Day 11- Conquering the Mountains, and a Bay Lake Tower.

Our plan for the day is to ‘’do the mountains’ at Magic Kingdom,     we are also moving out of the Boardwalk into Bay Lake Towers.    We get ourselves sorted and pack up and have Bell Services collect our luggage.   I know I’ve booked fastpasses, but I can’t remember what time,    so I am trying to check the app but I can’t get logged on.   On the way out of the hotel I ask at the front desk and they are also having problems,   it turns out everything is down everywhere.    The front desk do manage to give me a list of my fastpasses though,   and first up is Big Thunder at 11.30 – 12.30.


We drive over to Bay Lake and check-in,   we’ve got no room yet,   so we walk over to Magic Kingdom.


We arrive at the park just before 12,  but we want to do Big Thunder nearer 12.30, so we can go straight onto Splash,  so we decide to visit with Tinkerbell first.   This is a short 15 minute queue,  and we are soon in and getting our photograph taken.




I liked this little nod to JM Barrie in the waiting area


After meeting Tinkerbell, we walk straight back to Big Thunder.  As we approach Big Thunder, it’s just chaos everywhere.   There’s something going on on Splash Mountain, and the ride is closed and we can see staff up there.  As a result,  everyone has poured onto Big Thunder and there is a massive queue just to get into the fastpass line.    We do eventually get into the fastpass line, and once we are through the gates we move quite quickly and it doesn’t take too long to get onboard.


When we get off the ride,   Splash is still closed and looks like it could be down for a  while.  I ask, and we can use our fastpass later in the day,   so we decide to go to Columbia Harbour House for some lunch.   The girls get jacket potatoes from outside and meet us upstairs.   I tend to go for the Tuna sandwich but today I changed things up and had a lobster roll.  It was very nice,   but I really fancied the chicken pot pie,  however, that’s only available after 4pm.

After lunch, I check the wait times and Splash appears to be running again but now Space Mountain is down.   It’s not the best day MK has ever had,   but it doesn’t seem to be affecting us too badly.   We walk back to Splash Mountain,  and again there is a long queue just to get in the fastpass line,  but once we are in the queue isn’t too bad.


I don;’t think I look quite so silly as I do on the Tower of Terror photo,  but you may disagree.

I think they have put extra logs on this to cope with the crowds as we seem to be going through very close together.   We don’t get wet on the drop,  but just after the drop there is a waterfall that we get stuck at the bottom off.     We aren’t drenched but we are definitely wet.

I would love to take some photos in here,  but with it being a wet ride I have my camera safely packed away.   Maybe I should try with the waterproof camera next time?

As we leave Splash I check my phone, and Space is running again.   We decide to hop on the train to get around the park. 


We get off in Fantasyland and walk along the ‘secret’ path to Tomorrowland.    I decide not to ride,   as it’s quite a bumpy ride ,  so I went into the exit shop and looked for a seat.    I eventually find a windowsill in the arcade and settle down for a spot of Dibbing until they return.    They aren’t too long,   and Molly comes to find me and lets me know that the Photopass’s aren’t connecting automatically so Phil is waiting to get the photo manually added to our account.



while Phil is sorting out the photo,  we walk down to Main Street to find a spot for the parade.

this is the view from the Tomorrowland Terrace – I don’t know what they are doing here?


They have all the seating area along main street roped off,  so that you can still walk along behind the viewers.   I didn’t really understand this, and thought it was the fastpass viewing area,  so I walked past quite a few good viewing spots before I thought to ask.

We did find a spot just in front of Main St Bakery(Starbucks),  which had a good view but was in quite hot sunshine.  I went into Starbucks and got a bottle of water, and a Blackberry Mojito Lemonade Ice Tea – I’ve no idea what was in this as that’s about 5 flavours listed, but it tasted quite nice and was very refreshing,.IMGP4015

Waiting patiently.


Here comes the parade.











After the parade,  we decided to go back to the Bay Lake Towers and find our room,    we always leave the parks saying we will return,  but we aren’t very good at the returning part of the plan.   It’s a short walk to Bay Lake Towers,   IMGP4123


I have mixed feelings about staying here,    the location is superb,  but compared to the theming of the Boardwalk and Animal Kingdom Lodge ,  it just looks like a block of flats to me.   However,   I know a lot of people love it,  and that location is certainly hard to beat.

