Laura and Lee's Mostly Live Trip Report

(aka Laura and Lee's April Adventure)

April 22-28, 1999
Part 4

Just a little review...this trip is just the three of us (Laura, Lee, and Tigger) and we're taking advantage of our DVC membership, and will be staying 5 nights in a studio at Boardwalk Villas, though our first night was at Port Orleans.

Monday, April 26 - Animal Kingdom, Epcot

The daily Swan update...this morning it's mysteriously shrouded in mist...but still watching Lee's every move. Maybe it realizes that he's onto it, and is making some attempts to conceal itself. :-)

The weather report: high 93, low 67. Ugh.

Our plan for the day was to go to Animal Kingdom and do some of the things we missed on Saturday - like the Safari, then spend the afternoon/evening at Epcot to see some of our favorite shows, as well as Illuminations.

We didn't get quite as early a start as we planned, but were still at Animal Kingdom by 8:20. We headed right back to the Safari - the line was already starting to stretch out into the village, and was posted as a 30 minute wait, though we didn't wait quite that long. The animals were fairly active, and we saw okapi, black and white rhinos, hippos, several cheetahs, elephants, giraffes, and lots of gazelle/antelope things. No lions or zebras, though. The safari driver we had was pretty good, and didn't make it sound like a spiel he'd done a thousand times. They REALLY need to lose that whole poacher story, though - it gets in the way of the driver talking about the animals that you are seeing.

After the Safari we had breakfast at Tusker House again, and then walked the Pangani Forest Exploration trail, where we saw more okapi, as well as meerkats, dik-diks, naked mole rats and gorillas. The gorillas weren't very active this time and were back more in the brush where they were harder to see. The big silverback male was up walking around a bit - we saw him select a stalk of whatever it is they feed him, look at it a bit, and discard it since it evidently wasn't to his liking. Picky, picky. :-) (Joke from our boat driver last night: Q: Why do gorillas have such big nostrils? A: Because they have such big fingers. You can groan now. :-) )

They had a big drawing on the wall about the characteristics of gorillas, and Lee posed with that...kind of scarey resemblance, isn't it? :-) (And he knew as soon as I asked him to pose that I was going to put something like that in this trip report. That's what 12*wonderful* years of marriage will do, folks. :-) )

We took the train to Conservation Station just because I wanted to do the round-trip now that the Asia section is open, and see what parts of Asia are visible. (Just a little bit of the plains beyond the tiger enclosure.) While we were going by the rhino house in the back of the park, there was a rhino and baby still back in the enclosure - I guess the little one isn't quite up for being on display yet.

Our next objective was to see the Flights of Wonder show. We had just missed getting into the 10:45 and we had almost an hour, so we went to see what the line for Kali Rapids was like. It was only about 20 minutes (actually was a bit less than that) and we amused ourselves taking pictures of Tigger at various spots in the queue. Some people noticed and asked if he was a travelling Tigger and we explained about the web site, and they copied down our web, if you two are out there, hope you enjoyed Tigger's page!

I wore the poncho again, but Lee decided to brave the elements...he got wet but not drenched. We did the Jungle Trek again, but the tigers were all sleeping and not very visible.

It was getting hot again, and so I went off to get something cool while Lee held our place in line for the Flights of Wonder show - when I got back he told me we weren't allowed to have food/beverages in the show area. I'd found some really good caramel corn (Lee is especially fond of that) at a cart on the path between Africa and Asia, but at least we were able to put that in a bag and save it for later...we ended up having to toss most of the frozen lemonade, though. Oh was a good plan!

The Flights of Wonder show has been relocated temporarily while they put a roof over the Caravan Stage - it REALLY needs a roof. We saw the show last May, when it was NOT yet high summer, and we about baked ourselves out there. For now they have it in a large tent, that's very obviously temporary - plastic chairs, artificial turf on the floor, visible extension cords, etc. It seems very un-Disney - we're spoiled by all the theming they do to hide the actual mechanisms from us. But it was nice and cool in there. We enjoyed the show much more than before - they got rid of the whole sub-plot they had about a young man journeying to find treasure, and instead they just focus on the different birds and their behaviors. Because it's inside with a low ceiling they can't show off some of the birds they had before, but there were still plenty of things to see, and actually, given that it is a much *smaller* area, I think we got a better view. We saw a Fishing Eagle, which looks very much like the American Bald Eagle, and it was her first day in the show. The cockatoo that mimics the trainer's behavior was a lot of fun, as was the crow that plucks a dollar bill out of an audience member's hand, brings it to the trainer, then returns it to the audience member. At the end of the show they brought out an all *white* red-tailed hawk - she was just beautiful.

