Gaylene Gray -- February 2001 -- Walt Disney World (OKWR)
Who We Are:
Bob works full-time as a service manger at an auto repair shop. I work full-time for the Washington State Lottery. Part of my job has recently included flying to Atlanta to do the press checks on our Scratch tickets. Remember this...it will become important later. ;o)
We planned this trip to get a second trip out of our annual passes. We decided on early March because of how Spring Break and Easter fell this year. I made our room reservations in July, and worked on our itinerary off and on throughout the summer. I am happy to report that we are "reformed commando-tourists" and take the time to enjoy our resort and actually relax on our trip.
December 19, 2000
I booked our airfare today. I was able to get our tickets for $324 each. Not a great bargain, but better than the $400+ that they have been running. We be leaving from Seattle at 9:50pm and returning on the 12:40pm flight from Orlando (MCO).
Thursday, February 22, 2001 (Pre-Trip Day #6)
Just to add a little more stress to my life, I found out that I would have to fly to Atlanta on Sunday (2/25) for a press check. I was scheduled to come home Monday evening (2/26). We'll see how the press schedule holds up. Then to top off my day, I was eating a pretzel and I broke a tooth! I recently changed my dental insurance so I had to call the 1-800 number and figure out how to get my tooth fixed. Fortunately, I got an emergency appointment for Saturday morning.
Friday, February 23, 2001 (Pre-Trip Day #5)
Just in case I ran out of time, I went to the bank and got our traveler's checks. Also, my new Passporter came in the mail today. I'm so excited. I ordered the fancy binder, so now I can really get organized. ;o)
Saturday, February 24, 2001 (Pre-Trip Day #4)
I really lucked-out at the dentist, he was able to fill-in where my tooth broke off (no crown)!
Bob bought me a present today. A mini tape-recorder for taking my trip notes. So instead of writing everything down, I can record and then transcribe it later. I am hoping that the tape recorder will help me have a more detailed and robust trip report. We'll see how many strange looks I get from people.
Sunday, February 25, 2001 (Pre-Trip Day #3)
I spent the morning doing laundry, getting stuff together for vacation and my trip to Atlanta. I didn't do too much in the packing department (mostly putting things in laundry baskets) otherwise Max (my dog) gets too upset.
I called Atlanta at 2:00pm Eastern Time and the press check was scheduled for Monday night (2/26) around 8:00pm, so I can do the press check on Monday night (2/26) and fly home Tuesday morning (2/27). So I reluctantly packed and left for the airport. My flight was uneventful (and pretty ok since I got upgraded to first class). Ü
Monday, February 26, 2001 (Pre-Trip Day #2)
Ok, life is not fair. The press lost a lot of time, and the press check would not be until Wednesday morning (2/28). I cannot fly home on Wednesday morning then fly back to Florida (via Atlanta) Wednesday night...not humanly possible. My other option was to stay in Atlanta and have Bob pack my clothes. Don't think so. So, I flew home Monday night. So basically I flew to Atlanta and back for nothing...except frequent flier miles.
Wednesday, February 28, 2001 (Day #0)
Plan: Work in morning, pack, leave for airport around 7:00pm
I got to work a little after 8:30am, and planned to do a few last minute things, and leave work at noon. At 10:54am our entire lives were turned upside-down. We experienced a 6.8 magnitude earthquake. The epicenter was 11 miles from my office. As soon as I figured out what was going on, I dove under my desk, to live out the longest 45 seconds of my life. As soon as the earth stopped moving, I grabbed by purse and day planner and evacuated the building with my co-workers. We reported to our emergency stations, and once I was accounted for I ran across the street to make sure my Mom was okay.
My Mom was fine, but we were both very shaken-up. My main concern was my family, dog, and house. We drove to Bob's work, and he was fine, then we drove to my sister's (Colleen) work (about 6 blocks from Bob's work), and then went to our house. Thank God...Max was fine, and the only damage we had was a broken picture frame and a candleholder had fallen off a shelf.
Bob went back to work, and my Mom, Max, and I went to my Mom's to see what damage her house might have had. Fortunately, some things had shifted, but nothing was broken, and no structural damage had been done to her house. We watched the news, and found that Sea-Tac airport was closed!
At this point in time I was starting to go into shock, and was very undecided about what we should do. Do we cancel our vacation, do we try to delay it a couple of days, or do we see if Sea-Tac will reopen? I called Bob and he said if we can get out, we should go...so I called Delta and all flights from Sea-Tac had been cancelled, but we could leave from Portland at 9:55pm and still make our same connection in Atlanta. I conferred with my Mom, and she said that she would be willing to drive us to Portland (a 2-hour drive versus a 45-minute drive). So I took the opportunity and booked us out of Portland.
By now it was close to 2:00pm, so my Mom got her bags together (she was house and dog sitting for us), then we headed back to our house. I started to pack and was having a very hard time keeping my composure. Part of me never wanted to leave my home again. I was suffering from shock. My Mom helped me pack and get ready.
As soon as Bob got home, he showered, then we headed Colleen's house. She had agreed to ride along with us so my Mom wouldn't have to drive home alone from Portland. We got to her house at 7:00pm then hit the freeway. We arrived at the airport at 8:45pm and Mom and Colleen just dropped us off. We checked in with no problem, then went to the Red Lion Restaurant at the airport for sandwiches ($17.80).
We took off on time and the fight was packed. A lot of the people were from Seattle. I watched the movie "Meet the Parents" ($5) and Bob slept.
Thursday, March 1, 2001 (Day 1) - High 81 Low 62
Plan: Arrive in Morning, Breakfast at Whispering Canyon, Magic Kingdom, Grocery Shop
We arrived in Atlanta on time at 5:17am, and we only had to walk down 6 gates to get to our flight to MCO. We hung out and waited for our flight to leave. We left on time at 6:30am, and got into MCO on time at 7:50am.
We had to wait for our bags, then headed downstairs to Dollar. We had no wait at the counter, and got a 4-door white Dodge Intrepid. We walked across the street and picked up our keys and car. Bob loaded up the luggage while I checked-out the car for body damage. Everything was fine, and we were on the road to WDW at 8:25am.
