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Old 6 Apr 16, 08:36 PM  
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Little_Miss
Excited about Disney
 
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Join Date: Jul 11
Bears On Tour! - Saratoga Springs with DDP & Hard Rock Hotel - 17/03/15 - 03/10/15 - Day 2!

Day 2 - Engagement ring shopping, pool time, Trails End Restaurant at Fort Wilderness Resort & Magic Kingdom for Wishes fireworks & Main Street Electrical Parade!

Okay folks, clear your schedule for the next half hour! Day 2 was a fabulous day but I have lots to report!



Today's plan was to head to Hollywood Studios for extra magic hours but after yesterday's exciting news, I couldn't wait to go ring shopping so we decided to do that instead! 💍

I woke at 5.30am and couldn't get back to sleep but lay on until 8am. The shops didn't open until 10am so we got ready and had breakfast in artists palette, the quick service location in our hotel. The breakfast flatbread is beautiful!





We requested an Uber when we had finished breakfast - it was our first time using the service, and we were very impressed with it! The app gives you the car registration number and driver's name & photograph so you can recognise the driver when they arrive as they don't have any Uber stickers or anything on the vehicles. The app also shows the driver's vehicle coming to you so you can see how far away they are, when they arrive, etc. After a quick search on Google to see what jewellery shops were where, we decided to go to Orlando Premium Outlets at the top of International Drive and then on to Florida mall if we didn't find the right ring there. The journey was long enough...maybe 20 minutes? For the fantastic price of $12.50! A taxi would've been between $30 & $40!

We headed straight to Jared Vault and dealt with a lovely girl who spent plenty of time with us. I had never even tried on a ring before so had no idea what I wanted! It was quickly realised that I wanted a round solitaire and when I saw the diamond bands, I was sold. The assistant explained that a lot of the rings are white gold as platinum is very expensive which amazes me because I consider America to be a very wealthy country and find it hard to believe that platinum is so widely available back home but not here 😐 I was happy with white gold until she showed us her own 4 month old engagement ring which had gone totally yellow on the underside and needed dipped already. She then showed us one of the only platinum bands in the store...a thin band with diamonds - it was perfect but a stone didn't come with it...it had to be bought separately. I loved it. Ally did too but, we decided to go to the other jewellery stores as I didn't want to make any rash decisions.

Off we went to Zales and the experience was really poor. They had no rings that I liked and I just had this vision of the ring in Jared in my head. I told the girl the style that I liked and they had nothing to offer me but suggested we buy a round solitaire on a plain band and also a diamond band and she would arrange for the stone to be removed from the plain and placed on to the diamond band...for an extra charge, of course. Um, no thanks! We left and went to Kays which was also disappointing...very little on offer in there and no available staff to chat to.# WI e stood outside Starbucks to steal their WiFi (&#128514 so I could contact my mum. I told her about our morning and sent her a photo of the ring. She loved it too. Decision made.

Back to Jared Vault! We looked at the ring and stone again and it was the one! So exciting 😀 we placed the order and were told that it would be ready for collection on 1st October, 2 days before we fly home! I would've loved to buy a ring that I could just take away there and then but I knew it would be worth the wait!



We dandered around the outlets, exhausted. Ring shopping sure was hard work! Ally needed new trainers as his back has been sore with all of the walking we'd done already so we popped in and out of various stores before finding a suitable pair in Puma for $39.99. Other than that, today was mostly browsing as we were both too tired to be really looking or trying clothes on, etc. We had lunch in the food court - a philly cheese steak for me and a classic hot dog for Ally! The food was tasty but Lil Wayne behind the counter had a total attitude that made me want to punch him 🙈We went to the Michael Kors outlet which had 25% off purchases over $250 but I had heard that the savings were better in Watch Station so wanted to go there before considering buying anything. I did see a few beautiful handbags and purses though...one bag was almost $350 & Ally was like "you're not buying something like this at that kind of price! 🙈😂" It did get me thinking though. I seen a beautiful handbag for around $75 in Disney and wouldn't it be nice to have something a little different?! Also, I hate how well Michael Kors can be copied and hate the thought of strutting about with my lovely $350 bag and people thinking it's a 10 rip-off from Turkey 😂🙈 That's not to say I'm not gonna check out the exact price on our next shopping trip 🙈







