MousePlanet Trip Report Editor
Caroline Di Rubbo - WDW and USF (24-30 Sep, 1995) - Offsite
- Time of Year: Early Fall
- Travel Method: Plane, Rental Car
- Resort: Offsite
- Accommodations: Standard Room, Suite
- Ages Represented in Group: Adult
- WDW Experience Represented in Group: Frequent, Rookie
- Comments: Caroline and her husband stayed offsite during this trip to WDW. It's an interesting description of a trip done "the other way" (i.e. staying offsite at a non-Disney resort).
This detailed trip report covers our wonderful Sept. 24th to the 30th, 1995 visit to WDW including a day at Universal Studios. Our party consisted of two adults (Ha!), Caroline 25 (me) and my husband Bruno 27. I was on my fourth fabulous visit, him, his first.(But not last if I have anything to do with it!)
We bought a package from Air Canada which was for a week's stay at the Best Western Int'l Drive and a second week at Treasure Island (West Coast of Florida) also included was an economy car and the flight. Total cost of package: $1,159.00 CAD per person. Which is not bad considering that it would cost more than that to stay at a WDW hotel for a week according to the travel brochures.
Sunday, September the 24th
We had a 7:00am flight out of Dorval Airport, Montreal. We had gone to a wedding the night before and ended up leaving at 2:00am. For that reason, we decided not to go to bed at all just in case we wouldn't get up on time and we didn't want to risk missing our charter flight. Plus, I was way too excited to sleep anyway! We got to the airport way too early, we were practically alone and all the restaurants were still closed. We really wanted coffee so it was rough, and, needless to say, we were getting very tired by the time we boarded. Not used to those all-nighters anymore!
We got to Orlando around 10:00am, went to the Budget counter to pick up our rental car. We were supposed to get a Firefly with our package but our suitcases and bags would have never fit so we kindly asked if we could get something bigger and were happily surprised to get a brand new, two door, red Honda Civic for no extra charge. My husband always gets away with things like that, I guess it's all in the way you ask!
Leaving the airport parking and on your way to your hotel, you can't help but get excited when you see the signs advertising the different parks!
We got to our hotel, the Best Western Plaza on Int'l Drive, much too early so we checked-in and went for a bite. By now we're getting really tired... Had some of Ponderosa's buffet and finally went back to see our room. We got a King suite which consisted of two rooms, the first with a kitchenette corner, double bed, TV, table and two chairs and the second room, king bed with bureau, TV and bath. Nothing fancy but it'll do since we'll be spending the week at the parks. Unpacked the wrinkly stuff, then off to a well deserved sleep around 4h00pm.
Monday, September 25th, 1995
Cloudy, hot and humid! Got up around seven, got ready, wore shorts, T-shirts and very comfy shoes WITH socks (Very Important). We each had a belt pouch for money, passes, Tylenol, lipstick (for Caroline) and extra film. We also had a small carry-on bag for the video and 35mm cameras which Bruno ended up carrying all week (we were supposed to switch but he didn't want to let me carry it, what a sweetheart!) This was basically our daily attire for the week.
Went to this Promo thing (BIG mistake). A clerk in our hotel's lobby had suggested us going for breakfast at a certain hotel which turned out to be this big sales pitch for some time share resort. Nice resort but we're not interested. The reason why we accepted to go was that at the end of all this, you would get a pass for the park of your choice for $10.00. So the night before we opted for Universal Studios passes and said "what the heck, let's do it". Bruno had a good time arguing with the agressive salesman while I kept looking at my watch and thinking of the precious time we were wasting. Ah! What people do to get discounts! Never again...I'd rather pay full price!
Finally got our passes and got out of there at 12:00pm. Today we're hitting Disney-MGM Studios. It was our first time at this park since it wasn't opened yet on my last visit in '85. Very nice park and very different from the two others. The crowds were very small and the lines short so, in one afternoon we covered almost everything. We headed to the now famous Tower of Terror, Bruno's scared of heights so he didn't even want to get close to it! I didn't want to go by myself so we watched the "opening" doors and listened to the screams for a while. I had asked a CM to find out if you could go in without riding the elevator and he told me "Sure! As long as you don't sit down. If you do, you're in trouble!". Since there was a long line we decided to come by later.
We saw Mickey signing autographs on Sunset, visited the animation studios, very interesting to see the future features! Muppets 4D was a blast. It was great to be sitting in the theatre with the two old men on their famous balcony. I used to watch them on TV all the time growing up. We loved the Star Tours pre-show/queue area with R2D2 and C3PO.
