|04-16-2002, 01:52 AM||#1|
Join Date: Apr 2001
Location: Co Durham. England
Four Go Wild In Florida (Mar 2001)-6- Where's the Plan? !!
Four Go Wild In Florida
The Plan and The Flight
We get off the plane
"Walk this w..a...yyy!" MGM & Reflections
An unusually quiet day- Universal & Jungle Jim’s
Day 5 (Tuesday) - Where’s the plan !
Sorry this one’s been a long time coming. Work have had the bizarre idea that I should be spending some of my time with them instead of you. Threats have been made - but I don’t suppose they’ll take any notice !
PLAN - Can’t remember !
CHANGES TO PLAN - None
MISSED FROM PLAN TO DATE - E Night(MK), Pleasure Island , Blizzard Beach, Wet n Wild, Downtown Disney & Fantasmic.
Just me and you now, loyal, but misguided, stranger. You’ll notice from the above growing list that our plans are being shattered by the weather and the list of things missed so far is growing into “well, we’ll have to come back then!” proportions (shame). If you refer back to the print out of yesterday’s report - you ARE binding them (as I have ,The Great Stringer’s) I hope - you’ll be in a state of panic as we’d lost the plan, not to mention the plot! Well, we hunted high and low - top of the chest of drawers and under the bed - and couldn’t find the bloomin thing. Now being a clerk, I understand the importance of making and keeping backups. Our whole holiday adventure and value for money is tied up in that minute-by-minute itinerary. Thank God I’m one of life’s planners and took the precaution of preparing two copies of the plan. Where’s the second copy? In the blue ,button down, folder with the trip reports and the original copy.
What a pr*tt !
So tired and confused (even then), I drifted into a fitful sleep.
“Where’s the plan?”
“Where are we meant to go tomorrow?”
“How will I ever pay for this holiday?” - I tossed and turned all night.
Alarm set for 6.30, I woke at 5am. I’d spent so long preparing for this holiday and switching the plan to accommodate priorities - PS’s and early entries - it shouldn’t be too hard to piece together some sort of plan until the real document(s) turns up - probably tied up in all the odd socks that have miraculously vanished every time V does the washing. I asked V if she was asleep?
“No some fat bloke’s prodding me!”
She hadn’t slept either. We figured as it was early entry at Epcot, that must be where we were headed. If it’s Epcot, then we must have PSs at The Ice Cream Social at 3pm. That’ll do for starters, now for coffee etc. let’s get this day on the road.
It’s amazing the medicinal effect coffee has for the memory. Two cups in and me clerical orderly mind kicked back in. The folder was in the logical place –at the bottom of the spare case under the fleeces brought to ward off those evening chills. Plan restored to owner we put the spare copy in another safe place lest the original should ever wander again – yes I lost it!
On the bus at 7.10, we headed for Epcot. Many have mixed feelings for Epcot but we love it. The kids love the computer pavilions and interactive attractions. We (V & me) enjoyed World Showcase but only found out the ‘interiors’ of the countries had shops etc after we went home in 99 – we were that new and I’ve always been a pr*tt.
Me and G stood for 90 minutes for our one and only Test track ride last time and we were determined to take full advantage of Early Entry to get a go this time without the tedious garage tour. Remembering the actual ride to be quite tame, we insisted on the girls coming on this coz they always back out of anything the slightest bit intimidating and don’t know what they’re missing. V tried Splash Mountain in 99 and was terrified all the way round –
“This is different, dear. It hardly moves and is much slower than either of us drive at home.”
“ Julie, you’re just scared of your own shadow and need to be led onto the safer rides so you get the most out of all I’ve paid for you to come on this holiday.” “Yes, my call about T3D was a little out, but this is safer than going shopping with your Mam!”
We got into the briefing room without any noticeable delay and the girls were noticeably nervous – wimps, showed me and the boy up! Onto the ride and guilt slapped me in the face and called me names all the way round. It was much more bumpy and pacier than I remembered. I knew I was in big trouble . I think it cost me the Minnie in Kimono for that one ! Valerie felt nauseous for a couple of hours and me little Princess lost all faith in me judgement for everything except the greatest football team the world has ever seen – which just HAS to be so.
We headed for the Wonders of Life pavilion next to let the kids play on the interactive thingies and so I could wander about like a lost soul considering the error of me ways. They made me touch the hot and cold pipes over and over again and I got the feeling I wasn’t the most popular Dad in the world at that time. Gary had enjoyed TT but chose one of the bikes that didn’t work – so he was able to join in and blame me for that too ; which was nice.
Giving Body Wars a wide berth – that would have been revenge but I really would have been sleeping in the swimming pool – we aimed for Cranium Command. We rushed the WoL last time so didn’t know what to expect here. It was brilliant. Nothing for anyone to fear here and we enjoyed the show immensely.
