Technical Difficulties - Two Sisters take on WDW- update 6/18 typhoon lagoon

Discussion in 'Completed Trip Reports' started by jegsnakkernorsk, Jun 10, 2011.

?

Where are you most likely to be attacked by Birds at WDW

  1. Magic Kingdom

  2. Animal Kingdom

  3. Epcot

  4. Hollywood Studios

  5. Waterparks

  6. Downtown Disney

  7. your resort

Multiple votes are allowed.
Results are only viewable after voting.
  1. jegsnakkernorsk

    jegsnakkernorsk long time lurker

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    Unlike some DIS posters I won't make you wait until the end of the trip report to learn the inspiration for the title of this TR. And against all better judgement, here's the link to the brilliant YouTube video DSis and I were lucky enough to see before our trip (some stronger language is in the clip).

    This is my very first trip report and you are welcome to read my very first Pre Trip Report by clicking on my signature. Otherwise I won't bore you with my who, when, why and where.

    So are you with me? Let's get started there's hundreds of photos to go through and tons of Technical Difficulties along the way, but don't worry nobody died on this trip report.
     
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  3. jegsnakkernorsk

    jegsnakkernorsk long time lurker

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    It all starts Thursday, June 2nd.

    4:45am wake up – My mind is preoccupied with my job interview which will take place the morning after I get back! But I groggily get dressed and head down stairs to the kitchen. Then because my mind is still not awake I decide to start putting away clean dishes from the washer instead of packing my phone that was sitting on the kitchen counter where it was still plugged into the charger! I was halfway done with the dishes when my DSis called out that the cab had arrived. Already!? Boy was I out of it.

    At the gate I grabbed a small Coke and hash brown from McDonald’s and tried to e-mail my mentor using my laptop with some thoughts about my upcoming interview, but the wifi was down – the first of many technical difficulties. And that is when I realized I forgot my blackberry! 5 days without my blackberry, could I survive??

    I had my laptop and my DSis had her phone but I would be mostly cut off. Very scary but that meant I would truly be on vacation and DSis would not be annoyed by me checking email instead of talking to her while in lines. My DSis was only concerned that we would not be able to use the WDW queue times App, which we had downloaded special for the trip!

    The plane was nearly empty so we got as much peanuts, biscuits, and pretzels as we could want. I just put one of each in my purse for later!

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    Reading the inflight magazine, I was quickly reminded how everyone else can't travel without their blackberry (or smart phone).:headache:
     
  4. jegsnakkernorsk

    jegsnakkernorsk long time lurker

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    Magic express – actually was magically express. We didn’t wait too long to board or to take off to the World. We stopped at Pop Century first. The most magical part was that we were an hour ahead of our itinerary!

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    Here's the Magic Express bus in action!

    We got in line for online check in – this took a while. There was a woman with two kids who got upset that DSis had cut in front of them but we couldn’t tell she wasn’t with the family at a counter since they were in front of the stanchions and honestly were so close to the family checking in that no one would have known they weren’t all the same house-hold. When I saw her motion her frustration we figured out that she was waiting and let her go ahead of us. To which she then said she didn’t need to go ahead of us, but I insisted. Do people not have banks or airline check in lines where they come from? How can you not know to stand behind the end of the stanchion for the next available counter and not stand directly behind someone at a counter? And then how can you throw a temper tantrum and then act all embarrassed when someone tries to help you – oh well, perhaps it was a long morning for her and her two kids and she just wasn’t thinking.

    So after a few minutes a new counter opened and our girl was being trained – we were clearly the first guests she had ever talked to - but the trainer got us a room that was already ready – this was at 10:30 am. And she got our separate credit cards on each Key to the World card. We were confused on how to get to our room – 5661 Aruba (CBR is really big!). We took a bell hop – a passenger van just for us and our one carryon bag. The guy was from Haiti and nice. He drove us to Aruba and then took us up to our room. We probably wouldn’t have found it without him or a lot of wandering around. Our room is a corner room on the second floor. Very near to the bus stop but on the side facing a courtyard – not the parking lot.
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    [​IMG] our standard nemo room

