Sunday, August 3, 2014


Monday May 26, 2014
After all the events of the trip, staying late at the Magic Kingdom and finally having air conditioning in the 90 degree heat to sleep under we slept late , until nearly 10:00 am.
I know to some of you that is horribly late when you at are at the parks, but for us it’s really pretty normal.  We have annual passes, we have no small children and we had made our Fastpass+ for later in the afternoon because we knew we would not hit the park early. 

As soon as we all three were up and moving we grabbed  a quick snack and broke camp.  We were headed for Ft. Wilderness and wanted to check in as quickly as possible.  We were back there about noon.  Check in went swiftly.  We were assigned to site 1616.  
Dh checked the Sites at Ft. Wilderness Ap on his phone to see if it was agreeable to him.  The photo of the site was good, the back in parking rating was average and it was just far enough from the bus stop the buses wouldn’t be annoying.  We took it.
I love this ap and am so glad someone recommended it to us.  It gives good photos of all the different campsites and the all important ease of parking rating, as well as other info about the sites.  If you are planning on staying at Ft. Wilderness I highly recommend it.  We all have android phones and it works well for us.  I do not know if it will work on Iphones or not.  We got the ap for free from the Playstore. 
The cast member watched dh checking the ap and asked if the site was suitable, she was very aware of the existence of the ap.  We said yes and headed on to our home for the next 10 nights.
Back in and set up went smoothly.  Generally it is just dh and myself and he sets up the outside while I do the inside, then when it’s time to tear down the camp we do the same jobs.  Because it is always that way we both have learned several shortcuts to getting either set up or torn down and this time was no exception.  
In fact dh’s job went faster than usual because he had ds to help him.  So imagine my delight, and frankly relief when I was ready to leave to find that not only had they done the basic camping set-up, but they had also put together the ECV and had it ready to go. 
They had both noticed I was wheezing bad and moved very slowly the night before, so they had made the executive decision that I was taking the chair every day until I was over all my various little problems.  
I went back in the camper and grabbed a beach towel to put over the vinyl seat and a big quilted insulated bag to hang off the head rest.  We added our Brita self filtering water bottles to the bag on the left arm rest and we headed for EPCOT.
Our family tradition is to ride the monorail all the way around  ending up at Epcot for our first day.  Eating at the Electric Umbrella and watching Illuminations on the first day/night of our visit.  
While we had gone to the Magic Kingdom the night before because it was a late night for that park, this was technically our first day at the resort.  So that was the plan.
We went to the marina to board the boat (click the hyperlink to find out how this is done with an ECV)  to the Magic Kingdom, to catch the monorail there to Epcot. 
I have to admit as a “student driver” of the ECV I was a little nervous driving it on and off the boat, but thanks to an understanding cast member it went very smoothly. 
At the MK ds went through the bagless check-in while dh helped me with my bags on the scooter and the belt bag.  We had to go through the check in to get to the monorails.
Only my fingerprint wouldn’t work with my Magic Band.  Let me say this does not surprise me.  Not because the Magic Bands were still new at this point, but because of it being me.
I apparently have a little more electricity in my body than most folks any electronics I own mess up faster than your average electronics do for other people.  I inherited it from my mother.  She could not wear wrist watches, other than Elgin ones, because her uniqueness would cause the watch to run at varying speeds on varying days.  We never did figure out why she could wear Elgin watches and it wasn’t a problem.  
So when they had to call the cast member over to verify my driver’s license and such we were not upset or bothered at all.  It was just me, being me. I had to be verified every time we entered a gate except twice during the trip.  We did find that since I was standing when my AP was first used it worked faster if I got up out of the ECV and did my finger print.  A hint for those of you that occasionally use an ECV.  Apparently the angle is enough different it can cause problems.  Yet it never did for me when using the Fastpass+ or making purchases. Then my Magic Band worked perfectly every time. 
After getting through the bag check in point we headed for the monorail as we always do.  Only to screech to a halt!  It was closed going to EPCOT.  I don’t know if it was temporary or permanent.  There has probably been posts about it on the mouse for less group and I missed it.  The monorail from MK to EPCOT was closed the entire time we were there.
Not to be deterred from our tradition we took the ferry over to the TTC and rode the monorail from there with me doing all the loading and unloading of the ECV, later in the trip I would have dh do it just to speed things up.
Once we finally disembarked the monorail at EPCOT we meandered around awhile before going to the Electric Umbrella for lunch. 
Because from here on out ds would be paying for all his own meals I may not remember what he had at each meal ( I am cheating and using my receipts to refresh my memory for Gary and myself as to what we ate when). 
Since my numbers for the trip were for just for my husband’s and my expenses I’ll be mainly centering on that. 
Anyway, back to the meal.  Disney meals are huge and despite what my ample girth shows I have a very small appetite most of the time.  Therefore, at WDW, I order kiddy meals whenever I can.  Not only are the proportions more to my liking, they are far less expensive.  Unless you are a huge eater I suggest either splitting meals or getting a child's meal whenever you see one that appeals to you to save a lot of money on your trip.  We have for a long time and we are never hungry at WDW.
In the past dh and I have split many a meal while there, but this trip I wanted to eat more adventurous than cheeseburger, cheeseburger, cheeseburger and that along with ribs tend to be my dh’s trend.
So while he ordered the Angus bacon cheeseburger I had the kiddy meal burger (no cheese) with grapes and carrots.  Again my meal seemed overly dry to me and I only finished a portion of the burger, but ate my fruits and veggies like a good girl.  
Dh did say he felt his burger was a little over cooked. Sean said he enjoyed his meal, in fact he said that about 99.99% of his meals while there. 
After our late lunch we headed for our first Fast Pass + of the trip Spaceship Earth.  A nice relaxing ride to let our meal settle.  
From there we went over to Nemo (Living Seas), another Fast Pass and another slow relaxing ride.  
I know there are certain times of day you don’t need fast passes for either of these, but they were handy to have for both rides that day, we saved considerable time in line for both of them.  My family still prefers the old system for fast passes, but that is gone the way of the Do-Do bird so no sense in bemoaning that.  
When entering both these rides, and various others during our trip using fast passes very often we found that our Magic bands were not scanned.  On other rides they were very strict about it.  Continuity was not truly set-up yet for the system.  Had we wanted to we could have used the fast passes again later in our time frame and rode more than once with each pass.  As it was it looked like we simply let then lapse if we didn’t go in and cancel them. 
After visiting with the Manatees, my favorites, and enjoying the calm of the displays in the giant aquarium we wandered around various areas for awhile, but really weren’t in the mood to ride anything else at that point.  We were simply enjoying a slow pace soaking in all the atmosphere, street performers and such.

