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Old 11-26-2012, 11:46 AM   #31
bellebookworm9
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January 16th, 2012

Monday morning, I woke up kind of late. Marissa and I needed to go to the Outlet Mall, which was literally 4 minutes from our apartment, for work shoes. After nearly getting into a fight with someone over a parking spot (we were there first ), we made our way to the Nike outlet. They had a pretty poor selection. (I needed white, no/non-contrasting logo sneakers made of a polish-able material, and Marissa needed the same in black.) Next we headed to Famous Footwear...and discovered that it was specifically for men and we needed to go to another location in the outlets for the women's shoes. We found that without too much trouble and got the shoes we needed. We also made a stop in Icing so I could look for a black headband (mine got smashed in my luggage on the plane) but I didn't find anything.

When we finished there, Marissa drove me to Epcot and dropped me off at the front of the park. This was around 1:30.



I headed straight for The Land. I was going to meet up with Michelle (a DIS friend) and her family, but they were at The Seas having lunch, so I went to Sunshine Seasons (my favorite counter service on property). The FPs for Soarin' were from 6:40-7:40pm and I wasn't planning on staying that long, and the standby line was about 75 minutes, so I resigned myself to the fact that I wouldn't be riding that day.

I decided to step out of my comfort zone at SS and got the Roasted Beet and Goat Cheese Salad, plus my old favorite of Strawberry Shortcake.



I found a seat pretty quickly and ate. The salad was different, but pretty good. I don't know if I'd get it again, but I'm glad I tried it. The shortcake was heaven as usual. I figured Michelle was still at lunch so I decided to wander and see what caught my eye. I found myself in Future World East and saw that Test Track's single rider line only had a 20 minute wait so I got in line. I was picked to take the wait time card! I've never done that before! It was definitely less than 20 minutes and soon I was outside on the track going 65 MPH.

After that was over, Michelle and family were back at the Land, so I walked back that way and we met up. Her family was so nice, and much to my surprise, I was able to ride Soarin' with them because her son has a Guest Assistance Card, so we were able to use the FP line. We were in Row C3. Definitely not the best location; it's obvious where the screen ends which kind of ruins the illusion, and it's also easier to discern the curve in the screen.

After our hang-gliding experience in California, her son was ready to go home so we said good-bye. I really enjoyed meeting you, Michelle! Then I headed over to Mission: Space.


The green side only had a 5 minute wait, and it was literally just the pre-show parts. I was engineer again, and was put in a capsule with an older couple who had never ridden before. I assured them it was fun and I think they enjoyed it.

I was getting ready to leave as well, but first I had two stops to make in World Showcase. The first was to Karamell Kuche in Germany. The line was kind of long and only one girl was working the case, but that gave me plenty of time to decide what I wanted: The Milk Chocolate Caramel Pecan Cluster. I've had it before and it was just as good this time.


Then I backtracked to Norway and Kringla Bakeri. Last time I was there I debated getting the Berry Cream Puff, but went with the school bread, so today was time for the cream puff.


I ate it when I got home and it was just okay. The berries were good, but the cream was not what I was expecting. I thought it would be sweet, like whipped cream, and it wasn't. The CM at the register was very friendly, and told me how to get backstage to go back to the CP bus that would take me home. I exited through a CM door near the Norway restrooms and found myself literally across from the building where the bus picks up. When I got to the stop, the bus was waiting. Perfect timing!

The ride home wasn't too bad, and we were the first stop. Here are the signs for the apartment complexes. First one is the complex across the street where the bus stop is and the second is my complex.

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Old 11-26-2012, 11:59 AM   #32
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January 18th, 2012

I worked 9am-3pm on this day and then I went to Magic Kingdom to meet up with Casey and Jessica. It had just started raining. I took the bus back to casting services, changed out of and returned my costume, and put on my normal clothes and poncho. Then I headed back outside and caught the Cast East bus back up to the Main Entrance-it took quite a while to come. Then I had to wait for the Epcot monorail. I believe Monorail Lime finally showed up and I had to stand. I was really hoping to get a seat, but no luck. When we got to the TTC, I saw that the line for the monorail was kind of long, so I went to catch the ferry instead- my first time doing so. It wasn't a long wait, and I took some pictures of my surroundings in the meantime: The Poly, the Grand Floridian, and MK in the distance.




