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Old 05-09-2011, 10:22 AM   #1
GoofyIsAsGoofyDoes
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You’re writing a TR? Really? (Christmas at POR, 2010)

“So… Just what makes you think that you can write a trip report?”

That is what I expect to here from those that know me on and off these boards. Honestly, I don’t have a good answer to that particular question, but I’ve been roaming these boards for a good while, so I thought it was high time that I gave it a try. Will I succeed? Don’t know, but I’m sure that y’all will let me know how I’m doing through your witty commentary or (worse) by the complete lack there of.

Well enough of that nonsense. It’s time to get started. As I’m new to the art and science of writing up a TR, most of y’all don’t know anything about me (except for the other DisDad’s who may be a long to commandeer this thread shortly), so a little background info may be called for. I’m one of those lucky soles who is not only a Disney-a-holic, but also seceded in marring a Disney freak and the two of us have been instilling this same lunacy into our son for nearly 16 years. We’re all pretty much hopeless. I took my first trip to the Magic Kingdom in 1974 (yah… I’m that old), first saw EPCOT in 1983, first took my lovely bride to the “World” in 1993, and have been taking my family back down pretty much yearly since 2000. The trip in question for this little dissertation was our tenth since getting married, ninth since our son was born, second during the winter months, but the first time during Christmas (and that last little bit will play a fairly healthy part in the story I’m about to relate).

The Players:
Me: Rob - 49 years worth of refusing to grow up


DW: Tamara - A proper Southern Belle and saint who has
been patiently putting up with me for over twenty years now.


DS: Max - Good kid, but one who is almost exactly like
his father (much to his mother's chagrin).




On a side note: In the DisDads club we have a rule that you are required to finish your current TR before you head off on you’re next adventure. As I’m starting this one rather late (say nearly 5 months), and we’re planning on leaving on our next adventure in a little more then a month, My chances of pulling that off are slim. But I’ll give it a shot.

Last edited by GoofyIsAsGoofyDoes; 05-09-2011 at 02:44 PM.
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Old 05-09-2011, 10:22 AM   #2
GoofyIsAsGoofyDoes
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Table of Contents:

Chapter 1: Say it ain’t so…

Chapter 2: A Diabolical Plan

Chapter 3
- Part 1: D Day

- Part 2: Rainman…

Chapter 4: Day-1
- Part-1: Rain… Not just rain, but rain rain…
- Part-2: What to do, what to do?

- Part-3: Up the Sassagoula, and into the Acadian
- Part-4: Christmas time at AK
- Part-5: Was that a Jonas?... Do I really care?...
- Part-6: Dinos, and Characters, and Clownfish… Oh my…
- Part-7: Gingerbread… Lots and lots of Gingerbread
- Part-8: Doing the Loop
- Part-9: On the rail again

Chapter 5 – Day 2
- Part-1: …Early to Rise

- Part-2: TSM - Take one… Action!
- Part-3: We been lied to…

- Part-4: TSM - Take two… Slow-mo camera ready… Action!
- Part-5: Catching the limo…
- Part-6: Dinner and a Spectacle
- Part-7: Other Sorts of Spectacles
- Part-8: Let there be Lights
- Part-9: A Partridge and a Yarn Tree

Chapter 6 – Day-3
- Part-1: Reality rears its ugly head
- Part 2: Ain’t it perrty

- Part 3: The House that Jack Rebuilt
- Part 4: Mountains Receding in the Distance
- Part 5: Room at the Inn
- Part 6: The Journey Eastward
- Part 7: Toontown we hardly knew ya’
- Part 8: Light a Candle (I Mean a Castle)
- Part 9: The Eastern Block & the Occidental Meltdown
- Part 10: Two Form the Grill

- Part 11: Posh Tickets and One Big Tree
- Part 12: A “Wish” for a mountain passage
- Part 13: Disney’s Underwear

Chapter 7 – Day-4
- Part 1: From Sorin’ to Savin’

