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Old 16 Jan 20, 11:14 PM  
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Lisa_Lollipop
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Charlie's First WDW Adventure - Sep/Oct 2019 - Day 7: Pool time and Magic Kingdom

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Saturday 5th October

Charlie woke up rather early at 6:20am, it’s fair to say that none of us were ready to get up yet so we got him into bed with us and he fell back to sleep until 8:45am!



We had planned a slower-paced morning so we got ourselves up and had some breakfast and at 10am we headed over to the communal swimming area. It probably would have been walkable but we decided to drive over to get there a little quicker! We also saw a park on the drive over as we went a different way to how we would normally leave to get to the parks… we had no idea that it was even there! (and sadly we never actually got time to go and use it!)

We parked up in the car park outside and headed into the reception area where we had to show proof of staying at Storey Lake (luckily I had e-mail confirmation of our booking on my phone as I hadn’t even thought to bring anything like that over with us!). We signed us all in and then headed through. On booking the villa on this complex, the swimming facilities had definitely been one of the major draws, it was a truly fantastic area with a lazy river, splash pool, slides and a bar area.









It was pretty quiet so we easily found some free sun loungers over by the splash pool and Charlie was straight in! He is such a water baby so was having the best time running around in all the water jets… and of course the AK bucket and spade came with us!





We also spent some time in the lazy river which was just wonderful! We didn’t bring any sort of armbands or rubber ring for Charlie but there was a shop there that sold various inflatables and swimming aids so we picked him up a Paddle Pal vest for $20. I was worried he wouldn’t entertain putting it on but he didn’t object at all and actually loved it! It allowed him to swim around freely without us holding him which was brilliant and he loved having a little more independence in the water! He looks grumpy in this photo but I can assure you he was having a great time really!



We also spent some time in the main pool. It was an all-round lovely chilled morning of water fun! Sadly this is actually the only time we made it over there which looking back makes me quite sad as it was such a fantastic perk of staying at Storey Lake! If I was to do this trip all over again I would definitely plan more time at the villa… although that’s easy to say now as I know in reality if we had done that I would have been worrying that we were wasting precious time at the parks… we certainly have some learning to do when it comes to striking the right balance with these trips!







Despite having such a great time we decided to make a move at about 11:35am as I had booked a FP to meet Mickey Mouse at Magic Kingdom at 1:10pm and I was super keen that we didn’t miss it – and we all know you need to allow at least an hour to get into Magic Kingdom from arriving onsite! (Another learning curve… book FPs later in the day when planning a slower-paced morning!).

On arriving back at the villa we had showers and got ourselves ready for an afternoon and evening at Magic Kingdom. I also gave Charlie and bath and washed his hair so he was all fresh and ready to go! We left the villa at 12:55pm, with our Mickey Mouse FP expiring at 2:10pm... the race really was on to make it there in time! Into the car and off on the now very familiar journey to WDW (although I very stupidly forgot the all-important Seaworld animals and T-Rex dinosaurs so Paul had to make a quick dash back to the villa to pick those up!)





On arriving at Magic Kingdom we parked up in Hook 322 and walked down to the TTC making it through security at 1:45pm... the queue was so slow moving, always the way when in a rush! On finally getting through we opted for the monorail thinking this would be quicker than the ferry… oh how wrong we were!



We found ourselves standing on the slope up to the monorail station for a much longer amount of time than normal and soon discovered that one of the monorails was out of service and as a result everything was moving much slower than usual… really not ideal when in a rush! Also whilst standing there Charlie went from this…



...to this in a matter of minutes!



My visions of a lovely family photo with Mickey were dramatically reducing by the second! Best made plans and all that! Finally we made it onto a monorail and were making our way over to the Magic Kingdom.









We made a speedy rush through the entrance and straight into the Town Square Theatre where we found our bands still turned the reader green, we had made it just in time! Unfortunately Charlie was still asleep and we were told we were unable to take him through in the pushchair. I understand there are health and safety restrictions but the CM at the entrance to the queue was downright rude when I explained how much I was hoping to get a photo of us all with Mickey, perhaps hoping he may sprinkle a little bit of Disney magic and perhaps offer us FPs for a little later in the day… but no. Just a sour faced no.

