Florida, Nov -Dec
21st November – Travelling
We left Sydney at 12.30pm Sunday 21st November.
We were able to fly business class and had a basinet for Amy. The flight
was uneventful – Kevin watched a few movies, I played with Amy and read
a little. Amy slept on my chest for a while, which made it difficult for
me to sleep.
We arrived in L.A. early morning and had a
three-hour wait for our flight to Orlando. It was nice to stretch our legs
and Amy got to have a crawl around on the floor. We tried to feed her but
she was mucking up and knocked the jar onto the floor, sending food flying
onto Kevin, the wall, and the carpet. Luckily it cleaned up okay.
On our flight to Orlando we travelled in economy
and had a seat for Amy, into which we placed her car seat. She slept for
about half of the three-hour flight so I was able to do a bit of reading.
We were very pleased with how she travelled on both flights, as were our
fellow passengers – a number of whom commented on how good and happy she
was (which we were repeatedly told throughout our trip).
We landed in Orlando about 6pm. The airport
here is beautiful and I would love to have had a chance to investigate
it more thoroughly. We caught the monorail over, collected our luggage
and made our way to Dollar to collect our mini-van. With extra insurances
the car ended up costing as about US$800 for 11 days. Luckily there was
no extra charge to return it to Miami.
So it’s off to the car and onto our apartment.
It took Kevin a little while to get used to the car and driving on the
other side of the road, but never once did he try to drive in the other
We finally arrived at the Hawthorn Suites
and checked into our room. It was very nice, but not what I had expected.
Firstly we had two double beds, not a King, which meant I had to sleep
with Amy in one bed, Kevin in the other, and instead of a fully equipped
kitchen as we know them in Australia, it was just a small kitchenette with
hot plates, microwave, and limited equipment. We did however manage to
get a room next to Leanne and Noel (who had flown in from New York that
The pool and breakfast room at the Hawthorn Suites
It was getting late now and we all a little
hungry so we bundled back into the car and headed to the local Taco Bell
and KFC, which we took back to our room to eat. I think we finally went
to bed about 10pm, tired and exhausted but ready to hit EPCOT tomorrow.
Day 1 – 22nd Nov, 1999
It was off to a slow start this morning. We had
breakfast from the buffet at the hotel and then set off to get groceries
about 9am. We got just a little bit lost and ended up at the end of International
when we wanted to be in other direction, and
not even on I-Drive. Anyway, we finally found the Super Walmart. Couldn’t
get over how big it was, even the shopping trolleys were huge. Anyway,
since our apartment didn’t have an oven we had to search for suitable foods
to cook for dinner. I also picked up a lot of things to take home – products
that we can’t get in Australia. We were there for about an hour and a half
and spent over US$100.00.
From there it was back to the apartment to
unpack the groceries, then off to EPCOT. We had planned to be there at
12pm but didn’t arrive until 2pm. We had some photos taken out the front,
then went to the Land Pavillion to get some lunch at the Sunshine Season
Food Court. Leanne and I had yummy baked potatoes with brocolli and cheese.
Can’t remember what the guys had, only that it was expensive.
Next stop was catching the friendship boat
across the lagoon to the American Pavillion. I could hear some great music
– later found out it was Off Kilter. The show at the American Pavillion
wasn’t for another hour so went to the Japanese Pavillion. None of us really
liked this, or the Morocan Pavillion. By this time the guys were making
little remarks about my planning. And I definitely know now we should have
done something more fun first. Oh well, live and learn. We did enjoy
the film in France. At the end the CM came and took Amy up to the front
while he gave his little speech. We he bought her back he gave her “her
first french kiss” to use his words.
We walked passed the Millenium Village but
didnt’ go on – that’s on the list for another day. We checked out the shops
in UK. Our last two trips have been to the UK so we didn’t buy anything
here but I loved how it is set out. It looks beautiful. Next was Canada.
Amy slept in her sling through the film, which we all enjoyed.
It was late afternoon now and Kevin was not
having as much fun as he thought he should at WDW, so we headed back into
Future World and onto Journey Into Imagination. We lined up for 30mins
for this and while is was okay, we all agreed it wasn’t really worth the
wait. Next was HISTA. Amy was tired and trying to sleep through this and
with all the screaming (thanks to the DIS boards I knew what was coming
up) I ended up leaving towards the end. The others were spun out by this
We had a 6.15pm booking at Le Celliers and
we were late getting there. We debated not going but everyone agreed to
go since I had heard it was so good. Amy needed to be fed so I sat outside
and fed her while the others went inside. This is one of my favourite memories
of WDW. It was dark and all the lights were on, hardly anyone was
around and it was lovely and quiet as I nursed Amy. As the days went by
I was really glad I was nursing Amy since it forced me to stop and smell
the roses, so to
The restaurant is beautiful. Leanne and tried
the Cheddar Soup and quite enjoyed it, though it was little salty for our
tastes. Everyone loved the pretzel bread. I also had a Cesear Salad which
was very nice. Kevin had the Surf’ n’ Turf. He said it was yummy but we
all nearly died when we saw the size of the meal. Very, very small serve
for the price, US$35.00
Because we were late to dinner we missed Tapestry
of Nations and went straight to line up for Imagination, near the UK pavillion.
