Back in Disney trip report land, today we celebrated our anniversary at Disney’s Animal Kingdom. Our fourth wedding anniversary to be exact! I got to wake up at Disney’s Grand Floridian (with a gorgeous lake and Space Mountain view). Life is pretty good.
I also woke to a great (Disney) anniversary surprise!
My gift to Josh would come as a surprise tonight – a fireworks cruise on the Grand 1! But first, we’re off to Animal Kingdom!
We grabbed a bus to the park and experienced a first for us – COLD Florida weather! While it was low 50’s (still warmer than at home), we’ve never experienced a “cold” Florida before, and we are not liking it! Today proved just how unpredictable Florida January weather can be. In fact, thanks to today, we’ve determined that we will no longer be visiting in Florida in January, despite it being such a special time for us. We just don’t want to risk running into a cold Disney again!
So off we go to Animal Kingdom!
Once in the park, it felt like the weather dropped another 10 degrees – it was so cold! We went on Mt. Everest twice, as there was no wait. I think people were too cold to want to go on. Typically, Mt. Everest is one of our top three rides, but we just couldn’t enjoy it the same way we usually do, not in this freezing weather!
Next, it was off to the safari.
We were still freezing our butts off, and so was everyone in the park! Instead of ice cream, the stands were selling hot chocolate and gloves! Crazy! We headed to Dinosaur next, because it’s inside, hello warmth!
When we finished, I checked my phone to see the time (I wanted to make sure we grabbed lunch early in preparation for my surprise tonight!). That’s when I noticed I missed a call from a 407 number (which is 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 told Josh I would be right back, and walked off to call them back.
That’s when the lady told me the Grand 1 broke last night. To say I was disappointed is an understatement. This was my anniversary surprise to Josh!
The lady explained to me that the Grand 1 broke the night before, and the part they need in order to fix it won’t be coming in until Saturday (the day we leave). I asked the lady what else can be done!? I mean, they require a 7 day cancellation policy, yet I’m hearing about this FIVE HOURS before our cruise is set to depart. This was my surprise gift to Josh! 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! I was desperate and willing to pay. I really wanted a great anniversary surprise for Josh.
So we already had reservations at Narcoossee’s that evening, and during our “random stroll” by the marina after dinner, I planned on surprising Josh with the fireworks cruise on the Grand 1. The lady offered a pontoon boat instead, and 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 via a special area in the park. I mean, at this point, I was getting annoyed that I was suggesting things rather than enjoying Animal Kingdom. Makes you appreciate resorts like the Four Seasons, who just take care of everything for you. This lady should have been prepared with some comparable alternatives upon bearing her bad news. Instead, she now informed me she couldn’t secure a special viewing area either. Talk about getting frustrated! I get that these last minute things happen, but I don’t get why Disney couldn’t help me put something together? At the end of the day, with five hours notice, I couldn’t plan anything, and no one was willing to help come up with something amazing. It reminded me of why we chose NOT to get married in Disney, and instead at the Marriott World Center Resort. The Marriott went out of their way for us. Disney did not. At this moment, I wish we had chosen to stay there, rather than on Disney property. I was so mad at Disney, the Grand Floridian, you name it.
Bummed, I hung up the phone and went to meet Josh. I then had to explain to him what was supposed to happen this evening, and apologize for now having nothing. Josh, of course, was great, even though I felt so bad that I no longer had this wonderful anniversary surprise for him. This was my big (and only) thing, and at the end of the day, we both expected more from Disney. We were disappointed by how the situation was 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. In fact, I was over Disney, period.
So, later that evening, we set off for our anniversary dinner at Narcoossee’s, located right in the Grand Floridian.
I don’t know if we were just frustrated with our day, but Narcoossee’s ended up being a let down too (seriously Disney, you can really suck it sometimes). Usually, Narcoossee’s is 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 really were expecting something special this time around (maybe a glass of champagne?), due to all the frustrations we went through with Grand 1 (the Grand Floridian knew we had dinner reservations here after all). Of course, with Disney, more often than not you’re a number, and the personalized service is nonexistent. So after dinner, we ended up just heading over to the Magic Kingdom for the electric parade and fireworks.
It was definitely no Grand 1 experience, but what are you gonna do? It was SO COLD, that we only went on a few indoor rides before heading back to the hotel.
While it wasn’t the anniversary I had planned, it was still a good anniversary overall. I mean, being with Josh always is. I think, however, we determined no more anniversaries in Disney World. In fact, I hate to say it, but today left us feeling totally over Disney World in general. If we don’t return for a while, sadly, I’d be okay with that. Anyway, in true anniversary fashion, check out my annual ring shot!