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Old 11-18-2009, 01:20 PM   #1
wilma-bride
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Bad Mothers' Handbook - Chapter 4

Chapter 4: Lions and Tigers and Scares, Oh My!

Despite our long day yesterday, I still slept badly (you’d think I would be used to it by now) and was up early. It wasn’t long before I was joined by Sian and Daniel (who, I suspect, didn’t want to miss out on the opportunity to take an early morning walk). So that’s just what we did. We quickly and quietly dressed and decided to walk over to Jambo house and explore over there. Plus, we wanted to see exactly how long a walk it actually was.

The walk itself was a fairly easy ten minute stroll, aided by several information boards along the way with various questions about the animals which can be found at Animal Kingdom Lodge. The question was asked on one board and then the answer given on the next board along the route. It was just another clever trick by Disney, to make what could otherwise be a boring trek for the kids a little more interesting.

At Jambo house, we first explored the lobby and, I have to say, I was very impressed. However, although it is much less impressive on comparison, I actually think I preferred the intimacy of the Kidani Village lobby and entrance area. Next, we walked out to have a look around the pool and animal-viewing areas. Obviously, as it wasn’t quite 6.30, there were no animals around but it was nice to see yet another of Disney World’s beautiful resorts. Since it was almost 6.30, we decided to see if Mara was open, in order to get Gary a cup of tea. Although it wasn’t officially open, we were able to get a cup of tea (well, hot water and a tea bag) and a couple of pastries for breakfast. We quickly walked back to Kidani and used the tea as a lure to get Gary out of bed. Rea was already up and in the shower and so, it was no surprise, that we were all ready on time.

We set off for Tampa and arrived at Busch Gardens just before 9.30. The car park was not open so we had a short wait until they started letting people in. Since we were so early, we got a prime parking spot and took the short walk over to the entrance.



Since one of the main reasons for coming was to ride Sheikra, the plan was to head there first. However, we passed Gwazi on the way so took the opportunity to get a quick ride in. Oh, how I wish we hadn’t! I didn’t like it at all; it was rickety and shaky and I was in physical pain almost all of the way around. Daniel quite liked it, though, as did the other kids. So maybe it’s OK if you’re 4 foot! I hated this ride!! It's not pleasant at all and, despite Ellie saying she wanted to ride again, there was no way I was getting on it again.

Next, we carried on round to Sheikra. That part of the park wasn’t quite open so we had to wait a little while to be let through. I have to say, at this point, I was having serious doubts about whether I was actually going to go on. Normally, I am a major adrenalin junkie, however, Oblivion at Alton Towers is the only ride that I’ve been on that frightens the life out of me – I absolutely hate it! Shiekra is very similar and I was sure that I was going to dislike it too. However, since I spend most of my time telling Rhiannon that she should try everything once, I felt it was my duty to practice as I preach. I was very impressed that Nat was going on too since, up to about a year ago, she didn’t ‘do’ rollercoasters. Lol, after my warm-up trip to Alton Towers, I am officially cured of my coaster phobia...i now adopt the approach that I will try anything once (although me and Joh were giving this one some serious consideration)

Since Rea and the younger kids weren’t going on it, they headed off to explore Jungala and we arranged to meet at the entrance to Kumba.

Sheikra was a walk-on which meant that I didn’t really have time to change my mind. It’s fair to say, though, that I was panicking a bit at this stage. Soon, we were off and climbing the never-ending hill up to the first drop. I kept my eyes closed the whole way. We got to the top and all I heard was John say ‘Cracking view’ followed by Nat telling him to ‘Shut up about the view’ (or words to that effect ) And then we were off, round the bend and down the first drop! And it was the most frightening thing I have ever done in my life. But it was brilliant! We all loved it and had to go on again. I had mistakenly thought that the drop was straight after the big climb, so was very surprised when the drop was further down the track and, amazingly, I managed to forget the 2nd time as well. Duh!

We wanted to have a third go but were aware that the others would be waiting for us so we decided we would come back later. We met up with the others and, even thought, it was only just after 10, it was already an incredibly hot day. Rea had bought drinks for everyone (well done babe) so we had some liquid refreshment and then went on Kumba. Again, Rea and the younger ones didn’t ride so we agreed we ought to do some stuff for them next.

So, after Kumba, we caught the Skyride which was a great way to see the animals from the air. Then we had a general wander around, during which we saw the lions up close and even witnessed them being fed, which was a great experience.





Next, it was time for Rhino Rally where the boys both wanted to be navigator. Since Matthew won ‘Rock, paper, scissors’ he got to do it and sat up front next to the driver.



I have to say Daniel handled the defeat incredibly well, much better than Matthew would have done if the roles were reversed!!

Rhino Rally was a great ride and we all loved it – I thought it was loads better than the safari at Animal Kingdom.

We were all hungry by now so off we went in search of food. This was more difficult than it sounds since we didn’t really have any idea of where we wanted to eat or what we really wanted. We ended up getting chicken strip meals from a place near Cheetah Chase. The food was lukewarm and not that great but at least it filled a small hole. After lunch, Nat, John and the kids went off to Cheetah Chase while Gary and I rode Sandstorm for old time’s sake. We also had a look around some of the shops and the cool Halloween gear.



Warning: If you are a self-righteous, perfect parent look away now. Who me? lol

Since Gary and I knew that Daniel had enjoyed Splash Mountain and we also wanted him to try as much as possible on this trip, we persuaded him to ride the Scorpion. He specifically asked if it went upside down and I lied to him and told him it didn’t. Even when he pointed out the loop as we were walking past, I told him it was part of another ride. Still, we went on it and he loved it so it wasn’t all bad.

