April 25 - May 3, 1998
Me (Gaylene) age 38 - WDW Veteran
Bob (my SO) age 40 - WDW Veteran In-Training
Because we went to Hawaii in February, this trip was not supposed to happen, but "Disneyitis" got the better of me. So in January I made our OKW and flight reservations through Member Services. We got round-trip airfare on Delta for $372/pp from Seattle. We were going to take the red-eye into Atlanta, then Atlanta to Orlando.
I put off making our dining reservations (I had the flu and was so sick that I didnt really CARE about going to WDW). That should be a clue as to how bad I felt. Anyway, I waited until about 35 days out. I had no problem getting reservations, except for Cinderellas Royal Table. I took a 7:30am reservation, but it was on an early-entry day. Further details will follow on what we did about that reservation.
About 2 weeks out I was checking out WDWIG and found the information about the "Food Among The Flowers" brunch at EPCOT. I thought it sounded cool, so I made reservations for our arrival day (praying that we had no major airline delays).
Our OKW points include park passes, but not Animal Kingdom (AK). I pondered long and hard about AK admission. I went to our AAA office and checked out their prices for passes, then I went to the Disney Store and checked out the MKC prices. The AAA tickets included "special parking", but the MKC tickets were cheaper. Parking or money...parking or money... Money won out in the end. I went to the Disney Store and purchased two 6-day Hopper Passes. The unused days never expire, so I can use them on our next trip or to move up to annual passes when our OKW passes expire.
Day 0 (April 24) and Day 1 (April 25): Leaving On A Jet Plane...or I Know Why This Flight is Called The "Red Eye"
As I mentioned before, work had been insane, and I had been out of town for a couple of days before vacation. So I was really exhausted when it came time to actually leave. My mom (a.k.a. Moms Airporter) picked us up at 8:00pm. I had already given the house key to the dog sitter, so we packed up the van, and away we go. (A side note to dog owners...I am finding it harder to leave my dog as she gets older. I wish there was an easy way to take her with us.) :o(
We got to the airport about 9:00pm, checked in with no problems, and had about 45 minutes to hang around. Our flight left on time and we watched the movie "Good Will Hunting". I tried to nap and/or sleep, but it was virtually impossible. We landed in Atlanta on time. I made a pit stop in the ladies room, and when I looked in the mirror I understood why this flight is called the red eye.
Our flight left Atlanta about 30 minutes late due to "technical difficulties". Dont you just hate that term? Especially when they wont let you off the plane!!! We had a very uneventful flight (thank goodness) and landed at MCO only 10 minutes late. We had to wait for our luggage, but had NO wait at National Car Rental.
We crossed the street into the garage, and picked up our Oldsmobile Achieva 4-door. I noted ALL the dents on my rental agreement, and took it back to the kiosk to have it initialed. The women gave me a funny look (kinda like "darn, they noted existing damage"), but she initialed my agreement and we were outa there!!!
Pulled out of the airport at 8:45am and took 417 to OKW. We paid our tolls (2 at $1.00) and had a traffic-free ride. Pulled up to the guard shack at OKW and told the guard that we were checking in. He asked our name, checked his computer screen, and gave us directions to the Hospitality House (HH). I was so disappointed that he did not welcome us home!! Oh well, we are at OKW and I am going to let the magic surround me.
We parked by the HH and walked to check-in. We waited about 5 minutes, then it was our turn. CM Neil waited on us and everything was in order with our reservation. I asked what unit we were assigned (since it wasnt ready). Neil said that he could not tell me. Huh? What do you mean? Well, it seems that he couldnt tell me what unit we were assigned, but I could choose a unit that was ready. Now I was really confused. They assigned us a unit that wasnt ready, couldnt tell me what unit it was, but I could choose a unit that was ready.
OK Neil, Im sleep deprived, but Im game. What units can I choose from? I had my choice of about 4 units. We finally chose building 29, unit 21. Neil printed out our room key/park passes/charge card and wanted us to sign them. I looked at the park pass dates and they were April 27 - May 3. They should be April 26 - May 2. I pointed this error out to Neil, and he acted like I was mistaken. He finally "checked my contracts" and lo and behold, I was right. He had to reprint our cards, and then we signed the corrected cards. "Welcome Home" says Neil as we turn to leave.