When the ferry arrived, there really weren't a lot of people to get on, and I was one of the few to sit in the bottom level. I was very careful walking up and down the dock, because it was wooden and slippery and I was wearing flip flops-it would be just like me to wipe out! I took some more pictures on the way over of Space Mountain, and the Contemporary/BLT.



Upon docking, I saw that the place was dead. I walked right through security and the turnstiles then texted Jessica. They were in Uptown Jewelers and had made some purchases. We were all kind of hungry, and Jessica needed gluten free/dairy free food, and knew that Tony's had gluten free pasta so we walked over there. While we could have gotten a table with no wait, we didn't get a dinner discount and it was more than I wanted to pay. Since Tony's is right next to the Town Square Theater character area, I saw that the wait for the princesses was only 10 minutes, so we got in line. It was literally no wait.

First up was Aurora. She was very nice, and asked where we were from. When we told her, she replied that we were from very different kingdoms, and when we said we were doing the college program, she asked if we all lived in the same castle.



Next was Belle. I had never met her in her gold dress so I was super excited. And this Belle was super pretty; the last one I met wasn't so much. She loved my shirt and said that Eeyore, Piglet, Pooh, and Tigger loved to play hide and seek with Chip and that he stowed away to the Hundred Acre Woods all the time.


Last was Cinderella. She was adorable as well, asking if we all shared in doing the chores and saying that we should find some mice friends to help us. She also noticed that I had a headband on just like her, and said that the Fairy Godmother must have helped me with mine as well, and it's amazing what a little bibbidi bobbidi boo magic can do!




After our meet and greet with the princesses, we got back in line to see Mickey. Again, no wait, and Minnie was with him!



As we exited into the merch store, we chatted with a cast member and discussed Obama coming to MK the next day. In all honesty, it was kind of a huge inconvenience for a lot of people, but more about that on the day it actually happened. Jessica wanted to buy a sweatshirt since it was a bit chilly, so we headed to the Emporium. We also decided that we would like to eat at Liberty Tree Tavern, despite no discount and my objection to the cost. So I called WDW Dine (good thing I have the number memorized!) but was unable to make a reservation for less than an hour from that time.

Then I remembered the Plaza! The other two agreed that would be fine, so we went across the street so Jessica could look at the menu-as soon as she saw chicken she decided we could eat there. We were able to get a table with no problem. I had heard the Plaza could be kind of chilly, and it was cool outside anyway, so I went back to the Emporium and ended up buying a sweatshirt with this super cute photo on the back. The only problem is that the hood covers most of it.


At first I was thinking I really didn't want to spend $40-$60 on a sweatshirt, but then I remembered the 40% merch discount, so it was a little less expensive. I really wanted a 2012 sweatshirt, but they were extremely similar to the 2011 ones, which I already have.

When I arrived back at the Plaza, I found Casey and Jessica sitting at the table literally three feet inside the front doors. Our waitress, Lisa, took a while to come over to us. When she did, I ordered a Sprite and the Angus Cheeseburger, while Casey ordered the Reuben, and Jessica, a plain chicken breast. The food took a bit to come out. When it did, we were happy with it. The fries were delicious.




Lisa never came back to check on us. We declined dessert as we were rather full and asked for separate checks. Lisa said she had to go outside to ask a question because they "messed up" and then took a while to bring the checks. When she did bring them, we found that my drink had been added to Jessica's bill. I didn't have cash, so it would have been a hassle to pay her back for it.

We tried to get Lisa's attention to notify her of the problem, but she was waiting on another table. Finally they finished ordering and she turned around, but told us very rudely that she had to wait on the next table. When she came back, we told her of the problem and she asked me in an extremely snarky tone if I could just give my friend the two dollars. She clearly did not want to deal with the situation. She had someone else bring out the corrected bill.