I was a bit upset about the whole situation as I had really been wanting to get that photo, silly looking back now but I knew we wouldn’t be able to get another FP (there were none available for that day or our last day when we would be back at MK). Paul tried to perk me up by offering to wait with Charlie whilst Joan, John and I went in. Always the gentlemen that one, so off we went leaving him and sleeping Charlie behind.

Despite my grumbles it was such a lovely meet and it was wonderful seeing Mickey interact with Joan and John, it made for some priceless photos that we will cherish forever.







I also had a lovely interaction with the big man too, he was particularly taken with my sorcerer inspired ears! I really do love the candid shots that the photographers capture, such wonderful memories!





Before heading off we also posed for the necessary group shots… such a shame Paul and Charlie weren’t with us though!





On leaving the Town Square Theatre we found Festival of Fantasy was passing through the top of Main Street and Paul had found a spot at the top of the stairs to watch. Charlie was still fast asleep!











Once Main Street was clear of floats we started our walk down towards the castle, heading in the direction of Tomorrowland as Paul and I had FPs for Space Mountain (Joan and John had ridden this on our first trip and had vowed never again!)







We left Charlie still sleeping with Joan and John whilst we headed on in to ride. I know not every one is keen, but Space Mountain is one of my favourite Disney rides!



On reuniting with Joan and John we found Charlie still asleep. Next on the agenda was Big Thunder Mountain as I had FPs booked for Joan and John so we headed in the direction of Frontierland.







On making it to the entrance we had rider switch put onto mine and Paul’s magic bands but sadly we never got around to coming back to ride it! Joan and John enjoyed their time on the wildest ride in the wilderness though! Once they were back with us we decided it was time for food and picked Columbia Harbour House as our destination. Charlie woke up whilst we were inside making our food choices (by now it was 3:50pm). I left Paul ordering the food and went and found a table with Charlie. Out came the dinosaurs!





The others soon arrived back with the food. I had opted for the trio sampler, mainly as I wanted to try the hushpuppies… they were good! Charlie had a kids tuna sandwich but didn’t seem too keen and barely ate any of it! He did help me out with my fries though so that was something.







On finishing up our food we realised our Peter Pan FP was about to expire… this seems to be a theme for this trip doesn’t it?! We gathered everything up and set off on a fast walk over to Fantasyland hoping to make it in time! Despite being 10 minutes late we made it through no problem (a relief given we had missed our last FP for this on day 1!). As always a lovely little ride but I am still firm that I would not wait the ridiculous standby times for it!

On leaving Peter Pan we walked back through Fantasyland making a stop in the shop next to the exit of Philarmagic (Yep, another trip down and we still have never seen this!). Paul found a rather fetching sorcerer hat that matched my sorcerer ears!



Whilst in the shop Joan picked up some teddies for all the Grandchildren, including a gorgeous Donald Duck for Charlie. We then started making our way over to Tomorrowland but on doing so the heavens opened and it started pouring down with rain! To be fair we had experienced very little rain up until this point so we couldn’t really complain! We made a quick dash into Cosmic Rays to seek shelter. We plotted up in front of Sonny Eclipse and whilst stopped I took the opportunity to give Charlie the yoghurt that he hadn’t eaten at lunch.



The rain soon eased off so we ventured back outside and over to The Carousel of Progress. Madly we had missed out on this on our first trip so Joan and John had never ridden before, we knew they would love it! I was also very excited to be wearing my lovely t-shirt that Rach and Helen had bought me for my birthday a couple of years previously… I had purposely been saving it so I could wear it for the very first time in it’s rightful place!



We didn’t have to wait long for the next showing, and whilst waiting Charlie enjoyed having some cuddles with Nanny and Grandad!





