missdopey's DIBB Photo Blogs

So it only seems like 5 minutes since my last report. Well I suppose it kinda is.
We’re into double figures to go now so I figured I’d start a pre-trip as I loved adding to my last one.
We already had bits and pieces booked prior to our Easter trip, our flights had been bought back in September 2017, initially we found a good price with Lufthansa 17th-31st August flying via Frankfurt for 2 adults 1 child costing 991, I reserved them for 27 until DH confirmed holidays but couldn’t complete the purchase online, I rang them and completed the purchase, or so I thought! They rang me back a few minutes later telling me they had to cancel the purchase as it could only be completed online, if I wanted to do it over the phone it had to be a new booking and the price had increase by a few hundred pounds 😡 I politely told them what they could do with their flights and set about finding some alternative ones.

Fortunately I came across some flights on BYOjet these were BA outbound, Iberia inbound for 956, the flight times were better and they cost less so I quickly forgot about the Lufthansa disappointment.
So flights booked, these are:
17th August 9.45am Man- Lhr, 1.55pm Lhr-Mia
1st September 16.55pm Mia-Mad, 2nd Sept 8.45am Mad-Man.
To say I was pleased with these was an understatement, school holiday flights for less than 320 each! 😁
We flew into and out of Miami at easter (on the same flights, except we flew down to Heathrow the night before) and we thought it was definitely worth the savings, we didn’t feel it ate into our holiday at all and we quite enjoyed seeing other parts of Florida.

The night before our flight we will stay near Manchester airport, our usual premier inn at runger Lane is 67, which for somewhere to sleep for a few hours seems excessive so we’re contemplating staying further afield perhaps in Altrincham or at the Trafford centre.

Car parking - I plan to use VIP parking again, they meet you right outside the terminal in the drop off zone and take your car and then you ring them when you have collected your bags when you return and they meet you in the same place. Fantastic service!

After 3 trips of using DVC points for 2 night stays it was finally time for a full DVC trip! Our home resorts are bay lake tower and Saratoga springs. I initially booked a lake view studio for 20th Aug -1st sept (12 nights) at bay lake tower. This gave us 3 nights before this to fill and we were thinking of spending some time at the beach on the way to Orlando.
After our 7 month mark I used some of our Saratoga springs points to books the 19th August at old key west, as this was a separate booking we decided we would add the deluxe dining plan to this one night stay costing $274 giving us 3 dining credits each, 2 snacks and a refillable mug. We would be buying the refillable mugs anyway which would cost about $60 so the dining plan looks like a no brainer.

At 180 days I made some dining reservations:
20th August - breakfast at chef Mickey’s - I think I willl change this as we did it at easter and thought it was pretty average, but Dd loves it.
20th August - Dinner at California grill - for this view 😍 Absolutely love it here!!!

After returning from our Easter trip we had a few ideas/changes for summer.
We didn’t want to do the beach any more, if the weather wasn’t favourable it could end up being a washout, we’ll wait until Dd is abit older as DH wants to do water sport stuff while there.
We want to stay at the Miami airport hotel when we land in Miami (17th August), it was fab not stressing about getting our car and getting away from the airport straight after landing. Currently can get this for 110 for the night.

This means we’d have one night to fill (18th) at the moment the plan is to find a DVC resort with availability 18th&19th and cancel the one night old key west reservation and do 2 nights elsewhere or add an extra night here with the deluxe dining plan. I managed to replace our one night in the 19th with boulder ridge and a few days later the 18th became available. Very excited to be staying at wilderness lodge - the location of our 2 night stay is being kept from DH and DD as a surprise.

After getting an SUV for our Easter trip as a free upgrade from full-size we’re now planning to hire an SUV, currently priced 358 on Alamo Brit’s

Mickey’s not so scary Halloween party is on 24th, 28th and 31st August. We’ll probably do the 28th as with DVC/AP discount it will be $75 for adults $70 for children. We’ll obviously have to sort out some costumes 😂

I would like to do the painting with a view event held on Tuesday mornings or Thursday afternoons in the top of the world lounge on the top floor of bay lake tower, this is $50 and lasts 2 hours. You paint a souvenir canvas and there’s an alcoholic beverage/snacks included.

We’ve each got our platinum plus annual passes so tickets for Disney are sorted.

So while we were in Florida at easter I was telling DH about people doing the 4 park challenge- All 4 parks with a ride, food item and photopass in each, he literally did not see the point at all. Until I mentioned the possibility of it being a competition seeing who could do it quickest. Well then it was on! He wanted to do it right there and then. I managed to convince him that leaving it to summer was best. We could spend time planning our route/fastpasses/food choices before hand. So the idea so far is we set off from our room at bay lake tower and it’s the first person back (I guess i’ll have DD with me). Travel between parks is using Disney transport or on foot, we must get photographic evidence of being on the ride, eating the food and obviously the photopass 😂😂

Thurs 16th - drive down to Manchester and stay over night.

Fri 17th - arrive at airport for check in about 7.45am using VIP meet and greet for parking. Grab some breakfast in the airport. Fly to Heathrow and transfer between T5-T3 and get some lunch, I’d like to try yo sushi if I can convince DH.
Fly to Miami and check into the Miami airport hotel for the night. I’m definitely going to pack some snacks in our cases to save being ripped off in the newsagents this time.

Sat 18th - Wake up at crack of dawn and get the Miami mover over to the car rental centre, collect our car and drive to Orlando 😁 If it’s anything like Easter we’ll hopefully arrive by 9am. Sooooooo we’re currently booked to stay at boulder ridge at wilderness lodge. So we’ll head there and check in and catch the launch over to magic kingdom before coming back for some pool time.
If we’re on the deluxe dining plan we’ll be having breakfast/lunch and dinner today.

