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Melissa Howard -- October 2004 -- Walt Disney World (Offsite)

Cast of Characters

  • Melissa (author) 26, RN, psycho planner and MP regular
  • Shelley 26, tutor and instructional aide
  • Christine 31, waitress and roommate to Melissa


This whole thing started about 2 years ago when I first stumbled upon MousePlanet. I of course was originally drawn to the DLR information, but soon began browsing through the trip reports and message boards related to WDW. This sparked an interest and desire to go to WDW. I convinced my 2 best friends to go with me (by convinced I mean that I told them we were all 3 taking a trip to WDW and then proceeded to talk about it incessantly for the next 18 months)) and we began planning and looking for a date to go. I probably would have gone a year earlier, but weddings, moves, other trips, etc. all happened and we had to wait. The good thing was that this waiting allowed me to buy a bunch of books about WDW and read all the internet stuff, so as to be very informed. We also were able to do a lot of research and get pretty good deals on everything; I will break down our budget at the end. I am really gearing this trip at the 20-30 somethings without kids. Most people planning trips are families and I think this is a nice report for the many young people heading out with friends or other family members. However, we still did do some kid things.

Wednesday, October 13, 2004 - Travel Day

We woke up early and immediately did one last check of MP and the weather. We and all of our families were paranoid about hurricanes since we had 2 years ago gotten stuck in Cancun and had our vacation ruined thanks to a hurricane. The weather looked great and we finished up packing and headed to the airport. We were flying out of Ontario, CA on Southwest. Our plane ride was pretty uneventful, the weird thing was that we stopped 2 times, but never got off the plane. We only switched passengers. Southwest is a great deal and not a bad airline. Granted, they donít have movies or entertainment, but that is what magazines, friends and Unofficial Guides are for!

We landed in Orlando on time at 9:00 pm, got our luggage and went to the shuttle to get our rental car from Thrifty. They gave us directions to the Days Inn and we were off. It was kind of a bummer arriving at night because we couldnít really see anything, but we were so excited! We had chosen to go the cheap route the first night since we would be in our hotel less than 12 hours and boy was this hotel cheap! I would have never stayed there more than one night! There was no elevator and we had to lug our gigantic suitcases up the stairs. The room stunk and there were a couple of lights out. We tried to laugh it off and went to dinner. We got back on the I-4 and went to look for food. One thing we noticed was that there are barely any off ramps on this highway. If you miss yours or are just trying to find quick food, you are screwed! We ended up traveling pretty far down and got off and found Giordanoís! We were excited to eat here and it was very good. A lot of places were closed so we felt lucky to find one of the places on our list anyways! We had mozzarella sticks and a deep-dish pizza and they were great! We then went back to the hotel and went to bed around 11.

Thursday, October 14, 2004 - Islands of Adventure

We woke up at 7:30 and were checked out at 8:30. We then headed across the street to check into Universalís Royal Pacific Resort. I know this is a Disney site, but many people like us go to both places when they are in Orlando, so I am going to include Universal stuff. This hotel was beautiful!!! Our room was awesome and really nice. The staff was also great. The pool was so cool and I know that kids would love it! The main reason we had stayed one night on their property was to have the front of the line access and it was worth it in many ways!