Universe of Energy was next port of call. I’d wanted to do this in 99, but didn’t have time, so I was really looking forward to this one. The preshow with Ellen was witty and I looked forward to the ride. Julie was anxious, as a CM had said there was a dark part and a brief explosion – thanks pal! As the preshow ended, it was obvious J was becoming increasingly worried and I took her outside – saw the chance to push meself back into her good books and just dove right in there. “It’ll take more than that Dad, can I have an ice cream , please?”
V & G rode the thingy and we skipped off hand in hand (she had her ice cream now) to Innoventions East. J enjoyed trying out the activities and I looked on like the Bad Dad I was. Over to Innoventions West and the ultimate sacrifice. Her face lit up when she found the featured playstation game was WDW Magical Racing Tour. This is her favourite game of all time and she is absolutely unbeatable , well for a Dad anyway.
“ Can I beat you mercilessly, Dad?”
“ Of course you can , pet. I’m in the doghouse, after all.”
Luckily, there wasn’t much of an audience at that time of the morning but all those who passed and s******ed could be heard whispering to each other “He must have forced her on Test Track!”
We headed back to find V & G and they were sitting in the shade (that’s what you get under trees when it’s not raining) eating ice creams – well, V had been on TT and G’s bike hadn’t worked. Still early, me and Gary headed back to TT for single rider manoeuvres – the girls didn’t want to come for some reason. The lines were already building up and the Standby queue was 60 minutes but we got on as singles after 20 minutes – result ? NOT! As only TT can do, it broke down as we entered the track. G was halfway onto the fast straight. I was luckier as we’d just got through the crash doors so at least got a ‘full’ race when they got it going again. To WDW’s credit, back in the garage we were all asked if we’d like to go again? It broke down again, of course, but at least inside the test area so the finale was unspoiled. An hour and 2 goes later we returned to the girls who were recovering from their ordeal by way of chocolate and ice cream – there are times when even I know when to give in.
It was approaching 11am now and we set off for World Showcase to start our tour of the World. Caught the end of the Jamminators and thought they were really good. I was enjoying myself and begun to smile but Julie caught sight of me and I bowed me head in the shame I deserved – this was going to be a long day!
Entering WorldShowcase, the plan was to do every other country today and the rest another time. This would allow us to get round and back to Canada for Off Kilter at 1.30 and The British Invasion at 2pm. This would give us time to get to The Garden Grill for our Ice Cream Social via the Sega room for another whopping on the Playstations. V suggested we buy J a passport as we entered WS and I was too far in the wrong to argue about the cost ($10.55). We started in UK and I was impressed with the passport stamping system and the look on J’s face was worth the equivalent 4 bottles of beer she was getting validated. Hungry, the family asked if they could have fish and chips from Ramsdens. £6 for fish and chips! I haven’t done that much wrong. We got four bags of chips and took them to the ‘secret garden’ to the side of the bridge. Gorgeous chips, I nearly crept back for a fish but they never took their eyes off me. It was a bright day and as I looked over the lagoon, felt the weather was finally turning and me holiday might be getting started proper. (Why, Dave? Can’t you just keep those thoughts to yourself !)
Morocco next and we enjoyed walking round the authentic shops – well me and V did. The kids kept themselves amused wondering where the Moroccan computer games were. The CM there was particularly good with J, showing her how they write ‘backwards’ in Arabic.
The American Adventure , a must do on me list coz we didn’t do it last time, was 20 minutes to the next show so we moved into Italy – we could do America next time,after all. Italy was under rehab and I wasn’t that impressed other than the bridge and gondolas,which were nice.
Germany was all steins and cuckoo clocks and the Becks was $6 so I had a ‘cheap’ Bud at $4.50! Valerie liked the Christmas shop and the Hummel and Gloebel figures.
Pushing on, we ‘did’ China in a hurry. The temple thingy housed a ‘band’ who were playing British pop variations – weird. In a hurry to get to Canada, I never did find out if there was a takeaway.
We arrived at the Off Kilter stage just as they were tuning up. Didn’t have a clue what to expect but anything Kev recommends is a royal command to V and I was pleased to see they were a band so looked forward to the show. Lovely day, everything on track, planwise, and a live band. What more could we want ? It’s obvious – rain. Lots of it. The heavens opened and the audience fled agreeing they would have to do Off Kilter another day. We fled in the opposite direction to The British invasion so that would be postponed even if it stopped raining – which it wouldn’t.
