Hodges Family Plus One June Trip Report Day Three

Parks, resorts, dining, attractions, vacations

Beth (yours truly), homeschooling mom, piano teacher
Gary (my hubby), music and drama pastor
Molly (our 16yo daughter), musician, writer, works in a hair salon
Jesse (Molly's 18yo best friend), really good skateboarder, recent 
homeschool graduate, construction worker, soon to be bible college student

May 29 - June 6, 2004

Fort Wilderness, 800 loop
This same cast of four made a trip to WDW in February of 2004 about 
which no trip report was written.  I’ll occasionally be flashing back to 
some memorable moments fromthat trip in this report.

Photos from February are available for viewing at: 

Photos from June can be seen at:

Day 3
Monday, May 31
“Sure, Try Them All- Why Not!”

It was good to wake up at Fort Wilderness - I love it here.  Last August 
we came without the camper and spent a week at All Star Music which was 
fun, but it just wasn’t the same.  I missed FW so much that week, I 
appreciated being there in February all the more, and I still 
appreciated it this time.

*February Flashback - Pulling into our site that trip felt so strange 
because of the extra body with us (Jesse).  I think we all were feeling 
just a little shy as we set up the camper that day, but we were so 
excited about showing everything to our newbie.  We got set up as quick 
as we could, got a bus to the Settlement, and as we were walking out to 
the boat dock to go the the Magic Kingdom and watching Jesse’s growing 
excitement, Molly pulled me aside and whispered to me, “Now aren’t you 
glad we brought him?”  I was.*

Our plan for today was Epcot, so after we got everybody up and had 
cereal in the trailer, we drove there in the Suburban.  Our first 
objective was to check out the line situation at Mission: Space.  The 
wait was already substantial, so we got fastpasses (3 of them - Gary did 
M:S last time and I’m pretty sure he’s not ever going to do it again). 
We went next door and did Test Track via the Single Riders line. 
Something kind of strange happened while we were in the loading queue - 
someone pushed open the door from one of the briefing rooms and squeezed 
through.  After that first person did it, several others followed, 
looking a little lost and confused.  After a small group had done this, 
the CM caught on to what was happening and started asking these people 
if they had seen the video.  She then started frantically yelling at the 
poor confused looking people, “You have to go back and see the video! 
Go back! You have to go back and see the video!”   Probably what 
happened was that someone who’d been there before decided they didn’t 
want to wait through the video one more time and then others obeyed 
their herding instinct and followed.  I bet they wondered what horrible 
thing was going to happen if they didn’t get the heck back in there and 
see that video  ;-)  After our ride, we spent some time in the car 
displays.  Jesse and Gary spent a lot of time talking cars on this trip 
- must be a man thing.

We still had some time to kill before our M:S fastpasses were good, so 
we went over to the Living Seas, which Jesse never saw last trip, and 
the rest of us haven’t been to for our last few trips.  We really 
appreciated being given the choice to skip that film (*soooo* boring), 
but I miss the seacabs :-(  Nevertheless, we enjoyed our time among the 
fishies.   We ogled the big tank for a good long while, then went to see 
the manatees.  One lady who was in there with us asked the following 
question of the CM: “Is that romaine lettuce?”  Her answer: “Yes”. 
Fascinating.  We followed the gentle giants up with some time playing 
with the exhibits and looking at the Finding Nemo fish, by which time 
our M:S fps were good.  Molly, Jesse, and I headed that way while Gary 
went over to the Land to get us fastpasses for Living With the Land.

As we left the Living Seas, we stopped for a minute to watch Nemo doing 
a character greeting outside, along with his friend the coral reef, who 
was looking very groovy indeed.  While we were standing there, Molly was 
taking some photos of a butterfly.  Said butterfly seemed to take a 
liking to our Molly, proceeding to attach itself to her ankle and 
holding on tight.  Eventually she got it onto her finger, where it was 
just as comfortable.  That butterfly went all the way across Future 
World with us, through the fountain plaza and both Innoventions 
breezeways.  Molly finally convinced it to take up residence at one of 
the Flower and Garden Festival garden displays, since we didn’t think 
the little thing would enjoy the trip to Mars all that much.

The fast pass line moved very quickly, and we were boarding in about 10 
minutes.  A boy of about 13 joined our capsule from the single riders line.

We had been talking to Jesse about how you can play with all the buttons 
and switches on M:S  (quote:  “Yes, all of them!”).  Jesse took us at 
our word, because on our way into the capsule he noticed some fun 
looking buttons on the outside and pushed them in a random order.  I was 
the first one in, then Molly, then Jesse, then the kid.  Molly and I 
were already seated, and Jesse was almost seated, but the poor kid was 
just barely in the door of the capsule when the console unexpectedly 
started coming down.  It scared all of us, but especially the kid, who I 
think must have been in a fairly dangerous position.  Fortunately, the 
CM saw this happening and acted quickly, getting the console back up and 
checking to make sure everybody was ok.  (I don’t think he realized how 
it happened.)  Jesse had such a big-eyed, “Did I do that?” look on his 
face.  Since it turned out ok we got a good laugh out of it, but I don’t 
think any of us will be pushing any more buttons on the *outside* of 
rides again.

Having successfully completed our mission to Mars, we met Gary outside 
and discussed whether or not we had time to use our fast passes for 
Living With the Land.  We had a priority seating for lunch at Nine 
Dragons, and the timing was looking a little close, but we decided to go 
for it.  I was pretty sure they’d still honor our p.s. even if we were a 
little late.

