COMPLETE - "I DON'T LIKE MY FAMILY!!" — A May WDW Solo Mini-Trip Report + A Summer of Art

Discussion in 'Disney Trip Reports' started by MeghanEmily, Jun 7, 2018.

  1. Terra Nova guy

    Terra Nova guy DIS Dad #811 Newfoundland, Canada

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    Hi Meghan. I somehow missed your last couple updates. :o

    I just had to say how cool Nathan's paintings are. I presume he must do some kind of Star Wars paintings too - unless I missed it (I was looking at your posts on my phone, so it's harder to see the pictures). If I'm ever in Halifax for the busker festival I'll have to say hello! I might be one day. My sister-in-law lives in Lunnenburg and we've visited a couple times. Not sure when the next time will be. But whenever it is, I would really like to go to PEI. I haven't been since I was a teenager, and my family has never been. Maybe a good summer trip. Who knows.
     
  2. MeghanEmily

    MeghanEmily DIS Veteran

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    Yes, please let me know if you're ever in the area! Lunenburg is a beautiful area - we've driven out there a couple of times. :) I hope you can get to PEI as well! I'm sure your family would find lots of wonderful things to do. On that note, I've also yet to visit Newfoundland, so I'd love to see your neck of the woods someday! If I ever go, I'll have to ask you for recommendations.
     
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  4. MeghanEmily

    MeghanEmily DIS Veteran

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    Hi, friends! I just wanted to pop in and let you know that I haven't abandoned my TRs! I've been joyfully reading your comments, and anxiously awaiting the day when I have time to return with more updates.

    The good news is that exams are almost upon me, and so soon enough I'll have a beautifully long December break and will be back here to share more stories with you.

    The even better news is that....N and I decided last week to book a spur-of-the-moment trip to WDW for New Year's!

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    I have been working hard in school, and N has been quite literally working around the clock at two jobs to keep everything running smoothly while I do so. We've been budgeting well, and N had a few more large sales at his last few holiday events than we were anticipating, so we decided that we can manage a modest WDW trip to reward ourselves...in less than a month! :hyper: We will be flying out on New Year's Eve, battling the holiday crowds for 4.5 glorious days, trying some new things, and revisiting some old favourites.

    My grandmother has gifted us a few nights at her timeshare, and our APs don't expire until mid-January, so all we have to worry about will be our flights, car, and food...lots and lots of food.

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    I have admitted defeat and decided that I don't have time to write a PTR or a TR for this short trip, but I might share a few photos and highlights on one of these threads when we get back. (I know, you're all shocked by this, with how well I've been managing my current TRs! :laughing:)

    And now, if all goes well on the studying front, I'll be back soon with a return to your regularly-scheduled programming!

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  5. missangelalexis

    missangelalexis DIS Veteran

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    YAYY!! Awesome news!! :cool1:
     
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  6. missjackiemcg

    missjackiemcg DIS Veteran

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    Yay on this TR, too ;)
     
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  7. HumblePie

    HumblePie Mouseketeer

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    I'll be there at the same time - will keep my eyes out for you! Don't be shocked if a stranger comes up and says hi! :)
     
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  8. StarWarsMomofGirls!

    StarWarsMomofGirls! DIS Veteran

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    So exciting! I saw your post on facebook. Still exciting to read each time!

    That is even better! Have a great time.

    And good luck with finals. At least now you have a carrot at the end of the tunnel to keep you motivated!
     
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  9. Terra Nova guy

    Terra Nova guy DIS Dad #811 Newfoundland, Canada

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    Nice! I would be similarly tempted if I had an annual pass and a nice grandma with a timeshare!
    I hope you enjoy it, I'm sure you can use the break.
     
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  10. pkondz

    pkondz . . Dis Dad #797 . . Hoping to get lucky

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    Ditto to what I said over there. ->
     
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  11. thumper*

    thumper* Disney Dreamer

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    Good luck with your exams.
     
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  12. Steppesister

    Steppesister DIS Veteran

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    Yay!!!

    Even bigger yay!!!!
     
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  13. MeghanEmily

    MeghanEmily DIS Veteran

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    Hi, friends! Were you beginning to give up on me? I wouldn't blame you if you were. But I'm officially done with exams for the fall term, and as of a couple of days ago, I'm on break!!

