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Old 07-27-2009, 09:50 AM   #46
mmtska
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Hollywood Studios-or the best day ever!

**WARNING** This will probably have to be in several parts thanks to the photo max

The night before, when we got back from EPCOT, I decided to waffle AGAIN about which park we would go to first the next day. I had planned to go to Epcot on Thursday for the PM EMH and then hit HS for AM EMH on Friday. I had read about skipping am EMH days and since I wasn't happy with how the AK turned out, I was thinking again. I talked it over with DH and figured that we could 'sleep in' for 2 days instead of 1, so it was settled. I logged on Ridemax, got a plan for HS and off to dreamland.

The next morning was so relaxed compared to the previous 2! We already had a snack in the room for DH to eat for breakfast so we ended up at the bus stop around 815. It wasn't very crowded on the bus so extra perk! We got off the bus and started heading towards the turnstiles.

Another day we headed to the left and that's when the happy things happened! While we were getting organized, getting tickets and everything, we were walking towards a CM talking to another guest. As soon as we were almost directly in front of her, the other guest left and she said something about our shirts. DH had 3 dwarfs and I had a Mickey shirt that had him on front and back (3 for $20 on the disney store online!) We said thanks and she said "How would you like to be our family of the day and open the park?" I said no and we-JK! I was so happy I could barely talk! We got to go through the turnstiles where the people for breakfast ADRs were being let in and got ahead of all the people by the turnstiles. YAY!!

Annie-the CM, took us down the street and under the rope for Rope Drop. It was completely deserted besides us, Annie, and 2 other CM. It was so neat!
The empty street to the turnstiles

Us with CM Annie

Just us and the hat

NO ONE in front of the hat!

The tip board-where Annie works....all by itself.


Then the crowds came in. They had a 'diva' (who of course I can't remember her name) drive in on what was told to us as Walt's old car. Not sure if it's true, but if it is-THAT"S SO COOL!!!!



Then we got in the back of the car and introduced ourselves.



Although we're both from Pennsylvania, they liked the fact that we were currently living in Okinawa so that's where we said we were from. After they asked the other people if anyone else was from Oki and no one said anything, we thought maybe PA would have been more represented.

Then the director and his assistant came out.

The director:


The director/assistant and their old-fashioned truck



All the CM in character were so funny! The director and assistant kept bantering with the crowd-including teasing this one guy who had the calf length socks and the backpack and everything going on. Turns out, this guy and his family were at our resort and we talked to them the next day! I was cracking up.

Then we had to practice our 'skit'. The assistant stood over to the side with our 'cue card'. It was a pretty easy line, but you know-just in case


The plan was this-the 'audience' would say "Lights, Camera Action" and we would yell "Hollywood Here We Come!" and then get driven off to our choice of ride-we chose RnRC because neither of us had ever been on it Plus (and this was the BEST part of opening the park-ok one of the best because the whole thing was just incredible!!) we got Fastpasses!!! We got a pair for just TSM that could be used at any time, and 2 more that could be used for anything but shows and TSM. Annie suggested to go get another FP for TSM so we could ride it at least 2 times!

So they said, we said and then we drove down to RnRC! Way ahead of the crowds.



It was so cool! Annie took us up the ramp and we got to see the pre-show by ourselves and then we rode-in the front-RnRC all by ourselves! No one else was on it at all. I have to take a picture of our picture to post. That was sweet too-they gave us the picture at no cost! Then they asked if we wanted to ride again and we said sure! This time there were people, but we got to ride in the back. Totally different experience.

Annie was really great. She gave us a ton of info about the park, was super nice to us and took all those pictures that I just posted. I wish we could have had some photopass pictures, but that's ok. These were just as cool. At this point it was only like 915 and we had ridden the coaster twice and had met an incredibly awesome CM.

I'll continue this later. Expect more pics, and some inside information on the American Idol Experience!!
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Old 07-27-2009, 10:54 AM   #47
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What a fabulous "only in Disney" experience! I know those memories will last forever for you both!
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Old 07-27-2009, 11:03 AM   #48
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How super wonderful that you guys opened Hollywood Studios for the day! The lady in the bright blue outfit was the same one that chose our son to be in a skit year before last. She's a hoot!
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Old 07-31-2009, 12:51 PM   #49
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I am SO sorry that I haven't updated in awhile. I've been spending time with family the last few days, and haven't been online much. I left my parents' house to go to San Francisco, and then I'll be heading back to Okinawa. Once I get there I'll have a lot more free time! I'll have more report and more pictures then.

I just haven't been in the mood to really write-I really miss my family and leaving was really hard. But I will be back soon! Thank you for reading, and see you in a few days
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Old 08-03-2009, 11:15 AM   #50
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For some reason I thought that Akershus had character dining only for breakfast and lunch? Learned something new! lol!