We walked the 10-minute walk to IOA and were ready to go. The day was sunny and warm. We ate breakfast at Cinnabon and headed to Hulk. This coaster was really fun, much longer than it looks from the outside. Then we went to Dr. Doomís Fearfall and had a great time. The themeing in this park is absolutely incredible. The lines are all themed and even a simple drop ride was themed! I definitely think this park is on the same level as any Disney park. Please donít shoot me, Disneyphiles! We then went on Spiderman and again were totally blown away. We went on Jurassic Park and Ripsaw Falls and got drenched. I mean from head to toe! That was okay though because it was really hot. We went on Dueling Dragons, Ice side and had fun. I was really dizzy after this ride though. We then ate lunch at the Enchanted Oak Tavern and it was really good. The chicken was great. We got two meals and split them and had food left over! I love the music in the Lost Continent area, it is totally cool. We then did the Poseidonís Fury thing and it was totally lame and rode The Cat in the Hat and One Fish, Two Fish. These were both fun. We walked around the park again and went on Jurassic Park again and Dueling Dragons Fire side two more times. Dueling Dragons is my new favorite roller coaster. I love the effect of feeling how you are going to hit the other train. I liked Rockíní Roller Coaster, but it was much rougher and the themeing was better on Dueling Dragons. We were exhausted by then so we decided to go back to the room. All of the lines here were fairly short, maybe the longest was 30 minutes for Spiderman, it was really nice having the front of the line access, because we waited in no lines. They closed at 5 because it was going to be Halloween Horror Nights.

We went back to the room and got ready and took the boat to CityWalk. We ate dinner at Margaritaville and it was pretty good, the atmosphere was a lot of fun. We went back to watch Survivor and the Apprentice and were asleep by 10:30.

Friday, October 15, 2004 - Universal Studios Florida

We woke up and were out the door by 8:30 again. We checked out of the hotel and loaded our car and then we took the boat to the entry area because we decided it was wise to save our energy. We ate at Cinnabon (yes, I love Cinnabon!) and went into the park. The first thing we went on was Revenge of the Mummy and all I can say is Wow! This is the coolest and most fun ride that I have ever been on! We immediately went again. The line was 15 minutes, but we still had the front of the line access and used it for no wait. I must say, that after this ride I was beginning to worry that Disney wouldnít be able to compare with the great time we were already having. We then did Earthquake and Jaws, which were cool and then Men In Black. This ride rocks. It makes the Buzz Lightyear ride look so bad. I think this is better because the cars are not so close together and the guns are not mounted. On the Buzz Lightyear ride you are so close together and it is much harder to aim and shoot. We exited this ride and it was pouring rain so we went on another time. This was basically the only rainstorm we got the whole time we were there, so we really lucked out! By the time we got out it had stopped raining and we went over to Back to the Future. This ride made me sick, but my friends liked it.

We then watched the Beetlejuice and Horror Make-Up Show and both were very enjoyable. The actors were actually really funny. We were getting hungry so I ate at Nathanís Hot Dogs and my two friends got fish and chips, we were all very happy with the food. We went over and rode ET and my friends did the Jimmy Neutron thing while I got in line for Shrek. The movies they show while in line are hilarious. The Shrek show was pretty good, but I think PhilharMagic is much better. Then we decided to try the Twister show. We stood in the back and even though they said you might get wet, we werenít really expecting it. Buckets of water poured on our backs from these openings in the back wall. We were totally surprised by it. I had a backpack with stuff in it that got totally wet and I was pretty mad. On top of that it was freezing in there so that made it more miserable. There were these two elderly people next to us that were absolutely horrified by how wet we were. Remember this if you go on it! We then went on Mummy again. This ride just got better. All 3 times we rode it the entire car was cheering at the end, it is that good.

We then left and got in the car to drive to the Radisson Resort Parkway. Along the way we got a flat tire. I was totally bummed, especially since I hadnít gotten the supplemental insurance (Does anyone?) and so I was responsible for paying for the tire! I called AAA and a really nice guy came to help us put the spare on. We then went to check into the Radisson Resort Parkway. This hotel is really nice. I would definitely stay here again. The bathroom was big and the pool was great. We were able to be in any of the Disney parking lots within 15 minutes and it was close to a lot of other stuff too. I must say, although it is tempting to want to stay on property next time, we might end up here again. We got dinner from Chick-Fil-A and discussed changing our plans. We had to get the tire fixed and so we decided to skip the Kennedy Space Center the next day and get the tire fixed in the morning and then go to Animal Kingdom after. This would allow us to relax during the day on Sunday and then be rested for Mickeyís Not-So-Scary Halloween Party that night. We went to bed exhausted (again) around 10.

