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Old 05-27-2011, 02:19 PM   #91
GoofyIsAsGoofyDoes
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FreezinRafiki View Post
I'm trying to figure out how to mix an Austrian and South Carolina-ian accent. It's harder than it seems...
It defies imagination.



Actually we moved rather frequently when I was little. I’ve lived in two towns in WV, four in PA, and two more in FL. We didn’t actual settle down into SC until I was 14. As such, my accent is not as strong as you’d expect. My diction however…
Now, that be ’bout as South’n as kudzu

Quote:
Originally Posted by FreezinRafiki View Post
Speaking of Port Orleans dining, have you ever had the beignets at Port Orleans? My DD is a big Princess & the Frog fan and wanted to make some of Tiana's beignets. I said we should probably try them first so we know how bad we did baking our own. I've heard you can get them somewhere at POFQ...
POFQ is exactly where you’ll find them. In the “Sassagoula Floatworks & Food Factory” and they’re quite good. They’re somewhere in-between a doughnut and a sopapilla in flavor and texture. If they just came out of the oil, let ‘em cool a might before biting into one. They hold onto a little bit of that oil and you can scald your tongue mighty if you ain’t careful.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Captain_Oblivious View Post
Well, the lights look terrific, and I hope I get to see them someday. Did you make it for the actual lighting ceremony? I'm sure that's a lot of fun.
Yep. Very cool… But, I was just so thunder-struck by the vastness of the colors that I didn’t even think to pull the camera out until they’d already started into the first song. If you get the chance, see it.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Captain_Oblivious View Post
And there's nothing wrong with avoiding crowds and taking it easy.
As a Dis-Vet, I’ve earned the right. And I now choose to exercise it regularly.
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Old 05-27-2011, 02:58 PM   #92
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Originally Posted by afwdwfan View Post
Never been there... really need to make it a point to see that.
There is a lot of “Disneyana” and interesting artifacts in there. It’s a good place to take break and a must for any true fan of Walt himself.

Quote:
Originally Posted by afwdwfan View Post
Wish my wife felt that way about it. She HAS to see it. Great show, but with the hassle that it takes to go through the line to get there, I don't need to see it too often.
The only one I hate to miss is IllumiNations (and that’s mostly because the music just blows me away), but I’ve even walked away from that one on occasion. I’ve seen ‘em all numerous times, but sometimes, you just need to get off your feet. Or…Better yet, onto a ride with a shorter line (but just not during Christmas week )

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Originally Posted by afwdwfan View Post
Nobody's asking if you're nuts. We already know the answer.
Guilty as charged, you can slap the cuffs on me.

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Originally Posted by afwdwfan View Post
Do you sit in a car? Yes
Does it go somewhere? Yes
I guess it is a ride. Don't shortchange yourself, it is 3.0 not 2.5.
“Touche Pussycat!”

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Originally Posted by afwdwfan View Post
How about 11/28 - 12/3???
Excelent!

We were in “The World” during the week of Thanksgiving in 2003. It was busy, but nothing like the Christmas deluge that we encountered. Your first couple of days may be a little bit more crowded, but I think you’ll be doing pretty well by mid-week as far as crowds go.
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Old 05-27-2011, 03:31 PM   #93
GoofyIsAsGoofyDoes
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Well folks… It’s going to be a couple of days before I get to post any more updates. Once I get back to the house, we heading off for a few days on the coast.


If we get into anything interesting, I might have to post another “Micro-Mini-TR” within this one. I suspect, that won’t be happening though, as my plan is to plant my rump in the sand and spend a lot of time watching “My Ocean” (which won’t make for very good copy). But our son is coming along and he’s bringing a friend a well, so plans could change.

