Epcot with friends

Our friends Pedro & Laura (and their son Christian) are visiting us and Disney World, and we joined them at Epcot today for lunch in Germany, various rides including Soarin, Test Track, and Frozen (eventually!); we stayed right through to fireworks too!

We also “flew” on Butterflies, as well as taking some photos of them:

Pirates & Pals fireworks voyage

We recently bid / won tickets to the Disney Pirates & Pals fireworks voyage, and thanks to great help from Todd & Raymond, we were able to board the voyage last night while our guests are still visiting.
The voyage begins from the Disney Contemporary resort, meeting pirates including Captain Hook and Mr Smee; after snacks, we board a “pirate ship” guided by a fabulously entertaining Disney pirate, and head out to the Seven Seas Lagoon and wait for the Magic Kingdom fireworks to begin … Music and narration plays, giving a perfect sound / light show with amazing views of the fireworks – they make Cinderella’s castle look tiny and they are further enhanced by reflections on the water:

This was a fabulous evening, rewarding us with an amazing view and no crowds! Definitely a great way to enjoy the Disney Magic Kingdom fireworks …

Alternate Wild Africa Trek

One of our favorite extra cost Disney tours is Wild Africa Trek at Animal Kingdom. We’ve done this tour a few times already (2011, 2012, 2013) but with Margaret’s Mum unable to climb rope ladders and bridges, we didn’t think it was suitable.
But Disney being Disney, of course there’s a solution – the “alternate” Wild Africa Trek which replaces the early rope bridge part of the tour with extra time parkside. I expected this to be a little less fun, but it turned out that today was the best yet; mostly because the animals really stepped up their game – pure luck – but if you take a photo like this, how can the day go wrong:

That picture was near the end of our tour, but we had an amazing time earlier with birds, Giraffe and of course the delicious lunch:

KSC March 2013

Today we visited the Kennedy Space Center visitor complex again, with Margaret’s sister Kate and their Mother. First to greet us was a new welcome “sculpture”, quite lovely.

Then we again did the “close up tour” out to launch pad 39A; for the first time, I noticed the “scouring” on the blast walls; you can see the sunlight lit diagonal scratches, presumably following the direction of the exhaust gases:

We also, of course, did the Apollo 8 launch simulation, Apollo 11 landing simulation, and viewed the Saturn V exhibit: