2012 trip report - Mayhem and Meltdowns aka Travels with my Family and Other Animals

Islands of Adventure Day Three continued

It had been a very busy, fun morning! But we weren’t sure about the plan for the afternoon, which began with us riding Popeye & Bluto’s Bilge Rat Barges, then Dudley Do-Right’s Rip Saw Falls. We had done both these on a previous trip and got absolutely drenched, literally wringing out our clothes and some of us even having to buy new T shirts for the rest of the day. It was very hot but it had been cloudy with the odd sprinkling of rain, not enough to take cover from but enough for us to wonder if we would be able to dry out… It didn’t take long for us to decide to skip these!

Instead, we walked through Toon Lagoon to get to Jurassic Park for the River Adventure, which although it is another water ride, none of us thought you got very wet on. We stopped on the way to watch a few flumes plunging down at Dudley Do-Right, and were definitely convinced we were right not to bother! When we got to Jurassic Park, the wait was 50 or 60 minutes, but having already skipped 3 rides I didn’t want to miss another so we joined the queue.

It didn’t take anything like that long, we only waited about 30 minutes and I enjoyed the ride…right up to the big drop where we got completely soaked! So much for getting less wet on this one, we were saturated! Luckily the clouds had gone and the sun was beating down from a beautiful blue sky, so we figured we’d be dry in no time.

We were supposed to do Poseidon’s Fury next but it seemed silly to walk past the 8th Voyage of Sinbad to get there (especially in wet squelchy shoes lol) and the next show was 15 minutes away so we joined the crowd waiting to be let in.

Then it started to drizzle. I wasn’t too concerned since there were still no clouds overhead, I assumed it would just stop as it had been doing throughout the day. Umm, no :sob: Out of nowhere thick black clouds gathered and rain hammered down on us. We couldn’t get much wetter but still, we weren’t delighted! We hoped it would be finished by the time we got out of the show though. The show was a bit silly but entertaining enough, and we started to dry out. Not that it did us any good, as after the show we discovered the weather was if anything worse. Joe put on his yellow Mickey poncho which we had saved from 12 years ago when it was Sean’s, and kept going.


We did Poseidon’s Fury which might have been good if you weren’t very wet and cold, but we were totally distracted by trying to stay warm! I’m sure usually the air con feels great but not on this occasion…

We thought the rain would have stopped by now but it was still torrential. We wandered back through Seuss Landing, checked out a couple of shops, and went on the Cat in the Hat ride which was a 20 minute wait. I love this ride, the Cat in the Hat is one of my favourite characters, and I enjoyed browsing through the gift shop too. It was still raining, and we were getting a bit downhearted, so we headed back to the Hogs Head for a Butterbeer to cheer us up - I got regular again and it was just as yummy second time around :beers: We couldn’t face going outside in the rain with our drinks but there are only a couple of tables in the Hogs Head area as the rest are reserved for people getting food from the 3 Broomsticks. We stood for quite a while, then a woman sitting with her husband and daughter called us over to their table where there were a few spare chairs. It turned out they were English too, my mum was chatting away with them like they were old friends in no time! After our Butterbeers we looked through Honeydukes and Zonkos - Honeydukes is good but expensive and far too small for the amount of people looking round, Zonkos was absolutely rubbish though it did sell some of the T shirts which was good because the main shop Filch’s Emporium was too jam-packed to look around in at all since it was also the exit to Forbidden Journey.

As we were leaving Joe asked if he could buy a wand but I said no (mean mum!) since he has already got 2 at home. He really begged though, so I told him if he still had the money and still wanted one when we came back the next week, he could have one.

We walked back up to the park entrance to check the wait time for Spiderman since it was the only thing we wanted to do that we missed - given the weather we hoped lots of people would have left and lines would be short but they were still long for all the rides and Spiderman was 70 minutes. Knowing we were coming back, we made the decision not to bother. We were wet, cold and fed up, and just wanted to get back to the villa where we could get warm and dry.

That was easier said than done though… Unbelievably, we missed the exit for the 192 again! We kept going down the I-4 until we saw the exit for the US27 but we had no idea which way we needed to go. My dad picked one and off we went, for miles and miles. It was pitch black because of the rain and there was nothing around apart from when we went through one town. Eventually we decided we needed help and stopped at a petrol station. And…we had come about 30 miles the wrong way! We turned round and finally got back to the right place. We kept going past our exit though in search of somewhere to eat, and found an Applebees just near the local supermarket. The food was good but the portions were huge! We all left about half our food - except Joe with his hollow legs who not only polished off his own adult meal, he also ate quite a bit of mine, my mum’s and Sean’s. We had left IOA at about 6.30 or a little later, and finally made it home after 10.30pm, exhausted and still damp. Lucy and Dan were already in bed and we were not far behind them.

Next up…our day at Animal Kingdom - would the weather improve for us? We really hoped so!

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If only that was true! I know, he was only 7! We thought he was so big at the time.

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Awesome start! I’m really looking forward to this!!

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Aww… look how little Joe was then! What a doll! Phineas and Ferb were a big favourite in our house, too! This is so much fun to read. What a cranky CM that didn’t give you your later time for Jedi Training - I thought any available time could be picked? At least it worked out for you… going to read on now!! :coffee:

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She was a right cow!

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Sorry for the rainy day but wow - you did well with the rides and your pictures look amazing with the clouds and castle! We’ve gotten hopelessly lost around Orlando - sorry you got so far in the wrong direction. Hooray for Applebees - I’ve not eaten at one but sounds like the portion sizes were perfect for Joe! :joy: I know this happened quite awhile ago but I’m dying to know if the weather improved for AK!!

