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Old 15 May 21, 03:41 PM  
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moosha
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It's The Greatest Hits Tour August 2018: Day 12 - Winter Summerland, Disney Springs, Magic Kingdom

Day 12 - Wednesday 22nd August 2018

The plan for today had been Blizzard Beach but we weren’t feeling it when we woke up this morning as we were really worn out after the epic four parks day yesterday. We had breakfast at Ale & Compass booked at 7.45 am so we got up late (for us) at about 6.30 am and got ready.

We had been looking forward to breakfast at Ale & Compass after a good experience earlier in the week for lunch and we thought the breakfast menu looked good for vegans too. Included with the Dining Plan was the buffet and an entree from the menu plus a beverage and coffee so it seemed like really good value.

Our server was Miguel who was a bit overly casual and slow. He was nowhere near as good as Jamie who we’d had on our previous visit. When he told us what was included on the Dining Plan he sounded like he couldn’t really be asked.



The buffet was mostly continental stuff like fruit, pastries, bagels and granola. I had a very nice plate of fruit, Mat got a bagel, granola and fruit and the girls had pastries and fruit. The chef behind the buffet was super friendly and told us he liked our shirts. Mat was the only one who didn’t receive the compliment so he was a bit depressed about that.

Freya's buffet plate:



My buffet plate:



Seren's buffet plate:



I ordered a mimosa and was pleased that it was mostly sparkling wine with only a little orange juice. Miguel knocked it over onto the tray when he was handing out the drinks but proceeded to hand it to me anyway a bit less full than it should have been and with the outside of the glass a bit sticky. I didn’t say anything as I’m too much of a wimp but I felt like he should have replaced it and a more interested server would have done. A little while later he did come and top up my glass with sparkling wine so it was a decent save.



I'm pretty sure the coffee was included with the dining plan as well as a cocktail or soft drink. Nice coffee mugs:



The girls had the American breakfast with no meat and a vegan sausage. Seren had her eggs scrambled, Freya had sunny side up.



Mat and I both had the vegan protein bowl. It was all good except the vegan sausage (which the girls didn’t eat either). It was very dry and dense and tasted of licorice. We wondered if it had something like fennel seeds in which were a bit overpowering. Mat ate his anyway as he didn’t mind it too much.



This was the toast with vegan chocolate spread and the carrot / ginger dressing :



Once we were all done with our breakfast, we headed to Winter Summerland as we fancied mini golf which is always one of our favourite things to do at Disney.



We got there at 10 am (opening time) and there was already a wait which we’d never experienced so early in the day before and was another example of how August was busier in our experience than Easter / May.

We were told we’d have to wait ten minutes or so to get going. We chose the Winter course which I think had a slightly longer wait today but we usually play Summer so fancied a change. The guy who checked us in told us to wait at the tables behind the kiosk (which I swear had never been there before but I probably just hadn’t noticed) and I think we bought some drinks from one of the vending machines to set us up for the game.





Freya was grumpy because she's impatient and she just wanted to get on with playing.



It was about ten minutes before we were called and it was definitely the busiest we’d seen the course (we play at least once per trip.) The only other time we’d ever seen it this busy was when we came one evening a few years before. I’d always read that the day was quieter than the evenings as everyone’s at the parks in the day. I guess there were just generally more people around at WDW this trip than we were used to.



































The family in front of us were quite slow so we had to to a bit of waiting but it all evened out in the end. We finished the course about 11.20 am. Seren won with Freya second, Mat third and I was last. I never come last, I’m always first or second so I blamed the mimosa for my poor performance today.

Next up we drove to Disney Springs, another of our favourite places. I love all the parks and I love park days but I’m also extremely happy with a Disney Springs and golf day. We parked in Orange (obviously, why wouldn’t you?) and popped into one of the Disney shops...







...before heading to Jock Lindsey’s Hangar Bar for a drink and a snack. It was nice and quiet inside. The girls had brought books with them so they had a glass of water and read for a bit.





I chose a sangria as I wasn’t feeling a watered down cocktail with too much ice today. Honestly they’re way too common at Disney and I just feel disappointed when I’m having to drink them really fast because of all the ice melting. Especially at the prices Disney charge. Mat got a non-alcoholic cocktail, an Antidote.











It was nice in Jock Lindsey’s and I was pleased we had made it as it had been ‘on the list.’ We were the only ones in there for a lot of the time as all the other customers were out on the deck.



The CM was really friendly and talked to the girls about their books. Freya was reading a Harry Potter and the CM told her that she collected different editions of Harry Potter books. We ordered a pakora as a snack as it was basically the only vegan thing on the bar menu. It was ok, unfortunately it was mostly shredded crispy bits but the chunks were good. The curry ketchup it came with was disappointing though.













