spreadsheets and suitcases

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Disney World October 2015 Trip Report Part 7B: Afternoon with DD

on February 1, 2016

When we last left off, I had just spent a challenging but fulfilling morning with DS.  It was now DD’s turn to get some “mami time,” and we started things off right at the Grand Floridian Resort where we had met up to do our Parent Switch.

My sister started this Trip Tradition with us.  The Garden View Tea Room does Afternoon Tea from 2-5p, with all those lace doily/tea cozy/sugar cube-y things you associate with high society and ladies who lunch.  Perfect for some mother-daughter time.  We checked in for our 2pm ADR, with plans to have some tea and snacks, then monorail over to the Magic Kingdom to catch the 3p Festival of Fantasy parade.  I had a particular parade viewing spot in mind, and the parade wouldn’t reach there until at least 3:15p, so we had a good amount of time.

DD had the Bedforshire Tea:

The Bedfordshire Tea

First Course
Medley of Finger Sandwiches accompanied with Berries, Cheese and Lavosh

Second Course
Buttery Scone and Jam Tart

Choice of delicate House-Made Pastries, Strawberries and Creme, or English Trifle

Accompanied by your choice of tea

While I just had a (rare for me) soda.  A few reasons why I didn’t partake in a full tea menu: I dislike all hot beverages, I was still pretty full from snacking/lunching with DS, and $$$.  The menu listed above goes for $30, and it’s the least expensive one not on the kids’ menu!  It was fine, since DD didn’t like everything that came on her tower of goodies.  I had some small bites of sandwich, strawberries, and pastries, plus I will neither confirm nor deny swiping a fingerful of clotted cream 🙂

We had a hilarious moment when DD bit into a mystery item and almost gagged.  She whisper-screamed, “Mami, what is this?!”  It was a sandwich containing a thin slice of something vaguely yellow and firm, and appeared to have some goat cheese as well.  I took a bite, and nearly had the same reaction.  We got the giggles, and could barely keep it together long enough to ask the server what it was.  He cheerily replied, “roasted yellow beet!” We were not fans of the beet sandwich.  Everything else was lovely, and I gave the server a very good tip since I hadn’t ordered anything.

After Tea, we went in search of the swinging bench on the “beach” at the Resort.  Another Trip Tradition started by my sis lo those many years ago.  We had gone to WDW together while on Spring Break from college, and, after having Afternoon Tea, we had our picture taken on this bench.  None of us knew it then, but DD was already along for the ride (in utero).  So we made sure the recreate the photo during DD’s 1st WDW trip in 2004.  The I did it again in 2005, and 2008.  So I was all prepared to get the 2015 version done.  We walked around toward the sandy area (it’s a beach in that there is sand and then water, but it is not for swimming- Guests use the fabulous Alice in Wonderland-themed water play area and various pools), and couldn’t find the bench, or even a sizable stretch of sand.  I headed to a pool bar to ask a Cast Member where the bench was.

And nearly died of disappointment.

My precious bench (and some of the beach around it) had been removed in a renovation a few years ago.  I must have had quite a look on my face after thanking the Cast Member for the info- DD gave me a hug and told me it would be OK, we could find a new spot for her special picture.  So, that’s what we did!  We had a mini-photo shoot on the GF property, and DD loved it, so much so that she wants to stay there on our next trip.  She practiced descending one of the grand staircases on our way out to catch the monorail.

dd gf resort

We made it to the MK with a just a few minutes to spare.  DD started to walk into Main Street, but I grabbed her and we walked up the stairs to the Main Street WDW Railroad Station.  This was my special viewing spot: shaded, and with plenty of available seating- on the floor, but I had brought a small bit of fabric to sit on.  Just as we settled down, the Festival of Fantasy parade turned up Main Street- we hadn’t missed a thing!  And OH!  What a beautiful parade!  The music immediately became a favorite for us both, and we had a really first-rate view of the steampunk-inspired Maleficent dragon.  That fire is intensely hot, you guys.  Here are some pics!  The dragon one is a stock pic, but it definitely felt like it was that close to us from our elevated viewing spot.

After a great parade, we stuck to Main Street.  I had to see the Dapper Dans!  I love this classic group and it had been YEARS since I made the time to stop and really listen to their whole set.  I knew their last performance of the day was scheduled for 3:45p, so we parked ourselves in front of the Main Street Emporium and just looked around for them.  We hadn’t waited more than 30 seconds when they appeared directly behind us.  I gave a squeal of delight, and they smiled, asked if me and DD were it as far as an audience, I shrugged, and they got right going with their show.  Of course, a bigger crowd formed as soon as they started crooning.  So fun, and I even got a pic with them afterwards:

dapper dans

After that, we consulted the Times Guide to be sure of some other character greetings we wanted to have.  I was adamant we meet Gaston, DD was all about Princess Tiana, and I was hoping for Merida as well.  It made sense to do them in that order, so we headed to the area near Gaston’s Tavern to wait for his meet.  We had a bit of a wait, but it was because we were early.  The PhotoPass guy came around before Gaston did, and I struck up a conversation with him.  Cast Member badges have hometowns on them, and this nice gentleman was from Ecuador 🙂  We chatted about the homeland until Gaston made his appearance.  He was a total hoot!  I warned him against getting too cozy with DD for her picture, and he asked what I was going to do about it.  That bit of dialogue led to this picture:


We got this pic as we walked towards Tiana‘s greeting area at Heritage House in Liberty Square.


I love how the sky looks here.

Well…they were just closing the door when we got there.  Boo!  So we had to waste some time before her next greeting- good thing WDW is the best place in the world for that!  I grabbed a souvenir popcorn bucket, and a frozen lemonade, and we snacked while a custodial Cast Member was making magic:

donald street art

The CM “drew” this freeform with water on the end of a stiff broom!

Soon enough it was time to meet Tiana, and we made sure to be among the first in line.  The wait was pretty long, I must say.  She finally came out, and I was extremely pleased to see that she was accompanied by Prince Naveen!  DD got a traditional shot, and also asked for a selfie, which turned out GREAT.

tiana selfie

Trust me, she is smiling happily in this shot.

Our next destination was the Merida character greeting, and I had read about how slowly this line moves, so we took a potty break before getting in line.  WOW- they were not kidding.  I think we waited close to 30 minutes here, at a complete standstill.  I was almost at my limit, so we started goofing around, and I texted DH to see what he was up to with DS.  Turns out they had just left the MK!  They had gone mini-golfing, then headed to Tomorrowland for some rides.  They were heading towards the busses, and I suggested we meet up for dinner at the Pop Century Food Court a little later.

Finally, it was time to meet Merida, who was super-sweet.


Scottish brogue: perfect.

Ready to leave the Park, we got some pics in the Castle Hub, did a bit of shopping on Main Street, and went to the bus area, where we hopped a ride to Pop Century for dinner and to exchange stories about our successful Parent Switch Day!  We unanimously voted the idea a success, and vowed that it, too, would become a Trip Tradition.

Back at the room, we packed up our belongings.  Tomorrow we would be moving to Animal Kingdom Lodge for our last 2 nights!  Couldn’t wait 🙂

2 responses to “Disney World October 2015 Trip Report Part 7B: Afternoon with DD

  1. VivaLaDiva405 says:

    Oh no, the bench!!!! But I suppose, to paraphrase the man himself, WDW is never finished, and there are new traditions to take place of the old ones as long as there is imagination. I am totally crying though – how I want to go!


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