It doesn't matter, we'll never see them again! A Dec. Mother-daughter TR

Discussion in 'Completed Trip Reports' started by AnnieDan_Artlover, Jan 5, 2013.

  1. luckylady

    luckylady DIS Veteran

    Aug 27, 2004
    Thank you. OMG I can't believe you were brave enough to ride RRR. Just looking at that coaster gave me chills. Then when you see the net under it noooooooo! Another great set of pictures. Can't wait to her about your next day.
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  3. AnnieDan_Artlover

    AnnieDan_Artlover Mouseketeer

    Aug 8, 2007
    We woke up at 5am!
    I had set the alarm at 6am, to make sure we would be in time for the Universal, WWoHP version of Extra Magic Hour... but clearly, going to bed so early has it's advantages and so we didn't need any alarm clock!

    We took our time to pack, as we were checking out that very morning, and got ready at a relaxed pace.
    We had to wait for the breakfast places to open, anyways... that's the downside to getting up so early!

    We packed the car at around 7am then headed to Emack & Bolio's to have breakfast. It's a bit like a convenience store, and they have a few breakfast item. Mama took a Starbucks coffee with a bacon, egg and cheese croissant (which you reheat in a small microwave). It was just OK, she said. I took a yogurt parfait (with fresh fruit and some oat-cereals-stuff)... it was very good, but after 1/3 of it, it started to make me slightly sick so I stopped eating. I was full anyways!

    We then walked leisurely to the Islands of Adventure... all by ourselves

    We entered at 7:55 and had the place to ourselves!
    We still took the famed shortcut even though it wasn't necessary... there was ONE other family walking in and so we could confirm it was indeed faster to take a left right after the Dr. Seuss entrance
    By the way, I liked the Christmas decorations! :goodvibes

    And finally, we were in the deserted land of Harry!

    Yesterday, Mama had said she wasn't sure she felt the need to come back, especially not GET UP EARLY and come back... but seeing this, she definitely was happy we did! (especially considering we woke up early anyways!).

    It was a really special feeling, being in there practically by ourselves!

    Even though it was empty, we hightailed it to Forbidden Journey so we could walk in the castle without anyone bothering us... we thought we would just walk it together in the "not riding" line, and then I would do the riding line... but probably because it was early and empty, there was just one line anyways... so when we got to the end, I rode it... and got slightly nauseous again, just like yesterday! Still loved the ride just as much! :thumbsup2
    But wouldn't ride it twice in a row...

    We then shopped seriously at the "castle shop"... having been told that would be the best place to find good gifts for my best friends twins... but even spending a long time perusing... it was a bust. Only some clothes were slightly interesting... nothing great for young kids, nothing great for boys (or not in my price range anyways)... and our surprise, nothing with "Harry Potter" or "Hogwarts" on it! Only "Slytherin" or "Gryffyndor"... how weird.

    So we walked back to Diagon Alley (aka the main area!) and we shopped some more. I re-checked everything in all the shops... and I finally settled for chocolate wands at Zonkos and the plastic dragons at Dervish and Banges... which, as I said before, didn't get me very excited. Plus, I had to combine, which I hate doing (give one gift to both kids so they'd split it... not their favorite thing), but my budget was too tight.
    While I was paying for the dragons, Mama spotted the brooms beside the cash register, and we asked how much they were. They were just 35$! I had thought they cost way more... but I couldn't afford that for each of them anyways so that was the end of that. Kids can split a bag of 4 dragons and play with those together... not so one broom...

    But I knew it... I got out of there and could only think of the damn brooms. I could just imagine their excitement opening their present!
    But it was too much money... except... if I bought them as both Christmas AND birthday presents... their birthdays being exactly one month after Christmas... they are not fan of that either, but it's better than splitting one gift, and better than giving a gift they wouldn't like as much...
    It would still bust my budget... but not as much.

    So I went back in the store and made the exchange. Lily was a gem about it, very helpful, and I made sure to notify Universal about her!

    That's when we took a break and tried the pumpkin juice, sitting on a stone ledge (near the Hog's Head)... Mama didn't like it, as she isn't a fan of cinnamon... I liked it but it's not my favorite.
    We kept the bottle as a souvenir.

    Then we were off to Zonkos to buy said chocolate wands, and 2 chocolate frogs... one for me and one for my best friend Alex who is a big eater! I can't go wrong with chocolate, even if he's not a big HP fan!

    We had all those things shipped to the front of the park, where things like chocolate are kept cool, much better than lugging it around or leave it in the car to melt!

    Between stores, I wanted to ride the Dragon Challenge I had not ridden yet : the red one. But it was closed!!!
    On our way out of WWoHP I checked again (maybe 20min later) and it was still closed...

    We left, having done all we wanted to do, and it wasn't even 9:30 yet!
    We felt much more satisfied and happy about our visit than yesterday... being more by ourselves, being able to take pictures and a few videos and truly enjoy the sights made all the difference in the world.

    We walked back through Seuss Landing, since we hadn't really seen it, walking by fast both mornings...

    Being from Québec, Dr. Seuss is not part of our culture. I had never even heard of him or his work until a few years ago, back when Jim Carrey's How the Grinch Stole Christmas came out... which I never watched. I've always wanted to watch A Cat in the Hat... but never got around to it. Hey... isn't it kinda funny that those 2 classics of american culture had canadian lead actors? It just hit me... :confused3

    So... the result is, as cute as we find that area of the park... it doesn't pull on our heartstrings, doesn't bring on any nostalgia or anything. Unlike, say... Disney. :rotfl2:

    Still, we decided to do this
    And guess what? In that little train made for about 20 people, we were only 4! And all adults! The others were also a pair of mom-daughter. If we ever had any worries about looking silly, out the window they would've went! :wave2:

    Reminded us of the "Do not miss Dumbo, you won't look silly, and if you do it doesn't matter, you'll never see those people again" of course... So we were very merry getting off!
    We did like the ride, even though I was worried about Mama getting motion sick all the time because it was more jerky than I had foreseen! But she was OK. In fact, we were both a bit sad it was so short!

    Walking to the exit, I saw the Hulk roller-coaster... and decided to ride it one last time.

    Bad, bad, BAD decision.
    I had a slight headache.
    Remember how yesterday I bumped my ears a few times on it? Well this morning it wasn't bumping the ears, it was banging the head! I wasn't sitting in the same place in the train, more in the rear, and it was much rougher.
    When I got off I wanted to die. The headache was like I had downed a big slushie in 2min!
    Enough that I had to sit down for a few minutes...

    But then, sitting there close to the roaring noise of the Hulk was not much help...

    After that it was definitely time to exit Islands of Adventure, and I wasn't even sorry. Not just because I was mad at the Hulk for the headache (and mad at myself for not thinking about it) but because we had done what we set out to do.

    But before we left we stopped at the little sandwich and pastry place in the Port of Entry (the name on the check is Croissant Moon... but it's not identified on the map) to have a very early was about 10:30! Hey, we had a very small breakfast before, at only 7:15am!

    Mama had a turkey hoagie and I had an italian melt. It was destiny : Mama's was cold and came with lettuce and tomato slice, which I don't like. I was gonna take the italian panini when the clerk suggested I take the melt, which came on a rosemary bread& which turns out made it hot instead of cold& I wanted a hot sandwich! And mine didn't come with lettuce or tomato slice! PLUS, Mama's came with a side of potato salad, which I hate, and mine came with a pasta salad with black olives which I like (not LOVE but like, I do LOVE the olives though), and Mama hates!
    Mama added a bag of chips, and I added a red velvet cupcake, which I didn't finish.
    Everything was very, very good!!!
    I'd say : Food 5/5, Service 4/5, Atmosphere 3/5 (it's not themed, really)

    I took the opportunity to take Tylenols& At first I didn't want to, thinking not riding a roller coaster for a while would do the trick, but it didn't.
    Even with the Tylenols, I spent the whole day with a headache. No love for the Hulk from me!!!

    In the next chapter: How many minutes of our lives will we never get back?
  4. MelMel11

    MelMel11 Mouseketeer

    Jan 9, 2011
    Count me in!!
  5. AnnieDan_Artlover

    AnnieDan_Artlover Mouseketeer

    Aug 8, 2007
    Welcome, MelMel11! :wave2:

    I apologize for not posting more often, but I just caught my 3rd respiratory infection in 4 months (broncho-pneumonia, then bronchitis, this time... not sure yet, probably bronchitis again).

    Also I started a blog about my life with Ehlers-Danlos (in french, but if anyone here is bilingual, here it is : Opinions, découvertes et vivre avec le SED

    All in all it doesn't seem like much, but, well... it's enough!

