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Old 09-05-2003, 12:04 PM   #1
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The Williams tour of Florida restrooms - Updated to be Day Nine- Use the force Craig!

This was Day 8, but I forgot one day!!! See the new Day 8 and it will all make sense I hope!!!


Me - Craig, only just 33. Rucksack carrier and stroller pusher.
Louise - Wife, 34, slowly becoming addicted to WDW.
Emily - Aged 8. Moody, full of attitude and daddy’s girl.
Rebecca - Aged 6. Comedian, Olympic eater and worrier.

The Williams tour of Florida restrooms, sponsored by VISA.

Day Nine – Friday 22nd August – Use the force Craig!

Today was to be our first non Disney day. I would happily spend all holiday at WDW, but Louise really loves Sea World, and to be honest we have all enjoyed the Universal parks in the past.

So Sea World was today’s chosen destination.

We were all up again at 7.00, and once again we had breakfast in the house.

This tactic was designed to save time, but also, as a vague attempt not to double our body weight in the fortnight. On previous trips we have eaten out for breakfast every day, and not been very restrained. You know the score, Pancakes (4), bacon (2) sausage (2) hash browns (lots) eggs (2) and syrup (3 gallons). Well, on returning from our last trip I think I must have broken the world record for weight gained in a 2 week period.

Having lost 10 pounds on the infamous Atkins Diet in the 4 weeks leading up to the holiday, (Louise had lost over a stone), we were trying to keep our weight gain down to Shamu levels this time.

So each morning we had toast or cereal. The kids however, (having remembered them from the last trip) had insisted I get them some of those cereals that the US is famous for. You know the ones, multi coloured random shapes of sugar, with great names like Mud & Bugs or Mickey’s MagicMix.

They had more E’s in them than a rave, so no wonder they had their hyper moments during the trip.

Anyway, breakfast consumed, everyone ready and out to Sea World by 9.20. Quite a good effort taking yesterday’s late night into account.

I had bought one of these passport things off the internet, which was a one day pass with one free. I had printed off the voucher thing, and joined the queue at the booth to convert it. Five minutes later we reach the front, and are told we need to go to the Passport office round the corner. Why didn’t they make that clear. OK so it was printed on the voucher I’d printed off, so what. You expect me to read that!!!

Another five minute queue in the passport office, photos for everyone, and after the girls took an age to choose their style of card (Shamu & Friends…no I’ll have Polar Bear…no Pengiun…no, definitely Shamu & Friends) we exit the office, go through bag check and get through the gates.

Strollers hired and we’re off…..to the restroom.

My good friend Ryan was strapped to my back as ever. Despite turning into a hunchback, I was growing attached to him, in fact when I took him off at night I got a strange floaty feeling, and felt somewhat incomplete. He was a big part of my trip. Put it this way, he went on more rides than the girls did!!!

So today Ryan contains:

Two twirly fan spray things (full of water)
Autograph books
Two sweatshirts (purchased from MGM for when kids are cold indoors)
Ponchos with that nice musty smell

Rebecca wanted to stroke the stingrays first, so map in hand off we went. I know I have said it was hot on previous days but today someone turned the oven up. We could feel our skin being fried. So as we arrived at the stingray pool I allowed a five minute break from enjoying ourselves to apply lashings of sun cream to the kids and some to us as well. No expense spared.

In keeping with how things have gone so far, Rebecca was dying to touch a stingray, and Emily would have willingly rather stuck her hand in a fire than the stingray pool. So we spent five minutes getting smelly hands and Rebecca seemed satisfied. Particularly as we bought some stingray food (4 dead fish).

After washing our hands a dozen times, and still not removing the stench, we then headed for the big rides before they got too busy.

First we tried Atlantis. The kids wouldn’t ride, so they queued with us, and they were allowed to wait on a bench at the exit whilst we rode together. This was my first go on this ride, and I liked it. A weird mix of coaster and log ride. We didn’t get that wet. We sat at the back of our boat. Those at the front got soaked. Which was nice.

Two years ago, Louise had ridden Krakken, but I hadn’t. No doubt that was the kid’s fault as well, but I forget. So this time it was my turn to go first. There was only a five minute wait to my surprise, so off I went. Louise had warned me that this was the Daddy as far as coasters go, so I removed my attractive baseball cap, and tucked my glasses away in my bum bag, just to be safe.

