You’re writing a TR? Really? (Christmas at POR, 2010)

Discussion in 'Completed Trip Reports' started by GoofyIsAsGoofyDoes, May 9, 2011.

  1. jamiesmom07

    jamiesmom07 Mouseketeer

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    Great writing! I have read several tr's and yours rocks!! Can't wait to read more :surfweb:
     
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  3. GoofyIsAsGoofyDoes

    GoofyIsAsGoofyDoes Dis Dad #469 . . . . "Nation Ford", SC

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    You talking to me? Really? My English teachers would be shocked... shocked I tell you! :eek:

    :welcome: aboard and thanks for the kind words.
    I’m trying to get a bit more of this madness put together so hopefully I have more to add tonight or tomorrow. I can’t guarantee the entertainment value will meet the high standards that have apparently been set, but I’ll certainly give it a shot.
     
  4. GoofyIsAsGoofyDoes

    GoofyIsAsGoofyDoes Dis Dad #469 . . . . "Nation Ford", SC

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    Bonus Feature 3: “They Call Me: Ginger…”

    Well… Not everyone obviously, but a few of my close friends have been known to call me by that name. Why? Well… we’ll get back to that in a minute, but first it’s disclaimer time. I’m going off the reservation again. This is you official warning that you’ve stumbled into another of my bonuses features and that this TR is being hijacked again by my wandering mind (usually it’s members of the DisDads Club that will hijack a TR thread and generally because it’s not moving fast enough, but I decided to beat them to the punch so to speak). Now then… back to the disclaimer. As I have done in the past during this verbal excursion, I will again give you this one and only chance to save yourselves and skip on down to the next post where this trip report will get back to the task at hand (namely discussing Disney). If, however, you choose to remain here you will be subjected to varying degrees of stunningly useless knowledge about a subject of my choice. You get no say in the decision… I am a tyrant when it comes to going off on a tangent.


    Are they gone? (The ones that didn’t want to read this mess that is.) OK… now for the two or three of y’all that stayed, let me first say; “why on Earth would you do that”, and then let me say this: “Ginger!” That’s what we’re talkin’ ‘bout. It was my comments a little bit back about the Krest Ginger Ale that is available at Club Cool which prompted this excursion into my demented thought process. I will be discussing ginger ale specifically in a little bit, but it’s best to start with a little more background (so here we go…)

    As I said at the top of the post (you do remember the top of the post right? You know… back up there where I told you to skip on to the next one), some folks that know me well have given me the nickname of “Ginger”. The reason that I acquired this moniker has nothing to do with either Fred Astaire or Gilligan’s Island, so you can get those images out of your head right now (although I know it will be difficult from this point forward). It’s because I love the taste and general flavor of this fabulous Asian rhizome.

    [​IMG]

    Now just exactly who the hunter/gather was that figured out that you could actually consume parts of the root system of a particular plant which science has since dubbed: “Zingiber Officinale” is unknown (we could call him or her “Ogg” if you’d like, but that’s up to you). The real trick however is that after discovering that the thing could be eaten at all, successive folks then had the audacity to chop them up and use the resulting mass in the preparation of teas, sauces, confections or what ever. I for one am thankful for those unnamed individuals collective momentary lapses of reason. (Hummm… I wonder just how many great discoveries are directly related to a momentary lack of reason?) Anyway… this natural flavoring is the bright (and at times… intense) spot in most Asian cuisine and this is the first place that I learned to like this lovely spice.

    The second place I learned to like the stuff was in cookies. Specifically (and as you might surmise) gingerbread cookies. Were talking about this stuff again:

    [​IMG]

    Now I actually like a lot of different kinds of cookies, bars and what not, but gingerbread is one of the better verities of this idea that can be acquired on the mass market (right after shortbread). The single best ginger cookie that I’ve ever consumed however comes not from a package, but out of my wife’s kitchen (did I tell you that I married a baker? If not I should have mentioned it, and… she’s a dang good one too). These little disks of delight are called: “Ginger-Molasses Cookies” (by me anyway) and they are so tasty and coveted by both friends and family alike that by late fall, we generally have received multiple reminders that there are several folks who are “really” looking forward to receiving a few of Tamara’s baked goods this holiday season and to: “Please, please, please ask her to make more of those ginger-molasses thingies”.

