Laura and Lee Wish Upon a Star...
...and Visit Walt Disney World
January 30-Feb 4, 1997

Trip Report

The players: Me (Laura) and my husband Lee, both 36 year old computer types. Our third trip to WDW. We were celebrating our tenth wedding anniversary (Jan 31). We met up with our good friends Walt (37) and Barb (36) (pictured right), who were both in our wedding party, a computer type and mechanical engineer, respectively, who flew in from Massachussetts. It was their first trip to WDW.

First of all, I'd like to say a huge thank-you to Debbie Wills of WDWIG and Brian Bennett of the WDW Trip Planning Guide, and all of those who have contributed trip reports and FAQs and tips...I was so much better prepared for this trip than the others, and it made a tremendous difference. (The other three were amazed with what I knew about the transportation system, the menus at the various restaurants, where to watch the parades and fireworks shows, etc.) Thanks, everyone!

Thursday, January 30 - Travel Day

Since we live in California, flying to Florida is an all-day thing for us - we left at 8:30 a.m. and didn't arrive in Orlando until about 7:20. Our flight was well over an hour late - we were supposed to arrive 1:20 before Barb, but ended up getting in 10 minutes *after* she did. Fortunately we were able to page her and meet her with no problems. (Walt had a work conflict, and flew in the next night.)

Got our rental car and drove to Crossroads, had dinner at Chevy's (which Lee and Barb really liked, but I was unimpressed), and then got groceries at Goodings, before driving to the Old Key West (OKW) Resort.

Lee and I bought into the Disney Vacation Club (DVC) at OKW on our visit here last April, but this was our first opportunity to actually stay there. We rented a two bedroom vacation home for our 5 nights. We ended up in Bldg 16 (which is the "show homes" building) on the first floor. We liked that location - about equidistant from the Millers Rd and Conch Flats bus stops. We really enjoyed our vacation home, too - even though we didn't spend a great deal of time there, it was nice to get back in the evening and be able to sit around the living room and relax for a while before going to bed. And having the kitchen facilities so we could get our own breakfasts was a big bonus - it was simple, healthy, and quick. (Lee actually made us pancakes one morning!)

I had set up express check-in, so that was easy - we picked up our room keys and ids and were set. Barb called Walt (who was flying in the next day) to tell him where we were and how to get there, and we went to bed.

Friday, January 31, Disney-MGM Studios/Epcot Center

Since we were still on west coast time, "Early Entry" was not an option. :-) Besides, Barb got up after we did, and she was already in her usual time zone! We thought it would be easier for her to buy her 5 day world hoppers at OKW instead of at the park...but it took 15 minutes! (How hard is it to swipe a credit card, anyway?) It didn't matter, because we still had a fairly long wait before a bus to the Studios finally showed up (two EC and MK busses went by in the same time).

Arrived at the Studios just in time for the 11:00 Indiana Jones Stunt Spectacular. This was a portent of things to come - our timing on this trip was amazing - we continually wandered into a show just as the doors to the theater were opening, or just in time for the preshow - our longest wait was about 4 minutes.

Back to Indy...We had seen it before, so knew the one guy was a plant - but the "Casting Director" was much kinder to him in the poses she put him into than the one we saw last time... :-)

Did Star Tours after that - about a 5 minute wait. It's just like the one at Disneyland, so nothing new there. Then it was off to the 101 Dalmatians backlot tour. This and the studio backlot (tram) tour have changed since our April visit - the studio backlot tour now takes you through the water tank area before you board the tram, while the Dalmatians tour goes through the creature shop, special effects area, and sound stages.

There were lots of CMs in training during our trip - the one doing the spiel in the Dalmatian model room was doing it for the very first time - it showed, too. :-( They are busy building the Mission Control set on Soundstage 1 for Tom Hanks' upcoming 13 part Apollo series - I believe it's called "From the Earth to the Moon".

