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Today is shopping day, something I was very much looking forward to!

We left the hotel at 8am and took a taxi to Port Authority bus station, this cost $12. When we arrived we found that the Woodbury Common bus was on floor 4 so made our way up there. Unfortunately we hadn't realised that the bus driver wouldn't accept our NY Explorer passes and that we had to have "real" bus tickets so after reaching the front of the queue for the bus we had to go back downstairs to exchange our pass for tickets 🙄.

Anyway, tickets in hand we were back on the bus which departed at around 9am. Our driver was lovely and slowed the bus right down when we apparently came to "the best photo opportunity in New York" so that we could all take photos - luckily we were on the right side of the bus for this!









We arrived at Woodbury Common at around 10am after taking a detour as the traffic was so bad on the motorway.

First stop was food as Alfie was "starving." We all had pizza and soda for breakfast 😁 it was very good and only cost around $20 for all of us, this was followed by waffles - mine had raspberry sauce and Nutella drizzled all over it and was delicious!



Our first stop in the outlets was North Face where Alfie bought a fleece jacket for just $18! A few shops later Mum bought a Kipling bag for $35 and three large Yankee Candles. I spent ages in the Kate Spade store deciding which bag I wanted and then decided to get the matching phone case and ring, talk about overkill 🙄. We also visited the Disney Store where I bought a Peter Pan tree decoration that had sold out in the UK and Alfie bought more Tsum Tsum's as he clearly doesn't have enough already!

We stopped for lunch just grabbing a McDonalds as we knew we wanted to eat at the Tick Tock diner later that evening.



We caught the 4pm bus back to Port Authority, the driver was hilarious telling jokes and complaining about other drivers. In fact we hit another car on the way out of the car park but no one bothered to stop! The bus was lovely and new as well.

The drive home took an hour and a half, traffic was really bad as we approached Port Authority.

After leaving the bus we walked to Tick Tock diner which is located under the New Yorker hotel.



Mum and I ordered grilled cheese sandwiches with fries and Alfie has pizza, we all had Coke floats but Alfie didn't like his. We were full from our meals but really wanted to try the Key Lime pie so decided to order one to share - we were really disappointed with it as it didn't taste of much at all, certainly not lime!











FairFX


At Magic Kingdom for Be Our Guest breakfast






We sat in the West Wing 😱



Bacon and egg croissant- really good!









These are the kids oats - Lucy loved them!



The rose in the West Wing!



We ride Thunder Mountain on FP






After BTM we headed over to Country Bears Jamboree to wait for our next FP - 7 Dwarfs Minetrain 🐻😀



"Blood on the saddle" 😀






When we come out we seesome of the bears roaming around outside. Never seen this characters before



Then - for the first time ever / we had a go at the shooting gallery.



And the kids played draughts - sorry checkers!



And now for my biggest tip when in the parks - do NOT buy bottled water. Wherever they sell fountain drinks they will give you iced water if you ask for it completely free. It is cold, as good as bottled water, and FREE (did I already say that?)



Lucy and I then went for a tinkle in the Tangled toilets!



And then we ride 7DMT using our FP. Always ask to sit at the back - it's the best ride!



Next we went to Columbia harbour house for lunch this is what me,Daniel,mummy had😂



And this is Lucy's!!!






Eeeek . Travel day has arrived .

Let me introduce myself . I'm Sarah (34) Also known in the family as Beast !
Theres my Hubby , Richard (38) known as Beauty . We also have two boys Blake (8) and Lewis (13)

SO as the title says after 485 days and only telling the kids when the countdown was at 1 our travel day had soon rolled around .

So at 4am we left the hotel at Heathrow and caught the hopper to the terminal straight forward and super easy . The hotel with parking for 15 nights was less than 200 so perfect . We flew United and it could not have easier . Unfortunately we had an hours maintenance delay at take off time as we were sat on the plane . But it couldn't be helped .

So United . Wow I am so impressed . Back when we booked our indirect Heathrow -Chicago- Orlando we got free seat booking , free food and free beverages (inc alcoholic ) Our breakfast was an omelette and snack nearer the end of the flight was a cheese and turkey roll . The hubby had had 3 cans of beer and I had 6 bottles of water plus tea and coffee etc .

From Chicago to Orlando we also got delayed about 35 minutes but we were kept updated and so grabbed our 1st chilli dog , it was delicious . As our Layover was only about 3 hours it was perfect .

The second flight was also really good no free drinks on this one as we knew however I treated my self to a G&T and hubby a JD (9 USD each ) Boys cokes were still free . To my surprise the flight attendant bent down and whispered 'these are on me ' then when she came passed slipped us another . I'm loving it here already lol .