    I'm not forgetting about you, the DIS tab is always open on my browser and whenever I can, I will post the next chapter!

    It's amazing to have so many readers and I truly appreciate it!
    Hope I don't bore you all to death or lose you along the way because I don't update fast enough! :rotfl2:

    Have a great groundhog day!
  6. swwake

    swwake RIP our sweet Magic (09/27/10)

    Jan 13, 2008
    Nah, I'm still reading. I am the queen of not updating, and of abandoned trip reports!
  7. AnnieDan_Artlover

    AnnieDan_Artlover Mouseketeer

    Aug 8, 2007
  8. AnnieDan_Artlover

    AnnieDan_Artlover Mouseketeer

    Aug 8, 2007
    First thing we did after we walked out of IoA: we walked to the car, in the HRH parking lot, because it was COLD. In the low 70°F with a thick cloud cover and slightly windy (but still humid), I was ok with my long sleeve vest and my jeans, but Mama was cold without long sleeves.
    My feet were hurting a lot (even though I was wearing my brand new walking shoes!) but I still walked with Mama.

    Because of the foot pain, we decided not to walk back though. We tried to take the bus, since the bus stop was right beside our car in the parking lot... but the bus that stopped after we had waited 5min was NOT going to US... the driver said the right bus should come by "any minute"... but after waiting 2min, we decided to take the water taxi instead. The wait wasn't long, and it was a fun ride.

    I wanted to do RRR again, but decided to wait, because of the headache... I figured, if it made the headache a lot worse, I should do other stuff first.

    Mama had said she wanted to try the Minions ride even though she has motion sickness& I was sure she couldn't, but hey. So we did that first, and she got nauseous and only watched about 20sec of the ride. She did it all with eyes closed! But at least it's the image and not the motions that makes her sick, so she was basically OK. She says she wouldn't be any better using the benches (motion-less seats). At home or at the movies, when crazy motions like the Star Wars flying chases happen, she has to close her eyes or she gets sick. And our sofas don't move! :rotfl2:

    After that we walked a bit to help her nausea wear off.

    So I went to the Mummy.
    I had the incredible luck of being in the front row for my first time.
    It's now one of my favorite rides EVER!!!
    Now, THAT is a dark roller coaster! At first I thought it was a "haunted-mansion" kinda dark ride, and almost thought Mama could've done it. I was almost disappointed, and THEN it started! Woohoo! Not having read too much about it, never having done it, being in the front& it was an amazing first time!
    The only downside was it brought back the headache a notch or 2. So as much as I felt like hoping right back on, I didn't. :guilty:

    Then we did Twister.
    I had done my research so I was totally thrown off when I read that "stationary seating" was available. Part of me was just happy we would be able to sit. But figures, I was right, the map was wrong. We did stand up. And OMG was that lame! They had me until the cow. And wow, was that "rain" cold!
    That's 15min we'll never get back. But hey, now I know...OK, I knew already, but now we know for sure, from our very own experience! :rotfl2: ...And at least it's something we did together.

    Since the headache was still pretty strong (and noise in Twister didn't help), I didn't walk back to RRR as I had planned. Instead we checked the times and decided to go see the animals show& so we walked the whole way there (towards San Francisco, which I now realize is the long way round... seemed pretty equal on the map at the time).

    We got there just at 1:15, for the 1:30 show... except there was no 1:30 show! I had read the wrong line/wrong dates. I really don't like how the times guide is included with the map and is the same for every day and you have to be REALLY careful when you check a show or event's time!
    Today the show would be at 2:30. So I checked and the Horror make up show was at 1:45 so it was perfect. We had time to walk over there and go to the restrooms first and on the way back we saw the Men in Black and Doc from Return to the Future (no one wanted pics with them! not even me... I'm not a face character type). And then there was
    SCOOOBY! He was with... eeeeh... the guy. I said I wasn't into face characters! I almost wanted to ask him to move away so I could have just Scooby with me& but I didn't. :cool2: There was just one person doing a pic when we got there& so we had time. We snapped a picture and YAY.

    Horror make-up show& it's something we both like, Mama watches show about special effects on TV (FaceOff anyone?), etc.
    But altough we laughed (the guy was crazy funny), we were disappointed not to learn anything. It was nice to rest the feet though. Oh, and thanks to our Express pass, we were seated in the front row, almost dead center! We had not been waiting in that area, but the lady asked "all with Express pass" to go in that line and enter first. Cool. Otherwise the pass was not needed, as the theater wasn't even a quarter full...

    Then we walked straight back to Animal Actors, we had nice enough places, about 1/3 from the bottom and 1/3 from the right, almost the end of a row, we could see well. But at that one, the Express wasn't used at all. We saw the entrance on the other side of the theater (on the far left), but the line was on the right and there were no associates on the left side and the rope was closing the entrance.

    I loved the pre-show the most, with all the animals going on at once with music and there were CATS. I love almost all animals (not so much the scaly, slimy ones, sorry), I love dogs, but I have to admit felines, big and small, have a special place in my heart. So I was disappointed that cats were only in the preshow!
    We liked the show, but were not jumping with excitement& it was ok. And the first bird trick is exactly the same as the one used in Disney's AK Flights of Wonder!

    After the animal show we walked back from where we came from, and I stopped to do the Simpson's ride.
    That was the longest wait I had all day, I think. Maybe 10min. I used the Express line but they immediately merged us with the regular line and since there weren't a lot of people it saved me like& 5 seconds. I have to say, it was like that the whole time at Universal, it was just more obvious in that attraction, I think.
    I loved that ride a lot! Like Forbidden Journey, it made me slightly nauseous. Not sure I could've done it a second time right away& especially not with the headache, which was worse again.

    When I say nauseous, it's very slightly, funny feeling in my tummy, a bit queasy and that's it. I could do it again, I could eat, it would just not be wise, I guess.

    I decided not to do MIB, from the descriptions it seemed like Buzz, a shooter's ride, and those don't get me excited.
    I was very tired, my feet were aching, and I had decided it wasn't a must do before I even got to the park. Maybe I should have done it, with the park so empty and the lines so short, and with the express pass on top of it all, what's a 10min more? but I didn't. And I don't really regret it.

    We went into Disaster. Being tired and the feet aching A LOT.
    Such a long wait in that room before they started, and then the "casting", and then more standing for the preshow, and it's so COLD in there! Wow! We could barely support ourselves in there. I was leaning on the railing in front of me, Mama took the last row so she could lean on the wall. I almost decided to sit on the ground. I was this close to scout for an associate to ask to just leave&
    We were so glad there were seats in that next room, for the filming. And then the final "ride". Phew. Finally it was over.
    We might have enjoyed that attraction a little bit if we had not been so tired& but in that state, we just felt it was 30min we'd never get back and it was time wasted.

    Walking around we saw a few of the Macy's balloons, preparing for the parade, or simply as holiday decorations, I'm not sure... but they definitely were cool, and I took a pic of this one:

    We then passed the Mummy, which I loved but was too tired to do again (which says a lot about the state I was in).
    Finally we got to RRR which I rode one last time. No matter how tired or how bad of a headache I had, I couldn't leave without that. If we had had more time and energy, and less pain, I would've rode that one at least 5 times that day alone!
    At least it's a smooth ride so I knew the headache wouldn't be as bad as in the morning with the Hulk.

    I tried the bonus songs, and chose Night on bald mountain by Mussorgsky. I wasn't sure how well bonus songs went with the ride& as soon as it started I laughed with joy, because I knew it would work and would be amazing, and it was! It was the best yet! Yup, better even than Born to be wild, which had been incredible! :dance3:
    The only caveat is that being timed to be perfect, it stopped before the absolute end, so the last turn aka the last 2-3 seconds of the ride are in silence. I didn't care, the rest was so absofreaking perfect!

    After that, with a major headache and feet I could barely stand on (the heels were just burning so much), we exited and entered back in Islands of Adventure to go pick up our packages. It took a while, but the girl found them, they were intact& and so we walked out of there and to HRH parking lot with brooms on my shoulder.

    We put that in the car, and drove to& drum roll& the Contemporary!!! :cheer2:

    ...So, for you folks counting... it was 45min we will never get back! ;)

    In the next chapter: When will we crash?
  9. AnnieDan_Artlover

    AnnieDan_Artlover Mouseketeer

    Aug 8, 2007
    We got in the car, looked at each other, and high fived : We were finally going to the WORLD! :cool1:

    The drive was short (about 25min) and easy, directions were very clear.
    That is, until the entrance to MK, where on one side it's for the park, on the other to the resorts (and maybe something else).

