Four Go Wild In Florida Previous drivel The Plan and The Flight We get off the plane Discovery Cove Day 3 (Sunday) - Walk this w-a-y.... PLAN - MGM early entry, Blizzard Beach 2.30ish, Downtown Disney for a quick look round then late entry to Fantasmic. CHANGES TO PLAN - none MISSED FROM PLAN SO FAR - E Night(MK); Pleasure Island ; Shamu Rocks (SW); Reflections of Earth (Ep) This time I mean it, everything from now is just an account of a family holiday. I nearly said normal family holiday but think thats stretching things a bit. No need to reach for the WaP fastpass to the end, well all be there fairly quickly this time. Id had me traditional near miss motoring incident last night coming out of The Florida Premium Outlet Mall (cheers Mike) when I turned into the wrong lane to exit onto the main road. (I forgot to tell you yesterday coz I was so tired). Dont know about you , but I do this once every trip. Im OK remembering to drive on the right but me mind just gets confused when turning and Im heading up a down road before I know it. Luckily, its dark and the oncoming headlights make avoiding certain death fairly easy! At the end of the entrance road I had to cross traffic which thankfully had ground to a halt coz some idiot was blocking the lane they were trying to turn into. So I looked left. looked right, sat and figured should that have been right then left? and did what we do in UK - squint eyes, lean right back into the seat (is that supposed to help?) and put me foot down to get across the road and into me proper lane as quickly as possible in the hope no nice policeman with a gun would stop me to pass the time of day. Well ok, Ive just been to the end and it is a bit long. Passwords will get you away from this place of too many words. Sunday Day 3 (again) Im up at 5am. Considering this is day 3 , I was really excited at the start of today coz its our first full Disney day, after all. Id set up our Mickey wake up call for 6am so we could be up and out in time for MGM early entry. Coz Valerie and Julie are scaredy cats, we planned to make the most of Fastpasses so me and Gary could ride ToT and R&RC as many times as poss before the park got busy after 9am.That done, we could spend the rest of the day doing the shows etc. popping back for one last go each on the two big ones before heading for Blizzard Beach to chill out for a couple of hours. Id allowed for an hour or so at DTD for a browse and a bite to eat before heading back to MGM to try to walk in to Fantasmic to end the day in style. No point in waking them until I need them so I went for a walk with me VC to capture the pool and accommodation block by moonlight - sad, but me FiL likes to see where weve been. Coffee at 5.30, V was awake and the Disney Channel brought me little princess to life bit by bit - not awake just semi conscious. Gaz will sleep through anything once in his deep sleep. Wed bought Frosties and disposable bowls at Publix and J was up like a shot at the suggestion she made us all breakfast (arent little girls sweet when they want to help?). She flew across the room when Mickey rang and the ear to ear smile as she nodded her head was another thats why we choose to live with Mickey moment. We shook Gary and he looked less than impressed. It doesnt matter that hed had 8 hours, hes already into the 6am is a rumour put about by nightshift workers way of thinking and thinks its a teenagers job to sleep in till at least 7.30 in all circumstances. He complains about having a bad head and was issued with an extra strong Annadin and told to get his holiday head on pronto! Heading for MGM at 7.15 I was pleased with our overall attitude and thought so far so good - fool. At the gate for 7.30 and we got in despite picking the line with the idiot who cant get her pass to work. Outside ToT 7.33, Gary said he didnt want to risk his head on it just yet . I quickly assessed the disappointment hes causing me now against the thought of swilling out a lift full of vomit and decided Id better go on me own. I despatched Valerie to get two R&RC Fastpasses while I did the same for ToT before stepping up the path. This would mean me and the boy could ride them until the queues got beyond 15 minutes then switch to our 4FP rides each. I approached the gates of the hotel and asked the CM which lane was the standby one (there was just one when I was last here). Pointing me in the right direction I set off thanking her as I passed Youll not be thanking me when you come back, Sir she said in a brilliant sombre way - dont you just love the way the CMs enter into every task theyre given. Straight into the lobby I was soon at the back of the room ready to march onto the lift ASAP. Id forgotten the mood of the intro video and was more eager than ever to plummet to me death again and again! Jumping 10 people in the line to fill up the lift (me first single rider experience) I was quickly in the front row of me drop of doom. Now, dear lonesome stranger (the others have wandered to the end by now coz I lied about it being short), you may start getting confused that the cowering scaredy puss that hates flying can be such a Captain ScaredOfNowt facing these terrifying mind numbing rides. In short, I know these Americans will never let anything happen to me coz theyre all paranoid about getting sued etc.. and