On entering the theatre we opted for some seats in the back row… my thinking was that we were less likely to disturb people tucked away at the back!



Charlie actually sat brilliantly throughout the whole show although was super vocal calling out everything he could see and should ‘bye doggy’ every time we starting to revolve away from a scene. We all had to chuckle when the oven caught on fire in the last scene and he rather loudly called out ‘oh no!’. I think it’s fair to say it was a hit all round!

On exiting the theatre we took a right turn to make a stop at the restrooms down near Space Mountain. The dinosaurs came out to play whilst Charlie waited for us!









Whilst in Tomorrowland we thought we would take a ride on the PeopleMover. It was showing a 10 minute wait but the queue was constantly moving so before we knew it were loaded on and whizzing off!









I love a ride on the PeopleMover, it’s such a great way to view this section of the park, and with the sun setting everything looked just beautiful. We were excited to see the progress of Tron too (I imagine it has come on alot since this photo!)









From there we made our way back out of Tomorrowland, taking the bridge over into the hub and stopping to take a few photos of the castle… spot a Paul shaped photo-bomber in the first photo!





We headed up Main Street to have a wander around the shops. Joan and I were both keen to have a look in Crystal Arts as we wanted to order some personalised glasses. I went for a lovely Minnie Mouse tumbler with my name on and Joan chose a champagne flute for Paul’s sister Tammy. As we were getting them engraved we arranged to pick them up later that day.



Joan and John popped into The Emporium as they wanted to pick up some beach towels. Whilst in there Paul, Charlie and I waited on Main Street. It all looked so beautiful and Charlie was having a great time being thrown around by Daddy (although the kids in the background are clearly less impressed!)









It was at this point I realised we had a code brown situation on our hands so leaving Paul behind to wait for Joan and John, Charlie and I hot footed it down to the baby care centre at the top of Main Street near Casey’s Corner. This was the first time we had used it and I was most impressed! It was great to have lovely large, padded changing tables! Soon enough Charlie was all cleaned up and ready to go! We found the others still in The Emporium and whilst in there I picked up a couple of Magic Kingdom pressed pennies for Charlie’s collection.

It was now time for our It’s A Small World FP so it was back over to Fantasyland from there. As regular readers of my reports will know this is a firm favourite of ours! I’m very happy that Charlie seems to love it as much as we do!











On leaving the happiest cruise that ever sailed our next port of call was Aloha Isle for a Dole Whip fix! Paul went for a float and I had a tub and handed my wafer over to Charlie (he had no desire in trying the actual Dole Whip!). As it had now got dark the bubble wand also came out!









It was fast approaching the start time of Happily Ever After so we made our way in the direction of the castle hoping to find somewhere to stand to watch. Now I appreciate we were rolling up pretty late so our choices of viewing spots were very limited. We did mange to snag a small standing place within one of the taped off areas in the middle of the hub but the view was pretty rubbish with lots of trees obstructing our view! I wasn’t too concerned though, I knew it would be hard to give the show much of my attention as I needed to keep Charlie happy and entertained.







What did infuriate me though was that despite being at the very edge of the taped area we still had countless people trying to edge in behind us and pushing us forward, despite the fact there was no room to move forward! I have to say I think parades and fireworks displays at Disney bring out the absolute worst in some people, horrendous behaviour from adults that are old enough to know better! Oh and of course we had the standard idiots who think this is acceptable… (if I ever become one of these parents you have full permission to whack me around the head with that bubble wand)



Enough grumbling and one silver lining to the experience was that we encountered a lovely CM who came over and gave me a heads up just as Think was about to fly out of the castle so we could get Charlie looking in the right direction. He also gave Charlie a Donald Duck sticker, so lovely!

Once the show had finished (I can’t give any sort of review, I barely saw any of it!) we waited for the crowds to disperse a bit and then headed further forward into the hub to get a better view for Once Upon a Time (the castle projection show). We had a much better spot for this and was able to leisurely sit on the curb with an uninterrupted view of the castle, a much nicer viewing experience!





