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Gina
02-12-2001, 09:45 AM
I know I won’t have time to make a full trip report, so I thought I’d at least give some highlights and my thoughts on a few things. I’d be happy to answer any questions anyone might have!

Dates: 2/3 – 2/10
Resort: All-Star Movies
Cast: Me (34), DS (almost 5) and my ex-inlaws (their first time to WDW)

Thoughts on ASMo: We loved Music, and we loved Movies even more. You can’t walk around there and not smile! We were in Toy Story 10, the Buzz building, just as I had requested. The rooms were spotless, and every CM and worker we encountered was a true example of classic Disney hospitality. The food court was as good as always. The mug designs have changed now, and they have added a new commuter-style mug along with the old style.

Crowds: Crowds were a dream for most of the week, even over the weekend, but things really picked up all the sudden the last couple of days, starting around Thursday. They picked up a LOT. By Friday late afternoon, there was a 45 minute wait for Peter Pan! Space Mountain was over an hour. But that is why we do early entry every day. :) I was surprised to see the crowds pick up that much. Maybe the east coast schools are staggering their President’s Week holidays now? Or maybe the midwest, because there seemed to be a sudden influx of people from Wisconsin, Iowa, and the like.

E-Night: This was possibly the best $10 I’ve ever spent in my life!! I was so hesitant to try it again, after the President’s Week e-night that was such a horror of crowds, but this was just a dream. We rode everything, again and again, and my proudest accomplishment was somehow scoring 302,000 points on Buzz!! :D I have NO idea what I hit, but I made my ex FIL take a picture of my score for tangible proof. ;) And it was so incredibly magical to be there with so few people… The rest of our bunch went inside Country Bear Jamboree to wait for the next show, and I went to wait outside for a bit. I sat on a bench and finally got to notice all the amazing little details that Make Disney parks unlike any other in the world. The flickering lanterns in Frontierland, the details in architecture, the seamless transition of music from land to land. It was one of the highlights of my trip. My biggest piece of advice now would be to NEVER EVER go to e-night during a holiday period. Never. EVER.

Food: We mostly ate at the food court, with a few exceptions. We did Chef Mickey’s for our traditional first-night dinner, and it was as good as always. Being Texans, we had to try the all-you-can-eat barbeque skillet at Whispering Canyon Café, and I swear I can still taste that maple-garlic barbeque sauce. It was amazing. We ate like pigs, then ate some more. ;) We had dinner at O’hana one night, and this got our unanimous seal of approval too. The meat was really tender and really flavorful. My little boy was so looking forward to participating in the coconut races, but they seemed to skip over that for the hula-hoop contest twice. I asked our really nice server about the races, and she went to find out. She came back to tell us that for some unknown reason, they were doing just hula-hoops then, and the coconut races wouldn’t be until later that evening. My DS was crestfallen. Our server reappeared a few minutes later with a surprise for my son. She told him that she felt so bad that he wasn’t going to get to be in the races, she brought him first prize anyway. A whole bag of gummy worms! This was better than a treasure chest to a preschooler. :D We did 1900 Park Fair for breakfast one morning, and that was as good as always, too. I love the characters at that breakfast. This time it was Mary Poppins, Alice, the Mad Hatter, Pluto, Pinocchio and Gepetto. I think I’m not forgetting anyone! But the pipe organ was broken. :( I love the sound of that thing. We were at the DIS meet at O’hana for breakfast, and that was pretty good too, but not my favorite. Last was the Sci-Fi Diner for dinner one night. I knew the reviews were really mixed on the place, but we wanted to at least try it. We all loved this place! Our server was so much fun, and we all loved the food. (We all had the meatloaf.) And those shakes… YUM!!!

Transportation: The busses seemed really weird this time… there was a whole lot of bus-sharing going on. I mean, there was the usual sharing between All-Stars and that is expected, but it was more than that. For instance, one time we got on a bus at the Magic Kingdom marked “All Star Movies”, in the ASMo parking slot. We assumed (foolishly) that we would be going straight to ASMo, or at least the All-Stars in general. We stopped at the Contemporary, the TTC, and the Poly before finally heading to ASMo. (???) This type of thing happened several times, and it was really hard to try and estimate how much time you would need to get from one place to another, because you had no clue where you’d be going in between. My first theory was that they share busses in slower periods, but they didn’t do that in early December when it was even slower. I’m not sure what was going on. During one trip, we stopped to let people off at the Poly, but the driver wouldn’t let anyone else on because he was headed out of service after the last stop. I thought the people waiting were going to tip our bus over in rage. One man was yelling and really upset, and said that they had been waiting there for an MK bus for 40 minutes. I’d be upset too! I’m really not sure what’s going on.

