Our 2021 Florida Trip Report continues with a day visiting the Magic Kingdom Resorts, walking, and riding boats and Monorails…
Wednesday, June 9
We had gotten well into our good vacation mode by this day, following our standard pattern from the previous day. Some call it a rut, I call it a good vacation.
Once again, we did not sleep too late, but we also did not get up too early. We once again enjoyed our breakfast on the screened-in porch, enjoying the slightly cooler morning air before things got to be more warm and humid. It looked like another beautiful day, and the weather forecast was not calling for much of a chance of rain, so everything was pointing toward another good day.
After breakfast, we headed down to the condo pool for some swimming. Not to sound like a broken record, but it was another great day at the pool. A few people came and went while we were there, but overall it was rather calm and quiet. Warm sun, cool water, nice shade - what more could you ask for?
Never complain about a good pool day
Lunch was back on the porch again. Yes, it was a little warmer and more humid than at breakfast, but it was still definitely bearable. Peanut butter and jelly sandwiches always seem to hit the spot after a morning in the pool. And it is always nice just to sit on the porch, enjoy the view, and relax a bit.
After all of that relaxing, we got in the car and headed out to Disney Springs, enjoying the scenery as we drove along. The Orange Garage was once again our garage of choice. This time, we decided to go to the second level for parking, which still had plenty of spaces. That also put us on the same level as the walkway to Disney Springs. Riding the escalators between levels is not that big of a deal, but parking on the second level still saved us a few steps. And I once again had my smaller camera bag without all of the extras and accessories, so that I was able to breeze right through the security scanner.
Jaylin and Laura at Disney Springs waiting for the bus
This time around, we had in mind some different destinations from the previous day’s adventures. So once the right bus for us came along, we boarded and rode over to the Wilderness Lodge.
Inside the lobby of the Wilderness Lodge
We always enjoy looking around in the Wilderness Lodge, because it has such an interesting design and atmosphere. We did skip the Iron Spike Room this time around, but we looked around in the main gift shop, and we took in the sights of the main lobby for a few moments, too.
Finishing up our time inside, we walked outside to enjoy the views there as well. There are so many great locations around the stream, waterfalls, and rocks of that area. The views down by Bay Lake aren’t that bad, either. I always end up with lots of photos from the Wilderness Lodge.
Laura and Jaylin outside at the Wilderness Lodge
All three of us at the Wilderness Lodge
We had planned to catch a boat from the Wilderness Lodge to the Fort Wilderness Campground. However, we discovered that boats were only running to the Magic Kingdom and not to any of the other resorts. We made a quick change in our plans and decided to postpone visiting Fort Wilderness until later. Instead, we would go visit the Magic Kingdom resorts. It is good to be flexible, especially on vacation. Just go with the flow. That’s what we do.
Walking to the Wilderness Lodge boat dock
When the boat to the Magic Kingdom arrived, it was a different boat than what we had been on before. This one was the Calm Seas, and I believe it had been one of the Discovery River boats in Animal Kingdom, although I could be wrong about that. Laura was happy because it was an open boat and we would not have to ride inside. I liked it because it was something new.
Here comes the Calm Seas!
Aboard the Calm Seas, with the Contemporary Resort up ahead
We’re on a boat!
Along the way, we passed one of the more enclosed boats, which I think was heading to Fort Wilderness. I always like how so many of their boats are different. Variety is fun. We also had to wait while the ferry boats crossed in front of us before we could continue on to the Magic Kingdom. As the boat captain said, that is one battle that our boat would definitely lose.
Hello, other boat! (aka the Mermaid I)
Ferry boats come and go
As we left the boat at the Magic Kingdom dock, one cast member asked us where we were headed, because I guess it was pretty obvious that we were not actually going to the Magic Kingdom. We said that we were going to walk to the Grand Floridian. Another cast member chuckled and said it might be a little warm for that walk. It would be, but we could handle it.