Next stop was the "Great Movie Ride" - we got the gangster side again. The wait was about 15 minutes - we saw the film clips all the way through three times. They need to get some longer clips.

We walked into the Sci-Fi Drive-in at about 1:30 for lunch - didn't have Priority Seating, but were seated in about 5 minutes. We really enjoyed seeing all of the movie clips, and thought it was very funny that the plots of some of the movies seemed identical (love-starved alien women, huge spiders, and knives in the back). As has been noted here on many occasions, service was slow. The food was pretty good, though - Barb had the Trash Burger, I had the "It Came From <somewhere>" chicken sandwich, and Lee had the BBQ pork sandwich. They need to get a longer reel here, too - we were into our second showing when we left - and we didn't order dessert.

After lunch we headed for the Studio Backlot tour. We had to wait about 15 minutes before getting into the water tank area - we saw the Crimson Tide trailer twice. Last time we did this (when it was part of the Special Effects tour) Lee got to be "Captain Duck" and get water dumped on him - not this time, though.

Next stop was the Muppets in 3-D - one of my favorites. We walked right into the preshow area. I paid more attention to the sign (which is hysterically funny at times) than to the action on the monitors. The auditorium was maybe half full.

We saved the best for last - the Animation Tour. Hercules looks good - better than I was expecting. Does anyone know who is doing the voice of Meg? It sounds like Susan Egan - the actress who originally played Belle on Broadway. As usual, they shooed us through the area where you can actually watch the animators at work much too quickly. (But by this time it was a little after 5:00, and there weren't too many people there.) But, new since April, in the room just outside the last theater they had an animator there to talk to. It was a short Q&A session, but interesting. Hey, if you can draw three circles, you can draw Mickey Mouse! :-)

By this time it was getting towards closing time, so we started working on my pressed pennies list and some other shopping.

We rode the Friendship boat from the Studios over to the Swan/Dolphin. We had a wonderfully punny CM as our boat captain...and he was a trivia buff, too. How many triangles on Spaceship Earth? (11,324.) What was Goofy's original name? (Dippy Dog.) What was Minnie's first film? (Steamboat Willie.) We walked over to Epcot via the International Gate and wandered around World Showcase - had dinner at Lotus Blossom Cafe in China, topped off by caramel apples and a beaver tail from Canada for dessert. We watched Illuminations 25 from the tiered area by the water in front of France - you gotta love it when you can get a good spot 5 minutes before the show starts!

The fireworks were great. I miss the focus on each country that the original Illuminations show had, and especially the lighted animations - the cuckoo clock on Germany was my favorite. I don't understand why they didn't include Morocco and Norway in this new show. We still enjoyed the show, though.

As we walked out we made sure to wave goodbye to the CMs that were standing on the planter just inside the entrance - this became a tradition. :-)

Caught the bus back to OKW and arrived just before 10:00, and found that Walt had arrived, too, so our group was complete.

We made plans to do Epcot the next day, and try to get an earlier start.

Saturday, February 1, Epcot Center

We left about 9:30 and the second bus at our stop was headed to Epcot. Our first stop was HISTA - we walked right into the preshow and then saw the show. Even though we had seen it before, the effects (especially the mice) were still a lot of fun. Then on to Journey Into Imagination, which we enjoyed, but it's looking a little old. We love Figment, though, so I hope the rehab doesn't do away with him.

To us, the best thing about the Imagination pavilion is Image Works. Especially the music room, where the lighted hexagons play different instrument sounds. We played in there for quite a while. Fortunately there weren't too many kids, so we big kids had a chance to play, too.

We walked down to Living Seas and set up a 12:30 priority seating time for Coral Reef. We had about an hour, so we toured the Living Seas and went down to "Seabase Alpha". We really enjoyed seeing the three manatees. Had to laugh, though - there was a guy looking into the manatee tank who was all thrilled about the different kinds of fish that were in the tank and was ignoring the manatees completely - we thought he was missing the point.

