6 - MON 21st SEPT
Sleep in until 8:00.
Have you noticed we are getting later every day in
getting up? Probably a good thing, you can't push the
little ones too hard.
The weather looks more promising so we clamber on the bus
to the MGM Studios at 9:00.
I love the way all 4 parks seem to welcome you in. The
Magic Kingdom is Main Street with it's view of the castle
and at the Studios it's the walk up Hollywood Boulevard
towards the Chinese Theatre. The background music adds to
We head straight for the Voyage of the Little Mermaid
which the girls enjoy, trying to catch the bubbles. I
know lots of people like the big rides but really this is
the type of attraction that Disney does like no one else.
On to the Great Movie Ride, cowboy side. Once again the
girls are good, not minding the dark or the alien scene
but India is on the floor with her fingers in her ears
for the gunfight at the bank. They both love the Wizard
of Oz, I still get amazed by the Wicked Witch, this must
be the best audioanimatronic figure in any of the parks.
We hurry across to the Hunchback of Notre Dame and just
get in before the start. We are seated a couple of rows
from the front on the left hand side with a small child
sat behind us causing havoc for most of the show. His
parents don't seem the least bit worried at his antics,
if it was one of my children acting like that I would be
most embarrassed and do my utmost to try and prevent them
spoiling everyone else's pleasure. We will definitely see
this show again.
Having said all that, this show was brilliant. All the
leading players were superb, their voices were so strong
it sent shivers up and down my spine several times. It
was also interesting to see how they dealt with sections
of the story that must have been very difficult to fit
into a stage show.
(I particularly like the effects of the houses burning
and the cauldron spilling fire onto the floor below. Also
the fact that the costumes are so bright and vibrant: -
Star Tours is next This is India's favourite attraction,
she rides this as often as she can. Even I can ride this,
as many people have written, it does not bother me in the
same way as Body Wars. Poor Georgia does not like this
very much and is crying softly to herself half way
through, I get the impression she has been putting on a
brave front on some of the rides up to yet and it is
starting to tell on her. We will be careful about the
things she goes on from now on.
Partly because Georgia is a bit upset we stop for an
early lunch of hot dogs and fries at the Backlot Express.
On to Muppetvision 4D, which we arrive at just as it is
about to start so we miss the pre-show. Both the girls
like this. My favourite is the Swedish chef, probably
because we both make the same amount of sense to people.
A dash across to Beauty and the Beast sees us enter the
theatre just as it starts and just as the rain begins to
pour down. We are under cover but, unfortunately, the
stroller isn't and is full of water when we leave.
The Mulan parade is cancelled due to the weather and we
never did get to see it.
We return to the hotel and because the rain is not too
bad we have our first swim of the holiday. Like most
small children the girls love the water. India can swim
about 10 yards, not enough to go anywhere out of her
depth, but Georgia cannot swim at all and so has one of
the Disney life jackets. It is quite funny to see her
bobbing along with her long blonde hair floating behind
her and her head sticking out from the top of the jacket.
We get dressed up to go out as tonight is Priority
Seating at Gullivers followed by an evening on the
We get the bus to MGM, then the boat to the Swan and
Dolphin. This is the first time that I have looked around
these hotels and they are both very nice. Now, if I can
just work out how to get the money to stay here for 2
As we leave the Dolphin, Tammy is walking ahead of us as
the girls and I are looking at a model of the hotels. As
she leaves a lady on the door gives her a Mickey poncho,
it is still raining, of course.
I think 'Wow, that's nice, giving away ponchos because of
the rain' and when the girls and I exit we pause by the
lady. 'Are you with the convention?' she asks.
Ooops! No we are not, so no ponchos. I can see how she
thought Tammy was though as she is dressed up in a short
black evening dress, looking even more foxy than usual. I
guess a father in t-shirt with two small children in tow
is less likely to be a conventioneer.
When we get outside I tell Tammy about the poncho and we
consider going back in and giving it back but are too
embarrassed. If anyone from Disney is reading this, I am
only too willing to return it to you, just send me the
flight ticket and I will be there. I don't feel too bad
later in the evening when we see piles of the ponchos at
the doors to the night-clubs that have been left by
On to Gullivers for 6:30 seating. This place is supposed
to be a giant bird cage with a huge domed ceiling. It is
very nice but feels a little cold. (As in atmosphere not
This is a character meal and Rafiki and Timon circulate.