- Part 2: Single Riders and Protean Spills
- Part 3: Backpack?... What backpack?
- Part 4: “What the Beverly…”
- Part 5: Across the Pond
- Part 6: A Joyful Noise
- Part 7: Yah, I know its lame…
- Part 8: Zoom! Zoom?
- Part 9: In a Pickle
- Part 10: Something for Momma

Chapter 8 – Day-5
- Part 1: A Riverside Retrospective

- Part 2: We’ll still be here…
- Part 3: One little Ride
- Part 4: O Canada
- Part 5: Punked (but in a good way)
- Part 6: Now that’s a Snack
- Part 7: Fruit Trees and Field Drums
- Part 8: The Clown and the Witch
- Part 9: Decisions, Decisions…
- Part 10: The Rest of the World
- Part 11: Wrap it up
- Part 12: North


The Day 5 / Part 11 & 12 stuff is NEW!!

And the final official update

Last edited by GoofyIsAsGoofyDoes; 07-17-2011 at 04:18 PM.
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Old 05-09-2011, 10:23 AM   #3
GoofyIsAsGoofyDoes
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Never mind the Kool-Aid, don’t drink the Beverly!
If it’s still here tomorrow… I may ignore it again
 
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Bonus Features
(These are links to anything extra that ended up being tossed in here)


- 1: Cranium Command
- 2: Canebrake Point
- 3: They Call Me: Ginger…
- 4: The Preview
- 5: The Origins of Corps

Last edited by GoofyIsAsGoofyDoes; 07-14-2011 at 10:51 AM.
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Old 05-09-2011, 10:24 AM   #4
GoofyIsAsGoofyDoes
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Never mind the Kool-Aid, don’t drink the Beverly!
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Just one more thing…

Here’s a link to the next saga of our continuing adventures with all things Disney
(I hope y’all come on over and join us in this one as well)




Oh yah… Thanks for reading along!!!

Last edited by GoofyIsAsGoofyDoes; 07-17-2011 at 04:22 PM.
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Old 05-09-2011, 10:38 AM   #5
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Okay, I'm here. I can't wait to hear about Christmas at POR. Let the report begin.
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Old 05-09-2011, 10:44 AM   #6
AJRitz
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Better late than never - I'm looking forward to you TR Rob!

(But keep up with the updating, or fear the pirates!)
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Old 06-06-2011, 11:27 PM   #7
Belle83
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I just found your TR and love it! Our next trip is going to be around Christmas, and one of the resorts I'm contemplating is POR.
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Old 06-07-2011, 09:12 AM   #8
afwdwfan
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GoofyIsAsGoofyDoes View Post
Toontown is no more. This little corner of the Magic Kingdom closed to guests in February of 2011
I'm thoroughly disappointed to see this go away. I didn't go there the past few trips, because I was there as an adult with other adults. Not having children with us, we weren't too compelled to actually go into the buildings and take it all in. I'm sad that I didn't get my chance for that one last visit, and more importantly, I'm sad that DS won't get the chance to see Toontown when we go. Such a wonderfully themed area that gave the Fab Five a place to call home... such a shame to see it go away.

Quote:
Originally Posted by GoofyIsAsGoofyDoes View Post
It was a mass of humanity reminiscent of a Tokyo train station (at least judging by the pictures and videos that I’ve seen of such).
I hear their trains are just a tiny bit faster than the WDW locomotives too.

Quote:
Originally Posted by GoofyIsAsGoofyDoes View Post
I’ll agree with the generally majority opinion which opines that the updated show here is not near as good as the original, but it’s still entertaining.
Yeah, I've always liked the Tiki Room, but I still enjoyed it despite the new management. That said, it was never my favorite attraction, but always a must see.

Quote:
Originally Posted by GoofyIsAsGoofyDoes View Post
At one point he broke into the “Peanut’s Theme” which is actually titled: “Linus & Lucy”.
Kind of an odd song choice for the Magic Kingdom.

