"One more time!" Day 4 -- Mon Dec 18th -- PropControl, Epcot, Candlelight Processional, Di

Discussion in 'Completed Trip Reports' started by Rajah, Jan 10, 2001.

  1. Rajah

    Rajah DIS Veteran

    Aug 17, 1999
    WDW Trip Report -- December 14th through the 19th

    Tammi, "Rajah", primary trip planner and trip report writer. 4th trip to the World

    Michael, "VonDrake", once again seriously in need of a vacation. Finals are rough on the instructors too ;) 3rd trip to the World

    Supporting Cast:

    Becky, long time friend of Tammi and Michael, CM at outdoor foods at MGM

    Art, new friend (this year), CM at Innoventions

    Trip dates:

    Thursday December 14, 2000 through Tuesday December 19th, 2000

    Stayed at:

    Caribbean Beach Resort Thursday through Sunday, transferring to Wilderness Lodge on Sunday

    Knowing it would be hard to get up this morning, I had the alarm set 30 minutes before we really had to be up. I kept snoozing until 7:40, then got up and was ready for the phone at 7:45, which was our backup in case the alarm didn't go off.

    I was rather tired this morning and somewhat wishing we'd decided not to go with Becky, but again as we had no way of contacting her until we met her I went ahead and got up. Besides, the idea of such a sale was quite alluring...

    However, it wasn't alluring enough to Michael and he told me to go ahead with Becky and we'd meet up back at Garden Grill for our PS at 9:30. So I finished getting ready then hurried out the door around 8:15.

    My first stop this morning was to get one of the small Wilderness Lodge refillable mugs and some coke, then to Guest Services where I hoped to pick up our tickets for tonight's Candlelight Processional quickly. Quick didn't happen. I waited about 20-25 minutes before someone was able to help me, but from there it was fairly quick. I was surprised, though, because we weren't given just tickets...we had tickets, a lanyard which held a pouch for the tickets, and a special event pin each.

    By that time, I had to hunt for Becky because I was running late, but we eventually hooked up. We finally made it on our way around 9am. Remember, Michael and I had PS for 9:30, and we're also supposed to meet Art at 10:30.

    Becky got me back to Property Control fairly quickly, and it was kinda neat to see backstage, though backstage isn't really anything to write home about other than the fact that you're "backstage of the magic". She did have to hunt for the proper parking lot for the sale, but we finally found it and got in line just after 9. It was supposed to open at 9, but they were having computer problems so the gates didn't open until 9:30. Believe me, it was a battle to decide... sale, or make the PS. The lure of the sale won out but just barely -- I figured we'd only take a few minutes inside.

    Which is true, we did only take about 15, maybe 20 minutes shopping. However, we were in line to check out for what felt like *another* 20 though likely was only 15. I did get some good deals in this "Disney flea market" (best way to describe it aside from near-madhouse and "free for all") -- several shirts, including a couple I'd been looking at earlier, and a black 2000 bag which we ended up needing at the end of the trip. I was hoping for ornaments, but people had wiped those out as soon as they were put out and before we could get there. I was also hoping for a snowglobe, but didn't see any.

    So we got into line to check out, which was slow because apparently only some of the registers were working properly. And as we were standing there with only one other couple in front of us, here comes a CM carrying a box asking if anyone wants a snowglobe. He was basically stepping through the line and the people in front of us didn't want it -- so I snatched it fast! It was the Millennium snowglobe that I'd wanted back in January but didn't get then!

    We ended up getting what must have been over $100 worth of merchandise for around $30. Much savings :D

    However, a look at our watches and we saw... 10:30! We'd missed our PS by a long shot and were late for meeting Art, which I didn't know for certain Michael remembered. And I couldn't fit all this stuff in a locker, so we had to stop by the Lodge again quickly for me to drop everything off, then we were off to Epcot. I pulled out our two-way radios as soon as we reached the gate (I'd left my cell phone with Michael so couldn't call Art to see if he'd found Michael) and started trying to reach Michael. We determined that open-air the signal was reaching from the drive-in gate of Epcot to at least somewhere around the UK pavilion based on some other conversations on the channel.