Note...While we were checking in we witnessed a "guest" YELLING at a shift manager about some problem. As we stood there he just YELLED LOUDER!!! I felt bad for the shift manager, she did not deserve to be treated that way. This guy was a real a--. I hope that he was a renter and not a member.
It was 9:25am and we drove over to building 29, and checked out our unit. I wanted to make sure that everything was in order before we lugged our luggage up the stairs. The front door was kinda beat up, but the Welcome Mat was there. Opened the door, and the unit was backwards!!! Could I adjust? Would I walk into the wall all week? Can I be trained? Everything seemed in order, so out to the car for the luggage. Got everything into the unit and quickly changed clothes. Jumped into the car and drove to the Beach Club.
We had no problems at the Beach Club guard shack with our OKW Parking Pass. We were "waved through". We walked to the International Gateway and through World Showcase to the Odyssey Restaurant for brunch. It was an awesome brunch. There was a speaker during our meal that played a Jeopardy-style game on Disney horticulture. She had lots of facts about the gardening at Epcot and WDW, and told us a secret about one of the topiaries in the World Showcase. (Remember that for later).
For dessert I chose angel food cake, fresh strawberries, whipped cream, and chocolate sauce. I created a "presentation" on my plate complete with drizzled chocolate sauce. The head chef saw my plate, and commented on my presentation. He was very impressed and offered to let me answer questions from the guests. We talked for a while, then we went back to our table. As part of the brunch price, we each received a Flower and Garden Festival tote bag that included a clay pot, dirt, seeds, Southern Living Magazine, and a cool pin. ($52.89 including tax and tip)
We waddled out of the restaurant and made our way to the UK. We checked out the maze garden and saw Eeyore, Tigger, and Mary Poppins. We continued on to the Beach Club and back to the car. We then made our inaugural trip to Super Wal-Mart!!!
Following directions I had pulled off the DVC Bulletin Board, we drove right to the Wal-Mart. Wal-Mart on a Saturday...had I lost my mind??? Actually, it wasnt too bad, and the prices were great. We stocked up on essentials like Diet Pepsi, bottled water, OJ, and snacks.
Note...The one product I could not find was Australian Toaster Biscuits. I buy them at home every week, and consider them an essential for life. Has anyone ever seen them in Florida? I may have to pack them in my suitcase next trip.
By now we were really starting to feel the effects of our flight, so we returned to OKW for nap time. Bob crashed right away, but I unpacked all the suitcases and organized things (does anal retentive have a hyphen)??? I finally laid down for a nap, and woke up about 7:00pm. What should we do for dinner? Olivias? We really didnt feel like going anywhere, so we cooked up nachos with our groceries.
After we were fortified, I decided to walk over to the HH to buy our E-Ticket Night tickets. I had no problem buying our tickets. Woo Hoo!!! I was so excited. We then walked around Turtle Krawl and bought refillable mugs. It was warm outside, and a very enjoyable evening. I was happy to just soak up the atmosphere. We went into the store and I bought postcards to send home. I got my nephew a really cool puzzle postcard. Mailing the postcards Saturday night, they actually got all the way across the country before we got home.
We walked back to our unit and I decided to cancel our ressies for Cinderellas on April 30, and try to get into Tonys instead. There was not problem, and Im sure I made someone happy who was trying to get a last minute ressie at Cinderellas. We crashed about 11:00pm. We need to get up early tomorrow!!! Animal Kingdom.
Day 2 (April 26) - Animal Kingdom...or Only Disney Could Get Me To The Bus Stop This Early
We got up at 5:20am!!! Got ready and had juice and granola bars to hold us over. Walked to the bus stop at 6:15am, and watched a beautiful sun rise. The bus picked us up at 6:25am. We had a great bus driver. He was talkative and informative. He had us all searching for our first sight of the Tree of Life (ToL). We entered the AK, and walked through the Oasis towards the ToL. I had read everything I could get my hands on the AK before we left, but words cannot describe my first look at the ToL.
