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Old 04-10-2009, 01:32 PM   #1
wickesy
Tomorrow, tomorrow, I love you tomorrow, you're always a day...closer to our next Disney trip
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Welcome Home, Now Relax ~ Day 4 - Shopping, baseball and Mardi Gras

Saturday 28th March 2009

As today was a ‘rest’ day we took our time getting up and had a leisurely breakfast. We left the studio at 8:45 and went up to Festival Bay Mall where Dad wanted to have a look around the Bass Pro shop. If you are the ‘outdoors’ type then this is the perfect shop for you as it is a huge store that sells everything for fishing, camping, hiking etc. that you could ever want, and more.

After Bass Pro we had a look around the rest of the mall but most of the other shops were not open as it was still before 10:00. We left Festival Bay and went over to Florida Mall where we had a wander around and then stopped off in the food court where we had a fruit smoothie each.

By now it was around 11:40 and, as the game was due to start at 1:05, it was time to make our way over to Disney Wide World of Sports. We arrived soon after 12:00 but hundreds had arrived before us so we had to park in a field and then catch a shuttle bus over to the main entrance. We were in our seats just before the ceremonial first pitch and an appearance by a certain M. Mouse, which Dad missed as he was off getting us a hot dog each..


Mickey is just to the right of the pitcher's mound




The seats were out in the open and the sun was strong so we missed part of the 4th inning and the whole of the 7th inning as we had retreated inside to cool down a bit. We also decided to try and beat some of the crowds so we left half-way through the 9th inning when the New York Yankees were leading the Atlanta Braves 6-3. We walked back to the car and just as we got there fireworks went off, which we assume was the end of the game. I checked online and the final score was 6-4 so it seems we didn’t miss much.

From the stadium we made our way up to Universal arriving just after 4:30 and parking up in E.T 565. As our tickets did not allow us entry until 5:00 there was only one thing to do to pass the time - Cinnabon. We love Cinnabon and usually have at least one on each trip. After that we made our way into the park and saw that even though the concert did not start until 9:15 people were already queuing for a prime spot in front of the stage - 4 hours before it was due to start!

continued
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Sep '92, Apr '07 - Contemporary Resort ~ Apr '08 - Animal Kingdom Lodge ~ Aug '08 - Grand Californian ~ Mar '09 - Saratoga Springs ~ Mar '10 - DLP ~ Jun '10 - Inaugural Baltic Cruise
Trip Reports: WDW April '07 ~ Canada August '07 ~ WDW April '08 ~ SF & Disneyland August '08 ~ WDW March '09 ~ Smokies August '09 ~ DLP March '10 ~ Jun '10 - Inaugural Baltic Cruise
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Old 04-10-2009, 01:33 PM   #2
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Tomorrow, tomorrow, I love you tomorrow, you're always a day...closer to our next Disney trip
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We had a wander around but it was too hot so we found some shaded tables by Animal Actors on Location and sat there for an hour or so. Just before 7:00 I decided to walk back round to the stage and we found a spot by Monsters Café where some barriers had been set up that we could lean against and have a reasonable view of the stage and big screen.



Just after 8:00 the parade came past and Dad managed to grab a few strings of beads as they were thrown over.









Apologies for the quality of the photos but it’s not easy taking photos when things are being thrown at you and people are scrambling around trying to catch them!

Once the parade had gone past it all started to go wrong and I have to say the crowd control at Universal is ABSOLUTELY ATROCIOUS, and in fact non-existent. Hundreds of people were trying to walk both ways through the people that were standing in the road waiting for the concert to start but because of the barriers that had been set up everybody started getting crushed and there was no security personnel anywhere to try and sort things out. In the end people and strollers were being lifted over the barriers and into the walkway just in front of where we were standing. Universal are lucky that they didn’t have a serious incident on their hands.

The concert started at 9:15 and Kelly Clarkson did all of her hits and a few album tracks, finishing about an hour later (no pics as there were just too many people about to get decent ones). We made our way out of the park and after getting stuck in traffic trying to get onto I-4 we were back in the room by 11:30 and straight to bed because, breaking one of my fundamental rules of itinerary planning, we had an early start for breakfast at Boma tomorrow.

Day 5
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I currently live in London until I have enough DVC points to stay at Animal Kingdom Villas every day of the year

Sep '92, Apr '07 - Contemporary Resort ~ Apr '08 - Animal Kingdom Lodge ~ Aug '08 - Grand Californian ~ Mar '09 - Saratoga Springs ~ Mar '10 - DLP ~ Jun '10 - Inaugural Baltic Cruise
Trip Reports: WDW April '07 ~ Canada August '07 ~ WDW April '08 ~ SF & Disneyland August '08 ~ WDW March '09 ~ Smokies August '09 ~ DLP March '10 ~ Jun '10 - Inaugural Baltic Cruise

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Old 04-10-2009, 02:07 PM   #3
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I'm jealous! I would love to see Kelly Clarkson, is she good 'live'?
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Old 04-10-2009, 02:19 PM   #4
wickesy
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gaynor View Post
I'm jealous! I would love to see Kelly Clarkson, is she good 'live'?
She was great and seemed to be really enjoying herself too. I had to watch most of it on the big screen but every so often as people shifted about I caught sight of this tiny dot on the stage.
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I currently live in London until I have enough DVC points to stay at Animal Kingdom Villas every day of the year

Sep '92, Apr '07 - Contemporary Resort ~ Apr '08 - Animal Kingdom Lodge ~ Aug '08 - Grand Californian ~ Mar '09 - Saratoga Springs ~ Mar '10 - DLP ~ Jun '10 - Inaugural Baltic Cruise
Trip Reports: WDW April '07 ~ Canada August '07 ~ WDW April '08 ~ SF & Disneyland August '08 ~ WDW March '09 ~ Smokies August '09 ~ DLP March '10 ~ Jun '10 - Inaugural Baltic Cruise
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Old 04-10-2009, 02:26 PM   #5
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Excellent reports David .... you and Dad seem such good mates and have such fab holidays together.

