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Old 03-02-2011, 05:04 PM   #1
heathsf
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Crowds...But No Lines! (Okay, maybe a few lines) - PRESIDENTS WEEK 2011 TR


Welcome to my very first Trip Report!

First, the basics:

Who: Me (25) and my Mom (54) who I'll refer to as DM from now on. When I'm not busy obsessing over Disney, I am a teacher and DM is a party decorator.

What: Our very first mother/daughter trip to Disney (or anywhere for that matter!)

Where: Pop Century

When: February 20-25 :: Otherwise known as PRESIDENTS WEEK :: Dun, dun, dun.... ...One of the most crowded times of the year at Disney.

Why: Because our 3 day mini-trip in January was cancelled due to one of the many crazy snowstorms we had this year. Of course, this was after spending 8 hours in the airport. For more on that, see my PTR. Don't worry, it isn't very long at all

But in case you don't feel like reading it, or if you're one of the few people who already has , here's the short version:

This was my 8th trip to Disney and DM's 5th. My most recent trip was in August 2009 and hers was December 2003 so there was a LOT of new things for her.

I love ALL rides, from Peter Pan's Flight to Rock N Roller Coaster and everything in between! DM likes everything between Peter Pan's Flight and Winnie the Pooh. Just kidding. But not by much. One of my goals for this trip was to get her on some rides that were a tad outside her comfort zone: Splash Mountain, Big Thunder Mountain, Dinosaur, Soarin', and Test Track. DM is very afraid of heights so Tower of Terror, Expedition Everest, and the like were not even an option.

We were on the dining plan and managed to get last minute ADRs for dinner each night. (Last minute because we didn't book this trip until Jan 28, the day after our original trip was cancelled and only 23 days out from the new trip)

Day 1: Teppan Edo
Day 2: Mama Melrose's Ristorante Italiano
Day 3: Boma
Day 4: Crystal Palace
Day 5: Kouzzina

Well, that's pretty much it. So without furthur ado, let's get started!

Links

Day 1
Day 1 - Part 1
Day 1 - Part 2
Day 1 - Part 3

Day 2
Day 2 - Part 1
Day 2 - Part 2
Day 2 - Part 3
Day 2 - Part 4

Day 3
Day 3 Part 1
Day 3 Part 2
Day 3 Part 3
Day 3 Part 4
Day 3 Part 5
Day 3 Part 6

Day 4
Day 4 Part 1
Day 4 Part 2
Day 4 Part 3
Day 4 Part 4


Last edited by heathsf; 04-22-2011 at 08:19 AM.
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Old 03-02-2011, 08:07 PM   #2
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Day 1 Part 1

Our flight was on Continental at 7:30am on Sunday morning, February 20. We wanted to leave for the airport by 5:15 so to make things easier I slept over at my parents' house the night before. I only live one town over but I just figured it would save some extra time in the morning and I wanted every extra minute of sleep I could get! But as it turned out, I was too excited to sleep anyway, just like in the Disney commercials I woke up about every hour or two to check the clock so I was feeling pretty tired when my alarm went off at 4am. But that didn't stop me from jumping right up out of bed and hopping into the shower in record time!

We were at the airport in no time and breezed through security. We had breakfast in the food court and by the time we were finished it was just about time to board. Boarding was quick and easy and we were in the air at 7:45. The flight was fast and smooth and we were on the ground in Orlando at 10:00, 15 minutes early!

As soon as we were allowed I turned on my cell phone. Did I call anyone to let them know we had arrived safely? Nope. Did I text someone? Nope. I went right to my Lines app! I knew how crowded the parks were supposed to be and I needed to know if there were any fastpasses for Soarin' still available! We would be spending our first day at Epcot and between Soarin' and Test Track, DM was more looking forward to Soarin' and I really wanted to be able to do it on the first day. But not bad enough to wait on the standby line for an hour or two so it would have to be a FP. As soon as I confirmed that yes, they were still available (it was still pretty early in the day), that's when I finally texted my BF that we had landed safely.

We were seated at the front of the plane so we wasted no time getting off, skipping over baggage claim (thank you Magical Express!) and hurrying to the front of the line at the ME desk. At first we were sent to the wrong bus but that mistake was fixed quickly and we were ready to go to Pop Century! But first we had to wait for the bus to fill up. In the meantime, I continued to watch the FP return times get later and later for Soarin'. We estimated that we wouldn't be able to get to Epcot before 12 but hoped that it would be sometime very close to that.

