Discussion in 'Disney Trip Reports' started by xlsm, Jan 6, 2019.
Loved the tour, how cool is C!
And that mac and cheese hot dog, lawd!
Thanks for sharing your VIP experience. I don't think that's something I'll ever get to do myself, so it was really interesting for me to read about it and hear your opinions on the opportunity.
I bet they will have a different cost for Star Wars... But might still be worth it!
What a cool experience! Its interesting how C's personality changed from the beginning of the day to the end but I imagine there are quite a few stuffy people who pay for the tours who wouldn't want a goofy tour guide. I think it's now on my bucketlist to do a VIP tour someday!
I love knowing you had a similar experience with your guide!! It makes me so curious about the training process, and how they hand pick the guides, because you know they have to be the best of the best. We will constantly be on the lookout every trip from now on, I hope we get to run into him again!!
Considering we were only at MK for a few hours, I was thrilled we could fit in everything we wanted!! If a couple of the FP lines hadn't been long, I think we'd have been able to fit in a couple more.
He was awesome, we loved him!!
LOL, it wasn't something I'd normally order, but I could not resist!! It was not easy to eat, however...thank goodness for forks
I never, ever thought we'd have that opportunity either. I'm glad we got to have the experience, for us, but also to just see how it all works! Is that weird?? I like finding new ways to see the ins and outs of the whole Disney operation.
Having a guide for just a regular day doesn't appeal to me, but for a unique experience like Star Wars, I can see the draw.
Now THAT'S what I'm really curious about - whether or not they'll have a special price for Star Wars. What I really want is for them to do either an AP event, or some kind of early preview time with limited tickets, or something. I'm just excited about it in general, honestly!!
After experiencing, I think that first hour or so with us was him just trying to read our personalities. I feel like we got his authentic self. I agree - the guides have to adapt to all sorts of groups, and they can't all be as awesome as you or me, right?? I mean, come on, we know there are jerks out there getting guides!!
I am also curious! They really make you feel so special. I had that same awkward beginning phase with mine. They definitely need to observe and figure out the best way to connect with you. I would love to book him again in the future. I just need to figure out the optimal way to do it. I love your idea of Star Wars!
I always joke with my family if I ever won the lottery the first purchase would be Golden Oak and Club 33. One can dream, right? Disney taught me that haha
SAME!! DH and I both say this
Joining in a bit late, but this seems like such a fun report so far, even with your struggles getting to Florida (the reasons why I will not fly domestically on any airline except Southwest or JetBlue). I'm also glad I'm not the only one who really prefers Soarin' Around The World over the original California one.
I loved reading about your VIP. Being a plaid, either in tours or Guest Relations, would be such a dream. Every person I know who has done it has really loved it. I mean, those costumes alone seem so worth it. And C seemed like he ended up really fitting in. You should definitely try to book him for when Galaxy's Edge opens, that would be so much fun.
Can't wait to read about the rest of your trip!
Welcome aboard!! Never late, just making an entrance!!
Haha, we refuse to fly Southwest and sadly don't have JetBlue as an option. Delta is our preferred carrier, and we have the AmEx that gets us bonus miles and upgrades and lounge access and all that jazz. Now check with me if that ever happens again and I might be singing a different tune Where we live, we are limited to Delta, United, American, and Allegiant, unless we want to drive 2 to 3 hours to a larger city. By the time we do that, we've spent enough on hotels and driving to where we just might as well fly out of our home airport. It is incredibly annoying!! I mean, I could go on for hours about how much I hate our plane options, and I may or may not obsess over it every time we go somewhere
He was so perfect for us! Like, if there was a dating app to match someone with the perfect plaid, he'd have been our choice hands down. It absolutely seems like a dream job, and I laughed at your comment on costuming - I've read your reports before, and about your time on CP, so I have to ask: do you also judge best roles and costumes based on how hot they'd be in the bazillion degree heat?? That's basically my criteria for how I pick and choose which jobs I'd want at the parks Or by what they have to wear when it's cold, because the coats CMs wear on Splash and Big Thunder when it's cold look like a nightmare, how do they even move in those bulky things?? I also sit and think about how I'd be handling summer in a HM maid's dress, lol! (i'd figure out a way to just deal with that one, I think!!)
Thank you, I can't wait to share some more!! I love reliving the trip, this was a great one for us!!
Finally all caught up!
This was such a fun read! I've always wondered about the tour guides so this was very insightful
Can't wait to hear about your Epcot day!
Good morning, again!!
I"m currently watching Rent (semi) Live on my DVR...I'm a huge fan, and have even seen original Roger and Mark perform the show, so I'm trying to hang in there with this one. This Angel doesn't have the voice for it, sadly. Jordan Fisher however, is a treasure and we should all just be happy he exists. I'm only up to I'll Cover You, so we'll see how it finishes!
