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Trip Reports & Member Reviews Discuss Trip report from Aug 2005! All 2 weeks in 1 thread....Enjoy! in the Vacation Planning forums; Part 1: Day –2: Pre Trip Report Any advice I could offer somebody embarking on a trip to Orlando is DO NOT move into your first house four days before. ...
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    Smile Trip report from Aug 2005! All 2 weeks in 1 thread....Enjoy!

    Part 1: Day –2: Pre Trip Report

    Any advice I could offer somebody embarking on a trip to Orlando is DO NOT move into your first house four days before. It seriously impacts on your trip planning time. However….

    This family holiday has been in the planning since Christmas Eve ’03. On said Christmas Eve Gavin’s Man & Dad (Christine & Malcom) offered to pay for the flights for Gavin & myself and also Gavin’s sister (Lindsey) & her family if we wished to join them and a few other family members in a villa on their Orlando Vacation. Er…. go on then…. if we must!

    And so began the planning. Out of all 11 of us only I had been before but one trip does not make you an expert so it was eyes down and get reading anything WDW and USF related we could lay our hands on.

    I took charge of the planning for Gavin & I and Malcom did the itinery for the rest of them. Several charts, graphs and months later we had our respective plans. Gavin & I hired our own car and the rest of them used a double decker bus to get around or it could have been a reasonable sized 12-seater van, I forget.

    The main reason for separate transport & daily plans is because DF & I don’t have children and find it difficult to follow a day structured around a 6, 8 & 11 year old.

    So you can picture the family group here are my fellow ‘vacationers’

    Gavin (DF)
    Christine (DF Mam)
    Malcom (DF Dad)
    Lindsey (DF Sister)
    Shane (DF Bil)
    Chloe (DF Niece)
    Stephen (DF Cousin)
    Jane (Stephen’s Wife)
    Kristopher (Stephen & Jane’s Son)
    Rebecca (Stephen & Jane’s Daughter)
    & Me, Jodie or Ely3857 if you prefer to be formal.

    Our journey would begin with most of us meeting up at Manchester airport in time for our 11.15 flight with TCD. Stephen and Family stayed at the Marriott the night before (Lucky Devils!) as they live in Sunderland. As the rest of us only live in Yorkshire I was outvoted at my request to join them.
    Lindsey and Shane got a lift to the airport later in the day, as their flight wasn’t until 14.15. They originally weren’t able to come and by the time Lindsey’s University had agreed to her having a few days off from her nursing course our flight was fully booked.

    I made most of my notes for the pre trip report 48 hours before the big day. Sat in my new house in my new kitchen at my new table listening to my new washer & dryer do their stuff.
    I have a million and 1 things to do before we leave but I have decided to take 10mins out to look forward to a holiday that is more welcome and more needed than any I have ever had. Lets hope it is as good as I remember….

    Aug 1994 Disneyland Paris
    Aug 1999 Disneyland Paris
    Oct 2002 WDW Days inn Lakeside Nr Int'l Drive
    Sep 2003 Disneyland Paris
    Sep 2004 Disney Studios
    Aug 2005 WDW Villa in Hampton Lakes
    Dec 2005 Disney Studios & Disneyland Paris
    Sep 2006 Disney Studios & Disneyland Paris
    Sep 2006 WDW Onsite at Pop Century & 1 night at Hard Rock Hotel




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    Part 2: Day –1: The Day Before

    Packing. If you look this word up in the Oxford English dictionary I am positive it will say ‘an activity that will cause untold stress and imminent memory loss’. Perhaps the Collins will have a different explanation but I doubt it.

    I hate packing! Having just moved I have packed & unpacked like a demon and am sick of it! It creases your clothes, takes up precious fun time at the end of your holiday and rarely can I fit everything in without having my case screaming for mercy.

    I got to the dreaded task on Wednesday morning. Seen as Gavin was at work and I wasn’t I graciously offered to do his as well (I may hate packing but walking around with the other half dressed in the same shorts for two weeks is encouragement enough to do his)

    Everything stuffed into a pink case and a black case around noon I was off into Selby for my legs waxing (Ouch!) then back home to cross check packing list with actual stuff packed.



    Gavin home and hyper around 18.00. Out for tea ‘cos who cooks the day before they go on holiday?

    After tea we still needed to get luggage tags from Gavin’s parents and drop keys at Dan’s who would be checking house for us to make sure nothing had fallen down or blown up while we were away.

    All that sorted around 23.00 but we were far too excited to sleep, Go to bed around 23.30 after setting four alarm clocks (you can never be too careful) then spend two hours talking about our plans for the next two weeks. Doze off around 01.30…

    Aug 1994 Disneyland Paris
    Aug 1999 Disneyland Paris
    Oct 2002 WDW Days inn Lakeside Nr Int'l Drive
    Sep 2003 Disneyland Paris
    Sep 2004 Disney Studios
    Aug 2005 WDW Villa in Hampton Lakes
    Dec 2005 Disney Studios & Disneyland Paris
    Sep 2006 Disney Studios & Disneyland Paris
    Sep 2006 WDW Onsite at Pop Century & 1 night at Hard Rock Hotel




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    Part 3: Day 0: Travelling

    Buzzzz, Bring Bring, Beeeeep. That’s the sound of several alarm clocks going off at the same time, a necessity after just 2.5 hours sleep!

    You have all been following me for a couple of days now so I am delighted we are finally on our way…

    Up at 04.00 and ready to leave by 04.20. I decided to give Gavin’s M&D a ring to let them know we were up and on our way. Not one of my better ideas, they still had 10mins of kip left and when the phone rang there was major panic that somebody had fallen ill or lost a passport!

    Drove both cars to Christine & Malcom’s for safe keeping while we are away. As we have only lived here a few days we didn’t think it would be best to make it obvious we were on holiday by leaving them parked outside for two weeks.

    Left for Manchester Airport at 05.20 and made it in good time despite horrendous rain and lots of traffic. Dropped car off at long stay parking and hopped on the courtesy bus to the train station where TDC check in is located. Second panic attack of the day for the grown ups as Stephen, Jane & kids were nowhere to be seen. They had stayed at the Marriott the evening before but should have been dropped of at 07.00 and it was now 07.20. Gave them a call on the old nokia and discovered they were waiting for us in T1. Told them to get their butts over to us asap as there was hardly any queue for check in and we wanted to join it!