Lunch at Coral Reef was quite good - our server Wendy was very attentive and accomodating. We started with the conch fritters, and then I had the broiled scrod, Lee had the blackened tuna, Barb had a shellfish dish...and Walt had smoked turkey. He likes seafood, but said the turkey sounded the best to him - and said it was very good. Dessert was the highlight - we shared two orders of something called "Just Chocolate". It came in two parts - a slice of chocolate mousse "cake", and then a cup with a soft whipped chocolate mousse on top and a thick chocolate truffle/fudge layer on the bottom. Awesome. (Did I mention that Barb and I are chocoholics?)

Then it was off to The Land - the Circle of Life movie and the boat tour of the greenhouse. That's always very interesting.

We proceeded across Future World and walked right into the pre-show for Ellen's Energy Adventure. That was a lot of fun, especially since I'm a Jeopardy fan anyways. We sat in the first row of the left hand "car" - which was the first one in. It was great not to have anything else in front of us. We thought the audio-animatronic of Ellen was quite life-like.

We did Horizons - walked on to it. It's a little hokey, but I've always enjoyed it - I hope they don't do away with it completely.

After that it was The Wonders of Life - Cranium Command and Body Wars. We had not seen Cranium Command before, and thought it was well-done. George Wendt as the digestive system - inspired casting! I kept waiting for him to demand a root beer or something, though. :-)

At this point there was no line for Spaceship Earth, so we did that next. Then we *finally* had a chance to go see the Dancing Fountain - which Lee had been wanting to do all day. We got our mochas and croissants from the Fountainview Cafe just in time for The Rocketeer music, and stayed through the next one, too. Lee and I both enjoy the fountain, and so did Walt and Barb. It's a relaxing way to take a break, and all of the different effects they achieve with the water are really interesting to see.

We made a quick jog through Innoventions West before *finally* heading up into WS - at this point it was about 6:00. It took us most of the day to do FW - with no lines!

I really enjoy the Wonders of China film, and it was our first stop. Again, our timing was impeccable, and we walked in just as the theater doors were opening. When we left a troupe of Chinese acrobats was performing outside - the China pavilion is celebrating Chinese New Year right now.

We made our way up to Japan and had dinner at Yakitori - the little counter service place. Relatively inexpensive and pretty good. Our objective was to get a front row position for Cirikli at 7:45. (It's pronounced cheer-ah-klee.) Lee, Barb, and I had caught about half the show the night before, but were off to the side and the spotlights were in our eyes. If you haven't seen it - it's fascinating. Hard to describe, though. Basically, you have these people who are walking around on 2 1/2 foot stilts, and they look like they are riding a bamboo bird that's sort of a cross between an ostrich and an eagle. The "bird" is a puppet, and they can control the long neck, the opening/closing of the beak, flaring the wings...they manage to convey a lot of emotion, and you forget that there's a human attached to them - you're watching the bird. It's really amazing, especially considering they are doing all of this while walking on stilts! When we were there they were only doing one show a day - nightly at 7:45. If you can, stand with your back to the pagoda, facing the rocks - the lagoon should be toward your right. That way your back is toward the lights.

We caught the 8:30 showing of The American Adventure, and got out just in time to get two funnel cakes (yummy!) from the cart between America and Japan. With less than 5 minutes until the showing of Illmuniations we got a great viewing spot on the landing jutting out in front of Italy. The sound was not as good as our position the night before, but the viewing was better. Walt enjoyed the show for the first time, and we enjoyed it the second time. We hung back a little to let the exiting crowds thin out in front of us, and walked out, with a brief stop to watch the fountain dance. And we waved to the CMs on the way out. Back in the vacation home by 10:00.

