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Old 09-26-2010, 02:07 AM   #31
magichusky
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Cool Part 6: HOOTIN' & HOLLERIN'

PART 6: HOOTIN' & HOLLERIN'

Hello again, friends! I probably shouldn't be tinkering w/ this right now b/c I have this paper that should've been done like yesterday but oh well. It's far too early in the evening to work on anything scientific. For some reason I can only sort of do physics in the darkest dark of the night. After meeting w/ my professor yesterday and chatting about photons, I went to the library and checked out Huck Finn. Now I need to pay a visit to Tom Sawyer island immediately!

So when we last left off, I was starting to turn blue with Blue Ribbon fever! Kendra was finally almost there but of course as soon as she announced her impending arrival I launched into a food crisis and couldn't find anything suitable to eat in CA Adv. We had decided we would meet just inside the main gate at the sun fountain so I was nervous about running back over to DL for food b/c I didn't want to make Kendra wait after she had been in such terrible traffic. I refused to pay $4 for an oreo in the CA Adv bakery so...



...I fled!! It was around 7:30 pm (both parks closed at 8pm) so practically everyone was leaving for those disgusting trams (except for the APs of course, who were all heading to CA Adv for the AP exclusive riding privileges from 8-8:45pm and the 9pm WOC). I nabbed this twilight photo of my beautiful train:



I desperately wanted to just climb up that hill and run down the other side toward Main St. via the train station when I encountered an absolute mob of tourists marching through the western tunnel on their way out of the park! I was actually unsure of whether or not I would be able to get through! Oh well- onward!! My back was literally up against the side of the tunnel and I inched on through sideways. I pretty much love how whenever people are enclosed in a mob, they cast off any sense of individual responsibility. They refuse to make eye contact w/ you and proceed to walk into you while never once trying to step aside so you can get by. All it would take would be 6 inches or so on their part but alas, it's too much for them. About 4 or so people full on elbowed me while tunneling. Seriously?

I finally made it! To the Blue Ribbon!!!



Before getting in line, I ran up to the display case to confirm that there were still macaroons available. Most of the time they're sold out by the early evening but since crowds were light today I was optimistic. Once I waited in line for a macaroon for almost 30 min and literally the guest standing in front of me purchased the last one! I was dumbfounded and very much annoyed! Anyway, they had half a tray left of the Matterhorn Macaroons (this is the white chocolate variety; they also offer a dark chocolate version but I didn't see any of those)!

About halfway through the line I became quite worried that the woman behind me was actively trying to cut me! It was quite ridiculous since she was at least 50 or so and certainly should know better. And I wasn't dilly dallying either! The queue in the BR is demarcated by a bronze railing and is fairly narrow. By the time I was the next guest to be called to a register, this woman and I were standing perfectly abreast in the queue! She was probably standing less than a foot away from me! Hahaha whoa! Thankfully she didn't try to beat me to the next available register and I purchased 2 macaroons without further incident!

I was depositing my change in my wallet and reorganizing bills (I am in awe of people who can make purchases and instantaneously get their wallet back in order and walk away) and Kendra calls! She has arrived at the sun fountain! I power walk out of the BR and back through the tunnel, which is much less unwieldy by this point, and make it to the sun within about 3-4 min!

I learn that Kit-cat's vet appointment went well, so we hurry off to Grizzly rapids to pick up our AP WOC passes before the park closed at 8pm. Thank goodness they still had some left but we were going to be in the RED viewing area. That doesn't sound good.

Why lookee that-a-way! The Redwood Challenge Trail! Neither of us had ever been inside and were both surprised to find that it was open, even w/ it being dark. Up ahead and to the right of the entrance we saw an interesting set-up. There was a row of about 5 or so zip lines running parallel to one another. Each line had a tire attached and 1 child per tire. Once they were all in position, the children grabbed their respective tires and raced eachother to the other end. Then they all jumped onto the tires and rode them all the way back to where they started. The little girl closest to us practically flew off of her tire after she reached the bottom of the incline and the tire hit the end of the zip line and recoiled. It all looked pretty darn exciting! Kendra and I inquired excitedly if we could join in but no: kiddos only. The CM apologized profusely but we were still forlorn! After being kicked out, we immediately spy a huge suspended bridge and we go about trying to figure out how to get there. Going up??



Kendra was wearing flip flops so practically took a face-plant as we ascended these sloping nets and went higher and higher towards the bridge. The spacing between the ropes and knots in the net was substantial and I was constantly checking to make sure that my feet didn't slip through them- and I'm a giant w/ correspondingly giant feet so I'd be afraid to see what would happen to a super small child w/ super small feet! The place was pretty deserted so we had the bridge all to ourselves and immediately stumbled onto it and bounced each other around.

Next we came upon the HOOT 'N' HOLLER LOGS!



We were pleased to discover that there was no maximum height for the logs! So we raced each other to the bottom! Kendra won. I was busy getting the hugest wedgie ever in the history of slides (guess that's what slowed me down, haha). Eventually I made it to the bottom and remembered why I hadn't been on a slide in over 10 yrs. Of course, we were both hootin' w/ laughter upon emerging from our logs:



I informed Kendra that I had recently discovered that a "spirit cave" existed somewhere along the challenge trail. We ran back up the stairs and asked the CM who was manning the logs where this supposed spirit cave was located. She told us it was in the very back of the trail by the exit. We were rather hyper by then so we scattered and skipped along the rear trails in extreme anticipation. We passed the Squirrel Scramble (another series of sloping nets). Not that way! Then we saw this:



Running into the cave:



On the far wall of the cave was a glowing pawprint. It was like glass over a raging fire, with flames of amber and red. Once you place your hand over it, the cave shakes w/ thunder and the amber flames shoot out from the pawprint and the rock cracks. Then your animal spirit reveals itself to you! Here's a list of the possible spirits and what each embodies:



Kendra was bubbling over w/ joy for this attraction and invoked the animal spirits over and over and over again:



I of course filmed the whole thing in HD. Check it out on YouTube to discover what Kendra's spirit animal was! (Or at least her first spirit animal, haha). I was indignant when I invoked the salmon. I wanted the wolf. But at least I wasn't the skunk!!

