TUES 4th JAN 2000
I am wide awake and look
at the clock. It is 2:50 AM. I doze fitfully until 7:00
when we all get up. I still do not feel quite right but
compassion for my ailments is now gone and I am accused
of faking it for the sympathy. I have decided that all
the women in this family are evil.
It is e-ticket night so we have decide to go to the Magic
Kingdom and do some of the lesser attractions, leaving
the main rides for tonight. We arrive at 9:10 and head
for Fantasyland. Ariel's Grotto is closed and so Georgia
must wait a while longer. We ride Pooh for the first time
and enjoy it so much that we ride again straight away.
It's not a groundbreaking ride but is pleasant and
amusing. Tammy likes it better than Toad but then again
she would enjoy the Chinese water torture better than
Toad, so this cannot be regarded as much of a
We ride It's A Small World next with Tammy having to be
practically carried on. The girls all like this though. I
go on Dumbo for the first time. It is really only a
simple fairground ride but at least it doesn't make me
feel sick as rides of this type normally do.
We walk back through to the hub where there is a
Christmas show going on in front of the castle. I will be
glad when it is finally finished and the decorations are
down. The Christmas music everywhere is beginning to
drive me nuts.
The girls want to buy ears to wear so we stop at a cart
and India chooses Mickey, while Georgia gets Piglet.
There follows a discussion about Piglet's gender and,
when told that he is a male, the girls decide that
Georgia must be Pigletta.
Hunger is setting in so we have a late breakfast/early
lunch at the Plaza Restaurant. This is another first for
us and is very pleasant. I eat a reasonably healthy meal
for the first time on this holiday, a tuna salad
sandwich, which is very good. This health kick can only
go so far, so the adults share a Plaza Restaurant Sundae
for dessert. Caramel, chocolate sauce, pecan and maple
ice cream, nuts and whipped cream. Lovely.
Into Adventureland where a Disney Vacation Club salesman
gives the girls some stickers. I ask him how long the
tour takes and he says about an hour. Well, as we are
moving to Dixie Landings tomorrow I think it will be a
good opportunity to go and do this. We book a time and he
tells us that because we are staying on Disney property
we will also get a free lunch afterwards. This news is
greeted with great delight from Tammy - a meal and it's
All but Tammy go into the Tiki Room. She says it is
boring. Don't worry, I will grass her up to Ronnie when
we meet her later in the trip. On to the Swiss Family
Robinson Tree House, one of Tammy's favourites, she wants
to live here. I would prefer one of the rooms above the
shops opposite. What bliss waking up every morning with
your own balcony overlooking Adventureland and enjoying a
cup of coffee in the warm Florida sunshine.
Pirates Of The Caribbean is followed by the Jungle
Cruise. This is our first experience of using Fastpass
and I have to say it is excellent. John is our skipper
and he is very adept at delivering the corny lines with
just the right amount of drollness. Tammy says her face
is aching from so much smiling.
We now plan to leave the park and let the girls have a
swim while we relax prior to returning for e-ticket
tonight. We make it as far as the Camera Centre in town
square where we see Meeko. This is one of the characters
that the girls have not got in their autograph books so
we stop for a signature and photo. Here we encounter CM
Pat, who is friendly and helpful in the extreme. She
fusses over the girls and compliments them on their
autograph books before giving them enough stickers to
fill a small wall. Our second attempt to leave the park
fails as we reach the train station. Pat comes running up
the road after us to tell us that Daisy Duck is inside
the Camera Centre if we would like to meet her. Another
missing character from the girls books, so back we go.
Pat ensures the girls are in the right place and
introduces them to Daisy. After the formalities Grandma
and the girls have their photo taken with Pat, who is
suitably embarrassed by the whole episode.
We say our goodbye's and are about to leave the park for
the third time when I remember about the Guest Comments
Forms in City Hall, so over we go and write out our
appreciation of both Pat and Rhonda (who gave us a
disposable camera on our first day.) A quick look around
the art store and it is 2:55, may as well stay for the
parade now. We plonk ourselves down on the curb in front
of City Hall and watch it all go by. When the first float
reaches us it stops and Prince Charming and Cinderella
alight and invite the girls to dance with them. The girls
love this and Cinderella is so pretty I am tempted to
join them but a firm hand on the shoulder from Tammy
suggests that this is not a good idea. Prince Charming
looks like he packs a mean left hook as well, so perhaps
she is right.
