Got back Tuesday from my 4-day summer trip to the Fort Wilderness Cabins. Boy howdy...it was hot. And I LIVE in South Florida, so I know hot. And I go to Disney World every summer, so I know hot. But this was hot hot. Not Africa hot - more like lava hot. Friday was 101 degrees - breaking Orlando's record for that day in history...and humidity was just about 100 on the nose, since it was off-and-on raining throughout the day, and then steaming up off the hot pavement when the sun baked it, then more light rain, and so on. Heat index was somewhere in that 110 region, but it felt like more. Hit Downtown Disney, checked out the new bridge from Marketplace to old Pleasure Island, the new Boathouse restaurant which has some way-cool boats all around the back docks, and the Amphicars which were doing rounds out on the lake. Saw some of the new shops, the bakery, the shoe store, and the hat store. Ate at the boathouse - great steaks - seafood looked good for those who like that sort of thing. Saturday, hit Magic Kingdom - it had cooled down to 98, but the humidity stayed and the threat of storms all day too. It sprinkled once or twice, not even hard enough to run and hide from...the rain actually felt pretty good, and dried in minutes. But there were some EPIC storms in nearby Orlando suburbs - with quarter-sized hail, 50,000 lightning strikes, and winds exceeding 80MPH that ripped off roofs and downed trees. None of that hit Disney grounds - not only did we stay in the parks and all rides stayed open, but even most of the boats were able to continue operating. The lightning show was amazing though - never close as far as ground strikes, but amazing cloud-to-cloud shows and then a huge display of mammatus clouds - those angry looking bumps facing down and riding low that are the aftermath sign of tornadic and heavy storm activity. They came at sunset, with the cloud-to-cloud lightning, which made for some surreal sunset colors and skies - I took many pics, but was limited to my RX10 1" sensor compact as it is weather-sealed and all the rain made me feel better sticking with the weather-sealed camera. All handheld and no tripods - but I think still some amazing stuff captured from that display. Dinner at Trail's End on the way home to the campgrounds. Sunday was Epcot day - again, no weather really bothered us, though a few afternoon thunderstorms crept close enough to really rattle the thunder and start scaring people away - yet the rains never came and the lightning never hit the park area - so the whole day was uninterrupted. At a cool 96, it was the coolest day overall since there was so much cloud cover. Dinner at Hacienda de San Angel at 8:30pm, which put us on the water for illuminations right from our table. Monday was Animal Kingdom day - the sun returned, the rains were gone entirely, and the heat crept back up to 99. With quite a few things closed, and lots of walls up, it was more about seeing the animals and checking out the newly expanded Harambe village and food areas...which are very cool and nice to have more room to walk through and around. No cats were out on the safari, but the hoofed animals were active, including the rhinos which blocked our truck for a while, facing off with the grill. Gorillas were very active - 4 bachelors were fighting and challenging eachother with big grunts and feints, and the baby gorilla was right on the glass playing, rolling over, and being generally silly and very cute. Dinner was at Whispering Canyon at Wilderness Lodge - late enough that some of the loud show was over and fewer 'ketchup' calls...then boated back to the cabin. When it's hot, there are few places better to stay than the cabins...in my opinion. There's so much tree cover there, shade even when on your porch, and you can rent the golf cart for getting around, which is just fun and relaxing, and gives you a nice breeze. You can bring much more food, with full kitchen and easy access and plenty of space to eat - for some reason we tend to eat and cook and drink more in the cabins than even in our DVC villas, even though they are huge, multiple bedrooms, and full kitchens. I think it's just the drive-up the car convenience, the golf cart to grab more supplies, and the big deck and picnic table for eating outdoors. And getting to see quite a bit of wildlife - it was pretty active there - deer were quite abundant, right by the road and in the woods right off our deck, a black bear wandered across the canal from our cabin, lots of armadillos and rabbits everywhere...and myriad birds in the trees coming down to beg for food. All in all, a lovely summer trip as always. But did I mention it was hot? Next trip, September...solo trip for just me and my camera gear at Saratoga Springs. Then Pixelmania in December to round out the year!