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    No, not that kind of break. The kind where I watch a LOT of Christmas movies, and the kind where I woke up this morning and cooked a turkey, "just 'cuz."

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    Wow...today's really turning into a Friends GIFs kinda day.

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    Anyway! I'm still working a couple hours a day at my seasonal side gig, singing for a Christmas carolling company:

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    I also have some reading to do over the break for my upcoming practicum and research project on communication between people with dementia in long term care and their caregivers. So I'm definitely keeping busy, but I still have much more free time than I did this time last week...which means...time for an update!!

    THE SOLO DAYS
    TUESDAY—PART 2:

    When I last left off, many moons ago, I was headed back out on the bus to spend the evening at another park. Where was I headed? Why, to Hollywood Studios, of course! I had been hoping to catch some special unofficially-scheduled character meets that day at DHS, but they ended up not happening due to rain. I wasn't too concerned though, because I knew I'd get another crack at it when I returned to WDW in August. Before leaving the hotel, I had made a FP for TSMM, so I had that to look forward to. I arrived at DHS, and hopped in and out of the rain to do a little browsing in the shops. Then I decided to catch the Little Mermaid show.

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    The rain had let up when I came out of the theatre, and I decided to head over toward the Indiana Jones stunt show next.

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    I took no pictures during the show because I was busy eating the leftover pizza I'd taken out of the hotel fridge and put in my backpack. I remember enjoying it though. The show, not the pizza. ...I mean, the pizza was fine, too, I guess. :confused3 I can't remember now if this was the first trip since I was little where I ended up seeing the show or not...it's all starting to blend together at this point. But I remember enjoying myself and thinking that N would have enjoyed it, too.

    It was time for my FP now, so I walked over in that direction...

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    Toy Story Land wasn't quite a thing yet, but I wouldn't have really wanted to go for the first time without N anyway, so that was fine with me.

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    My score ended up being a bit higher than usual, so I blame N for distracting me all those times on our previous games! My accuracy, however, did not improve.

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    I was loving having the freedom to do whatever I wanted at a moment's notice, without having to consult with someone! Next, I decided to get my voice warmed up, and join hundreds of my closest 7-year-old friends at the Frozen sing-along show!

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    I know this isn't everyone's style, but I think Disney did a great job of catering to adults and children alike with this show. I think the historians are a hoot! I was sad that Ben wasn't on that night (@equityben on Instagram,) but it was still an excellent show...

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    ...until I got a little extra snoap-y...

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    I was still in a Frozen kinda mood after the show, so I popped over to meet everyone's favourite snowman friend, Olaf! I'd never met him before, so I was pretty excited. I have a note that the family in front of me in line had a small child who was throwing an all-out fit and that the "parents were the problem, but kept blaming the kid." :headache::sad2: I remember that the child was just a toddler. They kept giving him empty threats, and then when they didn't follow through and he would start screaming/falling on the ground/generally misbehaving again, the parents and grandmother kept exclaiming to each other about how unimpressed they were that he was "being such a bad boy" etc. Or they would be like, "if you don't stop doing that, you're going to have to get picked up!" not realizing that it was the attention he was after in the first place. Then they'd pick him up, and he'd try to get down again, and they'd go, "oh you want down? Ok then, you'll have to be good!" and then put him down, only to have him start misbehaving again. The whole thing was a mess, and I'm pretty sure the 2 year-old was more clever than the adults, and that all of them were in dire need of a nap. :laughing: It was all worth it, however, when I met this guy:

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    I had grabbed a last-minute FP for Fantasmic! (not that I think it really makes any difference??) so I went to find a seat for the show. Now, I love all of the Disney nighttime spectacular shows. I'm hard-pressed to pick a favourite, because they're all wonderful for different reasons. But I love a show with a plot I can follow, and after Wishes was retired, Fastasmic! crept in as my new favourite show. I remember watching it for the first time with my mom when I was a teenager, and both of us being blown away by the water screens, and the soundtrack. I was pretty psyched to be seeing it again on this night. The rain from earlier in the day was threatening a possible return, but it never did more than mist heavily, and the show went on as expected.

