Disney Vacation 2006 Trip (Labor Day Extended Weekend)

This Labor day weekend, Chris and I decided to once again be adventurous souls and book a cheap, quick trip to Disney. Did I mention that it was hurricane season too? We flew Southwest again and were pleased with the flight—although the weather accounted for a bit of a bumpy ride. When we landed, we lucked out because there was a heavy thunderstorm beginning, and all of the flights that landed after us were circling the landing field because they didn’t want to land when there was lightning. And all other flights at the airport were getting delayed.

We soon discovered that these thunderstorms were the norm, and that around the same time each day there would be these storms and then things would perfectly clear up soon after. The rain was welcome though, as the weather was scorching, with a heat index of up to 115 degrees daily!!! Yow!

We stayed at the inexpensive All-Star Music Resort, which suited us just fine as we didn’t plan on staying in our hotel rooms for too long. Our room was small but comfy and there were several pools around, including a guitar-shaped one! The rooms were air-conditioned too, a BIG plus and a huge necessity in Florida!

Because we are masochists as well as exercise enthusisasts, we clocked a minimum of 17,000 steps daily, and up to 30,000 steps (almost 10 miles!) one day, despite the overwhelming heat. Thanks to the power of air-conditioned hideaways and Earl Grey Iced Tea at the “Earl of Sandwich” in Downtown Disney!

Day two consisted of a marathon walk in the heat to an amazing donut place called Hottie’s Donuts. For anyone who doesn’t believe a donut is worth it—Hottie’s specializes in amazing gourmet donuts that they make right on the premises. I ordered a chocolate peanut butter crunch one, and Chris had a boston Creme. The owner let us sample one of his new donuts, and we spotted some silly flavors—one of them being a Lucky Charms covered donut! (must’ve been the “college kid” special….). We earned our calories that day!

The next day we took a bus over to the Wilderness Lodge resort and hung out on our favorite little private beach, Clementine beach. Aside from the honk of the ferry (which bused visitors over to the magic kingdom), and the babble of a few voices, the beach was as quiet as can be…the perfect spot for a relaxing nap in the shade.

On Sunday we ventured out to the Magic Kingdom for a day of fun! It was busy, but not nearly as busy as other times, and we were happily able to FINALLY go on the Peter Pan ride, one we had always run into long lines on, and haven’t gone on in several years! We felt like giddy kids; our day was made. Of course we also had to ride the Haunted Mansion and It’s a Small World.

The ride that had the longest line that day was the Pirates of the Caribbean. Apparently, they had recently renovated the ride to include scenes and characters from the new movies. At first Chris and I were irate—how dare they mess with a classic! But we just HAD to see what they did. So we waited over 40 minutes in line, and we have to say, they didn’t mess with the original too badly. Most of the old favorite scenes and characters were still there, but the beginning waterfall now featured a holographic image of Davey Jones, and the village scene included a few scenes of Jack Sparrow—the character they had created was an uncanny resemblance to Johnny Depp, in mannerism and appearance, it was wild!

We then hopped the monorail over to Epcot and meanered around, making sure to ride Spaceship Earth (an Epcot staple!) a few times and hit the Maelstrom and El Rio de Tiempo. We attempted to hang around in France for a little while too to prepare for our France trip :).

We had our favorite vegetarian lunch at the Tangerine Cafe but were dissapointed to find that they no longer served the Tangerine Dream drinks we always enjoyed! 😦

After spending a few hours (and gettng a bit tired walking in the heat!), we headed back to the Magic Kindgom and had veggie burgers at Cosmis Ray’s. Overall it was a fun day, but we ended up being too tired to stay for the fireworks, which was all as well because it began to rain.

Monday’s heat lead us to the decision that a day at the waterpark—Blizzard Beach-was in order. It was our first time at the park, and we had a pleasant day riding in the lazy river and exploring. We chickened out on riding the world’s longest and fastest waterslide-but ended up taking the ride next to it, which was about half the height-that was about as far as we could go. We enjoued getting cooled off and getting a stair workout at the same time!

Tuesday (our last day) came far too soon. We spent the morning taking pictures and doing my favorite pasttime (shopping!) where we got some ornaments to commemorate our experience—a yearly tradition. We had sundaes at Ghirardelli’s and then headed back to our hotel, where we took a Southwest flight home to a significantly cooler Connecticut. Overall, we spent a great Labor Day weekend there and hope to do it again!

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