Location: Cincinnati, Ohio, United States

Saturday, February 12, 2005

Walt Disney World - Day 8 - February 12, 2005

Walt Disney World ' 05

Day 8

Saturday February 12, 2005

All good things must come to an end - or - Now's its time to say goodbye....

We carefully calculated our wake up time to get us the maximum amount of sleep and still get us out of the room by check out time. It so happens that after getting everything in readiness, we summoned the bellhop, who happened to be the same bellhop that brought our bags to us on Day 1. We chatted for a bit about how our stay went, then we finished up some last minute details, like emptying out the fridge, and making sure the safe was empty. By the way, is it really necesary to have a decal telling safe users to be sure to lock the safe and take the key with you while out enjoying the parks? I also picked up our final statement of account which was hanging on our doorknob. We had elected Express Checkout, so upon looking over the statement and finding everything in order, we know we could just leave anytime before 11AM.

Before leaving I took photos of the room and the resort, and then we took our last carry around items with us and headed to Boatwright's for breakfast. We hadn't made a prioirity seating for Boatwright's and were surprised to have to wait about 20 minutes around 11AM. We took our pager and sat in the River Roost lounge. Gee this lounge looks awfully familiar. I looked by the piano and I think I see the magic button in the floor that makes the piano rock...

Anyway, Boatwright's a is a nicely themed (Boatwright's shop) table service restaurant. We proceeded to have a nice relaxing breakfast. Mom had the french toast, and I had the sweet potato pancakes, and boy were they good. We relaxed and had a really nice waitress. We sat and lingered over breakfast until we were some of the last people out of the restaurant.

We next headed to Fulton's General Store for the big massive souvneir run. You know, its the "Oh no, it's our last day at Disney and we need to find gifts to take back to people, and oh wouldn't that be cute to have" type souvenier run. We bought a lot of stuff, and a duffel bag to put it all in.

Having a little bit of time before our 4:15 pick up time, we decide to cruise on down to Downtown Disney, and do so by way of the Sasagoula River Cruise. It was a very relaxing cruise, and it was Mom's first time on the boat. The cruise is a lot more enjoyable by day. You get to see Port Orleans by river, then you get to see the disused treehouse villas. Our boat captain said they hav ethe lights in the villas connected to timers so that the treehouse villas light up the waterway at night and reduce the need to use the watercrafts bright lights. We also cruised past the golf courses and saw the golfers hard at 'work'. Our captain said that this particular waterway has releaved golfers of tens of thousands of golf balls.

We had an informative and somewhat funny captain, he gave us the standard watercraft safety speil, you know "I have life vests in the foot locker to my left that will be eopened should the need arise. They are free for tourists, and $20 for locals" Againit is a wonderfully relaxeing 20-30 minute or so ride.

We landed at Downtown Disney near Rainforest Cafe, and started walking around the lakeside. Our first stop was a DIsney closeout alley where nothing is over $10. The 'store' is located outdoors in the breezeway (or alley) between two other stores. It trades in souveniers that can be had for under $10, as well as what appear to be closeout items. They also sell mystery grab bags. Are you one who likes surprises, well go ahead pick a bag and take a chance.

We left that store, and looked through the big pin trading center, and I took a look at but did not ride the Carousel and kiddie train rides they have there. Those rides run for $2, and are not included in any disney ticket package.

We next took a walk through Once Upon A Toy, a mega toy shop. They have just about anything one can imagine if it involves toys, in a whimsical building. I will admit that I toured the toy store mainly to see the complete Disney monorail model kit set up with all the accessories and add on packs. Quite impressive looking.

From the toy store, we looked through the giant kaleidoscoe, our boat captain had told us that all the figues in the scopt look like Mickey's head. A cool touch. We spent the rest of our time in Downtown Disney tourin the World of Disney.

