My December 1998 Walt Disney World Vacation


Day 7: Friday, Dec. 18
After finally getting to sleep in this morning, we got on a bus and headed to Downtown Disney. First, we went to Disney Quest. I loved it, and my mom liked it, but my dad didn't really care for it. He spent most of the time just playing the Daytona USA racing game. I loved all the current arcade games, which you can play all day for a single admission price. My mom and I really liked the Hercules 3-D game, which we played twice, with me always getting the highest score. Guiding the remote-control cars through the maze was also fun, even by myself. The Virtual Jungle Cruise was really cool as well as the Aladdin virtual reality game. All the really old arcade games were fun as well. Buzz Lightyear's Astro Blaster was great fun, but the balls made our hands really dirty. For lunch, we ate at the Cheesecake Factory, which had a wide selection of food. In the afternoon, we took a break to go shopping around Downtown Disney. I managed to buy everything I wanted and more, so by the late afternoon, we were bogged down by shopping bags. We took the bus back to our resort, dropped off our bags and had a short rest, before heading back to Disney Quest. Another great thing about Disney Quest is that there are many fun games that give you tickets which you can redeem for prizes. And, since you have unlimited use of the games you can quickly rack up quite a few tickets. So, before we left, I exchanged my tickets for a few packs of candy, and then it was back to our resort for a good night's sleep.

Day 8: Saturday, Dec. 19
We began the day with The Magic Kingdom's early morning. First off, we did the people mover and the Tomorrowland Speedway. Then, I did Space Mountain one more time. I love that ride. Next, we did the Buzz Lightyear ride again and I got my best score ever - 127,000, although that's not very good! Afterwards we saw Alien Encounter, and then the Timekeeper, once the rest of the park had opened.One of the Magic Kingdom's beautiful engines blowing off some steam Afterwards, we walked on the secluded pathway from Tomorrowland to Mickey's Toontown Fair, gazing at the train The Barnstormer coaster in Mickey's Toontown Fairalong the way. We were dissapointed to find that they don't sell the scrumptious " Make Your Own Strawberry Shortcake" in Toontwon anymore. So, we did the Barnstormer, then took the train to Main Street and hopped on the monorail to Epcot. On arrival, I was thrilled to see that they had taken the boards away from the entrance to Test Track. A Cast Member said that it may be opening to guests at 6:30pm. I was also shocked to hear from the Cast Member that they couldn't run the ride in the rain, because it greatly increases the car's stopping distances! I prayed for it not to rain, and planned to get in line by 5:00. Meanwhile, we went on Horizons, twice! I forgot how The front of Test Trackgreat that ride is. Too bad they had to close it. We then went to Wonder's of Life. My mom and I rode Body Wars, while my dad (he gets very sick on simulators) played in the Fitness Fairgrounds. We saw two shows of the Anacomical Players, which were great. We ate lunch at Pure & Simple, which has some really tasty, and healthy, meals; and then saw Cranium Command. Next, we did one side of Innoventions, and then checked out Ice Station Cool. It was really neat having real snow in the entryway, although it was more like slush. This place was great, and I couldn't believe the unlimited free samples. This is a great place to come when your thirsty. I decided to try the Beverly soft drink despite hearing everyone's complaints, and I soon regretted it. Boy, was it bitter! Next, we did the other side of Innoventions and when we came out a bit before 4:00, there was already a line forming for Test Track. With only about 20 people in line, I decided to join it.Waiting 2.5 hours for them to open Test Track to the public for the first time So, I sat down on the pavement and settled in for the long wait hoping that Test Track would indeed open at 6:30. From 4:00 - 5:00, my parents looked around World Showcase, and at 5:00, my dad came and took my place in line so my mom and I could go look around. I'm gald we didn't wait until 5:00 to get in line, because by then I heard that it stretched as far back as The Living Seas! By 5:45, I was back in line waiting with my Dad. Since my mom didn't want to ride it (I can't believe her!), she went to look around Future World. They had been running the cars around Test Track continuously all day, and it looked like it was working fine. And then the grand moment came, at about 6:20, when they opened the doors to the public for the very first time. We rushed through the switchbacks, snapping pictures every step of the way. My dad and I practically walked right on, with a wait of only about two minutes! Thank goodness we got in line two and a half hours early. We walked into briefing room #2, and the preshow started, which I loved. Then we got into the loading area, and I was unbelievably excited. Finally we got in a car! Wow! I was finally going to experience the ride I had been waiting years for. The ride was amazing, and it ran fine until we got to the road-handling test with the fake trees. The soundtrack said "Increase speed by 10", but the car slowed down and stopped. While waiting, we kept hearing announcements such as "Please stay in your car, it may start moving at any moment." The ride seemed to start working, because we could see the cars going up the incline at the start of the ride, but our car and the cars in front of us weren't moving. We were afraid a car might hit us from behind, but just as we saw headlights coming up behind us, everything stopped again. An announcement then said "Please wait, a Test Track host will be with you shortly." While waiting, I found out that the other couple in our car had been to the soft opening of Alien Encounter and the Tower of Terror; and that they had visited my website! After about 10 minutes, a Cast Member reached our car, got us out, and with another group of people, we travelled down a long backstage staircase past several brooms and a vacuum, and came to a door that said "This door leads onstage -- Smile!!" My first full ride on Test TrackWe went through the door and found ourselves at the exit of the ride. Fortunately, we could get another ride without waiting in line. First though, we had to wait 45 minutes for them to fix the ride. Finally, they got it running and we slowly boarded. They were clearly boarding the ride slower than before. This time, the ride ran perfectly and it was stupendous, amazing, spectacular. I think Test Track is the best ride at any Disney park.Mickey glitters in SpectroMagic The picture they take of you, really shows your speed. By the time we got out of the ride it was 8:00, four hours after I first got in line! But it was definatley, worth the wait. We took the monorail to The Magic Kingdom for the fireworks and the second showing of SpectroMagic, my favourite parade. Our last ride of the night, right after the parade, was Splash Mountain, the best ride at The Magic Kingdom.

