Thursday 24th September
We were all up by 8am and repacked our small case. We went to 'The Kitchen' for breakfast - one of the hotel's restaurants. It is a buffet style breakfast with plenty of choice. We opted for the hot offerings as we had been having continental style at the YC. Cost $55 for the three of us.
We checked out leaving our case will bell services. The lobby was crazy as on the last Thursday of every month, HRH holds 'Velvet Sessions' and that night The Bangles ( of 'Eternal Flame') were playing. The lobby is converted into a stage. There were sound technicians and musicians setting up. Tickets were on sale but I did wonder how they could charge resident guests as it was in the public area?
We walked again via the garden path to IOA. The park was empty which was very eerie. DH and DD headed straight for the hulk and rode it over and over. A lot of the stalls/stands were not open and preparations were underway for their Halloween nights which were coming up.
DS loved Animal Actors - a live animal show including pigs, dogs, monkeys etc. It was a a real surprise and an excellent show. We went round the park and rode everything without any wait. FOTL access was not needed.
This is when we encountered our first downpour of rain (weirdly it never rained at WDW - we asked our friends who said it had stayed dry all day) We carried on regardless but were soaked. We loved the Simpsons Ride and Ds watched the Animal Actors show again before we headed back to HRH to pick up our case and grab a cab back to YC. HRH lobby was manic by this time - glad we had stayed night before.
We were 'home' at YC by 4pm where we went to Concierge for some snacks and cool drinks. We were off to Citricos at 8.15pm
DD started chatting to a young chap called Nathan from Toronto whilst we were waiting for the bus to MK. By the time we got to MK she had decided she was not coming with us to Citricos but was going with him and a girl they got chatting to on the bus to MK (this is my DD who doesn't like MK, remember!) This was the start of a lovely friendship - the three of them were inseparable till the end of their respective holidays. They were all the same age and all staying at the YC.
So DH,DS and I went on monorail to GF. Checked in at Citricos to be told there was a wait. We were given a pager and set off for a wander round our beloved GF lobby. It pains me to say it was a bit of a mess as they were relaying the floor, in Italian marble so large sections were screened off. I'm sure it will be beautiful when finished. I had my obligatory visit to Basin White, spending $100 on soaps and shower gels before our table was called.
Wade was our waiter, a lovely chap who has worked at WDW since it opened,,mostly at Citricos and Narcoossees before that. I had Pork Tenderloin two ways and DH had the Halibut. Food and service fabulous as ever.
Got monorail and bus back to YC. DD was still out with her friends.
It was lovely to be back in my YC bed and was looking forward to meeting all our friends the next day. We had chatted on the phone today and they all loved the Saratoga Springs...they were staying in studio, 1 bed and 2 bed and all were really happy with their accommodation (in the Paddock section)