19 - TUESDAY 21ST AUGUST
Were out of
bed at 7.30am this morning and meeting Susan and Lu Beth in the
lobby at 8.15am. Were off to the Animal Kingdom. On arrival
just after 9.00am we get a phone call from Matt. Thanks to some
sleeping pills from Susan, Deb has finally had a decent nights
sleep, but theyve decided to have an easy day and meet up
with us this evening.
Straight round to Expedition Everest where all but me and Lu Beth are riding. I think it is probably better not to ride than risk feeling ill for the rest of the morning. I get Fastpasses for Kali while they ride.
We then walk past the new Yak and Yeti restaurant, which is still a long way from completion. The construction work is clearly visible and is very ugly. This is most unlike Disney as they usually do a pretty good job of hiding these things.
Kilimanjaro Safaris is next and we are on inside 15 minutes even though the wait time is posted as 30 minutes.
Our Fastpasses for Kali are then put to use. Fastpass works exceptionally well on this ride as you walk straight to the front and on to a raft. As is traditional, Susan gets the wettest of all of us, there must be some sort of lesson to be learned from this.
We queue up for the new Nemo show next. You really have to get there early if you want a good seat and ours is just right of stage centre and about 10 rows back. I think we all enjoy this show; its a great mix of theatrical styles. The main characters are humans carrying puppets and this works very well. The sets are very good and the songs, although not the strongest, help the story along. Nicely done Disney. Along with Expedition Everest, this must have given new life to the Animal Kingdom for those that have always thought it was a half-day park.
We get lunch from the Flame Tree Barbecue and use our counter service credits to get $65 worth of food. Its basic fare, but ok for lunch, the chicken salad being the best of the bunch.
Its Tough to be a Bug is the last attraction for us in the Animal Kingdom today. Its funny but Im quite relaxed about just doing a few things in each park, I guess its because we bought Annual Passes last year and this trip is a bit of an unexpected bonus. We dont feel like we have to be in the parks all day to get value for our money.
On the way out of the Animal Kingdom we stop to say hello to Ethelbert. This is the giant anteater in the Oasis and he has been very active today as we saw him mooching around his enclosure on the way in as well. Georgia wants an anteater for her birthday.
We get the bus over to the Animal Kingdom Lodge as Tam wants to see the new DVC rooms, unfortunately they are all occupied so we cant. Its still fun just to have a look around the Lodge anyway.
We return to Wilderness Lodge via a bus to the Magic Kingdom and then a boat across the 7 Seas Lagoon and Bay Lake. The boat is at the dock when we arrive at the Magic Kingdom and India and I hurry on ahead and get to the gate just as the CM calls for last boarders. I try to persuade him to shut the gate after us and leave the stragglers to get the next boat, but hes having none of it. Spoilsport.
Back at the Lodge, Tam and Georgia decide on a little snooze in the room (lightweights) while India and I go to the pool for a swim and a beer. Its still amazingly hot and amazingly dry! Inds and I chat about this holiday and potential future holidays and its a fun hour or so having some time alone with my eldest daughter.
We also walk around the resort a little. Its surprising how quiet it can be and how Disney have set aside many little seated areas on the upper floors for people wanting to enjoy a little quiet time. It would have been so easy for them to just throw in a few more rooms instead.
Back in the room we have to open the curtains and rouse the sleeping beauties. Theyre not best pleased.
Everybody showers and the girls leave a few minutes before we do as they have been organising a redneck party in Susans room for us.
Tam and I arrive at the room and are given our names for the evening. Im Jim Bob, Tam and the girls are Darlene, Charlene and Larlene. Susan is Peggy Sue and Lu Beth is Betty Lou.
Deb and Matt arrive 15 minutes later as they have had a few problems with the Disney transportation system getting to the Lodge from Saratoga Springs. They are John Boy and Chardonnay.
Susan and the girls have mini moon pies and Goo Goo clusters for our pleasure. Susan (and I hope the US authorities are not reading this) has smuggled some genuine moonshine all the way to Florida for us to try. She has even borrowed a jar style cup from the Whispering Canyon to make it more authentic. The adults all try the illicit liquor. Let me give you a word of advice, if you have the chance to try moonshine, DONT! Tam goes cross-eyed, Deb starts conversing in Inuit and me and Matt actually start making sense. Its dangerous stuff .Lu Beth looks on with the eye of one that has seen it all before.
I tell Susan you could use it to unblock a toilet. Hmmmm . given our past exploding lavatory experiences, this might not be a bad thing.
Susan also gives us many redneck themed presents. I get a video featuring Playboys Blue Collar Girls. Now thats what I call a gift! Tam gets a white trash cookbook; lord knows where well find road kill possum in Gloucestershire. There are lots of other bits and pieces. Susan must have put lots of effort into this, many thanks to them all for a real fun experience.
Were dining at Artist Point tonight and a couple of looseners are required at the Territory Lounge to start. Its nice to go into a bar and find it not overrun with children. Before you all start going off the deep end, yes, I do understand that WDW is primarily a family destination, but it is also nice to occasionally find somewhere that doesnt include the soundtrack of someones little darling having a screaming tantrum that could shatter a thousand crystal chandeliers from a mile away, bless their little cotton socks.
We enter Artist Point for our 8.00pm PS. My overall view of this place hasnt changed much after this meal; its a nice enough place, but not one that really inspires me. I wouldnt be worried if someone said we were returning here tomorrow, but I wouldnt book it through choice.
I wont bore you with all the details of the food, but most people have the buffalo steak and are somewhat disappointed with it. Its definitely tougher than beef steak, but very lean. Apparently its very good for you as its so low in fat.
Debs still feeling tired, so she and Matt leave to get a taxi at 10.00pm.
The rest of us have dessert, which is fine. The bill comes and it would have been over $300 for the 4 of us if not for the dining plan.
We say goodnight to Susan and Lu Beth and then spend half an hour or so just wandering around the Wilderness Lodge enjoying its nooks and crannies and remembering when we came to see this place for the first time. We never thought we would be fortunate enough to stay here. Sometimes its easy to lose track of how lucky you are.
Back in the room we have a message waiting. Its from Artist Point thanking us for dining with them this evening. Nice touch.
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