Monday May 2nd 2016

At this point in the holiday, we were still trying to follow the planner I’d put together before we arrived (this method really, really worked for us in 2014 but not so much this year!). So this morning we had a shopping morning on the agenda, followed by Blizzard Beach and Hollywood Studios. We decided to cancel going to Blizzard Beach as we knew we’d most likely take hours shopping and the day would end up a big rush.

We were up early again, I was awake at 6.30am and waited until 7.40am to wake Liam. We got ready quickly, as we would be largely indoors all morning we skipped the sun cream, though Liam says we did put some on our face and neck.

We headed out and drove down to International Drive, as we always visited the Surf Outlet just past Universal Boulevard. As usual Liam didn’t see anything he liked – “The surf shop has gone well crap.” – but I ended up buying two hoodies and two vests, spending about $79 which isn’t bad considering one surf branded hoody in the UK is about £50 (have a look at my haul over on my vlog).

After that we drove down to the Florida Mall, our favourite, and had a walk round. On the way to the mall though, we noticed on the dashboard of our hire car the check engine light had illuminated and by the time we arrived at the mall we were in a right flap – discussing how we’d have to pinpoint the nearest Alamo and swap it, or drive all the way back to the airport! In the end we agreed we would just phone them and see what they thought. Once we got to the mall we walked in through JC Penney, and just outside that there’s a little seating area with sofas. I connected to the wifi and luckily, we always keep Skype credit as it came in handy whilst we were travelling last year, and I had about £8 so we used Skype to phone Alamo.

Liam phoned, and they didn’t seem bothered at all. He told me about the encounter that he thought the guy on the phone line thought we’d be pulled up at the side of the road in a flume of smoke, so when Liam just told him an orange check engine light had come on he just said don’t worry about it! He asked Liam if it drove fine and how many miles we planned on doing and Liam answered his questions and he told us it’s probably nothing if it’s running ok.

I wasn’t that happy with the situation and thought we should go to a garage but Liam thought it was ok. So we carried on looking around the mall and went in all the shops we were remotely interested in, but we seemed to have both lost our shopping mojo! Liam said he didn’t see anything he liked, so he went home empty handed. I seemed to have turned over a new leaf, which was not to buy anything unless I love it and can’t be without it. I went into Hot Topic at one point and tried to buy two vests, but I was waiting in the queue for 15 minutes whilst the lady between the til served the same customer and just chatted about stuff rather than doing her job! It’s really strange, they seem to do that a lot in the US whereas in the UK we get in a complete huff when that happens! So I didn’t want to wait any longer as there was someone in the queue in front of me, too, so I just put them back and left! I ended up buying some workout trousers from Aeropotale, and a matching Disney Villains backpack to my Disney Vans – not too much. We were starving when we left!

We got back into the car at about 12 o’clock and stopped at Walmart on the way home. We still hadn’t made it to a cash point yet and had borrowed $400 from my dad to go shopping that morning! We wanted to withdraw $700 which is the max in the SunTrust cash points, so we could pay him back and have a bit extra. When we arrived we couldn’t use the machine because a man was servicing it, so we carried on doing some shopping, getting some amazing frozen garlic breadsticks from the Walmart basics range which come with marinara sauce. I got some sun creams, two spray ones and a cream. When we finished, the machine was still being serviced but luckily it didn’t take much longer so we stood and waited for 5 minutes and finally got our money!

We arrived back at the villa shortly after 2pm, not too long at my parents. We only had one set of keys for the villa and my parents had them, so we couldn’t get in as they couldn’t hear us knocking as they were in the pool! Liam went round the back to get them and they walked around to let me in the front door.

We made some food at the villa, four cheese filled pasta from Publix, with the garlic breads we’d just brought in Walmart. I had a slice of key lime pie that my parents had brought (they always get the big ones from Publix!) and we went in the pool and relaxed. I was totally struggling because I was completely full of pie and I could barely breathe! We didn’t stay in for too long as we needed to get out and ready for Hollywood Studios that evening.

Our first FP was at 5.15pm for Toy Story Mania, so we left at around 4 something. All 4 of us had FP’s for the same time, and we thought it would be good to go together as it’s a shooting game it would be more competitive! However, I quickly realised that when you’re in a two, you get sent down a Fastpass Fastpass queue! As this is what normally happens to Liam and I, but this time we were sent over the bridge to join the end of the normal queue. We waited for aaaaages for a car to pull up, but eventually we got round and I won!! I was the best in the car with 126,000 and everyone else got below 100,000 so I was on top! (Thinking about this now, it just says ‘Best in Car’, it would be cool in future if they could utilize the Magic Band tech to put your name against it too!). After that, we went our separate ways and Liam and I headed to Star Wars Launch Bay.

