“For the first time in forever”, Mama D and I went to Walt Disney World with a year pass! With the Canadian Dollar down the toilet we were happy we didn’t have to pay park admission since we already had our pass we bought last year. We got some souvenirs, including Sven that you can see in our pictures of the day next to our cat Alaska. Those souvenirs on the credit card cost 45% more! If you think it’s already expensive…
Unfortunately we couldn’t afford the Walt Disney World De Luxe villas this time (even with our pass holder 30% discount) so we stayed off site for 9 nights at the Floridays Resort and we were very pleased.
We went grocery shopping at Publix and I baked my famous breakfast muffins and buckwheat pancakes that I keep in the freezer. I had printed saving coupons that I didn’t even use… I love Publix but I found they didn’t have much choice in the frozen seafood section like we do at home. For instance, they didn’t have my favorite Welch’s frozen blueberries and they didn’t have Glutino bread but I was still able to get what I needed; Such first world problems! We disinfected the jet tub with bleach and dish washing machine soap ( 1/2 cup bleach, 1/4 cup Cascade powder) and the water still came out clean. It was important for Mama D to bathe in a clean bath with her low white blood cell counts following her cancer treatments. We reserved our next morning shuttle to Epcot for 8:25.
I have been using My Fitness Pal app now for 5 months and my IPhone 6 counts my steps. I’ve read articles about step counters not being accurate but we tested it using a GPS and the distance is always a little under within a few meters. Maybe it has to do with my height and the way they measure the distance of my steps. I was so anxious to know how many steps I would walk and on this day it said we had walked 15 861 steps for a total distance of 11.96km! We started the day at Animal Kingdom and came back at Epcot using the wdw bus. At Epcot we rode Spaceship Earth, had a drink at Club Cool, did Living With The Land and watched the Circle of Life movie.
After using our fast passes for Star Tours and Toy Story at Hollywood Studios, we took the friendship taxi boat back to Epcot to have our lunch in France with a dessert at the pâtisserie. Unfortunately The Great Movie Ride was closed for an undetermined period. I was looking forward to the new narration by Robert Osborne but then I found it on Youtube so I am watching as I’m writing this! We toured the world and did some more attractions. Back at our condo, we had our nice bolognes pasta after 15 relaxing minutes in the jet tub.
After watching the morning news and learning about the historic Powerball jackpot, I walked to the 7/11 to buy us some tickets. It turned out to be a waste of money but we got 19$ worth of souvenir tickets… There were three winners that shared the 1.6 billions us dollars. How do those winners feel? Half a billion dollars is a lot of responsibilities; Never mind the Pearl by John Steinbeck! We took the 10:30 shuttle this time to go to Magic Kingdom using the Monorail from Epcot and then took the train to Frontierland. On the way back we took the boat back to the ticket Center and monorail to Epcot.
Another day at Magic Kingdom where we had lunch at our favorite place, The Harbor House, sitting at the same exact table for two on the second floor. From where we were sitting we could see The Haunted Mansion. This day was the most crowded I have ever seen Magic Kingdom, a 8/10 crowd because we always go during low season. We noticed that the more people there is, the less people watch where they are going… and birds don’t watch where they are pooing! Yes, it happened! If I could have had the same luck with the Powerball ticket!
The weather was really bad in the morning with wind and rain so we decided to stay in, do some laundry and took 3 walks around the resort. We played Slam and Monopoly card games.
With a year pass not only do we get discounts for resorts (up to 30%) and tours (15%) but also on merchandise (10%) so we stopped at the Guest Relations office to get a refund for purchases we made and forgot to use our discount. For some reason they had to cancel our 2015 card and issue a 2016 one. According to Touring Plans, the crowd on this day was 10/10! It was Martin Luther King weekend after all. We did our fast pass attractions which were Primeval Whirl and Kilimanjaro Safari with Rafiki’s train and Pangani forest in between with a lunch in the small hidden path from Asia to Africa. The first time I rode Primeval Whirl a few years ago, I had motion sickness but I don’t anymore. The trick is to not eat sweets, no coffee, and have a banana with some ginger pills an hour before a ride you think could cause motion sickness. It works for me in those low motion sickness, not spinning rides like Orange Mission to Mars… For that one last year Mama D and I took ginger pills AND Dramamine and it was worth it! This year we rode the Green one and it was enough.
