Day Four – August 30th
Every now and again, I get asked for planning advice for trips to WDW. This is usually from folks I work with as everyone who reads my blog and these reports probably know more about it than I do. These work folks have no idea of the level of my obsession with the whole thing and should they ever find out that I write detailed trip reports about my holidays then my so far stellar career may well be adversely affected. I have long since stopped telling folks about how big a role these holidays have played in my life so far as it is too hard to explain and instead I smile and nod as they tell me they will buy park tickets when they get there and might not do Disney as their kids are all grown up now at 11.
Anyway, the point of all that is to lead into my admission that we are today about to do our third theme park day on the trot and this is, as everyone knows, blasphemy, especially at the start of the holiday. I’m no big fan of rest days but the theme park legs (you know that feeling right?) and jet lag factor make this a very bad idea. Despite us having eighteen days this trip (that’s right, there’s a long way to go yet my dear readers!) for some reason that now escapes me, today had to be Animal Kingdom.
Thankfully this 4am nonsense was over and I didn’t wake until the glorious hour of 7. Breakfasts and showers were had, which doesn’t half make your bagel soggy (not a euphemism). Pleasingly we were out of the villa at around 8.30, the first time, then after someone ran back in to get what they forgot, I reset the alarm, sighed and rolled my eyes a few times, and we left just before 8.40.
As we were going to Animal Kingdom today we used Sherberth Road noting that those dodgy looking apartments just as you turn off the 192 have finally been knocked down. We arrived at the parking booth just before 9, just in time to sit behind some arse that was asking for directions to Disneyland or trying to sing to the cast member to avoid paying the charge, causing me to undertake the traditional ill-tempered scathing rant about idiots who take an age to pay for their parking. It’s all part of the magic.
We parked in Peacock 4 which was close enough for us to walk in rather than tram. Of course, any distance is close enough to walk, but you know what I mean. Rebecca risked being sent home (and I mean to the UK not the villa) by needing a wee before we went through the turnstiles. I’d already lost several vital minutes by, as ever, choosing the wrong line at bag check and waiting for that one guard who is swabbing everyone’s bag for traces of anything you bought at Universal.
With Rebecca’s empty bladder we finally entered the park and started the march over to Everest.
We had a FastPass+ of course and we all went on apart from Nana who is not a big fan of the going backwards thing.
Now, I know I am not in the strongest of positions to comment on anyone’s choice of hair style, however, whilst waiting to board I had to capture this.
Even the lady at the front of the queue stared in disbelief.
In case you were wondering, my trainers were still looking fresh!
This ride is a firm favourite of ours and we always take this photo of course.
Minus Grandad this time, we rode again via the now ten minute standby line. If it were possible, it was better the second time.
We left the ride full of smiles and pumping adrenaline and headed over to the Rapids so that we could get wet as early as possible. As we made our way over, we partook in what is a bit of a traditional game. It started years ago, and it entails Nana trying to get ice cubes stolen from a drinks cart down the back of the girl’s T-shirts.
Everyone joined in and in an over-zealous moment Sarah tried to get Rebecca who quickly spun round causing Sarah to land a perfect left hook on her nose. There were a few tears but thankfully no blood or recriminations. Again, Nana declined to ride as she had just dried out after her last ride of this in 2005.
Another tradition is that on all and every water ride the one person you do not want to be anywhere near is Emily. She always gets drenched. Louise foolishly gambled that this time would be different based on the law of averages. She was wrong. They got absolutely soaked.
Not satisfied with our level of wetness, Grandad, Emily, Sarah and I re-rode immediately with everyone getting their fair share of moistness. After two rides it was inevitable that I’d have a damp snake to photograph.
It was at least 11.30 by now and everyone wanted to eat but were afraid to admit it. I solved the issue by saying I was starving as we passed the Yak and Yeti counter service and we were probably the first customers of the day.
We had –
6 Honey Chickens with rice for everyone but Rebecca
1 BBQ Chicken Stir Fry for Rebecca
Some egg rolls were involved, and I even managed to remember to order my own food this time.
