This Trip Report Is Under Refurbishment For Your Future Enjoyment (UPDATED 9/13 with final bonus chapter)

natebenma

Beach Club Dee
Joined
Jul 19, 2008
My brother told me he didn't want to plan every single meal in advance and he'd try and walk up at the spur of the moment when they were in the parks. I told him to enjoy Cosmic Ray's.
:laughing:


He said he could just wing it when he was down there. I told him to enjoy the Country Bear Jamboree.
:lmao:



party:

Sounds like your trip to the World went as smoothly as possible- good decisions along the way!

CSR looks nice and the pool sounds like a lot of fun.

Bueno if we want stick with the theming.

Have to say I am jealous that you are able to get pictures of all the kids together. I haven't been able to get mine to willingly pose for pictures since the oldest turned 13 and I just have 2!

:thumbsup2
 

GoofyIsAsGoofyDoes

If it’s still here tomorrow… I may ignore it again
Joined
Jan 20, 2007
Chapter 2: For The First Time In Forever

You’re welcome for that earworm.
Careful, there…
You don’t really want us to start retaliating in kind.

It wouldn’t be pretty.



When you visit Walt Disney World, you’re actually visiting three Disney Worlds in one. The first is Timeless Classic Nostalgia Disney. This is the Disney World that is almost exactly as you remember it from your childhood.
The one where you didn’t go broke and were actually able to walk from one place to the next without being crushed by a stampede of the masses?

I remember that right clearly.


It never changes—Peter Pan’s Flight, It’s A Small World, Jungle Cruise, Pirates of th—whoops. Sorry, it almost never changes.
We want’s the Red Head!


It draws you back again and again to fee that same sense of astonishment.
Fee?
I’m not questioning that Freudian Slip, just acknowledging the premium required for the experience.
And yes… we all give it up for that experience.


The third is the one we unfortunately can’t avoid, which is Brazenly Greedy Corporate Disney.
The Maniacal Mouse…

The devil we know.
(and knowing is half the battle)


The only way to fight against such practices is to refuse to go, but most of us obviously haven’t reached that tipping point yet.
A few more price increases and they may well make the choice for me.

Close to it, but not “quite” yet.


I’m happy to report that we’d scored a victory over Evil Capitalist Disney.
Doofenshmirtz’s latest diabolical invention must have backfired once again…


we booked a trip on the deadline, and then were able to modify it without cancelling in order to take advantage of the discount. I never got charged for parking. Take that, Evil Corporate Bean-Counters!
About 1% or less, but…
Principles matter.
all victories against such a worthy foe are to be celebrated.


(depending on how things pan out, I may need to orchestrate a similar bit of circumvention)


Incidentally, the justification given for the parking fee was that “it would bring them in line with industry standards.”
Justification?
You mean the lie that they’re telling.
(and it’s about time we start calling them out when we see ‘em)

The justification (apart form added profit) is to discourage folks from driving their own vehicle, thus making it more difficult to leave property (captive audiences don’t spend money at the Dark Side).


Funny—I thought you wanted to be above industry standards.
Up until the point where they see someone else making a dollar that could have theirs.


Ahem. Let’s get to the fun stuff.
‘Cause that’s really why we’re here anyway.


But this was Drew’s first time in the parks. I think it’s a law (or at least Pirate Code) that your very first trip must start with the Magic Kingdom.
More like guide lines…


But there is a situation where that little guide line tends to morph into a commandment…

So we gave in to tradition (and maybe some sentimentality).
And that was it.


The kids were excited. The adults would be, too, once the coffee kicked in.
Sometimes it takes several cups.
But once we see the kid’s reactions, it tends to help force the caffeine into the system a bit quicker.
(assuming that they do react)


One advancement I love at Disney is the TV’s displaying the approximate arrival times of the next bus for each park.
I’ve got’s some bad news for you here…


One thing I don’t love is the way the times keep fluctuating.
Never mind, you’ve got it figured out already.


Pro Tip for Dads: do the Dad thing and wear the cargo shorts. I stuffed everything I could into my pockets in order to avoid the bag check line. Totally worth it.
So long as you can convince the Faison Committee to issue a temporary exception allowing it.


I learned this on the first day, when I did not wear cargo shorts.
The most lasting lessons are generally those derived through grievous amounts of suffering


When we turned the corner on Main Street, we all turned to Drew. “Hey, Drew. What do you see?”

“Um…Mommy?”
No foolin’ that boy.
He knows what’s really important.


