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Old 03-26-2012, 05:30 PM   #121
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Aw, you should have stuck around for Hall of Presidents. I FINALLY saw it on our last trip after years of thinking, "I'm at the Magic Kingdom, so no I do not want a history lesson right now" and I thought it was pretty amazing.

What's all this about the train on BTMRR being possessed? I didn't know any of this. I thought it was just supposed to be a mine that exploded making the track all crazy. Hmmm...

I'm so happy you ended up loving Splash. I was like, WHAT is she talking about calling it the worst ride ever? You getting those FPs was obviously fate! One of my all time faves.
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Old 03-26-2012, 05:53 PM   #122
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I have to agree with you about the BTMRR queue, it's boring. And brown. Every time we go on it, I dread getting in that line. It's a little better at night, just because you can't see how boring it really is!

I had no idea the people in the train were supposed to be possessed? Weird, I'll have to look into that, I love that all Disney rides have a backstory!

AHHHH I'm SO glad you liked Splash! It's one of my favorites!
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Old 03-26-2012, 10:13 PM   #123
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Hahaha... if you think the Big Thunder queue is boring, you should go to Kings Dominion. Most of the rides aren't even themed, so you can imagine the queues... I've never been in the Big Thunder line long enough to notice the boring-ness though, haha. I usually end up just looking at the ride itself or looking for the castle through the trees.

YAY! SPLASH IS THE BEST! I'm glad you liked it!
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Old 03-27-2012, 02:05 AM   #124
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AH! Alright, so first off, I have fully caught up, I thought I had already replied, but I guess not. Loving the pictures, you take such amazing ones! As if you didn't want to do splash!? Then again, this is coming from the girl who didn't really want to do it on her first trip, and now it's my favorite! (although defs not the dlr version!)

I find BTMRR to be boring, for it supposedly being the wildest in the west, it's pretty tame...I think i could conquer the west...

It's safe to say that unless I return to WDW with Nick and he drags me into Hall of Presidents, I'll never see it. Then again, I might just go in and watch it and send him copius amounts of pictures and videos and brag about how awesome it is just to tick him off
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Old 03-27-2012, 06:08 PM   #125
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Stringbean&Wingnut View Post
Yayyyy I'm glad to hear you survived (and ENJOYED!) Splash!!! How could you not? Seriously, it's such an awesome ride!!

I've only been on BTMRR once, actually, when I was younger. So I don't really remember the queue being dull. (Now we skip it because neither DBF or I are that keen on being jostled around that much!)
It is neat, though I still like the storytelling bit better than the drop. That's way less interesting than the rest of it!

Hah, you're not missing much. It's literally like walking through a barn. And not an interesting barn with animals and such - a really boring barn. I'm hoping they fix some of the jostling (I know there's a way you're supposed to seat people in the cars to eliminate it for the smaller person but I never remember) because it can get out of hand!

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Originally Posted by __disneygirl View Post
Aw, you should have stuck around for Hall of Presidents. I FINALLY saw it on our last trip after years of thinking, "I'm at the Magic Kingdom, so no I do not want a history lesson right now" and I thought it was pretty amazing.

What's all this about the train on BTMRR being possessed? I didn't know any of this. I thought it was just supposed to be a mine that exploded making the track all crazy. Hmmm...

I'm so happy you ended up loving Splash. I was like, WHAT is she talking about calling it the worst ride ever? You getting those FPs was obviously fate! One of my all time faves.
I do want to, but we were planning on seeing the American Adventure when we went to Epcot and there's only so many audio-animatronic rich white guys I can watch in a limited time span, you know? And I'd just reread most of the Sarah Vowell bibliography around that time so I was caught up on most of my presidential history

Nope, it's actually supposed to be possessed by the spirits of the dead Native Americans (? I think, that part's not very clear!). And it was broken by a flash flood! Which makes no sense, which is why the whole storyline should be scrapped and done over. It's actually very interesting to survey people on what they think Big Thunder's about! /nerd

It is good! Though I still freak out on EVERY drop because I can never remember (and probably never will) where the briar patch is (and then my boyfriend laughs at me). I've never gotten stuck on it thankfully - I'm pretty sure that's the worst ride to sit on for 20+ minutes. Cute soundtrack but not over and over and over... But yes, definitely one of the best designed rides in Magic Kingdom!

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Originally Posted by Nermel9 View Post
I have to agree with you about the BTMRR queue, it's boring. And brown. Every time we go on it, I dread getting in that line. It's a little better at night, just because you can't see how boring it really is!

I had no idea the people in the train were supposed to be possessed? Weird, I'll have to look into that, I love that all Disney rides have a backstory!