    I think it's written on the asphalt "park only" on that one side& but as much as I tried to decipher what was written, I couldn't& I still had to look in front of me and drive, see? And Mama is useless for those things...
    And the many, clear, obvious directions that had been there on signs previously (and in plenty of time), were nowhere to be seen then. I was in the center lane (well, kinda& center-ish, of the, I'd say, 10 lanes)& and there were those booths and I saw rates for parking, and panic was getting to me, I was like "what, wait, I'm not supposed to pay parking, where are we, what did I miss?" :scared:
    So I told the lady where we were going, and she says I have to go to the right lane and "follow the green side". I was so happy it wasn't too busy, as I had to change like 5 lanes in 250 feet! Then the clear directions were back again and it was easy. Except I'm happy I knew I had to follow "Contemporary" because there was nothing for Bay Lake Tower (aka BLT).

    The CM at the parking lot entrance told us where to go for BLT check-in (that wasn't very clear on the signs) and we pulled up to the curb.
    I knew check-in would be swift so there was no use going to park.

    We got to the check-in counter and it took less than 1 min for the guy to hand us our package. Yay for online check-in (which I had done before leaving home a few days prior)!

    A bellboy was in the lobby waiting for another guest (who went to park her car).
    The check-in clerk said he was sorry but the bellboy had been "reserved" and was waiting for the other guest, and he would call another& we said no problem and went to wait by the car. 10 seconds later the bellboy came to us (we saw him arguing with the check-in clerk) and he said he would help us, as the other guest wasn't coming back& while he was unloading the car I saw her come back& well I think it was her.
    I'm guessing the fact that I had my cane might have influenced him...

    He was super nice, gave us tips and waited for me with Mama outside while I went to park the car.
    By the way, while I parked I saw another green Cube, parked just behind ours. So crazy because in 3.5 days of driving south, we didn't see ONE Cube, no matter what color! :eek:

    The bell boy was kind enough to put all our bags in the hallway so I could take pictures of the clean and empty studio


    He showed us where things were, placed things where we wanted& we gave him 1$/bag, even for the small ones, he really deserved his tip!

    We noticed a few things we brought we didn't need, like dish soap (there was even a sponge!), dishes and utensils.

    I had requested the highest floor or close to the 5th floor walkway.
    We got room #7432, which doesn't mean 7th floor, but area number 7 (outside of the C-shape, facing the Contemporary), 4th floor.
    Another time, I would simply ask for the highest floor available, because you get a nicer view... and unless you're EXACTLY on the walkway floor, going from the 10th or the 4th from the 5th with the elevator doesn't make a big difference.
    Maybe it does when the place is filled to capacity and the sole elevator stops at every floor... but when it's low season... nope.

    Our room (studio...) was very close to the walkway, the second one, in fact! So, walking from the Contemporary to the BLT, we could see in our room... meaning we had to remember to close the curtains when we changed! :rotfl2:
    The nicest thing about this was, we were very close to the elevator!

    Our first impression of the studio was : It's roomy, clean, modern... perfect!
    The best thing about it was the kitchenette and the storage space. There were shelves in the bathroom, plus storage under the sink.

    In the kind of hallway coming in, there is a lot of space where you could put a crib, where we put the suitcase rack, our plastic storage box under it and all our bags. It was just on the side, not in our way to go in our out, but also out of our way inside! It's also where we put the sofa cushions (since we used it as a bed). (didn't think to take a picture of that mess...)
    The closet is pretty big... then in the kitchenette there is a lot of storage space on both sides AND under the sink...
    ...and in the room there's the big desk, with drawers and shelves.
    We had more space than we needed. Of course we were only 2 adults in there.

    On the downside was the low lighting, which is often a problem in hotels. Mama especially notices since she has problem seeing in low light situations.
    Is it so hard to put a big bright ceiling light in the main room? There is only the bed lights in the main room, and another where you have the small table, nothing else. You always have the feeling it's dark. (Mama has, anyways!)

    The sofa-bed wasn't too bad at all! I kinda like sleeping in that, with the sofa arms making a cocoon :cloud9: I would sleep on that again.
    Here's what it looks like open :

    As for the view... well, we had paid extra for the lake view... not willingly. We wanted to pay the less amount possible and asked for standard view, but there were none left available so we HAD to get lake view... and figured it would make it a nice perk after all... well paying for that... It felt an awful lot like a standard view... we had to go on the balcony and work an angle to view the lake.
    Here's the view straight out

    At around 7pm we were so tired we almost decided to go to bed without doing anything else... but we managed to drag ourselves to Contempo Café. Mama ordered a turkey BLT and I ordered something weird for the first (but definitely not the last) time of the trip. Well... weird for me anyways. Different is probably a better term.
    It was the vegeterian flatbread, with dried cranberries, humus, white beans, caramelized onions and arugula... It was DELICIOUS. So sad I could only eat half... I packed it and put it in the fridge hoping I would eat the rest... I didn't.

    We had brought everything to eat in the room, feeling way too tired and out of sorts to eat amidst the screams and noise of the monorail, no matter how happy we were to finally be there...
    There was a pretty long wait and quite a few people, so while I waited (sitting! My poor, aching feet!), Mama went to the convenience store (Bayview Gifts and Fashion) to buy milk.
    We also added some bagels, cheese and Uncrustables to our order for tomorrow morning's breakfast.

    So, Contempo Café?
    Atmosphere: 2/5 Busy, loud... It's a quick service!
    Service: 3/5 Nice CMs, but very slow. There was nothing "quick" about it. But it was nice for a quick service to be able to get a buzzer and go do something else or sit instead of waiting there standing on your feet.
    Food: 5/5 Very, very good!
    1st time? Yes.
    Would recommend? Definitely!

    After eating, we each took our showers, unpacked... yup, even almost sleepwalking, we finished unpacking almost everything!

    At 9:30pm, as I was coming out of the shower, I could hear the music of the Electrical Water Pageant, which I had been dying to see (we had missed it in 2008)... but it wasn't to be. Mama said we couldn't see all of it from our balcony, but I was still sad I missed it by being in the shower!
    We also prepared our things for tomorrow... and we eventually went to bed, where we totally crashed, at about 10pm.

    High of the day: Riding RRR again with Nigh on Bald Mountain
    Low of the day: My poor feet... doesn't bode well :(
    Food of the day: Contempo Café's veggie flatbread!

    High of the day: Arriving at Disney
    Low of the day: Twister
    Food of the day: mmm, the turkey hoagie or the turkey BLT, how to choose?

    Plans for the day:
    Early entry to WWoHP
    Finish Universal, redo RRR
    Drive to Disney
    Get settled in BLT

    What actually happened:
    Well, just that! :yay:

    In the next chapter: What do we do first?
  10. nym4588

    nym4588 Mouseketeer

    Jun 23, 2007
    Sounds like a good time so far!
  11. AnnieDan_Artlover

    AnnieDan_Artlover Mouseketeer

    Aug 8, 2007
    OK, so it was sheer luck that I noticed most of my pictures were missing... I had to go over all my links and paste the pics again (better now than after chapter 32... hope it doesn't happen again!). I hope I caught them all. Please tell me if you notice any broken link...

    And as I'm pasting those broken links pics, I notice some weird thing going on... there are some & characters sprinkled everywhere in my posts! Never noticed those before, and I'm sure I would've! It looks like it replaces punctuation marks, but not always the same... and it's clearly not mistyping, as it's pretty hard to mistake hitting shift-7 (&) instead of a comma, a question mark or a dot (all instances in which it was placed).
    Now it looks like I don't know how to type, but most of all, it makes it very hard to read! I tried to correct a few entries, but I'm not even sure it'll hold, as it seemed to happen all of a sudden... and my head, full of bronchitis and antibiotics, just couldn't take the corrections anymore... :faint: So I hope it's readable... as for the pics, please tell me if it gets worse!
    ... :badpc:
  12. brandihead2012

    brandihead2012 Mouseketeer

    Jul 2, 2012
    Subbing!!! Great start!!!!!
  13. AnnieDan_Artlover

    AnnieDan_Artlover Mouseketeer

    Aug 8, 2007
    Welcome brandihead2012! :wave2:

    Hopefully another update coming soon...
    still bedridden and today has been very hard. Pretty much melted in my recliner is how weak I am... :sad2:
  14. brandihead2012

    brandihead2012 Mouseketeer

    Jul 2, 2012
    Feel better!! Sending you some pixie dust and good vibes pixiedust::)
  15. AnnieDan_Artlover

    AnnieDan_Artlover Mouseketeer

    Aug 8, 2007
    Now, I need to apologize... the first few days of this Disney part of the TR won't be very detailed. I realized with horror that I didn't have notes.
    Rather, I did take a few notes, at the end of the day, like each day while in Disney, religiously, in my Passporter envelopes, which are a godsend (so useful to keep the receipts, too!). And without those, I would be in a lot of trouble trying to recall what happened in those first few days right now...
    Because for a time lapse of almost 3 days, I did not take a single note in my notebook (which was for the TR) or on the computer (I started that way before realizing a few notes jotted along the way was much easier than taking a whole hour at night!).

