Sunday, 27 October 2013

WDW Day 4

Let's get back to what we got up to whilst on our latest visit to where were we?  Ah yes Day 4...

...and it would turn out to be a day of firsts for us!

Our day started as most of our days did with breakfast at the Wilderness Lodge, sat outside enjoying the serenity and sunshine.  Then we took a quick boat ride over to the Contemporary Resort ready for a pre-booked activity...this was the day Simon and I would try parasailing for the first time - eek!

But the day started with a little hiccup!  Simon as technical support was in charge of all the videoing of our vacation; he had a GoPro camera which he was going to strap to his chest so we could have a first person view of the experience and we also had our usual video camera to film what was happening from the safety of the boat.  But the video camera decided to react to the cold air inside the hotel and then the very warm humid air outside by fogging up!  We'd had this problem before and knew that moisture had gotten inside and that the camera would need to 'dry out' before we could use it again.  So on the way over to the Contemporary and whilst waiting for our turn we had the camera open and were desperately hoping that it would resolve itself in time!

Whilst Simon tried to get the camera working me and the kids went and explored the Contemporary Resort as it was our first time visiting here properly rather than whizzing through on the monorail.  The plan was that if there wasn't room on the boat for the kids they were going to spend their time in the arcade, so off we went to find the arcade and hatch a plan so that we knew where to meet up afterwards.  When we got back to Simon the video camera still wasn't working but then with literally moments to spare the camera powered back into action, much to everyone's relief.  We then also discovered that there was only going to be Simon and I pararsailing so there was room on the boat for the kids too - woohoo off we went!
About to get on the boat!!
The parasailing takes place out on Bay Lake behind the Contemporary Resort and is organised by Sammy Duvall's Watersports who were fantastic.  From booking it online and answering questions, to the staff on the reception looking after us on land, to the guys on the boat everything was perfect; they couldn't have looked after us any better.

We had decided that Simon would go first and then me.  We both got strapped into our harnesses and life jackets and then Simon took up the position and within 30 seconds was up in the air!  I watched him get higher and higher and tried not to think too much about the fact that in about 10 minutes it would be me up there!  The guys on the boat were brilliant; so friendly and made you feel so at ease but also that it was OK to change your that would have been the easy option but I was determined to do this.

Before I knew it Simon was back on the boat and grinning from ear to ear, and then it was my turn.  I was hooked up to the parachute and told to sit down on the back of the boat...
Me just about to go up in the air!
...the next thing I knew I was quickly leaving the boat behind and in what only seemed like a matter of seconds I was soaring above the boat, getting higher and higher and taking in the world around me.
Up, up and away
Can you see me? I'm that tiny spot in the sky!
To say the views were spectacular would be an understatement.  It was a beautiful day and you could see all around Bay Lake and beyond and could spot the familiar sights of Space Mountain and Cinderella's Castle and more.  It was surprisingly quiet and almost serene up there at the end of a 450 metre rope and whilst I enjoyed every minute I did find myself holding on to the straps for dear life and was quite glad when I could feel myself getting winched back towards the deck of the boat.  The landing was very simple I was guided into the back of the boat and told to just stand up as my feet touched the deck, I was unhooked from the parachute and then got out of the harness to enjoy the boat ride back to shore.

When we got ashore I have to admit to needing a sit down, as the adrenaline kicked in I could feel myself coming over a bit woozy and a bit shaky and quickly suggested to Simon that I needed a coffee and a cake!  So we went into the Comtemporary Resort and whilst the kids went to play in the arcade Simon and I were able to nip into the Contempo Cafe for a coffee, cinnamon bun and a chance to reflect on what we'd just done and 'come back down to earth'!!  And this was our view whilst we relaxed; part of the Mary Blair mural inside the Contemporary Resort.
Mary Blair mural as seen from Contemo Cafe
Once we felt more 'normal' we took advantage of being child free and did a little shopping; I bought a couple of car antenna toppers, a car decal and a bracelet.  Then we received word that some friends were in the Magic Kingdom and so we agreed to meet them over in Fantasyland.

This was another first for us and something that became a trademark of this vacation - meeting friends old and new and being able to share the magic of Disney with them.  We dragged the kids out of the arcade, jumped on the monorail and headed off to the Magic Kingdom.  Our first stop was Cosmic Ray's Starlight Cafe for a spot of quick lunch before heading over to the Mad Tea Party to meet our friend Michelle, as well as fellow WDW Radio fans Jeff and Kris.
Me and Michelle (of The Minnie Minxes fame!)
It was whilst we were chatting and swapping stories about our vacations so far that we had another first.  The kids were getting bored with all the adult chat so they decided to ride a couple of attractions, initially they dragged Simon onto the Tomorrowland Speedway but then they ventured off on their own for the first time to ride Big Thunder Mountain.

After a couple of hours chatting we all went our separate ways and we finished our day off at the Magic Kingdom with a little Sorcerer's of the Magic Kingdom, a ride on Pirates of the Caribbean and a stop at the Sunshine Tree Terrace for a Citrus Swirl...
Mmmm yummy :)
Then came the question of where to eat that evening...I then remembered talking earlier with Michelle all about the Grand Floridian Resort and in particular Gasparilla Island Grill so we decided to once more jump on the monorail and give it a try...another first!

Although it was a little tricky to find Gasparilla's when we did we all had a lovely meal and despite it being a quick service restaurant all the food was cooked to order and brought over to you at your table, brilliant service and amazing value.  Our eldest said it was the best burger he'd ever had and the apple crisp I had for dessert was simply divine!
Grounds of the Grand Floridian Resort at dusk
For the third time that day we jumped onto the monorail and headed back to the Contemporary Resort to get a boat back to the Wilderness Lodge.
Dock at the Contemporary Resort
Once back at the Wilderness Lodge Simon and I got ourselves a hot drink and then sat in the magnificent foyer whilst we uploaded the GoPro video from our parasailing earlier in the day and posted a few photos to Facebook for friends and family to enjoy.

Now that was a very good day :)

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