    A different facet in the story of Ginger is that it has also been used as a traditional medicine and probably for longer then it has been seen as food (so I suppose that “Ogg” was probably acting as the tribal witchdoctor at the time that he/she first discovered our wonder root). Ginger is particularly good at settling upset stomachs. Oddly enough, this is the usage and form of the stuff that got me really hooked on it (weird I know but just stick with me for another minute or two here). My momma always gave my brother and me ginger ale to drink when we were suffering from anything that resembled the flu and as such, I’ve come to relate the taste to comfort. But it was the discovery that chewing on a piece of candied ginger would settle just about the most ticked-off tummy that converted me completely. I like the flavor of candied-ginger so much, that I’ll nibble on it as a snack. Tamara even learned how to make it from fresh ginger root just to help quench my cravings (and she discovered that if you were to drizzle melted dark chocolate over top of fresh candied ginger, the result is one seriously addictive shack). She’s also been known to buy me a tub of the stuff out of the specialty sections of some of the better grocery stores in the area (just because she’s sweet and don’t you believe her if she tries to tell you that she ain’t). Actually there’s a tub of the stuff sitting out on the counter as I speak…

    [​IMG]

    After its use as a cooking spice and remedy, ginger is most known as the main flavoring ingredient in ginger ale (I told you I’d get to this in a bit and here we are). There are varying stories on the origin of this old soda fountain standard, but it likely start as a brewed beverage in Europe and found its way to North American in the late 1800s. The most famous mass produced verity: “Canada Dry”, was concocted by a Canadian pharmacist named John McLaughlin in the early 1900s. Around 1890, this chap started a business to produce and sell carbonated water in the Toronto area and marketed it mostly to the local drug stores for use on the soda fountains that had become all the rage during that time. At about the same time he began devising his own soda recipes including one he called: “McLaughlin Belfast Style Ginger Ale’ which was similar to Irish versions of the drink that he’d encountered (thus the name). By 1907, he had refined his recipe resulting is a drink with a lighter color and a fair bit less of the traditional sharp taste. This enhanced cocktail was different enough from the original drink to warrant its own sub-category and designation and thus came to be known as “dry ginger ale” (the original versions are still referred to as “golden ginger ales” to distinguish them from their lighter cousins). Given the lighter Champagne like color and the lessened ginger “kick”, this version of the drink became more popular and sales continued to increase. Mr. McLaughlin had long since patented the recipe when in 1922, he also trademarked a name: “Canada Dry”, to honor both the origin and type of ginger ale being produced.

    There are a number of small companies that still produce more authentic golden ginger ales (and bless them for doing so) and the tastes vary considerably in the ranges of sweetness, fruitiness and sharpness. I’m a little bit picky about ginger ale and don’t really care as much for the versions that have more of a fruit juice flavor that over powers the natural bite of the actual ginger. But as with all things, tastes are regional (and subjective as well). The mass produced Canada Dry is always drinkable (and a good mixer to be sure) but oddly enough, my favorite version of the drink is bottled in South Carolina.

    [​IMG]

    Blenheim’s is a golden ginger ale and unlike most other brands, it is available in several degrees of spiciness: “Old #3” (which is fairly hot), “#5” (a bit milder but still sharp), and “#9” (a diet version of “#5”). Blenheim’s can be found at some specialty shops and at various “convenience stores” through out SC, but it’s not always easy to find (as such I have to hunt for it and remember which places will carry the stuff so that I can grab a few bottles when I’m traveling around the state). After a cold bottle of Blenheim’s, the next best version for me is actually the Krest…

    [​IMG]

    …and the only place I’ve been able to find that one is at EPCOT.

    All the more reason to go back wouldn’t ya’ say?
     
  5. GoofyIsAsGoofyDoes

    GoofyIsAsGoofyDoes Dis Dad #469 . . . . "Nation Ford", SC

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    Chapter 7 – Day-4

    - Part 6: A Joyful Noise


    After dinner and while we were polishing off the deserts, the topic of discussion turned toward strategy. We had passes to catch Test Track which was a pretty good distance away from where we were sitting (and everything else in the WS) and we also wanted to try to catch some of the storytellers out in the showcase. The timing was going to be a problem. We could head on up into the WS and see about catching one or two of the holiday stories, but that would also be driving us farther away from TT and we didn’t know what the schedules were for the various performances. The two wild cards in this hand were that we still had one more day’s worth of park tickets (and hadn’t yet decided how to use them), and that Test Track is one of momma’s favorite rides in the parks. Ultimately, the decision was to head back into Future World, catch a couple of the “minor” attractions, and then ride the Track when the return time rolled around. After that we’d head back into the WS and see what we could see (with the option of returning tomorrow in need be).

    Time to put the new plan into action. We walked back around toward the northern end of EPCOT and as we were heading up the main walkway toward the show fountain, there was a little bit more musical magic in progress. At the foot of the main fountain, the Imagineers had built a stage and there was a group set up there that was just tearing it up (musically speaking). The name given to the show was “JOYFUL!” and it certainly was. The folks doin’ the performin’ were the “D’Vine Voices” and what they were layin’ down was some fabulous blending of jazz, gospel and R&B in the form of various holiday standards.

    [​IMG]

    They were absolutely rockin’ the house. I should have recorded at least some of this extraordinary performance, but I just didn’t think about it at the time (being mesmerized and all, ya’ know). You’ll just have to take my word for it that you need to give these folks a listen if the opportunity presents itself.