We took 417 and paid $2 in tolls. There was very little traffic, and we pulled up to the guard gate at 8:45am. I told the guard we were checking in, and he directed us to the hospitality house. Unfortunately, we didn't get a "Welcome Home". We got to the check-in area, and the Cast Member was very rushed because the computer system was going down at 9:00am, so we had to hurry. She got everything set-up and printed out before the system went down. She handed me all the brochures and asked if we wanted her to walk us through the brochures. I told her that she didn't need to because "I know everything". Uh-Oh. Bob would use that statement against me all week. Ü
Since it wasn't warm out, and considering all the problems we've had in the past with bell services, we decided to leave our luggage in the trunk, and drove over to the Wilderness Lodge for breakfast. We didn't have any problems at the guard gate, and self-parked. We went into the lobby and checked-in at Whispering Canyon at 9:35am. We were seated right away, and had a very nice waitress named Deputy Diane. We shared the big skillet breakfast for two ($24.77 plus tip). We both liked the food and got seconds on the bacon and biscuits. Several people asked for ketchup, and all kids in the restaurant got the honor of delivering it to their tables. There also was a stick-horse race involving a couple who was celebrating their anniversary.
After breakfast we walked over to the new villas and checked them out. They are laid out like the Boardwalk. The pictures etched on the doors of the elevators are beautiful (I even took a picture). We walked by the quiet pool and around the lake to the main pool, then back into the lobby. It was getting warmer so we sat in the lobby deciding what to do. We talked about going over to the MK, but we decided to go back to OKW and hang out by the main pool.
We got to OKW around 12:30pm, and grabbed two chaise lounges. At 2:30pm I called to see if the room was ready, but it wasn't. I got two smoothies and a rice krispie treat ($9.49) from Goods To Go, then called my sister to check on everything. There had been two aftershocks, but nobody had felt them.
I called the front desk at 3:45pm and our room still wasn't ready. Grrr. At 4:00pm we packed up and took everything out to the car. I went into the lobby and got our room assignment. We are in the Turtle Pond area room 3225. I know we have had this room before. I'm going to check my records and see. I bought our E-Ticket for Monday, March 5 ($21.20).
We moved into our room, and cleaned up. We both had gotten some sun, but not too much to be painful. We left at 5:30pm and headed t the Publix on 192 and 535. On the way over, we decided that we would be too tired and hungry to cook something when we got back to the room, so we stopped at Chevy's at Crossroads. Bob had the Laredo (beef enchilada, chicken enchilada, chicken taco, and tamale) and a beer. I had the 2 chicken enchiladas and a strawberry margarita. ($28.09 plus tip)
After dinner we went to Publix and stocked up on the essentials of vacation...bagels, fruit, water, pop, chocolate donuts. I had also forgotten a couple of things like hand lotion and Q-Tips. We spent $49.79, then I stopped at the Customer Service counter and bought Florida Lottery tickets ($60). Since I work for the Washington Lottery I can't play in Washington, so I have to buy tickets when I go out-of-state.
We got back to the room around 7:30pm, we unpacked the groceries and I called Mom at work. She had been called into work around noon. Max is being a good girl.
We watched TV for awhile, I updated the trip report, and we were in bed by 9:30pm.
Friday, March 2, 2001 (Day 2) - High 86 Low 63
Plan: Animal Kingdom, Lunch at Tusker House, Dinner at Cape May (Beach Club), and Boardwalk
We got up a little after 7:00am, showered, had breakfast in the room and headed out at 8:10am.
We drove to the AK, and arrived at 8:25am. We parked in Unicorn 24 walked to the front gates and headed straight for the safari. We got a Fast Pass with a return time of 9:10am - 10:10am. While we were waiting for our FP time, we walked the Pangani Exploration Trail. We got to see the hippos (and the really cute baby), the Meercats, and the gorillas.
We got into the FP line at 9:10am, and waited about 5-minutes (compared to 45- minutes in the standby line). We had an excellent driver. He was as excited about seeing the animals as we were. He drove "wild" which always adds to my enjoyment of the safari. We saw lots of animals including the hippos, elephants, giraffes, and for the first time I saw a warthog! The lions were just laying around so we couldn't see them very well.
After the safari we walked over to the 10:00am Lion King Show. We didn't have to wait in line, we just walked in and sat in the Lion Section. I have always sat in the Warthog Section, so it was fun being able to roar. The show was great as usual, and we enjoyed the Tumble Monkeys.
After the Lion King Show we went to It's Tough To Be a Bug (ITTBAB) and got a FP for 11:25am - 12:25pm. We then walked over to Dinosaur and waited about 10-minutes in the standby line. Once in our vehicle, we were seated behind two teenage girls who were terrified. The picture was priceless...the one girl had her head in her mother's lap!
Now it was 11:25am, so we went to ITTBAB and waited about 5-minutes with our FP. My favorite parts of this movie are the stinkbug and the bugs leaving at the end. We were hungry now, so we went to Pizzafari for lunch. It was a little before noon when we went through the line, and we were just ahead of the crowds. When we left Pizzafari at 12:30pm it was packed. Bob had the pepperoni pizza, Caesar salad, and ice tea, I had the penne pasta and a coke ($17.89).
We headed to the 1:00pm Flights of Wonder show. I love this show. We got to see an owl up close, and the bald eagle was beautiful. After the show we walked to Asia and got a FP for Kali River Rapids for 2:05pm - 3:05pm. Time for an ice cream break...Bob had the ice cream sandwich and I had a strawberry bar ($5.50). We then went to see the tigers. We watched the fruit bats for a while, then the beautiful tigers. I wonder if they feel as soft and fluffy as they look? They weren't very active but one of them was walking around.
We got into line for the Rapids at 2:15pm and walked right on the raft. The water came up over our backs and completely over our heads...we got totally soaked. Luckily I had put my feet up on the bar, so they stayed dry. We literally squished our way towards the front entrance and took the tram back to the car. We got back to OKW at 3:10pm.
We changed clothes and sat on our porch reading and watching the golfers go by. At 5:15pm we got cleaned up and headed over to the Beach Club for dinner at Cape May. We drove to the Beach Club and arrived at the guard gate at 5:45pm. The guard gave us 3-hour parking pass. I self parked and we could see the construction of the new villas and some of the largest cranes I have ever seen. I don't know how many units they are building, but I'm sure it won't be enough given the prime location.
We checked in at Cape May, and were given a pager. We went outside and sat in the rockers on the back porch of the Beach Club and stared over at the Boardwalk. Ah, this is living. We were paged a little before 6:00pm and we were seated in almost exactly the same table that we were at last year. The buffet was good, but not my favorite. I am not a big clam and mussel fan. The clam chowder and peal-and-eat shrimp were very good. Bob ate 3 pails of clams, so I feel like we got our money's worth. I was a little disappointed in the desserts. They were good, but not great. The bill was $47 and change. I had left Bob in charge of the bill while I went to the "little girl's room" and he forgot to get the receipt.
