We’re not going to contemplate all the bad things (bed, rest, a breakfast buffet not worth the name).
No, today we’re going to focus on fun things. Not because it hasn’t been fun so far, on the contrary. But starting today we’re adding some magic to the mix: We’re going ‘home’ to Orlando (or rather, Lake Buena Vista)!
We’re staying at the Old Key West Resort on Walt Disney World property. And all four of us are psyched!
After having dragged the luggage back in to the boot and a quick ‘breakfast’, we quickly departed for Orlando. Soon we passed the Florida state border. We obviously had to stop at the Florida Visitors Centre, if only for the free orange juice they give out to each visitor. Samantha at least was very happy about it, as the juice at ‘breakfast’ had tasted like it was diluted with water…
We grabbed some brochures and then quickly back on the road!
The trip went well, and it looked like we even might arrive before midday.
But like so often during this vacation the plans changed as we got along. We reached the area of St Augustine where we ran in to both the Prime and Premium Outlet malls. We couldn’t pass that without a visit!
They weren’t open yet, but after a 15 minute way we walked in to the Tommy Hilfiger as their first customers of the day! They didn’t have anything for the kids, but both Miriam and I found some nice new clothing!
After that we walked in to the Polo Ralph Lauren, but they didn’t have much that appealed to us this time. We didn’t want to (or have time to) do both the whole malls, so we just visited the shops we were really interested in. There also was a Crocs outlet. The kids bought nice Jibbits, so they were happy too.
After that it was time to head to the other side for the Premium Outlets. Here they had (amongst others) a Character Warehouse (Disney Outlet). Kids happy again. Bought a few nice pins and a Jack Skellington (I’m your worst nightmare!) longsleeve T for Geordi.
Now we really started off again, otherwise we’d never get ‘home’!
Around 1PM we reached Orlando. The kids even closed their Nintendo DSs to enjoy all the recognizable views! I guess we’ll file this under ‘enjoyment’!
And thus, while enjoying ourselves, we finally pass through that magical gate again around one thirty-ish. Finally almost ‘home’! The backseat area starts to slowly get more ‘busy’ in the sound department.
We showed up at the gate of ‘Old Key West’ and the nice lady castmember – after checking our name in the system – told us “Welcome Home!”…
Check in was very fast and efficient and we were lucky. Our room, or rather, villa, was ready and we could go in immediately. And there even was a package waiting for us: a Welcome Basket (hold that thought, we’ll revisit this!)
When we opened the front door of our villa, Miriam was very impressed! What a space and what does it all look nice, neat and mainly cozy. The kids went totally crazy!
Here are a few pictures to give you an impression. We have a 2 room villa!
|*living room*||*dining table with the balcony/deck area*|
|*fully furninshed kitchen*||*entrance*|
|*Bedroom from the bathroom*||*bedroom from the window*|
|*washer and dryer*||*toilet and shower*|
|*wash basin 1*||*wash basin 2 and jacuzzi*|
Now back to the Welcome Basket!
I am on the Mouse for Less mailing list and a while back they had a ‘guess the picture’ contest. Sections of photographs were posted, and you’d have to guess what general area, and what exact locations there were made. The area was Downtown Disney, the locations were shops. After a night of puzzling we, as we thought, were pretty sure we had most of them. So I just mailed them in and we were curious how many we had correct. The person with the most correct answers would win a Welcome Basket winnen (And and in case of a draw, they’d draw one random winner!). We’d completely forgotten about that contest when we got an email that we had 9 out of 10 correct and had been drawn from others to win the prize! So today we got to collect that prize.
It was a total surprize to find out what was in there!
And now we finally got to unpack those suitcases. Even though we thoroughly enjoyed last week, we are really happy that we do not have to repack a suitcase tomorrow and drag them back in to the car!
The kids got to watch some (Disney) TV, while Miriam and I unpacked the suitcases in to the drawers and closets. And in the mean time I started a laundry: The villa has a big washer and dryer in there just for us.
Around 4PM we finally got to go to the Magic Kingdom. But first we had to go back to the Concierge/Service desk, as the name on Miriam’s Key to the Kingdom was wrong. This was quickly corrected and we got to take the shuttle bus to the Magic Kingdom!
It felt good to be back and all four of us walked around with huge smiled on our faces!!!
We weren’t planning on rushing on to rides, bus to simply inhale the Disney atmosphere, steal a parade and not to forget the fireworks!
Only… the skies turned darker and darker and the first drops started falling. The show that just started on the castle stage was stopped and canceled. We decided to dive in to one of the stores, before the rains really came down. That was not a bad idea, as it started raining faster and rumbling louder as we got closer to the shops!
For us that is no disaster, as we had an ADR for Tony’s Town Square Restaurant at 6PM. So while the heavens poured down inches of rain, we were enjoying out Italian food!
I chose Breaded Chicken on Pasta, Samantha Vegetarian Lasagna, Geordi Cheese Pizza en Miriam fell for a New York Strip. It all tasted very good! (Or maybe we were just hungry!) 😛
Once we were done, the rain hadn’t stopped yet, which was a bummer. But we had our rainpocho’s in our bags. So we put those on (not our favorite attire) and walked to Toontown. In Toontown we went to see the Fairies. This is something Samantha has longed for for a very long time: meet Tink. So that was something we ‘had’ to do first.
Waiting time was indicated as 90 minutes, but in reality it cannot have been more than 30. And every time we moved closer, Samantha’s grin grew bigger. Geordi was happy as well: aside from Tink and Iridessa, Terence was also present! Both kids were elated. And Samantha was in heaven. She’s been a Tinker Bell fan since she was a toddler, and later also closed the Fairies in her heart. Even funnier… She looks a lot like Tinker Bell, especially as her moods are concerned (“mood subject to change without notice!)…
Once outside Miriem gave herself a mini doll of Minnie dressed up as Tinker Bell, for in the new car! She got a Disney Pin like that on a previous pin, and it is a favorite. So now also as a cuddly toy…
After that we walked to the beginning of Main Street, USA for the Main Street Electrical Parade. The rain really helped us here… As a lot of visitors had already left the park, despite EMH!
Seeing the parade again was great, and better than Miriam expected. But that music does seem to stay stuck in your head…
After the parade we made our way (through the shops) to the castle outer courtyard to watch the fireworks. (We even beat the parade there) We had to wait about half an hour, but had a great spot!
The fireworks were truly amazing! Too bad Tinker Bell didn’t fly from the pinnascle today. Samantha was disappointed. But we had warned her beforehand, as the lightning had not yet completely gone away!
The Nightastic fireworks done, we decided to head for ‘home’. e quickly reached the bus stop, and the bus quickly arrived, so top marks all around!
The kids went to bed very tired but satisfied. We expect Samantha will be dreaming of Tinker Bell tonight…