We left less than an 18% tip and were very disappointed with the service. All three of us were new cast members and expected better. I had a reservation for the next month when my mom was coming to visit, but I canceled it. I'd only been to two TS restaurants so far this month and had poor experiences at both, which I hoped would not indicate a trend for the next few months.

After that bad experience, we went into Tomorrowland. I didn't want to stay too much longer, but decided I would do the Laugh Floor with them. We walked right in and only had to wait for the pre-show. Casey insisted that we sit in a row with lamps because that's how they pick people-they ended up picking the girl sitting on the other side of me-what a close call! I think the show was even funnier this time than last time.

Next I requested to check the wait time on Buzz. It said 5 minutes, but once again we literally walked on. I rode by myself, and ended up with a score of 101,600. The ride stopped twice, so that helped. Casey actually maxed out at 999,999.

Casey and Jess requested Space Mountain and even though I don't like it, I went with them. The wait was 15 minutes. By this point it had stopped raining, but I think a majority of people had left when it started and not returned. Crazy. This was the stand by queue-I've never ridden stand by before.

Absolutely nuts! This was also my first time on the left track, and I can safely say I don't care for either side.


As we exited, I decided I was going to head out. I asked Casey if they would check my ID in the Utilidors and she said as long as I had it out and walked with purpose, no one would bother me! So I went through a CM only door that I remembered from Traditions and ended up in the Utilidors...where I proceeded to get lost. Twice. You could seriously just wander around down there forever. I know the layout of MK very well, but gosh I was confused. By the time I got out backstage, the bus I needed was just pulling away.

Finally the next one came and we headed back to West Clock, where I could catch the A route bus that would take me home. It came shortly after and we were on our way. Once again, it stopped at Chatham first and I was home about an hour after I had gone into the tunnels. Not too bad! I blogged for a bit when I got home, but since the next day would be another early one, I headed to bed fairly early.
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Old 11-26-2012, 12:03 PM   #33
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Hi Gretchen- I can't believe I missed this!!! I'm in. Now I have to go back and read!

Dee
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Old 11-27-2012, 09:58 PM   #34
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Hi Gretchen- I can't believe I missed this!!! I'm in. Now I have to go back and read!

Dee
Hi Dee! I miss everyone on the Y&BC thread. Everytime my friends and I would go to the Epcot resorts, I would say, "This place is my favorite." By the end of eight months they were all going, "We know!"
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Old 11-27-2012, 10:17 PM   #35
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January 21st, 2012

When I came home from work on Saturday, I was really tired. I was supposed to go see IllumiNations with a neighbor and whatever roommates I could gather, but wasn't sure if it was actually going to happen. Then one of my roommates went out of town for the night, another went to dinner with her brother who was in town, and I can't remember where two of the other ones were. So I figured I'd just call it an early night.

Casey wanted to come but wasn't getting off work until 6:30, then she had to come home because she had to bring costumes with her. So I decided I'd wait for her. We waffled back and forth, then decided we would try to catch the 7:51 bus, but we just missed it and had to wait for the next one. When that one came, we then had to stop at the other two apartment complexes and there was a driver switch, but we finally made it to the Epcot cast services building around 8:40 and a Cast East bus came not long after to take us to the main entrance. We entered and walked past the Leave a Legacy monuments. Casey said that she had heard that NSYNC had their pictures on them, and I had just been shown them a few days prior to that by my trainer! So we made a quick detour and took a picture of them.


I also took a picture of Spaceship Earth-so pretty at night!

And the palm trees in Innoventions Plaza.


It was about 8:55 at this point so we sped towards World Showcase. We had wanted to get dinner but that clearly wasn't going to happen so we found a spot instead, right in the plaza. It was dead center; we were seated on the ground (I think behind a Brazilian tour group) but so was everyone else, and it was the best view ever. I could see pretty much every detail on the globe and we were right under the fireworks. It was fantastic, and I was so intent on watching the show that I didn't take very many pictures., but here are the few that I did take.