When we were all done we walked round to Erin McKenna’s bakery so everyone could choose a treat. I didn’t want anything, I don’t really do sweet treats but I was really impressed with the selection and the fact that everything is vegan.





Continued below...
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Old 15 May 21, 03:43 PM  
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...continued

We’d had vegan cupcakes at an Erin McKenna’s in New York and they’d been ok (again I’m probably the wrong person to ask as I don’t really like cake) but we had more success here. Seren got a cookie, Freya had a donut and Mat got the vanilla and chocolate swirl soft serve which I did try and it was really good. I would definitely have that again but I’m sure I read a while ago that they’d had problems with the machines and it had been removed from the menu. Hopefully it will have returned by the time we get to go back as vegan soft serve isn’t that common out and about.







We sat at one of the tables outside while they ate.









We went to Starbucks as coffees were necessary and of course their iced waters which are just better than from anywhere else at Disney as I’ve said before.



We also went to Uniqlo and they were doing a game, I can't remember the details but it was a spin of the wheel or something and you could win a discount coupon which Mat did after the girls came away empty handed besides the sweet they gave you for playing. I think everyone except me got a t-shirt or two while we were in here, and we put the discount voucher to use.







Next stop was the pin trading store as the girls wanted to do some trading. Seren also bought Peter Pan and Wendy pins as she’d gone a bit Peter Pan crazy this trip. There were some huge lizards where we were sitting outside and lizards are my phobia so that was fun.

Seren wanted to get a Disney phone case so she looked in the Co-op Marketplace store but couldn’t find one she liked. She didn’t even like the ones she’d been keen on a few days before and got a bit stroppy about it. Teenagers.

The girls were hungry and wanted some proper food but they couldn’t decide what they wanted so that was fun. Seren decided on a vegetarian hot dog from BB Wolf’s so she queued up to get it. The CM was new and didn’t know what he was doing so it took quite a while and when she came over with her food we realised he had put it through as a quick service credit but hadn’t given her a drink so she went back to talk to the CM and collect a bottle of water. Seren decided the sausage was too spicy so she ate the roll and Mat ate the sausage.

We were planning to get a vegan burger from D-Luxe so Freya could have the fries as that was what she fancied but as we passed Cooke’s of Dublin I suggested getting her some fish and chips instead. We sat on a bench outside while Mat and Freya went in to get the food. It took ages. While we were sat there it clouded over and there was thunder and lightning but luckily no rain materialised.

Seren got a portion of chips as a snack credit and I shared them with her.





Freya’s fish and chips went down well. Freya is someone who always chooses fish and chips on a menu but usually only has about two bites of the fish so the fact that she ate most of it is probably a good recommendation.

We left Disney Springs about 4 pm and drove to Magic Kingdom. We parked in Jafar 310 and it didn’t seem that busy thankfully. Most of the back sections of the car park were empty. We took a quick walk to the entrance as it had started to proper rain. We put our jackets on and we felt reassured to hear a lady look at the sky and say she used to live in Florida and that this would pass quickly. We headed through an empty bag check. The express monorail was back up and running today and we got straight on. Bizarrely as we got on a family asked Mat where the monorail went and then a man got on and asked me if the train went to Magic Kingdom. We’ve never experienced anyone ask us that before in all the years we’ve been going to Disney and then we have two in the space of a couple of minutes.

We headed to the tapstiles and there weren’t many open for entry, only one side of each barrier was open. Not that there were many people arriving.





We had some time before our 5.45 pm Mine Train FP+ so we walked up to Fantasyland to do some rides there first. We went to Little Mermaid which was a walk-on. It’s a ride we all always enjoy.



We popped to the restrooms by Gaston’s Tavern which as I’ve said before are our favourite Magic Kingdom restrooms.



When we came out I took a photo of the girls at the fountain outside Gaston’s Tavern and Gaston was just walking past headed to his meet. He put his hand on my shoulder and said ‘Yeah the statue looks good but not as good as me.’ Brilliant. I managed to get this photo as he walked away.





We walked back up to ‘old’ Fantasyland and went on Small World which had a 20 minute wait. Small World ride faces:



Here are some dodgy iPhone ride photos:















At the end, the computer screens among the goodbye signs were displaying a Windows error message.





Next we went to Philharmagic and had a posted wait of 10 minutes.





I love Philharmagic. We ended up in the middle of a big extended family from New Jersey or maybe New York. The parents and children were sat in front of us and the grandparents were sat beside me. They were quite loud and the grandmother next to me was loudly ‘woah’ing and commenting on everything. I mean it was great that they were enjoying it so much but it was a bit irritating that she was being so loud right next to me while I was trying to enjoy the show too. I had to laugh when there was a close-up shot of Flounder and she went ‘Oh, Nemo!’ Freya, sat the other side of me, announced quite loudly, ‘It’s not Nemo!’

