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Old 06-06-2011, 11:16 PM   #106
GoofyIsAsGoofyDoes
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Chapter 6 – Day-3

- Part 8: Light a Candle (I Mean a Castle)


On our way back to the main circle in front of the castle we encountered another Parade. This was the “Move It, Shake It” parade that the folks at Disney will bring out at different (and sometimes unannounced) times of the day to help move the crowd around the park. In this instance they were trying (and successfully might I add) to draw folks back to the castle for the lighting ceremony. Here are a couple of images, but as it was getting dark very quickly, there’s not as much to see as I’d hoped there would be.



For you astronomy buffs, the sky just behind Baloo is a good illustration of the “Belt of Venus” (the narrow pink band that forms along the horizon in the moments just between twilight and darkness.


A nice shot back toward Main Street.


Here’s a series of images of the castle showing just how quickly the daylight simply vanished.


5 minutes later…


8 minutes later…


Now, we were planning to be there anyway, but that little hoedown made sure that the whole area was well packed with folks that now had additional incentive to stay as well. Fine by me… Yes it was wall to wall people, but there really isn’t a bad view of the castle from the main circle (unless you think you’re going to be able to sit on a curb or one of the benches and actually see anything, then I suppose there is a mighty bad spot). Anyway… Shortly after the moveable party headed down Main Street, the Disney folks got the show on the road and cranked up the lighting ceremony. It was another one of those moments where I was watching and listening, but not thinking. I didn’t remember to kick on the video recorder until just as they were actually lighting the castle. But at least I did get a relatively decent (albeit short) video of that part of the show this time around; which means that you also get to watch a relatively decent video of it (if you so choose).

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HimavqwJN9w

And a coupel of images from the same luminous event…




Castle now illuminated, we had a little bit of time to kill and were feeling a bit peckish, so we decided to walk over to Casey’s and spend a snack credit on a drink and perhaps some French-fries to nibble on.

A couple of pictures from Casey’s




This turned out to be a good decision because we also got free entertainment. A fellow showed up of the side porch at Casey’s and commenced to playing a bit of truly excellent Ragtime and Dixieland style piano for anyone that cared to listen. Needless to say, I cared to listen.



At one point he broke into the “Peanut’s Theme” which is actually titled: “Linus & Lucy”. It was around that time that it occurred to me that as I still had a camera in my hand, I ought to be recording this. So I did. Unfortunately, this is the point in the day where the batteries on my camera were just about to give out. I got a little bit of the performance, but that’s it.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EEvt1SSrtSA

Now, what this also means is that you’ll be spared from having to view any more of my amateurish attempts at photography for most of the rest of day three. You may be relieved to hear this, but consider that I’ll now be forced to fill up the remaining parts of this chapter with nothing more then my mindless recreation of the events of the day (you should have been rooting for the camera).
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Old 06-07-2011, 12:27 AM   #107
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I just found your TR and love it! Our next trip is going to be around Christmas, and one of the resorts I'm contemplating is POR.
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Old 06-07-2011, 10:12 AM   #108
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GoofyIsAsGoofyDoes View Post
Toontown is no more. This little corner of the Magic Kingdom closed to guests in February of 2011
I'm thoroughly disappointed to see this go away. I didn't go there the past few trips, because I was there as an adult with other adults. Not having children with us, we weren't too compelled to actually go into the buildings and take it all in. I'm sad that I didn't get my chance for that one last visit, and more importantly, I'm sad that DS won't get the chance to see Toontown when we go. Such a wonderfully themed area that gave the Fab Five a place to call home... such a shame to see it go away.

Quote:
Originally Posted by GoofyIsAsGoofyDoes View Post
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).
I hear their trains are just a tiny bit faster than the WDW locomotives too.

Quote:
Originally Posted by GoofyIsAsGoofyDoes View Post
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.
Yeah, I've always liked the Tiki Room, but I still enjoyed it despite the new management. That said, it was never my favorite attraction, but always a must see.

Quote:
Originally Posted by GoofyIsAsGoofyDoes View Post
At one point he broke into the “Peanut’s Theme” which is actually titled: “Linus & Lucy”.
Kind of an odd song choice for the Magic Kingdom.

Quote:
Originally Posted by GoofyIsAsGoofyDoes View Post
You may be relieved to hear this, but consider that I’ll now be forced to fill up the remaining parts of this chapter with nothing more then my mindless recreation of the events of the day (you should have been rooting for the camera).
The pics and commentary are both fine.
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Old 06-07-2011, 10:26 PM   #109
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Belle83 View Post
I just found your TR and love it! Our next trip is going to be around Christmas, and one of the resorts I'm contemplating is POR.

Welcome aboard and thanks for following along. I hope you get the opportunity to stay during the holidays, but I’d go bit earlier in December if you can swing it. Everyone thinks of Disney as a place for kids, but there is actually a whole lot that a couple can immerse themselves into. I absolutely love my son, but I’m also secretly looking forward to his heading off to collage, so I can start dating my wife again. I guarantee that we’ll be doing a lot of off-season couples only touring of The World, in a few years.


