As this is going to be our most ambitious day of the week, we are all up and ready to head over to Animal Kingdom bright and early. Brighid runs to get fast passes for Kali River rapids, and the rest of us head in to Its tough to Be a Bug. There are no lines this early in the morning, but we do have to wait for the second show to start. We are hoping Brighid catches up with us, but she does not, and in we go. As always, a fun show, not to be missed. Although, with no lines, you don’t get to really admire the Tree of Life.
Our half day at Animal Kingdom goes pretty well. We don’t have a wait for anything, and in addition to the animals we get to see, we also ride Expedition Everest twice, the safari, Kali river rapids twice, and we do a few other things as well. We have a late afternoon lunch reservation at Hollywood and Vine to see the characters from Playhouse Disney, so we start our journey out of Animal Kingdom in time to have lunch at 2 o’clock at MGM Studios.
We arrive just in time for the lunch ADR, but they are switching out characters as we get there, so it’s a few minutes before we see anyone. Not only is Eilis thrilled to see the characters she has grown up with, but Brighid and Granuaile are equally excited to see characters they know and love. Because we have made a late lunch, we find ourselves at the tail end of everything. We get very quick visits from each of the characters, but only as they are on their way “home” for the day. They are taking down the Playhouse Disney meal decorations as we are sitting there, and we soon notice that ours is the only table that still shows any indication this is a character meal. Our waitress is a bit snippy, and when I inquire about soup on the buffet, she says there is none. I tell her I’ve recently had gastric bypass surgery, and wonder if they can discount my meal, since I won’t be able to eat much of anything. She tells me they can’t do that without a card from my surgeon. My surgeon doesn’t give out cards 🙁 I grab a small piece of salmon and a couple of cubes of cheese, and plan to make this my meal. In the end, she must have noticed that even with the small amount of food on my plate, I still left stuff, and she only charged me for a kids’ meal. Believe it or not, the bright spot of this meal is the guy who is cleaning up for the change over to dinner. He is an older guy from Ireland, and he spends some time chatting with us. He is funny and completely adorable, and he even brings Ann a birthday card, signed by the Playhouse disney characters.
We do a few more things around MGM, and then meet up with Dori and Spider and Aviva to take in the Great Movie Ride. Eilis is grateful to have a new best friend, and after the movie ride, Dori and I have a few minutes to sit and talk while the gang goes in to see One Man’s Dream. We head over to see the Osbourne lights just as they are about to be turned on. Amazing is about all I can say. I didn’t love the dancing aspect this year – it wasn’t awful, I just don’t think it added much to an already amazing display. We stood around at least a half hour admiring everything here – the lights and everything are just so pretty. The fake snow is such a nice touch. The holiday music is great. The only disappointment I had this year was the t-shirt I wanted was only in stock in a size 3 XL – my size just 4 short months ago, but now no where near what I wear 🙁
Because it has been such a long day, we decided to head back to the hotel. We say our goodbyes to Dori, Spider and Aviva and head back to our hotel. Dinner tonight is at the Turf Club restaurant at Saratoga Springs. I know it’s been a long day, and we’re all pretty tired, but the dinner did not go well. Jim is bitching at Eilis, Grace doesn’t want to sit still, Brighid has a terrible attitude, and the only thing they have here that I can safely eat is chicken soup, but they have to send the chef out to discuss that with me. Poor Ann, I’m sure, is ready to head home at this point in time! The waitress is way to chatty with another table, and gets the order wrong. I end up leaving with Eilis and Granuaile in tow before our dinner gets there. Fortunately, this is our last night, and we can get in bed early.
Back at the room, we are waiting for my Aunt Mary and Uncle Ted to come down from Ocala. We ended up scoring 2 extra tickets to the taping of the Walt Disney World Christmas parade, and we all have to be there at 7 AM sharp tomorrow for the taping. Interestingly enough, my Aunt and Uncle were having a drink at the Turf Club as we were having dinner, but we all must have walked right past them when we left the restaurant at our different times!!
When Aunt Mary gets there, we end up talking a little later than I think we planned to, but it’s so nice to have time with the family – especially the ones we don’t get to see very often. We are all packed, clothes laid out for the morning, and pretty much ready to go by the time we go to bed. The only thing we should have done is pack the car with as much as we could, but we decide to do it in the morning.
We’re all off to bed for the last time on this trip at Saratoga Springs!