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Old 09-02-2012, 11:33 AM   #16
missoverexcited
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Join Date: Feb 2012
Location: Manchester, England
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Magic kingdom 25/7/12 part 2

Lucy and Dan had spent the morning doing FL so they had already done Its a Small World and Mickey's Philharmagic which was our plan, but they stuck with us anyway. The queue for IASW was huge, so I asked a CM what the expected wait was - 45-60 minutes But as I turned to tell the others, they had already joined the queue and weren't listening to me. I didn't even want to ride it, much less queue for an hour for it, so I was getting very grumpy, but the line went really quickly and we only waited about 20 minutes - I don't know how that happened because the line was practically back to Liberty Square, but I was very glad about it! Faye really loved this one, she was sat next to my mum and all the way round she kept pointing out her favourite dolls. Afterwards we did Philharmagic which was new to us. Opinions were divided, women and children enjoyed it, the men didn't, though Steve and Sean did agree it was better than IASW

It must have been about 5.45 or so by this time because we didn't think we had time to do anything else before meeting John and Joe back at Country Bear Jamboree so we went straight there. Most of us didn't want to actually see the show, but my dad persuaded us since we had nothing else to do while we waited. The kids enjoyed it, Dad was clapping along, the rest of us were just glad of the air con as there hadn't been a drop of rain to cool us down. As we got out, John and Joe were walking towards us munching on Mickey bars. Joe had cheered up, John said he hadn't complained a bit during the long wait, and they got the front seats (Joe had the front seat earlier too with Steve). At this point, the plan was basically over until the electric parade and fireworks. I wanted to take Joe to the Pirate Tutorial so I checked the times...should have checked a lot earlier, the last one had been nearly 2 hours ago :-( But I noticed that the Dream Along With Mickey show was due to start at 6,40 so we thought we may as well go there.

We got to the castle and staked out a spot, not very close but close enough, and then basically all collapsed on the ground while we waited - we were so exhausted! Joe refused to get up even when the show started, he just wouldn't watch it at all, even the Peter Pan bit which I think he would have liked - it was deemed to be babyish, I kept saying to him "You're only 7, I'm 37 and I like it!" I don't think Alex saw it either, I think he slept through it, but Bella and Faye adored it, they were explaining to me who all the princesses were, as if I'd never seen them before This was their only princess sighting the whole day since Lucy and Dan hadn't taken them to any of the meet and greets. During the show I made a decision that afterwards I would take Joe on Space Mountain - I knew the queue would be huge but I needed to find a way to salvage the day for him. When I explained this to everyone else, my parents and John said they would do it too, but we needed to eat first.

We headed to Tomorrowland and got food from Cosmic Rays. We sat outside, and Joe's eyes lit up when he saw the Tomorrowland Speedway - he really wanted to do it but I managed to put him off by telling him it was for babies, and reminding him we were going to do Space very soon. Predictably, Bella, Faye and Alex took forever to eat, and still left most of it. I wanted to be in the queue by 7.30 because I was hoping not to miss the 9pm parade - fat chance. It was 8.15pm as we made our way over - all of us since Lucy and Dan had decided they would child swap and ride too. The wait though was 110 minutes!! It was just too long, so we explained to Joe that we were coming back to MK again and Space was the first ride on the plan so he would definitely get to ride it and he said ok. But as we walked away, he looked so sad I stopped the others and told them that me and Joe were riding it regardless, I had promised and I couldn't let him down. Steve and John said they would ride too, and we said we would meet up outside the Town Square Theatre after the fireworks as we were going to miss them.

I was so sad to be missing the parade and Wishes, I love Tink. Joe's excited face was worth it though, but I did wonder whether he would still be smiling after 2 hours in line! We all enjoyed the interactive games in the queue, it really helped pass the time, even if I was rubbish at them! And after only 70 minutes, we reached the front of the queue, hooray! It was worth the wait, Joe absolutely loved it - its one of my favourites, but Steve hated it, he is 6'4" and he was in the front seat, he had no space for his legs and he was in agony! We stopped to buy our photo then rushed towards Main St to watch Wishes. We hadn't seen The Magic, The Memories and You before and didn't really know anything about it so we hadn't thought about it at all, but it was just starting as we crossed the bridge so we stopped and watched as we had quite a good view. Wow, it was amazing! I loved the effects on the castle, I was so glad we didn't miss it. Then Wishes....it was so beautiful, I was definitely emotional by the end.

We followed the crowds down Main St to the theatre - we thought the others might be there already since we thought they would probably have found somewhere on Main St to watch the parade, my mum loves it and always wants a good view. They weren't there though, so we waited, and waited... John ran across to City Hall to check they weren't waiting there by mistake but no, we kept waiting.... After about 30 minutes they finally arrived, and where had they watched Wishes from? The Tomorrowland bridge, about 2 metres from us - we must have walked right past them. They had done Carousel of Progress and the People Mover while we queued for Space, and hadn't been able to get back to Main St. Why it had taken them so long to meet us I have no idea, when we asked Lucy snapped that she had a double buggy and they hadn't been able to move. Then we had to try to get back to the TTC, what a nightmare. It was pitch black and we had no idea where we were supposed to be going, there were people milling about everywhere and if there were any signs it was too dark to see them. We spotted a CM with a light up wand beckoning and shouting "This way", but when we went towards him we realised he was pointing the way to the bus stops and had to turn back. We found the queue for the ferry, which was more of a heaving mass of humanity than a line. After a few minutes, Joe told me he felt sick. A lady next to us overheard, and told her daughter to put the fan on him, she kept doing it right until we got on the ferry. I started fanning him with our ride photo, and a man asked if he was too hot. I explained that he wasn't feeling very well, and he gave us his fan to use. He even said when we were about to dock and were giving it back that we could keep it - we didn't but how kind of him We got him a drink of water and he fell asleep on the way home. We eventually got back to the villa just before midnight - what a day!!

Coming up next...our day at Epcot!

Last edited by missoverexcited; 09-07-2012 at 07:12 AM.
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Old 09-05-2012, 02:52 PM   #17
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Epcot 26/7/12 part 1

After 4 days in the parks, and especially our mammoth day at Magic Kingdom, my troops were complaining. Their legs were aching, they didn't want to get up in the morning, they just wanted to sleep. My mum in particular was struggling with her legs and said she wasn't sure if she would be able to go to Epcot the next day. So it was a shock that the reason we missed rope drop again the next morning...was me! I woke up with 2 infected insect bites - one on my left ankle and a much worse one on the back of my left thigh. The actual bite was about the size of a quarter but the redness and heat around it covered my whole thigh. I felt awful, feverish and shaky, and not sure if I could go out Mum wanted to take me to hospital, she said she'd never seen anything like it, but I couldn't mess up the plans and I hoped I could just get some antibiotics from the pharmacy on the way. So Lucy and Dan made a picnic - they had decided not to waste more money getting meals in the parks - and we set off. The pharmacy in Publix hadn't opened yet though, so I just got some antibiotic cream and hoped it would do the trick.

We got to Epcot at around 9.30 which wasn't bad considering. We were intending to stay until late afternoon or early evening, doing Future World and starting World Showcase, we would be back the following week to finish off. Lucy and Dan decided to go their own way, while John and I rushed for FPs for Soarin' and met up with my parents, Steve and the boys at Mission Space. We passed the Test Track All-Stars, but we didn't stop to listen - they weren't exactly drawing a crowd

I don't mind admitting that I was worried about Mission Space. I had read so much about the Orange side making people sick and I didn't want it to ruin the day. I certainly didn't think ride-hating Steve and Sean would want to do it. So it was a nasty shock when we got back to them and they had all decided to do Orange. The wait was only 10 minutes which is probably just as well, any longer and I might have lost my nerve! I was getting more and more frightened - I was riding with my mum, dad and John, and Dad was getting pretty nervous too. I think its fair to say it wasn't my favourite ride, I really didn't like the sensation, it didn't make me sick though which I was thankful for. I was really worried how my boys had coped, but everyone else was fine and thought Disney had over-done the warnings!

