Feb 25, 2011




Call of the wild and Mater calls from the pool and yummy desserts are calling our name


The last full day of our vacation had begun. We had an early ADR at the Maya Grill and therefore got up pretty early, got ready and walked over to the Maya Grill by 7.40am. It was picture perfect outside, warm and only a few little white clouds in the sky. When we walked over it was quiet and the resort was reflected in the lake, so peaceful. We arrived at the restaurant just in time for our ADR and were led to our table right away.

Our server was on hand immediately and went to take care of our order for drinks, while we had a look at the menu and decided what to order. A few minutes later the server returned with a pot of coffee and a cup for Tom and some hot water and a box full of tea to choose from for me. He then took our food order. Tom wanted to try the Kobe Brunch Burger - American style Kobe burger topped with aged Vermont cheddar cheese, crispy bacon and one egg over medium, served on a freshly baked artisan bun and a side of breakfast potatoes. My first food choice for the day was the Eggs Benedict - served with premium Canadian bacon, poached eggs, Hollandaise sauce and Seasonal Fruit Cup. Breakfast was very good, service was perfect and we were surprised the restaurant was more or less empty. Once we had finished our breakfast we walked through the store one more time, but didn’t find anything we still had to buy.

So we walked outside again and since it was such a wonderful day we took a leisurely detour back to our room. There were several hammocks which invited you to stay and relax and that was what we did. It took a while until we returned to our room to pick up our park bags and there again was no way we would make rope drop. We got into our car, drove over to the Animal Kingdom, parked the car and since the tram had just pulled out we walked over to the park entrance.

There were Photopass photographers around and we had a few more taken, then walked through the turnstiles and over to Expedition Everest to pick up a Fastpass. Once we had the Fastpass in hand we got in line as the wait was only 15 minutes. We love to ride in the front row and Tom asked if we were allowed to do so and had to wait for another train, but then it was our turn.

The ride was a lot of fun and once it was over we walked over to the Safari. There were two reasons we wanted to ride it. One was that we really like the ride and the other was that we wanted to look out for the new additions of the Wild Africa Trek and see how the blended in from the other “side”. When we got in line the line had already grown pretty long and it said 30 minutes.

We snaked through areas we have never seen before, but the line moved surprisingly fast and we were soon seated in one of the Safari vehicles. Off we went and we were lucky again, as there were lots of animals along the Safari route and it was fun to see people of the Wild Africa Trek from the Safari. It’s unbelievable how well they blend in with the scenery and you would never know they are on a tour through the park.

Seeing the trek vehicle, some people crossing the rope bridge and the outlook brought back so many fond memories. Far too soon the ride was over and we had to disembark again. We were still holding the Fastpass for Expedition Everest, so this is where we went. On the way there we took a biological break and got a bottle of Diet Coke to share as it was hot and we needed some fluids.

On we went over to Everest. Once we got there we picked up another Fast Pass for Everest, as the return time was only for an hour later. There was quite a standby line and we were happy to be able to skip the line and get into the Fast Pass one.

We quickly got to the loading zone and Tom asked if we could go front row and were allowed to do so and get on the next train out. The ride was so much fun and we especially enjoyed the view. Once we got off we walked through the store and then we headed over to Flame Tree Barbecue for some lunch. We were second in line and put in our order quickly. A minute later we were able to pick it up and Tom led the way down to the covered seating area at the water, where you overlook Everest.

We found a small table, Tom went to get some sauces, cutlery and napkins and we were all set for our meal. Since we were not too hungry we shared a Pulled Pork Sandwich, which came with Baked Beans and was delicious. We ordered an Onion Ring Basket to go with it, which was crispy and hot and wonderful.. Tom didn’t want dessert, but I had to try the Key Lime Mousse, which I enjoyed more than I thought I would.

We walked through the stores and killed some time before our Fast Pass Time kicked in and we could go back to Expedition Everest. Again we were able to get into the Fast Pass line and bypass a lot of other guests. And again we rode in the front row. Definitely the best row on the train as the view is just amazing. Once the ride was over we slowly walked towards the exit and left the Animal Kingdom.

We wanted to spend some time at the resort and maybe meet Tina and her family again. So we drove back to the resort and even in the car we joked about the possibility of our room being ready by early afternoon. We got out of the car and hotfooted it over to the room, opened the door in anticipation and …………. NOT ready yet! Mousekeeping was no where to be seen, so we sat down and thought what we should do now. It was a picture perfect and beautiful, sunny day, so what better could we decide on than heading over to the pool. We got into our bathing suits, put a T-shirt over it and walked over. Maybe we would even see Tina and her family there. When we got over to the kiddie pool we saw Max playing in the water and Tina enjoying the sun, watching him. Once Max noticed us, he urged us to come in the kiddie pool with him. Well, Tina and I obliged and sat the edge of the pool, where Mater tried to escape several times, courtesy of Tina, who threw him into the middle of the pool where there were waterspouts.