Soon we were off and driving up to the most magnificent signage in the world


Every so often I would check lines again and I watched the FP return times for Soarin' get later and later, and they were changing faster and faster. By the time we got to Pop Century, it seemed like there was a real possibility that the FP would be gone before we got there. The worst case scenario would be that we wouldn't ride it until going back to Epcot on our last full day but neither of us wanted to wait! In fact, I couldn't believe how excited DM was to ride and that made me even more desperate to get FP for that day!

We were the first ones off the bus and I had already checked in online so we had a very short wait in the lobby. Although it was early, our room was ready so we headed straight there. This was my 4th time staying at POP and this was by far the best room location I had ever had. We had a standard room in the 70s building, about a 1 minute walk from the main building. Here is the view:


We had brought a change of clothes on the plane with us. DM changed into shorts and I put on capri-length leggings. The weather was absolutely gorgeous! Sunny and 80 degrees was a far cry from what we had left behind in NJ and we were loving it! After changing quickly we hurried to the bus stop and were on our way to Epcot at exactly 12pm! I of course continued checking Lines from the bus and saw that the return times for Soarin' were getting dangerously close to park closing! We had brought jeans and sweatshirts into the park not knowing how cool it would be at night and DM wanted to put them in a locker but I didn't want to waste even seconds that could make the difference in whether we got FP for Soarin' or not! (Do I sound commando yet? We hadn't even arrived in the park yet! )

Our bus pulled up at 12:15 and we could see right away how crowded the park was. After getting through the turnstiles I took both KTTW cards and walked *briskly* towards The Land while DM rented a locker. She was going to meet me after. While I honestly didn't run, I was definitely hustling and swerving in, out, and around crowds. As spread out as Epcot is, there were still people EVERYWHERE! The last time I had checked Lines, the return time was past 8 o'clock and I was preparing myself for the possibility that despite my best efforts, FP would be gone. I continued my power walk right up to the FP machines where cast members were literally announcing that the FP would be running out at any moment!

I'm going to insert a flashback for a moment here. Imagine that the border of your computer screen is now pink and fuzzy while a harp plays in the background (I'm thinking of Saved By the Bell right now...) In 2009 on my last trip my friend and I were at the TSM FP machines and the person directly in front of us took the last FP for the day! We had already ridden it once so it wasn't all too heartbreaking but it really stunk to actually see the last ones go to someone else!

So here we are back in the present and I'm shoving my tickets into the machine as quickly as I possibly can and before I know it I'm holding two FPs in my hand that read "Return Any Time between 8:30pm and 9:00pm"

I felt like a champion in that moment. I wanted to throw my fists in the air and do a happy dance but I somehow managed to keep it on the inside. And let me promise you now that this was absolutely and by far the most crazy and commando I got. I was much calmer and more relaxed for the rest of the trip But still, I was absolutely thrilled to have gotten those FP! And so was DM! And let me tell you, after that, there was NO WAY she was going to back out of this ride!

I met DM at the entrance to The Land and from there we decided to go to The Seas with Nemo (which she hadn't done since they redid it). The wait was 20 minutes but seemed to move very quickly. After the ride, we decided to leave and come back to The Seas to explore later in our trip but unfortunately that never happened. We exited and went right to the nearby ice cream cart. I collaborated with the cast member there and we ultimately decided that I should get a frozen banana. DM got a strawberry fruit pop. They were $3.50 each but we used 2 snack credits.


While we ate we talked about how we were in total disbelief that we were actually in Disney! We then went on Journey into Imagination which was a walk-on




followed by Spaceship Earth which was a 15 minute wait. DM hadn't been on SE since they had changed the ending and she really enjoyed that. Here we are in our future:


And here it is from the outside:


We took a few photopass pictures here but we're not going to be buying them. It's just too expensive and there weren't enough pictures that we liked enough to justify it.

Next we strolled to the World Showcase to FP Maelstrom and ride the Gran Fiesta Tour which had a 5 minute wait. Since the return time for Maelstrom was only about an hour away we were able to get FP for Mission Space.



The one person in the picture is DM


Up next was Ellen's Energy Adventure. We waited outside for less than 10 minutes before we were let in for the next show.