And wow! That's so cool that you got to be the family of the day at DHS! I bet it was really nice, especially all those extra perks they gave you! Gotta love Disney! How did you like RnRc? I've never been on it, and I'm nervous... do you recommend the front or the back? I'm assuming sitting towards the front would be better....

Hope you had a safe trip home
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Old 08-03-2009, 02:00 PM   #51
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How cool is that to help open Hollywood Studios.
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Old 08-23-2009, 08:43 AM   #52
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PalmettoPrincess View Post
For some reason I thought that Akershus had character dining only for breakfast and lunch? Learned something new! lol!

And wow! That's so cool that you got to be the family of the day at DHS! I bet it was really nice, especially all those extra perks they gave you! Gotta love Disney! How did you like RnRc? I've never been on it, and I'm nervous... do you recommend the front or the back? I'm assuming sitting towards the front would be better....

Hope you had a safe trip home
Yes! Akershus has characters all day long. I know some people have mentioned picky-ness about the food but I am a VERY picky eater, and I found a lot on the buffet to enjoy, and the pork chop was yuuuuuummy!!

I LOVED RnRC. I'm a total coaster freak though-Cedar Point (the #1 roller coaster park) is a few hours from my house back home and I went there every year from 1992-2007. Still bummed I didn't get to when I was home this summer. It's not a terribly scary coaster at all to me. It's in the dark, so you can't see where you are going, but in the front you get a better view of all the fun signs and glow-in-the-dark stuff. Yes it goes upside down, but that is so quick you barely notice it!!

I did have a safe trip-LONG-home so thank you!

Quote:
Originally Posted by dd50 View Post
How cool is that to help open Hollywood Studios.
It really was the absolute best part of the week!


I'm back completely now!! I haven't spent much time online at all since I've been back to Okinawa. Too much has been going on, and my friends are all occupying my time. Now that I have a bit of time, I am going to at least finish my day at HS while I'm on here!!!

Thank you all again for reading.....here we goooooooooooooo!
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Old 08-23-2009, 09:22 AM   #53
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Hollywood Studios-part deux ;)

So! After we got to ride RnRC (twice!) we headed off into the sunset-well Sunset Blvd. anyway-to head over to TSM. We got more FP-the line for the ride was already 60 minutes long at this point, and there was still a line for the fastpasses. I am still chalking everything up to complete LUCK! We then hopped into the FP line for TSM.

Ok, I don't know how people think this ride is overrated. It was just so much fun! I don't love video games, and I stink at carnival rides, but we had a blast! DH kicked my butt, but that's ok-I kicked his at Buzz We couldn't stop laughing because we would just shoot randomly to get points. Oh well....good times!

We wandered over to the tip board to say thank you again to Annie and to let her know how much we appreciated her picking us. She and DH bugged me again to try out for the American Idol experience. It took them a minute, but I agreed. Here's the thing: I am a trained singer. But I'm trained in Opera/Broadway, not pop/country or anything like that. The chances of making it on AI or the AIE aren't good-I don't really have a pop sounding voice. I can sing my heart out in choir or on a stage in a musical or whatever, but it's not the style I do. I know that, and I know that's what they would say, but I went.......and here's what happened.

We went to the back of the AI stage, where there was a lady taking names and giving instructions. There wasn't anyone out there, so we went right in. I saw a little video with Ryan Seacrest and then went in for the first audition. The audition room is a little room with a desk and someone behind it. She asked me what I would sing (I sang "Gypsies, Tramps and Thieves" by Chere if you want to know) and she looked happy with that. But then she asked me if I knew anything from the book. I sort of did, sort of didn't, and my stage fright kicked in and any song I had the chance of knowing? HA. It was gone. She tried me with a few songs, but guess what? 'You're a trained singer and I can tell. You're vibrato is showing through. You have a beautiful voice (well that made me feel good) but it's not the style they're going to want.' SEE DH I TOLD YOU.

She made me promise that I'd do something like 'Fame' or "I will survive' and she'd send me through-heck ya I will if you're going to send me!! So I passed the first audition!! While I was in there I saw 1 guy turned away and 2 other girls turned away. The 2nd girl was in tears and so embarrassed that she came out of the room and ran out of the building. Her dad had no idea where she went.

They sit you in a room with some ipods and chairs where you can practice. As you're sitting there, there is a screen that tells you which songs had already been picked. Well no one had 'I will Survive' yet so I went with that. Let me tell you-there are some seriously talented singers that are in there that don't make it. I heard this girl practicing-GORGEOUS voice, but left the room without a pass. That scared me some more of course.