Saturday, October 16, 2004 - Fix car and Animal Kingdom

We got up and left the hotel by 7 and went to Wal-Mart to fix the tire. We found that they could fix the flat tire and not have to replace it. YIPPEE! That would cost us much less, but it was going to take 2 hours. We wanted to walk somewhere, but with all the construction it didnít seem safe to walk around so we went back to Wal-Mart. We grabbed breakfast at McDonaldís and then began the most in depth tour of Wal-Mart I have ever taken. We looked at everything to try and kill some time. The best thing was that they had a huge Disney section with some really cute stuff. Now, none of us buy a lot of Disney souvenirs nor wear Disney stuff; but we each bought 2 tank tops while we were there for 5 dollars each! They are so cute. One of mine is yellow with a hula Minnie on it and the other one is pink with Tink on it. We also got some frames, stuff to do laundry with and a belt. It really ended up being productive. We went back to the automotive center after about 95 minutes and the car was ready and it only cost 6.50!!!! We were so happy because weíd feared it would be much more money. I asked for the manager and complimented him on the cleanliness of the store compared to ours back home and the great service we had received.

We then were off to our first Disney Park, the Animal Kingdom! It was so exciting to see the Walt Disney World sign welcoming us, I felt like I had been waiting for this moment for so long! I probably almost killed people while I was driving because I was so happy. We pulled in and I must say that the first thing we noticed was that the parking seemed even more organized then at Disneyland. I feel that with the building of the structure they have gotten more lax and slow at getting the cars parked. We were at the main entrance by about 12. It was a pretty warm day; each day seemed to only get hotter while we were there. We went and got FastPasses for Kilimanjaro Safaris (standby was 40 minutes) and went to ride Dinosaur. The line was 15 minutes. I really like the line; I think it is neat how it looks like a museum. This ride was pretty cool, dark, loud, and scary all at the same time. We thought it was scarier than Indy at Disneyland. I think that children would be terrified of this. We grabbed FastPasses for the Ride-from-Hades AKA Primeval Whirl and headed back to Kilimanjaro Safaris. It still wasnít time for our FP, so we went in that bird watching area on the Pangani Trail. This was okay, a good way to pass time. Then we went on the Safari. We waited about 20 minutes, even with FP! Our driver was really good, but this way did not meet our expectations. I was surprised at how many jeeps are out at once, it kind of ruins the experience. We did not see that many animals or the ones we saw were commonplace, like giraffes or hippos.

We then did Rafiki's Planet Watch while we waited for our Primeval Whirl FP time. This was neat, I liked the petting zoo. Watch out for the goat who steals out of pockets! Oh well, it was nice to sit down for a bit. We then rode that stupid Primeval Whirl. I felt so sorry for the people that were waiting in the stand-by line of 40 minutes; this ride is so not worth it. I felt so motion sick on it, more than on Mission: Space! My other 2 friends did not like it either. We then went in to a store next to the restrooms in this area and I found my favorite souvenir of the trip: Nurse Minnie! She is a small plush doll and I am so glad I bought her when I did because we saw nothing else like it! At 3 we walked over to go on Kali River Rapids. There were no more FPs, so we decided to wait in line. It was posted at 45 minutes, but took us about 30. This line is cool too. The ride was very disappointing. I think that Grizzly River at DCA is way better, longer and much more fun. Oh yeah, thanks to the geniuses who installed those water guns at the end! I love having soaking wet feet! We wore ponchos, but I felt sorry for the little girl next to us because she wanted to get wet and barely did. We then went over to get in line for the 4:30 Lion King show. Everyone was lined up for the parade and this made it very difficult to get around. We were let into the hot theater, I was sad that it wasnít cooler because we were roasting by this time of the day! The show was pretty good, worth the sweat.