We had FP+ for Mine Train next and arrived at the same time as a very big tour party. The CMs at the entrance split them into three smaller groups and let other guests like us go ahead in between the groups which was nice. We were given rows three and four which was a bit disappointing as we like the back, but we still had fun of course. A guy from the tour party sat in front of us was holding a big half-eaten lollipop in the air throughout the ride which was amusing.

Once we were off, we found ourselves in that slightly awkward position of having 25 minutes until our next FP+ and nothing really to fill the gap. Checking the wait times, pretty much everything had a wait of about 30 minutes or more. I couldn’t tweak our booked FP+s because of the ADR we had for this evening. I also kept falling off the Disney wifi while trying to check the wait times and it was all a bit frustrating. Although of course right now, two years since we were last in a Disney park and not knowing whether we will get to Florida this year because of the pandemic, I would do anything to be back in that moment.

Seren got a Minute Maid frozen lemonade as a snack credit. She enjoyed it but I thought it was way too sweet.

[

We decided to do Haunted Mansion in the end which had a posted wait of 30 minutes.









The girls did the interactive queue still which they like doing here and we were actually inside in 20 minutes.







It was a bit of a bunfight after the stretching room to filter into the line for the doom buggies and this guy was pressing up a bit close behind us which was fun. He had a family including kids with him who were all way behind him so it was a bit weird.

The girls asked to ride together which was new as Freya is usually really scared on Haunted Mansion and wants to ride with one of us. She was feeling brave today after six years of being scared on the ride.

Once we were off Haunted Mansion, we realised we weren’t going to be able to use our Peter Pan FP+ as it was only ten minutes until our dinner ADR. The MDE app was messing about and wouldn't let me cancel so I went to a kiosk to cancel so that someone else would be able to use them. While I did that Mat went to buy another chunky character pen from somewhere in Fantasyland for Seren to use at Crystal Palace as she’d left hers in the car.

Continued below...
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Old 15 May 21, 03:46 PM  
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...continued

We checked in at Crystal Palace at 7.20 pm which I believe was our ADR time. When we checked in we were given the allergy leaflet and we were happy to see there was a lot of choice for Seren with her allergy, and also vegan options for Mat and I. As it has been most times we’ve been to Crystal Palace, the waiting area was really crowded. There were lots of very tired small children. It is a bit annoying how Disney expect guests to be at ADRs on time and often keep us waiting after making us plan everything. Especially when it’s a situation like today when we had given up our Peter Pan FP+ to be on time for dinner but then ended up waiting ages for our table. Anyway, I had been worried given the number of people waiting that we’d have a much longer wait which would interfere with the FP+ I had booked after dinner. But luckily for us we ‘only’ had to wait 15 minutes after our reservation time.

The hostess that called us through was very enthusiastic and commented on the girls’ t-shirts. I always like little personal things like that from CMs. She couldn’t remember the character’s name that Freya had on her shirt (Marie from the Aristocats) and she said Seren had lots of experiments all over her shirt (Stitch.) She took us to our table which was by the window looking out on Town Square and the castle which are the best tables I think (we’ve sat in a few different places having been there quite a few times.)

Our waitress was good and we had a brief discussion about Seren’s allergy but with the allergy leaflets it was all so much easier than previous WDW trips when we’d have to wait for a chef to tour the buffet with as I’ve said before. Excuse the holes in the leaflet, I managed to hold onto it for nearly three years in good condition and when I got it out to photograph, my kittens attacked it.







I ordered a glass of Merlot as my included dining plan beverage and Mat got one for me too (he’s well-trained.) Freya got a Coke for Mat as she only drinks water and Seren got herself an apple juice.



We didn’t go and get food straight away as our server had told us Eeyore was on his way over. Well we all didn't get food apart from Freya who was complaining she was starving so did a quick buffet dash.



Eeyore arrived within a few minutes and he was so cute. He had to bend right down to the table to sign and Seren had to put the pen in his hand. I think the characters here do struggle with visibility and pen-holding issues and I know they moved to handing out pre-signed cards at one point because the problems were slowing down the characters but I think I’m right in saying that before character meals ended they went back to signing again. It’s part of the experience and I know Crystal Palace wasn’t the most efficient character meal but it was definitely one of our favourites. In both our 2018 and 2019 trip, our meal at Crystal Palace stands out as a highlight. It’s a classic location and the food has always been really good in our experience, but it’s the unique character interaction here that made it extra special. The Winnie The Pooh characters are just so cute and the look on the girls’ faces when they met them, plus the amount of fun we all had today made it a no-brainer to be the location of Freya’s birthday meal in 2019.