We walked over to the Boardwalk and stopped in at the ESPN Club to check on shirts for Victor. The only kid's shirt they had was a baseball-style jersey. I asked a clerk about kid's shirts, and she said that they didn't sell well...so they didn't have any. Grrr. I'll just have to stop at Team Mickey's at DTD to see what they have. We stopped at the pin cart and I bought two pins...a MSEP one that lights up, and a Muppetvision 3D ($22.79). We watched a comedy troupe down by Atlantic Dance then walked by the Swan and Dolphin and back to the Beach Club. It was a beautiful night for a walk. We stopped at the arcade at the Beach Club and played some games ($10.00). I won a stuffed bear on the claw game, and gave it to a little girl that had been taking turns with me (she wasn't winning anything).
We got back to the room at 9:20pm, put in a load of laundry, and went to bed around 10:00pm.
Saturday, March 3, 2001 (Day 3) - High 87 Low 68
Plan: EPCOT, Dinner at Rose and Crown, Illuminations
We got up at 7:40am and had breakfast in the room. We left at 8:40am for EPCOT. We parked in Journey 8 right by the monorail beam. We entered the park right before 9:00am, and got a locker ($3.00). We dumped the backpack, I loaded film in the camera, and we were off.
First stop was Innoventions to send a video postcard to Tom, Colleen, and Victor, and then we went over to Honey I Shrunk The Audience. We didn't need a FP; we walked right into the pre-show. The show was good, except that I dropped my 3-D glasses somewhere, and didn't realize it until we had sat down, so I had to watch without them. I still got the effects of the mice and dog, so I was fine.
We walked over to The Land and took the Living with the Land tour (about a 5- minute wait). Our timing was really good because when we got done the line was really long. We didn't do anything else in The Land...just headed over to The Living Seas. The line was almost to the door, but it moved very quickly. We skipped the movie and went straight to the hydrolaters. We saw the manatees, and looked at the fish and exhibits.
It was around 11:00 now, so we headed over to World Showcase. We started in Mexico and walked around. We didn't stop at any of the shows, but we stopped in some of the shops. I loaded some black and white film into the camera and took some pictures of the buildings. The black and white film showed a lot more detail than color film; so if you're interested in the architecture of EPCOT, take some black and white photos.
We stopped in China and ran into the characters. Eeyore was standing all by himself, so I stepped up and had my picture taken with him. I asked Eeyore if his tail was staying attached, and he was really excited that I had asked. We also saw the Genie from Aladdin all by himself, so Bob had his picture taken with him. We then went to the Lotus Blossom Cafe in China for lunch. We both had the Lotus Blossom Combo ($17.18). The food was similar to food court Chinese at a mall.
After lunch we continued around the WS Lagoon, and stopped at the American Adventure and American Vibe was the musical group. They were awesome! During one of the songs the lead singer picked up this little girl who had been dancing around, and she was in total awe of him. She let him hold her, and just stared at him the whole time he was singing. It was a very sweet moment. After the American Vibe we went into the theater and watched the show. Again, I had tears in my eyes at the end, and was filled with that "patriotic, glad I'm an American" feeling.
It was getting really warm, so we stopped in Japan for a Kaki Gori. I got the rainbow and Bob got the strawberry ($4.50). We sat down by the drummers and listened to their show while we enjoyed our cool treat.
We continued walking around to the UK and saw the World Showcase Players perform King Arthur and the Holy Grail. This show was very good, and something we try to see every trip. After the show, we walked back into the garden and watched the British Invasion.
We then bought a bottle of water ($2.50) to refill our water bottles. We still had icebergs left, but no water. We walked down to Canada and looked through the shops. Unfortunately Off Kilter wasn't playing today. ;o( We had dinner reservations at the Rose and Crown at 5:30pm, so we were killing time. We watched the end of King Arthur and then went back to see the British Invasion. Then we went back to see the 5:00pm King Arthur show. We were sitting on the bench in front of the Tea Caddy, and Bob was pretending to videotape the show. He thought that if he looked like he was taping, that he wouldn't get picked to be in the show. Ha. The joke was on him...
Bob got chosen to be King Arthur. I was laughing my butt off. I didn't know whether to shoot video or still pictures (I couldn't do both at the same time)! So I shot some video, then took pictures, then shot video. Bob did a very good job as the King, and had a very good time. There was a lady sitting behind Bob that liked his "ha-cha-cha-cha" routine so much, that she asked him for a private encore. He obliged, but was very embarrassed.
After the show I gathered "his highness" and we checked into the Rose & Crown at 5:20pm. We were seated outside right away. It was a beautiful evening, and since it's supposed to rain tomorrow, we decided to take advantage of the weather. The CM that seated us had seen Bob as King Arthur, so she called him "your highness" and curtsied when she left our table. Oh brother, I'll have to make the doorways bigger so he can get his head into the room!!
Bob had the dinner special that was corned beef and cabbage, and I had the pie sampler. We shared a lemon pissat for dessert ($45.43 plus tip). Andy was our server and he was really nice (and cute too).
After dinner we walked through the shops at the entrance to WS, then walked towards FW. We stopped in Mouse Gear to look around. I bought a couple of post cards ($3.29) then we got our stuff out of the locker and headed to the car. We got back to the room about 7:30pm, I put in a load of laundry, and we went to the Turtle Pond pool for a relaxing swim. The wind had picked up, so we were a little chilly when we got out of the pool. We went back to the room, did more laundry, got organized for tomorrow, and watched some TV. We went to bed at 10:30pm.
Sunday, March 4, 2001 (Day 4) - High 80 Low 65 Rain
Plan: Breakfast at Chef Mickey's (Contemporary), Magic Kingdom, Lunch at Plaza Restaurant, Dinner at Big River Grill (Boardwalk), and Mini-Golf or a Movie
We got up at 6:30am this morning. We have a PS at Chef Mickey's at 7:45am. Since we were having a full cleaning today, we made sure that everything was picked up before we left the room. We left at 7:20am and drove over to the Contemporary. When I checked in at the guard gate, I said "we're going to have breakfast with Mickey". The guard laughed, gave us a 3-hour parking pass, and directed us to the self-parking area. We parked under the monorail beam and walked into the Contemporary.
We checked-in at Chef Mickey's, had our picture taken in front of the big plate, and were seated in the room to the left of the buffet. The food was very good; lots of fruit, and the pancakes were to die for...and they were shaped like Mickey. We had our pictures taken with Mickey, Minnie, Chip, Dale, Pluto, and Goofy. We bought the picture of us in front of the plate ($26.50). Total for breakfast was $33.81 (plus tip).
