Monday got off to a slightly slower start, as we got to the Disney highway, only to discover that my camera hadn't charged ( = broken). So, about turn, and off we went to find a camera shop, who gave me money for my old camera and didn't rip me off toooo much on a new one, which I love.
So, off we went back to MK. Unfortunately, because I was running the camera on the charge that was on it in the shop, I didn't take many photographs. I am a bit disappointed, because I know that I took photographs in Adventureland and Frontierland, and they have all disappeared. :( I know that I took photographs on The Queue With No Ride (AKA, Swiss Family Robinson Tree House) and that I took some on Pirates of the Caribbean too, but they seem to have disappeared. :'(
When we eventually got to MK, it was lunchtime! Of course, the first photograph EVER on my new camera had to be...
*swoon* It makes my heart happy.
En Route to lunch we were stopped by these guys and gals, The Trolley Bus Singers.
Incidentally, this is what happens when you wait at the front for a parade. Suddenly, your photographs are all elbows and shoulders. :S Before we go back I must learn "Excuse me, we were here first" in Spanish, Japanese and Chinese.
The Trolley Bus.
Beautiful boy. Apparently all of the horses who pull the trolley are geldings, and all are "toilet-trained" for when they are at work.
For lunch, we hit up Main St Bakery. I LOVE Main St Bakery (OK, OK, I know, I love everything about WDW, but I do really love Main St Bakery). Their food was amazing, and they make the biggest sandwiches I have ever seen, which of course we had to try:
The front one is my Turkey & Swiss, and the back is John's Ham & Swiss. Being foolish tourists, we also ordered cookies, and then realised how big the sandwiches were. You can get an idea of the size of the drinks as well, ie, massive.
From Main St we headed past the Crystal Palace restaurant (never did get breakfast with Winnie the Pooh there...*adds to mental list of Things To Do Next Trip*), and into Adventureland. First stop (at John's suggestion, I'm yet to discover why) was The Swiss Family Robinson Treehouse. This is not a ride, more of an attraction. Well, less of an attraction, and more of a 20min queue with nothing at the end of it. Essentially, you get to "tour" the Swiss Family Robinson's treehouse. Basically this involves queuing around a large treehouse, which is really cute, but really a waste of 20mins. Once you've done it, there's really no need to go back. Though it did have a sweet view of the castle (the only photograph that survived from Adventureland or Frontierland). Yes, we do have a view of the castle from just about every angle.
Next stop, Enchanted Tiki Room. I LOVED the Enchanted Tiki Room. It was SO cute, with the little singing birds, and the walls and pillars move and sing and dance, it's AMAZING. John was...um...less impressed. But, he'd seen it before, which I'm totally assuming was the reason behind that review. :)
After the Tiki Room, we decided to go for Pirates of the Caribbean. Hello, first Disney World queue. However, the queuing area for POTC is really cool (literally and figuratively, Disney aircon is awesome). You queue through dungeons and corridors, and actually feel like you are going wayyyy underground to get onto the little boats. The ride was great, we spotted the newly added Captain Jack, and even saw Pirate Goofy as we were queuing (nope, I didn't get too close).
I took a break outside the Tortuga Tavern to call home. :) The only bad thing about our Disney World trip was that I never got to go with my family, and I saw so many things every day that they would love...Hence having a million photographs!
After a quick rest we headed to The Jungle Cruise. Unfortunately in our boat we had THE rudest family ever...The teenage son obviously wasn't there out of choice and totally ignored the guide all the way around, texting/playing on his phone. Why they chose to sit at the front of the boat I don't know, because they were obviously just using it as a rest stop, when there were people at the back who were actually interested in the ride and would probably have liked to be up front. The ride is cheesy, and the jokes are terrible, but we had an excellent guide and I really enjoyed the ride a lot. I was also immensely impressed that the guide memorised that long a monologue!! She seriously NEVER stopped talking the whole time.
The only ride we missed in Adventureland was Aladdin's Magic Carpets. I would have ridden it, but the queue was enormous, and if I'm going to queue for a ride like that it was going to be Dumbo!
In Frontierland we tried to get a ride on Splash Mountain, but the queue was awful. We decided to try the FastPass machines, and got a ticket to go back a couple of hours later (when, incidentally, SM was broken down, again. We never actually saw it working properly again, so we must've picked a bad two weeks to visit!). We didn't actually do any of the four Mountains (Space, Splash, Big Thunder, Everest)...apparently this means we suck! I say it's just an excuse to go back again. ;) We knew before we set off that Big Thunder Mountain was closed for repairs, because of my super-awesome research, which was a shame because it's one of John's favourite rides. Right next to Splash Mountain is the Frontierland Station, so we took a full loop of the track all around the Magic Kingdom for a rest. That is actually a great idea if you want a sit down, the breeze is lovely!
When we got on the train, we spotted Tigger and Pooh making an appearance on the opposite side of the tracks. Too late to get off the train (plus, I have a morbid fear of people in animal/mascot costumes...go figure!), so we decided to wait and see if they were there when we came back around.
Which they were!
Aren't you impressed by how not-terrified I look?! We had to wait a little while, as Pooh and Tigger had to take a "Honey and Birthday Cake Break" (awwwwww!! Too cute!!), but it couldn't have been more than about 15mins altogether.