    So... sorry! And yay for the Passporter enveloppes! :cool1:

    We woke up at 5am, since we went to bed so early! And since we were EXCITED! :yay: Our first Disney day! We had been waiting for this for over 4 years!

    We had breakfast in the room, as planned.
    I was pretty excited, because I had bought some Uncrustables... and I had never had that, ever! I had never even tasted PB&J (crazy, I know). It's just not something we eat...

    I loved it! :) But damn, was I happy we had bought MILK, because it's so... pasty and sticky!
    Mama had her bagels with cream cheese. We made coffee and tea, with the microwave and coffee machine... it felt just like home!

    Then what did we do first? We I had my haircut appointment, which I had made sure to get as soon as we checked in last night!
    I was the first appointment, and I was so happy when it was done! I felt tons better!

    After that we had other errands to make (and Mama made a few while I was at the salon) : I had 3 packages shipped to us at the resort... and we were very apprehensive since, in 2008, I was supposed to receive 2 and never got them... but that was at POFQ which are not known for their great customer service... So we crossed our fingers.
    And whattayaknow : 2 of the packages were there indeed!!! It did take a bit of time and effort, as when Mama called they told her they didn't have anything, and then to go to the Contemporary desk... where they told her they DID have our packages... but it took about 15min to find them. As for the 3rd one, it wasn't there yet... or maybe it had already been delivered, they weren't sure. Since we knew we didn't get it... we insisted. The man at the desk took a note to check later... and by the time we went back to our room, someone was at the door to deliver it! So I called back that nice man to tell him not to worry about our package anymore!
    In those packages were some Bodyglide, to help prevent chaffing and blisters (my skin being very fragile, blisters happen just looking at my feet...), a cooling bandana in case of bad heat, so it would help prevent blood pressure drop (my body doesn't like heat)... and in the last package was a kit of trading pins! It felt like Christmas sitting on the bed and unwrapping all those pins and putting a select few on my lanyard! :goodvibes

    Mama had to go get a bag we had forgotten in the car, then we got park ready, making sure we had everything... we decided to go with just one shoulder bag for both of us, since we would be together all the time and we weren't bringing that much stuff... and we would simply trade the bag once in a while.

    When we got back in the room, there was a mousekeeper there. We were like... what is she doing there?
    If you don't know, when you stay in a DVC, you don't get mousekeeping every day, unless you ask and pay for it, that is. If you stay for more than 8 days, like us, you get a full cleaning on the 4th day, and a trash and towel service on the 8th day, and another full clearning on the 12th day, and so on and so forth. You have all you need to do the rest (extra garbage bags, a trash chute on the floor, even a hoover).
    So seeing the mousekeeper on our 2nd day was not normal. And of course, whattayaknow... she took the mousekeeping thank you enveloppe we had left on the desk for 2 days later (so we wouldn't forget)!
    We told her there had been a mistake and she left. Of course we didn't ask for the enveloppe back... after all, she had did the job.
    I called Mousekeeping, and they asked if we were checking out that day... WHAT? I said we had just got there and were staying for 15 days... they said it was taken care of and not to worry, I wouldn't be billed for that "extra service" and they apologized.

    Before we left we called my dad with Skype on the laptop; I texted him updates every day while we drove down but we hadn't called yet.
    Plus, I noticed I didn't have any signal on my phone, and didn't had any since we got to Orlando! Which meant I couldn't get any phonecalls (which was good money-wise, as I didn't have a call-plan) or any texts messages...
    As usual, he didn't have much to say, did sound happy to talk to us... and that was it.

    We then took the monorail for the first time of our trip!
    And we went to the TTC and then Epcot.
    Which was Mama's big disappointment of the trip, I think... altough I'm sure I told her at some point, she was convinced it was a direct line to Epcot, and was a bit upset that we had to walk so much between monorails... in an incline, on top of it all! (at least she didn't have to push my wheelchair... I'm pretty sure she wouldn't have been able to...)

    First thing we did at Epcot was go to Guest Services and activate our Annual Passes. And buy our Tables in Wonderland card!!!
    ...And the nice CM there is the one who solved my no-signal-on-the-cell problem... simply suggested I turn the phone off and back on, saying it was a problem he encountered when he used to work for a cellphone company... and it worked! I think the carrier in Orlando is different, and didn't play nice with my iPhone... I lost the signal again when we left, and I just had to do the same thing... restart and the new signal was finally picked up. :confused3

    Formalities taken care of, we finally entered Epcot!

    Where we took our first Photopass picture!

    ...and since it was noon, did the exact wrong thing, and walked straight to a restaurant.
    I mean, it's nice to know what to do and what not to do... but when you haven't eaten anything for 6 hours and walked all around, you're HUNGRY!
    But we were in no hurry, we knew we would be in a crowd because of that, and luckily it was low season... so it wasn't even that bad!

    Our choice was Sunshine Seasons, which we had loved 4 years ago.
    And we both chose asian noodles... couldn't remember exactly what though.
    Food: 4/5 It really was very good!, Atmosphere: 3/5 It's really nice for a quick service. So many choices, so big and airy that you don't feel crowded even if there are a ton of people... but it's big and noisy. Yup, big is also a negative. Takes a lot of walking to get there and around, to find a table, etc.
    Service: N/A.
    First time? Nope!
    Would I recommend it? Definitely! More than any other quick service in Epcot. There is bound to be something for everyone, and it's good quality food.

    After that well... we had to go back to the hotel.
    Had we known, we would've just walked to the Magic Kingdom to do those things... But we didn't know.

    My feet were killing me, even though I had made sure NOT to put on those bad walking shoes and was wearing my comfy Converse shoes... and I was tired.

    So, we hopped on the monorail again... and had the biggest, worst, surprise of the trip, for me anyways : it takes about 50 minutes to get from Epcot to the Contemporary!!!
    And it was not crowded, it was not closing time (it's much longer then), there wasn't any break down or anything! Just the normal : wait 3-5min for the monorail at Epcot, ride it to the TTC, walk down the ramp and up the other one, wait for the Resort monorail another 2-3min and then do the whole route from Grand Floridian, Polynesian, MK and THEN arrive at the Contemporary!
    We simply couldn't believe it.
    How come I never came across this info in my years of Disney research?!

    After that I checked... would the bus be faster? ...There isn't one.
    One thing is faster, if you're up to walking : take the Express MK monorail, get down at that stop, and walk the 10min from MK to the Contemporary. It takes about 30min instead. Definitely the best choice at Epcot closing time! But the Express MK monorail has to be running...

    Once at the hotel I removed the shoes and noticed the underside of my right foot was blue... and both feet were swollen (between the heel and the ball of the feet... where it's arched... and tender!).
    With my weak body and crazy bad shoes I had managed to partially tear a ligament in my right foot!!! It seems crazy... but I'm not joking... with my Ehlers-Danlos syndrome, it doesn't take a lot for me to tear a ligament... and there are many in the feet.
    There was something wrong with those shoes, or at least, wrong for me!
    It's not that I had not broken them in, I had wore them regularly for the past months... (and often felt pain... but didn't make the connection)... and it's not that I'm usually sedentary and that my feet weren't used to the walking. Puh-lease... even I, with my EDS, don't tear ligaments just from more walking then usual... I go to dance classes after months of doing nothing, I went to China in 2010 and walked a lot, every day, for about a month... I went to Atlanta and Washington DC in 2011 and walked a lot in a week there too... without ANY preparation whatsoever. I had no problem then other than the usual sore legs and feet everybody gets.
    No hematomas, no huge swelling, no barely able to walk. Especially not after just 2 days!

    No need to say I was very worried about the weeks to come! And I was in a lot of pain...

    All that to say... we got to the room, Mama went to get me some ice and I iced my feet... Then we tried to take a short nap, but we didn't have a lot of time since we had an ADR... and I just couldn't go to sleep knowing it would be for so little time. I was so tired already, I would've went to sleep for hours... So Mama read on her bed while I rested my feet.