Prior to the show, when my "rave music" is playing.

The Inferno Barge.

The Globe opening and the torch coming out and shooting fireworks.

And the absolutely brilliant moment when all the white fireworks light up the whole showcase and then the super loud awesome crackle happens.



(Also, I promise that my fireworks photo taking skills improved immensely coming up).

After the show was over, we decided to go to the Beach Club for dinner, so we booked it out of there toward International Gateway. The walk was short of course. Casey had never been over there, but she loved it, and I remembered how much I liked staying there. We walked up to Beaches & Cream and asked for a table for two and a few moments later were seated at the counter right in front of where they make the kitchen sinks.


I debated whether to get actual food or a sundae, and in the meantime both Casey and I ordered pink lemonades. After a little bit, Herlina, our waitress, came back and we both decided on the single Burger Heaven with fries, and Casey added bacon to hers as well.


This was just as delicious as it was in October! I was full and so was Casey, but she decided she wanted dessert even though she knew she wouldn't finish it. Her choice was the two scoop sundae with mint chocolate chip ice cream and hot fudge, plus whipped cream, almonds, and a cherry.


Herlina was very friendly, but it seemed like she was the only waitress for the whole restaurant, so it took a while to get our checks and process our cards. We left around 10:30 and a CM named Jordan kindly instructed us on how to get to the CP bus that picks up at the Beach Club.

On our way over to B&C we had passed Ariel's, which used to be a restaurant and is now used for wedding receptions. As we walked by, we heard Rihanna coming from the facility and saw a sign that it was a birthday-Casey thought it said someone's 20 something. But as we walked by again we saw that it was actually someone's 4th birthday! We stopped in the bathroom nearby and some of the guests of the party came in as well-dressed in formal wear. There was literally a 4 year old boy in a tuxedo!

Walking through the lobby, I made Casey stop to smell it-love that lobby scent! We walked out front and followed the directions Jordan had given us. She said we needed to cross the street and I thought she meant the one where the buses drive through. But she actually meant the literal street, as in Epcot Resorts Blvd. Our path is in red.


Rather a bit of a walk! We didn't have a bus schedule but knew it would show up eventually, and it did close to 11. It was a fancy coach bus-like the Magical Express buses. Normally they are like the regular Disney transport buses, but all are run by a company called American Coach. So this was a nicer bus than we were used to! And I think we were the only ones to get on. Then it stopped at Caribbean Beach and Old Port Royale; next it was onto Pop Century Cast Services and then Classic Hall. I thought that was nice, because it means I can just take the bus over when Mom comes in February. We finally made it home around 11:30-no good since I had to get up at 5 again the next day!
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Old 11-28-2012, 07:38 AM   #36
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Hi Dee! I miss everyone on the Y&BC thread. Everytime my friends and I would go to the Epcot resorts, I would say, "This place is my favorite." By the end of eight months they were all going, "We know!"
We miss you over there!!!

Did you hear? The BC/YC FAQ Noodle Swap came to an end in October. Lots of adventures in the year and a half of the swap, including a wedding!

The Noodles Get Married, August 22, 2012
Unfortunately, it didn't work out. Pinkgirl wanted to take them back to the UK, but, surprisingly, the noodles were inflexible. They wanted to stay at Stormalong Bay. Can't say I blame them!




If you want to read about just the Noodle saga, it is here- your picture is still up!!!


Noodle Swap Historical Page


Love, love, love this report!!!

You lived the dream of many (including me) but I know you will have your ups and downs and I appreciate you sharing all of the details! It will be interesting hearing the progression of your relationship with your roommates. It is easy to understand that being confined together with a group of people with different personalities has a way of turning less than pleasant!

Love your very detailed information about the CP buses.

Did your knee end up giving you any trouble early on? Certainly didn't seem to keep you back in those first few days.

That IS a fantastic picture of the WDW sign!

on the 1 BR at OKW

I can understand how the Turkey Leg is a running joke. I am not a fan! But I would be willing to try out the Rice Krispie version!