Kendra's Kenai Spirit Cave Experience in HD! (YouTube)

After we had invoked about 50 animal spirits, a little blonde boy appeared and shoved in front of us and started slapping his hand against the pawprint. Eventually a salmon appeared but he continued to slap. I was of course inching away and desperately fumbling for my hand sanitizer, but Kendra, the ever generous kiddo-lover that she is, tried to explain the situation to him. "You're a salmon!" Then, "You're an eagle!" But still the slapping. Kendra wanted to continue invoking spirits but I was practically crawling up the wall in a cloud of hand sanitizer so we evacuated!

By this time, it was 8pm and time for our exclusive riding privileges! We tumbled out of the challenge trail, positively gushing over the Kenai Spirit Cave, and... we're off!

TO BE CONTINUED...
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SoG, November 2011 / SoG, December 2011 / WL, May 2012 / SoG, July 4th 2013 (PTR: This Land is MY Land!)/
-In Progress- "I Don't Cruise… I Jingle Cruise." --A New Year's PTR--

Last edited by magichusky; 09-28-2010 at 12:15 AM.
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Old 10-03-2010, 04:50 AM   #32
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Cool Part 7: I TOOK THE DARE!

PART 7: I TOOK THE DARE!

I've been looking forward to this segment for the whole TR! It includes the "towering" half of this TR's title and describes most definitely one of the most wild towering adventures I've had in awhile!

When we last left off, Kendra and I were invoking our animal spirits in the Kenai Spirit Cave located along the Redwood Challenge Trail (my new fav place in CA Adv!). Kendra was mesmerized so invoked pretty much all of the possible animals 3 times over, but her first spirit was a bear so she is technically a grizzly! I only invoked twice b/c my germ-a-phobia was kicking in and I refused to touch the glowing pawprint after a tiny blonde boy came over and started slapping his hand against it. There are actually 2 glowing pawprints in the cave; 1 is closer to the ground for the kiddos and the second is higher up for all of the non-toddlers. When I saw that a toddler could easily reach the adult print anyway I whipped out the hand sanitizer and mostly wasn't interested in playing with the print any further! On my first go I, strangely enough, only got some thunder and lightning but no animal spirit! My second go (this was still pre-blonde boy) produced a salmon, so I guess I'm a fish?? According to the sign, that makes me "instinctive and strong-willed." Since "strong-willed" is usually just a euphemism for "stubborn" then that's actually highly accurate!

By the time we had had our fill of the Kenai Spirit Cave (well, I had had my fill but Kendra definitely could've stuck around for much longer!) it was a little after 8pm! We knew that from 8-8:45pm APs had exclusive riding privileges for the major non-Paradise Pier attractions in CA Adv (those were closed due to WOC) so we were super excited and curious as to how crowded this was going to be! Kendra, still on her Kenai Spirit Cave high, started flipping out for Soarin', so we busted out of the Challenge Trail and hurried around the corner to our destination.

As Soarin' came into view, I slowed and worried that it was closed! There was absolutely NO ONE in front of the building except for 2 CMs. We pressed onward and saw 3 other guests proceed through the turnstiles. When we arrived the CMs were turning away 2 families trying to get in w/out APs. Kendra and I flashed our APs and were allowed inside!



I must say that I have NEVER in my life seen Soarin' so deserted and tranquil! I actually didn't get annoyed once while in the queue, but that was probably b/c it literally took less than 5 min to walk inside the building, stroll through the entire queue, and take our places on the glider. We had the 2 left-most seats on the right-most glider in the 2nd row. I generally request the 1st row since I detest having numerous pairs of dirty feet dangling above me, but that night I didn't want the extra wait since I was planning on towering multiple times!

Unfortunately I was distracted the majority of the time by the dangling feet. It's obnoxious since not only are all of the said dirty feet different shapes and sizes and encased in a large variety of colorful and sometimes heinously ugly footwear, but they all dangle differently as well. Some people have a slow but steady dangle, others display a much faster pace of dangling, and still others don't dangle at all but twitch haphazardly. Even worse than heinous footwear is a bare foot. Since guests are instructed to remove flip flops and stow them under their seats, I have to stare at the undersides of all pairs of feet belonging to anyone who is (1) wearing flip flops and (2) seated in front of me. By far the majority of feet in the first row this night were bare, which allowed me to observe that at least 40% of them were quite flat footed. I deduced that these feet were probably all related- that family must have a particularly strong flat-foot gene!

Probably as no surprise to you, I didn't pay any attention at all to Soarin' this day, b/c I was much too preoccupied w/ judging feet. The only parts I really enjoy are when the horses gallop through a canyon in the desert and the jets streak by and racing over the surfers at sunset. I despise the segment in which you glide over a traffic jam on the 10 towards downtown LA under the stars and I actually don't really enjoy the final glide over a holiday-themed DL either. Back when I didn't have a car, I would have to rent a Zip-Car for the day and when the day was done, I would have to drive back, park the Zip-Car in its designated parking spot, and make a 20 min walk back to my apartment at around 1am. That walk was particularly uncomfortable in the winter when it was far too cold outside for such a late night stroll! So all in all, I probably detest those last 2 scenes on Soarin' b/c they remind me of my Zip-Car escapades!

