Thursday, 24 April 2014

WDW Summer 2013 - Day 11

Well let's get back to what we got up to on our last visit to WDW.  I can't believe it's now over 6 months since we were last in my happy place and as I type we have no plans for another visit any time soon - the disadvantage of living over 4000 miles away and the subsequent travel costs!  But I continue to keep my Disney passion alive by reliving and sharing my memories.

So Day 11 - what did we do??

Well, we had a relatively slow start to the day with a full breakfast at our hotel before heading off to Blizzard Beach.  But we weren't going for a splash about, no we were going for the golf to be exact.  It was time to visit Winter Summerland mini golf course;

..and having played the Winter course during our previous vacation in 2011 we decided that it was only right to play the Summer course this year;
We had great fun playing the course, although Molly did get a bit grumpy when her brother won!!  Although I did manage to get a couple of hole-in-ones!  Honest!!

Victory celebrations!!!
One unusual occurrence for us though was that it didn't rain, we seem to have a habit of playing mini golf in the rain but this time it stayed hot, dry and sunny.

After golf we hopped on a bus and headed over to Coronado Springs Resort; this was the resort that we should have been staying in before we got our unexpected hotel upgrade.  But as I'd done my pre-trip research all about Coronado Springs we thought we'd stop by and see what we were missing.
The Three Caballeros!!

Some beautiful views around the resort and around Lago Dorado
And I just had to have this photo taken... 'running' around Lago Dorado...OK fake running!!  Well I did say that was one of my must do's for this vacation...unfortunately the hotel upgrade kind of got in the way of me achieving my goal for real ;)

It was lovely to walk around the resort, it really is beautiful.  The main pool area looked amazing although Molly was not happy at being made to look at it and not be able to use it as it had been one of the things about the hotel that she had been looking forward to. Although, one thing I will say is that the pool is very exposed to the sun, in that there is not much in the way of natural shade, so anyone thinking of going needs to bear this in mind, especially if with very young children who are prone to getting sunburnt!

I will agree with a lot of the reviews which I'd read before the vacation which made reference to the size and layout of the resort.  It is a big, spread out layout which could mean your room being a good distance from the main building and amenities.  I would guess it took us, with a leisurely stroll, about 20 minutes to walk around the circumference of Lago Dorado which could mean for some people that walk on a morning to have breakfast in the resort could add a bit of extra time onto your day.

One of the reasons that I have always loved Port Orleans French Quarter is for its relatively small size and compact layout when compared to other moderate resorts.  But smaller size may mean you miss out on things like table service really is a case of weighing up what's important to you on a vacation when you make your decision. For us a 'bit of a walk' to the main buildings at Coronado Springs didn't really bother may have changed the way we did things though.  I wonder if we may have been more inclined to get on a bus early and have breakfast in the parks rather than take the extra time at the resort...who knows?  Maybe on our next visit we may have to give Coronado Springs another try!

Having explored the resort we then headed over to Disney's Hollywood Studios for the afternoon stopping for lunch at one of my favourite quick service eateries the Backlot Express.  Now I will admit it's not the best place for choice of food; it's your typical burger/hot dog/nugget type of establishment but it is big, and airy, with some great theming and free refills of soda!!

Once we were refuelled it was off into the park.  Molly took the chance to 'meet & greet' with Phineas and Ferb...

...which was followed by re-visiting 'The Legend of Captain Jack Sparrow' following our failed attempt a few days earlier.  I have to say for a walk through attraction I really quite enjoyed it.  I wasn't expecting much in fact if truth be known I thought it might have been a bit lame and was only really doing it as it was a 'new' addition to the park since our previous trip. The whole experience was worth it of only for the amazing projection of Captain Jack at the end; brilliant technology at play.

We then had a brief stop for ice-creams...Mickey shaped of course...

...before we headed towards Animation Courtyard.  But as we approached we heard the sounds of the Monsters University Pep Rally and so took a slight detour to see what was happening; this resulted in me becoming the embarrassing parent...apparently it's not cool to dance along to 'The Cha-Cha Slide' in front of your teenage kids...who knew ;)
Ethan ignoring me, Molly trying to stop me dancing!
After embarrassing the kids we decided to venture into Animation Courtyard in hope of a new 'Meet & Greet' and sure enough we got to meet the stars of 'Wreck-It Ralph'.

As we made our way round to Rock 'n' Roller Coaster we bumped into friend and podcast co-host Michelle.  So whilst us ladies had a chat and a catch-up the rest of the family got thrown around on Rock 'n' Roller Coaster.  We all then headed out of the park but not before taking advantage of the Disney Photopass+ to get a group photo...
Don't ask me how but we ended up with this pose! It's a hidden Mickey!!
Next we headed over to Swan & Dolphin resorts via boat..
...and then walked over to The Boardwalk.  Both Michelle and I had it on our respective 'To Do' lists to go into the Boardwalk Inn resort in search of a working carousel model that we had both heard about listening to Lou Mongello's WDW Radio, and look we found it!
Beautiful and it was working when we saw it.

Molly getting a little too comfy in an armchair inside the Boardwalk Inn lobby!!
And would you believe it the kids wanted yet more who can resist a stop at the Seashore Sweets...well our two can't!!
How big???
Having filled the kids up with ice-cream we headed over to Epcot to finish off the evening in World Showcase, but this was the sky that greeted us as we made our way from the Boardwalk...
...yes you guessed it a sudden downpour occurred!!

Once we made it over to Epcot (and relatively dry too!) we headed to the World Showcase and more specifically Norway.  I had a couple of foods I'd heard about that I wanted to try over at the Kringla Bakeri Og Kafe...first the Roast Beef Sandwich followed by Rice Cream and both of which were lovely.  I think this eatery may become one of our must do's in future years.
Enjoying the Rice Cream - kind of a rice pudding topped with strawberry sauce
By now it was getting late and time to take the bus back to our hotel, time for feet up with a hot chocolate and then time for bed - night all!

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