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She sure wasn’t very magical!!

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This is so fun to read. It’s amazing how much has changed in 6 years–actually it’s how much is gone now–the parade, paper FPs, Great Movie Ride, the hat, P&F, Starring Rolls (there’s more I’m sure).

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I never experienced the paper Fastpasses or the older rides so your report is so interesting. Please post more of it!

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Enjoyed reading this and seeing the pictures. Joe was so little!

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Animal Kingdom Day 4

I think its fair to say we were all still pretty tired when we got up in the morning so we opted for breakfast at home again, though I was starting to get annoyed, I wanted some big american pancakes and maple syrup!! But we were expecting an easier day at least, we were going to Animal Kingdom which had been a half day park for us on our last visit. I was looking forward to Expedition Everest though, which was new to us. We planned to leave around 2-3pm and go to Downtown Disney for some retail therapy and maybe a meal.

We got there just after rope drop, I went with John to get fastpasses for EE while the rest of the family went to Triceratop Spin which they were riding when we got back to Dinoland. Then most of us rode Primeval Whirl, I think Dan and Sean rode Triceratop Spin again with Bella, Faye and Alex. At this point, I thought we would split up as we were going to do Dinosaur, but my dad kept insisting that the kids could ride it. I thought the height requirement was 44 or 48", and I kept saying it was dark and jerky and would scare them, not that they would be tall enough anyway. But when we got there, it was only 40".

Bella was way over, probably about 44", and Faye hit the mark exactly. They are pretty wimpy kids in general but Lucy thought they would be ok, and Dan took Alex to the gift shop. The posted time was 10 minutes which was about right, and the ride was good, but I kept wondering how the girls were doing because it really was scary… I turned around at the end and found 4 year old Faye smiling (a little nervously but she was ok) but 7 year old Bella crying hysterically! As we exited though, she got some pixie dust to cheer her up - a lovely lady CM in the gift shop asked her if she hadn’t liked the ride, then let her choose a pin from her lanyard. She was delighted, we had to tell her it wouldn’t happen every time she cried so not to try it :rofl:

By now it was time for us to go back to Expedition Everest. I can’t remember who rode it now, I know Sean and Dan didn’t and they stayed with the little ones.

Wow, we loved it! We did stop for quite a while where you see the shadow of the Yeti, it probably took maybe 3 or 4 minutes to start up again but it felt longer, we were starting to wonder if we’d have to walk out. When we got off, Joe was really giddy and asked if we could ride it again - well as it happened we had 2 FPs left and so we got straight back on. This time he was given the red card to time our wait which he was nearly as excited about as the ride, and this time it didn’t stop in the middle so it was even better :grin:

Next on the plan was Kali River Rapids. The wait was fairly long, I think about 40 minutes, but we could all ride this one as Alex was exactly 38". It didn’t seem to take too long anyway as there’s so much to see in the queue.

My mum and dad had brought ponchos from the villa as they really didn’t want to get wet. Most of the rest of us thought it would be nice to cool down as it was blazing hot, but Bella asked if she could borrow Joe’s poncho - she changed her mind back and forth throughout the queue but as we got near the front she decided she would definitely wear it. We enjoyed the ride, though my mum still ended up getting soaked!! Her poncho was gaping at the neck and a wave came right over her head and drowned her! We were all pretty wet, but we didn’t mind at all. As we walked away to find the stroller, Bella who was bone dry under the poncho asked if she could ride again as “I love getting wet :roll_eyes::joy:” I suggested Lucy and Dan should get them all FPs while we were there since the return time wasn’t too far off, and then we all decided to get them except mum and dad - my mum really hates being in wet clothes and she didn’t want to risk it again, I think she was actually the wettest of us all.

We went to check the show times at Flights of Wonder (we had forgotten to pick up a Times Guide) which I wasn’t particularly interested in but I had heard such good things about that I didn’t feel we could miss it. The show was just starting so we went in but were seated at the back. I have to say, I didn’t like it. It was good when the bird plucked the money out of someone’s hand, but i just wasn’t impressed with the rest. The kids enjoyed it though, Joe was desperate to get up on stage but he wasn’t picked. Now we had just over an hour until our FPs at KRR, so we went for lunch. I really wanted to eat at Restaurantosaurus but it would have been silly to walk all the way back there so we went to Pizzafari instead, which was fine, it was edible. We walked back round to KRR, on the way me and John nipped to Kilimanjaro Safari for FPs which we were amazed to see were for about 30 minutes time. We did KRR (we had just dried out and got soaked again) then went straight back for the safari.

It had been a successful, dry morning…could it continue??

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Animal Kingdom Day 4 continued

So next up for us was the safari. I wondered how many animals we would see in the heat of the day - I think it was about 2pm or maybe a little earlier - but I think we did quite well. The hippos were all in the water but we saw a lion really close, and loads of giraffes which are my absolute favourites :yellow_heart:It was nice to have a sit down too!

After that Joe wanted to meet Rafiki (his new fave film is The Lion King) so the 4 of us and John said we would get the train out to Rafiki’s Planet Watch while the others did the Pangani Exploration Trail. But Lucy thought the kids would enjoy the Affection Section so we all went together. On the way, Steve and John got jalapeno cheese stuffed pretzels which had been highly recommended, but sadly they were both unimpressed. When we got there, we went straight into the Conservation Station and joined the short line to meet Rafiki, then had a quick look around.