Parks: We had just barely touched on Animal Kingdom on our first trip, and not at all last trip, so we spent about 4 ½ hours there this time. I think we can say that we have seen AK now, and I really have no desire to go back. It was okay, but it is just so badly designed… way way too much back-tracking required, and it somehow feels hotter than it is. It was only in the mid 70'’ when we were there, but it felt a lot hotter. I can’t even conceive of how people can go there in the summer. The safari was cool, and the Maharajah jungle trek was very peaceful and neat, but that was about it. I know some people love this park, but it just wasn’t my cup of tea. I think it might appeal more to people who live in smaller towns that don’t have giant zoos just like AK. One cool thing, though: The “secret” entrance through the gift shop in the Rainforest Café worked like an absolute charm. We were first in line, with only about 5 people behind us, and we just waltzed into the park at opening time. We had a lead on everyone, and walked right onto the safari.

Another tip that worked, big-time: Watching the MK fireworks from Town Town. I had written this tip down a while back, and decided to try it this trip. I was told to go left of the train station in Toon Town, walk as far as I could into the dead-end area, and stand there. It was amazing. The fireworks were right above us, and we were the only ones there. There were other people watching from Toon Town, but they were on the benches in front of Goofy’s Barnstormer and Donald’s boat, where you had a slightly obstructed view through trees and over roofs. No one else thought to go where we were, and it was a breathtaking view. I was so happy to be able to see MSEP one more time before it’s gone. I led my ex-inlaws to my favorite place to watch it, sitting on the wall at the very end of the parade route, in front of the patio for Pecos Bill’s. Dennis was teasing me, saying, “Sheesh, Gina, next time could you get us a little bit closer to the parade??” ;) It was great – the floats are just right in front of you there, with no rope or any other barrier.

Epcot still remains my favorite park. I could spend all day on Spaceship Earth and be happy as a clam. Patience also paid off one EE morning. It was really cold that morning, and Test Track was closed due to ice (!!) on the track. They kept shooing people away, saying they had no idea when it would be open, but the cars kept running and I figured the sun would warm things up soon. We camped out and waited, took some pictures, had some snacks, for about an hour. Finally it opened up, and we were first on! That was a very cool feeling. :D
We all enjoyed Illuminations, but it was Tapestry of Nations that once again stole the show. This parade moves and inspires me more and more every time I see it. And every time I see it, I am more and more confounded by the people who say they actually don’t like this parade. I would suggest they take their pulse, or see if they cast a reflection in a mirror, but that’s just my opinion. ;)

Neat things and misc. stuff: It continually amazes me how 99% of the visitors to WDW seem to have no plan and no clue. Whether it was beating the entrance crowd at AK, or riding up front in the monorail, or CM’s calling us by name because of our Guest of Honor badges, or waltzing to the front of the line with Fast Passes, people were constantly
Staring at us like, “How in the heck did they do that?!?” And those GoH badges are a hoot – I can’t tell you how many CM’s even thought we worked there. And lots of people were always asking us questions about how to get somewhere, or what time an event was. The other 3 in our party just kept pointing to me. LOL! We all really did get a lot of extra attention because of the GoH badges. It was quite cool. :)

Speaking of my GoH badge, the first one I get must have been defective because the clip was hanging on by a thread by the next morning. I stopped at the front desk at ASMo to see if they had any superglue or anything, and the CM offered to bring me some of her own from home the next day. How sweet! Then we headed to MK, and I stopped at City Hall to see if maybe they had any way to fix it. (We weren’t going to be back at MGM anymore, so I couldn’t exchange it.) The incredibly sweet CM there, Katie, said that she would see what she could do. By the time we got back to the resort for our mid-day nap, I had a message from Katie saying that she had called the 5 & 10 at MGM, and they were sending over another badge for me. The next morning, it was there, and an even nicer one with bigger letters. And people wonder why I love going there so much??? Try getting service like that at Six Flags, or even Universal.

It was a magical, wonderful trip… and now it’s time to book the next one! :D

-gina-

http://dreamingofwdw.homestead.com/files/mickptmin.gif
ASMo 2/3/01-2/10/01

DxL 12/1/00-12/4/00

ASMu, 2/19/00-2/24/00

u4ik
02-12-2001, 12:04 PM
Sounds like you had a great trip. We are going in March and that place to watch the fireworks from sounds great! Can you see tinkerbell fly from that location? It is really important for us to catch that detail since this will be the first time we stay up to watch the action. Thanks.

Gina
02-12-2001, 01:01 PM
No, unfortunately you can't see Tink's flight from there. But what we did was catch 2 fireworks showings on 2 different nights. The first night, we viewed from the Tomorrowland bridge, where she flies right over your head, which was so neat! And the second time, we viewed from Toon Town for the full effect of the fireworks. Maybe you can do this? Hope this helps!