Sunday, February 2, Magic Kingdom

We really tried to get a little earlier start today, since we thought this would be the most crowded place we would visit. We arrived in the park just before 9:00, took pictures of the hideous castle cake (blech!), and were at the ropes when the "lands" opened. Our goal was to do what we call the "Triple-Double" - all three mountains twice. (At Disneyland (DL) you can do a "Quad-Double", since DL also has the Matterhorn - we did that when we were there in December.)

Since we're from California, it's always interesting to see how MK is different from Disneyland. The first thing that always strikes me is the size - MK seems at least twice as big - it's much further to get from one place to another. And the layout is different - I still want to turn the wrong direction in trying to get from Splash Mtn. to Thunder Mtn. And Haunted Mansion is definitely in the wrong place. Another thing is that the queueing areas are much different - at DL, for the most part, once you disappear inside a building you aren't too far from the loading area (rides built more recently, like Splash, Space, Indy, and Roger Rabbit are exceptions), whereas at MK you can get inside and STILL have a 45 minute wait. I assume this is because the Florida weather (rain and heat) isn't quite as hospitable as California.

We rushed straight back to Splash Mtn, walked right in and onto a boat. Love that final drop!!! I think the one at DL is a little bit steeper, though. We saw our photo, decided we needed to make a few adjustments to our poses, and walked all the way around and up and did it again - didn't quite walk right onto a boat and had to wait about 30 seconds. This photo was much more acceptable, (we're the four who are saluting in the back) so we ordered a couple and arranged to have them sent to the resort (package express is a wonderful thing, and we took advantage of it!), then walked over to Thunder Mtn. We had about a five minute wait, and got in the very back of the train - which is the best place to be! We got right back in line - a 10 minute wait this time. Two legs of our triple-double completed, and it wasn't even 10:15!

We added to my pressed penny collection at The Briar Patch before heading over to Tomorrowland and Space Mountain. The sign said 20 minutes, but the line was shorter than that - about 10 minutes the first time and 15 the second. By 11:15 we had completed our triple-double - I'm sure that's some kind of a record. :-)

I think Space Mountain at MK is a better roller coaster - but there's too much light inside and you can see the tracks so that you have some idea of what's coming. DL is much darker inside, and it also has the stereo cars now, which blare weird space music into your ears as you are riding. That's really cool.

We decided to go for an early lunch (since we had a big dinner at California Grill planned) and had lunch at Cosmic Ray's as we watched "Sonny Eclipse" perform. We didn't find the talking trash can, though.

We walked through the Tomorrowland gift shops and into Timekeeper. Our timing was a little off here, and we actually had to wait for 8 minutes before the show started. :-)

Didn't do Alien Encounter - Lee and I had done it last time, and weren't really interested in doing it again, and Walt and Barb decided if we didn't want to do it again it couldn't be that good.

Then it was off to Toontown Fair - where we found all of the little kids and strollers (not that we had been missing them). Toontown at DL is much bigger and more fun. We boarded the train just before it left the Toontown station (our good timing had returned) and rode all the way around once, and then stayed aboard so that we could get off at Main Street.

We visited the Welcome Center and picked up our Guest of Honor badges - 1988 for Lee and me, and first time 1997 badges for Walt and Barb. We enjoyed the "What's coming" presentation (though "Crystal Ball" was annoying), and used our web-generated passes to get our lithographs. We did some shopping on Main Street, and included the lithographs with the package express of our new purchases. (The lithographs got a dent or two, but survived quite nicely - better than if we'd had to carry them around for the next 8 hours.)

We had never actually walked through the castle gate, so we did that and went back through Fantasyland to Liberty Square. Now I know why we've never done that - Fantasyland was pretty mobbed - and this was a slow day! But I have to agree with everyone who says that Fantasyland at DL is much more charming than MK - MK just seems to have facades, whereas DL looks much more like individual real buildings. I'm not really a Small World fan, but the clock at DL is really fun to watch.