Another day at the condo packing and slowly getting ready to go back home. We walked slowly on International Drive to go to Escapology that I found by chance while looking at the Google map back home. We tried to find the Antidote but unfortunately we were too slow. We were on the right path but too slow. One hour is really not long enough for two people unless you drink 2 double espresso before hand! It didn’t matter that we didn’t escape, at least we had fun and really got into it; We put the white hazmat suits on with the goggles and when the guide saw us he said we didn’t have to wear those… I told him it was part of the whole experience!
When planning for our last trip to Walt Disney World, I had first booked at the Blue Tree Resort but then after reading reviews online I switched to Floridays and it was the best decision! I had phoned the Blue Tree Resort with a few questions and wasn’t impressed with the quality of service I received but when I phoned Floridays I immediately knew it was a better place.
Some of the important things for us was a washer and dryer, good service, cleanliness and proximity to a grocery store. Of course Floridays offered that and so much more. Our room was basically like a condo with 2 bedrooms with comfortable beds, a fully equipped kitchen with marble counter tops, dining area, living room with pull-out couch and balcony with table and chairs, facing west with afternoon sun. The main bathroom had a jet tub big enough for 3 small people, a King size bed and a flat screen TV. The 2nd bedroom had two double size beds and a flat screen tv. There was enough storage space with closets and drawers. All we needed to ask for was a potato peeler and a blanket that were brought to our room within an hour. The wi-fi connection was excellent and the customer service at the hotel reception and concierge desk was outstanding. No wonder they are rated so high in all the online reviews.
We were charged daily Resort fees of 14.95 which I would have liked to have included in the price of the room instead of charged separately. Those fees covered among other things the daily shuttle to Universal, Sea World and Walt Disney World. We were satisfied with the service of the shuttle but there was room for improvement. The shuttle company was Orlando All Trans and their vehicles were fit for the pit in my opinion. One of them was an old Lynx public bus too old for transit users… but good enough for us… really? Another vehicle had the seal of the driver’s window broken and there was water in it; we could see the water line move inside. It took us from point A to point B but would not have been my first choice if I had one. All they do basically is buy old buses nobody wants and they paint them black with their logo.
We walked to the Publix supermarket that had everything we needed and was only 10 minutes away. We hailed a cab back that was parked outside and after putting all our bags in ourselves the driver told us it would be a 10$ flat rate and that nobody was willing to drive for $5… He went on to say it’s up to you… Well, with our bags already in we had no choice but took a mental note to call in a metered taxi next time; He didn’t even touch our bags once, how lazy. It is with great reluctance and disgust that I handed him my $10 bill. One day we stayed in to do some laundry and relax and took some walks around the resort and enjoyed the ponds with the turtles and birds. We enjoyed coming back from our long days at Walt Disney World to our condo where we felt safe, warm and super comfortable. When I say it was warm it’s because the weather in Florida in January can be cold. I would definitely recommend Floridays to anybody and I would say do not hesitate to ask for preferences and anything else you feel is missing from your room, they will gladly help if they can.
Facing west and being on a top floor was important for us as was being in a pet free building (A or B). The last thing I wanted was to hear was barking dogs; it’s enough having to hear the neighbor’s everyday. We are cat people after all… but I still love dogs, I just don’t like the annoying ones, and I could say the same for humans! All rooms have been refurbished and are all exactly the same. There are 6 floors in every building and although there was nothing available for us on the top floor, the 5th was fine. We were able to see a little tiny bit of fireworks through the trees. We barely heard our neighbor upstairs and it didn’t even bother us when on the Sunday of Martin Luther King Day, they stayed up all night and went to sleep as we were getting up at 4:00 am to catch our Mears Shuttle to the airport which by the way give a good service and I recommend them as well.
Not shown in the pictures below is a blender, toaster and cutting board. What are you waiting for!? Just book it!
After almost 2 months, Alaska, our nearly 8 year old blue Burmese cat still can’t get close to Casper and Lily. She tries although every time she takes a sniff, the hiss and growl come out of her mouth.
We always thought Alaska would love a companion but things don’t always turn out the way we want or hoped for. We’re happy though that the white cats are not aggressive with Alaska even though sometimes they like to chase her around, stalk her and give her a few smacks in the kisser. It’s been hard on her and she’s been sleeping a lot. Those cats are bringing us so much joy; they are obedient, they understand their names, they come when we call them, and they follow us everywhere. They sleep with us at night and most often I’m sandwiched between one of them and Alaska; she is not ready yet to touch fur…