I was now blind. So not only am I on the Daddy of all coasters, I can’t see what’s coming. Maybe it’s for the best. Being a single rider, I get to jump the queue to fill one of the rows before it’s really my turn.

What a ride. I love coasters, but this was something else. Forget the Big One, which I thought had an impressive first drop. This was like 6 seconds of freefall. Superb. It is quite a long ride as well, and has some surprising turn configurations. Doux Pointe from the UK jury.

Unusually for me, when I got off I felt quite wobbly. I never feel like this after coasters, but it may just be my advancing years. Putting my glasses back on didn’t help. I made my way in a zig zag fashion down the exit ramp and found my family. Louise didn’t want to go on just yet as she wasn’t feeling too well (more of that later – again). She had of course been to the restroom whilst I rode.

We then took in the first show of the day, which was the Dolphins show. Enjoyable as usual, with a strange man playing guitar and singing as a pre-show.

We were feeling slightly peckish now, so wandered in search of food.

We ended up at Stella’s Italian Kitchen. Long queue, average food, fairly expensive. It was just OK.

Next stop was the sharks, which seems to have changed it’s layout a bit since last time. We went in a different door I think. The kids were impressed with the tunnel bit, but we were out fairly quickly. I think we were all feeling a little tired by now.
We then wandered through the penguins. I often wonder what they make of us silly humans being moved past their window and pointing and staring at them.

“Oh look Brian, more of them humans. I wonder how they move without moving their legs”

“Yes, and don’t they look silly in their human suits”

After the penguins, Louise looked into having Emily’s hair braided at a stand nearby. Rebecca didn’t want it, as she is a little hair sore, and we have screaming fits if we dare to brush her hair more than once a week.

After I stopped coughing and spluttering I gently explained to Emily that spending over $50 on hair decoration was against our religion, and besides, she would definitely look really stupid, and I knew for a fact that James from Busted hated girls with braided hair.

She seemed to understand.

We arrived late for Seamore & Clyde so missed the pre-show unfortunately. The show was very good though and for some reason I felt a strange affinity with the walrus.

We then took a walk to the Busch place to escape the heat for a while. We looked at the horses, which were BIG. We then had a sit down inside and enjoyed a lovely cool drink, and listened to a toddler scream it’s head off at the next table for a full fifteen minutes. I’m not exactly the Victorian father, but if one of mine tantrumed like that in public, the least I would do is remove them from the café and deal with them outside. Beyond that I’d threaten them with a full day of Barney at Universal, which normally does the trick.

Whilst enjoying our drinks and screams we all decided that tonight we would have a night in. I told you we were tired.

The girls wanted to see the Polar Bear, so we said we’d do this and then leave. As we wandered towards Wild Arctic, we passed the funfair stalls bit where you can win stuffed toys. Win is translated as spend $20 on the off chance of getting a toy worth $2.

Nobody was on the roll the ball and move the helicopter along one, so I though if we all play this we’ve got to win, and definitely get a toy.

So we sat down, I paid the $12 for us all to play (Yes I know, I know) and noticed we were one missing. Emily was stood behind us. She wouldn’t sit down as she didn’t want to play.

After a few minutes persuasion she joins us, but in the meantime a woman and her daughter had taken two seats next to us. Not to worry, 4 versus 2, no problem.

The woman won. Obviously a sting. They must wait all day for innocent pray like us and then pounce to feed their stuffed seal habit.

For some reason, maybe being tired and emotional, this really got to me. All because Emily messed about and dithered, we let someone else join the game and I’ve just wasted £8 to throw a ball down a hole. I of course storm off in a totally justifiable sulk, steam coming out of my ears.

We then march across to Wild Arctic in silence, and I’m giving Emily the silent treatment and Paddington stares.

What do you mean she’s only 8? I wasn’t asking her to absail down the side of Shamu Stadium. All she had to do was sit down and roll a ball into a hole!!!!!

My sulk lasts about 10 minutes (as opposed to Louise's sulks which can last for days), until just as we get onto Wild Arctic. We go via the helicopter, and this ride helps the girls as it is quite rough, but I think they understand it doesn’t actually move, so it builds some confidence for future rides.

We wander around and look at the Whales, and spend a long time watching the Polar Bear.