It was very tasty and we’d be full for at least twenty minutes.
Safari time now, so we made our way in that direction.
Having eaten Chinese food we of course had to stop for water about seventeen seconds later. Louise had borrowed Emily’s sunglasses as she couldn’t find her own!
We didn’t have a FastPass so we joined the alleged twenty minute queue. I am still awaiting my day in court with Disney as that twenty minute wait was closer to thirty. Despite the hour of the day, the safari was a good one and produced the usual collection of blurry shots of animals in the middle distance.
That last one is my only celebrity photo of the holiday. You don’t recognise him? It’s Neal….Rhino Neal.
We had a 1pm FastPass for the Festival of The Lion King and time was tight so we set off at a good pace to get to Camp Minnie Mickey. Thankfully we realised that doesn’t exist anymore and that the Lion King is about a five minute walk from the Safari before we’d walked all the way over there.
We were all still a little moist and it was a bit chilly inside the theatre as a result. Louise was fine though. After twenty years with me she is used to being perpetually moist.
The show was as incredible as ever. We always *know* it’s going to be good, but always leave somehow surprised at how good it actually is.
How this was the only photo I took during the show I do not know. I think I was Periscoping (not a euphemism), so that was probably to blame.
Keen to see Sarah’s reaction to the ending of It’s Tough To Be a Bug we headed there next.
As ever, there were birds hanging around wherever I went.
Sarah’s reaction did not disappoint and made the whole thing more enjoyable in a sadistic kind of way.
With three theme park days in our legs we were now ready to not do any more theme parking today. We left the park at 2.30 and headed back to the villa. It was so nice to sit on the lanai, drinking, snacking and reading with intermittent swimming.
A few hours later it was time to get ready for our evening’s plans. Later we would be creating shock and awe at Applebees with our eating exploits, but first we’d arranged to meet up with Beryl York and her family at the villa they were staying in at Clear Song. We’ve been Facebook friends with Beryl for years and we are past masters at meeting folks off of the internet in Florida but there’s always that nagging worry that they may be axe murderers who wear their victim’s skins as a coat.
With those thoughts in our heads and Sarah wondering why she had come on holiday with such weirdos who meet random strangers for no apparent reason we drove the short distance to Beryl’s villa.
Of course, within seconds we knew everything was fine and we were welcomed warmly into the huge villa they were renting. I think it was housing about 635 people as they kept coming out of rooms and saying hello. We had a tour of the villa and then sat and chatted for a couple of hours, stupidly forgetting to take any photos whatsoever. Beryl was lovely as were her entire family and their happiness at being in Florida with all of their families was more than obvious. We have met some lovely, lovely people through our Disney holidays and tonight was no exception. Beryl, thank you to you and your family for making us feel so welcome.
We made our way to the 192 to Applebees, stopping at our villa on the way for urgent wees from a couple of females who forgot to go at Beryl’s, apparently.
There was a twenty minute wait for a table at the restaurant so we studied the menu.
Once seated we ordered some Mozzarella sticks and some shrimp thing as appetisers. They didn’t last very long at all and soon we were on to the main event, some of which I even took photos of.
Grandad – Steak and Shrimp
Me – Something called a Hog Dare Ya which was pulled pork related
Louise – Nachos
Nana – Some Shrimp Salad thing
Sarah, Emily and Rebecca – Burgers
The bill was $155. The service wasn’t brilliant tonight, in fact the worst we’d had at an Applebees, which was reflected in the tip. Around this point in the proceedings I developed a cold which would remain with me for the rest of the trip. I battled on like a trooper of course, but as you read every day of the trip from here on in, set aside a minute or so to appreciate my struggle and applaud my selfless determination to not moan about it.
We stopped at the Publix ten minutes after it closed so whatever it was we wanted would have to wait until tomorrow. Bed soon followed as I battled with the severe illness, silently, selflessly and without mention of it for several seconds at a time.
Till the next time….