Bonnett Creek is, or is practically, on Disney property, right across from Downtown Disney. We managed to stay there before they started instituting a mandatory daily fee to cover things like their shuttle (which we didn't use). (next time we went they had eliminated the daily fee. I guess they realized charging that wasn't a good idea) But the property was very nice. This time we were in building T2.
My room--- the master bedroom
We were doing Disney on a budget, so first thing she did, was take me to some of the Value Resort - the All-Stars--to wander around the property. These seem to be a good value at about $100/night. They were very much Disney and visiting them was a fun free Disney experience. She even told me how you can often take the busses from there to the parks for free (I believe you're suppose to have a room key, but they don't always check for it. In my case, they probably would).
Here we are at All Star Movie Resort.
Love the surfing theme!
"Victorian elegance meets modern sophistication at this lavish bayside Resort hotel. Relax in the sumptuous lobby as the live orchestra plays ragtime, jazz and popular Disney tunes. Bask on the white-sand beach, indulge in a luxurious massage and watch the fireworks light up the sky over Cinderella Castle. Just one stop to Magic Kingdom park on the complimentary Resort Monorail, this timeless Victorian-style marvel evokes Palm Beach’s golden era." Here it'll cost you Around $500+/night.
Here's the ferry dock at the lodge as we were coming into it. "
We looked into eating at the Ohana, but without reservations, we couldn't get in. Looked like my kind of place, though---Hawaiian!
(I'm wondering if this is the beach where a little boy was killed by an alligator in 2016. Yes, there is a little beach here, but this is Florida and alligators make their way into ponds and canals all over Florida. Tragic, but be aware---letting your child play in natural inland waterways in Florida is not a good idea!) and joined the 3 or 4 other people there to watch the parade. It was really cute.
In casual conversation that night, I asked her if she had ever been to Silver Springs Nature Park. What I had read about it sounded interesting. Of course, she had, and said it was a neat place, so the next day--Aprill 23rd, 2012, we headed there.
This day we decided to check out a couple reciprocal gardens of our Missouri Botanical Gardens. Along the way, Coni said we should have breakfast at this cute little German looking restaurant, Chalet Suzanne, that they've eatten at before. " The essence of the Chalet's reputation is its cuisine, food that Gourmet Magazine calls "glorious" ... served in a unique setting of five quaint rooms on many levels, overlooking the lake. Every corner glows with antiques, stained glass and old lamps from far away places."
Having made arrangements to buy land on the hilltop, Bok commissioned Olmsted to change this arid sandhill into “a spot of beauty second to none in the country.” The first year was spent digging trenches and laying water pipes for irrigation, after which rich black soil was brought by the thousands of loads.
With the proper conditions for a subtropical garden in place, the planting of bushes and trees began to provide food for migrating birds. Today, these plantings provide shade to visitors as well as refuge for squirrels and 126 bird species."
Close up of detail on the carillon.
Speaking of ride there, we saw these from the road---
a fresh grill and wine bar that "invites guests to discover the sensational flavors of a seasonally-inspired menu and award-winning international wine list in a casually-sophisticated ambiance".
April 25: Finally---Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival time! Although we got a little later start then expected, thanks to Raglan Road the night before!
April 26, 2012: Animal Kingdom---
I had been here before, but didn't realize it was as large as it is. In fact, it's the largest of the Disney parks. I imagine most of that is the land the safari ride goes through. For some reason, when I went here with my Dad, we totally missed the whole side of the park with Kilimanjaro and the Dinosaur area.
First thing we did was go to Kilimanjaro to get Fast Passes, then walked back towards the Safari ride. On our way, we came across the stadium where the bird show is performed. I also hadn't seen the bird show before, so we stopped to see it. It was cute.
We also passed by the River rafting ride which I hadn't seen before. We did make it back there later, too---and got quite wet.
Another show my Dad and I had passed up was the Lion King performance thinking it was for kids, too. Big mistake! This show was fabulous! Loved all the acrobatics in it.
Just one of the decorations around the park.
This was from the Safari ride (which we took a few times). Love all the "upside down" trees and realistic landscaping.
Not to mention all the animals!
The way they landscaped the place, it was hard to tell that some of the animals were really contained. Looked like they could come and get us at any time. Instead, this one just stuck his tongue out at us.
On our way back to Kilimanjaro. It's really a roller coaster. A pretty neat one, too. Part of the ride is even backwards. We rode it a couple times, too.
Just another view of Kilimanjaro as we walked back that way.
In this Asian's area were a bunch of monkeys.
Not far from Kilimanjaro is the Dinosaur ride and retro area. This was another neat ride that I'm surprised I didn't know about.
One of the retro rides. Made me remember all the traveling carnivals I went to as a kid. Don't seem to see many of them anymore.
There is also a large area where the Tigers are housed with large viewing windows. It's really like a big beautifully landscaped zoo.
Another walk through area that really captivated me was a bird habitat. Loved seeing all the different birds that I've never seen before.
Animal Kingdom closes earlier then the other parks---guess the animals go to bed early. So we were out of there at closing time (7pm) and ate at the Rainforest Café right outside the front gate of Animal Kingdom.