We then grabbed some hot-dogs at the Backlot Express. Can't go wrong with hot-dogs! Cheap and filling. The Monster Sound Show was a riot, Indiana Jones stunt show was good, fun to see how they work the sets. Catastrophe Canyon was great, you could really feel the heat! I loved the props from all the movies on the Backstage Studio Tour. Saw Inside the Magic, interesting but we would have liked it better if there were seats to watch the different shows. Although, the air-conditioned parts felt good! Nice break from the humidity outside. One of our favorites, which had the longest line, was The Great Movie Ride, especially the Oz part with the Wicked Witch of the West! We took pictures in front of the Chinese Theater and pretended we were in Hollywood. The Honey I shrunk the kids playground is really nicely made, all the kids there were having a blast. I felt like going for a slide on that Kodak film roll myself!
With all that it was close to 6:30 and the park closed at 7:00. We didn't get to see any of the shows like Pocahontas, The Little Mermaid or Beauty and the Beast. We checked the showtimes but always managed to miss them. Since it was our first visit we didn't quite know what to expect and what there was to see. We concentrated on the rides but I now regret not catching any shows, from what I heard they're all very good. It will leave us new things to look forward to on our next visit. Unfortunately, some shows will surely be replaced. Did some shopping on the way out then headed back to the hotel. During the day took lots of video and not enough pictures.(Bringing a video camera will do that to you. Only when you get home do you realize you didn't take enough pictures!)
We stopped for groceries, mainly snacks, drinks and breakfast stuff like coffee, milk and cereal. Not in the mood for going out for supper, we picked up some frozen lasagnas which we heated up in the microwave, went for a swim, watched TV and off to bed!
Tuesday, September 26th, 1995
Sunny, hot and humid! Got up around 7:00am, had some breakfast in the room while getting ready. You'll notice that even though we got up relatively early, we never got to a park before 10h00am! We are on vacation and couldn't help taking our time in the morning.
Today we're going to Universal Studios as per Bruno's request. Got there around 10:00am, took some pictures at the entrance with the US "ball". It's really neat.
I noticed the crowds bigger and lines longer here. Went directly to the Back to the Future ride, Bruno had heard so much about it and coudn't wait to check it out.
We waited close to half an hour, got to sit in the back seat both times we rode it. I later found out that those are the best seats, preferably in the middle if you don't want to bang you head too much! That was a fun ride, a little rough on the neck! I had a small car accident a few months earlier and got whiplash so I was a bit scared to hurt my neck but everything went fine. Unfortunately, ET was closed!
I was so disappointed, I was looking forward to this one. Next time...
From there we went over to see Jaws, took a picture next to the "hanging" Jaws, everyone was sticking their head in its mouth so I thought I would do something different so I posed as if "I" had cought it. Turned out really nice! Got in line and waited for close to ½ hour for the ride. It was lots of fun, the CM (or whatever they're called there) really added to the whole atmosphere, shooting, yelling etc. You know it's going to come out at you but you still jump! The fishing village, Amity, is very pretty. You felt like you were there. From there, went over to Earthquake, another longish wait. The ride itself was well made, similar to Catastrophe Canyon. I was amazed of how the water just disappears and the set goes back to normal by itself like nothing ever happened!
By that time, it was getting really hot outside! Went over to catch Kongfrontation, this one had a loooong wait! I was kind of disappointed with the ride being so short and having waited all that time for so little thrill. They make it sound so exciting! Oh well, we know for next time. It's still something to see but if there's a long wait, I'd skip it and come back later. We did take a picture in King Kong's hand which turned out hilarious, the CM told us "look scared" so our eyes look like they're going to pop out of our heads! Everyone got a kick out of that picture. (Cost: $5.25 US)
We stopped for lunch at Studio Stars Restaurant. $9.95 All-u-can-eat Italian style buffet, tried the soups, salads, chicken and pasta dishes. Pretty good, I loved the camera/US logo shaped butter! I'm a sucker for little details like that. Took a long break from the sun in the air-conditioned restaurant then got back our energy and went off to catch Hanna Barbera's ride.
The queue areas of most of the rides here are kinda boring, standing on the side of the building with nothing to look at... After a long wait, we got to the pre-show area, much better. The ride was actually pretty good, better than I expected. After the ride you exit to a gift store (that's the new thing now, ride then shop!) actually, before you get to the store there's an interactive play station with the Flintstones house and car. Took more pictures, had a ball with the sound effects game where you add the sound to the cartoon. Bruno took this one very seriously! He also played with the "piano" with the prehistoric birds (when the other kids were finished with it). Then took the Studio Tram Tour next to the Nickelodeon Studios. Similar to the tour at MGM. After that, waited at least 40 min. for Hithcock. We enjoyed this one, especially surprised to find out that the show is split in three different parts. We would think it was finished and then end up in another theater for another show. Makes your long wait worthwhile. I liked the Lucy Tribute, I find costumes fascinating so had fun examining her dresses, jewelry etc. Nice air-conditioned break too!