AHHHH I'm SO glad you liked Splash! It's one of my favorites!
We always get stuck in there at night! Probably because we're really awful at FastPass management so there's never one left over for night. And I really love BTMRR at night so we're pretty much forced to wait in the line.

Yup! It's actually supposed to be some sort of tourist trap-y area where people come out to ride through a possessed, crumbling mine (built on an Indian burial ground). And people thought Dinoland was poorly thought out and tacky!

We actually went on Splash more than any other ride this trip (besides Everest). Which is weird! But fun!

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Originally Posted by marDgreen88 View Post
Hahaha... if you think the Big Thunder queue is boring, you should go to Kings Dominion. Most of the rides aren't even themed, so you can imagine the queues... I've never been in the Big Thunder line long enough to notice the boring-ness though, haha. I usually end up just looking at the ride itself or looking for the castle through the trees.

YAY! SPLASH IS THE BEST! I'm glad you liked it!
Nooooo... Islands of Adventure was bad enough (though I LOVE Spider-man's incredibly outdated one)!! I mean, they expect people to wait in them long enough, why not give them something interesting to look at? Is that too much to ask (I figure asking for a free Mickey bar before entering the queue is probably crossing the line, so I'll stick with 'visually-interesting queue')???

Quote:
Originally Posted by katt789 View Post
AH! Alright, so first off, I have fully caught up, I thought I had already replied, but I guess not. Loving the pictures, you take such amazing ones! As if you didn't want to do splash!? Then again, this is coming from the girl who didn't really want to do it on her first trip, and now it's my favorite! (although defs not the dlr version!)

I find BTMRR to be boring, for it supposedly being the wildest in the west, it's pretty tame...I think i could conquer the west...

It's safe to say that unless I return to WDW with Nick and he drags me into Hall of Presidents, I'll never see it. Then again, I might just go in and watch it and send him copius amounts of pictures and videos and brag about how awesome it is just to tick him off
Thanks!

Doesn't Disneyland's have way more water? Really the whole 'log flume' part isn't what I liked, it's the Br'er Rabbit part! More water is definitely not an improvement.

Yeah, BTMRR's whole catch phrase doesn't make sense until you realize it's supposed to be an advertising gimmick! It's supposed to be drawing tourists out to visit the mine and I guess it works because it's a super popular ride. There's a lot of really cool details on the actual ride track I like to spot (the underground cavern is my favorite part) but I definitely wouldn't describe it as wild.

I'll probably see it once to say I've done it, but that's it! I like history and everything, but not the simplified theme park version of it. Plus it reminds me WAY too much of Madame Tussaud's and that place weirds me out. Doll versions of real people are way too uncanny valley for me! At least you have the whole 'I'm a Canadian' excuse for not going in!
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Old 03-27-2012, 06:29 PM   #126
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And now, because no one asked for it: HOW I WOULD FIX BIG THUNDER MOUNTAIN (an essay in five parts) (or: I have way too much time on my hands)

1: The actual storyline behind BTMRR is pretty much a mine was built on a Native American burial ground/sacred site (seriously, they must have really hard up to try and bury people in what looks like bedrock. Isn't cremation a more practical idea?). Settlers came out and built up a mine and then a mining train, eventually causing enough damage to anger Native Americans/spirits. These then caused a flash flood, ruining the mine and forcing the people to leave.

Some time later, people 'rediscovered' the mine and found the mine cars/trains running by themselves, all spookily. Someone came up with the GREAT idea to build the Big Thunder Mountain Railroad, incorporating the mine, and offer rides on the possessed cars to paying tourists (thus the slogan 'Wildest Ride in the West').

This backstory is AWFUL. And there's nothing in the build up to loading (besides the CMs and the 'Wildest Ride in the West' bit) to suggest what the ride actually is (tourist trap). So, clearly, someone should fix this. In four easy steps:


2: Keep the basic storyline - or, what any regular park guest will probably be able to tell you about this ride. This is pretty much just that you're going on a train through an abandoned mine somewhere in the Southwestern United States. THIS IS GOOD.


3: Scrap everything to do with Native Americans - because Disney's track record is really awful on this front (though the Native-American-tribe-cursing-settlers is an interesting perversion of the Noble Savage trope in theory, it really doesn't work here. It's too cliche but also too intricate to get across without resorting to gross stereotypes). If they really, really need to include Native Americans, at least have them selling the land to naive settlers because the Native Americans really didn't want haunted land any more. But this goes against part 4!


4: Keep the backstory vague and scary: I like the idea of a haunted mine ride because it very nicely mirrors what's going on across the way in Haunted Mansion. Plus it shows a different side of scary from HM.