Quote:
Originally Posted by afwdwfan View Post
I'm thoroughly disappointed to see this go away. I didn't go there the past few trips, because I was there as an adult with other adults. Not having children with us, we weren't too compelled to actually go into the buildings and take it all in. I'm sad that I didn't get my chance for that one last visit, and more importantly, I'm sad that DS won't get the chance to see Toontown when we go. Such a wonderfully themed area that gave the Fab Five a place to call home... such a shame to see it go away.
Hopefully, once there expansion is completed and some of the parts of Toontown are integrated into Fantasyland, there will be some new things that interest the boys as much as the girls. It seems that in the past few years, the folks down there have been struggling to find something that works as well for the little guys as the offerings they’ve devised for the gals.

Quote:
Originally Posted by afwdwfan View Post
I hear their trains are just a tiny bit faster than the WDW locomotives too.
Ohhhh… Just a smidgen.

Quote:
Originally Posted by afwdwfan View Post
Yeah, I've always liked the Tiki Room, but I still enjoyed it despite the new management. That said, it was never my favorite attraction, but always a must see.


Quote:
Originally Posted by afwdwfan View Post
Kind of an odd song choice for the Magic Kingdom.
Yes and no. Obviously, music has always been a major part of Disney, and they’re good about working their own tunes into nearly every experience. But the “color musicians” are a slightly different story. Their job is more to set a mood or evoke a moment in time. They are a lot freer to meander outside the Disney Song Book and use anything that fits the moment. The fellow I encountered at Casey’s was playing various standards that fit into the Ragtime & Dixieland styles prevalent during the turn of the last century, but he was also trying to play things that were recognizable. Linus & Lucy, is a piece of early 60s piano jazz, but it pulls a lot from the Dixieland style and is suited to solo piano in the way the chord structure and left-hand progressions allowed him to fill all the space with the music.


You buyin’ any of that? (Actually, I think he just liked playing the tune)

Quote:
Originally Posted by afwdwfan View Post
The pics and commentary are both fine.
Thanks, but you know that if you keep encouraging me, I’ll just keep up this nonsense.
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Old 06-07-2011, 10:34 PM   #110
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Chapter 6 – Day-3

- Part 9: The Eastern Block & the Occidental Meltdown


From our vantage point at the top of Main Street, we could see that there was a steady and fairly heavy stream of folks heading out of the park for the day (or at least heading down Main Street and away form the rest of the park). As such, it was high time that we gave the notion of mountain climbing one more attempt. So back into Tomorrowland we trudged. When we made it to the far end, we found that the line was still hovering at about 100 minutes. There are movies that ain’t that long. What seemed to be happening was that the bulk of the crowd were there for the big three (the Mountains that is) and that some of the other attractions were starting to let up at least a bit. The wait for Stitch’s Great Escape was minimal, but we’d seen that one before (and honestly, weren’t all that impressed). Buzz was running at 40ish minutes and seemed an acceptable alternative to me, but believe it or not, our video game obsessed young’n, wasn’t as interested in it this trip (I think that would’ve been different had he had someone his own age to compete against directly as we’d been able to do on a couple of prior trips). So what’d we do? We hopped back on the TTA. Yep, you heard me, but let me also explain that any ride that is basically outside is actually very different at night. The colors are different; the sounds carry farther and are sharper as the air cools down, and there is a more electric feeling to the atmosphere of any ride in the evening. Another thing that is different about the TTA at night is that when it ducks into and back out of the buildings, your eyes don’t have to work as hard to deal with the change in brightness, and you can see everything considerably better then in the blinding light of the day. We all agreed that we actually enjoyed being on the tram better this time around.

Once back on the ground, we started back across to the west side of the park. The SpectralMagic parade was going to kick off in a few minutes, and we were hopping beyond hope, that maybe this parade would draw down some of the stand-by times. We already knew it wasn’t working for Space Mountain, but what about Thunder? Under normal circumstances we should have encountered a 30 to 40ish minute wait for Big Thunder once we arrived (as the parade was just two minutes form starting and I’d actually experienced this working for me during trips in the high summer months of June and July), but not at Christmas time. It wasn’t happening. 120 minutes it read. The same thing it had said nearly all day long. The folks here on this day just weren’t giving it up. Quickly we got back across the main road in Frontierland just as the CMs were roping off the last crossing area and opening the gates to let the parade loose. Time for a new plan.




- Part 10: Two From the Grill

We were standing just outside of Pecos Bill’s as the music cranked up and the first float hit the street sounding a whole lot like a calliope running on helium. That’s when we noticed, that the “Parade Effect” was actually working somewhere. There was virtually no one in line for food (well duhhhh, they were all in line for the mountains). It was well past dinnertime, and we’d seen this particular parade before, so the arithmetic was pretty simple. We ducked into Bill’s. While deciding what we wanted, Tamara and I also decided to split a meal so that we’d end up with an extra counter service meal that we could also split latter in the week when we’d have otherwise run out of credits. Besides, with the desert included, there would likely be plenty for the both of us anyway.