Awesome, unbelievable...you have to see it for yourself. We waited for rope drop and walked briskly to Africa and Kiliminjaro Safari. We walked through a very long and empty queue area. Boy, I sure would not want to wait in that line!!! We walked right on a safari vehicle and our adventure began. I really didnt know what to expect, but it was unbelievable. All the animals were out. I went through 3 rolls of film!!! The lion was on his rock surveying his savanna, and the giraffes were hanging around. Elephants, deer-like animals (sorry, cant remember the exact names). I wanted to go again.
We exited the Safari and walked through Gorilla Falls. There was so much to see and take in. The Gorillas were unbelievable. I could have spent hours watching them, especially the interaction between the Mom and baby. She let the baby explore, but was very quick to rein him/her in if they got too far away. The big male was also fascinating. Then off to the bachelor Gorillas, boy they were having a great time.
After Gorilla Falls we went into the ToL and Its Tough To Be A Bug. Great show, great 3D effects, and some good puns. It seemed to be a short show though.
We still had time before our breakfast ressies, so we went to Dinoland and Countdown to Extinction. It was down!!! Major bummer. Right now AK does not have a large amount of attractions, and then to have a "E-Ticket" attraction down...We then went to Donalds Breakfastsaurus and checked in early for our ressie. We had a OK buffet, but we really paid to have breakfast with the characters. We saw Mickey, Goofy, Pluto (complete with bone), and The Duck himself...Donald. ($29.58 without tip)
After refueling, we checked out the Jungle Book show. It was OK, but very slow in places. The costumes were really cool, utilizing make-up instead of "heads". A very talented cast, but definitely a "once is enough" show. Then onto the Lion King Show. What can I say. Everyone should see it more than once. The variety of talent in the cast, the costuming, everything. The show was awesome, and I found myself with tears in my eyes more than once.
After the Lion King show we browsed through the shops and collected pressed pennies to add to our collection. We wandered around soaking up the atmosphere of AK. We stopped for ice cream on our way out of the park. While waiting for the bus we completed a short survey on AK. Some questions were: did we eat in the park, where are we staying, how did we get to park, what time did we arrive at the park. I just love answering surveys, especially Disney surveys. We got back to OKW about 1:30pm. Bob took a nap and I went to the main pool to swim and hang out.
I came back from the pool about 4:15pm and we got ready for our dinner ressies. We were out the door at 5:15pm. Parked at the Boardwalk (no problems at the guard shack). Walked to the International Gateway and on to Norway. We just strolled along enjoying the evening at Epcot. Checked in at Norway for dinner, and were seated immediately. We have never eaten at Norway, and had decided to try it based upon other trip reports. We were not disappointed.
There was definitely something for everyone on the buffet. We really enjoyed the smoked salmon, peppered mackerel, dill cured salmon, peel and eat shrimp, egg with shrimp and sauce, lamb, mashed rutabagas, mac and cheese, variety of cheeses, breads, smoked pork, venison, and meatballs. The potato and chicken salads were excellent. (I guess I should have listed what we didnt like.) ;o)
Now for dessert...I had Rice Cream with strawberry glace and fresh strawberries, and Bob had the Veiled Maiden, which is applesauce with apple chunks, layered with cream and cinnamon. ($51.31 without tip) Yummy. Im glad my shorts had elastic in the waist.
We waddled around WS towards France. Bob found the "special topiary" that we learned about at brunch. We sat on a bench for about 45 minutes while Bob "played" with unsuspecting guests. He had a great time playing. We watched Illuminations from the bridge by France, then walked back to the Boardwalk. We walked around the Boardwalk and checked things out. Returned to OKW and to bed about 11:30pm.
Day 3 (April 27) - Gee, Its Hot In Here...or Whadda Mean We Have No Power!!??!!
I woke up before the alarm went off because I was hot. Hot? Why was I so hot? Focusing on the alarm clock...WE HAVE NO POWER!!! I panicked, sure that we had over-slept and it was 11:00am. Luckily it was only 6:50am. Since we didnt know how long the power had/will be out, we jumped into the shower before the hot water cooled off.