So let me leave this little teaser of thing to come (actually, it’s a copy of the current “trailer” section back on Page-1, but I suspect, that most of y’all don’t necessarily go all the way back there and check it regularly)

Teasers for "Day 3"
Reality Rears its Ugly Head
Ain’t it Perrty
You Got Passes For "What"?
The House that Jack Rebuilt
The Down Side of Freebees
Mountains Receding in the Distance
Room at the Inn
A Parade!!! (at least I think it was a parade)
The Journey Eastward
Toon Town we Hardly Knew Ya’
Westward Ho…
Light a Candle (I mean a castle)
The Eastern Block
Occidental Meltdown
Two from the Grill Please
A “Wish” for a Mountain Passage
Disney’s Underwear (Safe-D Begins With Me)



TTFN
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Old 06-01-2011, 01:18 PM   #94
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Chapter 6 – Day-3

- Part-1: Reality rears its ugly head


The sun rose this morning, and I got to see it. Really. I could actually see the sun. Quite amazing really… It’s this great big round bright shiny thingie that hangs in the sky and hurts your eyes if you stare into it. For the first time in days, humans in this part of the world were actually able to lay eyes on this bizarre apparition. The sensation was much like that of an alien creature experiencing some new and unexpected facet of the planet that had never been encountered before. Imagine… There would be warmth today... There would be light today... There would be joy today… There would be unimaginable crowds today…

Whoa, wait… What was that last one? Crowds? You said crowds, right? You mean even bigger, badder, more ferocious crowds then we experienced yesterday? That type of crowd?

Yes Grasshopper… (But I’m getting ahead of myself).

Our morning was going as most Disney morning go. Rather well. I’d already made the trip to the dinning hall to retrieve coffee and hot chocolate. We’d already had some croissants, fruit and granola for breakfast. The trek to the North Depot was behind us and we were already on the bus with the Magic Kingdom ahead of us. MK was the destination of choice for today. As we were not hopping from park to park this trip, we chose to hit the Kingdom on one of its EMH days (in hopes of being able to catch up on some of the better attractions later in the evening). Instead I would learn a lesson about how differently EMH will affect a park during very high traffic days as opposed to the more generic peek times of the year.

I’ve heard that this week was “busy”, but I felt that I’d worked with good sized crowds before, so I really wasn’t that concerned. We all learn in different ways and some quicker then others. It’s like the lesson of the electric fence. Some can be told that it’s dangerous and believe it. Some have to read the sign on the fence before they’ll believe it, and a few have to actually grab hold of the thing before they’re convinced. Then there’s minority that are so stubborn that they just have to tempt fate and piss on the electric fence before they’ll believe you. Today, I was in that last group. My advice… Use my experience as the proverbial sign on the fence, and learn quickly (but I know that there are still those that need to take the next two steps along the path to enlightenment.)



- Part 2: Ain’t it perrty

Now first off, don’t be thinking that we had a terrible time. That just ain’t so. There were challenges and there where things that could not be accomplished given the decisions made and existing circumstances. But, I’ve yet to undertake a trip to Disney where I was not very satisfied by the end result. Upon arrival the first thing you will notice it just how stunningly the folks down there dress up their premier park for the holidays. From the main entrance to the train station to the walk down Main Street, there is just so much color and visual ambrosia that it’s down right intoxicating. I mean just look at it!





















As with every other park on this trip, we arrived with a slightly different slant on our normal plan and a bit after rope drop. The first stop today is not what you’d expect for a family with a teenager. We headed into Fantasy Land, and grabbed Fastpasses for… Wait for it… Peter Pan!

Peter Pan?

Yep, that one. “Why on Earth did you get passes for that one?” Well… Everyone in my house is a Disney geek. We’re all hopelessly addicted to the place, and one of the few attractions the my boy had never ridden (despite numerous trips to the land of the Mouse) was one of Walt’s own original designs and the only dark ride that uses cars suspended form the ceiling rather then following tracks on the ground. As such, Max wanted to hit it at least one to say that he’d done it. Being a classic, it’s also popular with the general public and they had come out in force today. Needless to say, the return time on those passes was fairly off into the future, but they came with a bonus freebee: extra passes to see the PhilharMagic show. This is a good thing, as we like that one anyway, and were planning to see it at some point in the day.

Now we had two sets of passes in hand and some time to kill, so the discussion was what do we hit first? Easy choice given our location: Hunted Mansion. It’s a crime to go to Disney and not see this one. Not wanting to be accused of committing a crime, we jumped into the queue, drug our bodies into the dead center of the stretching room, and climbed aboard our Doom-buggies to meet our destiny along side the other 999 Grim Grinning Ghosts. Disney has since opened up a new queue area and updated some of the haunting effects, but during this trip, it was the classic that we’ve all seen before and love (although I looking forward to seeing the updates the next time we’re in the park).

