DAY 14 - WEDNESDAY JUNE 9th 2004

Now this will be a very strange day of my trip report for me to write. You probably know by now that I write my reports as I go along. I find that it helps to capture the feeling that I have at that point in time.
However, this day (and the one that followed) were so packed with action and incident that I didn’t find time to stop and write down the events that happened.
Consequently I am writing this on my computer in rainy old England where thoughts of Florida are exactly that. Thoughts. And pretty distant ones at that.
So, bear with me if things seem disjointed and vague. Perhaps I ought to rephrase that. Bear with me if things seem more disjointed and vague than usual.

We all get up at 7:30am as we are aiming to be entering MGM Studios when they open at 9:00am. Things are going pretty well to plan at this point as we arrive bang on time and wait for Susan and Lu Beth. And wait. And wait. Around 9:20 I decide to go and get Fastpasses for Rock ‘n Roller Coaster with India and Georgia while the other ladies wait for Susan and Lu Beth.
We plan to split up so Tam is going to tell Susan and Lu Beth to meet us while they go to do other more sedate attractions.

Eventually Susan turns up and says that Lu Beth and Evan are just coming. Evan is joining us to do a few of the bigger rides. Sure enough, they turn up a few minutes later. I can’t remember the excuse for their lateness today, it was probably pitiful and implausible.
Our Fastpasses are not for another hour so we go to the Great Movie Ride, which has no wait. Unfortunately the CM gets his timing wrong somehow and we drive straight through the Wizard of Oz scene. No wicked witch or munchkins for us today.

We can just fit in Voyage of the Little Mermaid before RnRC, so in we go. This particular Ariel does not have a very strong voice, but she sure ain’t 16! Not with those 36C conches! 36-24-$3 a lb.
As we exit the show we bump into a rather unhappy Tam. There has been a missed communication and she, Grandma and Julia were waiting until 10:00am at the entrance of the park waiting for Lu Beth and Evan! Tam does the only thing she can do in such circumstances – blame me. And I do the only thing I can do – blame Susan and Lu Beth. Hey, let’s not play the blame game here folks, we shall just proclaim me innocent and move on.

We also manage a quick visit to our Muppet friends and then it’s time for Rock ‘n Roller Coaster. This is Georgia’s first time and she is a little apprehensive. Boy, what a blast the launch is! I’d forgotten just how fast that thing accelerates. As we get to the end I look at Georgia, she’s not looking too happy, but afterwards says she enjoyed it.
Evan leaves us at this point to rejoin his family in the Magic Kingdom.

We all meet up again to watch Beauty and the Beast before we split up again. Tam, Julia and Georgia are heading back to the Boardwalk, I am going to get something to eat and Susan, Lu Beth and India are off to the Tower of Terror. Grandma suddenly announces that she wants to go too! She loves the Tower of Terror and wants to ride as she hasn’t done it in years.

I grab a burger and wait for them to exit. And wait. And wait again. An hour later they arrive. Why should I be surprised, ‘tis my lot in life to stand around looking pretty while the ladies judge just how far they can push my patience.
Grandma loved it and she has the photo to prove it.

We all now return to the Boardwalk in Susan’s car. Susan and Lu Beth come back to our rooms to freshen up and so I can show them our Boardwalk view and gloat.
Evan gave us the video of Sharon’s wedding and we all sit down to watch it. Sharon looks beautiful in her dress. We look out for all the little Disney touches like the hidden Mickey in the wedding cake. At the reception, Sharon and Gerry undertake a particularly moving interpretation of the Birdie Dance. 9 out of 10 for artistic impression.

It’s E-ticket night in the Magic Kingdom, but Grandma and Julia are not feeling too good and decide to stay at the Boardwalk. Grandma still has back pain and nausea and Julia has a bad stomach. Considering the spicy food last night to be a possible cause, the more childish in our group (Tammy) renames The House of Blues, The House of Poo’s.

Off to the Magic Kingdom for the rest of us in Susan’s car. It’s ages since I took the Ferryboat across the lagoon and really enjoy the slow, almost empty ride across.
We walk round to Pirates of the Caribbean and meet up with Sharon’s gang. Pirates is a walk on. Next we go to Snow White as we are trying to ride things that we won’t be able to do later on E-ticket night.

As we exit it starts to rain. Where do you go when it rains? Why, the TTA of course. After our ride, Sharon and her troop leave us to go for dinner at Chef Mickey’s. We’ll meet up again later.

It’s still raining hard, so we rush across the road to the Carousel of Progress. I always enjoy this, what a true Disney original. The theatre is not particularly full, but everyone is clapping and singing along every time it revolves.
When we come out the rain has stopped. Hooray! We are all a bit peckish, so I suggest the Columbia Harbour House. I’ve always liked this little counter service restaurant and it doesn’t disappoint today. I think we all had the sandwich with clam chowder, which was very good.

It’s getting close to Spectromagic time so we find a spot in Frontierland. When I say ‘we’, there appear to be less of us than there were. Tam, Susan and Lu Beth have wandered off again. I swear I’m going to buy some of those child reigns for the troublesome women. They eventually retrace their steps to find us.

As we sit waiting for the parade the rain starts again. Not really hard, but enough to get you wet. The ladies create a small camp out of unfolded ponchos by draping them over themselves and the rope they put up to mark the parade route. I’m waiting for the camp fire to be started, but, luckily, they stop short of that.

Spectro is as spectacular as ever. We do notice that one of the good fairies is missing from her float. India informs us it’s Merryweather. How appropriate. Perhaps Maleficent caught up with her.

We slowly make our way to Casey’s Corner to meet up with Sharon and her lot who have enjoyed their meal. Throngs of people are leaving the park, but we manage to move forward a little way to get just about the perfect spot for Wishes.
Jiminy talks and a single firework arcs across the sky to signal the start of a wonderful display of fireworks, music and light. This is certainly the best show I have ever seen at the Magic Kingdom. It sends a positive message of hope and brings a tear to even my jaded eye. Wonderful.

E-ticket night now begins. We first go to Mickey’s Philarmagic. What a charming show. The 3-D effects are stunning in places and I enjoy the fact that they have made Donald a little ‘softer’. You can’t help but laugh. I liked the old Lion King show, but this is even better.

Pooh is next (don’t go making up your own smutty jokes now) followed by Peter Pans Flight. This is probably a mistake as we queue for 20 of our precious e-night minutes.
The Haunted Mansion is next. You’ve got to love this place at night. The lightning (Disney, not the real thing) and the wolf-howling make it creepy and the lack of people adds to the isolated feeling.

Splash Mountain follows for most of us (Tammy you chicken!) and we escape without getting too wet. I noticed that the fountains and water effects in the cavern before you start the climb for the big drop are not working. Is this a regular thing?

After this we split again as we all want to do different things. Susan and I want to see Mickey’s Philarmagic again. It’s just as good second time.

We all meet up again in Tomorrowland as e-ticket night finishes at 1:00am.
We walk down a very beautiful and quiet Main Street and say our ‘goodbyes’ for the night.
We clamber into bed at the Boardwalk at 2:00am, tired, but happy, teddies.

Well, I remembered more than I thought I would, but I could have just made the whole thing up. You’ll never know.