Our next stop was Sum of all Thrills. The wait was about 30 minutes but we really wanted to do it. Joe was just too short to go upside down so he rode with Sean. I rode with Steve and knowing he doesn't like coasters, I was picking some tamer options, intending to build up to a big finish. But I didn't realise we would only get to pick 4, so our coaster was rubbish! I was so disappointed, the sum of our thrills was only 270, even the kids beat us - what a letdown. John had the best one, he had picked a jet and his ride looked great. We were supposed to do Living With the Land next, but we thought it would make more sense to do it when we were in The Land anyway for Soarin'. So we skipped ahead to The Seas with Nemo. We bumped into Lucy, Dan and the kids also going in, they had been to the Character Spot and had some lovely photos. The ride was ok, Bella and Faye liked it a lot. Then we went to Turtle Talk with Crush. Lucy's 3 went with Joe to sit at the front, even though she thought Alex would start crying before long. Sure enough before the show even started we heard a wail, and a child crying really loudly. Lucy was a bit confused because it didn't sound like Alex but after a minute or two she went over...and it was Bella! She was crying her heart out, so much that she had scared Faye who also started to cry - she thought something bad must be happening if her big sister was upset. They actually enjoyed the show itself, once they were safely back with their mum. I didn't think Joe would like it but he was really into it, he had his hand up to ask a question but he didn't get picked.

Now it was time for Soarin' - we split up from Lucy and Dan again, they were going to World Showcase to meet princesses. I think our FPs were 12.10-1.10 and we got there at 12.25. I wasn't sure if there would be any FPs left but there were, for 6.30pm, so we got some more. We didn't really know what to expect, it didn't sound too exciting but lots of people like it and want to ride multiple times. I did know its best on the top row and luckily that's what we got. I was actually quite excited as it started, but I wasn't that impressed - I certainly didn't think it was worth a long wait. We got lunch at Sunshine Seasons - again a lot of people rave about it, but I didn't like it, my chicken wasn't cooked properly and I couldn't eat it. I should have taken it back. We did appreciate the refillable drinks though, it was another scorcher of a day. We nipped into Circle of Life while we were there since there was no wait, to save us having to come back. Joe was killing himself laughing at Timon and Pumbaa, he loved it. Oh, we had decided not to bother with LWtL though - too boring.

We skipped Journey into Imagination, we weren't interested. So we went to Captain EO next. I know it generally gets panned but I remembered being blown away by it when I saw it on our first trip so I was looking forward to it. We had a 20 minute or so wait...and I'm sorry to say it wasn't worth it! I couldn't believe I had ever enjoyed it, and everyone else hated it too. Oh well Next up....Spaceship Earth. The line was only 10 minutes long so it was fine. Universe of Energy was about 40 minutes, so we didn't bother. Time was ticking and I was eager to get to World Showcase.

In my next instalment...we try Beverly
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Old 09-05-2012, 02:57 PM   #18
missoverexcited
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Epcot 26/7/12 part 2

I was really excited to go to World Showcase. First though, I dragged everyone to Club Cool with the promise of free cold drinks - they didn't know about the Beverly mwahahaha! (This board really needs an evil laugh smiley!) First I tried the Chinese watermelon one which I thought I would really like, but actually it was a bit overpowering. Then I thought I would try the Beverly before unleashing it on my innocent family...and I really liked it I could kind of tell why most people don't though, so I tested it out on the others anyway. Joe and Sean didn't react too much though they didn't like it, but Steve nearly vomited and John was choking on it! We tried all the others too, I actually thought the Japanese one was the worst by far and my fave was the Mexican.

At last we were going to World Showcase - we stopped to sign up for Agent P, and my parents and Sean went off together as they weren't into it at all. We arranged to meet them back at Soarin' at 7pm to use our FPs. We wanted to do the Mexico mission first, but it was full so we skipped along to Norway. We also got Joe a passport. On our walk through Mexico, I got a fiesta frozen margarita to share with Steve - I had my ID ready but I wasn't asked. It was strong but really refreshing, I liked it! We really enjoyed our first Agent P mission, we were so impressed by the effects. I also enjoyed my troll horn from the Kringla Bakeri - well I hadn't had much lunch When we had saved the world, we rode Maelstrom - the wait was 25 minutes which I know is long, but we didn't really want to fast pass it because we'd have to come back. While we were in line, we saw mum, dad and Sean getting off. Then we went and took pictures with the troll in the gift shop, and wearing Viking hats, and also got Joe's passport stamped. 1 down, 10 to go!

We decided to do another mission, and this time we got Mexico. I had never been inside the pavillion then and I really liked looking at all the little stalls, it was a bit dark though. The mission was fun again, and this time we got pictures with maracas and wearing sombreros! We decided to skip the ride though. We also saw the Mariachi band, we only watched for a few minutes. Our next mission was China, and having seen some entertainment I had remembered I wanted to see the Chinese acrobats. I was disappointed though, they don't perform on Thursdays We didn't enjoy this mission as much, it was mainly outside and there wasn't much shade, we were hot and miserable. We got it done though, and got our 3rd passport stamp too. We had a quick look at the exhibition.

By now it was 6.30pm and we knew we didn't have time for another mission, so we decided to go back to Club Cool for a drink, on our way back to Soarin'. On our way we bumped into Lucy and family, the kids were playing in a fountain and were drenched but clearly loving it, and Joe joined in. We left them to it a few minutes later and then bumped into my mum, dad and Sean heading towards Soarin'. We all had a drink (some more Beverly for me, yum!) and went to use our FPs. When we got there, Joe refused to go on it, and John and Steve said they didn't want to either. I told them to find a family of 3 to give their FPs to, and the rest of us went for a second try. Almost everyone else on the ride with us was a Brazilian teenager, we had got in just ahead of a tour group. They had obviously all heard the tip about taking your shoes off, because they were all kicking off their trainers, and CMs were going round asking them to put them back on - it was chaos and really held everything up. I was wearing flipflops though so I was allowed to take mine off I also remembered reading that its better if you lean forward, so I thought I may as well try that. As the ride started, the tour group were really annoying us, clapping and cheering at everything, but actually we enjoyed it so much more the second time and that was partly because of their excitement - I also think leaning forward did help. I loved 'flying' over Disneyland too, hopefully one day I'll get there in real life!

We were supposed to be leaving at this point, but Joe really wanted to do Mission Space again, and it was only a 10 minute wait again so we did. It was no better when i knew what to expect, if anything it made it worse because I already knew I didn't enjoy it! This time I actually thought I was going to pass out , and when we got off everyone else thought it had been more intense too. Maybe because we were tired? Twice was definitely enough anyway!

We stopped at the supermarket on the way home and got some food for dinner back at the villa. Bella, Faye and Alex had had a great day meeting all the characters and had some really cute pictures, they had also done a passport and a Duffy stick between them. Then I had an early night, hoping that my leg would be better the next day.

We were going to Universal Studios - would we manage to make rope drop? What do you think
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Old 09-06-2012, 08:06 AM   #19
missoverexcited
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Universal Studios 27/7/12 part 1

How strange that while I've been typing this next instalment, I keep seeing adverts for Universal Orlando Resort - I don't remember ever seeing one before in my life - anyway here it is....

I was up bright and early the next morning for our visit to Universal Studios - I couldn't sleep very well with my leg itching! I had drawn around both bites before I went to sleep so I could see if the infection was spreading but unfortunately the pen had mainly rubbed off in the night They didn't look any worse though. I went for a swim with Steve and Joe, then we got ready to be out for 8am. Of course my parents and Lucy/Dan and the kids weren't ready, so we ended up leaving just after 8.30, which still wasn't bad. But 10 minutes down the road, Dan pulled up alongside us and they indicated to my dad that they had brought the wrong tickets. They did a U turn at the next lights to go back to the villa.....and so did we I couldn't believe it, we were all going mad in the back of the car, but my mum and dad didn't want to go without them. We got to the park at 9.30 and what was the first thing we did? Yes, split up and say we would see them back at home

Anyway, our first stop was Hollywood Rip Ride Rockit, though we knew by this time the queue would be huge. It was 50 minutes, but we didn't expect it to go down during the day, so we got in line - except for Sean. We told him he could do whatever he wanted while he waited but to meet us back here in an hour. Seconds later, the line was roped off behind us, this didn't look good - and right on cue, we heard an announcement that the ride was down temporarily and they hoped it would be running again in a few minutes. A few minutes later we heard it again. Mum suggested leaving but we didn't know where Sean was or have any way of contacting him, and me John and Joe really wanted to wait, the ride could be up again at any moment and several people had already left so our wait would be shorter. I think we heard the temporary closure message one more time, then a few minutes later just a closure announcement, basically saying we could wait if we wanted to but they had no idea when the ride would be back up. At this stage lots of people left, and we were resigned to it I was so annoyed, if we had been here at rope drop we would almost certainly have got to ride it, and this was our only day at Universal Studios. Luckily when we got out, Sean was waiting - he hadn't wanted to explore on his own. So at least we didn't have to wait for him to come back to us.