Im an idiot - which helps! So were off on the ride which is me favourite of all rides and the anticipation is brilliant. Now I said before, Ill not describe any details of rides so as not to spoil the effect for you, my only stranger, and this time will be no exc e p t i on!!! Suffice to say , I loved it and laughed me head off as those around me screamed theirs. We all enjoy things in different ways. Some people are scared to try this ride, which I can understand. Mickey mouse will never hurt you. Try it, just once - but not within 2 hours of food! Back to the family, Gary was still looking peaky so I went off on R&RC on me own. I like coasters but not a great fan in the way some seem obsessed. I just like to try everything once. Heartened by Mikes reports that said the new breed of coasters are smoother - my biggest dislike is getting shook all over the place - I was looking forward to this one, all the more coz of its Aerosmith connection. Noticed the line length was posted at less than 10 minutes, I was in the sound studio within 5. Into the garage, I thought the theming was superb and was really getting into the mood. The CM called for any singles and I reckon I bypassed at least four cars worth of people. Strapped in , we waited for the start and I was impressed by the soundtrack in me ear. WHO-AO-OAH ; WH-EE-EE-EE-; YE-SS-SS-SS-!!!!!!! I liked it. Rushing off like a kid thats just got a new toy, I ran back to V,G & J in case the line grew while I was away. Gary, youve got to do this ! I was a tad excited. Young Gaz was getting whiter as I spoke and we decided it might be better if he left out the two biggies for now and went off in search of quieter things with the girlies. Armed with two FPs for both rides taking me up to 9.10am, they set off to see if The Muppets 3D was open and agreed they should come back to meet me here.Id check back every 30 minutes or so until we met up - dont worry, even a sickly Gary has a better sense of direction than his Mam, theyll be ok. Anyway Ill just ride these all day if I have to. It wasnt 8am yet and off I ran. Back into R&R, no need for FP yet. Once in the studio I filed to the far left to get into the garage ahead of the newies admiring the set and was quickly back on the ride via me Im a single privilege. It just gets better, only I would choose to pump up the volume even higher. The soundtrack really adds to the overall ride experience. I did it one more time in line and then once with a FP as the line had gone to 30 minutes. Back to our meeting place and the gang were there. Ive got 2 ToTs and 1 R&R to do. Valerie handed me another three bonus FPs for R&R coz this fellad handed them to her as they approached the entrance thinking they were about to ride and hed had one go ,which was more than enough for him! So Ive got 6 FPs taking me up to 9.28am. See you back here then, and off I ran. I did ToT next and rode R&R another three times. I gave 2 FPs to an approaching couple as the times were too near to expiry and I couldnt have used them, I had me last ToT to do and two minutes left on it as I left the R&R area. I then had one of the few grown own thoughts Ive ever had and decided the Tower might just be a little too much after all Id out me stomach and head through in the last brilliant two hours. Pleased me grown up head had talked me kid in a sweet shop head to sit down and act its age, I turned to the meeting place. The family were there already and the rest of the days boring but not dizzy! Theyd been to The Muppets (again) coz Julie wouldnt go on The Great Movie Ride. She remembered being scared of much of the sets when she was 9 and didnt fancy going there again. We decided to all go and set off as Daddy tried to coerce his little angel onto the ride so he wouldnt have to sit and waste half an hour doing the baby swap - ...and you are a baby if you think this is scary , and Garys going on and he doesnt even like snakes! that sort of supportive comment etc. She wouldnt budge and we did the BS - me and little princess sat while V&G rode. It was a blessing really coz me head was still a bit whoozy and I wondered if the sky was supposed to be down there every few seconds. They came back and Gary volunteered to sit with his sister - you can always tell whats impressed our Gary! - while Mam and Dad rode together. V had ridden the second train with Gary so we went to the first train for our ride so she got to see both versions. One other tip. Sit as near to the front as you can. We sat in the back of the second car and the CMs commentary was slightly ahead of us as we approached the sets - like watching a film with the sound slightly out of sync with the picture.