World of Disney is a super ultra mega Disney store, if they don't got it, you don't need it. They have the mega store oned off into departments to make it easier to find what you are looking for. We finsihed our shopping there, and while checking out, I noted that I like to fly decorative banner flags, so I asked if there were any Disney related flags or banners for sale. Aparently I found a weak spot, a caegory that Disney currently does not have any products. I mean not even a Mickey Mouse Club flag, how else am I supposed to "Forever let us raise our banner high, High, HIGH"

Leaving the World of Disney, a time check revealed the time to be just around 3PM, so we headed back to the boat dock for the return cruise to Port Orleans. We must have just missed a boat, becuase we waited until 3:30 for a boat to arrive. We though we saw a boat much earlier but it was flying the green flag of Saratoga Springs/Old Key West, and not the Yellow flag of Port Orleans. Never fear the boat did arrive at 3:30, and ran perfectly to shcedule and we were avoiding the hose that someone had stretched out across the exit stairs at the Port Orlenas Riverside dock at around 3:55. a full 20 minutes ahead of the Mear's shuttle arrival.

We made our way to baggage claim, where within a few minutes a friendly baggage porter was moving our bags from the storage facility to a spot along the sidewalk where the Mear's shuttle stops.

4:15 comes, 4:15 passes, no bus
4:20 comes, 4:20 passes, no bus
4:30 comes, 4:30 passes, no bus
A Mears shuttle comes to drop off but not pick up passengers, the driver gives us a gruff unfriendly "I can't help you, call Mears" The friendly Port Orleans baggage services guy calls Mears but can't get through to them on the phone.
4:35 comes, 4:35 passes, no bus
4:40 comes,, 4:40 passes, no bus
4:45 comes, and low and behold a bus arrives
BUT wait, its not our bus, it is the regularly shceduled 4:45 bus running right on time. After some pleading by those of us waiting fora bus, he agrees to take us to the airport with him.
4:55 we leave POR
5:00 we arrive French Quarter
5:10 we leave French Quarter
5:15 we arrive Old Key West
5:25 we leave Old Key West.
I can't fault our driver who is being friendlyt and courteous, and judging from the radio calls we heard him make (the volume was turned way up), we could hear that dispatch kept wanting him to pick up more passengers even as he was trying to tell dispatch he was full. Also from overhearing the operators radio, things were not going smooth for Mears at all, with all kinds of busses running way behind schedule and all. Mear's dispatch office must be staffed by a group of mindless jerks who have no idea how to run a transit company.
6:00 we arrive at the Orlando Airport
6:10 we check in for our 7:00 flight
6:15 we arrive at the back of the long queue for Security
6:35 we finally walk through the metal detector
6:40 we arrive at the Airside buidling from the monorail, note on monitor that boarding is in progress from one of the gates furthest from the monorial stop.
6:50 We arrive at the gate, and without even slowing down we continue walking right to our seats. So much for a restroom stop or grabbing a sack lunch to take on board.

Whew - that was WAY too close. At least the flight was smooth and as I like my airplane rides, uneventful. Well, it did get interesting after landing in Cincinnati. We had a last minute ( as in we were almost at one gate) when they captrain announced we had an arrival gate change, then we get to the new gate to find out that there was some miscommunication and the cpatain was told to take us back to the first gate. Hey, an MD-80 CAN do a U-Turn on the ground! We arrive a the original gate, to learn the gate crew had been sent to the new gate, so we sat on the plane until a gate crew could arrive. Then we were told the wrong baggage carousel number.

We walked through the deserted terminal and I spotted a (closed for the night) WolfGang Puck's express. Shame I think this is the only Wolfgang Puck Express in Cincinnati and you can only get to it with an airline ticket. Pretty massive cover charge. We amde our way to baggage claim where my Uncle and Aunt were wating to drive us home. Pciked up our luggage, headed to the parking garage, and headed home.

We showed the digital photos on the TV, gave them there gifts, and called it a night,

And so ends a wonderful Disney vacation!


Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm not sure how I stumbled onto your trip reports but I really enjoy the detail...feels like I'm right there :o) Take care.

2:20 AM  

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