So far so good. We’d had an excellent start to the day, undertaken the day’s first attraction and were starting to get in the rhythm of the day. I tried to take a few images from the Haunted Mansion (without flash obviously), but my gear/skills just were not up to the task, so none of those really came out. Such is life. I’ll just have to go back and try it again. I actually enjoy the moment as one has just finished the first ride of the day. That’s the point when you (well, when I at least) really feel like your there, and are now a part of the day. You’re not traveling any more. You’re experiencing. And… There’s more to come. Much more.
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Old 06-02-2011, 09:03 AM   #95
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Chapter 6 – Day-3

- Part 3: The House that Jack Rebuilt


Next stop: Adventure land. Now getting there sent us through Frontier Land as well, and it was here that I started to get an inkling of the sheer scale of the crowd that had showed up this morning. The body count was surprisingly large even for a peek time, but there was nothing that could be done about it at this point. We were right in front of a couple of the more famous attraction, but we could not get any more passes for a while yet (and the stand-by times for both were already rather fierce), so we waked by the two mountains in the west and headed on around to POTC. It is generally true that if you start on the left side of the park, you’ll get on the rides a bit quicker because most folks instinctively move to their right (east toward Tomorrow Land in this instance) and it will take a while for the better part of them to catch up with you. Even still, there was a surprising twenty-ish minute wait posted out in front of the Castillo Del Morro. Not so bad, but if I had to wait a bit, then I might as well get a few pictures of another of the more entertaining queues.











I enjoy “Pirates”. It ain’t no rollercoaster, but it’s always entertaining. And at least the updates added since the creation of the films don’t detract form the experience in the same way that they could have given that the attraction was now “Under New Management”. At some point in time I hope to get out to DL to see the original version of this one. Our friendly neighborhood DIS experts tell me that there is more to it and I’d love to see the additional details and try to relate them back to the version that I know and love. Actually this seems to be fairly true of many of the attractions at Disneyland. They may bare the same monikers and be similarly themed, but they are not the same. This is something I need to find a way to experience in the future.

OK… Back to the park that we actually were in that day. Once off POTC and through the gift shop, the clock was indicating that we could go ahead and cash in our “free” passes to the PhilharMagic. I’ve seen this 3D attraction many times and really enjoy the show. There are few characters, live or fictitious, that overreact to a situation better then Donald (except maybe you’re average domestic cat), so this one is a must on our trips to MK. However, the way that fast passes work for this attraction does not always translate into a gain. The pass does “guarantee” that you’ll see the next showing, but that’s all it guarantees. The CMs will always try to fill up the entire waiting area (as is their charge) and with a capacity crowd in the park; they were doing their magical best to pack ‘em in tight. Needless to say, the room was rather full when the automatic doors finally swung open. From where we were standing we were going to be toward the back of the theater (which is fine by us as there are no bad seats in a 3D theater), but people being people, not everyone will do the right thing or consider anyone else beyond themselves. The CMs would call out: “Please choose a row and move all the way down to the end, you can see the show well from any seat.”, but even blindingly apparent logic will not ensure that everyone will listen. We hopped onto the back row and found that there were several groups ahead of us that thought they knew better and had already camped out in the middle of the row. There was hesitation and confusion as other groups were deciding whether the go around or back up, a couple of groups were arguing as to how to arrange the seating, and before we knew what was happening, we’d been hemmed into having only one chair available for the three of us. Externally, I was calm and resolved to the situation.

Internally…


Well that kind of outburst never works out well for Donald either, so I just locked those thoughts away in that dark place where we all hide that verity of emotional release. Choices were limited at this point, the doors were closing and the lights were going down, Max and I just stepped to the back of the theater and watched the show from there. It was still good, but it’s just indicative of the kind of trying moments that you’ll encounter during mega-crowd days at Disney. Remember to bring you patience with you, because not everyone else will do so (and a fair number will forget to bring along their common sense as well).
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Old 06-02-2011, 09:08 AM   #96
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Chapter 6 – Day-3

- Part 4: Mountains Receding in the Distance


According to our watch, in fifteen more minutes, we could finally get more fast passes, and as we were planning to stay on into to the EMH time frame, a late return time would not really bother us all that much. So at this point anyway, we weren’t concerned. We just needed to knock off about fifteen more minutes.

