Patty Winter's
Walt Disney World Trip
December, 2004

Day 11 (Sunday, Dec. 12)

  • Breakfast with the princesses
  • Cruising through Adventureland
  • Dinner at Mickey's
  • (Click on any image to see a larger version of the photo. Click on links to see additional information or photos.)

    Wow, hard to believe that this is my last full day at Disney World! But it should be a good one, because one of my friends managed to snag a reservation at the hottest breakfast ticket around: Cinderella's Royal Table at the Magic Kingdom.

    When we entered the castle, the Blue Fairy was holding court on the ground floor, sitting on a throne having her photo taken with arriving kids. We got in the elevator and went up to the dining room, which has a view toward King Arthur's Carrousel.

    The food here is not spectacular, but that isn't why you come; it's for the princesses (and pseudo-princesses). They were very friendly and patient as we all took turns getting photos. We were visited by Aurora, Mary Poppins, Wendy Darling, Belle, and of course Cinderella herself.

    We finished breakfast about 9:30 a.m. and went our separate ways. I consulted the Mousefest schedule, and a little before the scheduled time for the Pirates of the Caribbean get-together, I wandered over to Adventureland.

    After about 10 minutes, Ginny arrived in the area. A few minutes later, a couple more people showed up. They turned out to be Shawna (she of the Illuminations cruises organization) and her husband.

    By this time, the PotC event was running about 20 minutes late. Shawna got on her cell phone and called one of the ringleaders, who reported that they had been delayed at Big Thunder Mountain and were just now coming over.

    Just as the group of about 30 people arrived, we saw a stream of people leaving Pirates, reporting that the ride was broken. Okay, time for Plan B. We skipped ahead in the schedule to the Dole Whip Break, since we were near the Dole booth and that event was scheduled for about this time anyway.

    Then another check of PotC; still not running. So off to the Jungle Cruise. We managed to get all of us (I think about 38 people) into one boat. The captain was not daunted by our high spirits ("high spirits" is a nice way of saying we were a bit rowdy :-)), and she gave us an excellent ride.

    When we got off the Jungle Cruise, we decided to walk back and see whether Pirates was running yet. It finally was this time, so in we went. After that, a bunch of us headed to Pecos Bill's Café to get some lunch. I excused myself after that (about 1:30 p.m.) and went back to my room to enjoy my private view of the animals for the rest of the afternoon.

    Our final group event was dinner at Chef Mickey's at the Contemporary. I arrived at the hotel early and spent some time watching the express monorails swoosh through the hotel (that is so cool!) and browsing the shops on the concourse level. Then my friends arrived and we went into the restaurant. Between visits to the buffet, we were visited by Goofy, Mickey, Minnie, Chip, and Dale.

    I thought the Contemporary didn't have any special holiday displays, but on the way back to the monorail station, I spotted a cluster of small gingerbread houses near the entrance to the Concourse Steakhouse. So over the course of my visit, I found the edible displays in all the deluxe resorts that had them (which I believe was everyplace except Wilderness Lodge).

    Day 12 (Monday, Dec. 13)

  • Hanging with the animals
  • Orlando to San Jose

  • Time to leave Walt Disney World. :-( But not entirely a sad day, because after almost two weeks, it felt good to be heading home.

    As on my previous trip, I had scheduled my flight for mid-afternoon, and debated whether to spend the morning at a theme park. But as before, I decided that would make the day too rushed. So I slept in a bit, packed, and called Bell Services to hold my bags for a couple of hours.

    About 11:00 a.m., I headed down to The Mara and got some cereal. (The Mara, by the way, has a very nice selection of foods, including a delicious African stew that I've enjoyed several times.)

    Then I went to one of my favorite spots at AKL, near the flamingo pond, and found myself a spot on a bench seat. I resumed reading my Dan Brown book, occasionally getting up to take a closer look at whichever other animals had wandered into the area.

    Finally, around 1:00 p.m., I bade farewell to the flamingoes and walked through the hotel to the porte cochere. I proferred my luggage receipt at the valet window, and one of the doormen signaled to a waiting taxi for me.

    I arrived at MCO in plenty of time, and my flights from Orlando to Dallas and Dallas to San Jose were uneventful. Again, I was glad I'd spent my air miles on a comfy first-class seat.

    Now, next time, how about 10 days split between the Poly and the Beach Club..... :-)

    Postscript: Tips for Solo Visitors

    Here's are some idea you may find helpful if you're visiting Walt Disney World by yourself:
  • Eat at restaurants where there's something to do. For example, the Flying Fish Café and Jiko have counters where you can chat with the chefs. The Coral Reef has a huge aquarium. The Sci-Fi Dine-In Theater runs a 45-minute loop of trailers for old science fiction movies. Or get take-out food, find a spot outside, and people-watch while you eat.

  • Stay at hotels that have interesting activities you can do alone, such as watching the animals at Animal Kingdom Lodge, jogging along the Sassagoula River past Port Orleans, or learning about the memorabilia in the lobby of Pop Century. Be sure to get a copy of your hotel's daily activities guide, too.

  • Take advantage of the single-rider lines available at certain attractions. Even if you don't see a sign, it never hurts to ask a cast member if there is one. You may get called up in line to fill an empty seat.

  • Visit the Adventurers Club and the Comedy Warehouse. You don't need a dance partner to enjoy these Pleasure Island clubs.

  • Keep a small paperback book with you to pass the time while waiting for buses or attractions, if you don't feel like talking with the peoplea around you.

  • Take one of the many walking tours offered at the WDW theme parks. You'll learn more about the place and have a chance to socialize for a few hours.

  • Go for a ride. Aside from getting you places, Disney World's boats and monorails are fun in and of themselves.

  • Pamper yourself with a massage or a complete spa treatment at one of the resort fitness centers or spas.

  • Soak up the atmosphere. Disney World has a wealth of entertainment available free to theme park and resort visitors, from musicians to acrobats to improv comedians. Your fellow visitors are part of the atmosphere, too. It doesn't get much better than sitting at the hub in the Magic Kingdom watching kids get their first look at Cinderella's Castle.

  • Enjoy the freedom of doing what you want, when you want!

  • Pre-planning | Day 1 | Day 2 | Day 3 | Day 4 | Day 5 | Day 6 |
    Day 7 | Day 8 | Day 9 | Day 10 | Days 11-12 and Tips for Solo Visitors

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    Text and photos (c) 2004-2006 Patricia F. Winter, unless otherwise noted.

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    Last updated 2/5/06