Our friends Laura and Dave (see Jeff's, Laura's, and Pam's Disneyland Trip Report) are getting married at Walt Disney World on May 8, and we're going to the wedding!
After the late night last night, we didn't get a very early start today. I got up earlier than Lee and took the laptop down to the lobby and worked on the trip report for an hour or so until the battery ran out. :-) Lee was still in bed when I got back upstairs, but he got up and we tried to decide what we were going to do for the day.
The first step was to get a wedding photo off the camera and up onto our web page, and we did that, figuring that we would deal with the rest of the photos and the trip report later.
It was almost lunchtime and we still hadn't had breakfast yet, so we headed into Epcot to the food court at the Land pavilion. The nice thing about the food court for us is that we can each find something that we feel like eating. And it's fairly quick, though certainly not a quiet or relaxed atmosphere. Still, we had evidently beat the lunch rush, because it was still relatively uncrowded.
After lunch we noticed a middle school band called "Ebony, Ivory, and Steel" was playing - a steel band played their numbers, and in between a group of piano soloists would play a short number. They were fun to listen to - some of the pianists were quite talented.
As part of Epcot's Flower and Garden Festival, in the area outside of Horizons and Innoventions was an exhibit called "Big Bugs". As the name suggests, these were *large* insects that are made out of natural materials - mostly wood. They looked really neat. I especially liked the ants, the butterfly, the praying mantis and the dragonfly.
We rode Horizons, though I slept through most of it...then we rode Spaceship Earth and I did the same thing. Very nice of Epcot to have these rides where I can relax in a nice dark, air-conditioned area. :-) We went into our favorite Epcot store, Centorium, but didn't find anything new and interesting. We also got a chance to watch the Epcot fountain - hard to believe that we'd been at Walt Disney World for two days and this was the first chance we'd had to do that!
It was a very warm, humid day, and I was still tired, so we headed back to the hotel for a rest before the late afternoon/evening events we had planned. I took a nap, and Lee got a milkshake from Beaches and Cream and worked on downloading photos off the camera.
We took the boat over to Disney-MGM Studios, and walked back to the backlot theater to meet the Spencer family for the Hunchback of Notre Dame show. It was good, as always, though the air wasn't circulating very well in the theater and it was pretty warm. It was bad enough just sitting still - I can't imagine performing under hot lights in that sort of weather.
After the show we headed to the Tower of Terror for the RADP meet. Lee was the designated beast of burden for Brian and Katie, and gave them both piggy back rides. :-)
When we arrived at the Tower several RADPers were already there, and the rest showed up soon. Including our newlyweds, Laura and Dave! Laura and I had "virtually" ridden the ToT, but this was our first opportunity to do it in person. Amy and Rosemary didn't want to ride, so they stayed behind with Brian and Katie, and 11 of us ventured into the hotel. There was almost no line - we took the left hand side of the queue and went straight into the library. We made it into an elevator, and I think we all threatened Jeff with bodily harm if he raised his arms and blocked someone's face in the photo. :-) Unfortunately, no one told the guy sitting in front of me that, and he managed to block out both Lee's and Laura's (that's the newlywed Laura's) faces...but we fixed that with a little digital magic. :-) (Here's the original untouched photo, if you're interested.)
After the ride we got a passing Cast Member named Marshall to take a group photo of all of us - I think we only had 4 different cameras - I think that's a record low for a RADP meet. :-)
Several people had to leave, but 7 of us decided we wanted another ride on the ToT - especially since a CM had just changed the wait sign to read 0 minutes! None of us had ever seen that before. In actuality we waited several minutes longer than we had for the first ride. I sat in a row of 3 between Lee and Rusty - and Rusty gave Lee a bad time about pulling the lap bar down too snugly. The point is to get as much air time as you can! :-)
The Spencer family said their good-byes, but Rusty, Bruce, Brian, Amy, Lee and I stood around talking for a while before finally deciding to go out for dinner together - we were all planning to go to Pleasure Island together that night anyways. It took us awhile to decide on a restaurant, but on Bruce's recommendation (and he is the Restaurant Reporter Extrordinare for WDWIG) we decided on the Yacht Club Galley.