Keep them coming .... Sharon xx
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Old 04-10-2009, 02:31 PM   #6
wickesy
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Originally Posted by sandshal View Post
Excellent reports David .... you and Dad seem such good mates and have such fab holidays together.

Keep them coming .... Sharon xx
Thanks, we are and we do.

More coming tomorrow.
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I currently live in London until I have enough DVC points to stay at Animal Kingdom Villas every day of the year

Sep '92, Apr '07 - Contemporary Resort ~ Apr '08 - Animal Kingdom Lodge ~ Aug '08 - Grand Californian ~ Mar '09 - Saratoga Springs ~ Mar '10 - DLP ~ Jun '10 - Inaugural Baltic Cruise
Trip Reports: WDW April '07 ~ Canada August '07 ~ WDW April '08 ~ SF & Disneyland August '08 ~ WDW March '09 ~ Smokies August '09 ~ DLP March '10 ~ Jun '10 - Inaugural Baltic Cruise
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Old 04-10-2009, 02:51 PM   #7
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Another great day!

What was the gossip you had to tell about Kelly Clarkson????
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Old 04-10-2009, 02:55 PM   #8
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The crowd control doesn't sound good at all. Glad you enjoyed Kelly Clarkson, and the game. I couldn't see Mickey in your pics, but then again, I don't know where the pitchers mound is!
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Old 04-10-2009, 03:02 PM   #9
wickesy
Tomorrow, tomorrow, I love you tomorrow, you're always a day...closer to our next Disney trip
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pinky166 View Post
Another great day!

What was the gossip you had to tell about Kelly Clarkson????
Oh it wasn't gossip, I was just talking about the crowd control when I said I had a story to tell Michelle about that - knowing that she was going there to see MC Hammer the following week.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Nubbedy View Post
The crowd control doesn't sound good at all. Glad you enjoyed Kelly Clarkson, and the game. I couldn't see Mickey in your pics, but then again, I don't know where the pitchers mound is!
The pitcher's mound is the brown circle in the middle of the photo. You can't really make Mickey out that well in the reduced size picture which is why I thought I had better point out where he is.
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I currently live in London until I have enough DVC points to stay at Animal Kingdom Villas every day of the year

Sep '92, Apr '07 - Contemporary Resort ~ Apr '08 - Animal Kingdom Lodge ~ Aug '08 - Grand Californian ~ Mar '09 - Saratoga Springs ~ Mar '10 - DLP ~ Jun '10 - Inaugural Baltic Cruise
Trip Reports: WDW April '07 ~ Canada August '07 ~ WDW April '08 ~ SF & Disneyland August '08 ~ WDW March '09 ~ Smokies August '09 ~ DLP March '10 ~ Jun '10 - Inaugural Baltic Cruise
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Old 04-10-2009, 03:08 PM   #10
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Quote:
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Oh it wasn't gossip, I was just talking about the crowd control when I said I had a story to tell Michelle about that - knowing that she was going there to see MC Hammer the following week.
Ohhhh....there was me thinking you had some juicy gossip to share!
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Old 04-10-2009, 04:10 PM   #11
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Really enjoying your trip report - the non existent crowd control at Universal sounded a bit scary

Looking forward to the next instalment.
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Old 04-10-2009, 04:24 PM   #12
wickesy
Tomorrow, tomorrow, I love you tomorrow, you're always a day...closer to our next Disney trip
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Quote:
Originally Posted by suzycute View Post
Really enjoying your trip report - the non existent crowd control at Universal sounded a bit scary

Looking forward to the next instalment.
I said to Dad it is the first time I have been scared at a theme park. Not for myself because we were safe behind our own barriers, but for other people - I saw a couple of children in tears and at one point a fight almost broke out.

Disney showed how it was done when we were in front of the castle between Spectromagic and Wishes when they had 10 cast members in a line with their red light sticks making sure people in front of them were walking one way and people behind them were walking the other. Anybody walking the wrong way was immediately moved to the other side of the line.
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I currently live in London until I have enough DVC points to stay at Animal Kingdom Villas every day of the year

Sep '92, Apr '07 - Contemporary Resort ~ Apr '08 - Animal Kingdom Lodge ~ Aug '08 - Grand Californian ~ Mar '09 - Saratoga Springs ~ Mar '10 - DLP ~ Jun '10 - Inaugural Baltic Cruise
Trip Reports: WDW April '07 ~ Canada August '07 ~ WDW April '08 ~ SF & Disneyland August '08 ~ WDW March '09 ~ Smokies August '09 ~ DLP March '10 ~ Jun '10 - Inaugural Baltic Cruise
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Old 04-10-2009, 06:19 PM   #13
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This was a day of varied activities and sounds like fun right up to the time of the crushing crowd. The only time I've ever been frightened in a theme park crowd was on Main Street at MK just after a fireworks show 10 years ago and I think it was a rare lapse in Disney organization. It followed the lines of your experience at Universal--not enough CMs to direct the movement of the crowd and too few crossing ropes set up and people being pushed with no way to stop or change direction. Having been in large Disney crowds many times through the years without any problems, that one horrible time made we aware of how well Disney takes care of crowd control and in such an unobtrusive way we just take it for granted.
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Old 04-11-2009, 01:12 AM   #14
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Great report
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Old 04-11-2009, 09:36 AM   #15
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sounds like an amazing day and evening. it is a shame that Universal let themselves down. I would be worried taking my kids into that type of situation! I am glad that we have decided to leave the 'Univeral' experience until they are much older.
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