It’s always a treasured family moment when you build up something for months and get a completely underwhelmed reaction.
My young’un is an international grand master of this skill.


I present the Official 2018 Oblivious Family Christmas Card.

Perfect…
Make sure to have a life-size copy of that one made to display prominently at all of his future life events.

Prom…
Graduation…
Marriage…
When he takes kids down there…

(especially that last one)


I mean, it just doesn’t get old, does it? Let’s add some extra magic!

Or as Walt would say…
To “Plus” the experience.


I've always had a soft spot for watching the cars move through the streets of London at night--ever since I learned the "headlights" were drops of fluorescent paint on bicycle chains.
Did not know that one…
Ya’ got love old school mechanical improvisation.


Kind’a like flying to the moon with tech that’s barely a step removed from thermos bottles and a pocket calculator.


We continued to play it safe and headed for another classic that we didn’t want to wait long for: Dumbo.
Confession time…
While I have pictures of the boy and his mom on this ride (squirreled away somewhere)
They’re from the ground

Because I’ve never ridden that one.
Ever…


Beast’s Castle was under siege from GIANT MUTANT CROWS!

Alfred Hitchcock would approve.

Bet that conundrum has been keeping the imagineeres up at night.


“dwarves had encountered some poisoned apples, and there would be a delay”. Ugh. The kids were getting bored. We started having the “should we bail?” conversation. But we stuck it out. All in all, we waited about 40 minutes.
Still not bad for standby

Now we could discuss whether the attraction is worth it
but everyone should hit it at least once.


He’s a stubborn kid. Takes after his mom.
Sure…
Throw her under the bus… err… mine-car….


And stop calling me Shirley.
But we’re all counting on Shirley.



And make sure you don’t order the fish.


I get that you don't want to promote treating women as objects, but I'm also sure you don't want to promote burning and looting cities, and that's shown in the ride, too.
Does present quite the conundrum…


I got to ride with Drew, so I had to instruct him on the controls for the carpet, which of course is a completely different ride than Dumbo. I mean, one is an elephant and the other is a carpet. It's night and day.
I thought it was supposed to be a whole new world.


And there was much rejoicing.
And roasting of minstrels…

And retrieving of shrubberies…

And lobbing of hand grenades…


(cue Hallelujah Chorus)

Mmmmmmm...
Donuts.... errrrr... I mean
Dole Whip...
 

Captain_Oblivious

DIS Dad #257
Joined
Nov 10, 2008
These are what I am thinking about after being away for a few years....and not renewing our DL pass this year. Some time away works wonders.
It really does. I find that it keeps the novelty alive. I think it would lose that if I went every year.

Boo hiss boo hiss
::yes::

Score! :woohoo: I'm sure Disney will rectify this oversight by charging you 10x as much on your next trip.
Oh, I have no doubt! Gotta pay for Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge somehow.

They do. If everyone else is charging $20, they'll charge $30. They haven't reached the level of charges for parking at certain sporting events. I've seen $50++++ (some places this included a bumpy dirt lot) :scared1:
Don't give them any ideas.

Good strategy (those days are excellent rope drop, then leave to enjoy the resort)
We'll follow that next time.

Totally get this....it's his first time.
Yep. Gotta start with the castle.

This is the type of crack trip reporting we've come to expect.....no details or photos of said snacks. ;)
Well, I thought everyone had seen Pop Tarts before.

Some things never change - it's funny how a digital sign with times can tug at your emotions. Woohoo....bus is almost here.....20 minutes later....WHAT??? it's delayed again. I think we might use the strategy of picking our park by whatever bus is the first to arrive. We won't bother to book any fast passes or ADR's. :rotfl:
Let me know how that works out for you! :rotfl2:

Are you sure? That clock on the train station looks like it says 8:00. :lmao:
Am I sure? No, I'm not sure! :rotfl: We got there just after park opening. How's that? :laughing:

Agreed - you were all in sync with your choices.
Every so often, a blind squirrel finds a nut.

:rotfl2::rotfl::lmao: I love this - absolutely fantastic.
I'm so glad we just rolled with it.

It really doesn't get old. I continued laughing at each shot. It doesn't look like Tink's magic helped.
But I wanna go on RIDES!

He looks so happy.
I think he was.

Fantastic - that was brave of you guys taking him on that so quickly. Great shot of you and Drew after his victory! :jumping1::cheer2:
He was doing so well. It was definitely a risk.

That is not a photo of rejoicing. Although - I could totally enjoy pb&j for lunch at Disney (as long as someone else made and carried them)
We needed calories. Those fit the bill.

and follow up with a snack like this. I'm sure everyone enjoyed this treat.
Talk about going from the outhouse to the penthouse!

