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Old 11-17-2003, 06:05 PM   #1
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Join Date: May 2002
Location: Aylesbury, UK
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The Steve Honeyball Golfing Challenge 2003 (Part 6)

# Day 7 - 9th October (Lucky thirteen?) #

Thursday was a shopping day and that meant a trip to the Florida Mall. The plan is the same as always; arrive at 10am - I proceed to do the whole place in two and a bit hours and head to the food court for lunch (Olive Garden Express anyone?) where I meet up with Erika who hasn't even finished Dillards yet. I'm not complaining - as long as it all goes on HER credit card, I don't worry!

She then drives me back to the hotel where I can spend a relaxing afternoon by the pool or watching the TV in the room, with the help of some choc-chip yo-yo's from the bakery counter at Publix (if you're going soon, make sure you check these out!), while she heads back to do the rest of the mall and get petrol (sorry, gas) for the trip to Tampa tomorrow. Which of course, is a game in itself - Find the Cheapest. From $1.59 on Disney property, to $1.51 on Sand Lake Road, and eventually finding a $1.43 not far from Sea World, I guess it's worth shopping around.

But that wasn't all we had planned for today. We had booked tickets for the Hoop-De-Doo Musical Revue for that evening at Fort Wilderness. Now, I had read on these very boards that the seats you get are based on when you pick up your tickets, NOT when you bought them, so getting them earlier gets you nearer the front. As we weren't staying on-site (you'd get them when you checked in if you were) officially you only meant to be able to pick them up on the day, 45 minutes before the show, but we had heard a rumour that you could get round this...

Now cast your minds back to Day One when we were at Animal Kingdom. We asked at Guest Services there, where we could pick them up and they said at ANY hotel, regardless of whether you were staying there or not. So, upon leaving the park we headed for AK Lodge to see what they said (plus to have a good nose around!). Sure enough, they were only too happy to print off our tickets for us and according to them, we were on Table #13. At that point we were glad we'd done it - we wouldn't be that far back, maybe three rows at most. Who knows what table we'd have got if we'd waited till the day?

Fast-forward back to today. Present our ticket at the door and follow our server. Keep walking. And walking. And walking. Until we reach the front.

OH MY GOD! Our table is right next to the stage, dead centre. We could've touched the actors shoes if we'd wanted! There was no way we could have got a better seat without actually being in the show itself!

As for the show itself, it was great fun and given our location, we got a fair bit of interaction with the performers (the one called Sixbits spent a vast portion of the show flirting with Erika, much to my amusment!) and the food was good quality as well. Ribs, Fried chicken, Corn, Beans, Bread - we couldn't finish what they brought us, but if you could they'd bring you more. Plus it was all served on 'rustic' metal plates with jam jars instead of glasses to give it an authentic feel. Although I feel no need to go again next time (I'm guessing the show doesn't change much from year to year), I would recommend to others who haven't been yet, to try it, especially if you liked the old Diamond Horseshoe show.

# Day 8 - 10th October (It wasn't the coasters...) #

Busch Gardens is a long drive, but well worth it for a coaster enthusiast like me. I wouldn't go there for the animals - with the exception of possibly Myombe Reserve, AK is far better and at some of the exhibits you feel that the animals really don't have much room or a lot to do (the tigers especially).

But Montu, Gwazi and Kumba, plus the three water rides (especially as they've been clever and put them all in one area so you only have to change into your rain gear once) are worth the admission price alone in my opinion.

However, the funniest story of the day (and possibly the holiday) was Erika throwing up coming off a ride. Yes, I shouldn't laugh at other's misfortunes, but believe me, if it had happened to me, she would have.

Now, which violent ride caused this upheaval? Not Montu (we'd already done that twice and she was fine). Not Gwazi or Kumba either, as we hadn't got to them yet.

It was the little train that goes around the park.

Yes, you read it right first time. My fiancee who has tamed some of the wildest coasters in the world (including some even I wouldn't go on) fell ill on a steam train.

In her defence, I will say that she does get claustrophobic from time to time especially when it is crowded and hot (she normally takes a travel sick pill when she goes to the cinema for example), and we were packed onto this train like sardines, with the sun blazing down on us, while it bumped and jumped it's way along. Then it decided to break down for five minutes just shy of a station and with a coaster whooshing just past the train again and again, it seems this and the combination of the heat and lack of space started to make her sick. Once the train finally made the platform, she staggered up the exit line and just as I was about to guide her to the nearby toilets, she chucked up in the nearest bush.

All of which meant she didn't feel like doing much for the next few hours, so I rode most of the rest of the rides on my own and had a whale of a time. She did enjoy me getting soaked on the bridge from Tanganiki Tidal Wave though.

To cheer her up, much like the sea-lions bit at SeaWorld, we spent a crazy amount of money feeding the birds at Lory Landings, constantly going round and round the exhibit buying more jars of nectar each time. I understand they have something similar at Discovery Cove and I wonder if it's included in the admission price and not charged seperately. If we do ever go and it is free, I can see her spending most of the day in there, only maybe coming out for the dolphin swim!

She finally felt better in time to get one ride on Gwazi, though only Lion was open which was a shame - I prefer Tiger as it's slightly smoother; well, as smooth as a wooden rollercoaster can be, i.e. only half your fillings get shaken out!

So, two quite eventful days, and we're now at the halfway point of the holiday. But we've still got my birthday and the conclusion of the golf tournament to come...
Disney Holidays :
Disneyland Resort - 3 (4) : Apr 1997 (Ramada Inn, Buena Park), May 2004, Oct 2007, Oct 2014 (Candy Cane Inn).
Disneyland Paris - 9 (10) : Oct 2000 (Disneyland Hotel), Mar 2002 (Newport Bay), Sept 2002 (Disneyland Hotel), May 2005 (Sequoia Lodge), June 2006 (Hotel New York), Sept 2008 (Sequoia Lodge), June 2009, Nov 2010, June 2012 (Disneyland Hotel), June 2014 (Hotel New York)
Walt Disney World - 7 (8) : Oct 2001, Oct 2003, Nov 2005 (BW Movieland, International Drive), Jan 2007 (Masters Inn, I-Drive), Apr 2008 (Staybridge Suites, I-Drive), Oct 2009 (Best Western LBV), Sept 2011 (Saratoga Springs & Hilton GV Seaworld), Sept 2015 (TBD).
Tokyo Disneyland - 1 : Apr 2010 (Hotel Miracosta).
Hong Kong Disneyland - 0 : Nothing planned (yet!).
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Old 11-18-2003, 03:04 PM   #2
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Great couple of day's except for Erika being poorly of course. Perhaps she should go back to the Florida Mall to make her feel better
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Old 11-19-2003, 03:16 AM   #3

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Poor Erika, She must have beem mortified. Sounds as though you both had a great time anyway.
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