We did the Disney thing with the kids years ago, so we weren’t really interested in going to any of the parks, but we did want to check out Disney Springs (a.k.a. Downtown Disney when we were here before), and get a look at a few of the resorts. We were told that once we arrived at Disney Springs, we could utilize the various methods of transportation to move around to various locations on the property.
We decided to test that theory . . .
Arriving at Disney Springs, we parked in the surface parking lot (Hey – free parking!) at the Westside end of the lake, and took the boat to the other side – the Marketplace.
From the boat, we had a nice few of some of the attractions and restaurants.
There’s no shortage of restaurant options in Disney Springs, along with a music hall, movie theatre, and Circ de Solei.
We didn’t see anybody going up in the giant balloon, but we did see several amphicars out on the water.
In the Marketplace, we strolled through various shops – candy stores,
stores full of art,
and stores full of toys!
There was more Disney merchandise than you can possibly imagine – clothes, artwork, accessories, and of course, stuffed animals!
We continued strolling,
and reached The Landings area of the Springs – more restaurants, lots of high-end stores (with hardly anybody shopping in them!)
Tom found himself a fan club at the Lego Store!
We were getting a little hungry, so we checked out several of the restaurants in the area, finally settling on fish & chips (and chicken & chips) at the Irish Pub. It was a really good, quick lunch . . . and not too outrageously priced, given the fact that we were at Disney!
After lunch, we checked out the Boathouse, where you can eat in a boat . . .
and buy anything you need boat-related . . . including a Rubber Ducky!
Now that we had seen most of Disney Springs, it was time to venture out.
We caught a boat from The Landing that took us to the Old Key West Resort.
We should have taken some time to look around, but instead we jumped right on a bus to the Magic Kingdom, where we would be able to get on the Monorail.
The transportation center at the Magic Kingdom is pretty big (lots of buses – even though one whole station wasn’t being used that day), and we made several wrong turns before we finally found the Monorail Station.
We thought we’d ride the monorail along its whole route . . . but it turns out that it’s pretty old . . . and a rough ride . . . and not too scenic!
We jumped off at the Polynesian Resort to take a look around. The resort was nice – the buildings are arranged like a little village around the pool and main lodge, and there’s a sandy “beach” on the lagoon out back.
There’s a rock barrier and fence between the water and the beach, though.
While we were there, we decided to grab a cooling ice cream treat – pineapple/vanilla swirl – YUM!
Even our ice cream was free! We were standing in line to order (and Tom was complaining about the price of a dish of ice cream), when a guy walked up and told us to put our cash away, he was buying our ice cream. We were shocked and objected, but he said he was leaving for the airport in 12 minutes and still had a bunch of snacks left on his meal plan . . . besides he liked Tom’s Spartan hat (He was from Michigan, too!)
So, he paid for our ice cream, as well as for several people in line behind us! Nice guy – we hope he got home safely – he was flying into a snowstorm on Friday afternoon!
After our treat, we debated getting back on the monorail, but decided against it, and instead took the boat across the lagoon, back to the Magic Kingdom.
Leaving the Polynesian Resort – we had a quick little rain shower as we rode across the lagoon.
We missed seeing the inside of the Grand Floridian Resort; it sure is beautiful from the outside!
As we approached the Magic Kingdom by boat, we caught a glimpse of Cinderella’s Castle in the background.
Back at the transportation center, we got on a bus to the French Quarter Resort in the Port Orleans area.
The French Quarter Resort was very beautiful, and we understand that they have some really good music in the bar on the weekends. We may have to go back . . . this was the only band that we saw!
They look pretty interesting!
The pool looked fun, too.
From the French Quarter, we were able to take another boat back to Disney Springs. It was a nice leisurely ride, and then we were back where we started!
So that was our Disney adventure . . . we had a busy, full day of exploring and we didn’t spend a dime (other than lunch), and never stepped foot into a park! It’s not everybody’s idea of how to spend a day at Disney, but it was fun!