    I was a tad concerned when I learnt we were checking in at the station, I had all sorts of visions about a dingy queuing area and lots of passengers jostling to be first. A scene of general chaos had formed in my head. I was very pleasantly surprised though. There was one big queuing line (why don’t more airlines do this, far more fair doing it on a first come first served basis than passengers trying to guess which of the many queues may go down quickest and picking the wrong one).
    Checking in went very smoothly and we managed to get all 9 of us in a row in a 2-4-3 formation (Row 39).

    By now it was fast approaching 08.30 and we were all starving so off to Garfunkles for breakfast, we all sat separately (The staff looked far too harassed to risk asking for a table to seat 11) my notes are telling me to refer to receipt but I can’t find it! I am very confident Gavin & I both had the biggest English breakfast on offer with tea and toast but I am unsure how much it came to. It was very nice though.



    After breakfast at around 09.15 we made our way through to the departure lounge, this took a long time as our queue only had 1 scanning machine but the other queue had 5! Not very well organised.
    In addition to picking the wrong queue Gavin had his hand luggage very thoroughly searched. Not really surprising at the time as it was a rucksack with 4 books in making it very heavy.

    After this we went to find somewhere to sit, a few of us wondered around the shops but only purchases were sweets and drinks.

    We should have been boarding at 10.15 for an 11.15 flight but the gate wasn’t announced until 10.20 and after making our way to gate 31 we still didn’t even begin boarding until 11.00 and when the plane was full we waited until 13.20 to take off! Flight delay was due to the bridge been stuck to the plane and a problem loading luggage. Delay wasn’t bad really, Staff brought us water and sweets a couple of times and we always knew what the problem was.





    The take off was the worst I have ever experienced. I really did think we were going to run out of runway and when we finally did lift off there was such a thud it sounded like the tail end had smashed into the tarmac! Having said that the flight was very smooth and uneventful. Lunch was served around 15.00 we were offered chicken or beef but Gavin ended up with Vegetable curry, there was no way he would have eaten it so me been a nice girl we swapped.



    The films Hitch, Robots and the Pacifier were played with a few episodes of the Simpson’s, Two & A Half Men and Friends.

    The plane was Air Atlanta. It was clean but looked a bit ‘tired’. Nothing could be faulted though. The staff were very friendly and always smiling.

    Despite the two hour delay we landed only an hour or so late. Immigration was done & dusted in 15mins but almost an hour was spent waiting for bags, no matter I can amuse myself any time and place by queuing for the ladies loo!

    Delay with the flight and waiting for bags was no problem for the nine of us, as we needed to wait for the other two anyway. We got confirmation of Lindsey & Shane’s flight arrival then me & Malcom went to collect our cars.

    Gavin and I set off a few moments later to the villa. An hour or so later with no wrong turnings we were there. Unfortunately we couldn’t do anything but watch TV until everyone else had arrived as rooms were still to be allocated but at least the A/C was on.
    They all arrived at 21.45 and the rooms were quickly sorted so the fellas & me nipped down the US27 to Publix for some nibbles and beer.



    Me and Gavin didn’t stay in that evening though. We had our dinner at Denny’s, chicken strips and fries for me and a BBQ beef burger and fries for him.

    We were going to have a drive and get our bearings but it was getting late and we hadn’t unpacked so back to Hampton Lakes around 23.30. Unpacking sorted and into bed at 01.00.



    Those of you paying attention will have realised we have now been up for 25hours! (Give or take the odd nap on the plane).

    Alarm set for 07.00 but would we be awake at 04.00 with jet lag or would the 2.5 hours sleep then a 25 hour day force us to turn it off and roll back to sleep?

    Aug 1994 Disneyland Paris
    Aug 1999 Disneyland Paris
    Oct 2002 WDW Days inn Lakeside Nr Int'l Drive
    Sep 2003 Disneyland Paris
    Sep 2004 Disney Studios
    Aug 2005 WDW Villa in Hampton Lakes
    Dec 2005 Disney Studios & Disneyland Paris
    Sep 2006 Disney Studios & Disneyland Paris
    Sep 2006 WDW Onsite at Pop Century & 1 night at Hard Rock Hotel




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    Part 4: Day 1: Islands Of Adventure

    Wake up at 5.00 5.15 5.30, you get the picture. Got up at 6.30 and had a bath while Gavin got a peaceful half hour in before the alarm clock at 7.00

    IOA is the plan for today. I bought Express pass pluses for us as a treat for our first day. Also I didn’t want Gavin’s first experience of the parks to be queuing. As it was high season I paid top wack for the plus tickets but cant remember what it converted to in GBP.

    Ready at 7.20 and found USF car park with no problems. Cinnabon for breakfast Gavin had a Cinnabon Classic & I have the Stix. Very nice but very sweet. With two cokes the bill was $10.92.





    Straight to IOA now. Think we arrived in at 9.15 and my first stop was the Hulk. Gavin is petrified of rides that go more than 2ft above the ground. He isn’t scared of heights as such just unsure of things he hasn’t done before. He will go on rides at Blackpool that he did as a kid because he knows he will come to no harm, but is reluctant to try new thrill rides. I was aware of this before we came and my tried and tested method is to ask him if he wishes to ride then leave him alone to decide.

    I am sure you have all guessed I rode Hulk alone! I didn’t need my Express plus pass as the queue was only 10mins. I do love roller coasters but in my old age I find they make me a bit dizzy when I get off and the better the ride the longer I am walking in circles after!

    Over the next two hours we rode Spider Man: Excellent! Bilge rat Barges: Wicked and Ripsaw Falls: Could I be any wetter! All of these were virtual walk-ons, perhaps the Express plus’s weren’t needed after all.




    We left IOA at 11.45 for our PS at Hard Rock Café at 12.00. We were a bit worried they wouldn’t let us in as we were still soaking wet! On the way to Hard Rock we realized when Gavin had last used the camcorder he hadn’t stopped recording when he put it away so we now had 40mins of bag! Plonker.



    No problems with getting in the Hard Rock. They must be used to all sorts turning up! We were starving so decided to order starters and a main course. We didn’t want the same things so didn’t split the food. Erm how can I put this politely? We must have been barmy! I had Nachos to start then Herb grilled Chicken and Gavin had Chicken strips then A Chicken Club. Suffice to say we ate about 1/3 if not less of our food. We left so much I was embarrassed! Along with two cokes the bill was $50.24 plus tip.