Well when my turn came, I went in there with a big smile and about to throw up all over the floor. I have been performing on stages since I was 7. 22 years later I still get massive stage fright. Cool. I sing my song-messed up a little, but I'm also my own worse critic. I sing it again-mess up in the same FRIGGEN spot. He asks me to sing my 2nd choice. Nope-there's my vibrato (and he tells me the same thing-great voice, too much vibrato. I need to BELT) Great. Belting. Whoo. Back to "I will Survive" but like I'm on stage. This time?? NO mistakes and I think I did ok Still, I'm being haunted by my vibrato. And there's the kicker. I am not a pop singer (duh). They can tell I'm a trained Opera singer (double duh) . Blah blah BUT.....we'd like you to be an alternate in a later show.

So apparently sometimes people audition and don't show up for the actual show. They have alternates to make sure the show goes on. I'll take it. Honestly-I didn't expect to get that even. I know my limits. I know I can sing, but I don't have the style. I'm ok with that. But HECK YEAH I'll be an alternate (plus, if you don't get to be in the show, you still get fast passes for your group-I mean really....win win here people).

We end up having a good rest of the morning and into the afternoon (I showed Annie my stuff from the AI-I'll have to take pics and update this post) We had a decent lunch at Catalina Eddie's ( I think) Obviously not remarkable......

Then back to AI for the show. One person is there-WHEE!!! I might make it. Another girl shows up....and then another. So no show for me, but they do take me in with them and I get to hear how things work. Each person has roughly 10 minutes in hair/makeup, 10 minutes for a break and 10 minutes for choreography/practice. Since I won't be actually performing, I get my fastpasses, wish everyone well and also find out I can watch the show in the VIP section if I want. I'm not going to lie-I couldn't watch the show. I got my hopes up, and well that's what happens. So no show for me.

Well that's my AI experience! More on DHS and our dinner at the Garden Grill tomorrow!!
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Old 08-24-2009, 10:18 AM   #54
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At least the people who were auditioning knew you were a trained singer and had mucho talent. Too bad somebody didn't show up so you could have taken the stage. Oh well, you got Fastpasses! WooHoo!
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Old 09-03-2009, 03:57 AM   #55
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Off to Epcot-and the Garden Grill

We took in as much as we possibly could by the end of our day at HS. We ended up riding: TSM-3 times!! (and the longest wait for us was 15 minutes-even the FP line takes a bit) RnRC-3 times (1 FP and 2 times at the opening yay!) ToT-1 time (we've both ridden it SO many times) Star Tours, Muppet Vision 3D, audition for AI, and of course The Great Movie Ride (I LOVE that ride!)

We got lucky. There is NO way we would have been able to do that without opening the park! We were definitely smiled on that day!!

We left HS around 4ish and went to EPCOT for our ADR at the Garden Grill. I had heard so many conflicting stories about the food for the GG that I wasn't sure WHAT to expect! We were seated fairly quickly, and were wished a happy anniversary. If you haven't heard about the GG, it's pretty neat. The restaurant is round, and it rotates. It takes about an hour to go the whole way around, and you get to see different scenes, including part of the Living with the Land ride. Totally great!

I am going to have to rate different parts of this meal. It was nothing like any other dinner we had-characters included!

Service (C): The service at the GG is SLOW. It took awhile for us to get our drinks, although the server was bustling around. He did keep them full though-that we never waited for. We ordered another plate when we were about half done with the first plate and we were done eating when it came out. HOWEVER, the server was VERY pleasant and was doing his best-I even noticed with the table next to us-and he was very acommodating. I LOVE mac and cheese and it's only on the kids' menu there-I got that as well as the kids' dessert (dirt btw).

Food (B+): The turkey was delicious, the catfish was AMAZING and the flank steak had a very yummy marinade. I didn't like most of the veggies-too mushy for my taste-and the cranberry sauce got on everything.



The mac and cheese that I got from the kids' menu was just ok as well. The salad though was very good, and I would have made a meal out of that and the flank steak! DH LOVED the berry cobbler, but it is definitely made to be shared by at least 4 people. I'm not a fan of the berries they had so I asked for dirt (chocolate pudding, crushed oreos, etc) simple but yummy. They really should make a smaller cobbler for smaller parties, but whatever.



Characters (B): If I could base this on just 3 of the 4 characters I would. The interaction was so much fun! Mickey, Pluto and Chip were hysterical! They were just too fun and loved my autograph book!! My one complaint-Dale. I have NO idea why, but he never showed up to our table. We only saw him go by once and it was on the top tier. We saw the other 3 twice each! I was so bummed-my autograph book is so incomplete now. I have Chip, but not Dale....BOOOOOO. How that works....I have no idea.




Atmosphere (A+): The restaurant itself ROCKS! It's so much fun to see the boat go by for Living with the Land! And the rotation is easy so no one would get bothered with motion sickness.