It was then time to head home. I was constantly surprised at how easy it was to drive around and out of the parks, even at closing time. We were usually back at the hotel within 15 minutes of leaving. We went to Cracker Barrel for dinner and it was delicious! We hadnít eaten anything at all except for sharing an ice cream sandwich so we were starving! I think it should be mandatory that you eat there at least once when you visit! We also stopped at Walgreenís to get water, diet coke, a Styrofoam cooler, and treats to keep in the hotel. This worked nicely, as we all like to have an ice cold diet coke as our coffee when we wake up! I worked on the trip report a little and downloaded our pictures to my computer as I had done each night. It was really fun to look at them each night. We were again exhausted and in bed around 11.

Sunday October 17, 2004-Relax and Halloween Party

Due to the flat tire, we had decided to change our plans, so today was do laundry day and relax by the pool so that we would feel rested for Mickeyís Not-So-Scary Halloween Party. We slept in until about 9 and then decided to try the buffet at the Ponderosa for breakfast. The food there was decent; I suppose you get what you pay for there. We then went back and started our laundry. One nice thing about the Radisson is that they have a laundry room in each of the buildings; the problem is there are only 2 washers and 2 dryers and one of the dryers was broke in our building. It just made the laundry take a little longer. It was nice to be able to lay by the pool. It was really hot that day and there were a lot of people outside. There are 2 pools and a lot of chairs, so it didnít seem too crowded though. We all called our family and friends back home. We felt lucky because in California it was pouring rain and here we were by the pool almost melting!! I felt bad for everyone at home for about 5 seconds and then got over it.

Around 2:30 we went back to the room and started getting ready for the Halloween party. We were going as Mousketeers and had brought our costumes from home. We had made shirts with our names across the front, bought ears at Disneyland and wore black skirts or capris. After we were all ready we took pictures and then were off to eat dinner at Benniganís. It was kind of funny because we were all dressed the same and everyone knew our names, so strangers were calling us by our names. That was a funny trend that continued the entire night. Bennigansís was very yummy. Their famous Monte Cristo was really good, plenty to share!

We were then off to the Magic Kingdom. We parked really close, I think it was Sleepy (?) and took the tram to the front gates. The Monorail was broken, which we were kind of bummed about, so we waited for the ferry. We waited about 10 minutes. As we waited we began to see people arriving in their costumes. This made us get really excited for the party as we watched everyone come. This was one of our favorite things of the night. It was so fun to just people watch and see everyone in their costumes. We got on the ferry and began the trek to the MK. We were so excited when we saw the castle. This was the place and event we were all the most excited about! The guy who took our tickets at the front gate asked us if we were cheerleaders. I jokingly told him he should be fired for not knowing that we were Mouseketeers! Duh! We entered the park around 6. They gave us little orange bags when we arrived to fill with candy. It was kind of surreal to be at the Magic Kingdom and it feeling like we were at Disneyland. Things were the same, but not the same. They had decorations throughout the park and music playing all over. We headed over towards Adventureland to begin our evening.

We stopped at our first Trick-or-Treating stop by the Swiss Family Treehouse. This was another thing that was really fun for us. We obviously havenít done this for years and it was fun to get to go Trick-or-Treating! The candy was all pretty good too. We decided to make our first ride Pirates of the Caribbean. The first thing I noticed was the line, it was really cool. Way more themed then the one at Disneyland. We walked on and I think we were the only people on the ride. Disneylandís pirates is way way WAY better! Maybe because it is my favorite ride, but everyone pretty much agreed. We then went trick-or-treating outside of Pirates and all the candy was in a treasure chest. Then we saw Captain Hook and Smee all by their lonesome, so we had to take a picture with them! I want to add that there was nobody walking around at this time. It felt weird because this side of the park was empty at this time. We wanted to go on Splash Mountain, but it was closed, so we went on Big Thunder Mountain Railroad. This was a walk on and there were only 10 people in our train. I like the themeing better on this version then on Disneylandís. We also did the Fantasyland stuff this night that we didnít want to do on our MK day. I liked their Pooh and Peter Pan better. Mickeyís PhilharMagic was really fun, but just another one of those 4D shows as far as I am concerned. It was enjoyable though. I was very excited to go on Space Mountain and TTA (People Mover)! It was just nice to be in a Tomorrowland that actually had rides in it! I was so jealous! Our last ride of the night was Splash and we were pretty wet! I really did not think we would get that wet. I must say I love their Splash! The story is better understood and the ride is just plain better! I will talk more about the other rides on Wednesdayís report.