Once the show had finished we made our way back up Main Street towards the exit. I made a quick dash into The Emporium as we had seen a figure set that we wanted to pick up for Charlie’s birthday and we also collected our glasses. Along Main Street we also made a stop for a group photo. This ended up being one of my favourite photos from the trip and is now proudly being displayed in a frame in our living room.



At the top of Main Street we made a stop in the Chamber of Commerce as Joan had arranged for her towels and the teddies to be sent here. We didn’t have to wait long for them to be brought out but Charlie’s patience was clearly wearing thin at this point!



By now it was 22:25pm so we made our way out of the park exit and over to the ferry boats to get back to the TTC. Oh my goodness, what an absolute nightmare this was! I understand it was the end of the day and many people were leaving but it was absolute chaos! The queue for the ferry was longer than I have ever seen before… it was like an evacuation scene from a disaster movie! Charlie was super tired by this point and refusing to get in the pushchair (although given how crowded it was I really can’t blame him!) so I ended up carrying him as we slowly edged forward in the queue. He ended up falling asleep on my shoulder and thankfully I was able to transfer him to the pushchair without him waking up. I don’t think my back could have lasted holding him the whole way back to the car!



It was a pretty miserable end to the night and it really made it hit home how busy the park must have been that evening as we certainly have never experienced crowds like it and we have left the Magic Kingdom at closing time on many occasions. I imagine being party season probably had a lot to do with it, the opportunity to see Happily Ever After are much fewer due to so many ticketed parties taking place in the evening and as a result more people flock on the nights when a party isn’t happening (like we had!). I think this is definitely a downside of visiting this time of year, it’s something we have never had to consider before given all our previous trips had been in May.

After what felt like an eternity we finally made it onto a ferry, one whole hour after leaving the park! It was 11:35pm by the time we eventually made it back to the car and we were all feeling pretty exhausted by this point! Thankfully I was able to get Charlie from the pushchair to his car seat with him remaining asleep… an absolute miracle (it showed just how tired he was!).

On the drive back to the villa we made a very quick stop at Walmart as we needed bananas and bread for the morning. Paul made a quick dash inside whilst the rest of us waited in the car. We finally made it back to the villa at 12:20am… phew what a long day! I put Charlie straight up to bed but he woke whilst I was changing him into his PJs and was really upset. Luckily it didn’t take long to settle him back down and on spotting his Mickey Mouse figure on the side he sleepily called out ‘Night night Mickey Mouse’ before passing back out again! I quickly got ready for bed and was down myself very soon after!

Join me for our next instalment that see us at Kennedy Space Centre where Charlie has the longest nap known to man!

Day 8 can be found here

Edited at 06:53 PM.
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Old 17 Jan 20, 08:14 AM  
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sheluk
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Night night Mickey Mouse - cuuuuuuute!

This sounds like a packed day despite the slower start to the morning. The pool area there looks fantastic! I think we all have the same issues with park / chill balance and when it comes to Disney trips! Always feel like you’re missing out on something lol.

I would have been gutted too about the fastpass and a Mickey but that evening shot makes up for it!

What a shame about the fireworks though... kids on shoulders grrrr xx
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Old 17 Jan 20, 01:45 PM  
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Hel22
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Following... Just read all your trippie so far, Ive really enjoyed reading about all your experiences, Charlie is awesome. Thanks for posting Hx
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Old 17 Jan 20, 02:30 PM  
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minnie52
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Love the pool at Storey Lake - we only made it there once there on our trip too. There never seems to be enough time - no matter how long you stay though

Ah what a shame that the CM at the Mickey que wasn't a bit friendlier and could have switched your fastpass around! They are usually so good at doing that.

Charlie calling out in the Carousel of Progress is so sweet! It always makes me smile when I hear kids do that.

You got some beautiful pictures of main street today and a fab family photo with the castle.

