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Old 06-15-2009, 12:38 PM   #1
Kevin Stringer
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A Very British Trip Report - May 2009 - Day 7


The participants:

Me, Kev, 51, husband, father, son, friend. In fact, just about everything to everybody on this holiday.
Wife, Tam, 45.
Daughter 1, India, 18.
Daughter 2, Georgia, 15.
Grandma, 84. The girls Grandma, my mother.
Susan, age kept quiet for fear of kick in soft tissuey area. Our friend from Tulsa.

Attending in part:

Sharon, see above for age. Friend from Texas.
Evan, 21, Sharonís son.

If you want to know more about us, have a look at www.kevinstringer.co.uk/index

Up around 8.00am and breakfast done, weíre out of the room by 8.45am to walk over to Epcot. The forecast for today is the same as itís going to be for the next few days, nice mornings, but thunderstorms in the afternoon and evening.

Our aim is to ride Spaceship Earth first, but itís not open yet, so we go to Test Track instead. The standby time is 20 minutes, so we opt for the single rider line and virtually walk on.

Mission Space is next where me, Georgia, Grandma and Susan do the non-throwing up version, while Tam and India try the full on vomit city side. Itís a fun attraction, but youíll never get me on the spinning side again. This is reiterated when we leave the ride and I see a young teenage lad sat down with his head in his hands looking greener than a lump of purest green. Been there, done that, donít worry it will only take 5 or 6 hours until you feel better.

Universe of Energy is next. I havenít done this in a while and so enjoy it more than I expect. On leaving we bump into the Jammitors smashing away on their dustbins. Great fun.

On round to Spaceship Earth, which has long queues, but they move fairly quickly and weíre on within 15 minutes. Now, Iím not really sure what to make of the changes. Judi Dench is reasonable enough as the narrator and it looks really cleaned up and nice in many places, but the section after you rotate backwards is practically empty with all your attention on the interactive screen in your ride vehicle. I canít believe this will hold as much repeat appeal as the old version.

We walk into World Showcase next and the skies are looking pretty ominous, so we decide on a sit down lunch at Nine Dragons restaurant in China. This proves to be a wise move as it chucks it down while we are sat eating.
We have 4 starters and 2 main dishes between the 6 of us and split them all. The pot stickers are particularly good and the mains of Honey Sesame Chicken and Sweet and Sour Pork are both well liked too. Of course, I need a couple of Tsing Tao beers to wash it down with as well. I canít understand why this place gets such a lot of bad reviews. Admittedly we have only ever had lunch here, but weíve always enjoyed it. A thumbs up from the Stringer/Yates party. Itís even nicer as Susan insists on picking up the tab. I like free food.

The rain has stopped by the time we leave the restaurant and wander round the China pavilion for a while, ending up in the shop. I grit my teeth and let the ladies have their way for a while. To be fair, if we have to shop, this is the place to be as it has some beautiful and interesting things.

India wants to see the Chinese acrobats at 3.05pm and their usual outdoor display has been moved into the temple that acts as a holding area for the 360į film.
The young performers consistently draw a big crowd and no wonder, they are amazing to watch. Skill, agility, strength and beauty are combined to spectacular effect. A couple of the girls are particularly well proportioned for Chinese ladies, who are usually very petite. Before you start complaining, itís actually India that comments on this, not me.
We stay to watch the 360į film. Again I havenít seen this in many years and so itís an enjoyable experience.

Weíre going to leave Epcot now to get ready to go to Disneyís Hollywood Studios where we have an ADR for the Brown Derby followed by a visit to the 10.30pm showing of Fantasmic.
On the way round we canít resist watching the Romeo and Edna street show in Italy. We are a little saddened to recognise one of the participants as a former cast member from the Adventurers Club. Lord, I miss that place. Damn you Disney!
Having these little shows and performances around World Showcase are one of the things that makes this place so special to us.

The clouds are gathering as we catch the Friendship boat back to the Boardwalk where we congregate on Susan and Grandmaís huge balcony to enjoy a glass of Pimms. Weíre classy people. There is thunder and lightning all around, but miraculously, it doesnít rain.

Back on our own balcony I enjoy a second glass of Pimms and a beer while I write up my trip report. I have a warm feeling inside of me (itís not just the alcohol) as I am enjoying every day more than the one before. I canít explain why, but sitting on the balcony at the Boardwalk fills me with happiness and contentment. I reckon the good pixies may be at work.

At 7.30pm we leave to catch the boat to Disneyís Hollywood Studios. Itís still threatening to rain, but is holding off for the time being. We walk to the Brown Derby and are seated after a few minutes. There seems to be one advantage to having 6 of us in our party, we have always been given really good tables, usually a booth. This is much nicer than being on a small table mixed in with lots of other diners.
It must be carnivore night for our party as we all plump for the New York Strip Steak, except for Georgia who wants the duck.