We hopped on the monorail at 8:45am and rode the loop around to the Magic Kingdom. It was very cloudy, and we could tell that it would rain today. We got a locker ($3), and then headed up Main Street. We had our picture taken in front of the castle, and then went through Adventureland to the Jungle Cruise. We had no wait, and had a great skipper who was really into her part. She made me realize that the CM can really make or break an attraction.
After our Jungle Cruise, we went to Pirates (with no wait). When we left Pirates, we could smell the rain in the air. We decided to wait on Splash and BTMRR until E-Ticket night, so we walked through Frontierland on our way to the Haunted Mansion. We got as far as the shooting arcade when the rain started...and it poured big Florida raindrops! I pressed a penny and Bob played in the arcade while we waited for the rain to let up.
After 20 minutes the rain let up, so we put on our red raincoats and headed towards the Riverboat. Unfortunately, there was lightening in the area, so they had to shut the boat down. So we kept on walking to the Haunted Mansion. We got in with no wait and joined the 999 happy haunts.
It was still raining, so we decided that this would be a good time to go on the rides in Fantasyland. For one, the lines weren't too bad, and second, the lines were all under cover. We rod Peter Pan with a 15-minute wait, Snow White with a 15-minute wait, and Winnie The Pooh with a 20-minute wait. The waits all went pretty fast, and we were out of the rain. One side-note...I have fake nails right now, and they glowed under the black lights in these rides. Very weird to look down and see the tips of my fingers glowing.
After Fantasyland we walked over to Tomorrowland. We stopped at Mickey's Star Traders so Bob could buy a hat...like he doesn't have a zillion of them at home ($20.14). Ü We got a FP for Buzz Lightyear, then we walked through the Plaza Pavilion and stopped at the phones by the Plaza Restaurant. I called home to check on everyone, and everything is fine.
After I got done with my phone calls it was time for our FP. Bob got 39,000 and I got 38,000, which is a pretty good score for me. After fighting the Evil Emperor, we relaxed on the TTA. It was time to head back to Main Street for lunch, so we stopped at Buzz and got another FP, then checked-in at the Plaza Restaurant at 1:30pm.
We waited about 10-minutes for a table. I have never eaten at the Plaza before, and didn't realize how small it is. The restaurant is decorated in Victorian style, and we were seated at a table right by the door. We had a nice waitress, and we both ordered the hamburgers. These were great burgers! We both decided that we have never had a better burger at WDW. For dessert I had a strawberry sundae, and Bob had the apple pie a-la-mode. With a coke and an ice tea total was $33.24 plus tip.
We left the Plaza Restaurant about 2:30pm and headed back to Buzz. This time Bob had a really high score, and I stunk. ;o( It was still raining so we decided to head back down Main Street and shop some. Several trips ago I had seen a Mickey umbrella that had ears on it...but of course I didn't buy it then. Today I had seen two different ladies with this umbrella, so I was on a mission to find it. We finally found it at the Disney Clothiers. It is expensive for an umbrella ($29.68) but it makes me smile and remember the Magic Kingdom every time I use it.
We stopped at the bakery so Bob could buy some cookies ($9.46) then I browsed the candy store. We got everything out of the locker, turned in our key, and headed back to the Contemporary via the monorail. We walked back to the car and headed back to OKW. As we were driving along discussing what we wanted to do tonight, we decided to see what was playing at the AMC Theaters at DTD. We drove to DTD, and I dropped Bob off in front of the theaters and circled the parking lot. He bought us tickets to see Castaway at 5:25pm ($11.50).
We went back to OKW to lay out our wet raincoats and change clothes. We went back to DTD at 4:45pm. We had to be "shark-like" to get a parking place...but I succeeded. The theater had a "snack special" that included a large popcorn, pop, and candy for $10.00. We got our snacks and headed off to the theater. If you have never been to this theater...go. The seats are very comfy, and they have drink holders! To some this may not seem like a big deal, but our local theaters have nothing like it. Anyway, the movie was awesome and Tom Hanks did an outstanding job.
After the movie we walked around the Westside and stopped at the Virgin Megastore where Bob bought three books ($38.64). Then we went to 40 Thirst Street and got smoothies. Bob got the Tropical Sunrise and I got the Purple Piñata ($10.07). We sat on a bench facing the water and watched the boats and people go by. It was a beautiful evening, even if it was a little on the cool side. We went back to the room at 9:30pm. I threw a load of wash in and we watched TV until we went to bed at 11:00pm.
Monday, March 5, 2001 (Day 5) - High 80 Low 53 Windy
Plan: Studios, Lunch at Mama Melrose's, E-Ticket at MK
I got up at 7:30am and I think I'm coming down with a cold. I'm not surprised since several people at work have been sick. :o( I got ready and woke Bob up. We had breakfast in the room and left for the Studios at 8:45am. We parked in Stage 44 and caught the tram to the front entrance. We entered the park just as the opening announcement was being made. I stopped at Oscar's and bought some stamps so I could mail my postcards. ($4.00)
First stop of the day was Rock & Roller Coaster (RRC) where we got a FP for 9:50am - 10:50am. Then we went to Tower of Terror (ToT) and waited about 10-minutes to ride. When we got off there wasn't a wait, so we rode TOT again. Bob got the seatbelt seat (which he loves). He keeps telling me that I need to request the seatbelt seat...but no thanks. I like having something to hold onto.
After back-to-back TOT rides, we took a quick break then it was time for our RRC FP. We had a great ride. We were towards the back of the limo, but I didn't notice that the ride was rougher than up front. We bought the picture ($17.97). Well we had gotten our day off to a wild start, so we decided to slow down the pace and headed for the 11:00am Hunchback show. We were one of the first people in the theater, and we had great seats. We were on the right of the stage, one row back from the end of the runway. Matt was our juggler, and he did a great show. And speaking of shows...how does this cast continually give unbelievable performances? Quasi was very athletic and seemed to jump and twirl more than other Quasi's, and he did a great job on my favorite song from the film "Out There". To me, that song sums up all the feeling behind the story.
After the show it was 11:40am and time for our PS at Mama Melrose's. We walked over and were seated right away. I had the cheese pizza with the vine-ripened tomatoes, Bob had the chicken pizza, and we shared a Caesar salad (33.16 plus tip).
After lunch we went to Muppets and walked right into the pre-show. I pointed out the "net full of Jell-O", but I couldn't remember what else to look for. Oh well, I'll do more research before our next trip. We enjoyed our demonstration of Muppet Technology, and headed over to the Backstage Tour and waited about 10-minutes. They used "dummies" instead of guest for the Special Effects Tank and I assume they used "dummies" because of the cool weather. I hope that they haven't discontinued using guests. The rest of the tour was the same as always, but we did notice that George of the Jungle's house was gone.
