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 2

Thursday, December 9 - Epcot, Studios

We woke up and got to listen to our noisy neighbors next door, who have a kid that likes to run around the room screaming. Sigh.

After our late night last night (and the 3 hour time difference) we didn't get started very early - but I was expecting that. :-) We drove to Epcot, where we were planning to meet my friend Pam (see Jeff, Laura and Pam's Disneyland Trip Report) and her family at the Fountainview Cafe.

I think the Fountainview has some of the best pastries on property - I got to have my favorite, the cinnamon-pecan croissant - for breakfast. Pam and family arrived just as we were finishing up, and we got to meet her husband Fernando, and their little boy Mark, who is about a year and a half old.

We headed off to ride the new Journey into Your Imagination ride, which is one of the things that had opened since our last visit. On the way into the building, Tigger got to trade his very first pin with a Cast Member.

The ride was ok - not great, but we didn't actively dislike it as it seems a lot of other people have.

Afterwards we played for a little while in Image Works - it's still entertaining, but some of the things we really liked in the old one are gone.

"Mill Vill" was our next stop, and we saw a little bit more of it than we did the night before - and we wandered through Brazil and Sweden. Sweden's exhibit has four egg-shaped "rooms" that represent the four seasons in Sweden. I'm afraid we were most intrigued by the floor covering that looked like shredded bark but was made of rubber. :-) Lee did try to make a snow angel, though...

We saw the movie at Venezuela, which put Mark to sleep in about 2 minutes. No offense to any of you who might be Venezuelan, but it was dark and he was comfortable and it *was* his naptime...the rest of us stayed awake, though! (Lee says that we found out that there are only beautiful people in Venezuela who are very proud of their

Pam took Mark in the stroller to the little park inside the UK pavilion so that he could nap in a relatively quiet place, and we got lunch at the Mill Vill food court. After I paid, someone said "Hi, Laura", and I saw fellow RADPers Bill and Diane Abrams and their little 9 week old baby girl sitting there. We chatted for a few minutes before we headed to the UK pavilion to take some lunch to Pam.

Fernando sat with Mark for a while and Pam, Lee and I went off to ride Test Track - we got in the Singles line and were on the ride in less than 5 minutes - Pam and I were even in the same car. Pam got a Fast Pass for Fernando, but the time on it was 3:30-4:30 (and it was only 1:00 when she got it!). The singles line was a lot better bet than Fast Pass, I think.

When we got back to the UK we found that Mark had awakened and was raring to go. Pam and Fernando were waiting for friends to join them, and Lee and I were getting ready to head over to the Studios so we said our goodbyes for then - we were having dinner with them the next evening, though, so knew we'd be seeing them again.

Lee and I took the boat over to the Studios from the Yacht and Beach Club - our timing was perfect since the boat was just docking as we walked up.

Our main objective at the Studios was to ride the Rock n' Roller Coaster - new since our last visit, but it was down when we arrived, so we did the Tower of Terror instead, with a very short wait. The elevator seemed to be full of people who had NOT ridden it before, which was fun. We tried the RnRC again, but it was still down, and also looked around for Rachel, who had said she planned to be in that area at the time, but didn't see her (we figured the coaster being down had probably made her change her plans).

There wasn't really anything else we wanted to do, so after poking around the animation store, and checking RnRC again (still down), we headed back to Epcot.

We got a couple of beavertails to tide us over until dinner (we were both purists this time and went with cinnamon/sugar), and then watched the new Tapestry of Nations procession. It's hard to describe...mostly it features some huge puppets who walk down the parade route and interact a bit with the crowd. It's led by the "Sage of Time" - as Lee put it, he doesn't walk the parade route - he *stalks* it omnipotently.

I enjoyed it, and it was a lot of fun watching the performers use their puppets to interact with the kids in the crowd - the performers looked like they were really enjoying themselves.

On our way out of the park we stopped at Spaceship Earth to see if we could find Bill working there - and we did, but his name tag says "Will" instead of Bill. :-) We chatted with him for a little while, and he's going to try to make the RADP meet on Saturday, so we hope to see him again there.

We were tired and headed back to the room to rest for a short time before our dinner at Artist Point. It wasn't quite as long a rest as we wanted, but it was refreshing.

When we arrived at Wilderness Lodge, the lobby was just packed with people - we've never seen it so busy. The restaurant was busy, too, and even though we had priority seating, they told us it would be 20-30 minutes before they could seat us, and they gave Lee a pager.

While we were waiting, we admired the Christmas decorations - Wilderness Lodge is always beautifully decorated and has a great gingerbread village display. I especially enjoyed the part of this year's display which shows alien spacecraft hovering over it. :-)

We were watching a choral group perform in the lobby when Lee suddenly jerked like he was falling over or something - his vibrating pager had gone off, and evidently it *really* vibrated. He says it was up against his hip bone, and vibrated through his body - guess he got his thrill for the evening. :-)

We had a wonderful meal at Artist Point, as always...some people would probably say that we're in a rut because we always order the same thing - their cedar plank salmon - but it's *so* good and we really enjoy it, so we don't see any reason to change. :-) We had their flourless chocolate cake for dessert, which was ok, but not as good as last time - it was a bit dry. Still, we were stuffed when we left. We heard the music for the Electrical Water Pageant and went outside where we were able to see most of it from an observation deck outside the lodge. And after we got in our car, we saw some of the fireworks from the Magic Kingdom.

I came back and worked on the trip report for a while...and got Day 1 finished. (So yes, that means it's day 3 as I'm writing this. :-) )

Tomorrow we're off to try out Universal's Islands of Adventure Park.

Part 0
Part 1
Part 3
Part 4
Part 5
Part 6
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Text and photographs copyright © 1999, 2000 by Laura Gilbreath. All rights reserved.

Laura Gilbreath
Last updated 1/11/00