Quote:
Originally Posted by GoofyIsAsGoofyDoes View Post
You may be relieved to hear this, but consider that I’ll now be forced to fill up the remaining parts of this chapter with nothing more then my mindless recreation of the events of the day (you should have been rooting for the camera).
The pics and commentary are both fine.
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Old 06-07-2011, 09:26 PM   #9
GoofyIsAsGoofyDoes
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Never mind the Kool-Aid, don’t drink the Beverly!
If it’s still here tomorrow… I may ignore it again
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Belle83 View Post
I just found your TR and love it! Our next trip is going to be around Christmas, and one of the resorts I'm contemplating is POR.

Welcome aboard and thanks for following along. I hope you get the opportunity to stay during the holidays, but I’d go bit earlier in December if you can swing it. Everyone thinks of Disney as a place for kids, but there is actually a whole lot that a couple can immerse themselves into. I absolutely love my son, but I’m also secretly looking forward to his heading off to collage, so I can start dating my wife again. I guarantee that we’ll be doing a lot of off-season couples only touring of The World, in a few years.


Quote:
Originally Posted by afwdwfan View Post
I'm thoroughly disappointed to see this go away. I didn't go there the past few trips, because I was there as an adult with other adults. Not having children with us, we weren't too compelled to actually go into the buildings and take it all in. I'm sad that I didn't get my chance for that one last visit, and more importantly, I'm sad that DS won't get the chance to see Toontown when we go. Such a wonderfully themed area that gave the Fab Five a place to call home... such a shame to see it go away.
Hopefully, once there expansion is completed and some of the parts of Toontown are integrated into Fantasyland, there will be some new things that interest the boys as much as the girls. It seems that in the past few years, the folks down there have been struggling to find something that works as well for the little guys as the offerings they’ve devised for the gals.

Quote:
Originally Posted by afwdwfan View Post
I hear their trains are just a tiny bit faster than the WDW locomotives too.
Ohhhh… Just a smidgen.

Quote:
Originally Posted by afwdwfan View Post
Yeah, I've always liked the Tiki Room, but I still enjoyed it despite the new management. That said, it was never my favorite attraction, but always a must see.


Quote:
Originally Posted by afwdwfan View Post
Kind of an odd song choice for the Magic Kingdom.
Yes and no. Obviously, music has always been a major part of Disney, and they’re good about working their own tunes into nearly every experience. But the “color musicians” are a slightly different story. Their job is more to set a mood or evoke a moment in time. They are a lot freer to meander outside the Disney Song Book and use anything that fits the moment. The fellow I encountered at Casey’s was playing various standards that fit into the Ragtime & Dixieland styles prevalent during the turn of the last century, but he was also trying to play things that were recognizable. Linus & Lucy, is a piece of early 60s piano jazz, but it pulls a lot from the Dixieland style and is suited to solo piano in the way the chord structure and left-hand progressions allowed him to fill all the space with the music.


You buyin’ any of that? (Actually, I think he just liked playing the tune)

Quote:
Originally Posted by afwdwfan View Post
The pics and commentary are both fine.
Thanks, but you know that if you keep encouraging me, I’ll just keep up this nonsense.
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Old 06-07-2011, 09:34 PM   #10
GoofyIsAsGoofyDoes
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Chapter 6 – Day-3