    After lunch we waddled back to IOA, showed our stamped hand and headed for River Adventure. We did need to use our Express plus’s here as the queue was 40mins.



    After a through soaking we decided to go home for a while as we were both tired. We left IOA at 14.00 and went to bed for 3 hours!

    Completely refreshed we headed back out at 18.00. We made a detour on the way back to IOA as I had been suffering from Earache since last night so needed to call at the pharmacy for some advice, bought some painkillers and eardrops and told not to go swimming. No swimming, how can I not go swimming? I shall reserve judgement on no swimming until my water park days come around. Arrived at IOA around 19.00 but a storm was closing in so most of the rides had closed. We did use our Express plus’s to go on Spiderman again which is now officially Gavin’s favourite ride.

    Left IOA at 21.00 and wondered around Ciywalk for a while. Popped into Wendy’s on the way home (I was gutted when McDonalds bought out Wendys in Leeds!) had a bath then bed around 23.00.

    Aug 1994 Disneyland Paris
    Aug 1999 Disneyland Paris
    Oct 2002 WDW Days inn Lakeside Nr Int'l Drive
    Sep 2003 Disneyland Paris
    Sep 2004 Disney Studios
    Aug 2005 WDW Villa in Hampton Lakes
    Dec 2005 Disney Studios & Disneyland Paris
    Sep 2006 Disney Studios & Disneyland Paris
    Sep 2006 WDW Onsite at Pop Century & 1 night at Hard Rock Hotel




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    Part 5: Day 2: Animal Kingdom

    Today’s plan was to get up at 7.00 for an 8.00 breakfast with Donald. I woke up at 6.30 and decided an hour wouldn’t be long enough to get ready and get there. I was right, an hour and a half wasn’t long enough. We ended up been over half an hour late and missed our slot. I was gutted.



    Decided to make the most of the fact us non-siters were in the park during EMH and walked straight onto Kilimanjaro Safari. Saw tons of animals,had a very close encounter with a giraffe and had to wait around 10mins for some Hippo’s to shift out of our way!





    After the Safari we had breakfast at Tusker House. We both had scrambled egg with sausage and potatoes and we also bought a muffin and a cinnamon roll for later, with two cokes this was $20.39.

    After breakfast we went on the rapids. These rapids are very good but after the soaking we got yesterday they did seem a bit tame and the ride seemed a lot shorter.





    Dinosaur was next. I had been on this ride before and have the photo to prove it but I couldn’t remember a thing! The photograph was of me looking absolutely petrified so I can only assume I was so scared I blocked it out.

    Dinosaur was scary. It all came flooding back as soon as we set off, but it was also very good. After the ride we got a FP so we could go on again.

    Time was pushing on now and the heat was unbearable. Gavin and I sat in the shade for an hour just to recover from our morning. After our much needed break we headed for it’s tough to be a bug. Again I had been on this before but so long ago it was like been a first timer and it was excellent.



    After this we went back to Dinosaur to use our FP but the FP queue was almost as long as the stand by line so we called it a day.

    After a nap at home we went to I-Drive for tea. Ended up at Perkins were I had Lasagne and Gavin had a chicken burger. I wish we had room for pudding, the lemon meringue looked lovely. No receipt so no price for this I’m afraid.

    Back at the villa we had a couple of beers with everyone else. Turns out they had been at Animal Kingdom aswell. Bed around 23.00

    My earache has been getting steadily worse so tomorrow we are going to see if we can find a doctor.

    Aug 1994 Disneyland Paris
    Aug 1999 Disneyland Paris
    Oct 2002 WDW Days inn Lakeside Nr Int'l Drive
    Sep 2003 Disneyland Paris
    Sep 2004 Disney Studios
    Aug 2005 WDW Villa in Hampton Lakes
    Dec 2005 Disney Studios & Disneyland Paris
    Sep 2006 Disney Studios & Disneyland Paris
    Sep 2006 WDW Onsite at Pop Century & 1 night at Hard Rock Hotel




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    Part 6: Day 3: Epcot

    A bit of a detour from the plan first thing. I have had earache since Thursday and the painkillers and eardrops recommended by the pharmacist have stopped been effective so after breakfast we are going to find a doctor.

    We had breakfast at Sizzlers. Very nice at $17.64 inc drinks.

    We tried to find a drop in medical centre just off the 192 mentioned in A Brit’s Guide but instead ended up in Celebration. Gavin went into the hospital there to ask their advice on where to go and the receptionist told him it would be fine to go around to the emergency dept. Well, didn’t I feel a right plonker walking into an ‘emergency’ department with earache! However the pain was so bad I had no option.

    They couldn’t have been a nicer bunch. It was a slow morning for them so I was assessed straight away, saw a Doctor in 15mins and had a prescription for antibiotic eardrops in another 15mins.

    When I arrived I was given a wrist band with my particulars on it and a bar code. Gavin had all sorts of fun cracking jokes about been scanned on my way out to see how much I owed! The bill came to $154.00 for the hospital then $33.00 for the prescription at Walgreens. And no, much to Gavin’s disapointment I wasn’t scanned.



    Arrived at Epcot around 13.00 and we made our way straight to Test Track. On the way we bumped into everybody else, they were having a great time. They raved about Test Track and were on their way to get FP for Soarin’.

    Gavin & I grabbed a FP for Test Track with a return time of 17.10-18.10 then we joined the standby queue. We must have been in the queue for all of 2mins when the heavens opened and TT shut! (Better 2mins then 2hours!)

    We made our way to Honey I Shrunk the Audience, a walk on despite the downpour. After this the rain had stopped but TT was still closed so we wondered around World Showcase stopping briefly for a pint at the Rose & Crown ($11.93) and a burger at Liberty Inn.



    When we first entered the World Showcase I nipped to the loo while Gavin queued for a drink. When I came out he gotten two large cokes. I was a tad suprised at this as if we were on the move we usually shared. What I neglected to realise was Gavin staring at me when I took my first sip. The pillock had got me iced tea for a joke! Also he wondered what Ice tea actually was. After I had spluttered my drink all down his front and uttered a few choice words resembling what the heck is this? he confessed he didnt know that iced tea was literally cold tea and wanted a taste! He didnt like it any more than me so we split the remaining coke. I made him taste it first though!