About 30 minutes later the power came back on. We had granola bars/donuts and juice in the room, and was out the door to MGM by 8:15am. I was trying Jeff Spencers touring strategy...visiting a park on the day after its early entry day. Well Jeff, it worked great!!!
We walked onto the right elevator at Tower of Terror (ToT), enjoyed it so much, that we ran around and rode the left elevator. It took us longer to walk around that to wait for the ride. After ToT, we walked to the Little Mermaid. Jeffs plan was working great. We walked right into the pre-show. I love this show, especially the water effects.
After Mermaid we basically walked into Great Movie Ride. (Rant On): Here we encountered a really rude and pushy (literally) family from Europe. (No flames please). They were in a really big hurry to get on this attraction, and had no problem line jumping and cutting in front of people. The funny thing was that they were in the front car (Western) and we were in the back car (Gangster). Yep, they really made a lot of progress by being rude. (Rant Off)
I usually enjoy the GMR, but the CM can make or break your experience. Well we hit the jackpot. Our guide was Connie Marie from Albany, New York. She was working on the college program and was awesome. I complimented her at the end for a great job. She was surprised and pleased by my compliment. Her "gangster" was played by Derrick and he was great. Totally in character. They really made our GMR experience.
I quickly checked our schedule and decided that we could see the 11:00am HoND show and be right on time for our 11:45am ressies at Mama Melroses. We walked into the theater and was right on time to see Matt The Juggler (our first time). He was great (as everyone else reports). Then it was time for the Festival of Fools. No matter how many times I see this show, I am amazed at its ability to move me. Great cast, great talent.
Went over to Mama Melroses for lunch. We both had Caesar salads, Bob had the combo pizza, and I had the penne pasta with marinara sauce. The chef came around and asked how everything was. We told him excellent as usual. He wanted to know if we were repeat guests. Of course, we eat there every trip. He told us to call the restaurant next time and he would prepare something special for us. He loves to prepare special dishes for repeat guests. Im not sure that he was serious...but you never know. For dessert we shared the Chocolate Corruption, and boy was it named appropriately!!! Its a really good thing that we shared. Very rich, but the chocolate!!! ($41.72 without tip)
We waddled (notice a trend?) over to Muppets and walked right in. I finally figured out the "Net Full of Jello". I know, sometimes Im a little slow. The show was great and it seemed like there were more bubbles than last time. After Muppets, we walked right on to Star Tours. Why do I enjoy this attraction, but Body Wars gives me motion sickness?
Well, Jeffs touring plan seemed to be working, we had not waited for any attractions all day. By now it was getting really warm, and I had developed a nasty blister on my little toe!!! We stopped at Dinosaur Gerties for yummy lemonade slushies (in souviner cups) and sat on a bench and watched the world go by. After we finished our slushies, we wandered to our bus stop and back to OKW.
We spent a couple of hours at the pool, cooling off and relaxing. I could really get used to this life. About this time Im wondering "how many more points can I afford"? ;o) Back to our unit,cleaned up, and decided to go to Downtown Disney (DTD) for dinner before Pleasure Island.
We drove over to DTD and found a great parking place. We were not sure what we wanted for dinner, so we decided to cruise DTD. The line for Planet Hollywood was out the door and down the stairs. Nope. Bongos looked interesting...Then we came to the House of Blues (HoB). This was it. The waitress told us that the menu had recently changed (she was real excited), but since we had never eaten at the HoB before, we didnt know any different. Bob had the ribs and I had the sirloin steak. Excellent food, but we were too full for dessert. Bad planning on my part. ($54.93 without tip)
We walked over to Pleasure Island, and our first stop was the Adventures Club (AC). After so many trip reports about how great AC is, I just had to experience it for myself. We walked in and watched the action down below for a while. I really didnt understand what was so cool about the AC, but I was determined to figure this out. We went downstairs and ordered two Kungaloosh(es). Yummy!! We were initiated into the club and invited into the library. We were game, so into the library we went for Samanthas show, and had a great time. We exited the library and made our way back to the lobby. Saw the Colonel in action, then went back into the library for the "1937 Adventurer of the Year Awards". Great show. Back to the lobby and time for another Kungaloosh!!!
