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Old 06-03-2013, 08:41 AM   #1
ILGoofy
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SOLO NO MORE September PTR - Me, Agent P and a guy named Nick UPDATED 9/3

Welcome all to my very first PTR! And a solo one at that. Three months out seemed like a good time to start, so here we go.

My name is Melissa and Iíve been going to Disney World since I was little. I live in suburban Chicago with my half toy fox terrier, half miniature schnauzer/cocker spaniel/mountain dog/Dalmatian/beagle/yorkie mix. I am not making that up; itís what the DNA test told me. And I thought he was a lab mix. Who knew? This guy:



I work full-time and go to school for conservation biology. I did two study abroads in untouched rainforest in Costa Rica, where I experienced less rain than I have on my Florida trips. Iím an old soul and have very little interest in anything people like nowadays. The Pandora big band station is my friend. History, especially WWII, is my reading genre of choice. Iím a good person to have on your trivia team.

I am looking for anything to speed up the time between now and September 4th. I listen to Mouse World Radio every morning on the drive to work. I bought a Cricut just so I could cut out Disney shapes. No, seriously. I did. I have done nothing with the Cricut but Disney stuff. Weíre talking Mousekeeping envelopes, door decorations, window decorations, and to fully embrace my inner child I made myself a custom autograph book. Yep. Anything to pass the timeÖ

A little more backgroundÖ
My family always went on vacation the last two weeks in July and most of the time it was to the World. See hereís the thing about July in Florida. Itís like, the worst possible thing you can subject yourself to. Iím pretty sure the Geneva Convention touches on it. So what always happened? I got dehydrated and sick. Every time.

For example, here I am somewhere in Innoventions, I think:



Iím pretty sure they have those same benches, just reupholstered in blue. The red and yellow thing Iím clutching is a Figment puppet. Yep, still have it. Yep, still make it talk. Awesome cat shoes, btw.

And here I am later that day at the Coral Reef:



I threw up on my plate at the Coral Reef. Not my proudest moment. But a theme! I donít remember many details about my childhood trips to Disney World, but I can totally remember all the places I threw up. Fort Wilderness, Iím looking at you. All over you.

After a long drought, I wanted to go again in 2011, but nobody could go. Fine, solo it is! I ran around like crazy, doing everything, because I didnít think Iíd be back. It was a non-stop no-rest trip.

For 2012, two friends went with me. We ran around like crazy, doing everything, because we didnít think weíd be back. It was a non-stop no-rest trip.

2013! My friends wanted to wait until Fantasyland was totally done before they went again, so Iím making it a solo trip again. This thing has been booked since like two weeks after I came back in 2011. And I swear, this time I will not run around like crazy. I KNOW Iíll be back. In fact, Iím buying an annual pass this trip, because Iím going back over NYE. And an annual pass really means you can go for ďfreeĒ, logically, so hello multiple 2014 trips.

So here is my Disney dossierÖ
Favorite Character: Goofy
Favorite Princess: Cinderella
Favorite Movie: Adventures of Ichabod & Mr. Toad. You totally werenít expecting that, were you? I love Mr. Toad. Darn you, Winnie the Pooh! You evicted my Toad!
Favorite Attractions: MK-Haunted Mansion; E-Journey Into Imagination (really); HS-TOT; AK-Flights of Wonder (what can I say, Iím a birder)

Trip details:
September 4-14
All Star Movies with free dining
2 MNSSHPs
5 character meals

In my next update, Iíll talk about my day one plans and the crippling fear that characters cause me. Yes, it says ď5 character mealsĒ up there and ďcrippling fearĒ down here. Interesting.
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Old 06-03-2013, 12:14 PM   #2
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Sounds like it going to be a great trip :D my next trip is this week and we also got the free dining which was GREAT. And this is a great PTR, I just tried out my first one yesterday, as we leave for wdw on Thursday :D
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Old 06-03-2013, 08:44 PM   #3
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We'll see you there! My sis and I are attending the same time frame as you are! Hope to catch up with you at the MNSSHP!!

