Our last day...always a sad occasion. :-( We got up and packed, and realized that even WITH the extra suitcase I'd brought, we were still going to need to get a box or something from Delta to put some of the stuff into (but I got some really nice additions to my stuffed animal collection! ;-) )
Mom and Dad were going to do their own thing again, so we left them and put our stuff in the car and went to check out. Since we are DVC members and were staying on points there was no room charge, and we hadn't put a credit card on our room keys, so the bill was only $14.65 (because of some phone calls). Woo hoo! Sure wish they were *always* like that... ;-)
It was a beautiful day, and so we drove around to some of the resorts we hadn't visited to see their Christmas decorations. The first stop was Wilderness Lodge, which is always one of our favorites, though it doesn't photograph very well. :-( After that we decided to park at the Boardwalk, and then walk to the Yacht Club and Beach Clubs, and then in the back gate of Epcot.
We walked all the way to Future World and went to Centorium to do some shopping - we ALWAYS manage to spend a lot of money there! :-) I wanted a big stuffed Figment, since the rumor is that he's going to look different once the ride finishes its rehab...supposedly Figment was being confused with Barney. (I guess "big" and "purple" is all most people see...sigh.) We had our purchases sent back to the International Gate so we could pick them up later (I didn't really want to carry a 2' Figment around with me...after all, I already had Tigger!)
We had lunch at the food court in The Land, and then Lee demonstrated how much he loves me by NOT making me sit through The Circle Of Life film. :-) (He likes it, but it's not one of my favorites.) We watched Future Corps, the precision brass band, perform in the breezeway (which was rather breezy).
We went to Canada for one last beavertail...the CM asked if we'd had them before, and we said oh yes, they were one of our favorites, and this was our third on this trip...and she gave it to us for free! She said something about "buy two get one free". :-) That was a nice surprise.
In England we saw one final performance of the World Showcase players - King Arthur and the Holy Grail again. The guy they got to play King Arthur was Italian and didn't speak English very well, but he got into it, and the language barrier provided additional entertainment.
Back to Canada to catch the last 10 minutes or so of Off Kilter...
unfortunately this daytime crowd was not very enthusiastic. At
one point they started playing That Song and twirling like the
dolls on the ride do...and Lee started singing with them! I was
forced to stop him...it wasn't pretty. :-)
In Japan we saw "Tales of the Dharuma Seller" - one of the games they play at the holidays is to make silly faces at each other, and the first one to laugh loses. He demonstrated with a couple of kids from the audience - it was fun, and they went a long time without laughing...actually I think he decided it was a draw. ;-)
We waited a few minutes after that, and then Miyuki, the candy artist came out. She makes animals out of candy - it's kind of like taffy when she works with it, but then it dries quickly into a hard candy. She has quite a repertoire - we saw her make a dragon, swan, hummingbird, and then I asked her to make a tiger for Tigger. :-) She was really fascinating to watch, and VERY fast.
We just had time to hear the Voices of Liberty one final time, and they were awesome. They sang Carol of the Bells, which is one of my favorite Christmas songs. After they finished, we talked to Cindy, one of the singers, for several minutes. She has a beautiful clear soprano voice. We discovered that she's been performing for about 7 months, and is actually trained as a biologist, but now she's singing full time with the Voices of Liberty and LOVES it. Normally there are 2 full casts, with a few subs, but during Christmas they add another cast, and she'd actually been singing with the Christmas cast. She said most of the singers are trained in music and are tremendously talented, and she feels very privileged to sing with them.
After that it was time to leave...sigh. We strolled out via the International Gate and collected our packages and walked back to the car and drove to the airport. Delta happily provided us with a garment box to accomodate our luggage overflow, and didn't even charge us for it.
The flight home was fairly uneventful, except that we had a plane change in Dallas to a different kind of plane, so they had to re-seat everyone. But the plane wasn't even close to full, and they were able to stagger seating so that just about everyone had the row in front and the row behind them vacant, which was very nice.
The family seems to have enjoyed the trip, though I think they still think Lee and I are a little Disney crazy. :-) But at least I think they have an idea of how MUCH there is to do there.
We were there for a week, and we *still* didn't have time to do everything...we hardly saw any of the "Holidays Around the World" story tellers at Epcot...and never had a croissant at the Fountainview! Oh well...we'll just have to go back. :-)
The two bedroom at Old Key West seemed to work out well for the 7 of us - of course, that's easy for us to say since we got the Master Bedroom and didn't have to share it. :-) It was very nice to have the kitchen facilities and to be able to have breakfast right there instead of going out someplace to get it. It was also convenient to be able to keep soft drinks and snacks cold. Since we had a washer/dryer right in the unit we intentionally *didn't* bring as many clothes and just did laundry in the middle of the trip.
The RADP Meets were a lot of fun - I really enjoyed meeting people in person that I have gotten to know via newsgroups and chats, and it was wonderful to see people I'd met before, too.
Are all of Disney's sound engineers deaf these days??? It seemed like everywhere we went the sound was way too loud - sometimes uncomfortably so.
We enjoyed Animal Kingdom a lot more this time - for one thing it wasn't so hot! But, we also had time to wander around more and spend time looking at the animals, I'm looking forward to Asia's opening.
The Christmas decorations were beautiful, and we enjoyed all the special Christmas shows like Candlelight Processional, the Osborne Lights, and the Lights of Winter.
Main Street after the first Spectromagic Parade was a nightmare. We could hardly even move - we won't make that mistake again..
Don't let Tigger schedule the time for a Tower of Terror meet. :-)
Other than Sunday afternoon/evening when it rained, the weather was very good - MUCH better than last year! The last 3 days were a little chilly, but we'd brought warm clothes so it was fine. That's one thing about Florida in December - you have to come prepared for warm weather AND cold weather!
We saw lots and lots of South American tour groups - mostly Brazilians and Argentinians. Most of them were fine, but some of them were pretty annoying - I saw one group pretty much block an entire path because they were singing and doing a dance step.
We actually don't have a "next trip" scheduled yet...waahh! But we renewed our APs, so we HAVE to go sometime within the next year. :-) Maybe late April. We're definitely planning to go at Christmas again next year, but probably the same weekend we did this time, so our passes won't cover it.
Back to Part 3
Go to Tigger's Christmas Caper
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
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