I highly recommend you make time in your busy schedule at the parks to take the time out to watch the various street performers.  It will help slow your pace down and let you "smell the roses".  After all you are on vacation and there is no need to run at full tilt all the time.  Everyone will have a better time if you take the parks slow and easy.
Eventually dh and I joined the fast pass line for Illuminations while ds went toward the Mexican pavilion to get us all churros to snack on during the show.  
Sean ended up getting churritos from La Cantina de San Miguel  instead of the traditional churros.  These came with a caramel dipping sauce and were quite good. Basically they were mini churros.  He got back right after dh and I were let into the handicapped viewing area of the Illuminations fast pass area. 
I was tired of sitting at this point and dh was tired of standing so he set next to the railing in the ECV for the show while I stood behind him and ds stood behind me. 
I love Illuminations.  What’s not to love, it has everything, lasers, lights, fireworks, exciting music and our viewing point was perfect.  This is definitely a Fast Pass + we will book again in the future.  Oh and at this one, they definitely scan your wristband to verify your fast pass.
Once again we waited for the crowds to clear and then left the park slowly.  We had originally thought to park hop over to the Extra Magic Hours park of the night, but we were all still a little tired from the travel so we decided instead to go back to the camper slowly. 
We took the bus system directly back to the campground and then the Settlement Yellow bus back to our camper.
Blessed coolness greeted us when we entered the camper.  After our traditional nightly snack of milk and cookies we all stumbled to bed in the wee hours of the morning.
Our first full day had been both relaxing and enjoyable and we were ready for a good night’s rest.
Jan who was so happy to be back after eight long years in FL away from OK

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