The guest shouldn't know how - or why - the mine town became abandoned. Instead, it should be up to them to imagine whatever reason is the most unnerving. The queue should hint at some sort of cataclysmic event (monsters, supernatural floods, zombies, some weird sort of plague. Or you could just Ancient Aliens the whole ride. That last one may be a joke).

There should be (subtle) hints in the queue that something went horribly wrong here but they should not be emphasized because it's not supposed to be obviously scary like HM. Instead, it should be more like Tower of Terror/Everest (or Portal!) where everything on first glance looks normal but there are details that are off when you look closer.

The mine would then be possessed by the original mining crew instead of the nameless force that currently has residence in there. The mining crew has a reason to be angry (and wants to take you on an actual 'wildest ride' through the mine) because the company ignored them and pretty much left them to die.

This is what I consider the 'other side' of haunting to parallel Haunted Mansion - it's driven by the need for revenge for what has been done to them in comparison to HM, where the ghosts are there because of what they have done (i.e., the Bride who murdered all her husbands. Obviously this doesn't work in DLP. Then again, DLP's Big Thunder has its own story which is still about Native American burial grounds. You can even work a whole class/refinement metaphor in there with the distinctions between fancy/wealthier/old money Liberty Square and rough'n'tumble Frontierland).


5: Find a new reason the guests are there - who REALLY wants to ride around on possessed train cars through a rotting mine? Especially in the middle of nowhere? No one, that's who. It's dangerous and the payoff isn't worth it. Plus, how are you supposed to get out to the mine and back to civilization? WHERE ARE THE HOTELS TO HOUSE TOURISTS. The whole idea just isn't supported by what's actually at the ride itself.

Instead, I like the idea that the park guests are representatives from the financing company and came around for a visit to see why no one's heard anything out of the mine for some time. Cast members in the area can then also be 'themed' as part of the company - field guides, perhaps, who are there to accompany you into the wilderness. Then they load you up into the mine cars so you can evaluate the condition of the mines, but the ghosts/possessed cars take over before they are able to get into the driver/engineer's seat.

While it's still a silly idea to go into an abandoned mine, at least it's because you're required to (for the job) than because you thought it would be a really great vacation memory.


AND THERE YOU HAVE IT. Nothing that really needs major retiming, because the bones are good, but some tweaks to make the ride more logical and streamlined (unexpectedly abandoned mine, guests there to check it out is WAY easier to explain than the mess currently in place despite how long I took to describe everything). No one even has to put in a disco Yeti! The only issue is that you can't really keep 'the wildest ride in the west' around in-ride but… it wasn't even that great of a marketing scheme anyway.
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Old 03-27-2012, 09:25 PM   #127
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So I’m looking through my notebook and some (apparently) very important things I missed:

We did hit Space Mountain in the morning before leaving for Haunted Mansion and picked up another set of fastpasses.

We also grabbed another set of fastpasses for Big Thunder after our first ride.

I think that’s all.. this update is a little light on everything because, well, I had to write a screed on Big Thunder Mountain and now I’m burned out.

Now: back to present time (kind of. In real life, I'm watching Colbert Report reruns, in TR time we're just stepping out of the Splash Mountain dump shop)

Due to the iffy weather, Splash’s line was still rather short so we hopped on again (after all, my camera was still safe in its bag so why not take the opportunity?). It was just as delightful the second time around and even with barely 10 minutes in between rides I couldn’t remember how long until the final drop.

Bear found this very amusing and – noticing the time when we finally left the Splash Mountain area – grabbed another set of Splash fastpasses right when they were available.

We headed down into the heart of Adventureland; it was getting close to 4 o’clock and I wanted to pick up our Christmas party bracelets as soon as possible. The closest station (and most likely the least popular) to us was in Tortuga Tavern. Perfect – a quick jaunt in the Caribbean and we’d be right on time.


The line for Pirates was short, practically a walk-on which was slightly disappointing. The two of us didn’t really do many multiple rides on this trip, instead choosing to focus on new experiences (and food). Given that this would likely be our only trip through the Pirates’ queue, I wanted to look around.


So – of course – we had to pick the other side of the Pirates queue. I had never realized before how the Pirates queue was structured, with both the pirates’ caves and the fort being represented. I’d always been in through the caves and assumed that was how everyone got to the boats, it being an appropriately piratey theme.


It actually took the two of us a ridiculously long time to figure out where we were and why there weren’t any pirate skeletons around. I’m sure everyone around us was incredibly grateful when we finally got it because (I feel) like we were being incredibly obnoxious in our disbelief! And then we only made matters worse by wanting to see every little detail and how they tied in with our more usual scenery!