Next on the plan was Revenge of the Mummy which was quite close. I was dreading to see what the wait would be, we had already seen that Despicable Me was at 80 minutes and we assumed most people getting out of line at RRR would be headed straight there. I had a bad feeling about the way this day was going to pan out. But when we got there, the wait was 10 minutes! All 7 of us did this one, and we all really enjoyed it. We were supposed to be doing The Simpsons next, then ET, but I couldn't see the point in walking straight past Men in Black (we had to go that way due to construction), so I asked Joe if he wanted to ride that next instead. He said yes, but then could we go home because he'd had enough It was 10.15 am and we'd been on 1 ride - it was blisteringly hot though, it was taking its toll on us all. I just said I didn't think we could go just yet. There was a 20 minute wait here, when Joe saw the single rider line he wanted to do that but we wouldn't, there was no point splitting up when the wait was short and anyway I didn't want him sitting with strangers his first time on the ride. It was lots of fun, I didn't get a great score but as usual Steve had got the highest of us all - he was so smug about it! As we got off MIB we saw that RRR was back up with a 20 minute wait time, but we didn't think it was worth going back to it since we were so far away, the wait would be massive again when we got there. It went down again a few minutes later anyway.

I managed to persuade Joe to do The Simpsons too. We absolutely loved this ride when it was Back to the Future, we were a little bit disappointed that it was gone, but looking forward to trying its new incarnation. I think the wait was 20 minutes again. The pre-show was fun, and the ride...amazing So much better than Back to the Future, I just loved it - it was so much fun! Joe seemed to be perking up a bit after 2 great rides, but next on the plan was ET. Now I like ET, I think its really cute. But I knew Joe wouldn't agree. Added to that the fact that the wait time is usually ridiculous, I just couldn't do it to him. So I decided I would take him for some lunch instead. Steve, Sean and John said they would rather have lunch too (they don't think its cute either) but my mum really wanted to ride it. So we agreed to meet up at Mel's Drive-In whenever they were finished. We looked in a couple of shops, then went to eat. I think we all had burgers, they were fine. We sat in a booth with a mini jukebox which I loved, we didn't put anything on though. When we'd finished I asked if anyone wanted dessert - I knew food would help cheer Joe up! - the boys had apple pie and ice cream and I had a vanilla milkshake. Joe only managed about half of his, but when he'd finished he was definitely up for more fun, there was no more talk of going home. My mum and dad had arrived while I was ordering dessert, they only had a 10 minute wait on ET and had bumped into Lucy and Dan outside. They had spent their time in Woody Woodpecker's Kidzone mainly - Lucy and Bella had been on The Simpsons, and Dan had taken her on ET, they had met some characters too. While mum and dad ate, we saw the Despicable Me characters arrive outside so we went to see them - from a distance, Joe didn't want to actually meet them.

But we still hadn't ridden RRR...would we get to do it? And would Joe agree to stay in the park all day?
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Old 09-06-2012, 08:15 AM   #20
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Universal Studios 27/7/12 part 2

As the wait times were so low, we didn't think there was much point following the plan any more, so we went to Terminator 2 3D next as it was close. We waited about 15 minutes. I wasn't sure what Joe would make of it as he's not familiar with the characters at all, but he didn't seem to mind. The only thing that spoiled it a bit was the casting...we were all laughing about how Arnie was being played by a short fat old bloke! Surely they could have found someone a bit more suitable As we left we headed towards Shrek 4D, and we saw Betty Boop meeting and greeting. Now my mum believes for some reason that Betty Boop is one of my favourite characters, no birthday or Christmas goes by without her buying me a T shirt, pyjamas, mug....the list is endless but there's always something. Steve and the boys, and John all know that in actual fact, though I have nothing against Betty Boop, I wouldn't be bothered if I never saw her again. But she saw her, and of course she wanted me to go and have my picture taken, and John and Steve were laughing their heads off and encouraging me. I had to give in gracefully and get my photo taken. At least there was no line.

We made it to Shrek 4D, I think the wait was a little longer here, maybe 30 minutes. We enjoyed the pre-show and the show was fun too, not as good as I thought it would be though. Shrek and Fiona were meeting outside, and Joe wanted to meet them so we joined the line, there were probably 15 families in front of us. The CM roped the line off behind us as Shrek was going to be taking a break. Quite a few people sneaked under the rope - not to cut in front of us, just to join the queue - but the CM had his eye on it and kept explaining they would have to come back in 15 minutes. . Once we'd had our picture taken, we went back to try RRR again - it was up and running with a wait time of 30 minutes, we just hoped it wouldn't break down again! The line went fairly quickly, we were watching the music clips and choosing what we would have. As we got near the front, somebody had been sick in the car - the CMs cleaned it up, then sent it round empty a couple of times, which slowed everybody down. Finally though, it was our turn. I rode with John, Steve and Joe were behind us. I had picked Bring Me to Life, and I was really excited - I was actually a bit let down by the ride though. It was so rough, I kept smacking my head into the sides, and the music was distracting, I think it would have been better without it. I was glad we'd ridden it but once was enough.

Next we did Twister and Disaster. I'm not sure why Twister is still there, its pretty bad. Disaster is ok though. It was quite funny when they were filming the clips, and the actual disaster is good. Joe loved seeing The Rock (though he keeps correcting us to Dwayne Johnson!) as he is a huge wrestling fan, and we spotted a clip of ourselves too. Outside we went to take pictures of the kids with Jaws, and get ice-creams. We sat at a table at Chez Alcatraz, and Steve and I got a cocktail to share - I don't remember what it was called but it was lovely. We met Lucy and her family there too, they were stopping for ice creams too, then going home for some pool time.

After this we decided to split up, though I can't remember why. I know my mum and dad wanted to go on Revenge of the Mummy again, and didn't want to see the Horror Make-up Show which was on our to-do list. Whatever the reason, we ended up at MiB again. The wait was 30 minutes, but we did single rider and walked on. It was so much fun we did it again, we walked on again, but Joe was annoyed that time because they asked for 2 single riders so he was with me, he prefers being with strangers We had a lot of trouble with the lockers at MiB, and at US in general though not as bad anywhere else. The system wasn't recognising your fingerprint, so there were big queues and everyone was getting frustrated. We had no trouble at all at IOA except with people forgetting their locker number. It took ages to get our bags back, and then we went for another ride on The Simpsons, which was great again. Finally we saw the Horror Make-up Show which was really funny. The 'victim' was a Mexican girl called Ophelia and she really played up to it. It was great. Outside we saw some characters meeting - we had no idea who they were but have since discovered they were from Paranorman - it has only just come out here, we had never heard of it, so we didn't wait.

We met my mum and dad near the shops - hmmm Betty Boop merchandise, wonder who that is for - and checked the wait time for Despicable Me. it was 70 or 80 minutes, it had been around that time all day, and we just weren't that bothered about it. Me and Joe didn't enjoy the film that much and the others hadn't even seen it. Considering the rubbish start to the day we'd had, we thought we had done pretty well and we were ready to go home.

We stopped at a Perkins on the 192 for dinner. We all enjoyed the meal, I can't remember what I had though. Then we had delicious pies for dessert. It was all good anyway, and so much better than eating in the villa, again - I don't go on holiday to cook for myself. When we got in we just watched some TV before bed.

We were already halfway through our holiday But there was more fun to come
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Old 09-07-2012, 06:41 AM   #21
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Blizzard Beach 28/7/12

It was hard to believe we'd been in Florida a week already, the time had flown by But here we were, it was Saturday again and today we were going to Blizzard Beach. My original plan had us going to Typhoon Lagoon (my favourite of the 2), but not long before our trip I checked for changes to Extra Magic Hours, and TL was now opening early on a Saturday. So I had switched the water park days around. Lucy and Dan had told us they weren't coming, because there would be nothing for the children to do - that would be the children who we could hardly get out of the pool to eat Everyone wanted a later start, I told them we didn't need to be at rope drop but we would need to be there fairly early to get sun beds and to go on the slides before it got too busy. It would have been a good day to go out for breakfast, but it was clear that my mum and dad really didn't want to eat out at all if they could help it. So we ate in the villa and finally made it to BB by 10am.

