The CAST: DD1 (Brittany, 15 yrs. old), DD2 (Emily, 11 yrs. old), DW (Marylynn, let's just say early 40's) and myself (Dave,same) Saturday Jan. 31/04 The days weren't getting warmer and with rain in the forecast, we dressed appropriately, with ponchos in the knapsack, and headed to MGM for Early Entry...grabbed a locker at the entrance and stored our rain/cold gear in there...as mentioned earlier, DW is not a thrill rider, so although RnRC and ToT was open, we went straight for the Muppet 3D show (this show has special meaning for us as it was our first WDW attraction on our first trip...ahhhhh)...the show was as funny as ever...when we exited the show, there was Miss Piggy...picture and autograph time!...I couldn't figure out why Miss Piggy had to use the stamp instead of signing (she had normal gloved hands)...although the "kissy kissy" thing was quite cute. Next, the DD's and I raced through space in Star Tours while DW walked around and did some videotaping of the park...I still can't figure out why DD and I love ST, but both of us were not well after Body Wars, go figure. Just to step back a bit, on the tram ride in, there were several groups of young girls, all in matching outfits and makeup, coming into the park. We talked to a few girls that were from Wisconsin. I knew the National Dance Team championships were being held at WDW, but I thought it was at the WWS complex... As we walked by the "Closed for the Day" Indiana Jones attraction...(bing...this is where the light goes on ) we figured out that the championships were taking place here...note- the finals were in the WWS on Sunday...well, DD2 belongs to a dance team at her gymnastics club...so we ask if we can come in and watch...we were enthusiastically greeted with a very welcoming "Absolutely!"...must have been one of the parents at the door...the place was packed with contestants, families etc....what an eye opener for DD2...these girls were amazing...we took some videotape so DD2 could watch and admire later and much to the disappointment of DD2, we headed out to the "rest of the park" Over to the Great Movie Ride where we sat in the front row...we saw the western show (last two times, we had the gangsters attack us)...as always, the Wizard of Oz scene is the highlight...Drew Carey's Sounds Dangerous...'sounds' like a lot of fun...and it was. We then check out the times for The Little Mermaid...they are just about to start letting guests in for the next show and we're told we have a 50/50 chance of getting in...so what the heck...unfortunately we made it in, because we are at the far back corner...it's too bad because this is one of DD2's favourites and it was being rehabbed last trip...but even with the lousy seat, the show is still good... Rant time....when the CM says "no flash photography...that means NO FLASH PHOTOGRAPHY...I got so angry with the rude person who took the picture during the puppetry...of course when it flashed, you could see the puppeteers...thanks for ruining the illusion ...I've heard some good reviews of the 50's Prime Time Cafe, and we like having dinner and a show, so off to lunch we go....they just opened up and we didn't have a PS, but they thought it should only be 10 or 15 minutes...after 15 minutes, and watching people who came in after us get seated, DW went to the check in desk and was told we should be soon...after another 10 minutes, and some very antsy children, she went back and asked the girl to check exactly when we would get in...she looked at the computer screen and sheepishly said that we were not on the list ...not starting on the right foot here...they immediately got us a table...we try not to let it bug us...we're in DisneyWorld, right...anyway, the decor is very cool, I mean keen...so here we were, having our lunch with all our 'cousins', being very careful not to put our elbows on the table . The food was OK and the portions were large...very filling...although our server wasn't too pleased that we weren't having dessert. Once again, CM's play such a big part of the enjoyment of WDW...although our server was good, and sometimes fun, the guy in the next room (once again, missed it by one room...see report on Mitsukoshi Teppanyaki) was playing his role to perfection (one person asked him about a certain entree, and he gets the women at the table beside them, who had just received the same dish, to show off her meal to her cousin). We spent most of our time watching the CM in action...maybe next trip we'll get him! With full bellies, it's off to grab a fast pass for Who wants to be a Millionaire...but on the way....look, lot's of characters...our first stop is Mulan, though she didn't look that much like her...then to Wendy (the family in front of us had a little girl, maybe 5 years old...they joyfully run up to Wendy and tell her that they were looking all over for her..."look dear, it's Cinderella" ...I felt so sad for them...the handler tells the mom that it's Wendy from Peter Pan...and the mom yells excitedly "look dear, it's Wendy from your favourite movie, Peter Pan" ...another bad moment changed to a blissful one...magic, eh!)