Back across Future World to the Land, and through the greenhouse we 
went.  On our February trip we had eaten dinner at the Garden Grill, but 
never went on the ride, so we wanted Jesse to see what he had gotten 
glimpses of from the restaurant.  It’s interesting what a different 
perspective you get on the farmhouse scene from the ride as compared to 
the restaurant.

We walked with a purpose over to China.  As it turned out, the place was 
just opening and there was almost nobody there, so the few minutes we 
were late were no big deal.  As a matter of fact, it was almost 
embarrassing to have to say that we had a p.s. under the circumstances.

This was a new restaurant for all of us, and it was a big hit.  We 
decided on the lunch sampler for 4, which made ordering very simple.  We 
thought it was a great value - for $59.99 we each got a choice of Hot 
and Sour or Wonton Soup, and 4 entrees, rice, and vegetables to share, 
plus of course a fortune cookie for everybody.  There was a gracious 
plenty of food - we ate more than we should have and still didn’t finish 
it, and it all tasted good.

Molly had forgotten to pack her board shorts and needed something to 
wear on our planned trip to Typhoon Lagoon the next day, so we left 
Epcot and drove to the Premier Outlets, where she found a pair at 
Pacific Sunwear.  Jesse got some socks, because he hadn’t packed any of 
those and his feet were starting to blister inside his sneakers.  By 
this point we were all in serious danger of melting from the heat, but 
we had one more stop we needed to make - Publix across the street from 
the outlets for a few necessities.  Finally we were ready to go back to 
the trailer for naps in the blessed air conditioning - heaven.

Eventually we all rejoined the land of the living, and went to Animal 
Kingdom for the rest of the afternoon.  It was strange but nice getting 

Molly, Jesse, and me while we rode Dinosaur via the standby line with a 
wait of about 15 minutes, then we all headed over to Kali River Rapids. 
  All the fastpasses were gone for the day, so we just waited in line 
here as well.  The wait was about 25 minutes, and it wasn’t too bad, 
since there’s so much to look at in that queue.  Finally we were passing 
what I call The Room of Misery - I guess it’s the place where people 
wait when they’re doing a baby swap for this ride, since there always 
seems to be a lot of little kids in there.  I guess it’s just hot, but 
children always seem to be crying in there, and the parents always look 
like they’re about at the end of their rope, which is why it’s The Room 
of Misery.  I always feel kind of grateful to be past the baby swap 
stuff whenever I see it.  Plus, it means we’re almost there, at last, at 
last!  Gary and I seem to have all the luck on this ride, and today was 
no exception - we were the ones facing backwards on the big drop, and 
you know what that means.  Gary got the worst of it, though.  I at least 
had some dry spots scattered about my person, while he was just plain 
sopping wet all over.  Fun times.  We were interested in a ride on 
Primeval Hurl, so we thought we’d take the new path to Dinoland that 
goes by the Expedition Everest construction.  This one looks like it’s 
going to be really good - I can’t wait.

A word to the wise - that path is no kind of short cut from Asia unless 
you’re going to Tarzan Rocks.  Otherwise, it’s much shorter to just go 
the regular way.

As it turned out, the line for PH was prohibitive (all fastpasses gone 
for the day here, too), so we bagged it and took in a showing of It’s 
Tough to be a Bug instead.  Always fun.  People were starting to feel a 
mite peckish, so we went for an early dinner at Restaurantosaurus, then 
bid the AK adieu for this day.  We’d be back later in the week.

We relaxed at the trailer a little more.  We did a lot of relaxing at 
the trailer this trip, and it was a good thing for everybody, especially 
at this time of year.  The heat just takes it out of you, and we were 
much happier not pushing ourselves too hard.  Eventually we roused 
ourselves enough to gather camp chairs and head over to the Fort 
Wilderness movie (it was “The Emperor's New Groove” that night).  As we 
were walking, we met up with the family from the campsite next to ours. 
  They had a teenage daughter with Downs Syndrome (at least, I’m 
guessing she did), and she struck up a conversation with us, asking if 
we were going to see the fireworks.  When I told her we were going to 
the movie instead, she proudly told me, “Well, I’m taking my family to 
see the fireworks!”  She was really cute.

We got the chairs set up at the movie, rustled up some snacks from the 
chuck wagon, and settled in for our flick.  Sadly, only Molly managed to 
stay awake for the whole thing - Gary, Jesse, and I were all in 
dreamland before Kuzco and Pacha ever stopped to eat at the diner.  When 
it was over, we packed up the chairs and stumbled, bleary-eyed, back to 
the trailer and off to dreamland again.

Beth H.
TDC American Adventurer, Clever Corliss Cousin and Rakish Ratcliff Relative
This is one of our favorite things to do when we go in the summer. We
walk into a park late in the day with big smiles, while hordes of
people are walking out looking hot and tired! Also, the late afternoon
is a great time to go watch the tigers as they pace aorund waiting for
I am really enjoying your TR. (loved the butterfly story)  We do WDW
in a very different way than you and your family, so it's fun to read
about a completely different set of experiences in the exact same
place. We never drive anywhere (that's a big part of vacationing for
my commuting in the DC area husband!), we like being *near* the great
outdoors, but love coming back to our luxury hotel. :) 
We also enjoyed bringing a newbie- a long-time friend of our
daughter's- on our last trip and I know what you mean about how it
makes everything new and exciting again.  I just loved her reactions
after every ride and how much she appreciated all the little details
at AK.
Keep writing and thank you!