After we were finished screaming over traffic jams and having fireworks explode violently in our faces, we cut off the flat footed family (well not really, they were taking forever putting their flip flops back on) and I was bouncing off the walls in anticipation of going towering!!!

CONTINUED IN NEXT POST...
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SoG, November 2011 / SoG, December 2011 / WL, May 2012 / SoG, July 4th 2013 (PTR: This Land is MY Land!)/
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Old 10-03-2010, 05:12 AM   #33
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Red face Part 7 continued...

...PART 7 CONTINUED

Once we buzzed through Bug's Land (Kendra told me that they actually have It's a Bug's Life! in here! The same 4-D show in AK at WDW! I never knew that! I still refuse to partake though. I'd probably flip out even more outrageously than some of the small children) the tower was suddenly looming over us in an electric purple haze. And umm, there was absolutely no one there either! The bellhops checked our APs and waved us in through the gates. We were immediately herded into the North Library (leading to the ground floor queue) w/ about 15 other people and then headed over to... Shaft 1!! I don't know if I've previously mentioned my love for Shaft 1 or not, but it's the superior shaft by far.

A bellhop directed us to the back row. I certainly didn't notice anything particularly unappealing about this certain bellhop but as we stood there and waited for our elevator to arrive Kendra launched into a huge diatribe about how much she disliked him! Apparently she thought that our bellhop was exceedingly boring, monotone, and entirely not dramaturgical enough for her! "He's sooo not into it," Kendra whined. "Kendra, the poor guy'll hear you!!" I hissed. I really don't have terribly high standards for bellhops these days; as long as they allow me to enjoy the elevator of my choice I think they're just delightful. However, when I request shaft 1 I require to be waved on in that direction no questions asked. Sometimes when my party and I request shaft 1 we are met w/ bug eyes and a: "Uuh, you'll have to stand in line a bit longer for that" to which we reply with: "That's okay, we'll wait." Then everyone, including the bellhop and nearby guests, give us the crazy look as we waltz triumphantly to our preferred corner.

I don't know if this guy overheard Kendra's disapproval earlier, but our bellhop sprang to life as he seated us in our elevator. After he hopped around and checked everyone's seatbelts, he began his speech. I must say, it was probably in my top 5 of bellhop speeches I've ever heard! (#1 was actually a tower-themed reenactment of that Old Spice commercial! You know the one: "Look over at your man, now back to me!" etc. Instead of superbowl tix at the end, our bellhop flashed magical fastpasses at us. I would've written him a glowing comment card at guest relations but unfortunately I couldn't catch his name since I was seated in the back, and when we returned from our ride he was gone! If you've never seen this commercial, you really have to check it out: Old Spice | The Man Your Man Could Smell Like)

We enjoyed a pretty docile crowd for a late-night ride (I have definitely noticed that my fellow tower-ers get significantly louder and more volatile at night compared to the afternoon crowd ). I was flipping out too much to think to glance over and see if I could catch a glimpse of WOC unfortunately. After our trip to the Twilight Zone, our bellhop reappeared and immediately presented us w/ an actual bottle of hand sanitizer, modeling it in such a way that would make the Price Is Right girls proud: "Can I interest anyone in a fine bottle of hand sanitizer?" Haha what an extremely random offering! Little did we know that that wasn't the end of his antics. Kendra and I disembarked our elevator and were absolutely horrified to discover this ghastly photo of ourselves in mid-flipout:



Kendra declared: "OMG! My hair is horizontal!!" I was surprised b/c usually I'm fully hunched over in hilarity by the time our photo is taken. However it is quite apparent in this pic that I was in mid-hunch so I guess I was a bit lethargic that evening (I was still hungry). To this day I have no explanation as to how practically everyone else besides me (haha and Kendra) can manage to pose oh so perfectly mere seconds before they plunge into free-fall. Even when I went on this ride w/ my mom last year (that was her first ever tower experience!) she had perfect posture and a perfect smile in the photo. I was, yes you guessed it, hunched over. Usually you can barely see me in these pics!

We were still discussing our unfortunate photo when we meandered into the gift shop and came upon a fabulous collection of Mad Hatter headpieces! Complete w/ frizzy red hair extensions! I insisted that Kendra pose w/ one of them. As we were getting set up a CM came over and outright demanded that I also wear a hat and he could take our photo together. I'm pretty sure he just wanted to use my tiny hot pink Powershot. In my experience, guys are abnormally attracted to hot pink objects. For example, they insist on using my hot pink women's softball bat for some reason. I'm convinced it's b/c they secretly require the lighter variety of bat since their science geek muscles can't handle anything more substantial.

Anyway, it took a few minutes for us to get into position b/c my hat was crooked and bent from sitting in a pile for so long (I of course took one from the bottom of the pile which had a higher probability of being cootie-free) and this crazy CM refused to take the photo until it was fixed. We never could get it quite right but it looks fabulous nonetheless. When I finally saw this pic I was horrified- that hair looks a little too similar to the state of my hair when I was in high school!! Ahh, memories. So here are Kendra and me doing our best Johnny Depp impersonations!