So, with two burgers order and one split down the middle, we all headed of the fixin’s bar. I rather like the burgers at Bill’s they’re pretty consistent and you can dress ‘em any way you want. I also grabbed a little extra mayo, cheese sauce and BBQ sauce for dippin’ the fries and we were good to go. The dining room was so empty that you could see the tumbleweeds rolling through, so we quickly rounded up a table and settled in to enjoy a little bit of grub. Our camp turned out to be off the main trail and relatively quiet (something that is at times hard to come by in any park), but still had a view through one of the windows so we had a good idea of what was going on with the parade. We could watch all the lights flickering, hear the music rather clearly, and didn’t have to stand amongst the heard of folks watching form the sidewalk.

We finished up our dinner just about the time that the parade was wrapping up, so we figured that we’d get a little bit ahead of the rush and headed back toward Adventureland. It was just about time to cash in our passes for the Jungle Cruise. On the way, we passed by POTC again and said out loud that if the line was at its usual evening length of ten-ish minutes or so, we’d hop on that once more. Wrong… 65 minutes! For Pirates? Really? Gracious! That’s just ridiculous this late in the evening (I think that the mistake I made was saying it out loud). But, we did have passes to catch a different boat, so down the steps we go and into the wonderfully themed queue of the Jungle Cruise.

Last edited by GoofyIsAsGoofyDoes; 06-08-2011 at 07:38 PM.
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Old 06-08-2011, 07:53 PM   #111
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Chapter 6 – Day-3

- Part 11: Posh Tickets and One Big Tree


We all dream of living the “Posh” life (like in the song from Chitty-Chitty-Bang-Bang: “It’s the posh, posh traveling life, the traveling life for me…”). But what exactly is “Posh”. Well by definition it is high style and comfort while undertaking an exotic journey. The word came out of the “Edwardian” era during the waning years of the British Empire and is actually an acronym meaning: “Port Out – Starboard Home”. If you were taking a steamer from England to India, you really wanted to have that stamped on you ticket. Why? Because it was even better then being in first class. These four letters signified to the stewards aboard the ship that you were to be placed in a port side cabin as you were sailing east across the Indian Ocean. A move which ensured that you’d be on the cooler shaded side of the ship that was not being constantly assaulted by the sun as it traveled on its southerly arc from east to west. Conversely you’d be moved to the starboard side during the return journey and would be similarly spared as much of the radiant heat as possible.

Why am I tossing in that little vocabulary/history lesson… To give you an idea (form a story line perspective) of what the Jungle cruise in not.

Disclaimer: I barrowed this picture from a friend because it was rather dark when we were riding (well that and the fact the my camera battery was still dead).


The back-story is that you’re embarking on an early version of an eco-tourism adventure to see the seven great rivers of the world. But you’re guides in this mid 1930s era undertaking are a fly-by-night operation at best. Just take a little time to read all the notices on the walls of the queue and check out the various artifacts as you make your way back and forth through the serpentine. Also pay attention to the “radio broadcast” that is being played as part of the atmosphere (there are a few good chuckles buried within the presentation). I remember first experiencing this “excursion” in 1974 (the very early days of the Magic Kingdom). At that time, the Jungle Cruise was an E-Ticket Attraction and the story line had danger and adventure built into it. But over the years, the tale got to be rather tired and dog-eared and the ride lost a good bit of its luster for many folks. What to do? Well, Disney turned it into comedy. Not just comedy, but pun oriented, bad joke comedy (the kind of thing that works well for most guys, and I’m no exception). At least on this river ride (as opposed to “Living with the Land”), there are still live CMs working as guides, and each individual, has their own style and cash of bad jokes. There are a few of these one liners that are standard (like: “the back side of water”) and others that get passed around amongst the various ‘captains’, but I like to listen out for new ones. Every once in a while, you’re guide will drag a good laugh out of you, but mostly is groans all around.




OK, its time to head off on another tangent (if you can stand it). In the early 1960s my Grandfather moved to the central Florida coast. He was a skilled welder and “Iron Worker” and had heard that there was a little government organization setting up shop on a spit of land called Merritt Island, and these ya-hoos were looking for folks with his particular talent. Specifically, that organization was NASA and the thing that they needed built was launch facilities and gantries for the rockets that they were developing. He worked there for better then 30 years and needless to say, his collection of grand-young’ins got to spend varying amounts of quality time on the grounds at Cape Kennedy/Canaveral across that time frame. Now… Why I’m I telling you this incongruent story? It’s a proximity thing. It seems that in about 1970, there was another little company from the west coast that was working on a new project of their own a mere fifty miles as the crow flies west of “The Cape”. They were also in need of some highly skilled welders to construct something for them.

Something that started out looking a lot like this:


That is the armature for the “Swiss Family Robinson Tree House”. , and yes, my Grandpa helped build it. Well, one like it anyway. This specific photograph is actually of the one that was built in California in 1960, but the Florida version is basically the same. I just couldn’t track down any al fresco pictures of the Orlando structure. Either way, the net result ended up looking like this:

This news flash just in: my camera battery is still dead (as such these are from an earlier trip).