-gina-

kathymc
02-14-2001, 10:25 AM
thanks for posting - we did the same thing seeing the fireworks twice - once to see Tink and once by Toon Town. Hey - we were actually at DxL at the same time in Dec.

<IMG width="100" height="100" http://www.micres.com/disney/Pictures/DisneyClipArt/goofy/goofy13.gif

tkyes
02-14-2001, 10:32 AM
Thanks for posting your report.

Sounds like you guys had a lot of fun.

Thanks for the tips too.

Tamie :)

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Marla Hellwig
02-23-2001, 05:32 AM
Sounds like you all had a great Disney trip. Thanks for posting and for the tips!

inky dinky doo
02-25-2001, 05:17 PM
Nice report, Gina. Thanks for taking the time to post. I'm going to try your fireworks/Toon Town hint in October.

I thought your comments about the buses were interesting, too. I read -- several weeks ago -- that they were studying bus usage in an attempt to make things more efficient. I hope this isn't their solution. It was hard enough before trying to figure out how much travel time to allow. Not knowing where you're going before you get there makes it almost impossible, I would think.

Anyway, welcome back! I'm glad you had a good time.

Inky
243 days and counting (again)

P.S. I was going to ask how you ended up traveling with your former in-laws, but I didn't want to be nosy. (grin)

î

Casey's mom
03-02-2001, 06:35 AM
Sounds like a really fun trip! I agree with you that it is always better to have some kind of plan when running around WDW (even if you don't always follow it).

Credit Man
03-02-2001, 01:24 PM
Thanks for posting.

PoohbearLisa
03-02-2001, 02:35 PM
Thanks for the report. Your trip sounded really fun and full of well planned events. Good job!!

snuggles
03-02-2001, 04:21 PM
Glad you had a magical time. Thanks for posting :)

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Tartan Tigger
03-03-2001, 11:46 AM
Thanks for posting. Your part about All Star Movies brought back memories for me. Really enjoyed reading your report.

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diznee
03-06-2001, 10:09 PM
It sounds like you and I could be twins separated at birth....i'm also always the designated tour guide and disney expert on our trips! But I'm not complaining, it's a role I genuinely relish and delight in fulfilling! Thanks for posting a wonder, pixie-dust filled trip report!

AnnaE4
03-07-2001, 06:57 AM
Wow! Sounds like you had a great time. Thanks for the fireworks tip! I hadn't heard that one before!

Denise

AngieIL
03-07-2001, 11:13 AM
Thanks for posting your report! I've never watched the fireworks from Toontown, and unfortunately won't get to use that tip on our next trip as there won't be any fireworks due to Grad Nights. I'm tucking it away in my WDW file for future use!

Thumper's Dad
03-07-2001, 03:00 PM
Gina, I'm glad you commented about your love of the Tapestry parade. I almost thought something might be wrong with me that I was so moved and enthralled by it <IMG SRC="/infopop/emoticons/icon_confused.gif" alt="confused"> My wife and son thought it was OK, but I wanted it to never end :D

I was also surprised at how many people just stood there like lumps :rolleyes: . It wasn't until the second night we were at Epcot and I watched the parade again that after the parade, I caught a number of people humming the theme and kind of dancing in step to it as they headed off to their next activity. It actually gave me 'mousebumps' and teary eyes both times--and I'm an almost 50 year old guy :eek:

Thanks for sharing your thoughts!

Ted

Lisa
03-08-2001, 04:08 AM
How nice for you and your son to enjoy the trip with your ex in laws. One doesn't hear of that too often.

Lisa - WDW: 8/73, 1/97, 1/98, 9/98, 1/99, 5/99, 1/00
DL: 8/75, 4/85
Next visit: 1/01
------------------

Tink13
03-08-2001, 08:06 AM
GREAT report--thanks for sharing..I have to agree those GoH badges are the best...when I got on the JC,,the Skipper says,,"HI LINDA I KNEW YOU WOULD BE HERE TODAY I ASKED UP FRONT IF YOU WERE COMING." I said Oh thanks Tony (name on his tag) I asked for YOUR boat..LOLOL you should have seen the people LOOKING like I was someone IMPORTANT..and They got on the SAME boat LOLOL..and yes I agree,, it was wonderful of them to send ya a New PIN..gotta LOVE that place!!!!

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LanaJayne
03-08-2001, 02:24 PM
Gina,

What a great report!

How long before the MSEP parade did you stake out your seat?

This is a must-do this trip as last time we were there on the weekdays and it wasn't running then.

We plan to watch this our 1st night in just a few weeks!

Thanks for all your great tips!
:)