At this point we were feeling very productive. I had been very worried about the crowds. Even though there were a lot of people everywhere, at this point we came to the conclusion that it wasn't going to interfere with us having a great trip. We headed to the lockers to change into jeans for dinner. But changing somehow took a lot longer than we expected and before we knew it, it was 4:20pm and we were standing at the entrance of Future World. Our dinner reservations were for 4:30 at Teppan Edo...THE TOTAL OPPOSITE END OF THE WORLD SHOWCASE!

Now I know I promised that my brisk walk to Soarin' was the craziest I got on the trip, but we really had to hurry if we wanted to make it to dinner. And to complicate things even more, all of the walkways were packed with people. But off we went to Japan!

To be continued...



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Old 03-03-2011, 04:47 AM   #3
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Hi I'm here I'll read everything later on when I get home from school. =)
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Old 03-03-2011, 10:51 AM   #4
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I'm in!

Great start. Glad you managed to get fastpasses for soarin' just think if your plane had landed on time you probably wouldn't have gotten them.

Hope you managed to get to Japan in time for you reservation.

Can't wait to hear more.
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Old 03-03-2011, 01:20 PM   #5
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Yay! I'm here!!

I'll read when I return from lunch!
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DLR: Yearly trips from 1991-2006, AP holder Jan 06 (monthly trips thru May 2008), Nov 08 DLH-Dreams, Jan 09 GCH, June 09 DLH-Magic, June 09 Desert Inn, Oct 09 Tropicana, Mar 10 GCH, May 10 Castle Inn, Nov 10 GCH, Mar 11 DLH, Nov 11 GCH, Mar 12 PPH, Apr 12 PPH, July 12 PPH, Nov 12 DLH, May 13 GCH, July 14 VGC
WDW : June 2-8, 2008 - Pop Century, January 20-28, 2010 - CSR, Dec 8-15, 2012 AKV/BWV, Oct 5-11, 2013 SSR/AKV/BLT
DCL: Dream June 2011, Wonder Dec 2011

Food and Wine? Sounds Divine! Oct 2013 TR
Our First WDW Trip as Parents - December 2012
Mexican Riviera Cruise with WONDERful Souvenir in the Works!Dream CAME True! June 21-26, 2011 TR
Food, Fun, and Frivolity: 8 Funtabulous days
Ugh, what were we thinking?! 9 days Deluxe Dining, The Crow's fly to Disneyworld! Jan 20-28, 2010 Pre-TR, DLR - The Proposal, Bouncers, and a Celebrity! June 3-6
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Old 03-03-2011, 03:19 PM   #6
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Such a great start!!!

I totally loved that you made a reference to Saved by the Bell!!! My alltime fav show!!

And I'm so glad you were able to secure some FP's to Soarin'!! Hopefully you guys use them in your next update!!
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DLR: Yearly trips from 1991-2006, AP holder Jan 06 (monthly trips thru May 2008), Nov 08 DLH-Dreams, Jan 09 GCH, June 09 DLH-Magic, June 09 Desert Inn, Oct 09 Tropicana, Mar 10 GCH, May 10 Castle Inn, Nov 10 GCH, Mar 11 DLH, Nov 11 GCH, Mar 12 PPH, Apr 12 PPH, July 12 PPH, Nov 12 DLH, May 13 GCH, July 14 VGC
WDW : June 2-8, 2008 - Pop Century, January 20-28, 2010 - CSR, Dec 8-15, 2012 AKV/BWV, Oct 5-11, 2013 SSR/AKV/BLT
DCL: Dream June 2011, Wonder Dec 2011

Food and Wine? Sounds Divine! Oct 2013 TR
Our First WDW Trip as Parents - December 2012
Mexican Riviera Cruise with WONDERful Souvenir in the Works!Dream CAME True! June 21-26, 2011 TR
Food, Fun, and Frivolity: 8 Funtabulous days
Ugh, what were we thinking?! 9 days Deluxe Dining, The Crow's fly to Disneyworld! Jan 20-28, 2010 Pre-TR, DLR - The Proposal, Bouncers, and a Celebrity! June 3-6
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Old 03-03-2011, 04:03 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BMC423 View Post
Hi I'm here I'll read everything later on when I get home from school. =)
Quote:
Originally Posted by m2zjj View Post
I'm in!

Great start. Glad you managed to get fastpasses for soarin' just think if your plane had landed on time you probably wouldn't have gotten them.