Hmmm....is it big thunder? I think the ride luck will continue.....maybe not if you take him on haunted mansion.
You're on target with one of those guesses.

Agreed - although we are not DVC (have really considered it) - just having the pass for a few years (and living close by) changed how we toured the parks. Go for a full day at a slow pace = ok. Go for a couple hours and enjoy = ok. Get there, realize it is too crowed and turn around and go home = ok. Gone are the days of having to arrive at opening and try to stay 'til closing and absolutely exhaust ourselves.
Yeah, having an annual pass (and being close enough to use it frequently) would definitely change my thoughts as well.

Yay for Drew and all the rides! That castle picture with him turned around is honestly the best picture I've ever seen in any of the trip reports. Just adorable!
We captured his best side! :rotfl2:

The Christmas Card photo is worth the price of the trip!
I dunno, that trip was pretty expensive. :rotfl:

But we do love the photo!

We've done most if the DVC resorts

SSR
OKW
VB
HH
WLV
BLT
AKL
BWV
BCV
haven't done the new ones (GF, Poly and CC).....yet.
I'm guessing you'll knock those out in short order.
 
  • Captain_Oblivious

    DIS Dad #257
    Joined
    Nov 10, 2008
    And you'll do a great job at capturing it as always.
    Well...we have some work to do to be able to do that. I'll explain in a few chapters. :rolleyes1

    It did! It was nice getting your take on location and seeing some photos.
    Good! Just expect more construction than what I showed.

    Oh don't get me wrong. I love the sights and the FREE museums!!!
    ::yes:: Such a great day trip for us.

    Easier than losing a sock in the dryer.
    :rotfl2: Well said!

    So, kinda like raw oysters but the other end.
    Mmm...snot rocks...

    Sound reasoning. I'd bet money it's exactly it. But, as you say... tradition.
    First trip, you have to go see the castle.

    They really traded The Sentimental Disney for the Money Grabbing Disney on this one. Morning Train tours for cute shows. Sad.
    Yep. But hey, you can get your $tarbucks!

    I dunno. For me knowing that made the ride even cooler.
    That's what I was trying to say. I love knowing how they pulled it off.

    It'll happen again when he's, hmm... .around 16.
    It'll be here in a flash.

    YUS!!! The champagne of MK.
    I'll take a Dole Whip over champagne anywhere!

    Dang you're generous!
    Don't tell anyone, ok?

    He looks so excitied!
    Well, he had a good reason!

    I think the time changes has to do with how many people are loading and if there are ECV's. But yes it is hard to watch it go up and down. Butt at least you have any idea how long you are going to be waiting-is.
    That makes sense. The loading/unloading of ECV's is something I wish they had a better solution for. I don't have any good ideas, though.

    Great family photo! We are always so excitied to get in the park that we skip this spot usually.
    It seemed like one of those "first trip" things.

    My girls did the same thing the first time. We had gotten up early and flew down and were so tired already and were like, ok now what?
    Welp, time to go home.

    This is hilarious!
    I keep cracking up when I see it.

    We have taken to doing Peter Pan first thing so we can walk through the que. It is a great que.
    ::yes:: Plus, that's the best the line will be all day.

    Ahh Yes! We have started a tradition of an annual picture in front of that poster. They are the best bathrooms ever!
    I mean, they're bathrooms, so I'm not looking to spend much time there. But the posters were funny.

    I love the angle on this photo. I need to try thins next time with the girls.
    Thanks!

    That is still not that bad!
    Not for that ride!

    I love it! Way to go!!!
    :woohoo:

    What is wrong with the girl in the front of the boat?
    Good question! I hadn't really noticed her. Poor girl. She looks depressed. Or sick.
     

    pkondz

    . . Dis Dad #797 . . Hoping to get lucky
    Joined
    Mar 9, 2007
    Yeah...I get that. But knowing how much overtime you work, I'm sure it would help to not have as many of those shifts.
    14 shifts over the last 13 days. oy.
    I need another vacation.

    Gee...thanks.:sad2:
    You're welcome!!!! :goodvibes

    Everything there was on a much higher level than the local amusement park. It was all like nothing I'd ever seen before.
    ::yes::

    And as a kid, I loved the local fair... but now as an adult I see how scuzzy it is. Disney has never changed in that regard.

    it's felt as though Disney World is becoming more of a playground for the rich than the family park Walt envisioned.
    <sigh> Yeah...