By now we were getting the hang of the AC and we were hooked. When it was time for the New Years Eve show we didnt want to lose our spots, so we stayed inside the AC. There seemed to be some regulars in attendance tonight, so we watched them. When they made their move to the library doors, we followed so we would be able to see the final library show.
I cannot believe that we spent the entire evening at AC, but now we understand what everyone is talking about. AC will definitely be scheduled into our next trip.
"Marching along with the Adventurers"
"Singing the song of Adventurers"
"Up or Down"
"North South East or West"
"An Adventurers life is best."
Got to bed at 2:00am!!!
Day 4 (April 28) - Shopping Outside WDW...or You Bought What in Florida??
After our late night we got up about 9:45am, had a light breakfast and was on the road at 11:00am. I am a serious creative scrapbooker and rubber stamper, so we were off in search of a couple stores. I had done some research on the Internet, and had door-to-door driving instructions. The first stop was a scrapbooking store off Hwy. 50. I had a great time shopping and Bob went next door to Circuit City and bought a video camera. The video camera was not an impulse purchase. We had done research before we left home, but didnt have the time to buy one. We actually saved money by buying it in Orlando, and we have a Circuit City here at home, so if anything happens were covered.
Our next stop was a rubber stamping store off I-Drive. We had a hard time finding it. I-Drive is a ZOOOOOO. We finally found it, and again I had a great time shopping, and Bob hung out at a book store. Unfortunately we had spent so much time trying to find the store, that we had to rush back for our ressies at Chef Mickeys. We zoomed back to the room, changed clothes, and zoomed over to the Contemporary (strategically parking for returning from E-Ticket).
The food at Chef Mickeys was very good (and a good variety). We had our pictures taken with Chip, Dale, Mickey, and Goofy. My only complaint was that the cupcakes were very dry (but it was fun frosting and decorating). ($42.40 without tip) After dinner we went to the top of the Contemporary and took pictures and enjoyed the view. If you have never been up to the top...do it. The view is unbelievable.
Took the monorail over to the MK for E-Ticket. We arrived about 7:30pm, and just wandered around. My plan was to ride the Skyway from Fantasyland to Tomorrowland, watch the fireworks, and be close to Tomorrowland when E-Ticket started. The line for the Skyway was long, but well worth the wait. When we got to Tomorrowland, we bought ice cream and staked out a spot for the fireworks. At 9:00pm we went to Space Mountain and rode the left side, then walked back on and rode the right side. We both decided that the right side was better. Note: At Space Mountain there were "suits" checking for wrist bands.
We then rode Astro Orbitor. Believe it or not, I have never been on Astro Orbitor. It was fun, but I wouldnt wait in line to ride it. Also, do not try to put two adults into the car, it was a tight fit. We then walked into Timekeeper and then into Alien Encounter. Alien is okay, but for us, definitely a once-a-trip kind of attraction.
We then crossed the hub into Frontierland. The Haunted Mansion should have been open, but it wasnt. :o( So we keep walking to Big Thunder (BTMRR). There was no wait at BTMRR, and we sat in the second-to-the-last car in the train. We love this ride at night. We wanted to ride BTMRR again, but decided to ride Splash, then blow dry ourselves on BTMRR. Splash was fun and we got a little wet, so we decided to ride again and try to get really wet. We boarded our log, but the ride was down. Really down. Disappointed, tired, and with sore feet (my blisters), we decided to go back to OKW. As we walked past Splash, they were evacuating people from logs stopped on the big drop. I couldnt image trying to get out of my log on that slope, then walk up all those steps. Yeach.
On our way out, we stopped by Pirates and had a little plunder. We left the MK and walked back to the Contemporary and retrieved our car. We got back to OKW at 12:30am.
Day 5 (April 29) - Sleep Deprivation Kicks In...or What Time Are Our Lunch Ressies?
Well today did not get off to a great start. I had originally set the alarm clock for 9:00am. When it went off, I could not get out of bed, and no power on earth could get Bob out of bed, so I reset the alarm for 10:00am. Ugghh, 10:00am wasnt good either, so I shut the alarm off and rolled over. At 11:45am we finally got up, and I knew we would not make it to Italy by 12:30pm. I have never missed or been late for a ressie, but I figured that there is a first time for everything. ;o) We may have to wait for a table, but I figured we would eventually get seated.