Hope you managed to get to Japan in time for you reservation.

Can't wait to hear more.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Leshaface View Post
Such a great start!!!

I totally loved that you made a reference to Saved by the Bell!!! My alltime fav show!!

And I'm so glad you were able to secure some FP's to Soarin'!! Hopefully you guys use them in your next update!!
Thank you for joining in I hope you enjoy

Last edited by heathsf; 03-05-2011 at 11:30 AM.
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Old 03-03-2011, 04:12 PM   #8
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Day 1 Part 2

So it was 4:20pm and we were standing at the entrance to Future World and in 10 minutes we needed to be in Japan for our 4:30 ADR at Teppan Edo. We walked as quickly as we could and were frustrated by the heavy crowds. They only got worse when we entered the World Showcase by Canada. There were people e-v-e-r-y-w-h-e-r-e. Iíve been to Disney during Christmas but I really donít remember it well. So of all my recent trips during March, May, and August, none of them even came CLOSE to having these kinds of crowds. It was so difficult to squeeze through them as we made our way from country to country

Miraculously we arrived only 3 minutes late...and a teeny bit sweaty.


We checked in and it turned out they were actually accepting walk-ins although I don't know how long the waits were and whether it was for Tokyo Dining, Teppan Edo, or both. I was surprised they were doing walk-ins at all given how crowded it was. In less than 5 minutes our buzzer buzzed and we were seated at a hibachi table towards the back of the restaurant. The rest of the table was already full with two separate parties: a young couple and a mother with 3 kids. Everyone pretty much just kept to themselves which was unfortunate but oh well.

Even though it wasn't included on the dining plan, DM and I both ordered garden salads with ginger dressing (yum) at $5.95 each.


She drank club soda and I drank coke. For dinner she ordered the Tori which was chicken breast and I ordered the Asakusa which was sirloin steak and shrimp. Both dinners were served with delicious udon noodles, vegetables, and steamed white rice. The Tori cost $18.95 and the Asakusa cost $29.95.

Our chef put on a decent show but DM felt that he could have been a little more interactive. I agreed with her that the hibachi chefs we've seen around home do put on a little bit more of a show than he did. But no worries because the food was excellent.




Udon noodles with veggies - sssoooooooooooo delicious!!!!!!


Tori - chicken breast


Asakusa - sirloin steak and shrimp
I asked that the steak be cooked medium but it seemed to be closer to medium well and it was a little tough for me. The shrimp however was absolutely fantabulous. And if that's not a word, it should be! I've never had shrimp melt in my mouth like that before. I really really really really wished that I had ordered just the shrimp without the steak. And not because I didn't want the steak but because I just wanted so much more shrimp!


And even though it hardly seemed possible because the shrimp was already so good, the white dipping sauce made it even better! I thought I wrote down what each sauce was but apparently I didn't. I know one of them was a ginger sauce (not the white one). The chef specifically told us that the white sauce was great with the shrimp and oooooooooooooooooooh it was!


For dessert I had a chocolate-vanilla swirl ice cream and DM had just vanilla. I forgot to take a picture of it until mine was mostly gone and DM's was totally gone. Oops.


We used 2 table service credits for this meal and paid the difference for the two salads that weren't included. Our total with tax but without tip was $82.76.

We left the restaurant 100% stuffed and 100% satisfied. What a GREAT meal! I would absolutely eat here again. In fact, I could totally go for that shrimp right now...

Up Next: Will we be able to use our Soarin' FP at 8:30 AND make it to Illuminations at 9?
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Old 03-03-2011, 09:52 PM   #9
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Ooh that shrimp sounds sooo good right now!! I remember those sauces.....drrroooollll....

And YES! Fantabulous IS a word, because I TOO, used it in my Dining TR!

