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Old 25 Apr 14, 09:08 PM  
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Arrow Returning to Jamerica! Day 5 - Blizzard Beach / Bahama Breeze

Returning to Jamerica! November 2013


Day 5 – Blizzard Beach / Bahama Breeze

Monday 11th November

First of all, I’d like to apologise for taking so long to post this day. I have a pretty good excuse though as I’ve been somewhat distracted over the last few weeks. The eagle-eyed amongst you will have spotted what has been keeping me so busy, but for those of you that haven’t, take a look below. No, further than that. Nope, even further, like right down at the bottom of my post. Did you see it?! Did ya?! Yep, that’s right, I have a shiny new countdown, and, what’s more, it’s the shortest one I’ve ever had! If you want to know how on earth that happened, you can read about it HERE, meanwhile, I’ll get on with this report shall I? My challenge is to get this trippy completed before going on the next holiday, so, along with all your lovely comments, and the fact that I ‘only’ have 15 weeks, I think I have all the motivation needed to get on with it. So let me continue…..

It was a change of pace for us today as we were heading for a water park. I was wise to this now, and realised that it wouldn’t be a day of rest. However, since our last holiday I had grown to love the water parks and have to say that if we were to venture to a Disney park in August, it would probably be of the wet variety. (Our next trip is verrrrrry different, and doesn’t include Disney – I know, right?!)

With it being the winter season, only one water park was open, and so Blizzard Beach was our destination for the day. Simon prefers Typhoon Lagoon simply because of the wave pool and his chance to pretend to be Keanu Reeves in Point Break, although he’s more like Jim Davidson in Big Break if you ask me. I think both water parks are as good as each other, and in fact, Blizzard Beach is probably better suited to the boys (particularly Daniel) because of the Ski Patrol area. The family raft ride at Typhoon Lagoon is a complete waste of time too, you might as well sit in the bath for 30 seconds and have someone empty a bucket of cold water on your head, but the one at Blizzard Beach is brilliant and is worth the trek to the top of Mt. Gushmore (it’s not worth risking your life on the Ski-Lift though, nothing is – shudder).

Blizzard Beach wasn’t due to open until 10, which meant we didn’t need to set off until well past 9. And as our body clocks were beginning to get used to the time difference by now, it made sense to save the later start until we had adjusted a little bit more. We had our usual breakfast at the villa, packed up our bags for the day and left ‘home’ at about 9.15.

By 9.45 we were all parked & creamed up, and ready for our day in the sand & surf, and er, snow!

We made our way towards the main pool, but had to wait a little while (with a few other Brit families!) for the rope to eventually drop. We found some sun loungers by the water’s edge and dipped our toes in the lapping waves, ready to begin our human-to-prune process. Except Grandma that is, never one to shirk her bag-watching responsibilities……

Simon was bracing himself for what was to come as Adam had one thing on his mind this morning, a challenge that he had set himself long before we had left the UK, and unfortunately for Simon, Adam wanted his Dad to do it with him.

Summit Plummet!

Not wanting to leave it hanging over his head for too long, Simon suggested we do a few slides to get warmed up, and then head to the big one for his unorthodox colonic irrigation……

We made our way round towards the Purple Slopes, and plumped for the Toboggan Racers first.

Remembering the indignity of having to wait on all fours at the top of the 8 lane slides, I was slightly less self-conscious when I spotted two, shall we say attractive, petite Spanish (looking) women in front of us in the most skimpiest bikinis you could possibly imagine, thongs and all……. No one was going to be looking at me were they?! When they crouched down in front of us, pretty much showing the world what they had for breakfast, poor Adam didn’t know where to look, (he’ll learn) whereas Daniel pretended to heave, (he’ll also learn! ) As for Simon, once his eyeballs were no longer on stalks, he knew that my mood for the rest of the day depended completely on how he chose to handle the situation and therefore he pretended not to have noticed……… (he’s already learnt )

We raced down to the bottom of the slopes where Grandma was dutifully waiting to take a photo for us.

Daniel must have floated down as he didn’t quite make it into the picture!

Next up was the Snow Stormers, three separate slalom styles slides. They were really good fun, and we all had to have a go on all three, so we were there a little while. Simon was definitely stalling!

Love that picture, Daniel looks sooooo happy

After that Adam decided it was time to face his (Dad’s) fear, and so we all walked back round to the chair-lift. There was a pretty hefty wait, so Simon persuaded Adam to go single-rider so that they could get it over and done with.

True to form, Simon spent the journey making friends with the two guys he was sat with while Adam most likely prayed that the people he was sat with didn’t talk to him. (He’s very shy!) The rest of us waited at the bottom, trying to spot the pair of them at the top. We didn’t wait long, and first up was Simon who bumped his way down, bashing from one side of the slide to the other as he did so.