(It didnt spoil the ride, was just a teeny irritating hearing the introduction before we were in the scene like our colleagues at the front. SANCTIMONIOUS BIT : Those who havent done this should put it to the top of your must dolist if you like the movies. I would say it appeals to the older ones amongst us coz it features movies from the 40s to the 80s. Not wanting to give anything away, I would point you to the hint about Julies reluctance to go in a second time. Some is in darkness and features gunshots ,amongst other noises. There are other sets which might disturb young children. Now I dont want to be branded a scare monger or tell you what you and your children will or wont like but I do feel a responsibility to tell me single stranger what to expect and when to be cautious. With this one, if you or any of your party are nervous Id suggest you do a baby swap and have one ride to assess the ride for yourselves. (You are welcome to E Mail me and Ill be more specific about the sets I mean) That said I love this ride, particularly the finale before the finale when we enter the Wizard of Oz set. So colourful, so true to the film. It nearly got spoiled by our driver getting lost and having to ask a Munchkin how he would ever get home again! Follow the yellow brick road ...you fool ! (him, not me) Id forgotten the proper finale and all those clips of movie magic moments together with the fantastic choice of filmscores brought me first tear of the day. I love MGM, it really is a movie town! Straight to Muppet 3D for me and we howled. Another 10/10 for sheer fun. Dont miss the preshow to this one, its as good as the show. We manoeuvred ourselves into middle seats by careful people watching and I think it did help to make the effects even better than I remembered. We wandered down New York St and headed for the Backlot Tour where we encountered our first main line of the holiday. This was a must do above all others for us as CatCanyon was under rehab last time. We got through and Julie endured the water tank ,mainly coz a sign outside said it was down due to techy problems. She was in the middle of the show before she could get scared and it was soon over (a noisy naval battle scene- young children, easily spooked, can be walked through this part of the tour and into the next walking section.You could watch and swap if you needed to so no-one needs miss out.) Once through the prop room we were loaded onto the buses for the backlot tour, proper. We got the last places and were shown to the front car. Good spot for listening to the CMs spiel as it was clearer than these things can be. We enjoyed the route round the house facades and seeing the vehicle grave yard.The kids were especially interested whenever they passed something they could relate to from film or tv. Into the Canyon, I was worried J might be scared - she is of everything else. The bus parked on the set and we realised why the front car was filled last. All the action was behind us and ,although we could see, we had to turn round to get the best view. I think I would have been more impressed if Id been in a better seat but still chalked it up as better than Earthquake at US, from memory. We were particularly impressed with the mechanics of the ride as we drove round the back. Oh and Julie? Loved it! I should have known ; it had water in it. Coming to the obligatory shop after the ride, we browsed sufficiently to make my claims to Janice that I had let V go shopping have just enough substance to be valid. All pleas of Can I have..? were met with a well rehearsed and executed Not yet, you might see something better in another shop. Then I spotted the CDs and the Soundtrack of Armageddon amongst them. Filled with nostalgia for me new favourite ride and knowing it was Julies favourite film, I ventured Well, go on. If you must buy something buy this. At least your Mam likes the title track. With the shopping green light in her eyes, Julie countered (much too quickly for me to get me guard back up) Can I get an autograph book as well, Dad? I agreed and then she had a brainwave - can I charge it? It seems a cute thing to do so I let her and she looked so sweet. On her way out of the shop she swung round on me You need a big pen for the characters,you know. Can I charge one? So there you are. Me holiday was ruined from that moment on worrying every single minute where Julie and her chargecard were and what were they doing! Gary was still very pale so we looked for a refreshment stall to get him a drink. They had Powerade and we remembered Callums Gatorade recovery and figured that might work. Bottle bought, Dad proceeded to open it for the kids. I twisted it, ran me fingers round the edge of the cap looking for the tape, twisted it again and again. It wasnt budging. Must be a faulty top. One more try then Ill take it back and complain - well for $2.50 you expect to be able to get into the thing! Twisting the top clockwise, then anticlockwise, then clockwise again, I was about at the end of me tether when the CM from the stall came over. Id tried to keep me back to her to disguise my difficulty, but you know how you turn around in the direction of your efforts? (well I do! like the way you lean in your seat while playing video games) Without a word the shell get a slap in the mouth,cocky little CM pop attendant took the faulty bottle from me, flipped the lid and said enjoy , Sir !. Well we didnt stay there to be mocked!, and got away hoping no-one else had seen me efforts - must be dizzyer than I thought off them rides. The Powerade didnt have any immediate healing affect and we wondered if food might help. We tried to get reservations for SciFi Diner when we came out of Muppets but there was a 3 hr wait. Julie wanted to go to Pizza Planet but wed eaten there last time - good but I wanted to try somewhere different (yet still cheap). Found Backlot Express beside Indy and chose Cheeseburger meals all round. We enjoy these venues in Disney for