Day 9: Sunday, Dec. 20
We slept in a bit this morning and then headed to Animal Kingdom and first off saw the Pocahantas show, which was pretty good. WeA tiger on the Maharajah Jungle Trek decided to stay for the next show as well, because it was anOne of the rafts for Kali River Rapids animal training session, which was maybe even better than the actual show. Next, we checked out the boneyard, which was nifty, and then watched the Jungle Book show. As we were walking past the entrance to Asia, we noticed a sign saying "Sneak Preview of Maharajah Junge Trek". So, we hurried in. This land is really beautiful, with lush vegetation, crumbling temples, and alot of cool animals. The bats were neat, but the best part was seeing the Tigers playing with each other. Next, we got a peak at the construction on Kali River Rapids (formerly called Tiger Rapids Run), and a look at one of the rafts, which are quite big. We then walked into Africa and took the train to Conservation Station. The live cameras were neat and the "Sounds from the Rainforest" was amazing. The AffectionConstruction on Kali River Rapids Section (a petting zoo) was the worst part, I thought, because all they had to pet were sheep and goats, and you really had to watch where you stepped! We then took a bus to MGM, and after seeing a great show by the Streetmosphere characters, we went to see the ABC Sound Studio, which was good. We quickly looked through theThe Honey, I Shrunk the Kids Playground Honey, I Shrunk the Kids Playground and then went through Backstage Pass. In the three soundstages, we saw the sets for the Mortal Kombat TV series, which were really fascinating. We followed this with the Backlot Tour. It's always neat to see Walt Disney's private plane. Afterwards, we hopped on a bus and went to look around the Grand Floridian. It was really posh, but I liked the Wilderness Lodge better. Next, we took the monorail to the Contemporary resort, which is rather dated in comparison to the other resorts. The main reason I don't like it, is because it really doesn't have a theme. Finally, we took the monorail to the Polynesian resort just in time for the last radp meet of our trip. Outside of Ohana's we met with Beth, Kenny, Fuxi, Hope & Jason, and several others whose names I've forgotten (I'm sorry!). By 7:30, we were seated at Ohana's eating the appetizers. They were great, especially the spring rolls. Yum! Then, the main course came. There was so much food - chicken, salmon, steak, pork, shrimp, and vegetables all cooked to perfection over an open fire pit. During our meal, someone at the end of our table asked for salt, which angered the chef. So, he made him and several other people, who had asked for assorted condiments, to come to the front of the restaurant. Then he put large chef's hats on them and made them walk around the room holding pineapples. It was very amusing! Soon, I was stuffed; and dessert was coming. Dessert was pineapple slices with a caramel dipping sauce. Mmm! After dinner, we went with the group on a bus to Pleasure Island, where we transfered to a bus to our resort. Everyone else was going to the Adventurer's Club, but we had to get back to our resort to pack, because we were switching resorts the next day, our last day at the parks.

