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View Full Version : A Very British Trip Report - May 2009 - Day 12


Kevin Stringer
06-30-2009, 12:56 PM
DAY 12 TUESDAY 2nd JUNE

The participants:

Me, Kev, 51, husband, father, son, friend. In fact, just about everything to everybody on this holiday.
Wife, Tam, 45.
Daughter 1, India, 18.
Daughter 2, Georgia, 15.
Grandma, 84. The girls Grandma, my mother.
Susan, age kept quiet for fear of kick in soft tissuey area. Our friend from Tulsa.

Attending in part:

Sharon, see above for age. Friend from Texas.
Evan, 21, Sharon’s son.

If you want to know more about us, have a look at www.kevinstringer.co.uk/index

We’re up by 7.30am this morning as we’re off to Disney’s Hollywood Studios in order to ride Toy Story Mania. After breakfast we knock on Susan and Grandma’s door. No answer. We guess they are waiting for us down at the boat dock and, sure enough, we find them sat there.
It turns out that Susan has accidentally turned the clock back one hour when setting the alarm and they both got up at 5.45am! Susan says that it’s better to be one hour early than 5 minutes late due to the amount of stick I always give her over punctuality. Fair point.

We get the boat to Disney’s Hollywood Studios and meet Sharon and Evan at the entrance. We get inside just at the rope drop and Evan, me, India and Georgia walk swiftly ahead to get Fastpasses, then join the ladies who have walked up more slowly and are now in the standby queue, which is already showing a 40 minute wait. In reality it’s more like 20 and we all enjoy this excellent new attraction. It’s so much fun and a great ride for young and old to enjoy.

http://i105.photobucket.com/albums/m225/tammystringer/toystorymania.jpg

http://i105.photobucket.com/albums/m225/tammystringer/toystorymania2.jpg

It’s over to Rock ‘n Roller Coaster next and Tam, me and Georgia ride in the last car, it’s certainly faster from there. What a great ride this is, but I still feel a bit wobbly when I come off.

The ladies get Fastpasses for Tower of Terror and we then split up. Evan wants to audition for American Idol, so he heads off there with Sharon. Grandma, Susan and me watch the Indiana Jones Stunt Show. I haven’t seen this for a few years so it’s nice to see it again.

It’s now time for lunch and we all meet up again with the exception of Evan, who’s still auditioning.
We eat at the Studio Catering Company where we share a chicken wrap with beans and rice. The food’s not too bad here, not brilliant but passable for counter service food. Still no Evan.

Off to Lights, Motors, Action. Evan has now been gone for nearly two hours. He eventually rings Sharon to tell her he’s on his way and she says he sounds a bit down. We take our seats on the left hand side of the stadium and soon see Evan walking in. He’s wearing an American Idol lanyard saying ‘Vote for me’ and an audition number pinned to his shirt. He’s only gone and passed the audition and he’ll be singing on stage in the 6 o’clock show!
The only thing he’s not too happy about is that they’re making him sing ‘Achy, Breaky Heart’ by Billy Ray Cirus. Tam and I tell him we probably won’t be able to vote for him then.

The Lights, Motors, Action show is better than I remember. We’ve only seen it once before and it was raining then, so it’s enjoyable seeing all the stunts.

http://i105.photobucket.com/albums/m225/tammystringer/lightsmotorsaction-1.jpg

After the show we decide to go back to the Boardwalk to shower before Evan’s big moment. We have to be back at the American Idol theatre by 5,30pm as we are VIP guests. I knew I’d find my rightful place in the world sooner or later, I think I was born to be a VIP. VIP stands for Vacuous, Inebriated Person, right?

A quick trip to the swimming pool, back to the room, showered and changed and we’re ready to head back to Disney’s Hollywood Studios by 4.45pm. We enter just after 5.00pm, at least some of us do. Grandma has left her pass in the room. Tam, Susan and Grandma go to Guest Services to get a new ticket sorted out, while the rest of us meet up with Sharon just inside the entrance.
New ticket sorted, we all walk to American Idol where we are allowed to enter early while they give the 3 contestants some instructions and allow them to try out their songs on stage.

It immediately becomes apparent that Evan will have his work cut out as the other two contestants, a girl and a bloke, both have Disney songs to sing. Surely this is a little unfair? Anyway, they all take their turn and to give them their credit, are all very good.

http://i105.photobucket.com/albums/m225/tammystringer/evanamericanidol.jpg

http://i105.photobucket.com/albums/m225/tammystringer/evanamericanidol2.jpg

http://i105.photobucket.com/albums/m225/tammystringer/evanamericanidol3.jpg

After Evan sings, the judges give their verdict. The ‘nasty’ one tells Evan that if they ever have karaoke at Hooters, he should be first in line. I believe that this is meant to imply criticism, but Evan shouts ‘Yeah’ and I sit with tears of pride streaming down my face. No greater praise could there be.