We showered, got presentable, and drove over to the Boardwalk. We valet parked (my blisters were killing me) and power-walked to Italy. We had to wait about 10 minutes for a table, and had a great lunch. I had the daily special which was a sample plate with lasagna, fettichini, and spaghetti with pesto sauce. Bob had the tortellini. For dessert I had the Tiramisu and Bob had the Chocolate Mousse. Yummy!!! ($54.59 without tip)
Being very full, we waddled over to the American Adventure (AA) to hear the Voices of Liberty. Gosh these singers are good. We then went into the AA for the show. I still love this show. From there we wandered over to France so Bob could "play" with more unsuspecting guests. Then onto United Kingdom and the British Invasion.
We had ressies for The Flying Fish at Boardwalk for dinner, so we took our time wandering over to the Boardwalk. We were dressed in typical theme park attire, and felt out of place. We were not as "dressed" as the other guests. I made some comments about our clothes to the hostess and our waitress, but they both assured me that we looked fine. Once we were seated I felt OK, but still would have felt better had we been in different clothes. Anyway, I tried something new for me...Tilefish. Very yummy. Bob had the Atlantic Salmon. ($48.23 without tip) After dinner we went back to OKW and picked up a package that we had had delivered. This is a great service and I take advantage of it whenever possible.
Since we were still full, we decided to head over to Downtown Disney and check out the Lego store and World of Disney. The Lego store is unbelievable. Are all those things really made out of Legos??? Especially the sea serpent?? We took lots of pictures and purchased a Lego set for my nephew. Went over to Ghiradellis and had a sundae and rootbeer float. Went to World of Disney and bought souvenirs for people at home, and found a really cool wind-chime for my Mom.
Headed back to OKW about 10:30pm. Hung around, then decided to call in a night.
Day 6 (April 30) - EE at Magic Kingdom...or Disney Parks: 4 - Gaylenes Blisters: 3
Up early again (6:30am) and at the bus stop at 7:30am. We walked right into the MK and rode Snow White, Mr. Toad (left side), Peter Pan, IASW, Jungle Cruise, and Tiki Room without waiting. I got the skipper on the Jungle Cruise during the "backside of water" line. He asked if anyone knew what it was called when we were behind the waterfall...so I told him. Boy was he disappointed that I stole his punch line. Well, he shouldnt ask if he didnt want to know. ;o) The new Tiki Room was okay. Maybe I wasnt in the mood, but I expected more. Hopefully next trip it will click with me. At least no one gets up in the middle of the show to leave.
Now it was time for breakfast at Tonys. To me, Tonys at WDW is what the Riverbelle Terrace is at Disneyland. I love both restaurants atmosphere and always try to include a meal there every trip. ($19.30 without tip) After breakfast we rode the train to Mickeys Toontown Fair (MTTF). What a disappointment!!!!! After Toontown at Disneyland, MTTF is a joke. I am glad that I did not have my nephew with me, he would have been really disappointed. We waited in line to meet Pooh, Tigger, and Eeyore, all the other lines were too long.
After our trip through MTTF (and Bob asking "Is this all there is?") we walked towards Tomorrowland. We had rode everything in Tomorrowland but Carousel of Progress (CoP) during E-Ticket, so CoP was our next stop. I love this attraction. Everybody sing..."Its a great big beautiful tomorrow..." Next stop the Haunted Mansion (HM). HM was also the only attraction we didnt ride during E-Ticket, so we went to visit 999 happy haunts. Well, after HM we had seen and/or done everything we had wanted in the MK, so we shopped our way down Main Street and out to the bus stop.
We got back to our unit about 2:00pm. We relaxed, did laundry, and I soaked my blisters. (Dont laugh, they were driving me crazy.) As we were getting ready to go MGM for dinner, it started to pour!!! OK, instead of riding the bus to MGM, we decided to drive and then stop at Target after the park closed. We got to MGM and parked close to the entry. We felt like fish going up stream...the people were streaming out of MGM. We shopped up Hollywood Blvd. and then went to Brown Derby for dinner.