    After a bit of gospel, we made a quick left back into the Cool Station (as I needed to refill my reserve ginger ale tank), and then headed over toward the Universe of Energy. On the way we took a moment to lament the passing of the Wonders of Life pavilion and one of our favorite lost attractions: “Cranium Command”. I’d love to see them do something else with this space, but I’ve not heard any credible rumors as to there being anything in the offing for at any point in the near. So on we go to the “Dino” pavilion.

    [What’d he say? Dino? Really???????]
     
  6. GoofyIsAsGoofyDoes

    GoofyIsAsGoofyDoes Dis Dad #469 . . . . "Nation Ford", SC

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    Chapter 7 – Day-4

    - Part 7: Yah, I know its lame…


    “I just don’t think I can handle that kind of pressure!!!”
    [​IMG]

    Now, I’m very aware that Universe of energy is in a word: “lame”. I know that nine out of ten returning Dis-Vets will avoid this literal dinosaur of an attraction like a proto-mammal trying to avoid the asteroid that was just about to wipe out all the major land animals. That being said, it does have a couple of things going for it. The wait is minimal, you get to hear Bill Nye do the teaching part of the show (a bonus no matter what you think of the rest of the cast), and it’s a fairly long attraction and as such, a good place to get off your feet. That last little bit was actually a major key to the next couple of stops along the way. I am just a snap under half a century old, but I can still out “stand” you average teenager (I can also generally still out think, out plan and out “patience” most of ‘em as well), but we’d been going pretty much all day for four days now and the old soles on our dogs were starting to bark a bit. A good long sit in a climate controlled environment was exactly what was called for and the energy pavilion certainly provided it (with a smidgen of entertainment to boot).

    Our return time for Test Track was getting close, but we decided to take another little detour first and hit Spaceship Earth. That way, once we’d done that and hit TT, we’d head back out into the WS without really needing to head back north (until it was time to go home that is). So off we go. SSE it still a good attraction but to us, the recent “upgrades” are hit and miss. The refurbishing done to the history of communication section of the ride are excellent, but I’m not a fan of the “design your own future” bit that they tacked on to the end. It’s a might hooky and rather distracting. Besides, for me the best parts of this particular attraction are in my mind and not on their touch screen [Warning… I’m about to discuss a Disney ride in a manner that it was never intended to be discussed so you might want to just mosey on down a bit past this section for your own salvation] We never hit this attraction until later in the day after everyone else has waited in the long lines. Its strong points are: quick load, good air-conditioning, fairly long ride time, a decently entertaining story and the darkness combined with the “Time Machine” vehicles that are designed to only carry two people.

    [​IMG]

    (“Whoa… What was that last one” you ask?) Well… I said it out loud so now I guess I’ve got to explain it. There is nothing finer (be it at Disney or anywhere else on this rock) then a little bit of alone time just sitting beside my “Baby Girl”, holding hands and snuggling into each other. This ride in particular provides one of the better settings for this pursuit that I’ve encountered. Especially when it reaches to top of the sphere and everything opens up and you’re surrounded by that image of earth and the thousands of stars. Then it turns you around backward and lets you recline and really relax while the cars are descending back down to the loading station. I doubt that’s what the Imagineers had in mind when they built it (actually I certain of it), but that’s exactly why I never miss it.

    [Ewwwww! M-o-m! Dad’s talking about mushy stuff again! Make him stop!!!!]
     
  7. afwdwfan

    afwdwfan DIS Dad #460

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    In that case I think you should send samples to the two or three of us who read on.:lmao:

    I don't remember. I slept through half of it last time. :lmao::rotfl::rotfl2: I woke up for the dinosaurs though.:thumbsup2

    Agreed! :thumbsup2
     
  8. Captain_Oblivious

    Captain_Oblivious DIS Dad #257

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    Catching up once again...

    So you left your bag on Soarin', huh? Man, you're lucky the TSA hasn't taken over supervision of those flights yet, or you'd really have some 'splainin' to do.

    Mmmm....Beverly...

    [​IMG]

    I'm glad you enjoyed Rose & Crown. Haven't tried that one yet, but scoring an outdoor seat sounds great...even if it isn't during Illuminations.

    And if you're a big ginger fan, you might be interested in the ginger-crusted ribeye at Kona Cafe. Really enjoyed that one. I couldn't taste a lot of ginger, but there was a hint of it there.
     
  9. GoofyIsAsGoofyDoes

    GoofyIsAsGoofyDoes Dis Dad #469 . . . . "Nation Ford", SC

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    Since you’ve suffered the most by actually following through nearly all of this dribble, I’d have to say that you probably deserve such. Remind me again around early December and I’ll see if we can’t make it happen. :thumbsup2

    That why we got on the thing in the first pla……[​IMG]


    Triple dog agreed!!!
    (I might have committed a slight breech of etiquette there by going strait for the throat)

    Oh I had splainin’ to do as soon as I realized I’d screwed up… again… and as usual…
    At least I figured it out as soon as I’d done it and not later that night.
    :headache:

    We’re going to Kona form breakfast after we get back form our cruse, but now I might just have to consider getting back over there for dinner some time during our mini stay down there.
    :idea:
     
  10. GoofyIsAsGoofyDoes

    GoofyIsAsGoofyDoes Dis Dad #469 . . . . "Nation Ford", SC

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    Chapter 7 – Day-4

    - Part 8: Zoom! Zoom?


