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Old 03-02-2002, 03:29 AM   #1
caroley
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Join Date: Jun 2000
Location: Birmingham UK
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Adventures in Orlando: Day 3 : MGM and Cirque de Soleil

Carole : (40) Organiser and chief adventurer. Compulsive shopper.
Stephen : (43) Head beer drinker, and food taster. Trainee shopper.


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.

Day three – Monday 15/10/01
Today’s planned itinerary – MGM, Cirque de Soleil
Weather – Hot but not too humid.

Right, it’s about time that I told you a bit about our hotel. Our room was exactly as I’d imagined. That’s probably because I’d spent so much time on the HRH web page looking at pictures and 360° tours . The beds were as comfy as we’d been told with lovely crisp bedding on them, wonderfully soft pillows, and pretty blue and white cushions. Next to the floor length window, was a comfy chair with footrest/pouffe, which I claimed as my reading chair. I had a lovely view of the Woodstock garden and the boat dock. There was a small dining table with two comfy chairs. (Yes, I know I keep using the word “comfy”. The whole room was comfy and no other word will do instead :D) There was a sideboard with 6 spacious drawers, (4 for me, and 2 for Stephen). On top of this were the huge, huge TV with integral Playstation, and the radio/CD player. It was a bit of a race to see who could get there first, as I wanted the music on and Stephen likes his telly. He usually won as he had a remote control . There was a proper built in wardrobe with sliding mirror doors and loads of hangers. (ones that you can take off the rail, not the ones that are theft-proof) There was a safe inside the wardrobe. No key, it was keycode, and you set the code each time you locked it. There was a mini bar with a coffee maker on top. Loads of goodies in the bar, which were a bit pricey but handy if you were suddenly desperate for a bar of candy, can of beer or a disposable camera (honest – there was a camera in there).
The bathroom was compact but very stylish and well equipped. Lovely soft fluffy towels! Huge mirrors all over the room, even a magnifying shaving mirror on a swivel stand. There was a hairdryer, and bathroom scales, (I ignored the scales :D) and little pots of cotton wool and cotton buds. There were 3 different soaps, shampoo, rinse, body lotion, and shower gel. They look nice on my bathroom shelf here at home . The light switches had dim red lights in them so you could find them in the dark.
Overall impression of the room was luxurious but very comfortable. We loved it.

We weren’t particularly hungry this morning so went straight to MGM as soon as we were ready and got there at about 9.30. First stop was Guest relations to book our Fantasmic dining package for next Sunday. We booked an early dinner at Hollywood and Vine. The first ride we headed for, me enthusiastically and Stephen reluctantly, was Tower of Terror. Considering that I’m afraid of heights and have had a fear of lifts ever since some girls at school were injured in one, it’s surprising that I love this ride so much. In fact, it’s practically cured me of my fear of lifts as since going on ToT for the first time, I will now go in a lift and I’m just a bit scared of the doors. Weird, huh? Anyway, we grabbed FPs for ToT and then got in the standby line. We were on in a very short time and had the most brilliant drop sequence. The lap bar wasn’t down too far so I was floating. It was superb. Had a really good scream, too. Then it was Stephen’s turn so we went over to The Great Movie ride. Every time we’ve gone on this, we’ve had the gangster but for the first time, today we got the cowboy. This is one of Stephen’s favourite rides and I like it too. I love watching the clips at the end and seeing how many I can identify. Time was ready now for our ToT FPs so back we went for another great drop sequence. More floating and more screaming. Good photo, too. I really looked like I was having fun but as we were in the back row, I didn’t buy it.

By now, we were feeling hungry and my throat was a little sore. (can’t think why ) We decided that as it was just 11.30 we’d go to H&V for an early lunch and beat the crowds. We were taken straight in and dived into the buffet. (not literally, you understand ) Yummy! Lots of nice things to eat. Stephen even managed a visit to the dessert counter. As there weren’t many people in so early, the characters came round to us several times. I love the way they’ll interact with adults as well as the kids. We had a great time. Goofy polished Stephen’s head with his napkin. Every time Chip came past, he put my baseball cap on me, back to front. Oh, and I got a hug from Pluto.

Felt very stuffed after that so decided something not too strenuous was called for. Stephen voted for the Backlot tour so off we went. It was different to last year as they’d themed it to Pearl Harbour. From there, we went into Millionaire. Our first time and it looked quite impressive inside. Now, I’m a bit on the shy side so when I heard that they chose the hotseat contestant from whoever did best in the audience, there was no way I was touching those buttons :D. A little girl sat next to Stephen was called down but she was really quiet and no one could hear her. She was quite good though. Next down was a Brit called Richard who was on 32,000 when the show ended.

When we came out of there we strolled over to the big hat to get my free Internet pin. I picked out a pin to buy, whipped out my Internet voucher…..and was told that they’d run out of the free pins. Oh well, I wasn’t that impressed with the light up pins anyway, so I didn’t bother to get one. Went to see Walt Disney: one man’s dream and enjoyed it very much. The exhibits were interesting and so was the film.

Phoned home to let the folks know we were ok. The cat was behaving himself, Mother had won at bingo (again ) and all was well.

Made our way back to the hotel so we could have a brief rest before Cirque. Stopped off in the hotel shop to pick up a Starbucks frappachino for me and a soft drink for Stephen. Then I spotted a limited edition Hard Rock Halloween pin on the counter and liked it so much that I bought it. Now we wouldn’t want it to get lonely, would we, so I may have to buy it a little friend at some point.

Then we went to Cirque de Soleil. Wow! I never imagined it would be like that. Totally surreal. You just didn’t know where to look first. The acts were outstanding, and there was always something going on. I don’t quite know what else to say about it except that it was awesome, and if you have the chance, then go and see it. I’m really looking forward to taking Jo to see it next year. Worth every Penny!

Number of pins bought today – 1

Tomorrow – Islands of Adventure and Jungle Jims
__________________
Carole

Dixie Landings Oct 99
Masters Inn, Kissimmee Nov 00
Hard Rock Hotel Oct 01
Vistana Villages Oct 02
Beach Club Villas Dec 03
Beach Club Villas Oct 04
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Old 05-21-2003, 09:06 AM   #2
Minniespal

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