Back in Disney trip report land, today we celebrated our anniversary at Disney’s Animal Kingdom! We got to wake up at the new Villa’s at Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort, with a gorgeous lake and Space Mountain view.
I had a big surprised planned for tonight – a fireworks cruise on the Grand 1! But first, Disney’s Animal Kingdom for the day!
We experienced a Florida first (for us). It was COLD out! It was low 50’s (still warmer than at home), but we’ve never been to a “cold” Florida before. We were not liking it! I guess it just proves how unpredictable Florida January weather can be. We decided that we will no longer be visiting in January anymore, despite it being such a special time for us. I certainly don’t want to risk running into a cold Disney again!
Welcome to Animal Kingdom!
Once in the park, it felt like the temperature dropped another 10 degrees – it. was. so. cold!
We went right to Mt. Everest and found no wait, so we rode twice. I think people were too cold to go on. I totally get it. Typically, Everest is one of our top three rides, but we just couldn’t enjoy it the same in the freezing weather!
Next, it was off to the safari.
This day was so weird! Instead of ice cream, they were selling hot chocolate and gloves! Crazy!
We headed to Dinosaur next, because it’s inside, hello warmth!
Once we got off I checked my phone to see the time (I wanted to make sure we grabbed lunch early-ish in preparation for my surprise tonight!). That’s when I noticed a missed call from a 407 number (Florida’s area code). I listened to the message, and it was from the Grand Floridian Marina. I figured they were calling to confirm tonights plans, so I said I’d be right back and walked off to return their call.
That’s when the lady told me the Grand 1 broke down last night.
To say I was disappointed is an understatement. This was my anniversary surprise!
The lady explained that the Grand 1 broke down the night before, and the part they ordered won’t be in until Saturday (the day we leave). I was shocked. I get these things happen, but it was afternoon by this point. They require a 7 day cancellation, yet I’m hearing about this FIVE HOURS before our cruise is set to depart. Plus, this was my gift to my husband. A Grand surprise. Now I have nothing.
I told the lady to do whatever she could to work her Disney magic and come up with a great substitution. Not for anything, but I was dropping upwards of $1,000+ on the experience. Certainly some other experience could be comparable – it’s Disney! They love taking money!
We already had reservations for dinner at Narcoossee’s. Then my plan was to take a “random stroll” by the marina after dinner, where SURPRISE! We are going to hop on the Grand 1 for dessert and a fireworks cruise!
She called back with the idea of a pontoon boat instead. I was unimpressed. And it was cold out. I mean, not for anything, but a pontoon boat compared to the Grand 1 yacht? Give me a break! For my luxury travelers out there who aren’t familiar with Disney, that’s like comparing a Holiday Inn to a Ritz Carlton. No thanks.
The lady then said we could go to the Magic Kingdom for the fireworks. I said that’s not a bad idea, especially if we were able to view them from a special area in the park. I mean, at this point, I was getting annoyed that I was suggesting things. I was now off on the side a while now, and it was taking away from our day at Animal Kingdom. It makes you appreciate places that just take care of everything for you. This lady should have been prepared with some comparable alternatives upon bearing her bad news.
She said all she could do was give us the tickets to get into the park for fireworks this evening. Talk about being completely frustrated! I get these last minute things happen, but I don’t get why Disney couldn’t help me put something else together? At the end of the day, with now LESS THAN five hours notice, I couldn’t plan anything, and no one was willing to help come up with some amazing alternative. It reminded me of why we decided NOT to get married at Disney in the first place. We knew we wanted a “Disney” wedding, and I’m so glad we opted for The Marriott World Center Resort instead. It was the best decision ever. The Marriott went out of their way for us, and at this moment I was wishing we had chosen to stay there, rather than on Disney property. I was so, so mad.
SUPER bummed, I hung up the phone. I then had to explain what was supposed to happen this evening. I felt so bad that I no longer had this wonderful anniversary surprise. I expected more from Disney, and I was really disappointed by how it was all handled.
We ended up leaving the park. I was honestly just so bummed (and cold, and mad at Disney), that I was over being there. I was actually over Disney. Me.
So later that evening, we set off for dinner at Narcoossee’s, which is located onsite at Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort.
I don’t know if we were just frustrated with our day, but Narcoossee’s ended up being a let down (seriously Disney, you can really suck sometimes). It’s usually one of our favorite Disney restaurants. We typically dine here during special occasions, and our dinners are recognized with confetti, a personalized menu, etc. We were expecting something special this time around (maybe a glass of champagne?), due to all the frustrations we went through with Grand 1. They knew we had dinner reservations here after all, because I had told them, and the lady was having our tickets sent here, and we were supposed to be going to the marina right after.
After dinner, with nothing to do now, we headed over to the Magic Kingdom.
It was SO COLD that we only went on a few (indoor) rides, before heading back to our hotel.
While it wasn’t the anniversary I had planned, being together is always good. I think today was the icing on the cake, though. No more anniversaries in Disney World.