Cought a glimpse of a few characters like Scooby-Doo, George Jetson and Marilyn Monroe getting in a hotel. At one point, this costumed lady started talking to Bruno, he was wondering who she was supposed to be, she noticed that so she played along for a bit (it was Mae West) telling him "Oh, you're just pretending you don't know me'cause you got your lady friend over there, you knew who I was last night big guy, sure, sure".
I Caught it all on video, he was all uncomfortable and embarrassed! It was great!
I got a kick out of Mel's Diner with the American Graffiti cars parked outside. There was a theater type building showing costumes and a dino from Jurassic Park. No sign of any rides yet! The Fievel's Playland area is really cute. Bruno was splashing himself with the water from the fountain. We carried bottles which we filled with water at the drinking fountains, essential in this heat! Like at MGM, we skipped alot of the shows concentrating on the rides. Terminator was under construction, we could hear the hammering on Rodeo Drive. We liked Hollywood Blvd. had an ice cream and sat on a bench listening to the movie music coming through.
We decided to stay for the Dynamite Nights Stuntacular show on the Lagoon so we went over to Back to the Future for a second time since we had time to kill before the show which was one hour after park closing. The line was 45 min. to an hour at least. Seemed even rougher the second time around! We then waited by the lagoon for about an hour to get a good spot . We were getting tired and punchy by then but decided to stick it out anyway. The stunt show was action packed, lots of firecrackers and explosions. We didn't end up picking a good spot to watch as all the action was in the middle of the lagoon and we were in front of Back to the Future. After the show we took our time and strolled towards the exit. Got some fudge on our way out at The Fudge Shoppe, yummy!
Universal Studios can be done in a day (off-season) if you plan it carefully around the shows you want to watch. They did offer the second day pass but we were satisfied with our one day visit. Overall, it's a nice park but just doesn't have the Magic of Disney. Still, I would probably go again on my next trip. Gotta see T2!
We got some drive-thru McDonald's on our way back to the hotel (again too tired to go out and eat) and got cought in a big electrical storm. It really poured! Glad we were in the car and not still at the park! After we ate, the TV ended up watching us and not the other way around. We both felt like we were getting sick from the freezing cold air conditioned rides combined with the walking around on a very hot day. We were pooped!
Wednesday, September 27, 1995
Sunny, hot and humid! Got up early, had breakfast and actually got to Magic Kingdom before 10:00am! Well 9:50 to be exact...Not that many people, good. This morning we both got the sniffles, our colds are kicking in, so, we're now carrying tissues in our belt bags...It's no fun having a cold in this heat! First thing we did is get on the Walt Disney World Railroad to do the whole turn. This ride is really a tease since you can only catch a glimpse of the park from the train. It's a nice relaxing ride though, and an easy way to go directly to Mickey's Starland or Frontierland. Walked down beautiful Main Street U.S.A. as the marching band was coming through, they played great music.
We started the day with Adventureland, one of my favorite lands! I love the Tropical atmosphere with the steel drums, the huts and the gunshooting (or cannon) sounds coming from The Pirates of the Caribbean...It's wonderful! Visited with the Tiki Birds at Tropical Serenade, exactly as I remembered it, my favorite parts are the thunder storm and when the Tiki Gods come alive. We got to walk right in without a wait, just the way I like it! Mind you, I would have liked to see the pre-show! On our way over to the Swiss Family Treehouse we stopped by the Tiki "statues" to listen to the bongo drums. Love those! From the Treehouse, went to Jungle Cruise, a short wait later, went cruising down the river, our cm/guide was shooting to scare off the Hippos, Is that a new thing? Didn't remember that part. The bathing elephants are my favs.
Off to visit our pirate friends, walked right in. Yo-Ho, Yo-Ho, a Pirate's life for me! What can I say, I get chills just thinking about this one, love it! love it! love it! Said goodbye to our Pirate Parrot friend (you can see it breathing!) and browsed in the shops. We're going to come back and get a few things here before we leave. Very nice stuff.
On our way over to Frontierland, we looked for the steel drum band but never found it, too bad! We went straight to Country Bear Jamboree, it's great to see the whole audience clapping their hands and stomping their feet! We went to watch Splash Mountain for a bit trying to decide if we had the guts to ride it or not. (Bruno's afraid of heights)
We decided to try it, all in all it's a great ride, I just wish I could have got to enjoy it more. I couldn't stop thinking of the drop coming up! I would get nervous whenever I would see a sign pointing to a "Laughin' Place" (actually, we were both nervous). When we finally got to the big drop, we both looked down and wanted to get off! It was only a few seconds long but it seemed to go down forever. I got out of there shaking like a leaf! Bruno said some words I won't repeat, and everyone in our log bursted out laughing. It was something else! We stopped to watch it again and could not believe we rode it! After we calmed down, went on Big Thunder Mountain RR after a short wait, now this one we like, it's so much fun! We'll come back to ride it at night on Saturday, the only night they close late.