We both had their drink special "Derby Margaritas". They were blue and VERY strong. I had to send mine back and have them add 7-Up. It was still a little on the strong side, so Bob finished mine. Bob had the roasted chicken and I had the tuna. Both dinners were very good, but we were too full for dessert...and I had wanted grapefruit cake!!! ;o( ($61.27 without tip)
After dinner we took one last Great Movie Ride. I had hoped to get the Western car, but they were only running the gangster car. By then the park was closing (7:00pm) so we went to Target to buy a few necessities of life like film, Band-Aids, and Bactine. The rain was finally letting up as we headed back to OKW. We stopped in at Conch Flats General Store and bought a few more souvenirs, then went back to our unit to relax. To bed at 10:30pm.
Day 7 (May 1) - Man Its Hot Outside...or How Do You People Do This In The Summer?
We had very good intentions of being at Epcot for EE today, but when that alarm clock went off at 6:30am, I just couldnt do it. I reset the clock for 9:30am and went back to sleep. Hey, Im on vacation!! Finally got up by 10:00am and caught a bus to Epcot. We arrived about 11:15am, so Future World (or Epcot East/West) was clearing out as everyone headed towards World Showcase (WS). We rode Horizons (for the last time?) then made our way to the United Kingdom for lunch.
When we got to Rose and Crown, we decided to eat inside because I was sure it was going to rain and it was hot!!! By now I was wondering how people handle the heat and humidy in August! I would be a big melted cranky mess. Anyway, we really enjoyed the cool interior and air conditioning! Our server was Sarah, and she was really great. We shared the cheese and fruit platter, then I had the fish and chips, and Bob had the ploughmans lunch. ($36.89 without tip)
After lunch we walked around WS and stopped at AA to listen to the Voices of Liberty. We did not stay for the show. We then made our way to France so Bob could have more "fun" with unsuspecting guests. I wanted to see the World Showcase Players, so Bob finally gave up his fun, and we made it to UK. We saw King Arthur and the Holy Grail...grail grail grail ugh. Great show. Then we went to the maze garden area to listen to the British Invasion.
On our last trip we did not see O Canada, so we decided to stop in. I really enjoy that show and the song. We then walked through the gardens at Canada, and walked through the Rose Walk on our way back to Future World (I wonder how long it will take me to call it Epcot East/West)? Anyway, we walked into Honey I Shrunk the Audience. I love that show, and look forward to seeing it at Disneyland soon. We stopped at Innoventions so Bob could play some games.
By now it was 6:00pm and my hunger bell went off. We went to Pasta Piazza for salads and Mickey Pepperoni Pizzas. ($19.13) Not bad for fast food. We sat outside the Fountain View Bakery to watch the fountain while we ate (also a great place to watch people). After dinner, I wanted dessert from the bakery, so I had cheesecake and Bob had the mocha cake. Yummy!!! We watched the fountain for a while, then wandered towards the entrance. We walked into Spaceship Earth, then back to OKW by 8:30pm.
I put in a load of laundry and we went swimming at the main pool. I love to swim at night after a hot day. It is so relaxing. Came back to our unit and did more laundry, phoned home, and to bed at 11:30pm. Tomorrow is our last day!!! ;o(
Day 7 (May 2) - Last Day...or Vacation Now Enters Hyper-Drive
5:30am. Yep, 5:30am was the wake up time. I wanted to ride the Safari before the weather was really hot. Somehow we missed the first bus (about 6:20am) so we did not arrive at AK until 7:00am. We walked straight to the Safari and had to wait about 10 minutes, but it was worth it. The lions were out, and so were all the other animals. I dont know if the difference was in where we were seated, or if the driver was really into it, but in places we went very fast.
After Safari we rode the train to the Conservation Station (CS). I was expecting more, especially after the build up of the train ride and long walk from the train station. We did press coins at the gift shop, so I guess that makes the trip worthwhile. After CS we were a little hungry so we stopped into Tuskers Bakery for yummy cinnamon rolls and muffins. We decided to check out Its Tough To Be A Bug but it was down, and not expected to be working until late in the day. Onward to Countdown to Extinction (CtE). CtE was wild, fast, and dark. Im not sure I liked it, but we bought our picture. The looks on our faces (and the faces of the kids in front of us) were priceless.