I also have a meeting to get to in the next 20 minutes or so, which means there's probably no way I'll get through this post in one sitting, but I might as well try!!
Chapter Six: Um, it's an Epcot day??
Sorry, no time for a good chapter title. I know, I know. I'm slipping. Back when I first started trip reporting I always had chapter title themes, like song titles/lyrics, or whatever. Those days are over, I think. I'm old now and I play word games on my phone to keep my brain active
This is one day that experience MAJOR MAJOR changes after we discovered we were getting our VIP guide the day before.
Originally this day was supposed to be: PPO Crystal Palace breakfast, beginning our MK day in Tomorrowland, and Fast Passes for SDMT, Peter Pan, and Splash (in other words, what we told our guide the day before that we wanted to hit)
We had dinner reservations at Shula's and plans to watch Illuminations for potentially the last time.
NONE OF THIS HAPPENS.
Well, we do end up watching Illuminations!!
Our plans are now a full day at Epcot, with not awesomely timed FPs for Living with the Land, Spaceship Earth, and Soarin'.
We don't even do all of those new things!!
So what DO we do??
We get up early (well, three of us do), walk to the TTC and hop on a monorail. X decided to stay back and sleep in.
While on the monorail, I decided that maybe we didn't want to stand around waiting for the park to open for an hour...what were the chances I could find an early breakfast??
Pretty good, apparently, b/c while on the monorail I scored a PPO Garden Grill breakfast!! I couldn't find one for a party of three, but a party of four was right there waiting. Awesome!!
We visited GG on our December 2016 trip and while character interaction was amazing, the food was not. Hopefully this time would be different in the food department!!
Breakfast plans in place, I let myself enjoy the scenery from the monorail
If you dislike pictures of Spaceship Earth this might not be the post for you, because there's going to be a lot more!! Park icons are park icons for a reason...they never get old, and I still feel the need to take 9,000 pictures of them every single visit. Guess what I'm going to be doing in June and September?? Taking 9,000 more each time!!
We arrived at the park and made it easily through security. I went bagless every day this trip, with DH keeping my ID and AP in his wallet. This only became a problem when I would buy things and he'd have my stuff and I wanted to get my AP discount.
They let us in pretty quickly in the early breakfast line. Early breakfast is better at parks not named Magic Kingdom, b/c I feel like less people do them. Or at least, it's easier to get people-less pictures of things in them.
**side note from my Rent viewing - Vanessa Hudgins is pretty legit**
**It's now two hours after I started this update...post one meeting, pre-Odyssey of the Mind practice. Ten more minutes to see how far we can get!**
After taking the time to check out the topiaries and general amazingness around Spaceship Earth, we started making our way toward breakfast. Why did we want to get ourselves inside the park early?? Well, aside from just preferring to eat instead of stand outside the gates, we wanted to do THIS:
Wreck It Ralph and Vanellope were a must do for me, and everyone else was actually excited to meet them, too.
It seemed like most people were going to Akershus this morning, or else we were just way ahead of the other groups on the way to Garden Grill. We weren't moving all that fast though, so
Obligatory photo of restaurant entrance:
We were seated pretty quickly, and led to a table almost exactly where we were located before.
The first time we ate here in December 2016, we were most looking forward to the cinnamon roll skillet. Sadly, it did not live up to the hype that time around. Would the good luck of even FINDING this reservation at the last possible minute continue??
It was ooey. It was gooey. It was cinnamon-sugary perfection. Can I have five more, please??
The fruit bowl on the other hand...
Not very impressive, huh?
The strawberries ended up being pretty good, but not the best fruit bowl ever.
Drinks were pog juice and water all around, with coffee for me and DH
Pluto came out to visit us right away
He was a delight as always!! I don't think I've ever had a bad meet with Pluto anywhere. We love him!
The big boss man, our main mouse Mickey was up next:
**This is the most patchwork update ever!! I started typing this around 11:15am and it's now 5:19pm. I am determined to get this finished b/c every other day this week is as crazy as this one!**
After Mickey came Dale, aka The Best Chipmunk Ever.
My very favorite picture:
After Dale came...food!!
The Mickey waffles were cooked perfectly, and this time they brought regular syrup with them. Last time it was only the melty nutella-esque stuff (which, while delicious, does not taste good on the Mickey waffles in our opinion. The flavors do not mesh well.)
And here's the other stuff, after we'd all helped ourselves. Oops! Maybe it can just be my trademark to show you half eaten food pictures??
Has anyone ever actually had GOOD eggs at a Disney breakfast, or are we all just in agreement that they're kind of wet and blah?? The "potato barrels" (Quit trying to make Fetch happen, Disney. They're tater tots.) were awesome, crispy and salty and beautiful. The sausage was pretty good, and the bacon...well, Disney bacon is a lot like Disney eggs, isn't it? Honestly this particular bacon was slightly elevated b/c it was crispier than usual. Crispy bacon is winning bacon!!