To take a break in the nice and comfy seats and to do something more relaxing we saw The Hall of Presidents in Liberty Square. This one's really neat, I can't help looking around to see what the other presidents are doing while one of them is talking. You see them scrathing their head or whispering to their neighbor. Very well done, always amazes me.
We were getting hungry so we grabbed some lunch at Columbia Harbour House, I like this restaurant, good and inexpensive. We had a very good clam chowder which they serve in a small rye bread and some fish and chicken strips w/fries all for about $15.00. We rested a bit while having a coffee and then went to The Haunted Mansion, love that one too! (I have alot of favorite rides at MK).
We waited a bit next to the graveyard and had fun reading the tombstones before they let us into the stretch room. I wish I could get stuck in that ride at the Ballroom scene so that I could look at every little detail! It goes too fast for my taste. I can't wait to ride it on my next visit since I now know the story behind it and I never realized that during the ride you go through the Mansion and exit in the yard. I also want to find the Bride's ring near the gate. (All stuff I found out in the Newsgroups and on some Web pages I read on the subject).
Fantasyland! My other favorite land, started our voyage with It's a Small World. No wait whatsoever at any time, this one's not the most popular. I still enjoy it and have to ride it on every visit, It's just part of the whole MK experience. Peter Pan's Flight, another ride which needs no introduction, very popular ride, lines here are always a bit longer. I wish the ride was longer or that I could ride it twice without getting off! We rode Cinderella's Golden Carrousel and Dumbo (I'm glad they made it bigger) and then went to Cinderella Castle to make reservations for King Stefan's Banquet Hall for lunch on Friday. Got a table for 1h30. Cinderella was there greeting guests, yay!
Filled up our water bottles at Cinderella's Fountain (very cold water)and went off to the Mad Tea Party, Bruno made us spin so fast, I laughed so much that my cheeks were hurting. Later, I was sad to find out that 20,000 Leagues closed for refurb. I had skipped it on my last visit and now it's closed. A tear goes down my cheek...ok I'm exaggerating, still, it's a shame. Visited with Snow White, hadn't seen it since the refurb. Now you actually see her instead of seeing things from her point of view. Apparently alot of kids kept looking for Snow White. They tamed it down a notch, I did get scared back in '81 the first time I rode it! (I was eleven) It's more of a "They lived happily ever after" ending. I remember the witch trying to drop a big diamond on you at the exit and those flashing lights. I'm glad I got to see it before they changed it.
Went to Toad Hall for Mr Toad's Wild Ride, fun ride although every time I rode it I never understood what was going on since I didn't know the story of Mr Toad, now it all makes sense to me, the haystacks, the crazy ride etc...I finally saw a movie based on the Wind in the Willows about Mr Toad. Better late than never!
Around 5:30 we decided to call it a day so we took our time and walked over to Main Street where we checked out a few shops. We took the Monorail over to the TTC and headed back to the hotel. We went for a swim and all of a sudden the sky got very dark and threatening so we went up to our room, munched on stuff we had bought and went to bed, we were not feeling too good and needed some rest. I know it sounds weird, a young couple, not going out to Pleasure Island, not going out for supper, going to bed early. We get to do that stuff back home so we'd rather get some rest and be in shape when we hit the parks!
Thursday, September 28th, 1995
Cloudy and not too hot, very nice! Got up a bit later, same as usual, had breakfast got ready, packed tissues in our belt bags and got to Epcot at 10h20am. Took some pictures in front of Spaceship Earth, it's so big and beautiful! We went over to ride it with no wait at all. Great as usual, noticed a few updates towards the end. We stayed in the Global Neighborhood for a while checking out all the neat stuff like the wrist phones, the funny computerized pictures, the giant phone, Bruno just HAD to call his office from that phone and we had to take a picture so he could show it to everybody! We went on to Innoventions, which is the old Communicores and now looks like a big arcade! We still managed to spend a long time in there. Since it was lunch time when we were ready to go, we got some cheeseburgers with fries and drinks from The Electric Umbrella. Not bad, $12.00 total.