What fantastic safari pictures. I have only gone first thing in the morning and once mid-afternoon. But those pictures of the Hippo (don't think I have seen one out of the water) and the Lion are awesome. Is his name really Simba? I supppose I could try to search to find out the names of the lions, but if you know, please share!

I think you made a great selection at the Flame Tree. I had the ribs in June and they were too fatty and filling. I have not heard great reviews of the Key Lime thingy- yours is the most positive thing I have read.

You had my dream meal at Sunshine Seasons!!! I the Roasted Beet and Goat Cheese Salad and the Strawberry Shortcake. I try to get the salad at least twice during a week-long trip.

The pictures from your princess meet & greet are awesome!!!

Can't wait for more!!!

Last edited by natebenma; 11-28-2012 at 07:51 AM.
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Old 11-28-2012, 05:11 PM   #37
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I'm really enjoying your report as well and can't wait to read more. :thumbsup
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Old 12-01-2012, 04:42 PM   #38
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We miss you over there!!!

Did you hear? The BC/YC FAQ Noodle Swap came to an end in October. Lots of adventures in the year and a half of the swap, including a wedding!

How sad. But they did have a lot of adventures!

Love, love, love this report!!!

You lived the dream of many (including me) but I know you will have your ups and downs and I appreciate you sharing all of the details! It will be interesting hearing the progression of your relationship with your roommates. It is easy to understand that being confined together with a group of people with different personalities has a way of turning less than pleasant!

Love your very detailed information about the CP buses.

Did your knee end up giving you any trouble early on? Certainly didn't seem to keep you back in those first few days.

It wasn't too bad until about early February. Gave me lots of trouble and had to take a medical leave for about a week. It occasionally still gives me trouble now.

That IS a fantastic picture of the WDW sign!

on the 1 BR at OKW

I can understand how the Turkey Leg is a running joke. I am not a fan! But I would be willing to try out the Rice Krispie version!

What fantastic safari pictures. I have only gone first thing in the morning and once mid-afternoon. But those pictures of the Hippo (don't think I have seen one out of the water) and the Lion are awesome. Is his name really Simba? I supppose I could try to search to find out the names of the lions, but if you know, please share!

I have no idea what his real name is! But I believe Simba is Swahili for Lion, so we'll go with that!

I think you made a great selection at the Flame Tree. I had the ribs in June and they were too fatty and filling. I have not heard great reviews of the Key Lime thingy- yours is the most positive thing I have read.

We had the ribs in February and didn't have any complaints about them.

You had my dream meal at Sunshine Seasons!!! I the Roasted Beet and Goat Cheese Salad and the Strawberry Shortcake. I try to get the salad at least twice during a week-long trip.

The pictures from your princess meet & greet are awesome!!!

Can't wait for more!!!
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I'm really enjoying your report as well and can't wait to read more. :thumbsup
Welcome!
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Old 12-01-2012, 04:48 PM   #39
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January 22nd, 2012

Sunday I had training from 7am-3:45pm. When I came home I was really tired, but I also needed to do laundry and grocery shop. I had texted my roommates asking for a ride to Target to shop and get a prescription, but they were all busy. Two of them were at home and were going to Magic Kingdom to meet up with a third. Since I had literally no food, I went with. We drove to the TTC and parked in the Rapunzel lot-literally the farthest one from the actual TTC area.


The tram came pretty soon and then we got in line for the monorail. Once we boarded, we had to sit and wait for further traffic clearance. Then after we pulled out of the station we were going really, really slowly and eventually just stopped for a few minutes. Finally we made it to the Magic Kingdom! I had no bags, but Marissa and Jessica needed to get theirs checked, so I took this picture while I waited for them.


We were meeting Christina and waiting for her to get off work, so we killed some time on Main Street. I love this next picture! I decided to use a garbage can as a tripod and the castle reflected in the top of it!


Jessica had never seen the Dream Along with Mickey show, so we watched it from the pathway to Adventureland from the Hub, and I took a lot of castle pictures.