When we finally exited the gift shop we thought about going to line up for WOC (our WOC passes instructed us to return between 8:15-8:45pm). Who wants to line up for WOC when we could be in line for the tower?? Certainly not us. We ran over to the gate and the CMs just waved us through w/out making us bust out our APs again b/c of course they recognized our crazy selves. This time, there was absolutely NO ONE in the entire lobby except for us and 1 CM! Kendra was so excited that she did her best 1920s movie star impersonation:



By the time we got into the North Library there were maybe 5-10 other guests w/ us. We (I mean I) were ecstatic to be directed to shaft 1 once again! They managed to stuff all of the stragglers into one final elevator w/ no seats left. Our previous bellhop returned to arrange everyone properly into the elevator. I was of course whining b/c I had hoped we would catch a lull at just the right moment and wind up w/ a private elevator. Ridiculous and unrealistic, you say? I THINK NOT!!!

Mickey's Halloween Party- October 31, 2008 (pardon my strange facial expression but I had braces at this point and was very uncomfortable! Even worse, I couldn't eat any of the candy at the party!) Laura (aka VBsHustla here on the DIS) and me, courtesy of bellhop Andrew:



AND NO, IT WASNT JUST A ONE TIME THING:

November 22, 2008. We were aware prior to boarding that we would have the place all to ourselves (in contrast to Halloween, above) so we were able to strategize and choose our seats so as to produce the most aesthetically pleasing pic. Laura and me again, courtesy of bellhop Chad:



Yes, both of those amazing photos are real-life testaments to the saying: "The squeaky wheel gets the oil." (They were also both taken in shaft 1 of course) It never hurts to ask! Pretty much we just rode the tower over and over again until closing and we were the last ones! On Halloween it was more of a surprise, but in November I believe we noticed we were the last ones in line and specifically asked for our own elevator. Of course, after our Halloween adventure, we pretty much always expect/demand a private elevator. Haha sometimes it works out and sometimes it doesn't!

Anyway, Kendra and I were in row 2 and wound up being the last ones to board the elevator. Just as we were about to board, bellhop Shawn told us that we had to wait there and promptly closed the doors in our faces! By that time everyone else was pretty much seated and organized. Kendra and I just stood there, speechless. Our silence was permeated w/ incredulity and hilarity. We started hopefully snickering after I broke the silence and suggested that possibly bellhop Shawn was going to give us our own elevator.

After 20 sec or so, the doors reopened and bellhop Shawn reappeared and ushered us into the elevator. I was indignant that he had played such a pointless trick and said: "Well, I would much prefer to have a private elevator!" Bellhop Shawn most certainly recognized us from our ride just minutes prior b/c he began his speech by lamenting that he had tried to get rid of everyone from his previous elevator by abandoning them in the Twilight Zone however he was unsuccessful, as evidenced by the fact that Kendra and I were sitting in row 2. We had apparently escaped! But this time we would not be so lucky. I probably didn't laugh as much as I should have b/c I was still disappointed that we didn't get a private elevator!

As we got out of our elevator, bellhop Shawn motioned to me. "Pssst! I'm sorry about messing w/ you guys," and he produced two slips of paper, upside down. I slowly reached for them, partly feeling like I was involved in a drug transaction and partly crazy w/ curiosity as to what exactly this gift could be. Magical fastpasses? VIP WOC passes??? They turned out to be these things (modeled by Flounder):



Stickers! Haha I definitely didn't foresee that one! Kendra and I roared w/ laughter and thanked bellhop Shawn. As we exited through the giftshop, the Mad Hatter picture taking CM was standing w/ another CM bidding adieu to the final guests for the day. They noticed our stickers and were so excited! "WOW- good job you guys!!!" Kendra and I were by then highly amused- the TOT bellhops/CMs were particularly insane tonight! Usually the TOT bellhops are pretty amusing, but they certainly don't lavish us w/ gifts and tricks every day! Kendra and I were convinced that bellhop Shawn had heard our whining earlier and decided to redeem himself. Another possibility is that they were all amused by my Nemo hat. I have found that CMs become especially entertaining when you're wearing an over the top Disney headpiece.

We ran back over to the gate to see if we could get on again but by that time it was 8:50pm or so and the gate was closed and deserted! We reluctantly started off through Bug's Land toward our upcoming WOC spectacular!



TO BE CONTINUED...
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SoG, November 2011 / SoG, December 2011 / WL, May 2012 / SoG, July 4th 2013 (PTR: This Land is MY Land!)/
-In Progress- "I Don't Cruise… I Jingle Cruise." --A New Year's PTR--

Last edited by magichusky; 10-03-2010 at 05:33 AM.
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Old 10-04-2010, 05:05 AM   #34
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Wink Updates!

RANDOM UPDATES!

1) Is anyone as excited as I am about Beauty and the Beast being re-released today on DVD/Blueray? I've been waiting years and years!

2) I'm randomly taking an archery class that starts today. Just think- Barcelona 1992 Olympic games opening ceremony:

Barcelona 1992 Olympic flame

3) I'm popping by DL this Thursday, 10/7!! Planning on seeing the Aladdin musical before it closes (they keep threatening but have held off the Pixar invasion for now), riding Small World, and snacking on some seasonal pumpkin muffins.

4) 73 days until I see WDW for the first time ever!
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SoG, December 2010 ('Jungle All the Way!' A Very Christmasy TR / PTR) / SoG, April 2011 / SoG, September 2011 /
SoG, November 2011 / SoG, December 2011 / WL, May 2012 / SoG, July 4th 2013 (PTR: This Land is MY Land!)/
-In Progress- "I Don't Cruise… I Jingle Cruise." --A New Year's PTR--
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Old 10-05-2010, 02:24 PM   #35
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I must do that animal spirit thing! That looks awesome. I would have to wipe the area down with some disinfecting wipes before participating after hearing the tale of that child, but still, what a great attraction! I would insist on getting the moose. That definitely sounds like Kendra's ideal activity, glad she loved it!