    We didn’t spend much time in each country as it was very hot and we were in a rush to get back in time for our TT FP slot. We did go on the boat ride in Norway to get out of the heat.

    So 17.10 arrived and we were ready and waitng at TT. Guess what? After unbelievable heat for the last 2 hours it started pouring and TT shut again!

    This time we amused ourselves in the showroom taking photo’s of the Hummers and other cars then we went shopping at Mousegear. I bought a Minnie Mouse watch and a Mickey & Minnie salt ‘n’ pepper shaker, they are sat in a red car and it is perfect in my kitchen!





    We weren’t sure what to do now. We (or at least I) wanted to stay for Illuminations but it was still chucking it down. In order to get out of the rain we went to the Land and had some cake and hot chocolate at Seasons $9.54.. Yes I know, 10mins ago it was 95 degrees outside and now I need hot chocolate ‘cos I am wet and cold!

    Saw the rest of our gang again on their way to Soarin’ There were no more FP left and we didn’t fancy queuing for 80mins so we left that one for another day.

    To kill time we went on Living with the Land. Interesting, but educational. By the time we left the Land the rain had downgraded to a drizzle but TT was still shut so we gave Spaceship Earth a whirl instead. I do like the ride but I wouldn’t queue for more than 10mins for it.

    Hoorah! The sun is back and TT was open…… Raced over to TT and shoved our FP at the nearest CM and ran to the front of the queue. TT was fabulous. I had been worried it wouldn’t live up to the hype, our long wait or that car mad Gavin would consider it flawed in some way but no, we both loved it.



    After TT it was 20.50, perfect timing for Illuminations. Gavin doesn’t ‘do’ fireworks so we stand back and watch from a distance. I couldn’t get a very good idea of the scene, I could barely see the globe or the fountains but it was very good anyway.



    Hung back a while after the show to have a drink and let everyone else leave. We eventually left at 22.00 and called at Taco bell for tea. Home around 23.00 and straight to bed.

    Aug 1994 Disneyland Paris
    Aug 1999 Disneyland Paris
    Oct 2002 WDW Days inn Lakeside Nr Int'l Drive
    Sep 2003 Disneyland Paris
    Sep 2004 Disney Studios
    Aug 2005 WDW Villa in Hampton Lakes
    Dec 2005 Disney Studios & Disneyland Paris
    Sep 2006 Disney Studios & Disneyland Paris
    Sep 2006 WDW Onsite at Pop Century & 1 night at Hard Rock Hotel




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    Part 7: Day 4: Wet ‘n’ Wild

    Or at least Wet ‘n’ Wild was the plan. Due to my earache we decided a waterpark might not be the best idea. No big deal for Gavin, he cant swim and doesn’t like water!

    So a lie in then a shopping trip were in order. Up around 10.00 and had a lazy breakfast in the villa then off to Downtown Disney.

    I hadn’t been here on my previous trip and hadn’t been able to squeeze into our original plans this time so I was sort of glad of the ‘free’ time we had been given.



    We parked near Planet Hollywood and walked over to DD Market place. Strolled around the shops for a while then went to Rainforest Café for lunch. For some reason I don’t have the receipt for this and I have no idea what we ate but it was very nice! I think our server was Maurice and he was kind enough to take a picture of us together.










    After lunch we went to Basin and made a candle. I was chuffed to bits because the purple wax was exactly the same shade as our bathroom! $11.70.

    We also bought some fridge magnets from Magneton for my mum (she wont’t let you in the house without a fridge magnet if you have been away) $14.63 for four. Got Dan’s kids a Minnie Mouse & Tinker Bell T-Shirt from World of Disney $36.21 and Gavin bought the Foo Fighters cd from Virgin $18.10.



    Back at the villa most of them had also gone shopping but Stephen, Shane Chloe and Rebecca were home so we played a few games of pool then sat in the living room and watched the biggest storm I have ever seen, although small by US standards I guess. The storm cut our electric a few times but during the afternoon it was on again in about 10mins.






    When everyone else arrived back it was decided we would all go to Seaworld for the fireworks then get something to eat.

    We al piled into the minibus and arrived at Seaworld with enough time for me Lindsey and Stephen to go on Kraken before Shamu Rocks America. Stephens a big girl, he stared screaming when Kraken set off and didn’t stop until we get off! Although he was the only fella to ride so he is braver than Gavin, Malcom and Shane!

    We had to race over to Shamu stadium and arrived just as the show was starting. A good show, the Americans were all on their feet clapping and cheering. When the trainers explained that the first 14 rows would probably get wet Christine but on about 3 ponchos despite been 25 rows back!

    I can’t say I was impressed with the fireworks. Again like Epcot a lot of the stuff goes on at water level so if you aren’t in the first couple of rows or very tall then a lot of it passes you by. There is no doubt it is a well thought out concept for a fireworks display but I wouldn’t be rushing to see it again and it certainly isn’t something I would stake out a spot for 2 hours before.

    It was 22.15 now and everyone was starving and the kids along with a couple of adults were getting grumpy and tired.

    After getting lost a few times we decided to get a takeaway from the next place we saw. We found a Pizza Hut Express located in a hotel on the 192 and sent Malcom, Shane and Stephen in to get them. The receipt days they ordered at 23.08 and the van clock says they returned with them at 00.04! Pizza Hut Express??!??

    Got back to the villa around 00.20 to find the electricity had gone off again. The food on the freezer was still frozen so it seems it had been yo-yoing on and off all evening. We could only locate one candle in the cupboards so I handed over my precious candle from Basin.

    Pizza & beer then off to bad around 01.00 with no a/c!

    Aug 1994 Disneyland Paris
    Aug 1999 Disneyland Paris
    Oct 2002 WDW Days inn Lakeside Nr Int'l Drive
    Sep 2003 Disneyland Paris
    Sep 2004 Disney Studios
    Aug 2005 WDW Villa in Hampton Lakes
    Dec 2005 Disney Studios & Disneyland Paris
    Sep 2006 Disney Studios & Disneyland Paris
    Sep 2006 WDW Onsite at Pop Century & 1 night at Hard Rock Hotel




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    Part 8: Day 5: Magic Kingdom

    Had a lie in today. Got up around 10.00 and was overjoyed to find the electricity and therefore a/c back on!

