Tuesday, December 16th, 2008

For our last full day in Disney World, Kevin and I were both up relatively early so we could make a full day of it. After getting a shower, I headed out to the food court to get some breakfast, leaving Kevin behind to get ready for the day. Once I got to the food court, I got a breakfast wrap without the bacon in it, and went to find a seat. When I arrived in the seating area we normally sit in, I saw Tracy and Jack, and asked if I could sit with them. While I ate, we discussed what we wanted to do for the day. The only thing high on my list was the Finding Nemo musical at Animal Kingdom. Kevin had said that he needed to stop by the Studios to pick up the Tower of Terror photo that he'd ourchased but forgotten about the day before. Plus that night, Charlotte and John had invited us to a fish fry in their room, so we wanted to make sure to be on time for that.

When I went to refill my mug, I saw Kevin in line for a pastry, so I told him where the rest of us were sitting. When he arrived, we decided to hit Animal Kingdom first, then run to the Studios to pick up the photo, then end the afternoon at Epcot before heading for the fish fry. Once Kevin was done, we all piled into the Yaris and drove off to Animal Kingdom.

At Animal Kingdom, we saw that the next Finding Nemo show was quite a while later, so we decided to wander around and watch the animals for a while...something that I have only done a few times since Animal Kingdom has been open. We walked around in the Tree of Life Gardens, and had a very nice time watching all the animals.

We spent a particularly long time watching and photographing the flamingoes. There were lots of animals out, but quite a few were off exhibit for whatever reason. After almost an hour of watching the animals, we figured that we should go on and get in line for the Finding Nemo musical, so we left the Tree of Life Gardens and headed to the Theater in the Wild via Dinoland.

When we arrived, the line was being let into the theater, so we didn't end up waiting at all to get in. Our seats were slightly to the right of center, in the second tier of seats. I really, really love this show...it's by far my favorite live show that Disney has in its parks right now, so I was very glad that I got a chance to watch it during the trip. While we waited, Kevin was updating Facebook, and reading off what other people were posting as well. The show was wonderful as always, and I halfway feel like I enjoy it more each time I see it!

When the show was over, Tracy and I said that we would like to ride Everest one more time, so we all walked over there. Kevin and Jack sat it out, so Tracy and I decided to use the single rider line. When we got to the front, we saw Kenny working at unload! Of course we figured that by the time we got through the line and off the ride, he would have moved to another position! The line moved quickly, and we ended up on the same train, a few cars apart.

After the ride, Kenny was still at unload, so we said a quick hello, got a photo of him, then quickly moved along so we wouldn't get him in trouble for chatting!

When we went out and found Jack, he had found Catherine. Jack said that Kevin had gone to meet up with Andrea and Donna at Yak and Yeti, so we all decided to go have lunch over there as well. I made my way over there first somehow (I don't remember how we all got separated!) and found Kevin, Donna and Andrea in the seating area. After finding them, I got in line, which took a little longer than I was hoping that it would. I'd gotten a peek at Andrea's honey chicken and it looked really good, so that's what I got, as well as a fruit punch to drink. I took the only remaining seat at there table, and dug into my lunch. The honey chicken was really delicious, and very big! It wasn't the cheapest fast food you can get, but I don't mind paying a little more when the food is good and you get a lot of it.

When I was a little way into my meal, Tracy, Jack, Catherine and Jack M. all arrived. After getting their food, we shuffled some seats around so everyone who was still eating could have a seat. After a while, Catherine said that she had to leave to catch her plane, so we all said goodbye to her. Soon after, Andrea and Donna also said that they needed to go, so we said goodbye to them as well. I guess having people start to leave for home is the true sign that a RADP meet is over.

After the rest of us finished up our meals, we decided to go ahead and leave, and go over to the Studios so Kevin could pick up his Tower of Terror photo. We offered Jack M. a ride, with the caveat that he would have to squish into the backseat if he went. He said that was fine, so we all walked out together, saying goodbye to Animal Kingdom for the last time of the trip. When we got to the car, I drove, and Kevin, Tracy and Jack M. all got into the backseat.

Surprisingly, the Yaris had a large, comfortable back seat, and all three of them said that it was relatively comfortable. When we got to the Studios, we parked in the guest drop off area and Kevin ran up to the package pick up window to get his photo. In the meantime, Tracy noticed that Kevin had left his camera in the car...a dangerous thing to do when you're around RADPers! So we all left him some nice surprise silly photos on his camera.

When Kevin came back, we drove over to Epcot for the afternoon. On the way, Kevin talked to Tony, and Tony said that he wanted to meet up. He was having lunch at Electric Umbrella, so we told him to stay there and we would come meet him. When we got close to Electric Umbrella, some of the people made a bathroom stop, so I went on out to the seating area and found Tony having lunch with Amanda and Brian. After Tony was done with his lunch, we all decided to do a little bit more shopping while all the stuff in Mousegear was on sale, so we walked off toward the breezeway. On the way, Kevin ran into a DVC CM that he had met on his last trip, so everyone stopped and chatted for a while. When they were done, Tracy stopped to buy some new Disney Crocs, then we went inside Mousegear. I'd been looking at four Star Wars Mr. Potato Head sets for the entire trip, and decided to go ahead and bite the bullet and get them while I was there. They were bulky to carry around all day, but it was better than having to wait at package pickup later!

Since we didn't have much of anywhere to go, Kevin, Tracy, Jack, Jack M., Tony and I all went over to the bridge to World Showcase to see if the Kim Possible game was in previews that day. When we got there, there was nothing going on at the kiosk, so we decided to move along and not waste time over something that probably wasn't going to open. On the way back into Future World, I suggested a stop in Club Cool for a drink. I hadn't been in there yet this year, which was surprising since I try to make it a priority to visit.