    Ok… Enough of all that twiterpated nonsense. What was I talking about anyway? Oh yes. Test Track. I don’t believe that I’m going to have to work too awfully hard to convince y’all that this is one of the most fun rides in the parks, now am I?

    [​IMG]

    I didn’t think so… Pretty much everyone in the room already knows it.

    When we arrived at the main entrance, the estimated departure time listed for the stand-by queue was a monumental 150 minutes. The most amazing part of that wasn’t the length of the wait. It was that there were still people getting into the back of that line. As we got closer to the main entrance I noticed that the FPs were now completely distributed. That must be what was causing folks to actually consider the posted wait as an expectable alternative to… well… to just about anything else I suppose because, by God, there they were. Once we started winding our way though the Fast Pass queue I actually felt a little bad for those folks. But then again, I’d had been on their side of the time-space continuum waiting for TSMM just a couple of days earlier, so who was I to call them crazy?

    The queue at Test Track is interesting which make it easier to deal with…

    [​IMG]

    …but then again, I only had a ten minute wait before getting into the pre show. But that’s actually part of the problem for the people in the standby queue.

    This attraction illustrates the good, the bad and the ugly of the Fast Pass system fairly well. Yes, if you use passes, your wait goes down (the good). From a purely marketing point of view, the time chewed up waiting for the return posted on that pass might just translate into guests spending more quality time in their gift shops (the ugly). This activity was actually one of the objectives of the Fast Pass in the first place (you did know that marketers devised the idea and not Imagineers, right?) But the passes also inadvertently set up a “class system” amongst the guests (the bad). A division of have’s and have not’s if you will. Here’s what I mean. There are three pre-show theaters for TT, and one of them is basically reserved for the people in the fast-pass line (unless there just isn’t enough of ‘em at that moment to fill the theater). The net result is that the original designed load capacity for the attraction is immediately reduced by a third and those waiting in the regular line are looking at a longer wait before they even reach the building. Enough people take advantage of the passes to ensure that there will always be plenty of ‘em that need to be given preference over the regular folks thus ensuring that the have-not’s will wait longer for everything. Truly this is only a serious issue on the major attractions and then only during the crowded times of the year. That said, a lot of people just can’t travel during the off peek time frames. That’s just how it is. End of rant. I ain’t sayin’, that Disney needs to do away with the Fast Pass. I am saying that it’s just not the panacea that it was originally intended to be.

    Time to get back on subject I suppose. Alright, show of hands… who here hasn’t actually ridden this attractions yet? Just you over there in the back corner then? OK… then you might want to plug your ears so that I don’t give anything away here. Now then… is this ride awesome or what? The preshow starts out innocently enough until the supervisor invites his engineer to toss in a few “surprise tests” for us to assist with. The final load serpentine also moves pretty quickly but it is still in your best interest to get your fanny across to the far side of the preshow theater if you can manage it. The rough road test is really jarring on my old bones but I like the breaking test (especially the first one where the car looses control). The winding road test is the most like actual driving, especially when you encounter the obstacle coming from the other direction. But hands down, everyone loves the crash test, because it set’s you free!!!!

    [​IMG]

    Out of the building and on to the race track... The G’s pulled on the high bank are almost as awesome as those at mission space and the final straight-a-way is just a silly fun. Once we rode this and something cause the ride to shut down just as we were heading out of the high bank. Needless to say, we were disappointed at first, but once we limped back into the load area, they just left us in the car and sent us around again.
    That… was a definite win.
     
  11. GoofyIsAsGoofyDoes

    GoofyIsAsGoofyDoes Dis Dad #469 . . . . "Nation Ford", SC

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    Chapter 7 – Day-4

    - Part 9: In a Pickle


    Now that we’d ridden “the track”, we’d basically “done” future world (of course I’d have ridden Sorin’ thirty-seven more times if it were possible but I digress). Now that all the rides had been properly tackled, it was time to head back down into the showcase.

    [​IMG]
    (picture from past travels through the world)

    We went southeast this time toward the Mexico pavilion. Once there we found the spot where the story tellers for that part of the word would be doing their presentations and checked the performance schedule. Just as we’d suspected… we’d long since missed the last performance of the day and were pretty sure that would apply to the rest of the countries as well. Tamara was a might disappointed as this was something she specifically wanted to see during our holiday trip down here (but she certainly wasn’t going to tell her son that we weren’t going to hit the attractions, because like most mommas, her baby always comes first). The effect of this realization basically determined what the plan for tomorrow would be. We had to check out and head home, but we also still had one days worth of park entrances left on our KTTWs, so we’d be coming back here specifically to spend time in the showcase.