During the show Christina found us, so after it was over we decided to go get dinner. After looking at the map we all thought Columbia Harbour House sounded good so we walked over there, but upon arrival, Jessica determined she couldn't eat anything from the menu. So the next closest restaurant was Pecos Bill's. We entered on the side with the self-order kiosks, which were closed for the night, but stood near them to look at the overhead menu. A cast member came over and said that side was closed and we replied that we knew, we were just looking at the menu. He wasn't very friendly when he said that "The menu is the same on all sides of the counter."

I finally decided on the taco salad and a bottled water. I had seen pictures of the salad online and was expecting something much bigger than what I received. I knew it would just be a shell with meat, but the shell was small and stale, and the scoop of meat was pathetic and lukewarm at best. I added some lettuce, tomato, cheese, and sour cream but that couldn't save this.



Jessica had the pulled pork and liked it, and Christina liked her chili. Marissa ordered a burger and pronounced it "meh". After dinner I was rather tired so I headed out of the park alone, but stopped to get a Dole Whip on the way.


I finished it by the time I left. I boarded the monorail and got a seat in a car with a family that had an adorable baby girl. The bus came a bit later and it was a nice coach bus again. Three other people got on as well, and we went straight back to Chatham. I was a little confused because the bus didn't go to West Clock behind MK but when I got home I saw that bus wasn't even supposed to be running, so I'm still confused.

When I got home Courtney and Casey were there and they also needed to go grocery shopping so Courtney drove us to Publix. We had a little cart caravan and bought a ton of food. After we got back to the apartment we actually had to start eating stuff to make room for the stuff we just bought! Courtney had bought cookie dough so she made two batches of cookies and then invited two of the neighbor boys over, so once again I didn't get to bed until late.
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Old 12-01-2012, 04:55 PM   #40
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January 24th, 2012

On Tuesday I got off work at 3 pm and I wanted to go into the park to start hunting down some character autographs for friends and family back home. So I went back to the casting building to get changed and then rode the bus back to the front again. My first stop was Spaceship Earth. It stopped twice while I was on it, which I don't think has ever happened before, but it started up again quickly. I realized that the screen asks you different questions for the "future" every time, so I had some fun with that.






On my back to World Showcase I stopped to get a pretzel and a sprite, and I went into the Duffy Bear store to get postcards. I bought a 10 pack of Epcot ones, and also this awesome shirt.


I got on a Friendship boat to go to Germany, but Snow White wasn't out. I walked past Italy, America, and Japan. Jasmine wasn't even out yet in Morocco but already had a long line. Belle and Beast were meeting together in France and they had a long line; same story with Aurora. So I backtracked to Morocco and got on a boat to take me back across the lagoon and decided to try the characters another day.

Before I left the park, I grabbed dinner at (where else?) Sunshine Seasons. I wasn't as pleased with their menu as I used to be. I don't care for the side of potato salad, they put jalapenos on the turkey sandwich, and you can no longer pick your own sides at the grill station. But I decided on the reuben panini, no potato salad, and a smores brownie. It was 5pm but it wasn't too busy and I found a seat easily.



The sandwich was good, but so big that I couldn't finish it. I missed having someone to share my food with, so I was very glad that Mom would be visiting in two weeks! The brownie was very good. It was moist and just the right amount of chewy.

After dinner I headed backstage again to catch the CP bus home. I know I fell asleep incredibly early that night, by like 9:30pm. I was just so tired!
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Old 12-11-2012, 12:38 AM   #41
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All caught up again. So far it looks like fun times. Wish I was at Disney now. I liked the Epcot shirt.
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Old 12-11-2012, 06:21 AM   #42
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Thanks for sharing the background on the castle picture taken from the garbage can. The reflection and story are really neat!

Bummer about the Pecos Bill taco salad.