We then watched and listened to the fountain. Right after it was over The Cleaning Crew came out with garbage cans and pails which they used as drums. They were very good and lots of fun. We started our tour of Future World with The Living Seas. I never got a chance to see it before since it had not opened yet on my last trip. We spent a long time in there, there's been a lot of talk about this one on the Newsgroup, well I am proudly one who enjoys TLS. I like everything about it from the first Hydrolator ride to the last. I saw Seahorses for the first time, it was great! After spending close to two hours in there, we took the Hydrolator to get back out and were stranded on the side of the building during a deluge! It was coming down like cats and dogs. We waited a bit but it was still pouring so we ran over to The Land. This was not the best thing for our colds! Now we're wet and freezing cold because of the A/C.
We started with Circle of Life, very good movie and I found it very touching, it's sad to see what we're doing to our planet but it is reality. Living with the Land was interesting as always, I like the fact that they grow alot of the stuff they use throughout WDW. Food Rocks I enjoyed, they used good tunes, we got into it and had a good time. Remember Kitchen Kabaret? Veggie-veggie-fruit-fruit...The first time we visited The Land we thought K-Kabaret was a restaurant!
It was still drizzling outside so we hurried over to Journey into Imagination. I love the leaping fountains! I wanted to stay and watch them for a bit but we're standing in the rain without a rain poncho or umbrella.(Gotta get some of those ponchos)
We started with Honey I Shrunk the Audience, great movie! I remember Magic Journeys, I had nightmares about the witch! Saw Journey-the ride, played at Images Works for a while, love the color squares on the floor that make sounds, we were jumping around, running allover the place it was great! Also love the orchestra thing where you direct the instruments. Fun!Fun!Fun!
Crossed over to the closed Horizons, another tear rolls down my cheek...Found out that it was going to be a year it was closed in Jan.96 because GE didn't renew their sponsorship. So, sadly we went over to World of Motion which I'm glad I saw since it's mow gone forever...Up to now we didn't have to wait for anything all day, I guess the rain kept alot of people away. It's fun to be free! Everybody sing along! I liked WoM, it's too bad that they have to close some rides forever instead of just adding new ones. It would be so nice for us guests...More rides! After, we went to Universe of Energy, just as I remembered it, though we couldn't smell much with our colds.
It's amazing when the whole theater starts to move, I love that stuff.
We were able to visit all of Future World before 7:00pm, before we left, we crossed over to World Showcase to take a trip to Mexico. It's one of my favorite countries in WS, it's so pretty and the night ambiance is great. The ride reminds me of a Mexican "It's a Small World". We hopped over to Norway to ride the Maelstrom. Great ride, a bit spooky with those three-headed trolls but very original. Here we found a longer line, it's very popular. We left before IllumiNations since it was still drizzling a bit and we coudn't wait to change into dry clothes! We got some supper at Bill Wong's Buffet (for about $30.00) near our hotel and called it a night.
Hopefully it we will get nicer weather tommorow.
Friday, September 29th, 1995
Yay sunny day! Hot and humid. Woke up late, we're slacking off! I guess it's because we're doing pretty good on time and since there are no crowds we know we'll get to see all we want to see. We feel much better today, must have been a 48 hr bug!
Got to MK at 11:15am and headed directly to Tommorowland. It looks really great since the refurb. NOW it looks like Tommorowland! I felt like I if was in a cartoon, I was waiting to see if maybe a Jetsons type flying saucer would "whizz" by! Space Mountain...We really liked the walk into SM where you look out the windows and see outer space with the spacey sound effects. We got to ride it with only a few minutes of waiting time. We were both a bit nervous and excited at the same time since it was our first time. (Space Mountain virgins?) Seriously, I never had the guts to ride it on previous visits. I now enjoy riding the big coasters so it shouldn't be a problem. Let me tell you that it looks worse than it is. It's so much fun, it's Bruno's favorite ride! I could drop him off here in the morning and pick him up at night and he'd be happy. We both wish it was longer and faster though. We ended up riding it three times in a row with very little wait, 5-10 min. maximum.
After three times we decided to go see the other attractions promising Bruno we'd come and ride it again. We opted for Alien Encounter, another new one for us. I was looking for Mission to Mars and later realized that AE replaced it. We had to wait a little longer for this one, about 15-20 min. Since it's more of a show, the lines don't move as quickly. Well, we really didn't know what to expect of this one. I was a bit worried that I would be sitting by myself going through this ride, the previews I had seen with the alien grabbing the girl's leg gave me the impression that it was a ride-through thing. I was happy to see that the seats were not going anywhere and that Bruno was going to be sitting next to me. I'm a bit of a chicken in total darkness, even more if I'm strapped to my seat! Sometimes my imagination gets the best of me, but all in all it wasn't that bad, we both enjoyed it.