As we were on our way out to meet the others, they were coming in - it had begun to throw it down and they had rushed in to stay dry. They all went to meet Rafiki (though I don’t think any of them knew who he was!) and we remembered we had our hidden Mickey book and wondered if there were any to be found. There were absolutely loads, and we were busily occupied finding them for quite a while. It was the first time we had used the book and we were really glad to have it, it was a great diversion for Joe. After a while it looked like the rain was easing off a bit, so we took our chance and went back for the train.

The next thing on the list was Festival of the Lion King - luckily I had noticed the times outside as we walked past earlier, and it was a bit too early to go. I thought we might have time to do Its Tough to Be a Bug first, so we went to check the wait which was about 20 minutes. I was actually dreading this :scream: I hated it on our last visit, and had already warned all the children not to sit at the back of the seat! Alex sat on my knee and instantly fell asleep, but it didn’t seem to upset the other children at all, and since I had taken my own advice and didn’t get stabbed in the back, I enjoyed it a bit more myself this time! We got to FotLK a couple of minutes before they opened the doors for the 4.30 show and were seated in the giraffe section…I was pleased but Joe really wanted to be in the warthog section, he loves Pumbaa! We all really enjoyed the show and were singing along throughout.

And we found a discarded Times Guide which we were quite pleased about too.

The next (and final) Finding Nemo show of the day was about an hour away at 6pm. We decided to wait for it since none of us had seen it, and to pass the time we did some shopping. I hadn’t been that bothered about it, I’m not keen on the film, but I thought it was cleverly done and enjoyed it a lot more than I was expecting. Joe got really into it too, he was singing the songs for days! Now we were ready to go home, but as we exited a Photopass photographer stopped us and we got some pictures done. Looking at the photos now, you can tell we’re English - when he asked us to make claws and growl we look mortified :rofl::rofl:
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We all hate having our picture taken at the best of times, and when we’re trying to leave a park after 10 hours, hot, sweaty and exhausted, is definitely not the best of times! As it was close to 7pm none of us were really in the mood for Downtown Disney so we left it for another day.

My dad had spotted a British pub that did take away fish and chips near the local supermarket so we decided to go there to get some dinner. The owner was a lovely woman from Essex in the south of England, but I don’t think she was used to dealing with so many customers at once - the 12 of us and 4 other people came in at once wanting take away meals, and we ended up with a few wrong items. But she gave us some free beers for our trouble. Unfortunately, when we finally got the right food and got home, it was horrible. But you never know if you don’t try, it could have been fantastic.

We spent the rest of the evening relaxing in front of the TV and in the games room as we had a big day ahead of us…we were finally going to Magic Kingdom!!!

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Magic Kingdom Day 5

On Wednesday we were off to the Magic Kingdom! We were also going for a long awaited breakfast buffet :joy: First of all though, I woke Joe up at 6am and we went for a swim. He was desperate to get in the pool, but every night by the time we had eaten etc it was too late, so I had promised him that no matter what we would swim in the morning. This was before we decided we had to leave at 7.30 to go out for breakfast, but I couldn’t let him down. He was so happy about it, it was definitely worth losing some sleep.

Miraculously, we managed to leave in good time and went to Sizzler on the 192 for breakfast. It was ok, I wouldn’t recommend it though. I was disappointed with the size of the pancakes and the fruit wasn’t great. I didn’t eat the hot food but everybody else did and seemed to enjoy it. But we had picked a restaurant at random and we didn’t leave still hungry so it was good enough.

We got to Magic Kingdom, parked up and walked to the TTC by 8.40 - it looked like we were going to make rope drop for the first time. But no, the monorail was down so everyone had to get the ferry, and the queue was enormous. Even at that early hour the heat was intense, it was a horrible wait. But eventually we got on the ferry. It was so exciting seeing the castle in the distance, then getting closer and closer, I could feel the magic!


My nieces were really excited too, they were going to meet princesses at last! I had given Lucy tons of advice about all the meet and greets to try to save them from long waits.

By the time we got through the turnstiles it was just after 9.30am.


The touring plan had Winnie-the Pooh then Peter Pan. I thought Fantasyland would be insanely busy by now, but we took a chance that a lot of other people had been held up too and headed there anyway. Since we were already running behind though, we didn’t bother rushing, and stopped to take lots of pictures on the way. Joe and Sean both tried the Sword in the Stone, they couldn’t do it though!

We got to Winnie-the-Pooh and it was a 20 minute wait - we all played with the honey walls, no licking though! Peter Pan was also 20 minutes, I really enjoyed both rides, I don’t think my menfolk were too impressed though! At this point we split up from Lucy, Dan and the kids - they were going to stay in FL, but we said we would try to meet up at 1pm at Pecos Bills, and if we missed each other we would just see them at home.

We went to get FPs for Big Thunder Mountain, then rode Splash Mountain which was about a 30 minute wait.

The animatronics seemed a bit out of sync but it didn’t spoil it, and I just love that drop at the end! We all got fairly wet except Sean who was at the back, but it was quite refreshing on such a boiling hot day.

Then we went straight to BTM to use our FPs. We headed into Adventureland to see what the wait was for Pirates of the Caribbean, 20 minutes again, so we got in line. The ride was so much better than I remembered it from our previous trips, I really enjoyed it. It was great to see Captain Jack Sparrow in it, he was a new addition for us.