Next up (or should I say 'down') was Adam, who managed to stay in the middle of the run and so didn’t get quite so bashed about.

Adam quite enjoyed it, despite his walk resembling that of John Wayne for a few minutes afterwards, I’d imagine it was because of another type of wardrobe malfunction – probably best illustrated by this photo here which gives an example of swimwear before & after Summit Plummet

Yes, it really is the same pair of trunks – honest!

Simon actually felt quite bruised after his ordeal and I doubt he would be in any kind of rush to do it again.

Once they had both broken up their respective wedgie parties and retrieved their swimwear from where the sun don’t shine, all the while checking trunk pockets for vital organs, we decided we might as well have a go on Teamboat Springs, the brilliant family raft ride, while we were in the area. On the way up (they all decided to walk with me rather than wait at the top – to paraphrase Mr T “I aint getting on no chair-lift”), Simon decided to stop for an impromptu photo shoot. Turns out he hadn’t developed a sudden love of photography, he was just manipulating things so that we wouldn’t have to share a boat (and therefore possibly touch feet) with strangers. The boy done good as there was another family of four behind us rather than the two that had been there originally and so we got to ride on our own.

Loads of fun as usual, and Grandma had been standing by to take photos. However, it turned out that my camera was on video clip setting and so instead of photos we have a few minutes of the floor being filmed…..

It was still only 11am by now, but we’d managed to get loads done despite only having been in the park for an hour. One of the benefits of a water park in November I guess, no one other than us hardy Brits will go and therefore hardly any queuing……..

Ski-Patrol area next, and the boys went to the slides and the zip wire first. Unfortunately we were a little bit late to witness all the newbies on the zip wire as we had last time. What we had discovered was that sometimes during a first go on the zip wire, the child would forget to let go, therefore doing a backwards somersault before being catapulted into the water. It was extremely entertaining but we missed out this time as they were all pros……

Next up was the ice-bergs. Adam had a go first, and managed to pull himself across the slippery bergs without too much trouble

Daniel then announced that he wanted me to film him going across, so I set the camera to video, pointed it at him but before I had chance to press the button, he literally ran across the ice bergs, parkour style in about 2 seconds flat. He obviously gets his sporting prowess and agility from me

Continued in the next post...

Edited at 09:08 PM.
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Old 25 Apr 14, 09:16 PM  
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Continued from above...

With tummies starting to rumble we decided to head back to our sun loungers, but first the boys stopped for a go on the tube slides which gives me the chance to wander down memory lane again




Once back at the sun loungers we tucked into the usual snacks we’d brought with us, apart from Grandma that is who went off foraging and came back with this little beauty:

Funnel Cake!

The boys went back in the water for a little play, helping themselves to a couple of rubber rings so they could bob up and down and really mix their food around. We could keep an eye on them perfectly from where we were sat, that is until another family came along, grabbed some nearby chairs and then plonked them directly in front of us. Why does that happen?! There was so much space elsewhere but they chose to sit right in front of us, so close that another inch or two back and they would have been on top of us. It brought to mind the time Simon & I went to the pictures in Berlin. We were sat there, waiting for the film to start (Robin Hood – the Russell Crowe version, if you are interested in the finer details! ), with barely anyone else in the cinema, when we spotted a rather large gentleman laden down with enough snacks to last the entire film and beyond, enter the auditorium. He looked around for a little while, and then at exactly the same time, it dawned on us both what his intentions were. And sure enough, he made his way into our row, and edged his way all the way along until he plonked himself down right next to Simon! I’ve said it before, Simon does seem to make friends easily! Sooooo, what do you do in that situation? You can’t just move, that would seem rude. And being in Germany, perhaps they have unwritten rules about making sure you don’t leave empty seats between people, a bit like moving to the end of the rows for Disney shows, although that is a proper rule, EVERYBODY knows that...

Which seat would you have chosen?!

We sat there for a little while, silently assessing our options. It’s not that Simon would have minded sitting next to someone, but this chap had his own seat plus half of Simon’s, and the endless snacks would have been a definite distraction, unless he shared! In the end, Simon came up with a cunning plan. He decided that we might need some sustenance during the film too, and so nudging his way past me, went out to the foyer, coming back moments later with popcorn and then taking a pew the other side of me, therefore leaving a spare seat between me & our new friend. Job done!

Anyway, where was I? Oh yes. So, there we were, sat watching the back of people’s heads while the boys played in the waves. Daniel came to join us for a little while, I think it was the funnel cake that lured him out of the water, and left his rubber ring by the side of us. A rather surly CM came striding over and dragged the rubber ring away muttering something grumpily under his breath. I understand that the rings are for everyone to share, and I don’t think for one minute that Daniel had intentionally brought it over to ‘save’ as there were plenty of them around anyway, but the CM could have been a bit more friendly about it, I mean, it’s not as if we hadn’t moved all the way along the row or something…… What really got my goat though was that there was another family nearby who had 3 of them all stacked up next to them and they didn’t get moved! Oooh, sounding a bit moany now aren’t I? I’m just big on fairness, can you tell?!