We then went over to Cinderella Castle for lunch (already?) time flies! Cinderella was there greeting guest with Prince Charming so we took some pictures. We were close to the windows which was nice. They had Mickey shaped butter! I would have kept it if I could. We had the soup with steak and pork loin w/veggies. It was not bad but not the greatest either. It's nice to eat in the castle but we weren't impressed with the food.
It cost us about $37.00 for lunch, a bit pricey we thought.
We went back to Tommorowland to catch Astro Orbiter, love the planets orbiting, the TTA, nice and relaxing as always, Dreamflight which was If You Had Wings last time I saw it. Another nice and relaxing ride. Time Keeper was fun although I'm not crazy about standing up attractions. Maybe they could put some swivel-seats so you can easily turn and catch what's going on behind you. Does that make me sound lazy? It's just an idea... I don't know, I just like attractions where there's a ride involved more than the movie or theater type ones. It's the kid in me I guess!
Time for the Carousel of Progress, It's a great big beautiful tommorow! I always liked the rotating theater, very cool. One little glitch in this show though, the AA father was out of order! He did not move at all in two of the scenes, I think they forgot to turn him on that day...He just kept his head tilted down the whole time,'twas kinda weird! We got to see the updated future scene, they had our living room lamp in the left corner, cool! Didn't know we had a lamp of the future! We skipped the Grand Prix Raceway as we do enough driving back home. Maybe if there would have been less of a line we would have gone.
After finishing up with Tommorowland we headed back to Libery Square to catch the Mickey Mania parade. We got a spot in the scorching sun as there were not shady spots left.
As we were melting away, people were trying to squeeze their way in but no can do.
People get very territorial when it comes to parade spots! So my advice is to get there early. Finally the parade started and suddenly the sun and the heat became more bearable. Nice parade, saw Mickey at last and ended up singing Mickey Mania for the rest of the day. From there we went to the Liberty Square Riverboats for a breezy ride on the river. Bruno noticed that the boat was on rails, never thought about that... Went to visit with our ghostly friends one more time and walked over to Fantasyland to catch the Skyway to Tommorowland. We left near closing which was 6h00 today and rode the Monorail to Epcot.
At Epcot we saw Spaceship Earth again with no wait and then headed over to Mexico.
Saw El Rio del Tempo again and browsed in the Plaza. We watched an artist who was engraving jewelry outside and Bruno had en encounter with a Palmetto bug. (I think that's what they're called) It's black and as long as a finger, I had noticed something on his back and took a look to see what it was. yuck! I hate bugs! As you will read, it was not to be our last encounter... We then went over to Norway. Rode the Maelstrom again, long line here, about 20 min. After that we had some Norwegian pastries at Kringla Bakeri og Kaf. Very good, I had a Cloud Berry cream filled pastry and Bruno had a Kringla (?) I think that's what it was called, it's a sweet pretzel with almonds with a coffee for about $5.00.
We walked over to Italy and got some chocolates at Delizie Italiane, delicious! Bruno's Italian so of course he had to show off and speak Italian with the CM at the store. They talked about where in Italy they were from etc. I shoudn't talk because I did the same thing in Canada I spoke in French to the CM. We talked about where we were from, same as Bruno did!
Walked over to Japan and saw Japanese drum duo performing on the side of a
"pagoda", very entertaining.
IllumiNations was about to start so we went by the lagoon. We didn't get good spots since we got there at the last minute but still managed to catch most of the show.
We especially liked the finale and the lazers reflected on Spaceship Earth.
We slowly strolled back to the Entrance, shopped a bit at the Centorium, bought a souvenir book of WDW which I realized was not very recent (probably why it was on sale) since they still had the old Tommorowland, nevertheless, still a very nice piece of memorabilia. If you are there at night, make sure to notice the "sparkly" walkway next to Spaceship Earth, very cool. Gotta find those talking drinking fountains next time...
Went back to our hotel, we didn't end up having supper since we had all those sweets at Epcot. Bruno fell asleep and I wrote in my travel journal. I then took out the book I had bought to read before a bit before going to sleep. Guess what I saw on my pillow from the corner of my eye...Our little bug friend had payed us another visit! I jumped out of bed in a flash and was trying to wake up Bruno so he could take care of getting that thing out of here. He finally opened his eyes, and saw it walking over to him. He jumped up and I gave him a towel but by that time, the bug made it's way under the box of the bed so we flipped the whole bed upside down to get it. Bruno got it and made shure it was well flushed in the toilet. We then took the whole bed and sheets apart to make sure that it hadn't brought other friends. It took me a while to fall asleep after that. I kept imagining more bugs and I kept wondering where it came from, it must have been in one of the bags we brought in, or worse, on us! Yuck! Must be the season or something...
