February 16, 2010




Shop till you drop!


We got up early that day because of two reasons. One of them was that it was our ADR day for the first part of our summer vacation, which meant being at the computer bright and early at 6am. The other reason was a breakfast with Winnie the Pooh and his friends at the Crystal Palace. The alarm went off at 5 to 6 and I got up, started the computer and waited until 6.01, then logged in, put in my reservation number and off we went. We got everything we wanted for the times we wanted and were happily done within half an hour. It was then time to get ready and we left for the Magic Kingdom at 7.20am.

 Once we had arrived we were thrilled to find a parking space in the Minnie section, right opposite the tunnel to the Ticket and Transportation Center. We walked over, got on the Monorail and off we went to the Magic Kingdom. Bag check was easy and the entrance for people with breakfast reservations was clearly marked, so we found ourselves inside the Magic Kingdom in a roped off area to the right of the entrance in no time.

We waited for about 10 minutes and then were allowed in to the Town Square and Main Street. Since there were very little people there we stopped and took lots of photos of a rather empty park. We leisurely strolled down Main Street and were happy to find the hub empty, so we were able to take pictures of the Partners statue and the castle. A very nice Cast Member who walked by even offered to take our photo in front of the castle.

By then it had turned 8am and we headed over to the Crystal Palace for our breakfast reservation. It was rather chilly outside and they could not get the computer to work, so a CM took the names with a handheld little computer. It did not take long and our name was called and we were led inside and shown to our table.

A server was on hand right away and took our orders for Juice, Hot Tea and Coffee. Once they had arrived we went to the buffet and joined the queue. The food looked really nice and with the exception of the breakfast casserole, which had still raw potatoes in it, the food was really nice. While we were enjoying our first plate, Eeyore came by, and a little while later, Tigger paid a visit.

After we had gotten a second plate of food Piglet came by as well. Once we had finished our second plate we paid our bill and left the restaurant. The Magic Kingdom had just opened and it was still fairly empty. We started our walk around the Magic Kingdom in Adventureland and walked right onto one of the first boats on the Jungle Cruise. We had a hilarious skipper and once she had figured out the first time cruisers it was even funnier. Our next stop were the Pirates of the Caribbean.  Both lines were open and since everyone else seemed to go to the right we chose the left lane. Once we came to the loading area we walked right onto our boat, which only had two rows taken, while people on the other side had to wait and a full boat. After the ride we explored the shop, then walked over to have a good look at how far the renovations on Splash Mountains had been done and picked up a Fast Pass for Big Thunder Mountain.

We then got into the standby line, which said there was a 20 minute wait. We were done even before the 20 minutes were up. By then the park started to fill up so we walked over to the Haunted Mansion and were loaded into a doombuggy in no time. Fantasyland had lots of visitors, so we skipped those rides and walked towards Toontown, where we hopped on the train and rode it a full circle.

Once we got off we walked toward Space Mountain, but the standby line was already 70 minutes and Fast Passes were for the afternoon, so we decided to ride the People Mover instead and then just walk up to The Plaza Restaurant and try to be seated earlier. They too had computer trouble and were trying to do things by hand. When we asked about being seated earlier they answered that it was no problem and just to wait right opposite the restaurant with our buzzer.

We went a bit further away, since it was really chilly in the shade and waited in a sunny spot, but after ten minutes and a few other parties being seated we got a bit upset. So we went back to the check in desk and told them that we would rather give up our spot than wait any longer in the cold. Another Cast Member told us that she would seat us next and to wait in the entrance where it was less cold. And she did seat us within a minute or two. We were seated in the little room off the main dining area and our server was on hand right away to take our drinks order. While we studied our menus the Mayor of Main Street and two other “celebs” came in and announced that the Junior Mayor was present in the restaurant and then they did a fun little performance which ended in announcing the name.

 Well, no junior got up, instead a man answered that the “Junior Mayor” was visiting the “men’s room” at the moment. After the laughter had stopped and the young man was back from “washing his hands”, the ceremony was repeated and the Junior Mayor finally got his honours, all with Photopass Photographer present and the whole restaurant clapping and cheering. Shortly after the ceremony our entrees came out. We had decided to share two sandwiches, the Grilled Reuben - thinly sliced corned beef on grilled marble rye with sauerkraut, Swiss cheese, and Thousand Island dressing and homemade chips and the Turkey Sandwich - smoked turkey, bacon, lettuce, vine ripened tomato and mayonnaise on toasted multi-grain bread with broccoli slaw. Both were very nice. We decided against dessert, settled the bill and went back out into the Magic Kingdom.

It had become packed by then and we did not want to fight the crowds to Big Thunder again, so we gave away our Fast Passes, which was not easy as people reacted as if we wanted to sell them something bad. In the end we found a couple who was happy to take them and we were ready to leave. We went back to our resort and took a little walk to the pool area and over to El Centro to pick up some postcards and stamps before we rested a little in our room. After about an hour we got back into the car and did some offsite shopping. First we hit the Orlando Premium Outlets and went straight for the Disney Outlet. We were stunned we did not find anything to buy there! Then we went to the Pr1me Outlets International and again we hit the Disney Outlet. Here we got lucky and found some really good bargains. Our next stop was the Universal Citywalk. After we paid the parking fee, which was rather hefty, we tried to find an actual spot to park the car. Well, we did, at the very end of their parking structure.

Now we had to hike all the way to Citywalk. And quite a hike it was, down escalators and along moving walkways until we finally made it to Citywalk. We explored the shops and had a really good look at the Fossil shop there, but Tom didn’t find anything he liked in particular. So we went over to the Fresh Produce Store, which carries Vera Bradley things. I did much better than Tom as I found quite a few things I liked and left the store with 2 huge shopping bags. Our other goal was to have dinner at Bubba Gump’s that day. So we walked over at around 6pm and were seated right away.

Tom ordered some Diet Coke and I had my all time Bubba Gump’s favourite drink, the Strawberry Speckled Lemonade. After checking the menu we decided against an appetizer and I ordered the Dumb Luck Coconut Shrimp served with Cajun Marmalade and Fries for my main course. Tom had another of his favourites, Shrimper's Heaven, Coconut Shrimp, Chilly Shrimp, Fried Shrimp, Tempura Shrimp, Fries, and of course Dippin' Sauces.

This is quite a huge helping and we were glad we did not order an appetizer. We were really full when we left and started our long hike back to the car. Once we got there we decided to make one more stop on the way back to the resort. So we went to Kissimmee to pick up some Krispy Kreme doughnuts. When we arrived there we got really excited as their Hot Now sign was on. So we joined the queue inside and got a dozen.

Since they were so fresh and hot we headed to one of their tables opposite the conveyer where the doughnuts are baked and happily started munching on our delicious hot and fluffy treats. We both had two each and took the rest back home to the resort to us. We got in shortly after nine pm and went through our loot before we collapsed on our beds, doughnut in hand!