December 3, 2007





Florence!!!! ……………………………… and a visit to the Outlet Disney Store, Downtown Disney, Epcot and the Magic Kingdom!


Today started less hectic, since we needed to go shopping for clothes. Even though we had our luggage we did not have anything to wear for the hot weather. So we decided to try and have breakfast at Boatwright’s which is just down the road from Old Key West at Port Orleans Riverside. We left our villa shortly before 9 and drove over to Boatwright’s.They had a table, and we only waited for about 5 minutes until we were seated.

I had my all time favourite breakfast there, the Banana-stuffed French Toast with strawberry-banana sauce and crispy bacon while Tom had the Three-egg Omelet with bacon, peppers, tomatoes and cheese served with homestyle potatoes and buttermilk biscuits.

After such a wonderful breakfast we went to have a look around the store and lobby and take in the decorations. Then we were all set to drive to the former Belz Mall and do some shopping in the Outlet Disney Store.

They had lots of things with very good discounts, up to 50 percent. We bought a lot of T-shirts, souvenirs and for me a Vacation Club watch which was half  price. When we left we had to stop and take some photos with the reindeer they had put all around the mall. Since we were in a spending mood, we thought that we could pay a visit to Downtown Disney. We parked at the far end right were the Lego Store is and went past where Santa was welcoming kids. We stopped and watched for a while and then had a good look around the World of Disney.We bought a few things, then went over to Ghirardelli where we “had to” sample their peppermint bark. Boy, that was so good we bought a few more bars of chocolate there too. Next stop was the Once Upon A Toy store and the Christmas Store.Needless to say we did some shopping in the Christmas Store as well. We had to visit the Art of Disney Store as well.

They have so many wonderful things in there and we just love to have a look at the figurines they sell and the pictures they have on display. I had to buy a few postcards for framing before we left. We thought we could try Wolfgang Puck’s, but it was packed, so we went over to the Earl of Sandwich. I got in line while Tom was holding all the packages we already had by then.

It took a while to check out how this worked, even though I never figured out how to get dressing for our salad and Tom had to go back and get it all sorted out lateron. We both ordered a sandwich. I had the Holiday Special, with turkey, stuffing and cranberries and Tom tried the The Original 1762, filled with fresh roasted beef, cheddar and creamy horseradish sauce. They were both very yummy and very filling. I could not finish mine.

We strolled back toward the car park and went back to Old Key West. We needed to chill for a while before we went out again to have another LONG evening. So, while Tom was enjoying the Jacuzzi again I was calling the ADR line to find out if we could get a reservation for Boma the day after next. The CM was very nice and we were able to get the desired reservation. We wanted to see the lighting of the Christmas tree at Epcot, so we left Old Key West with a lot of time to spare, since we wanted to leave our car at the Contemporary again.

That is what we did. We then did some more shopping in their shop, went to the Ticket and Transportation Center by Monorail and took the Monorail to Epcot.

We arrived with some time to spare, so we had our photos taken by every Photopass Photographer we came across. Then we went to seek out a good spot to watch the show in front of the Christmas tree. The show was VERY nice and the Lights of Winter were just amazing!

After the show we went to Club Cool and had a taste of the different Cokes from around the world, before we entered one of the Pavillions where they had an exhibit on the planning of Epcot.

It was really interesting and we stayed there for quite some time. We watched the dancing fountain for a while before we went into Mouse Gear. We spent quite a bit of time there too before we decided to check out the rides. Test Track sounded nice and we went over there. As usual they had quite a long line and we were amazed to see that they still had Fastpass.So we went to the machines, but before we were able to get one we were approached by a woman, who asked if we wanted to ride Test Track right now.

I was kind of expecting being offered a Fastpass by some other guest, like we had been giving away Fastpasses we were no longer using, but this lady had a wide smile and introduced herself as Florence, a member of the Dream Squard.

If we wanted she would take us to the front of the line at Test Track! YES, please. She was VERY nice and she personally walked us into the building, with lots of people watching us, while we passed the regular lines. When we were at the pre-show she asked what we wanted to ride next. We said that we were more than likely going over to Mission Space and try to ride that. Florence put on her big smile again and told us, to look out for her there, she would be waiting for us there and take us to the front of the line again! We were sooooooo stunned. This was 4 days into our trip and we had received a Magical Moment AND a Dream!! We had lots of fun riding Test Track and then went over to Mission Space, where Florence sure was waiting for us. She was with another member of the Dream Squard and they were playing games with little kids. When she saw us, she came over and told us a lot of facts about Mission Space, then explained about the two different “rides” they offered and took us to the front of the line again!

How wonderful!!! We thanked her again and again and I felt really bad, I did not have a pin to give to her, because usually we bring a few pins from Disneyland Paris to hand out to outstanding Cast Members. But since our luggage had only arrived the day before, we had completely forgotten about the pins. We had about 45 minutes left before Illuminations was going to start, so we went over to World Showcase and since we had time to kill and a long night ahead of us we decided to have a bite to eat.

The Counter service place in Mexico was FULL, and we didn’t feel like something sweet in Norway, so we tried if we could get something in China. Their counter service restaurant had lots of tables, so we both had their Orange Chicken, which is another one of our favourites. When we had finished our late dinner we walked over to find a spot to watch Illuminations. We walked as far as the American Pavillion, watched a bit of their Candlelight Processional with narrator Dennis Frantz.

Since one of the Cast Members had told our neighbours that this was NOT a good spot to watch Illuminations we started strolling back towards Mexico. We found a nice spot near Italy to watch Illumination in the end. It was breathtaking as always and the extra bit for Christmas was wonderful too! We walked all the way around World Showcase after the show, to take in the countries with less people around.

And we were sure that we would have to queue up at the Monorail anyway, so we took our time leaving. When we finally left we walked up to the Monorail and it was already waiting there.

We boarded, waited a few more minutes and off we went to the Ticket and Transportation Center, where we changed to the Express Monorail to the Magic Kingdom. Since the Magic Kingdom was open until 1am we had lots of time to look around. We had time to take in the decorations of the shop windows and went over to ride the Peoplemover and Space Mountain. The line for SnowWhite was surprisingly short, so we rode that too.

We then found out that there was just a short line for the Haunted Mansion, so we got in line and enjoyed our ride in the doombuggies.

We had a few more photos taken for our Photopass before we went over to Big Thunder Mountain and rode it twice. It was past midnight by then and we decided to walk towards the exit, but when we passed Pirates and there was NO line, we did Pirates as well. After riding it we were truly tired and slowly walked towards the exit. Main Street was nearly empty and it was fun to turn around and enjoy the views of both the castle and the Railway Station.

We walked over to the Contemporary, got into our car and drove back to Old Key West. It had been a really long day and we both fell into bed and went off to dream happy dreams of Magical Moments and Dream Squard members!!