We took shelter in Journey Into Your Imagination. A bit ‘bitty’ IMHO and not something I’d do again, even in another monsoon. After 2pm by now, we went into The Land and made our way to The Garden Grill. This was our first experience of a PS, never mind a character meal and we were all looking forward to the experience. The kids were delighted to be given the beeper to call us when our booth was ready and I took the opportunity to tour the area with me VC to collect some much needed “and this is…” footage. The art of boredom is not dead in Spennymoor.
Julie vibrated and giggled all at the same time and we figured it must be time for tea. Got to say the ice creams weren’t as big as I’d expected for $7 – but then I expect a lot for $7 – but they were very nice and well presented. The characters – Farmer Mickey, Pluto and Chip and Dale made lots of rounds and missed no one out – even a fat, disgraced Dad ( I’m sure I heard Chip tell Dale “yep, he took her on Test Track”)
They all made a fuss of J and she loved it. It was delightful the way they made each child feel special and interacted in an individual way – Chip took J’s hairband out while she was distracted and Dale put it back for her. A little thing but a special event for a little girl who forgot her street cred for that magic moment. Gary, of course, looked on bemused and hoping they’d just go past and leave him alone! Mickey ruffled his head (we had no hair as we’d been shaved for the holiday) and Pluto licked him , which nearly melted him with embarrassment. That was nothing! Dale got him out of his chair and showed him the sunflower wallpaper.
“Very nice, but what?”
Dale stroked the wallpaper flower with his furry finger and Gary’s eyes scanned the room twice looking for the Candid Camera people.
Dale took his adolescent little finger and scratched the flower – scratch and sniff. “No!?”
Gaz was embarrassed, confused and amazed to be standing there talking to a five foot chipmunk all at the same time. Dale pulled G’s head towards the flowers and held him there for a full minute while he ‘took in the aroma’. I have it all on VC and am now the proud recipient of breakfast in bed for the rest of me life. For some reason he races to the door whenever his mates come to call and they are never invited into the house anymore!
All in all the ICS was a great success and a good introduction to CMs and, at $28 plus tip, a cheap way to meet some prime characters.
The plan had been to stay at Epcot until after Tapestry of Nations (another first) then move on to MK for E Night after FitS. But it was still raining so we headed home for a bit kip and a beer for Dad.
We had our traditional family ‘eat on the go’ dinner of Cheeseburger and Chips (with Chilli for me and Cheese for the others) from our foodcourt and headed down to MK for 9pm. We made for Haunted Mansion and had hoped Julie would overcome her fear of the unknown to give this a go as we were sure she’d enjoy the ride for it’s wicked sense of humour. She wouldn’t budge and , with my track record with T3D and TT, I wasn’t about to risk bankruptcy in making up points. V&G went on and then I rode with V. The stretch room wasn’t as intimidating as I remembered but then the corridors of the mansion were more sinister than I’d thought. We think J made the right choice, she’d have had nightmares and no amount of Beanies would have bailed me out of that one. Note to strangers with sensitive/imaginative children. Do this ride yourselves without the children then decide on your own merits. This is a lovely and funny ride but could be ‘damaging’ in the wrong minds.
We made for Tomorrowland next to ride Buzz (for the girls) and me and G went on Space Mountain. A go on Buzz and we met the girls and all went on Timekeeper. Not a ‘must do’ but a pleasant and well executed ride. Pleased we did it now the stories of it’s demise are among us. Me and G left the girls to ‘do’ Buzz again and meet some characters outside the castle while we headed for the mountains of Frontierland for the highlight of the night. Two straight trips on BTMR then onto Splash. I love Splash , not just for the drops etc but the recreation of Song of the South, which is a much underrated film IMHO (and one which shows me age!). We went round twice and could have stayed on a third time but it was 11.55 and we didn’t fancy standing waiting for a bus after midnight so headed back to the old homestead.
As we exited the Kingdom another ‘ why on site is magical’ hit me. It was almost deserted as we passed Crystal Palace and the beauty of the shimmering lights and music hit me like no other time. I could have stood and sucked in that moment and resolved to come back and capture it on video another night to bore someone with at will.
On the bus 12.05, we were in the room by 12.20 and I enjoyed me medicinal beer (for me blisters – just coz I haven’t mentioned them don’t mean they don’t hurt) before dropping into an exhausted sleep.
Found the plan where Valerie had lost it.
Went to Test track and showed V what it’s like to be a passenger when she has to drive home after I’ve had a drink.
Walked from Uk to Canada and walked into a monsoon.
Had an ice cream with Mickey Mouse and Gary tried to rip the wallpaper off the Garden Grill.
Had an early afternoon and went E Nighting.
Tomorrow – MGM for breakfast at H&V (G&D to ‘do’ ToT and R&RC before 8.30. SeaWorld then meet Janice and Chris at Y&B for our cruise.
Spread betting now available at how many things go wrong!
<font color=red>Dave (SD)</font>
Our Trip Reports
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