It was already busy unsurprisingly, it was red hot again with no rain forecast. We hired lockers - we've never bothered before but I read recently somebody on Lines had their backpack stolen at one of the waterparks and I didn't want to take the risk - and we went to look for sunbeds. We managed to get 5 and a couple of chairs in a shaded spot near the Polar Pub, right in front of the wave pool. My mum and dad hadn't got sun cream on, so we left them and me, Steve, Joe and John got in the wave pool - it felt so good to cool down Sean had come with us to the park but said he didn't want to go in the water so he stayed on the sunbed with his ipod.

It wasn't long before my little adrenaline junkie wanted to do Summit Plummet. None of us did, and we tried everything to put him off but he wasn't having any of it, so off we went. The wait was supposed to be 30 minutes, but it seemed much longer. We amused ourselves by pointing out landmarks in other parks, we could see Expedition Everest, the sorceror's hat, Spaceship Earth - we couldn't see MK at all though. We also spotted my mum and dad in the queue for Teamboat Springs. Joe had decided what order we had to go in - Steve, then Joe, then me, then John. John really, really didn't want to do it, and was considering walking back down the queue once Joe had gone The anticipation waiting at the top was just awful, I had butterflies in my stomach. As I sped down the slope I screamed my head off, I was scared to death...and then it was over. The photopass photographer at the bottom was a nice touch too Joe had loved it, he was jumping around with excitement, but the rest of us unanimously decided we would never do it again! We had to ride Teamboat Springs next to calm our shattered nerves - that was fun. Then I think we got in the Cross Country Creek. It took ages to get tubes but finally we were off. It was absolutely full but it was still relaxing, the only problem was that we had no idea what exit we had got in at! But luckily we recognised it when we got back there. We had another quick dip in the wave pool, then decided it was time to eat.

We got back to our sun beds and my mum and dad were already there, they had just eaten. I went back to the locker with John to get our money and go for the food - I was wearing flipflops but he had bare feet, I had to abandon him halfway as his feet were burning on the hot concrete! We got burgers at Lottawatta Lodge and headed back. As soon as we'd finished eating, Joe wanted to get back in the water but we explained he would have to let his food settle. Steve and John buried him up to his neck in the sand which he loved - we have a photo of Sean buried from our previous holiday and Joe had wanted to do it too ever since he saw it. Then a passing guest gave him a bucket and spade so he built sandcastles until we could swim again.

We had another dip in the wave pool, then we wanted to do the Toboggan Racers which we'd seen from the queue for Summit Plummet. The wait said 15 minutes, and we knew you picked the mat up at the top, so we set off up the steps. We had seen a huge queue at the bottom of the steps for mats, but we assumed that was for another slide. Sadly it wasn't. The conveyor belt that takes the mats to the top was broken. We made our way back down, and asked somebody who had just got a mat how long they had waited - 30 minutes. We couldn't be bothered waiting that long, it was too hot. So we went to Runoff Rapids instead, where we only waited a couple of minutes for 2 person tubes. Joe wanted to do it alone of course, but when we realised how slow that line was going we persuaded him to ride with Steve instead. Then we got back in the Cross Country Creek to get back to the front of the park.

Since it was far too hot to queue for slides, we got back in the wave pool. Steve got Joe on his back and swam to the deepest part (Joe is a good swimmer but not used to waves, and Steve is 6'4 and a very strong swimmer) as Joe wanted to get the full force. John and I stayed where we could stand up. At first everything was fine, I could see Joe was loving it. But then Steve starting letting the waves wash over him instead of staying on top, so they were crashing down on Joe's head - after seeing it twice I realised he wasn't getting chance to breathe, and John saw it too at the same moment. We swam across to them, shouting to Steve but he obviously couldn't hear us, John got there first and pulled Joe off Steve's back and out of the water to breathe. He swam back towards the shallows with him, while I was asking Steve what on earth he had been thinking of - but I was way of of my depth and started struggling too, Steve ended up having to drag me into the shallows too. Luckily Joe was fine, but I was really upset and wouldn't let him go deeper than chest height again. We had a few near drowning incidents in the villa too - on 3 or 4 occasions Alex slipped through his rubber ring when Dan was supposed to be watching them, one time John happened to go out to the pool and saw him under water, another time Joe was in the pool too and pulled him out - no wonder Lucy didn't want to risk the water park. Anyway, we hung about in the wave pool for a while and then decided to get out.

My mum and dad were already getting dressed, they had had enough and we agreed. I was shocked to see it was 4.30, I thought it was more like 2pm. We went back to the villa where Lucy and the kids were in the pool and we all jumped in with them - even Sean. When Steve got out of the pool he slipped in a wet patch on the kitchen floor and smashed his head into the wall. He started feeling sick and I was really worried that he had concussion, he said he was ok though and it was the pain making him feel sick - he had landed on his arm and twisted it too. I kept a really close eye on him though, and we ate at home again as he wasn't fit to go out. We were all exhausted anyway after swimming all day and the intense heat.

We all got an early night as we had a long drive in the morning - to Busch Gardens!
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Old 09-16-2012, 10:48 AM   #22
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Sorry for the lack of recent updates - I haven't been able to get motivated, things at home have been mental. but I've finally got my head down and got typing. Coming up - Busch Gardens!
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Old 09-16-2012, 10:52 AM   #23
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Busch Gardens 29/7/12 part 1

I don't know how many people who visit WDW go to Busch Gardens, but we have done on all our trips - we have family near Clearwater who we have stayed with overnight and gone to BG with the next day. This time that wasn't really feasible though, imagine 8 adults and 4 children decending on you it was hard enough to squeeze us in when there were only 8 of us altogether. So it was to be a day trip instead. We had downloaded directions and it should take around 70-80 minutes, we decided to set off about 8am. Considering how many times we had missed or nearly missed our exits I wasn't that confident, but amazingly we set off more or less on schedule and arrived about 9.30.

We didn't have any kind of touring plan, we were winging it and hoping for the best! Lucy and Dan took their kids to Sesame Street Safari of Fun, while the rest of us decided to do Gwazi in Morocco, a wooden coaster, since it was right there. The posted wait was 10 minutes but it was a walk-on. We were surprised that at the loading platform there were no CMs directing you where to go, it was a free-for-all, but we assumed it was because it was early and still quiet - it wasn't, this continued throughout the day. My mum kept saying "they wouldn't do it like this at Disney, they would be telling you which bay to stand in" It was a really really rough ride, fun, but I wouldn't want to do it again in a hurry. Sean had wisely not bothered riding.

We walked through the Bird Garden and Sesame St to Stanleyville. Our first priority there was SheiKra which we had never been on. Joe begged to be measured for it even though we knew he was too small and sure enough, he hadn't grown an inch in the last 5 days! So Steve, Sean and Joe went to the Stanley Falls Flume instead. The wait was about 10 minutes for SheiKra, we weren't too impressed with it though. The big drops were pretty terrifying but the rest was just meh. When we got off we had a wait for my boys, but we got to see them coming down the drop so that was good. While we waited there were some street dancers setting up in front of us, we watched for a while as Joe really likes dancing. Then we went to the Tanganyika Tidal Wave as Joe was disappointed he hadn't got very wet! My mum and dad absolutely refused to do it and the rest of us weren't keen - the last time we had been here, John had to buy a new T shirt - but it was another roasting hot day so we thought we would dry out. We all enjoyed it and we didn't get too drenched, which was a miracle, the water was raining down all around us.

We walked up to Jungala next. We looked at the tigers and orang-utans, and visited the information centres. I love the white tigers! Joe went to play in the Treetop Trails, while we all had a nice sit down in the shade. I'm sure the play area used to be dinosaur themed, I remember Sean playing on it with my little 3rd cousin (? some kind of cousin anyway) back in 2000. Not that Joe cared, he loved it. Then we all rode Wild Surge - a kid sized version of Doctor Doom's Fear Fall, or TOT but outside. Oh my goodness, kid sized didn't mean less intense - even though it was tiny you got tons of air time, I think the height was actually a disadvantage as your stomach didn't get chance to get back to its normal place before it was being thrown about again I'll definitely skip that on any future trips!! We calmed down with a wander round a gift shop. Then we went to the Bengal Bistro for some lunch. I thought it was a lot more expensive than Disney, but it was good food, my parents were glad of some fries with no skin on.

