FRI 7th JAN 2000
sleep in until 8:00. The plan was to relax around the
pool but it is a fairly cool morning so we decide to go
to Disney MGM Studios for at least a short while. A rest
day? No chance with the Stringer family. We do intend to
return in the afternoon for a swim though.
Breakfast is in the food court. The food is slightly
better here than at the All Star Movies. Not great but
certainly reasonable. The surroundings are much prettier
though. It is more spacious and more interesting with the
water wheel workings and the views over the waterfront.
We arrive at the Studios at 10:00 and head straight for
Rock 'n Roller Coaster, which is nearly a walk on. A word
about the crowds. After New Year's Eve the crowds dropped
off quickly and it is now very quiet in every park,
wonderful for seeing everything quickly and easily.
There is no putting it off anymore. Tammy and I clamber
into our stretch limo and blast off along the highway.
The launch is thrilling and you race along wondering when
the first inversion is coming. You are into and out of it
before you know what is happening. The rest of the ride
is smooth and maybe even slower than I anticipated. One
thing I did not expect is that we both came off feeling a
little queasy. I suppose I should not be too surprised as
this is the first inverted coaster for both of us. A
great ride but I would have trouble riding this more than
once a day. India decides she would now like to ride but
we decide she can do it another day.
Across the park we take our seats for the Hunchback of
Notre Dame. This is a classic Disney attraction. It has
to vie with the Festival of the Lion King as the best
show on property. The voices are excellent as usual and
the puppetry joins in with the live action very well.
This is the first time that Grandma has seen this show
and she is lost for words afterwards.
Half way through it starts raining hard and is still
hammering it down at the end. We wait inside the theatre
for 10 minutes and it clears.
Over to Doug Live, another first. Now this must be the
first time ever that my children know more about a Disney
character than me. The girls really like this, especially
India. Although the performances are very good and it is
a bright and cheerful show, it all seems slightly strange
to me. I mean, what is it with Quailman and the
underpants? A little too surreal for me. What is
children's television coming to?
Voyage of the Little Mermaid is next. Both Tammy and I
think that they have turned down the volume in here. we
can barely hear Ariel, who has a weak voice anyway. Maybe
Disney have had complaints from parents with frightened
children but it spoiled it slightly for us.
Outside in the shop Georgia is going to get the Ariel
costume she has been on about for weeks. So what does she
buy? An Esmerelda outfit! Women! Oh well, at least she is
happy. By the way, these costumes are a complete rip off
- $55 for the one we get but Georgia has her Christmas
money and is allowed to spend it on whatever she wants.
Why she doesn't want a barrel of beer for Daddy I don't
While Georgia is choosing her outfit I go over to the
Animation Gallery. I have always wanted an animation cel
but they seem to have gone up enormously in price. I know
that when we first went to WDW you could get a genuine
cel from the films for $100 - $150. Now you are talking
thousands. You can get hand painted limited edition cels
but they are not from the films. Hindsight is a wonderful
We return to the Dixie Landings where we spend a very
pleasant couple of hours around the main pool enjoying
the hot tub and slide, along with a beer for me and pina
coladas for the ladies.
After showers in the room we leave for our meal in the
California Grill at 5:55. We just miss a bus and so have
a little wait for the next one reaching the Magic Kingdom
at 6:30 just in time to see the fireworks as we walk to
the monorail. Around to the Polynesian where the girls
are going to the Neverland Club. Being a bit of an expert
on the Disney kids clubs (ours are off loaded at every
opportunity) I would say that this is the best themed of
all of them. The girls are sprinkled with pixie dust as
they climb through the bedroom window on the way to
Neverland. We leave our happy twosome at 6:50 and Tammy,
Grandma and I move on to the Contemporary.
We are 20 minutes early for our 7:30 priority seating and
so we sit at the bar for a drink while we wait. Within 5
minutes our pager goes off and we are on our way to our
table. It really is a lovely restaurant, formal yet
relaxed. There is a real mix of people from couples to
families with children.
We start with flatbread with salmon and sour cream
between us all. The only criticism from the ladies is
that it could do with a twist of lemon to compliment the
salmon. Both Tammy and Grandma choose the pork tenderloin
for their entree while I go for the sea bass. Both the
ladies think that their meals are excellent. I am not too
sure when I see mine as it has clams and also olives in
the rice. The clams are not as bad as I expect and I
remove the olives as I find that their strong flavour
tends to overpower the fish. Anyway, in the end I really
Dessert is a double lemon souffle shared between the
women while I have the chocolate quake with a chocolate
snap. Both are excellent. Oh yes, we also had a nice
bottle of red wine which was the cheapest on the menu at
$28 but fine nonetheless.
This was probably as good an overall dining experience as
we have ever had at WDW. It is not a quiet romantic place
(Artist Point is probably better for that) but for
overall quality, atmosphere and the stunning views, then
this place cannot be beaten. It is also nice to eat a
reasonable size meal, one that would not feed a small
nation for a week. Quality is sometimes better than
We also get to see the Electrical Water Pageant at
several places around the Seven Seas Lagoon as well as
the fireworks from Epcot at 9:00. Altogether a wonderful
Hey, I bet you didn't know that I would make a good food
critic. I will gladly come round to your house to give my
valued opinion, I hardly ever eat the soup directly from
the bowl and only wipe my face in the tablecloth when
there is no napkin. It is perfectly acceptable to use
your sleeve in these circumstances as well.
Back at the Neverland Club we pick up the girls at 9:30
at a total cost of $40. A lot of money but sometimes it
is nice just to enjoy adult company for a few hours.
Georgia thinks that it is the best kids club she has been
to but India still prefers the Cubs Den at the Wilderness
Lodge, I suspect this is because they bring animals in
for the children to see.
A taxi takes us back to Dixie Landings and we are in bed
A slightly more relaxing day but probably all the more
enjoyable for it.
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