Sun 19th - We’ll spend today at the resort using the pool and pop over to the contemporary for brunch if I can get a reservation. Tonight will be Epcot and we’ll have dinner nearby.

Mon 20th - We’ll head over to bay lake tower and check in, I would like to try either kona cafe, wave or grand Floridian cafe for lunch, when we’ve got our room allocated we will unpack for the next 12 nights then Get ready for dinner at the California grill.

Tues 21st - animal kingdom day today, hope to get fastpasses for flight of passage, Kali river rapids and Kilimanjaro safari. We’ll be making a trip to rafikis planet watch and lunch will probably be flame tree bbq.

Wed 22nd- hollywood studios. Today we’ll be checking out the new toy story land! Going to hopefully get fastpass for the new slinky dog ride, tower of terror and star tours. We’ll perhaps head to a water park aswell today.

Thursday 23rd -Magic kingdom today and spend some time at the resort - I think I’ll do the painting with a view at the top of the world lounge this afternoon.

Friday 24th August - potentially our 4 park challenge day. This evening at the resort and or drinks/food at tambu lounge/top of the world lounge.

Saturday 25th - shopping today if we fancy it, usually head to the Florida mall, have lunch in the food court. Tonight will probably be Epcot and a reservation at via Napoli for the massive pizza to share and a bottle of wine.

Sunday 26th - hollywood studios/animal kingdom/magic kingdom.

Monday 27th - water park first thing and then leave when it gets too hot. Lunch at downtown Disney in thinking of homecoming as we enjoyed it at easter except for the amount of food 😂 and pick up a couple of sprinkles cupcakes.

Tuesday 28th -lazy morning and some pool time, then get ready for Mickey’s not so scary Halloween party tonight which is on till midnight.

Wednesday 29th - lie in this morning I imagine, then off to Epcot.

Thursday 30th - this will probably be a full day in magic kingdom staying to watch the fireworks.

Friday 31st - today’s a strange one, with it being a Halloween party tonight we won’t be able to spend our final evening in magic kingdom so it’ll probably be Epcot instead checking out food and wine festival stuff. we’ll need to get our packing done too.

Saturday 1st - get up and make the journey to Miami airport, drop the car off and have some lunch in the airport before heading through security.

UPDATE - So we’ve finalised remarkably little since my last update. We have booked our hire car- after getting an upgrade to an suv we have booked one for this trip as we loved it so much as easter. Their free upgrades really do work for them, we now want an SUV every trip 😂
Our hire care for 14 days 18/7-1/9 was 375 so we were happy with that.

I’ve also booked out tickets for Mickey not so scary Halloween party for the 28th August. These were $74 for adults and $69 for children with DVC discount. So excited for our first even Halloween party! Just got out outfits to sort. I also booked painting with a view at the top of the world lounge for 23rd August, this is at the top of the world lounge and I’m really looking forward to it. Our fast pass days are approaching this week. We have hook our first 3 days on Tuesday and the rest one Wednesday.

I’ve managed to get a reservation for California grill brunch for 3 on the 19th August. Currently for 12.25pm which is abit later than I would have liked but I will keep searching for earlier but of one doesn’t come up, least I already have one. 😊

We’ve have various tweaks of doing plans since the last update. We’re currently one chef Mickey’s breakfast/lunch on 18th, wave dinner on he 18th, Cali grill brunch 19th, dinner is yet to be filled, lunch on the 20th is still vacant and dinner at California grill.

Next update will be Fastpass day next week 😊

Yesterday was Fastpass day. I was pleasantly surprised I was able to book fast passes for the entire 14 days of our stay even though we are doing a split stay at two resorts. I had no problems getting the new toy story rides for the days/times we hoped for and seven dwarfs mine train/frozen/flight of passage had plenty of availability throughout our stay.

Update - 44 days to go!!

My waitlist for Beach club came through!!! After an amazing couple of nights at beach club in April we said we’d love to come back again but knew it was unlikely. I was happy with our reservation at boulder ridge for our first two nights but stuck in a cheeky waitlist for beach club on the off chance. Well it only went and filled! DH and DD still have no idea where we’ll be for the first two nights before bay lake tower.
I’ve had to shuffle some of our dining reservations as we’re not going to be in the MK area now, so food plans are now-
18th Aug : breakfast at chef Mickey’s after checking in at the beach club, dinner at chef de France after an afternoon in the pool.
19th Aug : brunch at California grill, dinner at sci fi dine in.
20th Aug : lunch at skipper canteen after checking in at bay lake tower and dinner at California grill.

Florida Escapes

Alarm went off at 7.30am and we were up dressed and finished packing by 9. We stopped off at the 7-11 over the road to put $20 of petrol in the car and then set off to Miami. We’d paid for a tank of fuel so we didn’t have to worry about finding somewhere near to fill up, so didn’t wanna leave too much in the tank either.

The journey down to Miami was pretty uneventful. It took us about 3 hours 45 mins to get to the car rental centre to drop the car off. It was lovely to see these parts of Florida in daylight. Lake placid looks really lovely and somewhere we would consider visiting in future.

The car rental centre is a great set up in Miami. All the car hire companies are located in one offsite building which is really handy, after dropping off the car we got the lift up to the forth floor where the Mia mover is located to transport you over to the main building. The trams are a few minutes apart and only take a few minutes to get to three main building. From there it was a couple of minutes walk over to concourse E where the check in desks for Iberia are located. Check in took about 25 minutes as there was a bit of a queue when we arrived. We were given both sets of our boarding cards and checked in our pram and car seat with our cases.