Oh man, I hope you made it to Illuminations!!!
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DLR: Yearly trips from 1991-2006, AP holder Jan 06 (monthly trips thru May 2008), Nov 08 DLH-Dreams, Jan 09 GCH, June 09 DLH-Magic, June 09 Desert Inn, Oct 09 Tropicana, Mar 10 GCH, May 10 Castle Inn, Nov 10 GCH, Mar 11 DLH, Nov 11 GCH, Mar 12 PPH, Apr 12 PPH, July 12 PPH, Nov 12 DLH, May 13 GCH, July 14 VGC
WDW : June 2-8, 2008 - Pop Century, January 20-28, 2010 - CSR, Dec 8-15, 2012 AKV/BWV, Oct 5-11, 2013 SSR/AKV/BLT
DCL: Dream June 2011, Wonder Dec 2011

Food and Wine? Sounds Divine! Oct 2013 TR
Our First WDW Trip as Parents - December 2012
Mexican Riviera Cruise with WONDERful Souvenir in the Works!Dream CAME True! June 21-26, 2011 TR
Food, Fun, and Frivolity: 8 Funtabulous days
Ugh, what were we thinking?! 9 days Deluxe Dining, The Crow's fly to Disneyworld! Jan 20-28, 2010 Pre-TR, DLR - The Proposal, Bouncers, and a Celebrity! June 3-6
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Old 03-04-2011, 12:21 AM   #10
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All this food is making me hungry! Thanks for the pics. Someday I will go and be on the dining plan and try some of the TS places.
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Old 03-05-2011, 09:51 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Leshaface View Post
Ooh that shrimp sounds sooo good right now!! I remember those sauces.....drrroooollll....

And YES! Fantabulous IS a word, because I TOO, used it in my Dining TR!

Oh man, I hope you made it to Illuminations!!!
You were absolutely right when you said I'd love Teppan Edo!!! And maybe I read "fantabulous" in your TR and then subconsciously absorbed it into my own vocabulary

Quote:
Originally Posted by m2zjj View Post
All this food is making me hungry! Thanks for the pics. Someday I will go and be on the dining plan and try some of the TS places.
Looking at the pics again made me hungry too! My last trip before this was the first time I was on the dining plan and started eating at TS restaurants. It's a nice break but takes up a decent amount of touring time too. Of course it's better when they're offering free dining
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Old 03-05-2011, 11:12 AM   #12
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Day 1 Part 3

We left dinner with FPs for Soarin', Mission Space, and Maelstrom. We began meandering towards Norway.

Japan




Illuminations Globe


Italy






Germany






When we arrived in China, DM mentioned that her feet were hurting her. A lot. She was wearing a pair of Adidas similar to this:


Apparently her feet had been killing her for quite a bit now and it was only Day 1! This was the only pair she brought with her. We didn't have a car so we tried to think of ways to get her more comfortable shoes. Idea #1 was to take a taxi to the nearby outlets but she refused to miss out on park time to go shopping. Idea #2 was to call a few local stores to see if any of their employees would be willing to deliver the sneakers to the hotel for a nice tip but none of the stores I called answered their phone! I tried three different foot lockers/lady foot lockers and NONE of them answered!! It was only 6pm on a Sunday. Around here we have blue laws so most stores are closed on Sundays but I didn't think that would be a problem in other places. I guess I was wrong. Idea #3 was to call Zappos and have them overnight a pair of sneakers that DM picked out from their website on my phone. The problem with idea #3 was that the next day was Presidents Day so while there was UPS delivery that day, the order wouldn't be processed in time. The earliest she could possibly get them would be Tuesday at 11am. That would mean another day and a half of foot pain for DM but she decided it was her best option so after an hour or talking and making phone calls the order was placed. I felt so bad for her.

She insisted that she would be fine and to not let this interrupt things even more so we continued on. The next country was Norway and here we used our FPs for Maelstrom. The standby wait was 20 minutes but we walked right on with our FP.


Having some fun after the ride. I wonder what DM's reaction would be if she knew I posted this on the internet for all to see


Mexico




We headed back into Future World towards Mission Space. In 2003 on our last family trip this was the very first ride that we did. Now, I've already mentioned that DM does not like thrilling rides. Apparently she did not realize how intense Mission Space was (I think most people still hadn't...this was only a few months after it opened) and there was only one version of the ride back then and we all rode it. My dad, brother, and I all loved it. DM...not so much. She was nauseous and dizzy for the rest of the day. With some assurance that the green side would be nothing like that she agreed to ride it and I was interested to see what the green side was like. I've ridden the orange side 3 times with friends since that first ride with the family.