Timon is great fun and makes a noise a little bit like a
small raspberry when things do not go right. When he
reaches us the girls want autographs so the pen comes
out. Unfortunately it falls to bits in Timon's hand.
Raspberry. Tammy fixes it and it falls apart again.
Raspberry. Fixed again, Timon keeps turning the pen off
as the button is on the top. Raspberry. Raspberry.
Of course, by this time the girls are laughing themselves
Eventually we sort things out and have our meal.
(Reverting quickly to Tammy's notes for details of meal.)
Tammy has lamb in marsala sauce, rice pilaff and stuffed
tomato. I have fillet mignon, jacket potato and stuffed
tomato and we split a side order of garlic mashed potato.
The food is very good. Total including 2 child's meals, 2
milk shakes, 3 beers, (hey, Tammy had one of them) 1
Sprite tax and tip was $100. The $50 dollar coupon is
accepted with no problem at all.
I think that this place is very good value with the
coupon but I don't think we would make a return visit
After leaving us Timon crept up behind a young girl on
the next table. After he left she leant across to me and
asks 'Are you Kevin?'
It turns out to be Molly, Beth and Gary Hodges' daughter.
Beth and I had swapped e-mail and knew we were going to
be eating in Gullivers at the same time but what are the
chances of being seated right next to each other?
This is the first time we have met anybody from RADP
(despite wearing our pins every time we are in the parks)
and if everybody is as nice as Beth and her family then
we will be very lucky.
We discuss where we have been and what we plan to do and
all too soon we have finished our meal so we say our
goodbyes and leave for the Boardwalk.
By the way Beth, Molly struck us as being very confident
and intelligent, you should be very proud.
We drop the girls off at the Boardwalk Harbour Kids Club
at 8:00. Although it is quite well equipped with games,
videos, toys etc. we are not all that impressed with this
It is not helped by the elderly lady that books the girls
in. She isn't exactly unfriendly, just not particularly
welcoming. I would expect somebody more outgoing and
happy to be in charge of a children's club.
At least I can control the children for the rest of the
holiday with threats of returning them to the strange old
lady at the Boardwalk!
Anyway, Tammy and I go off to the Atlantic Dance Club.
Strangely, there is no one on the door as we enter.
Straight to the bar and after a couple of minutes we are
served, but we have been looking around and realise
something is not quite right. Everybody is reasonably
well dressed and they are wearing name tags, then the DJ
announces that the general public will be allowed in
after 9:00! We are in the middle of an automotive
It is now 8:30, we have just bought a drink, so what
would you do?
We decided to brazen it out. I don't think that I fit in
very well with my bright orange t-shirt, jeans and RADP
badge proudly displayed but nobody comes to throw us out.
After 9:00 the swing band comes on, they are very good
and a few people are dancing with one couple standing
out. They are very good and seem to keep going non-stop
with some very energetic dancing. Never mind sports or
jogging, this must keep you really fit.
As we are to pick the girls up at 10:00 we decide to
leave and go to Jellyrolls but with the cover charge of
$6 we decide it will not be worthwhile for 30 mins.
(Something else to save until our next trip.) Instead we
sit outside the brewery and have a beer between us. It
has just stopped raining and there are very few people
about so it is very pleasant to sit and look out over the
water with the lights from the Yacht and Beach Club, Swan
and Dolphin twinkling in the distance.
I try to take some video but there is condensation on the
lens. This is a problem that I found all holiday. When
the camcorder had been in the room overnight in cool,
relatively dry atmosphere and you took it out into the
hot, humid Florida air, then condensation would form all
over it and I had to wait for a couple of hours for it to
acclimatise again before I could use it.
We pick up the girls from the Wicked Witch of the West.
They have not had a bad time, just not a very good time.
It has cost $20 for the 2 of them for 2 hours.
(When we picked them up they were snuggled up under
blankets watching a Disney video with some other children
- so they looked happy enough: Tammy)
We all have a wander around the Boardwalk and then go
into the Boardwalk Inn for a look around. Now this place
is impressive. I never really thought about it as one of
the places we would like to stay at before but I would
definitely like to now. I can see why it costs so much to
We have learnt from our previous night and decide to take
a taxi back. The lady on the front desk calls out to the
front and they say there is already a taxi waiting, so
off we go to the All Star Music. It costs $8, including
Tammy lets the girls have a few minutes in the games room
before we all go to bed at 11:00.
The next part will follow soon, if you can bear to read
something written by a poncho stealing, gate crashing
family. Oh, the shame of it all.
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