It's so frustrating when people around you are so inconsiderate and what a nightmare leaving magic kingdom - that's the worst part!
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Old 18 Jan 20, 11:37 PM  
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Nesbits
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We made it a couple of times to the pool at Storey lake resort, but, it was May and lovebug season and they are horrible, there was a carpet of dead ones round the bar, it was a fun place though

Nice time you’re having, Charlie is lovely
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Old 19 Jan 20, 10:57 PM  
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Lisa_Lollipop
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Originally Posted by sheluk View Post
Night night Mickey Mouse - cuuuuuuute!

This sounds like a packed day despite the slower start to the morning. The pool area there looks fantastic! I think we all have the same issues with park / chill balance and when it comes to Disney trips! Always feel like you’re missing out on something lol.

I would have been gutted too about the fastpass and a Mickey but that evening shot makes up for it!

What a shame about the fireworks though... kids on shoulders grrrr xx
I wish there was a magic formula for getting the balance of park time vs. chill time right! It seems impossible!

Its so sad how oblivious some people are to others around them! I'm not an angry person but the behaviour you see in the parks sometimes enough to push me to the edge!

Originally Posted by Hel22 View Post
Following... Just read all your trippie so far, Ive really enjoyed reading about all your experiences, Charlie is awesome. Thanks for posting Hx
Oh thank you so much for reading! There are so many great reports on here so it's lovely knowing people are following along with mine!

Originally Posted by minnie52 View Post
Love the pool at Storey Lake - we only made it there once there on our trip too. There never seems to be enough time - no matter how long you stay though

Ah what a shame that the CM at the Mickey que wasn't a bit friendlier and could have switched your fastpass around! They are usually so good at doing that.

Charlie calling out in the Carousel of Progress is so sweet! It always makes me smile when I hear kids do that.

You got some beautiful pictures of main street today and a fab family photo with the castle.

It's so frustrating when people around you are so inconsiderate and what a nightmare leaving magic kingdom - that's the worst part!
Storey Lake really have the best swimming facilities! It does make me feel better know you ran out of time to get over there more too... you just need more hours in the day on these trips!

Originally Posted by Nesbits View Post
We made it a couple of times to the pool at Storey lake resort, but, it was May and lovebug season and they are horrible, there was a carpet of dead ones round the bar, it was a fun place though

Nice time you’re having, Charlie is lovely
Oh those love bugs, we experienced them a lot this trip... so much more than ever before! Pesky little things!
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Old 19 Jan 20, 11:13 PM  
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What a lovely day, with the sweetest ending (Charlie's night night to Mickey, not the ferry boat chaos!).
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Old 20 Jan 20, 10:28 PM  
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What a lovely time you all had! I'm loving reading about your time there and how well Charlie handles it all, as my little boy will be nearly 3 when we go and I have to admit I'm nervous. What car seat is it you used?
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Old 20 Jan 20, 11:49 PM  
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We have the same dinosaurs 😊 they originally were bought for my now 13 year old when he was two, 11 years on they are my 2 year olds most precious toys ☺️
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Old 21 Jan 20, 06:28 PM  
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Lisa_Lollipop
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Originally Posted by Palm trees View Post
What a lovely day, with the sweetest ending (Charlie's night night to Mickey, not the ferry boat chaos!).
It was such a cute moment when he said goodnight to Mickey, made my heart swell!

Originally Posted by Bubbalover View Post
What a lovely time you all had! I'm loving reading about your time there and how well Charlie handles it all, as my little boy will be nearly 3 when we go and I have to admit I'm nervous. What car seat is it you used?
Oh you will have the most wonderful time! Toddlers certainly have their challenges but the wonderful moments outweigh those a million time over!

We took our own Joie Stages, it worked great as is seat belt fitted and not too bulky to transport!

Originally Posted by Tinkermom View Post
We have the same dinosaurs 😊 they originally were bought for my now 13 year old when he was two, 11 years on they are my 2 year olds most precious toys ☺️
Oh that's so lovely, they are toys that stand the test of time! Its wonderful to know they have been selling them for so long... even in this day and age where it's all about technology and screens you still can't beat a good old toy figure!
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