    That's about when there was a knock on the door. Mousekeeping!
    WTH!!! We told the mousekeeper that there was a mistake, that there had been someone already in the morning and that there wasn't even supposed to be! And I called Mousekeeping again.
    They apologized again. This CM seemed more alert... she asked if I still want my full cleaning service in 2 days (on Saturday), or if I wanted to reschedule. After asking Mama, we decided to reschedule. So the full cleaning would now be on Monday, Dec. 3rd. ...keep that in mind.

    In the next chapter: Will we get a nice IllumiNation seat at Rose & Crown?
  16. AnnieDan_Artlover

    AnnieDan_Artlover Mouseketeer

    Aug 8, 2007

    Thanks!!! It worked! :goodvibes
  17. AnnieDan_Artlover

    AnnieDan_Artlover Mouseketeer

    Aug 8, 2007
    After the "nap", we took the monorail again back to Epcot. Where we arrived at about 4pm.
    Walking towards World Showcase we saw the huge tree

    First thing we did was walk close to Germany and get in line for the 5pm Candlelight Processional... Yup... with the aching feet... but I wanted to experience this, even if we are not religious one bit, but I had read so many good things about it and how magical it was!

    The wait was made at the same time more interesting and annoying by a crazy young college girl who just kept talking non-stop, and the way she was talking I couldn't even tell if the young girl she was talking to was her friend, with her in line, or just some random girl she decided to chat-up to pass the time!
    She was loud enough for us to hear everything, loud enough that we couldn't ignore her at all... we heard all about how she had trouble with her roommate, what happened with her boyfriend and how things were now that she was away to college... and so on and so forth. :rolleyes1
    But hey, at the same time we had something to get our minds off the wait, I guess... :rolleyes:

    The wait wasn't too bad over all, especially since it was a very slow day and that it was the early showing... we waited maybe 20min.

    But it was a special CP: today the narrator was NEIL PATRICK HARRIS!
    That was the main reason to go today! :love:

    We were lucky enough that we were seated in about the middle of the theater... which is so huge we still only saw small figures and wouldn't have been able to identify NPH except for his voice...
    But the worst part was we got seated right behind a tree. I mean, really? Since we were there mostly for the music I didn't make a fuss, but other people tried to change seats and they were told to go back to where they were seated.

    Here's our view
    Can't you see NPH? He's the little figure in black, in the middle... :rotfl2:

    So, what's our verdict? VIew non-withstanding, it was great!
    The music was wonderful, with so many singers in harmony... makes your heartstrings vibrate! Especially when it's Christmas songs that everybody knows... it's great when the crowd sings along, too!
    And it was funny, once or twice, the song was sung in german, the crowd was singing the english version, and Mama and me would sing the french version!
    Made you feel how much Xmas carols are universal... well of course, not 100% universal, but you guys know what I mean! ;)

    As for the people worried about too much religion, like we were... I mean, lets be clear, I don't want to ruffle any feathers or be taken wrong, it's just that we are not religious, so hearing a lot about religion, whatever the religion, for one hour, would not have been any fun for us. That's just that. In fact, just too much talking about anything would not have been fun! :hourglass
    But the way it is, the narrator tells the history of Jesus' birth in very short sentences, sprinkled between the songs. I'd say, a minute of speaking and 3 minutes of singing, and repeat. And when it's NPH speaking, it makes it all at least 3 times better, right? :rotfl2:

    We felt it would've been that much more impressive when it's dark out, so if you feel like waiting or have a CP package, I'd suggest going to the second CP, where maybe there are not as many people, but it's dark.
    It still was beautiful! My main feeling is that it's captivating... you listen to that music and you forget where you are.

    After it was over, we walked slowly through World Showcase, taking the long way around towards the UK where our ADR was.

    We stopped in Japan to listen to the kodo drums, then to hear the story of the japanese new year... and that's when I realized that my plan to check out each and every one of the storytellers, was flawed. For 2 reasons. a) my feet killed me and I didn't really feel like sitting on the ground with the kids (getting up is almost as difficult as standing up!). b) Mama finds it boooooring. :guilty:

    So, well... we'll have seen one!
    It was interesting. But I don't feel super sad that it'll be the only one, unless we happen to walk to another one as he/she starts... because I wouldn't want to see them enough to wait, and I wouldn't want to just catch the end of a presentation either.

    After that we saw Mr. and Ms. Claus from a distance and checked the Christmas temporary kiosks beside the american pavilion.

    And then... well we were already in the UK, so we had time to lose... we went around the shops... but there's only so much time one can spend, and a little early for our 7:20pm ADR time, we went to the desk and checked in. We were seated very quickly, and the restaurant wasn't very full. In fact, only 4 of the maybe 10 tables were filled in the area we were in (covered patio, closest to the podium). We were seated beside the patio cover... which I'm guessing means if you're there during IllumiNations, you can see it... but we were not on the water side. We probably would've seen some of it, or been able to go close enough to see... maybe they even pull back those heavy curtains (with the plastic "windows")... but stretching our dinner for over 2 hours just to see IllumiNations... it would not happen!
    You see, when I made the ADR, I based the time on the usual IllumiNations time, and the planned time in the schedule... except they changed it for 9:30pm, probably because of the Candlelight Processional's 3rd showing... It's probably like this every year, but I don't know how... it didn't come up and the predicted schedule, 6 months prior, was 9pm... Proof that planning can't be perfect! :)

    Since it wasn't full, it would've been peaceful, except the table JUST behind us was a group of 2-3 families, with middle-aged parents and their kids, and the parents were pretty much all drunk. The kids were not the problem, it was the parents who were so, damn, loud! :headache:
    We were looking at their table and when we saw their desserts coming, we were thinking "come on, now, eat, quick!" We couldn't wait for them to leave... I mean, of course we're in Disney, we know it's going to be loud... but when you happen to be in a pretty quiet, almost empty restaurant and want to enjoy a nice meal and take your time... and then you get that noisy bunch playing a guessing game and almost screaming answers across the table to each other... If it had been kids running around or a baby crying I wouldn't have minded (well, maybe a bit, haha). But this annoyed me just as it would've anywhere.

    Luckily, they did finish their desserts and did not stay for one more drink, and we had peace for the remainder of our meal. Which was AMAZING.
    We ordered the cheese plate, Mama ordered a glass of wine... I don't know about the wine (I think she said it was good), the cheese plate was OK. Not fantastic, and one cheese was the blue, which we seriously dislike... so maybe that appetizer wasn't a good idea after all! :rotfl:
    For entrees we both ordered the classic fish n chips, and we shared a side of cauliflower with cheese.
    The cauliflower was so totally delicious! But also so incredibly hot! We almost burned ourselves on it and the middle was still burning hot when I finished it at the end of the meal! But it's definitely something to share, as it's very rich and quite big!
    The fish n chips were the best either of us had ever had, and easily beats the one we had 4 years ago at the Yorkshire quickservice counter. The fries were great, the fish was crispy and melted in your mouth... not too greasy (altough looking at the paper underneath it... it's very greasy!). Amazing!

    So, for Rose And Crown
    Food: 5/5 Amazing quality food and taste!
    Atmosphere: 4/5 Raucous family excepted, quite peaceful place, but being outside on the patio, the red heating lamps made things a bit weird. But they were definitely necessary, as it was COLD. In the low 60°Fs!
    Service: 5/5 Nothing bad to say, our server was nice and service was perfect. We saw how he interacted with the noisy table and altough it was obvious they were bothering us and other tables, he was polite with them, which is a good point for him.
    It was my first time to use the thank you cards I made!
    First time? Yup.
    Would I recommend it? Definitely! I would go back myself... or at least, I would stop at their quick service window (I'm thinking the fish n chips would be the same, right?)

    I did the math on the bill, and it turns out that the Tables in Wonderland saved us over 1$ on our bill... Doesn't sound like a lot... but that's OVER the tip! What I mean is that the money saved covers the 18% gratuity, which is added automatically, so we don't even have to think about it... AND you still save a buck or 2!!!
    I won't keep the suspense : all in all, over the course of the 15 days, we saved over 150$ (gratuity included)... which is an AMAZING value for a 75$ card! ...and if you think that we'll use the SAME card on the next trip this fall... it's definitely a great option!!! :cheer2:

    After dinner, we went to France to get tomorrow's breakfast at the bakery. I took a chocolate croissant, Mama chose 2 regular croissants... and we couldn't resist taking 2 strawberry tarts for dessert!

    With that in hand, since we were both tired and since my feet were still awfully sore, we walked back to the monorail, a bit before 9pm, and got proof the monorail is way slower near closing time. Because on top of the long ride, the monorail stops on the track "while we wait for further traffic clearance". It took a good hour to get to the resort.