The story that Gran’pa would tell is that the names of all the folks that helped build the thing are carved amongst the branches out of direct site of the guests. I’ve never seen them personally, but I like the story and it certainly sounds like something Disney would consider. As such, this is an attraction that I try never to miss. It may be just a simple walkthrough exhibit, but the details are simply exquisite. If you’ve generally just strolled by this old standard (as most folks do), I encourage you to take a few minutes to experience it as well next time. There really is more here then meets the eye.

Last edited by GoofyIsAsGoofyDoes; 06-08-2011 at 09:35 PM.
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Old 06-12-2011, 06:52 PM   #112
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Bonus Feature 2: Canebrake Point

This post contains information that you don’t need to know. As such, you should not feel that you are under any obligation to read any farther. If fact, I’d advise you to head directly on down to the next section of this chapter without wasting any more time here, because I’m going to talk about something that I find interesting (meaning that most normal folks won’t), and that is only ‘slightly” (and I mean very slightly) Disney related. Go ahead… You can scroll on down (I really won’t mind). The next couple of posts on down the way are the final wrap up for Day three and I really think you’ll enjoy them more then the nonsense I’m about to get in to.





You still here? Ooooooo-Kayyyyyyy, but you were warned.

Now, one or two of you saw the pictures that I have buried in this post and came back to see what I was on about (the rest of you are just glutens for punishment). Either way, here we go…

This is related to that last tangent I went off on (the one about my Gran’pa, working on “The Cape”). Since the Cruse lines moved into Port Canaveral and more to our point of view, since DCL brought the Magic there in 1999, The “Space Coast” draws a lot more travelers in then it once did. There were always a number of folks stopping here for a bit, but now a whole lot of ‘em are really just there to catch the ships, and then be on their way, but as the geeks and dreamers know, this little spot on the map holds a lot of importance in relation to our national psyche and identity and it all has to do with things that have the potential to go boom. But first things first… When you start talking about a place, you should start with its origins (‘cause if ‘ya don’t know where you came from, you can’t understand where your going).

What exactly is a Canaveral and why does it wear a cape anyway? Well, Cabo Cañaveral, is what the Spanish explorers (the first Europeans to arrive in the area) chose to name this spot on the coast. The “Cabo” part translates into “Cape” (which is a point of land jutting out into the ocean the may also at times be called a point) and the “Cañaveral” bit of it means “Canebrake” (where a “break” is a dense thicket of vegetation, and in this case that flora was apparently a type of cane or reed). There are several theories as to what point there were trying to make, but the accepted one is that basically these sailors saw a whole lot of what they took to be sugar cane growing along this coastline here. Otherwise the most important part of the name was the “cape” bit of it because they used this easily identifiable feature as a major aid to navigation on this side of the Atlantic. When you encountered the Cape, it was time to turn a few points to the east and catch the major currents (now referred to as the Golf Stream) back toward home.

They were exploring the area as early as 1503, but here’s an image of the first known separate map of Florida from 1591



The cape is clearly marked and obviously very important to the cartographer that drew up this representation.


The place stayed pretty isolated for a very long time (mostly because the locals were fairly inhospitable). The French attempted to establish a settlement here early on, but the Spanish put a quick kybosh to that idea. From an early US perspective, this area was foreign waters until the 1820s although the last naval battle of our Revolutionary War was fought off the shores of Cape Canaveral in 1783, between the USS Alliance and the HMS Sybill (and this is commemorated by the local Society of the Sons of the American Revolution with a small annual parade near the port)

USS Alliance Built for the Continental Navy in 1778


The original Spanish explores would also refer to this area as the “Cape of Currents” because the sailing could be treacherous in these waters. After acquiring Florida, the US government agreed with this assessment and constructed a permanent lighthouse here completing the original brick structure in 1847, replacing that in 1868, and then building the current structure in 1894. It still stands on what are now the grounds of the Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, and although it is automated, it is the only fully operational lighthouse owned and operated by the US Air Force.





Regular steamer traffic was becoming more common in the area by the 1880's, and the Flagler Railway reached the city of Titusville, formerly called Sand Point just north of Canaveral in 1893, but the area still did not really begin developing until the 1920s. Even then the small hamlets and the light on the Cape were only reached by boat. In 1940, during the run up to WWII, the US Navy established the Banana River Naval Air Station as a seaplane base and training facility just to the south of the Cape (and named for the inlet that separates it from Merritt Island to the northwest.

A group of PBM-3Cs of the VP-201 squadron at NAS Banana River - 1942


The Navel Air Station was deactivated after the war and the facility was eventually transferred to the USAF in 1948. It is still in operation as Patrick Air Force Base.

Here’s a map of the area today to help you get your bearings.




During WWII something happened that would have a profound impact in the Cape. That was the attempt to development rockets as a terror weapon by Germany. After the conflict, we (the US that is) acquired a good deal of the remaining German built V2 rockets (and a number of their scientists and engineers to boot), and had begun the process of advancing that technology. At first the testing was done in New Mexico but as the designs and abilities advanced the dangers of having a missile test range anywhere near a populated area would become painfully clear. In May of 1947 a V-2 rocket (designated: “Hermes II”) was test fired from White Sands AFB and strayed to the south instead of heading north over the range. The missile flew directly over El Paso, Texas and eventually crashed into the Tepeyac Cemetery in Juarez, Mexico. Not very good public relations to say the least. The missile impact created a hole 50 feet wide by 30 feet deep.