    Had toast/cereal in the villa then off the Magic Kingdom.





    Arrived at MK around 11.15 and took the monorail. Just after we got through baggage check the Seven Dwarfs came out! There was no Snow White and a few kids were more upset than happy ‘cos it was photo’s only and no autographs. Never mind the kids, I was sky high! Straight in the queue and Gavin snuck two photos instead of the ‘allowed’ one!





    We strolled down Main St USA and took a couple a photographs then a nice American man took one of Gavin & me with the castle.

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    First ride was Pirates of the Caribbean, 15min wait but it was in the shade of those lovely cool caves so I would have happily waited a lot longer!

    Over to FrontierLand were we got a FP for Splash Mountain (90min wait in standby!) then onto Big Thunder Mountain, which had a very hot 40min wait. Gavin was a bit disappointed with BTMR, he said he preferred the one at DLRP.



    Lunch was at Casey’s Corner. Hot dog, a side of chilli and two fries to share. With two cokes this was $14.64.

    We used our FP for Splash after lunch, I lost my hat on the drop! SM was ace it’s no wonder the queue is so long and the FP run out.



    Wondered over to Liberty Square and into Hall of Presidents. Mainly went in because of the a/c but it was interesting. The Americans loved it! Next we went on Haunted Mansion. I was petrified in the queue after reading about somebody seeing a snake on one of the benches. My head was practically swivelling 360 to make sure there were none creeping up on me!

    Next we went to Tomorrowland and a 15min wait for Stitch. I am not sure what to make of this, it was good but not really a must see attraction for me.



    The heavens had opened now so we ran over to Buzz Lightyear before the crowds. Again I wasn’t overly impressed. It is definitely aimed at young kids but I thought it would be ok for me & Gavin aswell but it was just a bit boring I suppose, am very glad we hadn’t queued for it.

    We were planning on getting a FP for Space Mountain but the return time was 22.00 and we were flagging a bit so we decided to call it a day. We had more time planned here so IASW, SM and the parades etc could wait.



    Left around 20.00 and tried to get into TGI Fridays on the 192 for tea but they were queuing out of the door, tried Sizzlers but that was the same. Next door to Sizzlers was an Indian, Passage to India with no queue at all so decision made!



    Our meal was lovely, not cheap at $73.00 inc tip but lovely all the same. Onion Baji’s & Poppadoms with chutney then Chicken Tikka Massala with two beers and a coke.

    Called at supermarket for painkillers and beer then home around 22.00.

    A couple of drinks and a chat about everyone’s day then bed.

    Aug 1994 Disneyland Paris
    Aug 1999 Disneyland Paris
    Oct 2002 WDW Days inn Lakeside Nr Int'l Drive
    Sep 2003 Disneyland Paris
    Sep 2004 Disney Studios
    Aug 2005 WDW Villa in Hampton Lakes
    Dec 2005 Disney Studios & Disneyland Paris
    Sep 2006 Disney Studios & Disneyland Paris
    Sep 2006 WDW Onsite at Pop Century & 1 night at Hard Rock Hotel




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    Part 9: Day 6: MGM

    Early rise today. All 11 of us were booked in to Chef Mickey’s @8.10. The aim was to set off at 7.00 but getting 11 people out of the door early morning is difficult, especially when two of them didn’t get up until 7.10.

    Set away at 7.20 and only just made it in time, as the resort monorail gets to the Contempory last from TTC.








    All in line for photos then seated quickly at two adjoining tables. This breakfast was fantastic! Lots of character interaction. To be honest I think the kids were getting fed up of Mickey in the end! There was Minnie, Pluto, Goofy, Chip ‘n’ Dale as well as Mickey. Took loads of photos and video especially when Gavin was singing ‘Celebrate’ and waving his napkin around!








    The food was better than I expected, plenty of choice and loads of coffee and juice available.

    We took our time over breakfast and didn’t leave until 9.45. Back on the monorail to TTC for Gavin & me. The rest of them stayed on until Magic Kingdom.








    At MGM we got a FP for Lights Motors Action straight away. Next stop was Muppets-3d, a lot better than I was expecting, would def’ go on again. After Muppets we went for a drink and a sit down. It was very very very hot today and we ere flagging quickly. Even though it had only been a couple of hours since breakfast our next stop was going to be LMA so we decided to eat lunch now. Two large cokes two apple pies and two cheeseburger with fries from Rosie’s All American Café $24.22. The shade was nice but an a/c dining area would have been better.





    Time to go to LMA, sooooo glad we had a FP. After all the FP holders were in there was only about 10% of the seating area left and hundreds of people queuing to get in!





    LMA was good but as we had seen this show at DLRP there were no surprises in store and been a ‘car’ man and an engineer Gavin proceeded to critique the cars and stunts. Whatever keeps him happy. There was one surprise, Herbie! He had come along to talk about his new film.








    After LMA we had a wonder around. Gavin had been complaining his head was too hot in his baseball cap so he wanted a visor so his head would be free but he still had something to keep the sun out of his eyes. Of course been in a Disney theme park tends to mean only Disney merchandise is available, this didn’t bother gavin one bit. He walked up to a cart and parted with $18.00 for a Mickey hat! Of course I was now jealous so I sent him right back to the cart to get one for me. I got a Tinkerbell cap. I would have preferred a Mickey one but Gavin said we would look like a right couple of plonkers un matching hats!





    The heat was unbearable now so we went home for a while and had a sit in the pool, I still can’t swim and Gavin never could! Back to MGM around 18.00. First things first, a picture with Donald please.





    Next was the Great Movie Ride, I really enjoyed this apart from the bit with the snakes. I was practically under my seat and shaking like a leaf! Other than that it was great excellent CM interaction.

    Tea was at the ABC commissary. Milk, two cokes, hot chocolate and two cheeseburger & fries $19.34. Wasn’t impressed with this. I know theme park food is pretty much all the same but this really did seem a bit too carrdboardy.

    Next we went on some Animation thingy. Can’t remember what it was called but the CM talked to the lizard from Mulan.

    Home at 22.20 and straight to bed.

