What I Did On My Easter Vacation


#1

“What I Did On My Easter Vacation”
by PJ

Cast:
me
mom
grandma

My mom and grandma didn’t have to work on Friday, and since I couldn’t go home for Easter because of my class schedule, they decided to come to me! And since we were all together in one place, and we had the time, we decided to finally do what we have been trying to organize for months…

The Grand Floridian Afternoon Tea!

So we drove down to Orlando bright and early Saturday morning. We planned on spending the day in Epcot, going to the GF when our 3:20 ADR came up, and then coming back to Epcot for the night till we had to drive back home. I have a season pass, so I waited while my mom and grandma bought their 1 day tickets. We get our bags searched, go up to the little ticket reading machines, and I put mine in first. I stick my fingers on the reader thing like a pro and push the turnstile… but it won’t turn. The CM says, “This is an invalid date. You can’t use a season pass on a blockout date.”

What a slap in the face for a self-proclaimed Disney pro! I forget to check the dates!!! And Easter weekend - COMMON SENSE that I wouldn’t be able to use it!!

Oh well. We go back, explain to the ticket lady why we’re back, and she sends us over to Guest Relations, saying they might be able to do something for us. They don’t. So we just buy me another ticket and head on in. By now, it’s almost noon. My grandma has never been on Soarin, and I really want her to get to see it, because I know she’d love it. So I grab grandma’s ticket (mom doesn’t like Soarin because she’s afraid of heights) and run (ahem… speedwalk safely) to Soarin to get us fastpasses - I get them for 5:30!! Five hours later! Craziness.


#2

Grandma has also never seen Turtle Talk, so we head over there. We walk in and are greeted by a roomful of people. Not even a line. Just people all crowded together trying to form a line. So we turn right back around and try for the Imagination ride. That one never has a line, but today it did. Now we knew the crowds were serious… haha. The people working in there almost didn’t know what to do with the 5-minute line they had. But anyways, we ride, and grandma thinks it’s cute.

Next she requests Universe of Energy, because she always liked that ride. But she hasn’t seen it since they updated it to the Ellen version. We walk in, watch the preshow, and walk on the ride. We are right behind a crying baby. No problem, we think, it’s not crying that loud. And it’s a 37 minute ride - it’ll calm down. The ride starts, and the baby starts screaming louder. And continues to scream for the full 37 minutes. No joke. But grandma still liked the ride. And the screams kind of blended in with the dinosaur noises.

After that we decided to get a little snack to hold us over till tea, so we go to the UK and split some fish & chips. As we’re paying, mom turns to me and says about the CM, “Do you think her accent is real?” Rather loudly. :laugh:

Fish & chips are delicious, as always. Mom wants to see the movie in Canada, but the CMs say it’s 20 minutes till the show starts, and mom’s afraid we won’t get out in time to get to the GF early enough. So we mosey on out to the monorail and ride over to the TTC, then jump on the resort monorail. First stop Polynesian - I daydream about staying there… next stop Grand Floridian - I stand up and try unsuccessfully to contain my excitement as I stand clear of the doors. I always thought the GF was pretty in pictures, but up close, it’s absolutely gorgeous. We all wandered around inside the hotel for a while, taking pictures and acting like major tourists. Grandma’s been here before with her Audubon Society, so she gives us a little tour.

Here’s the view when we first walked in.


#3

The ceilings… I was in love with them.


#4

The GF band… notice the 2 guys hamming it up on the right. :laugh:


#5

As we come around the stairs, we see a bride!! A girl getting married in Disney World!!! I stand there and watch her get her picture taken for a while… I’ve never necessarily wanted to get married in Disney, but seeing her there definitely put the idea in my head!! We wandered outside, did some more sightseeing and picture taking… I went down to the beach to get a picture of a sign for Baloo. (we had a debate about whether or not you are allowed to go in the water around the hotels… I said no, he said yes… the sign said NO SWIMMING, but people were wading… so I guess we were both wrong and both right… sort of…but let’s just say I’M right because the official sign says no swimming… and because I’m a girl, and everybody knows girls are always right…) As soon as I get on the sand, my mom screams, “JILL!!!” I turn around to see Cinderella’s carriage coming down the path!!! It stopped at the side of the GF, and the bride came out to meet it. The carriage even had Cinderella’s footmen… they helped her in, and then she princess-waved as they drove her off towards the wedding pavillion… sigh… :wub:

Me and my grandma outside the back door.


#6

The beach… the closest I got to the sign before the distraction. You can kind of see the wedding pavillion in the background…


#7

This one explains itself. :heart:


#8

I love the pictures!!! This sounds like fun, PJ! :wub:


#9

We went back inside and checked in at the Garden View Lounge a little early. They said they could take us, so went in. It’s such a cute setup. You sit on couches and cushioned wicker chairs around little round tables. I felt very Victorian and kind of out of place… I didn’t even know how to hold a teacup. But our server Jennifer led us through the menu and explained everything. We had planned to each get something a la carte and try a little of everything, but we just couldn’t decide, and the servings we were seeing other people get looked pretty small, so we decided to try one of the “offerings” instead - Buckingham Palace. From the allearsnet.com menu:

“Buckingham Palace - Our traditional tea sandwiches, scones and jam tarts complimented by fresh strawberries and cream, or a selection of freshly baked pastries, along with your choice of tea.”