    We grabbed a couple of churos and then worked you way on around through China…
    [​IMG]
    (picture from past travels through the world)

    Norway…
    [​IMG]
    (picture from past travels through the world)

    …and the Outpost while making our way over to Germany. We had business to attend to here. We wanted to get a pickle. Pickle? Yep… a pickle ornament. Here’s the background. There is a “story” (actually it’s a myth but…) that there is a German tradition of hiding a pickle shaped ornament deep in the branches of the tree on Christmas Eve. The object of this being that the observant sole who first finds said pickle the next morning shall have good luck bestowed upon their personage for the coming year. My family has a German back ground, yet I’d not heard of this until recently. The reason I’d not heard of it is that it ain’t true (about it being an old tradition or even of Germanic origin for that matter). It just another marketing ploy I fear. But it’s a fun idea, and Germany is historically known for making excellent glass ornaments. As such we decided that it would be fun to have one that was actually made in Germany, bought at Disney and then hung on our tree for years to come. That way we had a number of nice memory tie-ins to a silly little tradition regardless of it questionable authenticity.

    Pickle in hand, we rolled on around toward the American Adventure and decided that it was just about time for a little bit of dinner and this was as good a place as any other to grab a counter service meal. Upon arriving, we also discovered that there was a second giant gingerbread house on the property. The one at the American Adventure isn’t quite as gargantuan as the one over at the Grand, but it was still impressive.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    The last time we were at EPCOT, I’d gotten a very good veggie-wrap from this pavilion and was looking forward to seeing if they still had that little item. They did, so I order it up along with everyone else’s choices for the evening and we had a seat to enjoy the meal. So what was the final verdict? Meh… That’s really the best I can say. It wasn’t bad, but it seemed to be rather bland. I don’t know what changed (maybe it was just a let down when compared to the lunch I’d had earlier), but it was just only so-so at best. Max ordered a burger. Burgers are so ubiquitous the world over that they should probably be considered our national dish. As such, you’d expect the version of that dish which is presented by our nation’s ambassador within the showcase to be excellent. Nope… mediocre at best. Not a good showing, but you can’t win ‘em all. Still… I was at Disney… during Christmas… and that still beat the heck out of being in my cubical at work.

    [​IMG]

    See what I mean….
     
  12. GoofyIsAsGoofyDoes

    GoofyIsAsGoofyDoes Dis Dad #469 . . . . "Nation Ford", SC

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    Chapter 7 – Day-4

    - Part 10: Something for Momma


    After dinner we were faced with another choice. Stay for Imuminations or head back to “America” and catch the bus to POR. This decision was based on two things. First: we’d seen Iluminations many times, and second: all three of us we in possession of seriously tired and achy feet. This trip was not long enough to work in a couple of days off lounging around the resort, so after four straight days of continuous trudging we’d really pushed our appendages a bit past their breaking points. Time to head back to the north.

    When we got back into future world, we decided to make one more stop for the day. Since we were coming back here tomorrow, and that also meant that we weren’t likely to get back over to Downtown Disney before we left for home, then we might as well duck into Mouse Gear to do a little bit of souvenir acquisition.

    [​IMG]

    As we were poking around my boy came over to me and said that He’d spied something that we wanted to get for his mother as a Christmas present. This is important because it’s a first. Not the first time he’d ever bought a present for his mother… the first time it was an independent choice to do so and was based on something that he specifically hunted down, thought she’d like to have and that he’d like to give to her. Intrigued, I asked what he had in mind. He said that he’d found something that would fit perfectly into her craft room and that if I’d tag along he’d show me this little bobble. Most Disney folks usually have at least one spot within their houses that is heavily influenced by WDW in terms of décor… we have one of these Disney shrines in our humble abode. Tamara’s craft-room/work-room/sanctuary is chock full of prints, hangings, photographs, trinkets and keepsakes that we’ve all collected up over our travels ‘On World” and on the waves.

    Here’s a sample of what all’s going on up there…
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    There were and are many types of Disnyana and other paraphernalia within the confines of this living space, but one thing that it lacked at the time was a clock. My son had determined that this oversight needed to be rectified and done so in the proper manner. Obviously, just any clock wouldn’t do. What he’d found was a classic designed Minnie Mouse Alarm Clock.

    This one right here:
    [​IMG]



    Now, Max didn’t have any cash on him at the time so I needed to complete the transaction for him. I told him to keep his momma busy and I’d be happy to help out. Afterward Tamara asked me what we were up to. I said: “We? Up to? What makes you think that either of the guys in your world is actually smart enough to be ‘up to’ anything?” She then pointed out that Max had asked her to help him look around the clothing section of the store to see if they could find a shirt that he might like to have. Yep… she’d busted us. Max has no more interest in shopping for cloths as he has in homework or root canals. Although she played along, she immediately knew that something was up (but I do give the boy credit for finding at least a plausible method of keeping his momma busy). I confessed that I has buying something for Max… that it was for someone standing in this store at that time… that it was a present for this person… that she would not be getting it until Christmas morning… and that there was no way you’d be finding out what it was until then. She happily let it stand there for two reasons. It was likely the truth (as I could no more lie to her as stick a hot poker into my eye), and because she knows all to well that I’m so stubborn that there was no way she’d get me to tell her any more anyway.