It was turning into another scorcher of a day (a high of at least it was a whole degree cooler than yesterday), and we headed out of the park and back to the hotel for a very short while, then into Epcot where we had Priority Seating at Marrakesh in Morocco for a late lunch.

But first we had time to see the Voices of Liberty in the American Adventure building. We didn't recognize most of the singers - it was a much different group than we'd seen before, and all but one song they performed was new to us. They were wonderful, as always. I can't believe we're this far into the trip and this is the first time we've seen them!

We went back to the Morocco pavilion to the Marrakesh restaurant - the restaurant was nice and cool and it is NEVER crowded. We like the food there (the Chicken Bastilla appetizer is my favorite), but obviously it doesn't appeal to a lot of people - we watched two parties be seated, look over the menu, then get up and leave. We enjoyed our lunch, though - we had the aforementoned Chicken Bastilla appetizer (chopped chicken wrapped up in pastry, with sugar and cinnamon sprinkled on top - sounds strange, but it is *wonderful*), then I had the vegetable couscous and Lee had the Shish-Kebab (and some of my couscous). We watched the belly dancer perform - she got several kids from the audience to dance with her. After lunch we went back to the hotel to relax and nap and read.

Feeling refreshed and (most importantly) cooled off, we headed back into Epcot about 6:00. The temperature had dropped some...maybe down to 88. Have I mentioned that it's too blasted hot? Our plan was to let Epcot entertain us for the evening. We'd figured out the times for the things that we wanted to see, and saw Rondo Masquerade again (with a stop along the way for a Kaki Gori). Then it was off to Great Britain to see the World Showcase Players (a street theater group, where audience participation is required) perform King Arthur and the Holy Grail (they actually *do* perform another play, but we've only seen the other twice - we always seem to see the Grail one instead - I'll bet we could almost do the whole thing ourselves. :-) ) This one was especially funny - the audience member they got to play Galahad was doing some ad-libbing on his own, and the three regular actors were just losing it sometimes because they were laughing too. I guess it had been a long day. :-)

From there it was a short walk to the Canada pavilion where Off Kilter would be performing, but we had time to stop and get a beavertail to eat before the show. Our first beavertails of the trip,'s just been too blasted hot. We talked to cast member Kara for a while - she has only been working there for about 3 weeks, and this is something she's always dreamed of doing. She's having a wonderful time so far, and really has the Disney spirit and enthusiasm.

Off Kilter put on a fine show, though they didn't have much of an audience.

From there we went up to the front of the park to see Cast in Bronze play. This group features a carillon, which is four tons of bells - carillons are not exactly easily transportable, and most of them are permanently housed in bell towers. This is the only "portable" one in the U.S. It's played sort of with a keyboard and foot pedals, only he strikes the keys with his fists rather than fingers. In addition to the carillon, the group also includes an electric bass, keyboard, and drums. They were actually here when we were here in December, but we never had a chance to listen to them - and I'm sorry we missed them, because they were just awesome. The selections we heard ranged from Carol of the Bells to modern rock to Amazing Grace to Carmina Burana. It was great, and it was fascinating to watch the guy play the carillon - he gets quite a workout.

On the way back into World Showcase we saw most of Off Kilter's performance, then got some goodies at the French pastry shop and found a spot for Illuminations. The park was not crowded at all, and we had no trouble finding a spot. Then it was back to the hotel (stopping at the bakery for a coke float for Lee) to crash.

We're not quite sure what we're going to do tomorrow...there's still some things at Epcot we haven't done yet, but our only set plan is dinner at California Grill. It seems strange to say it, but at this point I'm almost ready to go home just because I'm so tired of fighting the heat. Have I mentioned that it's too blasted hot?

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Go to Part 2
Go to Part 3
Go to Part 5

Text and photographs copyright © 1999, by Laura Gilbreath and Lee Zimmerman. Feel free to link to this document, but you may not redistribute it in any form without the express written consent of the copyright holder.

Laura Gilbreath,
Last updated 4/27/99

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