Our next stop was Congo - sadly the Congo River Rapids was closed, but I was looking forward to Kumba which is a great coaster. Joe wasn't tall enough again, so he lined up with Steve and Sean for the Ubanga-Banga Bumper cars while we went on to Kumba. The wait time was zero which seemed unlikely even though we had walked on to everything so far....and sure enough, it was actually down due to lightning in the vicinity. We had gorgeous weather there with not a hint of rain or storms but it must have been close. We weren't sure what to do so we joined the queue while my mum went to ask if the CMs had any idea when it would open again - they said they didn't. So we decided we'd wait 10 minutes and see what happened before going back to meet the others. Only a couple of minutes later it reopened. As the queue started moving a woman barged past us with her daughter and I made a sarcastic comment loud enough for her to hear (I can't remember what it was but you can be sure it was both witty and cutting ) - we had seen a lot of queue jumping in all the parks but this particular day it was very bad and I was getting sick of it. She turned back and said she had been in the queue when the ride went down and so actually we were all pushing ahead of her John jumped in then and told her that she should have stayed in the queue, it had been her choice to leave it, and she wasn't any more important than the rest of us standing waiting and she should get to the back of the line. She moved to behind us, still having cut in front of 20 or 30 people but if they wanted to let her do it, that was their problem. Embarrassingly, we ended up next to the same woman in a queue at MK 3 days later We walked on to the ride and it was fantastic! When we got back to the bumper cars, Steve and the boys weren't there. We had a quick look around the area but couldn't see them so we just had to wait - about 15 minutes later they reappeared, they had been in the next land Timbuktu getting drinks as apparently they couldn't wait 5 minutes for us to get off the ride. I was so annoyed with Steve, it was so thoughtless.

But he wasn't the only one to be thoughtless that day.....
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Old 09-16-2012, 10:58 AM   #24
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Busch Gardens 29/7/12 part 2

Next we boarded the train at the Congo train station. Only a couple of families were waiting and there was loads of room on the train so we picked the right station - the others were really busy. The train took us back through Stanleyville where there was another station, around Timbuktu and past Nairobi and Egypt, and through the Serengeti Plain. Though it was a nice enough journey, I was disappointed that we didn't see many animals. There were a fair few giraffes and zebras, but not a lot else. They were all there somewhere but not in our sight unfortunately. We got off the train back in Congo and walked over the bridge to Timbuktu. Joe really wanted to go on one ride in particular here, Phoenix, which is like a pirate ship but actually goes upside down and leaves you hanging there. We got drinks first, then I took him on it. Though the line was quite short, it still took at least 15 minutes to get on. He really enjoyed it though. My mum and dad couldn't believe it, everyone thought he would come off it crying, but he's made of stern stuff - like his mum It must have been 2.30-2.45 by now because Mum and Dad went to meet Lucy and Dan for the 3pm Iceploration show. I love ice-skating and I probably would have really enjoyed it but I was out-voted by Steve and John and the kids who would have rather poked their eyes out with sticks. So I suggested we would see the 3pm Pirates 4D show and we would meet up at 3.30pm at the giant tortoises in Nairobi which was the mid point.

Joe immediately told me he didn't want to see the show, he wanted to ride Sand Serpent which was your bog-standard wild mouse. We tried everything to talk him out of it but he was determined. So into the line we got, except for Sean who opted to stay at his nice shady table with a drink. The wait was posted as 20 minutes but there were 5 cars so we thought the line would go quickly...until we realised only one of the cars was on the track at any time, meaning the line was only moving by 3-4 people every couple of minutes. I was tearing my hair out by the time we got on. I wish I could say it was worth the wait but even if I'd walked on I would have felt short-changed. Annoyingly, we now didn't have time to ride Scorpion which looked pretty good - if the wait had been 10 minutes we would have done it and been a bit late meeting my parents but as we passed the line was huge. We got to the giant tortoises and had a look at them, we took photos from various angles, my mum and dad didn't turn up. We went to see if they were outside the Kenya Kanteen which was the first place I had suggested, they weren't. John was furious and thought we should just carry on with our day, but i persuaded him we couldn't possibly do that - apart from anything else we had to go home with them, we couldn't do that if we didn't know where they were! But by 4pm I did agree that we couldn't just stand there waiting for them, so we nipped into the nearby Curiosity Caverns, rushed round and went back again. Mum and Dad weren't there, but a couple of minutes later we saw them coming from the Kenya Kanteen, complaining loudly that we hadn't been waiting at the tortoises when they arrived. We were unimpressed, and pointed out that we had waited 30 minutes for them before taking a 5 minute diversion. If they had told us they wanted to spend some time with Bella, Faye and Alex we could have arranged to meet them later on rather than standing round waiting bored and too hot.

Squabbling done, we went to Egypt to ride Cheetah Hunt which looked amazing. The wait was huge, I think 60 or 70 minutes, but as we debated whether to join the queue or not (John, Joe and I really wanted to do it no matter what the wait was) we realised that it wasn't running. It had broken down - this was particularly annoying as it had been running the whole time we waited for my parents... So we went to Montu instead. On the way we stopped and had ice-creams, then we left Steve Sean and Joe (who was too short again) in a sand pit/play area. The line was only 10 minutes for Montu and it was probably the best coaster of the day, its an amazing ride and we loved it. As we got back to my boys, they told us Cheetah Hunt was back up. We wanted some air-conditioning first though, so we went for a look around Tut's Tomb which was small but really interesting. We particularly liked the Medusa hats in the gift shop with snakes poking out. As we walked back to Cheetah Hunt it went down again! We were disappointed but realised it was just one of those things, we weren't going to ride it that day. So we went home.

That night we made it out for dinner again, we went back to our local Applebees which was delicious again. This time we had space for desserts - the waitress warned us they were big enough to share so we only got 3 between the 7 of us (though Joe did have some ice-cream with his kids meal). I think we could easily have eaten one each, other than my mum who only had a bite. But we did get to see our local girl Rebecca Tunney on the GB Gymnastics team doing her beam routine on TV in there - she was the youngest British competitor in any sport and she did us proud

It had been an exhausting day but we were planning a bit of a lie-in next day before we did some of my favourite things - shopping, snacking, drinking, and of course saving the world Yes, we were spending the morning in Downtown Disney, before heading to World Showcase
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Old 09-20-2012, 03:27 PM   #25
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Downtown Disney 30/7/12

I was really excited about going to Downtown Disney and especially going back to Epcot - nobody else in the family seemed to agree with me though I had to drag them up and out. Lucy and Dan had decided they weren't going back to Epcot but they would come to DTD.....they really weren't in any rush to get ready though! I was tearing my hair out when we eventually set off about 9.30. My dad moaned all the way there that the signposting was no good - he couldn't seem to get his head round the idea that if the sign says straight on, you keep going straight on until there's a sign telling you to turn. He refused to drive to the car park we wanted - at Marketplace - because of it. So instead of parking up at the shops which is where we were going, we parked at AMC and walked Though they had their buggy with them, Lucy let Faye and Alex walk too - it was the longest walk ever! They must have taken nearly 45 minutes and it was sooo hot!

We had a look round the Lego store, but weren't too impressed. The only thing I really wanted to see there was keychains - we have a Legoland near me in Manchester and the shop there has a massive selection of keychains so I was expecting bigger and better, but I was sadly disappointed, I don't think they had any character ones at all. Luckily Steve has bought me a Wonder Woman one since we got back Then it was on to the main attraction - World of Disney! I was in heaven, I could have spent all day there, not to mention thousands of pounds! I had to restrain myself since I didn't have either of those, but I got lots of stuff. My mum and Lucy and her kids were loving it too, but the men in our group were really there on sufferance... A long time later I found Steve, Sean, Joe and John, and suggested going to Ghirardellis for a sundae. It was so hard to choose, but in the end I got a Gold Rush, and Steve and the kids had a World Famous. They were all delicious! John picked a peanut butter Quake Shake, he said it wasn't what he expected because it was quite lumpy, not as blended as he thought. I tried it and it was nice, but I agreed it needed to be smoother.