    Time to go. Illumination was just about finished when we started for the gate…

    [​IMG]
    (Thanks to mouseplanet.com)

    …but we were still ahead of the masses so at least we wouldn’t be waiting three eternities for a bus. We caught the tail end of the next one, and as expected, found ourselves standing in the isles. That’s alright though as I’d certainly have given my seat up to one of the folks that were carrying young’ens like so many sacks of tatters. As we were riding back to POR and listening to the crickets chirping on the sound track, there was a younger family near me discussing how they were going to go about getting from Animal Kingdom to the Polly for their dinner reservation the next day (it was their first trip to The World). For those of y’all that have been reading along, you know that we’d made that said-same trip way back in chapter-3. So I took a moment to tell them about how we’d solved that little transportation conundrum. I also mentioned the other sites that they could get into along the way (kind’a like a verbal dry run of the chapter that I ended up writing for y’all). They we’re quite thankful for the insights and pleased to have the extra info as well. We ended up having a grand ol’ chat while the bus rocked and rolled us all back home for the evening. Day-4 was now a historical foot note. We fell into our room, did a little bit of pre-packing for tomorrow and collapsed into out beds. G’night y’all………..
     
  13. Captain_Oblivious

    Captain_Oblivious DIS Dad #257

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    Nope, I'm good here.

    The one part where your talk about "haves" and "have-nots" breaks down is that the FP's are available to anyone who wants one. Mostly, it hurts the people who don't plan ahead or understand the system. I think the FP system is a good thing for the most part--but then again, I know how to use it.

    My dad actually does the pickle ornament thing with my kids every Christmas. I'd never heard of the tradition before. The way he works it is that the first one to find the pickle is the first one who gets to open a present.

    Cool! I had no idea they built one here! Learn something new every day.

    I'd say your problem started with the words "veggie wrap". :crazy2::rotfl2:

    Anyway, I will agree that anytime spent at WDW looks far more interesting than your cube. No offense. :laughing: And it's sweet to see your son thinking of his momma. :thumbsup2
     
  14. afwdwfan

    afwdwfan DIS Dad #460

    Joined:
    Apr 23, 2010
    Messages:
    10,830
    Are you using something from a Mazda commercial to talk about a ride sponsored by GM????:rolleyes1

    No, that'll be a pretty easy job.

    I even like it better than Soarin'

    My biggest complaint about this ride is the part where it shows you your speed. That number is nowhere near big enough. Let's grab another gear and get this thing moving! :rotfl2:

    The Mexico Pavillion at EPCOT... the only place I EVER eat churros.:lmao:

    I always appreciate those little, positive interactions with other guests and I'm sure they appreciated the help! :thumbsup2:thumbsup2

    I do think it has it's flaws, but I have to admit, I appreciate those who don't understand it. :thumbsup2 :rotfl2:

    That's where it started and ended.:lmao:
     
  15. GoofyIsAsGoofyDoes

    GoofyIsAsGoofyDoes Dis Dad #469 . . . . "Nation Ford", SC

    Joined:
    Jan 20, 2007
    Messages:
    6,097
    Y’all are quick.

    I suspected as much. :thumbsup2


    Your points are well taken, but even knowing how it works won’t always help when the place is packed. That’s really the only time that the process kind’a breaks down (but I can’t think of a better solution just now). I like ‘em and use ‘em as well, and will continue to do so. I may not return during the holidays anymore, but, my son is just about done with school, so I’ll soon have considerably more options.


    I like his version (especially for a sizable group of kids). The Germans general disavow any foreknowledge of the custom, but since it has been ascribed to them, they aren’t foolish enough to look that gift horse in the mouth. There was one entire wall of their ornament shop that was covered from toe rail to crown mold with pickles of every type, size and configuration imaginable. :eek:

    Surprised us as well. I like when they do that (and Disney surprises us often)


    :lmao: :lmao: :lmao:
    I must confess that y’all are almost certainly correct.
    From now on the mantra will be: “Meat… Meat… Meat… Meat…”


    :rotfl2:
    Guilty as charged (it suited the moment, so what the heck)

    I’m with ya’. Who do we have to contact to make that happen?


    Good choice. :rotfl:

    It’s good when you can help someone out. I know I like to get a good inside tip or learn from other’s experiences.

    I’m tryin’ to learn him.
    That was one of those great moments where you see that flicker of the man he’s becoming. Makes you proud.