We drove over with Rusty - once we found the car, at least. :-) Rusty is a parking lot attendant at the Magic Kingdom, but he has trouble finding his own car in other parking lots. Lee and I gave him a really bad time about that.
We actually arrived at the restaurant first, and were happy to find they could seat us immediately as soon as the others arrived. We had a very nice dinner - the food was good and so was the company. Bruce ordered alligator as an appetizer, and got Brian and Lee to try it - Lee says it tasted like chicken. :-) One of the waiters tried to steal my Tigger, but eventually brought him back. Rusty was able to get us a nice CM discount on dinner - thanks, Rusty! :-)
After dinner we headed over to Pleasure Island. The parking lot was full, and we ended up parking in a parking lot that was even further west than the West Side. We had several adventures, though...Rusty's car must be equipped with stealth mode, because we followed several people that had no clue that we were there. The first was a threesome that appeared to be walking out to their car, and we followed them along the row hoping that they were parked in it. They never once looked back at us, and Lee started humming the theme to "Jaws". But then they went into a different row...We then came upon a family that was walking down the middle of the road, and Stealth Mode must have still been on, because we followed them for quite a while before they realized we were behind them. Then they all started to scatter, but couldn't decide which way to go and kept turning one way then the other - before they finally all managed to get out of the way - we were cracking up in the car.
We finally made it to the Adventurer's Club on Pleasure Island, only to find that the other three had already beaten us into the Mask Room, and already had drinks. We settled down and made ourselves comfortable - we were out of the main room, and it was relatively quiet so we had a chance to talk. Lee and I decided we had to try the "official" Adventurer's Club drink - the Kungaloosh. It was pretty good - but there was a lot of rum in it. :-) Though even before Lee drank it he managed to try and sit down on one of the footstools and ended up on the floor. :-)
We were soon joined by fellow RADPers Gene, Aven, and Kim Baral, and a little later by Bill Hrabusicky, who had also been at the ToT meet. We gave Gene and Aven a bad time because Kim was working at Universal Studios rather than for Disney. :-)
We all chatted for a couple of hours - Rusty told us "Magic Kingdom Parking Lot Stupid Tourist Stories" - like parents who carry their kids on the tram and lower their head when they get in, but forget to lower the kid's head, and bash it on the top of the tram, people who walk right in front of the trams, or who stand on them in mid-ride, or who ignore the no-smoking announcement, etc. When Lee was a Cast Member at Disneyland, he was told that "people go on vacation and leave their brains at home", and obviously the same is true at WDW. :-)
We discovered that Sunday was going to be Brian's birthday, so we stayed at the Adventurer's Club until after midnight and sang Happy Birthday to him.
Here's some other photos of Amy and Bill, and Laura and Rusty. And Tigger. First Club 33 and now the Adventurer's Club...what are we going to do with him? Sigh.
We were really winding down, as you can see in this
photograph. :-) So we called it a night, and walked
back out to the cars - Bill offered us a ride back to the Beach Club,
which we thought was really nice of him until he forced us to listen
to the dance mix of "Colors of the Wind" while we were trapped
helplessly in his car. ;-) We really did appreciate the ride,
though, and we got back to the Beach Club and crashed.
Another late morning...I again got up before Lee and went down to the Lobby to work on the trip report - but this time he came down and found me before the battery ran out. :-)
We went back upstairs and worked on downloading pictures off the camera for a while, and I went over to the Boardwalk Bakery to pick up some pastries for a late breakfast. We had originally planned to head over to Animal Kingdom today, but with the late start decided to go to the Studios instead. Lee wanted to see Voyage of the Little Mermaid and the Animation Tour, but when we arrived we discovered that the Animation Tour was boarded up. We talked to an animator who was doing some drawing inside the Animation Shop, and discovered that they are redoing the tour, and in addition to modifying it to feature Disney's next animated movie, (Tarzan?) instead of Mulan, which opens soon, they are going to be somehow including the new Animation Building in the tour. He seemed pretty enthusiastic about it.
It was Mother's Day, and the park was more crowded than we usually see it - we had about a 20 minute wait for the Little Mermaid show. It was a different Ariel than we had seen before - her voice was lovely, but her dialogue was a little soft and hard to hear sometimes.