Piece of cake...


We were just around the corner from the Hall of Presidents and that attraction is usually (and some may say: sadly) far short of being filled to capacity. True to our expectations, we breezed right into the lobby, caught the tail end of the “Voices of Freedom” preshow and headed off into the main auditorium. Disney’s grasp of animatronics is truly amazing, and this is one of those places where they use it to the greatest effect. Being as Mr. Lincoln is Walt’s original animatronic masterpiece; I do love to watch that part of the show in particular (and I need to catch the version that is dedicated solely to Old Abe out at DL sometime).

After being reintroduced to those forty-four fellows, our window for acquiring additional fast-passes was finally open. For the sake of expediency, Tamara decided to browse for a little bit in one of the shops, while Max and I made the dash over to Space Mountain. And dash we did. While not running per say, we still got there in jig time, headed directly for the pass machines and were greeted by the amazing site of… Absolutely no line at all. Why? Because all the machines were covered up. Every pass for SM had been distributed for the day. We’d not anticipated this possibility at all. The Stand-by was hovering at about 100 minutes. Dumfounded, I asked: “Now what”? Well, maybe we could still get “evening-ish” passes for “Big Thunder”. Across the park we head and considering the crowded walkways and passages, we made good time (we’ve been there enough to know our way around). But upon arrival, we encountered a similar sad site of forlorn shrouds covering the pass stations. No passes, and the wait here was 2 hours. Now we were going to have to drop down to Plan-C and wait for either the EMH or one of the Parades to pull enough folks out of the queues to make the waits more tolerable. Mission not accomplished, we headed back to where Tamara was to explain the predicament.

We found her right where she said she’d be and related the sad turn of events. Not being fond of “wild mouse” type coasters, missing out on Space Mountain wasn’t an issue to her. But as we’re all fans of “mine train” rides, the lack of passes to Big Thunder Mountain was considerably more disappointing. Even still, it’s not like there aren’t plenty of things to do in the Magic Kingdom. Things like cashing in our original passes to Peter Pan. Which we did... If nothing else, we’d see the “mountains” of Neverland as we flew over them in our enchanted sailing ships. As the gondolas that fly through this classic old dark ride are a rather tight for three adults, we split up and I let Momma ride along with her Baby Boy to finally introduce him to one of her favorite memories. It was a lot of fun to make that little journey, and a treat to be aboard one of Walt’s original designs. I think he understood the power of the “dark ride” better then most folks, and especially in the way that they could be used to include an entire family in on a single shared experience regardless of age. Afterward, we asked Max what he thought. He said that it wasn’t Space Mountain by a long shot, but now he’d seen it and was glad of it. When I said, “Well, just don’t tell your friends, that you spent your time ridding this one.” He responded, “Actually, all my friends are pretty much geeks anyway, so they’d think it was pretty cool”. Every once in a while your young’ens will surprise you (and those surprises are starting to show up more often by the day).
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Old 06-03-2011, 08:43 AM   #97
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Chapter 6 – Day-3

- Part 5: Room at the Inn


After returning form Neverland, we only had a short wait before our lunch time ressies at the Liberty Tree Tavern. Not wanting to go too far afield, we walked over to the Cindi’s Castle to look around a bit, take in the details and snap a couple of pictures of the general area. The more interesting ones ended up looking a whole lot like this:















In no time at all, our “priority seating” time had arrived, so we headed back to Liberty square…





…walked up to the tavern…


…and checked in.

Shortly there after we were seated in the left dinning room and perusing the menu. Now, I’m sure that the majority of y’all that have kids have also encountered their propensity to be ridiculously picky eaters. I love my boy, but he certainly fits into that category. As such, I’ve been limited on the types of restaurants that I can patronize for years. We’ve been to the Liberty Tree before (back when it was both “Family Style” and a Character Meal”), and I knew that the food would be excellent and that there would be “young’en friendly” choices on the menu. This time however, our son surprised both his parents. The CM brought our drinks around and started taking our orders. Pot Roast and Veggies for the adults, and fish for the boy.

