Today is our 18th wedding anniversary, we don’t make a big fuss over wedding anniversary’s but the girls have bought as a card and we have Disney anniversary badges which get quite a few comments.
This is one of our non-park days. I had hoped we might do something exciting with it, but we need to do some shopping (as mundane as that sounds, there are some clothes, particularly jeans, that I find very hard to buy at home, and the girls need some clothes too)
I really don’t want this to take all day, so I make a list of shops we need to visit, and determine that we can find them all at the Premium Outlets, International Drive, and the Florida Mall. I want to be at Premium Outlets when it opens at 10, but of course, we aren’t. It’s nearer 11 before we arrive. We quickly find PS (the kids version of Aeropostale) for Molly, and I go into the Bass shoe store for some work shoes. I find a pair I kind of like, but I’m not sure, so I don’t end up buying them. Molly however, does much better in PS and comes out with quite a few things. My next stop is Lane Bryant, where I need some jeans. My last pair came from here about 3 or 4 years ago and they have finally fallen apart. I tried on about 10 pairs, and found 2 that I really liked. That’s quite a miracle as I could spend all day in the Metrocentre and never find a pair of jeans that fit. I also pick up a top. As I entered the store, I was given a scratch card which gave me 40% of my entire shop, however when they ring up the sale it is only taken off the top. I am not always on the ball, but I noticed and when questioned the sales assistance just said ‘oh yes, and took the 40% off’ which I thought was a bit suspicious if I’m honest. Anyway, I left with 2 pairs of jeans and a top for $60 so I was quiet happy with that.
The final thing I wanted from here was a Vera Bradley bag, I’d been debating since our last shopping trip and had decided to treat myself to a handbag that will hold an ipad or tablet. we found the store, but this was a definite Outlet store, with tables piled high with bags. the prices were very cheap, even less than the other outlet store, but I think it was last years patterns (which wouldn’t bother me as I wouldn’t know a season’s patterns) however, they had none of the specific style of bag I’d seen.
We left Premium Outlets, and wanted to head to Florida Mall. After sitting at a traffic light which never seemed to change, we were eventually on our way. We got parked near JC Penney and headed into the mall. First stop was the food court, and we all had chinese food which was very nice.
In here, we wanted to go to Old Navy, Hollister and possibly Aeropostale. 3 stops and out. We found Old Navy quickly, and with some encouragement Katie found some jeans she likes. It’s sixth form in September, and no uniform, so she will need some clothes to wear. Unlike most teenagers, she seems impossible to buy clothes for and sill spend all day at the mall and leave with nothing. Anyway, she bought some jeans, and we had a look in Aeropostale (which has changed dramatically since our last trip and not for the better). It was crazy busy as it was tax free weekend, but we did manage to get a few t-shirts. Aero used to be great for t-shirts and hoodies and always had big discounts on offer, but that all seems to have changed now, and I don’t think we will be rushing back
We walked around for a while trying to find Hollister, and eventually realised we’d walked past it already. I sent the rest in, while I went over to Sketchers and managed to buy myself a pair of work shoes with Memory foam soles. Very comfy. It was buy 2 get 20% off, but I didn’t really need 2 pairs.
I found the family in Hollister, and once again Katie couldn’t find anything she wanted. You would think this was a good thing, but it gets very frustrating when she hardly owns any clothes and often says she has nothing to wear.
By this point, we were all tired and we seemed to have been shopping for far far too long. I’d wanted a look in JC Penney but we just weren’t in the mood. We got back to our car, and as we approached the car, 2 cars appeared out of nowhere and started to fight over our space. One was parked completely behind us so we couldn’t get out of the space, and another car behind him. So if the first car moved to let us out, the 2nd car was going to get the space. Consequently there was a stand off. We were just sat in the car, but we could hear them arguing, and then the driver of the first car came over to ‘apologize’ but said he just wasn’t’ moving, as he’d got here first and it wasn’t fair, he’d been looking for a space all day. We didn’t’ really want to get involved in any sort of fight, so we just sat tight and I think eventually the 2nd car must have given up as we were finally released from our space and allowed to leave. Far too much excitement over a parking space.
We were all quite pleased to see the back of the Florida Mall, but the shopping had taken far too long and we just wanted to head back to our hotel for a rest.
I only allowed everyone a short rest, as I didn’t want to waste the whole day. Although it was to be a non park day, I wanted a little bit of Disney in my day, so we were going to go to Chip n Dale’s campfire.
First we needed some tea, and as we had been to the Contemporary the night before, we wanted something different. We decided on Capt’ Cooks at the Polynesian. This probably wasn’t the smartest choice, as the Poly is under massive amounts of construction, but we got the monorail around and eventually found Capt Cooks (sort off), the main restaurant is closed but they had a temporary restaurant set up. The room wasn’t much to look at, but the food was very nice. All with a South seas flavour.
Katie had coconut meatball sandwich, I had teriyaki chicken, Molly had a salad, and Phil had a Big kahuna Sandwich which couldn’t have had any more meat on it if it had tried.
After tea, we spent a good 10 minutes looking for restrooms that we had walked right past…. and then we got the monorail to Magic Kingdom and a boat to Fort Wilderness.
the boats cross the road, using this water bridge.