I wonít bore you with the details of the entire night. Everything was really fun! We had a blast and this was the best thing we did while we were there! We watched the storyteller before the parade and he was great! The parade was great too. We also did the Riverboat ride with the singers and storyteller and that was fun. We did the last ride of the night so it was not very crowded and that made it even better. We also watched the fireworks in Fantasyland. It was a good place to watch and I thought the show was fun. A warning for parents, do not stand here to watch the fireworks! It is so loud and I think that every kid was freaking out. The sounds echo in there and make them really loud.

We went on every ride (except for the Astro Orbiter rockets, the Indy Speedway cars, the Mad Tea Party teacups and The Barnstormer) during the night and managed to hit every candy place and some twice. There were no lines! I know some people say you can not do all the rides and all the special activities in one night, but we managed to do it all! We never felt stressed or rushed either. I highly recommend this event. I wish more than anything that we had this at Disneyland; I think it would be very successful and do a lot to restore Disneylandís reputation. We headed home about 12 and were in bed by 1.

Monday, October 18th - MGM and Epcot

Our original plan for today had been to just go to MGM, but we decided to try and go to Epcot at the end of the day to catch Illuminations, eat at the Food and Wine Festival, and ride Test Track and Mission: Space, leaving Tuesday open for the rest of Epcot. I was also paranoid that I was going to get sick on Mission: Space and didnít want to mess up an entire day. We also knew that we would be eating a lot on Tuesday, so we wanted to try and eat dinner at Epcot on Monday.

We arrived at MGM at rope drop. It was pretty cool; I have never been to one of these before. We then headed to the right with everyone else to get FastPasses for Rockíní Roller Coaster and then we went on Tower of Terror. I was really expecting to be wowed on the Florida version of Tower, but it was just slightly better than the CA version in my opinion. The 5th Dimension part is okay, but not that great. Maybe because we knew it was coming. The dropping part is really what makes the ride and the idea that you are in a falling elevator. It was fun though and one of the coolest attractions Disney has to offer. Then we went on the roller coaster. The advice to get a FastPass for Rockíní Roller Coaster and then go on Tower is very wise. By the time we got over to the coaster, its posted wait time was 50 minutes and we had just been over there a half hour ago! We did that and thought it was cool, just another roller coaster though. We got FastPasses to do Tower again and then started walking around. MGM reminds me a lot of DCA. I donít know specifically why, but I feel they share a lot of the same Ďlookí.

The Great Movie Ride was next. This ride was neat. I liked watching the movie clips while we waited for our car. We had a really good tour guide and I think that probably made the ride better. I think this is a cool ride, but I am a huge movie fan. I loved the part when you see all the munchkins! We all 3 liked this ride and would probably have gone on it again. But the line was about 35 minutes. We then went back and rode Tower again and got FastPasses for the Voyage of The Little Mermaid. We walked through One Manís Dream and we really enjoyed it. I learned some cool facts. I did feel it was misplaced here. I think it would be more meaningful at the Magic Kingdom.