After a browse through the gift shop, we went to Pecos Bills for lunch. It was only 12.45 and we didn’t see the rest of the family, so we just went ahead. They weren’t allowing people without food to go into the seating area, but we still had trouble finding tables, which is what we expected at that time anyway. As we left at 1.15ish, we saw Lucy and Dan queuing up to order their food, and my mum insisted that we all wait with them. The only table they found was outside in blazing sunshine with no shade at all, and after 15 minutes, with the children still not having taken a bite of their enormous chicken wraps (they had got all 3 of them adult meals), I couldn’t take any more and went to the shop next door, with Joe, Steve and John.

We couldn’t understand why my mum insisted on waiting for them, they were clearly going to be a long time and we had already agreed that it was no big deal if we didn’t manage to meet up to eat. I think my mum couldn’t understand why we were moody about having to wait…it was really throwing our plans into disarray though. Eventually they finished (I say finished, the kids had barely touched their food, they had no appetite in the heat) and we decided to skip Hall of Presidents, Liberty Square Riverboat and Country Bear Jamboree and instead go across to Tom Sawyer Island where the kids could run about and explore in the shade. They loved it, they had so much fun going through caves (Bella was a bit scared of the dark though, she nearly broke my hand :joy:) and playing in the fort, they also liked going across the barrel bridge.

The adults were getting a bit bored though, so we got the raft back after about 45 minutes.

Our next port of call was Haunted Mansion, but we had timed it really badly. It was about 2.45 and the parade route was roped off, making it really difficult to get around with the double buggy as the pavements were jammed with people waiting. We attempted to walk round the path by the water which was easier, until we got to a really narrow part, just big enough for a double buggy, or an ECV…and there were a lot of ECVs. Every time Lucy started to go, someone on an ECV came from the other side and she had to back out. One time she was almost at the end where it joined the pavement and a lady on an ECV blocked the way and refused to move to let her past, and the people behind her refused to move so she could back out for about the 10th time. Dan and my dad eventually had to lift the buggy over people’s heads to get through. It took so long that the first few floats had already gone past. We didn’t stop to watch the rest, we went straight to Haunted Mansion, where the wait was a whopping 40 minutes. We had struggled so much to get there though, that we couldn’t not do it. Luckily it wasn’t really that long, more like 20 minutes. I love HM, it’s so funny and cute. Joe didn’t feel the same though - when we came out, I asked if he had enjoyed it, and he was furious, he said it was babyish and he couldn’t believe we had made him go on it. We had told him it was funny, not scary, but I think he still thought it would be a bit scary. We were just going into Fantasyland again and he asked for his bag, then marched away - he was going back to the car to wait for us there as he was completely fed up with the lack of coasters!! He really had a total meltdown and I couldn’t calm him down at all, until John suggested he would take him back to ride Splash again. Joe loved that idea, even though we warned him it could be a 90 minute wait, so we arranged to meet them at 6pm in front of Country Bear Jamboree and off they went.

Would Joe’s day improve? You’ll have to wait and see!

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Magic Kingdom Day 5 continued

Lucy and Dan had spent the morning doing FL so they had already done Its a Small World and Mickey’s Philharmagic which was our plan, but they stuck with us anyway. The queue for IASW was huge, so I asked a CM what the expected wait was - 45-60 minutes!!! But as I turned to tell the others, they had already joined the queue and weren’t listening to me. I didn’t even want to ride it, much less queue for an hour for it, so I was getting very grumpy, but the line went really quickly and we only waited about 20 minutes - I don’t know how that happened because the line was practically back to Liberty Square, but I was very glad about it! Faye really loved this one, she was sat next to my mum and all the way round she kept pointing out her favourite dolls.

Afterwards we did Philharmagic which was new to us. Opinions were divided, women and children enjoyed it, the men didn’t, though Steve and Sean did agree it was better than IASW :rofl:

It must have been about 5.45 or so by this time because we didn’t think we had time to do anything else before meeting John and Joe back at Country Bear Jamboree so we went straight there. Most of us didn’t want to actually see the show, but my dad persuaded us since we had nothing else to do while we waited. The kids enjoyed it, Dad was clapping along, the rest of us were just glad of the air con as there hadn’t been a drop of rain to cool us down. As we got out, John and Joe were walking towards us munching on Mickey bars. Joe had cheered up, John said he hadn’t complained a bit during the long wait, and they got the front seats (Joe had the front seat earlier too with Steve). At this point, the plan was basically over until the electric parade and fireworks. I wanted to take Joe to the Pirate Tutorial so I checked the times…should have checked a lot earlier, the last one had been nearly 2 hours ago :frowning: But I noticed that the Dream Along With Mickey show was due to start at 6,40 so we thought we may as well go there.

We got to the castle and staked out a spot, not very close but close enough, and then basically all collapsed on the ground while we waited - we were so exhausted!

Joe refused to get up even when the show started, he just wouldn’t watch it at all, even the Peter Pan bit which I think he would have liked - it was deemed to be babyish, I kept saying to him “You’re only 7, I’m 37 and I like it!” I don’t think Alex saw it either, I think he slept through it, but Bella and Faye adored it, they were explaining to me who all the princesses were, as if I’d never seen them before :smile: This was their only princess sighting the whole day since Lucy and Dan hadn’t taken them to any of the meet and greets. During the show I made a decision that afterwards I would take Joe on Space Mountain - I knew the queue would be huge but I needed to find a way to salvage the day for him. When I explained this to everyone else, my parents and John said they would do it too, but we needed to eat first.