Next was a FP for Star Tours. Our return time was 3:10pm - 4:10pm. The standby line was posted at 45-minutes, so a FP was the only way to go. Next was an ice cream break. We both had the chocolate chip cookies sandwich ($6.00). We sat on a bench between Star Tours and Indy to eat our treat and enjoy the sun. When we were done we still had time to kill before our FP so we went to the 2:40pm Indy Show. We haven't seen this show in a couple of years, and even though the show had been down for rehab, they didn't change anything! I was starting to feel yucky and I dozed off during the show. The only way I'll see this show again is if I'm touring with someone who hasn't seen it before. Boring!
Finally it was time for our trip to Endor. Even with our FP we had to wait 10-minutes, which wasn't too bad considering that the stand-by line was still posted at 45-minutes. I really like Star Tours and it doesn't affect me like Body Wars does. Once done with Star Tours we decided to head back to OKW. The people lining up for the Mulan Parade slowed us down, but we were still able to make good time to Package Pickup. We got our RNRC picture and were on the parking lot tram a little before 4:00pm and got back to the room at 4:05pm. Bob read and watched TV and I napped until 5:00pm. We changed our clothes and headed to the bus stop.
We had to wait 25-minutes for the MK bus. We must have just missed a bus because every other bus came except for the MK. We got to the MK a little after 6:00pm and got our wristbands for E-Ticket night. Then we headed straight to Casey's for hot dogs and Cokes ($14.95). After dinner Bob went across Main Street to the Bakery for cookies...this was a major strategic mistake. The Main Street Electrical Parade was scheduled to start at 7:00pm, and I had a feeling that he wouldn't make it back before the parade started. Picture Main Street six people deep waiting for a parade, and a long line at the Bakery. Not a pretty picture is it? Well Bob got trapped by the parade, so I ended up watching the parade from Casey's (and freezing) while Bob watched from the Bakery. I'm glad that we hadn't planned on really watching the parade tonight. Ü
Once the parade was over Bob made it back to Casey's, and we went inside to watch cartoons, eat our cookies ($3.18) and warm up. It was very windy and cold tonight. At 7:58pm we wandered into the middle of Main Street to watch the fireworks. After the fireworks we went to Tomorrowland and rode Buzz twice with no wait, then rode the right side of Space Mt. Unfortunately, they only had the right side open, so we couldn't do the "side comparison".
We haven't done Alien Encounter for several trips, so we decided to fry Skippy tonight (besides it was warm inside the building). I really see this attraction as funny now instead of scary. I especially like the part where the alien breathes on your neck and ear. We left Tomorrowland and walked through the hub to Liberty Square.
We went into the Haunted Mansion with no wait. The CMs were really in character tonight which added to the ambiance of the ride. I still cannot find the wedding rings that are outside. :o(
We walked along the Rivers of America to Big Thunder (BTMRR) and rode once with no wait, then a second time with a 5-minute wait. I love BTMRR and hope that someday I can do back-to-back rides without getting off. We then went to Splash Mountain (SM). We had no wait at all, and were loaded into the front of a log. No one had been in this log on its previous trip and the seat was soaked, so we started out with wet buns. When we left the loading area I realized that we were really doomed. We were the only people in the log...and we were in the front row! Uh-Oh! Luckily we had planned on heading back to OKW after SM. We got soaked on the last drop, then we got stopped by the waterfall. I hate this waterfall, but fortunately for me, Bob was on the waterfall side. So if you saw two people dripping water at the MK that night...it was us. Ü
We headed towards the front of the park, and as we walked by SM we noticed that it was down. Wow, we had perfect timing. We stopped at the hub and took pictures of the castle and the Walt and Mickey statue. Bob got us popcorn and pop ($5.00) and we walked down Main Street enjoying the feeling of having "our private Main Street". The wind had died down so the night was very enjoyable. We stopped at the Town Plaza and watched the castle change color and we got to see the goodnight kiss and listen to Walt's speech.
On our way to the bus we stopped to take pictures of the flower Mickey in front of the train station and we had a really nice CM take a picture of both of us. He was nice to offer without us having to ask. A little pixie dust to end our night. We walked to the bus stop and waited about 15-20 minutes for a bus to arrive. When it did arrive we had the bus driver from h***. In Bob's words..."She needed a serious attitude adjustment." She was rude, unfriendly, and didn't know OKW's layout. We felt like kissing the pavement when we got off at our stop. We finally arrived at OKW at 11:35pm and we both crashed.
Tuesday, March 6, 2001 (Day 6) - High 64 Low 38 Brrr
Plan: Downtown Disney, dinner at Olivia's, and Pleasure Island
We got up around 9:00am got ready and had the breakfast of vacationing champions in the room...fruit and chocolate donuts. I was feeling yucky today, I do have a cold...but it's shopping day so I found the strength to go on. Ü
We left around 10:30am and our first stop was the Belz Factory Outlets. We went to the character shop and I found a couple of things for my nephew Victor and a sweatshirt for myself ($50.84). We didn't find anything else too exciting. We stopped at Walgreen's so I could buy some cold drugs ($7.73), then we stopped at the rubber stamp store Stamp Cabana...and they were having a sale! It was fate (I'm not sure that Bob believes that). Bob waited in the car for an hour while I shopped (what a guy)! I only spent $52.95, which isn't too bad. Then went to Downtown Disney (DTD). We had a late lunch at Captain Jacks. I had the tuna salad combo and Bob had a cup of clam chowder and a chicken sandwich ($27.46 plus tip). We have never eaten at Captain Jacks and the food, service, and view were very good. It was interesting to see the Marketplace from a this perspective.
After lunch we went to the Disney at Home store where I bought some bath bombs ($16.96), the Christmas store where I bought a new tree topper ($22.26 on sale), and Team Mickey where I bought Victor a couple of shirts and a golf jacket for my brother-in-law ($94.60). We also hit the World of Disney (where I dropped $111.02), then the Lego store where I found a brand new and very cool set of monster truck Lego's for Victor ($52.95).
At 4:00pm we went over to Fantasia Gardens and we golfed the "real" course. For annual pass-holders we got a 50% discount, so we spent $9.80 for the two of us to golf. This course is hard! I did really crappy at the beginning and Bob was kicking my butt, but I got the hang of the course at the end. On the last three holes I was 1-under, 1-under, and 2-under, so I came back to tie with Bob at 83. We talked about playing another game, but decided against it.
