuing for ages to email a photo from here in the past, but I think the email booths had actually been removed. We just saw some design figment screens. This area needs a revamp, as the techonology is no longer as innovative as it once was. I think the area where you can make music with your arms was there when I visited in high school.
It was nearly 4pm, so we decided to head back and find our room. I never did receive an email but we had been busy so we weren’t exactly feeling homeless.
I took a few photos off the girls on the way,.
It was quite pleasant strolling back through World Showcase and then we caught the boat back to the Boardwalk.
When we got back, we checked at the desk and got our room number. Which is very very close to the lobby, Probably the closest room you can get. it hasn’t got the greatest view, but the short walk is a real bonus.
it’s been a few years since we stayed in a one bed (in fact Molly can’t remember it), and it is really nice to have the extra space and the washing machine, which was immediately put into use.
We pottered around unpacking, in the AK studio there were only a few places to put things but here there are so many choices that I keep changing my mind about where I want everything, but we get unpacked and settled in. Washing on, Coffee on, it’s like being at home.
We relax for a couple of hours, and then decide we’d better get some tea. We had talking about going back into Epcot for some dinner and a walk around the World Showcase, but I decided we should head offsite and also go to the supermarket for snacks. Katie is not so impressed with this idea, and has the huff. This continues through most of dinner, so it’s not the most relaxing of meals.
We went to Uno’s which we’ve never tried before, and we all shared a Large Chicago pan pizza. I thought it was lovely, although very filling. Katie didn’t like it, but I’mnot sure she would have liked anything as she wasn’t in the best frame of mind.
We had soup or salad to start, followed by the deep dish pizza. This was quite different to our usual pizza, with the cheese on the bottom and the sauce on top. It had Italian sausage topping which was lovely.
Molly enjoyed it
After dinner we went up to Winn Dixie to get some snacks, and a couple of meals we can eat in our room. We have a full kitchen, so while I don’t want to ‘cook’, I can certainly heat up a lasagna or make a sandwich. We wandered around for a little while, it wasn’t overly impressed with Winn Dixie, there didn’t seem to be a lot of choice (at least not for ready meals which is what we wanted), and as is often the case, things like Ham and Cheese were all in enormous packets which we didn’t need. We decided on some pulled pork, and Cheese Manicotti for meals in the room, and got some snacks and sandwich stuff as well.
Once we had our groceries, we went back to our hotel. Phil and the girls went down for a swim, and I stayed in the room and used the spa bath. Very nice. I was tempted to add a few bubbles but I had visions of a room full of suds so I restrained myself…