Although no one was injured, the U.S. government has succeeded in causing a minor international incident and had to settle damage claims, many of which were obviously embellished by the local residents. Thankfully, the quest for a new missile range had begun almost a year before this incident. A suitable facility would need several attributes such as: being relatively isolated, providing a large expanse of unpopulated area over which missiles could fly, being able to accommodate the installation of several downrange tracking stations, and be close to a military base that could serve as the operational headquarters.

The place that best fit the bill turned out to be Cape Canaveral. It was still relatively undeveloped yet it had rail and ship handling capabilities. A military base already existed just to the south, and firing the rockets eastward over the ocean also ensured that striking a populated area was rather unlikely. The Cape was also located near the Equator, which would prove to be an asset in ballistic missile testing and eventually space launches. Rockets launched from here could take advantage of the rotational speed of the Earth, which is greatest at the Equator. The relative position of Cape Canaveral required less rocket engine thrust than would have been necessary elsewhere. On May 11, 1949 President Harry S. Truman signed legislation entitled Public Law 60 establishing the “Joint Long Range Proving Ground” at Cape Canaveral, and the initial development of what is now the “Space Coast” began in earnest.

Work on the first four launch facilities was under way and although these structures and their associated support buildings were not all fully completed, launches of two modified German V-2 rockets were scheduled for July, 1950. The rockets were part of the “Bumper” series that was testing multistage propulsion. Each employed a V-2 rocket as first stage and a “WAC-Corporal” rocket (meaning: Without Any Control) as a second stage. The first rocket launched from the Cape was code-named: Bumper-8 and the test shot took place on July 24, 1950

Launch Pad 3 Construction




Launching of Bumper-8




Rocket development progressed through the 1950s with specific emphasis placed on inter-continental ballistic missiles (ICBMs) until something interesting occurred that involved a different group of scientists working in a different underdeveloped part of the world. That interesting thing was called:”Cпутник-1”, which means: “fellow traveller”.



In English it’s written and pronounced: Sputnik and it translates as: “Oh holly crap, those SOBs did what, and put it where, and we haven’t even considered doing anything like this yet?” At 19:28:34 UTC (that’s about 2:30 in the afternoon to you and me), on 4 October, 1957, the world changed. At that time a Sergei Korolev designed R-7 rocket successfully left a launch facility in what is now called the Baikonur Cosmodrome. This event officially started the “Space Race” by putting a small basketball sized satellite into low Earth orbit.

The effect this had on Cape Canaveral was dramatic. Launch sites were built up and down The Cape until there was no more room for additional facilities. The area boomed with the influx of military personnel, civilian contractors and all the necessary support facilities and businesses that are required for the up keep of the scientists, designers, engineers and pilots with the “Right Stuff” to make certain we did not loose this new race. NASA's Project Mercury and Gemini space flights were launched from Cape Canaveral, as were the ill-fated Apollo-1 and far more successful Apollo-7 missions.

Flight: MR-3 (Freedom 7) turning Allen Sheppard into the first American into space


Flight: MA-6 (Friendship 7) launching John Glenn into earth orbit


Gemini-3 returning Gus Grissom to space along with first timer John Young


Apollo-7 The first successful manned launch and test of the Apollo command module


But one thing was clear even at the beginning of the moon missions. Canaveral was running out of room. The solution was to build a separate facility just to the northwest on Merritt Island. This area is actually considerably larger the Canaveral itself and includes the large Merritt Island National Wildlife Refuge and one very fine National Seashore known as Playalinda Beach. (Which is actually redundant because “Playa” already means beach. “Linda” means beautiful and Playalinda is exactly that, so spend some time there if you get the chance.) Anyway… The Merritt Island facility is run by NASA in association with the USAF and is technically separate from the Air Force facility on the Canaveral shore, but the whole area is still referred to as “The Cape. The three most iconic sites at KSC are the Vehicle Assembly Building (VAB) and launch pads 39A & 39B, from which all the Saturn-5 rocket and later Space Shuttle launches occurred.

VAB under Construction
(This is the first job that drew my Grandfather down into the area)




The VAB in its current configuration with launch Pad 39B in the back ground


One of the “Mobil Launchers” carring Apollo-15 down to the launch pad



Now a days there is a bit more going on at the Cape than just space exploration. Back in 1950, during the same time frame as the first rocket launches, the Army Corps of Engineers began the construction of a port facility at the southern end of the Cape. The deep-water port was originally intended to allow the berthing of range instrumentation and cargo ships, but was later expanded to service ballistic missile submarines and commercial vessels. Now known as Port Canaveral, it is home to a commercial port,

a Coast Guard station (good to know that they got your back),


a fine seaside park (Jetty Park)…


and of course several cruise ship lines
(including one operated by a company we all know and love)




Well… That just about wraps up my little unnecessary dissertation on Port Canaveral. This free thought experiment was brought to you courtesy of my in ability to stay on topic and the fact that I just don’t have any pictures for the next couple of sections of this TR (so I tossed a few bits of visual candy in here). I warned you to just scroll on down to the next section in the beginning of this post, so if you actually read through this morass, you’ve got no one but yourself to blame.

