Monday, December 18, 2017

December Trip Report ... Disney’s Animal Kingdom and Disney’s Hollywood Studios -or- Things that go bump in the night

Day 2 ... December 11 ... 

Today’s plan is to start in Animal Kingdom where we have a 10:00 fastpass for Primeval Whirl. Still unusually cool for Florida in December, but it is warmer than yesterday and should make its way into the 60’s today. But we are still rather bundled up. We arrive at Animal Kingdom and since neither of the girls carry bags with them, we are able to go through the No Bags line as we do all week. (Cathy is questioned at one time about her wallet, but that is quickly dealt with and no harm, no foul.) 

We headed towards our first destination and rode Primeval Whirl ... once. Unlike last time when we were there in a torrential downpour and they let us ride over and over without getting off, today we had but one go ‘round.

And then ... it was lunchtime. We walked over to Flame Tree where the line was long - it may have just opened - but moving rather quickly. By now the sun had warmed the air sufficiently that eating outdoors was not uncomfortable. Pleasant meal - pleasant company ensued and after a while it was time for our next fastpass ... Dinosaur. 

And then - our final original fastpass for today - Expedition Everest. 

Now let me explain - while there is no doubt that I do enjoy this ride, I do have an issue with the part where you go backwards. Not even the whole time that you do ... but there is about 12 seconds where you feel like you are being folded in half rather aggressively. I am less than thrilled about those seconds, but I deal with it and always enjoy the rest of the trip though Everest. Hopefully some day they will get the Yeti back to its full glory. I have been lucky enough to have seen it as such in the early days of the attraction. Now you could almost miss the Yeti entirely if you don’t know it’s there.

I later discovered that I actually appear in this photo as well ...

Once we have braved the Yeti, it is time for our traditional treat - a FROZEN BANANA!!! While we partake of our snacks, we check to see if the nearly impossible can take place as we check for fastpasses for the Pandora attractions. No luck so we decide that after naps for all and a change of wardrobe to deal with the colder weather we will encounter this evening, we will go to Disney’s Hollywood Studios. With that decision made we check to see what fastpasses are available there. We settle on the holiday show of the Frozen Sing-a-long.

Naps taken and wardrobes adjusted, we make our way to the Studios. Have I ever mentioned how bad my singing is? As Music Director for many a musical over the past few decades, I have often had to sing cue lines for my actors during rehearsals. My ear is good but my singing is terrible. I even offend myself, and my band has been known to throw things at me at these moments! Happily neither of the girls threw anything at me today. (Jenny has a beautiful singing voice I should mention.) I don’t know if it’s because of the added holiday component of the show, or just not the best “royal historians” we saw, but the jokes and “ad-libs” today left a bit to be desired. The holiday overlay generally consists of songs from the controversial short that was shown before Coco and then pulled to be shown as a TV special. (By the way, I was very impressed with Coco and do highly recommend it if you haven’t yet seen it.)

Our fastpasses now all used, we went to see what the standby wait was at Star Tours. It showed 40 minutes but we decided to give it a go. However, while waiting in the queue and before we actually got into the building, the line came to a complete standstill, and since we had fastpasses for it the next day, we decided to bail out and try to find something for dinner. Our target was the former Pizza Planet ... Pizza Rizzo. None of us had been there since the changeover. However, when we got there it was closed so we needed to consider other options. Mama Melrose is nearby so I went in to see if we could get a walk-in seating, but was denied. So we started walking. 

Not too long into our journey, we passed the former spot of the Writers Stop (Buy the Book before that)  which is now Baseline Tap House, so we decided to see if this would provide anything for us. It did. A cheese and meat selection went very nicely with ciders all around ... so we sat, ate and drank and generally had a good time. 

The sun was now down and time to see the nighttime projection shows, starting with the one on the Tower of Terror followed by Jingle Bell Jingle Bam! Then it was time to leave the park. 

Although I was having some physical side effects from the radiation treatments, I was able to get through the discomfort and not really have to slow down. That would soon change. As we are walking to the bus - remember it’s dark and at the moment a bright light is in front of me - I step down on the soft material that they have around the trees. Ordinarily that’s a good thing and feels nice, but it was quite unexpected and I felt myself lose my footing. I thought I could recover but quickly realized that I was not going to be able to avoid the inevitable, and in seconds went down hard!! I rolled and was completely laid out face down on the pavement. (Embarrassing to say the least!) At first I felt that I was okay other than a bit of a scrape on my hand, but on the bus I noticed the blood on my hand from a nasty cut. I also felt my knee start to tighten up. Later on I would notice bruises on my arm where I landed. This could not be good!!

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