(I'm almost done, I promise.)
On Wednesday morning, we headed to Animal Kingdom. It rained quite a bit throughout the day, but we had rain gear so we soldiered on. I think my daughter impaled the eyeballs of about fifty strangers while swinging her umbrella around. We hopped on a safari first thing in the morning, as we had heard the animals are more active then. As you know, I really struggle with this sort of thing. I'd rather know that a giraffe is loping freely across some African plains than to be living in Disney World with tourists passing by a thousand times a day. And yet, we've done such a spectacular job of destroying our natural resources and habitats that zoos become sort of essential for conservation. I do know that Disney does not take any animal out of the wild - most come from other zoos. Or at least that is the line they give . . .
We saw a couple of shows at Animal Kingdom and also rode a roller coaster called Expedition Everest. My stomach felt a little bit iffy for the rest of the day. P and I got off the coaster and declared that we were done with rides for the day. Our daughter, of course, rode it a couple more times because it was, and I quote, "AWESOME!"
On Thursday, we descended upon Hollywood Studios. This park was a lot more crowded than Animal Kingdom. Our friends' middle son was celebrating his 10th birthday that day, so we did another "theme" lunch. We ate at a place called the Sci-Fi Dine-In Theater. You sit in an old car and watch B movies on a big screen. It was a lot of fun. We ate birthday cake for dessert and then my friend Sherri insisted on carrying around the leftovers for the rest of the day. She finally gave in about six hours later, when she realized the leftover cake had morphed into a pile of glop.
There aren't tons of rides at Hollywood Studios, but we did tackle all (or most) of them. The kid was pissed that she was too short to ride the Rock-n-Roller Coaster. I rode it, despite my concerns about the inversions. Our friends' oldest son rode it with me and I'm pretty sure I deafened him in his right ear. I was not sure I was up for the Tower of Terror. P refused to ride it. The Tower of Terror is, of course, the ride that hauls you (in an elevator) umpteen stories into the air and then "drops" the elevator in a seeming free fall. I rode it. Just once, though.
Our daughter danced at both parks (see photos below). She danced at some street party at Animal Kingdom, and danced in the street at Hollywood Studios. The girl can rock a beat, let me tell you.
The day ended with another park-closing extravaganza (our third of the week). The Fantasmic show requires you to be seated over an hour in advance, which was a little frustrating. I baked in the sun and daydreamed about swimming pools and ice. I chatted with the family sitting to my left. They were Canadian and were super-nice (which is, as I understand it, a firm requirement for all Canadians). I noticed that their two children had albinism so I told them how I have no pigment in my skin either and maybe I should have been hanging out with them instead of my own family. We compared notes on sunblock and how to handle the Florida heat. They had been struggling with the heat quite a bit and had retreated to their hotel room mid-day to cool off each day.
The most important thing that happened at Hollywood Studios is that I saw the 3D Muppet movie and bought a Gonzo to take home with me. I took him to work, where everyone is on strict orders not to touch him.