|Day 10, Tuesday, January 8, 2002
This was a day we spent mostly in travel. Nick and I got in an hour at the Magic Kingdom before we left, though.
We slept in kind of late, which cut into our planned last half day at the Magic Kingdom. We only got an hour in. Still, it was fun to say goodbye.
Packing took a lot of time. So it goes, if you buy a lot of stuff. After we were packed, we called the bell desk, and they were real happy to store our stuff. Shortly they came to pick everything up, and we hitched a ride from them to the front desk. Debbie camped out in the pleasant little living room nook by the front desk with her laptop, while Nick and I went off to the Magic Kingdom.
The Magic Kingdom bus was nice again. The bus service at OKW was uniformly superb.
When we got to the Magic Kingdom, all of the Christmas decorations were gone. At Epcot yesterday, everything was turned off, but not removed. But, today at the Magic Kingdom, there wasn’t a trace. So, for future reference, the Christmas celebration here seems to last until about the 7th or 8th of January (at least it did this year).
|We stopped at the ice cream parlor at the end of Main Street.
Nick and I had a nice talk with the CM behind the counter, an older woman
who was very pleasant and hit it off with Nick. Nick had a chocolate
chip cone and I had a butter pecan. It was really too cold, for ice
cream, but a 9 year old can be stubborn. Oh, wait, then why did I
The crowd at the park was very light. We practically walked on to Space Mountain. Buzz was down, the CM said there was a mechanical problem. Carousel of Progress and Time Keeper were both down, probably because of the light attendance. Remember, though, that we had seen both of these earlier in the week.
Space Mountain is still nice, a fun and imaginative ride that has a high tech theme, but is not that high tech itself. It was fast, fun, and nearly final ride. But we did TTA as our last ride, and our farewell to the Magic Kingdom and Tomorrowland.
Ironically, Tomorrowland, which is dedicated to technology, now is not really as high tech as other things in the park. Time Keeper is one of the few things here (well, and Alien Encounter, which Nick won’t go on) that has a fair amount of tech, with circlevision, projection screens, and animatronics. Still, we enjoy Tomorrowland’s technological themeing, and there are a lot a number of fun rides and attractions here. We spent a fair amount of time in Tomorrowland this trip. There’s just a bit of irony here as well.
I was very glad that we went to the park, if only for an hour. I loved spending this time alone with Nick. And it was nice to have one more pocketful of memories to take home with us.
|We practically ran back to the bus, but the bus seemed to take a while
to get us back to front desk. It seemed like 25 minutes. I
can’t complain at all about the bus service to OKW, but I was getting nervous
because we wanted to have lunch before our Tiffany pick up.
We met Debbie for one last great meal at Olivia’s. We were not disappointed. For a resort dining room, this place is superb. I had the buttermilk chicken breasts and key lime smoothie. I also had the potato soup, and we shared a shrimp artichoke dip. We had great food and great service. It provided a very nice ending to our stay.
I did call Tiffany on the cell just to touch base. They already knew all about us, and we had a smooth, on time pickup. We had the same driver as pickup on our first day. He’s a wonderful, friendly guy, and provided us with a great service. The bell guy who brought us in on our first day at OKW made a point to say goodbye, and remembered we were coming back in October. He said “I told you so” when we said we’d like to be back at OKW.
We had a very smooth airport checkin, with no troubles at security, despite our laptops. We had a nice flight back, but we were in the very back row. You may think I’ve crazy, but I swear that the rows get closer together the further towards the back of the plane you go.
|Nick asked me if these were the cheapest seats on the plane.
I actually put my seat back a little, because there was only a wall behind
me, and this made the closed quarters slightly better. I will not
put my seat back if there is someone behind me, because it is very bad
I was once again glad to have the laptop, while I was listening to music and working on my trip report. Nick read the new R. L. Stein book he bought at the Tower of Terror. But, he was a little upset because for some reason the DVD playback was not working on the IBook (I need to fix that), and he had a movie he wanted to watch.
Our return trip with the shuttle service took two hours to get home from the airport, from the time we landed. So, next trip, we go back to parking at an outlying lot.
