The Spencer Family's 1999 Flower & Garden Trip

May 26th - 31st, 1999

Part 3

Day 4, May 29th - Epcot, Typhoon Lagoon

EEEAHH - EEEAHH - EEEAHH!  D'oh!  Stupid peacock!  Looking at my watch it was 4:17 am.  It had been just after midnight when we got in bed so I was in no mood to lie there listening to this hormone-filled peacock try to impress some peahen for the next 3 or 4 hours.  I made the short walk over to the comfort station and called the Front Desk and talked to CM Suzanne.  She sounded *way* to chipper for 4:25 am.  She assured me that she would call Pest Management and that they'd take care of it.  I stumbled back to the camper cursing the evil peacock with every breath.  I smiled at him as I arrived back in the camper and told him Pest Management was coming to get him - hehehe.  His response - EEEAHH - EEEAHH - EEEAHH!  He didn't seem too worried.  Hmmm...

The evil peacock continued to torture me, letting me just barely doze off before releasing another series of shrill calls.  I looked at my watch again - 5:30 am.  I walked back over to the comfort station, cursing the peacock again as he looked down on me from his lofty perch.  Calling the Front Desk again this time I got Peter.  He assured me that Pest Management had been called - that he'd overheard my earlier call fielded by Suzanne and saw her dial the number.  I kind of got the feeling that Peter and Suzanne thought I was the pest instead of the peacock.  Oh well...I went back to bed, dozing off and on at the whim of the evil peacock.  I could just imagine him thinking - "where's Pest Management now buddy?"  Double d'oh!  Either the peacock finally flew away or shear exhaustion allowed me to tune him out as I eventually was able to go back to sleep.  We all got up at 9 and took our time getting ready.  When we stay out late like we did last night we always plan to sleep in late and then go either to Epcot, where we catch the opening of World Showcase at 11 am, or we go to MGM Studios where we catch the first Hunchback of Notre Dame show at 11:15 or 11:30 am.  Today the plan called for Epcot.

Flower Power EntranceWe arrived just in time to catch a favorite of ours - Future Corps - a drum and bugle corps that can *really* play some music.  They played an outstanding arrangement of Stan Kenton's Maleguena that is one of Susan's favorites.  Be sure to catch one of their performances in the East or West Innoventions Breezeway on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Fridays and Saturdays.  On our way to Ice Station Cool, a favorite stop of our kids, we ran into fellow RADP'ers Beth Hodges and her daughter Molly.  We chatted with them for a little while and then were off to try to catch the look on the faces of unsuspecting guests as they try Beverly.  It's priceless - it'd be a great spot for America's Funniest Home Videos.  :-)

Floating GardensIt was just after 11 so we began making our way to the World Showcase.  On the way, we passed a beautiful sculpture in Innoventions Plaza.  We also passed a vending cart where Katie spotted a Donald Duck hat that she insisted I try on.  Donald is my favorite character so how could I refuse?  I think I won the stupid hat contest on this trip.  Disney again this year had their beautiful baskets floating in the East and West Lakes.  We began our World tour in Mexico, first riding El Rio del Tiempo and then browsing in the shops and in the plaza.  We took the side exit so we could walk past the beautiful orchids and bougainvillea alongside the pavilion.  We made our way next to Norway, which had a Christmas feel to it as it had on display a poinsettia tree surrounded by "snow" in the form of some type of white perennial.  We rode Maelstrom with a short wait, walked through the movie and then began making our way back around to the UK for our noon priority seating at Rose and Crown.  On the way, we stopped at the World Showcase Plaza to check out the new ostrich chorus line in the Fantasia Topiary Garden.
BambiAs we were passing by the Canadian pavilion we noticed a familiar face in the crowd - Deb Wills, the wonderful lady that helps us all on RADP by working so hard on the best WDW site on the web, the Walt Disney World Information Guide (WDWIG).  We hugged and chatted for a few minutes before we had to hustle off to the Rose and Crown.  Once there, we were seated immediately inside in the air-conditioning (ahhhhhhh).  Susan ordered the Ploughman's lunch and I the London style fish and chips.  As I recall, the kids had the fish and chips too.  The food was good but not great but what can one expect from fish and chips?  After lunch, we backtracked to the Canadian pavilion because I wanted to look at the new Bambi topiary - wow! - is that cute or what?  This was my favorite character topiary this year.  Flower was also included by I couldn't get all three in a decent looking picture.

We turned back around and returned to the UK to see "Pooh's Garden Adventure".  The topiaries were all the same as last year (see last year's trip report) but they were still wonderful.  Brian, who still sleeps with a Pooh bear he got when he was a toddler, had to get a hug from Pooh while we were there.  We continued on to France, where we walked up on a well meaning lady trying to talk to Cinderella about playing the character of Cinderella.  Of course poor Cinderella was quite perplexed by the woman and she assured her she *was* Cinderella - she wasn't playing anything.  You tell her Cindy!  :-)

Minnie and Mickey TopiaryOur next stop was Japan where we saw an amazing display of bonsai trees.  It was weird to see real trees 50 to more than 75 years old that really *looked* just like old trees - except they were only one or two feet tall.  The American pavilion had a new Mickey and Minnie topiary on display that was adorable.  It was interesting to see that both had tails - a feature from the old days that seems to get dropped most of the time.  We continued around the rest of the World Showcase, seeing again the wonderful topiary of Snow White in Germany, the dragon in China, the Hercules characters in Italy and the Lion King topiaries in the Outpost area.  It was really getting hot though so after quenching our thirst once again in Ice Station Cool, we made our way back out to our Explorer and were off to Typhoon Lagoon.