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    [​IMG] on the bed spread

    now back to the itinerary:
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  5. jegsnakkernorsk

    jegsnakkernorsk long time lurker

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    We had lamenated itinerary cards for each day. We did this so that we always had some idea of what we could do and so we would pace ourselves - and also to keep track of all those free meals and free snacks!
    Here's a photo:
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    Thursday, June 2 – Magic Kingdom Credits: 20QS - 20S
    6:49 Leave DCA for Orlando (Conf# GFON5R, Delta 2073, Seats 19E, 19D)
    9:30 Arrive MCO
    10:30 Magic Express Bus to Caribbean Beach Resort (CBR)
    11:30 Check-in at CBR
    12:00 Lunch CBR; Free mug for soda, get bottled water w/ Lunch 2QS
    1:30 Bus to Magic Kingdom (MK)
    2:30 Arrive at MK – Shops and Vehicles
    5:00 Flag Retreat and brass band
    5:40 Dinner at Cosmic Rays 2QS
    6:00 Tomorrowland – People Mover
    6:45 Main Street shops and vehicles
    7:30 Main Street Ice Cream Shop 2S
    8:00 Get spot on Main Street near Casey’s HotDogs for parade and fireworks
    9:00 Disney’s Electric Parade
    10:00 Wishes Nighttime Spectacular Fireworks; Kiss Goodnight
    10:40 Kiss Goodnight
    11:00 Return to CBR
     
  6. jegsnakkernorsk

    jegsnakkernorsk long time lurker

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    I put on a bathing suit that I had in my backpack.
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    We walked (5 mins) to Caribbean Cay and saw a lot of local wildlife – ducks, turtles, dive-bombing birds, fish.
    [​IMG] george! (that's what I used to call lizards as a kid)
    [​IMG] if you see this bird - run
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    We picked up our free refillable resort mugs and filled them up with sodas.
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    I went into the hot tub behind the fort and it was empty. DSis called mom from the pool side.
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    We relaxed and forgot about our real lives as we sat by the water and watched rented boats go by.
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    We then had lunch at the food court. Click here for food photos and commentary.
     
  7. jegsnakkernorsk

    jegsnakkernorsk long time lurker

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    We returned to our room to find that my suitcase magically arrived and I unpacked and showered and dressed for the park. We went to the bus stop and on to Magic Kingdom on time according to our itinerary. (We're such geeks!)

    We got to the park at 2pm – fireworks at the castle (for a show) went off right as we got to the park on the bus. We immediately took the train around 1.5 times. The park was packed. All the park guests were super sweaty and cranky. We got off at Frontierland the second time around.

    We got a Big Thunder Mountain Fastpass as we walked by. Then we walked on the boardwalk part – it was so crowded everywhere and so hot. We got on the riverboat, sailing by an old settlers cabin and an Indian Encampment. I also swear I saw a swamp person (from the History Channel Show).
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  8. jegsnakkernorsk

    jegsnakkernorsk long time lurker

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    [​IMG]
    We then headed over to the Haunted Mansion! The line was really long but we enjoyed the scenic way – spent 15 minutes just there – the Imagineers were giving a VIP tour behind us. The new interactive queue is really fun. [​IMG]
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    Try finding the cat on the tombstone!
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    Then we tried heading back to Frontierland to use our fast passes but the parade had just finished and it was too crowded to get there. So we went across the park to Tomorrowland.

    We got on the people mover after a wait in line – imagine a line for the people mover! The ride sped up faster than we remembered. Going through the part overlooking Buzz Lightyear inspired us to get fast passes for that.
     
  9. jegsnakkernorsk

    jegsnakkernorsk long time lurker

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    [​IMG]
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    Then we headed to Main Street where we caught the Main Street Philharmonic (who are so talented and entertaining)and went into the Emporium looking for D&B purses but they are across the street now. I picked out my 40th anniversary cross the body bag, which I paid for almost entirely with gift cards.

