Day 11

Monday 26th April 1999

Kissimmee

Abby decided to be a sleepy head today, waking late even after my attempts with bribery to get up (the offer of sweets usually does it). Breakfast once again at Lucile’s Café, as we’ve now found out (otherwise known as the hotel restaurant), followed by the normal cleaning of teeth etc.

MGM/Disney Studios

With all the day equipment packed in the rucksack and carrier bags it was off to the ‘MGM/Disney Studios’.

We parked the car as directed by the Disney attendant in the car park ‘Romance’ and made our way to the complementary tram service.

The car parks are so big each area is designated a name e.g. Manatee, Discover etc; and you need to remember where you left your vehicle, or else it could be a long walk back.

The trams are required because of the distance to the main entrance.

First ride of the day was the ‘Star Tours’, a simulated space ship trip in which you were taken up and got involved in a fight with ‘The Empire’.

We all thought the ride was brilliant, especially when you went into hyper-space.

Next was the ‘Muppet 3D Movie’, which even Tina managed to see some of the effects (Tina reckons that she usually cannot see 3D – I blame it on her eyes!)

We then sat in the ‘Indiana Jones Epic Stunt Spectacular’ stadium and watched a mock up of the original film ‘Raiders’.

It amazes me how well they can put on these shows time after time, and make them so realistic.

The temperature today was back up to mid 90’s again, and so afterwards we sought a cool drink before moving on.

Abby spotted Pluto in ‘Mickey Avenue’ and asked to have her photo taken with him. Matthew declined.

After eventually finding something light for lunch (if you call a turkey leg light) we went and saw how the animators draw the Disney characters.

Very informative and very talented people. During the making of a major film there could be up to 350 people on the studio site.

I then had a rush of madness and thought that I should visit the ‘Tower of Terror’, a ride based on ‘The Twilight Zone’ lift.

Basically you sit in a 20 seater lift cage a suddenly it drops 13 floors, before doors open to the outside world, allowing the screams of those inside to be heard by everyone in the park.

It then goes up and down a few times leaving your stomach on the previous floors. I knew I shouldn’t have had that turkey leg!

By the time this ride was over and I had found Tina and the kids it was gone 5pm, still three and a half hours until the finale of the evening, a firework and laser show called ‘Fantasmic’.

To fill in the time we went and watched a cut down version of the ‘Beauty and the Beast’ stage show, plus re-visited ‘Star Tours’ and the ‘Muppets’.

Eventually we made our way our way with the rest of the crowds to the Hollywood Hills amphitheatre; in preparation for the last show at dusk. The crowd was in good mood before the show started and we all joined in a huge ‘Mexican Wave’ which helped pass the long wait before the beginning. And it was well worth the wait….incredible! and difficult to describe. Lasers and films projected onto a screen of vertical water. The lake at one point became a river of fire, before a final firework extravaganza. You realise what value the entry fees are when you see this show. Fantasmic indeed.

Kissimmee

We left the studios exhausted and still having not eaten, grabbed a BK drive-through and ate it back at the hotel. A long tiring but exiting day had by all.

Prices without Florida Tax (6%)

Popcorn – $2

Soda (Coke, Mountain Dew, Sprite) – $1.60 – $2.50

Hotdog – $2 – $3.25

Buffet Dinner – $7.99 – $8.99

M + N’s – 97c

Kodak 35mm Film 24 ex – $6.50

Stamp – $0.50

Postcards – 30c – 60c

Bottled fruit Juice (shop) – $1.09

Bottle fruit Juice (parks) – $2.25

Towel Hire – $2

Locker Hire – $2

Steak Dinner – $7.99 – $12.99

Petrol – $1.09 per gallon