IMPORTANT TIP! Okay so I feel like it's important for me to include our experience in Watch Station as I know many people like to buy a new watch out here. I picked a beautiful Michael Kors rose gold watch with diamonds around the face and it had a small price tag that you could hardly see of $169.99 on it. On entering the store, the assistant advised us that all watches were 40% off or 50% off if you purchase two. I asked him for the final price on the watch I had chosen and he said $110. Now, it's a miracle that I passed GCSE maths for I can't count to save my life. I was happy with the price he told me so said I'd take it and the assistant went away to get me a non-display model. As he was ringing it through the till, Ally pointed out that he thought the assistant hadn't taken enough discount off the price. I almost said nothing because I was happy with the price until I noticed that the watch came out of an area marked "all watches $229.99" so when the assistant asked me for the $110 payment, I queried the original price and how much discount had been applied. He said the original price was $229.99 and 40% had been taken off. I then pointed out the $169.99 price tag. He looked baffled and went back to the display watch to check. I watched him and he just looked confused and slipped off in to the corner of the store to speak to, what must've been, his boss. I watched from where we were standing at the register and saw the assistant explain my query to the other man who just shrugged his shoulders and then they both returned to us at the register. Neither of them spoke a single word and put the watch through the register again. This time the final price was $80! $80 for a beautiful Michael Kors watch. I was trying to keep my composure but inside was jumping up & down 😂🙈 My point though is this - after watching the two men discuss my query, it really did look like a case of "well, she's seen the tag so you may just give it to her at the price" so make sure you are all savvy when buying anything! Although really, how delighted am I picking up a beautiful MK watch for 52? 🙈



After that bargain of the day, we decided to head back to the hotel! We stood outside Starbucks to borrow their WiFi again and ordered an Uber back to the hotel. Another great experience & just under $15 for a 25 minute journey! Couldn't beat it!

We popped in to carriage house and bought a large bottle of water for our room, coke for Ally to mix with his Morgan's and some popcorn! We then stopped by the main pool bar for a pina colava and beer. We dandered back to our room sipping on these and I then took myself off to the pool just beside our room block. Ally wasn't bothered so stayed in the room. I had a little swim, sunbathe and some hot tub time too and I loved it! ❤ I didn't stay long though as it was approaching 4pm and I had to get ready for dinner at Trails End Restaurant for 6.15pm!





We left our room around 4.45pm and dandered across to Downtown Disney to catch a bus to Fort Wilderness Resort where Trails End is. On that note, our room location was perfect! Literally 5 minutes had us from our room and in to Downtown Disney 👍 this is the reason I booked Saratoga Springs and it was exactly what I wanted. Anyway, we got the bus to Fort Wilderness...what a resort! The bus dropped us off at a central bus stop and we could see from the map that the resort is so big, it has it's own buses running through it to get guests around! 🙈 So we got on the bus that would take us to the area where Trails End is and got to see loads of the resort just driving through it. They have beautiful little log cabins and there were loads of RV's parked up with little pens set up for people's dogs and there were even families in tents! When we arrived at the correct location, we quickly found Trails End but had half an hour to kill before our reservation so we just mooched about taking in all of the detail in this beautiful resort. We saw a horse-drawn carriage, there were families scooting about in golf buggys, families playing volleyball on the beach...it is just such a fun place! Before we knew it, it was time for our reservation, we were given a beeper that would go off when our table was ready and in the meantime, we sat on rocking chairs, just taking in our surroundings!







Trails End is a real hidden gem! The food is served buffet style and we had very strange combinations of food between us 😂 I almost cancelled this ADR as I had heard that it was mainly meat on the bone that was served and Ally doesn't eat that but I'm so glad I didn't as there was plenty of choice and he enjoyed it as well. We were so full that there was no room for dessert...I was distraught because there was red velvet cake but I just couldn't do it 😂🙈 I did steal a couple of cookies for later though 😂🙈





After settling the bill at Trails End, we went to the boat dock to wait for a boat that would take us to the Magic Kingdom. It wasn't a long wait at all, maybe between 5 & 10 minutes? The place was gorgeous. The sun was setting and I got snap happy and took about 100 photos of the surroundings 😂 we got the very front seats on the outside boat area and had a great view of everything.