    Again, I know they are out to make a profit, but as you pointed out, that hasn't really been an issue.
    Just how big a yacht does each board member really need?

    I will also probably always find a way to go back (or go to DL, or Aulani, or other properties), because I love it so much. But I don't go as often as I would like.
    Yes. To all of that.

    I saw the date for the parking fees to be implemented, and predicted that no summer discounts would be announced until after that date.
    Smart. Perhaps easy to predict for you... but I certainly didn't think of that.
    Then again... I don't think (since I had no plans to go) I was aware of the fee until just around the time it was implemented.

    Wow. Good thing we went there first!
    ::yes::

    Interesting. I hadn't looked all that up, but it felt right when considering the extra stop at the TTC. Good to know it's confirmed.
    Yep. I tried to find it on Google... but I do know I've read that in the UOG.

    They do so many castle shows. Doing one at the train station felt unique.
    Good point. And there was something about being welcomed before you went in the park.

    I don't think we ever got a "perfect" shot in front of the castle. But I'm totally ok with that.
    In 20 years, you are still going to love that shot. That supposed "perfect" shot would be long forgotten.

    Me too! I totally didn't expect that when I was a kid.
    Right??????

    It's still cool. When I was young, the amazement made me say, "How did they do that?" Now I know, so I say, "So THAT's how they did that....cool!"
    I just love all of it. The clock tower, the bridge, the moving "cars"...

    She sees everything I write here. She can give as good as she gets.
    I've met her. I believe you!

    ::yes:: More of that to come! :woohoo:
    :laughing: Poor Drew!

    I do understand that they had originally planned a different ride and were constrained by the space they had.
    oh?

    It doesn't ruin the ride. It just seems unnecessary to me. I believe that we should work to avoid offending people. But I also believe that we've created a lot of unnecessary problems by going out of our way to find things to be offended about.
    Could be. I don't like whitewashing history. It happened. Deal with it.

    Oh, do you have something on the books now? Maybe you told me and I forgot.
    Strong possibility of early May with Elle. Just trying to figure out a few details. She's getting her first degree (Arts) this spring so it's a reward... and an excuse for me to go again. ;)
    No dates yet, but probably May 1-5 or something like that.
     

    glennbo123

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    May 10, 2008
    Take that, Evil Corporate Bean-Counters!
    Hey! :mad: Let's not throw in all Evil Corporate Bean-Counters...just the Disney ones.

    I present the Official 2018 Oblivious Family Christmas Card.

    Awesome! I love it!

    Beast’s Castle was under siege from GIANT MUTANT CROWS!
    The forced perspective on Beast's Castle is so, um, forced, that they don't seem out of place to me. They look like crows sitting on an oddly-shaped model of a castle.

    Let there be peanut-butter-and-jelly sandwiches for everyone!
    I'm sure your other kids warned Drew that he'd better like PB&J, he's gonna be eating it for a long time. :laughing:
     
  • franandaj

    I'm so happy, I could BOUNCE!
    Joined
    Nov 15, 2009
    I definitely understand how my views would change if I lived close and had an annual pass. If I'm only spending a few dollars per day it's not as big a deal. But I don't know that I would wait four hours in line for anything!
    There were a lot of people who were much happier clicking on the auction on eBay and getting one for $150. Then again we got four for that price. Actually less.

    I don't know if I could ever sleep till 9 anymore. Work and kids have beat the ability to sleep in out of me. Now I can't make it past 7:00 a.m.
    I can often sleep past 9:00, especially when I had a trying day the day before.

    That's another side of it. It is good to be able to go where your needs are able to be met. Overall, though, I like the freedom of not being tied down anywhere, so I can just choose what I want to do year after year.
    We aren't necessarily tied down, but I like the idea that I can go to WDW almost whenever I want.

    Which is a very awesome thing to do!:thumbsup2
    And now in October we are bringing a different friend.

    Seriously. ::yes:: Or did it come with a TV in it?
    No, but it's really really cool, and we could probably sell one to make up for the price of purchasing all of them. Plus we had our tablets and were entertained and we got to eat Earl of Sandwich while waiting in line.

    I remember seeing the photo on FB. But my thought was the same: "Four hours..." :faint:
    At least we didn't get up at 2AM and wait until 7AM when the mug sales opened. We got there at noon and were through the line at 4PM. The ones who waited the longest were the ones who showed up at 5AM and they waited 6 hours. Some folks waited 5 hours and had to bail because they had pick up kids at school or some other commitment.
     

