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Monday June 18th 2007

Say it with me: Up at 6:00am. Our check-out material arrived under the door and it says we should catch the 9:00am Magical Express Bus tomorrow morning. Sounds good to us. This morning we are going to the Magic Kingdom for the first time this trip. Park opens at 9:00 so we caught the 8:30 bus to it. We arrived right as the dumb opening show began. At Disneyland they let everyone onto Main Street up to an hour before opening for your shopping convenience. Not here. They held the crowd behind the rope at the train tunnels. It was so crowded Kel and I could not get through the turn-style. Train came full of characters. They sang, they waved, they made a big deal about opening, then they finally let us all in. We followed the sheeple all the way down Main Street. The crowd didn't lessen until we got to the hub. We could finally breath.

Most folks go to Space Mountain or Splash Mountain. Not us. We don't like the Space Mountain here as much as ours so it was skip-able and it was too early to get wet on Splash so we headed into Tomorrowland to see Stich's Great Escape. Nowhere near as fun as Alien Encounter but not terrible either. Just Meh. Headed back to the hub after packing up a shirt for Matt in the old Alien Encounter shop. Had our picture taken in front of the castle. I 'helped' a lady and her kid wanting to know how to get to Fantasyland. 'Just go through the castle!'. So Kel and I headed to Fantasyland ourselves and d'oh! The castle was blocked off. The lady caught up to us at that point and I apologized for the bad directions. We took the path towards Frontierland to bypass the castle and that worked fine.

Did a little shopping and a little picture taking while Kel hit the water ride. We then got in line for Mickey's Philharmagic, one of the few 'must-sees' that I had for the Magic Kingdom. The wait was a little long, about 30 minutes, but it was air-conditioned. Nice theater. Great show. Very funny and the 3-deification of the many classic characters was nice. Glad we got to see it. Off to Adventureland and and an orange juice slushie.

Sat around and watched the Aladdin Magic Carpet ride for awhile. I jetted off to Splash to get us a FastPass leaving Kel to rest her feet. Got it for between 11:30 and 12:30. Once back we watched Aladdin himself ride with a kid on the ride before getting in line at Pirates. I hadn't seen the additions made since the movies came out. The line was really annoying. It was a 30 minute line with really obnoxious people in front of us. The ride is still "Pirates-Lite" as far as I'm concerned (yeah I know... I'm a Disneyland Snob). I'm always surprised at how short it is. The new stuff was cool. The Jack and the Barbosa AAs were fantastic as was the new Davy Jones projection. Exited through the shop and pretty much finished all our shopping there. Got a basketball shirt for my nephew and a couple of other googaws for some friends.

Walked by the Tiki Room and checked for when the next show was. Ugh 30 minutes. Opted instead to make our way back to Splash Mountain. It was almost noon, getting hot and very crowded. Seemed like a good time. FastPass let us bypass most of the annoying line. Hardly got wet at all! Bummer. I was actually looking forward to a dousing too. Oh well. The ride was fun. Not too much difference between WDW's and Disneyland's except for the side-by-side seating and the Bees drop not being as much of a soaker. The views up there are great. By now it was just after 1:00 and even more crowded. We began making our way back to the main entrance.

Our packages were waiting for us at the shop on Main Street next to City Hall. Picked them up then buggered out. Bus eventually came just as Kel was melting. Got back to the hotel around 2:00. Stopped off in the gift shop and picked up one last shirt and was told we'd over-run our Keys To The Kingdom limit. Ooops. Popped over to the front desk and took care of that. They ran my credit card and reset my room card. 2 minute procedure.

As we had to be up early and would probably not feel like it tonight, decided to do most of our packing this afternoon. I got just about all of the souvenirs and gifts into one suitcase. Yay!. Kicked back on the veranda and finished off the wine. We had dinner reservations at the very popular Cape May Cafe Clam Bake, which was right next door at the Beach Club. Headed down to our lobby and the Crew Cup Lounge for a cocktail first. Nice place. It's right next to the Yachtsman Steakhouse. We should have gone there for dinner.

