One of the vacations we reference most frequently at home was a cold January trip we took this time 8 years ago. This was the first time either of us had experienced Florida cold. We mistakenly sat at home in the freezing Midwest and thought 30s and 40s would feel warm in Florida. We left our heavy winter gear at home and went to the airport in sweatshirts.
Shivering on Backlot Tour
We found out the hard way that the 30s do not feel warm just because you’re in Florida. In fact, they some how feel colder than the 30s do in winter at home. We also learned a lesson about high and low temperatures, since the high temp seemed to last for 2 minutes in the afternoon, and the rest of the day lingered in the cold.
We’ve been on trips with cold mornings or evening, but this trip was remarkable for its long lasting cold. Frost on car windows, sensitive plants covered, Christmas decoration removal delayed, strings of Spirit of Aloha dinner shows cancelled, and of course water park closure.
We also were fortunate to stay at Kidani Village at Animal Kingdom Villas, so we had a great view for all the extra time at the hotel we spent hiding from the cold.
We talk about this vacation often because what went wrong made it so memorable. Sometimes it’s when trips don’t go to plan that the best memories are made!
Day 6 of our January vacation started exactly the way Day 5 ended – rainy. Since we accomplished so much at Extra Magic Hours, we planned a sleep-in morning. That’s not always possible with a baby, but we tried!
Rainy Magic Kingdom from Bay Lake Tower. The train left a picturesque trail all morning
We left our room at Bay Lake Tower at 9:50, and by 10:18 were in the Fastpass line for Jungle Cruise. We had an excellent skipper for our only daytime journey.
Mekong River is my favorite on Jungle Cruise
Up next is one of my personal favorites, Enchanted Tiki Room. I love the show and the music, and it never has a line. You really can’t be that!
Wednesday was an atypical vacation day for us. We had a few Quick Service credits to use up, so we started the day with breakfast at Gasparilla Grill. After breakfast, we finished packing and loaded all of our luggage into our rental van. Then we set out for Daytona Beach. Traffic through Orlando was much worse than the last time we drove around with a rental car. It took us just under 2 hours from leaving the Grand Floridian to driving onto the beach.
We planned this trip a long time ago. The 1 year anniversary of my father-in-law’s passing fell halfway through the trip. This was one of the reasons my mother-in-law joined us on the trip. We planned this beach day to return to one of their favorite locations and where they first met despite growing up in the same area in Indiana.
Entrance to Daytona Beach at Plaza Resort & Spa, $10 fee with one re-entry allowed
It was a rainy day throughout Florida and daily rainfall records were set in Orlando and Daytona Beach. Luckily most of the rain in Daytona Beach fell that morning, so other than a brisk wind the beach was still enjoyable.
Day 2 of our January 2016 trip started like 95% of our vacation days do – late. It was my resolution for this trip that we would be at the parks as close to park opening as possible. We have a night owl baby, which means we have to wake him up to accomplish this. After already running late, halfway to the monorail platform I realized I forgot a key part of the baby’s costume and had to run back to the room. Ok, I speed walked after about 5 seconds of running. Running is a poor choice for me overall, especially so when the overnight low was 31.
Once on the monorail, it was only a 30 minute journey from leaving the Grand Floridian to arriving at Epcot. I meandered around Mission Space and Innoventions West while the other adults rode Test Track with a Fastpass. I bought a Starbucks mug at Fountain View to add to the Magic Kingdom and Hollywood Studios mugs we have already. I got in line for Baymax, but had to leave the line before meeting him.