We arrived at the Magic Kingdom in no time at all! It was HEAVING! Ally was looking at me, watching the thousands of people entering the park with 2 or 3 leaving and he did not look impressed 🙈 It was extra magic hours tonight and I don't know why but I thought the park closed to non-disney guests at 9pm & EMH was until 12am. Nope, the park was open until 11pm and 1am for Disney guests 🙈 oops! We had a Fastpass for 7 dwarves mine train so we headed straight there! The normal line was 90 minutes! 😮 This was our first time on this ride and I loved it! I was singing away along with the dwarves 😄 we then stumbled upon the Incredibles' dance party - do not miss this! I had the time of my life dancing with them 😂🙈 We also went on the Buzz Lightyear ride followed by Stitch's great escape...God, that is one long winded ride 😑 Ally complained the rest of the night that he could still smell Stitch's chilli dog burp 😂







It was 9.30pm at this point so we headed to the Fastpass area for Wishes. There were a lot of people already in it...A LOT of people. But, we got a great spot at the back, leaning against the boundary fence and were able to watch Wishes sitting on the ground 👍 it was great being able to turn up minutes before and still having room to breathe. Main Street was bunged and people were on top of each other! We watched Celebrate The Magic first followed by Wishes. I balled my eyes out. Like uncontrollably, super embarrassing balling to the point that my face was soaking wet and I managed to block a nostril so I couldn't breath. God, I looked attractive - Ally's a lucky guy! 😂 I had hoped to do Magic Kingdom next Saturday also as we leave Disney next Sunday and I would like to see Wishes again but don't think we will after how busy it was! Ally said I couldn't have enough water in my body for any more tears 😂



After Wishes, we battled the crowds to get to a smoking area for Ally. The smoking areas have definitely got less over the years and I think there's only 4 in the Magic Kingdom! 😮 I can see Disney removing them and banning smoking in the parks entirely. While he had a cigarette, I got us some ice creams! Now, over the last few days when I have used our magic band and stated that I want to charge the amount to our room instead of using a snack credit (we are saving these for Epcot's food & wine festival), the server has had a blank expression on their face nearly like "that's what we would do unless you tell us otherwise" so I choose now to test the theory and said nothing. I checked the receipt and 3 snack credits had been deducted! Well, I wasn't having that! Back to the lovely girl who served me and she had to radio to the powers that be to find out how to reverse it. It took ages...so long that I had eaten my lolly before we were leaving her 😂🙈 but, I now have 4 receipts...the first one deducting the 3 snack credits and then one refunding $10, one refunding 3 snack credits and one charging $10 so it looks like I may have got our ice lollies for free 😂 I# the receipts in case I've actually been charged 17 snack credits and $37 or something stupid like that 🙈

To finish the night, we have a Fastpass for the main street electrical parade so we head to Town Square for that! The park had emptied so much already! We sat right beside the area that they lose off for the parade and people have to wait to leave and found it hilarious! Every time one float passed, cast members scurried moving string and waving flashing lights to usher those waiting out of the park. As soon as the next float got close, they shouted "STOP!", moved the string back in place and waited for it to pass before letting any more guests leave the park. The system is flawless. These people are so good at their jobs! The parade was great and we left the park as soon as it finished. A bus for Saratoga Springs pulled up as we joined the queue and we home by 11.30pm 👍

What a fabulous day we had. I just love this place and getting to spend so much quality time with Ally is priceless as we leave very busy lives back home and don't get a lot of time together other than him watching the TV on a Saturday night with me snoring on the sofa beside him!

Weather update - not a drop of rain yet, YAY! 33 degrees yesterday and it's to be 34 today 😎 I'm taking a face cloth in our bag to dry my sparkles 😂

Edited at 08:58 PM.
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