My mum and dad, and Lucy, Dan and the kids had met up with us in Ghirardellis, and as usual took forever with their icecreams. Finally we were ready to move on to Once Upon a Toy...I was really excited about this because my boys were going to get a surprise When we went in, Joe wanted to play with the Mr Potato Heads, but I encouraged him as quickly as possible into the next room. He was thrilled to see the build-your-own lightsabres and begged me to let him make one even though he knew it was too expensive to buy, so of course I let him. When he was finished, I told him it was so good I would have to buy it for him - he thought I was the best mum ever! And of course Steve and Sean were not too grown up to get one either They all loved them, and I was so glad my surprise had gone to plan

We sat outside a while while the children played in the fountain, though I was chomping at the bit to get to Epcot. My mum went to Pin Traders to look for a Piglet pin as she hadn't found one at World of Disney, and when she got back (empty-handed) I thought we would be leaving. But Lucy wanted to go to the Xmas shop and mum wanted to go with her. Why are there Xmas shops everywhere?? I had avoided them like the plague because I love Xmas and couldn't trust myself not to spend spend spend! But I figured it was meant to be.... Steve, Sean, John and Joe stayed sitting by the fountain while the rest of us went to shop. I loved so many of the decorations, but I thought most of them were too expensive to risk breaking them on the flight home - we didn't have much space in our carry on luggage and I could just see our suitcases being thrown around and opening them to find lots of smashed ornaments! But I got one cute bauble. As soon as I'd got it I was ready to collect the boys and move on. Mum and Lucy had other ideas though, they were still wandering round choosing 30 minutes after I wanted to leave.

Ideally I had been planning to eat at Earl of Sandwich before going to Epcot, but we were all too full after our sundaes, so we set off back to the car. After the walk to the shops that morning, we knew it was going to take forever. So Steve, John, Sean, Joe and I set off as fast as we could and stopped at the Hole in the Wall at Raglan Road for Baileys milkshakes! I was starting to get a headache from the heat sadly so I only sipped from Steve's glass, but it was yummy! We had just about finished when the others caught up to us, I don't think my mum was too impressed.

I didn't care though, because I was too busy looking forward to OGMS and caramel
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Old 09-24-2012, 02:47 PM   #26
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Epcot 30/7/12

So after a fun morning at DTD, we were going back to Epcot to see the rest of World Showcase. We arrived at around 2pm and Joe begged to do Sum of all Thrills before we left Future World. When we got there the wait was 40 minutes, but we weren't on a tight schedule so we did it anyway. Steve had told me by this time that he was fine going upside down on this as he knew there was no chance of him dying So we made the most of our second try - we went for a jet, and did the right option twice with the speed as high as it would go and still complete the move, then the middle option twice with the speed right up - you can go faster on the middle option. And this time the sum of our thrills was....990! Much improved from 270 on our previous attempt and better than anyone else's! The funny thing was though that I didn't enjoy it that much, it kind of paused between each move. I don't think I would bother with it again, though I know Joe would want to...he got measured again hoping to have grown the extra inch to be able to go upside down

We walked over to World Showcase and split up again, Sean went with my mum and dad. It was coming up to 3pm by this time, and we had 4 Agent P missions to do, and 8 countries, so i suggested meeting up again at about 7pm. My dad replied that he didn't think anyone wanted to stay that long... Well I did, I had been really looking forward to wandering round World Showcase, but since he was the one driving I didn't have much choice but to agree to meet at 6pm. i was disappointed though.

We signed up to do Agent P in the UK. On the way we went to the Kidcot stop in Canada, but we didn't fancy the film so we just carried on. We've never spent much time in the UK before - we never really saw the point, apart from a quick drink in the Rose and Crown - so it was really interesting to have a good look round and go in the shops. We could hear British Revolution but we didn't see them, they had finished when we were near the stage. I hoped we'd be able to answer the phones but we didn't hear them ring, there were a lot of people having their pictures taken with them so they probably weren't on the hook! Once we had defeated Dr Doof, I had to call into the Tin Soldier to meet my faves, Pooh and Tigger! I couldn't persuade Joe to meet them with me and I did feel a bit silly on my own as an adult, but then I thought "Who cares!! I'll never see these people again!!" and it was fine We saw Alice in Wonderland too, but didn't stop to meet her.

Next stop was France. I enjoyed it here, it was very picturesque, but the Agent P mission took us ages for some reason, I think the sun was addling our brains. We were starting to get hungry so when we got near the patisserie we stopped in for a snack - I had an almond pastry and Joe had an eclair, I can't remember what Steve and John had, but we all really enjoyed them. Again we skipped the film, we saw Marie and Aurora but didn't meet them. We also watched a little bit of Serveur Amusant which looked fun. Time was ticking on though! I'm not sure what time it was, but we didn't think we would have time to do the remaining 2 missions and see all the countries/do the Kidcot stops too, so we reluctantly turned in our F.O.N.E. There was just one more stop to make before we could move on though - we had to get some OGMS We had been looking forward to them for months, and they certainly didn't disappoint - yum!

We had a quick look round Morocco, did the Kidcot stop and me and Joe had our photo taken wearing fezes (Is that how you spell it? No idea!) with the camel. We saw Jasmine there too. Then we went to Japan, where I was excited about shopping in Mitsukoshi. Before we went in though, we got a pineapple sake to share - not quite as good as the OGMS but pretty good all the same! We shopped for quite a while, Joe got a pokemon and we bought a few other things. I watched Pick a Pearl for a while, I was fascinated by it. I didn't think I would wear the pearl in jewellery though, so I didn't do it myself - maybe next time. As we got outside Matsuriza, the drummers, were just starting. I actually wanted to go in the exhibit which I think was about Spirit Warriors, but we didn't have time... So on we went to the USA. All we did there was the Kidcot stop. As we waited, black clouds were gathering and the wind was really picking up - we were praying for rain, we hadn't had any since AK the previous Tuesday and we were all exhausted from the heat.

We went to Italy next, I think we only did the Kidcot stop here and took some photos. we were looking for a man holding a globe to make a hidden Mickey, the man who sold us our passport had told us about it when he saw our hidden Mickey book, but we couldn't find it, and we were really running out of time so we couldn't hang around. We saw Sergio while we were looking but we weren't too impressed. It just started to rain as we left. Finally we were at Germany. We stopped to look at the trains but they weren't running, presumably because of the weather which had got much worse very quickly. So we dived into Karamell-Kuche, where we were delighted to find there was no queue. I picked a caramel pecan bar, Steve had a caramel chocolate marshmallow and Joe had a caramel chocolate fudge - it took quite a while to decide though, everything looked delicious. Then we ran across to do the Kidcot stop and get our final stamp in the passport

We made our way back through China - where I had missed the acrobats again and stopped for a few minutes out of the rain in the Viking exhibit in Norway which we had missed the previous week. Then we had to make a run for Club Cool where we had arranged to meet my parents and Sean. I had hoped that even though they wanted to meet up again at 6pm, that wouldn't be the end of our day, but my mum had had enough so home it was. As we passed Spaceship Earth, Joe asked if he could go on it again because he liked the end where it shows you the future. The wait was only about 5 minutes but we were soaked and nobody else wanted to ride, so I persuaded him to skip it.

That night we went out for dinner. We really wanted a buffet, but we weren't sure which restaurants had one for dinner, so we picked Houlihans as we knew it definitely had a breakfast buffet, and it looked really nice from the outside. Alas, it wasn't a buffet at all, but it was a great meal, we really enjoyed it.

Coming up....Seaworld and some major meltdowns!
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Old 10-01-2012, 03:11 PM   #27
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Seaworld 31/7/12 part 1

I have been putting off writing about this day at Seaworld and afterwards, in a lot of ways it was the worst day we had. And now, annoyingly, I have discovered I haven't got a map/show times to help me remember! So it may be a bit vague...

As usual we missed rope drop, I think we arrived about 9.15. We immediately split up from Lucy, Dan and the kids as our first focus was the thrill rides! We hit Manta first - the wait was really long, 40 or 50 minutes, but we saw a sign for a single rider line so we searched it out. Not many people were using it but I think that was more to do with how well hidden it was than not wanting to split up - even as we started down the path we weren't sure we were in the right place. It was well worth searching for though, we waited about 5 minutes and were soon back with Steve and Sean who had chickened out, and Joe who wasn't tall enough. It was a really strange ride, you are tipped forward so you're horizontal and doing loops feels a lot different in that position - it took my breath away!

