Yes, Jennifer, it was hot down there---but I much preferred the steamy days to the soggy ones. We exited the Haunted Mansion Friday evening and were met by ominous skies. The clouds burst and the rain didn't let up until Sunday afternoon. Let's see, here's a photo of a wet Caribbean Beach.
Still pretty, and I must admit there was something fun about seeing 95% of the mass of humanity at the parks donning their Mickey Mouse ponchos. My favorite was the guy in his Viking hat with a souvenir beer stein capping each horn. (Gee, thanks, Michael, for informing me of the "breathtaking" weather I left behind in Chicago, haha.)
I rode Toy Story Mania for ya, Tara! Here's a picture of Mr. Potato Head entertaining us as we wound through the waiting maze. I was shocked by how mobbed this ride was. The guy at the Fast Pass said it was the most popular attraction in all four parks---that means Fast Passes are gone before noon and the wait time can get up to 2 hours. The best bet is to arrive at Hollywood Studios before opening and then join the herd of vacationers as they sweep through the streets to the ride.
For Suze I have a picture of the Grand Floridian balcony. So peaceful there. A drink and chat with my sister on this balcony plus the ferry ride back to the Magic Kingdom made for a relaxing respite from the madness. I did avoid the Tea Cups afterward---thanks for the tip, Alex.
For Star Wars fans, here's a picture of Tatooine Traders---the souvenir shop riders funnel into after Star Tours. The new and improved Star Tours is great! And thanks to Toy Story Mania, wait times aren't bad at all. I was ever so proud when my daughter was identified as the rebel spy on one of the missions.
Okay Suze, I'm officially asking about your "interesting" experience on Star Tours---spill it!
The vacation came complete with a genuine Clark Griswold moment. After keeping fairly dry & happy by building-hopping in Future World, I trudged my family to the World Showcase in the steady rain, where I led them past six countries and through several deep puddles. This ill advised move ruined us---shoes and socks became hopelessly soaked; rain found its way in streams through gaps in our ponchos. Ah, but there was a great reward awaiting us---the Yakitori House.
As I watched drops fall from the rim of my baseball hat, so saturated it could no longer hold the moisture, I dreamed of warm teriyaki chicken skewers, spicy sushi rolls, and a tall glass of Kirin beer. As the children whined, I promised, "You're going to love it. We'll be dry and happy there."
Just as the rain began to pound on us at its greatest level of violence, we arrived in Japan, where we were met by this (photo taken on a less torrential day):
Note the temporary surround wall. The Yakitori House was CLOSED FOR RENOVATIONS! Seriously. In that moment, as the very sweet girl in the gift shop informed us of the development, I knew exactly how Clark felt. I channeled him, I became him as I stumbled back into the rain and loudly lamented with decidedly unDisney-friendly language "Who the *bleep* closes a *bleeping* restaurant during a food and *bleeping* wine festival?" (And says nothing about it on their website? I now add.)
Rather than holding an employee at Buzz Lighyear Space Blaster-point and forcing him over the wall to whip up Japanese cuisine, we sought refuge in nearby America and let the magic crawl gradually back into our souls with the help of Sam Adams and Glory Hallelujah. The whole thing seems funny now, and one day I'm sure I'll dine in the refurbished digs...yet the place shall forever more be known to my family as the Yaki*bleeping*tori House.
One more fun little note before I release you from my vacation diary. At Hollywood Studios we took a "Which Disney Character Are You?" quiz. Everyone, meet me:
Computer must've witnessed the Yaki incident, hehe
My magical vacation may be over, but now we get to go vicariously back to Disney World in November through Tara Tyler and again in December through Susan Oloier---please share pictures & stories, ladies! Also, we'll cyber travel to another part of Orlando with Michael Di Gesu and Jen Daiker, who plan to meet up in a few weeks at Wizarding World! Now that's going to be nuts (in the very best of ways).