    Aug 1994 Disneyland Paris
    Aug 1999 Disneyland Paris
    Oct 2002 WDW Days inn Lakeside Nr Int'l Drive
    Sep 2003 Disneyland Paris
    Sep 2004 Disney Studios
    Aug 2005 WDW Villa in Hampton Lakes
    Dec 2005 Disney Studios & Disneyland Paris
    Sep 2006 Disney Studios & Disneyland Paris
    Sep 2006 WDW Onsite at Pop Century & 1 night at Hard Rock Hotel




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    Part 10: Day: 7: Typhoon Lagoon

    Awake at 2.30, 3.30 and 4.00, I have major earache problems all night and finally gave into tears and tantrums around 4.30. At 5.00 Gavin insisted on returning to the hospital. Two hours and $142 later I have another prescription, this on was slightly cheaper at $13.00 over the $32 the last one cost me. It was eardrops again but I was promised they would numb my face so I would feel no pain while the antibiotic drops did their stuff. Bring it on.

    Had a bit of a run around to get prescription filled. Walgreens is 24 hours but not all of them had a pharmacist working but each they did have directions to the nearest store that did.

    Obviously TL is out of the question. Again I am far more upset than Gavin, I had really hoped it would be ok for me to swim by now but it’s not to be.

    After so little sleep we decided to take it slow and chill out in the villa. On the way back we go to McDonalds for breakfast. Two sausage and egg mcmuffins with one orange and one coke $7.48 cheap and it taste just the same!

    Arrived home about 7.45, just in time to see a very tired group leaving for IOA. At this point Gavin and I applaud ourselves at getting our own car. The other nine are having fun but as they have had one chief planner he is finding it hard to adjust his plan to the groups needs and they are finding it hard to keep
    up. I feel there may be a rebellion soon…..

    After the rest of them had left we made a cup of tea and sat down to watch US daytime TV. Around lunchtime Gavin nipped to publix to get some sweets (I am ill so I can eat what I like!)

    To be honest this was the extent of our day. We both napped a lot, ate a lot and I put in loads of eardrops.

    Not the most exciting day we have had but Gavin was in need of a break and I certainly needed to be ‘poorly’ for a while without fretting my park days were been ruined.

    Fingers crossed it’s all over now, am not sure my credit card can take another hospital visit!

    No photos taken today so heres two of the villa and car...






    Aug 1994 Disneyland Paris
    Aug 1999 Disneyland Paris
    Oct 2002 WDW Days inn Lakeside Nr Int'l Drive
    Sep 2003 Disneyland Paris
    Sep 2004 Disney Studios
    Aug 2005 WDW Villa in Hampton Lakes
    Dec 2005 Disney Studios & Disneyland Paris
    Sep 2006 Disney Studios & Disneyland Paris
    Sep 2006 WDW Onsite at Pop Century & 1 night at Hard Rock Hotel




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    Part 11: Day 8: Universal Studios

    A late start today so as soon as we got to USF we went for lunch at Nascar. As it was only 11.30 we were surprised to find a few people already eating. The themeing in here was good but it didn’t translate well onto my pictures because it was so dark. I had soup to start with (why do they give crackers with soup in the US?) and Gavin had Onion rings, lots of onion rings! For our main course my receipt says one Daytona and one BCB. I assume these are both types of burgers but I honestly can’t remember! With two cokes this was $37.21 plus tip, very reasonable price and with nice food, good themeing and a great server what more can you ask for?






    We made our way over to Universal after taking a couple of shots of the globe. The rest of our holiday makers had raved about Shrek so it was a priority, but at a 60min wait and weird UE machines (didn’t realise for a while each machine was for more than one attraction) we carried on walking.







    Twister was the next thing we arrived at so why not? After this we went on Earthquake. I had been one both of these before but as I have often said I seem to have a block on remembering specifics about the rides I rode in 2002 so it was almost like been a newbie and Earthquake was far far better then I recalled.

    Up now was the Mummy. I had no intention of letting Gavin out of this one. I knew it didn’t go upside down and he didn’t know it went backwards so he had nothing to be afraid of. We got our locker, walked straight in and with only a 10min wait we were soon at the front. I hadn’t allowed Gavin to speak at all while we were queuing so he couldn’t talk himself out of it but right at the front I had to pause for breath and he started. Do I have to ride? I can just go out over there and wait for you? Luckily the nice US version of a CM didn’t make us wait too long before he asked how many and I physically dragged Gavin into his seat mid moan!

    This ride is AMAZING! I loved it! Did Gavin? Erm… sort of, he is very glad he rode but at the time he was a nervous wreck when we got off. Since arriving home he has all sorts of ambitions on RnR next year but we shall see….
    Check out Gavin’s face in the picture (if you can see) I nearly wet myself!





    We went for a Starbucks next so Gavin could recover. Two Strawberry frappuchinos = $9.06. Lovely.
    After a quick rest we wondered over to MIB and got UE, we had figured how the machines worked by now, our return time was 19.35 and it was only 14.30 now!

    Jaws next. Gavin has been to US in Hollywood (lucky bugger, his mate won a competition and took Gavin to LA for five days in 2001) and said it was exactly the same except in LA one of the Jaws was broken.





    We continued wandering around the lake on came to Back to the Future. I knew this was a simulator and loads of people on here had commented on it’s ability to bring on motion sickness but Gavin wanted to ride and after the Mummy how could I not? After 15 mins of queuing I then had 6 mins of ****. How can anybody enjoy this? It didn’t help that Gavin was sat behind rather than beside me so I had nobody to hide behind. I couldn’t walk straight for half an hour after this and will never subject my sensitive belly to it again!

    Am not sure in which order the next few things were in but over the course of the afternoon we saw Terminator 8/10 Horror Make-up Show 8/10 and Shrek 9/10 (you cant give away a 10/10 on a non thrill ride!) When we returned for our MIB slot the ride had shut at 19.00. Never mind am sure we sill be back one day.

    At Universal we spent more money on stuff than any other park, even when I was let loose in mousegear.

    We bought a few things for the friend looking after our house. I got some Shrek pyjamas. They are made up of men’s boxer shorts and a lady’s vest top because I didn’t like the style of the actual pyjamas on offer.

    On they way out I saw the shop selling m&m’s by the colour, I bought quite a few but they were horrid! Binned the lot when we got in.

    Left Universal around 19.45 and went to Denny’s for tea. Italian chicken sandwiches for both of us. Very nice.

