Sunday, December 14th, 2008

For the second morning in a row, Kevin was up and out of the room before I even woke up. As far as I knew, his plan was to go to the breakfast that a big group of RADPers were having at Trails End, though I wasn't sure if that was actually where he had gone or not. I took my time in getting ready, and had my next-to-last bagel and another donut as well as some juice for breakfast. When it was time to head out, I took half of my bagel with me and got in line for the Magic Kingdom bus.

By the time I arrived at Magic Kingdom, it was already 10:30, so I rushed over to Splash Mountain so I could join the Splash and Big Thunder meet. When I got there, it seemed like every person that was at the meet turned toward me in unison and said "Where's Kevin?!?!" I had no idea where he was, and people found that hard to believe! I had assumed he was at the Trail's End breakfast, but obviously I was wrong! There were still people arriving for the meet, so at least I wasn't too late and making people wait for me! After a little while, I got a call from Kevin saying that he was at the front gate, so I told Jan and Charlotte, and they said that we would wait for him.

While we were waiting, we all assembled for our big group photo, and recruited a nearby CM to take the photos. Again, we handed over about 7 or 8 cameras!

But the photo came out nicely since everyone was in it. Almost as soon as the photo was taken, Kevin arrived, and we all went into the line. There was basically no wait, and we were all loaded into our logs in sets of 8. I somehow ended up in the front of my log, but luckily Sean and Pam volunteered to take the front seat from me so I wouldn't get drenched! haha The ride was the same as always, except that the big drop's water sprayers were turned off, which was a nice surprise!

Three logs full of soaking wet RADPers!

After the ride, someone stopped and got all the group log photos, in hopes that someone would photoshop them all together the way Randy used to.

After lingering in the Briar Patch playground and watching Jaycie play around, we all went over to Big Thunder Mountain for a ride. With our Fastpasses, we just had the one large slanted switchback to wait in, which was probably only about 2 trains worth of wait. I wanted to sit in the back so I could take photos, but I ended up sort of in the middle.

RADP takes over Big Thunder Mountain Railroad!

I still got some great "in action" photos though. When the ride was over, everyone dispersed, with the plan of meeting up again at the Haunted Mansion in just a little bit. Those of us who were left just sort of lingered around, doing nothing in particular. After a while, we decided to get a move on, and head over to the Haunted Mansion so we wouldn't be late for the meet there.

Arriving at Haunted Mansion, we found a bunch of people already there, and when it was time for the meet, we all jumped in line. Like always, the line was very short, and we were inside the stretch room within just a few minutes. After the ride, it was lunch time, and people again began to scatter in different directions. Pam and Sean said they were going to Columbia Harbor House, so I tagged along with them, as well as Jack M. and Catherine. I got a chicken and fish basket, which is what I tend to get when I eat there since it's very good. We had an awesome time at lunch, and talked about a few very non-Disney topics! It was also funny to watch Catherine strategize about how to get her bottle of malt vinegar back to the condiment station without the CMs noticing that she'd taken it!

When we were all done eating and joking around, we walked back over to Pirates of the Caribbean for the Pirates and Pineapples meet. The turnout was great, and like always we had a great time mingling. When we entered the line, we stayed to the left, but unfortunately had way too many people to try and cram into one boat. For the last two years, our group has just fit in one boat, then during the ride we've made the ride break down since our boat was so heavy! But this year, we had to split down the middle and sit in two different boats, which ended up not being quite so heavy. Oh well, you can't break 'em all down haha

Afterwards, we almost all headed over to Aloha Isle where we all grabbed Dole Whips. I like the chocolate and vanilla swirl Dole Whip, but they were out of chocolate, so I just ended up with plain vanilla. It was good, but no as good as it would have been with the chocolate. The pineapple Dole Whips look so good, but I'm allergic to pineapple and can't have them...too bad. We all hung around and ate while we chatted, then soon we all dispersed again before the next meet started.

Kevin and Charlotte, enjoying their Dole Whips

Jan, Mike and Jaycie *really* enjoying their Dole Whips!

