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About slices

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    Fort Fiend

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    Bradenton, Florida

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  1. slices

    Food & Wine

    I'll be there, planning this rather last minute but looks like we will be at the Fort from the Friday to the Monday, and doing Epcot on the Sunday. Not done Food and Wine before so looking forward to it.
  2. slices

    Tent camping in July with Family!

    Here's a bonus post. We still had the plusses to use and felt bad about not doing a waterpark, so two weeks after this we drove to Typhoon Lagoon for the day. Really wish we'd gone sooner, we were all really impressed. Next time I'm getting a large locker when they say one backpack in a standard they mean a small backpack. This would have been easier if we'd gone from the Fort, we would have gotten there earlier, be able to charge to the magic bands, and not needed to carry a credit or gift card on me, and would have gotten towels for free. Got there about 11, a little surprised there is no bag check here. Took advantage of as many photos as we could as we still had a valid memory maker and we left our phones in the locker so not too many photos. I wouldn't mind getting an inexpensive waterproof camera for next time, anyone have any recommendations? Saw a range from what looked like expensive cameras, phones in those pouches, go pros and even a few people just holding their phone in the wave pool with no case! Got a locker and then found some chairs by the wave pool, did this for a bit and the kids did the bay slides. Then we got a couple of the refillable cups and went to get some lunch at Leaning Palms. I had to run back to the locker to grab a credit card because, although we'd bought a Disney gift card with us I forgot about the cost of the drink cups. Anyway, no photos of lunch but the kids had pizza. I don't know why they keep insisting on pizzas when they aren't very nice. I had the chipotle chicken rice bowl and was very impressed. Much nicer than I would have expected at a water park. Since we'd only gotten two refillable cups, I got a beer. Didn't get the souvenir cup this time. After this we head to the lazy river, getting into those tubes isn't easy. My wife eventually gets one of the chair shaped ones, which is a lot easier. My son and I get out before the others and end up meeting them back by the wave pool. Headed to the slides next, the kids did Keelhaul Falls and Mayday Falls, and my wife joined us on Gankplank falls. I really enjoyed Keelhaul found it quite relaxing. Had a two-hour drive back so, went to get ice cream before getting changed and leaving. Had a quick look in the shop, thinking of getting a rash guard shirt but didn't see anything worth buying given the prices. We keep meaning to get over to Beaches and cream and do the kitchen sink, but this is the sand pale. Just as well we were leaving now as a storm was starting. Will definitely do a waterpark again, was much better and a lot more shaded than we expected. The only other park I've done was Wet and Wild before it closed and I guess I was expecting more like that. Still at some park days and plusses to use but this is it for this trip.
  3. slices

    Tent camping in July with Family!

    Yep a lot more relaxed once she went to All Star Movies, and as far as I know we are still speaking to her. Afterward, she basically said that she wanted to do Disney so much she just ignored what it would be like until she got there. I think most of the tents I saw had some kind of A/C rigged up. A few portable units with the hoses vented out of the door, a lot of units pushed against sides of tents using tarps. Obviously all slightly inefficient, however, I imagine it's a little more workable with modern tents. Thinking of the scout tents I used in the 80s which didn't even have a fitted groundsheet, not that AC was needed camping in England.
  4. slices

    Enter to WIN MNSSHP Blog Party

    I entered, although my wife doesn't finish work until 6pm at the moment and we're a couple of hours away so not sure what we'd do.
  5. slices

    Tent camping in July with Family!

    On to the last day. I thought packing up would be quicker with the instant up tents but there was still a lot to do. First set back of the day was that due to squirrels we were out of tea pods, my wife wasn't happy. She decides to go and get breakfast and a tea from Trails End Takeout while I start taking stuff down. A little after this the kids are getting wound up so my wife takes them to Disney Springs, with the thought of maybe going onto Typoon Lagoon afterward. I heard the people on the site next door telling their kids to go and sit in the camper so it wasn't just us. Packing up in the heat took longer than I thought it would, next time I'm going to ask for a late checkout I was cutting it rather close. Not helped by putting my car keys down in the trunk! I'm not bringing two tents again unless I have another adult capable of helping me take them down. I get packed, move the car and head over to Disney Springs. All hot and tired so we just decide to have lunch and go home. I was a little frustrated at this point as we'd paid extra for park hopper plusses this time. Also, we really wanted to do a waterpark over the summer. The kids while off school are doing an unplugged challenge, where they had 100 activities to complete, one of these was a waterpark. I wanted to try the Polite Pig but there was some thought that table service would be better and my son is now on a bit of a Rainforest kick. Ok fair enough, the previous trip had gotten me some bonus points so I had $25 off there anyway, A quick stop in Goofy's Candy Company, not been here before I was impressed. One of the other challenges was to go on a carousel, managed that one. Bus back to the Fort and then in the car and headed home. It wasn't a bad trip but there are some things I'd do differently next time. At this point we have 4 pluses and 3 park hopper days to use by January 2019, so we will be back.
  6. slices