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    Side note: if Genie showed up here today and offered me three wishes, one of them would definitely be to be friends with Mickey, in THIS particular role:

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    Shooting magical sparks from your hands is SO awesome, and I already have most of the choreography memorized. :hyper: (#Disneycallme! #hiremeandsponsormyvisamaybe?)

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    Nothing is more powerful than the imagination, friends! :lovestruc

    After the show, I had one of my most magical moments of the trip. It was very simple, but it still sticks with me now. Normally we try to get out of the Fantasmic! theatre as quickly as possible to beat the rush of folks headed to the busses. I'm generally an anxious person, and I find the sardine-packed shuffle out of there very stressful. I decided that night, since I had nowhere I needed to be in a hurry, that I would sit and wait for a while after the show and let the theatre empty out. I stayed there for about 15-20 minutes, and just took in the magical energy of the moment all around me. There was a father in front of me with two young daughters, and he seemed to have the same idea I did. I watched with amusement as the two girls danced in the bleachers to the post-show music, surrounded by softly falling mist, and haloed by the dewy glow of the overhead lights against the dark night. The older girl showed her younger sister how to use their bubble wand, and she beamed with pride when the little one joyfully chased and popped the bubbles she'd made for her. Most people don't understand why we keep going back to Disney, or why we'll work so hard to stretch a dollar so we can afford another expensive trip. I can't explain these small moments to them, so I don't even try, but all I know is that I only have to just be there, and Disney does the rest. Whether it's careening down a sloping track in a runaway mine train, or just being present and having the privilege of watching two young girls learn about the enchantment of Disney at night for possibly the first time, I'm always chasing that magical feeling that's got us all hooked.

    The crowds cleared before too long, and I strolled out to the front of the park. The bus stop had very long lines, but that was fine. I had been expecting that. I got on the second bus that came for ASMo, slipped quietly into my room shortly thereafter, and went to sleep. I had an exciting morning ahead of me, and I couldn't wait! :goodvibes
     
  14. Terra Nova guy

    Terra Nova guy DIS Dad #811 Newfoundland, Canada

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    Yay! Having a daughter who just finished her first semester at university, I know first hand how stressful exams are. I'm sure you are ready for a break!

    Fun! It looks like you have nice warm costumes at least.

    Well, at least you didn't take a nap like my wife did :sad2:
    I like the show, but if I'm there with my family, it's likely one we won't see again for a while.

    That's a good score, better than what I've been able to do. I wonder if it does have something to do with being alone. I find I often shout out tips for whoever is next to me and it takes my focus away, even for a few seconds makes a difference I guess.

    Hmmm...that does sound nice, I have to admit.
    I probably would never do a whole trip by myself, but next time I am absolutely dumping my family at the outlet mall and going back to the Parks myself!

    They are really going a bit overboard with the snoap lately. I thought our show was a one off, but I've seen a couple people mention this now!

    I really can't pick a favourite. I like all of them in different ways. I do appreciate a story too.

    That's a great story. It's great that people here just "get it". :)
     
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  15. missjackiemcg

    missjackiemcg DIS Veteran

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    Gah, me, too!!! I've never been lucky enough to catch that either!

    Darnit, N!

    Want to know a teacher truth about kids who misbehave....your observation is quite often the truth of it!!!

    :lovestruc:goodvibes
     
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  16. missangelalexis

    missangelalexis DIS Veteran

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    SOunds like a great night at DHS! Cute pics with Olaf!

    What a precious way to end the night :lovestruc Disney magic is real!!
     
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  17. StarWarsMomofGirls!

    StarWarsMomofGirls! DIS Veteran

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    Cute photo. Although I have to admit... I find Olaf being so large odd to me.

    I bet that family remembers that time as well. We ahve really embrassed this strategy for leaving the parks that late. It just makes the evening better. We just plan for it.
     
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  18. pkondz

    pkondz . . Dis Dad #797 . . Hoping to get lucky

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    Nope! Not even a little bit. Knew how busy you were. :hug:

    Woot!

    :laughing: Don't tell N!

    You... cooked a turkey... just... cuz.....


    :faint:

    Excellent! Wish I could see/hear that!

    Well, poop.

    Well, hello there.

    :laughing: You beat me to the punch line.

    Awwww... nice of you. :)

    :laughing: This is something I'm familiar with. Things go awry, blame the husband.

    Nice going!

    I'm thinking I may have to see this in May.