    Captain_Oblivious

    DIS Dad #257
    Joined
    Nov 10, 2008
    I really like the way you put this. Very true, all of it.
    Thanks, Jeff.

    I did pay for parking my rental car. I knew about the fee and it was my choice to have the rental. It still was annoying. I just wonder though how easy it is to get out of it. When I checked in, the guy just asked if I had a car. I answered honestly. Could I have just said no? He didn't ask for any kind of proof either way, like a license plate number or anything.
    Something interesting is that I only had the rental for 7 days, and the trip was 10, so on the 7th day I wen t to the front desk and told them I didn't have a car anymore, and they took the parking fee off. Again, no proof of this was requested.
    For the record, I'm going to be honest in that situation if it comes up again. But just curious about those who may be tempted to cheat the system.
    Interesting. Being a rule-follower, I would be honest as well. But it sounds like it's really easy to cheat on the fee.

    My first day is always MK. Even if it is a weekend. And my last day is MK. Recommended parks and trip planning go out the window a bit for the first and last day.
    I figure MK has to be first if it's your first-ever visit. But after that, it's all about efficiency and avoiding crowds for me. I like all of the parks, so I'm happy to start with any of them.

    Hmmm...the book is out, but it appears he is not yet awake....
    Oh, he was awake. Believe you me.

    I found this happened often too.
    So...annoying...

    I had never thought of doing that. Good tip.
    I wonder if there's a tipping point where they would ask you to empty your pockets, if it was obvious there was a lot of stuff...
    Well, you have to empty pockets for the metal detector. So I would do that if asked. But I was just so happy to avoid the bag lines.

    That's our family in all its glory.

    I was always fascinated by the lights too.
    I always assumed they were actual little lights though. I hadn't realized it was paint dots. Cool!
    I love learning Imagineer tricks!

    Well, I guess that's one thing Disney didn't have in mind when they did the forced perspective thing.
    As @glennbo123 pointed out, this one is REALLY forced.

    It's always a hard choice when it comes to bailing. But 40 minutes is not too bad.
    Not for that ride, no. It was more of the uncertainty every time they announced a delay.

    Well, at least he didn't fall asleep on Pirates like the girl in the front row.
    Yeah, I don't know what the story is there.

    Well said. That was my feeling/thoughts too. The new scene was fine. It also would have been fine (in my opinion) had they left it as it was. There's plenty of things the pirates do that you don't want your kids doing. But that's why they're called pirates.
    My favorite line about the new scene (I forget where I heard it): At the end, the pirates will now plant trees and participate in a recycling program.

    I'm finally here...I was washing my hair. It's really really clean!
    This is the same thing women would tell me when I asked them out. I think a lot of them must have clean hair! :rotfl2:

    I don't care how old you are, driving under the Disney sign makes you feel like a kid again!
    ::yes:: If it doesn't, something is wrong.

    I LOVE the family picture. Make sure you keep that for Drew's wedding.
    Oh, we'll have a 20-minute slideshow by that point. :rotfl:

    Yay for him doing so well on the rides! My niece hated dark/scary/moving/any rides and really put a damper on our trip.
    :sad1: You just never know how they're going to react. I think having the peer pressure of older siblings helped.
     

    Captain_Oblivious

    DIS Dad #257
    Joined
    Nov 10, 2008
    Sounds like your trip to the World went as smoothly as possible- good decisions along the way!
    Thanks! We made it in one piece, that was the most important thing.

    CSR looks nice and the pool sounds like a lot of fun.
    I was glad we could at least spend one evening using it.

    Have to say I am jealous that you are able to get pictures of all the kids together. I haven't been able to get mine to willingly pose for pictures since the oldest turned 13 and I just have 2!
    They know it's part of the rules!

    Careful, there…
    You don’t really want us to start retaliating in kind.

    It wouldn’t be pretty.
    Well, that's nice of you. Usually you don't give me a warning.

    The one where you didn’t go broke and were actually able to walk from one place to the next without being crushed by a stampede of the masses?

    I remember that right clearly.
    We'll never get back there, I'm afraid.

    We want’s the Red Head!
    Well, you're getting a different one!

    Fee?
    I’m not questioning that Freudian Slip, just acknowledging the premium required for the experience.
    And yes… we all give it up for that experience.
    :rotfl2: I guess that was a rather appropriate typo.

    The Maniacal Mouse…

    The devil we know.
    (and knowing is half the battle)
    Still sucks, though.

    A few more price increases and they may well make the choice for me.