We saw the 2:30 show in the Hall of Presidents, and got out just in time to get a good spot for the "Remember the Magic" parade - right on the steps in front of the Diamond Horseshoe. The parade was fun - but they really need to do some *other* music in addition to "Remember the Magic" - it was bad enough hearing it seven or eight times - I can't imagine being a CM and having to sing it 20 (or more) times a day, day after day! Yeesh.

After the parade we went to Adventureland and had Citrus Swirls at the Sunshine Tree Terrace - very refreshing, but the orange slush was a little sour. (Dole pineapple whip is still my favorite.) The line for the Jungle Cruise was too long (25 minutes) so we did Pirates instead, and walked right onto a boat. As others have mentioned, it's shorter than at DL - and it's also been reworked to be Politically Correct - the women now chase the pirates for their treasure. Ick. It's also weird getting off at the subterranean level and taking an escalator up instead of riding the boat back up. But that's a very boring part of the ride, so I was just as happy to not have to do it.

We did some more shopping and penny pressing (by this point I had *everyone* on the look for penny machines - they were amazed that someone had actually put together a list of them...Lee mentioned to one of the CMs that it was on the Internet and she asked him if there was one with Sebastian on it, because someone had asked her that earlier...)

We left MK and took the boat over to the Grand Floridian. Walt and Barb took off their shoes and walked in the sand while Lee and I swung on one of the porch swings that are set up along the beach. We took a quick turn through the lobby before hopping the monorail over to the Contemporary, where we had priority seating at California Grill for 6:00.

We weren't early enough to get a window table - instead we were seated right next to the kitchen (right next to the sushi station). It was interesting, but very noisy.

The food was great. Barb had the rock crab sushi appetizer, and Lee had the potato cake with smoked salmon and wasabi sour cream. I had the greens with cabernet vinagrette (aka salad). Walt ordered the roasted garlic and spinach soup, but it never arrived. For the main course, Walt and I both had the salmon with basil crust and grilled vegetable ratatouille, Barb had the tempura bonsai tuna and salmon roll, and Lee had the beef tenderloin pizza. The portions are NOT large - even I almost finished everything, and I'm a notoriously small eater. Perhaps the most telling indicator of portion size is that this is the *only* time we did not share desserts - we all had room for one of our own.

Speaking of dessert - we ordered dessert just before the fireworks, which we went out on the deck to watch (along with half the people in the restaurant, I think!) The view was marvelous - just as good as advertised. The only downside is that the fireworks appear off to the right of the castle instead of over it. We still thought it was a good show, though - we saw a couple firework types we hadn't seen before.

Got back to our table and our waiter had our desserts there within a few minutes. Barb and I had the Geometric Chocolate Wave (which was not as good as the "Just Chocolate" we had at Coral Reef, but still good), Walt had the Cappuccino Quake, and Lee had the Creme Brulee. All were good (we all shared).

We did some shopping in the 4th floor shops and tried to walk to the TTC (we are those silly types of people that actually like to walk places instead of riding), only to find that you can't get there from here. So we took the monorail to the TTC. There was almost no one getting on the Epcot monorail (it was almost 9:00, so everyone interested in Illuminations had already made their way over there), and we were able to sit in the front of the monorail train. Now *there's* a great view. We enjoyed talking to the CM - a young college student who has been piloting the monorail for 1.5 years. We arrived at Epcot just as Illuminations was starting, thanked him for the ride, and got our monorail co-pilots licenses - well, three of us did - he only had that many left. Since we'd seen Illuminations two nights in a row we went straight to the bus - we thought it might wait around for the end of the show, but it headed back even though it was only half full. We got to see the end of the fireworks show from the bus. We were back at the resort by 9:30, and we were all pretty beat after three long days in a row. We decided we would just wing it the next day.

Monday, February 3. Resort hopping, SpectroMagic, Boardwalk

We were lazy this morning, and didn't get up until 8:30 or so. Lee made pancakes for breakfast - Walt complained that they weren't Mickey pancakes, so Lee finally made him one - not quite the perfect circles that you get at the restaurants, but not bad. The pancakes were very good.