    Then it was time to use the first of our many snack credits. We decided to get floats in the Main Street ice cream shop with snack credits – coke for me and root beer for DSis with Eddy’s vanilla ice cream. Lots of earning ears cast members – two of them were needed to take the two floats from one counter to another and they didn’t know to distinguish between the Coke and root beer, so we were left to figure it out by taste – of course we got each other’s!
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    We then watched the flag ceremony. DSis said she was now a Main Street Philharmonic groupie as we got to see them again. The flag ceremony was really special and the first time I had made a point to watch it. I am glad they still do this and I’m so glad I put it on the itinerary to do! They select a couple kids to recite the Pledge of Allegiance.

    We went to Tomorrowland to ride Buzz Lightyear using our fast passes – two minutes later we were on the ride and DSis was kicking my butt. I didn’t know to aim for the z at first and I was about 5,000 points behind her in the first 30 seconds. Even with her trigger finger getting sore I couldn’t catch up. She didn’t like me spinning the vehicle when we got stopped along the track. Guess Bonine will be required for Star Tours for tomorrow!
     
  10. jegsnakkernorsk

    jegsnakkernorsk long time lurker

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    After our adventures with Buzz, we headed to Fronterland to ride Big Thunder Mountain with fast pass – due to the Disney magic and illusion the line looked longer than Standby, but it wasn’t. It was maybe 5 minutes and Standby was over an hour. We actually got the front row!
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  11. jegsnakkernorsk

    jegsnakkernorsk long time lurker

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    argh - having technical difficulties with photobucket resizing images. not sure how long this ride will be down...
     
  12. jegsnakkernorsk

    jegsnakkernorsk long time lurker

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    We then went for dinner at Columbia Harbor House, where we had read on DIS that it is a great place to relax and have a nice non burger meal. Click on the lime green for a link to the photos and details!

    We then headed to Pirates of the Caribbean. Almost there we were looking at hats when DSis realized she left here’s at dinner. I sat in the underpass between Adventureland and Liberty Square and she came back with the hat – someone had placed it on top of the table. Not like the time she left her camera in a National Park and even though she could see the camera, three rangers and about 20 forms had to be involved and the camera had to be mailed to her home address!
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    hat found!

    Technical Difficulties – Pirates was closed.

    So we climbed Swiss Family Tree House. It was a little cooler now and not terribly crowded in Adventureland.

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    nice to visit the tree house in the evening when the sun is a little lower in the sky.

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  13. jegsnakkernorsk

    jegsnakkernorsk long time lurker

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    Back on Main Street, DSis looked at jewelry but decided not to buy anything.
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    CottonCandy lady - she was mean and didn't let us buy her fresh stuff!

    We continued to looked at shops until it was time to get our spot on Main Street in front of Casey’s hot dogs down near the spoke.

    All the front rows were taken and we took the spot behind a garbage can. A lot of people try to squeeze in last minute and one mom even left her little kids (under 8) for an hour in front of the garbage can. A CM told the kids they couldn’t sit in front of the garbage cans so they left to find their parents. Dad returned a little while later and started yelling and swearing at the harmless older woman and her nice teenagers who had been sitting on the curb for a good two hours. He was screaming that someone had chased his kids away, but the crowd yelled back at the guy that it was a CM that said it wasn’t allowed to sit where the kids were left. For the past hour we all had been free babysitters for him and Mrs. Parent of the Year. I suppose when you sit by a garbage can should expect to see trash. :)

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    We had a great view from behind the garbage can of the elecctic parade.

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    We also were well positioned for the Magic Memories and You (which was more impressive than I imagined) and Wishes Fireworks.

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    We then held our ground as throngs of people left the park at closing. We stood behind the garbage can for some protection! We continued to wait long after the 10pm closing until 11:10 for the Kiss Goodnight but never saw it. There were a few others waiting for it too but it became apparent that they weren’t playing it that night so we headed to the bus – hoping there would still be a bus. It was very eerie walking down Main Street with so few people and the shops all closed!

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    We ended up on the second to last bus after waiting as three buses loaded. I was surprised that there was still such a line for the bus but I was glad that I was in the park instead of waiting in line for the bus all that time! The buses did come fast – they were no more than 5 minutes apart from each other but there are a lot of people staying at CBR so it still takes well over an hour to load everyone after the park closes.