Walking along the walkway to the Grand Floridian
This was our first trip since they had opened the walkway between the Grand Floridian and the Magic Kingdom with the bridge over the service canal. We had often walked to where the walkway ended at the canal, but now we could keep on going, which was pretty cool. It was indeed warm, but not too hot. I was interested to see how the lights along the walk changed from the Magic Kingdom style to the Grand Floridian style. It was interesting to approach the Grand Floridian from a different direction and see a different side of it than what we usually see. And it was fun to watch the Monorails pass by on one side, while the boats passed by on the other side. And it was just fun to do something that we had not done before, too. Maybe it was because of the heat, or maybe it was because of the distance between the Grand Floridian and the Magic Kingdom (slightly longer than the walk from the Contemporary to the Magic Kingdom), or maybe it was something else, but there were no other people out on that path, so it was nice to have it all to ourselves.
About to take our first trip across the new bridge
A Monorail crosses the canal that leads to the backstage area of the Magic Kingdom
Hello there, my fine feathered friend!
Once we got inside the Grand Floridian, we saw that there was a bridal photo shoot going on. I’m guessing that happens rather often there. Unfortunately, the orchestra was not there, and I would guess that was due to COVID. We always enjoy checking out all of the shops at the Grand Floridian, so we made sure to stop by all of them this time, too. Because of the heat, we also got bottled Cokes for Laura and me and a Sprite for Jaylin at the Gasparilla Grill restaurant before going along on our way.
Inside the Grand Floridian. You can see the bride from the photo shoot at the second level.
Saying farewell to the Grand Floridian as we continue our walk
We continued our walk along the path, stopping to take some photos in front of the fountain along the walkway. To me, it is a slightly odd place for a fountain. But because of its location, there are not usually people wanting to take a photo there. Or maybe that is because it is not exactly an “iconic” fountain. Not that there is anything wrong with it or anything. Anyway, we took our photos and then moved on.
The three of us with the Grand Floridian fountain in the background
We walked through the Wedding Pavilion without really stopping. I did not even take any photos there this time, which is slightly unusual. I guess it is difficult to top some of the ones that I have taken in the past.
But what really slowed us down, and what probably deterred me from my photo-taking, was the sign that the walkway to the Polynesian Village Resort was closed. Actually, the entire resort was still pretty much closed, including the walkway to get there. So that more or less ended our walk around Seven Seas Lagoon. Except, of course, that we had to walk back to the Grand Floridian from there. But that was not a very far walk. And we still had our soft drinks to help us keep cool.
Back at the Grand Floridian, we boarded the Monorail for a ride to the Contemporary Resort. I was interested to see that the Monorail car interiors were divided into “compartments” by plastic dividers. Those dividers would keep someone from coughing or breathing directly on you, I suppose, but their breath could still go over or under the dividers. That left me wondering how effective they really were. But I suppose Disney could say that they were at least trying to do something.
We’re on a Monorail!
As is normal, the Monorail stopped for a minute at the Magic Kingdom, and it was interesting to see all of the people arriving there for an afternoon in the park. Then after a few short minutes, we arrived at the Contemporary Resort.
A Monorail and the Magic Kingdom, with some slight construction going on
We did our usual looking around in the Contemporary, although we skipped the Fantasia shop out in the middle of the lobby. But we did look around as usual in the Bay View Gifts shop. I think because of the time and because we were all getting hungry, we did not linger at any of the resorts as long as we sometimes do. We then took the escalators down to the ground level and went out to the bus stop to wait for a bus.
The Mary Blair mural in the Contemporary Resort
The two of us and some art in the Contemporary Resort
Once our bus arrived, we rode back to Disney Springs. We looked around at a few more shops there, walking over to the Christmas shop and a few others in that area. And then we enjoyed a leisurely stroll back to the Orange Garage and our 2nd floor parking space. Because of where we parked, we actually used a different exit from the garage than what we usually use, but we were able to figure out where we were and get going in the right direction without any trouble.
Another evening at Disney Springs
Hasn’t that guy ever seen Up? He’s about to float away!
We made a grocery stop at Target on our way back to the condo, so that we could get a pizza for supper and some supplies for the next day. Back at the condo, we ate our pizza while we watched the live stream of our Wednesday night church service from back home. On these vacation days, it is sometimes difficult to remember what day it is, but fortunately, we knew it was Wednesday. We then watched the first episode of Loki on Disney+ on my iPad, because that was the premiere of that first episode. It was interesting, but it was obviously going to take some more episodes to know for sure what was happening.
It had been a busy day, but also a fun day. We went off to bed to rest up for the adventures of the next day.
Check back soon for more from our 2021 Florida Trip!