~Celtic~
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Old 06-04-2013, 09:18 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by DuffyLover View Post
Sounds like it going to be a great trip :D my next trip is this week and we also got the free dining which was GREAT. And this is a great PTR, I just tried out my first one yesterday, as we leave for wdw on Thursday :D

Fingers crossed. I've been lucky with weather the past two years (hurricane season) and I hope my luck holds. Even though I don't eat a lot, I love free dining! I'll head over to your PTR next.

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We'll see you there! My sis and I are attending the same time frame as you are! Hope to catch up with you at the MNSSHP!!

~Celtic~

I am always up for meeting people at MNSSHP. Then I don't feel so weird for prancing around in a costume alone. Not that I really prance... My costumes are already arranged, but I won't tell until I get to those days in my report. But if you look hard, I already spilled the beans somewhere else.
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Old 06-04-2013, 09:32 AM   #5
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First off, I present to you definitive proof that I have experienced Disney World in the upright position. Here I am last year meeting Phineas:



Iím not sure why one leg looks way bigger than the other. Thatís a little weird. I assure you I have mostly symmetrical legs. I wore that ďHey, whereís Perry?Ē shirt at Epcot last year and I was a little disappointed the Agent P game guy didnít notice. I wore it for you guys!

In our last episode, I was introducing all the characters, which was easy, because this show stars me, with all supporting roles taken by me. I promised to discuss the plan for my first day, which is exactly three months from today. Everybody jump up and down! Done? Okay. You looked weird doing that. But I donít judge.

I still do not have airfare, which is driving me nuts. Iím one of those people who will buy airfare the second they plan a trip. The flights I want are stuck at $331 (I wonít even mention the cost of airfare for NYE), which may be a good price for some people, but Iím used to paying right around $200ish. I want the 6:30 flight out of OíHare and the 11:30 out of MCO. Does that airport have a name? Does it matter? Itís MCO. Anyway, technically I could take the earlier flight home, but I really donít want to be catching a 3:30 Magical Express. Nothing is magical at 3:30am. Normally I take the evening flight home, but Iíve run into a problem this year.

My parents are going to Orlando the day I come home from Orlando, which means my dog, who theyíre watching while Iím gone, will be in limbo at their house while weíre all flying around. I need to get an early flight so that heís not alone for too long in case of delays. My parents are driving my car to the airport and Iíll pick it up. At least thatís the plan. Iím waiting for them to buy their airfare so I can plan around them. Iím hoping they end up buying an afternoon flight and then I have more time in Disney. No, ten full days is not enough. Iím greedy. I want moreeee.

But letís pretend I have my airfare. My flight leaves OíHare at 6:30 and Iím scheduled to arrive at 10:25. This wonít happen. It never does. Sometime before the trip, American will change the flight to a later time. In 2011 it was changed to 7:10 and in 2012 to 7:55. But I can still hope it stays at 6:30. This would put my arrival to All Star Movies at somewhere around noon. Iíve never done online check-in, but Iíll be doing it for this trip. I already made my room request with somebody named Heart. That is SO not your real name, Heart.

My first stop will be the food court where Iíll pick up my mug and eat chicken nuggets/fingers/bites, whatever they call them. Chicken pieces. See hereís the thing. I donít like to eat. Is that weird? I eat to fuel myself. Thatís the only reason. Thereís no eating disorder here, I just donít like flavor. I never take pictures of my food because itís the same food all the time. I can tell you right now that my meals on this trip will consist of chicken nuggets, pulled pork sandwiches, and fish. Itís probably easier to feed a toddler. But that also means my meals are in and out in no time at all.

After my toddler meal, Iíll hopefully drop off my stuff in the room. Otherwise itíll go to luggage services and then Iíll head to the buses. Hereís my little secret: when I request a room, I ask for the Mighty Ducks building 3 facing Melody Lane. This puts me right by the street that divides All Star Movies and Music. Musicís food court and buses become MY food court and buses. Itís a two minute walk, whereas itíd be ten minutes to Moviesí. Shh. Donít tell.

On my 2011 trip, I had planned on going to the Magic Kingdom first but I had enough time that I said whichever bus comes first, Iím on it. Epcot it was. Since then, itís sort of become a tradition to go to Epcot first. I really donít know why. Maybe itís because by the time I get there in the afternoon, everyone is over in World Showcase and the park is mine, all mine. But my first stop is always Epcot now.