We headed to Tomorrowland and got food from Cosmic Rays. We sat outside, and Joe’s eyes lit up when he saw the Tomorrowland Speedway - he really wanted to do it but I managed to put him off by telling him it was for babies, and reminding him we were going to do Space very soon. Predictably, Bella, Faye and Alex took forever to eat, and still left most of it. I wanted to be in the queue by 7.30 because I was hoping not to miss the 9pm parade - fat chance. It was 8.15pm as we made our way over - all of us since Lucy and Dan had decided they would child swap and ride too. The wait though was 110 minutes!! It was just too long, so we explained to Joe that we were coming back to MK again and Space was the first ride on the plan so he would definitely get to ride it and he said ok. But as we walked away, he looked so sad :cry: I stopped the others and told them that me and Joe were riding it regardless, I had promised and I couldn’t let him down. Steve and John said they would ride too, and we said we would meet up outside the Town Square Theatre after the fireworks as we were going to miss them.

I was so sad to be missing the parade and Wishes, I love Tink. Joe’s excited face was worth it though, but I did wonder whether he would still be smiling after 2 hours in line! We all enjoyed the interactive games in the queue, it really helped pass the time, even if I was rubbish at them!

And after only 70 minutes, we reached the front of the queue, hooray! It was worth the wait, Joe absolutely loved it - its one of my favourites, but Steve hated it, he is 6’4" and he was in the front seat, he had no space for his legs and he was in agony!

We stopped to buy our photo then rushed towards Main St to watch Wishes. We hadn’t seen The Magic, The Memories and You before and didn’t really know anything about it so we hadn’t thought about it at all, but it was just starting as we crossed the bridge so we stopped and watched as we had quite a good view. Wow, it was amazing! I loved the effects on the castle, I was so glad we didn’t miss it. Then Wishes…it was so beautiful, I was definitely emotional by the end.

We followed the crowds down Main St to the theatre - we thought the others might be there already since we thought they would probably have found somewhere on Main St to watch the parade, my mum loves it and always wants a good view. They weren’t there though, so we waited, and waited… John ran across to City Hall to check they weren’t waiting there by mistake but no, we kept waiting… After about 30 minutes they finally arrived, and where had they watched Wishes from? The Tomorrowland bridge, about 2 metres from us - we must have walked right past them. They had done Carousel of Progress and the People Mover while we queued for Space, and hadn’t been able to get back to Main St. Why it had taken them so long to meet us I have no idea, when we asked Lucy snapped that she had a double buggy and they hadn’t been able to move. Then we had to try to get back to the TTC, what a nightmare. It was pitch black and we had no idea where we were supposed to be going, there were people milling about everywhere and if there were any signs it was too dark to see them. We spotted a CM with a light up wand beckoning and shouting “This way”, but when we went towards him we realised he was pointing the way to the bus stops and had to turn back. We found the queue for the ferry, which was more of a heaving mass of humanity than a line. After a few minutes, Joe told me he felt sick. A lady next to us overheard, and told her daughter to put the fan on him, she kept doing it right until we got on the ferry. I started fanning him with our ride photo, and a man asked if he was too hot. I explained that he wasn’t feeling very well, and he gave us his fan to use. He even said when we were about to dock and were giving it back that we could keep it - we didn’t but how kind of him :heart_eyes: We got him a drink of water and he fell asleep on the way home. We eventually got back to the villa just before midnight - what a day!!

Coming up next…our day at Epcot!

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Epcot Day 6

After 4 days in the parks, and especially our mammoth day at Magic Kingdom, my troops were complaining. Their legs were aching, they didn’t want to get up in the morning, they just wanted to sleep. My mum in particular was struggling with her legs and said she wasn’t sure if she would be able to go to Epcot the next day. So it was a shock that the reason we missed rope drop again the next morning…was me! I woke up with 2 infected insect bites - one on my left ankle and a much worse one on the back of my left thigh. The actual bite was about the size of a quarter but the redness and heat around it covered my whole thigh. I felt awful, feverish and shaky, and not sure if I could go out :pensive: Mum wanted to take me to hospital, she said she’d never seen anything like it, but I couldn’t mess up the plans and I hoped I could just get some antibiotics from the pharmacy on the way. So Lucy and Dan made a picnic - they had decided not to waste more money getting meals in the parks - and we set off. The pharmacy in Publix hadn’t opened yet though, so I just got some antibiotic cream and hoped it would do the trick.

We got to Epcot at around 9.30 which wasn’t bad considering.

We were intending to stay until late afternoon or early evening, doing Future World and starting World Showcase, we would be back the following week to finish off. Lucy and Dan decided to go their own way, while John and I rushed for FPs for Soarin’ and met up with my parents, Steve and the boys at Mission Space. We passed the Test Track All-Stars, but we didn’t stop to listen - they weren’t exactly drawing a crowd :joy:

I don’t mind admitting that I was worried about Mission Space. I had read so much about the Orange side making people sick and I didn’t want it to ruin the day. I certainly didn’t think ride-hating Steve and Sean would want to do it. So it was a nasty shock when we got back to them and they had all decided to do Orange. The wait was only 10 minutes which is probably just as well, any longer and I might have lost my nerve! I was getting more and more frightened - I was riding with my mum, dad and John, and Dad was getting pretty nervous too. I think its fair to say it wasn’t my favourite ride, I really didn’t like the sensation, it didn’t make me sick though which I was thankful for. I was really worried how my boys had coped, but everyone else was fine and thought Disney had over-done the warnings!