The girls have enjoyed this enormously,
like all young girls they enjoy being the centre of
attention as long as it is in a way that is not too
embarrassing. We finally manage to leave the Magic
Kingdom at our 4th attempt around 3:50.
This is a prime example of how time just disappears at
WDW. One thing seems to lead on to another and before you
know it the day has gone. I suppose it illustrates the
case of those who say that you should go with the flow
and enjoy things as they happen.
Back to the All Star Movies where the girls finally get
their swim while Daddy writes up his trip notes and the
old women take a snooze in the room. It is slightly more
cloudy and windy today but still nice and warm.
We return to the Magic Kingdom at 6:00 PM and pick up our
wristbands for e-ticket. The Christmas tree is lit and
Main Street looks beautiful. We look in a couple of shops
and then take up position in front of the hub for the
6:30 fireworks. Georgia is set to try out the earplugs
that I normally wear at night. All right , you can stop
laughing now, it doesn't make me any less masculine. The
fireworks are as lovely as ever and the earplugs are a
success, Georgia watches and there are no tears.
As we walk through Frontierland on the way to Splash
Mountain the country bears and a lot of dancers are
heading down the street. They stop and enlist everyone
around to learn how to line dance. All the women give it
their best while I video the whole sorry affair. It is
actually very good fun and the girls enjoy it so much
that they continue dancing after everyone else is gone
and they have the road to themselves. This is another
small thing that sets Disney apart from all others in my
opinion. There are probably more dancers than guests left
in Frontierland when they start their show but all the
people that are there have a real good time and leave
with an enhanced feel for the Disney magic.
We walk straight over to Splash Mountain. Georgia has
been begging to do this for ages. Bad mistake. After the
first small drop she is in tears and wants to get off.
Big Thunder Mountain is next and Grandma and Georgia wait
outside. It is a shame that Splash Mountain has put her
off because we know that she would enjoy this but, like
all small children, once she is frightened then you just
have to let her come round in her own time.
The Haunted Mansion is next and is great at night as
always. I think that the complexity and the sheer variety
of things to see is what keeps this ride one of the WDW
greats. Every time I ride it I see something new.
Over to Tommorowland where we ride Buzz Lightyear for the
first time, swiftly followed by our second and third
times. This is one great attraction. They just got it so
right with this one, it is addictive. I get 90,000,
110,000, and 145,000. The next closest is India with
106,000 on her third go. My stature has increased and I
walk from the exit in my best John Wayne gait, knowing I
have once again saved my womenfolk from the evil alien
threat and asserted my role as the dominant animal in the
Stringer family pack.
We leave Georgia and Grandma at the Lunching Pad and go
to Space Mountain for India's first ride. She comes off
beaming and wants to go straight on again. Tammy and I
look at each other, think about our stomachs and decide
Back at the Lunching Pad Tammy sits with the girls while
Grandma and I go to Alien Encounter. I have not done this
for 4 years and so it is a nice change. Be advised never
to take small children on this. India loves adventure and
thrills but there are certain things that are best left
until they are old enough to handle them, unless you want
your child to have nightmares for weeks afterwards.
When Grandma and I get back to the Lunching Pad India is
not there. Tammy says she has gone off on her own to do
Buzz again. Game little lady is India. I never had the
confidence that she has at her age. Maybe this is a sign
of the changing times, children do have far more
self-belief than years ago. Whether this is a good thing
or not I will leave up to you to decide.
Georgia is very tired and has just about had enough by
this time, so we start the homeward trek. We get briefly
delayed at Casey's where we enjoy hotdogs and watch the
closing ceremony. There is something really quite moving
about the castle changing colour so beautifully while
'When You Wish Upon A Star' plays in the background. It
is even better on e-ticket night when you are sat there
virtually on your own. It is our own personal closing
See, I have had a wonderful day and not once did I have a
beer. Bet you didn't think I could do it, did you?
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