Eventually we did make it down to the loading dock and were settled into our very own row. I was checking my camera to make sure that I was ready for the upcoming ride when I saw it.

The dreaded 1-bar battery.

I had forgotten to charge the battery in between our IoA day and the MK day so it was actually a surprise that it had lasted this long!

And I had another camera with me.

Which wasn’t quite as good as my Rebel and I hadn’t used it in months, so it stayed safely put in the bag as we sailed along.

No one appealed to George on our cruise so we were soon back out in the watery sunlight. I’d actually never been to Tortuga Tavern and was digging around in the bag for a map (we’d collected several by this point) to figure out where to go next.

“Santa hats?” Bear pointed across the way. “Think they’ll be helpful?”

“Probably more than a map.” I gave up on the maps (they’re not really drawn to scale anyway) and we Froggered our away across the way to the Santa hats.

Surprisingly (or not), the beSantahatted cast members were tagging Christmas partygoers. Once the lead Santa hat had confirmed our tickets, we were ushered back for our official bracelets. The process was much easier than I had expected; we were one group of maybe five or so and the cast members had the routine down pat. Within moments we’d been tagged and released back into the wild.

“… are you hungry?” My plan had been for us to wander around, searching for bracelets for a long period of time and then grab some dinner.

“Not really.”

We were ahead of schedule! What would we do?


Pretty much the only thing we had left to do was Jungle Cruise, and since it would be shutting down for the Christmas party, we might as well do it now. I was trying to remember how to work my old camera and followed behind Bear, trying to dodge anyone who walked between us.


I love Jungle Cruise. Wordplay – especially puns – is one of my favorite types of humor. As an incredibly literal person, I take an extraordinary amount of pleasure from figuring out the joke of wordplay. And it’s a humor that I can easily understand (Bear watches a lot of stand up and I’m slowly getting better at figuring out the jokes. The curses of a literal brain!).


The dhatura is a flower, more commonly known as a moonflower in the United States. The extract is a popular (especially historically!) poison and hallucinogen. I’m taking this as a suggestion to get high in order to truly appreciate Jungle Cruise fully.


I’ve never had a bad skipper on Jungle Cruise and this one didn’t disappoint. She really played up the jokes and put special emphasis on my favorite one.


It’s surprisingly not the back side of water (that’s a close second), but instead when the skipper points out all of their favorite plants. I don’t know why but I find that part hilarious.

And then I have to explain the joke to Bear, which I’m sure he greatly appreciates.


I was getting frustrated with the old camera – the pictures are fine, but it wasn’t doing exactly what I wanted. I’d been grumping about this same problem with my dslr only a few short hours ago – totally shouldn’t have taken that time for granted.

I shoved it back in my bag after getting off Jungle Cruise. We had about two and a half hours before the party, perhaps my battery would sense my frustration and magically recover by then.

But at least I got that stunning picture of the animatronic elephant backside. You’re welcome.
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Old 03-30-2012, 02:21 PM   #128
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Okay so can I just say... WHOOOOOOOOSH! That Big Thunder talk just went wayyyyy over my head. TBH I don't think too much of the theming on that particular ride, I just think it's fun haha.

I am the same way in that I'm also 'pun oriented' hahaha. I love all puns, especially the cheesy ones. UGH camera battery problems! I hate when that happens so suddenly. Hooray for the Christmas party... I was at the same one! (Spoiler alert, but not really.)
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Old 04-01-2012, 05:13 PM   #129
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I’ve been trying to figure out how to write up our Christmas Party experience; I don’t have very many sharing pictures because we (surprisingly) spent quite a bit of time in character lines and without my normal camera.

Especially since we’d gotten off that ‘finally in Disney together!!’ adrenaline and were starting to ease back into our normal energy level (somewhere between ‘sloth’ and ‘frilled lizard out for a stroll’, depending on the location). Crowds were also starting to lighten as people without Christmas party plans filtered out.

It was easiest to get pulled along the current and Bear and I ended up at the end of Main Street without even realizing it. I was ready for a break, but not quite committed to the idea enough to actually leave the park.

We settled for a trip on the steam trains; the Walt Disney World Railroad is, for me, pretty much the theme park ride equivalent of April Come She Will. There’s just something about the mix of nostalgia (antiquated transportation system and the tributes to important figures – now all passed – in Disney’s life) and the inevitable passage of time (the slow deterioration of the exhibits and the closing of old stations to make way for the Storybook Circus stop) that is a nice contrast (especially mentally) to the generally pristine manufactured environment in the park.

Not that manufactured is a bad thing; after our train ride was finished, we quickly hit up the three mountains while the lines were short. But sometimes perfection can be overwhelming.