...our next character meeting was with the queen from Snow White...Disney hit the casting nail on the head here...the exact mannerisms and facial expressions...the cape sweep for the photo...DW tells her as we're leaving that she IS The Queen, and she mouths 'thank you', without changing her demeanour...I just love it when the characters are so good that you, an 'adult', catch yourself "believing" We got our FP and figured we had 20 minutes or so...we were looking forward to seeing the Haunted Mansion Set (although the movie was so-so, the attraction sounded interesting)...NOT...first, we're led into a large room with some of the set, props and costumes lining the walls...once everyone's in, the lights go off and we see a short film on the making of the movie...we're then told to look around at the displays...it couldn't have been 5 minutes and they told us to head out so the next group could come in!...we hardly had a chance to see anything ...very disappointing. Oh well, it was time for WWTBAM,PI...this was DW's first time...as usual, not even close to the top 10 board...I'm not a big fan of the show, but it sure is a lot more exciting when you're in the audience. Time for some big time excitement...while DW and DD2 check out some more of the dance championships, DD1 and I are off to the other side of the park...grab FP for RnRC...do ToT (I really like the variations in the drop patterns) and then back to the RnRC...gotta like FP's We get on the walkie talkies and find a meeting spot to watch the parade...of course, a half hour before the parade, it starts to rain ...not again! (see day 5 at AK report)...we change spots to a slightly covered area to watch the parade...........parade time...announcement comes on that it is cancelled for the day...minutes later, the rain comes down even harder. ...Beauty & the Beast Show sounds good right now...so off we go...we get there early and have to wait in the rain...why don't they let us go in ahead of time.....this is the last show as B&TB goes into rehab for a couple of weeks...we catch 4 for a Dollar...very talented group....DW decides she wants to videotape the entire B&TB show....tape has just over 20 minutes left on it...run out of tape just before Belle and the Prince walk down the stairs for the final dance ...show still makes DW tear up. Question - what happened to the doves flying out at the end of the show. I thought that maybe it was the weather, but later in the week, at Cinderella's Surprise Celebration, there were no doves coming out of the one present. Is there a new "No Doves" policy or was it just bad timing....or did the doves get a better union . It was too bad, because it sure puts a lump in your throat when they do their thing...so romantic After the show DD's and I head to ToT while DW goes shopping...we're to meet in 30 minutes at the hat...(note - DW doesn't like the walkie talkies on unless they have to be because of all the noise they make)...as were waiting in the line of ToT, I mention that I really like the fact that they use the seatbelts now and not the bar restraint and that I felt safer...DD2's face turned white and she went into panic mode...there was no way she was doing it without the safety bar...I could tell that there was no way of changing her mind..today...so we rush out to the street to see if we can catch up with DW...we searched every store with no luck...and because she didn't turn on her walkie talkie until the half hour was nearly up, we had no way of contacting her...eventually we met up (seems we were always one step behind her). The rain was making the day miserable...a lot of people had left the park...we wandered around for awhile ended up at the Disney Animation attraction (keep in mind that this was shortly after they had sent everyone packing at the Orlando Animation and are no longer producing here)...surprisingly, the updated attraction was quite good... it was depressing seeing all the empty cubicles...I asked the CM that was doing the tour, what his feelings were regarding the closing of the animation department... this is not the 'official' line, but morale is pretty low...I felt pretty sorry for him...having to do this tour, knowing everything that was going on around him, and still have to keep a smile on his face....and answering the same questions over and over by us tourists, er...sorry, guests.......our whole family liked the end of the tour where we all had a chance to draw Mickey on an artists board...it was tricky, but we managed to keep our drawings dry and fairly wrinkle-free all the way back to the hotel (this is where the locker really comes in handy). After the tour, we checked the times on the Little Mermaid Show and our timing was impeccable...we had to run, but they were just letting the last stragglers into the seating area...it was a very different experience than from earlier in the day...there was probably about 40 of us and we could sit where ever we pleased....so row 3, center aisle for us!...no one in front of us...much better. We didn't get to the Sci-Fi Diner on our last trip, so it sounded like the place to go for a bite and to get out of the rain. Food was 'just' ok and the service was hot and cold tonight, but the atmosphere was great. The Fantasmic show was to be at 8:00, but we figured it would be cancelled because of the rain...it was just a light rain, so they decided the show must go on...Fantasmic is definitely one of the best attractions at WDW, and we all love it, but we were wet and grouchy (at least some of us were), so we decided it wouldn't be pleasant to watch the show on cold, wet, hard seats...so back to the PC. When we got back to the hotel, we all changed into dry clothes and everyone's mood had changed for the better. For the past few weeks, several of us DISer's on the Resort's Board had planned on a mini-meet at the food court at 9:30, led mainly by Ziggie, who had never been to a meet before. We were to keep an eye out for lime green ribbons (I told them that mine would be attached to my PC mug)...we met up with Ziggie (Linda) and her husband John (I hope I got the names right...I'll feel so bad if I messed up)...they're regular WDW'ers from Florida...unfortunately, as we found out later, two other DISers that were coming ran into family problems that evening (accident and sickness) and couldn't make it ...fortunately Ziggie and DH were great people (Ziggie has soooo much energy) and we all chatted until 11:30...the long day was taking it's toll, so we said our goodbyes and headed back to our rooms for another sound sleep.