Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Bonus Magic Day... Tuesday, September 27

We decided at the last minute to add another park day onto our tickets. Woo hoo!! It was only $25 for the three of us, and definitely worth it to see Sean enjoying his favorite rides one more time.

We started the day with the Character Breakfast at Cape May Cafe in our resort. Jeff and I both decided we love the breakfast buffets as opposed to the lunch or dinner. Everything we ate was really mouth watering delicious! And Sean was able to meet with Goofy, Donald and Minnie in their swimming gear. What fun!

From there we drove on over to the Magic Kingdom, arriving around noon. First stop was the train where Sean was chosen to be the guest conductor. He was really thrilled, and the look on his face was worth the extra $25. Check it out...

 We rode the train over to Frontierland where we grabbed fast passes for Splash Mountain, and rode it standby. This ride is at the top of Sean's list alongside the Winnie the Pooh ride. Next up was Jungle Cruise, and then over to Fantasyland for Winnie the Pooh, Mickey's Philharmagic, It's a Small World, the Carousel. Next we convinced Sean to ride the Haunted Mansion (much to his dislike...and he's still not sure it was a good idea), and then he was able to catch a short catnap during the Hall of Presidents.

Finally, we made our way back over to Frontierland to ride Big Thunder Mountain Railroad and Splash Mountain again for our last hurrah.

A day well spent.

EPCOT Rainout ... Monday, September 26

Monday we slept in yet again (can we get a YAY!), and I made a big breakfast for us including eggs, pancakes and sausage. Yummy. Then we made our way to EPCOT at 11am for the opening of  the World Showcase. Did I mention our resort is a hop, skip and jump away from the International Gateway at EPCOT? That's between England and France for those of you familiar with the countries there. We clocked the walking time at approximately 10-15 minutes door to door. Not too shabby.

I made a special EPCOT passport book for Sean, and we made it to all of the 11 countries to get the booked stamped and a special note from each native. He also had a blast coloring in his Duffy the Bear. Along the way we saw several attractions and rides including the boat ride in Mexico, Maelstorm in Norway, and the 360 degree movies in Canada and China.

Our pit stop around lunchtime was in Germany where we grabbed a drink and pretzels, and rested our weary bones.

We also stopped to see a few characters such as Mulan, Snow White and the Beast (from Beauty & the Beast). Unfortunately Photopass is missing our photos of Snow White (boo hoo).

Just before 4pm the obligatory afternoon Florida rain started, and we donned our ponchos to tackle the last few countries we had yet to visit... and then hopped, skipped and jumped back to our resort to throw our clothes and shoes in the dryer. We decided to throw those ponchos back on after dinner to catch the Illuminations show at EPCOT, and it did not disappoint. 

I posted these videos the other day, but they bear repeating...


Starstruck 2: DHS, Sunday, September 25

Sunday we slept in AGAIN, and went back over to Hollywood Studios for a late lunch at Hollywood & Vine's Disney Junior Play 'n' Dine. It was an awesome buffet, and we were able to meet with Agent Oso, Handy Manny & Leo and June from Little Einsteins. They also had singing and dancing which Sean surprisingly LOVED.

After lunch we caught the parade, rode the Great Movie Ride, and then attended Characterpalooza in the Animation Building. I found out that on days when they don't hold an earlier Fantasmic show they bring out extra characters at 4:50 and 5:20pm. We hit the jackpot meeting Minnie, Pluto, Max, Pinochio & Gepetto, Mary Poppins & the penguins, Captain Hook & Mr. Smee, Pocahontas & Meeko, Frozone & MR & Mrs Incredible. Woo Hoo!!

Sean & Jeff then rode Star Tours again (it makes me sick!), and we were able to see the Jedi Training Academy. Very cute! Sean loved watching it, so I think we'll have to sign him up for that the next time we're here. He & Daddy then went to build his very own light sabre. Whoa. Not sure if that was a good idea or not!