    :laughing: awww...

    :sad2:

    I'd say the 2 year old was in charge.

    I like your selfie better than the photopass shots.

    Really! Interesting.
    Then again... I think I'm going to have to agree with you. Let me see the new fireworks at MK again, then I'll decide. It beats Illuminations and ROL, though.

    No, no, no. First wish "I wish Genie was bad at math."

    Genie: "Okay. Only 3,465 wishes to go."

    :lmao:
    You're a lock for the position.

    Awwww... That brings back memories of my girls when they were little and I took them. :goodvibes

    Can't wait to hear about it! :)
     
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  19. MeghanEmily

    MeghanEmily DIS Veteran

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    THE SOLO DAYS

    WEDNESDAY—PART 1:


    While this morning was easily one of the highlights of my trip, unfortunately there aren’t many photos to prove it, so this will be more of a text-heavy post. I’ll try to keep it reasonably concise. Spoiler alert: this was the morning that I took my UnDISCOVERED Future World tour, and while I won’t be giving everything away in this update, I will be sharing a little bit of the information I learned on the tour. If you’re planning to take this tour and really want everything to stay a surprise, I’d recommend just skipping this update altogether to keep the magic alive. Before you stop reading, though, I will mention that this was an awesome tour, and I highly recommend it!!! …Okay, now you can leave.

    :wave:

    I got up early this morning, made some instant oatmeal in my room, and arrived at the bus stop at 7:14am. The bus monitor said that the next bus for Epcot was supposed to arrive at 7:15, so I waited for a minute…and then another…and then another…and then the time on the monitor changed to 7:31, and I realized that the bus must have just come before I got there. This was also about the time I realized I had forgotten my phone. I was worried about missing the next bus if it came early again, but I didn’t like the idea of being at the park by myself without it, so I turned around to head back to the room, and did the Disney-I’m-not-running-I’m-just-walking-really-fast shuffle. I made it back in time, but by then the monitor was saying 7:37. By the time the bus did arrive, it ended up being one of the only mornings where we shared a bus with all of the All Star Resorts. I was at the Music bus stop, which was first. Then we went to Movies, and then Sports. By the time we pulled out of Sports en route to Epcot, it was 7:49am. For someone who had initially arrived at the bus stop 35 minutes prior, and who was concerned about arriving on time to check in for my morning tour, I wasn’t thrilled at this point. But I guess this is exactly why it’s important to give yourself lots of time with Disney transportation. I ended up arriving with time to spare, and all was well.

    It’s also surprising to me that this morning ended up being such a fond memory for me, because it was rainy and gross off and on all morning. When I headed in to Epcot to check in for my tour, it was looking very gloomy…

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    …and I was in my rain jacket.

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    I checked in behind the pin station beyond Spaceship Earth, where I met my guide, Kiershta, and was given a water bottle. I didn’t take any pictures of Kiershta on my tour, nor of anything else for that matter (#BadDiser,) but I did find this awkwardly goofy photo of her in her tour guide costume from The Mouse for Less website.

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    There were two other people on my tour, and they were close to my age. One was a cast member, whose name was also Meghan, and the other was her brother, I believe. It was raining right along, and we hid under the semi-shelter of the outdoor sitting area near Electric Umbrella. Kiershta showed us some old photos on her ipad while she talked us through the early history and the purpose behind Epcot. We learned some interesting facts, like how Walt created fake company names to purchase the land for the Florida project because he knew that it would cost more if people knew the Disney company was buying it. She told us the story that some of you may know about how eventually a reporter figured it out and shared her suspicions that Disney was buying the land, and the price of land skyrocketed. The first acre of land Walt purchased cost him $80, and by the time he’d finished buying up land, the last acre had risen in price to about $80k.

    Then we went over to Spaceship Earth, and learned a lot about its history and construction. SE is one of my favourite things about Epcot, so this was really interesting to me. I won’t share everything that we learned, in case you ever want to take the tour and learn about it all yourself, but a few things I thought were interesting: SE is self-cleaning and water-resistant on the outside, which is why they don’t need to pressure wash it constantly. It also has an internal gutter system where water enters at the center of each cluster of triangles, so that when it rains, like it was doing that day, the water doesn’t roll down the sides of the geodesic sphere in a waterfall and drown the guests below. (Kiershta also taught us about how the water rides at Disney use a chemical called bromine in the water, rather than something harsher like chlorine, and it’s kinder to guests’ skin and clothing. It also gives Disney water rides their distinct smell—one of my favourite smells of all time!) We rode SE with Kiershta and learned about a lot of hidden Mickeys, fun tidbits, and reused animatronics on Spaceship Earth, but I’ll leave those as mysteries for you to discover on your own.