While we were eating, our final furry friend arrived...Chip!
Two visits to Garden Grill, two AMAZING character experiences. Hands down, one of my absolute favorites. And this time the food was much better, too. So here's a restaurant that went from me never needing to go back, to something that is now one of our preferred breakfast locations.
The characters and food all came out so quickly that we were finished by 8:30!! Half an hour until park opening, can you believe it?? We admired an empty Epcot
and found a bench by the doors to the Wreck It Ralph meet and just enjoyed a bit of quiet
we watched the birds playing in the bushes
and the monorail passing by
Xavier had texted us that he had made it to Epcot, and I told him we were already inside b/c we booked a last minute breakfast, and where he could find us when he made it in. He managed to get himself close to the front of the pack and we were reunited pretty quickly.
He did not appreciate my efforts at photos. At this point, are any of you shocked??
I promise you he's actually a decently agreeable kid. As agreeable as a 15 year old boy can be, anyway. But it wouldn't be a family trip to WDW if he looked happy in too many pictures. It's tradition. Can't break a tradition, I guess
A few people had managed to get ahead of us b/c of our reunification, but we were like the third group to meet Ralph I think. Yep, sadly just Ralph. Vanellope was unavailable that morning, and I was really disappointed. They said she'd be there later, but later the line was long If they're still meeting in June I'm dragging DH back so I can meet her. She's bucket list for me, I love her so much.
I think we're supposed to be being strong in that last one?? We didn't do a very good job
This meet was awesome!! We had so much fun with Ralph, and he had a great handler and photopass photographer there that got in on the action.
Overall this morning was A++++++ for characters, and it got our day off to a good start!
It is now 5:46pm but I finally got this update finished!! Not sure when I'll get the next installment up, so in the meantime, have an amazing week! Stay warm if the polar vortex is coming your way (we'll be in the teens tomorrow, but 60s over the weekend), and I'll see you real soon!!
Thank you! I honestly felt like our day with the guide was as much about me having the opportunity to "review" it, as it was about our family enjoying having the experience. I am so grateful we had the opportunity.
I want to talk about Rent. I heard Idina Menzel in October. You just can't beat the diva at her own game.
Jordan Fisher was good.
I'm a huge Adam Paschcal fan. Aida. So good. I liked this guy as Roger.
Agree about Angel.
Jesse L Martin gives my husband goosebumps. Collins gave his all, but he didn't make it.
Mimi was a no go. Nu uh. Nope.
I still liked the production, though!
I had meetings so I had to pause after La Vie Boheme...not an awesome rendition of that at ALL. I mean, what the heck did they do to that song/scene?? I haven't had the chance to watch any more yet.
I liked Mario as Benny, did not love the guy playing Tom Collins. I'm with your husband on Jesse Martin, he's amazing. This guy was ok, but I wasn't feeling it. Then I wondered if it was just b/c Angel was kind of a terrible singer and I just can't get past it b/c they perform together so much.
The Mimi was not very convincing.
I felt bad this Roger (who looks so familiar to me) broke his ankle and they had to use dress rehearsal footage. But I thought he did ok. Adam Pascal just IS Roger for me, it's hard for me to see anyone else play it. And I can't accept anyone else singing One Song Glory. I thought I felt the same with Anthony Rapp as Mark, but I adore Jordan Fisher so much that I couldn't help but enjoy it.
Yeah, no one compares with Idina, but I felt like Vanessa held her own in a role that's so different from what she's known for. She sang well, and went all in on Over the Moon, and it wasn't bad.
Should I keep watching the rest of it or will I be terribly disappointed??
I think you should finish. You may be disappointed, but I think it's worth seeing it to the end. The lady from The Greatest Showman was fantastic.
Garden Grill is one of our favorites. Our first visit didn't go so well either (at least for me) but our second time was great.
Meeting Ralph and Vanellope were musts for us too. We actually got to meet them twice! The boys loved it!
Oh and since I just lurked on your update with the VIP tours.... still jealous! It sounded awesome. I especially love the HEA experience. I'm to the point where I just want to see it in the park so I can see the castle projections.