    Prepping for rain

    Was at the fort last month and it was a rather wet 4th. No problems with my two tents as long as we made sure everything was zipped. I had sprayed the smaller tent with water proof spray before hand, not sure how much difference it made. My EZ up canopy leaked a lot, ended up tying guy lines to the corners of a large tarp and pulling it over the EZ up. It worked quite well.
  7. slices

    Tent camping in July with Family!

    Had a fairly slow start on the 5th, all the rain has cooled things down a bit which helped. Not sure if it was the rain or my scrubbing off bbq sauce but the road trip wouldn't light when I went to make breakfast. Annoyingly I had a bbq lighter I had taken out of the camping supplies. Well off the shop to get some matches. Will bring a cover for the grill next time as well. We had intended on going to Blizzard Beach but my daughter was still feeling a bit rough so I took my son to the arcade for a bit. On the way back we stopped at the meadows again and got an icecream for him and his sister. Will bring a cooler back next time, or buy one of the polystrene boxes they sell. A bit soft by the time we got back to the site. I also bought myself this. Headed to the pool after this. Sinead met us there, after locking her self out of her hotel room due to the fact that she now has two magic bands and didn't link them. Good to know it wasn't just Fort WIlderness she didn't like, she had a few things to say about all Star Movies as well. I don't think value hotels are for her either. I'd booked trails end for dinner, in hindsight I would have gone somewhere else as Sinead was prone to be negative about anything at the Fort. I enjoyed it, but we were hot and tired and I think it would have been a nicer experience otherwise. Pointed Sinead in the direction of Bay Lake, after this and never saw her again. Sinead got the boat back to Magic Kingdom and then bus onto her hotel and got packed and ready to leave.
  8. I was waiting for this to be announced, as I have a day to use at some point this year. Nothing that really appeals though, other than the Disney Springs ones.
  9. slices

    Tent camping in July with Family!

    Not quite.
  10. slices

    Tent camping in July with Family!

    We get back to the Fort, my daughter wants to swim so I take her to the pool by the cabins, unforatntly by the time we get there, it's closed due to the storms. We get on the bus to the Meadows and meet the others. Rain's pretty heavy, so I make a run for it while they wait it out. Fine with me, gave me a chance to get started on dinner. A lot of prepping in the instant pot for the ribs and potato salad, by the time the I needed to use the grill the rain had gone off. When I go to get the grill ready, I'm out of gas. I do have the hose adapter for the coleman roadtrip but given the amount of stuff in the car I'd bought the smaller gas canisters instead. Changed over to my spare one and I was good to go. Both were new at the start of this trip, so I'd managed more cooking than I'd thought. They made it back to the site, and Sinead took Thomas to the arcade for a bit. By the time we were ready to eat it was warm and humid again so the flies were out in force, ended up eating in the EZ up. I saw quite a few sites with popup screen rooms over the picnic table, may look into that for next time. The buns for the burgers hadn't survived so ended up just eating them with the potato salad. We hung out for a bit, it was good to be around other people celebrating. It was still hard being the first year since my father in law had passed, but a little easier for being around people. My daughter wasn't feeling well, so I stayed with her while everyone else went to watch the golf cart parade. Got a few photos though. My son wanted to do the watermelon eating contest but the kid's contest ran out of spaces just before he got there to sign up, wasn't happy so they hit the arcade and again. I took him back to the beach for fireworks, just as we get to the bus top it starts to rain, and it doesn't stop. When we get up to the Settlement I suggest we shelter for a bit but he's determined to get the glow stuff out. He's then cold and wet and wants to go, I suggest shelerting a few places and maybe a snack but no he's fed up and the fireworks were delayed. Sinead hasn't joined us and has stayed back at the campsite due to the rain which I understand, had we'd gotten to the bus stop a minute later I would have done the same. We head back to the site, splashing in puddles as we go. The EZ up is leaking slightly my wife had managed to get a tarp covering one side by herself, I help her get the larger tarp we had with us over the entire thing, and it actually worked well and was fairly dry. Will set this up sooner next time. Made my son a hot chocolate and got him dried off. Sinead is surprisingly still here, had intended to get a Mini Van but couldn't figure out how to order one. She just realized she needed the lyft app when I got back. Got a few photos of the fireworks from behind the site
  11. slices

    Tent camping in July with Family!