Fish! Baked fish! Not grocery store fish sticks… Not a fried filet-o-fish sandwich special ordered to be completely devoid of condiments… We’re talking about an actual “Season’s Fresh Catch” fish dinner. His mother and I were “God Smacked”. Max looked at us incredulously and said, “What? I like fish.” Maybe so, I pointed out, but you do realize that this won’t be covered in bread crumbs and dowsed in ketchup? You just ordered a plate of actual food you know. He gave us a perfect rendition of the teen-eye-roll as if to say “don’t you guys know me at all?” Obviously not. Who was this stranger sitting across from me? After a bit, the meals hit the table, and we proceeded to inhale the goodness. As expected, it was one of the better meals I would have on the property this trip. As for my boy’s experimentation with adult cuisine… I should have trusted him in the first place. He devoured the entire meal and promptly declared it the second best thing he’d ever eaten at Disney (right after the ribs at the Flame Tree). I was floored. There are moments when you’re raising you kids that they will make a dramatic change in their behavior as if it were no more then just merely flipping a switch. He’d graduated away from kiddie food. I’ll now be choosing far more adventurous dinning locations from this point on.

One surprise out of the way, we had another little one coming (not near as stunning, but a surprise none the less). Being on the dinning plan, most dinners automatically came with desert. We looked over the menu and ordered up a few. Moments later our server retuned with one desert in hand and asked who had ordered the Toffee Cake? “Toffee Cake?” The answer to that question was no one. It must have been for one of the other tables. He apologized and headed off to find the actual owner of that particular dish. A minute or two later he comes back and says that no one else had ordered it either so he must have grabbed that one by mistake and… As they would simply toss it out were he to take it back to the kitchen, we might as well split it (at no charge). OK… I guess so… Sure. Basically this is a slice of very good vanilla cake that has a toffee filling, and is then covered in caramel sauce and served with ice cream. We all took a bite and immediately fell in love (so to speak). Our actual order showed up moments later and each of those dishes was excellent as well, but the best thing on the table was the accidental Toffee Cake. If you have the chance to try this little sundry, I highly recommend doing so. We’ll certainly be ordering “tres of those babies” the next time we’re down that way.

Oh, by the way… Here’s a couple of holiday pictures form the lobby of the tavern:





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Old 06-04-2011, 09:52 AM   #98
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Chapter 6 – Day-3

- Part 6: The Journey Eastward


After dinner, we headed back out to the front of the castle to catch the official Disney Christmas Parade. Being a special holiday event we expected it would be really crowded (and we were really right), but just like all the rest of the folks that filled the circle and lined all the pathways, it was an event we wanted to be part of. I would like to have found a better viewing spot, but it just wasn’t going to happen this time around. Most of the floats were purposely built fairly tall so that everyone could get a decent view, but if you weren’t right near the curb, there were still a number of details that are just going to be obscured (see what I mean).











It was still a great parade and I’m glad I took the time to stop and enjoy it. However, now that Saint Nick had made his way around the central plaza and headed off down Main Street, we had business to attend to. Under normal circumstances (meaning when the crowd size is something a little more rational), the best time to hit Tomorrow land is in the afternoon. This has to do with that whole “people heading to the right” thing I was talking about earlier. Most folks start over there and then tend to spread out as the day wears on. But this week did not fit the general mold. Even still, we really didn’t have a better plan, so off we headed toward the giant Astro-Orbiter in the sky.



I suspect that y’all already know specifically where we were heading. The mountain in the east: Space Mountain. After a bit of working our way through the throngs, we had arrived at the main entrance. The wait: 95 minutes. At this point, I was prepared to actually do the line. Moreover, Tamara said that she’d be quite happy to grab a drink and have a seat in the sunshine and wait on us. The ball was in Max’s court. I’d ridden this ride far more times then he had, so I let him call it. His decision was that this was just a whole lot longer line then he really wanted to stand in. We’d wait for EMH.