Saturday, September 30, 1995
Sunny, at tad cooler today. Our last day at WDW...we're sad but content. Our plan today is to park the car at MK and take the Monorail over to Epcot where we'll spend the day visiting World Showcase. Then we'll head on over to MK to ride Big Thunder Mountain RR in the dark and enjoy the beautiful night atmosphere of the park. We got to Epcot at 11:00am, there is a lot more people here today! Florida residents get discounts so there were alot of locals. We're really glad we already saw most of the parks so the big crowds don't bother us that much.
We walked directly over to World Showcase, we were going to ride Spaceship Earth again, but opted not to when we saw the line. We started with our home country, Canada. Saw "O Canada!" walked around, took pictures at the waterfalls and browsed in the shops, (just curious to see what they sell!). Bruno bought a caramel apple, his favorite, from a cart in front of Canada, that's where I spoke to the CM in French!
We then walked over to United Kingdom, while Bruno was finishing his apple I went to see the shops. We saw Winnie the Pooh and Eeyore around the corner so we went to take a look, to our surprise there was a whole bunch of characters there. Robin Hood and his gang were running after each other, Pooh, Tigger, Eeyore, Mary Poppins and her penguins etc. We watched them for a bit, the Sheriff was signing autographs for kids and then throwing their little books and pens on the ground. What a big meanie! The little ones were either scared of him or giving hime "time-outs". Then the Sheriff noticed us, he grabbed my arm and tried to steal my jewelry, I was holding an opened bottle of Coke which was splashing everywhere. Bruno was taking pictures when Robin Hood came to my rescue. The whole thing was hilarious!
When we got to France a showing of Impressions de France had just begun so we had a very late breakfast/snack in Paris, Ooh-la-la! Nous avons mang quelques Croissants ainsi que des Eclairs au Chocolat, le tout accompagn d'un bon caf la Boulangerie Ptisserie, dlicieux! ($7.00) We still had time before the show so we checked out the boutiques, where we spoke French with the CM's again. It was then time to see the movie, the theater is very pretty and the film is beautiful. I like France very much, the atmosphere, the fountains, the restaurants etc. Trs romantique!
There was not much wait in World Showcase, everyone was still in Future World! We hopped over to Morocco, walked around and saw the shops. I bought myself a Mickey Mouse sweatshirt, just like the one I had when I was little! Not expensive, around $20.
In Japan we went to Mitsukoshi's Department Store, they have a lot of fun stuff in there. Beautiful Bonzai trees, lots of Japanese toys and gadgets. They had a counter where you could pick an oyster, all guaranteed to contain pearls and for something like $12 or $15 they would open it, find the pearl, clean and measure it, even mount it on jewelry if you want! Very neat, we watched them for a bit and someone got a real big pearl, when that happens, the lady rings a bell and announces "Big pearl! Big pearl!" Note, the size of the oyster doesn't seem to have anything to do with the size of the pearl so don't necessarily go for the larger ones! The Japanese drum duo, One World Taiko was playing as we exited so we stayed for the show. Very dynamic! We got ourselves some Tropical flavored sno-cones at a cart in front of Japan, very tasty and refreshing!
Walked over to The American Adventure and sat on a bench to watch Minnie, Goofy, Chip and Dale and Pluto greeting guests while we finished our cones. We then went in to catch the next showing. Good show, nice A-Animatronics.
In Italy, we got some more chocolates at Delizie Italiane, molto bene! Took pictures on the piazza, checked out the stores, they even have Mickey pasta!!
Over in Germany it was party time! They had an accordeon and trumpet band playing and had they had guests yodeling, we listened in for a bit and shopped in the pretty German stores. I love Der Teddybr! They also had great cuckoo clocks at Volkskunst.
We got some Bratwurst and drinks at Sommerfest and walked on to China. You can't help but munch here and there, they have such yummy stuff everywhere in WS!!
In China, the very good Spring Dragon Acrobats were performing juggling and balancing acts. We stayed and watched since they had just started their show. Make sure you check your Guide Map to check out showtimes and all the different live entertainment each country has to offer. It only adds to the whole World Showcase experience! Not to be missed! While we were waiting for Wonders of China in the Temple of Heaven, we caught a performance by Si Zhu, a duo playing the flute and the zither or dulcimer, very pretty music, calming and soothing. We went to get some late lunch (yes, more food!) at the Lotus Blossom Caf, we both very much enjoyed our Stir-fry Chicken dishes with Spring Rolls and Fried Rice all for $14.00. Bruno kept busy drawing a Mickey Mouse with water on the table while I finished eating. Our own hidden Mickey?