By the time that we got off Splash – the last mountain we had to (re)-conquer – we still weren’t hungry.

“Let’s just wait for cookies,” Bear suggested as we picked up (another) set of party maps. We have about four maps each tucked away in the house; it was always easiest to ask a nearby Cast Member for a new one than find, in the dark, the old ones that had been stuffed willy nilly in my camera bag. “Where do you want to go first?”

We had ended up in Liberty Square since the original plan had been to pick up some semblance of a healthy dinner at Columbia Harbor House. It was very close to 7 at this point and Main Street was packed.

“We could find Tiana and Naveen, I think they’re supposed to be around here somewhere.” The maps weren’t very clear – and neither were some of the Cast Members still in that section of the park. I had some idea where they met normally, but no one knew if that was the designated Christmas party location.

We gave up eventually and sat near the gazebo, watching the crush of people in front of us, until the character attendant rescued us.

The three of us chatted for some time, about Florida, about Colorado, about school. The woman was older, doing work as a seasonal employee as a way to stay involved, and very much a grandmother. The only time she left our sides during the wait was when she needed to escort Tiana and Naveen – through the raging crowds of the two of us – safely into their home.

She was back in a flash, fussing over the two of us the way she had the characters. I didn’t notice until later, but she actually secured the rope again, giving us a truly private time to meet with the Tiana and Naveen.

I was worried at this point that nothing would be able to top the Aladdin/Jasmine experience this morning or that Bear wouldn’t be into the whole thing and then it would be awkward. But I really didn’t need to expend that energy – Tiana and Naveen were excellent.

I decided to go with my traditional meet’n’greet greeting – obliquely insulting the characters. Before it was ignoring Aladdin; this time, it was saying that we were back here mostly to escape the crowds. But that got quickly smoothed over and we were going through the normal questions – where are you from, are you having a good trip, tell us about the two of you.

The question that we always dread is how long have you been together? which always seems to come up in these sorts of situations. Bear and I don’t have an anniversary date since we started dating after a series of wacky hijinx and neither of us care enough to come up with an actual date.

The story took much longer than that to tell since both of us had to tell our side of things. Naveen was quite affronted by the thought of no anniversary, and he and Tiana took it upon themselves to give us an official, Disney approved anniversary date of..

February 30th.

Hey, it’s better than no anniversary! And the history is a bit less complicated to tell.

The four of us chatted for a few more minutes, took our pictures, and then finally there were other people in line. We said our goodbyes and headed back out into Liberty Square.

The crowds still hadn’t made it back into this part of the park, so Bear and I took a cookie break inside Columbia Harbor House. Over cookies and cocoa we formulated a rough plan – hit up Fantasyland for Wendy and Peter Pan, and then head down into Tomorrowland. Then princesses, fireworks, parade and fin.

The whole routine for finding characters started all over again in Fantasyland; the map wasn’t marked and Cast Members ended up directing us to a manager to figure out where we were supposed to go.

And then – after we, a character attendant, and one other girl – waited about fifteen minutes, they moved the meet and greet.

This was about the time I learned why the attendants are so crucial. Bear and I had pretty much unloaded everything we were carrying before collapsing onto the pavement outside Philharmagic. So it took us a few seconds to gather everything back up and straighten ourselves up for the photo op.

And in that short break (when the other girl was meeting and greeting), a family moved in front of us. I wasn’t quite sure what to do; really, the kid would probably get more out of it than me and it wasn’t that important, was it?

It sounds so silly to say now, but in the moment, after that wait on the cold pavement when we were both getting grumpy and snippy, it was super important. I had waited, and come hell or high water, I wanted to be next to see Wendy.

The (absolutely amazing) character attendant indicated to the mother that she would have to step back and let me go first, which clearly wasn’t what she wanted to hear. She started arguing, saying that she didn’t know that we were in line, why can’t we let her kid go first? But he held his ground and insisted that they wait in turn.

Most of this was going on while I was discussing the important of blue scarves with Wendy and Peter; Bear told me everything once I’d come back. But I am glad – as fun as it may be to have characters wandering loose through the parks – that the cast member was there to stand up for me. And I had a great five minutes with Peter and Wendy so there.

I may have made a similarly snotty comment to Bear as he was relating the story to me afterwards. It may have been overheard by the mother, which Bear found absolutely hilarious.

Not that being mean is funny (okay, it can be!), but I’m not a very aggressive person in general so it was very much out of character for me. As I was (predictably) overwhelmed with guilt, Bear dragged me over to a beverage stand so he could get a drink. My complete off-the-wall reaction to everything Peter and Wendy related cleared out any residual grumpiness. I was still keen on the idea of finding the mother and apologizing, but Bear was more focused on moving forward.