We then got delayed in the air from landing after a 2 hour flight so , another hour due to a bad storm but we eventually landed and it's one of those things . We got our belonging caught the magical express to Port Orleans , Riverside . We checked in to an awesome room and got some sleep . I will try uploading more pics. This is my first ever report so bear with me and any questions just ask x just woke up so will report back later x



Breakfast on United



Free Snack on the plane . I did hear someone change this turkey ham and cheese roll for a plain cheese one .



The 8 year old had been up getting on for 24 hours and was whacked . But we are here and super excited x



We got up and had coffee in our room before heading down to the pool for a while. After an hour or so in the pool we got sorted and headed for lunch at whispering canyon cafe at wilderness lodge. DH and I had pomegranate lemonade and DD had a coke. This pomegranate lemonade makes a nice change from Coke.



DD order the kids chicken nuggets with fries. I tried these and absolutely love Disney chicken nuggets! They're so crispy



DH and I both went for the all you can eat skillet. It came with a serving or cornbread and salted whipped butter. This is absolutely delicious! It tasted like sponge cake but with a courser texture, really good!



The skillet had pulled pork, ribs, chicken, sausage, beans, mashed potato and corn on the cob. The ribs were quite chewy but the rest was really good. We got more corn on the cob as we really enjoyed that.



Our server asked DD if she wanted ketchup and this happened......
Love the attitude and antics of the servers here, it makes it a really fun experience



We used DH's annual pass for 20% discount here and so our total came to $52.17. It's the same skillet you get at dinner time but it's cheaper at lunch so with the discount it was foot value for a Disney table service meal.



After lunch we headed over to fort wilderness and DD did the pony ride. This is $8 and you lead them round a set track following arrows sat on a pony, this was great. It only lasts 5 minutes but DD absolutely loved it! It's a fantastic activity for young children.



We then drove over to Hollywood studios for the rest of the afternoon, we had dinner at the backlot express. This is the first time in 11 trips I have ever eaten here. We got 2 1/3lb angus bacon burgers, and 2 soft drinks to share between the 3 of us. The burgers were good, we realised we hadn't had a plain old Disney burger yet this holiday so that's what we were on the look out for.



We also got a Darth Vader cupcake to share between us. This was a chocolate peanut butter cupcake and was chocolate cake topped with peanut butter cream and covered in chocolate ganache and sprinkles. It was delicious! DH said it was the best cupcake he's had!



Backlot express also does 20% annual pass discount so our total came to $29.95.



We left Hollywood studios and got the boat to the boardwalk, we had a lovely walk around the lake and the sunset was stunning this evening.



After a lap of the lake we called in at ample hills creamery. This is one of my favourite places at Disney. DD was having a nap in her pram so DH and I shared a ooey gooey butter cake sundae. We chose chocolate milk and cookies & chocolate ice cream with caramel sauce which was topped with whipped cream. Unfortunately with the whipped cream it doesn't make for the best photo! This cost $8.49 but it was more than enough to share between two. I love the ooey gooey butter cake, it's so rich and chewy! I always describe it was a cross between shortbread and blondie. I need to find a recipe for it!



We had a game of mini golf at fantastic gardens, the game is included with the 14 day ultimate tickets but DH had to pay as it's not included with an annual pass, he did get 15% discount off regular price and it cost him $12. When we were done we returned to the hotel and tonight's drink of choice was a grape-a-Rita. This is actually really nice, probably my favourite of the a-Rita range I've tried.



We were all shattered after yesterday's activity (though I am not sure why as we just sat on a boat most of the day )

Breakfast was pancakes again! Trying to use everything up!

Afterwards, it took some time for us to get moving!

J and O went down to the dock and J did some fishing - no luck though! They had a good father/son chat though! The lake was very calm this morning - in terms of flatness and people being out and about!



I read my kindle sitting on the dock and did my usual wildlife photos! F was also fishing with her nets but also no luck!



This one was smaller than the other day but O was not impressed that it was so near the house!



After a lunch of falafels, salad and pittas we headed out to our fishing island! The lake was still extremely quiet except for someone cutting wood!



O left to go back to do his gym session but we stayed on. F and J fished and I lay down, just relaxing as you do



F had a lot of success - 31 fish. Her dad - zero

They were all released after having been counted!



It had been a hazy day - but the early evening sunlight gave some eerie photos! These were taken on the island or on the way back - it didn't feel as foreboding as the pictures give the impression!



Back at the house we realised that tea pickings were slim so J and I nipped to the "depanneur" (literally to rescue you - like a pick up truck!) - the local grocery shop.

While I like the house a lot, the fan drives me mad. I have hit my head on it once too often! Whoever installed it must have been short!

Dinner done, I started the packing

I also tried to log into the Air Transat site to no avail - it said our reservation was not to be found! I have sent an email to the travel agency (booked through J's work as we get 35% off that way! ) so hopefully they will sort it out before I have to do online check in tomorrow afternoon!

