day 6: wherever the bus takes us!

After our first two days of park hopping with ease, we realized that our 7-day vacation might leave us with a bit of “extra” time. The thought was that we could find some time to enjoy DisneyQuest or a water park, or simply hit the rides and attractions we missed. But due to that intense cold-front that was sitting on top of Florida… we decided to do something wild and crazy: we’d go wherever the bus and the coin flips take us!

Wait, what does this mean? Well, we’d start the day at our hotel and hop on the first bus to arrive at the stop. We’d spend 2 hours at that park, then return to hop on the first bus again. When we arrived at the next destination, be it park or hotel, we’d flip a coin to see if we’d stay there (2 hours at a park, 30 minutes at a hotel) or just hop on the next bus and continue. In order to suspend the madness, we allowed a “two tails” rule, which meant that if we could only bus hop twice in a row before being forced to stay for the minimum length of time. Oh… and you couldn’t catch a bus back to where you had just been… I think that’s it? :)

So clear on the rules? Let’s hop on our adventure day then!

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Here I am, gearing up for the insanity of the day with cocoa. Warm sweet cocoa. Mmmmm. And I’m wearing 4 layers of shirts, and tights under my jeans to stay warm. Lovely.

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First bus — ANIMAL KINGDOM! It’s back to the jungle we go!

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(Oh wait… did I mention that today Mr. M was photo director for the day? )

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We found Memphis a sun-loving friend… assuming the exact same position she does to capture solar energy.

We started off our day with a tour in the reverse direction of our Monday exploits. First, it was Dinosaur, and then back to Mt. Everest.

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Check out the kiddies behind me… buddled up like we’re all hitting the slopes soon! Let’s just say that at least 10,000 people left Florida with a set of Mickey Mouse gloves this week.

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I apologize for the unclear photo, but it was a crazy Mr. M moment I had to share…

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With only 40 minutes left within our time limit, we hopped back on a safari, mainly to see what animals could stand this insane cold weather.

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 We got an extra special treat when this white rhino passed about 5 feet from our tram… truly amazing to see from that close up!

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It was one last trip to the gift store… and then we were back to see which magical location we’d be headed for next!

When we arrived at the depot, we saw the Fort Wilderness bus. I said, “Does that one count? Cause it wasn’t technically the first to arrive but just the first one we saw?” We decided it didn’t count, but then 10 seconds later (and after some serious thought), Mr. M declared that it did count. Alrighty, off to Fort Wilderness we go!

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When we got off the bus, Mr. M looked confused. We flipped the coin, got tails, so knew we were headed back to one of the parks. When I asked him what was up, he asked where the main lodge was, and then it all made sense. Mr. M thought we were going to the “Wilderness Lodge” — a fancy resort that looks like this:


Instead, we were here:

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So we chatted with the horses, watched people embark on their trail rides, and waited for a bus to rescue us from the Circle C.
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Alrighty… just in time for lunch… EPCOT!
But first… silly photos!

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Mr. M holding the world on his back!

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Enjoying some good quality fountain water!

Mr. M was happy we were back at EPCOT so he could stock up on more Fruit Gems, and just pretend we were wintering in London instead. We hopped into lunch at the Rose & Crown Pub, where we had a delightfully spirited waitress from Ireland, and where the temperature rose to about 85 degrees.

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I went for a nicely portioned Sheperd’s Pie & a Harp Shandy, while Mr. M went for the Fish and Chips along with a Cider & Black.

Now that we were all warm and toasty, we went back to the bus stops and found our next destination:

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Old Key West!

Yet another flip of the coin to tales meant we weren’t stayed here long, so back to the bus stop… and guess where it took us?

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Back to where we started! When the bus came, I thought out loud, “Really? Do we have to go back?” And Mr. M answered simply, “The rules say we do… so off we go!” I snickered at the insanity of our plan, but it was all in good fun.  In fact, on the ride to the Animal Kingdom, we met a bunch of folks from the Sacramento area and got great farmer’s market and theatre tips. :) Gotta love that!

We ran into the park at 4:45, just 15 minutes before it closed, and rushed back to catch the last safaris of the day!

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The entire family of giraffes was out and about munching on the trees…

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… the elephants were scampering about…

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And both of the lions were actually up and awake… ready to be put back in their pens I’m assuming.

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And with that,  we ended our crazy adventure and we left our last park with a wave and headed back home to rest.