To give our food a bit more time to settle we decided the lazy river would be a good idea and so the four of us went off for a relaxing drift around the park while Mum got herself comfy on the sun bed. We had a lot of fun on the lazy river, chatting and having a laugh with the other swimmers. One little girl who had become separated from her family took a shine to Adam and was extremely chatty & friendly, so much so, I think she would have come home with us given the chance. I ended up getting wedged together with an older lady and we had a laugh trying to help each other avoid the cold sprinklers. In no way deliberately*, she was much better at helping me than I was her, much to Simon’s amusement…..

*maybe slightly deliberately.

After a lap of the lazy river, which probably took about half an hour, we decided that the snacks hadn’t been enough and so we went off to find some lunch. Lottawatta Lodge was the obvious choice so scooping Grandma up on the way we went to see what was on offer. No photos of the food I’m afraid, but I’m sure your imaginations can stretch to picture what we had 

8 Chicken Nuggets & Fries $8.69
Chicken Sandwich & Fries $9.19
Cheese Pizza $6.99
2 x Hot Dogs & Fries £13.98
2 x Sodas $5.38
Chocolate Milk $2.39
Total Bill $46.62 + Tax

We sat at a little picnic table to eat our lunch, and despite it being only 12.30 we had done pretty much everything in the park! We were all enjoying the day though and were in no rush to leave and so headed back to the big pool again. My one complaint about Blizzard Beach (apart from the surly CM & the intrusive family) would be the roughness of the bottom of pool. I mean, I’m all for a bit of foot exfoliation (although I draw the line at having fish nibble my toes, I’m sure the fish feel the same way ), but I was 5ft 7” when I entered the water, and 5ft 5” when I left, that’s how much was taken off the bottom of my feet!

We messed around for a while, bobbing up and down in the water, stopping occasionally for a drink ($2.69 for a fizzy pop from the Cooling Hut), and revisited our favourite slides, and at around 4.30 we gathered our belongings and headed back to the car.

Back at the villa we showered and dressed and once again made our way to Rolling Oaks, this time to another favourite restaurant of ours, Bahama Breeze.

Although it was later than we usually went out for tea, it was still early at 5.30pm and so we had no wait for a table.

I was still mourning the loss of chicken kabobs/kebabs from the menu, (they had been a favourite from the first holiday and had since been discontinued), but at least their loss gave me chance to try something else. My biggest problem was choosing what to have as the BB menu is pretty impressive. With eyes bigger than our bellies, probably after all that swimming which does seem to work up an appetite, we ordered as follows:

To Share
Onion Rings $4.75

They were absolutely massive, but really really good. Daniel surprised us all by trying one, and surprised us even more by enjoying it, and subsequently tucking into more. We barely made a dent in them though.

Chicken Sliders $4.75

Again, they were really good, and again Daniel surprised us. He doesn’t eat sandwiches, or any kind of burger, and yet something compelled him to try one and again he really enjoyed it!

Jamaican Jerk Chicken Lite $13.49 (Lite just means a slightly smaller portion)

It was delicious, but unfortunately we had underestimated the size of the appetizers and overestimated the size of our bellies and so I left more than I ate. I’m so glad I ordered the ‘lite’ version!

Wood-Grilled Chicken Sandwich $9.49

As soon as I saw this arrive I wished I’d order it. Simon really enjoyed it and would definitely order it again.

Lobster & Shrimp Quesadilla $6.50
Chicken Cilantro Lite $10.49

Big thumbs up from Mum for both of these, but again, in this battle of Man v Food, Food won!

Cheeseburger with Fries $9.99

In Adam’s words, it was a really good burger, but not the best he’s ever had.

Chicken Fingers $4.79

As you can see, it was thumbs up from Daniel!

We also had 4 soft drinks, $2.49 each and a sparkling water, $2.99, and the whole bill came to $74.80 + tax and tip. At today’s exchange rate (1.66) the entire meal came to less than £50, which when you think about the amount of food we ordered, and more embarrassingly the amount of food we couldn’t shovel in, that’s exceptional value for what was an outstanding meal. Bahama Breeze is still a firm favourite for us.

Continued in the next post...

Edited at 09:14 PM.
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Old 25 Apr 14, 09:19 PM  
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Continued from above...

We were all done & dusted by 6.30pm and so as it was still early we popped across the car park to Target to pick up some beer, wine & WWE figures (all the essentials! )

and from there we decided to go to Downtown Disney.