    Michael apparently heard me at that distance, but it was so faint with him indoors that he had to leave the pavilion to be clear. So we finally got in touch with them, then got lost trying to find cast parking for Epcot and gave up to go to regular parking, then got caught at a gate where people couldn't get their passes to work right so we were in line for a while to get through. By the time we walked up to the Land, it was 11am...too late for breakfast.

    Backtrack time....back to this morning...

    Michael ended up getting up not long after I left, and then he found my sunglasses, which I'd left on the counter, and the note that said to pick up the Candlelight Processional tickets. I hadn't specified *which* of us was to pick that up, nor had I told him I'd gotten them.

    So he finished getting ready, watching the CMs try to shoo the ducks out of the pools while he was drinking his coffee, then kindly went down to guest services to pick up the tickets...

    ...which weren't there.

    For some reason, the receipt machine kept printing out nothing but a blank piece of paper for our receipt. Apparently, no one had ever had one member of their party pick up the tickets then had the other member try to do the same. At least not when this CM was on duty.

    Michael said they spent a good 20 minutes trying to figure out what was going on until the guy who helped *me* returned from break. He recognized the name and asked what my first name was, then cheerfully explained I'd already picked them up. :eek:

    So Michael wasn't too happy when he got to Epcot around 9:40 and went to the Land... where I wasn't. Remember, Becky and I had just gotten through the gate at Property Control by this time. So he looked for us, and instead found Art, quite early for our 10:30 meeting. So at least Michael had someone to visit with while waiting for us girls to hurry up.

    They tried calling me...then realized the phone was in the backpack... which was on Michael's back. And the radios wouldn't reach that far. So they just sat and waited.

    Finally, though, we showed up. Turns out Michael still wasn't feeling well this morning so he wasn't that interested in breakfast at Garden Grill. Plus, we'd done that one last month and as I've said before, this trip really felt like an extension of our too-short trip in November so we pretty much felt like we'd already eaten there this trip. So in the end, other than Michael and Art having to wait for over an hour for us, no harm done.

    Instead, we all returned to the pasta place near Innoventions for lunch. We sat and chatted and just enjoyed the company until everyone was done eating. Then we wandered around Epcot for a while. We saw the robot around the corner and wondered how he could carry on a conversation, and Art gave us some more neat info on the robot like how it could catch a ball (or at least one can) if set up properly. Then we went to the Christmas tent and Art showed us all the window scenes that were really cute. Next was the pin cart where I hunted for the first pin in the "12 Days of Christmas" set. Oh, and a backtrack -- Over the past couple of days, Art had found the MVMCP pin for me, the one I was kicking myself for because I'd forgotten to get it!! I was so happy!! :D :D :D He also got a couple of badge-holders with a sailor-Mickey on it. Really neat :D

    Our last stop before Art had to part ways to get ready to go on stage was Mousegears where I pointed out some of the items I'd gotten at Property Control earlier that morning.

    After Art left us, we looked at some watches then headed for Test Track to get some fastpasses. It was around 1pm and the fastpasses were already set for 3:45-4:45. Michael wouldn't do the singles line, so we decided to just go get a locker then wander around World Showcase and get some pictures (normal camera...I'd run out of room on the digital again) and do some shopping.

    So after pausing by the bell organ thing in front of the tree (really neat old instrument, and I believe one of if not *the* only one still being played in the US?) we returned to the International Gateway where we got a locker and Becky, who'd injured her ankle at work a few days earlier, got a wheelchair. She found out she could get one for free as a cast member.

    I must admit, it was interesting to see what it was like to travel the parks with someone in a wheelchair. I kept telling Becky she was going to end up doing worse damage to herself trying to control that chair, but she just shook her head and kept at it. She also wanted to experience what it was like for those guests who needed a chair so she'd have more understanding as a CM. As it turns out, the thing was really more trouble than it was worth IMHO and I really gained a lot of sympathy for those who have to travel in wheelchairs all the time. Becky ended up having to get out and push her chair up hills and such a lot of the time.