We got back to OKW at 6:15pm, got cleaned up, and went to Olivia's for dinner. We got in with no wait. I had the sautéed shrimp and key lime pie while Bob had the prime rib and brownie sundae ($53.32 plus tip). After dinner we stopped at the General Store to pick up some bagels ($2.89), then drove over to DTD and parked by Planet Hollywood. We bought two tickets to Pleasure Island ($42.00) at 8:23pm (according to my receipt). We had missed the 8:00pm and 9:00pm Comedy Shows so we went directly to the Adventurer's Club. We got Kungaloosh's in Monkey Head cups ($17.50 plus tip). The Monkey Head cups were the new thing. The big joke of the evening was "sucking the brains out of monkey". Later we had two Cokes ($4.00 plus tip). I really like Kungaloosh but I have never tried to make them at home. We went through the new member induction, and saw three shows in the library including the Balderdash Cup. The guy who plays Hathaway Brown used to be at the Hoop-De-Doo. He did an okay job, but doesn't have the "sex appeal" of the previous Hathaway.
At 11:45pm we went outside and got in line for the 12:05am Comedy Warehouse show. While we were waiting we watched the New Year's Eve Show. I feel sorry for those performers. What a cheesy show...I bet its better depending upon the amount of alcohol you've consumed. The Comedy Warehouse show was very good I don't know the names of the actors in the show, but I recognized the lady who used to play the maid at the Adventurer's Club.
By the time the show was over it was 12:45am and time to go back to OKW. We got back at 1:05am, I put a load of laundry in and we crashed.
Wednesday, March 7, 2001 (Day 7) - High 64 Low 41 Brrr
Plan: Sleep In, EPCOT, Lunch at the Cantina in Mexico, and Dinner in Canada
Today was sleep-in day. I got up at 10:00am and got ready. I switched the clothes over to the dryer and got Bob up. We had bagels and o.j. in the room and left for EPCOT at 11:30am. We parked in Discover 24 and took the monorail to the Ticket and Transportation Center. We took the ferry to the MK arriving at 12:15pm. We then took a roundtrip ride on train. After the train ride we walked down MS to Liberty Square and had lunch at the Columbia Harbor House. Neither of us had ever eaten there, and the food was very good. Bob had the chicken strip meal and I had the fried fish ($15.90). We finished lunch at 1:50pm and now its time for more shopping!
We walked through Fantasyland...what a zoo! I'm glad that we had done all the rides we wanted the other day in the rain. We walked through the castle and down MS. I bought a few things at the Emporium ($26.50) then walked across the street to the Candy Palace and picked up a few things ($28.30).
Since we were at the MK we decided to watch the 3:00pm parade. We found a good place to watch in front of the Emporium, and I went back towards the castle to buy ice cream ($5.00). I made it back to our place and people watched until the parade started. There were lots of "Disney Suits" working the parade route. It was fun to watch them work the crowd. I have to admit they always had a smile on their faces and treated everybody with courtesy. Anyway, the parade was ok, but I would rather have a "real parade" instead of this one. I don't like the fact that the parade stops and guests get to "storm" Main Street to participate. The parade is not something I would make an effort to see, but since we were already in the park it was ok.
Now it was 3:40pm and time to leave the MK. We rode the monorail to the TTC then switched to the Epcot monorail. We entered Epcot and got a locker ($3.00) and rode Spaceship Earth. After our journey through communications we walked over to Mexico and rode the Friendship Boat that let us off at the Germany Pavilion. We talked to a nice couple from California while we waited for the boat.
We went into the candy store in the Germany Pavilion and I bought gummy bears ($6.21). I was bummed because they didn't have the black licorice roll-ups. We walked to the France Pavilion and watched the living statute for a while. If you ever get a chance to see the statutes...do it, they put on a great show. I especially like to watch the people that think they are real statutes until they move. Ü
We got to Canada and watched the last part of Off Kilter's set. After Off Kilter we walked to the gift shops at the entrance to World Showcase. I found a sweatshirt for my sister ($31.80) and had it shipped to our room. We walked back to the UK to watch Tapestry of Nations (ToN). We watched ToN until 6:50pm, then we went back to Canada to check-in for dinner. We had a PS for 7:00pm, but they were running behind, so they gave us a pager and we wandered around the Canada pavilion. We were seated at 7:30pm and preceded to have an awesome dinner. I had the special of the day, which was lobster and filet migon and crème brulee for dessert. Bob had the maple glazed salmon and the seasonal cobbler for dessert ($64.77 plus tip).
After dinner we walked out to the lagoon and found a place to watch Illuminations. This wasn't the best place, but we were able to see most of the show. After Illuminations we walked with thousands of other people towards the front of the park. We got our stuff out of the locker, rode the tram to our car and was back at OKW a little before 10:00pm. I put a load of clothes in and we went to bed at 10:30pm. We want to get up early in the morning to see the shuttle be launched.
Thursday, March 8, 2001 (Day 8) - High 72 Low 39 Brrr
Plan: Studios, Hollywood and Vine for Lunch, Brown Derby for Dinner, and Fantasmic
We got up at 6:15am, threw some clothes on and went outside to see the shuttle. What an awesome experience...even from this distance. If I ever get the chance to see a launch up close I'll probably cry. Watching the shuttle move across the sky also reminded me of the Challenger explosion and what a tragedy that mission was for the nation. WOW...what a way to start our day!
We got ready and I recorded some of the Disney Information Channel on TV. I like to watch this tape at home before I go to bed. We had bagels and o.j. in the room and left at 8:15am for the Studios. We got to the parking lot at 8:30am and parked in Stage 24. We rode the tram to the front and once in the park Bob got a locker ($3.00) while I went to the Dining Information Kiosk to see about the Fantasmic Dinner Seating. The only restaurants available were Mama Melrose's and Hollywood and Vine. Since we had eaten at Mama Melrose's earlier in the week I decided on Hollywood and Vine. So I cancelled our PS for dinner at the Brown Derby and our lunch PS at Hollywood and Vine and booked the dinner package at Hollywood and Vine. Wheew!
Once I straightened-out our meals for the day, we got to rope drop by the Brown Derby. Our first stop was the Little Mermaid. I love this show and the theater. Next was the Animation Tour. I wish we could spend more time in the animator viewing area. Next was the Great Movie Ride. We got the gangster scene. I would like to see this attraction updated, not replaced. I was really disappointed with the construction in front of the Chinese Theater. It really distracted from the beauty of the theater and took away one of my favorite picture spots. It will be interesting to see what the big Sorcerer Hat looks like.
