Kiwi's July TR 5 - Creepy Ben and the sauerkraut

Thanks for stopping by to read my trip report! If you've been keeping up so far, jump down to the wavy line to pick up where you left off.

Staring!:

Julie - That's me. I'm 20 (spending my 20th birthday in Disney World) and am a Cast Member at the Disney Store. I'm a total Off Kilter nut, and have planned meticulously for this trip in hopes that everything goes well. This is my eighth trip in three years.

Mom - Debbie, my mom. She's in her 40's and is also quite the Off Kilter nut. She's the one that was really excited about showing our newbie around, so she did lots of the meal planning and pep talking to Patsy. She also drove most of the way. This is also her eighth trip in three years.

Patsy - The newbie! She's 55 (I think...if not, she's close) and is mom's first cousin. She's been to Disney World once before, but didn't get to spend much time seeing everything. She also hadn't taken a vacation in many, many years, so she was excited at the chance to get away for a while. Her excitement and willingness to be dragged around and talked into things she normally wouldn't do was a good asset to her.

When did we go?: July 10th-15th, 1999
Where did we stay?: Magic Castle Inn and Suites (in a suite)
How did we get there?: Drove our van from Nashville
How long is this section?: 2427 words

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7:00 rolled around quickly, and once again, I had a hard time getting up. Mom and Patsy ate at the continental breakfast again, but I said that I wanted to stop at a McDonald's for breakfast. So once we were done, we all piled into the car and headed out. At McDonalds, I got an egg and cheese biscuit and hash browns. Next stop was the Magic Kingdom via monorail.

Once again, I had to stop at Guest Services and get my ticket fixed. This was the quickest of the visits, and soon I was on my way in. Once inside, I decided that I wanted to ride Splash Mountain. Neither mom nor Patsy wanted to ride Splash Mountain, and I didn't want to watch Hall of Presidents or ride the riverboat, so we went our separate ways for a while. The line for Splash Mountain was only backed up through the top part of the barn, so I guess I had about a 20 minute wait. I got wet, but not excessively soaked.

Once I was done, I decided to try and find my friend Scott. He was working as a custodial host on the College Program in Frontierland. I stopped one man and asked if he knew who Scott was and he said yes, but he didn't know if he was working that day or not. Then I found someone else and asked him, and he said that he thought he came in at 11:00. It was only a little after nine, so I decided to try to find him later.

We had decided that they would watch the Hall of Presidents and ride the riverboat, then we would meet up outside the riverboat entrance afterwards. Since I had gotten in and out of Splash Mountain so quickly, the boat they were on hadn't left yet, so I hopped on and looked for them. They were shocked to see me since they had thought that the Splash Mountain line would be at least an hour. Not so, so I sat down on the deck and we rode. Patsy kept wiping her eyes and talking about how wonderful Hall of Presidents was. Turns out that she had boo-hooed all through it. I said that if she liked that, she should just wait until she saw American Adventure.

When we were done, we hopped over to Adventureland to see everything over there. We passed an ice cream cart, and an Itzakadoozie started calling my name, so I got one. By the time we got to the Tiki Room, I was almost done, so we went ahead and got in line. By the time we went inside I was done. I think Patsy thought the Tiki Room was "just darlin'" too.

Next we rode the Jungle Cruise, which was better this time than in previous trips. Afterwards we took in Pirates of the Caribbean. Of course since we'd had so much fun scaring Patsy on the TTA, we decided not to tell Patsy about the drop in Pirates of the Caribbean. We rounded the corner to where you can see the skull, then said "Oh yeah, did we forget to tell you that this has a drop in it?" She was like "No, I don't believe you! You're just being mean to me!" Needless to say, she let out quite a scream when we really did drop down the hill! Once again, we had a nice laugh at her expense.

Afterwards, I asked around trying to find Scott, but I couldn't find him (later, I found out that that was the only day off he had that week). We decided that we should get a bite to eat since our dinner was still a ways away, so since we still had a thing or two to do in Tomorrowland, we decided to go over to Cosmic Ray's. Patsy and I both got the stacked sandwiches and she had fries. Mine was really really good. All the meats are turkey based, so I could eat everything on it (eventhough the "ham" tasted a lot like real ham...yuck) and is served on a herb bread. It was so good. Mom had a burger, fries and water.

Just as we were done, we all regretted getting such a big meal because we had a priority seating at Biergarten in about two and a half hours. Oh well. While we were in the area, we watched Carousel of Progress, which is a favorite of ours. Patsy really liked it too. It was just about time to head back over to Epcot for the final time of the trip, so we took the monorail to the TTC, then drove over to Epcot.

As we went inside, we stopped in Innoventions to see if any of the postcard booths were free. We had to wait for a few minutes to get one, but once we were inside, we sent three or four postcards to friends at home. When we were done, we headed over into World Showcase and around clockwise towards Germany. Right as we got past China, we were stopped as they raised the drawbridge to let the ball for Illuminations out into the lagoon. It took a lot longer than I thought it would, and it was a fairly uncomfortable wait since it was in full sun.

