Monday, July 14, 2014

Magic Kingdom

The agreement was too meet in the lobby at 10am, but it was clear that Cam and I had plenty of time for breakfast and a bit of the park before the other two were able to join us. I had originally thought Chris and Jes wanted some time to themselves for the first time a while, but apparently one of them was REALLY hungover. Not wanting to go far in case the other two did appear, we had breakfast at one of the hotel's restaurants. We were warned that they were a rowdy restaurant and if we didn't want to participate, we didn't have to... so we didn't.

After a mediocre breakfast we found the ferry to the Magic Kingdom. To get into the park we had to touch our magic bands (Mickey to Mickey!) and have our fingerprint scanned. If everything glowed green, we were good to go! Never had any problems with that at any of the parks we visited.

The worst part about Florida in the summer is the humidity. It can be 35C and bearable, but tack on the humidity to that and you have to take every chance for air con. Since Cam shaved his hair off, we stopped to pick up a hat so he wouldn't get too sun burnt. It was hard to find one that was subtle with Mickey Mouse, but we found one that suited him.

...Like a tea tray in the sky
While waiting for Chris and Jes to meet us, we went on one ride with a short line. We had a great time at the Mad Tea Party and Wombie only threw up once.

More wandering around and looking through all the various gift shops in the Kingdom before meeting up with the others. Not wanting to stay out in Florida's summer weather, we decided to see Philharmagic. It's a 3D movie, but more importantly it was air conditioned! That occupied us long enough while we waited for our Fastpass time slot for the Snow White ride. Fastpass lets you get in the shorter line with everyone else who booked that ride at a certain time.

There was plenty of time before our Space Mountain Fastpass was valid. Logically it was time for a drink! There's only place in the Magic Kingdom that has alcohol, but there was no way we could get in and out in time. Luckily there's a monorail that travels to other hotels. Since our magic bands take care of any purchases, I hadn't bothered to bring anything else including my ID. A PDF of my passport on my phone wasn't accepted at the bar we went to. (It would be accepted later when my Ontario license wasn't good enough) We took the monorail back to the park, but all the delays meant we were cutting it close to being late for a Fastpass for Space Mountain, but we managed to get there in time. Fastpass was definitely worth it! It was satisfying walking past everyone who was willing to line up for over an hour for the ride.

Back to the hotel for that overdue beer and book dinner reservations. We had a really good dinner at the hotel's restaurant. Back to the park after dinner to watch the fireworks. Disney does fireworks really, really well. The main street was packed with people that promptly cleared out at the end of the show. We had enough time a quick coffee and to buy a Mickey Mouse hat with glowing ears before more magic! The castle had all of the Disney characters projected onto it with music from each movie playing.

After more people cleared out, we went back to Space Mountain for one more ride. Our plan to get across the park quickly for the Jungle Cruise were delayed by the light parade. Enjoyed a cruise and still had time to squeeze in a ride on Thunder Mountain Railroad before the park closed. Quick ferry ride back to the hotel. Sleep.

Sunday, July 13, 2014

Toronto> Montreal> Orlando

We've lived downtown for almost a year and had never flown out of the Island Airport. Whenever someone has visited, we've always recommended that airport because of how close it is to us. Finally we had tickets out of there! We arrived extra early to catch our flight and waited longer for the ferry than it took to cab down there. Took the shortest chartered ferry ride in the world to the terminal. The only flights that Air Canada operates out of there is to Montreal and they only leave every two hours or so. Very easy time checking in since  we were so early. Took advantage of the free non-alcoholic drinks in the terminal and a very expensive beer. There were only 14 passengers on the plane to Montreal and they provide free snacks and alcohol!
"I can see my house from here!"

We had to do another security check in Montreal and go through customs (after we walked most of the airport just to get to that point). Stood in the non-Canadian/American passport or work visa holder line which was the longest. Had a good chat with a Canadian working in Orlando who happened to be rushing for the same flight as us. Very friendly customs agent who had no problems with us. Rushed to our gate only to find out that our flight had been delayed by a 'half-hour' (which was a LIE). The flight to Orlando was uneventful. I was counting on Air Canada to have screens for every seat, but they were really pushing the use of personal tablets and phones to view their content. Their free in-flight content would have been great to use if it wasn't iphone and ipad only. I really hope they don't continue the trend where the only entertainment they provide is through iphone and ipad only. They rent out ipads for $10, but I really should be able to accesses it on my android tablet, BECAUSE IT IS THE FUTURE, Air Canada.

Disney provided a free bus service to our resort from the airport, but we had to wait for other flights to come in and collect their baggage before we left. Waited half an hour and then another 40 minutes getting to The Wilderness Lodge. The main reason we went to Disney World was to see our friends from Melbourne. They greeted us as we were checking in and had a drink at the bar even though they were exhausted and already had a few at that point. Sleep was hard to accomplish that night since the air con was turned up high and I awoken every time Cam even made the slightest of move.

Friday, July 11, 2014

Niagara Falls x2 / Water, Water Everywhere

Want to know what really impresses Australians? Fresh water and plenty of it.

Almost a year ago Cam's family came over from Australia and we took all 11 of them down to Niagara Falls. My father was gracious enough to rent a van and drive us all down. It was also the first time my father had met any of Cam's family so he got to meet them all at once! Some of them had just arrived the evening before so energy wasn't high, but everyone seemed to be in a good mood.

We walked along the railing and watched the Americans look at us while we enjoyed the better view of the falls. I haven't been on the Maid of the Mist since I was very young so it was a good excuse to go with everyone else. They give you a blue plastic poncho to protect you a bit from the mist. (The Canadian side switched to red ponchos and different boats within the last year) We had heard that cameras have been ruined by all the water during the tour so we were glad we borrowed a better one from a friend. Of course Wombie came along! He hung out under my poncho until we left the dock and then he hid under Cam's.

You don't realize just how much water is pouring over until you're looking up at it. Loud, windy, and very wet.

For awhile I had been taking photos of Wombie and people who made the mistake of falling asleep near him. A few people got their photo taken during the trip home. Turning on the camera or whispering to get my attention woke a few people up before I could get a photo. Next time.

Cam's cousin and her husband passed through Toronto on their honeymoon recently and we took them out to see the falls. It is less exciting the second time around so we just napped on the grass for a bit.

I'm not overly impressed by fresh water, but I'll go along for the good times.
Yep, still a lot of water