Day 2 - Tuesday, November 7, 2000 LetÃ¢ÂÂs review the cast: Me Ã¢ÂÂ 42, Single mom and Disney fanatic. The first question my co-workers ask when I return from vacation is, Ã¢ÂÂSo, when are you going back?Ã¢ÂÂ I live in Central Missouri and typically depart from St. Louis Lambert Airport, which is about a 1.5 hour drive from home. DD Ã¢ÂÂ 4-year-old diva. IÃ¢ÂÂm serious; this girl has a future on the stage or screen. She loves to sing and dance and loves all things Disney, too. The plan today was to visit the Disney Studios. The day was predicted to be hot and humid. Apparently, it is unseasonably hot here this year. We drove to the Studios since I needed to run out to the airport to pick up the forgotten luggage. We arrived at the Studios without incident, but we had to park out on the North Forty. This is something I donÃ¢ÂÂt understand. We arrived well before opening, but from the way the cars were parked, it seems that we were parked much further away than others who arrived later. As we were waiting for the tram, the Green Army Men from Toy Story came along in some sort of military vehicle, giving orders about getting on and off the trams safely, etc. DD saluted one and he saluted back. We arrived at the entrance. Now came the acid testÃ¢ÂÂ¦.I hadnÃ¢ÂÂt used my AP since last December. How likely was it that I would get the finger scan right the first time? Surprisingly, it did work correctly the first time. I actually had less trouble this year with the digital scan than I had last year. Since my sunglasses were in the bag at the airport, after we went through the turnstiles, I looked at some ridiculously priced sunglasses with Walt Disney World on them and bought them. It just about killed me to pay that much for the glasses, but I knew I would need them that day. ItÃ¢ÂÂs so nice that Disney doesnÃ¢ÂÂt take advantage of the captive audience they have with things like thatÃ¢ÂÂ¦<grin> Since we arrived prior to 9:00, we had to wait for the rope drop. Now, let me say thisÃ¢ÂÂ¦you may have experienced the TOT race, the RNR coaster dash, but you havenÃ¢ÂÂt seen anything until youÃ¢ÂÂve experienced the Voyage of the Little Mermaid sprint! Imagine hundreds of parents pushing hundreds of strollers, all trying to fit through that relatively narrow gateway to the VOTLM Theater. My problem with the Disney Studios, especially with a young child, is that except for TGMR, Backlot Tour and Muppetvision, the only things for young kids are shows. That, in and of itself is not bad; however, trying to fit all the shows in is difficult. I think thatÃ¢ÂÂs why everyone makes a mad dash for the first VOTLMÃ¢ÂÂ¦I know that it is for me. If we didnÃ¢ÂÂt make the first show, it would throw off the schedule for the rest of the day. We made the first show. I just love this showÃ¢ÂÂ¦maybe I felt that way today in particular, because I am so happy to be at WDW. DD also loved the show, although she was clearly intimidated by Ursula. HereÃ¢ÂÂs an interesting thing IÃ¢ÂÂve noticed regarding my DD and fear. When we first went to WDW, she was 2.5. She was scared of nothing. We rode Snow White, HISTA, PoC and many others, and nothing bothered her. Last year, at the age of 3.5, she tried everything but refused to go on Snow White again and felt very nervous about any dark ride after that. This year, she is even reluctant to try something that might be a little scary. Our mantra for the trip became, Ã¢ÂÂItÃ¢ÂÂs only pretend.Ã¢ÂÂ Anyway, after we left the first showing of VOTLM and doing a little shopping, we immediately got in line for Bear in the Big Blue House. DD is a huge fan of this showÃ¢ÂÂ¦as is apparently every other preschooler at the Studios this day. We waited in line nearly 30 minutes for the first show. As a rule, I donÃ¢ÂÂt wait in lines, but it was nearly impossible to avoid this trip, especially for shows. Anyway, Bear is a great show. My daughter thoroughly enjoyed it. The kids are encouraged to dance and sing along. After the show, we bought my daughter TreeloÃ¢ÂÂ¦the squirrel. She already has Ojo and Bear. CouldnÃ¢ÂÂt believe the crowds throughout the park today. I hoped this wasnÃ¢ÂÂt an indication of how they would be for the rest of the week (unfortunately they were). We grabbed something to drink and a HUGE pretzel from the Sunset Blvd food area and headed for the Beauty and the Beast Show. The pre-show group was performing. It was not 4 for a dollarÃ¢ÂÂ¦but I didnÃ¢ÂÂt catch the name of the group. There were five or six singersÃ¢ÂÂ¦men and women. They were good, but unfortunately, we didnÃ¢ÂÂtÃ¢ÂÂ hear much. DD enjoyed BATB immensely. I thought it was OK. Some of the costumes have been redone since last year. At this point, we were tired, hot and hungry. The only other things I had scheduled for today were the Doug Live show and the Great Movie Ride. We went to the Backlot Express for lunch. DD had the chicken nuggets in a Tarzan lunch box and I had a cheeseburger. The food was pretty good. That is one thing I noticed this trip, the food in the world has improved. We ate at two different restaurants at MGM and both were good. After lunch, we went to AlÃ¢ÂÂs Toy Barn and got JessieÃ¢ÂÂs autograph. The line for Woody and Buzz was way too longÃ¢ÂÂ¦.that would have to wait for another day. As we were going into the Great Movie Ride, we saw lots of characters. It seems that since there are fewer characters at Epcot, there are many more at the Studios. DD got pictures with Mr. Smee, and Doug, but there were many others we saw as we were going into the theater. By the time we came out, they were gone. DD was scared of the Alien part of TGMRÃ¢ÂÂ¦again; it has never bothered her before. Our guide had to be at least 70 years old. We got the cowboy side. I agree with others that this ride could use an updateÃ¢ÂÂ¦or better acting by the guides. Finally, we went to the 1:30 showing of Doug Live! I have a question for you folks from New JerseyÃ¢ÂÂ¦who was minding things back in Jersey? Seems the entire population of the state was at WDW this week. Four of the five people chosen for the show were from New Jersey. The host of the showÃ¢ÂÂ¦the one with the blue hairÃ¢ÂÂ¦made several jokes about that. It was a cute show. At that point, both DD and I had had enough. We had planned another day at the Studios, so DD was ok with leaving. Of course, I couldnÃ¢ÂÂt remember which row I had parked in, so we wandered around looking for the car in the blazing sun for about 15 minutes. I didnÃ¢ÂÂt notice the row numbers are printed on the ground. I didnÃ¢ÂÂt hear the tram operator remind people to take note of their row in the morning. I did hear him say it in the afternoon, as we were leaving. We headed out to the airport and retrieved the bag. We made a quick stop at GoodingÃ¢ÂÂs (yes I know how expensive it is, but the convenience was worth it for me) to buy some snacks and returned to the hotel. We just munched for supper, and DD was asleep by 7:00. I checked email and watched election returns. I was in bed by 10:00, after loading the car as much as I could. Tomorrow we check out of this hotel and check into the Contemporary Resort.