It was time for our FastPasses for Little Mermaid and we were all really glad. Not because we love Little Mermaid so much, but because it was really hot that day and we needed to go inside a cool theater and cool off. It definitely got hotter each day that we were there. This day was especially rough on us because we also walked 6.6 miles on the pedometer! This show was good. I donít know why, maybe the show is really scary, but like 5 kids had to be taken out by their parents because they were freaking out. We then went over to watch the Indiana Jones show. This show was pretty cool; they said some of the effects werenít working so I think we missed some stuff. By then we were hungry, so we went to check on changing our Priority Seating for the Sci-Fi Dine-In. It was about 1pm at this point. They said we could get in if we wouldnít mind sitting at a table instead in one of the cars. This was fine with us because there were 3 of us. We went inside and sat down. Or waiter came and took our drink order. We all really liked this place, the food was pretty good and the atmosphere was awesome! Between the 3 of us we ordered a childís hot dog meal (I was craving a hot dog and the waiter let me order one form this menu), spinach-artichoke dip, onion rings and a catfish sandwich. All of these were really good, worth the money.

Then we went and did Who Wants To Be A Millionaire. Two of our party were in the first place position, but never when it mattered. I like this attraction and miss having it at DCA! One thing we liked was that the people in the Hot Seat were form all over. None of them were locals. A big difference from DCA. I always was irritated when the people were in the Hot Seat for the 9th time and played it once a week. Thatís not fair to all the visitors! After completing this we decided to do the Backlot Tour thing before we left. This was kind of dumb. I think we were all comparing it to the one at Universal Studios Hollywood. I would not waste my time with this again! It was about 4:30 at this point so we decided to hop on over to Epcot.

It was actually pretty easy to park-hop, I wasnít sure how it would be, but we had no problems. We parked really close at both places, so we could easily walk to our cars. Out of all the parks, we were most excited for Epcot. It really is a neat place. We wanted to complete our objective ASAP, so we went and got FastPasses for Test Track and then got in the stand-by for Mission: Space. We did notice that they had FastPasses for after the posted closing time of Future World (7pm). I guess that they were keeping these 2 rides open until park closing because of crowds. Our FastPass for TT was for 1.5 hours from now, so we decided to do Mission: Space.

I easily get motion sickness. I especially have a hard time driving in mountains and sometimes on planes. I really canít do spinning rides and even carrousels sometimes make me feel ill. I decide to take a motion sickness pill before getting in line. I took half what I would normally take. The line was about 20 minutes. I was so nervous the entire time waiting. The 700 signs warning you about the ride didnít help. I asked the ride op what to do to help and he said to keep your eyes open no matter what and to look straight ahead. There were 3 of us so we had a single rider with us. I was thinking great I am going to throw up all over this poor guy! We got our assignments and got in the pod. Mission: Space is awesome! I did feel disoriented much of the time, but never like I was going to be sick. I also managed to push my buttons when I was supposed to. I think this helps because you are concentrating on your task. I canít even explain the feeling when you are taking off and then floating in space, it is incredible. We got off and all felt fine, no problems whatsoever. I think that I was so paranoid that it helped me to be fine. 3 huge thumbs up for this ride!

We decided to go to Ice Station Cool before our FPs for Test Track were ready. I love it in there because it is freezing! We didnít drink very much and then headed back to test track. This ride is cool, not as good as I was expecting. I think because we rode it right after Mission and we loved that ride so much that the next one failed in comparison. It felt cool to be outside going really fast, that was the best part. After completing our task we decided to head over to World Showcase to start eating.

The Food and Wine Festival was pretty neat. I just think it is so cool that all the people are form their own countries! We had: quesadillas, gazpacho, crepes, beaver tails, escargot, and cheddar cheese soup. After just hitting the booths, we went to wait for Illuminations. We liked it; I know some people absolutely adore it. We thought it was neat and worth waiting for. I was surprised at how easy it was to get out with all the people. We sat pretty close to the exit though. We got home around 10 and put to bed our tired bodies! We were exhausted after being in bed at 1 last night and walking 6 miles today!