I really love DTD. I’m not much of a shopper but I love browsing the shops there, and was looking forward to letting the boys loose in Goofy’s Candy Co after watching them drool over all the goodies on offer on Google images in the months leading up to the holiday.

First stop though was World of Disney, my spiritual home. I usually do a walk through on my first visit, eyeing up possible purchases for a future visit, but there were a couple of things I definitely wanted, a Mickey bottle opener & bottle stop, and I also saw a cute little spoon rest too. I then spotted a really nice throw, and having lost out in the past when going back at a later date to buy a photo frame, only to find that it had completely vanished from the shelves, I decided to purchase the throw there & then rather than risking it disappearing altogether.

$11.95 each


The total for these goodies came to $95.80 + tax, so I handed over the money, which included a $100 bill only for the CM to announce that she didn’t think my $100 was real and had to check with a manager before she could accept it! The notes had looked different when I received them but a quick check on the internet reassured me that they were just new, but I will admit I was panicking a bit, knowing that I had a big wad of them at home! Thankfully the manager was in the loop and so I was able to pay for my goodies...

From there we headed round to Goofy’s Candy Co, where the boys weighed up their options. I hate to say this, but I don’t have the receipts from this visit, only one for some caramel popcorn ($3.45), which was Daniel’s choice, as well as a couple of chocolate strawberries which he developed a special love for (not the white chocolate ones though, they weren’t so good).

At $4 a pop, it was a love affair that wasn’t looking likely to flourish too much…….

I got myself some chocolate turtle fudge, but I didn’t really like it that much, and it spent the rest of the holiday in the fruit bowl at the villa. I have no idea what Adam had, and neither does he. He will probably have had a slushy though after we all enjoyed sampling all the different flavours. 

We spent a couple of hours at DTD, wandering in and out of the shops. It has a lovely atmosphere, especially in the evening, although I do realise that it will be completely different in the summer time and so I’m bracing myself for the crowds in August, and sharpening my elbows in preparation.

Back to the villa to open up the Bud Light Limes and wine and enjoy a game or two of table tennis before heading up to bed, looking forward to the ‘new’ park we would be visiting the following day

Day 6 - Busch Gardens + All Day Dining

Edited at 09:16 PM.
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Old 25 Apr 14, 09:35 PM  
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That sounds like a fab day TFS! We are of course not allowed to go to water parks as Stewart is allergic to fun, so I am envious.

I lol-ed at the differing reactions to the bikini ladies - it's like a study of the human male, haha!

Hold the phone. Chicken kabobs discontinued at Bahama Breeze? Nooooooo! They were my favourite!

Jo xxx
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Old 25 Apr 14, 09:46 PM  
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That was a brilliant day! Well done to them both for doing summit plummit

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Old 25 Apr 14, 10:19 PM  
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Another fab day for you all .
I did laugh out loud at the thought of the two babes at the toboggan racers and your boys reactions
Glad you had a great meal at Bahama Breeze - the food is lovely there isn't it ?
I love a stroll around the shops at Downtown Disney - and those chocolate covered strawberries are gorgeous ! Have you tried the Godiva ones ? They are amazing too .
Looking forward to reading more .
Helen x
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Old 25 Apr 14, 11:32 PM  
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another fab day - like the before and after pics for summit plummet
I like your purchases - that throw looks gorgeous.

looking forward to more and will have to read your pre-trippie for august

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Old 26 Apr 14, 02:49 PM  
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Another fab day, looking forward to reading more
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Old 26 Apr 14, 04:02 PM  
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Great read Jo , I am looking at that funnel cake and drooling , then drooling some more at the food pics of Bahama Breeze , they never look quite so appetising in pictures as they do when sitting on your plate but they still had my mouth watering

Had to laugh at the " Mankini " it wasn't that far off Simons fashion status after his date with Summit Plummet , Adam must be fearless to have wanted to go on it , he probably handled that experience better than the Spanish thongs one he wouldn't have known where to look lol , I wonder how said Spanish ladies would have faired had they gone on Summit Plummet , their thongs would probably have ended up as dental floss

Ok crack on with day 6 now , in your own time of course

Mum x
Nov 2009...Windsor Hills. Oct 2011...Windsor Hills
Nov 2013...Highgrove. Nov 2014...Highgrove
Aug 2015...Clearwater & RPR. Aug 2016...Westridge & Sapphire Falls.
Aug 2018...Westridge. Aug 2019... Miami & Solterra Resort
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Old 26 Apr 14, 07:06 PM  
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Ahhh what a perfect day Well done to the boys for doing Summit Plummet! That's the one thing I refuse to do! The wedgie doesn't bear thinking about!

Love bahama breeze! I'm sure Chris had that grilled chicken sandwich last year and also loved it!

I adore your DTD purchases

Fab read x
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