I got to start off discussing RENT "live" because I have a lot of thoughts. I'm also a huge fan (and of theater/musical theater in general... I did graduate with a minor in theater lol). I saw the off-Broadway revival as well as an amateur production than I've also seen the Filmed Live on Broadway movie and the actual movie. All were VERY differently done so I think I have a different view on how it should be done. I think Jordan Fisher is the best Mark yet. His rendition of Halloween hit me harder than any rendition I've seen before even Anthony Rapp's rendition. Vanessa also was fantastic as Maureen, which shocked me since I watched vids of her as Mimi at the Hollywood Bowl and did not like it but Maureen she went all in, not better than Idina (who I don't really like as a musical theater actress so this a lot for me to say). Her and Jordan held the show together. I think Brandon Victor Dixon was great (I recommend watching the concert the cast performed while the pre-recorded dress rehearsal was shown), but Jessie L. Martin... you just can't beat that voice. I LOVE Valentina, the drag queen who played Angel, so I'm a bit biased but she is new, she's not a trained theatrical actor or singer like the rest and I felt so bad she choked during "Today 4 U", that's a difficult song but overall I felt she turned it out and I'll Cover You and Contact were really well done. Tinashe was good, I personally think everyone's being harsh about her. Her voice wasn't great. Brennin Hunt was bland af as Roger and the biggest disappointment for me. Mario was forgettable as Benny. Joanne was good, nothing incredible. I hated how censored they made it and what they censored (like it just didn't make sense some times) and all the added script, it was so distracting and didn't add anything. "Contact" was staged beautifully and that final image was unreal. I thought "La Vie Boheme" was very nuanced choreo-wise and had cute nods to the original choreo so I liked that (changes to lyrics tho... ew). Act 2 overall was stronger than Act 1. And the finale had me in tears, that was the big highlight. Overall, I enjoyed it but I am bitter they didn't have an understudy. It was so unprofessional imo Still, as a Rent-head, I'm just glad the world knows more of such an incredible show.
Ok, that got long, oops. Please don't feel like you have to respond to all of that lmao (the theater buff/student just went WILD)
Anyways, the update!
Love all your Spaceship Earth photos. The emptiness and the calm of the morning are just so evident, it looks so beautiful. And gotta love those character topiaries.
So glad despite having to change all your plans, you had a great morning! I love Garden Grill, but haven't been in nearly ten years back when it was only dinner. Loved the food, loved the characters (Pluto is ALWAYS the best), but this definitely has me wanting to try breakfast there. And your character selfies are so sweet, especially the one where Dale gave you a hug. Best chipmunk for sure.
I'm sorry you didn't get to see Vanellope with Ralph. I met them back when they were at Studios when the Animation building existed and the first movie had recently come out (feels so long ago WOW) and she was the highlight (didn't even realize Ralph was there tbh). You gotta go back to see her. Glad you still had fun with Ralph. Having the whole family and the other CMs there, it's more fun when everyone is involved.
Honestly, no haha I love the heat! I spent a whole day at Disneyland in up to 116 degrees and it was one of my favorite days, nobody was at the park so I was living for all of it, could care less it felt like an oven outside and if I wasn't comfy (you're gonna be uncomfortable one way or another with FL or CA heat in the summer). I mostly judge on what I think I'd enjoy the most. Like I'd love to work Haunted Mansion just because of the character you have to take on, same with Character Performer or Attendant. Also a good amount roles have multiple costumes, like attractions and food & beverage roles, so I feel like judging the costume is way too much foresight in judging a role since it's just one factor and you're not guaranteed it. It's all up to what I think fits me personally and what would be enjoyable for me. If I was having fun, I could care less how I looked or how hot I was in the costume.
We didn't even ride it our first like 5 trips or so I think? (Well Josh rode it back when it was Soarin' Over California but I didn't). I liked it a lot once we did ride it!
I love this too! My lock screen is that super pretty sunset I saw at Disney in May
I may have googled videos of Haunted Mansion with the lights on the other day... I really want to see under the ball room.
He did better than I did when I tried to monorail back to the room by myself after that MVMCP where Josh got a headache
I love that you have the same taste in cupcakes
I can't watch those "live" Broadway shows they keep doing every year, I always find them really disappointing.
I really want to go back there! I haven't been since 2015.
I can't remember did you ever get to Shula's?
I love her, I follow her on Instagram, and for the month of October she posted Halloween stuff 24/7
I didn't even know they were meeting there!
That looks yummy. We've never made it to the Garden Grill, and I want to go someday!
I once thought I had good eggs at Tusker House, but I was pretty sick that day so I think I was hallucinating. Other than that nope, never!
It's so true, stop trying to fancy them up! (That said I do love a good tater tot myself too).
Bacon twins! I also love crispy bacon, and Disney's rarely is.
Last minute restaurant decisions are the best. I feel like breakfasts tend to have the most spontaneous availability. Probably families cancelling when they realize they want to sleep in the next morning. How fast your meal went and that cinnamon roll have me really debating if I should switch my Garden Grill dinner in June to a breakfast. In and out with enough time to enjoy Epcot before park opening sounds like it was really nice.
What a bummer about Vanellope! Hope you get another chance to meet her.
Ok, if you are old there is no hope for the rest of us........
I love that breakfast!
I hope they are doing M&G's in July as it would be a must do for us too!
Puto meets are always amazing!
Now you have me thinking of adding it in this summer! I really enjoyed it when I ate there on my first solo trip.
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