We had Beaver Tails with strawberries and cream while we waited – very
yummy and very messy.
Waiting to see Illuminations
We all loved Illuminations and had a great
view (we were up against the railing). Unfortunately Amy was trying to
sleep in the sling and the noise kept waking her up. After the show we
sat around for a while to let the crowds go, then we browsed through some
shops, then waited to see our photos. After a good 30 min wait we didn’t
buy them. We some other people’s photos that were taken at night, and they
looked heaps more impressive. We might get some more taken if we are here
Anyway, weary and exhausted to catch the trolley
back to the car, then back to the hotel, which is a 20min drive, not 5
mins as advertised. We all crash back at the apartment.
Day 2 – Magic Kingdom
had aimed to arrive at the MK at 9am but didn’t get there until 9.30. We
caught the ferry to the Ticket and Transport Centre and it was exciting
to see the hotels I’d heard about, then see Cinderella’s Castle rising
up – it is really beautiful. It was nothing like I had expected.
Once we were inside the gates we headed to
Tomorrow Land and Alien Encounter.
We did a baby swap here – I waited with Amy
while the others went on, then I went on with Kevin. Don’t know I really
liked this – a bit creepy for me. Overall we agreed it was “okay”. I can
see why this would scare younger children.
We then went and got fast passes for Space
Mountain. Next was Buzz Lightyear – which was pretty cool. I had Amy in
the sling and managed to score 105,000 holding Amy and taking some video
at the same time – I have no idea how. Kevin got 120,000. It was good fun.
Leanne and Noel managed to ride this again later in the week.
By this time the park was starting to get crowded
so we went to Timekeeper. The other lined up and I sat down and fed Amy
in the foyer. We quite enjoyed this – very similar to the France film.
Time to ride Space Mountain. We did the baby
swap again. Leanne and Noel rode first, then Kevin and I. We had a few
problems with the baby swap – Cast members not really knowing what we were
supposed to do, but it was never a really big deal.
We all enjoyed SM, though I don’t think it’s
as good as the one at Disneyland. Then again I didn’t even like MK and
much as DL (except the castle) probably because I’m more familiar with
I change Amy’s nappy in the Ladies (I never
ended up visiting the baby change room) which is very crowded just before
lunch and there isn’t a lot of room but we manage.
Time for some lunch at Cosmic Rays. I had
Soup and Half Sandwich (very nice) and Kevin had a sub.
We wonder into Fantasy Land, which is very
crowded (we are used to Disneyland in the off-season). We just do It’s
a Small World with Amy asleep in the sling. It’s Noel’s first time on this
ride and I don’t know that he was very impressed. Kevin and I have always
liked it and will come again when Amy’s awake.
Time to line up for the 3pm parade. It’s 2.10pm and all the good spots
in Main Street are taken (it’s a hot day and we want to get in the shade).
We find a spot in Frontier Land (opposite the Liberty Tavern). Amy and
I go curbside while the other sit on a raised concrete edging. While we
wait we have an Ice Cream (Amy’s first – she loves it), then Lemonade Ice’s
because it’s so warm. The parade is wonderful. Amy loved it and took everything
in. One the bright coloured fishes came right up to her.
Next is the Haunted Mansion. We waited about
10 – 15 mins carrying Amy (about the only time we didn’t use the sling).
We all enjoyed this. We then took the long way around to find the toilets
(noticed no line up at Lion King Show) . Visited the Christmas Shop but
didn’t find anything very exciting.
Back around to Lion King. All liked this.
While we were in line Amy made friends with another baby, then went to
sleep in the show.
About 5.30pm we decide to head by the Main
Street shops, then home. I stop to fed Amy on a bench in Main Street (decide
it would be a great spot for the Main Street Electric Parade). Appreciate
the beautiful gardens – would love to have a better look, but never get
We buy some earings for Amy (for when she gets
her ears pierced), but the shops are crowded so we decide to shop later.
We do however find an unclaimed Mickey balloons, which after checking no
kids are looking for it, attach to Amy’s pram. She loves it. We catch the
Monorail back to the TTC, then the tram to the car and arrive back home
about 6.30pm. Dinner tonight is Lasagne and Caesar salad. Then time for
a swim – the pool is beautiful and it’s as warm as a bath. Amy had a great
time. After ice cream back in the room it’s to bed about 10pm and straight
off to sleep.
Day 3 – Animal Kingdom and Magic Kingdom
woke up at 6.15am and left Kevin and Amy to sleep while I get ready. When
they wake up we met Leanne and Noel (who have already had breakfast) at
leave for Animal Kingdom, arriving about 7.30. We are all very impressed
with the grounds, landscaping and attention to detail. But we don’t have
time to linger and I make everyone get a move on to Bugs Life. After winding
our way along the path (which goes forever and ever) we make it to the
entrance. I cannot even begin to imagine waiting for as long the path indicates
you might have to wait. We missed leaving the pram at the correct spot,
but a CM takes it for us. We enjoyed the film but wouldn’t rave over it
and wouldn’t want to wait too long to see it.