Glad to hear you were able to track down some macaroons at such a late hour and that the person immediately in front of you didn't purchase the last of them after you waited in a giant line. What luck! Also pleased to hear UCLA won. I of course hadn't heard. That 8-clapping in the dining hall was truly absurd. I'm proud to say that I don't even know how to perform that ridiculous chant. I did love that time, though, since it meant crazy USC people didn't infest the area just to make fun of us. Like really, do we look like we actually care about such nonsense?!

I didn't realize this AP event was after the park closed! How excellent! What a treat to have a Soarin experience take under 3 hours and to encounter such crazy bellhops! How rude that they didn't reward you with a private elevator, but those stickers are a nice consolation prize. I haven't had such enthusiastic bellhops in ages. The Florida bellhops are highly inferior to their DL counterparts. In addition to our private elevator friends, I would have to say my favorite is that crazy guy who would run like a maniac during the boarding. Pretty impressive stuff.
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Old 10-06-2010, 03:33 AM   #36
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Cool

Quote:
Originally Posted by VBsHustla View Post
That 8-clapping in the dining hall was truly absurd. I'm proud to say that I don't even know how to perform that ridiculous chant. I did love that time, though, since it meant crazy USC people didn't infest the area just to make fun of us. Like really, do we look like we actually care about such nonsense?!
I don't know how to perform the chant either! I loved how at beginning of the year dorm meetings they would insist that everyone do the 8-clap for like 20 min. I felt embarrassed for them all b/c they were SO into it. And yes, I still recall that 30-something USC couple who visited Westwood after the USC-UCLA game expressly to taunt students. When they started laughing at us I had no idea what they were talking about since they weren't wearing any USC gear. That's so lame to get caught up in that stuff if you're like, not on the football team.

Quote:
Originally Posted by VBsHustla View Post
The Florida bellhops are highly inferior to their DL counterparts. In addition to our private elevator friends, I would have to say my favorite is that crazy guy who would run like a maniac during the boarding. Pretty impressive stuff.
How ridiculous about the WDW bellhops! I pretty much expect special treatment on the tower these days! And I forgot about that running guy! He motioned for us w/ just his arm visible to move into the elevator from the queue and when we walked into that corridor area like 2 seconds later he was somehow standing in the corner like 20 ft away! Hahahaha that was SO weird!!! That was definitely one of my most favorite bellhop tricks.
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SoG, November 2011 / SoG, December 2011 / WL, May 2012 / SoG, July 4th 2013 (PTR: This Land is MY Land!)/
-In Progress- "I Don't Cruise… I Jingle Cruise." --A New Year's PTR--
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Old 11-05-2010, 09:01 PM   #37
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Red face Part 8: I'm a hungry bear in a world of color

PART 8: I'm a hungry bear in a world of color

I'm back for Part 8! Sorry about the delay, but this paper I've been writing has been kicking my butt. Plus, I had to give a talk at a conference which resulted in me flipping out for a few days instead of DISing. And finally, I went to the Halloween Party at DL w/ Kendra, Suzanne, and Angie!!! I was Maleficent, Kendra was Belle, Suzanne was Snow White, and Angie was Alice. Planning on writing a new TR soon! Anyway, onward.

When we last left off, Kendra and I had run into a "sticky" situation with Bellhop Shawn at the tower. We certainly would've gone for a third run but the queue closed while we were enjoying our 2nd run. So, we decided we should most definitely power walk back through Bug's Land to line up for WOC (we were quite late at this point, hee-hee, b/c obviously towering multiple times is far more fun than being queued up in the dark). As a refresher, since you most certainly don't remember, we obtained our WOC passes so late that we got stuck in the RED viewing zone. Here's Flounder modeling my pass which I forgot to hand to the CM:



I love how our passes instructed us to "return between 8:15pm & 8:45pm." We took that as more of a suggestion than a rule.

I took this great pic on our way out of Bug's Land:



It reminds me of the Honey I Shrunk the Kids! playground at DHS in WDW (I've never been there but have admired photos of it here on the DIS). That reminds me- we're currently 42 days away from our WDW excursion!!! So very excited!!!!

Anyway, by the time we found our queue for WOC (it was all the way back by the Redwood Challenge Trail), it was practically 9pm- the show started at 9:15pm. We waited there for maybe 5 min before a CM led our line over to our viewing area. The entire WOC fastpass/queueing process seems slightly convoluted to me, but I guess it's better than a free for all? There were just so many lines of people streaming all over the place being directed by CMs that I felt like I was in elementary school again! Due to my Disney ADHD, I prefer to run up to an attraction and then promptly run away again. Getting situated for WOC really takes forever and cramps my style.

Waiting for WOC to start. Umm, yeah... the RED viewing location... stinks.



Who knows why that trellis is sitting there? I've never inspected it closely but I feel like it has no purpose. They should really take it down- the RED zone would have a markedly better view. When the show finally began and progressed, I realized just how bad the RED zone really was. The water screens upon which they project the various movie clips and such are angled more towards the wharf area, so guests situated closer to the tower have the best angle. I couldn't see a lot of the show b/c it really starts becoming obnoxiously invisible once your field of view shifts too far to one side.