When we arrived at Biergarten, it was 4:00 and none of us were hungry since we had just eaten a couple of hours ago. We were seated pretty quickly since it was so early. We had chosen such an early seating because we wanted to see the show they had, and the next show wasn't until much later. The hostess explained that the buffet was family style and that we would be seated with other people at a big table. Cool with us, so we went to sit down. A few minutes later, our waitress, Sabine, seated an older man named Ben with us.

The meal was really good! I was scared that most of the stuff on the menu would be things that I couldn't eat (I don't eat pork and don't eat most kinds of beef) but I was pleasantly surprised that I was able to easily avoid the pork dishes. Actually, the only meat I had was some fried chicken patties they had, otherwise I would have easily been able to eat veggie for the whole meal. They had a great pasta salad, tomato salad, some puffed pasta type stuff, lots of good bread, and lots of other veggies and salads. I really enjoyed the meal and will probably go back at some point.

During the meal, I noticed that the only way they serve sauerkraut was in a big pot with ham laid on top of it. I asked the waitress if she could bring me a bowl of just sauerkraut since I don't eat pork, and she said that she thought she could. So she showed back up a few minutes later and said that all the sauerkraut they make is cooked in pork stock. Yuck! Too bad cuz I absolutely love sauerkraut.

Just about the only bad thing I have to say about the restaurant is that it was kind of uncomfortable having three women sitting at a table with a man they didn't know. Ben was nice enough, and we were able to give him lots of tips on what to see the rest of the day (he was travelling cross country and was only in Disney World for one day), but he seemed a bit...creepy...to me. He also exhibited a little bit too much interest in Patsy and I think it made her a bit uncomfortable. Aside from that, the show was excellent and we had a great meal.

When dinner was done, we said goodbye to Ben and went over to American Adventure. When we went in, it looked like it was about to start raining. Well, just as I suspected, Patsy boo-hooed through the whole show. I don't know how many tissues she went through, but when the show was over, we had to wait at the exit a little while before she and mom had quit crying enough to continue. While they were crying, I stepped over to the bathroom. Well, the line was huge, so it took me a l-o-n-g time to get in and out. By the time I was done and back to where they were waiting, mom was gone. Patsy said that we had probably passed each other because she had just left for the bathroom when I got back. Finally, we caught up with each other and headed off, in the pouring rain, to the Canada pavilion.

As we reached Canada, we were able to catch the tail end of Off Kilter's 7:15 show. When they were done, we decided to just hang around for a few minutes and catch the 8:25 show, since we wouldn't have time to see anything else and get back in time. Since it was our last night in Florida, I wanted to get together with one of my friends from Orlando, so I hopped over to the UK pavilion and gave him a call. We decided to meet up at the Magic Kingdom at 9:30, which would give me just enough time to watch Off Kilter, do a bit of last minute shopping and catch the monorail over.

When I returned, mom asked if we wanted her to run over to Mexico and get us some churros, and I said yes. So mom went over there and returned a few minutes later with three churros. While she was gone, I had started chatting with the family on the bench behind us. The two little boys of the family (maybe six and four years old) were talking about Tower of Terror and Countdown to Extinction. It was funny, and I had a nice chat with them. When mom returned, we shared a few bites of our churros with them since they had never tried them.

As showtime neared, who should show up but Ben. He was a few rows back from us and started calling out Patsy's name. We talked to him for a few minutes, and at one point, he grabbed the handles of Patsy's wheelchair and said "I think *you* need to sit back here with *me*" and started pulling her wheelchair backwards. Then he let go and Patsy promptly wheeled herself back up next to us.

The show was great as always, and they sang one song that I had never heard before. It started out "My name is John MacKensie" and was absolutely beautiful. I'm so glad that we got it on tape because it's become one of my favorites they sing. When they were done, we bid them a final farewell, telling them that we would be back in early December and that we would certainly bring ourselves to their attention. We then went back into Future World and made a stop at the Emporium. I didn't find anything I wanted, so I left mom and Patsy to look around some more while I took the monorail over to the Magic Kingdom.

I met up with my friend about five minutes late and after saying our hellos, we went over to Tomorrowland to ride Space Mountain. The long line afforded us some chatting time, and when we were done, we took a ride on the TTA. After that, we walked through Fantasyland over to Liberty Square. This was the first time of the entire trip that I had walked past the new Pooh ride. Mom, who likes Pooh well enough, kept saying before hand that she really wanted to ride it, but once we were actually in Disney World, she never mentioned it. I like to think that she was nice enough not to ride it for my sake, knowing how much I loved Mr. Toad and hated to see it go. I figured that she would run to Fantasyland and ride it first thing, but she didn't. We never walked past it or even mentioned it. Odd, but comforting at the same time.

When we were through Fantasyland, we made a stop at Haunted Mansion and rode it. As we left, it was just about time for Main Street Electrical Parade to start, so he suggested we stop and watch it. We both got popcorn and drinks and sat on the steps of Liberty Tree Tavern and took in the parade. I still can't get over how much more I like this parade than SpectroMagic. Aside from the music, I can't pinpoint one thing that makes me love this parade so much. Oh well...mine is not to question why.

After the parade, everything was closed, so we decided to leave. We took the monorail back to the TTC and I got a ride back to my hotel from him. What a great way to end a trip.

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