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Old 11-21-2013, 08:21 AM   #31
ZehnJahren
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Originally Posted by wrighter View Post
I also wish I'd double dipped some when I was there last weekend. Totally forgot about that - but it wasn't really necessary. But I do love giving FPs away! (No flames!) As it was, we were able to give away a few of our own anyway - and at least one mom of two young boys headed to the Standby line at Soarin' was happy to receive them. :-)

Hopefully they got those televisions working for you! When you're alone the background noise really makes a difference!

Can't wait to hear more!
It wasn't too necessary for me, either, but I did do it a couple of times - including one time in your honor, as promised. That's coming up on day three.

They did eventually get the televisions working. I brought my tablet, so I had plenty of background noise - I have a Galaxy Tab II.
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Old 11-21-2013, 07:45 PM   #32
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Was I Weaving or Something?

When I last left off I was here:



And walking towards Epcot to meet my friend - let's call him Mark. That's not his real name but I have to call him something, don't I?

My plan was to go ride a few rides and then have a few drinks, meet up with Mark, and watch Illuminations. Mark was actually working IN Epcot until 7:30, so once he was off we'd meet up quickly.

I paused on my walk to take in the gorgeous view:



I was absolutely loving the BW vibe - it was truly beautiful and in such a great location. I still couldn't believe my luck.



I strolled in through the International Gateway and thought about where I wanted to go. I decided to head towards Mexico and ride, then go to SE and some of the rides at the front of the park. Somewhere along the line, I decided to go to FW first, then come back and walk the lagoon, and THEN ride in Mexico.



While strolling along, I checked the MDE app to see what the current wait was for Test Track. I was almost to SE at the time. I almost fell over when I saw that there were "supposedly" FP- left for Soarin'! WHAT? It was 5:53 p.m.; how are there FP- for Soarin' left? I thought I read all over these boards that FP+ for headliners were gone quick?

Should I go check it out? I went back and forth. I started walking towards Soarin' but decided it was ridiculous and turned back around and walked towards SE. I almost got to SE, checked the app again, and sure enough it still said there were FP-! I really had a few minutes were I just went back and forth walking, and finally committed to actually walking to Soarin', just to see. I really didn't have anything else to do anyway...

I got all the way to the Land, walked downstairs, and saw....



Yep, I pulled two FP- for Soarin'! At 6 p.m. for an 8:30 return time! I actually asked the man minding the FP machines "Are there really FP??" and he said it happened sometimes right after Food and Wine. Wow! Well, I had two FP- for Mark and I, if he wanted to ride, so I headed back into the park.

On to my first Epcot ride - a walkon at 6:15 on Tuesday: SE! But first I walked by Nemo (which I refuse to ride again; I think it's awful).



I made the dumbest face I could muster at the beginning, and here's what my future looks like:



Now it was after 6:30, and I hadn't gotten a drink yet to prove I was on vacation (drinking on a Tuesday is proof enough, don't you think?). I decided to do the loop from Canada to Mexico and grab a drink or two on the way. My plan was a stop in France for a gray goose slushie and then a stop in "Africa" for a Landshark.

As I walked across the bridge to France, weaving in and out of heavy pedestrian traffic, I passed a large family. I heard a young boy pipe up "This is going to be over my head, isn't it?" and a woman say "Way." before I was past them and in France. Wonder where they were headed?

I saw the gray goose slushie cart, but $15?? I am far too cheap for that. Maybe a beer would be more my speed. I'd keep walking and see what I came across.

Soon enough I was in America. There were a lot of people but most seemed to be just walking, not in stores or eating or congregating. I stopped and bought a Sam Adams.



I did get a little irritated at the woman here. I asked what the Sam Adams seasonal was, and she said it was Winter Lager. I said ok and asked for one, pulling out my wallet. "It's a REALLY dark beer," she said, eyes wide. "Really dark."

"O...k." I said, pulling out my ID.

"It's a dark beer; are you sure?" she asked.

"Um, yes?" I said. I was not exactly sure what the issue was with me drinking a dark beer, and am still not sure to this day. But she seemed to think I wouldn't like it. She must get that a lot!

Once I had my (huge) beer, I was ready to move on. Those cups can't be 20 oz, they're bigger for sure. Possibly 24 oz? But it was large. I figured I was paying about the same at Disney for this drink as I'd pay at a bar around home.

Of course I stopped in Germany. I took a picture of the favorite candy of my study abroad group. I lived in Bonn, home of Beethoven, but EVERYONE loved Mozart Kugeln!



And at $1.45, they really weren't that expensive either.

