Day 12 – Too Close to Call

Wednesday, November 3rd The day after the election

Tuesday had been election day, but we had seen or heard no news all day, so first thing this morning I put on the tv to find out who the President was. Only to discover that once again, they had no idea. I really couldn’t believe it, especially as on the news they were saying it could be up to 2 weeks before they had sorted out Ohio and resolved the dispute.

Groaning to myself, and sort of chuckling that only in the worlds ‘biggest and bestest’ democracy could this happen twice, we went about our day.
I still had more scrapbook shopping I wanted to do, and we were up early, so I dragged the family over to the Florida Mall so I could pick up some last minute bits and pieces. We were really started to feel that time was running out on us and we only had a few more days to cram in all those must do things.

It took us ages to get to the Florida Mall, my route of Palm Parkway to Florida Parkway to Orange Blossom Trail was not a good one (For some reason I thought the Florida Parkway was a freeway but it was traffic lights on it) – The Palm Parkway is a good choice to get up to teh Seaworld area though.
Anyway, on the way back, I consulted the map and we tried John Young Parkway, to the Beeline and then the I4 and this was much faster, so we will use that route again.

We were in a hurry to get back to Disney, as we were meeting the Gang at Ghiradelli’s for an ice-cream breakfast.
We all ordered sundaes, but Michelle, Neil, Steph and Nat went for the Earthquake – this is similiar to the Kitchen Sink but without the taps.
They managed to demolish every last bit of it, with Neil determined to finish of the last bit of banana which really looked like it might prove too much – but good to his word, he managed the lot. They did look a little full when it was all gone.
Seriously though, we worked out that if there are 4 of you, then ordering the Earthquake (or the Kitchen Sink) is a better deal than each ordering a seperate sundae, and you can request exactly what ice creams and toppings you have, so you could have a massive hot fudge brownie sundae (my personal favorite).

After ice cream, we waddled back to our cars and headed over to Winter Summerland for some mini-golf. We arranged to meet in the car park, but when we got there there was no sign of anyone else. This seemed a bit strange as we take longer than anyone else to leave, since we have to do strollers and car seats etc. Anyway, we waited a while longer and then decided to phone them and see where they were – in the car park they said – Hmm, So are we… Turns out there are 2 places to park for Winter Summerland – we had parked in the Blizzard Beach carpark, but it also has it’s own dedicated car park – worth knowing if you are meeting someone in the car park there.

we split into 3 teams – kids, girls and 3 men and a baby and off we went. This is quite a fun course and very easy whcih makes it even more fun it seemed like we got lots of holes in one, which makes a nice change from my usual 27 shots to get near the hole

As you can see, Phil takes his golf very seriously

After golf, we decided to split us as everyone wanted to do different things with our last few days. We were keen to get back to some parks as we had had quite a few days off from the parks, so we decided to head over to Epcot.

As we entered the park, we decided to go to Guest Services and make a PS for the Tappenyaki for an hours time – we have done this a few times and it’s a great idea as by the time you make your way to the restaurant it’s nearly PS time and you have no wait when you get there.
We walked towards the world showcase and saw quite a few characters at the edge of the lake. Katie really wanted to see King John as she’d never seen him before, and her favorite Minnie was there, so we all went over to see her, and even Molly was willing to have a picture taken.

After autographs and photos, we spotted that the boat across the lake was just boarding, so we jumped aboard and sailed across to Germany – to be honest I’m not convinced that this is any faster than walking, but it’s quite a pleasant way to cross the park.
We headed straight to the Tappenyaki and were about 15 minutes early for our PS. They gave us a pager and we were paged fairly quickly, but while we were waiting we saw a family leave the restaurant who were very upset, apparantly they had waited over an hour for a table and then waited 15 minutes at the table for a server to see them and now they were not prepared to wait any longer and they were leaving. It made me quite relieved that we had stopped and made the PS as I wouldn’t have fancied an hours wait. (He did say in the midst of his rant that they had been told 45 minute to wait, so I am assuming they didn’t have a PS)

We were seated with 2 other families, and each order. one of the other parties was using Wishes which are part of the package deals that you can book through Disney. I’d never encountered them before, so it was interesting to hear the waitress explain what they could order (basically anything and they got starters, main courses, desserts etc, she made a point of telling them they could have the sirloin and lobster meal which was the most expensive choice on the menu). I was a bit concerned as they ordered starters but we didn’t, but we weren’t left waiting while they ate, the starters were slipped in while the chef was preparing everyone’s main course.
I ordered shrimp and chicken and I think Phil had steak and chicken and we ordered both kids the Donalds meal which is chicken, mixed veg and rice. This was the only time we ordered a meal for Molly, but the menu is exactly the kind of thing she likes to eat so we decided to get her her own meal.
Our chef came, and prepared our meal at the hot table, and while it wasn’t the most amazing performance I’ve seen, it was quite good fun and the food was wonderful – I really enjoy this style of japanese cooking. Unfortunately, They put sesame seeds on Katie’s chicken, I don’t know if they didn’t do that last time, or if Katie didn’t realise last time, but it put her off the chicken (even though I’m sure if she would have tried it it would have been fine). Molly didn’t care about sesame seeds and happily ate the lot- I think she was ecstatic to get some fairly simple food that she could eat by herself (she hates to be fed by someone else) and chicken rice and veg is pretty much her staple diet anyway, so she was quite happy.

