Dec. 5 The BethC1952 Clan's Dec Trip - Two more parks and an Illuminations cruise


DIS Veteran
Apr 29, 2001
The Original Cast:

Me -- BethC1952, age classified (figure it out for yourselves!), AKA Grandma, experienced WDW visitor (25+ visits since 1978)
DH -- Jim, 52, AKA Grandpa, experienced WDW visitor (25+ visits since 1978)

The Kids:

DS -- Jimmy, age 28 AKA as Daddy, experienced WDW visitor, 23+ visits between 1978 and 1984
DDIL -- Lori, age 23, AKA Mommy, absolute WDW newbie and very skeptical--I'll go because it's a family trip, but I'm not going to have a good time.
DGD -- Shannan, age 3 1/2, absolute newbie, has seen my collection of WDW pictures (over 4000), and knows all there is to know about WDW.

Aunt Janet's Gang

Aunt Janet (Grandpa's sister), age 40 something, absolute WDW newbie, another "I'm going because it's for the kids but I'll hate every minute of it" type.
Uncle Nick (Aunt Janet's husband), age 6 years older than Aunt Janet, yet another "I'm going because it's for the kids but I'll hate every minute of it" type, coupled with "how am I ever going to pay for all of this?"
Andrew, 13 1/2, son of Uncle Nick and Aunt Janet, WDW newbie
Megan, 9 1/2, daughter of Uncle Nick and Aunt Janet, WDW newbie, doesn't care about WDW, wants to go on the cruise, will only tolerate WDW if there's a hot tub.
Two more parks—and an Illuminations Cruise!

Another breakfast at the food court started our day. It’s just really convenient! Next, we’re heading to the Animal Kingdom. Once again we arrived at the bus stop at the same time as the bus. Before we even passed through the security and the checkpoint we were greeted by characters—the mice from Cinderella (Suzy and Perla) and Timon and Pumba from The Lion King! We headed through security, passed through the turnstile, and headed off toward Kilimanjaro Safari, expecting to pick up a Fast Pass and return later. Instead, we were able to walk right on! We had a great driver who slowed down or even stopped so that we could get really good looks at the many animals we saw. We also walked through Pangani Forest. Then Aunt Janet, Lori, Megan and Jimmy decided to try Kali River Rapids. That experiment ended with Aunt Janet, Lori and Megan buying new shirts (Megan was so wet that she also needed new pants since it was getting a bit chilly out!). A trip through Maharajah’s Jungle Trek to see tigers and other animals and we were headed out to Epcot.

The first delay that we had in transportation occurred here. We waited quite a while for a bus to Epcot, but it finally came and we arrived safely. Our first attraction was Spaceship Earth, which had no line at all. We were able to were able to walk right on. Our first visit to Spaceship Earth was in December, 1982. We waited more than 3 hours in 90 degree heat to see it then, along with a teacher from India who had traveled by herself from India just to see Walt Disney World for herself. We amused ourselves that day by exchanging Disney Trivia. Later on in the trip, Shannan amused all of us by explaining what she had learned of the history of communication—a long time ago, they didn’t have paper, so they had to write on the walls. Their mommies didn’t like it, so they invented paper, and people could write on paper. They made books so that parents could read to children. Now people can call each other on the phone and the computer.

Our next stop was The Living Seas, since Shannan loves fish. I always enjoy this one myself. After watching the fish for a while, the gang was hungry, and we decided to head to The Land and get something quick at the food court there. Do you see a pattern here? We’re definitely food court people!

We spent some time seeing a few of the countries of World Showcase (Mexico, Norway and China, with a quick stop at Morocco) since we had a little while to wait before we could head to the Beach Club to board our Illuminations Cruise. We even saw a few minutes of the Candlelight Processional. We’ll be going back next week for the show.

We headed out the International Gateway and once again, our transportation was just arriving! We boarded a boat which took us first to The Boardwalk and then on to The Beach Club. We were very early, so we walked up to the lobby to see the Christmas decorations.

The Illuminations Cruise was everything I hoped it would be. Our driver, Chad, was very friendly, and, since the night was becoming very chilly, he provided warm, cozy blankets for us to snuggle into. We cruised slowly around to Disney-MGM Studios and then headed back to park under the bridge between the UK and France to view the show. I’ve seen Illuminations many times, but never from the cruise, and it was fantastic!

We headed back to the lobby of The Beach Club (where Uncle Nick remembered that he had left his camera battery on the boat and had to run back and get it), then to the bus stop to catch a bus to the Magic Kingdom and then a bus to Port Orleans. Once again, our “transportation luck” followed us—the driver was picking up a guest in a wheelchair at the Magic Kingdom and we would be able to stay on the bus straight through to Riverside! That was nice, because by this time we were all getting cold and tired!

After a quick stop for some hot beverages, we all decided to turn in, since tomorrow morning we’re heading for Disney-MGM Studios as soon as it opens! That means breakfast at 7 AM!


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