Now let me take just a moment to talk about “Extra Magic Hours”. If you’re staying on property, these can be very useful, but they come with a down side as well. The park that has the EMH on any given day will also generally be the most crowded park on that day. The folks who are coming from off site will be there regardless, but the guests staying at the resorts, will generally try to maximize their experience by making use of the “Extra Magic’. The rule of thumb is that crowds and waits usually start to even out considerably as the day trippers start to leave in the evening. This rule breaks down however, if the entirety of WDW is pretty much sold out (as is the case around Christmas). Under those conditions, even kicking the off-site rabble out of the park, won’t necessarily result in greatly reduced wait times. The one definite exception to this is “Morning EMH”, but you still have to get your fanny up and over to the specified park by rope drop or even that won’t buy you squat. I have had the pleasure of being in the parks in mid May (back before the Congress of the great state of South Carolina started legislating the beginning and end points of the school year for purely monetary and self-serving reasons), and found Extra Magic hours to be an absolute joy. Imagine a 5 minute wait for Space Mountain (yah, you heard me right). However, at this time of year, the final verdict was that “EMH bites.”

Now what? Well, how about something with virtually no wait where we can also take a moment or two to make a new plan. One thing obviously fits that bill: the TTA. Tomorrowland Transit Authority (also known as “The People Mover”) is not a thrill ride by any stretch of a mad man’s imagination, but for us it is a great family tradition. A couple of minutes latter, we’re aboard and riding the loop around Tomorrowland. From this high vantage point we could see that all the stand-by lines in the area were really congested and it was probably time to head off to a different shire within the kingdom.





That mass of folks down there are the poor soles at the end of the line for Space Mountain. Seriously! That’s where the stand-by line began at the time.


Disney’s Latest attraction: Stroller-Land!


Once “landing” safely back at the station, we made a quick stop at the “Carousel of Progress” (because the line was nonexistent, it’s a classic and it’s one of Tamara’s fondest memories of childhood and she asks for so very few things in this world specifically), and then we headed north.
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Old 06-06-2011, 08:41 AM   #99
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Rob - You've really got me worrying about my June/July trip. We were dumb enough to schedule it over the 4th of July weekend and if crowds are anything like you're describing for Christmas, well,
But no matter - we bought APs back in December, so between that trip, our "surprise" April trip and this trip I'll feel that we got our moneys worth. Even if we only get on one or two attractions!
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Old 06-06-2011, 09:12 AM   #100
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Ok, too much to multi-quote here as I catch up. But a few things...

First: the crowds! Even when we went in September, with low overall crowds, we felt that EMH made the parks more crowded.

I love your comment about doing the first ride, and how that makes you feel like you're officially at Disney World on vacation. That's exactly right.

Sounds like you guys were making the best of the day even with the crowds. Sorry the big attractions weren't so available. I don't blame you for not waiting in the stand-by lines, though.

Mmmm...Accidental Toffee Cake...



Love Liberty Tree Tavern. And it's cool to see these glimpses of your son growing up.
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Old 06-06-2011, 11:01 AM   #101
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Originally Posted by FreezinRafiki View Post
Rob - You've really got me worrying about my June/July trip. We were dumb enough to schedule it over the 4th of July weekend and if crowds are anything like you're describing for Christmas, well,
But no matter - we bought APs back in December, so between that trip, our "surprise" April trip and this trip I'll feel that we got our moneys worth. Even if we only get on one or two attractions!
The truth of the matter is that our Day at MK (the first rainless, clear, pleasant day in near a week and with the “EMH Effect” in full swing), was by far the hardest to work with. But even then, the only attractions that were just undoable were the three mountains. Everything else was a healthy wait, but not so ridiculous that it couldn’t be dealt with. My advice would be to generally avoid which ever park has EMH on a given day unless you’re planning to hop over to that one (and if so, do it very late and well into the extra hours).



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Originally Posted by Captain_Oblivious View Post
First: the crowds! Even when we went in September, with low overall crowds, we felt that EMH made the parks more crowded.
Agreed. I’ll be generally ignoring the Evening-EMH parks during peak times (unless I’m going to hop over to on and even then, I’ll wait until toward the end of the extra time (especially at MK).

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I love your comment about doing the first ride, and how that makes you feel like you're officially at Disney World on vacation. That's exactly right.
Thanks and:

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Originally Posted by Captain_Oblivious View Post
Sounds like you guys were making the best of the day even with the crowds. Sorry the big attractions weren't so available. I don't blame you for not waiting in the stand-by lines, though.
It was a little frustrating but, we’ve done them all before and we’ll be back (and as I was telling Barry, ultimately it was only the mountains that were “unattainable” the rest of it could be done with a bit o patience).