Next we went to Journey to Atlantis - though I thought we should do Kraken next, it was another that Joe wasn't tall enough for and he was really upset about it, so a family ride seemed fairer. Luckily it was a walk-on. Its not fantastic but the big drop is as good as Splash Mountain. We remembered getting totally soaked on this ride, I don't know if we were just lucky but we didn't get very wet at all this time. Then me, mum, dad and John went to do Kraken while Steve took Joe on Journey to Atlantis again - Sean had a nice sit down. Kraken is great, I felt sorry for Joe that he couldn't do it - unlike Manta which I was actually quite glad he couldn't ride once I knew what it was like! And again we were lucky with the wait, it was another walk-on. When we met up with Sean, he told us Joe and Steve had been on once and had decided to go again as they thought we'd be a while, the third time though they hit a queue so we had a 10 or 15 minute wait for them.

While we waited, we tried to make a plan for the shows but it was really difficult, it seemed like every time a show finished another one was starting on the other side of the park so you had to wait for the next one. And there were signs outside the shows saying you needed to get there 45 minutes before it started. Eventually we decided to go to Turtle Trek, before the dolphin show Blue Horizons. When we got there though, the wait was too long to fit it in. We went to the underwater dolphin viewing area instead. I could have stayed there all day, I love dolphins, but the boys were getting bored so we went to Blue Horizons. We got there about 30 minutes before it started and got fairly good seats - well out of the splash zone! I was at the other end of our group from Steve but I could see he had his arms crossed and looked a bit grumpy. Once the show started though, I forgot about him, I loved it - on our previous visit the dolphins had refused to perform so I was glad we didn't miss out again. The human performers were great too.

Afterwards we went for lunch at the Seafire Inn. When we got there though, Steve (who by now had a face like thunder) refused to go in. He sat on the floor and wouldn't budge. I sent the others in, then tried reasoning with him. He said he hated Seaworld, he hated watching performing dolphins, it was cruel.... I told him that if he felt that way he should have stayed at home that day, but he was here and he might as well eat his lunch. But he was having none of it, he was really angry and just sat there with his music blaring in his ears. I couldn't get another word out of him, and had to go in and get lunch. I could hardly eat though, I was really upset. When I gave up on my food, I went out to see him again, but I still couldn't get him to come in to eat, or even just get a drink - and it was a scorching day. I was angry with him by then, and went back in to plan the rest of our day. The plan was to go and see One Ocean, the Shamu show, and then Clyde and Seamore take Pirate Island - which my mum had been going on about for weeks! But then Joe threw a spanner in the works - he didn't want to see One Ocean, he wanted to go and feed the dolphins!

I had to send the rest of the family to get seats, while I took Joe to Steve and tried to negotiate. I didn't think I'd be able to persuade him to take Joe to feed the dolphins, but he wanted him to have a good day and reluctantly agreed. We arranged to meet up afterwards at the stingrays. I then rushed to meet up with Sean, John and my mum and dad. There were hoards of people making their way across the bridge and I wasn't confident I would find them, but they were waiting for me near the entrance. The show was good but I was too upset to really pay attention, I spent a lot of time cursing Steve in my mind When it was over, my mum and dad went to see Clyde and Seamore while me, Sean and John went to meet Steve and Joe. We waited quite a while for them, but it was shaded and we liked the stingrays. And when they got back, Steve seemed to be in a much better mood. Joe had enjoyed himself, but he didn't like touching the fish! And when a bird had swooped down and stolen his first one, he had given up altogether and made Steve throw nearly all the others

So it had been a grumpy morning - but who was going to make it a grumpy night??
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Old 10-01-2012, 03:18 PM   #28
missoverexcited
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Join Date: Feb 2012
Location: Manchester, England
Posts: 131

Seaworld 31/7/12 part 2

My photos suggest that we went to see the sealions and seals next while we waited to meet up with my mum and dad. Joe didn't like it here, he said it stank of fish Next we headed over to Shark Encounter, which is where we were meeting my parents. We knew we were really early so we wasted some time in the gift shops, then just sat on a bench waiting. Just as we saw them coming, it started to rain - we didn't mind though, we needed cooling down and we were going inside anyway. Shark Encounter was ok, it was really crowded. We liked seeing the sharks outside more. When we came out, we went to see the alligators, then tried Turtle Trek again. By this time, the wait was 40 minutes. We were all fed up anyway and decided to skip it.

We couldn't leave without riding Manta again. We hit the single ride line again, only to find we didn't need it - there were only about 10 people in front of us and we got straight to the front of the queue The coaster pulled in, the people were hanging there....it became obvious that they weren't going to get upright any time soon! I was with John on one side of the coaster and my mum and dad were on the other side, we couldn't see them but decided to give it 10 minutes before we gave up - and about 9 minutes later, the riders were straightened up, as everyone cheered! The ride was as good again the second time around, but definitely not for the faint-hearted - the Gs on the first loop were unbelievable!

By now it was around 4pm and the heavens were opening, so we gave up and drove home. On the way, my dad announced that he and mum didn't want to go out for dinner but they would drop off anyone who wanted to go out - we would have to make our own way home. Well the only place even vaguely within walking distance was Applebees where we'd been twice already, and we didn't fancy the hour long walk back in the dark with no pavements, so we didn't bother. We all went to Publix to buy food instead - we were there every couple of days, we spent almost as much time in the supermarket as we did in the parks

John had told me that he really wanted to go to a mall to do some proper shopping, so that night I mentioned it to my dad, suggesting we could do it on Thursday afternoon on our way back from Islands of Adventure where we would be spending the morning. He said no, we could do it on Friday. We were supposed to be going to Typhoon Lagoon on Friday, our last full day, but apparently, despite having known that was the plan for months and not said anything, my parents thought one water park day was enough He did offer to drop me off there and pick me up on the way back from the mall, but as much as I love TL, I couldn't go alone - Steve wanted to go shopping too, Joe would probably go with him, and Sean hadn't even got in the water at Blizzard Beach so wasn't exactly my first choice of companion. I was really disappointed though

The evening passed peacefully enough, everyone started to go to bed, and when me and Steve went up, John was left alone downstairs. I should explain that there were 6 bedrooms upstairs, and one downstairs which he had picked, mainly to be away from Bella, Faye and Alex who don't sleep through the night and tend to cry a lot, and also because he is a night owl and could have the run of the house without disturbing anyone. It was about 10pm when we went to bed and we dropped off almost immediately. About 15 minutes later, we were woken by raised voices. One was definitely Lucy, and I thought she was having a row with Dan. I crept to the door and listened, realising that the voices were downstairs and it was actually John she was arguing with. I didn't like to open the door so i couldn't hear all that was said, but it sounded to me like Lucy had locked John out of the villa while he was outside smoking. Then I heard my mum shouting "What's going on?" and someone going downstairs, i could hear my dad's voice though not what he was saying. There were shouts, slammed doors, then quiet.

What on earth had happened with my family? And what did it mean for the remaining 3 days of our holiday
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Old 10-06-2012, 08:10 AM   #29
missoverexcited
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Join Date: Feb 2012
Location: Manchester, England
Posts: 131

Magic Kingdom 1/8/12 part 1

After being woken up the night before, we slept surprisingly well, and at first I didn't even remember the argument we had heard. When we got downstairs, everyone was up early and eating breakfast, though there was definite tension in the air. Then I realised John wasn't there. Mum came over and told me that as I had thought, Lucy had locked John out as she thought the patio door had been left open by accident, and they'd argued. Neither mum nor Lucy had slept that night as they were too upset. Now nobody had seen John. My dad knocked on the door a while later as we were all frantically rushing round trying to make rope drop for once....no answer. Then just as we were about to leave, I tried, and John came straight out, completely ready to go, and got in the car. We were off to the Magic Kingdom! And it looked like we would make rope drop! But half the family wasn't speaking the to other half But 2 out of 3 ain't bad

We parked up at the TTC, and as we walked to the monorail, John told Steve and me his version of what had happened - the TV and lights were all on when Lucy came down, and she had still thought that everyone had gone to bed. She couldn't see John outside as he'd finished his cigarette and was watching the fireworks - we never worked out where the fireworks were, they happened at 10pm though and we caught them a few times. John said he had had enough of Lucy, and in particular Dan, and our mum, and the end of the holiday couldn't come soon enough for him. It was less than magical, and I had no hope that he would breathe in pixie dust and cheer up. But luckily we were splitting up - Lucy and Dan were getting the ferry, then taking the kids to meet princesses and fairies, while we were getting the monorail and then going to do Tomorrowland.