“Come on, let’s just get to Tomorrowland. You won’t be able to find her anyway.”

“But I can try..”
I was eventually persuaded to head down to Tomorrowland; this is, incidentally, why I never got to do Winnie the Pooh, being concerned with other matters at the time.

Tomorrowland was much more festive than Fantasyland and I didn’t want to go on any of the indoor rides. Why not stay out and enjoy?

And the lines were super long for everything – except the Peoplemover.

“Want to try?” Bear, still rather giggly, was amenable to the idea and we were quickly loaded into a Peoplemover Car.


See? Actual visual evidence. And my shoes being completely out of focus is totally an artistic choice to illustrate my tumultuous mental state and not me forgetting how to work a camera.

And yes, we do have the same shoes, only mine are awesome and sparkley and Bear’s are boring and adult.


Neither of us had ever been on Peoplemover and I had assumed it was Tomorrowland’s version of the steam trains. So it was mindblowingly awesome when we headed indoors.


And I didn’t have my camera ready, given that I had no idea we went in Space Mountain. I still can’t decide which part is my favorite – Epcot, Space Mountain, or simply relaxing in the (astonishingly) quick-moving cars.

Maybe the blue vinyl seat covers – always a classic.

Our various meet’n’greet mishaps had taken longer than anticipated, so we didn’t have time for more than a quick glance around Tomorrowland before heading on. We had princesses to meet! There was only a small window of opportunity without a monstrous line.


I really wanted to see Flynn and Rapunzel and the only way to get Bear to agree was to have a 30 minute or less line that was rather quiet. Honestly, those were my conditions as well. Waiting outside for the parades and fireworks would be better than trapped in a never-ending princess line.


We stopped for a few more photopass pictures (now that we finally knew how the card worked, thanks to the Tiana and Naveen photographer), savoring every square inch of space we had. Main Street was still packed, thanks to the parade.


I know the Cast Members can be, well, enthusiastic about keeping people out of the walkway, but again – I really appreciated it. It was a relatively easy walk back to the Town Hall, with minimal jostling.

There was no overfill spilling out of Town Hall and I began to grow hopeful; the Cast Member out front confirmed it – yes, it should be about thirty minutes and you should be out in time for Magic, Memories, and You. I was totally going to hit my ‘must meet character’ trifecta.
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Old 04-01-2012, 06:00 PM   #130
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Originally Posted by marDgreen88 View Post
Okay so can I just say... WHOOOOOOOOSH! That Big Thunder talk just went wayyyyy over my head. TBH I don't think too much of the theming on that particular ride, I just think it's fun haha.

I am the same way in that I'm also 'pun oriented' hahaha. I love all puns, especially the cheesy ones. UGH camera battery problems! I hate when that happens so suddenly. Hooray for the Christmas party... I was at the same one! (Spoiler alert, but not really.)
Haha, yeah, I just think way too much about certain things! It's more the themeing now - if you look at what's the ~official~ company line - is so disparate (cursed mine? tourist trap? PICK ONE) that it doesn't make sense together! So they should clearly take money that could be used to fix the Yeti or make Muppets Land, etc., etc. to fix it just so one pedantic nerd would be satisfied.

Yay! I've read a couple other reports of that party, but we were seriously the worst party-goers there. We did maybe six things. If you count cookies as a thing (spoiler alert: I TOTALLY DO).
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Old 04-02-2012, 12:27 PM   #131
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Aww, Tiana and Naveen sound like they were awesome to meet! I wish I got to meet them.

FEBRUARY 30th. That's amazing.

I'm glad the character attendant stood up for you. I mean, there are no rules that say you have to be an actual child to meet a character at Disney. I don't like that some parents seem to think otherwise. Ugh.

I love the PeopleMover! It's so simple but there's something so fun about it.

(P.S. Another spoiler alert: if you think yall were lame party goers, wait until you here about my experience... )
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Old 04-02-2012, 06:18 PM   #132
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Awww, the Christmas party! One of my favorite things in Disney!

Tiana and Naveen sound like they are so much fun to meet! Someday I'm going to be brave and get up the courage to meet them, I always feel so stupid! I love your anniversary date!

Ugh, I have yet to have someone make a comment about Brandon and I standing in line for a character when we don't have kids, the closest we ever came to that was our Boo to You parade debacle. I'm not mean or aggressive either, but at the same time, some people at Disney really overstep, you know?

Yay the Peoplemover! It might be my favorite MK ride. I love the mountains, and Pirates, and HM, but there is just something about the Peoplemover that is just Disney perfection.

