Lauri and Laura's Disney Vacation

Lauri and Laura's Disney Vacation

February 5-9, 2004
Part 2

Saturday, February 7 - Studios, Magic Kingdom/Epcot, Boma

A few showers were predicted for the morning, but fortunately they never really materialized and it ended up being a very nice day, though much cooler than Friday. (I carried my poncho with me all day just in case...and I'm sure that's what kept the showers away. :-) )

We took the boat over to the Studios and got a Fastpass for Tower of Terror (one of Lauri's favorites - mine too, as far as that goes!) and saw the first "Who Wants to be a Millionaire" show. I got in the Hot Seat when we were here last year, and Lauri wanted to get me into the Hot Seat again. We both got on the top ten board, but not to the top.

By the time that was over it was time to use our Fastpasses...so we got Fastpasses for Rock'N'Roller Coaster and then used our ToT Fastpasses. The line was pretty long (the park was full of cheerleaders since there was a big competition going on) but we breezed through with our Fastpasses...then went in to see another Millionaire show. This time I came really close to getting in the Hot Seat...when the contestant missed the 64000 point question I was #2 on the board, but the guy sitting right next to me was just a hair faster, and he was #1. And then he missed the 4000 point question, which was pretty easy. Oh well.

We went back and used our Rock'N'Roller Fastpasses, and without even asking we were put in the first row! I've never sat there before...it was pretty cool...I think it's a little smoother ride up there. And it's really cool to actually be able to see where you're going!

After that, guess what, we did *another* Millionaire show. :-) Neither of us did very well, though...we did stupid stuff like hitting the wrong button, or anticipating the answer to be "D" when it wasn't. And what's with all the grammar questions???

Lauri wanted to see American Vybe again, and I was going over to the RADP meet in the Magic Kingdom, so we took the boat - I got off at the Swan while Lauri was going to get off at the Yacht Club. From the Swan I took the bus...I have issues with Disney over their bus service for the Epcot Resorts. Here you have *five* deluxe resorts...and they are all sharing buses!!! Since the Swan is the first stop on the route, it took me about 35 minutes to get to the Magic Kingdom once the bus arrived...since it had 4 other stops to make. That seems a bit excessive.

Anyway...I arrived in the park around 3:00...but was able to dodge into Adventureland before the parade got to Main Street. I hadn't had lunch and wanted something to eat...so I thought I'd have one of the vegetable egg rolls you can get at the cart in Adventureland. But I was very disappointed when the Cast Member informed me that they are no longer selling the vegetable egg rolls...only pork or shrimp. Neither of which I care for. So I had a vanilla/chocolate swirl Dole Whip instead. It wasn't really what I wanted, but at least I was no longer starving.

I met the rest of the RADP group over at the Plaza Pavilion...a lot of the ladies I'd been seeing throughout the weekend were there, but I also met several other people - Min and Bill, and Linda, and another Laura and her mom, Wanda, who are from Nova Scotia, near the Bay of Fundy. I had a lovely chat with Laura...she is an amazingly talented young lady, and a huge Eeyore fan.

Many of the "meeters" went over to see Philharmagic, but I needed to get back to the Boardwalk because Lauri and I had priority seating at Boma that evening. I rode back on the bus with Dotti and Cathy...we all got off at the Swan and I walked back to the Boardwalk from there - that's faster than taking the bus, especially since our room was at that end of the building anyways, and I went up the stairwell that's closest to our room rather than the long way through the lobby.

Lauri had had a fine time watching American Vybe, though she heard a lot of the same songs we'd heard the day before. There were a couple of different singers, though.

We drove over to Boma where we had 5:30 priority seating. As usual, we had to wait, even though the restaurant hadn't been open very long. But it wasn't too bad. Dinner was great, as usual...this is still one of my favorite restaurants. Though the menu this night was a little more exotic than in the recent past...lots and lots of curry and cilantro and peppers and other stuff that I really don't care for. There was only one salad that I wanted to eat (though of course they had regular green salad, but you can get that anywhere!). But I still had lot of choices...they had my favorite stewed tomatoes - though those had more of a kick than usual - and fufu and hummus. And it meant I had plenty of room for dessert...two zebra domes and two chocolate mousse crunches. Mmmmmm.