The show itself is one that I mildly enjoy actually! I'm not one for parades and shows and things, so I found this generally surprising. I mostly just adore watching the fountain effects (I've been strangely obsessed w/ fountains since I was a baby apparently) and of course enjoy all of the clips from the classic Disney animated films, particularly The Little Mermaid. There's also a WALL-E segment that I don't understand b/c somehow I still haven't seen that film! What can I say, science fiction just really freaks me out. By far, the best segment is the windmill scene from the classic Silly Symphony, "The Old Mill" (1937)- probably my favorite animated anything of all time. Check it out:

YouTube - Walt Disney's The Old Mill (1937)

Unfortunately, we were too close to the pier for me to be comfortable w/ busting out my brand new camera for pics. If you're too close to the show, you actually get coated in mist and sprinkled on! So here's my lone pic (sorry- not very interesting!):



Here's where the title of this subsection comes in: I was a very hungry bear in a world of color. I had munched on 3/4 of one of my Matterhorn Macaroons but still hadn't had a proper dinner, making the macaroon taste surprisingly disgusting. In fact, it was so disgusting that I never ate the second one and haven't eaten anything coconut since. Anyone that knows me knows that I can go from being completely normal to completely starving in less than 5 min, and that once I become starving I subsequently become cranky and lethargic. Pretty much that meant that I didn't really pay attention to the last 1/3 of WOC. But I don't particularly enjoy that part anyway since it chronicles the destruction of Mufasa underscored by a horrendous, depressing, never-ending song.

It was near 10pm by the time we emerged from the park and I was perplexed to discover that practically all food establishments were closed by then! The only place open was a Wetzel's Pretzels in DTD, so I was forced to order a pepperoni pretzel w/ marinara dipping sauce and pretend it was pizza. Kendra and I sat as I devoured my "pizza" and watched a little girl with tiny light-up Ugg boots dance to an electric violinist who was performing nearby (it was actually the cutest thing we had seen all day). We were extremely jealous b/c we recognized that if we ever decided to follow our hearts to a random dance party in public, people would probably think we were completely insane. Oh, to be young again!

By the time I finished my pretzel, and Ugg-girl had long finished dancing, I was relieved to find out that the trams were still running (haha- forgot about that). Kendra had parked in a different parking lot so I headed off to Mickey & Friends on my own. It was quite strange b/c I was practically the only one on the entire tram! I went up to the last car and the tram attendant opened a door for me, so I sat in the first section in which there are two rows of seats facing eachother (usually where the stroller people sit). Eventually my car became full, w/ one party per row. I don't know exactly, but there are perhaps 6 or so cars per tram, and every other car was completely empty. Well, of course, this crazy family, carrying huge bags of whatever it was from the Disney Store, lumbered up to the one car in the tram that was populated and squeezed into my row, so they were facing me. The father was drunkenly screaming and hugging his wife while the daughter was rustling the plastic bags like they were tambourines or something. Needless to say, I was pretty annoyed that I was going to have to awkwardly stare at these people for the entire tram ride. Instead of "C'est la vie," I should say "C'est ma vie." I don't know how these crazy people find me!

Well, that's the conclusion of September 16th! Unfortunately, I was unsuccessful in climbing the Disney Treehouse Trifecta, as I missed the Tom Sawyer treehouse. I also meant to take a spin on Small World, POTC, and/or the Tiki Room. All in all, even though there was an anomalous (even for DL) overpopulation of strollers that day, I had a blast trying out my new camera, hootin' and hollerin', and hanging out in the Kenai Spirit Cave.

If you're so inclined, stick around for my bonus mini-TR from October 7th! It includes some more fabulous photos and I even filmed part of the Aladdin Musical in HD! Also, keep an eye out for my upcoming Mickey's Halloween Party TR from October 29th!
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Old 11-06-2010, 07:59 PM   #38
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Red face MINI-TR: Part A- It's HalloweenTime!

BONUS MINI-TR: 10/7/2010

PART A: It's HalloweenTime!


Hello everyone! I'm adding this mini-TR b/c it's not big enough to start a new thread but still awesome! I was driving home for the weekend and the really delightful thing about driving home is that DL is on the way! So I of course stopped by. I was planning on illegally parking in the DTD lot (3 hrs for free) so I wouldn't have to deal w/ Mickey & Friends (I recall a mere two yrs ago that the parking fee for M&F was $11. Now it's a ridiculous $15!). Due to this strict time limit, I only had two things on my to-do list: (1) See the Aladdin Musical at the Hyperion Theater in CA Adv and (2) pick up some macaroons from the Blue Ribbon for Mom!

I left early enough so that traffic wasn't too bad (getting on the 405 before 2pm is the rule, not the exception, unless I want to stare at LAX for a half hour) and my spirits were high as I illegally parked in DTD. I planned on riding the monorail into DL but it was broken at that moment, so onward! I'm not particularly fond of DTD so I don't know why I took these pics really, but I think it was b/c the weather was SO nice! It had been raining for quite a few days prior, so I felt like those Norwegians who run outside and soak up some scarce rays during the winter when the sun comes out.





I was super duper excited b/c this time HalloweenTime was officially in full swing! My last trip I stopped by on Sep 16th, the day before the very first day of HalloweenTime. Consequently, even though lots of decorations were up and everything was still quite festive, I was unable to purchase those special pumpkin muffins at the Blue Ribbon!

Since I was planning on wrapping up my visit w/ Aladdin at CA Adv, I went into DL first. On my way down Main Street, I took some pics of some more pumpkins! I love these guys, and saw not a one that was like another.





As you can see, it really wasn't crowded at all!



On my last trip, I had just purchased my new camera. One of the reasons I selected this particular camera was due to its "Miniature Effect" setting, which makes things look like they're miniature models of the real thing by making its surroundings out of focus and such. I had to sit down on a bench for a minute or two b/c I forgot how to change settings, but I eventually figured it out and took these of the castle:





You be the judge as to whether or not the castle looks miniature! I thought the second one was better but I think I need to be a bit further away for this effect to be entirely successful. I still love it though and am looking forward to using it on various landmarks at WDW in December!!