the all you want to pile on your plate sides of salad and mushrooms etc and think its the extras that make them worth the money. I cant remember exactly how much (I cant remember every detail,stranger) but $20 for four wont be far wrong. Bait over, we decided Doug should be next. Id wanted to try the Sounds Dangerous show before Doug, as we had time, but V had tried to get J in there this morning and she refused to budge once the CM told her it had a 7 minute dark and noisy bit. We never did get there so have no comment ( will you PLEASE stop that cheering, youll wake me captive stranger!). There in good time for the 1.15 show we waited with all the parents with ever so little children. Our two love the cartoon - as do I - but I did think this would be a little too twee even for our two. Gary was in that I dont care what you do coz I feel awful place and Julie wanted to go in ,so we did. If you know the show, and are used to watching it when the kids have it on and Im just sitting here,not really watching but can tell you every characters name then dont miss this. I loved it. I expect most will hate it but if in doubt, go. (though mental age of a primary school new boy will help). Just time to get to Hunchback at 2pm. Another late walk in but got good seats if a little to the back but that was good for me VC. This is one of Vs favourite shows and I enjoy it too. We didnt know the film in 99 but have bought it since and I think knowing the story and music does help. Julie sings along in her head .Gary was suitable unimpressed and just sat dying quietly. If there is one criticism of MGM as a day out , its the number of proper shows you have to fit in. As they have specific start times you have to be very careful how you intend to get round them without overlapping show times. I ask you, were on holiday for goodness sake! and they expect me to plan me day to the minute! We have 73 minutes before Beauty and The Beast and head for The Voyage of The Little Mermaid. Gary doesnt seem to be enjoying himself and is definitely slowing us up. We decide hed be better off at home. Since hell just sleep it seems pointless spoiling the rest of the day, so we agree that I should drive him back to ASMo, put him to bed and come back to do the 4.30 B&TB show. V&J set off on their own and I wished wed invested in those walkie talkies so I could talk them back from wherever they were about to get lost at. Gave G two more E/S Annadins and put him to bed. Left him some money in case he woke up hungry etc and warned him not to lock himself out of the room. I picked up our fleeces coz it was getting bloomin cold and headed back to MGM. Bumped into V&J about 4ish so dont know if they were lost or not and we went to get FPs for Indy (for 5.50) before making our way to B&TB show. Now this is a great show with a Broadway feel to it , but it puts me to sleep everytime. I managed to get through the whole show without snoring (which apparently was an improvement on last time) but did nod me head a couple of times in time to the music. As V & J hadnt managed to get into Mermaid, we headed there next but it was still too long a wait and we couldnt get FPs as they would clash with Indy anyway. We tried the Animation Tour which had a 20 minute wait posted and would just bring us out in time for Indy,though wed probably be at the back. We followed a moving line and got to a sign Be right back. Assuming the CM had been taken short, we stood with the others in front of us. It was Director Mickey that was right back. Wed gone down the wrong line and were in a character meeting area. Not that Julie minded and was please to get the great man himself as first user of her newly charged equipment. With that unexpected surprise under our belts, we retraced our steps and followed the correct path to the Animation Tour. No one else was there which is a major indication of how long we waited in the Be Right Back area. Yep, the tour had just gone in and the next one would be in 40 minutes! It was 5pm by now and it was getting colder. We didnt fancy the prospect of waiting around for the Indy show at 5.50 (without Gary, wed have to do it again anyway) and as the sky looked black, we decided Fantasmic might be in doubt so chose to return to base to see if our little lad was ok - see we do care really. Back to the room he was sitting on the bed, tv control in one hand and finishing off his hotdog and fries with the other! He said he felt great as soon as he woke up and decided to get his tea since he didnt know when wed be back. Me change was there but hed popped into the amusement arcade - just for a quick go - and hoped I didnt mind. Pleased he was ok, we quickly decided to go to Epcot later but needed some medication first. I opened a can of Icehouse, filled both waste paper baskets with hot water and sat soaking me aching blisters in front of the telly with me beer. As it was Sunday, I surprised V with a special singing Mothers Day Card Id bought before we left home. V then surprised me by telling me it wasnt Mothers Day until next week! At 6.15 we decided to head for Epcot to catch Tapestry of Nations and Reflections of Earth. Mike had added RoE to his DC video and I dont think a day went by without us watching that show at least once. I even taped it onto audio for our cars - the kids suggested we