This was always scheduled to be the earliest start of the trip as we wanted to be in Magic Kingdom for the rope drop in order to get to the Mine Train ride. Rather repetitively the weather was again stunning. We also travelled separately to Barry & Ellie but yet again they were able to find us in the queue.
We did the Disney shuffle to the ride and despite being early still had about a 20 minute wait until we got on the ride itself. It is relatively short but great fun. Its another one where I would like to stay on to go round again. Apparently even being a long standing and suffering Norwich City season ticket holder doesn’t entitle you to that.
Over the years we have noticed that more and more family/groups of people in the Parks wear either matching or special T Shirts for the occasion. It seems this year even more so. At some points we stand out more by not wearing them. There have been three stand out shirts for me so far. I have liked the ones written in the ‘Friends’ style which say ‘The one where they go to Disney’. There was a family who all had ‘Best Day Ever’ on their shirts, apart from the Father whose read ‘Most Expensive Day Ever’. Today I saw one that would be perfect for Neil which read ‘Winning IS Everything’.
After the Mine Train we headed with Neil to Tomorrowland, where he quickly rode Space Mountain whilst we faffed about finding Rest Rooms and then abortively trying to get Karen a coffee. The nearest location said their coffee machine was ‘down’ which was a new one for me. However the ‘down’ part started to become a theme for the day. First of all Haunted Mansion went down, followed by Thunder Mountain, Splash Mountain and then Space Mountain. At one point they were all ‘down’ together and in fact Thunder mountain did not start working until long after we had left the park and well into the evening.
We walked over to the Buzz Lightyear ride which had been down but was just restarting. We had a bit of a wait as there were lots of people who had not been able to use their fast passes who were jumping in front of us. Somehow I lost to Neil again. I am definitely losing my touch.
There have been definately fewer British families about this week as we are further away from half term. I have torn views on UK parents taking their children away during school time. On one hand we have done it ourselves, back in the days when parents didn’t get fined. The difference in cost between going on holiday in or out of term time is enormous. I never thought that missing a few days would impact a child that much, yet Karen being a teacher says that it can and does make a big difference and some children struggle to catch up again. I’m not sure what the answer is but if it is the difference between whether a family can have a holiday or not then I know what side of the fence I would probably be on.
By now two of the rides for which we had fast passes were down and so we walked and rode The Little Mermaid whilst we contemplated what to ride. This is rather twee. Still not having made a decision, Karen & I decided upon an early lunch at Colombia Harbour House where we both had an expensive but I must say very tasty Lobster Roll with some excellent hand made crisps. We sat and ate these overlooking the Liberty Bell and thought we would pass sometime riding that. It was all very pleasant and relaxing.
We had arranged to meet up Barry & Ellie again outside Jungle Cruise renamed as Jingle Cruise for the holidays. I really enjoyed the variation and commentary. The puns are old but made me laugh.
For Karen & Neil it was then Dole Whip time and they both enjoyed the festive editions they had. Then we sat through The enchanted Tiki Room. Weird in so many ways but traditional and had to be done.
We were then pleased to discover that The Haunted Mansion had reopened and so walked in that direction. We were held up by some parade for a short while which meant we couldn’t get across to it. The run was fun as usual and we bumped into Barry & Ellie outside who were having their picture taken.
Our fast passes for Thunder Mountain which was still down had been converted to fast passes to ride anything. Neil went off to use his on Splash Mountain. We waited for him outside Space Mountain. I then gave him my magic band so he could ride Space Mountain again with Karen whilst I sat outside and chilled in the sun.
It was then time to head out of the park and back to the Villa, as the park was closing at 6pm as they were holding a Mickey Christmas Party which cost another $100 to attend.We all then spent a good hour in the Spa with Neil hanging over the edge from the pool. Again it was my best part of the day.
As it was Neil’s last night everyone agreed that he could choose where we ate. Funnily enough we ended up back at Outback as it was the closest and we wanted to go the Polynesian Resort to watch the Christmas Fireworks. The steak as ever were good.
The Polynesian Resort has a lovely feel to it at night. We bought drinks from the walk up bar at Trader Sam’s. We finished them off on the beach watching the new firework show. I though they were really great.
The journey home was memorable as none of us were aware of exactly how strong Karen's Margarita had been. In the car she was away with the fairies and we were all in fits of laughter as she got the giggles and could speak any words that we could comprehend as English.
I was sad it was Neil’s last night but it had been another really good day.