Wednesday, and today we are having a day off, “hooray”, time to catch our breath. A leisurely procedure getting up today followed by a relaxing time watching Mia in the pool with Mum and Dad. Today we were going to have lunch out and use the $50 voucher we had as compensation for the pool not being heated on the day of our arrival, but first, Christine and I had a mission to go to the Florida Mall Disney shop to get a particular Mickey Mouse; believe it or not, we couldn’t get it at any of the Disney parks!!!!!
We eventually got into gear and left, then realised we still had the pushchair and car seat so had to return. After we had loaded our destination into sat nav, we twigged we would struggle to get there, buy what we needed and get back in time for lunch so stooped at the first suitable place we could get a coffee; “Dunkin’ Donuts”, nothing like a nice slimming doughnut to have with your steaming morning coffee, in fact we bought a box of a dozen to take home for tea?????.
Due to a miss communication, when we arrived back at the house, “they” had already left so when we arrived at Longhorns Steak Restaurant, we were late, ah well we are on holiday. We had an excellent, leisurely lunch accompanied with a nice Malbec and finished off with an interesting “house” concoction as a digestif, wow, for the US it was powerful stuff. So powerful, that as we left the restaurant Dave started to climb the wall by the front door but soon got told to come down by the restaurant manager: Health and safety spoils all the fun!!!!
Back to the house to enjoy pudding, doughnuts and other naughties Jane had bought earlier helped down with more alcohol. We then headed for the lovely warm pool to relax, but no, instead we spent a very enjoyable hour or so playing on the lilos etc. Later we all collapsed and had early nights.
Thursday 22nd November, Thanksgiving Day and everything is closed except for theme parks and restaurants which means only one thing, they will all be very busy. To counteract this Dave, Jane and Mia left the house at 0700hrs, we of course stayed in bed!!! It did pay off, as the most important attraction they wanted to do was the “Peter Pan” ride, each of the previous visits we found the queues to be well over an hour’s wait but this morning, getting there at opening time they were on within 20-minutes. Apparently it was a very successful visit in spite of being very busy. They managed to accomplish most of what they wanted. We also accomplished what we wanted, we chilled out by the pool, getting ready for our up-coming cruise.
We did try and get some food shopping from our local Publix supermarket, but as I said, everything was closed so when the family returned, we headed to our nearest Denys; for a less expensive meal. Five miles up the road we found one and enjoyed another steak , though this was not in the same league as Longhorns; but still enjoyable. After a short evening, we all hit the sack.
Friday, and Jane, Dave and Mia left early again; they were meeting friends from Abu Dhabi for Breakfast, we on the other hand had a lazy morning. All week we had been trying to get “this” Micky Mouse to match the Mini Mouse we had bought Mia on a previous trip to Florida and today we headed out again for the big Disney shop in the Florida Mall. Now we knew it was “black Friday” and it would be crowded but, we don’t think we had seen crowds like this before. Firstly parking was a challenge, though this was most probably the biggest car park either of us had seen, finding a place was like looking for a needle in a haystack. Eventually we found one and walked through J C Penny, a local department store. Though the scrum was relatively genteel, people were all on a mission; all we wanted was to walk straight through the store and into the mall though the mall wasn’t that much better!!!! Eventually we found the Disney store, packed to the gunnels with wall to wall people, still we managed to find a Christmas Micky that has to do. After a quick cuppa we returned to the house though a half drive trip took well over an hour, still it was Black Friday; never again.
On the way back to the house we bought some steak and various trimmings for our last night as We knew Dave, Jane and Mia were doing their own thing. We then packed our bags and went off to bed, ready for an early start tomorrow as we fly to New York.
Up and at ‘em early, everybody came to wave us off and we set off for the airport. First we had to drop off the rental car; well signposted into a multi-story car park where there was an army of people to check the car back in and in the most efficient way. Numerous cars were being returned and our car was checked-in by the attendant scanning the bar code on the windscreen, and giving us our receipt before we had removed the cases from the boot; incredible. Orlando is an extreme busy airport and checking in of course is self service so we played the stupid oldies and had everything done for us!!!!! The security check was rather slow to get through but more due to the volume of people, than inefficiency. Being an internal flight, that was it we just had to wait. We eventually loaded and just short of 2 hours, we arrived at JFK, collected our bags with minimal fuss and then searched for our driver who could not be found so jumped into a cab and headed for the hotel.
Our visits to the various attractions took us by surprise, they were so much busier than when I used to go in the late 80’s early 90’s but the real surprise was how short the rides were. On one occasion Jane and Mia queued for well over an hour and the ride lasted 2 minutes. We timed several rides and they were all very short. We got talking to one fellow who had worked at the Magic Kingdom and apparently it was not unknown on Christmas day for the “special rides” to have queues with up to a 4-hour wait and people spending all day and only getting on two of the big rides. The general consensus is February is still the best time to visit though even then it is busy. We don’t see us returning in the future to repeat the experience, still the bonus is our three week cruise starts tomorrow????