We set off to find something to eat and ended up in the air margaritaville just by the Iberia check in, which also happened to be right next to the Miami airport hotel check in which we totally hadn’t noticed when we landed. We were taken to a table but they had to kids menu at all so we left. We decided to proceed through security and get something near the gate. We were boarding at gate E21 so got the tram over to our gate only to discover food options were very limited!! We went to Pizza Hut express counter. DH and I got a 9 inch pepperoni pizza each, this was $8 and was really quite good, just like Pizza Hut anywhere.

Dd went for a chicken Alfredo pasta, this was $9.29 and she ate about half and my and DH finished it off, both agreed it was really tasty. Also got a bottle of coke to share.

Total came to $30.87 which we thought was pretty good value for in an airport

Dd and I got a crunch chocolate bar and some starburst from the vending machine to snack on for $1.75 each. I even got another $1 coin in my change!

We boarded on time, Dd, DH and I had 3 seats together in the middle section of the plane (4 seats) which considering we hadn’t prebooked seats or done online check in we were pleased about.
We took off pretty much on time and they came round with the dinner service about an hour into the flight. The choice was pasta or burger. Dd and DH chose pasta and I went for the burger so we had one of each. The pasta did not look appetising at all, but actually tasted borderline ok.

The burger on the other hand, if that’s what you can even call it; it was absolutely horrifically disgusting. There are no word to explain how bad this was, my first and only mouthful had a hard bit of ground up bone or something in it and the taste made me gag.

The pot of pasta was fine and there was Italian dressing for it, the salad had olives in but I picked them out as I’m not a fan. The bread bun was stone cold and ridiculously chewy so I only ate the crust.

The dessert was carrot cake and the topping was like whipped butter, it wasn’t great but I was hungry so managed most of it. After dinner they came round with a hot drinks service, coffee first and then tea, I went for the coffee and wished I hadn’t, even after adding sugar it was really bitter. I watched the Florida project first, partly because it’s filmed on location on the 192 and I just wanted to see which bits I recognised, it wasn’t particularly good, didn’t seem to have a story line and made me a little sad to be honest. Also watched date night and Valentine’s Day, the latter did make me teary at the end; I blame tiredness 😂

About an hour and a half prior to landing they came round with the breakfast service, this was a chicken and cheese croissant, a mini mini twin, some fruit gummies and a blueberry muffin. The croissant was quite dry but made a nice change from the usual sweet breakfasts that are served on flights. I ate the twix but left the muffin as I don’t like blueberry and I have the gummies to Dd. Orange juice was served with breakfast then a hot drink service, I had a coffee with the powered creamer and it was even worse than the one earlier 😂

We landed in Madrid just after 7.30am local time and upon leaving the aircraft a member of staff was waiting for passengers with connections to Heathrow and Manchester issuing new boarding cards and informing us of a new gate. Instead of making our was to gate H2 in the main terminal using the train we had to remain in terminal S where we had landed and make our way to gate S42 where we boarded a bus that drove us directly to our plane. Much more convenient. Our flight to Manchester was full, we’d been issued seats together which we were thankful for and we took of around 10 minutes late at 8.50am. The flight was pretty quick and we ended up landing 20 minutes early. We had to wait for ages for the luggage to start coming off and we were the very last ones still waiting for our pram. We checked with the baggage desk and there was nothing else to come off, so our pram is somewhere between Miami and Madrid. We made good time up the M6 and arrived home just after 1pm.

So the day we knew was inevitable but had come round far too soon was here, our last full day!
We got up and considered doing some packing to make tomorrow easier but quickly sacked that idea off in favour of getting out for breakfast and then to magic kingdom for the day. It’s been tradition from our first trip to start and end our holiday with magic kingdom. We got out around 10am and headed to Denny’s for breakfast, we drove into the carpark and the queue was out the door, we didn’t even stop and just drove to IHOP instead. Fortunately there was no wait in ihop. We were sat at the same table as we were on day 1. I ordered a Diet Pepsi, Dd had an orange juice and DH had orange and coffee. I’d been looking forward to a moons over my hammy from Denny’s so chose the ihop equivalent, choose your own melt. This is cheese, omelette/scrambled eggs and cooked ham in a sandwich and Fried, served with hash browns. It was good but I think I prefer the Denny’s version as the hash browns here were just a slab, in Denny’s they’re more of a pile and much more crispy. DH had exactly the same as I did

Dd had the create a face pancake, this seems to be her staple here 😂 as usual she had strawberry yogurt tube with it.

The total came to $33.68. After breakfast we set off for magic kingdom, it was much quieter arriving at this time, no massive queues for bag search or the tap stiles. We made our way upto peter pans flight for our first fastpass but were slightly early so went and watched the philharmagic first, I absolutely love this! It was now time for our Peter Pan fastpass, it always astounds me how long the queue is for this ride!

After Peter Pan we had a ride on the carousel and the made our way to the haunted mansion for our next fastpass,

while in the queue I managed to bring forward our jungle cruise fastpass so we headed straight there next.

We were feeling a little peckish and couldn’t go through a whole holiday without a trip to the plaza ice cream shop! I ordered an all American sundae with chocolate ice cream and butter pecan ice cream. It was topped with peanut butter drizzle, hot fudge sauce, whipped cream chocolate and peanut butter chips and a cherry. The butter pecan ice cream was so tasty! I think his might be a new favourite of mine!

DH got a plaza sundae with vanilla and chocolate ice cream. This was served in a waffle bowl and topped with hot fudge sauce, whipped cream and a cherry. This also disappeared quickly so guessing it was to an acceptable standard 😂 DD helped out with both.