On our way to Mission Space we passed by Test Track. The posted standby time was 70 minutes but we could see the line inside and it did not seem like a 70 minute wait at all so we asked the CMs if it was really 70 minutes. They told us it looked more like 40 or 50. This is where we had our discussion of whether we should wait it out or not and in the end we decided to get on line. We knew this meant that we definitely wouldn't be riding Mission Space and we would be getting to Illuminations with only a few minutes to spare meaning our viewing spot would probably stink. But I really wanted to ride, and DM really wanted to ride too, which made me want to ride even more! A week ago when we talked about rides she had been so iffy about this one and when we watched the cars fly by at the entrance she certainly didn't seem excited. But hey, I wasn't about to talk her out of it!

Not too long after we got on line a man and a little boy walked ahead of us in line to join up with another party right in front of us. Then a few minutes later another man and boy did the same. And a few minutes after that another man! Now I've read a lot on the DIS about people doing this and how it's frowned upon and all that and it was quite annoying to have it done to us but we didn't say anything. In the end it would only make a difference of maybe a minute in terms of loading. But the people behind us didn't feel the same. They started yelling at the people in front of us after the third time someone line jumped. The people in front of us starting yelling back. It was getting quite intense. Ultimately the line cutters told the people behind us to go ahead and cut them if it would make them feel better. So now the people behind us went in front of that big party. Apparently they didn't have a problem cutting US! Now I was about ready to say something to ALL of them but instead did my best to let it go. I muttered some things under my breath but I'm generally not confrontational and I honestly felt it wasn't worth getting all worked up over. We were in Disney to relax and have fun, not deal with other people's garbage. So we stayed where we were and listened to the original line cutters go on and on about what crybabies the other group was. And then the little boy in that group asked his grandmother "Nana, were you going to kill that man?" and she replied "No, maybe just hurt him a little bit." DM and I were horrified and stayed a few feet back after that.

Here's DM on line and getting psyched to ride!


We entered the preshow with all these crazy characters and what do you know, when we went out the door on the other side we were in front of all of them! So all that line cutting really didn't matter in the end! So now I'm really glad I kept my mouth shut and stayed out of it. It was 40 minutes on the dot from when we first entered the queue to when we got into our car.


Well....she LOVED IT!!!!! Of course, that doesn't mean she didn't hold on to the handles for dear life during the last minute of the ride! But as soon as we came to a stop she said, "Let's do that again!" I was sooooooooo happy she loved it! Unfortunately, that second ride would have to wait because it was now after 8:30 and we had Soarin' FP to use! On the way over I tried to give away our Mission Space FP but no one would take them! Either their group was too big, they weren't interested, they had already ridden, or it was too late for them too. Oh well...

We were on the FP return line for Soarin' at 8:45 along with a whole lot of other people who also had FP to use before the end of the night. We realized Illuminations was not only out of the picture, but by the time we'd be done riding we would be racing those people to the exit for a bus. It was just about 9 when we were directed to the very last seats of the third row, all the way on the left so we were basically in the back left corner of the ride. While I'd prefer front and center every seat is still great and I was reminded of what an amazing ride it is. DM said she was totally scared because it felt so real but she still loved it. It was her favorite part of the day. It was only Day 1 and she already had 2 "thrill rides" in the bag. I was so proud!

We hurried back to our locker to grab our things and we were joined by the masses of people exiting after Illuminations, just as we expected. I didn't have too much time to look because it was so crowded but I couldn't find one of my favorite things at Epcot: the fiber optics in the ground. I did see the white ones but I REALLY love the multicolored ones that move and make different shapes and I couldn't find them! Are they gone or was I looking in the wrong place?

We headed to the bus stop and walked right on to a waiting Disney Cruise Line bus with plenty of open seats. We got back to POP at 9:30 to find a packed food court. Magic Kingdom had EMH until 3 am on this night so we figured people had rested, were eating a late dinner and then heading over! It was so crazy to think about how tired we were and these people would be going out to have 5 more hours at MK!!! I wished I had the energy to join but that would ruin our plans to make Rope Drop at Hollywood Studios in the morning. DM bought some fruit and water then we headed back to our room. I set the wake up call for 6:30 am and fell asleep pretty quickly.

Up next: Why was I awake before the wake up call???