    None taken… It looks exactly like the prison cell that it is.
    It ain’t no wonder I spend so much time dreaming of Disney

    And speaking of Disney Dream… Three more days!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! :woohoo:
     
  16. NOLAdisneymom

    NOLAdisneymom DIS Veteran

    Joined:
    Aug 10, 2010
    Messages:
    708


    :lmao::lmao::lmao:
    Great update, by the way..
     
  17. GoofyIsAsGoofyDoes

    GoofyIsAsGoofyDoes Dis Dad #469 . . . . "Nation Ford", SC

    Joined:
    Jan 20, 2007
    Messages:
    6,097
    Thanks!
    Honestly I’m almost having too much fun writing this up. I’m looking forward to writing a TR for the trip we’re starting in a couple of days almost as much as I am tickled silly to be going in the first place.

    Now, If only I could figure out how to get someone to pay me for this nonsense.
    :rolleyes1
     
  18. GoofyIsAsGoofyDoes

    GoofyIsAsGoofyDoes Dis Dad #469 . . . . "Nation Ford", SC

    Joined:
    Jan 20, 2007
    Messages:
    6,097
    Chapter 8 – Day-5

    - Part 1: A Riverside Retrospective


    I was up early the next morning. I had begun to miss my own bed at home and some where a bit before sunrise my back sent a ransom notice up toward the brain. Now I didn’t actually see this note, but I know it was written in blood and I’m pretty sure it read something like: “I am now in control… Pain will be the weapon of choice… I will continue to apply said weapon with increasing intensity to all other areas of the body unless you immediately acquiesce to my demands for applied vertical positioning! There will be no deviation form this demand or farther discussion on this subject!!!!” My brain got the message and relented to the demands. I know you’re not supposed to negotiate with terrorists, but my back really did have both the upper hand and the moral high ground going for it in this situation.

    Being as I was up… I decided to head on over to the dinning hall to pick up that morning’s beverages and have one last chance at snapping some pictures of the grounds. Unlike yesterday… I remembered to carry the camera around with me and also remembered to put it to use. The upshot of this is that you now have pictures to draw your attention away from my belabored attempts at prose. The down shot is that you now have to endure more of my mangled excuses for photography. So let the mangling begin…

    A few predawn shots around the Acadian House
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    A couple of shot toward Fulton's & the Dinning Hall from “Ol' Man Island”
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    Around the lobby area
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    Boatwright's
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    More of the main common areas
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    Over toward Alligator Bayou
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    The main pool
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    A bit more of the Acadian House
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    The fountain in the daylight
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    A shot back toward our room (ground floor- third window left of the grand staircase)
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    When I got back, every one else was stirring, so I handed out the hot drinks and started loading cases and bags into the car. It’s about this time that my real world decided to intrude on my vacationing world. This assault took the form of a phone call from one of my fellow “associates” back at the office. Before we left on this expedition, I had set up a few automated processes to ensure that all the data required for budgeting and day to day number crunching would be available each morning and would also be recalculated and available daily after lunch. But… It seems that some minor changes were made to the numbers by one of the plant engineers that morning after the automated run. The controller wasn’t going to be there after lunch, and they really wanted me to go ahead and rerun a couple of the processes sooner (even though no one was going to be there tomorrow because it was Christmas Eve… or be there the next day for obvious reasons… of the entire following weekend for additionally obvious reasons… and they really weren’t actually finished with the calculations… and they would be making additional changes later on that morning so even these weren’t final… and they really didn’t plan to do any serious analysis until after New Year’s ANYWAY!!!!!!!!!)


    **Deep breath… count to ten…**

    Me: “OK”, I can do this for you but I need to pay for an internet hook up and it will probably take about an hour or better before I can get in there and get it back to you.”

    Them: “Why will it take that long, don’t you have a laptop at home?”

    Me: “Yes, but I’m not at home so I need to get hooked up first and then start up on the possessing.”

    Them: “You’re not at home… Where are you?”

    Me: “Orlando…”

    Them: “Oh lord, I didn’t know that. Never mind I don’t really need it that bad… it can wait.”



    Sanity wins out…
     
  19. GoofyIsAsGoofyDoes

    GoofyIsAsGoofyDoes Dis Dad #469 . . . . "Nation Ford", SC

    Joined:
    Jan 20, 2007
    Messages:
    6,097
    Chapter 8 – Day-5

    - Part 2: We’ll still be here…


    Now that Id been re-given permission to actually be on vacation and use my time as I saw fit, I finished packing up the car. We did a collective “idiot check” of the room to ensure that we hadn’t forgotten anything and then bid a fond but misty fare-the-well to Port Orleans Riverside. As we would be heading home later on, we decided to make use of the “AT” system (Alternate Transportation). Namely… our car. We had no problem at all returning to EPCOT that morning…

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    …and had only a short walk from the car to the gate. Somewhere between the bag check and the card readers, Tamara announced: “I’m Sad.” (And you really need to experience the absolutely adorable and almost heart breaking “little-girl-pout” that went along with this pronouncement to get the true effect that it had on me). Concerned and taken aback I inquired as to what was wrong. She confided to not being ready for the trip to be over so soon and wanted to stay longer. Before I could attempt to console her, one of the CMs working the gate overheard this exchange and quickly chimed in: “We’ll still be here!” It was almost as if she’d reach out and hugged us. :grouphug:

    That broke through the momentary bout of melancholy and we all laughed. But facts are facts. It was still our last day on property (and only a partial one at that) so we needed to make the best of it.