Once there, I have to stop first to pick up my handy dandy PhotoPass+ card. I already preordered it, just in case the price went up like the ticket prices. Thereís just one flaw in my plan. Iím not a big fan of having my picture taken. I get self-conscious. I went to Europe with my parents last summer but you wouldnít know it. Iím not in any of the pictures. My logic was that Iím paying $149 for this thing, you darn well better stop and let them take your picture.

Now youíre probably thinking my first stop will be Test Track, Soariní, or Mission: Space. Nope, hate those. The wind on the outdoor part of Test Track killed my eyes (allergies), Soariní makes me queasy, and Mission: Space is just not all that interesting if you donít want to do the spinning version, which I really donít. Iíll just get my picture taken in front of Spaceship Earth, go hang with Figment for a couple rides, and then go meet characters.

Characters?! *shivers*

Meeting characters sounded like a great idea in 2011. I could make up for all those times when I was little when I was too scared to meet them. I arrived at Epcot, saw Stitch, went up and got my picture taken, everything was great. Turns out all the other characters are bigger than Stitch. Yeah, sure, Iím 5-8, but Goofy is like 8-5. Terrifying. Chef Mickeyís was the worst experience of my life. The characters walked up to me with murder in their eyes and it was all over. You guys stay on that side of the table, please. I hang my head in shame.

Last year was better because I had friends with me. But it didnít stop me from OMGing in a panic when Chip or Dale (the memory is a blur, I was traumatized) snuck up on me at Garden Grill. I will redeem myself. I made an awesome autograph book and I really need signatures or my time was wasted.

Character meets are slightly easier when youíre the one doing the approaching. Iíll hit up the Visa meet areaóhello Visa AND debit cardóand maybe the Character Spot. If thereís time, Iíll try to get the UK and France characters. Or Duffy. Duffy is harmless, right? He just wants to cuddle. Cuddle the life out of me. Oh jeez. Freaking characters.

I am not, under any circumstances, allowed to play the Agent P game on this first day. Iíve scheduled myself plenty of other Agent P time. (I may have an addiction. I know itís a childrenís game. But itís fun if you watch the show, and I do.)

My first evening, I have a 7:45 reservation at Garden Grill. I like the setup of that restaurant because youíre not really on display to the rest of diners like you are at Chef Mickeyís. To a solo diner, thatís important. I thought this was a good first character meal because I know what to expect. Interacting with Chip, Dale, and Pluto is easy. Iíll just put on a brave face when Mickey comes around. (Heís famous!)

Which reminds meÖ Pomegranate lemonade. Why would you put pomegranate in my perfectly good lemonade? The food court and Garden Grill only had pomegranate, which did not bode well for the rest of my trip last year. I donít drink soda.

Back to my story. After Garden Grill, Iíll get my picture taken in front of Spaceship Earth again, since it will be night, upgrade to my ANNUAL PASS!, and Iíll head home. Wait, you say, Illuminations, you say. No. I donít understand the fascination with Illuminations. I get bored really, really fast during Illuminations. The only reason I watched it on my last trip was so my friends could see. This year, Iím skipping it entirely. While you guys are watching Illuminations, Iíll be doing whatever it is that people do when theyíre not watching Illuminations. I should look into that.

Next volume, more Epcot in day two. I canít help what Touring Plans and Josh recommend. I'll try to get more pictures in the report. Iíll also be venturing to another park in the evening and another character meal. Ooh, which characters will traumatize me this time?

Currently reading: Double Cross: the True Story of the D-Day Spies by Ben MacIntyre
(I decided to throw this into my PTR because I read fast and Iím always looking for book recommendations.)
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Old 06-05-2013, 01:16 PM   #6
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the leg line made me laugh. It is just the way you are standing, you look perfectly symmetrical. Joining in.
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Old 06-05-2013, 02:18 PM   #7
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What a great start to your PTR! I love it. I will follow along, Dh &I Will be there for some of your trip, maybe we will run into you somewhere along the way!
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September Family Trip 2012 PTR Leaving the kids at home and doing WDW Sept 2013 PTR
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Old 06-06-2013, 07:30 PM   #8
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Hello there!