We decided to jump in the line to meet Phineas & Ferb. The line was long, but they are new characters that we have not met yet so we decided to take the time while waiting for Fantasmic.

To end our evening, we went to see Fantasmic: one of our favorite nighttime shows here in Disney World. I video taped the entire 30 minute show and overheated our little video camera, and lost it. If you're interested in seeing what it is, this is a great video.

In the meantime, here is a little video of Sean spontaneously dancing while waiting for the show to start. The kid surprises me every now and then...

Stormalong Bay ... Saturday, September 24

Saturday was our day to sleep in, relax and enjoy the pool. Stormalong Bay here at the Yacht & Beach... believe all of the hype, because it's downright cool. It's huge with like four or five different pools, all with sandy bottoms. And a kick butt water slide that Sean was not afraid to tackle on his own. The slide starts at the perch of the shipwreck you see above, and ends on the other side of the boardwalk into the main pool. We all loved it.

We took mostly videos this day, so grab some popcorn and enjoy the movies...

Starstruck @ Hollywood Studios ... Friday, September 23

Friday we explored Hollywood Studios. We wanted to make it there for rope drop, but we were moving a little too slow. We walked through the gates about 9:05am and were met with about a ten minute line just to obtain fast passes for Toy Story Mania. OMG! Who said that September is slow? And trust me, had this day listed as a neutral day, so it's not like it was an "avoid" day. We did then ride stand by, and enjoyed seeing all of Andy's toys as if we were toys ourselves. I think we were in line for about 30 minutes, so not too bad. Later in the day the line was never less than 60 minutes.

We then enjoyed Disney Junior playhouse show, Muppets in 3D, Toy Story Mania (again! this time using our fast passes), and Star Tours.


We also took the time to meet characters like Handy Manny, the Little Einsteins, Green Army Man, Woody & Buzz, Mike Wazowski from Monsters Inc, Winnie the Pooh (again!), and Lightening McQueen & Mater.

The rain interrupted our day briefly -- mostly while Sean & Jeff were riding Star Tours, so I covered up in ponchos and waited patiently. Sean wasn't too happy to have to take his off when the rain stopped... hence the tears.

EPCOT Futureworld & a New Resort.... Thursday, September 22

Thursday morning we checked out of Bay Lake Tower, and called Bell Services to pick up our luggage to send over to our new resort, the Beach Club Villas. Super easy. We've really liked staying at two different resorts that offer such great perks.

We headed over to EPCOT (thinking we could easily take the monorail over and hopped on at the Contemporary over to the Ticket & Transportation center to switch over to EPCOT's monorail... only to find out it wasn't working, and had to then take a bus... that was really kind of annoying, but whatever, right?).

We spent the first part of the day in Futureworld seeing and riding Soarin' (twice!), Figment's Journey into Imagination, Captain EO, Spaceship Earth, Test Track, Finding Nemo, and Turtle Talk with Crush.

We had lunch at the Coral Reef which did not disappoint. Jeff & I both had the Sirloin Steak and Sean gobbled down a pizza. After lunch we went over to Innovations West to get our free Chase Visa Meet 'n' Greet where we met with Minnie & Goofy... if it weren't for seeing other people's pics on the internet, I would swear that's whose always there. We've met them three years in a row now! No complaining. It's private and we get a free 5x7 print.

About mid-afternoon we made our way to the Beach Club via a bus ride to Hollywood Studios and a boat ride  from there. Whew! Yes, we could have walked but Jeff's feet by this point were pretty bad (did I tell you he bought brand new shoes and didn't break them in? yep, I heard you say, "duh!").

The Beach Club is very nice, although coming from Bay Lake Tower we miss the extra space it provides. We're in a one bedroom villa here too, but it's clearly smaller. It's also more run-down, but we're comparing it to a one year old resort. The perks are by far the pool. More on that later. And the fact that you can take a boat &/or walk to both EPCOT and Hollywood Studios. We've only been on a bus to get to Animal Kingdom this trip!


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