After our ice cream we walked up to Tomorrowland for our speedway fastpass, dd and I took a selfie at the purple wall as this seems to be a thing now 🙄 after our Tomorrowland fastpass I’d got us one for pirates of the Caribbean, instead of walking across the park we decided to take the Walt Disney world railroad, we haven’t been on this in a good few trips so it made a nice change and Dd really enjoyed it,

We rode pirates and then took Dd to see the Swiss family Robinson treehouse, something else we haven’t done in a while.

Next fastpass was a princess meet and greet with Cinderella and elena of Avalor on the way we spotted a meet win Peter Pan so joined the queue, Peter Pan was fantastic chatting away to Dd about what we’d been upto today and who we’d seen.

After meeting the princesses we were feeling hungry again, I find magic kingdom abit lacking in quick service options that I like bit remembered having a waffle at sweet hollow last year which I enjoyed so we walked down past the castle and joined the queue. We ordered 2 sweet and spicy chicken waffles, there came with coleslaw and a side of chips,

We also got a waffle topped with fruit and Nutella and 2 cups of ice water.

This came to $31. The chicken waffles were as good as i remembered, the chicken is just the right level of spicy and the coleslaw is very refreshing. Any extra waffle goes really well with the little pots of maple syrup they have available. The fruit waffle was pretty good, there was so much Nutella on it so became sickly quite quickly. We all shared these and thoroughly enjoyed our waffle dinner.
It was now time for our big thunder mountain fastpass, we all loved this ride, Dd was abit apprehensive at first but came of asking to go straight back on, unfortunately with a 50 minute wait it wasn’t to be.

I asked Dd what Other rides she really wanted to do before we left and she said dumbo and the barnstormer so these were next on my fastpass target list. On the way over to storybook circus we came across a character dance/hoedown in Frontierland. The brer characters were out, some cows and the country bears. They had a dance with the children and it was fab to watch, Dd loved joining in with the dancing.

After reaching storybook circus we fast-passed dumbo, barnstormer and the mad hatter teacups, by now it was 8pm and we were undecided whether to stay for the fireworks or make a swift exit before the masses. I managed to get a fastpass for splash mountain and thought this was make a great final ride of the trip so we popped into the Christmas shoppe to purchase our Christmas baubles we had our eyes on, its a tradition to but baubles on every trip however I
have absolutely no idea now which ones and from which trip.

By the time we walked over to splash mountain our fastpass window was open, we absolutely loved this, I got soaked when the big splash came from the other boat going down the big drop, much to be amusement of everyone in our boat.

As we were waking back through the park to make our way out Dd asked if we could stay for the fireworks so we decided we would but would watch them from near the entrance, we had a pretty good view and we hen they ended we made a quick exit and headed for the resort monorail, mainly because I didn’t want to hear them say the piece about if this concludes your visit to the Walt Disney world resort we hope you enjoyed your visit and travel home safely, I was worried I might cry so this seemed the safer option 😂

I did give bay lake tower a little wave as we passed knowing that as things stand next time we see it in 18 weeks time we will be checking in for 13 nights 😊
We got back to the hotel and packed up our stuff ready for an early start back to Miami in the morning.

We’ve decided to have a slower start to the day today. We got up and had some breakfast. Well if cake and fruit loops constitutes breakfast?!
I had my sprinkles cupcake that I had bought at Disney springs on Tuesday night. I got the salted caramel flavour and it was sooooo good! The cake was really light and the topping was really dense and had a good about of salt to it which went really well with the cake. They’re not the best looking cakes to be honest but they make up for it in taste!

DH had the hummingbird cake, he said it was ok, certainly not as good as the hype from the server made out, he managed about half as this was a massive piece.
Dd had a bowl of fruit loops with the yellow ones picked out, she’s decided she doesn’t like the yellow ones, I can see why, they smell like lemon air freshener.

We got ourselves ready and drove up to Vineland premium outlets. I was wanting a new park bag as I noticed the strap on mine was coming away. I found a nice black and white one in the character warehouse that’ll do nicely. They had some Vera Bradley ones themed to Alice in wonderland but they were either abit big or abit small for what I wanted. They had a couple of Dooney and bourkes - a Snow White one and a Tiana one. Maybe one day!

We looked round a few more shops but we were getting hungry so popped into the food court for some lunch. This time we went to maki of japan. I had the orange chicken with noodles and a pork egg roll. The orange chicken was really good! I’m beginning to think food court Oriental food is the way forward!

DH got the bourbon chicken with fried rice and veggies. He enjoyed this.
Dd had a bit off both of our plates and we all finished every last bite so massive thumbs up from us all. We got a coke with it it share.

The total come to $22.01 and we all agreed it was great value for quality and quantity.

We left the outlets and drove to typhoon lagoon, couldn’t quite believe this was our first and only visit here of this trip. DH and Dd went off and enjoyed the wave pool while I relaxed on a sun lounger with the gorgeous view. It was perfect water park weather today, not too hot that it was unbearable but it wasn’t too cold getting in and out of the water.

I grabbed a frozen strawberry lemonade to cool down at one point, this was $4.79. I thought I’d been really clever getting it while Dd was off in the big pool but they returned before I had finished so I ended up having to share. Be both really enjoyed it, it was so refreshing on a hot day like today!

Next up we joined the queue for miss adventure falls, we hadn’t been on this before, the queues were huge last year. The wait was only 5 minutes and we all thought it was great but I think I actually prefer the family raft at blizzard beach to be honest. We had a float round the lazy river then Dd and DH went and spent some more time in the water before we packed up and headed back to our hotel to get changed for dinner.

This evenings dinner was millers orlando ale house. We arrived about 5.30 and were seated right away. There’s so much on this menu I would love to have but I can never see past the zinger mountain melt so we got this to share between us. It’s crispy chicken zingers in medium garlic sauce, fries, cheese, bacon bits and spring onions with a blue cheese dip. Absolutely amazing! We finished everything except some of the cheese.

