Cast of Characters: Lisa , me Ã¢ÂÂ 31 Lynn, partner Ã¢ÂÂ 37 Emily, daughter Ã¢ÂÂ 3 Leah, sister Ã¢ÂÂ 20 Day 3, January 15, 2001 (Monday) We headed to AK and arrived just before opening. There were lots of characters at the gate (Timon, Rafiki, Mickey, Minnie, King Louie, and the big bird people). While we gathered pictures and autographs, Leah ran ahead to get fastpasses for the Safari ride. We met back at the entrance to Camp Minnie-Mickey and Emily got to be the honorary flag raiser. We also saw more characters (Pluto, Goofy, and more pictures with Mickey and Minnie). We headed to Africa for the safari ride. This was the best yet. The animals were plentiful. A giraffe literally stepped in front of our jeep and we had to stop and wait for him to pass. Then he walked right beside Emily and just stood there. We were so close we couldnÃ¢ÂÂt get the camera to focus. Next it was over to Conservation Station by train. Emily loved the Affection Section and could have spent lots of time there. We then took the train back over and headed for Tarzan Rocks. Everyone seemed to like this show, but me. Leah especially liked Tarzan and wanted to wait after to Ã¢ÂÂmeetÃ¢ÂÂ him. I felt this show was just a Ã¢ÂÂbad teen bandÃ¢ÂÂ on tour. There was very little skating and acrobatics and way too much singing. Lynn did comment that Tarzan wasnÃ¢ÂÂt in the show very much. It simply doesnÃ¢ÂÂt compare to the AK Lion King show. We decided to head on to Rainforest Cafe for our lunch PS. We had eaten there in June and really enjoyed it. I had $25 gift certificate earned through Milesource. The lunch was fine, but just not quite as good as June. My salad seemed much smaller and the server was certainly lacking in personality. Food was fine. We played a round of mini-golf at Winter Summerland, thanks to free tickets from Colleen from this board - thanks so much!! We went for a rest at the resort, Emily, Leah, and I took a swim. The temps today were high 70Ã¢ÂÂs. A nap after our swim, then getting ready for our Illuminations Cruise. We headed over to Epcot just before 6pm. We decided to park at the Yacht Club since that is where we were to meet our group for the cruise. We took the boat to the International Gateway and walked through World Showcase. We went to Norway to ride the Malstrom (one of LynnÃ¢ÂÂs favorites) and then headed back toward the gateway. The ToN parade was going on and we got a quick bite to eat at Liberty Inn, in the American Pavilion and watched. This was good, cheap, quick American food. At 8pm we took the boat back over to meet our group. I had gotten the cruise booked earlier and found two other DIS families to share with. Carolyn and Corrine and their families met up with us at the Yacht Club Marina and we had a great time on the cruise. We left out just before 8:30pm and our captain was lots of fun. We went all around the Boardwalk, Swan and Dolphin areas, and the Yacht and Beach Clubs. We then went and parked under the bridge and had the most fantastic view of Illuminations. We were so close that we had soot from the fireworks flying into our boat. After Illuminations we headed back to the resort. We had a long day ahead. Next: MGM, 50Ã¢ÂÂs Prime Time Cafe, e-ticket night at MK. Zip-a-dee-do-dah...Tip for Today: Book the Illuminations Cruise!