We missed the Avengers monorail But I was excited to go through the Contemporary, and get a glimpse of Chef Mickeys. As we were pulling into the station, the welcome show was in progress, but we were just too late and as we rushed down the ramp it had just finished. Still, it was closer to rope drop than we'd managed before, which seemed like a good omen. We dashed to Space Mountain, where the wait said 10 minutes. My mum and dad grumbled and thought we should skip to the next step because the line was outside the building, but I reminded them that it had been outside on previous trips too first thing in the morning, and there was no way we could be standing in a 2 hour line at 9am. They were partly right though, it wasn't 10 minutes. The time clicked over to 15 minutes just before we got in the building, and it was probably more like 20 minutes. We really enjoyed it again though, I let Steve sit at the back this time so he'd have more space for his legs! We got a fast pass as we got off so we could ride again.

Next on our plan was Buzz Lightyear - again the wait said 10 minutes, but this time it was accurate, and in no time at all we were helping Buzz defeat the evil Emperor Zurg! Not that I was helping very much lol, I am useless at this type of ride, I couldn't tell what I was aiming at, and even when I was convinced I was hitting the target I wasn't getting any points....I ended up with a horrible score of 3400 , Steve couldn't stop laughing at me. When we got off, I said we should ride again as the wait was still 10 minutes, but Joe said he wouldn't, because he had done really badly. When I asked, he had got 3800 so he'd beaten me! But he was inconsolable and marched off. We were at some bushes with a wall around, as Joe went one way Steve followed him, and I went the other way to cut him off - but when I got there, there was no sign of them! I knew they couldn't have gone far, there was nowhere to go, so I told the others to go on Buzz and we'd be a few minutes behind them. I could see Chip and Dale getting ready to meet and greet (if I remember correctly), but I couldn't see my boys anywhere, and I was getting really annoyed - even though I was rubbish at Buzz, I still wanted another try. After about 10 minutes, they reappeared, Steve said they had been just at the side I had walked round a few times, over to CoP, to the little gift shop, they were nowhere in sight. Bizarre! And then the others were back, so I never got my second try, and my pathetic score was unimproved!

We were supposed to do Carousel of Progress and the Peoplemover next, but my parents and Sean had done them while we were in the epic queue for Space the previous week, and the rest of us weren't bothered about them. So we went to Monsters Inc Laugh Floor....which I won't abbreviate !! We didn't really know what to expect from this, but it was pretty funny. "That guy" was a really distinctive man with long white hair and a long plaited beard, who took it a lot better than Steve would have, though by the end he was hiding behind his daughter! We also saw Marty Wazowski almost stumped by a child who told him his favourite sport was skiing...he managed to come up with a punchline though. For the next few days, Joe kept pretending to be Marty and asking us our name, where we were from, and our favourite sport - he wasn't as quick with the jokes though After Laugh Floor, it was time for us to go back to Space for our 3rd ride of the trip - I love it, one of my favourites, and I was really happy we got to do it again.

My mum and dad went to see the Swiss Family Treehouse, while we rushed to Splash to get FPs - it was 11.25 by now, and the FPs were for 1.35. As we went back to Adventureland to meet them, we saw Captain Jack's Pirate Tutorial going on, but my plan was to see the 12.25 show so we hurried Joe past. We had decided to skip the Enchanted Tiki Room and go straight to Jungle Cruise , but when we got there, it was closed! We waited for a few minutes while my dad went to find out what was going on, and it was closed due to lightning in the vicinity. It was another boiling hot morning but clouds were gathering, it was still dry at MK though. As Dad came back and we started to discuss what to do, Jungle Cruise opened again so we got in line. It was supposed to be a 20 minute wait but it felt longer, it was loading really slowly. The ride itself was fine, the skipper did his best but I think it was a tough crowd! When we got to the end we had to wait about 10 minutes while 3 other boats were brought out and loaded, I really felt sorry for the skipper then as he tried to entertain us with nothing to look at. Just as we eventually got off, the heavens opened and the rain started hammering down. We had to get Joe's Mickey poncho on him, and we cowered under the shelter at the FP machines wondering what to do next.

We had managed to get a lot done so far...but what would we do with the rest of our day?
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Old 10-06-2012, 08:19 AM   #30
missoverexcited
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Join Date: Feb 2012
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Posts: 131

Magic Kingdom 1/8/12 part 2

It was about time for the next Pirate Tutorial but we assumed it wouldn't be going ahead in this weather so we opted for lunch, hoping the rain would stop while we ate. I fancied burritos at Tortuga Tavern, and everyone else did too except Mum, so we ended up at Pecos Bills again. I went for the BBQ pulled pork sandwich this time and it was really good, but I struggled to finish it - Mum had it too and only ate about half, she said there was too much sauce. So we might as well have gone to Tortuga Tavern. Unfortunately, it was still pouring down when we finished. We decided to do Pirates again while we were in the area, it was about a 25 minute wait which wasn't bad. There were 2 Pooh-sized people in the row in front of me, they were sitting all the way to the left and there was nobody else in the row to balance it out, the boat was definitely tipping over to the left - where I was also sitting - and as we launched a tidal wave of water came over the edge and absolutely soaked me, I was not impressed. It happened again at the drop but I had made everyone move over to the right so it didn't get me as much.

After PotC the weather had died down but it was still raining. We were within our FP window so we headed back to Splash to see if it was open. Sadly it was closed, the CM said he had no idea when it would open but our FPs would be good all day so we could come back later. I really wanted to meet Mickey so we all went to Town Square Theatre to see what the wait was like. I thought it would be busy because of the weather but it was only 20 minutes for Mickey and 30 minutes for the princesses. We did feel rushed through, Minnie gave me and Joe a hug, she was pointing at my Mickey T shirt, and I think Mickey shook Joe's hand, but the CM was already trying to get us to pose for the photo, then we were ushered out. Back outside it was still raining, so we hit the shops on Main Street. We were finished around 3pm, it was still raining, and we decided to give up and leave. Mum said to Joe to have a last look around because he wouldn't be back for a long time, if ever, and I got a bit teary looking up at the castle, I had been trying not to think about the fact that it was our last Disney day .

We got the monorail back to the TTC which cheered me up a bit, getting a closer look at the Grand Floridian and the Poly - which I didn't like the look of at all. Back in the car, my parents revealed that their plan for the rest of the afternoon was....to visit Walmart. Yes, I'm serious Apparently its the biggest Walmart in the world, or something. Since our alternative was to go back to the villa and do nothing much, we decided to go too. We drove down the US27 for hours - well an hour but it felt longer - and just as we were about to give up, we spotted it. We picked up some snacks and some treats to bring home for our work colleagues. Then we looked at the clothes where we got quite a few things. Dad then told us they were eating at the villa again that evening so unless we wanted to be dropped off somewhere, we should get something for dinner. Initially, the same as the night before, we didn't really feel we could go out because we couldn't get home, but then we thought how much could a taxi cost, it can't be that much, so me and Steve, John and Joe decided to go out for an all you can eat buffet. Sean said he would stay in.

We went home and got changed, the sun was out by this time and Bella, Faye and Alex were in the pool - Joe took one look at them and decided to stay at home, he was in his swimming shorts almost before we'd said ok My dad dropped us at Golden Corral which we had checked out on line to make sure it was definitely a buffet this time! We really enjoyed it, the food was great and there was a lot of choice. But we still had to find a way home... When we got there, it was pretty quiet, but by the time we left, full to bursting, it was really busy, there was a queue out the door, and we didn't like to ask if anyone could help us get a taxi, so we just wandered out. We were vaguely thinking that we could find a hotel and they might be able to help us, at least by giving us a phone number and pointing us in the direction of a pay phone. But there was (of course!) a gift shop next door, and I wondered if they might be able to do the same. We had a look round first, and did buy something - some Minnie bootees for my friend's soon to be born baby girl - and I asked the man behind the counter if he knew where we could get a taxi. he asked if we had a phone, and when we said no, he rang it himself, which was really lovely of him. Especially as his wife was also serving behind the counter and started yelling at him for being on his mobile while she did all the work The taxi arrived quickly and the driver was really friendly, it only cost the same as it would have done to travel the same distance at home too - we were worried about that as we had no idea how much taxis cost in the USA!

Later that night, as I tucked Joe up in bed, he cried his eyes out because our holiday was so nearly over - no more Disney parks and only one more park day. I wanted to cry myself, how could 2 weeks go so fast! But we did have an amazing day to look forward to - the next day was Sean's 18th, we were going to IOA in the morning, and Planet Hollywood for dinner

Last edited by missoverexcited; 10-29-2012 at 12:11 PM.
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