Walked over to the Beach Club about 15 minutes before our reservation and spent the extra time checking out their lobby. It's really weird because the Beach Club and the Yacht Club are twins in so many ways. Not so much in decor and the people in the lobby. Our lobby is quiet, the Beach Club lobby was full of noisy kids. We made a good choice picking the Yacht Club. Got a table immediately at 5:30 and headed right over to the "All You Care To Enjoy" buffet. Salads, clams, mussels, shrimp plus some meat dishes and veggies. Quite a nice spread. The drink menu was the same one as at the Crews Cup Lounge. I went back once for more shrimp as they were being monopolized during my first run. It got really crowded and while the food was good, it was a pain to get more once the place filled up. Kel watched a woman tell her kid to take as many desserts as he could carry and they'd bring them back to the room. Sheesh that's classy. This is probably a great place to bring the kids but we were happy to get the heck outta dodge once we'd finished.

Headed right over to Epcot from there. Full tummys, so we walked kinda slow. Once on the World Showcase Promenade we made our way counter-clockwise over to where we left off the night before, in America. Saw a photographer there and interrupted him as he was putting his gear under a poncho. What a pessimist. The peals of thunder were from MILES away. We had our picture taken then bopped on over to Italy. Went back to the Neptune Fountain hoping there would be a photographer back there but no. Kel took my picture and we would have taken hers too but there were too many folks over there trying to get their pictures taken. Walked across the courtyard and felt the first drops.

Charged inside as the heavens opened up. Got a good look at all the Italian Shops. Nothing much interesting enough to buy though. The rains began to slow down so we made a dignified dash for the next country over, Germany. Went through their shops and saw a few cool things but nothing that breathtaking. Took some pics outside then continued around the lagoon. Next stop was the 'Outpost'. This area was once going to be the home of the Africa pavilion but funding never came through. Disney used the designs for the Animal Kingdom instead. Just a shop and a drink stand here now. Next up was China. This land, like Japan, was enshrouded in tarps as well. We got a couple of drinks at a stand and did a little sheeple watching. Also began taking pictures of the ominous clouds. As we walked over to Norway it started to rain again. We looked at the Maelstrom line but it was 45 minutes. Way too long for that very short ride. It's a boring queue too. We think it was full due to the rain. Ducked into a doorway until it slowed down. Kel got some nice video.

Once it was safe we made our way around to Mexico and popped in. No wait for the newly refurbished "El Rio Del Tiempo", (now named "Gran Fiesta Tour Starring the Three Caballeros!"). Big improvement on that ride. It feels far less cheesy. It was pouring outside so we hung around for a little bit longer. Took some pics of the very pretty interior. Got bored so decided to brave the rain and go ride Mission:Space again. Took the side pathway across from the old Odyssey Restaurant, which was hosting a private party. We used the water-ride there anyway. There were a lot of people hanging out in front of Test Track for some reason. It sounded like it was down. Then we noticed that the area was covered by an awning.

Got over to Mission: Space and there was very little line once again. There was a cast-member escorting 2 girls who were acting like they were somebody famous. We didn't recognize them and as they were obnoxious we just tried to ignore them (while wishing them a vomitolicious time inside). I got to be the Navigator on this last flight, meaning *I* had to separate the second stage rocket. Did it at the perfect time but SOMEONE else on the crew screwed up and we ended up pretty much crashing on Mars yet again (I suspect Pilot error). Gary still gave me the thumbs up though so that's cool.

It was approaching Illuminations time and we wanted to skedaddle before then so off we went back towards England. As we were passing the shop at the entrance to World Showcase I spotted a picture I wanted to take. And then Kel thought that maybe there would be a photographer over by the Imagination Pavilion near the upside-down waterfall. So we took the little hidden path back there. No luck on a photographer but I got some fabulous shots with our dorky little camera. Kel got video of lightning too. Very Cool. Got back on track then and headed back out the International Gateway to our hotel. I saw a neat photo in my head and snapped 2 pictures of the Dolphin from across Crescent Lake. The first one had a bad light in my eye though so I had Kel block it for me. Just as I went to snap the pic, all the lights on the Dolphin went out! Illuminations began 30 seconds later. I had no idea they did that but it makes sense.

Got back to the room and finished up our packing. Got to bed by 10:00.



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