Our 2021 Florida Trip Report continues with our last full day, as we explore some Disney resorts and Disney Springs…
Friday, June 11
It was our last full day of vacation! Unless, of course, you count the all-day drive home as a full vacation day, too. Which it technically is, I suppose. So I should have just started out by saying it was our last full day in Florida. We celebrated by sleeping in, knowing that we would be getting up early the next day to get on the road. I like having a relaxed day on our last day whenever we can.
Once we got up, we followed our usual condo morning routine. We ate breakfast out on the screened-in porch, taking our time and not being in a big rush. The sky once again looked nice and blue with just a few clouds around. We had been blessed with nice weather for just about all of this trip.
After breakfast, we went out to the pool for a while for our last swim there for this trip. For a while, there were some people there who liked to play their music loud. It might have been a little more pleasant if it had not been profanity-filled music. Whatever happened to family vacations? And no matter what sort of music you listen to, not everyone at the pool (or wherever you happen to be) wants to hear it. Just in case you didn’t know.
Anyway, the loud music people left after a while, and a man and his son came. The man complimented me on my similar haircut to his, and he asked me if I put anything on my head for sun protection. I said, “Neutrogena Beach Defense SPF 70. Does the trick for me.” Which is true. He laughed at that because I think he is one of those people like Laura who just naturally tans. But I need all the sun protection that I can get.
Jaylin got tired of hanging out with us old folks. So he went back to our room to change clothes and then went to the condo office to pick up a basketball. He spent a while out on the basketball court. I was happy with the nice, cool pool water instead of the sun on the basketball court, but it was good that he got to do that for a while.
Jaylin came back to where we were at just about the same time that we were getting out of the pool. Apparently, we were all hearing the call of the proverbial dinner bell, since there was not actually a dinner bell ringing. We got changed back into regular clothes, and Jaylin took a shower, and it was time for lunch.
It was a day filled with “lasts”, and this was our last lunch on the screened-in porch. Yes, it was again a little warm and humid out there, but it wasn’t bad at all. We still like eating out there, even after all of this time. Vacation traditions are fun to have.
After relaxing for a bit more, it was time to head out and see the sights. So we got in the car and headed for our last (for this trip) visit to Disney Springs. As usual, we went again to the Orange Garage, once again going to the second level like we had learned to do a couple of days earlier. We parked pretty close to the entrance, walked easily through the security scanners, and rode the escalator down to the ground level.
Hello again, Disney Springs!
It’s a magic carpet ride, cleverly disguised as a bus!
This time around, we boarded a bus to the Fort Wilderness Campground. And once again, there were just a few of us on the bus. That is always nice. The bus dropped us off at the Outpost stop, and so we waited a few minutes for another bus to take us to the Settlement stop. I reminded Laura and Jaylin of how in the old days (my teenage years) there used to be trams instead of buses to take us around the campground. Ah, the good old days.
Tri-Circle-D Ranch at Walt Disney World, home to some happy horses
Our plan was to visit the new Tri-Circle-D horse barn, which had still been under construction during our last visit. We walked over from the Settlement stop to the new barn. And we saw the sign saying that they had closed at 3:00 PM. Nooooo! Why so early? What was the point of that? I guess that is what we get for saving that to the last day. So we looked at the barn from a distance and saw a few horses across the way. On our next trip, we will have to get there earlier. Bummer.
Tri-Circle-D Ranch: Closed! See how the doors are closed? They meant it.
I hope our horses don’t see this. They will be wanting a barn upgrade!
We then walked over to the Trading Post gift shop. And we saw their sign that they were closing at 5:00 PM, which was just a few minutes away. We walked in, and they locked the door behind us. Again, why so early? What do all the campers do for shopping and entertainment in the evenings? Maybe everyone goes to a park or to Disney Springs now, or they just stay at their campsite in the evening.
Settlement Trading Post: Almost Closed!
Instead of riding the bus back to the Outpost and then catching the Disney Springs bus, we decided to do a little more sightseeing in the area. Because we were already there by Bay Lake, we decided to take a boat from Fort Wilderness to the Magic Kingdom. The Bon Voyage arrived, which was slightly larger than the boat of a few days before, and one of the boats that I would more expect to see on Bay Lake. We went through the enclosed center part and out the back to enjoy the open air for our trip across the lake.
Here’s our boat, the Bon Voyage! Named after a Disney movie, of course.
Laura on the boat
Laura and Steve on the boat
Laura, Steve, and Jaylin on the boat. And that’s all for the boat photos.
After our leisurely boat ride, we arrived at the Magic Kingdom. But as usual, we weren’t here to visit the park. We were just passing through.
Hello, Magic Kingdom! The train station looks a little boxy. But that is because they were working on it.
We caught the Monorail for another leisurely ride, this time in the air conditioning and to the Contemporary Resort. But we did not spend much time looking around in the Contemporary this time, since we had just been there a few days earlier. Instead, we went downstairs to catch a bus back to Disney Springs.
This part of the Contemporary Resort, the meeting room lounges, always looks interesting to me. But we only see it as we are going up or down the escalator.
I had not paid that much attention to the clouds starting to gather in the sky. But right after we walked outside and sat down on a bench at the Contemporary bus stop, the clouds overhead decided to rid themselves of their moisture, which began falling as rain. And not a light sprinkle or mist, either. Maybe not the hardest rain that we have had when we were there, but it was a pretty good downpour.
My hope was that the rain would have moved out by the time we arrived at Disney Springs, but it had not. It was still pouring. We got off the bus and got to cover so that we could discuss our options. I had pictured us spending the rest of the evening at Disney Springs and finding somewhere to eat there, but we didn’t really want to be there in the rain.
However, we had a couple of things that we really wanted to get, so we braved the rain a little to get to the Vera Bradley Store, which just happens to be in the enclosed section of Disney Springs. Unfortunately, they did not have what Laura wanted. Jaylin decided he wanted something from Uniqlo, so we braved the still-pouring rain to get there and do some shopping there.
But then, once we had finished at Uniqlo and were about to head out, the rain stopped, just as quickly has it had started. We discussed our options a little more and decided to stick around for a while after all. We all decided on D-LUXE Burger for supper, because we had eaten there a few years before and had enjoyed it pretty well.
When we got to D-LUXE, we discovered that they were only taking mobile orders. So I pulled up the app on my phone and put in our order. Before too long, I got a notification that our order was ready, so we went in, got our food, and found an indoor place to sit. I was glad that we found a place inside, just in case it started to rain again. Our food was good and we were feeling refreshed after eating it.
Disney Springs after the rain. Look at all that blue sky not long after the rain ended!
It still was not raining, so we decided to look around a little more. We once again made our way back around to World of Disney, and we had an even easier time getting in this time than on our first visit a few days before. Basin was another stop, and so was Disney Style. We still did not find what Laura was looking for, but we had a good time being there, especially since we thought we might not get to stay.
Jaylin found some Star Wars friends
Tempest in a teacup. Or just Laura and Steve in a teacup.
By that time, it was dark outside and starting to get late. And we knew that we would be getting up early the next morning to spend all day in the car. So we decided to head out back to the condo for the night.
Goodbye, Coca-Cola Store and Disney Springs!
Even with some slight curves thrown to us by the barn being closed and the rain showers, it had been a good day, and a good way to end up our week there.
See more at the 2021 Florida Trip page!