Laurie and Laura, enjoying their Dole Whips

Sam and Mariah, pondering their Dole Whips

A big group of us left all at once to walk over to Tomorrowland, then stopped for a bathroom break in the Tomorrowland Terrace. I went in, then Pam followed, but when I was done, Pam was still inside. While we waited for her, Allison made a comment about how people will see other people doing something and instictively want to do it themselves. So someone said "Hey, what's that thing on the Tomorrowland Terrace roof" and we all started staring at the roof and pointing in an attempt to make other people stop and look with us! I don't think it worked, but it was funny how we were all just randomly standing there pointing at something on the roof!

This, of course, thoroughly confused Pam when she walked out of the bathroom! haha

When we arrived at Carousel of Progress for our Great Big Beautiful RADP Meet, we had a few minutes to spare, and spontaneously a game of Keep Away broke out.

It started out with Kevin and Jack throwing Leonard back and forth, then Catherine got in on the game, then Big Brian.

It was really hilarious to watch, and there were lots of people who paused as they walked by to watch! We never fail to entertain each other at RADP meets! When it was meet time, we all boarded and almost all of us seemed to get in the same row of the theater. This made the CM say "Why is everyone chosing the same row?" over the intercom haha. At the end of the ride, just as we were leaving the final scene, the theater came to a screeching halt as it was turning. We all laughed, noting that we didn't break down Pirates, but we did break down Carousel of Progress! We only sat there a few minutes though...just enough to see the last scene restart it's show...before the theater moved back into it's proper position and we were escourted out by some CMs.

When the ride was over, most of us decided to go over to Toontown and have our Magic Kingdom group photo taken with Mickey. Along the way, we spotted the steam train which was just billowing steam out of every orifice! I swear I heard the engineer yell "Bruce to the rescue!" at which point Bruce went over to see what was going on.

Bruce sees what's going on, while Mr. "This is YouTube Material" tapes the whole thing

Obviously it wasn't much because before we were even all the way into Toontown, the train was on its way.

Me being artsy-fartsy in Toontown

We waited outside for Tracy to catch up, then headed into Mickey's house.

On the way in, we were stopped by CM Amber who recognized a few of the people's lanyards and started yelling "Mousefest?!?! Mousefest?!?!" She was funny in a scary/enthusiastic kind of way! She was talking about how she wanted to take time off to do the Mosuefest events but couldn't get the time off. After giving us all a chuckle at her enthusiasm over Mousefest (and the fact that she was pretty much barking up the wrong tree since RADP doesn't even have much to do with Mousefest anymore!) we all went inside to queue up to meet Mickey.

While we waited, I chatted with newcomer Steve, who had been hanging out with us all day up to that point. We talked about placed we had both been, and I told him to check out my Flickr account to see a few thousand of my photos (who am I kidding...I'm up to 14,000 photos in there right now!). The wait to see Mickey was long, but it passed quickly, and soon it was time to meet the Big Cheese.

Our photo came out very cute, and included both Mickey and Minnie. There was also a cute photo of Minnie kissing and cuddling Leonard.

Mickey and Minnie with Leonard and Kevin

When that was done, the group split, with people going in different directions for dinner. I walked out with Steve and Laura, and when we got as far as the Mad Tea Party, we paused for a bit to say our "see you laters." Once I headed off toward Main Street, I tried calling a few of the people I knew who were going to Carol's campsite for her get together, but I wasn't able to reach anyone. After a few more minutes, I called Carol directly, and she gave me directions on how to get to her.

When I got outside the front gate, I went to the dock opposite of the turnstiles and caught the boat that was waiting there. The sign said Wilderness Lodge and Fort Wilderness, and I remembered riding the boat a few years ago where it stopped at both. So once I got on, the boat leisurely floated its way over to the Wilderness Lodge.

The Contemporary with the monorail

Then everyone got off the boat, which I thought was peculiar since I thought the boat was supposed to be going on to Fort Wilderness. Sure enough, it pulled out of the dock then circled right back around and headed back to the Magic Kingdom! D'oh! But the day was gorgeous, and I was early for Carol's get together, so I didn't mind the extra boat ride.