By now it was 11:00am and we went to Al's Toy Barn to get pictures with the Toy Story characters. I thought that with the Hunchback show going on that the crowds would be small...and I was right. :o) Bob got his picture taken with Jessie, and I got my picture taken with Buzz and Woody. After this we went to Pizza Planet for an early lunch. Bob got a table outside while I got the pizza. I had the cheese pizza combo and Bob had the pepperoni pizza combo ($16.69). We sat outside and watched the world go by and enjoyed the sunshine.
Next up was the Drew Carey show. Neither of us had ever seen (heard) it, and it was interesting. It was an "ok, now we've done it" kind of show. Not something I'd have to do every trip, but it was fun for a change.
We left the Studios and rode the boat to EPCOT. I went to the Tea Shop and bought a couple of things for my sister's birthday, and for Mother's Day ($51.12). I had my package shipped back to OKW...gotta love package delivery. We then walked down to Canada and watched Off Kilter, then back to the UK to see the British Invasion.
Our brief tour of EPCOT was now over, so we rode the boat back to MGM and bought some ice cream at Sunset Blvd ($5.50). The lady who sold us our ice cream was from Olympia, Washington! She lives by North Thurston High School (where Bob went to school). She and her husband work for Disney part of the year, and spend the rest of the year in Washington. What a small world!
We sat on a bench on Sunset Blvd and watched the world go by, and then it was 3:30pm and time to watch the Mulan parade. After the parade we did some shopping on Hollywood Blvd and I bought two really cool "Mickey head" ice cube trays ($6.36), then we went to the lockers to change our clothes. The wind was brisk, so we changed from shorts to jeans. This chore accomplished, we went to Hollywood and Vine and checked in for dinner at 5:5pm.
We sat next to the family from h***. I don't blame the kids I blame the parents. I told Bob that if they behaved this badly in a restaurant, what were they like at home. Mind you, I have a pretty high tolerance with kids and I like them, but I do have standards for restaurants and my standards do not include jumping up and down on the chairs, playing ring-around-the table, and throwing food. Anyway, they left about half way through our dinner, so we got to finish our meal on a quiet note. Note: I guess we could have asked to move to another table, but the restaurant was very busy, and we were on a schedule to get to Fantasmic.
The food at Hollywood and Vine was good, but not as good as Chef Mickey's ($35.94 plus tip).
After dinner we walked down to Oscar's and walked backstage and around the back of the Beauty and the Beast Theater. We got great seats about 1/2 way up on an aisle. The pre-show entertainment was two guys that had us singing and doing the YMCA song. They were way better than the two bellmen we had last year. Anyway, Fantasmic was...fantastic. I love the water screens, the water catching on fire and of course Mickey..."some imagination, huh?"
After the show we made our way towards the front of the park. We got our stuff out of the locker and rode the tram to our car. We got back to OKW a little after 8:00pm and stopped at the General Store to pick up my package from yesterday and to shop (like I haven't done enough of that this trip). Ü I picked up some scrapbooking stickers that I hadn't seen before, a couple of T-shirts, and o.j. for tomorrow ($71.80). We went back to the room and I sorted all the souvenirs to make sure that I had something for everybody, and that everything would fit in my suitcase. That mission accomplished we hung around and I called home to check on everybody and we went to bed at 10:30pm.
Friday, March 9, 2001 (Day 9) - High 73 Low 55
Plan: Backstage Safari Tour, Dinner at 1900 Park Fair (Grand Floridian), and Main Street Electrical Parade (MSEP) at MK
Today is the Backstage Safari Tour ($101.50 with discount). We got up at 6:30am, got ready, and had leftovers for breakfast (whatever was left in the fridge). We left for the AK at 7:40am. We got to AK at 8:05am and walked back to the entrance to Rafiki's Planet Watch. We are supposed to be on the first train, but the train station was not open yet. We hung around and talked to a couple of CMs until they train station opened. We caught the train and met up with our tour outside Conservation Station. Everybody checked in, and we were off on our walking tour of the behind the scenes at the AK. Our tour guide was Megan (and we found out later that this was Megan's first solo tour). She was from Colorado, and recently graduated from college with a degree in zoology. She was very enthusiastic and excited about her job and her ability to hang out with the animals. Since this was Megan's first solo tour she was accompanied by Paul from Michigan (a retired schoolteacher).
After getting the no photography and video taping spiel we walked backstage and our first stop was the Rhino barn. A baby Rhino had been born that morning, so we were unable to go inside the barn. There was a Rhino hanging out in the outside paddock (it was his day off). We were allowed to go up to him in small groups, but he was never close enough to the fence for us to touch him.
Megan explained that the animals are trained to return to the barns with a specific sound. For example the Rhinos are trained to come to the banging on metal bars, and the Cheetahs are called with a bicycle bell. Most of the animals no longer have to be called back to their barns at night. They know by where the sun is in the sky when to head back to their barns.
We walked to the elephant barn and got to talk to a trainer. The trainers never go into the paddocks with the elephants, but have gained the trust of the elephants so they voluntarily come to the trainers. No one enters the elephant's paddocks so the elephants feel safe and they will lay down for short periods of time. This is very cool because in the wild the elephants never feel safe enough to lie down.
The trainers are hoping to have a baby elephant some day, and have set up a birthing stall that the new mother can use. Having the birthing stall inside the barn is important because none of the other elephants have ever been around a birth. So the handlers want to make sure that all the elephants get to witness the birth. We got to watch one of the elephants in his play area (it was his day off too). One of his favorite toys is a huge tire from a land-mover. He was able to toss the tire around like we would toss a baseball. The power of these animals is unbelievable...I guess that's why they're called nature's bulldozers.
As we were walking to the Animal Management Office Building Megan told us an interesting fact about the lion's "air conditioned" rock. To keep the lions out where safari guests can see them, cool air and water is misted on the rock. The handlers also prepare a "rabbit pop" (basically a rabbit frozen in a bucket of water) for the male lion to eat. The rabbit pop is chained to the rock, so the lion will lay up on the rock and lick his rabbit pop.
Another interesting fact is the raisin-shooting machine for the gorillas. The handlers set up a raisin-shooting machine so that the gorillas would forage for the raisins. The gorillas are so smart that they figured out when and where the machines would be setup, and stand in front of the machines and catch the raisins as they were being shot. So now the handlers have to set up the machines randomly to out-smart the gorillas.
A tour member asked about a gorilla that he had seen with only had three fingers on one hand. Megan and Paul didn't know, so they asked and yes one of the gorillas only has three fingers on one of his hands. The accident happened before the gorilla came to the AK, so nobody knows exactly how it happened.