    Close to it, but not “quite” yet.
    I keep thinking they've reached the tipping point with every fee and increase...and then people go right on paying it.

    Doofenshmirtz’s latest diabolical invention must have backfired once again…
    Well, they do tend to do that.

    About 1% or less, but…
    Principles matter.
    all victories against such a worthy foe are to be celebrated.


    (depending on how things pan out, I may need to orchestrate a similar bit of circumvention)
    Every little bit counts! And it's more we end up spending in the gift shop.

    Justification?
    You mean the lie that they’re telling.
    (and it’s about time we start calling them out when we see ‘em)

    The justification (apart form added profit) is to discourage folks from driving their own vehicle, thus making it more difficult to leave property (captive audiences don’t spend money at the Dark Side).
    None of these are making a better experience for the customer, that's for sure.

    Up until the point where they see someone else making a dollar that could have theirs.
    ::yes::

    More like guide lines…


    But there is a situation where that little guide line tends to morph into a commandment…
    And I figured we were at that point.

    Sometimes it takes several cups.
    But once we see the kid’s reactions, it tends to help force the caffeine into the system a bit quicker.
    (assuming that they do react)
    I tend to wake up a little easier on vacation.

    I’ve got’s some bad news for you here…
    Never mind, you’ve got it figured out already.
    There's always a catch.

    So long as you can convince the Faison Committee to issue a temporary exception allowing it.
    That's part of the upside of being the dad. You're so far down the totem pole nobody even cares what you look like.

    The most lasting lessons are generally those derived through grievous amounts of suffering
    Truth.

    No foolin’ that boy.
    He knows what’s really important.
    :sad2:

    My young’un is an international grand master of this skill.
    They do it just to annoy us.

    Perfect…
    Make sure to have a life-size copy of that one made to display prominently at all of his future life events.

    Prom…
    Graduation…
    Marriage…
    When he takes kids down there…

    (especially that last one)
    It'll be a long presentation of photos, I think.

    Or as Walt would say…
    To “Plus” the experience.
    It's so magical!

    Did not know that one…
    Ya’ got love old school mechanical improvisation.


    Kind’a like flying to the moon with tech that’s barely a step removed from thermos bottles and a pocket calculator.
    It will never cease to amaze me.

    Confession time…
    While I have pictures of the boy and his mom on this ride (squirreled away somewhere)
    They’re from the ground

    Because I’ve never ridden that one.
    Ever…
    :eek:

    Any particular reason? I mean, it's not a hugely special experience or anything. But it's one of those "classic" Disney rides.

    Alfred Hitchcock would approve.

    Bet that conundrum has been keeping the imagineeres up at night.
    You have to wonder if they've tried anything.

    Still not bad for standby

    Now we could discuss whether the attraction is worth it
    but everyone should hit it at least once.
    I like it as a warmup. Or if I'm using a FP and don't have to wait long.

    Sure…
    Throw her under the bus… err… mine-car….
    Hey, she would do the same to me.

    But we’re all counting on Shirley.



    And make sure you don’t order the fish.
    Ah, yes. I had the lasagna.

    I thought it was supposed to be a whole new world.
    Or at least a new fantastic point of view.

    And roasting of minstrels…

    And retrieving of shrubberies…

    And lobbing of hand grenades…
    And death with great big pointy teeth.

    Mmmmmmm...
    Donuts.... errrrr... I mean
    Dole Whip...
    I could sure use one of those.
     

    GoofyIsAsGoofyDoes

    If it’s still here tomorrow… I may ignore it again
    Joined
    Jan 20, 2007
    Well, that's nice of you. Usually you don't give me a warning.
    Hummmmm…
    I must be mellowing in my antiquity.


    I keep thinking they've reached the tipping point with every fee and increase...and then people go right on paying it.
    They’re just shifting their market a smidge.
    The old “Family Entertainment” directive is being more precisely defined as:
    “Top 20% Income Earners Entertainment”

    It’s a more profitable business model, to be sure.
    (just doesn’t necessarily include me in all cases)


    There's always a catch.
    First rule of business


    That's part of the upside of being the dad. You're so far down the totem pole nobody even cares what you look like.
    Depends on the Fashion committee…
    My “appearance” could reflect badly on her, ya’ know.

    A fairly regular exchange that occurs in our house goes like this:
    Management: “Is that what you’re wearing?”
    Addled Flunky: “Well, not any more…”


    Disclaimer…
    While that last story is irrefutable true…
    It’s just about that the only thing we ever disagree on, and has about as must jest in it as seriousness (not to mention, I really don’t care anyway). If that’s the only thing we ever “argue” about (and it pretty much is), then I can count myself as one lucky addled flunky.