- Part 9: The Eastern Block & the Occidental Meltdown


From our vantage point at the top of Main Street, we could see that there was a steady and fairly heavy stream of folks heading out of the park for the day (or at least heading down Main Street and away form the rest of the park). As such, it was high time that we gave the notion of mountain climbing one more attempt. So back into Tomorrowland we trudged. When we made it to the far end, we found that the line was still hovering at about 100 minutes. There are movies that ain’t that long. What seemed to be happening was that the bulk of the crowd were there for the big three (the Mountains that is) and that some of the other attractions were starting to let up at least a bit. The wait for Stitch’s Great Escape was minimal, but we’d seen that one before (and honestly, weren’t all that impressed). Buzz was running at 40ish minutes and seemed an acceptable alternative to me, but believe it or not, our video game obsessed young’n, wasn’t as interested in it this trip (I think that would’ve been different had he had someone his own age to compete against directly as we’d been able to do on a couple of prior trips). So what’d we do? We hopped back on the TTA. Yep, you heard me, but let me also explain that any ride that is basically outside is actually very different at night. The colors are different; the sounds carry farther and are sharper as the air cools down, and there is a more electric feeling to the atmosphere of any ride in the evening. Another thing that is different about the TTA at night is that when it ducks into and back out of the buildings, your eyes don’t have to work as hard to deal with the change in brightness, and you can see everything considerably better then in the blinding light of the day. We all agreed that we actually enjoyed being on the tram better this time around.

Once back on the ground, we started back across to the west side of the park. The SpectralMagic parade was going to kick off in a few minutes, and we were hopping beyond hope, that maybe this parade would draw down some of the stand-by times. We already knew it wasn’t working for Space Mountain, but what about Thunder? Under normal circumstances we should have encountered a 30 to 40ish minute wait for Big Thunder once we arrived (as the parade was just two minutes form starting and I’d actually experienced this working for me during trips in the high summer months of June and July), but not at Christmas time. It wasn’t happening. 120 minutes it read. The same thing it had said nearly all day long. The folks here on this day just weren’t giving it up. Quickly we got back across the main road in Frontierland just as the CMs were roping off the last crossing area and opening the gates to let the parade loose. Time for a new plan.




- Part 10: Two From the Grill

We were standing just outside of Pecos Bill’s as the music cranked up and the first float hit the street sounding a whole lot like a calliope running on helium. That’s when we noticed, that the “Parade Effect” was actually working somewhere. There was virtually no one in line for food (well duhhhh, they were all in line for the mountains). It was well past dinnertime, and we’d seen this particular parade before, so the arithmetic was pretty simple. We ducked into Bill’s. While deciding what we wanted, Tamara and I also decided to split a meal so that we’d end up with an extra counter service meal that we could also split latter in the week when we’d have otherwise run out of credits. Besides, with the desert included, there would likely be plenty for the both of us anyway.

So, with two burgers order and one split down the middle, we all headed of the fixin’s bar. I rather like the burgers at Bill’s they’re pretty consistent and you can dress ‘em any way you want. I also grabbed a little extra mayo, cheese sauce and BBQ sauce for dippin’ the fries and we were good to go. The dining room was so empty that you could see the tumbleweeds rolling through, so we quickly rounded up a table and settled in to enjoy a little bit of grub. Our camp turned out to be off the main trail and relatively quiet (something that is at times hard to come by in any park), but still had a view through one of the windows so we had a good idea of what was going on with the parade. We could watch all the lights flickering, hear the music rather clearly, and didn’t have to stand amongst the heard of folks watching form the sidewalk.

We finished up our dinner just about the time that the parade was wrapping up, so we figured that we’d get a little bit ahead of the rush and headed back toward Adventureland. It was just about time to cash in our passes for the Jungle Cruise. On the way, we passed by POTC again and said out loud that if the line was at its usual evening length of ten-ish minutes or so, we’d hop on that once more. Wrong… 65 minutes! For Pirates? Really? Gracious! That’s just ridiculous this late in the evening (I think that the mistake I made was saying it out loud). But, we did have passes to catch a different boat, so down the steps we go and into the wonderfully themed queue of the Jungle Cruise.