I LOVE your picture of the castle. I took 10,000 pictures of the castle with the Dream Lights in December and not one of them came out that good.
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Old 04-04-2012, 04:57 PM   #133
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Originally Posted by marDgreen88 View Post
Aww, Tiana and Naveen sound like they were awesome to meet! I wish I got to meet them.

FEBRUARY 30th. That's amazing.

I'm glad the character attendant stood up for you. I mean, there are no rules that say you have to be an actual child to meet a character at Disney. I don't like that some parents seem to think otherwise. Ugh.

I love the PeopleMover! It's so simple but there's something so fun about it.

(P.S. Another spoiler alert: if you think yall were lame party goers, wait until you here about my experience... )
They were fun! I'm usually not (very) sappy/romantical/twee/whatever, but I totally want to get a Mickey ears embroidered with 2/30/09 (we have figured out the year we met! ) because I think it'd be cute. I figure we have matching shoes, we can get SOMETHING with our "anniversary date" on it.

Yeah. There was a decent line behind us at Peter Pan, so I'm not sure what the lady was thinking all of us were there for? Maybe that no one knew where to go for Philharmagic? But I don't think very many people chat with character attendants (and we had loads of time to talk with both the T&N and PP&W ones) so I think that the CMs were appreciative of that too. idk, I just wanted to see Peter Pan!!

Haha, I'm the worst at parties. I stand near the food and always end up hovering at the edge of groups. Just not a party person - at least this one had the Peoplemover!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Nermel9 View Post
Awww, the Christmas party! One of my favorite things in Disney!

Tiana and Naveen sound like they are so much fun to meet! Someday I'm going to be brave and get up the courage to meet them, I always feel so stupid! I love your anniversary date!

Ugh, I have yet to have someone make a comment about Brandon and I standing in line for a character when we don't have kids, the closest we ever came to that was our Boo to You parade debacle. I'm not mean or aggressive either, but at the same time, some people at Disney really overstep, you know?

Yay the Peoplemover! It might be my favorite MK ride. I love the mountains, and Pirates, and HM, but there is just something about the Peoplemover that is just Disney perfection.

I LOVE your picture of the castle. I took 10,000 pictures of the castle with the Dream Lights in December and not one of them came out that good.
It was really fun (at least when we weren't arguing over where to go next. ). And it was just so nice to look around! I had thought we would do way more rides than we actually did, but it turned out that just wandering around was really nice too.

Haha, I always seem to put my foot in my mouth when meeting characters and they deal with it well! I wouldn’t worry about that part. And now I just try to get in (short) lines and not really think about the actual meet too much… in my experience, it all works out eventually! And the character attendants are wonderful people doing a truly amazing job in what must be a very thankless position, dealing with all ~those people.

Yeah, other people are totally my downfall in being a good person myself! I tend to be incredibly spiteful and judgey and neurotic, which is a terrible personality combination! So since I spend more time in worrying about an aggressive response than in a five minute rant to Bear (who will agree with me about someone cutting in line or whatever and then no one else has to know how awful I can be ), I try to just let things be. Which is why he was SO happy that I reacted to the lady because I’m always giving up our spaces at parades!

But really some people are just rude and awful and I wish I didn’t default back to being nice. It really would be so satisfactory sometimes to go tit for tat (either in real life or on the Internet).

I really, really like the Peoplemover. I wish it was open to Extra Magic Hours! Going through at night is definitely the best time to do it – and I love, love, love the part that goes inside Space Mountain. It was just so cool to have the ‘coaster cars racing over my head!

Thanks! I don’t remember where that one came from, actually… I have approximately five zillion from Magic, Memories, and You and then this random one from (I think?) the Tomorrowland bridge. It was a nice surprise to find it on my hard drive!
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Old 04-12-2012, 08:01 PM   #134
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I’ve been sitting on this update for quite a few days, but I got caught up in organizing my growing pile of unedited photos (not just from Disney!) and figuring out my student loan situation. I really don’t recommend either of these activities – right now, both seem to be Sisyphean tasks (my least favorite). So my mood hasn’t been the best lately and that only serves to turn what is normally a pedantic, plodding recollection much gloomier and grouchier! Since we do actually have fun when we vacation (honest), I’ve been noodling around on the draft for ages until the words make no sense. So apologies ahead of time!



We made it down Main Street and into the princess line easily. The line was actually in the blue room right before guests are divided up into groups for each princess room.

And then we sat.

I’m not sure what the hold up was, but I was incredibly jealous of the little Cinderella next to me. She was fast asleep the moment the line paused and she got carried through the line (Bear said no).