We quickly changed into our swimsuits, stashed our stuff in a large locker and were off into the Surf Pool, one of the largest wave pools in the world.  Every 90 seconds a 5 to 6 foot wave is unleashed, which is *always* followed by the collective screams of several hundred excited guests.  WHOOOSHH.....AAAHHHHH!!!  It really is something to see and hear in person.  :-)  After cooling off in the pool a little while we were off to the body slides.  We started off with the Storm Slides (Jib Jammer, Rudder Buster and Stern Burner) first.  This was Susan's and Brian's first time on the body slides but Katie and I were old pros.  The waits were minimal.  My favorite of the three is the middle slide because it goes through a "cave" section which is pretty dark.  All of the slides are tame and the "capture pool" at the bottom is padded and shallow so I'd say these slides would be fine for most kids as well as adults.  Now it was time for Humunga Kowabunga!  After some soul searching, Susan and Katie decided to do it but Brian said "no way Jose!"  We tried to get him to change his mind but he would have no part of it.  I was hoping that if he did it, he'd get over his fear of the Splash Mountain drop but there was no convincing him.  The wait was about 15 minutes but we all did it.  Susan commented that women (at least modest women) would not want to be wearing a two piece bathing suit on Humunga Kowabunga.  :-)

We then did TL's family raft ride - Gangplank Falls.  This was a disappointment after doing Teamboat Springs at Blizzard Beach.  The ride was *much* shorter and to make things worse we had to roll the large, unwieldy 5 person raft up to the top of the slide.  We waited almost 30 minutes for this and it was not worth it.  Our next thing to do was Shark Reef, where guests can swim "face to face" with small leopard and bonnethead sharks and various reef fish.  You first have to pick up snorkel gear (mask and snorkel) and a neoprene vest before receiving a pre-swim briefing from a Cast Member (if you've done the swim before you can skip the briefing).  Susan and I are certified scuba divers with numerous open water dives so this was no big deal for us.  We were doing it mostly for the kids.  Anyway, be forewarned that the water is *cold*.  I paired up with Katie and Susan with Brian.  As it turned out, Katie was having all kinds of problems with her snorkel so she kept getting salt water in her mouth.  Her mask was all fogged up too so the poor thing couldn't see anything either.  I ended up just swimming her on across - she was more than ready to get out anyway and let us all know that she wouldn't be doing the Shark Reef again anytime soon.  I would strongly suggest that anyone planning on doing this buy an inexpensive mask and snorkel and try snorkeling in a swimming pool before doing it in Shark Reef.  We soothed Katie with dessert at Typhoon Tilly's (sundaes) before turning the kids loose again in the Surf Pool.  Susan and I found two lounge chairs on the beach while Brian and Katie swam for another hour.

We returned to Fort Wilderness for showers and then ordered a take-out pizza from Trail's End Restaurant (they recently changed the name from "Buffet" to "Restaurant").  A sausage pizza was something like $13 and it is *big*.  We've never been able to eat the whole thing.  While picking up the pizza I saw the first hayride returning and folks queued up for the second.  After dinner, we decided to go to the Magic Kingdom again to try to ride Space and Big Thunder while the crowds were watching the MSEP.  Stepping out of the camper I noticed the evil peacock had returned - but this time he was sitting on a limb that was a bit lower than his previous lofty perch.  Seeing an opportunity, I picked up what looked like an egg (it comes from the local vines down there) and tossed it at the peacock hoping to scare him off.  It caught him square and he fluttered down to the ground.  He marched away indignantly - there's my Pest Management Mr. Peacock...hehehe.

TeacupsOther than the peacock, being in the 200 loop was great as we could walk to the marina and be on the boat to the MK in a manner of minutes.  We again bypassed the masses on Main Street by walking through the shops and rode Space Mountain with a 20 minute wait.  Katie rode it again and liked it.  We tried to catch the train from Toontown back around to Frontierland but missed the last one before the fireworks by minutes.  Instead, we walked through Fantasyland, riding Teacups and Snow White as the fireworks went off.  We then rode It's a Small World before heading off to Big Thunder.  Arriving there, we were disappointed to find another *long* line.  We gave up and rode the train back around to the main entrance and returned to Fort Wilderness.  Upon returning to our campsite we searched the limbs over our camper -  no evil peacock!  WOO HOO!  But would he return during the night?  Hmmm...

Tomorrow - Part 4 - Whirlwind tour of all four parks plus the RADP meet at Downtown Disney

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