    Next, we went to the Seas pavilion. Kiershta told us that you could fit all of Spaceship Earth inside the Seas pavilion, drive a friendship boat all the way around it, and still have space. We got to go inside and see the Living Seas Salon, which is beautiful, and is sometimes booked for events and weddings. (If we’d had an unlimited budget for our wedding, I would have liked to have a reception here!)

    (There are not my photos. Like I said, no pictures, bad Diser, etc. I found them on the Disney Event Group website.)
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    Here, Kiershta told us lots about the marine life at Epcot, including how the dolphins are housed alone because they can be bullies….who enjoy making up game like “Stingray Spin,” where they used to grab the stingrays in their mouths and toss them to each other like Frisbees!!
    :eek: As peaceful and beautiful as this portion of the tour was, I was glad when we moved on to the Land pavilion because I was beginning to have to pee!! Too much water!!

    At the Land pavilion, Kiershta pointed out something I’d never even thought of before…that the outside of the Land is built like a volcano!! She also pointed out to us that the mosaic mural, which is done by the same artist as the one in Cinderella Castle, is identical on each side except for one tile, which symbolizes the artist’s signature. I challenge you to look for it next time you have some time to kill! (If anyone would like to know where it is, feel free to send me a message, or I’m sure you can find it with a bit of googling.) We also took a closer look at the design of the inside of the Land, and how it mirrors the natural world, with dirt and grass at the bottom, and blue sky at the top, etc. We took a break at the point (some of us had to pee!) and met up afterward by Soarin’.

    We went backstage behind Soarin’ and learned a bit more about the ride. Then Kiershta showed us where they clean all the 3D glasses for the rides at Disney World, and told us a bit about the process. If you’ve ever been concerned about the germiness of wearing 3D glasses at Disney, do not fear! They sanitize around 75 000 pairs of glasses a day.

    Then we went to Mission Space, and we ducked into a little alcove outside the ride near a cast-member-only door because the skies had just begun to let go again. I’ve seen a lot of heavy rain in the summer trips I’ve taken to Florida, but rarely have I seen it rain like this. The accompanying thunder sounded like it was rattling the whole park! Even Kiershta, who had lived in Florida for years, was quite impressed. She talked to us a bit about the ride, and in the 5-10 minutes we stood there, she caught probably 10 different people who were trying to exit the ride from the door beside us that was marked “Cast Members Only,” which she kindly pointed out to all of them, and which they all blatantly disregarded. Then we went up to see the HP lounge inside the Mission Space ride, and Kiershta talked a bit about the transition from Horizons (its predecessor) to Mission Space, and about how Walt was interested in space exploration. When we left there, Kiershta also talked to us about Test Track, but we couldn’t ride because it was down due to the rain. One thing that I found interesting was that, due to the speed of the cars on Test Track, the spacing between them is very important for safety. The ride is made to self-correct if the spacing gets off, so if you’re ever in a car on Test Track and you feel it jerking on the track, it’s actually self-correcting, at least according to Kiershta. If it can’t correct on its own, the cars on the track all shut down.

    Next, we had a unique part of the tour—visiting cast services and creative costuming! I won’t ruin the surprise too much in case anyone doesn’t want to know about what backstage is like, but it was a really interesting experience to see where cast members deal with different affairs, and where costumes are housed and repaired. There is a larger center off-site where less ornate costumes are made and mended by hand, like the regular costumes you see most cast members wearing on a regular basis. The more intricate costumes, like those belonging to face and fur characters, are typically cared for there at creative costuming at Epcot. I had never thought about it before, but they also are responsible for sewing and mending costumes for animatronics, which go through regular wear and tear and need maintenance from time to time. The dog from Living with the Land, I believe, was getting a little TLC when we were there. The amazing artists who make these costumes were gracious enough to answer our questions and to tell us a few fun stories.