I just stumbled upon your PTR! I remember discussing your character fears in the past. I'm glad to hear that you're looking to overcome them this time! And 5 character meals! You're going at it full force!

The second half of your trip overlaps with the beginning of ours so maybe we'll run into each other! I logically deduced that we will not be at the same MNSSHP (because we're going on the 17th and you are leaving on the 14th....I know I'm highly intelligent for putting that together) but it would've been awesome if we were!
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Trip Reports In Progress:

Ooo I'm really scaredd! A Sept 13 TR!
Excuse me, your child can NOT go on stage with Mickey: a January 2013 TR!

Completed: We both got real jobs, now we can go to Disney: Sept 2013 PTR
July 2000: GKTW Village// January 2012 offiste// January 2013 Pop Century// September 2013 Pop Century

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Old 06-10-2013, 08:53 AM   #9
ILGoofy
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Quote:
Originally Posted by happybelle View Post
the leg line made me laugh. It is just the way you are standing, you look perfectly symmetrical. Joining in.

I checked in the mirror. I'm symmetrical.

Quote:
Originally Posted by monkey30 View Post
What a great start to your PTR! I love it. I will follow along, Dh &I Will be there for some of your trip, maybe we will run into you somewhere along the way!


Quote:
Originally Posted by lvcourtneyy View Post
Hello there!

I just stumbled upon your PTR! I remember discussing your character fears in the past. I'm glad to hear that you're looking to overcome them this time! And 5 character meals! You're going at it full force!

The second half of your trip overlaps with the beginning of ours so maybe we'll run into each other! I logically deduced that we will not be at the same MNSSHP (because we're going on the 17th and you are leaving on the 14th....I know I'm highly intelligent for putting that together) but it would've been awesome if we were!

What good would a college degree be if you couldn't do Disney math?
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Old 06-10-2013, 08:57 AM   #10
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Day Two!

Sorry about my slacking. Sometimes work expects me to do work things instead of looking at the Disboards all day. Jerks. Iím actually on my work computer now so I canít get to any of my pictures, so I apologize for the text heavy post.

Eighty-six days to go!

Disney news! I booked my airfare. It was $285, which isnít great, but I was worried it was going to be stuck at $331 forever. It was that darn return flight, which oddly enough, is booked now. But I did get the flight out of OíHare that I wanted, and, shocker!, they changed the time to 7:40am. Oh American, I know you so well. My return flight is 11:55am-1:45pm, which means my dog will be alone for less than he is on a work day. Good. Now I avoid looking at airfare prices just in case it goes down and I make myself mad. NYE browsing only.

My plan for day two is Epcot again in the morning. Iíll be all stealth and take the Music bus. Yeah, itís not really a secret. I donít know that Iíve ever done a rope drop at Epcot. Is there a show or anything? Iíll have a show in my head if not.

The good thing about going for ten days is that I donít need to rush around. If I donít get on an ride/attraction, I have a lot more days to go back. Except for Animal Kingdom. Sorry Animal Kingdom. As much as I enjoy nature and animals, I can only do a day at this park. Itís just so hot. I enjoy Expedition Everest as much as the next person, but I canít keep going back to it.

Epcot. Iím sure Iíll be wandering around looking for the annual pass line, since this will be the first time Iíll use it. I think I may do the Character Spot first while everyone else is rushing to Soariní, Test Track, and Mission: Space. At eleven, Iím heading straight for Belle and then Iíll probably wander around and play the Agent P game. If youíve never played the game, you should. Itís really cute and itís only a half hour or so. I love the show, so I can appreciate the game more, but it really has some cool effects on your surroundings. If youíre drinking around the world, do both at the same time. The game will pace your drinking and itís much more fascinating if youíre drinking.

Speaking of drinking around the world, my friends and I did this last year. Well, two of us did. The third doesnít drink, so he went over to Hollywood Studios for the day. We started in the UK, took the Canada direction, and ended in the UK singing very loudly with the Rose & Crown Hat Lady. We then proceeded over to EMH at Hollywood Studios were we immediately jumped on ToT. Looking back, what were we thinking? We drank all day and then got on a ride that makes your stomach do all sorts of strange things? Eek. Apparently, there is all sorts of Disney magic, and we were fine. We did it over and over again, actually.

