Disney World and Fort Wilderness is now just history. It was a great time with many memories. I wouldn't do it again though, in an RV built for a maximum 4 people, we had 7! Being packed together, however, did add extra spice to the experience.
Memorial Day Monday was our last day at the Paradise Pines RV resort. We finished packing up and made a trip to Wal-Mart for the last items needed for 10 days at Disney with 7 people (3 kids and 4 adults). We went to the pool in the afternoon and hung out with the last of the residents that were still there. About half of the 10 or so of the occupied sites will be vacated in the next 2 weeks, so it’s real quiet there. We will miss the place and the people like we do everywhere we stay for an extended time. It’s nice to know there are places like this where we could, in the future, settle down comfortably.
Tuesday the 29th we left Paradise Pines around 11:30 am and arrived at Disney’s Fort Wilderness 80 miles away just before 1 pm. We had already some months ago picked out the camp loop we wanted, in 1400. Loop 1400 was close to a bus stop and to the pool as well as to the kid’s entertainment area (nightly sing-alongs, s.mores, and a movie outside).
|Here we are loaded up and ready to leave Paradise Pines|
|Entering Disney's Fort Wilderness Campgrounds|
|Sign-in entrance to Fort Wilderness|
We were given site 1445. We have never been to Fort Wilderness so we knew nothing of the sites. We took the rig over to site 1445 and found it to be very small. We needed put a 3 room tent on the site along with our 40 foot rig. We drove around the 1400 loop a second time and determined that we would just make do with the site as given to us. The main problem with the site was that the front was narrow due to a ditch with railing around it. To put up the tent we needed to put the picnic table under the awning across from the railing making that area very tight. Anyway, we made it happen.
|Our site sign|
|Our site set-up on the first day before the Grandkids arrive tomorrow|
We finished getting the site ready by about 4:30 pm. We set up the RV as usual and then moved the very heavy 8 person picnic table and then set up the tent. We ran a long extension cord into the tent so we could add an overhead light and 2 fans. Next, we put in 2 un-inflated air mattresses. Our original intention was to have enough room for the 3 grandkids and their parents to sleep in the tent. We weren't sure if the parents and/or kids would want to be separated with either the kids inside or just the parents inside.
We finished the set up and headed to Downtown Disney to get something to eat. We walked the area and then headed back and called it a night.
|Downtown Disney on our first night|
Wednesday the 30th we were up and watching the text messages from our daughter-in-law Tracy telling us where they were. We also got our 2 four passenger golf carts to ferry us all around. We got the golf carts outside of Disney and saved a ton of money. We reserved a 6 passenger cart but the rental company ran out and substituted the 2 four passenger carts until Saturday when we would get the 6 passenger cart.
|First day at the site. My son Tony in the back and Bailey, Savannah, and Livy|
Their flight from Indianapolis took off and the terrible hour of 5:30 am to Cleveland OH and then to Orlando by 11 am. The Disney plan we had picked them all up and delivered them to the Campground. We got some lunch and proceeded to the pool for a few hours for their first day. All 5 slept in the tent the first night.
The pool is where I went in with my phone! I was in the pool maybe 5 seconds but long enough to destroy the phone. That really sucked because I take most of the pictures and I do it with the phone camera. Now we are using Patty’s phone camera and I am getting a new phone. I can’t get the new phone until we get to my son’s place in Indiana though. Seems Verizon will not ship a phone to an address other than the billing address unless my account can be verified. The way they verify the account is to call or text my phone. Since my phone can’t receive calls or texts I can’t verify my account so the phone was sent to South Dakota and then will be forwarded to Indiana.
Thursday the 31st we went to Magic Kingdom and rode the long line type rides first. We first rode Space Mountain and then got a fast pass for Splash Mountain while we rode the Run-away train. After that we rode Dumbo and the Mad Hatter and then had lunch. After lunch we went back to the RV and started what became a routine, took a nap for 2 hours. We then headed back to Magic Kingdom for dinner and to watch the nightly fireworks. We managed another routine; we completely wore us and the kids out and they slept inside and the parents in the tent.
|Our first day in the Disney parks|
|Bailey on the magic carpet ride at Magic Kingdom|
Friday the 1st we went to EPCOT and tried to ride the long line type rides again. However, we had a glitch that deviated us from our plan. We got up late and didn't get to the park when it opened. This caused one of our rides to be completely reserved for the day by the time we got to it a little before noon. By this time we were all hot and tired so we had lunch and headed back for the nap and then back for dinner and the laser light show at EPCOT.