    Futureworld opened at 9:00 and we were there shortly after that. Once through the turnstiles, we took the walk down toward the core and on over to the land pavilion to see if we could catch Sorin’ one last time. We were greeted by visions of disappointment. It was only twenty minutes after rope drop, yet the stand-by was already 90 minutes and the passes were returning in the afternoon. That just wasn’t going to work. Well no matter. We were here for a different purpose entirely so this would just have to be a day without rides.

    :scared1: Whoa! Someone call 911… I think all my readers just fainted!

    It is possible to travel to Disney, and not get on an attraction (it’s just that few folks will consider it). We were considering it today, but I’ve since learned something that might have changed things a bit. If you miss your window for a Fast Pass, you can still come back later and they’ll generally allow you into the queue (so long as you still have the passes and they are for the same day). Had I known that, I’d have picked up those afternoon passes for Sorin’ and hit it on the way back to the car just before we left for home. It would have been a perfect closer to the day. Without that info however, I wasn’t sure that we could make the one-hour return window without fouling up the rest of our plans (which is what had happened yesterday). Live and learn. I’ll do that one better the next time (and just maybe one or two of y’all will now be spared the prospect of making that same error).
     
  20. GoofyIsAsGoofyDoes

    GoofyIsAsGoofyDoes Dis Dad #469 . . . . "Nation Ford", SC

    Joined:
    Jan 20, 2007
    Messages:
    6,097
    Chapter 8 – Day-5

    - Part 3: One little Ride


    In truth… we would catch one ride this day (well it’s more of a giant video game, but close enough). We headed over to Inoventions West where we’d seen something new the day before. The name of this “something” is “The Sum of all Thrills”.

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    This is a cross between the “edutainment” that is prevalent throughout this section of the park and a motion simulator. It’s also the first “ride” to make an appearance in the Inventions area of EPCOT. “Sum” was developed by Disney in partnership with Raytheon and allows you to apply basic math skills while getting an engineering demonstration. The premise is that you’re designing your own thrill ride, but the prize is that you ultimately get to experience you’re handy work.

    As “Associate Engineers” you are assigned to a touch screen station where you are invited to design their own adventure in the form of either a rollercoaster, a bob-sled track or a jet flight routine. You are given basic virtual tools and are asked to put together this hypothetical attraction by adding different elements. As you build the prototype by linking up various corkscrews maneuvers, stomach-churning drops and hard abrupt turns, the mathematical formulas for velocity, force and acceleration are also displayed on the screen. You get to run simulations of each element and are shown the potential results of making faulty calculations. Once you’ve completed your masterpiece, it is stored into the memory of one of several robotic simulators and then they strap you in and send you on your way. Tamara decided to let the boys tackle this one and tried to take a few pictures while we were being tossed around like so much wet laundry in a spin cycle.

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    Max and I had designed a flight routine for a fighter jet that was performing its maneuvers in a southwestern canyon environment. The result was very cool to say the least and I’ll highly recommend this mini attraction to anyone that has a little extra time.
     
  21. GoofyIsAsGoofyDoes

    GoofyIsAsGoofyDoes Dis Dad #469 . . . . "Nation Ford", SC

    Joined:
    Jan 20, 2007
    Messages:
    6,097
    Howdy Folks!

    I’ve been AWOL for a little while. We headed out on our latest Disney Adventure a couple of weekends ago (and a good time was had by all I assure you). Now that we’re back home there have been a lot of things that just needed to be taken care of before I could get back around to finishing up this TR. I hope to be able to complete this thread by next weekend and get started on a next one, but we’ll se how that goes. I’ll put up the next couple of installments from the last day of out Christmas adventure in the next post or two, but in the mean time…

    Here’s a little teaser of the new TR that will be assaulting the boards in the near future.
    popcorn::


    Bonus Feature 4: The Preview

    ***screen fades to black… ominous music begins… voice over commences***

    “In a world… where mice and ducks are in command… where roller coasters are no longer physically tied down to one spot on the map… where sea turtles interrogate human captives… where even the pictures on the walls will move and change on a whim… three bewildered travelers will embark on a strange journey… before it all over… they will be seeing double…"

    GoofyIsAsGoofyDoes Productions Ltd. presents:

    Experiment-627: A Caribbean double with a Wilderness chaser (Summer 2011)

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    … coming to a DisBoard near you.



    I hope some of y’all will join me on that tip as well. Now then… Where was I before I so rudely interrupted you?
     

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