Eeyore selfie:





After photos we went to get food. Seren did really well, there was lots that she fancied that she was able to eat. Mat and I also found lots of vegan things to eat. Mat got the tomato soup and bread, and our server brought us some dairy free spread. The Earth Balance spread they have here is really good; Mat, Seren and I all shared it. I really enjoyed the potato salad, the edamame salad, “rabbit”touille vegetables and my absolute favourite was the vegan pesto pasta. My huge dinner:



Umm...Mat's view of my huge dinner:





Spirits were high during the meal. We were all having so much fun. There are lots of photos on my phone like the one below (of all of us and also of the ceiling and the table. I didn't take any of them.



Pooh was the second character to come over. Seren’s phone was beside him on the table and he leant over it and tried to press the button to take a selfie. Seren unlocked the phone and this was the result:

























Piglet was next who was very excited to see Freya had a Piglet pen.



Freya always kind of goes into her own little world when she meets Piglet, a bit like an enthusiastic toddler who won’t let go. It's very cute and she got lots of cuddles. Although in this photo it looks like Piglet also doesn't want to let go. Piglet also did the same as Pooh and took this photo.

















Freya showed Piglet her Piglet pin.







Tigger was a bit crazy.





He came round to both Mat and I unexpectedly for a photo. He made us all laugh and it was lots of fun.





















We all had two plates of food between the character meets and then Freya got some ice-cream and cookies.



Continued below...
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Old 15 May 21, 03:47 PM  
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...continued

Seren ordered the allergy brownie from the server as allergy desserts were on request. A chef brought it out and asked us about our meal. Our server said chefs like to bring out allergy special orders themselves. The brownies were good.



It was a really good meal, as I said a highlight of the trip and I really hope it’s not too long before the characters return to Crystal Palace (and hopefully the buffet as the new very restricted menu doesn’t really appeal to us.)





When we were all done we walked over to Big Thunder Mountain for our FP+.



I had booked it for after dinner so it would be dark when we got to ride as BTM is so much better in the dark. We pretty much walked on with our FP+ and the girls politely asked the CM if we could sit in the back. At the back in the dark is even better than one or the other. We all loved it which goes without saying really. I was laughing so much tears were streaming down my face.

Next up was Pirates of the Caribbean which had a 10 minute posted wait and was a walk-on. Got to love quieter evenings in the parks.



The girls wanted to ride Splash Mountain. The posted wait had gone up from the 15 minutes that was posted when we left Big Thunder to 40 minutes when we came back after Pirates. I think it was a combination of technical problems and also with it being near park closing, Disney not wanting people to get in line. Tonight was Extra Magic Hours and apparently Splash didn’t operate during EMH at this time.

Freya was really keen to ride Splash as it’s her favourite ride at Magic Kingdom so we said they could join the queue even though it was likely to be quite a long wait. They joined the line and the posted wait pretty much immediately jumped to 55 minutes. Seren made Freya get out of line at that point and she started crying. We told them to rejoin the queue as Mat and I were quite happy to sit and chill and just take in the sights and sounds while they rode. I caught up on some notes too.

After about 30 minutes the ride closed. It wasn’t running properly still but people were coming out so we assumed eventually the girls would get on and at some point they’d be back out. After about an hour the girls came back out and explained they had got stuck a few times when it broke down, including right before one of the bigger drops. Freya said ‘Imagine if you got stuck right at the big drop!’ A little girl turned around and said ‘We got stuck at the big drop!’ Freya was all wide eyes and open mouth. It was very sweet.

It was time to leave as we were all worn out and had done pretty much everything we wanted to do today with the exception of Space Mountain which had unfortunately been down all evening.







It was about 11 pm and since EMH were 10 pm - 12 am, the exit was fairly quiet as we were leaving in the lull between regular park guests exiting at 10 and EMH guests lasting until the end of EMH. We took the ferry back to the TTC and it wasn’t very busy. Freya .was pretty tired.





When we got back to the Yacht Club we all crashed after a really fun and busy day.
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Old 15 May 21, 06:21 PM  
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So lovely to have a new day to read, thank you for taking the time to post. We love Crystal Palace too.
Hope well all get to Florida soon.
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Old 15 May 21, 09:04 PM  
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Aw lovely to read your next day, what an amazing day! We haven’t done CP for evening meal and looks really good so added it to our list. We are pondering Yacht or Beach club for our next visit. Missed out on POR last year so changing it up for next visit. We love BTR in the dark also!
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