After that we went to the ToT - almost no wait - woo hoo! We decided to head over to Animal Kingdom, since we had heard that in the late afternoon the animals on Kilimanjaro Safari are sometimes more active/visible. We waited over 20 minutes for the bus, but at least it was a direct bus to AK, rather than stopping at Blizzard Beach and Wide World of Sports like they sometimes do.
We noticed a lot of people leaving, and walked right onto the Safari with almost no wait at all. But we actually saw fewer animals than we had on Friday - oh well. After the Safari we did the Gorilla Falls trail - that was a very pleasant and relaxing experience. We saw one gorilla down in the main viewing area, and I saw another one briefly before it disappeared into the bushes.
One thing we were both impressed with at AK is all of the vegetation - it certainly doesn't look like a park that just opened - everything is lush and beautiful and seems very well established. We also took the train to the conservation station, though we didn't get off there - I just wanted another look behind the scenes. :-) (Here you can see the construction going on in Asia - part will open in late 1998, and the rest in 1999.)
We started to head over to Dino Land to ride Countdown to Extinction, but got sidetracked by the Flights of Wonder show that was about to start. This show features live birds, and has a story that sort of goes along with that. The story really didn't do anything for me, but it was interesting to see some different birds in the show - like a toucan, and several others that I don't remember the names of - just that I had never seen them used in a bird show before. :-) A local grackle was upset that the Harris Hawk was a bit close to its nesting area, and kept dive bombing the poor hawk - though the grackle was at least smart enough to attack from *behind*. :-) It really didn't seem to faze the hawk, though.
It was a pretty windy day, and the funniest moment in the show was definitely unscripted - one of the main characters is a "wizard" sort of person, and his long gray wig blew off in the wind. :-)
After that we finally made it to Countdown to Extinction - the line was actually a little shorter than it was the other day, but it took longer to get through it because they were only running one side of the ride instead of both. It's still a pretty good ride - but it's still too dark. At the end, where the monitors that show you the pictures are, be sure and look up at the monitor on the wall to your left - it shows what's going on at the Institute *after* your arrival back with the dinosaur. :-)
We caught the bus from AK to Epcot and walked back into World Showcase since we had some time before we were due to meet the Spencers for dinner. We got a beavertail at Canada - we hadn't eaten since our late breakfast, and needed something to tide us over until dinner - and noticed that the instruments were now set up on Off Kilter's new stage - but there was no indication of when/if they might be performing. We wandered around World Showcase and admired some of the special Flower and Garden exhibits in Japan, and then heard the unmistakable sound of Off Kilter floating over the lake. We hustled back to Canada and caught the last 5 minutes or so of the show. They are really a lot of fun to watch.
We met the Spencers outside Le Cellier, and hung around outside waiting for our table. Lee suddenly yelled out, "Liz!" - one of the people he works with had just walked into the area with her family. Lee knew she was planning to vacation there, but not the exact time - it was really strange to actually run into her, though. And don't NOBODY even start *thinking* about that song... ;-)
We had a very nice dinner at Le Cellier - Lee and I hadn't eaten there before, but the Spencers had. All the adults ordered the maple salmon, which was very good. I had a salad and the rest had cheddar cheese soup. The kids had the chicken finger kids meals. We all passed on dessert, partly because we all wanted to see the last performance of Off Kilter that night. We were right up front - maybe a little *too* close, since my ears are still ringing. :-) They did some songs we hadn't heard before, and were as entertaining as always, and we enjoyed their performance.
None of us wanted to stay for Illuminations - we'd all been spoiled by our prime viewing spot at the wedding reception - so we walked back out via the International Gate. Lee gave a last piggy back ride to Brian and Katie, and we walked with the Spencers out to their car and said our good-byes. The kids didn't want to say goodbye to Mr. Lee, though - he was a real hit with them. :-)
Then back to the room to work on this trip report...it's almost midnight and I am *finally* caught up with everything! :-)
Back to Part 1
Go to Part 3
Tigger's Whimsical Wedding Wanderings
Back to Laura and Lee's Vacation Page
Text and photographs copyright 1998, 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, email: lgil at lgil dot net