We went into a classroom in the Animal Management Office Building and two reptile handlers came in to talk to us. Megan also talked about how they keep the animals from getting bored. The handlers came up with games and entertainment for the different animals. Megan had some rubber balls that they use for the tigers. These are made from heavy-duty airplane plastic and the balls are filled with treats (and sometimes blood). The tigers will play with them and bite them until they are able to get all the treats out of them. Megan had a treat ball for us to play with that was filled with candy! We each got a piece of candy if we could get it out of the treat ball. Ü
We also saw a video on animal husbandry. We were in awe...watching how they train the animals to open their mouths and present different parts of their bodies for examination. This training is very important so the handlers can care for the animals without entering their paddocks.
The coolest part of the tour was the Forage Warehouse where the food is stored and prepared. There was a room full of hay and different kinds of "chow". The chow was the same brand and manufacturer as my dog's food. Made me feel good that the same company that feeds the AK animals made my dog's food. Ü
The fresh food division was awesome. The animals get fed the same quality food as is served at the hotels. Megan said that the same truck will drop off fruit at the Grand Floridian and the AK. There were all types of food displayed...everything from peanut butter to salad dressings to popcorn! One interesting note was that the gorillas don't like leftovers, so if they are serving them leftover pasta, they will put food coloring on the pasta to fool the gorillas.
We got to see baggies of rodents, chicks, and horsemeat used to feed the carnivores. There is actually a company called Gourmet Rodent that supplies the rodents, chicks, and other critters...eeewwhh!
Our last stop was the veterinary hospital. We got to visit an operating room and Megan showed us some x-rays from some of the animals that had been operated on. The coolest x-ray was the snake that swallowed a rock...he must have thought it was an egg...poor guy.
We finished our tour at 12:30pm, filled out evaluation forms and got really cool pins. Megan and Paul wanted to know what we though about a longer tour that included lunch (yes), or a sunrise/sunset tour (yes/yes). These are a couple of tours that Disney is considering. We loved this tour and would recommend it to anyone. The tour is a lot of walking and standing, so where "theme park" shoes.
We rode the train back to Africa and got a FP for the safari from 1:15pm - 2:15pm. We had lunch at Tusker House. Bob had the chicken sandwich, I had the turkey sandwich, and we shared a piece of chocolate cake ($22.93). We got to the safari at 1:20pm and had a great driver and saw lots of animals. We didn't have the camera or video camera (we decided not to pack them because of the tour) so we got to enjoy the trip without trying to take pictures.
We walked back to the entrance and I called Colleen at work to check in. Everything is going good and she was envious of our tour this morning. :o) We got back to OKW at 2:30pm and changed our dinner PS at 1900 Park Faire from 5:15pm to 6:30pm. I did a couple of loads of laundry and we relaxed on our porch and watched the golfers go by.
We got cleaned up and headed to the Grand Floridian (GF) at 5:30pm. We stopped at the Hospitality House to pick up my package from yesterday, then we drove over to the GF. I stopped at the Wilderness Lodge because I wanted o take a picture of the big welcoming arch...and it was gone! I knew I should have taken a picture of it when we had breakfast the other day. I hope that they are redoing it to reflect the addition of the villas. I had to drive through the guard gate to turn around. I told the guard that I was lost and needed to turn around. He laughed and told me to be careful. Jeez, I felt like a dork.
We got to the GF at 5:45pm and had no problems at the guard gate. We valet parked ($1.00) and headed into the lobby. We checked-in at the restaurant even though we were early and were seated right away. The Queen of Hearts was in the lobby and I really played up to her...I called her "Your Majesty" and curtsied and asked if I could have my picture taken with her. We had a good table towards the back of the restaurant and had a nice waitress named Kitty. The characters were Prince John, Governor Radcliff, and Captain Hook. The food was awesome. We loved the prime rib, salmon, strawberry soup, fried rice and the key lime tarts ($46.54 plus tip).
We were done with dinner at 7:30pm and we walked upstairs to the monrail station. Surprise...it was raining. Luckily we had brought our rain jackets with us. We loaded up on the next monorail and headed to the MK. My goal was to see as much of the 7:30pm MSEP that we could, and luckily for us, the parade start had been delayed because of the weather. We stood on the steps of City Hall and watched the herds of yellow-poncho-people go by. Finally at 8:10pm the 7:30pm MSEP started. We didn't have a unobstructed view of the parade, but we had a good view.
After the parade we walked over to Main Street and waited for the fireworks. We watched the fireworks from in front of the Cinema. After the fireworks we took the monorail to the GF, got the car from valet parking ($2) and headed back to OKW. On the way back I missed the turn off, so we had to go down to the MGM exit and go home past the Boardwalk. Not a big deal since I know my way around pretty well. We got back to the room at 10:00pm. I put in a couple last loads of laundry and packed everything up for our departure tomorrow.
Saturday, March 10, 2001 (Day 10) - High 75 Low 55
Plan: Pack, Breakfast at Olivia's, Go Home
We got up at 8:00am, cleaned up, finished packing and were ready at 9:00am. Our express checkout was on the door...I hate that part! We hung out on the porch and fed the birds for a while, then went to Olivia's for breakfast at 9:20am. On the way to Olivia's I stopped by the golf tee by our room, and Bob jumped out of the car to find out which hole our room faced. We faced the 5th hole with a par 4, 390 yards (225 yards for women).
We both had the pancakes and eggs with o.j. ($26.13 plus tip). We walked around Turtle Crawl and took some pictures, then went back to our room and loaded up the car. We left OKW at 10:30am and filled up the car with gas ($15) at the Chevron. We headed down 535 to 417, and took 417 to the airport ($2 in tolls). We returned the rental car ($316.53) and we were in line to check in at 11:00am. We were able to check-in at the Medallion/First Class line and we didn't have to wait. We checked our luggage, got our tickets and were ready for departure.
We stopped at one of the gift shops and bought a bottle of water and a couple of snacks ($4.24) then rode the monorail to our gate 75. We left on time at 12:40pm, changed planes in Dallas, and made it to Sea-Tac at 5:35pm. Mom met us at the gate; we got our bags, and headed home. We stopped part way home for dinner ($32.58 plus tip) and got home at 8:00pm.
Max was very happy to see us, we gave Mom her gifts and sorted mail until bedtime.
We used our annual passes from last year, so I didn't include that cost this year.
Overall, we had a great trip. We are now going December 4 - 9, 2001 staying at the Polynesian and April 13 - 20, 2002 with my mom, sister, brother-in-law, and nephew in a 3-bedroom Grand Villa at OKW. This will be my brother-in-law's first trip to WDW, and he isn't sure that he will like it. I'll post those trip reports too, so stay tuned.
Thanks for reading, and if you have any questions please e-mail me.