    On the fourth! As usual, I'm a foreigner talking about American holidays, I'll do my best.. After sitting around the day before we decided a breakfast out today was probably best, we'd agreed to meet Sinead at Rainforest at Annimal Kingdom. However, my son slept quite late so some toast and coffee first. While I waited for the toast He woke up eventually and we got the bus to AK, just after 10AM, when we got to Rainforest but getting seated for breakfast, wasn't a problem. Helps to have a Landry card. Felt a little strange going through security at a theme park but not going in, still got some things in the shop at Rainforest and the small Disney gift shop there. I finally joined the rest of the family and bought myself a pair of Mickey Icon Crocs. Headed back to the Fort, after reminding Sinead that we didn't want the bus to Wilderness Lodge. They do Tonga tosat, it's different than the stuff at the Polly but sill nice.
  12. slices

    Tent camping in July with Family!

    We get back to the site and it's rained, looks like I'd forgotten to make the sure the tents were zipped at the bottom before I left, oops. Fortunately, both the beds are both away from the front of the tents so it's just some clothes that got damp. Not a problem that's what the laundry rooms are for. Screen room was pretty much ok, other than someones open suitcase being left all over the floor from when they delivered it from the magical express. So I go off to do laundry air what I can of the rest and star locating Sinead's stuff so she can pack and get over to Movies when she gets back. Also, have a chat with the family who have set up a hybrid next door. Meanwhile, they survive the dress shop being buying much, my wife already has two dresses from there. Surprised that Sinead didn't buy much though, I know she had quite a small case but she asked us if we'd mind mailing stuff for her. I hope I didn't put her off buying anything when I said that we could but to ask about the shipping service in the store. After the shops they went to the Disney photo studio, again trying to eek value out of the memory maker. Then onto Raglan Road, mostly because my wife had won a gift card for there. We had originally, planned on having lunch here before deciding on Planet Hollywood, both because of the gift card and I figured Sinead would enjoy it. My wife and Sinead both had a hard cider but were still full from lunch. My daughter was somehow hungry, so had a fish and chips. Last time she was here she had a burger and didn't like it, so glad she enjoyed the fish and chips, I've had them from cookes of dublin next for and agree they are the best I've had since moving. At least she just had a kids portion this time, we've generally been getting her adult meals now she's ten but with the big lunch, this was probably a better idea. After that, they head back via, Wilderness Lodge, mostly to check it out but also because their bus stop is closer. My daughter didn't seem impressed "It's not glamping it's just a hotel" They get back and pack, and I order Sinead a Minnie Van and she headed off. Felt a lot more relaxed after that. Decided on take out for dinner, could we all try one of the new combo meal (daughter wasn't sure about the chicken last time)? No that would be too sensible. I grab our drink cups and walk up to the Settlement. I hadn't actually walked it before, and from 1500 it was quite a nice walk. Order the food, and then pop into the shop. I get myself a new Mickey mug so I can make coffee without it overflowing and a few other bits. Was hoping to get some beer, as I didn't bring any with me from home. My wife bought hard cider, as she doesn't like the Angry Orchard stuff they sell in the shops there, but if I drank any more of that she wouldn't be happy. Wasn't impressed with the beer selection compared to the meadows. I fill up the drink cups, secure them in my backpack and get the food. Decide that walking back with a pizza box and the bag of food is a bit awkward and get the bus. Probably should have walked, the mono and boats were down right then so lots of people waiting for buses. After dinner, my wife headed over to the meadows and bought me the beer back, so that I would stop drinking her cider.
  13. slices

    Tent camping in July with Family!

