Our pre travel day, overnight stay at the Travelodge and then our flight across to Orlando all went very smoothly. Despite having to circle in the air for half an hour as a storm had shut the airport, we arrived safely at Caribbean Beach Resort via the Magical Express from the airport at around 6pm local time.
I wasn’t sure which section of the resort was going to be preferable to us during this stay, as we have previously stayed in Martinique and Jamaica. I knew Martinique was first on the bus route, but it was also going to be closest to the construction. After leaving it up to fate, we were allocated Martinique building 24 on arrival, right next to the construction, but also very close to the pool, bus stop and on the second floor which we prefer.
Abby desperately wanted to go swimming, and despite being tired, we decided to leave our bags, find out where the drinks station was to refill our cups, collect said cups from the island market and sit by the pool for a little while before bed. We almost had the pool to ourselves which was great, and after an hour or so, we were all really tired and called it a night for bed, our body clocks thinking it was the early hours of the morning.
I was awake from 4.30am, and just couldn’t get back to sleep no matter how hard I tried. By around 5.30am everyone else was awake too, so instead of waiting around we decided to get up, showered and get to Magic Kingdom before it opened. I was keen to watch the new opening show at the castle, and knew that you could wander down Main Street before this.
As we got to the bus stop one arrived for Magic Kingdom which was amazing, great timing on our part and we were the only people on the bus at 7am. I wondered if we would be too early to even walk down Main Street, but there were already plenty of people around. We managed to get some lovely photos without people in the background outside of Magic Kingdom and also just inside the entrance.
As we wandered slowly down Main Street taking it all in again for the first time this trip, we decided to make use of the low queues and spend some time with the Photopass photographers. We had some amazing shots this morning and it was worth the few minutes waiting time.
We still had plenty of time before the welcome show, so popped into the Emporium shop to take a quick look at the Halloween merchandise that was starting to be put out on the shelves. It was surreal to see Halloween items in August, but as the first Mickeys Not So Scary Halloween party was in a weeks time, then it made sense.
We had a great spot to watch the welcome show, and it was lovely to see the different show. I prefer the welcome show in front of the Magic Kingdom, although I can see why it has moved from a crowd and business point of view. As I spotted the crowds, I planned our route through the castle and out the other side in my mind. We had FastPasses for Pirates of the Caribbean, Seven Dwarfs Mine Train and Haunted Mansion this morning, but my logic was telling me to head to Peter Pan’s flight first to avoid the big crowds.
The queue was saying twenty minutes when we arrived but it was much more like ten minutes. I wanted to do the walk on for It’s A Small World, however Abby doesn’t like puppets so has never wanted to do this ride. We wandered into Adventureland and onto Aladdin’s Magic Carpets, as this is a ride we like to do and often not worth the thirty minute wait times in the middle of the day.
We had time before Pirates of The Caribbean Fastpass for a Dole Whip float, and as it was still early, we enjoyed no queues here either. Onto Pirates of the Caribbean before heading around to the Haunted Mansion. I was impressed at how much we were able to fit in this morning already by arriving early.
We decided to then head into Fantasyland as we wanted to get an autograph book in Big Top Souvenirs. A quick stop for Philharmagic, a firm favourite for us all, and then we went onto Dumbo and Barnstormer with a pit stop in the water play area to cool off.
We were a little peckish, but anxious not to fill ourselves up before our lunch at Crystal Palace so we enjoyed some popcorn and a little sit down before our final Fastpass of Seven Dwarfs Mine Train. I love this ride and it’s just as good even when you haven’t ridden for 18 months.
It was REALLY hot by now so we headed over to Crystal Palace a little early, reasoning that if we checked in early and a table was available then we would be seated early. It actually worked, although we were a little crammed into the waiting area.
I had heard very mixed reviews about Crystal Palace, however our meal was amazing, as we would definitely visit again in the future. Meeting Pooh, Eeyore, Piglet and Tigger was so much fun. They have stopped autographing here which was a shame as we had bought the autograph book in preparation. We did receive a pre signed card to take away so I will adapt and stick this in instead.
We had all decided to head back to the resort for a rest and a swim this afternoon before heading out to Hollywood Studios for Star Wars Galactic Spectacular this evening. It was so hot we were melting, and the pool was so welcome. I did make an unwanted friendship in a wasp today that seemed to stay with me all holiday so I spent most of the afternoon in the pool rather than relaxing at the side to avoid it.
In true predictable Florida style, a storm was predicted for 4pm, and true to it’s word the clouds rolled in and the rain came down. It was perfect time for us to retreat back to the room to shower and get ready to go back out later. We ended up going back out at around 6.30pm and it was still thunder and lightning but there was no rain. A little peckish we stopped for a burger before making our way to our next Fastpass for Toy Story Mania that I had booked after scanning in at Seven Dwarfs Mine Train earlier.
I was really tired by this point and I think everyone else was too. We hadn’t quite adjusted to the time difference and were all up so early. It rained about now and we hadn’t come prepared with our ponchos which was really silly, so spent our time walking through the shops as much as we could to stay dry. Thankfully the rain didn’t last long, so we carried on exploring until it was time for Star Wars. We were only here for Hubby and he kept insisting we go back if we were all tired, but I didn’t know if we would be able to fit it in on another evening so we powered on. The ground was dry again by the time we needed to rest our legs waiting for the show to start.
I wasn’t overly impressed with the Galactic Spectacular, much preferring the fireworks we saw last year at Hollywood Studios, however I was glad we took the time. Now to remind ourselves how busy it is when leaving a park at the same time as everyone else! Why didn’t we remember to look at the bus number on the way in? We managed to catch the second bus, and it didn’t take long to get back “home”. We were all really tired and time for bed before getting up in the morning for Epcot.