After the Garden Grill we hung around EPCOT until we got to see the rest of Illuminations. We went to Japan to see if we could find someone from Okinawa, and we ended up finding someone who is actually from Naha-about 15 minutes from where we live!! It was so cool

Then we got to see Illuminations in it's entirety




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No trips planned for now....just the odd day at the parks whenever I want
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The Attack of the Lime green Mickey Heads

Last edited by mmtska; 09-10-2009 at 07:58 AM. Reason: Adding pictures
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Old 09-03-2009, 12:20 PM   #56
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hey, I'm from south of Pittsburgh! Loving the report. (I leave for OKW at the end of the month).
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Old 09-03-2009, 02:58 PM   #57
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to make the anniversary words on the plate, i'm pretty sure they put a stencil down and dust cocoa powder over it and lift it off.
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Old 09-03-2009, 11:17 PM   #58
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jeanieblue114 View Post
hey, I'm from south of Pittsburgh! Loving the report. (I leave for OKW at the end of the month).
YAY for western PA LOL!! Thanks I've been uber busy the past month, and I feel like I started all gangbusters and now I have NO time!! I'm at school now, but I don't have pictures to post, and when I get online at home, it's for MAYBE 10 minutes at night....BOO!

Have a MAGICALLY happy time at OKW!
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Old 09-05-2009, 07:12 PM   #59
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THANKS!

I'll keep a look out for updates when you have a chance.

Let's have a PA race.
I will get back from my Trip Oct. 5.

Wanna see if I can finish my trip report before you can??

heheheeheh...j/k
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Old 09-29-2009, 06:30 AM   #60
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Our last full day :(

I never realized how much goes in to a TR!!

Well our last day was pretty uneventful. We showed up at Epcot at RD and BOOKED it to Soarin'. It was the only thing we hadn't really ridden and we couldn't wait to try it. I have to say-simple ride, but TONS of fun. I loved getting to see 'Cali' from the 'air'!! I got to show my DH all the cool stuff I got to see when I went to San Fran, and seeing southern Cali was awesome! I have to say it's such a cool idea, but NOT a thrill ride for people who think it is. I think anyone could manage it, and would love it!

We then headed over to Innoventions and played a bunch of different things, and signed up for the Kim Possible game. We played some recycle game-that was actually a lot of fun! We wandered around until it was about 11, and then started making our way to the WS. Of course at that exact moment the skies opened and it POURED. I can stand rain unless it's pouring into my eyes, so I was really happy that I had a hat! However this was a little TOO much so I broke down and bought a poncho. Phooey.

After the rain stopped-well slightly anyway-we walked into WS and got our Kimmunicator. We did 3 countries and had a BLAST. We started with China, then went to Germany (Dh had so much fun there...his G-ma is from Germany and he had a conversation with one of the guys working there) Of course we had to get a beer-DH, and a pretzel-both of us, and some sort of liquored up lemonade-YUM. We then went over to France and did a mission there.

After that, we decided that we had been in Epcot for 3 days and were tired of it. So the plan was-eat at Pepper Market, take a break and head to the pool for a bit, and then some mini golf. What actually happened was this: Pepper Market, took a break and DH passed out. I kept trying to wake him up but to no avail. So I took advantage of the Disney Channel!

We then hit up Downtown Disney for some Earl of Sandwich. SO good!! I highly recommend EoS for ANYONE heading to DTD. I even told my dad to try it out when he went to a convention. He loved it!! There was a pretty long line, but they're used to that so we got through in maybe 10 minutes. We found a table outside-inside was WAY too packed for me.

I got the Original and the broccoli-cheese soup.


I have no idea where the pic of the soup is.

DH got the tomato soup and a club



We tried to get a good picture in front of the Christmas store for our Christmas card this year, but it was a no go Someone took 2 pics, but neither of them look very good. We checked out some more of the shops in DTD and then headed to MK for Wishes.

I don't remember any fireworks shows at any of the parks, but who knows what that means...We never stayed late when I went with band so....eh. The were absolutely cool though!! Here are a few pics from the show:





That night was EMH at night so we got to ride some of the rides/do shows that we hadn't got to. We even rode Dumbo. I didn't think that we'd be able to, but there was only a 10 minute wait so we hopped in line. I hadn't done that since I was 7 and DH hadn't ever ridden Dumbo-lame yes, but why not!

We then got to see Goofy and then Donald. OMG Donald was HYSTERICAL!! He didn't like the fact that he wasn't number 1 in my book so he made me switch the pages so he would be. He then signed it and wrote #1 in the book. Then of course he threw up a finger to SHOW that he was #1 for our pic.




Then with my book half full, our bodies completely exhausted, we headed back to the CSR for our last time on a Disney bus
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The Attack of the Lime green Mickey Heads
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