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Mmmm...Accidental Toffee Cake...
That’s one that I’ve added to the list of must haves


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And it's cool to see these glimpses of your son growing up.
Thanks. Our kids change gradually and sometime we don’t immediately notice where a major shift has occurred when there buried in the day to day details of just getting by. But when you’re in the midst of a major adventure or a unique undertaking that you can compare to a previous experience, then those changes are magnified and stand out in sharp relief. Who’d-a-thunk, that he would use a Disney vacation to begin a general personality overhaul. I’m looking forward to seeing how differently he conducts himself when we get aboard the Dream in a couple of weeks (as compared to our previous cruses 2 and 4 years ago).

Last edited by GoofyIsAsGoofyDoes; 06-06-2011 at 12:31 PM.
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Old 06-06-2011, 11:07 AM   #102
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GoofyIsAsGoofyDoes View Post
The truth of the matter is that our Day at MK (the first rainless, clear, pleasant day in near a week and with the “EMH Effect” in full swing), was by far the hardest to work with. But even then, the only attractions that were just undoable were the three mountains. Everything else was a healthy wait, but not so ridiculous that it couldn’t be dealt with. My advice would be to generally avoid which ever park has EMH on a given day unless you’re planning to hop over to that one (and if so, do it very late and well into the extra hours).
That's actually the problem - we're saying off-site and I just looked at our planned itinerary and saw that both of our MK days were EMH. We're now rearranging them to avoid EMH.
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Old 06-06-2011, 11:38 AM   #103
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Some can be told that it’s dangerous and believe it. Some have to read the sign on the fence before they’ll believe it, and a few have to actually grab hold of the thing before they’re convinced. Then there’s minority that are so stubborn that they just have to tempt fate and piss on the electric fence before they’ll believe you. Today, I was in that last group.
Ok, you worked pissing on an electric fence into a TR. I'm impressed.

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Mission not accomplished, we headed back to where Tamara was to explain the predicament.


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Originally Posted by GoofyIsAsGoofyDoes View Post
When I said, “Well, just don’t tell your friends, that you spent your time ridding this one.” He responded, “Actually, all my friends are pretty much geeks anyway, so they’d think it was pretty cool”. Every once in a while your young’ens will surprise you (and those surprises are starting to show up more often by the day).
Awesome moment! I'm sure that will be a special Disney memory for you for years to come now that you can see him growing mature and maybe not being "too cool" to enjoy the classics.


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As they would simply toss it out were he to take it back to the kitchen, we might as well split it (at no charge). OK… I guess so… Sure. Basically this is a slice of very good vanilla cake that has a toffee filling, and is then covered in caramel sauce and served with ice cream. We all took a bite and immediately fell in love
The only thing better than a delicious dessert is a free, bonus, delicious dessert!

Too bad everybody else decided to invade the Magic Kingdom the same day you did. I do have to give you credit for making the most of it. It looks like you're doing a good job of just going with the flow and taking the opportunity to slow down and enjoy some of the less crowded attractions.
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Old 06-06-2011, 01:40 PM   #104
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Glad to here form you again Andy. I hope you’re doing a bit better now then you were a couple of days back. Remember to take care of yourself.

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Ok, you worked pissing on an electric fence into a TR. I'm impressed.
Caught that one did ya’?

Telling (or should I say embellishing) a tale is not so much an art form in the south as it is a survival skill (you need something to keep everyone sitting in the shade just a little bit longer before heading off into the heat of the day). Collectively we can barely speak or write a sentence with out having to add some type of sub-sentence or parable onto it somewhere, and we generally have some phrase or common image to go with just about any occasion. It’s a little bit like coleslaw; down here it comes as a side item with everything your order weather you want it or not (see what I mean ).