Our next stop was Sum of all Thrills. The wait was about 30 minutes but we really wanted to do it. Joe was just too short to go upside down so he rode with Sean. I rode with Steve and knowing he doesn’t like coasters, I was picking some tamer options, intending to build up to a big finish. But I didn’t realise we would only get to pick 4, so our coaster was rubbish! I was so disappointed, the sum of our thrills was only 270, even the kids beat us - what a letdown. John had the best one, he had picked a jet and his ride looked great. We were supposed to do Living With the Land next, but we thought it would make more sense to do it when we were in The Land anyway for Soarin’. So we skipped ahead to The Seas with Nemo.

We bumped into Lucy, Dan and the kids also going in, they had been to the Character Spot and had some lovely photos. The ride was ok, Bella and Faye liked it a lot. Then we went to Turtle Talk with Crush. Lucy’s 3 went with Joe to sit at the front, even though she thought Alex would start crying before long. Sure enough before the show even started we heard a wail, and a child crying really loudly. Lucy was a bit confused because it didn’t sound like Alex but after a minute or two she went over…and it was Bella! She was crying her heart out, so much that she had scared Faye who also started to cry - she thought something bad must be happening if her big sister was upset. They actually enjoyed the show itself, once they were safely back with their mum. I didn’t think Joe would like it but he was really into it, he had his hand up to ask a question but he didn’t get picked.

Now it was time for Soarin’ - we split up from Lucy and Dan again, they were going to World Showcase to meet princesses. I think our FPs were 12.10-1.10 and we got there at 12.25. I wasn’t sure if there would be any FPs left but there were, for 6.30pm, so we got some more. We didn’t really know what to expect, it didn’t sound too exciting but we knew lots of people want to ride multiple times. I did know it’s best on the top row and luckily that’s what we got. I was actually quite excited as it started, but I wasn’t that impressed - I certainly didn’t think it was worth a long wait.

We got lunch at Sunshine Seasons - again a lot of people rave about it, but I didn’t like it, my chicken wasn’t cooked properly and I couldn’t eat it. I should have taken it back. We did appreciate the refillable drinks though, it was another scorcher of a day. We nipped into Circle of Life while we were there since there was no wait, to save us having to come back. Joe was killing himself laughing at Timon and Pumbaa, he loved it. Oh, we had decided not to bother with LWtL though - too boring.

We skipped Journey into Imagination, we weren’t interested. So we went to Captain EO next. I know it generally gets panned but I remembered being blown away by it when I saw it on our first trip so I was looking forward to it. We had a 20 minute or so wait…and I’m sorry to say it wasn’t worth it! I couldn’t believe I had ever enjoyed it, and everyone else hated it too. Oh well :rofl: Next up…Spaceship Earth. The line was only 10 minutes long so it was fine. Universe of Energy was about 40 minutes, so we didn’t bother. Time was ticking and I was eager to get to World Showcase.

Oh and at some point we met Chip and Dale.

In my next instalment…we try Beverly :hugs:

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Epcot Day 6 continued

I was really excited to go to World Showcase. First though, I dragged everyone to Club Cool with the promise of free cold drinks - they didn’t know about the Beverly mwahahaha! First I tried the Chinese watermelon one which I thought I would really like, but actually it was a bit overpowering. Then I thought I would try the Beverly before unleashing it on my innocent family…and I really liked it :joy: I could kind of tell why most people don’t though, so I tested it out on the others anyway. Joe and Sean didn’t react too much though they didn’t like it, but Steve nearly vomited and John was choking on it!

We tried all the others too, I actually thought the Japanese one was the worst by far and my fave was the Mexican.

At last we were going to World Showcase - we stopped to sign up for Agent P, and my parents and Sean went off together as they weren’t into it at all.

We arranged to meet them back at Soarin’ at 7pm to use our FPs. We wanted to do the Mexico mission first, but it was full so we skipped along to Norway. We also got Joe a passport. On our walk through Mexico, I got a fiesta frozen margarita to share with Steve - I had my ID ready but I wasn’t asked. It was strong but really refreshing, I liked it! We really enjoyed our first Agent P mission, we were so impressed by the effects. I also enjoyed my troll horn from the Kringla Bakeri - well I hadn’t had much lunch :wink: When we had saved the world, we rode Maelstrom - the wait was 25 minutes which I know is long, but we didn’t really want to fast pass it because we’d have to come back. While we were in line, we saw mum, dad and Sean getting off. Then we went and took pictures with the troll in the gift shop, and wearing Viking hats, and also got Joe’s passport stamped. 1 down, 10 to go!

We decided to do another mission, and this time we got Mexico. I had never been inside the pavillion and I really liked looking at all the little stalls, it was a bit dark though. The mission was fun again, and this time we got pictures with maracas and wearing sombreros!

We decided to skip the ride though. We also saw the Mariachi band, we only watched for a few minutes.

Our next mission was China, and having seen some entertainment I had remembered I wanted to see the Chinese acrobats. I was disappointed though, they don’t perform on Thursdays :confused: We didn’t enjoy this mission as much, it was mainly outside and there wasn’t much shade, we were hot and miserable. We got it done though, and got our 3rd passport stamp too. We had a quick look at the exhibition.


By now it was 6.30pm and we knew we didn’t have time for another mission, so we decided to go back to Club Cool for a drink, on our way back to Soarin’. On our way we bumped into Lucy and family, the kids were playing in a fountain and were drenched but clearly loving it, and Joe joined in.

