Anna had planned for us to get up this morning and leave by 7:30am; however, our experience yesterday with the light crowds convinced her it would be OK for us to sleep in a bit. We got going at about 10am, and headed for the Magic Kingdom using the fabulous Disney buses.
While we were on the way, an amazing thing happend: we saw the Space Shuttle Atlantis take off! We were just arriving, and saw a rocket streaking up into the sky in the distance; we watched it go up as it blasted off into space! All of us on the bus had goose bumps from watching it go up. Even though it was at a distance, seeing that made the whole trip worth it, even without all of the Disney fun!
We spent a few hours in the Magic Kingdom, where we again didn't have any problem with lines. We rode Pirates of the Carribbean, It's a Small World (the song is still in my head), and saw the coronation of Cinderella, The Hall of Presidents, and the Swiss Family Robinson treehouse while we were there, among other things. Anna found a Christmas store, which made her very happy, too. It was warm out, but we were in enough air conditioning that it didn't seem too bad to me, although Anna may disagree.
At 3:20, we had tea at the Grand Floridian, a fancy resort on the Disney grounds. Anna had read about the tea they had there, and we absolutely had to be there, even though it wasn't one of our prepaid meals. We had a fantastic time! The tea was OK (for being warm, and not Luzianne anyway), and we stuffed ourselves on a fruit/cheese plate, a scone with cream and butter, a plate of finger sandwiches, and a dessert–I had a fantastic English trifle, and Anna had a couple of pastries. It was great! We stayed there for a couple of hours enjoying the whole thing.
After that, we decided to make our way out to Downtown Disney, where they also had DisneyQuest, an indoor "virtual" theme park where they have lots of virtual reality rides and such. To get there from the Grand Floridian, we took a monorail to a monorail station, got on a different monorail to Epcot Center, then took a bus back to our hotel, and from there took a bus to Downtown Disney. Quite elaborate!
There were lots of shops and clubs there; Disney's "Pleasure Island" is there with lots of dance clubs and such, none of which really interested either of us. We browsed a few of the stores (including an amazing Lego store), but spent most of our time in DisneyQuest. We rode several of the "rides" in there, including a virtual whitewater rafting trip, a virtual magic carpet ride, and others. They also had FREE arcade games in there of all sorts! Unfortunately, as it was Saturday night, the place started to fill up with (as we understand it) local residents (punk kids), so we made a hasty exit. It was sprinkling rain, though, so we had a long walk back to the bus stop at the other end, where we caught a ride back to our hotel.
Lots of fun. Tomorrow, we go see Animal Kingdom! 😀