But, for those of you keeping score, it is now: Bad Mothers - 2, Children – 0

Perfect parents, you can look again now – and, don’t worry, the children will even up the score pretty soon!

By now, it was sweltering and we all agreed it was a good time to get wet so it was off to Congo River Rapids, which was a great laugh. Since we were already wet, it would have been churlish not to have a couple of goes on Stanley Falls Flume (although some of the kids had three goes since it was also a walk-on). Then, since we were right next to Sheikra, we got ice-cream for the kids while the adults (and Sian) went off to have another ride.



I couldn’t believe that there was no wait at nearly 3 in the afternoon. While Gary and John went off for one more ride, us girls got a little snack. Nat and I shared a funnel cake while Sian enjoyed some strawberry shortcake.

John and Gary were taking ages so we figured something must have happened. When they eventually returned, they told us the ride had broken down and some poor souls had been stuck out in the blazing sunshine for almost 20 minutes. They’d finally got their ride, though, so they were happy.

Since time was marching on and we still had stuff to do, we decided to move on. Daniel was desperate to see the snakes and reptiles and the kids all wanted to go on the train.

It was about this time that Nat realised her camera was broken. Although I’m no camera expert, I reckon the fact that she’d kept it in her back pocket and, therefore, been sitting on it all day may have been a contributing factor

We wandered a little and took some photos (with my camera) and the kids went on a couple of rides in Land of the Dragons.







A picture speaks a thousand words


We saw the reptiles and went on the train and, all too soon, it was almost time to leave. The thrillseekers really wanted to ride Montu before we left so Rea agreed to take the kids on Cheetah Chase once more while we did that and we went our separate ways, agreeing to meet at the entrance in a little while. We had just a short wait for Montu and arrived back at the entrance to find Rea and the kids waiting. Montu is a great Rollercoaster...it seemed to go on for ever.

As we left, we were asked to complete a short survey and the only negative thing we could find to say about the day was that we hadn’t had enough time to do everything we’d wanted. Busch Gardens was really great and we wouldn’t hesitate to go back again.

On the drive home, the skies in the distance were looking a little dark and we even witnessed an amazing rainbow but no sign of rain.



Back in Orlando, we decided to stop at Bennigans for dinner. I had read on the DIS that Bennigans had closed down but I assume that was only the one on I-Drive. It wasn’t that great, to be honest – and, although Nat and John had not been before, Gary and I were disappointed having previously had really good meals at Bennigans.

After dinner, we walked to a Camera Centre just down the block where Nat got a nifty new camera for a very reasonable price. The guy even knocked a bit more off the price if she was happy to pay in cash – which she did, after having to borrow a little bit from me, Gary and the girls since she hadn’t got enough on her (presumably not realising she’d be having to buy a new camera). I was not happy at having to rush the purchase as I like to research this kind of thing. Still, I am very happy with the camera and I kept it out of my pocket for the rest of the trip

Over dinner, we had been discussing (in hushed tones) the possibility of being able to sneak downstairs tonight to experience the Sanaa lounge bar. However, it was getting late by the time we got back to the resort and we were all tired so we decided to leave it till the next night.

Next - Chapter 5: Just Because Mom Does it Doesn't Make it Right
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Old 11-18-2009, 01:43 PM   #2
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Great day, great photos. Especially love this one!!!



And already excited about the next instalment -
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.....Chapter 5: Just Because Mom Does it Doesn't Make it Right...
Sounds like something I can relate to!!!
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Old 11-18-2009, 01:59 PM   #3
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Another great day with excellent pics.

Tina
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Old 11-18-2009, 02:12 PM   #4
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Great report - really enjoying it
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Old 11-18-2009, 02:40 PM   #5
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You wouldn't get me on any Busch Garden rollercoaster so I salute you
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Old 11-18-2009, 03:42 PM   #6
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Another fab day, keep 'em coming girls
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Old 11-18-2009, 03:42 PM   #7
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BG is one of our favourite parks. Less the reptiles.
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Old 11-18-2009, 04:04 PM   #8
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Bad Mothers or not, those kids of yours are a lucky bunch of kids. Looks like the day was fun for everyone, including the biggest kids, Gary and John.
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Old 11-18-2009, 04:13 PM   #9
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Quote:
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You wouldn't get me on any Busch Garden rollercoaster so I salute you
you big wuss
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Old 11-18-2009, 04:46 PM   #10
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Quote:
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You wouldn't get me on any Busch Garden rollercoaster so I salute you
Same here. I did Gwazi, Scorpion and Cheetah Chase - hated them all... And then I watched my guys get stuck at the top of SheiKra for about 20 minutes - just at the point it tips over the edge!!!! They loved it tho' and went on again...
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Old 11-18-2009, 05:04 PM   #11
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great report
thanks
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Old 11-18-2009, 07:53 PM   #12
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Another great day and pictures. Your more daring than me trying Sheikra I always refuse Oblivion at Alton Towers never mind that one. :O
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Old 11-19-2009, 12:05 AM   #13
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Another fab day

I love the rollercoasters at Busch Gardens, I always get so nervous on the steep climb up but never find the going down as bad as what I have imagined it to be.
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Old 11-19-2009, 02:10 AM   #14
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Great Day, I hope Matt didn't get the driver lost. Navigator is a big responsability.
great job Joh, keep them coming.
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Old 11-19-2009, 06:32 AM   #15
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Great day!! i can't wait to do Busch Gardens! Haha that picture cracks me up! x
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