Dave & Dot's 25th Anniverary Tour

Week 1 - Orlando, Florida

Saturday, October 6th - Our final day at "WDW" . . .

Today was moving day. Due to changes in the flight home for the rest of our group, (see our post on Oct 2nd) we had to move the other half of our group from their condo into ours. It was about to get really crowded. Lee and Linda chose to stay at the complex until the switch was completed. Linda was feeling pretty sore after 6 days of trampsing all over Orlando, and Disney World. She really needed the rest. The rest of us headed off to EPCOT to finish our tour of that part of the World.

When we arrived at the monorail station that would take us to EPCOT, we surprised the girls by letting them go to the Magic Kingdom . . . alone! We gave them a cell phone and a walkie talkie and told them we would contact them later to meet up somewhere at the Magic Kingdom. Talk about two really excited girls! Little would they realize (until several years later) what kind of adventure they would really have without us . . .

Well, we got to EPCOT and had pastries in France, visited the lands of Japan, China, Germany, Morocco & Italy. We were having such a great time that we had forgotten to check on the girls. When we finally stopped to do that, we found that the radios didn't work. There we just too many people using them on the same channel and we couldn't get ahold of the girls. We tried the cell phone and nothing . . . Dot was worried we had lost our grandchildren but I told her that I would try again later. Finally after trying several times but without success, we decided it was time to venture over to the Magic Kingdom to find them. What we saw when we got there would be of great concern . . .

As we entered the park via the monorail, our hearts dropped. The park was absolutely filled with more people then we had ever seen. People were everywhere. You couldn't see the roads or where the lines started or ended. Wall to wall people. Peoples fear of travel due to 9/11 had obviously ended and they all went to Disney World!!! As we made our way slowly to the Castle, we realized that we had no idea where the girls were. I had Dot and the group stop in front of the castle while I went in search of them, having no earthly idea where to even start looking.

Being a praying man, I quickly looked to the heavens and asked the only One I knew who could tell me where my girls were. As I headed deep into the crowd, praying all along the way, I felt a strange peace come over me. It was as if God was telling me they were all right. I turned and started to head to Splash Mountain (it was their favorite ride) and checked the line which was two and a half hours long . . . No girls . . . Maybe they are in the mountain, I thought. I finally stopped on a bridge that went over the stream that the logs fed into after plunging down the mountain and waited. One by one the logs fell, but no girls. I must have stood there for what seemed like an hour (was only a few minutes but when your scared, time seems to just stop) and just watched the mountain all the while still praying for their safety, and that I would find them soon. I still felt that peace about me but was fighting it because I feared the worst when the Spirit told me to look up at the top of the mountain.

A log peeked over the top and began it's plunge. Sure looked like two familiar faces . . . could it be? As the log hit bottom and the resultant splash exploded in front of me, the log emerged and heading right toward me were two thoroughy soaked girls! I couldn't believe my eyes. There they were. Wow! I was totally relieved . . . and praising God for answering my prayers. I met them at the exit not letting on that they had ever been lost. They had rode Splash Mountain 3 thre times by the time I found tham and they were glad to see me. I hugged them, asked them if they were having fun (of course they were!) and gave them some money and told them to meet Grandma and Granpa at the back of the castle at 6pm . . . Yes, I let them go . . . again! Yes, I am an idiot . . . at least my wife told me I was. When I got back to the group and told them what had happened they thought I was nuts to leave them behind. Gee, now that I thought about it, it was sort of a crazy idea.

Well, we used the fastpass system when ever we could but by the end of the day, we only got on about 6 rides. Meet the girls right at 6pm and they stayed with us the of the evening. We ended the day by watching the Spectromagic parade down mainstreet. It is an updated version of the older electric light parade. I think I got some good pictures.

We closed the park, which stayed open 2 hours longer due to the crowds and didn't get back to the condo until near midnight. We ended up getting only a couple hours of sleep as we had to rise at 4am to head to the airport. We were about to begin a very long day and the next part of our journey . . .