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Old 02-28-2002, 07:20 AM   #1
Silver
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Join Date: Jul 2001
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Hi ho Silver day 5 - To Infinity and Beyond

Wednesday 31 October - To Infinity and Beyond

Julie (38) - demented planner
Brian (40) - planning, what’s that?
Michael (11) - quiet, clone of his Dad, hormones just starting to kick in, auditioning for Snow White’s 8th dwarf, Grouchy
Andrew (5˝) - not quiet, mummy’s boy, very fussy eater, favourite saying of the holiday “Excuse me, is this ride scary?”

The Plan - Epcot

As we had already “done” Epcot on Monday we decided on Kennedy Space Centre today.

After a very successful meal at Ponderosa last night we decided to give the breakfast buffet there a try today and went to the one quite close to our hotel but can’t remember the name of the road. As it was Halloween all the servers were in costume even at 8.30 am in the morning. Quite bizarre to be served drinks by Braveheart and I couldn’t really take to this chap as he was a bit scary and it was hard to tell if he was just playing a part or was always like that !!

Anyway, stuffed our faces on the usual breakfast buffet fare for the next 30 minutes but were very surprised to find that the total bill was higher than breakfast at the hotel - think it was because we had to pay for Andrew and for coffees which were all free at the hotel.

Arrived at Kennedy about an hour later after a very uneventful but boring journey to find a very very quiet car park. Great, another day with no queues.

I have to say that understandably the security at Kennedy was much much tighter than at any of the theme parks. Our bags were thoroughly searched on the way in and we all had to go through metal detectors before being allowed into the park. We heard the day after on the news that the space shuttle had been moved out to the launch platform that evening in secret so that may have had something to do with it.

Decided to do the bus tour first and went past the massive Vehicle Assembly Building, but the only stop at the moment due to increased security is the Apollo/Saturn V Centre which we were a bit disappointed about. Hard to imagine how huge these rockets are until you see them up close. Strolled around looking at all the exhibits and watched the two presentations in the theatres which were really interesting then it was back on the bus to the visitor centre. On the way our driver pointed out several ‘gators sunning themselves at the side of the road, and a bald eagle perched on top of a tree close to its nest.

Next went over to shuttle plaza which has a life size mock up of a space shuttle and the Launch Status Centre which had a very interesting talk about shuttles and launches which had the boys riveted. We then went for a walk round the lake, past the Astronaut Memorial which was a very moving tribute to all the men and women who have lost their lives in the name of space exploration. It was a bit unnerving to see signs around the lake which said “Please do not feed the alligators as they may become aggressive and will have to be destroyed” Right, we won’t sit on this bench and watch the world go by after all then !!

The rocket garden is a building site at the moment but should be very impressive when completed as they had plans on the wall for people to look at. No indication of when it will be finished though.

Boys really enjoyed the Children’s Play Dome. Michael wanted to go to the Astronaut Encounter but Andrew wanted to carry on playing so Michael and I went round the corner to “meet” Walt Cunningham who had been on one of the Apollo missions. Michael was thrilled that he actually managed to shake his hand.

Next we went into Exploration in the New Millenium which had interactive exhibits for the boys to play with and they could even leave their names on a list to be taken on a future Mars Expedition (the list, not the boys), and Mad Mission to Mars 2025 show which was really good and had lots of special effects and audience participation.

Just about had time to go through Robot Scouts which is a walk through show/display and was quite amusing but unfortunately no time to see either of the films in the IMAX Cinemas so Kennedy is somewhere else we will have to go back to.

All in all we really enjoyed this day and even with the reduced coach tours still ran out of time to see everything. An especially good deal at the moment as children go free.

Now, where for tea. Decided to go back to the hotel and have a stroll down to the Crossroads area to see what was on offer. After much deliberating decided on Jungle Jims as I had heard good reports about it (first choice had been Perkins but it was closed as they appeared to be renovating it - it had opened by our second week so all those Perkins fans out there don’t panic). Now I have to say we may be in a minority here but we were very disappointed with Jungle Jims - the place was empty, possibly because it was Halloween, our server was indifferent at best, he just couldn’t seem to be bothered and it wasn’t because he was run off his feet (probably had a Halloween party to go to) and the food was very mediocre. The boys had hot dog meals which they declared uneatable so just ate the curly fries, I had a mushroom swiss burger which was only average at best and Brian had some other kind of burger which was again disappointing. I would maybe try it again at a different time just in case we were unlucky but I certainly wouldn’t rave over our meal that night.

Had a stroll around the shops here - if I remember rightly there is a nice Hallmark card shop, a Disney shop, a smellies shop and a couple of others, also a Goodings supermarket. It was very quiet with not many people about and at one point we did feel a little bit uneasy as there were what can only be described as a couple of “drop outs” hanging around the entrance to Goodings who we didn’t like the look of.

We decided to call it a day and stroll back to the hotel and once again were asleep as soon as our heads touched the pillows after another very full day.

Tomorrow - we really did go to MGM !
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Old 04-01-2002, 10:07 AM   #2
Janice
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I am glad you found the Space Centre enjoyable even with the cutbacks - when it is fully operational it is great! I enjoyed your report today Julie and it was good to hear a different view on the Space Centre from your youngsters point of view

Thank you for writing
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Old 05-21-2003, 09:23 AM   #3
Minniespal

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Thanks for the wonderful reports - luv reading them!!!
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