You will be pleased to know that this will be the final instalment of my trip report of our recent vacation.
Having said that I`ve managed to condense a 26 day vacation into only 7 parts, instead of writing a day to day account which would probably bore you all to death!
This part covers a couple of final main activities of our trip which I thought I`d share with you.
En-route to the Gaylord Palms with Ray & Jill we were told about the Octoberfest which is held there over certain weekends so we opted to visit this event on Saturday Oct.9th along with Wendy & Chris.
Chris did the driving after picking us up from our villa [thanks Chris ], and we arrived at Celebration at around 6.45pm and the town was heaving! Celebration does not have an abundance of parking places at the best of times, but somehow we have always managed to locate a spot even during the festive season when we go to watch the “snow” fall along Market Street.
Tonight though was exceptionally busy. We followed a line of cars into the town and spotted a girl holding a board stating “Parking $3”, and directing the traffic to a private car park outside a large building…I`m not sure what the building was, but when we arrived there we found that the parking lot was completely full and we had just missed the last available space by 2 or 3 cars.
Fortunately after driving along almost every street near to the town centre, we spotted a vacant space right at the end of a road opposite Market Street which we quickly dived in before we were pipped to the post!
Market Street was closed to traffic and at the end of the street by the lake was an “Oompah band” blasting out German tunes with all of the musicians dressed in lederhosen. [Sp?]…not exactly Eric Clapton, but it sure added to the atmosphere!
Oom pah band
There were loads of stalls selling various food items and beer etc. along with a bouncy castle to keep the kids amused.
We had been told that every hour they did a “Leaf Fall” along Market Street so we decided to have dinner first and to see this later. My DW and I normally dine at the Columbia Restaurant whenever we visit Celebration so we all headed there. Unfortunately as we hadn`t made a reservation we had to accept a table in the bar area to the side of the main restaurant, and probably due to the restaurant being so busy, our dinner took ages to be served to our table. Or should I say it took ages for Wendy`s, Chris`s and my dinner to be served because somehow they had omitted my DW`s meal!
I called our server over to complain and she apologised and very quickly arranged for my DW`s meal to be served in double quick time so that she wouldn`t be eating alone after we had finished ours.
In fairness, when the bill arrived, they hadn`t charged for my DW`s meal by way of compensation which helped to dispel some of our annoyance, but this seemed so out of character compared with our other dining experiences there in the past. Seeing as the food is good though, this slip up will not deter us from visiting again.
We went for a short walk around the town before standing at the end of Market Street just before the leaf fall was about to take place, passing the time in conversation and tapping in time to the oompah beat!
On the hour, loads of different coloured paper leaves were blown into the street and the children were frantically trying to gather as many as they could. We were told that there were a few golden coloured leaves in the mix which earned the collector a prize which for sure added to the frenzy!
We departed at around 10.00pm, pleased to have been able to tick off another “first” in Orlando for my DW and I.
The Leaf fall
We visited this park on Wednesday Oct.7th and unlike our later experience at WDW, it was remarkably quiet even though it was around 10.30am by the time we arrived.
Most of the rides are now beginning to get a bit dated, however we still enjoy them so to take advantage of the non-existent lines we crammed in as many as we could.
“E.T.” was followed by “Terminator 3-D” in quick succession before we went to the “Simpsons” ride which has replaced the “Back to the Future” attraction. My DW waited outside this latter ride though as simulators are not her cup of tea!
To be frank, I don`t know why they bothered to replace the BtttF ride with this one. It is exactly the same, however you now ride in a different vehicle than the DeLorean, and I much preferred the visuals on the defunct ride, probably because I`m not a huge Simpsons fan. I exited the ride rather disappointed despite the hype I had heard when the ride first opened!
The Simpsons Ride
After a snack lunch in the San Francisco area, we walked almost straight onto the “Jaws” ride where we had an excellent operative in charge of our boat….obviously using his own script!
Again, the “Shreck” attraction was a walk on experience for us as they were just about to start the next show by the time we arrived there.
We left Shreck just in time to watch the “Blues Brothers” doing their act which is something that I always make sure to see whenever we visit that park as I just love that movie and those guys at Universal take their roles very well.
After a spot of walking around the park, and my customary purchase of an illusion from the magic store, we left the park at around 5.00pm ready for a relaxing evening.
All in all this was a great trip which was greatly enhanced by the various folks we met up with from here for the occasional dinner etc….Wendy/Chris, Tom/Carol and John/Donna, not to mention our great friend Ricardo and my DW`s friend from Miami [Donna] who drove up to spend a weekend with us at our villa.
There are others whom we would have loved to have met on this trip too but as usual insufficient time was available in the end, there`s always another time though eh?