It was still early when we got back to the room, but it was kind of nice to just kick back and relax...I read more of my book and worked on this report a bit....and watched Illuminations from the balcony again.


Sunday, February 8 - Animal Kingdom, Tea, Epcot

Well, the Weather Channel had said a cold front was coming in, and they were right! At 8:30 the temperature was 39 with a wind chill of 30. Brrrr! It was VERY windy, too, though at least the sun was out.

We went over to the new "Fresh" restaurant at the Dolphin to meet some of the group for breakfast. It's a very nice breakfast buffet - they cook omelets/eggs to order, there's a large variety of pastries, as well as fresh fruit, yogurt, hot/cold cereal, french toast, pancakes, bacon, and sausage. There's a juice bar as well, but Lauri and Meli tried a couple of the pre-made juices and said they were pretty nasty- they had wheatgrass in them. If you get something to order it might be better!

The omelet that I had was excellent, and I also enjoyed the fruit and several different pastries, as well as a piece of the french toast. It was a terrific breakfast, and the company was great, too. :-)

After breakfast I called DebK and made arrangements to meet up with her later and then Lauri and I went into Epcot - all we'd managed to see of it so far was the area between Canada and the U.S.! But first I had to renew my annual pass - I thought it expired the next day, but the turnstile spit it out. :-) I normally renew it at the International Gateway anyways - there's rarely a wait there.

Once we got into the park we went up to Future World and wandered around - we sent an internet postcard from Innoventions and went over to Mission:Space. Neither of us wanted to ride it, but we played the "Mission Control" game twice...our team lost both times but that wasn't because of us - we were both very efficient with over 20 uploads each. We had substandard astronauts, though. You just can't get good help sometimes!

We wanted to see Voices of Liberty so we headed there...unfortunately their set started 10 minutes before I thought it did so we missed the first 1.5 songs. We both went back to the room - Lauri had web site updates she needed to do for a couple hours and I had to get the car keys to drive to Animal Kingdom to meet the Komas. Fortunately our timing worked out well and I arrived just a few minutes after they did.

We grabbed some lunch at Pizzafari and then went back to Kilimanjaro Safaris - as we'd been walking into the park a man handed us a Fastpass that was good for any of the rides for up to 6 people - he said his group had been unable to use it, so we took advantage of it. That was really nice!

We didn't see very many animals on the safari...I guess they were cold, too, and were seeking warmer, more sheltered places! It had warmed up some, but I was still wearing my heavy jacket and glad to have it. We did get good views of the male lion and one of the cheetahs, though. And one of the elephants was lying down on the ground sleeping - it looked like the poachers had gotten to it. :-)

After we got off the safari we saw one of the bachelor gorillas laying on a blanket - he looked pretty relaxed!

Alex and Brian on Primeval Whirl
Over in Dinoland we all rode Primeval Whirl - we were all laughing and screaming. I really enjoy that ride, though I know a lot of people don't care at all for the entire area. Disney went to a lot of effort to make it look like the ultimate tacky tourist trap! And they obviously succeeded. :-) I think a lot of it is quite clever - I love all the puns - like Petri-fries.

I needed to go back to the Boardwalk and the Komas were headed to see if they could catch Tarzan Rocks which was just starting, so we said a quick goodbye. It was nice of them to let me spend time with them during their vacation and I really enjoyed seeing them.

I did take this picture of the "Expedition Everest" construction while I was on my way out - I'm still amazed that Disney hasn't done more to hide it from guests.

I picked Lauri up in front of the Boardwalk and we drove over to the Grand Floridian, where we were having afternoon tea. There weren't too many people in the tea room (it was almost 4:30 by then) and we didn't have to wait for a table. We had a lovely tea...we both ordered the Buckingham Palace, which came with tea sandwiches, scones, jam tarts and strawberries and cream, and we also shared the Stilton Cheese plate, which had Stilton Cheese, crackers, and walnuts, plus blueberries and raspberries marinated in creme de cassis. It was a huge plate - we were quite surprised. Lauri had the green tea, like last year, and I tried the Jasmine tea, though I prefer the cinnamon tea I had last year. We had a nice relaxing time, and it was a little after 6:00 by the time we left.

After we drove back we went into Epcot...we saw Oh Canada and Impressions de France. Lauri works with a woman from Canada, so I told her she had to see it. :-) For a movie made back in 1982 I think it has held up pretty well...it doesn't seem too terribly dated.

