Laura and Lee's 2004 New Holiday Stuff
at Walt Disney
December 5-11, 2004
Saturday, December 11 - RADP Meet, Home
Going home day...not quite as I originally planned it due to the changes
in our flights. (Recap for those just joining us: I'd originally booked
a return flight at 6:00 p.m. but Delta cancelled it and all I could get
was a 2:00 p.m. flight. So instead of having plenty of time for
the RADP meet and greet and the Megamouse meet, we would only have time
for a brief stop at the RADP meet.)
I got up and packed, checked the "Express checkout" bill, which
looked ok, and headed over to Epcot. Lee was going to do breakfast
from the Boardwalk Bakery, but I hadn't gotten my cinnamon pecan
croissant from Fountainview fix yet, and this was my last chance!
And there were still a few things I wanted to do at Epcot. We made
arrangements to meet back at our room at 10:30.
I got my croissant and even got to watch the fountain dance while I was
eating it. Then I went over to the Imagination pavilion to see
"Figment's Place" - Kevin had told us about it the day before. It
wasn't open yet, but a very nice (and really cute!) CM from Brazil, who
was at the souvenir cart outside, told me it should be opening at
10:00, which wasn't too far away. As I was making my way back towards
Innoventions I ran into Lee. We wandered around Innoventions and the
Art of Disney store and by then it was after 10:00. But Figment must
have been sleeping late, and it still wasn't open. As we made our way
down the ramp Lee turned around and saw the doors open so we went
back. The place is really just a character greeting area for Figment,
though it has some of those funhouse type mirrors to entertain you
while you're waiting. Unfortunately Figment was living up to his name,
and was truly a figment of the imagination that morning so we left -
we needed to get back to the Boardwalk to finish getting moved out.
|Las Posadas tapestry at
We put our bags in the car and then walked back to Epcot again -
I wanted to get some pretzel breadsticks from Trapper Bob's - which
no longer sells beavertails. No great loss - once they started
pre-cooking them and re-heating them rather than cooking them fresh
they weren't very good. But Trapper Bob's wasn't open, nor did it
show signs of opening soon. Oh well, at least I got the pretzel
bread when we had lunch at Le Cellier.
We went back to the International Gateway where a number of people had
already gathered for the RADP meet even though it was only 11:15.
The first people who saw us were Kerry and Chad - it was great to
see them - it had been probably 4 years. We were having to keep
one eye on our watches since we had to leave for the airport. But
we had time to say hello to Charlotte and John, and Jan and Mike,
and Kenny, Jack, Bruce, Brian and BigBrian, Dave, Amy, and Randy.
Oh! Kenny was wearing long pants!!! I'd never seen that before.
He believed the weather report that said it was supposed to be
chilly, when it turned out to be sunny and quite comfortable. We
had to give him a bad time about that. :-) 12:00 came too soon
and it was time to leave.
We arrived at the airport in plenty of time. The check-in line for
Delta was *huge* but fortunately there was no line at the self-service
As I write this we are in a holding pattern over Imperial County...the
San Diego airport is fogged in and they may have to divert us to LAX.
I hope not.
And there's the announcement...LAX it is.
Ok, so we land at LAX, and get off the plane. They tell us to remain
in the gate area until they figure out what they are going to do with
us. Within 5 minutes they announce that they are re-boarding our
flight for immediate departure, so now we're back on board...and the
pilot just announced that we are NOT ready to leave - actually the
weather in San Diego isn't clear yet.
|Tree at the Polynesian
And now we're no longer live, it's back to Memorex (or memory, as the
case may be).
We ended up waiting at the gate at LAX for another hour and a half
before we finally took off - I did get to see most of Elf (with free
headsets) in that time, though. The weather had cleared in San
Diego but they put us in a holding pattern so that they could let
a bunch of planes depart that had been waiting to leave. We were
on final approach when all of a sudden the pilot broke off and
gunned the engines - never a good sign. The fog had closed in
again. But the plane behind was was able to land, so we came around
again, and did land that time. I hope the pilots could see more
than I could - I couldn't see the runway lights until we were over
It was a looooong day...we were supposed to land at 7:25 but didn't get
in until 10:45. My brother came and picked us up anyway (thanks, Gary!)
and we got home around 11:30. The cats were happy to see us...mostly I
think they were glad because we turned the heat on - it had continued to
be chilly while we were gone. There was a pile o'cats on the bed that
Just a few last flower photos!
|Festive gargoyle on New York
street - his eyes glow red at night
- There were so many New Things for us on this trip! I'd have to say
that the holiday finale to Illuminations was our favorite, followed by,
you got it, dude, Turtle Talk with Crush. Those Disney imagineers are
- We also really liked the Osborne Lights in their new "city streets"
location. Even if the Disney electricians didn't set it up quite to
Lee's standards. :-)
- We had a wonderful time on the Segway tour! They are really great
fun to ride, and the tour was well worth the money. Ok, so maybe I
didn't *learn* as much as on other Disney tours, but I had a lot more
fun. :-) While it would be nice to be able to take a different
version of the tour, like maybe in a different park, that won't
stop us from taking this one again.
- Other than the rain showers on Friday the weather was GREAT - maybe
the best December weather I've ever seen there. It was so nice to be
comfortable in t-shirt and shorts!
- December is typically uncrowded, but I think it was even more
uncrowded this year than it has been during some of our previous
visits. Even Magic Kingdom on Monday evening was not very busy -
the waits for Pooh, Stitch, and Buzz were quite short.
|Animal Kingdom version of a
partridge in a pear tree
- We were less than impressed with the new "Stitch's Great Escape"
attraction....but we have plenty of company. :-) I'm not even sure
it's better than Alien Encounter - the pre-show with XS-Tech and Skippy
and the very creepy S.I.R. robot was a lot better than the
"prison-guard-in-training" scenario they have now. The Stitch portion
is better...at least it's not so gross and scary with Stitch running
around eating chili dogs as it was with the alien who was eating people!
- The room fiasco was quite annoying...I don't think we should have
had to escalate the situation on check-in before Disney offered a
solution. And I wish everyone had gotten their stories straight as to
how long we were going to be allowed to remain in the studio, though I
do think we should have been able to remain until our new room was
ready. Once we found out that it was close by we should've just gone up
and down the hall trying the key in the door, since it's a good bet the
room was ready BEFORE 4:00. :-)
- LOL...I was just looking at my "Final Thoughts" from last year's
trip, and one of my comments was: "We really need to try some different
restaurants, I suppose. :-) Maybe I can talk Lee into Chefs de France
for Candlelight next year." I'd completely forgotten about that...I
only booked Chefs de France because my first two choices, Le Cellier and
Akershus, were sold out. Nice that it worked out, because we really
enjoyed our dinners! (And I also got my very own home edition of the
Lights of Winter like I asked for last year, too! :-) )
- Ok...is everyone sitting down? This may be shocking for some of
you. Ready? Ok...believe it or not we are NOT planning a December
trip for 2005...instead we are planning to go in November for
Epcot's Food and Wine Festival, which we've never been to. December
ends up being such a rush with trying to get ready to go to Florida
and then coming back and having to get ready for Christmas that
we're going to give ourselves a break next year. Or at least that's
the plan. :-)
Thanks for reading!
Tigger & Stitch's Holiday Escape
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Text and photographs copyright © 2004 by Laura Gilbreath.
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Laura Gilbreath lgil at
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Last updated 12/21/04