Mike the balloon guy
We exited Dinoland and found a nice parade spot practically opposite the entrance to It’s Tough To Be A Bug, which would be our next stop after the parade. We had about 20 minutes to wait so we lined the buggies up and Ellie and Adrian sat down next to them and the rest of us mingled behind. Another family tried to muscle in on our space but it quickly became apparent to them that you cannot squeeze another buggy into the space already occupied by a buggy so they gave up and moved. I took Ellie into the nearby shop – the one that sells mostly clothing – to squash another penny, and Harry decided to tag along too. This was fine until Ellie had got her penny and we turned to leave. Harry didn’t want to leave, he just wanted to stay and press the buttons on the penny machine. Even after I told him we were leaving without him he didn’t want to leave. Dilemma. Then I resort to another of Harry’s regular sayings: “Daddy’ll be cross with you,” and told him I’d carry him out of the shop if he didn’t come right away. That did the trick and we all skipped back to where the others were waiting, now freed from the dangers of being crushed under-buggy.
Aside: a few days later, Adrian told me that while he was sitting on the floor here, Ellie suddenly turned to him and said very quietly, “Uncle Adrian, I didn’t like that terror tower.”
The parade started and it was brilliant. I think it’s probably my favourite parade of the day time parades that I’ve seen. I love the music that goes with the parade; I’d already memorised it thanks to Tour Guide Mike Radio, but it was much better seeing the parade that goes with the music. The only negative was that where we were standing the floats and characters were walking out of the sun at us so the photographs are not that good, but hey it was still fantastic.
After the parade passed by we jammed across to It’s Tough To Be A Bug, abandoned the buggies in the parking area and walked round the Tree of Life into the entrance to the theatre. We collected our bug eyes and entered the waiting area. I was definitely nervous about taking all of the children in here and was planning to try and get near the end of a row of seating in case we needed to make a swift exit. Ellie and Harry did not seem at all nervous though and Steven, well he didn’t have a clue what was about to happen. As it happens we ended up sitting in the very front row, which in hindsight probably worked out just fine for us as you don’t really get the full affect of the effects (say that after a beer or two). Ellie thought it was brilliant. Harry said it was not too gairy, and he kept his bug eyes on all the way through. Steven was fine too, even when the stink bug did his stuff. I definitely think we were the exception though; lots of people made early exits.
It was heading toward park closing time when we came out of here so we shopped our way round to the exit whilst Harry sat in his buggy and shouted, “You’re a slug,” at everyone. :ondear: We successfully made it out of the park exit without being accosted by the talking palm tree that traumatised me on our last trip and had another look at the Chrissy tree before heading back to the cars. It amazed me how much less we’d managed to do here than on my previous trip when it was just myself and Adrian. We didn’t see Flights of Wonder, we didn’t see Tarzan Rocks, and we spent hardly any time in Dinoland. We’d still packed an incredible amount into the day though and we all left there very happy. And hungry.
We decided on Chevys for dinner tonight so we headed to The Crossroads again. Oh I remember that I nearly ended up in the McDonald’s drive through lane but managed to avert disaster at the last second by taking a less-than-orthodox route around the parking lot. We were all seated on a massive wooden table at the back of the restaurant and bought bowls of chips and salsa. I gave Steven a couple of chips to play with and he ate them. I forget what everyone ordered but most people had fajitas of one kind or another. I, on the other hand, ordered one of their combination platters, which turned out to be almost as big as our table. And very nice.
And halfway through dinner guess who appeared? Mike the balloon guy! The real one: the original Mike the balloon guy. Not one of the impersonators that hang out at TGI Fridays. The one, the only, Mike the balloon guy was here, in Chevys, and he was headed our way. Yay! Of course now Harry had to make a big decision. Big Steve helped him in the end. “Do you want a motorbike?” “No.” “Do you want a motorcycle?” “Yes.” Well Mike the balloon guy made Harry the best balloon motorbike, sorry cycle I’ve ever seen: a real inflatable Harley appeared on our table. He then made Steven a wicked cool penguin that was so cute, and Ellie got her rabbit that she always asks for.
Mike the balloon guy left us all very happy and moved on to the next table. He came back a couple of minutes later when Harry’s Harley got a puncture and its front wheel deflated. Mike the balloon guy quickly whipped up another Harley for Harry and vamoosed quickly before Harry could burst this one. Wait a minute? I thought Harry said balloons were gairy. Oh well, must have grown out of that one. We declined the offer of the dessert menu because quite frankly we were full to the brim. On the way back to the hotel Steven decided he wanted to be in the front with me and let us all know he wasn’t happy about the seating situation here. Once we were back at the hotel I gave him his bottle and he then bounced around the room for half an hour before crashing for an early night after our very early start.