    Finally, our tour ended with Kiershta showing us some photographs of historic moments, and of concept art for future plans for the parks, and then talking a bit about the Odyssey building. We finished our tour, and we all parted ways, just as the skies opened up again to drench us. In a way, I counted the rain a blessing, because it helped us to stay cool. I had been worried about participating in a 4-hour walking tour at the end of May since my health condition is heat-sensitive, and I never ended up having a problem thanks to the rain. I was beginning to feel hungry, so I splashed my way around the World Showcase to get some chicken fingers and fries at the American Adventure pavilion. By the time I finished my lunch, the rain had mostly let up again. This worked out perfectly, because I had something else on my solo trip wish list: henna at the Morocco pavilion. :hyper:

    I went there next, and had a pretty flower drawn onto the back of my shoulder. The two women beside me were getting tattoos from another artist, and I could tell that the two of them had already made quite a serious attempt at the Drinking Around the World challenge! One of them started chatting me up, and everything I said seemed to be pretty hilarious, whether I intended for it to be or not. :cool: She got quite a kick out of asking me to give her a fist bump, and I’m pretty sure we’re friends now. :confused3 I still wonder about them sometimes…whether they ever found their way around the rest of the World Showcase loop, or if they ended up passed out in a bush somewhere near France… I never did find out, because they were still there when I left, and I decided to head straight back to the busses while the rain was taking its lunch break, so as not to ruin the beautiful work by the Moroccan tattoo artist who did this:

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    (Sorry. One of the downsides of a solo trip is that it's difficult to take a picture of your own back. :laughing:)

    On my way to the bus stop, I decided to stop one more time to ride Spaceship Earth again, and to make note of all the neat hidden things I wanted to show N when we came back to Epcot together again.

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    I took great joy in how silly I looked in my SE future video with several pairs of hands…

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    "Look, Ma! Four hands!"

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    One more wall selfie for the road, and then I was headed back to the hotel for a quick afternoon nap.

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  20. MeghanEmily

    MeghanEmily DIS Veteran

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    It's been so nice to have a bit of a break to enjoy family and forget about school for a bit! I hope your daughter has had some time to recharge as well!

    They're not bad costumes, really! They're not as warm as they look, but they leave lots of room to wear a few layers underneath, so we do okay.

    I think it probably does make a difference being alone. These are good points!

    I highly recommend it, even just taking a few hours for yourself while the girls do something you're not interested in.

    I'm glad it wasn't just me! It was very damp in that theatre.

    It's so nice to find your Disney people! You have to be one to really understand.

    We finally managed it in August, and it was wonderful fun! Hope it works out for you sometime.

    It's amazing how much comes back to the parents...

    We had a lot of fun, Olaf and I! It really was a magical night. :)

    I kind of agree with you there! It was a great meet, but it seems strange to me that he's so big! I guess it's kinda strange that Mickey and Stitch and a lot of the others are so big, too, but I don't seem to worry about that as much for some reason.

    Agreed! It really doesn't make the night so much more enjoyable when you're not rushing and getting pulled apart by crowds. It makes for a later night sometimes, but definitely worth it.

    Thanks, friend! It's been a busy time, but it was wonderful to get a bit of a break. You only understand so well because you keep so busy, yourself!

    Yeah, why not!? :) In reality, it was partly because N and I wouldn't be spending Christmas together, and I thought we should have Christmas dinner before I left to go home to my family. He had to stay in Halifax and work all Christmas, so the least I could do was cook him a turkey.

    I'll take a look this evening and see if I still have any video/audio files to post. :) (Careful what you wish for! :P)

    I think Ariel was definitely pining for you in this shot.

    He blames me occasionally as well, so I don't feel too bad about it! :) I'm lucky that he's such a good sport.

    I could be wrong, but I think it can be enjoyable no matter whether you're a Frozen fan or not.

    Yep!!!

    Thanks!

    The MK show is growing on me, but there's something about Fantasmic! that just does it for me.

    Heheh clever!!
     
  21. SweetSerenity

    SweetSerenity Thank you evenin' star!

    Joined:
    May 8, 2009
    Messages:
    1,427
    The tour sounds really cool. Thanks for sharing some of the facts.
     
    MeghanEmily likes this.

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