Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Day 63 - Fort Wilderness, FL

It rained a little bit this morning.  Just enough to get the sidewalks damp, but it did rain.  Our first task was to contact the insurance company to report yesterday's accident.  I have nothing but nice things to say about Liberty Mutual.  By the end of the conversation we had an appointment at a place near our next camping spot to get the whale's belly all checked out.  That was a relief (and will be more of a relief when she gets seen).  This did help me to get my resolve back. I admit to wishing I was home yesterday.  Brett suggested we take a "transportation outing" so off we went.  Our first leg was a walk to the Ft. Wilderness boat dock and a sail over to the Contemporary Hotel. 
The monorail station is on the upper level of the hotel.  This allows you a chance to browse all the shops and spend lots of money if you care to.  We did a little look around and then went up to the station to catch the train. 

The Wiz and The Ms. say "greetings" from the monorail.  I will need to see about getting longer arms in order to take these front facing photos of the two of us.  We opted to stay on the train for a full circle ride around the Magic Kingdom resorts loop and debarked at the Polynesian Hotel.  It is always fun to just sit and watch the people for a time.  As it was still morning, most were still smiling and cheerful.  It gets to be another story entirely by the end of the day when tempers are short and the kids are cranky.

The Grand Floridian is on this monorail loop.  It was modeled after the Hotel del Coronado in San Diego.  I've stayed at the del Coronado before and they do look remarkably similar.  We've never stayed at the Grand Floridian.  It is way too expensive.

This is looking down from the monorail station level into the lobby of the Polynesian.  The hotel has a (surprise!) Polynesian theme and decor.  The atrium has an enormous jungle with a water fall.  We got a cup of coffee and a pastry here and did some more serious people watching.  The lobby has a number of very comfortable and well located seating areas from which to watch the world.  We tried to guess which groups of people were just arriving.  Possibly too easy since they tended to look very tired (from getting up early to get to the airport) and were often encumbered with a number of carry on bags.  Disney transports luggage for you if you use their Magical Express buses from the airport so we didn't see may people with lots of big suitcases.

We were the only passengers on the boat from the Polynesian to the Magic Kingdom.  Here we are pulling away from the hotel dock.  The pool features a water slide inside a mock volcano.  There is a fairly pretty beach as well but Disney does not allow swimming in Bay Lake.  I think it's because of either alligators or some kind of brain eating bacteria (or both).  The temperature wasn't too hot today but it was very pleasant riding in the boat with the breeze blowing.

The Magic Kingdom is not directly accessible from the  parking lots at the Transportation and Ticket Center.  You have to ride either the monorail or one of the ferry boats.  This is a ferry arriving at the Magic Kingdom docks just as we were docking.

We up to the turnstiles so that I could get a few more photos.  The park is all dressed up for Christmas already.  It looks very nice but I'm not ready for that holiday just yet.

I finally grabbed a decent shot of the monorail while we were waiting for our boat ride back to the campground.  I don't think that the parks were too crowded today.  None of our vehicles were packed and the entrances and walkways were pretty much empty.  This is definitely not the case on a busy day.  We mistakenly visited once at Easter (honestly I did not know it was Easter when I booked) and the crowds were shoulder to shoulder everywhere.

A nap called so Brett answered.  After a brief rest, we rode the bicycle over to the Wilderness Lodge. 
This hotel is Disney's homage to the grand lodges built in the western national parks.  Having just been to Yellowstone and the Old Faithful Inn I can say that I do see the resemblance.  The landscaping here is beautiful.  They've got a river running through the lobby which goes outside and becomes a waterfall.  There is also a Disney version of a geyser that erupts on a regular schedule.  We stopped at their "food court" to get some dinner and had a good cheeseburger for a decent price.  We were able to pedal back home before it got dark and are now relaxing with an adult beverage.

A day of boats, monorails and bicycles.  Very moving!

1 comment:

  1. From the monorail, I saw a huge alligator on the shore of Bay Lake over by where the float parade docks for the night.