Our original plan had been for the boys to go to Universal Studios followed by Halloween Horror Night but due to Barrys much later arrival the previous night, they decided to postpone the Universal Studios visit until another day.
It was a lovely morning and before anyone else was up I decided to take myself on an early morning walk around the estate. It was very peaceful and I felt better for doing so in addition to getting my daily step count off to a good start.
We all sat by the pool for the morning and then prepared an early lunch which we ate outside. It was great for us all for Barry to be finally here with us. It was about 12.30 when we got in the car and drove the short distance to the Animal Kingdom Lodge. After a bit of a pfaff parking we then seemed to have to walk further than we had just driven to get to Jambo House. As ever we were all impressed by the enormous lobby when we finally got there.
We went outside and stood for a while watching the Giraffes, Zebras and other animals. We also had the usual conversation around if money was no object which Disney Hotel would we choose to stay in. This has a lot going for for AK Lodge but I think I would like to stay in one either on the monorail system or the boardwalk. I do keep saying to Karen though that I would prefer to stay in the AK Lodge rather than going on a proper African safari (and it would be cheaper) as I would be guaranteed to see animals and not have to go on long drives in the back of a landrover to perhaps see one 3 miles in the distance.
For some reason whilst there I did also muse the passing of the Chimps tea parties that zoos used to hold. I realise that this would be considered cruel in this enlightened age but my memories where of the chimps appearing to loving being dressed in clothes and eating cake. Of course I have no real idea of what really happened behind the scenes. I think Disney could have a hit on their hands if they could find a way to ethically reintroduce it. Now where is their suggestion box?
After this we drove to play Fantasia Golf as it came as an added freebie with our Disney tickets. Not so competitive Neil wanted to play the harder mini golf but the rest of us overruled him to pick the crazy musical golf. It was very good fun was played in a really good spirit. I'm not sure that winning was the point of the fun we had, especially as for the first time ever - Karen won. We checked the scores several times and tried other scoring systems but she clearly won. It was probably the 4 hole in ones that did it. She was not magnanimous in victory at all.
We then went back to the Villa for a while for a chill. Barry face-timed Ellie who was not able to join us and was looking after the cats for him. He gave her a guided tour of the villa and we waved to her.
Then it was time to take the boys to the Halloween Horror Nights, something that Karen & I had opted out of. It was a slow horrible drive up the I4 in the rush hour traffic, but we got them there just in time at the drop off point. We then drove the short distance to the Premium Outlets and spent a couple of hours wandering slowly around. Almost opposite this was a newly opened Bahama Breeze and so we went for a meal. The place inside was lovely as was the waitress. My Rum & Coke Chicken & Ribs weren't bad either.
From here we drove another mile to the nearest Publix to stock up on fresh food and then made our back to Universal CityWalk to meet with the boys. Originally we were going to get there earlier but because they were still running the Halloween nights, car parking was still $25 until 10pm after which it was free. We arrived at 10.15pm and the cars were streaming in at that time. Our allocated spot seemed to be the furthest away possible.
Our intended venue to meet the boys was Pat O'Briens Piano Bar. However at the time we arrived they were charging an admission to get in and as we did not know how long the boys were going to be so we thought it might be a waste of money. If you arrive early enough then they do not charge as they are just grateful to get people inside.
Instead we wandered around a few shops and then waited for the boys outside Starbucks where Karen had a coffee to pass the time. The boys were out and found us slightly ahead of plan and were full of chatter telling us about their night. It sounded super scary but they both seemed to really enjoy it. We sat outside Starbucks for while whilst they told us of all the houses they had walked through and other events. Then we drove back arriving in the villa just after midnight.