It was now 7 p.m. I wanted to get on the Mexico ride, so I kept moving that direction with my huge beer. I stopped outside La Hacienda in a little alcove and sat to finish my beer. There was a man sitting there alone, so I asked him to take my picture. He looked a little clueless; I just told him I was travelling alone and would like at least one good picture of me. This is what I got:



Ok, well, get rid of the red eye and get a better pic of the beer and it would be a decent vacation picture.

I looked at Mexico longingly.



This ride has been a favorite of mine since Epcot opened. When it was El Rio Del Tiempo, I loved it dearly, but when they merged it with the Three Caballeros (one of my all time favorite Disney movies), it had a permanent place in my heart.

I looked at the clock; I had about 15 minutes until Mark was off. I chugged the rest of my beer (wow, I guess I don't drink much because I was a little tipsy!) and headed in to ride. Here's what I got:

Heading in:



On the ride:



While I walked on to the ride, it was full. This is very rare for the Mexico ride, so I thought maybe I was in for more crowds than I thought.

It was now time to meet Mark. My phone text messages were going off with questions at to where we could meet.

Vamanos!

Last edited by ZehnJahren; 11-23-2013 at 08:17 PM.
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Old 11-21-2013, 07:53 PM   #33
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Oh, and I'm not too clever so chapter titles will be quotes from my favorite movies each day. See if you recognize them!
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Old 11-21-2013, 08:02 PM   #34
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Beer yummy but tha photo sparked my interest in the Phineas and Ferb goodies at the bottom...looking forward to that. Great days so far
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Old 11-21-2013, 10:42 PM   #35
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Oh, and I'm not too clever so chapter titles will be quotes from my favorite movies each day. See if you recognize them!
National Lampoon's Vacation

Love the BW. It's been too long since we've been over in that area. It seems like every trip I say we should check out the BW but it seems like we over plan too much and visiting the BW gets cut from our itinerary. Maybe next time.
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Old 11-22-2013, 10:49 AM   #36
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Landshark in "Africa?"
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Old 11-22-2013, 12:03 PM   #37
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Beer yummy but tha photo sparked my interest in the Phineas and Ferb goodies at the bottom...looking forward to that. Great days so far
I kept meaning to get one of those drinks just for the little beaker but I forgot completely.

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National Lampoon's Vacation

Love the BW. It's been too long since we've been over in that area. It seems like every trip I say we should check out the BW but it seems like we over plan too much and visiting the BW gets cut from our itinerary. Maybe next time.
You're right! Have one picked out for day two; see if anybody gets it!

BWV is so beautiful and so close to everything. You really have to make it over there next time.

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Landshark in "Africa?"
Yes, the cheap and poorly executed "African Outpost" sells one of my favorite beers - Landshark. I buy it at home somewhat regularly (though I'm currently stuck on a Chicago favorite, 312).
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Old 11-22-2013, 01:00 PM   #38
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My husband will be so happy to hear about the Landshark! Ever since we went there during F&W, he's talked about how much fun he had just wandering around trying beer. :-) Nice to know he can add Landshark to his list of "regular" Epcot drinks.

(I must confess we've never even stopped at the Africa Outpost! Shame!)
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Old 11-23-2013, 09:07 AM   #39
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My husband will be so happy to hear about the Landshark! Ever since we went there during F&W, he's talked about how much fun he had just wandering around trying beer. :-) Nice to know he can add Landshark to his list of "regular" Epcot drinks.

(I must confess we've never even stopped at the Africa Outpost! Shame!)
Yes, it's $6.75 (for now) and one of my favorites.

There's not much there, honestly; I tried to stop and chat with the guy whittling but he was a little too into carving and not so much into chatting.
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Old 11-23-2013, 09:46 AM   #40
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This Is No Longer a Vacation - It's a Quest!

When I left off, I was meeting Mark.

I was in the Mexico pavilion when he texted, and he was in China I believe, so I texted him that I wanted to grab another beer at the Outpost and then we could do whatever. He texted back asking where we should meet, and I told him to meet me at the Stave Church in Norway. I was standing right by it, and looked over - he was sitting right there, texting me back! We hugged hello and headed to the Outpost for my beer.

He had a surprise for me - he had talked to a friend of his that worked Illuminations, and we would be watching it from the boat dock in Mexico! Of course, we didn't have a lot of time before we had to be there to settle in, so I grabbed my beer and we took a seat in Norway to chat. He had some interesting views on the magic bands (he said as a CM he had tried it months ago) and we passed our time not riding rides but chatting. We weren't able to use the FP+ I'd scored for Soarin', but I guess that just meant more Soarin' for the standby riders!