Too bad you weren't able to get any autographs that afternoon, but what a cool way to spend time after work! I'm sure you will be more successful in future trips.
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Old 12-26-2012, 07:38 PM   #43
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January 25th, 2012

I haven't forgotten you, dear readers! First it was finals. (I'm proud to say I finished my first semester of my doctorate program with a 3.25 GPA!) Then it was a trip to Disney. (I'm writing that trip report and dining review simultaneously with this one.) So I'll try not to abandon you all for so long again!

Because I had gone to bed so early Tuesday night, I woke up ridiculously early on Wednesday at 6:30am and couldn't fall back asleep. Super frustrating. So I decided to go to rope drop at Epcot-which doesn't actually exist anymore, it's just an opening thing at the turnstiles. I arrived at the turnstiles around 8:30 and was the fourth person in line at mine. The two people immediately ahead of me were a mom and five year old boy from Arizona, so I chatted with them for awhile. After the opening ceremony, I power walked toward the Land. There weren't many people ahead of me and by the time I got to the Land, I was literally the first person in line for Soarin'! It was great!


We were led through the queue by a CM and soon we were heading into Concourse 1. I asked if I could have B1 and they let me walk over there and started putting everyone else in the A section. I sat next to some men who were there for a Segway tour and they asked me if I'd done Soarin' before. I said yes, several times, it's my favorite ride and somehow that led to me telling them I worked at Disney and we chatted about that for awhile. They thought the program sounded really cool, but they couldn't believe I was there on my day off!

The ride started and it was pretty great, but there were bugs on the projector showing up on the screen, which was a little gross. After it was over, I said goodbye to the guys, got a FP for later, and headed to the Character Spot. The wait said 5 minutes, and it was indeed very short. I met Mickey, Minnie, Goofy, Donald, and Pluto and got some signatures for friends.






Then it was on to Future World East, where I planned to do single rider on Test Track...but the line wasn't open because stand by was only 10 minutes! And it was really almost a walk on. I reassured some small children behind me in line and then in my car about the ride, and the ones in the car LOVED it and were begging their parents to do it again!

I went next door to Mission: Space and waited only through the preshow. I was engineer once again-I've only been one other thing.
At that point it was about 10am and I had another hour before World Showcase would open. So I stopped at an Espresso, Coffee, and Pastries stand and got a cheese danish and a mango icee.



I ate and drank on a bench in World Showcase Plaza, just people watching, enjoying the view across the lagoon and the sunshine.


Around 10:45 I started to head for International Gateway. Pooh and Friends would be meeting around 11. While I waited I took a picture across the bridge of France.


Pooh and Tigger came out shortly after 11. I let two small kids go in front of me, and the little boy was absolutely adorable. He was probably around 2 and very precocious. He and his sister had a great time with Pooh! And just as the parents were saying it was time to go, he looked at Pooh and said, "I would like a picture with you." Oh my gosh, it was just so darn cute! Then it was my turn, and they were awesome with me too!

Tigger danced and bounced with me and it was fun!


Then I headed over to France to meet Belle.


While I was in line, I met another CM. She works weekends at the Auto Plaza (collecting tolls) where I will eventually be cross-trained. Her grand daughter was adorable-she was very young and just kept saying, "Belle is going to come out?" Then when Belle did come out she kept staring at her, but when it was her turn to meet Belle, she was a little afraid. Next it was my turn. Belle and I had a conversation about books and if she'd read any good ones lately. She told me that she had just gotten one that morning to read to Beast, an adventure story, because that's what he likes.


Marie the cat would be meeting at 11:30, so I asked Belle's handler where Marie normally meets-I've been trying to meet her since May 2010! She told me and I grabbed a seat in France and waited.

When she came out, a whole flock of children went straight for her. Pretty soon I was at the front of the line. I asked her if she'd gotten into any fights with her brothers lately and she nodded, then pointed at her "fingers" to indicate how many. I asked if she'd started them and she shook her head "no", but when I asked if she'd finished them, she nodded "yes".



My final character stop for the morning was Morocco to meet Aladdin and Jasmine. While I waited I took some pictures of my surroundings.