We also got a pepperoni flatbread to share between us. This was really good, the base was lovely and crispy and there was plenty of topping.

We ordered a side of coleslaw to go with the singers and flatbread which was really light at refreshing and each got a drink to go with our dinner, coke for Dd and I, DH had a lemonade.

I really wanted dessert here, I’m been wanting to try the Captain jacks buried treasure cake for years but always been too full, this was my chance! It’s ice cream cake layered with Oreo cookie crust, caramel, chocolate fudge and heath bar crust. Oooohhh myyyy gooodnessss this was amazing. We shared between us but I could have eaten the whole thing. It was just so nice and I was gutted I’d left it this long to try it.

The total came to $37.09, I love millers as the food it so good and the prices are so reasonable! We left around 6.20 and drive over to animal kingdom, we got directed to park right at the front in amongst the preferred parking people, we kinda felt bad that people had paid $45 for these same spaces.

We grabbed a Joffrey’s frozen passion fruit drink on the way in. These are so refreshing but I won’t be getting one in animal kingdom again, they are frustratingly difficult to drink through a paper straw. The straw gets wet and the slush ends up blocking it constantly, it took forever for us to drink and actually took 4 straws to finish and they kept getting saturated and collapsing.

Our first fastpass was the Mickey and Minnie meet and greet, this was great as usual then we headed outside and there was a dance party going on which Dd was keen to stay and join in with.

It was no time for our fastpass for the safari, so we headed in the direction looking in a few shops on the way. The safari was brilliant, it was sunset so there were loads of animals out and about and it was great seeing the savannah at dusk, the views were stunning. After the safari our final fastpass was for dinosaur, there was no queue at all for this and straight after we walked onto the triceratops spin ride. We played a couple of the carnival style games and DD won 2 stuffed toys to add to the ever growing collection.

I’d managed to get a fastpass for the rivers of light show at 10pm, so we made our way round to the seating area and waited for the show. I didn’t know what to expect having never seen this before, we sat through the poor excuse that was jungle book a couple of years ago so we hadn’t been in a hurry to watch another night show here. We all actually enjoyed it and would watch it again. We made our way out of the park and discussed how much we’d loved animal kingdom this trip. We are shocked how our opinion has changed, it was always a half day/one visit park for us. In fact some trips we didn’t even set foot into the park. This time something was different, we’d had 2 great visits here, we were sad to be leaving and can’t wait to return on our summer trip

We drove back to our hotel stopping at the 7-11 for some bud light limes to have before bed r day for our last full day tomorrow 😭

I was up an hour before everyone else this morning and I could hear the desserts in the fridge calling me 😂
When the others finally woke up at 9 I had a couple of he doughnuts from homecoming. There had been 5 in the serving but Dd had one whist walking round Disney springs last night. They were really good but I imagine they’re better warm! They gave us a pot of syrup to dip them in which was really sweet but we really well with them.

I also tried the hummingbird cake to see what it was like, it must contain banana which I hadn’t notice when DH said we should get that. I can’t stand banana so I won’t be having any more of that 🤢

We decided we’d spend the day in Epcot today, although we’ve spent a lot of time here this holiday we don’t feel like we’ve done it properly yet! We arrived at 10.30 and it took half an hour to get through bag check and through the ticket gates. Even the pass holder queue was epic this morning! I’d got us a fastpass for test track from 10.20-11.20 before leaving so we headed over their first. While in the queue I got a fastpass for the character spot from 11.20-12.20 so that’s where we went next. I always find Minnie Mouse particularly good in the character spot and Dd absolutely loves her!

I’d got us a fast pass for spaceship earth for early afternoon so after the character spot we went and picked up our Minnie pass holder magnets to go with the Mickey ones we got last week.

It was time to hit the world showcase for some lunch. We walked clockwise round until we hit the American adventure pavilion. We went to the smokehouse booth which is one of the flower and garden festival food booths. DH and I both had a beef brisket burnt end and smoked pork belly slider this is served with garlic sausage, chorizo, cheddar fondue and house made pickle. These were really tasty just not big enough! The beef brisket was especially really good!

We also got a warm chocolate cake with bourbon-salted caramel sauce and spiced pecans. This was pretty good, I wasn’t a fan of the bourbon flavour but it was nice.
Total for these came to $18.50.

After our bite to eat for lunch we decided to walk out through the international gateway and round to the boardwalk and hire a Surrey bike. This is $25 for a half an hour rental, it was great fun biking round the boardwalk, we managed 4 loops of the lake in total and had a great time, this is something DD had been asking to do for a few days so she was particularly excited about it.

After our exertions we walked round to the marina at the beach club to use our voucher for the half hour rental of a sea raycer. DH and Dd did this as it was for 2 and had a great time, you are able to go all the way to Hollywood studios.

While they were out on the water I took my refillable mug and filled it at the boardwalk bakery, while in there the roast beef sandwich took my fancy. It was beef and whole grain mustard in focaccia break and really delicious! It came with side of chips so I got a packet of classic lays crisps and kept them for DD, this cost to $10.50.

I walked back round to the beach club marina to meet Dd and DH and we made our way back into Epcot we down to the land pavilion as DH wanted to sign up for the behind the seeds tour. This is $25 for adults and $20 for children and passholders DVC members get 20% discount. The tour lasts 1 hour to an hour 15 mins but we had about half an hour to wait before the next one so we headed over to sunshine seasons to get something to eat, we ordered the Asian shrimp with a side of egg fried rice, DH enjoyed this and it was a pretty generous portion.

Dd had the Mongolian beef kids meal with a side of fried rice and apple slices and an apple juice to go with it. The Mongolian beef was delicious!