    Oh, wait, on our way out, we saw the tree illuminated! Beautiful:

    Once we got to our room, a bit before 10pm, I soaked my feet in the bath for a while, then we both took showers, ate our pastries and went to bed at around 11pm.

    High of the day: Candlelight processional
    Low of the day: The pain in my feet and discovering the injury was worst than I thought and might make the whole trip a problem
    Food of the day: Cauliflower in cheese

    High of the day: Rose and Crown
    Low of the day: Discovering how long it takes to, and especially from, Epcot with the monorail
    Food of the day: Fish n chips

    Plan for the day:
    Epcot from morning to closing time
    Candlelight Processional with NPH at 5pm (arrive at 4pm for a good spot)
    Rose & Crown dinner at 7:20

    What actually happened:
    Haircut at 8:30
    Errands until noon
    Epcot for lunch
    Short nap at the resort mid-afternoon
    Epcot 4pm-9pm
    CP with NPH at 5pm (arrived at 4:30... OK spot, happy to wait less)
    Rose & Crown close to 7:20
    ...back to room before IllumiNations

    Overall, we did a lot less than planned... but since the general plan for the trip is to take it easy so I can have enough energy to last the whole way... it's OK.

    In the next chapter: Will my feet kill my fun?
  18. luckylady

    luckylady DIS Veteran

    Aug 27, 2004
    I love EPCOT at Christmas. Last time I saw Candlelight "Lt. Dan" aka Gary Seinse was reading on Christmas Eve. Magical. Smart thinking on the nap. If you had to hear the college girl talk that loud, I hope it was at least entertaining.
  19. swwake

    swwake RIP our sweet Magic (09/27/10)

    Jan 13, 2008
    It actually sounds like you paced yourselves just right. I think R&C is now on my wish list for dinner. We've been there for drinks, but not dinner.

    Loved the CP. We had Trace Adkins and he was wonderful
  20. AnnieDan_Artlover

    AnnieDan_Artlover Mouseketeer

    Aug 8, 2007
    You are right girls, going back to the resort, even if it took us much longer than anticipated, was worth it. Without it we wouldn't have been able to finish the day. But still it didn't feel like we rested much... or accomplished much either!

    Susan, R&C is definitely a must!

    I feel bad that it's already been 10 days since my last update, and this time I don't even have a bronchitis as an excuse... not that health as been wonderful, but not that bad. ;)

    OK, on with the show!

    Oh, by the way, please excuse any mistyping... I elongated a few ligaments in my left fingers and they are taped together to try and help... which doesn't make for good typing... And I never have the courage to proof-read myself!
    Since we (I) had planned a late park arrival, we didn't set the alarm clock. We were still up at 7:25am!

    Mama ate bagels with cheese bought our first night at Contempo Café while I ate the chocolate croissant from the french bakery in Epcot.
    Mama took a shower while I worked on the Passporter pocket notes for this TR... and then we went to do laundry, which was really overdue... remember it was our 7th day being away from home! And being on the road we hadn't really had a chance to do any laundry before.
    We had brought a foldable laundry basket, which was completely full and heavy enough we needed to both hold one side... we were quite disappointed to realize we had to go down to the first floor and cross the main lobby with our laundry to get to the laundry room... we felt a bit weird walking around with our dirty stuff for anyone to see... but then again, we said "it doesn't matter, we'll never see them again!" and started to laugh... :rotfl2:

    We were lucky, there was no one in the laundry room, and all the machines were free (there were 3). So we pondered about etiquette for a while... and then figured, you guessed it "it doesn't matter, we'll never see them again!" and took them all. No, seriously, we guessed etiquette is not to remove someone else's clothes to put your own, but that it's OK to use all the machines. Maybe we were wrong. :confused3 We mostly figured someone else wouldn't have even asked themselves the question... We always end up trying to be nice and polite while it seems no one else does...

    We were indeed happy we had decided to go at that time, mid-morning, when most moms are out in the park with the young kids... we figured laundry rush-hour must be early afternoon, when babies nap!

    We finished the laundry, and hang dried our delicates all over the room (we have a lot, mostly things we don't want to shrink... which is almost all my clothes!) and then we finally headed to the park!

    We arrived at Hollywood Studios at almost exactly noon.

    It was the PERFECT day. About 75°F and sunny!

    Since we had prepaid for the Photopass CD, we had agreed we would take every opportunity, so we took another picture just as we walked in

    Of course, once more, it was peak lunch time and we were hungry.
    Mama remembered how much she had liked Hollywood & Vine, and even if it was a TS and we had a TS ADR for that evening, she decided she'd rather we try going there then just eat fast food.
    So we walked to the podium (after checking the map AND the GPS map/directions in my "Disney Experience" app on my iPhone multiple times... We always get lost and confused in this park!) and asked if there was availability... and there was!

    We were seated almost immediately... and that's when I remembered it was a character meal now... With characters we don't know AT ALL. We don't have kids, we don't even have that channel.
    They all came to say hi at our table : Handy Manny (I did know his name... wonder how!), Oso, June and Jake. I had to ask a CM their names... :lmao:
    Oso was so funny... he came beside Mama, a bit behind her and she wasn't paying attention at all, didn't see him coming... and he scared her (intentionally!). She jumped pretty high! We had a great laugh! Oso "apologized" and it really created a nice moment!
    Hollywood & Vine:
    Food: 4/5 It's very good, there is a lot of variety... but it's not "to die for".
    Service: 4/5 Well, it's a buffet... but the little service we needed was great. Nothing bad to say.
    Atmosphere: A family might say different, but for 2 adults... 2/5 Even if Oso was so fun and all the characters real nice... we paid more for the meal because they were in the place, even though we didn't care for them... there were songs with the kids, very loud.
    1st time? No. But as a character meal, yes.
    Would recommend? For families with kids who know the characters, yes. I would go back myself, maybe even with the characters, but not as an ADR... like this, if I didn't feel like fast food one day. But I would probably more likely go if it wasn't a character meal.

    After that we walked to Toy Story Midway Mania, as I knew FastPasses went away early... they did so indeed... as at that hour (around 1pm) they had already gone out... even on a pretty low crowd day!

    A friend of ours had asked if we could gather a few autographs for her little boy (3 y.o.). We were happy to oblige. His favorites were Woody, Buzz and Mickey. So we had set out the goal to get these and mayyyybe a few others, if it happened easily.
    I wanted a few pictures with characters myself, but just if I didn't have those already and if it didn't mean a long wait.

    Since we were in the vicinity, we checked out the wait for Buzz & Woody, in front of Toy Story... the line didn't seem too long, so we got in (I hadn't checked my app, and we didn't see the sign which says how long the wait should be).
    After 20 min my feet were SUPER killing me, Mama was exasperated, and we had still 2/3 of the way to go... so we got out.

    I was in so much pain we had to get a snack so I could take pain meds right away... I took a few cheese curls with water. Salty snacks that aren't huge (like entree size) are hard to find...
    And by then I had no more fun, ZERO. I didn't feel like doing anything and was about ready to get in a bus and back to the resort.

    So Mama said we should walk to the front of the park and rent a scooter.

    I had dreaded that moment ever since we had started to plan.
    But I was sooooo angry that it was just because of a stupid feet pain!!! For once I felt fine, I wasn't weak! But it felt like I just could NOT catch a break... It always had to be SOMETHING. :sad:

    So we rented the scooter. Turns out I'm a very good driver!

    And that way, we could stay in the park and enjoy. A bit, anyways... because the pain was still great.
    And I learned fast that, thanks to my EDS, relieving one pain can often just create a new one... sitting on that thing for a long time gave me knee and back pain... and in case you didn't know, you command it with your thumbs on little levers (to give gas), well of course I hyperextended my thumbs doing it! I had to keep changing thumb and try to find the "good" way to push on the lever so that it wouldn't hurt too much. Seems so stupid, such a little thing... how could just pushing on that little thing create a problem?! That's my life... It's a collagen defect and you have that all over your body, and ligaments are everywhere, not just in the big joints...
    And of course, directing the scooter happens with your arms, including shoulders and wrists... and I have torn ligaments in both my wrists and in my right shoulder...
    All in all, the scooter was definitely a help... but it wasn't a miracle and I could see I would not be able to spend 15 days driving that thing around.

    Once I had the scooter, though, and was mobile again, we went through the park and I did a few attractions...
    And, sadly, I did not take notes.
    I do remember riding in the Muppet 3D show, which is quirky and fun, but definitely not a must do...
    Then, if I'm not mistaken, I did the new Star Tours, which is GREAT! I loved it!

    After that we parked to watch the Pixar Pals Count Down to Fun parade.

    That's where I noticed there is such a thing as being too close...
    I have no idea what was on top of that float! :rotfl:

    I know he's mean, but I was pretty excited to see Lotso! He's so fluffy!

