Sept 2, 2012





From the DIS Welcome Center to Mickey’s World


Our departure day had dawned. When we woke up we were back at Port Canaveral. And after having a shower we packed up the rest of our stuff and waited for our breakfast time. A few minutes early, after having thoroughly checked all the drawers we said goodbye to our floating home and headed out into the hallway. And who should we run into than our stateroom host, Oana.

 Needless to say we stopped, hugged and had one last fun conversation, before we really had to leave. Waiting for the elevator took a little while, but finally we were able to get in and down we went to the Enchanted Garden. We had brought a final sweets bag for Zan and our servers, and were surprised not to see Zan when we entered. We knew the way to our table and sat down and around came the assistant server and asked for our drinks order. We both had some coffee and ordered our breakfast. Tom and I had the same breakfast, the Eggs for the Road, Scrambled, fried or boiled egg and served with hash browns and your choice of breakfast meat (grilled sausage, grilled ham and bacon).

Tom had a fried egg on his and I had scrambled eggs. The last day is always pretty hectic and so we just saw our servers for a very short time and then it was time to really say goodbye and leave the ship. We got all our hand luggage and walked upstairs to the atrium and were shocked. There was a huge line and it moved very slowly. For a moment we thought about just sitting somewhere until the lines would get a little shorter, but then we decided to just get in line. It took quite some time to even leave the Atrium, then down the ramp and finally we were signed off the ship. We went on the escalator to pick up our luggage and go through customs.

Thank god they have porters as we had a lot of luggage to pick up. We all got in line and were actually surprised by how many people cut in line in front of us, by not walking through the line, but just cutting under the rope. One of them being one of the “thieves“ who had stayed Concierge. He didn’t even dare look at us, and it was good that way. We finally made it to the customs officer and were through quickly and out the door over to the rental car shuttles. All the lines were short except the Dollar one. This one was LONG and I was seeing us waiting there for quite some time. The shuttle was just loading and I was coming to grips with waiting here, when the driver asked if we were only 2 and once we had confirmed that we  „magically“ made it to the front of the line and after loading our stuff into the car we were in and off we went. Speak of lucky. Dollar is quite far down the road and it took a little while to get there, but since we had gotten on last, we were able to get off first. I told Tom to get inside and get in line, while I dealt with the luggage. It took several trips inside the small office to get everything inside, but finally it was done. Tom was in line. There were still a couple people in front of him and three people manning the station, so it should not take too long.Or so we thought.

Turns out the lady who was helping a customer was taking a break and the other guy would only deal with customers who were returning cars. That left only one guy renting out the cars. And he took his sweet time. One of the families ahead of us took around 25 minutes to get a car assigned and the line had already grown out the door. After a little more than an hour it was finally our turn. We had rented a convertible and there had one been sitting right outside the office, so we were hoping to get that. When we were finally done and walked outside the car was gone. We were told our car would be brought to a special parking spot in a few minutes, so we waited. Turns out that they had to drive it through the car wash and it was in fact the Mustang that had been sitting outside. Once we had the key in hand, Tom took the car’s top down and we loaded all our stuff into the trunk and the rest went on the back seat. And a mere 5 minutes after we had received the keys we were off and heading back to Walt Disney World. But there was something that I had noticed that required one more stop. The DIS welcome center. We stopped outside and quickly thought about heading into the Perfect Gift to order a gift for our friends Mick and Teresa who would be sailing in a weeks time, but when we tried the door they were closed. So over to the next door, the Welcome Center, we went.

This door opened and we were welcomed by two very nice people, Teresa, a Dreams Unlimited TA and another DU employee who were preparing gift baskets. We had a short conversation, I signed their guestbook and out we went again, just to walk right back in.

 I had forgotten to take their photo, but they both were willing to have their picture taken and stood right in front of some DIS merchandise. Photo taken I hopped into the car and we were finally off. But we could not leave without saying another goodbye to the Disney DREAM. So, once we had reached the harbour we drove right up to the DREAM again and slowly drove by, finally saying our goodbyes until we would be back in February.The DREAM behind us we got on the motorway and were soon cruising towards Walt Disney World and making good progress. We arrived at Old Key West shortly after noon and walked right in to check in.