    At Universal we hadnt spent much time in a queue at all. The only UE we got was for MIB and in general the park seemed very unbusy. We realised alot of the US kids has returned to school already and this certainly made a difference to our subsequent park days.

    Back to the villa at 21.00 then we sat around the pool with a few beers chatting about our days then bed at 00.00.

    Aug 1994 Disneyland Paris
    Aug 1999 Disneyland Paris
    Oct 2002 WDW Days inn Lakeside Nr Int'l Drive
    Sep 2003 Disneyland Paris
    Sep 2004 Disney Studios
    Aug 2005 WDW Villa in Hampton Lakes
    Dec 2005 Disney Studios & Disneyland Paris
    Sep 2006 Disney Studios & Disneyland Paris
    Sep 2006 WDW Onsite at Pop Century & 1 night at Hard Rock Hotel




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    Part 12: Day 9: Magic Kingdom

    Today’s plan was to re-visit MK and do all the things we missed last time but guess what? I have had yet another sleepless night with earache. I am really sorry about this, I am getting bored of hearing about my ears so I am sure you are aswell!

    The alarm clock went off at 6.45 but as I had only dropped off at 6.30 needless to say it was turned off and threatened with an open window if it dared make another sound. What I had neglected to realise in my quest for sleep was that the alarm had been set for a reason. We had a PS at 1900 Park Fare at 8.00. If anybody from Disney ever reads these boards I am really sorry I missed two out of three PS this holiday, it won’t happen again.

    We eventually got up at 11.00ish (I needed the extra hours but am unsure what Gavin’s excuse was?!) and had a few games of pool and a laze in front of the TV before cabin fever set in and we started making plans for the evening.

    When we booked our park tickets we had all gotten the Pirates Dinner show aswell but when Malcom rang to book his gang in he hadn’t done Gavin and myself so we tried here first but it was fully booked so we needed a plan B.

    Plan B turned into CityWalk for food and a film. We got to Universal around 20.00 and settled in Dukes of Hazzard. Gavin likes cars and I like Jessica Simpson (am sure Gavin isn’t impartial to Jessica either :rolleyes1 ). The film ooops sorry, the movie started at 20.35 so we didn’t have time for anything to eat before. We grabbed a hot-dog for Gavin and popcorn for me, two cokes and went to screen 9. What the freaking **** is this? Salted popcorn??? You have got to be kidding me! At this point I realised this was the second US cinema to catch me out with horrid popcorn. I don’t intend to make that mistake ever again!

    The film was good. As expected really, lots of car stunts and lots of Jessica’s legs. It did have a few good jokes/one liners.

    When we left CityWalk was mayhem. We decided to leave and go to the Indian we liked on the 192. Even though it said ‘open ‘till late’ they wouldn’t take us at 10.45. Had this been an Indian in Yorkshire they would have closed through lack of business!

    Ended up at McDonalds, as it seemed a lot of places weren’t taking seatings at this time.

    Back home to hear how everyone had enjoyed the Pirates show then bed around 00.00









    Aug 1994 Disneyland Paris
    Aug 1999 Disneyland Paris
    Oct 2002 WDW Days inn Lakeside Nr Int'l Drive
    Sep 2003 Disneyland Paris
    Sep 2004 Disney Studios
    Aug 2005 WDW Villa in Hampton Lakes
    Dec 2005 Disney Studios & Disneyland Paris
    Sep 2006 Disney Studios & Disneyland Paris
    Sep 2006 WDW Onsite at Pop Century & 1 night at Hard Rock Hotel




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    Part 13: Day 10: Busch Gardens

    Up at 7.00 and set away at 7.28. Arrived at BG with only a minor detour (or a missed exit to you and me ) at 8.52.

    Parking was a mere snip at only $7.00, hop on a tram and away we go.

    I am straight on Gwazi (Lion) alone to ‘test’ it first to make sure it won’t reduce Gavin to tears. I deem it safe so we both jump on, no queue either time. You can tell this is a very old coaster, the seats are made for tiny people, I suspect Gavin & I would have been perfectly secure without any restraints!



    Next stop was Stanley Falls. Again this was a walk on although a queue did build up behind us quickly. Excellent ride, Gavin even managed to keep his eyes open for the picture!



    Had a very early lunch of Hot dog & fries while we watched Sheikra. Sheikra did look amazing but anyone who has been on Oblivion at Alton Towers would hop on without a thought. I did want to ride but was too chicken to go it alone.

    Next ride was Tanganyika Tidal Wave. After the ride I stood on the bridge for ages to get splashed, almost got knocked of my feet at one point! The bridge is by far the best bit about this ride.

    Next stop was the train, by now I am realising getting my poorly ear wet wasn’t such a good idea and by the time we have gone from Stanleyville to Nairobi I am in pain and by the time we reach the Congo I am in agony.

    I work myself into a bit of a state because I feel guilty that I brought it on myself by going on the water rides. Gavin starts to walk me out of the park and I am protesting because we have only been here a few hours and I don’t want another day getting ruined because of me but the pain is so bad I almost faint and have to give in and lean on Gavin all the way out.

    In reality we wouldn’t have been at BG much longer anyway, we only had the safari and perhaps another go on Gwazi to go before we left but I am frustrated my plans are been dictated by earache!

    Typically by the time we are half way home I am as fit as a butcher’s dog! Thankfully the face-numbing ear drops work!

    We go home via Premium Outlets but nothing grabs us other than Subway so home around 15.00 empty handed.

    Some more daytime TV and rest then out for an Indian. Passage to India was packed and our food was ages but they were rushed of their feet and when it did arrive it was just as nice as the first time.

    Home at 22.00, straight to bed for me but Gavin stayed up for a chat with his mam and sister.

    Only 2 photos taken today, we did drift off on the photo front towards the end but next year I am determined to come back with hundreds!

    Aug 1994 Disneyland Paris
    Aug 1999 Disneyland Paris
    Oct 2002 WDW Days inn Lakeside Nr Int'l Drive
    Sep 2003 Disneyland Paris
    Sep 2004 Disney Studios
    Aug 2005 WDW Villa in Hampton Lakes
    Dec 2005 Disney Studios & Disneyland Paris
    Sep 2006 Disney Studios & Disneyland Paris
    Sep 2006 WDW Onsite at Pop Century & 1 night at Hard Rock Hotel




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    Part 14: Day 11: Blizzard Beach

    Whoo Hoo! BB here we come! Or not….