    They do it just to annoy us.
    The Prime Directive of kids the world around.


    :eek:

    Any particular reason? I mean, it's not a hugely special experience or anything. But it's one of those "classic" Disney rides.
    Remember… I’m an antique.
    The park didn’t exist until I was already old enough to say “That’s a kiddie ride”.
    So no interest until I was a parent.

    Took our young’en there when he was 5-ish to let mom and the boy ride. I would have had to take up a whole car to myself (and there was still only one ride platform and no FPs at the time) so I figured that given the glacial load times of the thing it’d been a mite unfair to all the other parents trying to give their kids the experience.

    By the time we got back down there again, my boy was old enough to say “That’s a kiddie ride”.
    Needless to say, subsequent trips have seen us pretty much ignore healthy swaths of the F.L. area.


    That said, now that I can date my wife again, I may need to take her on it at some point.


    Hey, she would do the same to me.
    As would my Missus…
    The difference is that you and I generally deserve it.


    And death with great big pointy teeth.
    What an eccentric performance…
     
  • SoccerDogWithEars

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Mar 20, 2005
    Pirates of th—whoops. Sorry, it almost never changes.
    Ouch. Too soon.

    But this was Drew’s first time in the parks. I think it’s a law (or at least Pirate Code) that your very first trip must start with the Magic Kingdom. So we gave in to tradition (and maybe some sentimentality).
    And yet, somehow MK on the first day has become tradition for Joe and I. But I've also told people he's really just a big toddler so.....

    Seriously. Once in a museum gift shop, he saw a toy he thought looked cool and bent down to reach for it, not seeing the merchandise hook. Got a nice little gash on his forehead.

    Ever since they moved it and took the train out of the show, I haven’t been as excited. There was something about seeing all of the characters arriving on the train first thing in the morning.
    There really was. I keep telling myself we'll get up early and catch the new show, but honestly especially now with FP+ we're starting to miss rope drop more and more.

    I've always had a soft spot for watching the cars move through the streets of London at night--ever since I learned the "headlights" were drops of fluorescent paint on bicycle chains.
    That's my favorite part too! And for the same reason! Joe likes it because I told him that when they were building WDW, most of the crew was from California (for obvious reasons) and used to hide Coors light in the parts for Peter Pan so it got shipped to the east coast.

    Periodically, there would be an announcement that the “dwarves had encountered some poisoned apples, and there would be a delay”. Ugh. The kids were getting bored. We started having the “should we bail?” conversation. But we stuck it out. All in all, we waited about 40 minutes.
    We got stuck in line once right before a storm. But we'd just redeemed our FP for it, and the CM had told us that since it had been redeemed we wouldn't be issued one of the magical anytime replacement FPs. So we sat (luckily they re-worked the line so everyone could wait indoors) and waited it out. For them to then close the ride and issue us all anytime FPs

    This photo just melts my heart every time :lovestruc
     

    Captain_Oblivious

    DIS Dad #257
    Joined
    Nov 10, 2008
    Hummmmm…
    I must be mellowing in my antiquity.
    We're just too tired to do anything.

    They’re just shifting their market a smidge.
    The old “Family Entertainment” directive is being more precisely defined as:
    “Top 20% Income Earners Entertainment”

    It’s a more profitable business model, to be sure.
    (just doesn’t necessarily include me in all cases)
    Yeah...like I said, it's feeling more like a playground for the rich. Makes me sad.

    Depends on the Fashion committee…
    My “appearance” could reflect badly on her, ya’ know.

    A fairly regular exchange that occurs in our house goes like this:
    Management: “Is that what you’re wearing?”
    Addled Flunky: “Well, not any more…”


    Disclaimer…
    While that last story is irrefutable true…
    It’s just about that the only thing we ever disagree on, and has about as must jest in it as seriousness (not to mention, I really don’t care anyway). If that’s the only thing we ever “argue” about (and it pretty much is), then I can count myself as one lucky addled flunky.
    I think Julie gave up on me. I mean, look at me. It's not like dressing me up is going to improve the appearance in any way.

    The Prime Directive of kids the world around.
    Little punks.

    Remember… I’m an antique.
    The park didn’t exist until I was already old enough to say “That’s a kiddie ride”.
    So no interest until I was a parent.