For tea, grandma got the Garden View Bouquet (“a unique mixture created by Harney and Sons exclusively for the Garden View Lounge”), mom got Chamomile (“a tea with the flavor of ripe apples made with the finest Chamomile flowers from Egypt”), and I got Lemon Verbena (“light and refreshing, a favorite during summertime”). We tried each other’s, and we all agreed grandma’s was the best. Tea sandwiches came first. We each got 5 little triangle cut sandwiches - cucumber and watercress, egg salad, chicken salad and almonds, shrimp salad, and cooked pears with melted gorgonzola cheese. My favorite was the chicken salad, mom’s was the pears, and grandma loves egg salad, so hers was no surprise. They were good, but not really filling. Next up, scones and tarts. The scones were AMAZING. And the Devonshire cream they serve with it - twice as amazing. The tart had raspberry jam on it. I don’t think I can choose whether I liked the scone or the tart better! They gave you a tiny little jar of raspberry jam to put on your scone, but the cream was so good, we didn’t even open the jam. By this point, we were full, and very surprised about that. It didn’t seem like we had eaten much, but it definitely filled us up. But dessert was up next, so of course we weren’t about to stop! They offered either strawberries and cream, trifle (which was custard, raspberries, and cream I think), or your choice of 2 pastries off the tier that she brought around. Grandma and mom had the trifle and I had strawberries and cream. We were all in heaven. The cream was so thick and delicious and bad for you… when I couldn’t eat anymore strawberries, I just ate the cream off the top. By now, we were absolutely stuffed. Everything was soooo good. I definitely recommend this to anyone. In fact I’d go so far as to say it’s something to add to your must-do Disney list, at least once!

The GF’s personalized tea cozies.


#10

Jam for the scones! (All together now… “awwwwww”)


#11

The girls. Jennifer was amazed that she was serving “three generations”.


#12

A nice view of the lounge, with Jennifer posing by the pastries.


#13

After some final pictures, we headed back out to the monorail. I asked the CM working there if we could wait for the front of the monorail, and he started flipping through papers at his little stand mumbling something in a very annoyed voice about “if it’s available, no guarantees, I can only fit 4 bodies,” and he never once made eye contact with me. So NOT a Disney CM response! Daniel, if you’re reading this, shame on you!!! Mickey would be very disappointed!!!

We rode over to the TTC and decided to try our luck one more time. I asked the CM here, and he smiled and actually LOOKED at me and directed me down to another CM who could help me. This one too smiled and looked and me and said, “There’s one family waiting already, but if you’d like to wait behind them, another monorail should be about 2 minutes behind the first.” There. THAT is a CM respsonse. :mickey:

So we waited and got to ride up front with a girl who was there for the college program and was absolutely LOVING being a monorail driver. We enjoyed the scenic ride through Epcot, got our monorail licenses, and then followed the crowd back into Epcot. Almost time for our Soarin fastpasses! We did Living With The Land, which is another of grandma’s favorites (and mine too!), and then it was time!! Grandma and I headed in, and without even asking, got what is (in my humble opinion) the best seat in the house - very top row, middle section. Grandma loved it - she kept going “Wow!!” when the scenes changed, and she kept naming the scents. It was so fun, and I’m so glad she liked it as much as I do.


#14

We headed over to Maelstrom next, but we didn’t feel like waiting in the 40 minute line, so we got some fastpasses for about an hour later and headed back to Mexico. We did the boat ride, and by that point we were getting tired, so we sat around in Norway until our time came up, debating whether or not the bird we were hearing was a recording or an actual bird. We did Maelstrom, then backtracked to Canada to finally see the movie. It was pretty good… but I wondered why they didn’t sing “O Canada”… since that’s the name of the show. Or did they, and I didn’t notice?? (I’ll feel really smart if that’s the case, lol…)

By now, it was getting dark, and we still had to drive 2 hours back up to my townhouse. So we made our way back to the front, doing Spaceship Earth along the way. Then it was back to our car and back home!

I had a GREAT time. I love being with my mom and my grandma, and we got to do a pretty good amount of stuff for just a day trip. And we FINALLY got to do the GF tea, which was wonderful. Overall, a perfect Easter break!!

Thanks for reading. :slight_smile:


#15

A few more GF pictures for a closer…

Me and my mom striking a pose. Or something.


#16

Me and the Poly.


#17

My sweetheart sipping tea…hehe…never thought I would date a Princess :slight_smile:


#18

Ok that horse and buggy…makes me want to get married all over again… :wub:


#19

What a great way to spend a day! You have to go back and put Jam on your scone and then the cream on top! There is nothing like it! :biggrin:


#20

What a fun day trip you had. It is so neat that your mom and Grandma enjoy spending the day at Disney as much as you. I loved reading about your Easter trip. Thanks for sharing!