We left them to it a few minutes later and then bumped into my mum, dad and Sean heading towards Soarin’. We all had a drink (some more Beverly for me, yum!) and went to use our FPs. When we got there, Joe refused to go on it, and John and Steve said they didn’t want to either. I told them to find a family of 3 to give their FPs to, and the rest of us went for a second try. Almost everyone else on the ride with us was a Brazilian teenager, we had got in just ahead of a tour group. They had obviously all heard the tip about taking your shoes off, because they were all kicking off their trainers, and CMs were going round asking them to put them back on - it was chaos and really held everything up. I was wearing flipflops though so I was allowed to take mine off. I also remembered reading that its better if you lean forward, so I thought I may as well try that. As the ride started, the tour group were really annoying us, clapping and cheering at everything, but actually we enjoyed it so much more the second time and that was partly because of their excitement - I also think leaning forward did help. I loved ‘flying’ over Disneyland too, hopefully one day I’ll get there in real life!

We were supposed to be leaving at this point, but Joe really wanted to do Mission Space again, and it was only a 10 minute wait again so we did. It was no better when I knew what to expect, if anything it made it worse because I already knew I didn’t enjoy it! This time I actually thought I was going to pass out :scream:, and when we got off everyone else thought it had been more intense too. Maybe because we were tired? Twice was definitely enough anyway!

We stopped at the supermarket on the way home and got some food for dinner back at the villa. Bella, Faye and Alex had had a great day meeting all the characters and had some really cute pictures, they had also done a passport and a Duffy stick between them. Then I had an early night, hoping that my leg would be better the next day.

We were going to Universal Studios - would we manage to make rope drop? What do you think? :rofl::rofl:

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Universal Studios Day 7

I was up bright and early the next morning for our visit to Universal Studios - I couldn’t sleep very well with my leg itching! I had drawn around both bites before I went to sleep so I could see if the infection was spreading but unfortunately the pen had mainly rubbed off in the night :roll_eyes: They didn’t look any worse to me though. I went for a swim with Steve and Joe, then we got ready to be out for 8am.

Of course my parents and Lucy/Dan and the kids weren’t ready, so we ended up leaving just after 8.30, which still wasn’t bad. But 10 minutes down the road, Dan pulled up alongside us and they indicated to my dad that they had brought the wrong tickets. They did a U turn at the next lights to go back to the villa…and so did we :face_with_symbols_over_mouth::face_with_symbols_over_mouth: I couldn’t believe it, we were all going mad in the back of the car, but my mum and dad didn’t want to go without them. We got to the park at 9.30 and what was the first thing we did? Yes, split up and say we would see them back at home - you have to laugh or you’d cry :joy::joy:!

Anyway, our first stop was Hollywood Rip Ride Rockit, though we knew by this time the queue would be huge. It was 50 minutes, but we didn’t expect it to go down during the day, so we got in line - except for Sean. We told him he could do whatever he wanted while he waited but to meet us back here in an hour. Seconds later, the line was roped off behind us, this didn’t look good - and right on cue, we heard an announcement that the ride was down temporarily and they hoped it would be running again in a few minutes. A few minutes later we heard it again. Mum suggested leaving but we didn’t know where Sean was or have any way of contacting him, and me John and Joe really wanted to wait, the ride could be up again at any moment and several people had already left so our wait would be shorter. I think we heard the temporary closure message one more time, then a few minutes later just a closure announcement, basically saying we could wait if we wanted to but they had no idea when the ride would be back up. At this stage lots of people left, and we were resigned to it :slightly_frowning_face: I was so annoyed, if we had been here at rope drop we would almost certainly have got to ride it, and this was our only day at Universal Studios. Luckily when we got out, Sean was waiting - he hadn’t wanted to explore on his own. So at least we didn’t have to wait for him to come back to us.

Next on the plan was Revenge of the Mummy which was quite close. I was dreading to see what the wait would be, we had already seen that Despicable Me was at 80 minutes and we assumed most people getting out of line at RRR would be headed straight there. I had a bad feeling about the way this day was going to pan out. But when we got there, the wait was 10 minutes!

All 7 of us did this one, and we all really enjoyed it. We were supposed to be doing The Simpsons next, then ET, but I couldn’t see the point in walking straight past Men in Black (we had to go that way due to construction), so I asked Joe if he wanted to ride that next instead. He said yes, but then could we go home because he’d had enough :scream: It was 10.15 am and we’d been on 1 ride - it was blisteringly hot though, it was taking its toll on us all. I just said I didn’t think we could go just yet. There was a 20 minute wait here, when Joe saw the single rider line he wanted to do that but we wouldn’t, there was no point splitting up when the wait was short and anyway I didn’t want him sitting with strangers his first time on the ride. It was lots of fun, I didn’t get a great score but as usual Steve had got the highest of us all - he was so smug about it! As we got off MIB we saw that RRR was back up with a 20 minute wait time, but we didn’t think it was worth going back to it since we were so far away, the wait would be massive again when we got there. It went down again a few minutes later anyway.

I managed to persuade Joe to do The Simpsons too. We absolutely loved this ride when it was Back to the Future, we were a little bit disappointed that it was gone, but looking forward to trying its new incarnation. I think the wait was 20 minutes again.

The pre-show was fun, and the ride…amazing!! So much better than Back to the Future, I just loved it - it was so much fun!

Joe seemed to be perking up a bit after 2 great rides, but next on the plan was ET. Now I like ET, I think its really cute. But I knew Joe wouldn’t agree. Added to that the fact that the wait time is usually ridiculous, I just couldn’t do it to him. So I decided I would take him for some lunch instead. Steve, Sean and John said they would rather have lunch too (they don’t think its cute either) but my mum really wanted to ride it. So we agreed to meet up at Mel’s Drive-In whenever they were finished. We looked in a couple of shops, then went to eat.


I think we all had burgers, they were fine. We sat in a booth with a mini jukebox which I loved, we didn’t put anything on though.