    We got home, showered and went to bed. Magically the stairs that weren’t too bad earlier were much longer and steeper at midnight.:)
     
  14. jegsnakkernorsk

    jegsnakkernorsk long time lurker

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    Friday, June 3 – Hollywood Studios Star Wars Weekend
    Credits: 16QS - 18S
    6:30 Breakfast CBR – Market Street 1QS
    7:00 Bus to Disney’s Hollywood Studios (DHS)
    9:00 Park opens – stand to right for Toy Story FP
    9:15 FP for Toy Story
    9:30 Star Tours –Standby
    9:45 Rockin’ Rollercoaster – standby
    10:00 Beauty and Beast (sit to the right)
    11:15 Pick up Tower of Terror FP
    11:30 Starring Rolls Bakery 2QS
    12:00 Get spot for parade
    12:40 Star Wars Motorcade
    1:30 Oasis Canteen outside Indiana Jones 2S
    1:40 Indiana Jones Epic Stunt Spectacular – sit in center
    2:45 Ride Toy Story with FP
    3:30 One Man’s Dream
    4:00 Magic of Disney Animation
    4:20 Tower of Terror ride w/ FP
    4:45 Bus to CBR
    6:00 Pool/beach
    7:00 Dinner CBR, Use free mug for soda, get bottled water w/dinner 2QS
    7:30 Old Port Royal pool time/watch Illuminations from beach
     
  15. jegsnakkernorsk

    jegsnakkernorsk long time lurker

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    DSis woke up at 5:45am! I took bonine for motion sickness in anticipation of riding Star Tours 2.0. We walked across the island and over to Old Port Royal for breakfast.

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    Once inside we were confused by conflicting signs that said breakfast was at 7. It was 6:45 and after a couple minutes standing in front of the Broiler section I went over to the Pizza station and found that they serve breakfast starting at 6:30am at that station.

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    We got the breakfast Isle Bounty (to split) and one bottle water with two cups of ice. We would have eaten outside but it was too wet at the tables.
     
  16. jegsnakkernorsk

    jegsnakkernorsk long time lurker

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    We took the bus from Old Port Royal. The park opening was 9am but we were on the bus at 7:08 am in anticipation of the Star Wars Weekend crowds.

    We got to the park and saw the line for fastpasses for the stars autographs on the far right side but went straight to the turnstiles on the right and got up front – first at the stalls.

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    The cast member, Warner, said we were fine standing there and that it would be a great view of the cast members (stormtroppers) but then Les changed the sign to “event” entrance and we had to move over. We still were near the front and were behind only one family to get in. The entry area was packed before 8am.

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    The only problem with the location was that you could not see or hear the opening ceremony which was taking place above our heads on the roof.

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    After the opening ceremony in which we did hear the storm troopers taunt us about letting us in, they opened the park an hour early at 8am! No ropes were involved.

    We all walked towards Star Tours – cast members were directing moms with little boys to the place to sign up for Jedi training at Sounds Dangerous. But we continued past to Star Tours where I got fast passes.

    We were going to TSM but DSis heard from a cast member that the ride was closed so we decided to ride Star Tours Standby. But at that time it was really – walk through. We got to be in the third row of the F star tours vehicle. We ran into the same family that stood in front of us at the park entry. I guess they had the same idea! The cast member said DSis and I could pick a row – any row, which was cool.

    [​IMG] we picked this row.

    During our experience we saw Princess Leia and ended in a city almost running over the landing crew! It is 3D and feels like it moves a lot for a simulator! But the Bonine worked I didn’t get sick. We both liked it better than the original.

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    The streets of New York were entirely empty!

    We went by TSM but it was still closed – and empty . The cast member said it was closed for technical difficulties and I jokingly asked if someone had died. See the you tube video: Technical Difficulties

    So we headed on to Tower of Terror with its “13 minute wait”. We were one of five people on the ride. It was as much fun as ever. Love the details in the hotel lobby and elevator.

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    Next we road Rocking Rollercoaster standby. It said 20 minute wait but it was more like five – actually it was faster than riding it fastpass later.

