The Spencer Family's 1999 Flower & Garden Trip

May 26th - 31st, 1999

Part 4

Day 5, May 30th - Magic Kingdom, MGM Studios, Animal Kingdom, Epcot

Last night was another late night (we didn't get into bed until about 11:45 pm) so our plan was to *try* to sleep late - peacock willing.  Guess what?  HE DIDN'T COME BACK!  Wooo hooo hooo!  We slept soundly until about 8:45.  While getting ready and eating breakfast, we came up with the idea of doing all four parks on our last day.  I've done this before but Susan and the kids had not.  We decided to focus on favorites in each park that we had not yet seen on this trip.  Everyone chimed in on what they wanted to see and do and soon we had the makings of a plan.  We walked over to the marina, caught the boat and arrived at the MK at 9:45.  Upon walking through the train station archway, we spotted the trolley pulling up to pick up guests.  We joined Phyllis (the driver) and Jake (the 2000 pound Belgian horse) for a relaxing ride down Main Street.  Sure, it's not the quickest way to get there but it's fun! - give a try on your next trip if you've not already done so.

Determined to ride Big Thunder, we made that our first destination.  Even though the line looked long -
it reached all the way out to the sign where they measure the kids to see if they're tall enough - it only
took us 10 minutes to board.  The queue inside the covered area was a straight shot right to the trains.  Next we rode the Haunted Mansion.  At the end of the ride you're told if you want to join the happy haunts that you can make "final" arrangements at the end of the tour (or something to that effect).  Brian told a CM that he wanted to stay and was told he needed to bring his "death certificate".  :-)

Our next "favorite" was Peter Pan, which we were able to ride after a 10 minute wait.  How many different things does Peter say as you go flying out the window?  I've heard "Here we go - off to Neverland", and "Come on - here we go".  It seems like there's a third line...hmmm.  The last thing we really wanted to do was the Tomorrowland Transit Authority (TTA).  We walked there via Mickey's Toontown Fair where we were going to ride Goofy's Barnstormer if there wasn't a wait - but there was - so we skipped it.  TTA was a walk on, as usual.
Having completed our MK list, we took the boat back to Fort Wilderness to pick up our Explorer.

ClopinAfter lunch at the Crossroads Taco Bell (we also needed to fill up the Explorer for the drive back home tomorrow), we drove to MGM Studios to catch the 2 pm Hunchback of Notre Dame (HoND) stage show.  As we walked that way, we passed a new refreshment place called Peevy's Polar Pipeline, which sells Icee-type frozen slushes.  These were yummy, especially since it was *hot* outside.  While waiting on the slushes, I noticed several crates with writing on them sitting in a pile by Min and Bill's Dockside Diner.  One was a bicycle being sent to Miss Dorothy Gale, Kansas.  Another was to Rick's Cafe, Casablanca.  Another to Scarlet O'hara, at Tara.  What a cute bit of themeing.  I'm sure they've been there all along but I've never noticed them before.  HoND is, in our opinion, the best Disney stage show at WDW and we always try to see it at least once per trip.  We were surprised to see a new preshow act - a juggling mime.  I didn't catch a name, but of course, being a mime, he doesn't say much.  ;-)  He really had the crowd into the show and I must say his performance was a nice change of pace after seeing Matt the juggler about 30 times.  Most of the cast consisted of familiar faces and their performance was very good.

The other thing on our missed favorites list for MGM Studios was the Twilight Zone Tower of Terror (ToT).  Katie, who earlier conquered her fear of Space Mountain, decided that she was going to ride ToT with us too - woo hoo!  Brian still wanted nothing to do with it even though he'd ridden Space Shot with me twice at the U.S. Space and Rocket Center back home in Huntsville, AL.  Space Shot shoots you up 150 feet at 4 times the acceleration due to gravity (4 G's) and brings you back down at - 2 G's (weightless).  Oh well, he'll get up his nerve someday.  We gave him a radio and he waited for us in the ToT gift shop.  On the queue, my suggestion is to use the right side.  We took the left and found it to be considerably slower.  Katie did great on the ride and we celebrated her accomplishment with an "I Survived the Tower of Terror" t-shirt.  We got Brian a squishy bloodshot eyeball for being a good sport.

Scarlette ibisOur next park was the Animal Kingdom.  We really only had one thing on our list here and that was the Kilimanjaro Safaris.  We arrived at 4 pm to find a moderate 20 minute wait, which wasn't that bad but more than I expected for that late in the afternoon.  Of course, it *was* the Memorial Day holiday weekend.  I noticed that they no longer have any animals in the fenced in areas of the queue.  It seemed like they had some birds or something in there when it first opened but now the areas are empty and overgrown.  As I mentioned before, it was *hot* so quite a few of the animals were going for the shade.  We probably saw the fewest animals on this safari than any other we've been on.  Disney is building a small building at the Safari unloading area to serve as a break room for the drivers.  They need it.  Doing that drive over and over while repeating the spiel has got to be tiring.  After some shopping, we returned to the campground for showers and laundry.

Three parks down and one to go.  But before we went to Epcot, I wanted to go to Downtown Disney for the RADP meet at Ghirardelli's.  Is the parking at Downtown Disney ridiculous or what?  We drove around for a good 15 minutes before finding a parking place.  It's wild out there too - people get pretty crazy for a parking spot.  We arrived to find Rob Olsan, the host, Bruce Metcalf (Zazu), his wife Marta, Jan Bordelon, Beth Eloheimo, Bill and Diane Abrams and several other folks whose names escape me right now.  Did anyone take any pictures?  I had my camera and didn't take a one - d'oh!  We sat around at several tables near the water and talked about anything and everything - from the tornado warning at the MK on Friday, to what's going on with NASA.  Unfortunately, we couldn't stay long as we wanted to get to Epcot to complete our 4 park day.

Arriving at Epcot at 8:20 pm, we had the choice of Off Kilter or Honey I Shrunk the Audience, both of which were on our missed favorites list.  It really wasn't a contest - Off Kilter won out easily.  We hot footed it over to the Canada pavilion, only missing part of their first song.  Off Kilter is a really talented band - folks who haven't seen them should make an effort to check out one of their shows.  We finished off our evening with dinner in the Land pavilion at the Sunshine Season Food Fair.

Day 6, May 31st - Travel

The trip home was pretty uneventful.  We'd put new tires on our popup camper after having the problem on our last trip and everything worked fine.  We have a 9 inch AC/DC television with a built-in VCR that we take along to keep the kids occupied.  I've also got a Y-splitter and two sets of head phones for them which allows us to listen to the radio while they're watching movies.  It works out great.  :-)

That's it.  If you have any questions or comments, please email me!

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