This close-up was not taken w/ the miniature setting:



At this point I was at the hub and decided I was starving. I surely wouldn't pay the least bit of attention to Aladdin while starving, so I headed towards Critter Country to get a Hungry Bear grilled cheese. I went through Frontierland and came upon this colorful and creepy set-up adjacent to that Mexican restaurant I've never been to:



It was a nod to the Mexican version of Halloween: Dia de los Meurtos. It must've been the super nice weather, but everyone was actually equally super in letting fellow guests take photos of the various vignettes. I was sincerely impressed!





I don't know why I'm drawn to fake food so much? I guess it just reminds me of the smell of my collection of plastic food I owned as a preschooler. I'm looking forward to visiting my 2 yr old niece in December, who was just given a kitchen for her birthday. I'm planning on commandeering that thing immediately upon arrival!



After admiring the fake loaves of bread sparkling in the sunlight, I continued on towards Critter Country in search of the real thing...

TO BE CONTINUED...
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Old 11-07-2010, 12:44 AM   #39
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Yay an update! That stinks that your World of Color situation was not ideal in terms of location and hunger. I still really think that I would hate that show a lot. Can't deal with large crowds of people and standing and staring at something for 30 minutes! However, I really must come and check it out before judging it so harshly!


I really like the "miniature" photo of the castle with the water in it! Lovely! It almost looks like a painting. I look forward to seeing some miniaturized Florida locations! Also, I'm greatly looking forward to the Halloween Party TR/pics!
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Old 11-11-2010, 02:16 AM   #40
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Cool

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Originally Posted by VBsHustla View Post
I still really think that I would hate that show a lot. Can't deal with large crowds of people and standing and staring at something for 30 minutes! However, I really must come and check it out before judging it so harshly!
Hahaha yes, you really do! It's really not a huge deal as long as you get the yellow viewing section. That way, you're standing in the back, above all the people crammed into the red zone on water level. When I went w/ my aunt, uncle, and cousins back in June we stood up there and had a great view (except my cousin who was too short to see over people's heads) and we weren't surrounded by people. Except this one super tall guy wearing a Mickey sorceror hat waltzed up right as it was starting and totally stood directly in front of us. There were plenty of other places to stand so it was pretty ridiculous. My uncle went up to him and asked him if he could move or take off his hat but the guy started whining like a nerd and finally my uncle was like: "Just take off the damn hat!!" The guy said: "Well, if you asked nicely." Then he moved. It was SO funny. Anyway, long story short, you just have to stand in the back. And then you can run away right when it ends!

I also have quite a bit of my new Halloween TR written and all of the photos have been uploaded, so prob this weekend I'll start a new thread! I hope it goes better than this one has- seriously NO ONE is reading this. I'm not too offended b/c sometimes I ramble about the strangest stuff so people prob think I'm INSANE, however if no one reads my WDW TR I'll be super sad!
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Old 11-11-2010, 03:00 AM   #41
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Red face Part B: Tiki-Grilled-Cheese-To-Go

PART B: Tiki-Grilled-Cheese-to-Go

Last time we left off I was (surprise!) starving, so I was in the process of cutting through Frontierland to get to Critter Country for some sustenance. The Mark Twain was just pulling in as I passed by, so I snapped this photo, which for some reason I think is just adorable:



I pushed onward (at this point I was power walking in desperation) but had to stop to snap this lovely pic, which I think is quite regal. There I go again, obsessing over the Dream Suite. I actually saw people sitting up there on the balcony once watching Fantasmic. And I saw the inside on a Samantha Brown special! It was lovely...



Almost there...



YES! FOOOOOD!



I ordered by beloved $2 grilled cheese and went up to the counter to wait for it. I took this pic of my favorite Critter Country signage:



I adore it b/c the big guy jamming a sandwich into his mouth w/ his eyes closed is totally me when I'm starving. When the CM came out w/ my tray, perfectly empty except for a lone grilled cheese idling in the middle, she giggled as she set it down on the counter. I sheepishly gathered up my little tray and went over to the napkin station, where I transferred my grilled cheese to a wad of napkins and returned the tray. I was indignant when I caught multiple people staring at me. I think a $2 grilled cheese is a perfectly reasonable snack!

So I left that judgemental Hungry Bear and decided that I would walk to Small World. Seriously, I was just passing POTC as I was inhaling the last bite of my sandwich. It couldn't have taken me more than 2-3 minutes to travel from HB to POTC so I'm still mystified as to how I gobbled down an entire meal in such a small timeframe. May I refer you again to the big guy in the above image. Me. Very me.

I had reached the Tiki Room and could see the hub, but the Dole Whip hut suddenly looked so attractive. But the line was LONG. I was still jazzed about my $2 lunch so decided that another $3 on a Dole Whip would be very well spent. However, the line was just unacceptable. So, the naughty and selfish DLer that I am, I popped into the Tiki Room waiting area and got in THAT line, resulting in only 1 person in front of me vs. 20. Heehee.



When I took that first bite of Dole-Whippy goodness, surrounded by fake tropical foliage and 20 tiki men spitting fire and wise words, I got caught up in it all and followed everyone else right into the Tiki Room when the doors swung open and the drums drummed. I was pleased to be seated next to a delightful small child who sang along with joy, giving me, in turn, permission to sing as well. Somehow it's just so much easier to justify certain behavior when in the company of a child.

I was pleased when one of my pics actually turned out pretty well:



I'm definitely looking forward to visiting the Tiki Room in WDW, however I've heard that Iago took over the place a few years ago and in the Imagineers' haste for progress, compromised the integrity of the original show.