Back to the pointÖ I always say Iím going to try some kind of new food at Epcot, but I always end up at Sommerfest with a brat. I just love my brats. I took German in HS and I could totally order my meal in German. Itís super easy. I practice it in my head, and Iím totally ready, and then I get up to the register and all that comes out is, ďBratwurst, please.Ē I suck. Maybe this year is the year.

At about four, Iím going to hop on the monorail to Magic Kingdom and then switch to the resort monorail for the Grand Floridian. Iím headed to 1900 Park Fare for more character traumatizing. Iíve read so many funny stories about the Stepsisters that I want to see them in person. Hopefully theyíre not mean because I really might cry. I have the PhotoPass+ so weíll see what kind of picture I get there.

After Iím fully traumatized, Iím headed back on the monorail to the Magic Kingdom where Iíll finish my night with a little Main Street Electrical Parade and Wishes. MSEP was the parade when I was a kid so I love that itís back. My parents have the CD, so of course I made myself an MP3 copy. Hello Mr. Snail! Hello Ladybug!

I think Iíll have to kill some serious time in the Main Street shops or just sitting on a bench somewhere. Iím full of patience at Disney, but the only thing that bothers me is the bus lines back to the resorts at park closing. A psychologist could do a great study watching people in the lines. Everybody is tired and cranky and some little kid always throws up. (For the record, I never threw up in the bus lines. I did have an incident in the line at itís a small world thoughÖ)

Iím considering looking at Vinylmations. Iíve always thought they were silly, but Iím going to look closer at them on this trip. Maybe Iíll find one I like. Time killing seems like a good excuse for Vinylmations.
I promise my next update will be better. And since itís Animal Kingdom, Iíll probably go on bird tangents. Be warned.

Currently reading: finishing up The Plantagenets by Dan Jones
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Old 06-10-2013, 09:15 AM   #11
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In for your PTR.
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Old 06-12-2013, 07:41 AM   #12
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In for your PTR.
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Old 06-12-2013, 07:45 AM   #13
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Day Three!

Day Three
Friday, September 6

Iím going to try a bit of formatting now. Itís all practice for my eventual spiffy looking trip report. A big thank you to all my readers and lurkers, except the ones from Boston. Iím practicing my trash talking for the Stanley Cup Final. Is it working?

Flashback alert: does anybody remember Kitchen Kabaret? Was anybody else obsessed with Kitchen Kabaret? Does anyone else have Veggie Fruit Fruit on their iPod and do the ďcha cha chaĒ with them?

Onto Day Three! Every morning here at home, I have a glass of Carnation Instant Breakfast and a bowl of cereal for breakfast. When Iím in Disney, I usually just grab a piece of banana bread from the food court bakery, or, if thereís more time, I go all out and get the Bounty Platter. I may not like to eat, but I like breakfast food. I had planned on bringing Carnation with me, just so I have some extra hydration in me, but today that wonít be necessary, because I have an 8:10 ADR at Tusker House.

Because Iím paranoid, Iíll probably be on the first bus of the day and Iíll end up waiting at Animal Kingdom forever. But I donít care. Whenever they let me in, I plan on getting some PhotoPass pictures on my walk to the restaurant. Then Iíll get my free PhotoPass+ picture with Donald before I gorge myself on French toast until I rip a hole in my stomach.

Freshly exploded, Iíll try to make one of the first treks of the day on Kilimanjaro Safari, and maybe FastPass it for later, too.

I know you forgot whatís on the Safari, so letís take a look at some pictures.






How you doiní?







Story time! I took the Backstage Safari tour in 2011 and it was right after the baby elephant had been born. We walked up to the elephant enclosure and the baby came running up to us super excited. We were not allowed to take pictures, as we were backstage, so go Google baby elephant.

Iíd like to be in Camp Minnie-Mickey as soon as it opens to knock those characters out of the way.

Then Iíll head to the Pangani Forest Exploration Trail where this dude usually hangs out.