We now return you to our previously scheduled program already in progress…

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Old 06-12-2011, 06:54 PM   #113
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Chapter 6 – Day-3

- Part 12: A “Wish” for a mountain passage


After a pleasant climb and descent of the tree house, we noticed that “Wishes” would be getting underway in a short bit. We’ve seen the MKs current fireworks extravaganza many times and from many different vantage points. But the goal this evening was to use the show in an attempt to solve the one problem that had vexed us all day. As I’ve said (and as most Dis-Vets know) under normal circumstances, the two things that really draw down the wait times throughout the park are the parades/shows and the arrival of EMH. “Wishes” is the ultimate manifestation of this phenomenon. It starts just as the park is closing for the day trippers, so the vast majority of these folks are either in the circle waiting to see the show, or already heading for the gates to get a jump of the rest of the crush (either way, they are no longer your problem). The fireworks also tend to draw a whole lot of the on-site guest to the show (like moths to the flame as it were), so this is the one time when we really should have our best shot at getting into one of the mountains that day.

When we reached the west side of the plaza, the place was already packed with a veritable sea of humanity. It took a good bit of “creative walking” just to cross to the other side without either running someone else over or being assimilated into the collective. Once across we again headed down to Space Mountain. With the show starting in about ten-ish minutes, it seemed to have actually begun to work a little bit of that hoped for magic. The stand-by was down to 85 minutes (the lowest we’d seen all day). As we were debating this possibility, we noticed that the wait for the “Laugh Floor” was 5 minutes! Excellent! The new plan: See the Laugh Floor show (‘cause you know that comedy ain’t pretty”) and by the time we get back out, Wishes will have started up and the queue at SM should have come down a smidgen more into the tolerable range. Good plan.
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Old 06-12-2011, 06:55 PM   #114
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Chapter 6 – Day-3

- Part 13: Disney’s Underwear


The Monsters Inc. Laugh Floor is a lot of fun. I love the interactive aspects of the show and the routines that are done by ‘Sam and Elle” in particular. One of these days I’d also like to be lucky enough to be: “That Guy!” but either way, I always end up laughing along. This evening’s show was as good as usual and after the last curtain call, we all were in a good mood. Cheerfully we walked out the theater door and made the turn to the right back toward the mountain.

“Whishes” was underway and the fireworks were as pretty to as ever. You could hear the soundtrack in the back ground and the reports of the shells quite well. The walkway all around us was fairly clear (something I’d not seen since this morning). Things were finally looking positive. Then we got up to the official entrance for the queue at SM. {At this point you can add in the sound effect of a record needle being scraped across the sound track and everything dropping into slow-motion and stunned silence, followed after a moment by a blood curdling scream of: “Nooooooooo"!} The stand-by had actually gone up from 85 minutes back to 150!!! What the “Beverly”!!! Even with the EMH finally kicking in, it seemed that everyone else in the bloody park was working under the same principle and flocking to the main attractions. The three of us just looked at each other and shook our heads. It felt like someone had just taken a whiz in you’re lemonade and licked all the red of your M&Ms. Disappointing to say the least. I asked Max what he wanted to do (as Tamara didn’t really want to ride this one anyway). His response: “I’m just about over it at this point”. Well my doges were plenty tired by now as well and momma wasn’t going to argue against it. That was it. We realized that we were pretty much done for the day.

White flag raised, we headed back toward the front gate and cut through the “Noodle Station” to get over to Main Street without having to claw our way through the crowd in the plaza. Just as we got to the edge of the Main street buildings, the CMs were directing anyone that was leaving to walk through the “Employees Only” section behind the buildings on the west side of the street. Given Disney’s preference for always maintaining the guest experience, this rather surprised us, but it also certainly beat squeezing through the masses on out in front of the shops. Now, as you might expect of a “bona fide South’ner”, we have a phrase for just about every occasion and one does come to mind in this instance. Within most facets of life there are two sides to a thing (be it a building, a stage prop, or someone’s personality as the case may be) where the front is for show with everything in its place, well finished and presentable, while the back is rough, utilitarian and/or disheveled. When for whatever reason, you allow folks to get a glimpse of that unkempt backside of something; it’s known as “being caught with your underwear hanging out”. That‘s what we saw: Disney’s Underwear. You just don’t think, as you’re looking at the facades of all the shops along Main Street USA, that they’re anything other then magical. But on the backside of the building, it’s all business. Everything is industrial, and nondescript. There are forklifts and Cushman carts parked all about, a dumpster here and there, there was even a large sign bolted up over one of the CM entrances that proudly proclaimed “Safe-D Begins With Me”. You just don’t think of the Magic Kingdom as a Business with “employees” and the same needs and concerns as your local grocery store, but it is. It’s just that they do such a good job of keeping us all entertained and swept up in the magic of the moment, that we rarely ever realize it.

