Laura and Lee's Somewhat Live Trip Report

aka Laura and Lee's December Trip to Walt Disney World to see all the holiday festivities and decorations, and all the new Millennium stuff and all the new attractions that have opened since their last trip, but mostly just to have fun

December 8-15, 1999
Part 1

Thanks for joining us!

Here we are, headed back to Walt Disney World in December again this year to enjoy all the Christmas festivities. We're planning to meet up with some friends and see all the things that are new at Walt Disney World since our visit in April. (And there are new things at every park!) And we're even planning to (gasp!) visit Universal's Islands of Adventure Park.

So here we go...


Wednesday, December 8 - Fly, Mini-RADP Meet

Our flights were uneventful (the best kind!), and even left on time and arrived early!

Our bags were on the baggage carousel when we got there (they were even right next to each other), and we got our rental car and were on the road about 30 minutes after arriving at the gate. We can't do a whole lot better than that. :-)

We checked in at Old Key West (our first time staying in a studio here), and quickly dropped our bags in our room and headed off to Epcot, where we were meeting Rachel (TDC Mermaid) at 7:00. Even after all those months of non-use our annual passes still worked just fine. :-)

Our first stop was the Canada pavilion for a beavertail. Lee had the traditional cinnamon and sugar, but I tried the chocolate hazelnut - it was quite good. The guy behind us in line was from the area in Canada where the beavertail franchise started, so we got to hear some of the background - we are beavertail experts now. :-)

When we reached the Off Kilter stage where we were to meet Rachel, we were surprised to find that not only was she there, but so were three other RADPers - Paul M., Kevin, and Kris Anne. And a little later Amy K. happened to be passing by and saw us standing there, so she joined us as well. The rest brought us up to date on what had been happening at the various RADP meets, and what they had been up to - sounds like everyone had been having *way* too much fun. :-) They had a lot of really good stories to share.

After we saw Off Kilter perform, we decided to all go see "Oh Canada". I must say that this was the most fun I've ever had watching "Oh Canada" - Kevin is from Canada, and he gave us a running commentary on what we were seeing, and at the end Rachel and Amy and Kevin and Paul were all singing along with the "Oh Canada" song - quite well, too. I was impressed that Amy and Rachel knew the words in French as well as English.

We were hungry, so we went to the Mill Vill (the Millennium Village, not to be confused with a certain novelist who wrote about white whales, or a notorious lip-synching duo) to grab something to eat.

The Millennium Village is a new pavilion in World Showcase between Canada and the United Kingdom. It gives additional countries the opportunity to have a presence in World Showcase without sponsoring an entire pavilion - there's supposed to be over 2 dozen countries participating. We haven't seen too much of it yet, but quickly saw some things from Brazil, Scotland, and Sweden on our way to the food court. (One of the themes of the Village is "Gifts to the World" - judging by their exhibits, Brazil thinks its gift to the world is soccer, and Scotland thinks theirs is golf - I know people who would agree that golf is a wonderful gift...)

Oh, but before we actually went in, we made a stop at the restrooms outside the Millennium Village...these must be the world's largest restrooms - they were huge! The guys came out claiming you could play football in theirs, and the women's restroom seemed to go on forever. I'm glad I don't have to clean it...

But back to the food...The food court allows you to sample cuisine from all over the world, and the portions are small enough and priced reasonably enough that you can try a number of different things in making up your meal. I had an empanada (a pastry filled with chicken, chiles, and some other spices) from the Latin American stand, and Lee had a jerk sandwich from the Jamaican section, and we split an apple pastry from the American stand.

We all ate pretty quickly because we wanted to see the new Illuminations show, called Reflections of Earth. We missed the first few minutes (it took us a while to find our way OUT of the Village - "follow the red carpet"), and couldn't see the fireworks very well because we were under some trees, but we had a good view of the globe in the center of the lagoon. Even with what little we saw the show looked good - definitely an improvement over the former version of Illuminations.

After the show we all decided to head over to Downtown Disney. On our way out Epcot via the International Gate we ran into another RADPer, Bill Hamilton. This was pretty funny because a year ago I was waiting for Lee and his brother in almost exactly the same place, and ran into Bill there, too. (Psst, Bill, we have to find a new spot next year...Lee is going to get suspicious. ;-) )

We shopped a bit at World of Disney but didn't buy anything, and then went over to Ghirardellis to have dessert. Somehow we ended up going around the table discussing "what bothers you about the Beauty and the Beast stage show at the Studios". Hey, it made sense at the time... :-)

We made plans to try to meet up with Kevin and Amy at Islands of Adventure on Friday, and since it was almost midnight by then (that's still early to those of us who are still on west coast time, though!), we all said our goodbyes.

I guess it all turned into an impromptu RADP mini-meet, but it was a lot of fun, and we all had a good time teasing and picking on each other.

We got back to our room about 12:30 and crashed.


Part 0
Part 2
Part 3
Part 4
Part 5
Part 6
Tigger's Millennium Malarkey
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Text and photographs copyright © 1999, 2000 by Laura Gilbreath. All rights reserved.

Laura Gilbreath lgil@cts.com
Last updated 1/18/00