Last full day tomorrow! Though we did reveal to the kids that we are off to SoCal at Christmas - they were a little overwhelmed I think!


Our breakfast reservation this morning was at Ohana. This was a long awaited location for us as the last time we visited we ended up cancelling our reservation due to illness. When we arrived the check in area was packed but the queue moved reasonably quickly and pretty quickly we had a buzzer and were told to join the line to have our photo taken with Stitch. This was quite a long line but did occupy us while we waited for our table!we waited for about 10 minutes after our adr time before we got a table.

We were shown to a lovely table right by the window with a beautiful view of the lagoon and Cinderella's Castle beyond.



We started our breakfast with pineapple and coconut bread which was great although I couldn't taste much coconut. It was more like a danish than a bread.



We were also given a fruit platter



Our breakfast platter soon arrived which we all devoured and we asked for extra waffles. I think a 10am breakfast ensured everyone was really hungry by the time we got our food.



We met Mickey, Pluto and Lilo during our meal too.

Everyone enjoyed our Ohana experience and we're glad we have finally made it. Although I think in the future we might try to have an earlier adr time.



We had a quiet day around the pool at OKW and after the late breakfast no one ate anything all day.

We've just returned from a fantastic meal at Jiko at the Animal Kingdom Lodge. Our adr was for 5.30 and we arrived in time and were shown directly to our table, again like this morning we had a table right by the window and a nice view.

Our server was excellent he explained each item on the menu in detail.
We ordered some drinks in addition to sodas.

Tusker for me



Hopsecutioner IPA For Hubby



We were given some beer bread and fennel favoured butter. The bread was lovely but no one liked the butter!



Starters

Grilled Wild Boar Tenderloin - with Mealie Pap, Chakalaka, Truffle Oil and Micro Cilantro



Hubby said this was lovely, so tender with a slightly spicy sauce.

Inguday Tibs in Brik - mushrooms, spinach, cheese in crispy Tunisian filo with apples and curry vinaigrette



These were really nice, much lighter than expected and a lovely favour.

Taste of Africa - African inspired Dips, papadum, sesame fatir, house-made flax seed naan



Eldest had this and loved the different dips. They included a hummus with sundried tomato, a mango chutney (nothing like the curry style one from home) spicy cucumber raita and a spicy chilli dip.

Mushroom-Leek Flatbread - portobello mushrooms, spiced leek fondue, sweet peppers, aged goat cheese.



The favour combination in this was fantastic, slightly sweet, slightly bitter with a spicy hint too. It was amazing.

Mains

Peri Peri Green Circle Chicken - irio, braai shishito peppers, peas and corn wisselslag, chicken reduction



Eldest really enjoyed this. The peas and corn combination which came with it looked really good.

2 x Oak-Grilled Filet Mignon - bobotie mac n' cheese, grilled asparagus, kachumbari, South African red wine sauce



Mum and hubby both had this and said the steaks were very good, mum said hers equalled the one she had at the Boathouse earlier in the week. Hubby said he thought his wasn't quite up to the one from the Boathouse but it was a close run thing.

West African Koki Corn - mushrooms, avocado, poblano-tomatillo puree, roasted red pepper sauce



This was a stand out dish for me, not only of the holiday but I've rarely get such a lovely dish in a restaurant. The favours were wonderful together, they were very specific but went so well together. I ate every bit and that's not something I would normally do.

Desserts

Orange-Ginger Cheesecake - Cape gooseberry gelee, chocolate biscuit, Tom West blueberry variations



This was nice but it was more of a chocolate sponge on the bottom which didn't really work as a cheesecake base. Flavours were good though.

Safari Sunset - carrot cake, cornbread calamansi and lemon cremeux, Kenyan coffee streusel, citrus gel, valrhona dulcey mousse, candied carrots



I tried this and I didn't like it but Mum did. The lemon layer was lovely and smooth. The cornbread layer seemed a bit course but Mum loves Carrot cake and she enjoyed it.

Kilimanjaro - Tanzanian chocolate mousse, pistachio financier, pink peppercorn meringue, cacao nib crunch, ras el hanout pineapples



Hubby really enjoyed this



This may well have been the meal of the holiday but time will tell, it will certainly be hard to beat, excellent food in a beautiful place and lovely atmosphere. We loved AKL when we stayed there a number of years ago and tonight I think we remembered why.



Epcot today - we started with Breakfast n the POR food court- love this building - feels like my second home. Unfortunately today the water wheel isn't going round 😕



My brekky!



Lucy's maple syrup artwork!






So we ride Spaceship Earth - 15 min wait - fine as our TT FP starts at 09:55









Love this sign! Isn't it closed permanently? 😉 why doesn't it say that??