For anyone who hasn’t sat in the princess line – there’s not much going on in that room. Blue walls, no actual themeing, and lots of very intense parents who are dead set on keeping order in line. But there is the tantalizing prospect of seeing Rapunzel and Flynn at the end of the wait!

We finally got through both the queue and the Snow White/Aurora meets. Nothing against those four cast members, but the meets are just.. bland. Phillip and Aurora are much better than Snow White + Prince, since their movie has a bit more personality. Honestly, I appreciate the style and history behind the original movies a bit more than the princesses. Really, they didn’t have much personality! And it seems unlikely that they’ll ever highlight the more snarky side of Prince Phillip.

Rapunzel and Flynn were excellent, as usual. Bear, who pretty much delegated himself as bag boy for the first two meets, even joined in. He spent most of the time in line quizzing me about random Tangled plot points, making sure to use most of the classics (‘smolder’, ‘satchel’ and ‘frying pan’ featured heavily) as he watched me. Though Rapunzel did make him come out and get a group photo as revenge!

This meet was a bit more rushed compared to the ones we’d had in the park, so it wasn’t long before we were back out on Main Street. I really wanted to see Magic, Memories, and You and was trying to figure out the best vantage point.


I settled on a spot in the middle of Main Street, back quite a ways from the castle. Being centered was way more important for me – being so far back doesn’t help with photography, but I hate being off center for shows or movies.


I tried fiddling around with my camera – now on its last legs – to figure out if there was any way to get a non-head-filled Castle shot.


But I forgot about all of my perfectionist hang ups (of which there are quite a few!) when the actual show started. This show is awesome and I’m glad that – at least this time – I put viewing experience ahead of photography (I really want to practice my night photography on future trips! It’s definitely the area that I have the most room for improvement).


But really, I think it’s hard to mess up any show that is projected on the Castle. I mean, it’s actually on the castle. It’s not hardship to stare at Cinderella Castle for any span of time normally and it’s only better when it’s a Candyland Castle (I was that person who loved the tacky birthday cake castle. Y’all have me to blame for that, I guess!).


This is way blurry but it is a gingerbread castle! !!!! (there are really no words here to describe my feelings and exclamation points are the only way to go)


Oddly, a good majority of the crowd dispersed after Magic, Memories, and You. We moved up in preparation for Wishes.


Fireworks shows aren’t my favorite thing – too much noise involved and the possible consequences for the atmosphere bother me. I honestly can’t believe that there isn’t any comprehensive studies on how nightly fireworks show affect the environment around Disney; I’m guessing Disney doesn’t allow that sort of study on-property.


But Wishes is still great!


It’s nice to see the castle without the icicles; my favorite Castle is the orange one and that never seems to come up with the icicles. Since we wanted seats for the parade I had the time to watch the colors cycle over the Castle; there has to be a good 30-45 minutes in between the fireworks and the parade and no orange.

But we did have really great parade spots! Right on the curb, and not too many people crowded around us. No one tried to invade our personal space; maybe we were too small a group? The family next to us had some problems with other people wanting their seats, but we were insignificant enough to be overlooked.


My nice camera had finally given up the ghost when Wishes ended (which was excellent timing) and I really wanted to follow suit. I was tired! So much so that hamfistedly trying to operate my old one. And I somehow managed to break my picture of the opening float, so clearly I’m just not meant to photograph the Christmas parade!


Either way, it’s a really cute parade. All of the performers are really on top of their game and energetic! The toy soldiers are the true stand-out section of the parade, but could probably do with a costume change.

For anyone who hasn’t seen them, the soldiers wear big clunky black shoeboxes. This choice of footwear is not very conducive to marching down Main Street, which I learned the hard way! One of the (many) soldiers tripped when they had just passed our little sliver of curb. As luck would have it, I was right in the stumbling soldier’s path. I was only there for another fraction of a second – thank goodness Bear was right next to me – I was pretty much on top of him before he realized what was going on!

No one was hurt, the soldier recovered quickly and was able to continue on down Main Street, and Bear eventually convinced me to sit in my own seat. A happily ever after for everyone!


After the parade was over, we – along with most of the crowd left in the park – headed out. Bear had really enjoyed the ferry on his way back to Magic Kingdom and suggested that would be a faster option. Given the line for the monorail stretched back almost to the entrance, I agreed.

Peppermint chocolate squares in hand, we got on the next boat (inside seats, since it was chilly), found where Bear parked the car (maybe one of five left in the lot), and made our way back to Port Orleans.
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Old 04-13-2012, 05:38 AM   #135
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How did I miss so many updates????? Alright, all caught up now!!

Looks like you guys had a great time at the Christmas party!!! Boo for Bear not carrying you through the Princess line though! Your pictures are just magical!
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