After our late lunch/early supper, we went to Norway but found a very long line for the Maelstrom so we skipped it, we saw it twice already so it's okay. We also skipped Mexico for the same reasons. I bought a WDW'95 t-shirt for about $17, it's really nice. Bruno bought a set of coins of the "World" for about $8, it's a nice souvenir.
We then said our "bye for now" to Epcot and hopped over to MK by Monorail. LOTS more people here!! LOOOONG lines compared to the rest of the week. We went to Space Mountain for one last ride, the line here was not all that bad. Maybe 20 min. Took a stroll through Mickey's Starland, saw Mickey's house, so cute! There was a place where you could meet Mickey but there seemed to be a long wait so we turned around. Went over to Fantasyland for Peter Pan's flight but the line was too long so we went to It's a Small World since there was no line at all!
It's starting to get dark so we headed for Frontierland to ride Thunder Mountain. There was quite a line so by the time we got on the train it was dark, perfect! It's a lot of fun at night, you see the bats in the cave and a whole bunch of new effects. From there, watched Splash Mountain again and took some video of the sights at night.
Adventureland is also very nice at night, all lit up by torches. Shopped in the stores and picked up a tribal mask for friends who collects them. They were watching our apartment and watering our plants while we were gone so it'll be a little thank you gift.
Walked back to Main Street U.S.A. to get some night shots of the castle with the video camera and also some of Tommorowland which looks amazing at night, all lit up and full of neon lights, you have to see the park at night, it's well worth it. Did some last minute shopping, got some Mickey ears embroidered with my name at The Chapeau, I'm ready for my next visit! Emporium was completely crazy, full of people, everything was turned upside down. It is the best place to by souvenirs on you way out so it was packed. We still managed to by a couple of t-shirts, pins, Mickey cookie-cutters etc.
Sat down in front of Disneyana to take a break and said our goodbyes to the Magic Kingdom...Took the Monorail back to the TTC and the tram back to our car. When we got there, surprise! We had left the lights on and the car didn't start. Bruno went back on the side of the road to wave down a Security truck. I sat on the trunk and waited. Then, a Palmetto bug fell onto my lap, I jumped up to shake it off. Where do they come from!!!! I made sure I didn't have anymore and sat in the car where it's safe.
A truck finally came over and gave us a boost. We went back to the hotel and started packing, check out time tommorow...
Sunday, October 1st, 1995
Checked out at 12:00, did some last minute shopping in Orlando, got some lunch at McDonalds and drove towards Treasure Island, which is about an hour and a half away.
Got there around 3:00. We stayed at the Bilmar Beach Resort, our room had two double beds, Kitchenette, TV, kitchen table w/chairs and another little table and two more chairs. Full balcony with chairs over looking the pool and beach. Nice room, clean.
The beach is long, very nice, clean and full of seashells! A beachcomber's paradise.
I brought back alot of shells and sand-dollars. The supermarket was across the street. All in all we found the area a bit old and not much to do besides the beach. We definitely won't go there again. Bruno is more of a Fort Lauderdale/Boca Raton/East coast kind of guy.
Fast forward to Wednesday, Oct.4th, 1995
Hurricane Opal...water flooding the streets and the beach, high winds gusting...
We went down to the lobby to ask what was going on and they told us that we shouldn't get off the Island since they might close off the bridge. There was no danger in staying as we would probably only get the tail end of Opal but they were still sand bagging since the water was rising. A Beach Police car got stuck in the sand and it took about ten guys including Bruno to rock him out of there. Not even a Thank You...
The storm really hit at about 1:00am, we thought the patio doors were going to break!
I was a bit worried but nothing more happened. The next day we went down to the beach to see what happened, you name it, it was on the beach. Trees, shoes, fishing cages, fish, cans etc... I got some more shells then it poured again. We got three rainy days in a row, we we're getting depressed and very bored. On Saturday, our last day, it was nice Thank God! The ocean was still very dirty so we stayed at the pool. That night we packed our suitcases in the dark as there was a power failure. Left on Sunday, Oct.8th at 7:00am, drove back to Orlando for our 11:00am flight back to Montreal.
Well folks, I hope you enjoyed my Trip Report as much as I enjoyed writing it.
Maybe you found a couple of helpful hints, tips or ideas for your next trip.
If you have any questions or comments, please feel free to email me.
We are starting to plan our next trip to WDW in January 1998. If all goes well, our group will consist of eight adults. A two-week stay in Orlando where we can take our time and take it all in at our own pace. We are looking into a package including a Vacation Home in Kissimmee, facilities for up to ten people including private swimming pool! Also included are two cars and the flight for about $830 per person. Can't wait!!
Caroline Di Rubbo
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02-07-2006 11:05 AM