Friday, February 25, 2022 – A No Park Day
Written by: Mark Plante Published On: April 14, 2022
On our fourth day of out vacation, we planned what we called a “chill day”. We decided that we would not visit any of the theme parks and just take it easy for the day and do some light shopping.
We started out the day by sleeping in a little bit (no 6am wake up!!!). Once we all got up, showered and got dressed, we headed down to get some breakfast.
We decided to head over to Disney Springs to check out the shops. So we hopped into the rental and headed over to I-4 to make the 15-20 minute drive to Disney World property. I had forgotten how bad the traffic is on Interstate 4 in Orlando, let alone on a Friday morning at 9:00 am. Our 15-20 minute drive ended up being almost 45 minutes.
As we arrived, there is now a ramp directly from the highway that goes directly into the Disney Springs parking garages. For anyone that has ever had to make the trek from Interstate 4 to Disney Springs, this ramp is a Godsend. Disney has made tremendous improvements to the infrastructure of the area since the change from Downtown Disney to Disney Springs. The parking garage was very easy to find a parking space and there was only a short walk to the entrance from where I parked. Maybe I was too down on Disney, maybe I over-reacted due to our trip from the previous July. Maybe I was wrong about the way that I felt. NOPE!!! As we entered into the line for security, our frustration with Disney reared its ugly head again.
For my family, one of the biggest and most pleasant experiences that we had will all of our trips was interacting with Disney “Castmembers”. We alway were impressed how they always went the extra mile to make sure that we had a wonderful time during our visit. During our July, 2021 visit we had issues with “Cast Members” that we had never had before. This is one of the reasons that we were not visiting any of the Disney Theme Parks during this visit.
This visit to a Disney property started with an extremely rude Security Guard that must have thought that I was recording the Security Checkpoint, I was not. This Barney Fife wannabe was extremely rude, if not hostile, nothing that I would every expect from Disney. The Orange County Sheriff Deputy that was there just shook his head at him and came to me and said not to worry about it, I wasn’t doing anything wrong. He was nice and wished me a nice day.
As we made it into Disney Springs, it was Disney all the way. It was extremely crowded and everything was way overpriced. This was another thing that had kept us away for Disney this year. Disney’s pricing is absolutely ridiculous! $6 for a bottle of water should be illegal and considered price gouging! Clothing and merchandise pricing was just as bad. My daughter really like this Vera Bradly Handbag, which I knew was going to be pricy. She had gotten Disney Dollars that she wanted to spend on the handbag. When she looked at it, she immediately put it back down. I asked her why she put it back and she said that she is not waisting $129 on a handbag, even if it is Disney Dollars that I am spending.
This was disheartening, because my daughter had been talking about this bag for several months now. She later told me that two to three weeks before we went on vacation, the handbag was on the Disney website for $89.
At this point it was about 3PM and we decided to head back to the hotel and do some relaxation time at the pool.
Again, having to drive Interstate 4 from the Disney area to the Universal area was a nightmare. It took us almost an hour to get back to the hotel.
Once back in our room, we got changed into our swimsuits and headed down to the pool.
The three of us spent about two hours in the pool, it was very relaxing. Pro Tip: If your feet and legs are sore from walking in the parks during your vacation… float around in the pool for a half an hour or so. My feet and legs felt wonderful after that.
By the time we finished eating Supper, it was around 8PM and we decided to go back to the room and crash. This gave my wife and daughter time on their phones, an I was able to grab my camera and do some exploring of the resort. After that, we called it an early night and headed to bed.
On Saturday, we will be heading over to SeaWorld Orlando. My family has not been there in over eight years. The last time that we went my daughters LOVED it. I am wondering if it is still as much fun as I remember.