When they came out a few minutes later I was first in line. My friend Matt from school wanted their autographs, so I gave them a postcard to sign. They wanted to know if he was my prince, and absolutely did not believe me when I said he wasn't. Really though, why wouldn't I just have said so? It's not like I know these people! Eventually I gave up and just let them believe it, but it was kind of ridiculous.


I finished with them then got in to the Friendship queue to take me back to WS Plaza. It took only a few minutes and I was back to Future World, where I went straight to the Land to use my Soarin' FP. Once again I asked for B1 and I had to wait for the next "flight" to accommodate my request, but it was worth it.

Then I headed backstage to my locker to grab my bathing suit because I was going to Blizzard Beach! I walked out to the buses and saw that Coronado Springs and BB were at the same stop, so when a CS bus pulled up 10 minutes later, I asked the driver if he was also going to BB and he said yes, but he was stopping at Coronado first.

So I got on and we drove off. We circled the whole perimeter of the resort and I thought it looked nice but not somewhere I'd really like to stay (foreshadowing...), and about half an hour later I arrived at Blizzard Beach, ready for some fun!
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Old 12-26-2012, 07:44 PM   #44
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January 25th, 2012, Part 2

I was just getting off the bus at Blizzard Beach. We got into the water parks for free until February 27th, but only Blizzard Beach was open through then. It was just before 2pm, so I went in and changed into my suit. I had brought a PB&J to eat, but after spending all morning in my bag, it was more like mush, so I needed food, and Lottawatta Lodge was the first place I came to. The line to order was long and the wait was also long; the staff seemed disorganized. I asked for a plain hot dog with apple slices and a fruit cup. One nice surprise was that my 20% dining discount did work here! I found a table under an umbrella on the patio and ate.

The food was just okay. It was pretty much what I expected it to be, no more or less. There were some women and their daughters at the next table who kept feeding the birds and squirrels which was a little annoying, so I finished eating as quickly as possible to get away from them.
To my surprise, there were a lot of empty lounge chairs under the shelters near Meltaway Bay. It was a pretty warm day so I expected the park to be busier than it was. I didn't want to do any of the big slides, but I did head for Runoff Rapids. I really, really hate that they force single riders to go through the enclosed tube. Next I hopped in Cross Country Creek and floated back to the wave pool, where I spent some time.








I was ready to leave around 3, so I called the CP Transportation line to request a pick up. Then I made a stop at the Mini Donuts place! I ordered a half dozen cinnamon sugar ones with white chocolate dipping sauce. Yum!


Then it was out to the bus stop.


The bus came in about 20 minutes and we stopped at the BB Cast Services, Coronado Springs Cast Services, and the Wide World of Sports before heading home. And of course, this is one of the odd routes where Chatham is not the first stop, so I didn't make it home until 4:30.

I suspect I took a nap when I got home, then I called Cast Reservations. I needed to see about a discount for when Mom came in two weeks! We had booked Pop Century using the general public discount that was out at the time, but the cast website made it seem like if I showed my ID up to 10 days before Mom checked in then they could change it to my 50% discount. Not true, so it's good that I called. And as it turned out, there was absolutely NO availability at any value or moderate resort using either the standard 50% or the holiday 60% discount...except at Coronado Springs. And using the 60%, a water view or preferred room at Coronado would be $12 less than the current room at Pop. So I conferred with Mom, and after looking at pictures on allears, we decided to cancel Pop and book Coronado.

At first we were going to go with the water view, but then we picked Preferred instead. However, Mom decided that she kind of likes the Cabanas area better than the Casitas, which is where the preferred rooms are. Whatever, we'll deal with that later. It's only for 4 days, after all! So in conclusion, when Mom came to visit in 12 days, we stayed in a Preferred room at Coronado Springs (I had all 4 days off) and had ADRs at Rose and Crown, Sci-Fi, and Yak & Yeti, all new places for us!
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Old 12-26-2012, 11:16 PM   #45
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Great character meets.
CSR is a really nice resort. Big though.
Nicer pics at BB.
Donuts looked good.
Can’t wait to hear of CSR.
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