DAY 16

WEDS 12th JAN 2000

I attempt to rouse a rather reluctant rabble at 7:30. After breakfast we are on our way and arrive at Universal Studios by 9:00. We head straight for Back To The Future where India rides for the first time. She really likes it. I think it was ground breaking in it's time but in comparison to newer rides it now feels a bit bumpy. It is still fun though.

Over to Hanna Barbara where we all chase Dick Dastardly and Mutley through a cartoon. I am rooting for Mutley as he is a real star in my book, but that fool Dastardly louses things up again. Georgia really likes this and would like to ride again.

Twister is next. This is the first time any of us have done this and we are all very impressed. Georgia's ear plugs work again.

King Kong sees India and Georgia riding for the first time and both enjoy it greatly. I've always had a soft spot for old Kong, it's just a fun attraction.

Earthquake is next, again the first time for the girls, these ear plugs were a real brain wave.

We walk over to Amity where Grandma and I do Jaws. This is the first time for Grandma and at one point she is so startled by the shark that she grabs the leg of the man next to her. It all ends well as they have a hot date tonight.

As we walk towards the Woody Woodpecker play area we pass the Animal Actors Stage. The show is just about to start, so in we go and enjoy a happy family show. At the end they bring out a baby chimpanzee complete with nappy. Tammy says she wants to take it home, funny, I thought we already had a couple.

On to Woody's Roller Coaster, where Georgia enjoys herself so much that she goes straight back on again with India. She has definitely got more adventurous as the holiday has gone on and we are now thinking that she might be able to do Big Thunder Mountain Railroad when we meet Ronnie on Friday.

We are going to do Terminator 2 3D then leave for Islands of Adventure. Just as we arrive for the pre-show they shut the door and we are first in line for the next show. We wait 30 minutes, this is obviously not that long but, on this holiday of complete walk ons, this seems like an eternity. They then say that they are having technical difficulties and we are delayed a little longer. When the show starts I am a little disappointed as it seems like just a 3D film until they enter the Skynet building, then the action really hots up. A very impressive show that I would like to see again alongside Twister. The only minus point is that the technical difficulties must have been with the motorbike as Arnie has to walk on stage. He looks manly enough anyway.

Off to Islands of Adventure which is only a short walk away. We are headed for the Enchanted Oak Tavern for lunch but get side tracked as Georgia wants to ride The Cat In The Hat again. Tammy rates this better than Pooh. It is certainly longer and the ride vehicles are better.

We finally make the Enchanted Oak Tavern at 3:00. This is a very pretty self service restaurant in the roots of an old tree and does a good job of conveying a magical feeling. You expect to see an elf or goblin jump up at any time.
We have the chicken and rib BBQ combo with clam chowder. The food is fine and we sit at a table on the terrace outside to finish our beer and discuss the relative merits of Disney v Universal. As I have said before I think both should be visited as both have their various good points. I think that one area that WDW wins in is that it provides a more fully rounded product. There are shows, parades, fireworks and entertainment that go on until late in the evening when the parks close. All that Universal can offer is the fairly dated stunt show.

Off to Popeye's Bilge Rat Barges. Now, we have learnt the lesson of the previous day and come prepared with swim wear all round and a towel to dry off. You can fool the Stringer's once but you don't get us twice. (All right, a good trick would probably have us going round in circles for ages, but we won't talk about that.) We all ride and then Grandma and Georgia dry off while the rest of us ride again. Tammy has got mildly damp all 3 times we have ridden, whereas I have got completely drenched every time. There is probably some sort of moral to be learned from this, but I can't put my finger on it.

It is now 5:00 and we are going to ride Spiderman one last time before we leave the park, even Georgia has decided to give it a go. We are just about to board when the ride goes down. They mention something about a 'power flux'. I think we must be in Back To The Future for a minute. Doc Brown should come over and feed it some garbage.
We wait around for 15 minutes but nothing happens, then they ask us to leave the building A major disappointment as we have all enjoyed this ride so much.

Back to Dixie Landings and a quick freshen up then off to Epcot, primarily to watch Tapestry of Nations and Reflections of Earth. We arrive and hot foot it round to Japan where we are lucky enough to walk straight into Tempura Kiku. We have wanted to try this for a long time. You are seated around a tall bar along with everyone else, where you watch the chefs prepare your food. We start with soup which you drink straight from the bowl, followed by salad with a ginger dressing and rice. Our main meal is a combination of chicken, beef and shrimp deep fried in batter. Although very good, it is typical of eating a lot of fried food in that it becomes fairly greasy after a while. A nice experience but not one we will rush to repeat.

With precision planning (all right, it was plain good luck) we are outside with 5 minutes to spare before Tapestry of Nations. The girls really have a good time as they get a lot of attention from the dancers.

We watch Reflections of earth from in front of Italy and this is the first time we have had a completely unhindered view. It is very close to perfection. The music, fireworks, lasers, water, fire and globe are so well co-ordinated to produce a display of wonderful quality. In my opinion this is the best show that I have ever seen at WDW. A Disney masterpiece.

We take a slow walk out as is our usual way and a bus has us back in bed by 10:30.
Oh yes, Georgia lost another tooth today and the tooth fairy only leaves $3 this time. Business can't be good in the second hand tooth market.