Next is Safari – we decide to wait the 25 mins
instead of getting a FP. Quite enjoyed it – saw a number of animals. By
now the park was getting very hot (can’t imagine what it’s like in summer)
and busy. We go to Dinoland. I get a bagel and Kevin a muffin from the
Dino Diner for breakfast. I had thought this was a café, not a caravan
– oh, well. We eat on the way to Countdown to Extinction. Did a baby swap
(don’t bother with FP since it’s not a long wait). Kevin and I go first,
then Leanne, Noel and Kevin. Quite enjoyed this. Don’t know why but I don’t
seem to be enjoying things as much as I used to – maybe it’s because I’m
looking after Amy as well this trip, I don’t know.
We planned to go to Tarzan Rocks next but the
line was really long. We had hoped to get back late, but never made it.
We had wanted to go on the boats but they didn’t seem to be running.
Next was Asia. We got a FP for River Rapids
and went to the Bird Show. I fed Amy while we were here. The show was going
really until the Owl refused to go back inside. After trying to get him
back for about 15 mins they cancelled the show. They did bring the falcon
out for us to see though.
to River Rapids. Amy was tired, so Leanne stayed with her while we rode.
This is a fun ride. We took our shoes off and put waterproof jackets around
our waists so our backsides didn’t get wet. We still got pretty drenched
though – which was fine since it was so hot. Our only complaint – the ride
is much too short. We would have gone on again if the line had been shorter.
Well, the day was getting on and we realize
we need to see the next show of the Lion King so we hot foot it across
to Camp Mickey. Leanne had managed to get Amy to sleep in her pram (after
a big cry) so the others went in while I waited outside. Another screaming
baby woke her about 5 mins before the show was due to start so I put her
in the sling and go to find the others. We all enjoyed this show, especially
the cute elephant. Amy was trying really hard to clap, but she had one
hand around the wrong way.
We had lunch at Pizzafari – pizza, Caesar salad,
and chocolate for two US$22.00 – very yummy. Then it was time to head out.
We could have used some more time here but it was hot and busy and we needed
a break for MK tonight. We split up with Leanne and Noel – they caught
a bus to the MK and we headed back to the apartment, arriving 2-2.30pm.
Kevin and Amy had a sleep while I wrote down some notes.
were supposed to meet Leanne and Noel at 5 –5.30pm but hit peak hour traffic
and didn’t get there until 6pm. But thanks to Leanne and Noel we had a
good spot for the Main Street Electric Parade. We had hot dogs and fries
for tea, which were yummy. I fed Amy then got into position on the footpath.
I had left the stroller curbside while I ate dinner and nursed Amy and
people crowded around it so I had to push through with Amy to get to it.
I don’t know why people didn’t leave room – there was still plenty of space
at this time but I suppose some people don’t see anything wrong with pushing
in. Leanne, Noel and Kevin stood on the bench we had been sitting on since
5pm. The parade, which started at 7.30pm, was fantastic. We all loved it,
especially Amy who bounced up and down and clapped her hands.
After the parade we sat back on our bench
and had a drink and some lollies I had bought with me while we waited for
the fireworks. Tinkabell flew straight over our heads and the fireworks
– well, what can I say – they were so beautiful over the illuminated castle.
It was a beautiful night.
They had decorated Main Street ready for Christmas
(since yesterday) so we stopped to take some photos. I’d forgotten just
how beautiful MS is all decorated. We wandered through a few shops then
caught the resort monorail to the TTC. Then it was home and to bed about
11am. A very long, but very good, day.
Day 4 – Blizzard Beach and Downtown Disney
a bit of a sleep in this morning (though I got up with Amy about 7.30am).
We met Leanne and Noel for breakfast at 9am and ended up arriving at Blizzard
Beach about 10.30m. It was a beautiful morning, nice and warm, not too
hot. We found a picnic table near the wave beach. I fed Amy and put her
to sleep in her stroller, while the guys went to hit some of the slides.
Amy was still tired after last night and slept for an hour, probably because
it was so nice and quiet. I enjoyed the down time too.
when she woke up we got her ready for a swim, and then the skies opened
up and it poured. Not only that but it turned rather cold. Hoping it would
pass over quickly we got some burger and chips for lunch and ate them huddled
under an umbrella. They were nice and warm. We got drenched getting back
to our gear so we decided to go in the floats. We put Amy in her own one
that we bought from home. I wasn’t sure to lifeguards would let us use
it but none said anything until we’d almost done a full lap. Amy loved
it; though she was getting a bit cold towards the end, so we got her out
and got her warm. The others went back on some more slides. By now the
rain had stopped and the sun had come out again. I went up the chair lift
to the family raft ride with Leanne and Noel while Kev looked after Amy.
This was good fun.
By now it was 3pm and we had stayed longer
than planned, so we got changed and headed to Downtown Disney. We hit all
the shops but didn’t buy a lot as we plan to come back later in the week.
We had takeaway Chinese for tea in the apartment,
which was very nice.