Tuesday, October 19, 2004 - Epcot, part 2

We were starting the day off with breakfast at Chef Mickeyís. We got there for our PS at 8:40, took our picture, and then were immediately seated. We headed to the buffet. I was pleasantly surprised with how good the food was! I loved the french toast and the hash brown nugget things! Yumm! The bacon and sausage was also good. I even had a Krispy Kreme donut at the end of the day! We actually had a great time there. It was fun seeing all the characters, and we arenít even that into any of them, and taking lots of pics. I can see why kids eat this up, but we adults also had a blast. We will definitely return there next time. The only weird thing that happened was that the Mickey character did this inappropriate dance on my roommate. It was the strangest and funniest thing I have ever seen! He must have learned his moves at Pleasure Island! The pictures that you can buy were fairly cheap too. It was 26 dollars for two 5X7s, a keychain, and two wallets. I thought this was pretty reasonable and our picture turned out really cute!

We headed over to Epcot around 10 and finished Future World. The first thing we hit was Spaceship Earth. We all really liked this ride. It was slow moving, but pretty cool. I could see how it could get old though if you went on it a million times. The Living Seas was lame and we probably wouldnít go back there. I think that if you have ever been to a large zoo or Sea World, other animal exhibits just arenít impressive. Then we did Living with the Land and that was pretty cool. I was pleasantly surprised. We enjoyed going through the greenhouses and saw them trying to make Mickey pumpkins! This was neat. It was also a good break. Then we did Journey Into Imagination. This was also fun, that Figment is adorable! I liked how the ride started and stopped again. It also was inspiring. We had a lot of fun after the ride making pictures on the computers and sending them to people. It was especially fun to morph our faces with animals!

We then cut across the main area to do Ellenís Energy Adventure. I have to be honest and admit that I fell asleep in this ride. I woke up for a second when it started moving, but missed most of it. My 2 friends said it was cool, but kind of long. Then it was time to hit World Showcase.

Our first stop here was Mexico. We walked on the ride and thought it was cute. We looked at the shopping area (too expensive) and at around 1:30ish we ate at the San Angel Inn. It was okay. Our service was lacking and we probably wouldnít eat there again. We eat a lot of Mexican food in So Cal and this was too expensive and not tasty enough for us! It was fun though, they came and sang to my friend for her birthday and we got her a cake. It was pretty good for 10 dollars. Note: I was not told there would be a cake or that it would cost anything.

We headed next door to Norway and waited about 10 minutes for that ride. I liked the part where it went backwards and the looks on the faces of some of the people were priceless! They had no idea what was happening. This ride is fun. We also liked the movie. We then just kind of walked through all of the countries. We didnít do any other movies or anything. We just kind of looked at the shops and exhibits.

We did want to see the American Adventure. We were also there early enough to see Voices of Liberty. We all loved their costumes, so cool. They were a good way to pass time before the show. This show is neat, the stage is huge and it is well done. I thought it was neat that it looked at some things not always mentioned in historical productions. We kept walking around and had dessert in France at the little bakery. YUMM! We had the chocolate mousse and an éclair. They were delicious! We decided to stuff ourselves more and went to England and got Fish Ďní Chips to share, these were great too. Tons of English people were eating there and all the British kids that walked by asked their parents to go there. We walked around a little more and then headed back to Downtown Disney to do some shopping. It was much less crowded and accessible this time. WE were exhausted and in bed by 10.

Wednesday, October 20, 2004 - Magic Kingdom and Outlet Shopping

Today would be our sad day, as it was our last official day in Orlando. Tomorrow we would leave very early. We awoke to a dark day and light rain. We were at the Magic Kingdom by about 9 and headed in. There was a light rain for about an hour, not bad though. We did the sucky-Orlando Pirates again and then did Splash Mountain. There was no line and we walked on. I just love their Splash! I hate getting that wet though! Then we walked on Thunder Mountain and did Country Bear Jamboree. I really miss having the bears at Disneyland, especially since the replacement ride is worthless. We got some candy for breakfast and waited for Hall of Presidents. We had about a 20 minute wait and we all enjoyed listening to the cast member give different facts about the presidents. This thing is pretty cool. I like how all the presidents turn to look at whoever is talking! We did Haunted Mansion and ate at Pecos Billís. I love the toppings bar! This was good food!