As aI collect my final thoughts, for this trip, I am thinking about one of the questions that people who don’t understand WDW always ask me: “Don’t you get tired of seeing the same things over and over again? Haven’t you seen everything already?” To answer that question, I was going to write down ten things that we saw or did for the firs time this trip, but I ended up with 14.
1. OKW. We had never even been on the grounds of OKW before. We were pleasantly surprised. The place is really pretty, the rooms are very nice, and the service is friendly and personal. I wouldn’t hesitate to stay here again. Don’t be fooled by the fact that this is the cheapest of the DVC properties--it’s a great bargain. The bus service here was very solid, even when things were busy. And, of course, there is
|2. Olivia’s. Great food, great service, and a pleasant
atmosphere make this place a real find. We might even stop by here
if we are staying someplace else. We love this restaurant.
3. Spectromagic. This is a fun parade, although I think I may like MSEP better. But, the classic Disney characters, the high tech theme, the music and the lighting make this a very enjoyable experience.
4. Osborne lights. Words don’t do this justice. I’m glad we made it for this, and it was a great way to kick off the trip. It is definitely worth planning a trip while these lights are up. You have to see this at least one time.
5. Park decorations, hotel decorations, for XMas. Of course, the Osborne lights were only the most spectacular Christmas display, the holidays were everywhere you looked on property. It was fun to stretch out the holiday season, and to enjoy the magical way that Disney does it. But, by the end of the trip, we had had our fill, since this was at the end of the Holiday season. Regardless, there are a lot of special things to see, at every park and resort, during this time of the year.
6. Coronado Springs. This is a pretty and pleasant resort. The pool is awfully cool. The Pepper Market, though, left us kind of unimpressed. I found the bus service here to be good, though OKW somehow seemed a smidgen better. This is a nice place to stay, but Port Orleans French Quarter is still our favorite moderate (if they ever open it back up).
|7. Dinorama. I wish I could say we did Triceratops Spin,
but that day it was broken down turned out to be our only chance.
But, we did get to see the work being done in this area, and it will provide
more activities while in Animal Kingdom, which they need. I have
mixed emotions about the “cheesiness” of it, though.
8. Aladdin in Magic Kingdom. This was a surprisingly fun ride. It resembles Dumbo, but has some great enhancements. And Adventureland is a cool place to fly over. We liked this ride very much.
9. Dreamchasers at test track. I liked this, Debbie and Nick were lukewarm. But, I’m a sucker for technology, engineering and VR, so this probably has a more natural appeal to me. The VR over in DQ is better, of course, but I think this a welcome addition.
10. Big hat, kiosks. I am not going to call it the big ugly hat,
it really isn’t that bad looking. It is a shame, though, that it
blocks the view of the Chinese Theater from the street. And, really,
the Earful Tower was a better symbol of what the Studios are about.
But, it is striking in an outlandish way, and we are going to have to get
used to it. If you gave me a vote, I’d rather get rid of the hand
over Spaceship Earth.
|11. Mission Space preshow. It kind of whet our appetite for the
real deal, and I found it fun overall. Debbie and Nick were ready
to move on before I was.
12. AK parade. Another neat parade, though I like the night time parades better. Some themes seemed borrowed from Tapestry of Nations, but it is a well executed parade, and was fun to watch.
13. First gorillas on Pangina Trail. We have walked the Pangina Trail before, but, believe it or not, have never seen gorillas. The cool, dry weather may have had something to do with it, we seem to hit this place usually when it is hot and raining. Our viewing of the gorillas was magnificent, and I’ll immodestly say that we got some great photos and videos, some of which Nick shot.
14. First NYE, special fireworks. OK, now *THAT* was cool. It was a very special experience, both the celebration during the day and the glorious fireworks at midnight. It is a terrific way to start the year.
It was a great trip. I wish it wasn’t so cold, but at least it was dry. We made some special memories.
Return To Obrins At WDW, January 2002
Return To Obrins At Walt Disney World
Return To Joe Obrin's Home Page