    We did some shopping in France, Japan, and America as well as getting a pastry at France, but really I was just walking in a daze and apparently so was Michael. By this point, we were both too run down and it only took us to the America pavilion to realize we'd *have* to go back to the room and rest if we wanted to be able to last to the Candlelight Processional tonight. I kept passing by all the Christmas decorations and events and kinda blinking at them and going "that's neat, I want a nap" and my coke wasn't working.

    So finally after getting a gingerbread cookie and some Christmas sweatshirts in America, we parted ways with Becky and started out of the park. We paused at Italy long enough to take a quick look and take a picture of a masked lady with a mask (I know that sounds redundant, but she was.... she was wearing one, and carrying one). Rather than walking all the way around, we caught the boat over near Italy then went out to the busses and found our stop.

    There was only one other family on the bus when we arrived, and they had a cute couple of kids. The bus driver obviously loved kids because during his break he let both "drive", honk the horn, make the bus kneel, and so on. He was really good with the little ones and kept teasing them about returning in an hour. He also had a good trivia question: What is the one child in Small World that is not smiling. The answer? The clown in the balloon who's holding the "help" sign.

    We got back to the room around 3:30 and I crashed. Michael went out on the balcony to just soak up the atmosphere, and the nice breeze blowing into the room, the warm sun, and the sound of the waterfall coupled with kids playing in the pool quickly lured me to sleep. I think he joined me a few minutes later, but I mostly just remember everything luring me to sleep.

    Apparently I was out cold because I'd intended to get up at 4:15 and return for our Test Track fastpasses, but I ended up not actually getting back up until 5:15, which was the latest I could sleep before we *had* to leave to be on time for our already-paid-for dinner. Otherwise I would have napped another half hour at least.

    On our way down to the bus stop, we ducked into the Territory Lounge to look for the hidden Mickeys there and found what we thought was one. I found out later it wasn't one when I found the real one the next day.

    Our wait for a bus wasn't bad, only a few minutes, and, we ended up reaching Epcot around 5:55 -- just in time for the tree lighting ceremony. We would have liked to stay to see that, but we had to be over at Chefs de France in 15 minutes so we only stayed long enough for Cast in Bronze to play Carol of the Bells on that NEAT bell-organ. WOW, what a performance. If we could have stayed longer, we would have, but we had to go.

    Then we encountered one small snag in our plans -- Tapestry of Nations *also* started at 6:10, so we had to use the crowded designated pathways to get to Chefs de France. Because of this, we didn't have time to stop by the locker as planned. We did make it to the podium right on time, though, and then joined the ranks of those waiting to go in. We were able to watch a good portion of Tapestry of Nations before we were seated, though.

    One disconcerting thing that happened while we were waiting was someone apparently got really sick inside, because Disney medical was called and they came running in with a stretcher, then running back out with this lady lying on the stretcher and breathing through an oxygen mask. We don't know what happened, but we knew the food here is usually at least good, so it didn't put us off.

    We were seated about 15 minutes into Tapestry and put almost in the corner on the far side of the restaurant over by the dessert counter. The place seemed more crowded than usual, but it still wasn't overly-so. Our service was also a little slower than usual... either that, or it just seemed that way because we were anxious to get going.

    Michael usually gets seafood here, but after his experience with the raw tuna two nights ago and then the mediocre trout last night, he decided to stay away from fish and ordered my usual: beef tenderloin in a cabernet sauce. It was good, but not as good as usual, and I attribute that to either my also not feeling all that hot or the extra rush for the Candlelight processional.

    For those of you wondering about the procedure for the Candlelight Processional, here it is: we made reservations a month in advance (do so earlier if you want your pick of restaurant -- LeCellier was booked up, remember). The event was pre-paid so that the day of the event we just had to pick up the tickets. During that day, we got a discount (10% I think) on just about any purchases made in Epcot. For dinner, we were to arrive preferably 5 minutes prior to our PS time. Once inside, our tickets included *one* appetizer, soup, *or* salad, *one* entree from the regular menu, *one* dessert, and *one* non-alcoholic drink per person. Alcohol was extra. Tip was also included I believe.

    Well, since our service was so slow, I decided to run out between the main course and dessert (creme brule, pretty good), return to the locker and get our stuff, then come back. It didn't even take me 5 minutes to do that run, but for once our waiter was fast so Michael was already half-way through his dessert by the time I returned.