Here was where Photopass really came in handy. The photograph above is a PP one, hence the Pooh "autograph". Photopass is a great idea, especially if you are travelling alone or as a couple, and want photographs. 99% of the photographs were excellent quality, and if I'd had $170 I would have paid for them. As I didn't have $170, I used the Firefox method (http://youtu.be/3pYuhYDsikg). However, they would have been worth paying for, especially if we'd had a few more taken. Next time we will be working PP for all it is worth! For a full review of PP click here.
After the meet'n'greet, we went for a snack in Frontierland. There are so many choices, but I tried to always go for stuff that I hadn't had before or couldn't get at home, so we had a corndog (weird...but good) and frozen lemonade, which was delicious. We browsed all of the stands and shops in Frontierland, and met the Sherriff in the Badge Traders. I am obsessed with the badges. I've always collected pin badges (and bookmarks, and keyrings...), and Disney have literally thousands of pin badges, different ones for each park, different ones for each stand and shop. It was AWESOME, and also very sad, because I couldn't afford them all (or the excess baggage to bring them home!!). Next door(ish) we found the Country Bear Jamboree, which is a little disturbing as kids shows go, but still fun.
From Frontierland, we strolled through to Liberty Square. After Fantasyland, I think Liberty Square is my favourite area, though to be honest there is very little there! I guess our visit counted as "off-peak" as the Liberty Square Riverboat was never running.
Liberty Square is based on Williamsburg, and is a very pretty area. It has The Haunted Mansion, The Hall of Presidents, the Liberty Tree, and also a Liberty Bell. Florida is actually the only state with two Liberty Bells, because when a bell was cast for every state to celebrate America's 200th birthday (aww! 200?!) Pennsylvania already had the original in Philadelphia, so WDW asked if it could have the replica, and it was moved to Liberty Square! Liberty Square is also home to the WDW Christmas Shop, which is amazing, and a little wierd in 30+degrees C heat!
First stop was The Hall Of Presidents.
The only other one of this rug is in the Whitehouse. You have to have permission from the Whitehouse to have one, outside of the Whitehouse. It looked very soft and squishy, I was impressed with the quality. And apparently the Eagle's head doesn't face one way or the other in war/peace times (in yo face, West Wing). Prior to 1945, the eagle faced the arrows (they are arrows) in it's left foot, but left-facing things in heraldry are considered dishonourable, so it was changed to face the olive branch. You're welcome for the history lesson. I apologise now, America, but I am always reminded of the smudges you get when a bird flies into patio windows when I see this photograph. It's not a flattering pose, Mr Eagle (though maybe that's where the term "Spreadeagled" comes from? Maybe if any Americans are still speaking to me, they can confirm/deny that for me).
Personally, I enjoyed the Hall of Presidents, though if you're not American, prepare for an abnormally large dose of patriotism. Basically, think of all of the red, white and blue hype you've seen parodied on TV wherever you live. That's about the level, but Disneyfied so a bit more awesome. I'm going to say that the anamatronics looked like who they were supposed to. Based on the money, they seem pretty accurate. Also, I live for the day that Barack Obama sneaks to Disney World and replaces his anamatronic figure and scares the audience witless by getting off stage afterwards. Seriously, he could, that would work. He is the only president to record his figure's own speech.
After The Hall of Presidents, we set off for Haunted Mansion. I should add here, I am a TOTAL scaredy-cat, and I hate anything spooky. I'm not even overly keen on the Haunted Mansion film (which, incidentally, was on TV a couple of days after we rode the ride!), and the scariest thing about that is Eddie Murphy.
We got to try the cool new cemetery queuing area, which is full of interactive gravestones, crypts and tombs. It's more fun than it sounds, promise. If anything, the queue moved a bit too quickly for me, because obviously (for some reason) I had to let the little kids around us play with stuff first, and some of them quite frankly hogged the cool stuff, so I didn't get very long to play. Yes, I am about 4 years old. So sue me.
Supposedly if you stand here long enough, you can figure out who killed whom from reading the inscriptions. I, on the other hand, couldn't be bothered, as there were more exciting things to play with.
The cool musical tomb. There is an eerie bass drone coming from inside the tomb, and when you touch each instrument it joins in and then fades out again when you remove your hand. They're not buttons, it's one piece. You just touch them and they play "Grim Grinning Ghosts".
When you touch the organ keys, a mist of water comes out.
You can hear the Captain singing and blowing bubbles in his "bath". You also occasionally get wet when he sneezes!
The bookcase...You push a book in, and another pops out somewhere else.
The Poetess' Tomb. She "writes" in the book and gets stuck on the last word...She died of writer's block!
Madame Leota...I tried to catch her doing her thing, but I missed it. :(
Doesn't look that spooky in the glorious sunlight, does it?
The ghost horse hearse. You can't see, but there are hoofprints under the harness. The hearse was in a John Wayne film.
The Pet Cemetery. You can't really see it, but there is a gravestone in there for Mr Toad, since they closed Mr Toad's Wild Ride.
Liberty Square, from the Haunted Mansion queuing area.
That night we ate at Pinocchio's again (I think!), and stayed for the parades and Wishes. For some reason I have no photographs of that though...Not sure what went on there!
That was the night that it took FOREVER to get out of the park. I was amazed at how busy it was. We thought that the weekend would be hell, and Monday would be nice and relaxed. How wrong we were. Sunday was really quiet at MK, and Monday was madness. It took almost 2.5hrs from castle to car park exit, and when we left the castle we were already TIRED. Later on we figured out that when Main St is packed, you should duck through the shops which, even though they all have individual frontages, they are all open on the inside and you can just walk straight through. MUCH quicker.