    Moving, on. We get to Dinsey Springs just after 11. A quick stop in stance. I did overhear something interesting in there, not too surprisingly what they stock is restricted by there agreement with Disney, so no Universal stuff. Next onto lunch at Planet Hollywood, I planned this because Sinead had seen the giant milkshakes they do at Toothsome Chocolate Emporium on City Walk. I didn't fancy a trip over there so suggest planet Hollywood. I know it had some bad reviews but I liked it, eating there was definitely an experience. Booked via open table in case we had to change the reservation although it wasn't an issue. I needed a beer and went for the souvenir glass. We were hungry so got the appetizer 'platter' that came on a Ferris wheel. Probably wouldn't get this again, and in case you were wondering it doesn't move. I enjoyed the videos on the ceiling. Some music videos, as well as the table cameras. I had a veggie burger for a change, quite nice and filling. Sinead hadn't been eating much, but now she had a hotel booked she seemed better. We were pretty full after that, but we had to try the shakes. So we got two and four straws. A quick stop in the shop here to get my glass, and then they went off to the Coke store, while I got some more photos on the way out of Planet Hollywood. My wife had been desperate to check out the new Disney Style store and promptly bought two Orange Bird shirts. My son seemed a little tired by this point but we wanted to check out World of Disney after this, I like the refurb a lot more open before, more chance of finding my wife and daughter. My son and I hit the Lego store, where he had a nice chat about animation techniques in the Lego Movie with a Cast Member. He was quite tired now, so a quick stop in the dress shop to give my wife the TiW card, and Raglan Road gift card. Then we headed back to the bus stop, with a quick stop at Joffery's for smoothies. You know you've been in FL too long when you are ordering things called Flamingo Frost. We seemed to have quite a wait as there were a lot of Typhoon Lagoon buses due to the weather.
  14. slices

    Tent camping in July with Family!

    The shirts are normally a big help at Theme parks, especially at universal where he got a special meet and greet for Optimus Prime just because the staff saw his shirt, we didn't even say anything. The downside is that it can invite unexpected comments, last Thanksgiving at Epcot someone did go up to my son and tell him he was misbehaving and not autistic. Yes not inviting her to anything else, I guess I'm not ruling out having her staying with us at home entirely, but certainly not going on vacation with her again. My wife wasn't sure what she was thinking, well I think we expected Sinead to say no. While I roughing it slightly is accurate, it's all rather relative. I couldn't fit any more gadgets in the mini van, I had 2 ACs, an instant pot, a coffee machine, a TV and a chandelier. The only way I could manage any more is to buy a camper. While yes it was still tent camping in July, to my mind it was far nicer than the last trip I did in England before we moved and way better than the church and scout camps I did years ago. I do wonder what Sinead would have been comfortable with, there was a hybrid camper on the site next to us and she didn't seem overly keen on the idea of that, I think it may have been the tent ends putting her off. Well, she's safely back in MA now.
  15. slices

    Tent camping in July with Family!

    My chomebook just crashed and lost my last update. DIdn't have anything planned the next morning until Disney Springs, so cooked breakfast, nobody felt like eating out and people wanted time to get ready so that was good. Sorry if the next bit comes across a bit ranty. we had breakfast and thought all was good, then Sinead decideds she's changing her flights and staying in a hotel. Ok, caught me off guard as I thought things were better. I offered to go to Walmart and buy her a camp cot or anything else that would help. No nothing anyone could do, she just hates it there. She could have phrased that a little more gently but oh well, we sit down and go over her options. If I do any Disney trips for family again I'm booking it through a travel agent! As I said earlier I thought she was willing to come out of her comfort zone and do camping because she really wanted to do Disney. So we asked her why it wasn't what she was expecting, she said that she wanted to do Disney so much she ignored the fact that she wouldn't like it There is a slight difference there which is where we went wrong. Also as it was Disney camping she thought it would be nicer and more magical, not sure what she was expecting to be honest, the 3000 loop maybe! I briefly consider packing up and moving us all to a cabin as that would help her with cost, and I felt somewhat responsible. Came to our senses and decided we were fine staying where we were as long as Sinead made a decision as long as we weren't sitting around in the heat much longer. She decided on Wilderness Lodge or a cabin and her Dad was paying for it apparently. We take her down to the outpost to see what she could get booked. I follow them down there after cleaning up breakfast, so missed the next bit. However in her words "I need to stay in the All Stars hotel because Wilderness Lodge is too expensive", confused me slightly since I didn't think the cost would have gone up in the 20 minutes between showing her the costs and her booking it. Turns out she hadn't told her Dad how much it was or asked what his budget was! I was nice and pointed out that there were three All Stars hotels and she'd better check where she'd booked. We also picked up a package of goodies that was sent to us so something nice at least. I did suggest that we take her over to Movies and head to Blizzard Beach at that point,(Sinead had decided at some point between me buying tickets and then that she wasn't doing waterparks, not sure why) but it was already close to 11 and my wife wanted to get somewhere air conditioned so we stuck to the plan and got the bus to Disney Springs.