Got back Monday, had a fantastic time. Here are some highs and lows.
Hard Rock Hotel for a whole week at club level – I wasn’t sure if maybe a whole week was too long here but we all loved it, I think we liked it better than the Wilderness Lodge this year. I think it was maybe because the kids are older now.
Our youngest DS being finally tall enough to ride all the coasters and loving them all, he did Sheikra 5 times in a row, which takes me to my next high.
Busch Gardens – This was our first time here. We did the giraffe safari which was a highlight for us all also with having the unlimited express passes we did the coasters many times over. We got there at 9am and didn’t leave till 10pm
Our cabana at Aquatica we were given one of the deluxe ones on the little island between the two wave pools. Very private and comfy also a lovely guy brought us our lunch in a basket heehee.
The wizarding world of Harry Potter, having a 15 year old and an 11 year old who have been brought up on the books and films this was amazing, I know the place has had mixed reviews but we loved it. The cast members were brilliant and handled the crowds well. Single rider on FJ is great if the kids want to go on more than once it only took between 10 and 15 mins to get on. My oldest was picked in Ollivanders to get a wand. Butter beer is so sweet it melts your teeth, I didn’t care for it but the kids loved it. I on the other hand I loved the fizzy pumpkin juice it was like Halloween in a glass.
The shops are small but fun the kids thought the joke shop was pants though, also There is a large part of the FJ ride outside not themed or hidden which looks odd as they have done such a great job with the rest of the place.
Rip Ride Rockit – Great coaster
Getting a free upgrade to a fantastic courtyard view at the Wilderness Lodge.
Hoop De Doo revue – Another first for us. We had a great time; I can’t believe we have never done this before.
Riding Everest 15 times in a row
Virgin Flight out – The cabin crew were fab, the best we’ve had.
Mouse keeping at the Wilderness Lodge so friendly and lovely, we got some fab towel animals and lots of other little Disney magic touches.
The cast members at the poolside of the Wilderness Lodge for keeping DS2 entertained with their many games, competitions, pool parties and other shenanigans when the rest of us were needing time to relax.
Getting the extra magic hours morning and night to work for us this time.
Horror makeup show at Universal another first for us, loved it.
Last but not least in fact probably the best – celebration V Star Wars convention and the last tour to Endor party at DHS. Here are some of the highlighs.
We seen George Lucas, Warrick Davis, 3CPO (forgot his real name lol),Darth Maul, the producer of Empire, Mark Hamill (Luke Skywalker) My 15 year old was so excited as Seth Green was standing near us during the fireworks which were spectacular, I know Seth better from Buffy rather than family Guy heehee! Showing my age there. The fireworks were not only to the music of Star Wars but to parts of the film dialogue being played too, just amazing.
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Indiana Jones and the lost jedi temple of doom was the funniest thing ever.
Lots of geeky nerds dressed up in some fantastic costumes which my boys were jealous of.
Toy story mania being a walk on for most of the night as was Rock and Rollercoaster, you didn’t even stop for the pre show bit, we just walked right through.
Darth Vader dancing to thriller.<o:p></o:p>
Youngest DS doing Jedi training
Meeting lots of genuinely lovely excited and on occasion strange people, the atmosphere was great probably the best time I’ve had in a theme park.
Not too many really.
The weather was unbearable some afternoons and we had to give up on whatever park we were in and retreat back to the pool.
Disney free dining – In the past I have always stuck up for this but this year there was a decline in the standard of both service and food mostly food though as we did have some lovely servers.<o:p></o:p>
Le, Cellier has always been a favourite of ours but the quality of all our steaks were bad and dry, the cheese soup which in the past was also a favourite was far too salty and inedible, and they have also changed their maple crème brulee to a coffee one which was vile. We are all gutted about this place; I can’t believe Disney are making it into a signature restaurant.
Some extremely badly behaved obnoxious rude kids. I will never understand how parents can stand by and watch their kids behave so badly and not say anything. Watching kids demanding things in shops, having a meltdown when they are told no then the parents giving in and buying them it anyway????????? Also the amount of children I saw kicking or slapping their parents??????????? I would like to see my two even thinking about trying that!!!! and my worst pet hate kids crawling on the floor and under tables in restaurants I’m not talking about toddlers here either. In the Crystal Palace at the table next to us a wee girl was standing on the table while her Mum and Dad were eating?????? She was about 7 or 8.