The total came to $20.33

We left DH ready for his tour and Dd and I went for a chill out in the DVC lounge. This is located above the figment ride and is a lovely quiet place to relax away from the craziness of the park. We grabbed a drink each and Dd watched some videos on the tablets they have dotted around. They came round with a snack cart with complimentary crisps, sweets, cookies, cereal bars so I got some chips ahoy for us to share.

We stayed for about half an hour and then wandered back over to the land to wait for DH to finish his tour. I’d managed to secure a fastpass for soarin so when we met back up with DH we headed right onto the ride. DH had really enjoyed the tour and would do it again it was that good, he got some ideas for things he could do at home in our garden too. After soarin we headed towards the park exit as we were going to spend the evening in magic kingdom. Dd wanted to go on spaceship earth and as it was only showing a 15 minute wait we joined the queue.

We made the short drive over to magic kingdom and you could tell from the car park the crowds were much lighter then they were last week. Before leaving Epcot I had got us a fastpass for seven dwarfs mine train so that was our first stop.
We were all feeling pretty hungry by now so we made the trip over to cosmic rays to get some food.
Dd had the kids chicken nugget meal, this came with a side of fries, applesauce and a chocolate milk.

DH and I both got the bacon cheeseburger with fries and hit the toppings bar for some fixin’s. I added some onions, tomatoes and pickles and grabbed a pot of the scrummy honey mustard dip.

Our total came to $31 and after our food we made our way over to pirates of the Caribbean for our next fastpass, from here we went on haunted mansion, mad hatters tea party, the many adventures of Winnie the Pooh and finally the barnstormer.

It was now time to call it a night and we Made our way out of the park. The queue for the express monorail was anything but express, iv never seen anything like it, it was backed up almost to the exit. We walked over to the resort monorail which had barely any queue and were on the monorail within 10 minutes.
When we got back I cracked open my final can of mikes harder lemonade, this one was black cherry and really good! Home time is quickly approaching and Dd is getting upset saying she doesn’t want to go home and she wishes we could stay on holiday forever coz she’s having too much fun.

This morning I woke up around 8.30 and I went down to marketplace to get the coffees in our mugs. When I got back we had our snacks from the boardwalk bakery with our coffees. I had a chocolate peanut butter bar , This was chocolate cake and peanut butter in layers with chocolate ganache on top and a chocolate stick, this was really good!

DH had a chocolate chip muffin which he enjoyed. It was nice a moist with lots of chocolate chips.

DH had the speciality cupcake, which was vanilla wish a frosting in the Center with decorative frosting on top.

We sat out on the patio area enjoying the warm air and peace and quiet.

After breakfast I went for a wander around the resort to take some pictures. This was the quiet pool area by the beach club villa’s that we never got chance to use.

There is a lovely quiet room off the main lobby area where you can sit and chill, this looks out into the quiet pool.

The view from the beach over onto the boardwalk is just stunning.

I just love this resort and I’m sad to be leaving!

We packed up our stuff and filled up our mugs on the way out at this point the weather changed and there was a huge proper Florida thunderstorm, the kind that drenched you through in seconds!
We drove over to the contemporary for our lunch (brunch) reservation at 12.00pm at chef Mickey’s.
Dd had a chocolate milk to drink.

Dh had a coke as he was driving now and I had another magical star cocktail again with a glow cube 😊

The buffet had the usual breakfast items along with some additional lunch items. First up I got some scrambled eggs, crispy bacon, tater tots, baked salmon, a bagel, smoked salmon and cream cheese. It was all really good! I especially enjoyed the crispy bacon, really over cooked and not a huge about if fat for streaky bacon.

Dd had tater tots, pancake, scrambled eggs, Mickey waffle some strawberries and maple syrup.

DH had sausages, chicken, scrambled eggs and pancakes. He really enjoyed the scrambled eggs, they were really light and buttery.

Next up DH tried the baked salmon which had a taste he couldn’t put his finger on at first but he thinks the crumb must have had mustard or horseradish is. He had some of the beef pot roast with mushroom sauce which he said was delicious and the carrots.

I had a Mickey waffle with maple syrup, I’m not actually a huge fan on waffles but had to have one as it’s shaped like Mickey 😂

DH then had some fruit and whipped cream.

I feel like the desserts here have really upped their game. There was rice crispie bars, doughnuts, sticky buns, cookies, lemon and raspberry cake and Micky mousse domes which we didn’t try as we were too full. I did have a magic blondie bar which was delicious! A cookie dough cannoli which was just pure sugar and fat too sweet! And a mango/passion fruit panna cotta, don’t think I like panna cotta the texture is horrible! I wish I’d tried some of the other desserts instead as they also looked really good.

They had a self serve ice cream station with mini cones and chocolate, vanilla or swirl ice cream. Dd had one of these and there is a selection of toppings you can add so we went for Mickey sprinkles, marshmallows, m&m’s, chocolate chips and gummy bears.

The characters were great, especially goofy who was really funny and had so much energy. He was reeling people in, creeping up on people and giving hundreds of kisses. He was fab!

The total bill came to $129.40 and we used 3 dining credits. Again very expensive for the amount of food you end up eating but DD absolutely loves chef Mickey’s and was so excited about it when she found out this morning that’s where we were going.

After chef Mickey’s the plan had been to go to animal kingdom, I had fastpasses for flight of passage but due to the weather we decided to sack it off and head to the mall instead. Our rides on flight of passage would have to wait until the summer. I do love the ride but we are hoping DD May have grown the extra inch and a half she needs to in order to ride it with us so in that sense I don’t mind waiting until we can all do it together!

It took around half an hour to get to Florida mall via turkey lake/sand lake road, it was so busy probably because of the weather being so bad. I got a pair of jeans in hollister and a body spray for $29.

n Aeropostale I bought some joggers for $15 and a t shirt for $6 and DH got some shorts for $16. There wasn’t a lot that took our fancy and things also seemed very expensive generally.