Mark took this pic of me:



And then we were off to Mexico to get to the boat dock.

I won't overload you with Illuminations pictures, but this was a very neat place to watch the show! We walked down the dock and had a seat where you get off the Friendship boats during the day. There was a small boat parked in front of us, but other than that there was nothing between us and the show - much different than the view I was expecting for this Illuminations.









During the show, Mark told me that there were people who drove the globe out onto the lagoon.

"What?" I asked.

He said that there were two people who drove the earth-shaped barge onto the lagoon and back every night, that there was a bunker on board for them to stay safe during the actual show.

I was skeptical - wasn't that barge already in place before the show, and stayed there during the day? I was sure I'd seen the globe out before the show, during the day.

He insisted he knew the people who did it, so I conceded.

The guy running the Illuminations show stayed on the dock with us and was talking with a family there (there were about 10-12 people on the dock altogether, and three crew members). He was telling them some of the nuance of the show. For example, during the show the images on the globe are going through history from the earth's creation to current times - when the horses appear, that's when humans appeared on earth. Also, the colors of the water signify the volcanic activities that were forming continents and moving mountains (red), or the water that was cooling the earth's crust as it formed (blue) and the formation of trees and vegetation (green). He had a lot more to say, but I didn't catch it all. It was fascinating, though.

Now Mark and I took our leave; he was heading back to my hometown for a wedding before I left, so I wouldn't see him again. I headed towards BWV.

(I found out just a little bit later that Teekathepony (Wendy) and her husband watched that showing from Canada, so we passed each other on the way out and had no idea! We were planning to meet on our MVMCP night.)

On my way back to my hotel, I passed all the goings-on on the Boardwalk. There was a magician and a "traveling circus" guy. I was STARVING, as I had barely eaten all day; I stopped and got a big pile of french fries and devoured them on the way to my room.

When I got back to my room, I took a moment to enjoy my view again, then headed in to bed. I was headed to AK in the morning!

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Old 11-23-2013, 08:37 PM   #41
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Loving this TR!

We stayed at the BWI during our 2009 trip. Loved it.

I must say...everything looks so empty...especially the Boardwalk and DHS. I mean, of all of these wonderful pictures of the pool area only one of them had an actual person in it.
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Old 11-23-2013, 08:59 PM   #42
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You Know I'm Your Hero.

Here were my plans for Wednesday, day 2.

I planned on opening AK and going to morning EMH. Then I'd be heading to MK for my FP+ and BOG FP+ as well! After that, I was planning on hitting up the yourfirstvisit.net meetup at (what I thought was) 3:30 p.m. Little did I know that today would be a four park extravaganza that had me popping all over the place and getting a ton done! This would probably be my busiest day.

I had the following FP+ for today:

BTMRR: 3:25 p.m.
HM: 5:05 pm
Space: 7 p.m.

Would I use them or not? So far, I'm 1 for 3.

I was up and at it early, since AK opened at 8 a.m. I grabbed a breakfast bar, chugged some diet coke, and ran down the stairs (hey, it was still early enough in the trip I was taking the stairs).

I came out at the wrong place (whoops. I kept doing this my whole trip), so I took a little photo tour.







At about 7:20 I was heading for the bus stop (finally)...



where I proceeded to wait.... and wait.... and wait....... and wait......



There was an employee of BWV just hanging around at the bus stop. That seems like a dangerous position, since really he was just hanging around talking to Guests -- and we were all getting increasingly irritated as MK bus after MK bus picked up for a 9 a.m. opening but no AK bus showed for a 8 a.m. opening.

FINALLY a bus showed (after much grumbling and the start of a real line of complaints from quite a few people) and we were on our way to AK. This was my first encounter with the buses not being the best, but it would not be the last.



It took 25 minutes for an AK bus to come AFTER I arrived at the bus stop, and others had been waiting before me. I wonder how long it actually took between buses? As it was, this bus was dispatched especially for us, as evidenced by the "DAKW" on the front windshield (I was told the "D" stood for "dispatched").



Ack, we're gonna be late!

We finally made it to AK. I really thought that arriving with 40 minutes to spare would get me to the park in time for "rope drop", but instead I was here at 8:06 a.m.:



Ok, not too too bad. A few pictures:





I decided to go to Everest first, then to Dinosaur, and then try to see ITTBAB. This is all I really care to do at AK. I don't have the patience for the Safari, as the idea of getting stuck on a ride because an animal decided to nap in the road kind of freaks me out. I have a rule - don't depend on a live animal.

