Tuesday, December 14 - Animal Kingdom, Resort Hopping, Epcot
We didn't get a very early start, and our first stop was Coronado Springs to get the quarter and the beanie, plus we had breakfast at the bakery there. They have really good cinnamon rolls. :-)
We discovered that Tuesday morning is a great time to go to Animal Kingdom - it was pretty deserted. We didn't arrive in the parking lot until after 10:00, but we were still in the first section (Unicorn), though in the next-to-last row. :-)
We wanted to see the Tarzan Rocks show again (hopefully with better seats!), so we hustled over there, only to find that the show was delayed due to some sort of technical problem, so they weren't even seating people yet. But they eventually let us in and the show started about 15 minutes late.
We had MUCH better seats this time, in the lower section over on the left, and we liked the show even better the second time! A lot of people on the RADP newsgroup don't care much for this show, but we thought it was great. Very high energy and entertaining. We had a much better Tarzan and Jane this time (the muscles on *this* Tarzan are definitely not fake!), and some of the rollerblading that they *didn't* do last time, they did on this occasion.
We got a Fast Pass for the Safari and walked the Pangani Forest Trail - in a much more leisurely manner this time. :-) A few of the gorillas were out - one of the babies was having a great time playing in some packing material type stuff. He kept taking handfuls of it and covering himself with it - he was fun to watch.
And what's a trip to AK without some flower pictures? :-)
Our safari was ok - the guide was not very good (too much of the sing-song I've-done-this-too-many-times spiel), but we saw quite a few animals - including 2 cheetahs and one of the lions.
I was finally able to trade for one of the pins I'd been looking for to complete a set, and after that we headed out of the park - and got our picture taken in front of the Animal Kingdom tree. We slowly made it back to OKW with stops at the All-Star resorts and the Caribbean Beach resort for quarters and Mickey Bellhops. We actually got back to OKW with a whole 1.5 hours before we needed to go anywhere else! :-)
We met Jeff Spencer at the Epcot Tree Lighting Ceremony (the rest of
his family had flown home earlier in the day), and listened to Cast In
Bronze play as the Lights of Winter
and the tree were lighted. It was
a nice ceremony. (Here's a reflection
of the Lights of Winter in the pond, and another
picture looking through the Lights of Winter towards the tree.)
The guys got a couple of beers in Canada and we sat on a bench while they drank those for a while, then went over to the American Gardens Theater to try to see the 6:45 Candlelight Processional. It was full and we couldn't get in - we ran into Kenny Cottrell outside, though. After saying goodbye to him the three of us went back to Mill Vill to have something to eat, intending to see the 8:15 Candlelight afterwards. But as we were sitting there the week just caught up to me, and I was suddenly completely wiped out - glassy-eyed and yawning. It wasn't the company, Jeff, honest! :-) I knew I wasn't going to make it through Candlelight, which was disappointing because I really did want to see it again, so we said goodbye to Jeff at the International Gateway (there I was, hugging strange men at the International Gateway again...I *like* this custom! :-) ) and headed out of the park. (Jeff told me later that we probably couldn't have all sat together anyways - he was lucky to find a single seat.)
We went to Downtown Disney to run a couple of final errands then back
to the room where I totally crashed.
Wednesday, December 15 - Studios and Home
After we finished packing (I brought an extra suitcase, but it was *still* totally full!) Lee loaded everything in the car and we said goodbye to Old Key West...and headed off to the Studios.
We headed straight to Rock'N Roller Coaster and rode it with no wait...woo hoo! This is a great ride - I just wish it lasted a little longer. And I could do without the corkscrews - my neck doesn't like those very much.
Now that we'd been twisted around it was time to get dropped, so we went to the Tower of Terror - almost no wait for this one, either! I love this ride. :-)
There was quite a line at "Starring Rolls", and the line ALWAYS moves slow, so we went to the Commissary to have breakfast, instead. Rhere was almost no one else in there! Of course it WAS 10:30 by then...
The last thing we had time for was Voyage of the Little Mermaid, and we walked up just as they were finishing seating a show, so we didn't even have to wait in line! The puppets, lighting, and special effect in this show are very, well, *effective*. I think it must be kind of a boring job for whoever plays Eric, though - he's on stage for what, about 2 minutes, and has about 10 words to say? Though he *does* get to kiss Ariel at the end, so I suppose that's a perq.
Then it was time to say goodbye...sigh. It also seemed pretty odd to be finishing up our trip at the Studios rather than Epcot - but the Studios is our #2 final destination now - we've finished there twice! ;-)
The longest line we waited in all week was to check in for our Delta flight - 35-40 minutes! I'd looked outside but the line for curbside check-in didn't seem to be any better. Fortunately our flight was delayed or we would have missed it. They didn't have very many people working at the counter, and they didn't have *anyone* managing the line - normally they pull people out of line when it's getting close to their departure time, but they didn't do that.
The woman at check-in had to call the gate to get them to print and hold our boarding passes because they'd already turned that over to them. We hustled down there, but as it turned out we didn't have to hurry that much because our flight didn't start boarding for another 10 minutes. So we left about an hour late, and then our flight time was longer than usual because there was some problem with the aircraft, and whatever they'd done to hold something down meant that we had to fly slower. There were a lot of people on the plane who had much tighter connections than ours...we still had about 20 minutes when we landed. And as it turned out it was longer than that, because that plane left late, too - though only 30 minutes or so...and we actually got into San Diego on time.
Some Final Thoughts
Here's the things that were new to us this time...
Tigger's Millennium Malarkey
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Text and photographs copyright © 1999, 2000 by Laura Gilbreath. All rights reserved.
Laura Gilbreath firstname.lastname@example.org
Last updated 1/18/00