Eventually they have the voting and the girl that sang ‘Part of My World’ wins. To be fair, she was very good; perhaps she’ll get to work in Hooters one day.
We meet up with Evan afterwards and he says that he really enjoyed the experience. Fair play to him and all the contestants, it takes a lot of guts to stand up and sing to what was a packed audience.

We all walk up to Tower of Terror next and all ride except me, Georgia and Tam. Tam and I grab a couple of beers and wait outside. We are a bit concerned over whether will be ok. She loves this attraction, but all that zooming up and down can’t possibly be good for an 84-year-old body.
Once again she proves us wrong by skipping off the ride full of the joys of spring.

http://i105.photobucket.com/albums/m225/tammystringer/towerofterror.jpg

We now leave the park, but stop to watch the maintenance men street theatre group on the way out. I love these guys, they’re so much fun.

http://i105.photobucket.com/albums/m225/tammystringer/leavingstudios.jpg

We take the boat to Epcot and me, Evan and the girls walk on ahead to stake out a place in front of Norway for Reflections of Earth. Even at 8.15pm all the railing places are taken and we are lucky to get a spot when a couple of people leave.

While we are waiting for the fireworks to start, Grandma and Susan split a club sandwich, a huge almond pretzel and a cream horn. Not only have they got the constitution of teenagers, they have the appetite too!

After Reflections of Earth (which is much better from my preferred viewing spot) we walk round to China where India wants the beef noodle soup and I introduce Evan to the wonders of Tsing Tao.
On to Morocco where Tam and I have the chicken and lamb platter, while Evan and Georgia walk over to the UK to get fish and chips.

http://i105.photobucket.com/albums/m225/tammystringer/evanandgirlsepcot.jpg

You may be wondering how we manage to get food from the counter service places after Reflections of Earth. Well, it’s Extra Magic Hours tonight and Epcot is open until 1.00am.
We sit around a table in Morocco eating our various foods while Evan tells us stories about his college roommate’s disgusting toilet habits, believe me, you don’t want to know.
It’s now past 11.00pm and Tam, me, Grandma and Susan head back to the Boardwalk while India and Georgia decide to stay out with Sharon and Evan to ride Soarin’.
As it turns out, they return not long after us as the wait is more than 50 minutes. I guess this confirms what I’d heard about Extra Magic Hours, it doesn’t automatically mean shorter queues.

Kev

Jets fan
06-30-2009, 01:35 PM
Wow, you managed to fit alot in. Love the pics:thumbsup2

Tina

stephensmum
06-30-2009, 02:31 PM
Really enjoying your reports, makes me feel like i'm there, well almost. So would you say Norway is the best spot for the illuminations? We have some tickets for the prefferred viewing which I think is near Morrocco.

GOS
06-30-2009, 02:50 PM
Thank you for the great update Kev...Wondered where you had gone.

Kevin Stringer
06-30-2009, 03:43 PM
Really enjoying your reports, makes me feel like i'm there, well almost. So would you say Norway is the best spot for the illuminations? We have some tickets for the prefferred viewing which I think is near Morrocco.

I think the absolute best spot is at the bottom of World Showcase between the two shops, looking directly across to the American Pavillion. Unfortunately this area seems to be frequently roped off for private viewing.

Of all the other places around the lagoon I've tried, I prefer just to the right of the Stave Church in Norway as you look at the lagoon. Don't get close to any overhanging trees and try to be close to one of the speakers as the sound is as important as the sights.

Kev

Kevin Stringer
06-30-2009, 03:44 PM
Thank you for the great update Kev...Wondered where you had gone.

Been to Glastonbury, Heather. For 5 days I was either too drunk or too tired to write another chapter! Boy, was it fun though.

Kev

Lizzybear
06-30-2009, 04:49 PM
Sounds like another great day, don't think i'd have the stamina for a 1am EMH after a full park day either!

SusanEllen
06-30-2009, 08:24 PM
Evan did a great job at his turn on American Idol and through his participation we got answers to a lot of the questions that we'd had when we were in the audience the week before. It actually does seem to be a slightly condensed version of the real Idol TV show. Perhaps it was because of time constraint that the judges picked Evan's song. I think we were all in agreement that probably the reason that Evan was "assigned" a Country song was because he's from Texas and as Kevin said, that seemed a little unfair since the two other contestants got to sing beloved Disney songs. But Evan tackled the assignment impressively and we all hooped and hollered for him in a most American way. Sharon and I were very proud of our Britisih cousins. Why heck, you'd have thought they were all pure d American.

Pugsly
06-30-2009, 08:52 PM
Well-said, Susan.

And thank you for defending Evan's honor (we know he would never have picked that song!) But good on him for giving it the old college try!

This was a rather fun and unique day!

Pootle
07-01-2009, 02:14 AM
Been to Glastonbury, Heather. For 5 days I was either too drunk or too tired to write another chapter! Boy, was it fun though.

Kev

So envious of your Glastonbury trip this year with Bruce participating ..... thought I saw one of your lovely daughters in the crowd (on someone's shoulders) during a Bruce number .... very sparkly top ....could it have been ???

