Living the Disney Life: Nature Trail, Garden Grill and HSM on Ice (September 6-9)
September 6th – Nature Trail
I was at Wilderness Lodge walking around and saw a sign that said Nature Trail. I decided to find out exactly where it went. Almost immediately I felt like I was in another world. I was walking on a dirt road surrounded on the sides and overhead by trees. Soon enough I came to a sign with Ft. Wilderness being one of the options. I took that option and went further into what seemed to me to be the forest. The trail did turn to asphalt which was comforting and every now and then I could see a WDW bus pass on a road that was only a few yards away, but it felt like I was in the middle of nowhere. That if I were to break a leg it would take days for someone to find me. There were no lights at all and the sun was setting quickly. I even felt a few rain drops but thankfully those didn't last.
After about 20 minutes I emerged at Ft. Wilderness near the petting zoo. I thought about turning around and going back but with the sun almost set and the wild animals surely out by now (just waiting for a hapless stroller like myself), I decided to take a boat back to the Wilderness Lodge instead. And a very pleasant trip it was floating along Bay Lake in the darkness. I highly recommend the Nature Trail for a real change of pace while at WDW … but not at night.
September 7th – Garden Grill
Today I met up with some friends for lunch at the Garden Grill restaurant at Epcot's Land Pavilion. I like all-you-can-eats where the food is brought to you and WDW has a few of them. They had a nice vegetarian option and the potatoes au gratin were yummy. Farmer Mickey and his friends came around plenty and our server was also very friendly and she kept my chocolate milk full 🙂 If you haven't been to the Garden Grill, the restaurant revolves giving views of the same scenery as the first part of the Land boat ride. The revolving is so slow as to be hardly noticeable and a typical meal takes about one revolution. I've been here about three times now and always left happy.
September 9th – High School Musical on Ice
I've been waiting for this day for quite some day. High School Musical – On Ice at the Amway Arena in beautiful downtown Orlando. I'm not sure I've ever seen so many 8 year old girls in one place before. I am sure I've never heard so many. But the show itself was quite fun (assuming you're a fan of the show) and seeing all the moms and dads with their little girls (and it was dominated by girls) was very Disney. The show is broken into two acts with the first act being the original movie and the second act being High School Musical 2. Each pretty faithfully retells the story obviously focusing on the musical numbers. I believe all the movies' songs are included as well as one or two from the theatrical production. During the musical numbers everywhere you looked showed just how successful this "franchise" is as hundreds kids sang along – some even doing the movies' dance numbers.
We see all the Disney on Ice productions as they pass through Orlando and this was among my favorites. I may be slightly out of the demographic but the songs are just so catchy and the atmosphere created is infectious. Take a daughter or a niece when it comes your way. If you're a Disney fan, I bet you enjoy it!
A little out of the ordinary, but three great Disney days!