Day four of our eight day trip was our rest and relaxation day. We had a character breakfast at Chef Mickey's, time to explore, Downtown Disney, and resort time planned. On our two trips to Disneyland in California we learned that a non park day in the middle of the trip is essential. Disney is a fun place with so much to see but it is exhausting! For our family two parks days in a row is truly our limit to happy touring. With Epcot and Islands of Adventure under our belts today was our day to rest.
Our Advance Dining Reservation (ADR) for Chef Mickey's was at 10am. I chose that time so we could have a nice slow start to the morning and so we could do two big meals that day instead of three. Part of our package was free dining that included one sit down (table service) and one counter service meal, and one snack per day, per person. Wynter and Brennan were adults for dining and park ticket purposes so they got to eat off the adult menu all week. We shared quick service meals and used our extra quick service and snack credits to cover breakfast so we spent almost no money on food the entire week.
Chef Mickey's is at the Contemporary resort, near the Magic Kingdom. We were staying at the Port Orleans Riverside resort on property so we took a bus to the Magic Kingdom and walked to the Contemporary from there (less than 5 minutes).
Once inside we had to ask where Chef Mickey's was and were directed to the upper floor. The high ceilings and glass windows were impressive. We didn't have much of a wait. The kids traded pins with other kids who were waiting and soon we were having our picture taken and sat at a nice table near a window.
Soon enough the characters were making the rounds and the kids had a lot of fun. The food was a breakfast buffet. The food wasn't bad but honestly I wasn't impressed. The breakfast buffet at Crystal Palace later in the week was much yummier with puffed french toast and breakfast lasagna. The characters all came to our table. Some seemed more rushed than others but Goofy was definitely the best with my kids.
Minnie Mouse signing autographs
Orion spent a lot of the trip in his BabyHawk mei tai so it's hard to see his face in the pictures.
Goofy, being well, goofy!
Phoenix thought it was important that Duffy got in the picture with Orion, Goofy, and I
Last but not least, a visit from Pluto
After we left Chef Mickey's we spent some time in the gift shop. Orion got his first souvenir, a baby mickey with a rattle inside. He loved it! The monorail runs right through the inside of the Contemporary so we decided to check it out. We had no schedule or time table for the day so we set off exploring. We did a loop on the monorail but decided not to get off at any of the other resorts. We had been told the PB & J milkshake at the Disney Swan and Dolphin was not to be missed. We got off the monorail at Magic Kingdom and headed to the Dolphin bus.
It started pouring rain so it was a quick run off the bus and into the Dolphin. The hotel was nice but seemed stuffy to me. We didn't see another family there, mainly business travelers. I believe they hold a lot of conferences at the Swan and Dolphin. It took a bit of wandering around before we found The Fountain.
Since The Fountain was not part of the dining plan we ordered our shakes to go and got 2 shakes for the 5 of us to share. We had to try the PB & J shake since it was so highly recommended and we also tried a peppermint shake. I'm going to be honest, neither shake was worth going out of way for. They were good but the PB & J shake wasn't my favorite. Oh well, we had some exploring under our belts. We tried to get on a boat to leave the Swan and Dolphin but it was lightning so the boats were not running.
Orion's first Mickey ears
We waited for a bus to Downtown Disney since we wanted to explore that area today too. At this point it was pouring rain and it was 2 or 3pm. How did the day get away from us? The first thing we did at Downtown Disney was get Orion some Mickey ears. We looked in some shops but since it was alternating between drizzling and raining hard we didn't want to spend too much time outside.
Don't I look adorable with my Mickey ears on?
Brennan looked scared of the dragon
It's amazing to me how detailed and large of things can be built with Legos!
After looking around the stores and getting rained on some more we decided it was close enough to dinner time (maybe 4pm?) so we'd use a few quick service credits to get dinner at Wolfgang Puck's Express. Wolfgang Puck's did not disappoint and the food was very good.
Phoenix looking cute!
We then set off on our first boat ride of the trip and Orion's first boat ride ever. There was a bit of a wait but the boat ride back to Port Orleans Riverside is so much more relaxing. The scenery is more enjoyable and you're not crowded on a bus for 20 minutes or so. We had a good captain, who was friendly and nice and told us tidbits of information along the ride.
My kids had to sit right in front
Orion found the boat ride very interesting!
Self portrait on the boat
Cutie Pie on the boat
Nate and Wynter started the self portraits
The view from the boat as we entered Port Orleans
It was still raining when we got back to the resort and the pools were closed due to lightning. We checked out the store and played a bit in the arcade. We decided to check out the campfire and roast marshmallows. It was fun but a bit anti-climatic since we camp often and live near the mountains. Eventually the main pool re-opened. It was later in the evening (maybe 8pm?) and the features (slide, fountains, etc.) had been shut off. Since it had been raining off and on all day and was later in the evening it was cooler than I prefer to swim. I spent a little time in the hot tub and watched the kids from the side. I had hoped Orion could swim some during our trip because he loves the water but the only time we made it to the pools was late in the evening when it wasn't quite warm enough for a tiny guy like him.
After about 45 minutes at the pool we headed back to our room to try to get some sleep. The plan for the next day was rope drop and Fantasmic, so a long day. Orion never did sleep in the Pack N' Play so after the first two nights we just gave up and put him in our bed to start. He still woke up 4-5 times each night but at least he nursed and quickly fell back asleep. He does not sleep well in new surroundings.
Next up...Hollywood Studios