We drove over to Ft. Wilderness to take the "Swamp Trail". (Like I said before, we're silly people who like to walk.) It's advertised as being two miles long, but I don't believe it - probably more like 1 1/4. And it's the cleanest "swamp" that I've ever seen! But hey, this is Disney after all.

We walked back to the boat dock - Walt wanted to try the water sprites, so we rented four of those for 1/2 hour. We had a blast racing around the lake. I drove by Wilderness Lodge in time to see "Old Faithful" erupt. My sprite was the fastest - but I'm the lightest. 1/2 hour was just enough time - by then we had been around the lake several times. There were very few other craft on the lake, which was also nice - I'll bet it's not like that most of the time!

From Ft. Wilderness we took the boat over to Wilderness Lodge - what a beautiful place. I want to stay there sometime.

We had lunch at Whispering Canyon cafe - that was a hoot. The CMs were a lot of fun, from the receptionist "Tam E. Hawk", to our hostess "Dizzy Daisy", to our waiter, "Jeffro Bodeen". Jeffro was in a class by himself - quite the comedian! He told us he'd been fired from the Grand Floridian for doing his diet coke trick - which he then showed us - he set a glass on the floor, got a carafe of coke, stood on a chair, and then poured the coke into the glass. His aim was a little off at first and he spilled some, but managed to fill the glass. "Judge Jim Beam" quickly came to mop up after him. We asked him if it was his job to follow Jeffro around and clean up his messes.

There were two newlywed couples dining, and they were teased unmercifully - for showing up for "breakfast" at lunch time, feeding each other, etc. Jeffro got both of them to stand up in the front of the restaurant for a 10 second kissing contest...there was a lot of time between his count of 9 and when he finally said 10, though. :-)

For lunch we ordered the sampler - all you can eat bbq chicken, ribs, fish, corn on the cob and beans. After two normal plates, Jeffro brought a plate that just had ribs on it...Lee ate about 6 of them, and Walt and Barb finished the rest. Jeffro was really pushing the cherry cobbler for dessert, so we ordered one and split it among the four of us. It was ok, but neither Lee nor I are cobbler fans. I would have preferred the mud slide, but that was way more food than any of us wanted at that point.

We took the boat back to Ft. Wilderness, the bus back to the parking lot, and then drove back to OKW, did a quick swimsuit change, and drove to Typhoon Lagoon. It was 4:00 by the time we got there, and I had already decided it was just a bit too chilly for me, but that meant that I could watch all our stuff and we didn't have to hassle with renting a locker.

Walt, Barb, and Lee had a great time - there were no lines for any of the slides/tube rides, and they did 8 of them in the 45 minutes that we were there. They really enjoyed it, but Lee said it wasn't quite as good as Blizzard Beach (which is where the two of us went last time and had so much fun.)

Back to OKW for another quick change, and then caught the bus to Magic Kingdom, since it was our last chance to see SpectroMagic. We decided to go for the porch of the Diamond Horseshoe again - even though we got there about 6:25 we were able to stand right next to the line! Or I was - the others were right behind me. The parade didn't actually get to us until 15 minutes later. It was really great - much better than the Main Street Electrical Parade at Disneyland. We really enjoyed it. And I was so relieved that we didn't have to hear the "Remember the Magic" song again...

After the parade we got out of the park and caught a bus to Boardwalk - we wanted to get a look at the DVC's Boardwalk Villas before we left, and the Open House ended that night at 8:00. We made it with just minutes to spare. The Boardwalk Villas are nice, but smaller than the accomodations at OKW. (More expensive, too!) Still, I like the studio layout better at Boardwalk, since the second bed is actually a sofa, so if there's only two of you you have more living space than at OKW. It's also appealing to be within walking distance of Epcot, since that's where we seem to end up at the end of most of our days. But in general I still prefer OKW, and am happy that our points are there.