Well… That short cut dropped us out right at the fount gate and we headed for the buses just a few moments before the end of the fireworks. We didn’t wait to terribly long and ended up on the second bus back to POR (seeing as most of the folks leaving at that time were heading for the TTC). There is always a soundtrack of some type playing on the busses as you travel around Disney, and on the way back to your resort in the evenings, it will usually be something quite and soothing to help get you calmed down after a long day. On board the busses bound for the two Port Orleans resorts, the evening soundtrack includes the sound of crickets chirping and someone playing a little bit of bayou banjo very quietly. As you progress on form the park toward your resort, the banjo fades away and all that is left is the sound of the crickets. Between that and the darkness, most of the kids and a fair number of the adults aboard the bus will start to drift off. It’s actually quite surprising just how peaceful this moment can be. It can nearly take your mind off the condition of the soles of your feet. Day three was done. We’d seen the largest crowd we’d ever encountered, and survived it. The rest of our stay would be a cakewalk compared to that, and yet we still enjoyed ourselves immensely. Only at Disney are you likely to hear such thoughts.

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Old 06-13-2011, 12:42 PM   #115
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GoofyIsAsGoofyDoes View Post
Wrong… 65 minutes! For Pirates? Really? Gracious! That’s just ridiculous this late in the evening
And that pretty much sums up how crowded it must have been.

Quote:
Originally Posted by GoofyIsAsGoofyDoes View Post
(I think that the mistake I made was saying it out loud)
I'd have probably said something slightly worse and more un-Disney like.

Quote:
Originally Posted by GoofyIsAsGoofyDoes View Post
This news flash just in: my camera battery is still dead
Funny how they work that way. You'd think after a little rest it'd be ready to go again!

Quote:
Originally Posted by GoofyIsAsGoofyDoes View Post
The story that Gran’pa would tell is that the names of all the folks that helped build the thing are carved amongst the branches out of direct site of the guests. I’ve never seen them personally, but I like the story and it certainly sounds like something Disney would consider.
That's interesting. I didn't do the treehouse last time I was there, but I used to be fascinated by it when I was little. Definitely need to stop by next time.


Quote:
Originally Posted by GoofyIsAsGoofyDoes View Post
Go ahead… You can scroll on down (I really won’t mind). The next couple of posts on down the way are the final wrap up for Day three and I really think you’ll enjoy them more then the nonsense I’m about to get in to.
I read it... I'm a space nerd... and no, I didn't know the whole history of how Cape Canveral in the Revolutionary War and how it came to be what it is today.

Quote:
Originally Posted by GoofyIsAsGoofyDoes View Post
The new plan: See the Laugh Floor show (‘cause you know that comedy ain’t pretty”) and by the time we get back out, Wishes will have started up and the queue at SM should have come down a smidgen more into the tolerable range. Good plan.
Great plan!

Quote:
Originally Posted by GoofyIsAsGoofyDoes View Post
The stand-by had actually gone up from 85 minutes back to 150!!!
What the Beverly were you thinking going to the Laugh Floor? You should have gone straight to SM!

Quote:
Originally Posted by GoofyIsAsGoofyDoes View Post
Day three was done. We’d seen the largest crowd we’d ever encountered, and survived it. The rest of our stay would be a cakewalk compared to that, and yet we still enjoyed ourselves immensely. Only at Disney are you likely to hear such thoughts.
Yeah... I'm sorry that you didn't get a chance to ride the mountains, but it's good that you still had fun. The Pecos Bill visit during the parade and hitting some of the less crowded attractions make for a win in my book.
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Old 06-13-2011, 02:27 PM   #116
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Awesome stuff, Rob. I think the Cape Canaveral history was very interesting. I'd always wondered how they finally chose that spot for rocket launches, and now I know! And knowing is half the battle.

So, I'm sorry you didn't get on the Mountains. With those wait times, I can't blame you at all. But it sounds like you survived the day with good humor and an appreciation for the little things at MK, and that's pretty cool. You can't choose your circumstances, but you can choose your attitude about them. Nice job.

Sounds like I need to try out the TTA at night, too!
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Old 06-13-2011, 03:00 PM   #117
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Well… That just about wraps up my little unnecessary dissertation on Port Canaveral.
Oh, I completely disagree. Your history of the area was the highlight of my afternoon (granted, it's only competition was "work", but you still blew that completely out of the water). Thank you so much for sharing. Feel free to "history nerd-out" any time you feel like it!

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I'd always wondered how they finally chose that spot for rocket launches, and now I know! And knowing is half the battle.
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Old 06-13-2011, 04:08 PM   #118
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And that pretty much sums up how crowded it must have been.


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Originally Posted by afwdwfan View Post
Funny how they work that way. You'd think after a little rest it'd be ready to go again!
You’d think that would be so now would ya’. If I can sit for a minute and then get back in the next queue, why can’t those lousy batteries do it.

This reminds me of another tangent that I can go off on. When I was a young’en, there was a short period of time when I was convinced that, if I shut the telle’ off, then it should be right at the spot where I’d left it once I turned it back on. The funny thing about that is that given the existence of DVRs, that’s now actually true, but given my advanced age in relation to both cable and internet technology I long since learned that there wasn’t anything on television that you can’t live without (needless to say, both Hollywood & Madison Ave. hate me).