Toast!

We all went around and had a few drinks...my favorite is still the Kinley Lemon, but Jack declared that the Smart Watermelon was his favorite.

Moving along, we decided to ride the ride in the Seas since there was no line. I rode in a Clam Mobile with Jack M. and almost as soon as we sat down in the ride, it stopped. There was a synchronized sigh that came from our entire group, and we were all reminded of the 2006 RADP meet when everyone in the group seemed to have gotten stuck on the ride at one point or another! Luckily it started up again fairly quickly, and we proceeded with the rest of the ride as normal.

On the way to Future World East, Kevin ran across his DVC friend at the Future World DVC booth, so he stopped to chat again. The rest of us milled around, then decided to go ride Mission: Space. When Kevin saw us starting to walk away, he quickly said his goodbyes then came to catch up with us. I left my bulging bag of Mr. Potato Head parts with both of the Jacks since neither of them wanted to ride, and we opted for the "more intense" training. I remembered that there was a fan blowing on your face the whole time, but this time it was blowing so hard that it was drying my eyes out and making it very uncomfortable. Would be nice if it was adjustable like on an airplane, but I know that's wishful thinking!

After we were done with Mission: Space, we decided that we should probably go ahead and make our way over to Old Key West for Charlotte and John's fish fry. Kevin said that he wanted to stop back by Pop Century to pick up his Urinetown DVD since people didn't get to see the entire thing during the party a few days before. After the very quick pit stop at Pop Century, we were on our way to Old Key West.

When we arrived, we found John and Charlotte outside, then went inside to find Jan, Mike, Don and Laurie. We hung around outside for a moment, then Kevin pondered having Leonard leap from the second floor onto Charlotte, but he ultimately decided against it! hehe Inside, we found fish frying up, with all kinds of side dishes like potato salad and rice dishes. Everything smelled so yummy! And despite the fact that I don't eat sausage (which was in most of the side dishes) I still managed to eat until I was stuffed! The fish was great...John had caught it all himself in Mississippii, and it tasted so fresh and great.

When we were done eating, we sat around chatting and enjoying each others company. Kevin put on his Urinetown DVD, and while we watched, Laurie offered to let Kevin and I check in for our flights on her laptop. After I checked in, I exchanged a few text messages with Steve, who was wondering what our plan was for the rest of the night. Everyone agreed that we'd be going to see IllumiNations later that night, so I made a guestimate of being able to meet him at 7:30.

As 7:00 came and went, there was discussion about some people wanting to stay and finish watching the DVD, and some people wanting to go to IllumiNations. Since I'd alredy told Steve I was going to meet him, I ducked out early while everyone else stayed to finish the DVD. I took the Old Key West bus over to Epcot, and was quickly reminded of why I enjoy staying at Pop Century! It took almost 20 minutes just to get out of Old Key West since the resort had to many bus stops! Ugh, I hate resorts with multiple bus stops.

When I finally got to Epcot, it was almost 8:00. I felt awful that I was late, but I couldn't help it because of all the bus stops, but Steve had texted me to say he was riding Spaceship Earth in the meantime. When I arrived, he made it out like it was no big deal that I was late, so I think I felt worse about it than he did. Once we met up, we decided to go back to World Showcase since I said that my "must do" of the night was getting a Grand Marnier slush.

Since I wanted the Grand Marnier slush, our first stop was at the slush kiosk in France. I walked up and got in line, then a woman came up and walked into the line right in front of me. I rather loudly said "So I wonder what's up with that?" to Steve, which made the woman turn around and say that she had already been in line when I got there. Whatever. The line was moving quickly, so it was no big deal. The Grand Marnier slush was $9, which was very steep all things considered! But it was quite tasty...almost like an alcoholic Creamsicle.

We drank as we walked, and made a slow circuit of almost all of World Showcase. When we made it as far as the Mexico pavilion, we decided to stop for margaritas...since we were already having one drink, might as well have another! It was close to 8:30 by now, so we decided to go ahead and find a spot big enough for the group that would be showing up. We spotted a nice area off the main path in front of the Norway pavilion, so we set up camp there. We chatted for a while, then Kevin, Jan, Mike, Jaycie, Tracy, and Jack all arrived. They were just in time for the show, leaving only about 10 minutes before the show started. These were wonderful viewing spots for IllumiNations, and I had a better view than I have had in years thanks to the early arrival.

This show still impresses me, and is still just as beautiful as when it first opened.

After the show, we all played around with Jaycie a little more, then said our goodbyes to Jan and Mike. The rest of us made the walk out to the front, and when we passed the Camera Center, we made a stop so we could try to condense all of our Photopass numbers onto one account. What ended up happening was that that account got added to all of ours, so I hope everyone got all the photos they wanted!

Once we all made our way out to the parking lot, we said our goodbyes to Steve, then the remaining four of us loaded into the Yaris. As we were getting in, Jack noticed a ding on the edge of the door, as though the door was closed on a seatbelt or something. It didn't look horrible, but it looked bad enough that I wanted to try and fix it before I returned the rental car! I didn't know if we had done it or not, but the last thing I wanted was an insurance claim over such a tiny little bit of damage.

Once we got back to Pop Century, I dropped Kevin off in the room, then made my way back to the Walmart off of 535 so I could pick up some touch up paint. It was a trip that I really didn't want to make, but I figured that it was necessary since I didn't want an insurance claim! I got what I needed fairly quickly, then made my way back to Pop Century. I was too tired and it was too dark to fix it that night, so I figured that I would do it the next morning. Once I was back in the room, Kevin was already in bed asleep, and I was asleep not too long after.

Go to RADP 13, Day 9
Return to the RADP 13 index