We headed over to Tomorrowland. We did our old favorite, TTA, to us People Mover and I know it is such a simple ride, but we miss it at Disneyland. It is such a good way to be able to walk on a ride and just relax for a minute. We did decide that it wouldnít be as good anymore at Disneyland because there would be hardly anything to look at! Just empty space! Then we did the Carousel of Progress. This was cool. I can see how it was happening back in its day. That song is catchy and optimistic! I put it in the slideshow I made about the trip. I know it isnít always open and might not be there forever, so I felt glad to ride. We waited about 5 minutes for Buzz and rode that. We just think that it is so bad in comparison to Men In Black at USF. It is harder to shoot and score and the cars are so close together.

It was time for Space Mountain. We walked right on again. It made me miss our Space Mountain even more! I like the two different sides; it actually reminded me a lot of Matterhorn, but just inside. I took a bunch of funny pictures while we were on it. I like the long exit and the themeing there. I must admit, I do like CAís version better though, at least when it is actually open! We hung out in the space store for a while and then headed over to Toontown Fair or whatever it is called. It was too crowded so we left almost immediately and went to the Tea Cups. We had wanted to do Pooh again, but it was closed. We decided to leave. We left around 3 and did a lot of stuff in 5 hours! I did look at the info board before we left and the longest line was 40 minutes for Peter Pan and 25 minutes for Splash! Not bad.

We went back to the hotel and changed and went to the Outlets. We kind of had a hard time finding it because once you see it from the Freeway; it is too late to exit. We ended up coming all the way back from the next exit! We got some good stuff there and it started raining just as we were leaving. We ate dinner at Chiliís, returned to get something else at Downtown Disney and then went to the hotel to pack. We left the next morning at 8.

Tidbits from the Trip

  1. Our most favorite thing was Mickeyís Not-So-Scary Halloween Party. This event is fabulous and it is enough to make me want to come back again!
  2. For our age group, Universal Studios and Islands of Adventure were so much fun. I love Disney, but for sure want to go back to these parks.
  3. Disneyland is still better than Magic Kingdom! Or at least soon it will be!
  4. The Radisson Resort Parkway is a great place to stay!
  5. Do not miss your freeway exit! It is a long time before the next one in many cases. That said, it really isnít that hard to get around and find things there!
  6. Driving your car between parks and park-hopping were much easier than we thought they would be!
  7. If you have to skip a park, chose Animal Kingdom.
  8. Plan 2 days for Epcot. This park is huge and exhausting. I didnít believe people that said it was, but they were right!
  9. Bring a laptop and download your pictures each night, this was really nice for us!
  10. Do your research before you come. It was very helpful to us knowing about food, attractions, lines, etc.! Thank you MousePlanet!

Melissa, Shelley, & Christineís Faves

  1. Number one as stated above.
  2. Revenge of the Mummy
  3. Mission: Space
  4. Spiderman
  5. Splash Mountain
  6. Chef Mickeyís
  7. Cracker Barrel
  8. Different parts of Haunted Mansion (different from DLR version)
  9. Radisson Resort Parkway
  10. FastPass

Final Budget

Item - Final Cost

  • Flight - $230
  • Hotel (Royal Pacific Resort) - $72
  • Hotel (Radisson Resort Parkway) - $185 (they charged us a resort fee)
  • Hotel (Days Inn) - $13
  • Car - $55
  • WDW Tickets (4 days) - $202
  • USF Tickets (2 days) - $95
  • Halloween party - $34
  • Food - $240
  • Total - $1126

Melissa Howard


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