When we’d finished I asked if anyone wanted dessert - I knew food would help cheer Joe up! - the boys had apple pie and ice cream and I had a vanilla milkshake. Joe only managed about half of his, but when he’d finished he was definitely up for more fun, there was no more talk of going home. My mum and dad had arrived while I was ordering dessert, they only had a 10 minute wait on ET and had bumped into Lucy and Dan outside. They had spent their time in Woody Woodpecker’s Kidzone mainly - Lucy and Bella had been on The Simpsons, and Dan had taken her on ET, they had met some characters too. While mum and dad ate, we saw the Despicable Me characters arrive outside so we went to see them - from a distance, Joe didn’t want to actually meet them.

But we still hadn’t ridden RRR…would we get to do it? And would Joe agree to stay in the park all day? :confused:

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Universal Day 7 continued

As the wait times were so low, we didn’t think there was much point following the plan any more, so we went to Terminator 2 3D next as it was close. We waited about 15 minutes. I wasn’t sure what Joe would make of it as he’s not familiar with the characters at all, but he didn’t seem to mind. The only thing that spoiled it a bit was the casting…we were all laughing about how Arnie was being played by a short fat old bloke! Surely they could have found someone a bit more suitable :rofl:

As we left we headed towards Shrek 4D, and we saw Betty Boop meeting and greeting. Now my mum believes for some reason that Betty Boop is one of my favourite characters, no birthday or Christmas goes by without her buying me a T shirt, pyjamas, mug…the list is endless but there’s always something. Steve and the boys, and John all know that in actual fact, though I have nothing against Betty Boop, I wouldn’t be bothered if I never saw her again. But she saw her, and of course she wanted me to go and have my picture taken, and John and Steve were laughing their heads off and encouraging me. I had to give in gracefully and get my photo taken. At least there was no line.
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We made it to Shrek 4D, I think the wait was a little longer here, maybe 30 minutes. We enjoyed the pre-show and the show was fun too, not as good as I thought it would be though. Shrek and Fiona were meeting outside, and Joe wanted to meet them so we joined the line, there were probably 15 families in front of us. The CM roped the line off behind us as Shrek was going to be taking a break. Quite a few people sneaked under the rope - not to cut in front of us, just to join the queue - but the CM had his eye on it and kept explaining they would have to come back in 15 minutes.

Once we’d had our picture taken, we went back to try RRR again - it was up and running with a wait time of 30 minutes, we just hoped it wouldn’t break down again! The line went fairly quickly, we were watching the music clips and choosing what we would have. As we got near the front, somebody had been sick in the car - the CMs cleaned it up, then sent it round empty a couple of times, which slowed everybody down. Finally though, it was our turn. I rode with John, Steve and Joe were behind us. I had picked Bring Me to Life, and I was really excited - I was actually a bit let down by the ride though. It was so rough, I kept smacking my head into the sides, and the music was distracting, I think it would have been better without it. I was glad we’d ridden it but once was enough.

Next we did Twister and Disaster. I’m not sure why Twister is still there, its pretty bad. Disaster is ok though. It was quite funny when they were filming the clips, and the actual disaster is good. Joe loved seeing The Rock (though he keeps correcting us to Dwayne Johnson!) as he is a huge wrestling fan, and we spotted a clip of ourselves too. Outside we went to take pictures of the kids with Jaws, and get ice-creams.

We sat at a table at Chez Alcatraz, and Steve and I got a cocktail to share - I don’t remember what it was called but it was lovely. We met Lucy and her family there too, they were stopping for ice creams too, then going home for some pool time.

After this we decided to split up, though I can’t remember why. I know my mum and dad wanted to go on Revenge of the Mummy again, and didn’t want to see the Horror Make-up Show which was on our to-do list. Whatever the reason, we ended up at MiB again. The wait was 30 minutes, but we did single rider and walked on. It was so much fun we did it again, we walked on again, but Joe was annoyed that time because they asked for 2 single riders so he was with me, he prefers being with strangers :rofl: We had a lot of trouble with the lockers at MiB, and at US in general though not as bad anywhere else. The system wasn’t recognising your fingerprint, so there were big queues and everyone was getting frustrated. We had no trouble at all at IOA except with people forgetting their locker number. It took ages to get our bags back, and then we went for another ride on The Simpsons, which was great again.

Finally we saw the Horror Make-up Show which was really funny. The ‘victim’ was a Mexican girl called Ophelia and she really played up to it. It was great. Outside we saw some characters meeting - we had no idea who they were but have since discovered they were from Paranorman - it has only just come out here, we had never heard of it, so we didn’t wait.

We met my mum and dad near the shops - hmmm Betty Boop merchandise, wonder who that is for :joy: - and checked the wait time for Despicable Me. it was 70 or 80 minutes, it had been around that time all day, and we just weren’t that bothered about it. Me and Joe didn’t enjoy the film that much and the others hadn’t even seen it. Considering the rubbish start to the day we’d had, we thought we had done pretty well and we were ready to go home.

We stopped at a Perkins on the 192 for dinner. We all enjoyed the meal, I can’t remember what I had though. Then we had delicious pies for dessert. It was all good anyway, and so much better than eating in the villa, again - I don’t go on holiday to cook for myself. When we got in we just watched some TV before bed.

We were already halfway through our holiday :sob: But there was more fun to come :grin::grin:

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I agree!!! I hate cooking, so I want a break when I go away. :slight_smile:

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I can’t believe how patient you are with your family. You deserve a medal. I would have been heckling @longwalk

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