    We finally finished up dinner then hurried out to the line...which was backed up almost through Morocco -- and this was for the dinner package! I'm afraid to see what the "standby" line was like! Well, we walked past the line to the restrooms in America (where a couple of ladies asked about my guest of honor badges -- two of the few to comment on them at all) then returned to line -- we just couldn't believe that was the right line. Michael naturally got there first and held our place -- he got in line at Morocco and was just about through Japan by the time I reached him.

    Much to our surprise, there was still plenty of seating and we got pretty good seats over near a tree. There was I think a pole on one side and a tree on the other so we weren't crowded but *our* view was pretty much clear.

    For this particular show, I pulled out both the video camera and the still camera. Michael can't enjoy things and video or photograph them at the same time, but multitasker-me can and I actually tend to enjoy things more when trying to get pictures so I didn't mind doing both. I had a chest-brace for the video -- someone nearby was told he could use his tripod as a monopod only so I was glad I hadn't messed with that. It was tricky to get still pictures with one hand while holding the camera steady with the other and without blocking the view of either, but it was fun (for me) :D Oh, and by this point I'd somewhere found the time to clear out more pictures on the digital so I'm back to the digital camera again.

    Our guest narrator was Robby Benson, apparently the voice of Beast in Beauty and the Beast though it was hard to tell. The Voices of Liberty were also in attendance. It was quite a show, but I was somewhat disappointed. I don't know why, but I expected more to it. It turned out to be pretty much what my mom and I used to watch on TV around Christmas time (Christmas Eve, Christmas day) for a few years. The choirs and orchestra did a great job, the music was beautiful, and I enjoyed some of the touches I won't mention so as not to spoil it for others :D But it's not something I'd necessarily want to do again unlike MVMCP and the Osborne Lights.

    After the show, we beelined for our usual viewing spot for Illuminations 2000 right next to the theater on the line between Japan and America. We got spots almost against the railing and settled in for the show. I kept telling myself I wasn't going to take pictures of Illuminations this time because I already had a lot of perfectly good shots at home...

    ...as usual, I didn't listen to myself and ended up trying to get pictures of the things we didn't have...like detail on the globe. And the detail CAME OUT!! WOOO! First time :D Now I'm on another quest for next time... get a picture of Walt's face on the globe! :D If that one will come out clear, that is.

    After enjoying Illuminations (which I come to like better and better with each showing), we called Art and caught him in his post-duty meeting :eek: Oops, I didn't know they had meetings at the end of the day or I would have waited longer. Hopefully no harm done, though, because he quickly told us he'd call us back. Only a couple of minutes passed before he called back and we arranged to meet up and go over to Disneyquest. Our original intention had been to go to Pleasure Island tonight, but neither of us was really in the mood for that and we *were* in the mood for Disneyquest.

    While waiting for Art, we stopped by the light arch (Arches of Winter?) to watch that show and ended up backed up against the rope around the tree where we watched a good 15-20 minutes of the lights dancing to music. Really neat, though I was only able to get about 3 minutes of video before my arms gave out. I really wish I'd been able to hold out until my favorite Christmas carol, though: Carol of the Bells.

    Our (expected) delay there put us heading for the entrance just as Art was heading for his truck, so he called again and arranged to come meet us at the front gate and we'd all go over to DisneyQuest together.

    When we finally reached Downtown Disney, it was just before 11. Michael really wanted to stop by the guitar shop again, so I agreed since we'd decided to get DisneyQuest APs. They're only $60 or so, and after 3 visits you've more than paid for them and each trip so far we've wanted to run over to DisneyQuest several times during the trip but didn't because of the cost for only one hour. Now we can until mid-December next year :D

    Anyway, back at the guitar shop, Michael had me get a picture of him next to that replica guitar (I still can't remember who the artist is...) and then he decided he *had* to have that mini-amp. I didn't complain because it is rather cute for an amplifier. Purchase completed, we stopped by Art's truck again to drop off the item and camera, then returned to DisneyQuest. Only none of the windows outside were open. Apparently we were running late enough that you could only purchase tickets inside at guest services. Since that's where we had to go to get annual passes anyway, it worked out.