After lunch, Katie decided she would like to do a mask – we didn’t have loads of time so we told her it wouldn’t be completed, but she was happy with that, so we went to the mask area in Japan and collected a mask and did a little colouring.

We then walked through to Morroco and looked for the mask area, and also for Aladdin and Jasmine – we found them both but they both had massive queues, so we decided not to bother and moved onto France.
In France we saw a sign for Beauty and the Beast but there was no sign of either of them. I asked and was told they would be back in 10 minutes, so we went through and did the masks and then came back to meet Beauty and the Beast – we have met Belle many times, but the Beast was a new experience.

He’s quite a big scary looking beast, so Molly wasn’t interested in meeting him, but Katie was quite excited.

After seeing Belle and the Beast, we went outside and found Princess Aurora (Sleeping Beauty), so we visited with her, Molly was a little braver and was happy to have her photo taken so long as the Princess didn’t get too close.

We were starting to run short of time now, so we decided we had time for one more ride, and headed to Imagination to visit with Figment – we couldn’t come all the way to Florida and not see Figment. We all enjoyed this ride, and it was nice that Molly could come along too so we didn’t have to swap.
After the ride we headed into the Kodak area and sent a photo home, I’d forgotten all about that until just now, but I’ve just searched my inbox and here it is

We were really running late now, so had to decide, do we head straight to the Poly all hot and sweaty or make a dash home for a shower. We decided we had just enough time to go home and get changed, before heading out, so that’s what we did.

We were meeting Dave, Bev, James and Nicola at the Poly for the Luau that evening, and I was really looking forward to it, as I had been to the Luau when I was at Disney in 1986 on a school trip. I remember being really impressed with the whole experience, and had been wanting to go back for quite a few years.

We drove to the Poly, and this was the only place we had a problem parking at the hotel – there was a massive queue to get into the carpark, and the security man was checking photo ids for all drivers and then taken registration numbers. Once we were in the car park there was nowhere to park, and we ended up circling 3 or 4 times before finally managing to find a space.
Eventually, we met up with Dave and Bev in the lobby of the Polynesian, and headed round to Luau Cove. We were greeted with Leis and then headed into a waiting area. They were taking group photos, but we decided to save our pennys and take our own

Dave isn’t in this as he is behind the camera, and Molly was sleeping, so you have BevS97, PhilS97 and BevFM in the back
and Katie Nicola and James across the front.

While we were waiting to go in, they started to seat a party of 200 through a side entrance, they were the “rainbow” party and I was desperately curious to know what the rainbows were. We have rainbows before brownies in the UK, but in the states they are called Daisys, so this was something else. Regardless, the rainbows were seated and then we were seated, on the upper tier quite near the middle of the theatre.

We had a buffet style meal (family style I think they call it) of

Vinagrette-dressed salad
Sliced pineapple
Polynesian-style bread

Lanai Roasted Chicken
Pork Ribs
Polynesian Rice
South Seas Vegetables
Dessert (chocolate Mouse volcanoes)

(OK I cheated, but that is what we had), the bread was particularly gorgeous, and I personally had loads of that. The kids had chicken nuggest and chips, which considering we paid $25 for the kids isn’t that impressive but they could have had the polynesian menu if they preferred..
The show is in 2 parts, the first part is a rather cheesy sketch about a family member returning home to the islands and how they will have to hold a luau to celebrate her return, and then the 2nd half is the traditional luau that I remembered from before.

I can’t say we were overly impressed with the show, the first ‘modern’ bit was not what I was really wanting to see at all, and the 2nd half was a bit repetitive, what they did was quite good, but by the 4th or 5th act we felt like we had seen it before.
I would rate it ok, but Phil was not at all impressed, especially considering what it had cost ($125 for 3 of us, plus Molly was free), and compared with Cirque de Soleil the previous night it just seemed rather ameuterish. Saying that, we had a pleasant evening, and Katie was thrilled when they had all the November birthdays come up onto stage for a Hula Lesson

Edited at 07:52 PM.

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