So I was on a mission.



I just love this ride! I pulled one FP- for it, and then rode again via standby line.

I then headed over to D!. I know most don't like Dinorama, but I really DO. I love carnivals and theme parks, and this just reminds me of those days as a kid, only better. I love the dinosaurs and the goofiness of it.





I also pulled a FP- for D!, and rode.



Not our dino.

I now had a FP- for both EE and D!, so I went back on D! again. My D! FP- came due before my EE one, so I went ahead and rode D! again.

Ok, time to head back to EE.





I was already a little tired of criss-crossing back and forth and decided to just go try to catch ITTBAB. But first, a few pictures of EE, since it's so super-cool.





I know it's not too intense, but I love this coaster!

I saw this and immediately thought of Danielle (IheartDDuck on the Dis):



These yetis looked pretty sober though.

Back for another ride at D!, no line. I held on to my FP-.

I did get into the next showing of ITTBAB; I walked right in, which I LOVE.



You have to admit this is a gorgeous park:



A crowd picture:



It was now only 9:30, but I had ridden EE 3 times and D! 3 times, as well as done ITTBAB. I was feeling tired, so I decided to leave the park and go back for a quick nap before heading to MK. I love my Disney naps!



But here is my second encounter with BWV buses that would leave me with a bad taste in my mouth.

It was a bit chilly out this morning. I thought I'd be fine in my short sleeves and long pants, but I was a bit cold. Oh well, I was leaving. I got to my bus stop and a bus was there! Score!

I waited for the people to get off the bus. Then the bus driver told me they were changing drivers. Oh, ok.

I waited.

And waited.

This seemed to be common for them to change drivers at AK, as this happened to me last trip too, so I just stood in the chilly air in my short sleeves and waited for them to tell me to come aboard.

After about another 10 minutes, the new driver leaned out the door and said "I'm not going to BWV, I've been dispatched elsewhere." He then shut the door and left.

W.
T.
F.

Seriously? All right, well, what can I do but wait?

And I waited.

And I waited.

After about 15 more minutes, another bus pulled up. The people got off and I gratefully went to get on. The driver told me that she was also not going to BWV; she was switching drivers as well but the bus wouldn't be going to BWV once they switched.

WHA....!?

I was really getting irritated now. I'd been waiting almost 30 minutes at this point and had seen two buses come and two buses go. The woman took pity on me and said there had been a bus dispatched for me since I'd been waiting so long. I told her I was very unhappy to see two buses come and go and that I was cold. She talked to the other driver as more people walked up to the BWV stop. Finally, they told me they could take us to the BWV; the two women getting on the bus didn't care where they went, they just wanted to get to DTD so they needed to get to a resort to do so. I wanted to warn them that BWV was probably not the bus-friendly resort they wanted, but perhaps I'd just had bad luck so far!



About 10:30 a.m., and I was back in my room - one park down, three to go. But what's this? My bedroom TV is still not fixed! I NEED TV TO SLEEP, PEOPLE!

Another call to the front desk, and an hour later....



Ah, bliss.
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Old 11-23-2013, 09:04 PM   #43
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Loving this TR!

We stayed at the BWI during our 2009 trip. Loved it.

I must say...everything looks so empty...especially the Boardwalk and DHS. I mean, of all of these wonderful pictures of the pool area only one of them had an actual person in it.
Thanks so much for saying hello! Appreciate your comments.

It is such a lovely area, but you're right - the resort seemed pretty dead. There was a cold front that moved in right when I came to the resort, so I think that kept most people out of the pool; but the Boardwalk itself wasn't too busy either. However, the parks looked pretty congested to me, but it didn't seem like anyone was RIDING anything!
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Old 11-23-2013, 09:11 PM   #44
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Those bus situations don't speak well for BWI/BWV! I'm curious if the buses were that bad for your entire stay.

In those pics of EE, it looks like the trains weren't even half full. Was that because it was morning EMH? Was it walk-on, or did you need the FP to return?
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Old 11-23-2013, 09:16 PM   #45
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Those bus situations don't speak well for BWI/BWV! I'm curious if the buses were that bad for your entire stay.

In those pics of EE, it looks like the trains weren't even half full. Was that because it was morning EMH? Was it walk-on, or did you need the FP to return?
Oh, I'll talk more about the buses. I have plenty to say about those.

I think it was because of morning EMH! I didn't NEED the FP at all; I just walked on every time, even when I went after 9 a.m. I LOVE early mornings at Disney; I can get anything and everything I want to do, done!
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