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    Then we went to Jabba’s Hut and stood in line to buy the t-shirt for a cousin. DSis didn’t see anything she wanted. It was really busy but could have been worse. We later saw the same t-shirt in one of the other shops, so unless you are going specifically for one of the collectables or limited edition items it is best to skip the special Star Wars store and just buy a star wars souvenir from one of the other stores at the park.

    Enough time had now gone by that we could get another fastpass – 9:25 so we picked up Toy Story ones but they were for 4pm! The ride was still closed and the line of people just waiting for it to open stretched all the way to the Coke watering station.

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    DSis bought me a souvenir t-shirt – Toy Story Mania ham and eggs – for being the first one of us to 100 posts on DIS.

    And I stopped to pose for this...
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    and DSis for this...
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    We then walked back to Lights Camera Action for the bathroom – empty!
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    Tell me, have you ever seen a Disney bathroom look like this?

    There was a Star Wars character in the streets of New York for photos. Actually the Star Wars Characters (not the actual stars) were distributed around the park which was nice for crowd control.

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  17. jegsnakkernorsk

    jegsnakkernorsk long time lurker

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    Then we went to see Beauty and the Beast. Great seats. Great show. Great photos?

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    the star was excellent!

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    Is it bad that I like his character most?

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    I hadn't seen it before. Can you tell that I liked it?

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    checking the itinerary!!!
     
  18. jegsnakkernorsk

    jegsnakkernorsk long time lurker

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    It was then time for an early lunch at Starring Rolls bakery. We had read on the DIS boards about not only their cupcakes but also their massive sandwiches which all count as part of a meal on the quick service dinning plan. The seating area was packed and there was a decent line out the door as people were getting pastries and coffee for breakfast. DSis ordered the ham sandwich with an apple and I ordered the turkey sandwich with kettle chips. Her ham sandwich was good – the meat was fresh and flavorful – but the sauce/dressing was a bit spicy for her – a spicy mustard. Mine came with a vinaigrette dressing on the lettuce and a very light sauce – really was a nice flavor combination and was very mild. The meat was massive and the soft cheese was delicious. I loved the focaccia – fresh and soft. We both had bottles of water and a cupcake for dessert. DSis had a Darth Vader cupcake that was dark chocolate with a white chocolate Darth Vader topper. The frosting was chocolate with a layer of peanut butter under and the cake had a chocolate-peanut butter fudgy center. I had the marble cupcake which had a white butter cream frosting surrounding a chocolate fudge center, for the cake part it had vanilla cake surrounding a chocolate cake core. It was fabulous. When we got through the line a table of people who had enjoyed coffee and conversation had just stood up to leave so we had a nice table in the shade while we dined.
     
  19. jegsnakkernorsk

    jegsnakkernorsk long time lurker

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    Now it was time for another fastpass. I was so full from lunch I could hardly walk so DSis picked up ones for Rock n’ Roller Coaster since we both enjoy it so much – thrills without the spills – the seats cushion your head and back so nicely.

    Then we got a spot for the 12:40 star wars motorcade. We sat on the curb between a garbage can and a light pole thinking no one else could sit near us. We got there at 11:30 and already all the other spaces along the curb were taken or saved. By noon there wasn’t even room to stand. People climbed all over us and stepped on us and kicked us. And we were stuck babysitting other people’s kids.

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    But we had a great view – except for the kid that kept standing in the street to take pictures with his parents’ cell phone while his parents were in the back of the crowd somewhere. The cast members kept having to tell him to stand back on the curb but he never did.

    [​IMG] kid getting told to move back.

    The parade was short and a little dumb and definitely for me not worth the ordeal. It was full sun and super hot and CROWDED. Hate that the parade is a 12:40 this year and such a short route. Really miserable.

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    We got up as soon as the end of the parade cast members came by and we skipped the show at the stage to head with the herds to Star Tours to use our fastpass. The crowds were incredible.

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    We were glad to have fastpass, but we had to wait a bit in the queue as we weren’t the only ones using our fastpass after the parade. It was nice to get to spend a little more time looking at the new animatronics in the queue. We ended up in the same row, same seats as before – this time in shuttle E. We worried that we would end up with the same scenario as before but we had a different hologram and ended at the death star – and we got our rebel spy to safety. We both enjoyed it better the second time – our scenarios made more of a complete story.
     