Last edited by GoofyIsAsGoofyDoes; 06-08-2011 at 06:38 PM.
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Old 06-08-2011, 06:53 PM   #11
GoofyIsAsGoofyDoes
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Chapter 6 – Day-3

- Part 11: Posh Tickets and One Big Tree


We all dream of living the “Posh” life (like in the song from Chitty-Chitty-Bang-Bang: “It’s the posh, posh traveling life, the traveling life for me…”). But what exactly is “Posh”. Well by definition it is high style and comfort while undertaking an exotic journey. The word came out of the “Edwardian” era during the waning years of the British Empire and is actually an acronym meaning: “Port Out – Starboard Home”. If you were taking a steamer from England to India, you really wanted to have that stamped on you ticket. Why? Because it was even better then being in first class. These four letters signified to the stewards aboard the ship that you were to be placed in a port side cabin as you were sailing east across the Indian Ocean. A move which ensured that you’d be on the cooler shaded side of the ship that was not being constantly assaulted by the sun as it traveled on its southerly arc from east to west. Conversely you’d be moved to the starboard side during the return journey and would be similarly spared as much of the radiant heat as possible.

Why am I tossing in that little vocabulary/history lesson… To give you an idea (form a story line perspective) of what the Jungle cruise in not.

Disclaimer: I barrowed this picture from a friend because it was rather dark when we were riding (well that and the fact the my camera battery was still dead).


The back-story is that you’re embarking on an early version of an eco-tourism adventure to see the seven great rivers of the world. But you’re guides in this mid 1930s era undertaking are a fly-by-night operation at best. Just take a little time to read all the notices on the walls of the queue and check out the various artifacts as you make your way back and forth through the serpentine. Also pay attention to the “radio broadcast” that is being played as part of the atmosphere (there are a few good chuckles buried within the presentation). I remember first experiencing this “excursion” in 1974 (the very early days of the Magic Kingdom). At that time, the Jungle Cruise was an E-Ticket Attraction and the story line had danger and adventure built into it. But over the years, the tale got to be rather tired and dog-eared and the ride lost a good bit of its luster for many folks. What to do? Well, Disney turned it into comedy. Not just comedy, but pun oriented, bad joke comedy (the kind of thing that works well for most guys, and I’m no exception). At least on this river ride (as opposed to “Living with the Land”), there are still live CMs working as guides, and each individual, has their own style and cash of bad jokes. There are a few of these one liners that are standard (like: “the back side of water”) and others that get passed around amongst the various ‘captains’, but I like to listen out for new ones. Every once in a while, you’re guide will drag a good laugh out of you, but mostly is groans all around.




OK, its time to head off on another tangent (if you can stand it). In the early 1960s my Grandfather moved to the central Florida coast. He was a skilled welder and “Iron Worker” and had heard that there was a little government organization setting up shop on a spit of land called Merritt Island, and these ya-hoos were looking for folks with his particular talent. Specifically, that organization was NASA and the thing that they needed built was launch facilities and gantries for the rockets that they were developing. He worked there for better then 30 years and needless to say, his collection of grand-young’ins got to spend varying amounts of quality time on the grounds at Cape Kennedy/Canaveral across that time frame. Now… Why I’m I telling you this incongruent story? It’s a proximity thing. It seems that in about 1970, there was another little company from the west coast that was working on a new project of their own a mere fifty miles as the crow flies west of “The Cape”. They were also in need of some highly skilled welders to construct something for them.

Something that started out looking a lot like this:


That is the armature for the “Swiss Family Robinson Tree House”. , and yes, my Grandpa helped build it. Well, one like it anyway. This specific photograph is actually of the one that was built in California in 1960, but the Florida version is basically the same. I just couldn’t track down any al fresco pictures of the Orlando structure. Either way, the net result ended up looking like this:

This news flash just in: my camera battery is still dead (as such these are from an earlier trip).








The story that Gran’pa would tell is that the names of all the folks that helped build the thing are carved amongst the branches out of direct site of the guests. I’ve never seen them personally, but I like the story and it certainly sounds like something Disney would consider. As such, this is an attraction that I try never to miss. It may be just a simple walkthrough exhibit, but the details are simply exquisite. If you’ve generally just strolled by this old standard (as most folks do), I encourage you to take a few minutes to experience it as well next time. There really is more here then meets the eye.

Last edited by GoofyIsAsGoofyDoes; 06-08-2011 at 08:35 PM.
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