Met Danny in our usual place, Row 1, Floor 2, Orange Garage, Disney Springs. He’d already been there for a while, power walking around the lake. His dedication to fitness and losing weight is very impressive and showing great results.
We drove into the Magic Kingdom and parked up (love that Florida Resident free parking!). It was much quieter today than it was when we came on Thursday, and we weren’t even there for the opening. We had three fastpasses: Haunted Mansion; Jungle Cruise and Pirates of the Caribbean, but we also saw 2 Muppet Great Moments in American History shows, a show on the mainstage featuring Mickey, Minnie, Donald and Daisy and the sisters from Frozen. I shudder to think how they manage to do all that energetic dancing in the heavy costumes in this heat! It makes me sweat just watching them!
We discovered that we all three have loved the Tomorrowland Peoplemover for years so we had to ride that. It goes right through the heart of Space Mountain at one point and we could hear people screaming in there. It’s an elevated electric train that runs around part of the park and we discovered it when the girls were very small and we used to have to find somewhere for them to nap/rest in the afternoons. In those days, you could stay on it for as long as you liked and we just used to go round and round. Other good nap places we have found have been the Country Bears Jamboree and (sorry American friends) The Hall of the Presidents. Great a/c and no one disturbs you!
It is so nice with these all encompassing passes in combination with the Fastpass system, that you can be very relaxed in the parks. None of that grim, commando attitude. We can just stroll around enjoying the views, knowing that we can leave when we want and come back tomorrow and do more. Much nicer than trying to do it all in a day.
We left the park at about 1230 and headed back to Disney Springs for lunch. It has been completely redeveloped as a leisure and shopping area over the last few years and this current incarnation is a very classy edition. Very upmarket shops, lots of restaurants from food vans to famous names and everything in between; two massive cinema complexes, Cirque du Soleil auditorium…. boating….. street entertainers. It’s a lot of fun down there. Today, we went to a restaurant called the Polite Pig https://politepig.com/restaurant/ which is well known for bbq food. Not stuff smothered in sickly sauce, but proper dry rub bbq done in a smoker. You could also have a host of side dishes and exotic dip sauces. I had bbq chicken which was really succulent. Danny had brisket and Bob had a Cobb Salad!!!!! The sides were amazing:
ROASTED BEETS smoked pecan granola, goat cheese, yogurt, oranges
BBQ CAULIFLOWER paprika sour cream
and utterly amazing and best of all
CRISPY BRUSSELS SPROUTS whiskey-caramel
The crispy Brussels sprouts with a whiskey-caramel crumb glaze sounds a bit disgusting I know. I personally hate and loathe sweet things on meat or vegetables. But this was quite subtle and really went well with the slightly bitter grilled sprouts. I liked the three sides best of all and if I went again, I would just have those three dishes. A really good lunch after which we had to say goodbye to Danny for a while, though we will see him again on 4th November when he comes over to Melbourne to get together with a whole lot more of the family. We have had a lovely time at the parks with him and it was so nice to have someone so knowledgeable to guide us around.
Came back to the Marriott and relaxed for a few hours before Fran and Dave arrived to stay overnight. We had some drinks and snacks here and then drove out for dinner. We were going to eat at the Cheesecake Factory but the line was an hour long, so we ate at an Italian restaurant called Brio instead. It was good. I had grilled mahi mahi and guess what it came with as a truly massive side dish: crispy sprouts!!!!! This time with bacon and some slightly sweet sauce. I couldn’t eat them all, it was a massive, massive portion. And I say this as someone who likes sprouts very much! Bob had a lobster and shrimp ravioli dish which came in a slightly spicy sauce. Looked delicious. Came back home and chatted for a while and then turned in. Fran and Dave stayed on our sofa bed couch. Hope it’s comfortable! It looked pretty good.