The Launch Bay was new for us as last time we’d come it had been the Animation Building (sad face), so we headed through and watched the film first. It was a bit strange, as Liam said, the films just like a DVD extra. We had a little look round the rest of the building but we ended up getting a bit lost trying to find out way out, we just thought it was a bit crap and wanted to leave but couldn’t! We took a few pictures and eventually managed to find the exit!

On our way up to Tower of Terror, which was our next FP, we stopped in Mouse About Town (the best named shop ever) to have a look around. Connected to that is a shop which sells princess themed items, and in there I spotted Cogsworth on display! I remembered immediately that I had seen the Lumiere and Cogsworth set online, and wanted it. As I’d heard Cogsworth was really hard to get, I thought maybe they only had the two on display, so I asked the lady in the shop if they had any for sale and she thought they were $85 but wasn’t sure. I asked if they had Lumiere too, and we went to the till so she could check for me. She got out a new Cogsworth and we checked him over and I said yes! I want him! It came to $79 and Liam nudged me and reminded me we had an Annual Pass discount so in the end the price was $71 with tax, nearly a $10 saving. I asked if I could pick him up later and they shipped him to the front of HS for me. They had no Lumiere’s anywhere on property in the system though! (Spoiler: I got him eventually and you can see them and my other purchases here!)

Trip Report Day 3 Tower of TerrorWe then went and did our ToT FP and we got a really, really good ride! It just kept going up and down and up and down and the last time, it held us at the top for ages, then started bouncing us and then finally dropped us! Once we got off the ride we were so hungry, we went and found pizza at one of the booths near ToT and RnR and afterwards we treated ourselves to a brownie sundae. It wasn’t very nice as the brownie was stale and barely eatable! The ice cream was nice though!

After that, we went straight to our final FP. IT was for Star Tours. It only had a ten minutes queue anyway, and we were happy to see the scene from the new movie. As we were exiting down that big corridor, I heard my name being shouted and turned to see my parents come up from behind us. We tried to have a look around the shop but it was absolutely rammed so we couldn’t see anything! We all decided to go to the Muppets but my parents headed off ahead of us, and we watched them go in the wrong direction but they were two far ahead to say anything, so we got separated!

Just as we walked in it started to spit a tiny bit. We had some good timing as as we walked in they were just about to let everyone into the theatre. As we walked in we heard a gigantic crash which we weren’t sure whether it was thunder of not. Sure enough after we exited the theatre and walked into the covered glasses return everywhere the rain was coming down harder than we’d ever seen before! It was absolutely crazy, like a hurricane. The rain was all swirling up into the air! It was so funny as a group of people had gathered at the very edge of the covered area and the rain came blowing inwards and they all started screaming and running away! We were trapped for about half an hour, playing the Heads Up game and generally griping at each other as we were tired. My parents text to say they were in the Little Mermaid show and had come out to it.

Trip Report Day 3 RainEventually the rain dwindled a bit so I put on my rain mac and made a break for it – a slow break! We walked over the Starbucks on the main street to find my parents, we were thinking we might leave before the fireworks at this point as they would surely be cancelled. My parents had a table on the corner under cover outside Starbucks and we sat there for a second and then decided to try and make it to Rock n Roller. Fantasmic has been cancelled so at this point we were pretty sure the Star Wars fireworks would be cancelled too, so we had no time constraints. At RnR there queue was at 30 minutes so we headed down the single rider queue.

This was the first time we saw the interactive Magic Band signs! Every time it said Liam’s name, and never mine, so I figured there was something wrong with mine. As she started letting the single riders through, she waved Liam through and when I went to go through she shot out her hand and stopped me. For a moment Liam and I looked at each other horrified and nearly blurted out that we were together, then we remembered the queue we were in! I stayed behind and read the news on my phone and eventually we caught up with each other on the other side of the pre-show room.

I was getting a bit antsy now as we got through at 9.35pm and my parents were messaging me to say they hadn’t cancelled the Star Wars Fireworks and people were gathering on the street for a 9.45pm start! I was really worried as this was our only chance to see them as it was our only HS evening planned where they were on. We didn’t get on a limo until 9.42! We got on the same one.

When we got off it was 9.46pm so we left the shop and it was absolutely pouring down! We held hands and ran, ran, ran down the street, dodging all the puddles and finally arriving to see the first few fireworks. We were getting absolutely soaked and the sky was so smokey because of the rain but they were absolutely amazing! I can only imagine they’re even better now with the projections too. They were seriously the best fireworks we’ve ever seen at Disney!

Once they were over we were desperate to see them again and agreed we had to come back another unplanned evening. We were all shattered tonight though, so we headed out of the park picking up Cogsworth on the way – yay! We headed to the tram, got to the car, drove home to the villa and went straight to sleep after another busy day!

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