After my Tiki side-trip, I power walked outta there. Would there be enough time for SW before Aladdin started?

TO BE CONTINUED...
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Old 11-11-2010, 12:57 PM   #42
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I also have quite a bit of my new Halloween TR written and all of the photos have been uploaded, so prob this weekend I'll start a new thread! I hope it goes better than this one has- seriously NO ONE is reading this. I'm not too offended b/c sometimes I ramble about the strangest stuff so people prob think I'm INSANE, however if no one reads my WDW TR I'll be super sad!

Haha yes no one ever read our TRs! Hated it! What you need to do is some promoting and networking. Go in the DL threads and answer people's questions and then be like, "you can read more in my TR if you want" haha. And as for networking, post in threads for Shades of Greens, December 2010, the Wishes cruise, etc. That seems to work pretty well.


Grilled cheese is $2 now?! What the heck?! I used to have to pay for an entire cheeseburger when I would get those (cannot BELIEVE that I consumed cheese a mere two years ago!) In any case, I am so pleased that they no longer charge like $8 for one slice of cheese. That was pretty ridiculous! I'm glad you'll be checking out the new Tiki room. I have heard those same horror stories and have never attended this version. I'd rather stick to visiting the same 5 attractions that I've seen 300 times in their original states!
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Old 11-11-2010, 03:28 PM   #43
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Okay, it seems like every time I read your trip report, I discover something I knew nothing about. Like the Spirit Cave! Seriously, I had no clue that was there, but now I kind of want to try it.

I have mixed feelings about the Disneyland final scene in Soarin'. I love it because it's this great aerial view of Disneyland, but I detest the part where Tinkerbell flies out. You have all these amazing views of California, and the last shot is of an animated fairy coming at you? Really? I don't know, maybe it's just me.

So,what's superior about Shaft 1? Also totally jealous that you've gotten elevators to yourself before. That's pretty fantastic.

I love the picture you took in the Tiki Room.

And I'm looking forward to reading about your Halloween trip report. I really, really wanted to go to one of the Halloween parties this year since they were at Disneyland, but you know, the whole living in Seattle thing kind of gets in the way. Maybe next year.
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Old 11-12-2010, 12:22 PM   #44
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I've finally returned to the DIS and am caught up! That cave in CA Adventure sounds SO awesome! I must visit it sometime. And I am so impressed by all of the dedicated and interesting CMs in the Tower there. As Laura said, there is certainly no such equivalent in DW.

I adore that you got caught up in the spirit of the Tiki Room and were moved to follow the crowd into the show.
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Old 11-13-2010, 01:16 AM   #45
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In any case, I am so pleased that they no longer charge like $8 for one slice of cheese.
Hahaha seriously- they must have a bunch of vegetarians frequenting Hungry Bear lately for such a drastic change! Like 2 months ago I requested a grilled cheese there and went through the whole "Just make it a cheeseburger without the meat" kind of thing, but there's totally a button on their touch screens specifically for grilled cheese, and it's still not officially listed on the menu. And w/ my AP discount, it's $1.80! What a meal!

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Okay, it seems like every time I read your trip report, I discover something I knew nothing about. Like the Spirit Cave! Seriously, I had no clue that was there, but now I kind of want to try it.
I didn't know about it either, until the day before I went on this trip! I think I was surfing the DL website and saw a pic of it somewhere and was confused. I always thought the Redwood Challenge Trail was exclusively for small kids, but adults can go in there too!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Eight View Post
I have mixed feelings about the Disneyland final scene in Soarin'. I love it because it's this great aerial view of Disneyland, but I detest the part where Tinkerbell flies out. You have all these amazing views of California, and the last shot is of an animated fairy coming at you? Really? I don't know, maybe it's just me.
I totally agree w/ you about this. I've never really liked the final segment- it seems like it doesn't go w/ the rest of the scenes. And I hate how the majority of the time, the audience cheers when the traffic jam in downtown LA comes on. I don't want to be reminded of the fact that I have to drive home after DL closes!

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So,what's superior about Shaft 1?
Hahaha, shaft 1 has a superior drop sequence. Shaft 1,2 have the same drop sequence: up to the mirror room, down to the hallway/star room, drop, then up to the top. Shaft 3 goes up to the mirror room, up to the hallway room, drop, then up to the top. Though Shaft 1, 2 have the same sequences, shaft 1 gives you a feeling at some point in which you don't know if you're falling or going up. Shaft 2 (or at least the one time I was on this particular shaft, since I've refused to be queued there since) sort of pauses at the bottom just enough that you don't get that crazy confused feeling. Apparently the CMs call the shafts a,b,c (Shaft A = Shaft 1). We had to explain this to a CM once- I was pleased that he believed us immediately.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Eight View Post
And I'm looking forward to reading about your Halloween trip report. I really, really wanted to go to one of the Halloween parties this year since they were at Disneyland, but you know, the whole living in Seattle thing kind of gets in the way. Maybe next year.
Thanks for stopping by my Halloween TR!!! I love that I saw those DISers (the lurkyloos) on the train! You should totally fly down for Halloween next year. The DL Halloween party version is SO much better than the CA Adv version!

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I've finally returned to the DIS and am caught up! That cave in CA Adventure sounds SO awesome! I must visit it sometime. And I am so impressed by all of the dedicated and interesting CMs in the Tower there. As Laura said, there is certainly no such equivalent in DW.
Hahaha- the cave really was the highlight of our evening. The CMs really never cease to amuse me- I don't know what it is about those crazy guys! I'll be so offended at WDW if I don't receive special attention on the tower- I've grown so accustomed to it!
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