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Awesome moment! I'm sure that will be a special Disney memory for you for years to come now that you can see him growing mature and maybe not being "too cool" to enjoy the classics.
That is one for the books. He managed to pull that little bit of magic off several times during the trip. My momma use to say of raising my brother and me that the best part of the journey was “watching us become”. I understood what she said at the time, but didn’t understand what she meant until I started watching my boy begin the process. Buried within all the silence, darkness and sarcasm of the teen years, there are these bright moments that crop up. It usually occurs when their enjoying themselves and aren’t working so hard on their meticulously crafted personas. Vacations are good for drawing them out, and Disney may be the best miner of those nuggets.


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Too bad everybody else decided to invade the Magic Kingdom the same day you did. I do have to give you credit for making the most of it. It looks like you're doing a good job of just going with the flow and taking the opportunity to slow down and enjoy some of the less crowded attractions.
It happens. We were prepared for a lot of people, but were still surprised by the extent of the “infestation”. We did, however, plan from the onset to do a number of little things that generally get missed in the mad dash of getting you’re moneys worth. When dealing with a smorgasbord as large as WDW, you need to enjoy the meat-n-tatters, but always remember to save room for all the great side dishes.
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Old 06-06-2011, 04:23 PM   #105
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Chapter 6 – Day-3

- Part 7: Toontown we hardly knew ya’


Toontown is no more. This little corner of the Magic Kingdom closed to guests in February of 2011 to make way for the Fantasy Land expansion. Knowing that this would be happening, Tamara wanted to make sure that we got over there at some point during the trip to say our goodbyes to a chunk of the parks that has served everyone’s young children very well. This area was first opened up in 1988 to celebrate Mickey’s 60th birthday. It was slightly rethemed a couple of times to coincide with similar alterations at DL where the attraction was originally supposed to be based on the Toontown concept in the movie “Who Framed Rodger Rabbit”. The Disneyland version is considerably larger and has far more details, but the back story that was dreamed up for its MK counterpart was that this was the “vacation home” of the characters that otherwise lived in California.

Regardless, it was a good place to take a break and let the little ones run around and pretend to be as big as they want to be (warning: nostalgic photos to follow).

It was a hit the first time my son experienced Disney (good lord that was a long time ago, and now he actually is asking me to trust him with the car );


Is the first place where we actually got to “meet Mickey”
(now who is that other big kid, and why don’t I have any gray hair?);


Served as an excellent rest-stop & photo-op during a trip with my brother’s family
(the girls are my nieces Kinsey & Michaela and that too was a long time ago);


And (for the time being) is still a good place to catch the train
(Full disclosure: I borrowed that particular picture because I don’t have a good one that fit’s the bill, but you get the idea).


Here are a few of the pictures that I did take from around Toontown on this, our last visit there:




(More of the ever prevalent crowd)



Donald’s Ship. Wait a minute… That doesn’t quite look like the pictures of the Disney Dream that came along with my cruse planning package.


We needed to get Pete after all the strollers and Scooters that were clogging up the walkways…


The House of Mouse













And Minnie’s boudoir. We'd have spent more time in here too, but it was serving double duty as the queue for the meet and greet at the time, so even getting inside wasn’t happening.


It will be missed, but I’m also looking forward to seeing how they reuse the area once the expansion has been completed.

A sign of things to come…



From Toontown we hopped onto the WDW Rail Road for the trip to the main station and ultimately back over to the west side of the park (I did say it was a good place to catch the train). I’d like to show you a few good pictures form that ride, but I was enjoying the trip so thoroughly that I didn’t even think to take any (D’ohhh). When we hopped off the train behind the twin mountains, the area in between was packed to nearly bursting with terrestrial life forms. It was a mass of humanity reminiscent of a Tokyo train station (at least judging by the pictures and videos that I’ve seen of such). We squeezed on around to the front to check the wait times and both were still running at two hours or better. They’ll just have to wait. From here we headed back into Adventure land and picked up a few passes for the Jungle Cruise (as at least they still had passes) and then jumped into the queue for the Tikki Room (which hasn’t needed passes in years). I’ll agree with the generally majority opinion which opines that the updated show here is not near as good as the original, but it’s still entertaining. Once we’d shook a tail feather and headed back out into the light we noticed that there wasn’t near as much of it. Light that is. The sun was in the process of setting (well after all it was one of the shortest days of the year and mere hours away form the Winter Solstice). This realization was our reminder to get back over to the castle to take in another of those seasonal moments of Disney Magic.
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