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That's interesting. I didn't do the treehouse last time I was there, but I used to be fascinated by it when I was little. Definitely need to stop by next time.
A Disney queue at its finest (because the whole thing is just a queue in the first place). Do it when you have a little time before an ARD or while waiting on a FP return time. Stop for a minute or two at the various “rooms” and check out the details (there’s plenty of space for folks to go around you, and most won’t be stopping anyway). The amount of detail that went into creating each space in the tree and the merging of nautical, tropical, and contrived objects into a potentially workable living space is really amazing.

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Great plan!


What the Beverly were you thinking going to the Laugh Floor? You should have gone straight to SM!
That’s exactly what I said to myself as we were standing there.
I said to myself: “Self!”
And Me-2 replied back “Who me? What?”
And Me-1 said: “Ya’ fowled that one up didn’t ya’”
Then Me-3 decided to jumped into the fray and shot back:
“O that’s your solution is it? Blame him then ‘eh?”
Me-1: “Well…”
Me-3: “I say we attack the rabble what’s cloggin’ up the queue and kill ‘em all!”
Me-2: “Shall we?”
Me-1: “Oh, I don't think so.”
Me-2: “Well, what do I think?”
Me-3: “I think kill ‘em.”
Me-1: “Well let's be nice to ‘em. It’s not reall their fau…”
Me-2: “Oh shut up.”
Me-3: “Perhaps-“
Me-2: “And you.”
Me-3: “Oh quick get the sword out I want to hack their heads off!”
Me-1: “Oh, go hack your own head off!”
Me-2: “Yes, do us a favor!”
Me-3: “What?”
Me-1: “Yapping on all the time.”
Me-2: “You're lucky. You're not next to him.”
Me-3: “What do you mean?”
Me-2: “You snore.”
Me-3: “Oh I don't -- anyway, you've got bad breath.”
Me-2: “Well it’s only because you don't brush my teeth.”
Me-1: “Oh stop complaining and let's go have tea.”
Me-3: “All right, all right, all right. We'll kill ‘em first, and then have tea and biscuits.”
Me-2: “Yes.”
Me-1: “Oh, but not biscuits.”
Me-3: “All right, all right, not biscuits, but let’s kill ‘em anyway.”
ALL three of me: “Right!”



Do your selves ever go of on each other like that?
It seems to happen to me all the time.


Quote:
Originally Posted by afwdwfan View Post
Yeah... I'm sorry that you didn't get a chance to ride the mountains, but it's good that you still had fun. The Pecos Bill visit during the parade and hitting some of the less crowded attractions make for a win in my book.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Captain_Oblivious View Post
So, I'm sorry you didn't get on the Mountains. With those wait times, I can't blame you at all. But it sounds like you survived the day with good humor and an appreciation for the little things at MK, and that's pretty cool. You can't choose your circumstances, but you can choose your attitude about them. Nice job.
We’ve been more times then your average person on the street, and we’ll be back. That made it easier to accept. Basically the only thing I really had to compromise on was the coasters, so it really was a win considering the circumstances.




Quote:
Originally Posted by afwdwfan View Post
I read it... I'm a space nerd... and no, I didn't know the whole history of how Cape Canveral in the Revolutionary War and how it came to be what it is today.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Captain_Oblivious View Post
Awesome stuff, Rob. I think the Cape Canaveral history was very interesting. I'd always wondered how they finally chose that spot for rocket launches, and now I know! And knowing is half the battle.
Quote:
Originally Posted by FreezinRafiki View Post
Oh, I completely disagree. Your history of the area was the highlight of my afternoon (granted, it's only competition was "work", but you still blew that completely out of the water). Thank you so much for sharing. Feel free to "history nerd-out" any time you feel like it!
Y’all realize that encouraging me will only result in my throwing similar such nonsense into future posts. I’ve read a number of TRs of my time on these boards and have seen some that are really good and some that are… ummmm… Not “as” good. I wasn’t sure that I could even pull one off much less make it readable. I’m not near as funny as most of y’all (at least not as spontaneously comical as my humor tends to be rather dry), and I didn’t have a good idea for a fresh and/or unique interactive TR process (like the movie quote point system or Beverly slogan contest). The only thing I have going for me is that I know a whole lot of utterly useless crap about a whole lot of potentially boring subjects. As such, I have to go with my strengths (or weaknesses as the case may be) be just discuss what entertains me. Hopefully one or two folks will read along and at enjoy it. If not then maybe they’ll at least learn something they didn’t know before. Honestly, I intended to write this up whether or not any one ever read it, so I thankful that y’all took the time.
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Old 06-13-2011, 04:21 PM   #119
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Do your selves ever go of on each other like that?
It seems to happen to me all the time.

Ummmm....about that potential meet up we're planning for next month...I think I have a dentist appointment or something that day and can't make it.

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Old 06-13-2011, 04:27 PM   #120
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Ummmm....about that potential meet up we're planning for next month...I think I have a dentist appointment or something that day and can't make it.

Yeah, I'd be making other plans if you were going to be meeting up with #3.
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