    By the way, I smelled a few of the stuffed Lotsos in the shops... they DO smell like strawberries! mmmm.
    A bit disgusting when you think how many noses touch every stuffed Lotso... ewwww.

    By that time I had to take more pain pills, so it was another snack. Why, do you ask? Because prior (and current) meds have pretty much ruined my stomach, and now each time I take meds, even just Tylenol, I need to eat with it... but this time was worse... because the pain was so unbearable and I needed to push through so bad, that I cheated and too Advils even though that's a big no-no with the condition of my stomach... But I needed to reduce the swelling. And that was on TOP of the pain meds. So snack was definitely in order, even if I didn't feel hungry one bit.
    I settled on a pretzel. I had felt like having one yesterday, but mostly, it was the only thing close by.

    We then went to get a Tower of Terror FP, and back to Rock n Roller Coaster where I used the single rider line (more rides should have that option!) while the FP time arrived. I rode it twice "to pass the time" :thumbsup2

    I had a pair of FP for RnR we had taken a bit earlier, before I had realized I could just take the single riders line... so I spotted a couple walking to the standby line and gave them the fastpasses. They were so surprised! They thanked me twice and I could see them turning back to look at me while walking in the FP line, as if they couldn't believe what had just happened.
    Sprinkling a little pixie dust like that made my own day just a tad more magical! :goodvibes

    Since it was a slow day, the ToT FP return time was less than an hour later. And of course we had taken an FP each... but Mama doesn't ride so I rode it twice!

    ToT is definitely my favorite Disney ride!

    Then we went in the direction of our ADR, checking a few stores on the way... and taking silly pictures

    I would never have guessed it, but these are the pictures Mama liked taking the best, and the only one of her she likes looking at... she never likes herself in pics, so I'm guessing one where she is SUPPOSED to look silly is easier on the ego... I can relate... But I've never pictured her as a silly-pics-taker kinda person! She is actually looking forward to taking more on our next trip!

    Then it was finally time for our ADR at the Sci-Fi Dine-In Theater.
    We were set up in a 3 rows car, in the last row, as "hitchikers" behind a family of four.
    We were on the side (close to the entrance) and about the middle of the room, so we couldn't really see the scope of the place unless we really turned and looked. We liked the theming and the originality of pretending to be at an old-style drive-in... not so much the mini space you have in front of you as tables... having your condiments (ketchup, salt, etc) on the back seat of the people in front of you, so you almost touch them when you get some... did not fancy the lack of lighting (altough we knew it would be like that), especially with Mama having bad vision in low light! We also were disappointed to notice the same movie clips again after about 40min. I think that not ALL clips were playing again, but some... so maybe it's not a loop but random... not sure.
    Sadly, it was one of the worst experiences we had. And that's for the food.
    We ordered the spinach artichoke dip to start. It was just OK. For entrees, I got the chicken pasta and Mama ordered the Ruben sandwich with cucumber salad.
    It took a long time for us to get our food. And when we did, Mama did not have her cucumber salad and my pasta was cold. I rarely, EXTREMELY rarely turn back food... but it was not eatable. So I asked for it to be warmed up. The waiter said they would make me another. (such waste of food!).
    And he said he would bring Mama her salad.
    So we waited, and waited... I eventually got my pasta... which was... kinda warm. I was HUNGRY, so I said it was fine. Mama never got her cucumber salad.
    My pasta was not good. It wasn't awful, but it wasn't good either.
    Food: 2.5/5 McDonalds would've been MUCH better.
    Service: 2/5 Bad. Forgetting a salad. Twice. Bringing cold food. Twice. Not making much of a fuss about it. Not being wonderful about drinks either.
    Atmosphere: 4/5 May not be practical to eat there, but it is really a special experience, something you don't see anywhere else.
    1st time? Yes.
    Would recommend? No. Altough I know it could've been just an off night.

    While we were eating, another trend started (along with the "it doesn't matter, we'll never see them again...") which almost made it to substitle satus in the TR.
    My iPhone welcome screen at the time was an Instagram picture I had taken of one of our 3 cats. My favorite one (shhhh! don't tell the other 2!).
    His name is Muzo. He's a bengal cat and these cats tend to be very faithful... not the usual independant cat. Which is probably why he's my fav! ::yes::
    Here's the pic
    And so, each time I would open the iPhone to check something, I would see the picture. And I would cry out "Mumuuuuuu" (which is one of his numerous nicknames). It became the running gag. The first few times I cried it out because I missed the cat... and then I would repeat it each time I saw the picture just to make us laugh!
    ...I did miss him a lot though!:worried:

    After dinner we walked (rode) into the Osborne Spectacle of Dancing Lights

    It was CRAZY! You could never tell it was a slow day in the park!!! It was jam packed! Which was hell in the scooter... It took forever to get through there...
    But still, we loooooved it! It was magical! I always loved lights moving to music, be it in a rock show or fireworks, and I had watched similar Xmas light shows on people's houses on YouTube... (well... similar in concept anyways!), so this was right up my alley!
    We both loved it.

    When it was over (we didn't linger because it was so frustrating in the scooter), we went to bring the scooter back, the park was closing, and we took the bus.
    On our way we took that pic

    We couldn't believe that it was faster than the monorail back from Epcot!

    By the way, we learned that taking the bus from the Contemporary, you are the first picked up (then they go to the Polynesian)... but you're the first off! So you win both ways! The choice of seats on the way there, and the shortest time on the bus when you just want to get "home"!

    We got back to the resort at around 9pm.
    We decided to hop in the hot tub to relief my aching feet... we were alone in there except for a dad and his chatty little son. :rolleyes2
    Afterwards we walked to the Contemporary beach so I could FINALLY watch the Electric Water Pageant. We were sitting on the beach chairs... and freezing! We were just dressed in our bathing suits with a vest or something to cover us... bare legs and flip flops... and it was about 60°F and windy! But I wanted to see it!
    I felt like a little kid! I was super giddy and wanted to shout the names of the characters each time a new one lit up! It was really a magical moment. pixiedust:

    Then we went back to the room, showered and got ready for bed, I finished taking my TR notes and we went to sleep at around midnight.

    High of the day: Osborne Spectacle of Dancing Lights and the look on the couple's faces after I gave them the RnR FPs
    Low of the day: It's a tie between the pain in my heels and having to rent the scooter
    Food of the day: Nothing amazing... but the berry cobbler at H&V was nice.

    High of the day: Osborne Spectacle of Dancing Lights
    Low of the day: Dinner at Sci-Fi... or maybe seeing my disappointment and anger when we had to rent the scooter...
    Food of the day: Not sure but I think the caesar salad at H&V. I know she also feels like there was nothing particularly special food-wise today.

    Plan for the day:
    Laundry in the morning
    HS from noon to closing, including:
    Pixar parade
    Sci-Fi ADR
    Epcot EMH

    What actually happened:
    All which was planned, except we did hot tub and EWP in the evening instead of Epcot EMH because of my feet. Not too bad of a trade!

    In the next chapter: Can I walk?
  21. AnnieDan_Artlover

    AnnieDan_Artlover Mouseketeer

    Aug 8, 2007
    **There was an update on Nov. 29th part 1

    Wow, 2 months in Disney! :rotfl2:
    It seems it's a pattern for us... when we went in 2008, we arrived in April and left in May... we're doing it again! Maybe it makes us feel like we're staying longer? Nah, honestly, it just happens like that. Check out the PTRs to see why and how!

    OK, so... the plan was to arrive in Epcot around noon, so, again, no alarm clock... guess what? We woke up, again, at around 7:30am. No use!

    We ate our bagels and croissants in the room... by then the fresh bakery croissants were not as fresh, though... We'll remember that!
    We ran some errands, like going to the Fantasia Market to get more milk and Diet Coke for Mama, to the food court for new breakfast items since we would be coming back too late...
    And we took our sweet time. We couldn't go back to sleep, but there is a difference between taking your time and staying in, and going in the parks... it's still is more relaxing, and less taxing!

    This morning, I tried my Chuck Taylors Converse shoes without any socks in them... I hate not wearing socks and I always do, but I am starting to have blisters, and my feet were swollen so I tried without following Mama's suggestion.

    Still, at around 10am, we arrived at Epcot.
    First thing on my radar was to go get Soarin' FPs. It's Mama's favorite ride, one of the few she can do, the "scariest" one for her... she's on the verge of getting motion sickness on it, but not quite, so it's great! First time she did it she cried, both because it was beautiful and fun and because it was a ride she could actually do and enjoy! (and maybe a bit from relief too, hehe)

    But I knew we didn't want to wait and FPs could run out quick so... we headed there ASAP.
    And it's a good thing we did, too, because the return time was for around 3pm this afternoon!