  20. jegsnakkernorsk

    jegsnakkernorsk long time lurker

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    It was so crowded and so hot. We were on our way next to see Indiana Jones Stunt show since we hadn’t seen that since we were kids. We stopped at Oasis for coke floats and a cup of ice – it was miserably humid and sunny.

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    Drank the coke floats in the theater – which at first was not crowded but then – maybe 5 minutes before show time suddenly was packed. It was funny because the first time the computer tells everyone to move to the center to make room there was hardly anyone there. But just before showtime everyone decided to come in to escape the sun and have a seat and so the second time the announcement came on it meant something. We enjoyed the stunt show – DSis fell for the cast member that posed as a guest and we had some good giggles.

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    We then headed over to the Art of Animation and to One Man’s Dream – neither had we done before. Art of Animation had a line you could skip if you just wanted to see the characters and do the drawing class, but we wanted to see the film so we waited in the long line (about 20 minutes). We really enjoyed the film. A cast member interacts with an animated character and we had a few gaffas, which I think our young cast member appreciated. We were going to wait in line for the drawing class but the line was so long and we missed the cut off for the next waiting group so we left.

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    We were tired and the park was packed but we made it to One Man’s Dream and enjoyed reading and looking at the artifacts. The film was pretty busy there too – but we didn’t have to wait long for the showing and we had a nice seat. The film was very inspiring on how much Walt risked, repeatedly, and made DSis think how only big risks bring big rewards.

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    By now it was time to use our Rock n’ Roller Coaster fastpass and the wait was 20 minutes – with the fastpass! It was more than twice as long using the fastpass at 3pm as it was going standby at 9am!

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    Next we went to Toy Story Mania. Yes! It was open! It was finally time to use the fastpass we had gotten seven hours before! We didn’t have but five minutes to wait and we had a great game. DSis scored 150,000 or so and I came in at 130,000 or so but the high score for the day was 100,000 more than that and the high score for the month was over 300,000. I love that ride!

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  21. jegsnakkernorsk

    jegsnakkernorsk long time lurker

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    We were hot and had done everything on our list and according to our itinerary it was time to go back to the bus. We waited 15 minutes for the bus – which in that heat feels like forever.

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    When we got back to Aruba building 56 room 5661 we found that our mousekeeper had left us a towel creature I named our Haitian bunny momma.

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    And she had left all of our toiletries nicely laid out on a towel between the sinks (I had them piled up in the corner).

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    She had also left us a bag – honestly a bag – of toiletries. We had left a note asking for more soap (I wanted an extra bar so each sink had one and the shower had one) and a five dollar bill. Guess she liked the tip. The toiletries won’t go to waste though as we give them to our parents when we see them later in the trip and they can take them to the abused women and children shelter in Collier County. I bet the kids will enjoy the Mickey soap and shampoo.

    The plan for this evening was to take it easy and enjoy the resort. I like staying on property and like planning time to explore the resort’s theme and attractions. We used the Aruba village pool instead of the main pool at Old Port Royal because Aruba was much less crowded. We had no trouble finding a couple chairs and shared the decent sized pool with about 20 other people. No hot tub at the village pool though.

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    After showering and changing we went to dinner at Old Port Royal’s food court and got – as planned – the turkey and the salmon dinners at the Broiler counter.

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    After dinner, I remembered reading that you could view the fireworks from Port Royal (it was also on the itinerary). We walked down to Martinique’s beach since it looked nice to me and I thought maybe we could view from there as well. I got in a hammock and DSis pulled over a chair. The beach got more crowded at quarter to and some young boys and girls were swimming in nothing but bottoms in the water – head under the water – in the lake – next to the sign that says no swimming - enjoy your ecoli kids! The Epcot fireworks started and we couldn’t believe how great the view was. Laying in the hammock I could watch the fireworks in the sky and also enjoy the reflection in the water. Truly magical.

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    We went to bed early (11pm) knowing that the next day would be another early morning.
     

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