Day 4 ~ Monday Sept.22nd
One thing I enjoy on vacation is a totally unhealthy fry up breakfast and today was no exception at the GF café! My DW incidentally has the complete opposite approach, preferring fruit or cereals but hey, each to there own!
After breakfast my DW and I took the monorail over to the MK and immediately we were taken aback by all of the Halloween decorations which adorned the entrance since we don`t really celebrate this event in such a big way over here.
We are at a stage now where we can visit the parks at a leisurely pace rather than running around like headless chickens trying to take it all in like we did on our initial visits. Furthermore, thanks to our AP`s we can come and go as we please so we don`t ever think that we are wasting money if we only visit a park for just a few hours, selectively choosing the rides we want to try out.
One thing we noticed was how relatively quiet the MK appeared with hardly any lines for most of the rides. As my DW has not been in the best of health recently and therefore did not feel up to being thrown around too much, I became “husband of the year” and kept well away from any of the more adventurous rides to concentrate on the more tame attractions.
We did a complete tour of the park at a very steady pace spending a few “people watching “ breaks along the way which was quite entertaining in itself at times.
The HM and POTC were both walk straight in attractions which was great as it was getting a tad warm by now to be standing in line for any length of time.
My DW did surprise me by suggesting that we did the Magic Carpets of Aladdin ride as we had never done this one before and again we only had to wait for a few minutes and we were up and running [or should I say flying?]. Again, I put my DW`s feelings first and resisted the temptation to re-enact a Battle of Britain dogfight by using the up and down joy stick too much!
After a bit more strolling and wandering through the shops we caught the boat back to the GF where we had a snack lunch at Gasparilla`s.
This was actually a wise move because shortly after lunch we experienced a huge thunderstorm and even the paths at the GF were a no-go area for a while as they became totally flooded with the deluge.
The rest of the afternoon was spent indoors in the main building browsing the shops before we bought a couple of rain ponchos and made a run for it to our room to get ready for dinner.
Fortunately the rain had finished when we took the short walk to the main building for dinner at Citrico`s. For those of you who have never dined there do give it a try, it`s a lovely restaurant and if you are lucky you will get a table looking towards the MK for a good view of the fireworks.
At the podium we asked if our favourite server [Gwen….yes, yet another CM we have got to know! :p015:] was on duty and we were very pleased to find out that tonight she could be our server again. She first of all welcomed us back and soon we were chatting away like long lost friends which we were in a way!
Suffice to say that we had an excellent meal and superb service as usual, before we bade Gwen farewell and headed back to our room as the copious amount of wine I had consumed was telling my brain that my bed was calling!
Day 5 ~ Tuesday Sept.23rd
Louise was at the podium for breakfast at the GF Café so I asked her about the chances of making an ADR for dinner there on Friday as we wanted somewhere near to Mitzners Lounge for the “Secrets mini-meet” planned for that day. [I had enquired earlier but the lady at the podium at the time told me that there she couldn`t let me make an ADR as they had all been “used up”, but to just roll up and take my chances. ]
I was therefore very grateful when Louise said “No problem for you two, what time would you like to eat?” and this put our minds at rest.
Continuing our whistle stop tour of the parks, after breakfast my DW and I caught the bus and headed off to the Studios…I still find it hard not referring to this park as MGM.
This was one of those occasions when we had a very talkative driver who did an amazing job en-route. He had been told that two of the passengers was celebrating their wedding anniversary so he made an announcement to this effect and then played a recorded “Happy Anniversary” message from all at WDW.
He then asked if anyone had a birthday today and following a “Yes” from another passenger, he had us all singing “Happy Birthday to you” which was a nice touch. Throughout the journey he was cracking jokes and it was obvious that he really enjoyed his job and meeting people and he went on to say that today was also his second anniversary of working for Disney so we all applauded him warmly.
Still sticking to the “Avoidance of white knuckle rides” policy for the benefit of my DW, we started off with the Great Movie Ride which we walked straight on with no wait time at all.
I then thought it would be good to get a fast pass for the new “Toy Story Mania” ride which we hadn`t seen before. Although the time was only around 10.30 am, the time stated for our fast passes was for us to return between 4.30 and 5.30 pm!!!...and this despite the fact that the park didn`t seem very busy. Obviously most of the guests must have had the same idea as we had!
The Studio Backlot Tour was again a walk on experience but we were disappointed to find out at the end of it that the Lights, Motors, Action show was not going to take place this day.
We also timed it just right to avoid the pre show, and walk right into Muppet Vision 3-D before a general walk around the park before catching the bus back to the GF. When the bus stopped at the Contemp., two guys boarded and sat opposite us and I gave them our fast passes for the Toy Story attraction that we hadn`t used which they very much appreciated.
Back at the GF we went to our room to find that Ricardo had left a message on our telephone to confirm that he and his wife were going to meet us the following evening and that they were to take us somewhere special and close to their hearts, asking us to wait for them outside the GF at 8.00pm tomorrow. :smiley4:
After lounging around the pool for a while, we bathed and got ready for the trip to the Blue Zoo at the Swan/Dolphin Resort complex. Avoiding the cost of valet parking we followed the signs to the self parking lot only to find that we had to take a ticket to enable the barrier to raise up and that there would be a $10 fee for the privilege of using the parking lot! :mad:
Fortunately I mentioned this to the lady at the podium at the Blue Zoo and she stamped the ticket to allow me free parking. I wonder how many others have just paid the fee without raising the issue?
This is one of our favourite on site restaurants and they have a very attentive staff that wait on the tables and it also goes without saying that the food and menu selection are excellent.
In all the times we`ve been there we`ve never seen too many children around which is great if you want to have that romantic dinner for two.
Our timing was perfect because we arrived back at the GF just in time to view the fireworks at the MK, a perfect end to the day.