I spoke to a lovely English Mum at another table who was telling me that her son was autistic and sometimes had a problem with the noise in the Disney restaurants but she would never allow him to behave in such a way, bless him he was so excited when Tiger came round.
Getting sunburnt at typhoon Lagoon. I had made sure the kids and hubby had factor fifty on but in the excitement to get in the wave pool I forgot about myself, ouch it’s still sore.
Some grumpy Disney cast members in the parks and some restaurants, don’t get me wrong I’m not looking for pixie dust Disney magical moments or anything but at least make an effort to look less miserable. We found the Universal cast members to be far more helpful and fun this year. I never thought I would ever say that lol.
The Polynesian luau dinner show, what’s that all about then lol I’m just glad we did it on free dining and didn’t pay over $200 which it would have cost. The girls were beautiful and some of the dances that came from the different islands were fab but what was the story all about? and why did a guy come on and sing a Celline Dion style song in the middle for no reason? Then the main lady was talking about a boat paddle for some reason lol I didn’t get it at all. The fire eater/twirler at the end was awesome though.
Last thing I promise - coming home to cold autumn weather, and my puppy not talking to me for leaving her for so long.
We also had some great meals.
The best were-
The Kitchen HRH – fantastic food especially my salmon and DS1’s steak, fab service, and a great atmosphere too. DH and I also had a lovely glass of pinot noir.
Mythos – We have never had a good meal in a Universal park until Mythos. Loved it, especially my crab cakes.
Bubba Gumps – DS1’s scampi was so tasty I wish I had ordered it too. It wasn’t what we would call scampi; it was a pasta dish with prawns and a lovely creamy sauce. He wasn’t for sharing it much either. My coconut shrimp was also fab. Our server was great fun too.
Tusker house Buffet – we loved the choice here. The smoked salmon and vegetarian couscous were my favourites.
1900 Park fare – We did a breakfast here Christmas day 2008 which was the worst meal of our holiday but we thought we would try again. I’m so pleased we did what a fantastic dinner. The choice at the buffet was probably the best from all the dinner buffets we’ve had at Disney.
As for the Characters they were hilarious. Cinderella and Prince Charming were a wee bit sickly sweet for us but the ugly sisters and the evil step mother were a scream.
Our worst meals were
Le’ Cellier see above
Yak and Yetti – the food wasn’t terrible but it was quite tasteless also the table next to us not on the dining plan ordered some dishes the same as us and were given different better looking meals. Another table over from us on the dining plan complained that the waiter had brought their check before they had even received their sweets were left waiting by their server for ages to get their card back after they had finished their meal, the woman was so upset.
Just to say the sweet and sour chicken I got from sunshine seasons in Epcot was far tastier than the Uncle Ben’s tasting one from the Yak and Yeti.
The yachtsman’s Steak house – My DH said it was his worst steak of the holiday and that included TGI Fridays lol there were no vegetables in sight on our plates. I liked my steak but had a dodgy tummy the next day we also met a lady who was there the same night as us who said her hubby was ill with a tummy upset. DS2, 11 was not allowed to order from the children’s menu then after they insisted he have an adult size steak they wouldn’t cook it medium/well for him it had to be well done so he didn’t eat it anyway. Our server was lovely though just not very accommodating. I also had a potato and cheese gratin thing too which had far too much salt in it.
Mama Melrose made a big deal about how we could order what we wanted as it was all cooked fresh and nothing was too much trouble then wouldn’t allow DS2 to order the grilled chicken from the children’s menu. DS2 hated his chicken parmesan too he said the tomato sauce was like the ragu that his granny uses lol He’s a bit of a foodie and wasn’t impressed at all lol he said his pasta was all starchy and stuck together.
Well that’s it for this year, we have already booked to go back next October but it will be a bit different as we are doing our first 7 night Disney Cruise to the Caribbean. Let the planning start.