When the boat pulled up at the Magic Kingdom, I spotted Jan, Mike and Jaycie getting onto a boat on the other side of the dock. I ran over and hopped onboard with them, where they explained that the boat routes had recently changed. The sign on the dock *did* say Fort Wilderness on one side, and Wilderness Lodge on the other, but I didn't take that to mean that it was two separate routes...just that all the boats at that dock went to both places. Oh well, I know now. My third length of the lake was as nice as the first two, and we arrived quickly (without sinking!).

In hind sight, I was very glad to have Jan and Mike with me since they knew the lay of the Fort Wilderness Land WAY better than I did. They knew just what bus to take and where to stop and everything. When we got to Carol's campsite, it was decorated up for the holidays and looked so cute (but there was a campsite a couple of loops down that was completely decked out...I mean completely covered in Christmas displays!!). Charlotte, John and Jack M. were already there, and Jaycie was completely conked out in her stroller when we arrived. Charlotte, in her infinite wisdom, had brough along the left over artichoke dip from her party so I could have that luscious deliciousness one more time. There was also a crock pot of chicken corn soup and a bunch of other little goodies. Everything was yummy, and it was a nice way to just relax for a little bit. I also got to take a good look at Carol's camper, which is absolutely adorable! It's completely Mickey themed, including all of the utensils and dishes in the kitchen.

After we had all hung around for over an hour, people started to peel away, and I decided to catch a bus back to a park. I said goodbye to our host (and watched Charlotte shovel the dregs of the artichoke dip into the tragic) then walked back out to the bus stop. I took the bus back to the Settlement depot, and found a Studios bus waiting at the bus stop. Figuring that the Studios was as good a park as any, I jumped on and rode over there.

When I arrived at the Studios, it was packed to the gills with people. I asked at the turnstile what time the park was closing and I was told that it was open for one more hour. When I got as far as the tip board, I paused to look at it and saw that every ride was clocking in with over an hour wait! Even Rock N Roller Coaster, which had a 100 minute wait! Crazy! So with the possibility of riding rides squarely out of the question, I decided to go over to the ABC Commisary and pick up a bowl of their chicken curry and rice that I liked so much last year. I wasn't very hungry, but I wasn't sure if I would have a chance to have the curry on any other night of the trip, so I wanted to go ahead and have it then while I could.

When I arrived, thankfully there was no line. I got the chicken curry, then found a seat in the left hand seating area against the interior wall. This curry is really good, though it's too saucy for my taste. Despite the extra sauce, I made my way through about 2/3rds of it before I got too full to finish the rest. I sat for a while, trying to decide what to do, then decided that none of the rides there were worth waiting so long on, so I decided to leave. After tossing the rest of my saucy rice, I made my way out of the park and over to the bus stop.

Luckily a bus was waiting there when I arrived, so I jumped on and was back at the hotel in just a few minutes. When I got back, it was around 8:00pm, which was the earliest night I had, by far. It passed my mind to go swimming, but instead I grabbed my little box of wine and went over to the pool to sit for a bit. Initially I grabbed a lounge chair, but it was uncomfortable to have to lean up every time I wanted to take a sip of wine, so after a few minutes I moved to a table. After a few more minutes passed, I saw Scott walk directly in front of me! He stopped to talk for a bit, and we ended up sitting there for well over an hour just chatting (and drinking wine!). Before I knew it, all the wine was gone, and Scott said he needed to make a stop by the food court before heading off for bed. I said goodbye to him, and made the slightly dizzy walk back to my room.

It wasn't even 11:00pm yet, so I had a snack, drank some water, then got in bed so I could watch some TV before going to sleep. Once I was all bundled in bed, Kevin arrived with Tracy and Jack. After saying our hellos and goodbyes, they left, and I watched the news and whatever else was on, before finally falling asleep at about 12:30.

Go to RADP 13, Day 7
Return to the RADP 13 index