PS The reports are great too ;)

jockey
07-01-2009, 02:16 AM
Lovely day :)

cap'njack.
07-01-2009, 05:39 AM
Great day and glad you enjoyed Glastonbury too!

Kevin Stringer
07-01-2009, 06:55 AM
So envious of your Glastonbury trip this year with Bruce participating ..... thought I saw one of your lovely daughters in the crowd (on someone's shoulders) during a Bruce number .... very sparkly top ....could it have been ???

PS The reports are great too ;)

Don't think so Moira, although we were only 10 rows or so from the front for most of the show.
Went right to the back for the encore so we could look down over the whole crowd and it was an incredible view.

Kev

mandymouse
07-01-2009, 08:58 AM
Another great day Kev. Well done to Evan, he's a lot braver than me ::yes::

natalielongstaff
07-01-2009, 11:43 AM
Fab day Kev :thumbsup2

stephensmum
07-01-2009, 12:48 PM
I think the absolute best spot is at the bottom of World Showcase between the two shops, looking directly across to the American Pavillion. Unfortunately this area seems to be frequently roped off for private viewing.

Of all the other places around the lagoon I've tried, I prefer just to the right of the Stave Church in Norway as you look at the lagoon. Don't get close to any overhanging trees and try to be close to one of the speakers as the sound is as important as the sights.

Kev
Thanks, never thought of looking for the speakers.

buzz for boys
07-01-2009, 01:20 PM
Fantastic - youre trip report always makes me smile x x x

Miffy2003
07-01-2009, 03:41 PM
Well done Evan!

I rather like Billy Ray (though to look at rather than listen to :D )

Great day Kev :thumbsup2

irongirlof12
07-02-2009, 03:00 PM
great day your mum is amazing :worship:

jamjar84
07-02-2009, 03:17 PM
Sounds like another great day. :)

I'd love to see American Idol, I don't think that they were doing it when we were last there, well done to Evan for having a go. :)

Tammy Stringer
07-03-2009, 04:55 AM
I'd like to re-iterate that Evan was a complete star and has a fantastic voice. It was great fun to be VIP's and to watch someone you know up on the stage - gives the show a whole new dimension.

Maybe next time Evan will get to sing a song he wants and get through to the final round - which he deserves. (Sharon get planning a return trip :rotfl:)

Tam

tennisfan
07-03-2009, 09:33 AM
Fab day:goodvibes

Pegasus928
07-04-2009, 12:29 AM
A great report and well done to Evan for having some big enough to get on stage and do that.

Pinky166
07-05-2009, 08:48 AM
A great report. Well done Evan. :thumbsup2

cannp123165
07-05-2009, 03:21 PM
Another great day! Well done to Evan for getting into the American Idol Experience. :)

Chilly
07-10-2009, 04:34 PM
Well done Evan :thumbsup2

PudseyChancer
07-11-2009, 01:13 AM
I don't get it, I thought that Achy Breaky Heart was considered an all time classic!

UKDEB
07-14-2009, 04:44 PM
After Evan sings, the judges give their verdict. The ‘nasty’ one tells Evan that if they ever have karaoke at Hooters, he should be first in line. I believe that this is meant to imply criticism, but Evan shouts ‘Yeah’ and I sit with tears of pride streaming down my face. No greater praise could there be.
:rotfl2:

Well done to Evan for getting that far. Shame he didn't win, though. Did you have the video camera with you, Kev? I'd love to see it.

Kevin Stringer
07-15-2009, 06:54 AM
:rotfl2:

Well done to Evan for getting that far. Shame he didn't win, though. Did you have the video camera with you, Kev? I'd love to see it.

Unfortunately, you're not allowed to video inside American Idol.

Kev

Pugsly
07-17-2009, 04:32 PM
I'd like to re-iterate that Evan was a complete star and has a fantastic voice. It was great fun to be VIP's and to watch someone you know up on the stage - gives the show a whole new dimension.

Maybe next time Evan will get to sing a song he wants and get through to the final round - which he deserves. (Sharon get planning a return trip :rotfl:)

Tam


Thanks Tam (and everyone else).

You may be interested to know that Evan was "pulled up on stage" last week to sing with the one-man band (I guess that would make it a two-man band?) at a restaurant/bar he frequents (and yes, even sings karaoke at one night/week - though it is not Hooters). Afterwards, he was approached by a guy who "knows some people in the business" and was told he hoped to have these people come see him. Who knows if the guy was legit, but Evan got a kick out of it.

As for plopping down for another trip to WDW just for the American Idol Experience ... I'll just say I'm ready when you are, Tam!

Pugsly
07-17-2009, 04:33 PM
Well done to Evan for getting that far. Shame he didn't win, though. Did you have the video camera with you, Kev? I'd love to see it.


And unfortunately, Disney didn't offer a copy up! I'm surprised they have not yet recognized what kind of revenue this might bring them if they offered a copy up for a small fee. :rotfl:

wicket2005
07-18-2009, 09:47 AM
Lovely day. I especially like the photo of you walking with your daughters and Evan, so natural.:thumbsup2