Now... TT FP



About to design our car



Lucy's car



Daniel's Car



I actually LIKE Beverley - really! Denise liked Bebo. Club Cool is great though- free drinks!






Lucy loves Journey to Imagination - no idea why! And yes this is a queue for it at 30 mins! We had a FP!



One think that annoys me when queuing "Please move closer to the people in front of you this will make the line move quicker" - how exactly? Moving closer doesn't reduce the number of people in front of me! Grrrr!



We love the character spot although Donald and Pluto no longer feature. This picture is from Disney Memorymaker which is an amazing service that adds the photo to the Disney app in just a few minutes. And this year it was free for us!



Then Sunshine Seasons at The Land.






We love it here - such a great selection of fresh food.😀






Then the classic - living with the land.









Next Nemo at the Living Seas followed by Baymax meet!



Then we had a Sundae from Taste Track






The theatre that once had "Honey I Shrank the Audience" (Great) and then Captain EO (Terrible) now has Pixar Shorts. I'd seen all of them before but the kids wanted to do it so I agreed - so glad we did. The quality of the 3D image was amazing- I recommend



The monorail passes by....



So as a storm rolls in we wait in the dry - in the Soarin' queue! We enjoyed the new film but both Denise and I preferred the original - it didn't feel as immersive. Still a lot of fun though!



We then went on Spaceship Earth again.



The Express bus services ceased in a few days - not surprised as no one seems to be using the service. We decided we had no use for it.



Daniel was hungry so he had Chicken Nuggets at Electric Umbrella- I still fail to understand why this place gets such a bad rap from everyone - the food is good and the drink selection is excellent with free refills.



Lucy had a Chocolate cupcake 😀



The rain then started as we ate eased off a little so we make our way to Canada after a quick detour via a shop! The skyline is amazing tonight!



We watched Illuminations eating fish and Chips from the UK (actually pretty good!)



And then the bus home - I am always impressed with the Disney bus service. Good night - MK tomorrow


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Park Hours - Friday 18/08/2017

WDW & Other Florida Park Hours
Magic Kingdom
Magic Kingdom
9:00am
Extra Morning Hours~to~
10:00pm
Epcot
Epcot
9:00am
~to~
9:00pm
Animal Kingdom
Animal Kingdom
9:00am
~to~Extra Evening Hours
10:00pm
Hollywood Studios
Hollywood Studios
9:00am
~to~
9:30pm
Blizzard Beach
Blizzard Beach
10:00am
~to~
7:00pm
Typhoon Lagoon
Typhoon Lagoon
10:00am
~to~
7:00pm
Islands of Adventure
Islands of Adventure
9:00am
~to~
9:00pm
Universal Studios
Universal Studios
9:00am
~to~
8:00pm
Volcano Bay
Volcano Bay
9:00am
~to~
9:00pm
SeaWorld
SeaWorld
9:00am
~to~
6:00pm
Busch Gardens
Busch Gardens
10:00am
~to~
6:00pm
Aquatica
Aquatica
9:00am
~to~
6:00pm
Legoland
Legoland
10:00am
~to~
6:00pm
Legoland Water Park
Legoland Water Park
10:30am
~to~
5:00pm
Extra Morning Hours Early Entry for On-Site Hotel Guests.
Extra Evening Hours Extra Late Hours for On-Site Hotel Guests.
Full Schedule of Florida Park Hours

Disneyland Resort Park Hours
Disneyland Park
Disneyland Park
9:00am
~to~
11:00pm
Walt Disney StudiosCalifornia Adventure 9:00am
Extra Morning Hours~to~
10:00pm
Extra Morning Hours Early Entry for On-Site Hotel Guests.
Full Schedule of West Coast Park Hours

Disneyland Paris Park Hours
Disneyland Park
Disneyland Park
10:00am
Extra Morning Hours~to~
11:00pm
Walt Disney StudiosDisney Studios 10:00am
~to~
8:00pm
Extra Morning Hours Early Entry for On-Site Hotel Guests.
Full Schedule of DLP Park Hours

US Dollar Rates
Cash/Travellers Cheques
Covent Garden FX  $1.2695
FAIRFX  $1.2580
M&S  $1.2477
Travelex  $1.2559
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CaxtonFX  $1.2582
FAIRFX  $1.2580
Travelex CP  $1.2559
Updated: 19:02 18/08/2017

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Euro Rates
Cash/Travellers Cheques
Covent Garden FX  €1.0783
FAIRFX  €1.0710
M&S  €1.0602
Travelex  €1.0700
Prepaid MasterCard Rates
CaxtonFX  €1.0706
FAIRFX  €1.0710
Travelex CP  €1.0700
Updated: 19:02 18/08/2017