After that we walked along the Boardwalk - since we'd had a large lunch we weren't interested in a big dinner. The idea of having tapas at Spoodles was appealing, but the wait was too long. We ended up getting a pizza from Spoodles' take-out window - half sausage and half tomato and basil. It was disappointing - not a lot of flavor. The "Crazy Greens" salad was good, though. The window seems to be pretty new - or at least they weren't very organized about it.

We walked back over the bridge towards the Yacht and Beach Club - just in time to see the Illuminations fireworks - again. Four nights in a row - not bad. After the show we walked back through the park, waved to the CMs and caught the bus back to OKW - four nights in a row for that, too. Yes, we know there are other ways back to OKW - we just seem to end up back at Epcot!

Our bus driver was a lot of fun - the bus was packed, but he kept us entertained with trivia questions...What are the names of Daisy's nieces? (April, May, and June) What was Walt Disney's middle name? (Elias). As we approached the first stop he said that if we'd enjoyed the trip his name was David otherwise his name was Herb. We all yelled "Goodnight Herb" as we got off. :-)

Another 10:00 night.

Tuesday, February 4 - Epcot and home

Time to leave...sigh. It would have been really nice to have another day to just relax and hang out a little bit. But that's not what our plane tickets say!

We packed our bags and loaded the car and drove to Epcot. We walked into The Land about 9:30, and were able to sign up for the 11:00 greenhouse tour. And, even on our last day, our timing was *still* perfect, and we walked right into "Food Rocks" just a few seconds before the show started. That was very cute - I liked "The Peach Boys". Though "The Refrigerator Police" were clever, too.

Then it was time to do some shopping - Lee finally found a polo shirt for me that has a small embroidered Tigger on it - we'd been looking for one all week. Wandered around Innoventions East a little, too, before going back over to The Land for our tour.

The "Behind the Seeds" tour was very interesting. Our guide was pretty good, but was an agricultural engineer rather than one of the horticulture interns, so he didn't have any of the plant "hands-on" experience which would have been nice to hear about. Still, he had plenty of things to tell us about, and we certainly weren't bored. They do some really fascinating things in the greenhouse. We probably learned more about the lifecycles of the leaf miner and the parasitic wasp than anyone cares to know. :-)

We had just enough time to grab some food in The Land's food court (there was something for everyone!) and find a quiet spot outside near Living Seas to eat it. We were visited by an opportunistic blackbird and a few sea gulls, but they didn't get anything from us. (At MK we had watched a seagull dive bomb a lady carrying a tray and knock her french fries onto the ground - at which point several other gulls descended to eat the fries. So we were on our guard.)

Then it was time to leave Epcot and WDW...a rather sad occasion, since we weren't really ready to go.

We dropped Walt and Barb off at their airline, then returned the car and checked in for our flight. The trip home was uneventful (fortunately!)

Some general comments...

Late January-early February was a GREAT time to go. The weather was just about perfect - low to mid 70s and not hot at all. We had sunny days and no rain. It would have been nice to have it a little warmer for the water parks, but we didn't have much time for that anyways.

The crowds were *very* light. Our longest wait for anything was only 15-20 minutes, and most of the time we walked right onto rides/shows, or had a 5-10 minute wait. I think we were really spoiled by this trip - our timing for the shows was so good (only twice did we wait more than 3-4 minutes, and most of the time it was < 2), that anything else is going to be a disappointment! It was also wonderful to be able to find a good viewing spot for the parades/fireworks shows 5 minutes before they started, instead of staking out a spot an hour or more beforehand.

We were grateful that they are doing SpectroMagic and Fantasy in the Sky *every* night - since there were so many opportunities to see it (rather than just on weekends) that made the crowds even thinner.


I was going to do a "best and worst" but I really can't think of any "worsts" - everything just went too well!

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Text and photographs copyright © 1997, by Laura Gilbreath. 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
GoH '88
Last updated 2/13/97