were a mite obsessed. ToN was to be a first and I really looked forward to it, though I had a hunch I wouldnt like it (puppets and that). I opened the door to go and it was hoying it down (raining very heavily to you southeners). Mission aborted then. Another can of Icehouse and we contemplated what to do. The rain had cleared the air and by 6.30 was easing off and it was warmer now than when we left MGM. Epcot it was then. Wed just dodge showers and make a night of it. We walked straight onto Spaceship Earth at 6.50 and loved it - as usual. Weve never seen a line for this and it must just be the times we tend to go passed are early or late. The whole ride is a joy but when you get to the top !! From there we went straight to Honey I Shrunk The Audience. Ever since we returned from our last trip V has gone on and on about how she couldnt believe she only did this once,it was that good. We did it again and it was better than we remembered, visually - another point for people watching as we went in and getting into a middle row position - but not the same overall ; knowing the plot. We were glad wed done it but resolved not to bother again. Anyway our Julies screams frightened the lady next to her! It was now about 8ish and we set off through the gardens for a good spot for RoE. Our favoured place would be the bridge at International Gateway but that would normally be packed by now. There were very people milling about and we assumed most had gone home when the rain started. As long as it held off wed get to see RoE and might get a better spot if the crowd was small. Into Canada and V immediately took control. Beavers Tales! Everyone swears by them on the board and Ive just got to try one. Julie asked what was a beavers tale? V said she didnt know but you get a choice of toppings and she was getting a strawberry and cream one! Can I have one Dad? And me (Gary) Im starving. So we went to the booth and enquired what on earth these delicacies entailed (tailed? oh,the wit!). With one duly sighted and approved we went for two strawberry and cream for V &G and the chocolate messy ones for me and Julie. Oh, yes well get these again. ($3,I think). Onto the bridge and there was only a line of people against the parapet. Not an obstruction to be bothered with, we patiently waited for the show and it never seemed in doubt as the sky was brighter now than it had been all afternoon. Just before the show, the man who used to stand in front of me at every footy match when we stood on terracing came back from the toilet and took his position right in front of me eyeline! Oh well, I knew we had too good a spot for a walk in. I must have been getting tired, coz I just accepted his need to be nearer the sky than me and looked round him. The lights went down and the rocket was launched. BOOM it started and the show was every bit as fantastic as Id seen on me telly all the way back in England. I stood gazing at the sky ; then the globe ; then the sky. Foot tapping and waving me hands as I conducted the orchestra. Beautiful. Ended as soon as it had begun, we turned to head for the bus. Had it been ok for Julie? She was beaming. All those Oh no were not watching this again briefings had paid off. She knew every note ,too and hadnt been scared in the slightest coz she took every explosion of fireworks to be part of the show. Nice one , Mike - an unexpected bonus. As we headed for the bus our minds were made up. We had been in debate for the venue for our last night show - Fantasmic or RoE ? No contest now, RoE it was to be and we had the cruise on Wednesday with Janice and Chris to look forward to yet. We hit lucky with the bus as there was one in . Me and Julie went through our nodding dog repertoire and we were soon home and off to bed by 10pm. Valerie had bought a Director Mickey at the shop in MGM and Julie promptly seconded it to sleep with her and the Puppy dog wed bought her on the plane and the Scorcerer Mickey wed bought the day before. I sat on the bed with me beer and blisters and reflected on a great day despite some forced changes. Night night weary stranger. See you in the morning. SUMMARY Early entry MGM, Gary let Dad do his FP rides and Dad got dizzy. Saw some shows and took Gary home coz he was being a pain. Went home to see Gary coz we felt guilty and he was having a better time than us! Went to Epcot and saw Reflections of Earth. Me feet still hurt. Tomorrow - Universal Studios and a meeting with Astrid,David,Bryn and Carys (well, almost). Oh, I nearly forgot. You know we were due to go to Blizzard Beach? Well , when we went to get our swimming gear ready this morning it reminded us we hadnt rinsed our DC stuff coz wed been so tired when we got in last night. Remember the little DC man with his pigeon Ingleesh ? Well, it turns out what hes been trying to say was STOPPA THIEFA Valerie had a mask in her M&S carrier bag! Best of it is its one of those thats see through at the bottom and the poor man could probably see the bloomin thing and was too polite to slap her and grab back his belongings while she stubbornly refused to enter into his conversation about the rights and wrongs of stealing from the house she had been invited into and received as a trusted friend. Coming to a wanted poster near you ... the never-ending story of one very average family holiday.