Max was real fast to get them again and there went another one of his Cars friends flying. It was amazing to watch the little fellow going after them again and again. After about 30 minutes, Mark came over from their room and while Tom and I found a deckchair to put our stuff on and hit the pool, Tina and her family hit the playground, but soon after  Mark and Max left and Tina joined us in the pool. We stayed in the pool for about an hour as it was total bliss to be in the heated pool out in the sunshine in February.

When we left the pool we felt that it was still chilly when in the shade. It was way past 4pm by then so we headed back to the room, hoping that our room would be made up by now. Now guess what ….. our room was …. READY! Tom got the camera and took a few photos of the room, while it was still nice, while shivering in our wet bathing suits. Once done with the photos we both took showers and got into nice dry clothes, before crashing on the beds for some time. Tom definitely had been in the sun for too long and now you could see that he had been sunburnt.

We chilled for some time before we had to get ready to head to the parks again. Once we were ready we walked over to our car and drove over to Epcot, as it had Extra Magic Hours in the evening and we wanted to attend those. Once at Epcot we walked through the security check and up to the Monorail. A Monorail was just pulling out when we walked towards the station, so we stopped to take some photos of the area.

A little while later the next Monorail was pulling by and yeah, it was the Tronorail! So we made our way up to the station and got in line to ride the Tronorail. We haven’t been on the Epcot Monorail in a while and it was fun to see the area from up above. Not much later we arrived at the Ticket and Transportation Center and walked over to the Express Monorail to the Magic Kingdom.

A little while later the next Monorail was pulling by and yeah, it was the Tronorail! So we made our way up to the station and got in line to ride the Tronorail. We haven’t been on the Epcot Monorail in a while and it was fun to see the area from up above. Not much later we arrived at the Ticket and Transportation Center and walked over to the Express Monorail to the Magic Kingdom. So we chose an old favourite that is always easy to get on, the People Mover. But even there was a short line!

Once seated we enjoyed our ride and the views the ride offers. After the ride we strolled through of the stores in Tomorrowland before heading back to the Tomorrowland Terrace for our reservation for the Wishes Dessert Party. There was already quite a line when we joined and they had already started handing out wristbands. Within a few more minutes we were given our wristbands as well and about another 5 minutes later they started taking people to their tables for the party.

Being a party of two we were seated in the front row again, like at any other of the dessert parties we had attended. We left our jackets at the table and walked up to the buffet to take photos before picking up a plate and filling it with the goodies they had to offer.

After we had carried them back to our table we took our usual photos of our plates of food and then I walked back to the buffet and got some drinks. And it was finally time to dig into our desserts. They were all really nice and very sweet, the only exception being the Crème Brulee as it was definitely curdled and tasted yuck! The chocolate covered strawberries were to die for, so we even got some more of them.

About 20 minutes before the fireworks were supposed to start they announced that the “The Magic, the Memories and You” show had been cancelled and we were pretty disappointed because we had hoped to see it and it would have been our only chance to do so on this trip. Shortly before the fireworks were going to start everyone got up and moved forward towards the railing and so did we.

We were able to squeeze in and score a nice spot to watch the fireworks, which were wonderful and breathtaking as always, but I still prefer to view them from Main Street where you have a straighter view of the castle and the fireworks.

Once the fireworks were over, most of the tables had already been cleared, but there were still plenty of desserts on the buffet for people to indulge in, if they still wanted some. Just before Tom and I were about to leave the Tomorrowland Terrace there was another announcement. The “The Magic, the Memories and You” show would be shown in about 10 minutes.

Now that was a pleasant surprise and we asked the Cast Members working at the Terrace if it was possible to watch from there and while they were willing to let us stay there, one of the managers explained that we would have a much better view of it, if we had a direct view of the projected objects from somewhere closer to Main Street. We thanked her for her advice and walked over towards Main Street, just to find it pretty packed. So we walked back to where the last tables of the ice-cream parlour were and had a pretty good and straight view of the castle and the show. It was a really nice show and it was amazing to see so many things being projected onto the castle. Even though it is not an awfully long show, there are lots of images to take in during the show. Once it was over we talked about going to Epcot and we both mentioned that we just didn’t feel like the Extra Magic Hours  in Epcot.

Tom didn’t feel well altogether and I was just tired and still had some packing to do. So we decided that instead of enjoying the Epcot Extra Magic Hours we would stay at the Magic Kingdom to watch the second run of the Main Street Electrical Parade. We strolled through the Magic Kingdom for quite some time before we found a nice spot near the bridge close to the Christmas Store. There were not too many people waiting at that spot and we had a good time watching our favourite parade.

And when it was finally over it was time for us to head back to our car. We still had to get back to Epcot, as our car was parked there, so we got on the Express Monorail to the Ticket and Transportation Center. Once there we walked over to the Epcot Monorail and after about 10 minutes we were able to get on a Monorail which took us back to Epcot.

When we arrived at Epcot the Extra Magic Hours were already in full swing, but since we didn’t feel like it, we just got on a tram that took us back to the parking lot. The drive back to the resort was uneventful and after we had parked the car, we slowly walked back to our room. We crashed on the beds and watched a little TV before we finally gave in and fell asleep.