When we had checked in, I’d asked for a room on the outside (it’s semi-circular),  as I didn’t fancy overlooking the pool,  or looking into other people’s rooms.   It was made quite clear that with a Lake View we wouldn’t be able to see the Magic Kingdom,   but she did give us a high up room on the South Side.   I wasn’t sure if this was going to be good or bad,  but we went with it.

This is our view – we can’t see the Magic Kingdom,  btu we can see Animal Kingdom




The Swan and Dolphin (and you can just make out the hat from Hollywood Studios)


To the side we can see the Grand Floridian and a paddleboat


It’s not a bad view at all….

The room itself is very nicely done out, but it’s tiny,   We spent 2 weeks in a studio at the Boardwalk last year,   I don’t think I could spend 2 weeks here.   However,   it has some nice features,  the kitchen is much nicer than the Boardwalk’s, with more cupboard space and there are plenty of drawers and a cupboard by the tv.    But there’s not a lot of space between the furniture, especially when the bed is out.





I’d quite like to see a one bedroom,  as I think I’d like staying in one of those,    the best of both worlds, great location and a bit more space.

We settle in,  and Molly decides she’d like to watch a movie.   She goes down to the ‘Community Hall’ to rent a movie but they say she needs a parent with her,  so she comes back up (to the 14th floor – which is really the 13th floor if you are superstitious),   and Phil goes back down with her and they borrow Ariel.   We watch the film, and relax for a while,  and decide to go across to the Contemporary for some tea,

We ate in the Contempo Café,  Katie and I had pasta which was very nice, and I think my first pasta of the trip, Molly had a pepperoni flatbrea,  and Phil had a beef salad.   You order at a computer screen, pay,  and then they make the food fresh and give you a buzzer to go and collect it when it’s ready.

the food was lovely,   but the location is a bit manic.   It’s on the main concourse,  so you have monorails going past,   the noise from Chef Mickey’s (which is just over the wall),  and lots of people in the shops etc.   It’s certainly not the place for a  quiet meal,  but we were ok with that.

We had a look around the shops after our meal,   and the girls boughts cakes to eat back in the room.   Mollly and I shared the most enormous Frozen cupcake (Frozen the movie,  not a frozen cupcake).   It had a hideous looking amount of frosting on the top,   but when we cut it in half there was actually more cake underneath the frosting so it was quite nice.

This cupcake features Sven!

Katie had a Mickey Macaron

As we walked back across the bridge to Bay Lake Towers,  the sky looked absolutely incredible,  and there were flashes of lightening.  Of course, my camera was up  in the room.   I went up and got it, and brought it back down,    but missed the best of the sky.  I stood for a while trying to get a shot with lightening but I didn’t manage it.

It was incredibly windy on the bridge,   and I wasn’t about to balance my camera on the solid wall (no railing to peek through),  so I jammed the tripod between myself and the wall and hoped for the best.    Most of the photos are blurry but I got a couple I was reasonably happy with.





I went back upstairs,  and attempted to get my gorillapod secure on the balcony, bearing in mind we were on the 14th floor, and it was quite windy,  it was a bit challenging.   Molly was worried I would drop the camera,  but the camera was inside the railings so it couldn’t fall through,  although I did momentarily wonder if my lens could just fall off (not that it’s ever fallen off before)

I was trying to get a lightening shot,  but while the sky kept lighting up,  the actual lightening was on the other side of the building



First we saw Illuminations at EpcotIMGP4272




Then it was the Frozen fireworks at Hollywood




Then down the corridor to watch Wishes from the stairwell.   Our nearest lobby doesn’t have a good view,  which we didn’t realise,   so after 5 minutes we ran down the corridor to the further lobby where we had a great view (but from behind glass so hard to photograph due to reflections)



We got back to the room,  and I was feeling a little ‘firework fatigue;,  when the kids announced the water pagent was coming by



In between all the various sets of fireworks, Molly had us playing some sillly heads up game on the iphone,   It involves holding the iphone to your head and answering clues (a bit like charades but with words rather than acting).  It was not what you would call a relaxing evening!

2 thoughts on “Day 11- Conquering the Mountains, and a Bay Lake Tower.

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