    As long as we were in the Land pavilion, since we needed to save our steps because of my feet (well, anyone should, really!), we did the Living with the Land ride (there was maybe a 10min wait). Mama really enjoyed the ride, as it's her favorite type, getting into a little boat or bugy and being told a story (or science facts, just as good). It was nice.

    After that I needed a snack to take pain pills, so we were in the perfect spot, Sunshine Seasons! We just shared a huge M&M sugar cookie and a carton of milk. It was the perfect size.

    Then we went into the Circle of life movie, which we liked. Hey, yes it's big on the moral thing, but it's a good thing in my eyes... it's important to teach people, especially kids, about keeping the planet healthy! Plus, it's Timon and Pumbaa, so how could it be a bad time!?!

    Having done all we wanted, we walked back towards the World Showcase.

    We then took this picture
    Notice any trend? It started to feel like the photographers lacked ideas of what to make us do, since we were just 2 female adults.

    We noticed the gospel show was just about to start, so we sat on a bench almost in front of the stage and waited. Yup, we were lucky enough to get a bench!
    And then we watched the show!
    Of course an obstructed view was the price to pay for staying seated... since we mostly wanted to HEAR the singers, not see them... it was just fine by us!

    We took the time to walk to MouseGears to take advantage of the annual passholders deal that was going on that day : if we bought for a certain amount of merchandise (I think it was 50$), we got 2 glasses for reduced price. Since we knew we wanted to buy merchandise anyways... it was a good time to do it!
    I wanted another Tshirt, since the one from Hard Rock Café was not enough on its own... and I found one, a great one! It's a used looking, old style Mickey, in green. It's soooo soft!
    Only problem was, they didn't have it in my size... in any color!
    So I took one size bigger, thinking I wouldn't be worried if it shrinks...

    I also chose a sleeping gown, with Eeyore. It's sooo funny, it has a scratch and sniff chocolate cup... it did indeed smell something, something sweet... of course it was gone after the first wash... but what was funny is, once I tried it on, the sticker saying "scratch n sniff" was just in the WRONG spot! You get the image... :wave2:
    Someone did not think in the marketing department!

    With just those 2 items I got over 50$, so I could get the glasses... and I look at the check and either I got screwed or I totally misunderstood, because spending 50$, I got the incredible luck, as an annual passholder, to pay almost 15$ for 2 glasses. I mean... maybe they are worth 30$ and it was an incredible deal... but I had been under the impression I was getting ONE glass free if I bought for 50$. Now, the glasses look great, and since it's written "Annual passholder exclusive" on it, I can be sure not everyone has the same... and I'm glad I have two.
    But I would rather have had the same as everyone else, and just one, and free.
    I really will check the info better next time...

    We then headed to France, because we wanted to have lunch at the bakery, because the items we had seen there when we ordered our croissants made our tummies rumble!

    On the way though, we stopped because we saw this :

    She is one of my all-times favorite, I was so happy!
    We were not so happy that there was no Photopass photograph around, though. Mama had to snap that picture and knowing how much I love Marie, she was stressed out about messing it up!

    Before we headed to lunch we snapped that pic

    And then, finally, we ate!
    The wait was short, and we could order. I chose the ham tartine and Mama another turkey sandwich. Once more we noticed how we just confuse the french CMs by talking to them in french! They speak to us in english, then realize what they are doing, switch to french, back to english, fumble in both languages, can't remember the french words, because they are so used to just working in english... and they feel bad for not being able to serve us in our own language, while we feel bad for confusing them.

    Thing is, living in Québec we are used to switching from french to english and back all the time. I often chat, for example, with friends of both languages at once, and have to do the switch back and forth regularly.
    We watch TV, listen to music, read in both languages. This is the case for most people living here... most french-born anyways.
    Both me and Mama are perfectly bilingual.

    But most French, even if they are also perfectly bilingual, don't live on the fence of both languages that way, they don't need to.
    I have one friend living in Paris, and we met while in China, surrounded by people from all countries, and we were all speaking english... he hated when I spoke french to him, because he had to put his brain in "french" mode again, and then back to "english" mode. He wasn't used to having to do that switch, or not fast. He was watching US tv shows, listening to english music, etc. But in his everyday life, it was all french all the time.
    Not so for us...

    So... I remembered that when I saw those poor French CMs, which I was plucking out of their english mode and back in french mode, unprepared. Still, it was nice!

    But the best part was the food :goodvibes
    We were lucky to find a table just outside Impressions de France, and it was nice to be able to sit and enjoy the food. Mama had regrets about not taking the tartine (which is a pizza, basically, without tomato sauce).

    To cap it off, we went to the crêpe kiosk and I ordered a chocolate crêpe. Yum!
    It would've tasted better if it hadn't been so windy... I couldn't enjoy the moment, having a very gusty wind rush over my face and being worried my food would fly away any minute. We were sitting between the 2 France kiosks beside the water... it was deserted. No wonder... it had been sunny and warm until noon, but now it was cloudy and pretty cold, especially with that wind! If it wasn't that I needed to sit down to eat that crêpe, I wouldn't have sat there either.

    Mama would've wanted to order some champagne, but she was scared it would make her too prone to motion sickness in Soarin', where we were going next...

    On the way we stopped at Club Cool, where I drank a few cups of the mexican soda (the one with apples!) and bought a pink Minnie case for my iPhone, to protect it better, and to hide the chip it got when Mama dropped it when we were in Universal a few days back. She had been keeping it in the front pocket of the messenger bag, along with some kleenex... and with both in it, the pocket flap did not close completely (it's only velcro)... and when she pulled the bag over her head to remove it, turning the pocket upside down, the heavier iPhone dropped to the ground... from about 6 feet high... Lucky those are very sturdy! She felt very bad, I was angry, but what could we do?
    I only had skin protection on the front and back, now I was adding a plastic back and side cover...
    We would sadly soon discover that having such a thing on it made it hard for my flimsy fingers to push on the buttons, and less than 3 months later I have given the case to my dad (yes, the pink Minnie case!).

    I also bought hair clips with Minnie ears attached to them at the kiosk just outside Innoventions. I had seen ONE little girl in pigtails with those and they seemed ideal. I had thought they were elastics, but I realized then they were just slipped in the ponytails... I felt it would be the right thing for me... I didn't want a hat that would ruin my bangs or make me too hot (since my body doesn't react well to heat, and since you lose body heat through your head mostly, it's better for me not to wear a hat when it's hot!)...
    But I wasn't able to make them stay on properly... I had to wait to be at the resort and make half-ponytails so I could stick them in.
    It did look a bit weird, since the ears are sized for kids... I have to admit they looked more like bear ears on my head, than big mouse ears... but it still was fun! And for just 7$, a great deal, too!

    We hit Soarin' at about 3:30pm, and it was just as great as we remembered!
    From there we walked over to Imagination with Figment, which I had really liked 4 years ago, kitsch as it is ::yes::
    I love the song!
    Mama isn't the biggest fan, but at least it's her kind of ride, so she doesn't hate it either. She agrees, very much, that it's kitsch. :rotfl:

    I then had to stop for a snack to take, you guessed it, pain meds (get used to that, there's a lot more coming!). Once more, I took a pretzel... that was the only food available in that area... lucky I don't hate it.

    And finally it was time for Captain EO! I'm a big MJ fan, and I had seen the video on YouTube a few years ago, and I remember being sorry, in 2008, that EO wasn't in Epcot anymore... MJ and dancing, it must've been so fun!
    So I was extatic when I learned they were bringing it back!

    The whole time we were waiting, altough I just wanted to sit down (against the rules...) or just die because my feet hurt so much, I was getting super excited, because they are showing that making of video... and there is sooo much dancing! We couldn't wait for the movie to start!

    And then the pre-show video ends (one of the longest I've ever seen...), we get in... snap that pic
    See how happy and excited we look?

    OMG, such disappointment!
    The whole thing is just silly, MJ, as much as I respect him, just looks like the bad actor he was (maybe worse...), the effects are few and un-impressive... and the dancing? Where is all that dancing??? In the pre-show you feel like it's going to be a 30min movie of just dancing... but you barely have 5 minutes...
    Mama felt it was 20min of her life she'll never get back... or close to that. One thing was for sure... watching the pre-show video, we thought we'd be back at least 2 more times before the trip was over... after the movie ended, I knew I'd have trouble convincing Mama to go again on another TRIP!

    In the next chapter: Can I walk... for 15 hours straight???

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