After about half an hour we’ve, no sorry, I’ve had enough and decided we should go. We exit into the shop, and spend a crucial ten minutes in there. Why crucial? Because as we leave the shop the skies are black, and the thunder has started. We make a dash for the exit, but alas, we don’t make it.

We relieve Ryan of the ponchos, and put those on half way out, but by the time we reach the entrance it is tipping it down, and all our feet are soaked again. So much so that once again, the girls are all barefoot by the time we reach the car. I have my Puma Sponges on, and squelch noisily as I work the pedals in the car.

So we hit the I4 at 5.25. It's a car park. We crawled a little way, and the rain just got worse. So we did the whole journey down to the 27 at 10mph, with the wipers on full, and with zero visibility.

Very scary indeed. I think I made marks in the steering wheel where I was holding it, and had my nose on the windscreen trying to make out which car I’d narrowly avoid next!!

At one point I couldn’t see a thing, literally, and I heard Obi One saying to me “Use the force Craig…feel your way”. I must be half Jedi as it seemed to work and somehow we made it home.

The girls wanted a McDonalds for tea. They must have been having withdrawal symptoms as it was hours since their last burger. Luckily there is one just opposite Southern Dunes so I called in there.

I noticed they have a self serve machine in McDonalds where you enter your credit card, push the buttons for what you want and then go and wait at the counter for it. A great idea I thought. I didn’t use it though, as the place was empty.

We had to call at Wal-Mart for some bits, and once that was done, we drove a few hundred yards beyond Southern Dunes to the Taco Bell. I ordered a disgusting amount of food and it cost all of $8. I was astounded to see a young girl in the queue, who seemed to have been transported from an episode of the Beverley Hillbillies. She had the dungarees on and the hat, and was…wait for it…chewing tobacco, and spitting it into an empty cup. How very attractive.

I’d have given her a piece of my mind, but she had two enormous red neck brothers with her, who I’m sure had a banjo in their car, so I didn’t.

Finally home, and the girls went in the pool, having demolished their happy meals in the car. We collapsed in front of the TV with our feast and vegetated. Beer was consumed, and after drying the kids and getting them in bed at around 9.00 we weren’t very far behind them.

Tomorrow – Universal Studios
Off site x 6 between 1981 and 1993
All Star Music August 2001
Villa Southern Dunes August 2003
Cypress Pointe August 2004

Trip Report 2003 - The Williams Tour of Florida Restrooms Sponsored by VISA

The Sunshine, Moonlight, Good Times & Boogie(board) Tour August 2007

Last edited by mkingdon; 09-08-2003 at 06:56 AM.
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Old 09-05-2003, 12:58 PM   #2
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Craig, can't wait for the next instalment - please post soon.

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Old 09-05-2003, 01:16 PM   #3
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Loving your trip reports
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Old 09-05-2003, 03:20 PM   #4
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Loving your trip reports - so funny. So many great lines had me laughing out loud - especially:

"she would definitely look really stupid, and I knew for a fact that James from Busted hated girls with braided hair." - good line will have to remember that on future trips when the braided hair stall looms and Georgia is desperate to have a 2 foot braid!


"They must wait all day for innocent pray like us and then pounce to feed their stuffed seal habit."

Can't wait for the next instalment, keep them coming

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Old 09-05-2003, 03:21 PM   #5
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Another great report. Can't wait for the next one.
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Old 09-05-2003, 05:36 PM   #6
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PLease keep them coming!!!

Hope Louise is ok!

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Old 09-06-2003, 04:43 AM   #7
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Excellent reports:D

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Kissimmee Villa Oct 2003
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Old 09-06-2003, 05:50 AM   #8
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Atlantis My DH threatened to divorce me three times on this ride . . . but considering he doesn't even enjoy Goofey's Barnstormer coaster, I thought he was very brave trying it.

It's one of my fave ride photos which live on the walls of our downstairs loo (visitors disappear for hours in there ) - there's no way on earth you'd ever get Katie to recreate her facial expression

I'm wondering whether your sponge shoes had to be replaced at some point during the holiday
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Old 09-07-2003, 09:09 AM   #9
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Really enjoyed the trip reports!!!
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Old 09-09-2003, 05:47 PM   #10
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That rain sounds scarey!
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Old 09-16-2003, 04:11 AM   #11

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Wonderful trip reports ~ Thanx for sharing!!
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Old 10-05-2003, 06:43 AM   #12
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Another excellent report.

Thanks for taking the time to post it
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