    New APs in hand, we hurried in to our own elevator then beelined for Pirates again. This time, we had a better CM who *really* got into the act. Twitching eye, talking the language, teasing the guests, giving the story and instructions...he was good. He put Art, Michael, and me in one boat and another pair in another boat, then closed the door.

    Once again, I was captain. Only this time, I couldn't get out of the first port :eek: ! We kept running into something. Well, apparently we had to pull up an "anchor" which we couldn't find. At least our time on the clock didn't start until we'd gotten out of the first port, so when the CM subtly came in and raised the anchor, we still had our full time after sailing around the port 4 or 5 times ;)

    This time was MUCH better! Between two good gunners and actual instructions, we had a much more exciting game this time around. Even encountered the sea monster, which we'd somehow missed the first time. When we finished, we had about 3500 in treasure, which the CM said was pretty good for only 3 people. :D This time, we also had more correct glasses -- last time they were missing the extra head support, so this time the 3-D effects were better. After the second go-round, we had a hard time deciding whether we liked Pirates or Hercules better. The 3-D effects were definitely better in Hercules, and I think it still wins by a slim margin, but I really enjoyed Pirates better this time.

    Next was back up to CyberSpace Mountain where Art watched the few things we'd brought in with us while Michael and I tried a level 5! WHHEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE!!!!! That was FUN!! I think we ended up having 7 inversions but I don't remember exactly. Much fun, though, and I'd definitely do again.

    On to Aladdin, which Art had only done once or twice and we'd not done since January. I always enjoy that one, but I'm kinda biased because Rajah's in it ;)

    Once we finished that, Disneyquest was VERY close to closing. We decided to hurry down to Pirates one more time to see if we could still get in line, and we were allowed. Only one or two other groups got in behind us before they closed off the line and gave the "go home" announcement.

    Our second ride on Pirates for the night we got the same CM. Art drove this time (and told me next time, I was back in the pilot's seat...er, spot...there's no chair) This time we ended up with about 3300 or 3400 in treasure. But I do admit, my aim was off -- my contacts chose mid-ride to dry up and go blurry on me :rolleyes:

    All in all, we had a lot of fun at Disneyquest and I for one look forward to returning. There are still several things Michael hasn't done there, and many I'd like to do again.

    Art dropped us off at the resort once more, and when we got up to the room we found we had a message from Tiffany Towncar. Apparently they'd "lost us" because they wanted to confirm where and when we were being picked up. So I called them back and was greeted with a happy and enthusiastic "Where are you??". I laughed and told her we were indeed at the Wilderness lodge and were expecting to be picked up at 6pm tomorrow.

    We tried packing up a few things, but didn't get much done tonight before we had to crash. The alarm was set for 8 this time since we needed to be up around 8:30 for tomorrow.

    On to Day 5 of 5




    Rajah and VonDrake's Honeymoon

    Rajah's Disneyland Crossword Puzzle
  2. Mackey Mouse

    Mackey Mouse <font color="blue">Me read the Navigator? I don't

    May 21, 2000
    I cannot believe how much you got in on this day, amazing, but you did deserve that well needed nap. I am sure many enjoyed Robby Benson's narration at the Candlelight Processional, how lucky were you to have the voice of the "Beast" narrating..

    Mac-key Mouse QOBGOC [​IMG]
    <font color=red>Coordinator of the First Annual Official Dis Convention </font>
  3. Rajah

    Rajah DIS Veteran

    Aug 17, 1999
  4. Beanie

    Beanie ~*Snoopy Fan Forever*~

    May 15, 2000
    I have yet to see the candlelite processional...I am actually looking forward to it...How exciting to have the "Beast" voice narrating...Sounds like you had a really full day...Thanks for posting!!

    <font color=purple>Tricia</font>
    Co-Moderator Restaurant Board
    Co-Moderator Trip Reports Board
    Co-Host Instructional Chat with Snuggles and Nativetxn
    Co-Host Wed Night Chat with Mac-key Mouse and Dee
  5. Marla Hellwig

    Marla Hellwig I'm not lost, it's called creative exploring

    Mar 25, 2000
    Another fun filled Disney day. Thanks for posting!

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