We left Florida mall about 4.50pm and the plan had been to call on at the outlets on the way past but the traffic was horrendous along sand lake road and it took us an hour to get to Disney springs so we scrapped the plan of the outlets and parked up in the lime garage and walked down to chef art smiths homecomin’ for our dinner reservation.
We checked in and we were given a pager, it took about 15 minutes for our table to be ready, this restaurant is clearly very popular it was heaving inside!

I ordered a blueberry bliss cocktail, I can’t seem to find it anywhere on a menu, but it was very good, it was very heavy on the alcohol.

DH had a Florida crush cocktail, this was also very good made with fresh Florida orange juice as you would expect.

For starters I had the thigh high chicken bites. These were effectively 3 pieces of fried chicken each inside a cheese scone served with pickle slices. These were absolutely delicious but this is no starter! This is enough to feed 2 people at the beast of times! I had to admit defeat after eating 2 or I wouldn’t have any room for anything else.

DH had the jasper board, this was 2 those of shaved ham, pimento cheese, smoked fish dip, candies pecans, pickles and buttermilk crackers. There was absolutely loads of food here, again too much for one person but DH really enjoyed it and did his best to finish it.

For our mains I ordered the chopped pork barbecue plate this is pulled pork dressed with HFK sweet and spicy barbecue sauce served with Momma's mac and cheese and cheddar drop biscuits. This was really good but I didn’t do it justice at all, the Mac and cheese was so cheesy and thick, I couldn’t even face the scone after the starter!

DH had the Florida grouper this was grilled and served over KC greens with iron skillet sweet potatoes, he really enjoyed this but again too much food!

Dd had the kids cheeseburger meal with fries and even the kids burger was massive, she managed half.

We didn’t even try and attempt dessert, we admitted defeat right here, we ordered the cake to go, we went for the doughnuts and the hummingbird cake which will no doubt make an appearance for breakfast tomorrow.

Our total bill came to $16 for DD.
We used our final 2 meal credits for the rest that should have come to $142.71.
All in all we really enjoyed homecomin’ I can see why it’s so popular, the portions are huge and the food is fantastic quality!
After dinner we had a wander through Disney springs looking in shops and listening to the various entertainers throughout the different areas. We finally made our way down to goody’s candy company where we let DD spend the remaining snack credits.

She got a tub of cotton candy and a tube of different flavours of sherbet for herself and picked up 2 bags of goofy candy company sweets to take back for 2 of her friends at school.

We left Disney springs around 10pm and made our way back to the red lion.
Dd was particularly sad about not returning to the beach club, as am I, but I don’t think I could have managed a further day on the deluxe dining plan, it’s too much food for any more than 2 nights/3 days.
To summarise the value we got from it, the dining plan cost us $545 and our meals cost would have been $937, on top of that we got 3 refillable mugs Worth $57 but we wouldn’t have bothered with 3 if we were buying them for such a short amount of time. We also got 12 snack credits at an average value of $5 that’s $60 of value. I definitely feel we got value for money out of the deluxe dining plan. The only place I felt we were ordering needlessly was homecoming where I wouldn’t have bothered with a starter had I been paying cash. However the doughnuts and cake will make a fab breakfast! We would have paid for a couple of character meals for Dd anyway and DH and I like to eat at one or two of our favourite places each trip so our dining plan cost was just what we would have paid out on them meals anyway and allowed us to eat at a few more for effectively no extra cost.
I will have to weigh up whether I think it’s worth doing a night our 2 on the deluxe plan for our summer trip as there was a few meals we would like to do and it definitely makes it a cost effective way to do it but I don’t know if I can face that much food again 🙈

Woke up about 7.45am and DH and DD woke around 9, DH went down to the marketplace with our refillable mugs and got Dd a cherry coke and him and I a coffee. When he returned I dug out our purchases from last night and we had breakfast 😂
I had a chocolate peanut butter cupcake, the cake was chocolate cake which was really light and tasty and the topping was a thick chocolate and peanut butter butter cream, this was really sickly after a while and there was abit too much. The cake was topped with Reece’s pieces. It did go down nicely with a cup of coffee.

DH and DD had a worms and dirt chocolate cake, these cupcakes are huge so Dd didn’t finish hers, but they did the job of putting us on until our lunch reservation.

had a quick look on my Disney experience and managed to grab a fastpass for test track from 10.25-11.25 so we headed into Epcot and ride test track, I was pretty proud of my car I designed getting a total of 215, however Dd and DH managed to design the most powerful car of the day so far. While in the fastpass queue for TT I secured a fastpass for mission space for as soon as we were off test track so we walked over there for our mission around the Earth. After coming off it was time to head over to France for our lunch reservation at chefs de France.

We’ve eaten here a couple of times in the past and it’s been fine. We checked in at 12.15pm and were seated a couple of minutes later at a table we were sat at last time we were here 5 years ago. Our server came over and introduced himself and took our drinks order, Dd had a coke, DH had a French martini which was Vodka, Chambord Liquor, Pineapple Juice and topped with lemon lime foam this was really nice and so easy to drink.

I ordered a bicyclette this was Noilly Prat Vermouth, Lejay Cassis, Sparkling Wine and tasted like fizzy red wine/sangria. It was quite strong.

Our server brought us some authentic French bread and salted butter while we waited for our starters.

For our starters I ordered the French onion soup, this was much nicer than be our guest, the cheese wasn’t as chewy and there was lots of onion.

DH had the lobster bisque and really enjoyed it, there was some big chunks of lobster in it and both soups were served hot but not too hot you couldn’t eat them straight away.