    I had hoped this wretched ear infection would have cleared up by now but no such luck, so no Summit Plummet for me.

    Kennedy Space Centre it was then. KSC had been an option during the planning stages but we decided we just didn’t have time, but as we have yet another non-water park day I gave Gavin a chance to go anywhere he chose and he opted for KSC.

    Up at 7.00 and got to KSC with no problems at 8.45, we chose the maximum access pass and the Nasa up close tour, which came to $116.58.



    After security (which was by far more thorough than any park or even airport that we have been to) we grabbed some breakfast, titan pretzel, egg sandwich, bacon sandwich, two Danish and two cokes $26.50 and no we didn’t eat it all in one sitting! The Danish were for later.

    After breakfast we didn’t have much time before the Nasa up close tour so we mooched around the rocket garden for 15 mins then went to join the bus queue.



    The Nasa up close tour was excellent. It was the basic tour with a few extras such as seeing the shuttle pads up close. The bus was super, A/C for start! The seats all had low backs and there where lots of windows so everyone could see everything. Our guide was a real talker, lots of information on the Apollo Missions plus loads of chit-chat about the shuttle that should have landed today but was now re-scheduled for tomorrow, if it lands tomorrow but not in Florida then it will be brought back here on the back of a plane at a cost of $1,000000.00!!!







    The tour lasted 2.5 hours and I would definitely recommend it.

    We ate lunch at the Moon Rock Café. Pizza, hot dog, banana, snickers, cake and two cokes $24.73. We left not long after lunch, around 14.00. We hadn’t been to any of the films other than the one shown at the end of the tours nor did we go to the Astronaut hall of fame, Perhaps the maximum access pass wasn’t worth the extra for us today but as we hadn’t intended on coming I hadn’t done much research. Also I am not 100% sure if you had to have the maximum access pass to get the Nasa up close tour.





    Back at the villa we went for a nap and slept straight through the alarm and missed our Pirates dinner show slot (I am NEVER making reservations adr’s or ps again!)

    Not to worry off the I-Drive for Chilli’s! I had heard so much about this place on these boards, primarily from MsPennielane! I was quite excited and I wasn’t disappointed. Chips & Salsa to start then pasta for me and a chicken sandwich for Gavin with two cokes $22.11 plus tip. I have only just realised when looking at my receipt that we weren’t charged for our starter! If I had noticed I would have left a bigger tip!

    Left Chilli’s around 18.30 and went to Ripley’s Believe it or not then Wonderworks and spent a couple of hours ooohhing and ahhhhing at the wonders of science and lots of weird stuff. Entrance for two plus guide book at Ripley’s $38.24. Wonderworks the fee was $40.36.









    Back on the I4 at midnight, home a bit later and straight to bed.

    Aug 1994 Disneyland Paris
    Aug 1999 Disneyland Paris
    Oct 2002 WDW Days inn Lakeside Nr Int'l Drive
    Sep 2003 Disneyland Paris
    Sep 2004 Disney Studios
    Aug 2005 WDW Villa in Hampton Lakes
    Dec 2005 Disney Studios & Disneyland Paris
    Sep 2006 Disney Studios & Disneyland Paris
    Sep 2006 WDW Onsite at Pop Century & 1 night at Hard Rock Hotel




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    Part 15: Day 12: Seaworld

    Up at 7.00 and off to Sizzlers for breakfast. Lovely. At $17.64 inc drinks it would be difficult to say anything else!

    Today’s plan is Seaworld but we are going via Epcot. Get to Epcot around 8.40, my first rope drop! Cm at the rope gives me a Mickey ariel topper because I caught him on my camcorder! 10-09-08-07-06-05-04-03-02-01 Whoo Hoo! :cool1: in we go.







    Straight to Soarin’ for a FP, the park had only been open for 45 seconds and the FP was already on 9.51. Over to TT, the wait says 30mins but it is a walk-on. After I buy a T-Shirt that says TT Dummy and Gavin buys a little miniature TT car.

    Back to Soarin’, Gavin & I are very nervous about this. I get terrible motion sickness and Gavin is afraid of heights and there are signs all over saying that sufferers from either of these conditions should refrain from riding. Those signs are way over the top, this ride was amazing, I cannot believe my feet did not get wet!



    Next we had a bun and some hot chocolate at Seasons. Yes I know it is 98 degrees outside but in the A/C of the Land it is freezing! Watched the Circle of Life before we left. It was very educational, scaringly so.

    On the way out DF noticed me looking longingly at the Leave a Legacy tile and asked if I would like one. Oh well, only if you do love… :rolleyes1 One photo and $25 later we are the proud owners of a…. reference number! 4-6 weeks until we get our pack with a copy of the picture and location details.

    Off to Seaworld at 11.45. It was ridiculously hot by now so first stop was a drink and ice-cream.





    Shamu’s adventure was on at 13.00 so off to the stadium at 12.30 to get a decent seat. I do like this show, as I did when we came to watch Shamu Rocks America a few days ago but I do wrestle with my conscience at the obvious fatigue of the biggest ‘Shamu’ His tails and fin were so curved he looked ill and I felt guilty I was paying to watch him perform tricks in captivity. But I DID pay and I DID watch so a bit late for the moral highground.



    After the show we walked over to Journey to Atlantis but it was a 60min wait and it was very hot so we skipped it. There wasn’t anything else we fancied doing (I had been on Kraken when we came the other day) so we went home for a rest around 14.30. Just look at what we found in the car park on the way out...







    Evening meal was at Passage to India (Again!) at 19.30 with a call in the supermarket for essentials and back home at 22.00, American pie 2 was on the TV so we stayed up and watched that with a few beers then bed.

    Aug 1994 Disneyland Paris
    Aug 1999 Disneyland Paris
    Oct 2002 WDW Days inn Lakeside Nr Int'l Drive
    Sep 2003 Disneyland Paris
    Sep 2004 Disney Studios
    Aug 2005 WDW Villa in Hampton Lakes
    Dec 2005 Disney Studios & Disneyland Paris
    Sep 2006 Disney Studios & Disneyland Paris
    Sep 2006 WDW Onsite at Pop Century & 1 night at Hard Rock Hotel




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