I have issues with World Showcase at night...most of the live entertainment ends by 5:30, and between then and when Illuminations starts at 9:00 there isn't much to do except eat and shop - and see the movies. But by the time we got out of Impressions de France it was close to 8:00 and we wanted a little something to eat. We walked over to China but nothing there really appealed to us so we went to Japan. I got the bowl of Udon noodles, and Lauri had the miso soup and some rice. On this cool evening that kind of thing hit the spot pretty well! It wasn't as cold as it had been earlier in the day but it was still rather brisk.

Illuminations was just starting as we finished dinner so we watched it from the balcony of the restaurant. Our view of the globe was obscured by the red archway thing, but we had a nice view of the fireworks. I don't know how many times I've seen the show now, but I still enjoy it.


Monday, February 9 - Studios, Home

It was sunny and a lot warmer in the morning, and not nearly so windy. We packed our stuff up (sigh) and loaded the car and drove to the Studios...we could've walked, of course, but since we were planning to leave from there this seemed a little more efficient.

First stop was the Tower of Terror...We had to wait about 40 minutes because one side was down for a while and the other side only had one elevator running. It was fun, and we got a different drop sequence than we had on Friday. I still miss the old lap bars, though...I got much more air time than I do with the seat belts! Oh well...

By the time we were done it was time for the first Millionaire show. The fastest finger question was ranking various lakes in order of size...and Lauri's seat number was at the top of the board! She looked at me and said she didn't want to go down, but I told her she had to. :-) When I got in the Hot Seat last year she was sitting behind me so I couldn't see her, but this time I was where she could see me. I flashed her a thumbs up once, and she mouthed "I'll kill you for this". :-) (When the host told her she could walk at any time I half-expected her to walk after the 100 point question, but she didn't. I figured it was a matter of pride for her to do better than I did last year, though!)

She got some tough questions but she did very well - until she got to the 64,000 point question...."What does the abbreviation 'Op Ed' stand for?" She chose "Opinion of the Editors", but the answer was "Opposite the Editorial page". Afterward she said she should have gotten it, but she misread the question. We both missed it, so I didn't get into the Hot Seat after her. But she did better than I did last year, since she did get to the 32,000 point threshold. And Millionaire is still one of her favorite things to do...though she prefers actually playing in the audience to being in the Hot Seat!

The host was Don, the same guy hosting when I was in the Hot Seat last year...we liked Michael, who was acting as the "Floor Manager" better, though. We saw him as Floor Manager four times and host twice.

I think Lauri did great, and when she got back to our seats everyone around us congratulated her and told her how well she did, too.

We did the next two Millionaire shows, but neither of us could manage to get in the #1 spot, though we were both in the top 10 a number of times. The third show Michael was the host and Don was the "Floor Manager" - this was pretty funny to us, because it didn't seem like Don wanted to be out there at all...he still sounded like a game show host. Lauri remarked that he was still playing to the cameras even though they weren't on him too much as the "Floor Manager". Michael was a lot of fun as the host and I'm glad we got to see him again. But I have to give Don the best line of the day...when a 12 year old was in the seat he started to say "D " which was wrong...and the audience moaned, and the kid added "...I think", and then changed his answer to the correct one. At that point Don said "There's no moaning on Millionaire!" :-)

We watched Voyage of the Little Mermaid, which was in rehab when we were here last year, and then went back to the car and drove to the airport. Lauri went off to American and I went off to Southwest...I still got in Boarding group B even though I didn't get there until about an hour before my flight...and the flight was full!

I must admit I kind of like this whole Palm thing...I'm typing this report on the Palm Pilot (using the almost-full-size external keyboard rather than the teeny one) while cruising along somewhere between New Orleans and San Diego.

Of course now we'll see just how easy or hard it might be to pull these files off the Palm and turn them into something I can edit into a web page.

And now I'm home finishing this up on my "real" computer, and I can say it turned out not to be difficult at all. I merely handed the Palm to my system admin (Lee) and voila, I received what I'd written in an email message. Who says you can't get good help any more? :-)


Final Thoughts


Other Links

Part 1
Tigger's February Frolic
Back to Laura and Lee's Vacation page


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Text and photographs copyright © 2004 by Laura Gilbreath. All rights reserved.