WEDS 19th JAN 2000

What can I write about today? We are going home.
Up at 8:15, shower and pack. By some amazing miracle we manage to get everything inside the suitcases, although we do need the assistance of Tammy to sit on them while I do them up. Hand luggage is also bulging at the seams.

Our Tiffany Towncar driver, Darcy, is 10 minutes early. Tammy and I are in the shop. Incredible, we have been here 3 weeks and there is still last minute shopping going on.

The drive to the airport is swift and smooth. I can thoroughly recommend Tiffany Towncar, they have been on time courteous and friendly throughout.

As we pull away from Dixie Landings Grandma looks at me and says 'I've made a wish. I hope that I will be able to come back again just once more.'
I think perhaps we will manage that, don't you?

The flight home is fine, if long, as we have to go via Atlanta again.

On arrival in Gatwick we leave Grandma and the girls with the luggage while Tammy and I get a taxi to her Godmother's house to pick up the car.
It is hard not to draw comparisons between our two recent taxi rides. Darcy was pleasant and talkative whereas this driver remains silent apart from the occasional moan about the 'bloody traffic'. As we drive straight past the road to Tammy's Godmother's I tell the driver he has missed the turning. 'Oh, I thought you were going to tell me where it was.' he says, not having once told us that he did not know the way. Tammy and I look at each other and shake our heads sadly. We're home.

OK. A few random thoughts on our holiday.

Wonderful. We were just so lucky. We had no rain to speak of and only two cool days in the entire three weeks. If you could guarantee this weather every year I'm sure it would become much busier. The sun shone, the sky was blue most of the time and it was perfect for park touring.

As soon as the New Year celebrations were over the crowds disappeared. The last weekend of our holiday there were more people as it was Martin Luther King Day but , apart from that, the queues were minimal. It is lovely strolling around uncrowded parks and being able to walk on to whatever you choose.

New Year's Eve:
I couldn't begin to explain what a good day and night we had. Everything just seemed so right. Yes, it was packed but that just added to the atmosphere and the sense of fun and enjoyment. I don't think that I will ever forget the fireworks and the entertainment.
I would definitely like to return at this time of the year to enjoy it all over again.

I know that I have already mentioned this but, with all the bad things that you read about the buses, I feel it needs saying again. I experienced no deterioration in the quality of the service. Sure, if you expect to stroll up to a bus stop and clamber aboard immediately, you are going to be disappointed. You are on vacation, settle back, relax, enjoy the scenery, a bus is on its way. Let Disney take the strain.

Rude People:
As you may have gathered while reading the trip report, there were one or two people that really got on my t..... er .. I mean, annoyed me intensely on this holiday. I don't think there was any one group or nationality that stood out. Ignorant people are ignorant people wherever they are from and I am an Equal Opportunities Moaner.
It is easy to get carried away complaining as we tend to remember the 1% of people who annoy us rather than the 99% who were wonderful. I will try to forget the lousy, no good, scum of the earth, flea ridden, pestilent excuses for human beings that have no right to roam upon this fair planet, I have their names and will be starting a vicious campaign to ........
Oops! Like I said I will try to forget the rude people and remember the many kind and generous individuals we met, especially some of the fantastic CM's.

It is a little unfair to compare the All Star Movies to Dixie Landings. The old adage about getting what you pay for holds true here. The All Stars are perfectly fine, I have stayed there 3 times, you just get a little more luxury at the moderates.
Dixie Landings is relaxing and pretty. Sprawling it may be, but very well designed. I would be hard pushed to choose between here and Port Orleans, I think Dixie might just come out on top.

As usual we had some very good meals. Tammy and I both agree that we enjoyed the California Grill the most. I found it to be a pleasant mix of sophistication, relaxation and excellent food. And the views!
A close second would be the Yachtsman's Steakhouse. Smaller and more intimate, this is probably a better choice for a couple out for a romantic evening.
Obviously these were also the two most expensive meals that we had. For slightly cheaper but pleasant food we all enjoyed 'Ohana and Le Cellier. Fun food is also to be had at Beaches and Cream.
I just asked Tammy what she enjoyed eating on holiday and she said 'everything'. Well thank you for that well thought out critical appraisal of our dining experiences Tam.

Favourite Park:
We all agree on Islands of Adventure. This is not because we think that it is better than any Disney park but purely because it was completely new to us. There is a certain thrill to enjoying a new attraction for the first time and a whole park full of new attractions is wonderful.
A close second would be Epcot.

Favourite ride:
Again unanimously, Spiderman. (Except for Georgia who did not ride it). Fun, thrilling and totally original. Georgia's favourite was Big Thunder Mountain.
While Spidey was our favourite ride, the best overall experience of the holiday was Reflections of Earth. I really hope that this lasts beyond the Millennium Celebrations. This could run for the next 5 years and I would be happy.

Not that I like to recall the whole unpleasant experience. We did seem to get a bit extravagant on this holiday. Jeans, CD's, trainers, shirts, watches, clothes for the girls, books, posters, pens and Meg. All right, I admit I did not bring back Meg but that was not for the want of trying.

General holiday thoughts:
What can I say? A fantastic holiday. Was 3 weeks too long? NO WAY! We still did not do everything, although we did do all of the things on our 'must do' list.
Highlights? Too numerous to mention, just a great time throughout.

Finally I would like to thank everyone who has taken the time to e-mail or post comments about my trip report. I know I have not been able to respond to all of you individually but I appreciate it very much.
Tammy will now have me all to herself again in the evenings, a mixed blessing if ever there was one.

Now, I know I said 'finally' but I was just messing about. The very best news of all (for me at least) is yet to come. You remember that Disney Vacation Club presentation we went on? Well, we got back home, discussed it at length, I locked Tammy in the cupboard under the stairs for a week and a half until she agreed to sign and ...... WE'RE MEMBERS!!!!!
* loud celebration music * * Kevin does a jig of joy *
I still can't quite believe it. We have smashed the piggy bank, sold a child, searched down the back of the sofa and spent every last penny we have in the world.
Tammy is still saying things like 'This doesn't mean we're going to WDW every other year' but she can't deflate me.
We are looking upon it as a long term investment, hopefully we will be able to enjoy the Florida sunshine for many years to come as well as being able to swap out to some of the finest resorts around the world.

Subject to being able to book it all, a tentative plan is in place for the end of October. We are hoping to fly into Orlando, spend a few days at the Boardwalk Villas (our home resort) and then a week or so at Disney's Vero Beach Resort. It will be a sort of Non-Disney Disney holiday and I will, of course, keep you all informed of our exploits.

Well this really is the end this time. Thanks for reading all my ramblings, I hope you managed to enjoy at least a small part of it all.
Until we meet again.