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Old 03-05-2011, 12:46 PM   #13
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Day 2 Part 1


The wake up call was set for 6:30 am but I woke up at 6:10. Instead of going back to sleep for those precious 20 minutes I decided to do my ADRs for my August trip with my BF. Today was our 180 day mark and I was going to make them over the phone during breakfast but decided to just get them done now on the website. Other than the pages loading slowly on my phone it wasn't that bad. Here are my August ADRs:

Day 1: Dinner at The Wave
Day 2: Lunch at Le Cellier and Dinner at San Angel Inn
Day 3: Dinner at Whispering Canyon Cafe
Day 4: None
Day 5: Dinner at Raglan Road
Day 6: Dinner at 'Ohana

After this, I was a little slow getting ready so DM went down to breakfast while I finished getting ready. We met back up and headed over to Hollywood Studios. We were on line at 8:25 and through the turnstiles at 8:45. There were a LOT of people already ahead of us.


After the short opening show we joined the masses rushing to TSM and OH MY GOD it really is as crazy as everyone says it is! The line for FPs was already so long. I sent DM to wait for me near the entrance but told her not to get on line with out me. After getting the FP I called her and it turns out she did get on line without me but once it was time to go into the building the CM wouldn't let her in without me so she got on line again and I was able to join her. I didn't realize that you are actually allowed to rejoin your party on line as long as you're still outside. Once we got inside we heard someone on their cell phone tell someone from their party that they went inside without them and they'll have to get on line by themselves!

Our FP return time was 10:15 and the standby line was posted as 30 minutes already but it was definitely shorter. DM really enjoyed the creative queue.








We both loved it and DM beat me...by a lot


Celebrating her victory


Apparently it was 9:32 when we got out so the wait was probably around 20 minutes. I didn't write it down.


I checked Lines and the wait for Tower of Terror was already 60 minutes and it was too soon to FP so we hit the Great Movie Ride which is DM's all time favorite It was only a 10 minute wait.



Notice anything funny here?


We kindly requested the Gangster Side and were accommodated without a problem. But we were soon wishing we hadn't because the acting was pretty poor. It was still a great time though

After the ride I got a text from a friend at home telling me that she had just cleaned 6" of snow off her car! I didn't realize it was supposed to snow while we were away but it certainly made me appreciate the sunshine and beautiful 80 degree weather.

At 10:30 we got FP for Tower of Terror. The wait was 60 minutes but the FP return time was only 11:05! So I could ride before the people getting on line, without waiting on line! Gotta love FP

Next we wanted to catch the first show of Lights Motors Action at 11 am since I read that it's the least crowded and we most definitely wanted to avoid the crowds as much as possible.


We arrived a few minutes early and sat on the left side (looking at the bleachers) in order to make a quick exit when the show ended. We munched on some snacks that we brought while we waited for it to start. DM was pretty good at the trivia questions they show before it starts.







Again we both loved it and commented on how my dad really would've enjoyed it. My mom hasn't given up on trying to get him to take a trip back but I don't think he'll go until he has grandchildren to go with. Oh well!

Now I was hungry and got lunch from Pizza Planet. I used 1 Quick Service credit to get a cheese pizza, caesar salad, bottle of water, and a Mickey rice crispy treat.




Continued in the next post...





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Old 03-05-2011, 01:50 PM   #14
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Day 2 Part 2

Next we went to the first showing of The American Idol Experience at 12 pm.


I had done this for the first time on my last trip but was excited to do it again with DM because she LOVES American Idol. She thought it was great. I liked the first singer the best but she didn't win . DM voted for the second performer who was also very good. The third performer didn't do nearly as well as the first two but she seemed very nervous. Performer #2 ended up winning and she was from Australia. Her first words after winning were "I'm Australian, does that matter?" and the fake Ryan Seacrest's answer was "Don't worry about that! You just won!" Soooo, does anyone know the answer to that? Do you have to be an American citizen to be on the real American Idol?

The judges did a good job too.


After leaving we found Eddie Valiant's office and proof that Roger Rabbit had been there! I was excited to see this for the first time because I love Who Framed Roger Rabbit!


It was now time for my favorite ride - Tower of Terror!
I love *everything* about this ride: the impeccable theming both inside and out, the tiny details like the fallen letters on the bulletin board that sometimes spell out a hidden message at the bottom of the board (they didn't on this trip, I checked), the references to actual Twilight Zone episodes, and the acting of the CMs who work here. They are always 100% in character. Oh, and of course the ride itself! AND those special effects!! They wow me every time!

We walked down Sunset Boulevard and looked into getting FP for RNRC for me for later. The return time was 5:50 pm and both the standby and single rider lines were 60 minutes! No way! I do love the first 3 seconds of the ride but I wasn't going to wait that long (or make DM wait that long) and the FP return time was too late because we weren't planning on staying very long after dinner. We knew it would be getting even more crowded because of EMH that night. Instead I got two more FP for TOT to use later. And now it was time to ride.