For mains be both ordered the filet de Bouef grille, this was grilled tenderloin of beer with green peppercorn sauce, potato au gratin and green beans. It was absolutely delicious, the meat was cooked medium rare and again was perfect. The sauce was lovely but the beef didn’t need anything with it it was so good. The potato gratin was so good, it was creamy and had a cheesy/garlicky taste, really good! I ate every single bite as did DH.

Dd had the kids chicken and chose green beans as the side, I tried this and the chicken was cooked beautifully and the sauce was like a jus it was really nice.

For desert I ordered the creme brle, it was perfect, the crust had a nice crack to it but wasn’t bitter or burnt at all and the creme brle was so creamy but not overly sweet, I enjoyed every mouthful and just about managed to finish it all despite being so full!

DH had the meringue which was served with red berries and a custard inside and a dollop or sorbet. He really enjoyed this and said it was good. Dd helped him out with some fruit and sorbet at really enjoyed what she tried.

Dd had vanilla ice cream for dessert, this was 2 generous sized scoops and she said it was as good as the ice cream she had last night.

Our server Nicolas had been fantastic and we must remember to cast compliment him on Twitter as he really has been a stand out cast member. He was attentive without being over the top and really friendly. Our bill came to $163.12 and we used 3 of our dining credits. I was pleasantly surprised how good our experience here was, the food was brilliant, the onion soup was the fine but compared to the rest of the food it was no where near as good, the rest was just fantastic.

We left chefs de France and watched the serveur ammusant outside for a short while before heading back to the beach club. We got changed and headed for an afternoon by the pool. Before making our way down there I managed to grab a fastpass for frozen at 8.00pm tonight as we planned to make our way into Epcot after our dinner.

The beach club have loads of activities on throughout the afternoon at the pool, there was bingo, some pool games and hula hooping with prizes for the kids who took part, the cast member running it all, Alexis was great with the kids, not many were interested in taking part with the pool being so awesome.

We left the pool around 4 and went and got showered and dressed and decided to head to Martha’s Vineyard for the trivia quiz at 5pm and a few drinks. First up I ordered a pina colada m, these are frozen cocktail and so easy to drink.

DH had a rum swizzle which he enjoyed so much he got a second one. This is rum with pineapple and orange juice topped with grenadine, I can see why he liked it 😂
Dd had an orange juice.

I then ordered an angry orchard hard cider. Mostly because the cocktails were going down to quickly and I knew this would be slower to drink.

The total came to $46 for our drinks. We took part in the trivia quiz which was lots of fun, there were three prizes, a voucher for half hour on a pontoon boat for upto 10 people, a voucher for half an hour on a sea raycer for 2 people, or a free ceramic at the activity in the solarium near the lobby. We won the voucher for half an hour on the sea raycer which we hope to use before we go home.

We left the trivia quiz at 6.30 and took the short walk to cape May cafe next door for our dinner reservation, we checked in and our pager went off about a minute later. We were seated around the back with a view of the buffet and our server took our drinks order, I had a magical star cocktail complete with glow cube, these are really nice and hardly taste of alcohol at all. This is coconut rum, mango and passion fruit liqueur and pineapple juice.

DH had a captains mai tai, this is captain morgans spiced rum, amaretto, pineapple juice and lime juice. Dd had a coke.

We love cape may cafe dinner buffet especially for the crab legs! My first plate had clams, mussels, blue cheese, crab legs, breaded clam strips, Caesar salad, mashed potato and baked salmon. The crab legs were really good as was the blue cheese, it was so creamy and salty, I wish I knew where to get it.

DH and Dd had some clam chowder, DH absolutely loves this.

Next up I got some more crab legs, paella, blue cheese and a bbq rib. The paella was ok, it had mussels and chorizo in it.

The dessert selection here was the main reason it was one of my must do’s unfortunately the desserts didn’t live up to their usual standard. This was DH’s selection of a flourless chocolate cake, a strawberry Swiss roll and 2 different mini cupcakes.

I had a lemon curd, a no bake cheesecake, a flourless chocolate cake and a brownie drizzled in caramel sauce.

DH went for a further plate with a lemon curd, cheesecake, chocolate brownie with chocolate sauce and an oatmeal cookie. The desserts were generally nice but not as good as they had been on our visits last year.

Our bill came to $146.97 and we used 3 dining credits, it’s a very expensive buffet and to be honest not one we will rush back to in a hurry now. My photos from cape may cafe all seem quite blurry for some reason.

After dinner we made our way into Epcot, Dd wanted to go and play in the play area after mission space so on the way DH and I grabbed a passion fruit frozen drink each from the Joffrey’s stand, these should have been $5.69 but we used 2 snack credits. We sat and enjoyed these as Dd had a play, they’re lovely and tart and really refreshing.

After Dd spent some time in the very quiet mission space play area we walked round to our fastpass for frozen, as we were exiting the ride illuminations were just starting so we took a slow walk back round to the international gateway and watched them as we walked.

We decided to head on over to the boardwalk for a look round, on our way past the boardwalk bakery we called in to check out the options for breakfast in the morning, I picked up a chocolate peanut butter bar, DH got a chocolate chip muffin and Dd asked for a speciality cupcake. We paid usual snack credits, They didn’t deduct a snack credit for DD’s cupcake as a bit of the chocolate was broken so let her have it for nothing which was really nice of them and leaves Dd with 2 snack credits for tomorrow much to her delight. We watched a couple of the street entertainers then decided to call it a night. I’ll be very sad to leave the beach club in the morning! As much as bay lake tower is our home resort and absolute favourite the beach club is a close second, we live the theming, the amenities and the proximity to Epcot and I can’t wait to come and stay again if we can get in at 7 months.

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