Next the Festival of The Lion King. It was a hot, hot wait. There has got to be a better way to queue up for this show. I was disappointed to be in the Wart Hog Section again (no offense Pumba), but I wanted to see the show from a different section. Oh well. The show was great, and the monkeys costumes were different from the other day.
After Lion King we stopped at the Flame Tree BBQ for lunch. ($18.55) Great food (especially for fast food). We sat down by the water and relaxed in the shade and enjoyed the breeze. After lunch we watched the daily parade "Parade of Animals". Wow!!! The floats and costumes were VERY detailed with bright colors. After the parade we headed towards the entrance and ate ice cream in the shade. We completed a survey on our Animal Kingdom experience. The CM used a cool hand-held computer to enter our answers to the questions.
Rode the bus back to OKW, then hopped into the car for a repeat visit to the stamp store on I-Drive. Hey, Ive got to have my priorities. Then back to OKW. We didnt have any ressies for dinner tonight, so we were contemplating what to do...when Bob decides that he wants a hat that the saw at the African Outpost at Epcot (and nowhere else). OK, but I want to watch the fireworks at MK. Vacation now enters hyper-drive...
We hop a bus to Epcot...Power-walk to the African Outpost...Bob buys his hat...Stop at Mexican Cantina for a quick dinner ($21.20)...Ride Monorail to TTC...Decide to ride the ferry to MK (Bob has never ridden)...Ferry takes forever to arrive so we switch to monorail...Monorail to MK...Whew...Im tired just reliving that evening. We make it to MK with time to spare. We check out Main Street for any last minute souvenirs and make our way to the castle for Tinkerbell and the fireworks. Unfortunately, we were directly in front of the castle, and the castle blocked a lot of the fireworks. Grrrr.
Now for our last attraction of the trip...the parade of guests. We hung out by the Coke Corner and watched the people go by, and go by, and go by. After the parade slowed down we made our way down Main Street and out of the park. It feels right to end my trips at the MK. As we walked out the gates, I turned to say good-bye to the MK with tears in my eyes. I also said a little prayer of thanks and appreciation for having the opportunity to be a DVC member, and enjoy WDW on a regular basis with my family.
Back to OKW and packing. AGH!!! How am I going to get everything in the suitcases!!! I also decided to tape the Disney Information Channels for the long un-Disney days ahead. Nothing beats watching Disney tapes before bed. ;o)
To bed about 11:30pm.
D-Day (May 3) - All Good Things Must Come To An End...or But I Dont Wanna Go Home!!!
We had express check-out (everything was correct on our bill), so we packed up the car and headed for the airport. We had no problem checking in the car, and made it to our gate just as boarding was beginning.
Here is where my error in judgment came in. I had booked us through Cincinnati, and we were on a 737. No movie...squished in like sardines!!! Bummer. We had a two hour layover in Cincinnati and an uneventful flight into Seattle. Well, I learned my lesson...dont book a cross-country trip through Cincinnati. The only redeeming factor of these flights...when we left MCO, we flew directly over WDW!!! It was sooo cool to see Epcot, the MK, and the boats zipping across the water. It seem like an appropriate end to our vacation.
My mom and sister picked us up at the airport and back to the real world.
How in the world do you people do WDW in the summer? I thought I was going to die from the heat and humidity!!!
I figured that the heat and moisture caused my blisters. Any hints on preventing blisters?
A hint I picked up from these groups was to freeze our water bottles. It worked great, we had insulated bottle holders that attached to our fanny packs, and kept our water cool/cold long into the afternoon.
(No flames please) We saw a lot of rude people from the east coast (assumption based on accents). Do these people have to act this way to survive in everyday life??? If that is the truth, I dont ever want to live on the east coast. (No flames please - This is my experience and observation).
Another great trip with 23 rolls of film to develop and many scrapbook pages to create.
Food (without tips): $712.01
Stuff to Bring Home: $716.11
Hope you enjoyed this report. Please e-mail if you have any questions.
Gaylene (GoH 84) and Bob (GoH 92) Gray