Unfortunately, they were doing some work on the outside so it was covered with scaffolding which took away from some of its creepiness.


This sign is way better at night but you'll have to wait for it to get dark before you can see it


DM offered to let me use her FP to ride twice but I wanted her to see the queue and preshow so we walked in together but not before double checking that she would be able to exit at the end. I think she was a little bit afraid that I might actually trick her into riding We walked through and she appreciated the intricate details. It turns out that to exit she had to take her own elevator ride! Hers didn't require any seat belts though

The ride was great but I was a little concerned about my glasses. You can see me in the back in purple holding on to them in my photo.


Turns out I really didn't need to worry because they weren't going anywhere. By the end of the ride I had let go and there was no problem. It was great but a little bit less fun riding alone.

Next we did the Backlot Tour. DM kept saying how long the lines used to be for this when it was new. She couldn't get over the fact that we only had to wait 5 minutes for the next tour. This is one of my favorite parts of any ride


It was now 2:30 and we walked over to Muppet Vision 3D. The line went pretty far back and was right in the sun so we decided to skip it for now knowing that if we went back later we would probably be able to walk right in. Instead we went to check out the Art of Animation which we enjoy and the Voyage of the Little Mermaid which neither of us had ever done. VOTLM was a 30 minute wait to the next show and we didn't want to wait so we went to the Art of Animation instead. We only waited about 2 minutes before being let in to the next show


I love the little show they do in the beginning about animation. It cracks me up every time! Last time I was there they "advertised" The Princess & the Frog as their newest movie. This time it was Tangled which I haven't seen but want to! After exiting we hurried to be the first in line in case Sorcerer Mickey was there. We really weren't interested in waiting in line for characters but Sorcerer Mickey is my favorite Mickey! He was indeed there but the line was already very long from the group in front of us so we skipped it. We put our voices into a scene from Aladin which was fun. Mom was Iago and I was Jafar . Then we tried to get into the Animation Academy to learn to draw characters. DM is a brilliant artist and I didn't inherit those genes but it's still a lot of fun! There was a long line to get into that too and a lot of people in front of us so we decided to leave and come back later without watching the show to try to draw.

That same show for the Voyage of the Little Mermaid that we could have stood in line for for 30 minutes was just about to start and we were allowed to join that group. They closed the doors about 2 minutes after we got in. Good thing we didn't wait on that line! In the meantime, I decided to double check our ADR time for dinner. We couldn't remember if it was for 4:30 or 4:40. I logged into my email on my phone and was appalled to see that our reservation was for.... tomorrow at 3:30 pm!!!???!!!??? WHAT!!!! I KNOW I didn't make it for that early and now I'm freaking out! So I logged into the Disney website and checked my reservations there and it said they were for today at 4:35. I have no idea why the email and the website had two conflicting dates and times but the show was starting and it was currently 3:20 so we decided we would just find out when we got to the restaurant in a little while.

I sat in a broken seat which was extremely uncomfortable but DM assured me that her unbroken seat was also quite uncomfortable. The show was okay, nothing too special we thought. Although the effect with the lasers that made it seem as though you were under water was pretty cool. And speaking of under water, they spray you with WAY too much water for this show. A little sprinkle is enough to get the effect. I felt like I was getting a shower and it was cold in there! DM didn't notice the bubbles falling and she had one pop in her eye which was pretty painful for her. She washed it out in the bathroom afterwards but it was still bothering her. She literally covered her face every time we saw bubbles after that (and it was quite a few times!)

After the show we used our FP for TSM. Again, DM was absolutely creaming me through the entire game but in the final bonus round I was able to make a miraculous comeback and sneak by her. I won by 400 points! It's the kind of underdog story that brings a tear to your eye...


Next up: Dinner at Mama Melrose's Ristorante Italiano....or not?



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Old 03-05-2011, 03:20 PM   #15
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looks like you guys had a great time! I'm glad your mom decided on test track its really not that bad. She was so cute in her viking gear lol! I love your TOT picture esp. the holding on to glasses part I can't wait to hear about Mama Melrose, I keep wanting to go there and then for some reason we always change our minds . I'll catch up when I get back.
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