We think this is River Country.
We got off the boat at Fort Wilderness ,
and then realised we didn’t know where the Campfire was. I had assumed it was near the boat dock but it’s not. We asked a few people and were eventually told to take an Orange bus, so we walked down to the bus depot and asked someone else. He was the driver of the Yellow bus but he said if we hopped on he would show us a shortcut. We got on, and set off through the are of Fort Wilderness with all the motorhomes and campervans. We saw some very very impressive motorhomes, and then the occasional pitch with a tent on it. Many years ago I met someone at a Dis meet who was spending the whole summer at Fort Wilderness in a tent. I thought she was a brave women, and I am still thinking that….
The bus driver told us where to get off the bus, and then directed us down a road past some very campervans, and said we would see the campfire. It did feel a bit like setting off into the unknown, but sure enough just around the corner we could see the area. It was quite busy when we arrived and Chip n Dale were out taking photos. I was a bit worried we’d missed them, but I’d read to arrive at 7.30 and ti was exactly 7.30 when we got there. Dale came over and took a photo with us, but then they left.
I was a little worried that we’d missed the best part of the evening, but I needn’t have worried.
This photo was taken by Dale
and so was this one
After Chip n Dale left, they lit two campfires , and you could roast hot dogs or smores. A lot of the campers had their own supplies but for us non campers you could buy a ‘Smores Kit’ which had a bag of marshmallows, 2 bars of chocolate, a box of graham crackers and 2 roasting sticks. it was $10
We got one bag, and I thought the kids how to make smores. They have had the girl guides version but never with the real deal Graham crackers, and Molly’s only ever melted her marshmallow over a candle, so this was a new experience.
there were some expert marshmallow roasters amongst the campers, there appeared to be a differing of opinion on technique. There was the just set fire to it crew, the slowly hold it above the heat method, and one man had 4 marshmallows on his stick and was constantly rotating it like a spit so they were evenly roasted.
I started out trying to get a light toasting, but it got busy near the fire later on so I went for the flames option. It was much quicker.
After s little while, the fire went out and one of the cast members was desperately trying to relight it. There were a lot of very patient children (and adults) waiting with sticks hoping to roast another marshmallow or two
Hooray – it’s lit
One perfectly roasted marshmallow
Unfortunately, by this time the chocolate had all melted, so it was getting a bit messy
After about 3/4 of an hour, a performer came out and sang country songs, both Disney songs and other sing a long songs, such as She’ll be coming round the mountain, take me home country roads, all ones that everyone knew. It was a good atmosphere and people were all joining in the singing. While he was singing, Chip n Dale came back out for more photographs
Getting into the sing a long
The sing a long ended with Chip n Dale dancing with everyone.
And then they said good night, and we settled down to watch a movie.
Unfortunately, the movie was the Little mermaid, which we had just watched the night before, however , we were all enjoying it. It ran for about an hour when it just suddenly stopped and all the lights came on. there was an announcement that due to the weather, the movie had been stopped and we were to go home. It wasn’t raining but there had been some lightening.
I was a little unsure if that meant the boats would be running, as the Boardwalk boats don’t run in a thunderstorm.
I asked a few cast members but noone seemed to know. We made our way through the woods to a bus stop, and stood by the side of the road waiting for a bus. It seemed very dark, and there was no sign of anyone else waiting for a bus, so we thought we’d walk upto the main boat dock area. Of course, as soon as we set off walking, a bus turned up, so we ran back and caught the bus. I asked this bus driver about the boats, and he suggested we get a bus to Wilderness Lodge, than a bus to the Magic Kingdom, and then a monorail back to the contemporary. It seemed like a bit of a palava but it would get us home.
We took the bus to the main depot, and found the Wilderness Lodge bus, I asked the bus driver about getting back to the Contemporary and he said, why don’t you just get a boat? so, we decided to go to the boat dock and see if the boats were running. And indeed they were, so a bit of a worry over nothing really.
We had to wait a while on the boat dock, but it was really no hardship as Wishes was going off over the lake and we could hear the music being piped in, so we stood on the boat dock and watched the show. It was a very different view of Wishes, much more laid back. I can definitely see the appeal of staying at the campgrounds, it feels a million miles from Magic Kingdom, but it’s a short boat ride to get there.
Just as the fireworks ended, a little pretty boat appeared to take us home.
As we sailed across the lake, we could see the water pagent. There seemed to be more boats than last night
We docked at the Wilderness Lodge, and then the captain told us we were going to have to wait as all the boats from the Fireworks cruises had returned and were taking up the spaces so we couldn’t dock. We waited a while, and then she decided to sail across really slowly, and hopefully they would have moved by the time we arrived.
When we arrived, there was another boat also sat out on the lake waiting to dock. It wasn’t long before the firework cruise boats left and we were able to dock.
As we walked upto the Contemporary, we could see the cruisers were all meeting Peter Pan.
We went into the Contemporary and upto the store where we bought some bread and pop tarts. We know how to live it up! Then we walked over the bridge and to bed. It had been a late evening but we had all really enjoyed it.