Cast of Characters: DH 50-something DW 40-something (and author of this report) Trip: October 17-26 (9 nights) Hotel: Shades of Green Day 4 Friday, October 20 Up early again and walk to Poly for quick breakfast. Headed over to Animal Kingdom. For some reason this is our least favorite park. We love the safari ride though and did see several animals. Our driver didnÃ¢ÂÂt do the shaking bridge routine. Then headed towards Asia and saw bats, birds, and tigers. We found the secret path that someone on the boards posted a few months ago. It was hard to find the beginning of the path though. It was cool and shaded and had a small brook with stepping-stones. Then towards the end there were a few tables to rest. Ate lunch at AK Rainforest CafÃÂ©. We absolutely love the spare ribs there (Mojo Bones). DH got a full order, I got a half. So tender and delicious. Then back to the hotel for a nap. We would need a break because tonight is E-ticket night. Took the monorail to Magic Kingdom. On the way I spotted CinderellaÃ¢ÂÂs old coach in a backlot area between Grand Floridian and MK. ItÃ¢ÂÂs gray/silver and has mesh or screen instead of glass. Last October we saw it in the MK decorated for Halloween. Arrived at Magic Kingdom around 5:45 and couldnÃ¢ÂÂt believe the crowd. Tonight was the only night for the Main Street Electrical Parade. Main Street was already filled with people. We made our way to Liberty Square get a spot to watch the parade near Sleepy Hollow snack shack. We set up our chairs (husbandÃ¢ÂÂs backpack converts to a chair and he carries a collapsible 3-legged stool for me to sit on). Pretty pathetic, I know. We bought a bag of caramel corn for supper and it was delicious. Really had to fight to keep our spot on the parade route. People would arrive late and expect to squeeze their whole family in. The parade finally arrived and it was great. This parade will be leaving WDW at the end of the year I believe. Not sure what will replace it. After the parade the streets were absolutely jammed. We made our way to Cosmic RayÃ¢ÂÂs Starlight CafÃÂ© and each had a cup of soup on the balcony. This is a pretty good spot to watch Tinker Bell fly and see the fireworks. Then we headed off to exercise our E-ticket privileges. Started with Buzz Lightyear and rode it twice. There was a little bit of a line for Big Thunder Mountain but rode anyway. Left the park around around 11 p.m. Just too pooped to stay any longer. This is vacation? Back to Polynesian for a snack at Captain Cook. Day 5 Saturday, October 21 Was absolutely exhausted and just couldnÃ¢ÂÂt get up at 6:30. Also, today was laundry day. We packed half the amount of clothes this time and did laundry halfway through. It worked out well. We managed to bring only one large rolling duffel. After laundry, back to Captain Cooks for breakfast. Headed over to Epcot because DH is a cast member at our local Disney store and he wanted to go back stage to the Company D store. ItÃ¢ÂÂs near Mexico and a nice cast member named Florence from France escorted him. I waited at the rope drop because World Showcase wasnÃ¢ÂÂt open yet. Talked with a young woman CM from Wales. ItÃ¢ÂÂs amazing how many guests donÃ¢ÂÂt realize that World Showcase doesnÃ¢ÂÂt open until 11. She had to explain this to many guests who looked so surprised at this news. Husband wasnÃ¢ÂÂt gone long and he didnÃ¢ÂÂt buy anything. Said the Company D store/room was very small and somewhat disappointing. Someone told us I would be able to go in too, but not so. Oh well. Today was the first day of the Food and Wine Festival at Epcot. We stumbled across the stage area lined with several very large champagne bottles. The security guard said the official opening ceremony of the Food and Wine Festival would soon start. He pointed out wet spots on the cement in front of the stage and said that it was from rehearsal the night before where the chefs opened and sprayed champagne. We sat in the front right up to the rope. Chef Bobby Flay spoke briefly and then all the chefs for Epcot walked on stage and took a bow. He has a show on the Food Network. Once they started opening the champagne bottles we got out of there because we didnÃ¢ÂÂt want to get sprayed and smell like champagne all morning. Good thing we left, because people got wet. Purchased a few post cards and got them post marked with the special Millennium post mark. DidnÃ¢ÂÂt realize at first that you had to ask for the special postmark. Duh. Last May I just put my postcards in the large mailbox and assumed Disney would put the special mark on them. CouldnÃ¢ÂÂt understand why my post card I sent to myself last trip didnÃ¢ÂÂt seem to have a special postmark. So, if you visit this kiosk, you have to ask the cast member to run your postcards through the special postage meter before mailing them. They charge for postage of course, but no additional charges. Then lunch at one of our favorite placesÃ¢ÂÂ¦Le Cellier. We both had cheddar cheese soup which is absolutely delicious. I ordered a small salad and DH had a crab-stuffed portobello mushroom. The crabmeat was the freshest IÃ¢ÂÂve ever tasted. No room for dessert. Then we stood in line for a while to purchase the special Limited Edition Food and Wine Festival pins. Chatted with a nice couple while in line who were avid pin collectors. Of course, it started to rain and our ponchos were back at the room. The couple in front of us shared an umbrella with us. How nice. The pins were very cute. One was a ChefÃ¢ÂÂs hat with the date, etc. The other one was larger with a large basket filled with fruit, bread, and vegetables. While in line a woman told us we must go over to another tent and get the special pins for the Doll and Teddy Bear Convention. Good thing we did because we had no idea what the tent was for. The pin is adorable. ItÃ¢ÂÂs a blue globe with Mickey ears encircled with colorful bears holding hands. Then back to the room for nap. Ate supper at Kona CafÃÂ© at Polynesia. DH had prime rib which wasnÃ¢ÂÂt that good. I had mushroom ravioli with ratatouille. Very good. We enjoy the food here and the large chocolate carvings on display are unbelievably detailed. Bought some candy at one of the shops at Poly for friends back home. Day 6 Sunday, October 22 My Birthday Got rental car and drove to Tampa to visit some elderly friends for the day. But first we stopped at Cracker Barrel for breakfast. My husband really loves this place. Had a nice but long visit with friends. Mom cooked us a great ham dinner. She even had a very pretty birthday cake for me. They are such sweet people. DH went to high school with their son but didnÃ¢ÂÂt keep in contact much after that. Then five years ago their son died unexpectedly and the parents and DH formed a friendship. They are a lovely couple and have been married for 62 years! Left their house around 6:30 p.m. Got back to Disney around 8:30 and stopped at Dixie Landings food court for a snack. WeÃ¢ÂÂve stayed here a few times and really like this hotel too. Exhausted and off to bed.