The food and service are both very good and we pass a happy 90 minutes eating and chatting. The Brown Derby is not a cheap restaurant (the steak is $36), but it is a cut above the normal theme park eating establishments and is a nice diversion from the hustle and bustle outside.

As we eat it starts chucking it down with rain outside. Once again we have been lucky in avoiding the worst of the elements, managing to be either eating or drinking whenever itís pouring. Mind you, as we spend a fair proportion of our time doing one or other of these things, I guess itís not totally surprising.
At the end of the meal Susan insists on paying for it again. Her logic is that it would cost her a whole lot more in accommodation costs if she wasnít staying with us at the Boardwalk. No amount of arguing will change her mind. Thanks very much for a lovely meal Susan.

We are off to watch the 10.30pm Fantasmic and start to walk towards the theatre when it starts to rain. Luckily itís just the sprinkly type of rain, not the drowned in 30 seconds variety, so ponchos cope admirably.
Iím quite surprised at how many people are queuing to get into the theatre considering this is the second showing tonight, but it doesnít take too long to get started. Georgia and I nip off for me to get a beer and both of us to use the bathroom. See how American Iím becoming? Iíll be turning on the faucet next.

When we return to the theatre Tam and Grandma are sharing a poncho, one has her head in the proper hole and one has her head through the armhole. They look like a two-headed yellow blob.
Fantasmic! Is not our favourite night time show, but itís still spectacular and the main aim is for Grandma to see as much as possible.

Exiting the theatre takes a little while, but itís not long until we are on the boat back to the Boardwalk. Back in the room I ask Tam and the girls if anything happened this evening that ought to go in the trip report. Tamís response is ĎIím sure I said something funny this eveningí. So there you go, please laugh uproariously at this point assuming that whatever Tam said was funny.
You see what I have to work with?

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Old 06-15-2009, 12:58 PM   #2
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well i thought what Tam said was hilarious !

Ive never tried mission space and im still not convinced
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Old 06-15-2009, 01:13 PM   #3
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Fantasmic report as usual Kev.
Not happy I had nothing new to read over the weekend though.
All leave is cancelled until your report is finished.
Your public NEED you.
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Old 06-15-2009, 01:30 PM   #4
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Sounds like a fun day!

And indeed, if there's anything worth damning Disney over, it's the closing of the beloved Adventurer's Club.

14 trips and counting ...
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Old 06-15-2009, 01:52 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by Kevin Stringer View Post
Once again we have been lucky in avoiding the worst of the elements, managing to be either eating or drinking whenever itís pouring. Mind you, as we spend a fair proportion of our time doing one or other of these things, I guess itís not totally surprising.
Sounds like our kind of holiday too

Great Epcot photos Kev .. and as for Tam, she just cracks me up
Mandy xx

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Old 06-15-2009, 01:57 PM   #6
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Sounds like you all had a brill day. Would love to have seen a photo of Susan and Grandma in the poncho together!

Keep em coming.

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Old 06-15-2009, 02:11 PM   #7
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nice to see the flower festival at epcot, you have some great piccies.
Andrea xxx
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Old 06-15-2009, 02:17 PM   #8
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You know I'm not shy and am fully prepared to offer editorial comments to your report, Kevin, but you're so thorough there's been nothing for me to do other than affix my stamp of approval. I might as well have a little rubber stamp made saying "Yes. Yes. That's what happened!" to use for this TR series. Congratulations on the beautiful illustrations, especially the gorgeous pictures featuring the Flower and Garden Festival that I'd think were done by Disney landscape photographers--except I watched them being taken and know it was Tammy and you.
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Old 06-15-2009, 02:47 PM   #9
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Great day. I thought what Tam said was hilarious.
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Old 06-15-2009, 04:58 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by KevinStringer
Judi Dench is reasonable enough as the narrator and it looks really cleaned up and nice in many places, but the section after you rotate backwards is practically empty with all your attention on the interactive screen in your ride vehicle. I canít believe this will hold as much repeat appeal as the old version
I agree. I miss Jeremy and I don't like the last bit half as much as before.

I've always been surprised by the negative reports from Nine Dragons - we've had a couple of nice meals here.

A lovely day
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Old 06-15-2009, 05:55 PM   #11
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I always enjoy Epcot/MGM split days and it sounds like your group had a great one too, great report as always I almost feel like i'm there
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Old 06-16-2009, 03:15 AM   #12
Repeat after me....I LOVE CROC's, I LOVE CROC's, I LOVE CROC's!!!!!!
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Lovely day
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Old 06-16-2009, 04:41 AM   #13
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Another great day Kev...great Epcot photos too!
Totally in love with Lisa_C
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Old 06-16-2009, 05:34 AM   #14
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Tam is very funny!
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Old 06-16-2009, 05:53 AM   #15
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I've just caught up with your report, sounds like you had a great time.

I've never been convinced by the hard core Mission Space either, you see people coming off it pretty worse for wear!
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