We are up by 7.45am today as we’re trying to get to the Animal Kingdom by opening at 9.00am.
After eating breakfast we meet up with Susan and Grandma and catch the bus. As Grandma goes to sit down she finds a pressed penny on her seat. I tell her that it wasn’t pressed until she sat on it. Susan says ‘That one’s going to find its way into the trip report’. She’s right.

We arrive at the Animal Kingdom just before opening and everyone goes to ride Expedition Everest except Grandma and me, I’m not risking a morning feeling rough. Instead we head to Kali River Rapids to grab Fastpasses, but it’s not open until 9.30am and neither are the Fastpass machines.

Back at Expedition Everest we meet up with the intrepid adventurers and walk through Dinoland to ride Dinosaur. The photo at the end is a bit like the 3 wise monkeys with India covering her eyes and Georgia covering her ears. Maybe I should have been covering my mouth to complete the picture, but let’s face it, that’s not likely to happen.

Back over to Kali where the Fastpass machine is still not working, so we decide to ride anyway. The wait is listed at 20 minutes, but is less than 10. Grandma and I are sat together and are the only ones to get really soaked. Grandma comes off looking like a drowned rat. A small drowned rat obviously.

When we walked past Yak and Yeti earlier we looked at the menu and thought it might be worth trying for an ADR. We get one for 1.15pm with no problem at all.

We walk the Maharajah Trail next and spend quite a long time enjoying the various creatures on show. Susan is a little perturbed to discover the Kimodo Dragon can run at 30mph. Mind you, if one of these was chasing me I reckon I could reach 31mph.



As it’s approaching midday, it’s obviously time for the Dawa bar. Tam and I both get a Dawa Colada, which she enjoys, but it’s a bit sweet for my taste.

The ladies want to go back to the small shop by Yak and Yeti as Tam and Ind want to buy a garment each. The reason I call it a ‘garment’ is that it’s hard to think how else to describe it. It’s a sort of sarong thing made from two differently patterned silky fabrics. You are supposed to able to wear it 100 different ways dependant on how it’s tied. I rather cynically ask if one of those ways is hung up in the wardrobe gathering dust. The icy stares I receive would make the Yeti in Expedition Everest shiver.

Tam asks which one I prefer. I tell her it’s a waste of time asking me because she always ends up with a different one from the one I choose, but she insists so I tell her. She buys a different one. Women eh?

Lunch at Yak and Yeti is next and this is a first for all of us. It seems to me that this place falls somewhere between a counter service and full service restaurant. It’s an interesting place, very well themed with lots of Nepalese artefacts to look at. It’s also nice to have a lunch that doesn’t involve French fries, burgers or chicken nuggets somewhere along the way.

I don't which of these two frightens me most

We share lots of appetisers including wantons, pot stickers, pork rolls and green beans. Tam and I also get 22oz beers.
Strangely, you can’t use the Tables in Wonderland card at this restaurant. Still, the food is very nice and we would be happy to eat here again. The bill for the 6 of us including tip is $110.

We now decide to leave the park for a swim and rest, but pause to watch Ethel Burt the anteater on the way out as she is surprisingly active.

Back at the Boardwalk, Susan and Grandma relax in the room while the rest of us relax at the quiet pool, variously swimming, reading or writing up the trip report. It’s a glorious day with barely a cloud in the sky and the forecast is for more of the same for the next few days.

Susan has rung Sharon and Evan (our friends from Texas) and they have flown in this afternoon and are staying at the Polynesian. In true up and at ‘em style they are already in Epcot having fun as Sharon wants to see Tony Orlando at the Flower Power concerts. I can’t think why, he must be knocking on a bit. Does he sing ‘Tie a Yellow Ribbon Round My Old Wheelchair’ these days?

Anyway, we arrange to meet up later in the Magic Kingdom as it’s Extra Magic Hours tonight and it’s open until 1.00am.
We return to the room to shower and I lean on the balcony of our studio, beer in hand and continue the trip report. Sometimes it’s a real pain spending ages on the report, as I’m sure that many of you that write your own reports know, and sometimes it’s a real pleasure. This is one of those times.

We are supposed to be going out at 6.45pm, but the girls are busy getting ready. This is a bit of a blessing as it’s so lovely that Tam joins me on the balcony and we have a lovely time eating crisps and people watching on the Boardwalk below. An exceptionally large rum and orange juice helps as well.

We are ready eventually and catch the bus to the Magic Kingdom, arriving just before 8.00pm. Now this is the 12th time in WDW for Tam and I and we find something on every trip that we’ve never seen before. As we are looking through the shops (Grandma wants a pair of earrings) we enter the crystal shop half way up Main Street on the right hand side. In the back of the shop there are two small furnaces and a man giving a demonstration on glass blowing. But it’s much more than this; he is an artist rather than an artisan.
He starts with a blob of liquid glass and adds coloured strips into it before starting the blowing process. As he works he explains all about the process and techniques. It is totally fascinating. We watch absorbed for more than 30 minutes as the vase he is creating starts to take shape. I only wish we could have watched to the end, but it’s 8.45pm now and Wishes is set for 9.00pm.

Sharon and Evan arrive and there is a lot of hugging and kissing. Not between Evan and I of course, we share a manly handshake, as is appropriate.
The kissing of Sharon is carefully done on her left cheek as she’s just had an operation on her broken right cheek. She looks fine though as the stitches are hidden behind her hair line.
We haven’t seen Evan since he was 16 and he’s certainly grown up, as he’s now 21.

We move outside and find a spot for Wishes and there’s much chatting and catching up going on.
After the fireworks we move across to Casey’s for hotdogs. Stomachs filled it’s on with Extra Magic Hours.

We head for Tomorrowland Speedway as Sharon has a CM friend who works there. I haven’t ridden this since 1988 (our first trip) and I realise why. I guess it must be fun for youngsters, but what a huge waste of space. How many new attractions could be built in this area if they closed it? I feel really sorry for the CM’s loading the ride, as the fumes are awful. I’m amazed they don’t wear masks or something as I’m sure I’d start to feel sick if I had to stand there for hours.

On to Buzz where Evan and I have a bet as to who will get the best score. The women folk are discounted, after all they should be at home making space tea while the men are out saving the universe with Buzz.
Tam and Georgia are in the car in front of us and Tam whoops as she hits a 100,000 target, but I proudly exit with my invincible score of 230,000. Invincible that is until Susan quietly points out that she has scored 500,000! Good lord, the woman is a veritable Space Annie Oakley!
Suitably chastened, we walk through to the Haunted Mansion. I like the new enhancements just as much on the second ride, the billowing curtains in the ballroom catch my eye this time.

Big Thunder Mountain is next for all but Grandma and we ride in the back, which is great fun at night.
Grandma, Sharon and Tam then sit out while the rest of us ride Splash Mountain with India and Georgia taking the brunt of the soaking.

Our last ride is Pirates of the Caribbean before a brief stop at the Bakery for a cake or two.
We say goodnight to Sharon and Evan as they head back to the Polynesian and we catch the bus back to the Boardwalk, stumbling into bed around 2.00am.