I had done the online check in and our folder was waiting and yippie so was our room.  We had been granted our request of Old Turtle Pond Road again and within minutes we were on our way to our villa. It took us a while to find the correct staircase to walk up to it, but finally we did and once we had entered we noticed it smelled in there. It smelled of some product to seal the floor and we decided to just open the veranda doors and if the smell hadn’t gone away we would ask to be moved. Tom went to use the toilet and came back to tell me to call housekeeping as the flush wasn’t working properly. So I called housekeeping and they told me that someone would be sent over shortly. In the meantime we had hauled all our stuff upstairs, the smell was beginning to disappear and I  started to unpack. After half an hour I called housekeeping/maintenance again and asked when they would be coming by. We were told that it might be another 20 minutes but if we didn’t mind them being in there, we would not have to wait. Good! So, we got our stuff together and headed down to the car to do some shopping. And since we were driving toward Kissimmee anyway, why not start off the last part of the vacation with some Krispy Kreme. So we drove to the Krispy Kreme shop which to our delight had the „Hot Now“ sign on.

 In we went and two minutes later we were the proud owners of a dozen Glazed Doughnuts, a dozen Doughnut Holes and a Diet Coke to share. We sat at one of the tables nearby and inhaled some of those fluffy little puppies for lunch.

Once we were on a sugar high again, we headed back to the car and drove back to Publix. We bought all the ingredients for our picknick lunches, some breakfast foods and quite a few things we wanted to take home. With the trunk full of groceries we headed back to Old Key West and made one more stop at bell services. We still had to pick up our Owner’s Locker box. I walked up to bell services to ask for it, while Tom took the top of the car down. A very friendly porter brought out our box and after box and tip had changed hands we were off to our villa again. Once we were in we checked the flush of the toilet and it was working fine now, there was still a little smell, but we opened up the veranda doors again and that helped greatly. Once we had stowed everything in the fridge and the kitchen cabinets we decided that instead of heading out to lunch we would enjoy a nice picknick dinner at Old Key West. So I filled the washing machine and put it on while Tom laid the table and a few minutes later we were sitting at the table happily munching away. After dinner we cleaned everything up and after taking a shower we decided to head over to the Magic Kingdom, which was open late that night. On the way over I remembered that I actually had a reservation at the Wave that day, so we decided to hop on the resort Monorail and stop at the Contemporary to cancel the reservation.

Once that was done we went to check out the new Contemporay Resort merchandise and have a look up at where we had been staying a few weeks before. Then we walked downstairs and just over to the Magic Kingdom. It was Labour Day Weekend and the Magic Kingdom was absolutely packed. We decided to stroll through the shops on the way up to the hub, but even the shops were packed. As it was close to the start of Wishes we stepped out onto Main Street USA and found it too crowded, so we skipped the whole idea of watching Wishes from there and instead headed towards Adventureland. When we were right past Casey’s the fireworks started to go off and stopped and watched from the sidelines.

It was fun watching it from a totally different viewpoint, but something was wrong with my camera, as the lighting looked a bit funny. The castle show was on after Wishes and when that was over everybody seemed to be heading towards Adventureland. So we decided to fight the crowds and head in the other direction to Tomorrowland. As always when the parks are full we were hoping for our favourite ride not to have too much of a line. But there was! Even the Peoplemover had a short line, but it moved pretty quickly and soon we were sitting in our little compartment enjoying the hustle and bustle of the park from above. And while we were on the ride EMH started and we were hoping that it would die down the crowds.

But once we got off it did not look like it. So we slowly walked over to the New Fantasyland construction, which was all walled off, then over to try Peter Pan, which had a 60 minute wait and It’s a small world which had a 30 minute late. Thanks, but no thanks on both. We were sure that the line for the Haunted Mansion would be too long either, but it only said 20 minutes, so we hopped into that line and chose the interactive line. It seemed to move quite nicely and we were soon getting into the holding room before the stretching room. The loading zone though was a madhouse, especially since they stopped the ride a few times, without stopping to get more people in the room. But finally we got onto a doombuggy and off we went.

Soon we had to get off the ride and walked over to Big Thunder Mountain, but a 75 minute wait did not appeal to us. Same with Splash Mountain. Okay, why not head over to Pirates of the Caribbean? We did and found that it had been down for quite a while. We both had not had a lot of sleep the night before so we were getting quite tired and it was going towards midnight. When we went past the Jungle Cruise we decided to just pop down and check the wait time and it was only 20 minutes. We hopped in line as we both love to do that ride at night time. You cannot see all the props so well, but the skippers usually crack a lot more unusual jokes and not just run through their spiel.

The line moved pretty slowly but after about half an hour we were seated in one of the boats and went on our expedition. The skipper was hilarious and even though we had heard some of his jokes before, he was really doing his job well and we were laughing a lot. Once we got off the ride we decided not to stay to the end of the Extra Magic Hours and get back to our car. So we slowly strolled through the shops, took in the atmosphere on Main Street and finally left the Magic Kingdom. We made our way back to our car and drove back to Old Key West. Being that it was Labour Day the parking lot of the resort was pretty full, but we spotted a space nearby and after parking the car, headed up to our villa. We were so tired, that after having a nightcup we both fell into bed.