DAY 8 - WEDS 23rd SEPT

The alarm goes off at 6:30 and we have a light breakfast in the food court before driving to the Animal Kingdom. I decide to drive because we plan to move on to Typhoon Lagoon later in the day as the girls are dying to go swimming.

It is a beautiful sunny morning as we enter the Animal Kingdom, just the way we dreamt of seeing it.
Let me jump forward a bit to tell you that we absolutely loved this park. It is amazing. Green, lush, tropical, wonderfully themed, the paths are narrow and meander around to give a sense of quiet in a busy place. I know people have said that the narrow paths become packed with people. We saw little evidence of this, although I realise that we are visiting in a relatively quiet period.
It seems like the way that it has been laid out means you never see large areas covered in people, which adds to the more intimate feel of the place.

I digress. Back to our entry into the park. We move through the Oasis too quickly in our eagerness to get into the heart of the park but we will investigate more fully later in our trip. One thing we do stop to look at is the Giant Anteater. Wow, this thing is big. A big, walking, shaggy carpet.
Over the bridge and our first view of the Tree of Life. So many people have said what a wonderful sight this is that I must admit to not being as impressed as I thought I would be. It is very beautiful but I don't think you fully appreciate what the imagineers have achieved until you walk through the roots and look up at it.
We had planned to go straight to the safari but the tree sort of draws us in. The walk through the roots is breathtaking, so many animals carved into the tree. I can only echo the many positive things I have read about it. I have read complaints about the length of the walk to It's Tough to be a Bug but all I can say is that they could make it twice as long and it would still be too short.

The girls aren't going to see It's Tough to be a Bug, so Tammy and I take turns. We both really like it but think we made the right decision with regard to the girls. If you have any reservations about you're child's ability to see this attraction, then please let them pass on it because it does have some very intense effects.
I don't think the 3D effects are the best I have seen but the combination of 3D, animatronics, sound, smell and characterisation make this a must see attraction.

On to Dinoland and Countdown to Extinction. Again, Tammy and I take turns in riding. I am very impressed with the ride system. It throws you around but remains relatively smooth. I know that people who have ridden the Indiana Jones ride in Disneyland tend be a bit dismissive of Countdown, but, not having ridden Indy, I thought it was fantastic. Again, a not-to-be-missed attraction.

OK, time for the long suffering children to have something to do, so we enter the Boneyard. The girls enjoy exploring for a while and have fun in the Dig Site, sand is flying in all directions.

Journey into the Jungle Book is next. This show is nice but something is bugging me as to why I don't enjoy it as much as I should. Eventually I think I work out what it is. The voices.
I think that it shows how hard Disney works in the initial animated films to capture the perfect voice for the character. Baloo's voice or Shere Khans can never be replicated and this sort of spoils it for me.

Africa beckons and a trip on the Kilimanjaro Safari. It is about 11:15 and the wait time is 30 mins but seems to go quite quickly. I cannot emphasise how good we all think this attraction is.
You really get an impression of being miles from anywhere. Some people have complained that you do not see enough animals, well, go to a zoo then, if your conscience lets you. Having the animals allowed to roam free for their benefit, not yours, enhances the experience enormously for me. The seamless way that the animals are segregated is superb and the overall impact is excellent. Yet another not-to-be-missed attraction.
For a park with not much to do, this place has just notched up 3 of my favourite attractions on this trip. Not too bad, eh?
Yes, I do realise that this is only my opinion, which, as we all know by now, is practically worthless but it's my trip report, so you'll just have to put up with it. (Don't suppose it will stop me being flamed though.)

Right, I know this is going to be a bit of a shock, but here it is, 12:15 and still sunny and hot. Don't get too excited though, thunderstorms are forecast for this afternoon and Hurricane Georges is headed for South Florida.
Ah well, make the most of it, off we go to Typhoon Lagoon.

We find a place to settle, have a quick swim, then lunch.
We grab a tube and have a float around Castaway Creek, this is enjoyed by all.
The family raft ride is next which is too short but Georgia thinks it is great. We have to leave too soon but a rest is in order before tonights events. Georgia has enjoyed this more than anything else we have done so far.

Back to the All Star Music where the girls have a sleep while I wander around the hotel to take some video. Tammy gets to do some washing, lucky girl, gets all the best jobs.
Best news yet, 5:00 and no rain!

Me and my big mouth! 5:30 and it starts to pour.

After showers etc. we leave for Priority Seating at the Rose and Crown in Epcot. Yes! Real beer.
We arrive at 7:30 for our 7:40 seating and ask for a seat on the terrace. Not very hopeful of getting one as the lower terrace is closed due to the rain but at 8:05 we are seated close to the front of the top terrace.
Food: Tammy has Scotch Broth and Potato Bread followed by the Pie Sampler, which consists of Cottage Pie, Chicken and Leek Pie and Steak and Mushroom Pie. She says this is very good but she can't finish it all.
I have salad followed by beef, jacket potato and Yorkshire Pudding.
India has fish and chips and Georgia scavenges from everyones plate.

A few minutes before Illuminations, a miracle. It stops raining.

This version of Illuminations is not as good as the old one. It is still good but there seem to be more low level fireworks and lots more smoke. I'm sure that there used to be more water and laser effects as well. Anyway, it is very loud and poor India is terrified, she sobs her heart out, I think she is still feeling a little bit under the weather. How is she going to react for the next two nights of Rock n Rockets? 30 mins of fireworks each night.

As soon as the noise stops she feels better. I ask for a plastic cup for the remainder of my beer and off we go to walk the wrong way around World Showcase. ie.anti-clockwise from the UK.
It must be the rain earlier (it is still dry!) but the place is so quiet. It is absolutely lovely, practically empty and all the countries lit up. I see many things I have never seen or noticed before. Has there always been a Viking Ship in Norway?
We have to stop while the bridge is raised to allow one of the boats which carry people across the lagoon to come through.

Eventually, after a stop to view 'my' fountain, we get to the bus stop at 10:15. (The buses are supposed to stop at 10:00, one hour after closing.) There is no one else there but a bus driver going to Coronado Springs takes pity on us and says he will drop us off.
Another reason to love the Disney transportation system.

The end of wonderful day.