|Livy taking her nap|
Saturday the 2nd we went to Typhoon Lagoon one of the 2 water parks at Disney. We planned it this way so that we wouldn't need to get up so early 3 days in a row. This should allow us all to recover. We arrived at the water park around 11 am and stayed until about 4:30 pm which was enough. We managed to get 2 of the kids (Bailey and Savannah) sunburned to the point of blisters that appeared the next day. They had 50 SPF on but we didn't get a second let alone a third coat of sunscreen on during the day while they were in the pool all day.
|Savannah just before the blisters|
|Mickeys Backyard BBQ at our campground|
|Patty and Savannah dancing with the Disney Characters|
|This is where the back yard BBQ is held|
|Minney and other characters|
Sunday the 3rd we were off to Animal Kingdom. This was a park that we all wanted to see but mostly Bailey. She really likes animals and has aspirations to work with them some day. We again managed to get to the park very late. However, we did manage to get on most of the planned rides by going to the back of the park first.
|Termite hills on the safari in Animal Kingdom|
|Animal Kingdom Safari|
|Tony, Savannah and Bailey|
|The safari vehicles|
|Livy dancing with the tribe. She is 3rd from right|
|Livy , Savannah and Tony playing the drums in Animal Kingdom|
|Tracy, Savannah and Bailey on a ride in Dino Land in Animal Kingdom|
|Tracy and Bailey and Savannah on a ride in Dino land in Animal Kingdom|
|Cool Pic of an anteater in Animal Kingdom|
Monday the 4th we went to Disney Studios. I’m not a big fan of this park. The park is hard to navigate and the lines are long on everything including crappy rides. We rode the Tower of Terror which was my first time on this too. The last time Patty and I were here around 12 years ago we were here with Chas. I sort of wanted to ride the tower but Chas was afraid to ride it so we didn’t. The ride wasn't as scary as I had thought it would be 12 years ago. However, it was a GREAT ride. Our youngest grandchild, Livy, who is 6 years old just loves scary/thrilling rides. She is so small and just makes the height requirement on these rides. On the tower ride she was laughing!
Tuesday the 5th we decided to go back to EPCOT and do the things we didn't get done the first time instead of the planned Blizzard Beach. Kids were still sunburned and we didn't even get to the world showcase at EPCOT.
Wednesday the 5th the last full day for the grandkids at Disney. We decided to redo Animal Kingdom and Magic Kingdom. Animal Kingdom we rode the roaring rapids that we missed the first time and redid for the 3rd time the Expedition Everest roller coaster. Everest is the newest ride at Disney and was just being built when Patty and I were here 12 years ago. This coaster goes backwards in the dark midway through. It’s a great ride.
|Tony, Livy, Tracy, Bailey and Savannah on the Roaring Rapids Ride in Animal Kingdom|
Wednesday night the parents went out by themselves while we watched the kids. We had a great night by going to Disney Studios and seeing Fantasia. We had never seen this before. I highly recommend seeing this show. All of the Disney characters are in it and it had very intense effects. At one point they set the lake on fire just a few yards from the crowd. Not to worry though, Mickey put the fire out! This night the kids were completely worn out, I had to carry Livy back to the cart.
|Mickey driving the boat with all of the Disney characters|
|Me carrying Livy out of Disney Studio after the Fantasia show|
Thursday the 6th Disney picked up everybody at 8:30 am and it was back to quiet for us. What an adrenaline filled 10 days for us. After they left we felt a major energy crash so it was time to nap. The tropical storm Andrea came through overnight and was with us most of the day. No real wind for us but lots of rain. We put the tent under the awning as best as we could and then took our nap. That evening we rolled up the tent and put most of the extra stuff away an went out to eat at Wilderness Lodge. This used up the last of the dinner plan dinners we had. We still had a couple of days left of quick service meals and a few snacks left that will not get used. We were in bed by 10pm!
Friday the 7th we rolled out of Disney headed for Citra FL 100 miles to the north. We are staying for our first time since last November in a plain campground, the Royal Palms. It’s a Passport America place so the rate is just $22 a night. That’s very nice after the Disney rate of $94/night! We are here to see an old childhood friend of mine, Mike Rice. Mike lives in Interlachen about 30 miles away.
|Our new site for 2 nights in Citra Florida = at least 3x the size of Disney|
Tomorrow we plan to finally leave Florida for the first time since December 2012. Today we need to get staples like milk and bug spray and fuel for the 244 mile pull tomorrow to just south of Macon Georgia.