Jun 122013

The mystery trip has been revealed: We returned (again) to Walt Disney World! Unfortunately, my thought of posting increasingly less mysterious pictures on Facebook was scuttled when I left the location on: it’s not too difficult to figure out where we were when “near Lake Buena Vista, FL” popped up. But, the mystery had nothing to do with the trip, really!

We stayed at a hotel by our home airport the night before our flight, and awoke before 4 a.m. to get the day started. Yes, somewhat insane, but this was really the only way to get three days down there and have time to actually do anything. We landed on time, hopped onto Disney’s Magical Express, and were whisked away to check in at the Contemporary Resort easily and (reasonably) quickly. It’s impressive watching the Disney machine operate, as we were scanned in on arrival to the bus, and greeted by name and walked to the resort check-in counter on arrival.

Luckily, despite our early arrival, they had a room ready. We dropped off the luggage, cleaned up quickly, and headed out to Magic Kingdom!

Pirate of the CaribbeanWe grabbed a quick bite to eat at Casey’s Corner, then wandered back to the obligatory Pirates of the Caribbean run. It was kind of interesting seeing all the rides after having so recently been to Disneyland. I always knew there were differences, but they were just extra-noticeable this go-round.

Garden View Tea RoomAnyway, we didn’t have much time after that, since we had a reservation for tea at the Garden View Tea Room in the Grand Floridian. We had both enjoyed it when we went during our anniversary trip, so I went out of my way to make sure we had reservations to do it again (which wasn’t easy… for some reason, you need to call to reserve that, whereas everything else can be done online). Once again, it was a thoroughly relaxing and enjoyable experience!

We took the monorail back over to Magic Kingdom after that. It was still fairly early in the afternoon at that point, and the plan was to hit a few more rides before our dinner at The Wave, then return again for the fireworks. Unfortunately, those plans were scuttled when it started to rain. At first, we figured it would be typical Florida rain—pouring for a half hour, then sunny again. We picked up a couple of rain ponchos to be safe, and headed into the park.

The further we got, the worse the rain became. Already fairly soaked, we ducked into a lean-to set up for the Disney Vacation Club to wait it out… and wait… and wait. Rain turned to torrential downpour, accompanied by thunder and lightning. Screams were coming not from the rides, but from kids scared of the immensely loud thunderclaps. The Disney Cast Member manning the lean-to tracked the storm on the computer he had there, repeatedly thinking the storm had “just 10 minutes” left. Lightning struck maybe 100 yards away. Children huddled under cover with their parents were reassured. To put it mildly, this was not ideal.

GlowtiniThe rain eventually started to let up, but it was clear no rides would be running for a while. We sloshed our way out of the park, and headed back to our room at the Contemporary. Gina took a nap, and I took to drying out my shoes, which had been squishing horribly. After an hour or so (and a lot of running the hair dryer), we were dried off, rested up, and ready for dinner!

Since we were a bit early, we sat at the bar to wait. Gina got a “glowtini”—basically just a girly drink with a light-up plastic cube in it—and I got a hard cider. Before we could even finish, our table was ready. This was the first restaurant we’d gone to on our honeymoon… we enjoyed it then, figured we’d repeat, and weren’t disappointed! We’d confirmed the reservations in Magic Kingdom’s City Hall earlier, and the Cast Member mentioned how he loves the filet at The Wave. So, we both got that, and both loved it!

Main Street Electrical Parade Wishes Nighttime SpectacularAfter dinner, we walked back over to Magic Kingdom. The rain had finally subsided, and our timing could not have been better. We walked to the end of Main Street and planted ourselves in front of Cinderella’s Castle. The rain seemed to have scuttled Disney’s plans a bit as well, as we were treated to the Main Street Electrical Parade immediately followed by the Wishes Nighttime Spectacular, without having to move more than a few feet! I hadn’t seen the former since I was a kid, and the latter was a fairly new show. Both were great (well, except the Electrical Parade music gets irritating after a while). I was also very pleased that my new camera was capturing everything with ease!

By the end of the fireworks, the extremely full day was finally getting to me, and I was barely able to keep upright anymore. We managed to walk back to the hotel, and crashed immediately. A wonderful day, but a very long one!

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