Day 10: Monday, Dec. 21
We began the day with the Magic Kingdom's early morning. Just before general opening, I lined up outside Liberty Square to be first in line at Big Thunder Mountain. There were so many people (hundreds, maybe thousands) that it was hard to get there very quickly, but once I got there, I only had a two minute wait. When I got off, it had a 30 minute wait. I'm gald I didn't go on Splash Mountain instead because when I passed it, it had broken down, with people stuck on it, and no water going down the flume. Next, we took a ride on the Riverboat , which was practically empty. Later, we saw the Hall of Presidents and then went over to Tom Sawyer's Island. I'll never get bored of going those caves. Afterwards, we decided to try the Missing Quote Challenge in Adventureland, which looked interesting. Unfortunatley, the game takes three hours and we didn't have that much time, so we waited a half hour and did the Adventureland Challenge. This game is really fun, but unfortunately, someone cheated by finding the idol before getting all the answers. Fortunately, because of this, the Cast Member gave everyone, except that person, a front-of-the-line pass. We decided to use ours on Splash Mountain, which had a 60-minute wait! We entered through the exit, and boarded a log right away. WOOHOO!! The ride broke down though, right when we were under the singing possums. This gave us a great chance to look over the Audio-Animatronics and it added a few minutes to our "free" ride. Afterwards, since the park was overly busy and we had done pretty much everything, we left. At the exit, we took a survey; and the Cast Member told us that they were trying out priority passes on Space Mountain. You could make a reservation for your ride time, which was supposed to reduce the wait to a maximum of 15 minutes. Sounds like a great idea! We lunched at the Dolphin Resort's Coral Café using a $50 coupon from Deb Wills (Thanks Deb!). The food was good and the strawberry tallcake (contrary to shortcake) was really good. We relaxed on the leisurely boat ride to MGM where we hopped on a bus to the Coronado Springs resort. This was the resort we were switching to for our last night, and Disney had our luggage transfered. This resort is really beautiful, and it's food court is quite different. After supper, we returned to MGM for the 8:30 showing of Fantasmic! When we got in line at about 7:15, the mass of people was almost out to Sunset Boulevard. We worried that we wouldn't get a seat, but low and behold, we managed to get a pretty good seat. It would be awful to have to stand. The show was as good as ever. At the closing, we browsed through the Tower of Terror shop. The neatest things there are the towels and bath robes with the Hollywood Tower Hotel logo. You could pretend you stole towels and a bath robe from the hotel. And that concluded our time at the parks.

Day 11: Tuesday, Dec. 22
In the morning, Florida Towncar picked us up and drove us to the airport. On the flight back to Ottawa, I thought about all the great times we'd had during our trip such as Test Track, the Backstage Magic Tour, the numerous and wonderful radp meets, the Adventurer's Club, the preview of Asia, our front-of-the-line pass from the Adventureland Challenge, all the great food we'd eaten, and so much more!


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