Checking out his manicure.


Backside of water? How about the backside of a gorilla?

Now letís talk about birds. You knew this was coming. My first field study in Costa Rica was Species Diversity of Birds in the Primary Versus Secondary Rainforest. Both of the trails have bird enclosures and yeah, I spend some time in there. Itís hard to take pictures of birds because of the whole hey, Iím going to fly away, thing.


This is an African Green Pigeon. Even pigeons are cooler in Africa.


Taveta Golden Weaver


African Jacana. I saw a lot of Northern Jacanas in Costa Rica. Look how huge their feet are.


A Great Blue Turaco that didnít want to look at me.


A cute little Blue-breasted Kingfisher. A lot of kingfishers have cool mohawks. This one, sadly, does not.

Thatíll do it for the birds on the Pangani trail.

But then we have these guys!







And onto the Maharajah Jungle Trek! I wonít post pictures of the bats, because apparently bats freak people out, but really, bats are awesome. If you want me to write a paper on the awesomeness of bats, I will do it.

But whatever. Hereís a tiger.





Youíre in luck. None of my pictures of the birds on the Maharajah trail turned out that well, so youíre safe. But I will mention that you should really see Flights of Wonder. They show you some really cool birds doing really cool things and itís a nice moment when they bring out the bald eagle. Go. I insist.

Iíll also be riding Expedition Everest, Dinosaur, and seeing the Festival of the Lion King, but youíve already heard a lot about those in other peoples TRs, so Iím not going into detail. I will, however, discuss the Nemo show. Why is it so long? I really feel they could have wrapped it up a lot faster. I got super bored. Doesnít a kid get bored? And doesnít Doryís voice get annoying after a while? I canít go back.

Oh, go eat at Flame Tree Barbecue. Walk all the way down as far as you can go in the seating area. Thereís a great view of Expedition Everest and I feel like people donít know there is seating down there.

That concludes my day at Animal Kingdom. Next stop, Animal Kingdom Lodge, where I will look around for a bit before hoping a bus to Downtown Disney.

Does anyone remember when Downtown Disney was the Village? Weíd go there every night, get a Mickey Mouse ice cream bar, and sit under the twinkling lights they had strung up in the trees. It was always quiet because I donít think many people realized it was an option. Now itís usually a madhouse. World of Disney is the scariest store on the planet. You could lose someone in there and never find them. Ever. Itís also scary because they take all my money. For reals. I was all, I donít need an oven mitt, but I bought an oven mitt, and now Iím all, I really need another oven mitt, because I have two hands. Iím not even THERE and theyíre planning ways to get my money. This year, I just might splurge and by something in the art store. I always wanted a Mr. Toad sketch from the artist they have sitting there but the only one Iíve ever found is Toad when he was in court with the wig. I want regular Toad.

Thereís not really much more I can say about Downtown Disney. Epcot has EMH this night, and depending how Iím feeling, I just may go. Any excuse to hang out in World Showcase. I really want to drink around the world, but Iím alone. So maybe I will just have a drink here and there around the world? That still counts, right? Iím very tempted to bring a tripod on this trip. I can never get a good nighttime picture because my I concentrate so hard on keeping my hands still that it makes them shake more and I end up with a blur of lights. EMH would be a good time to get some nighttime tripod shots. Hmm.

Day Four will beÖ Epcot again. Yeah, sorry. I really like Epcot. I threw in some Hollywood Studios, too. And Iím ADR free, so my plans can always change if Iím Epcot-ed out.

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Old 06-14-2013, 02:51 PM   #14
lvcourtneyy
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Yay for booking flights! And glad the times worked out so your doggy won't be spending too long alone!

I don't think there's a rope drop show at Epcot. Although when we were there in January, people were having so much trouble getting through the turnstile, it had some show elements in it.

I want to try to do Agent P in Epcot this time so I'm glad to hear you enjoy it!

You and I have the same philosophy. I'd rather be really early and wait then run late!

Your plans sound great so far! Now can it just be September?
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Old 06-17-2013, 08:41 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lvcourtneyy View Post
Now can it just be September?
I'd work on time travel, but I'm too busy planning Disney trips.
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