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View Full Version : Adventures in Orlando: Day 2 : Animal Kingdom


caroley
03-02-2002, 02:27 AM
<b>Carole : (40) Organiser and chief adventurer. Compulsive shopper.
Stephen : (43) Head beer drinker, and food taster. Trainee shopper.</b>

<I>As this was our third year running at Orlando, the plan was to take it all at a slower pace, and enjoy the atmosphere. No queuing and no commando tactics. We have annual passes for Disney and length of stay passes for Universal. We’re giving Seaworld a Miss this year rather than try to cram too much in.</I>

Day two – Sunday 14/10/01
Today’s planned itinerary – Universal Studios
Weather – Hot and Sticky

Today, I’d planned for a lie in after a late night at the Magic Kingdom yesterday, then Universal Studios and City Walk. We seemed to be still on UK time, however as we were both wide awake at 7.30am despite not going to sleep until 1.00am. Stephen made coffee using Evian water instead of tap water and it tasted much better. While we were drinking our coffee, we decided that we could walk over to Universal studios any time, and to go to Animal Kingdom instead today, as we’d missed it yesterday. We were both hungry so on impulse decided to have breakfast in the Sunset grill, which was in our hotel. We both had the buffet which included drinks, and cost us $29. Not a huge selection but what we has was fresh and tasty. The Orange juice was excellent and I had two glasses. I couldn’t eat as much as I thought and only had one small plate. Stephen couldn’t manage seconds either. At home we both eat quite well, but we rarely eat out. On holiday with all those wonderful places to eat, and the funds to do it, I lose my appetite and even Stephen can’t eat his usual quota. :rolleyes:

On the way out, we stopped at the concierge desk to get our Halloween horror nights tickets. I’d wanted to get them before we came but with length of stay passes, we’re entitled to get the stay and scream tickets which are only $20 dollars or so, and you have to have your park pass before you can do that. The alternative was to pay full price for the tickets and I wasn’t prepared to do that. As it happened, they were nowhere near sold out and I got the night I wanted with no problems. The chap who sold us our tickets was very helpful and friendly and, like the other staff, was wearing black. It was like being inside the MIB ride, at times, so we started calling them the men (or women) in black. Not to their faces, obviously, as they’d have thought we were mad ;).

We got to Animal Kingdom just after 10.00, and wandered over to Tarzan rocks for the 10.30 showing. We got seats in the front row of the back section so we had a great view of the show both on the stage, and in the gangway. I absolutely love this show. When the first sounds started with snippets from the film, I got all teared up because I was so happy to be there. I like the music from the film, (I’m a Phil Collins fan) and I love the way they act out the story. The cast are so talented. After the show we went over to Dinosaur. We always enjoy that. Can’t wait to take Jo on it next year.
Next we went over to Island Mercantile to shop. You know how you always forget to pack something? I’d forgotten our baseball caps. I have to keep my head covered or my ears burn and swell up like balloons, (not a pretty sight) and Stephen needs to keep his head covered due to being slightly lacking in hair and having a tendency to burn. I’m the only red head in the family, thank you! Two baseball caps later, plus a nice 100 yrs of magic top for me and a 100 yrs of magic magnet for Stephen, we headed over to the safari. The wait wasn’t very long so we grabbed a couple of fastpasses for later and went into Standby. The animals were all out to play and we saw lots more than we have in previous trips. The driver was very enthusiastic and really got into her role. She gave us loads of information about the animals. There was a giraffe on the left of the path just as you enter the area with the termite mounds. It was munching away on a tree and you could have reached out and touched it. Our driver did in fact ask us not to do this as this wasn’t a petting zoo. We saw warthogs for the first time and all the effects were working well. When we finished, the time was due for our fastpasses so we went straight back on. Again our driver was really into the role and we had another brilliant safari. Our giraffe was still there and politely posed for more photos. As we got to the elephants, there were two of them in the water. A wonderful sight, we were really impressed.
After our safaris, we went for a slow stroll round the Pangani forest trail. We stood for ages watching a meercat who was posing for the cameras on a rock. (Ok, I admit it, he was on guard duty really.) A little girl went towards where the meercat was, to have a look, but her dad (and this is so sad) pulled her away and said “Come on! Hurry up, we don’t have time to stop and look at animals”. Can you believe that? He’d totally missed the point of the whole park!

Found a nice spot for a sit down and sent Stephen to get cold drinks while I made a few notes for my trip report. Then we went over to It’s tough to be a bug. We sat in the centre and found the effects to be more intense than we remembered from last year. Possibly because we’d only sat at the back before? I remembered to sit forward so as not to get stung by the hornets but the spiders coming down still give me the willies! From there we popped into another shop and I got a safari Donald magnet plush to go with the others that are climbing up my cooker hood.

Left AK at about 2.00 and went to Downtown Disney. Noticed there was some building work going on at the marketplace end, which we later gathered was going to be more shops. Went to the Cirque de Soleil box office and got tickets for the next day for the later performance. I didn’t get them in advance as they were a bit expensive to waste if I got a migraine, but hopefully I’d had the only one I was going to get this holiday. I got the row I wanted in the block that I wanted and just two seats down from my ideal seats. I was very happy with them, and very excited as I’d heard such good reports from people on the boards who had been.
We popped into Virgin megastore to get a drink in the café. I was very thirsty so had coffee and a coke (not in the same glass, of course :rolleyes: ) We both had a muffin too, but I couldn’t eat all of mine as it was enormous.
Went to Crossroads next as we needed to visit Bath & Body works. We don’t bother to take shower gel, etc as we’d rather buy something nice over there. The last two years we have had Juniper breeze and bought some to bring home as well. While it lasts, every time I have a shower or use the body lotion, the smell brings back all those memories. This time they had a BOGOF on certain ranges so we took full advantage of this and got a citrus and mango scented range.

As we walked back into our hotel, the heavens opened and we had a terrific thunderstorm. It didn’t last long so we walked over to City Walk. I should mention here that the Hard Rock Hotel is a 5 minute walk to Universal Studios and we also have the option of a shuttle bus or a water taxi. Very very nice!! :D The plan was to explore City Walk and then go to the Hard Rock Café for dinner. Well, we walked round and round, went in all the shops, looked at all the sights, and peered at all the menus and still we weren’t hungry. In the end we took the water taxi back and had a look in the store in the hotel. I was very taken by a couple of the tops with the HRH logo on so I treated myself to them. I was very interested in the pins they had for sale. I’ve never got into the whole pin thing before but I did toy with the idea of buying some of them. Perhaps another day. Still not hungry so just ate a couple of cookies in the room before turning in early.

Tomorrow – MGM and Cirque de Soleil.

Minniespal
05-21-2003, 08:05 AM
Thanks for the wonderful reports - luv reading them!!!