    Took our young’en there when he was 5-ish to let mom and the boy ride. I would have had to take up a whole car to myself (and there was still only one ride platform and no FPs at the time) so I figured that given the glacial load times of the thing it’d been a mite unfair to all the other parents trying to give their kids the experience.

    By the time we got back down there again, my boy was old enough to say “That’s a kiddie ride”.
    Needless to say, subsequent trips have seen us pretty much ignore healthy swaths of the F.L. area.


    That said, now that I can date my wife again, I may need to take her on it at some point.
    Makes sense. And you're not wrong in your assessment. I've had plenty of visits where I avoided it altogether.

    As would my Missus…
    The difference is that you and I generally deserve it.
    HEY!

    Ok, you're probably right.

    Ouch. Too soon.
    :rolleyes1

    And yet, somehow MK on the first day has become tradition for Joe and I. But I've also told people he's really just a big toddler so.....

    Seriously. Once in a museum gift shop, he saw a toy he thought looked cool and bent down to reach for it, not seeing the merchandise hook. Got a nice little gash on his forehead.
    But did he get the toy? Priorities, people.

    There really was. I keep telling myself we'll get up early and catch the new show, but honestly especially now with FP+ we're starting to miss rope drop more and more.
    I still want to make rope drop. I just don't care about the show.

    That's my favorite part too! And for the same reason! Joe likes it because I told him that when they were building WDW, most of the crew was from California (for obvious reasons) and used to hide Coors light in the parts for Peter Pan so it got shipped to the east coast.
    Now that's a story I didn't know!

    We got stuck in line once right before a storm. But we'd just redeemed our FP for it, and the CM had told us that since it had been redeemed we wouldn't be issued one of the magical anytime replacement FPs. So we sat (luckily they re-worked the line so everyone could wait indoors) and waited it out. For them to then close the ride and issue us all anytime FPs
    :sad2: There has to be an easier way.

    This photo just melts my heart every time :lovestruc
    :goodvibes
     

    Captain_Oblivious

    DIS Dad #257
    Joined
    Nov 10, 2008
    Chapter 3: Chinese (and German, Mexican, Polynesian, Italian, and American) Water Torture


    Where was I? Oh, right—eating my Dole Whip.


    Mmmm….Dole Whip…


    Huh? Where was I? Oh, right—eating my Do—


    We’d better move on before I get caught in an endless loop there. Of course, it wouldn’t be the worst thing in the world to be caught in an endless loop of Dole Whips for all eternity.


    Mmmm…Dole Whips…


    Gah! Snap out of it!


    We left Adventureland and began moving towards Fantasyland once more, as we had our first FP of the day back at Peter Pan, which Drew was looking forward to riding again. We told him to look for Cinderella Castle along the way.





    Yep, still there.


    We arrived somewhat early for our FP window, so we needed something to do in the meantime. We looked around and saw the Tangled Tinkle Spot and It’s a Small World.


    We chose the Tinkle Spot. Hey, when you gotta go, you gotta go.


    Unfortunately, after that we still had time to kill. It’s a Small World had only a 15-minute wait.


    I proposed that we just hang out by the entrance to Peter Pan. Maybe do some people-watching. But then someone said the magic words—“boat ride”—to Drew, and just like that he was begging to go on a boat ride. Amidst my family’s admonishments of, “It’s not that bad,” and “Drew’s never been on it before,” I reluctantly got in line.


    It had been 12 years since I’d last ridden It’s a Small World, way back in 2006. Check that—it had been a wonderful, glorious 12 years spent completely avoiding this infernal torture arena. My favorite visit to this “attraction” had taken place way back in 2010:





    And now, here I was, trudging down the ramps to the Slow Boats of Constant Repetition. Resigned to my fate, I sat in the boat and sailed around the world for the next ten endless minutes while dolls danced to the same tune, over and over and over and over. And as I mentally willed the boat to suddenly grow an outboard motor, I had an epiphany.


    Those of you who love this attraction are right. It’s really not all that annoying. It’s really not all that annoying. It’s really not all that annoying. It’s really not all that annoying. It’s really not all that annoying. It’s really not all that annoying. It’s really not all that annoying. It’s really not all that annoying. It’s really not all that annoying. It’s really not all that annoying. It’s really not all that annoying.





    Ok, I’m lying. It really is that annoying. But even though I scrambled out of the boat at the end as though they had offered free bacon to the first one out, I realized that It’s a Small World is not far from being a great ride—maybe even a headliner. And Disney already has the technology to make it work. Several years ago, the DIS Dads had tossed around this idea, and I think it’s time to try it out. You already have a ride with laser cannons: Buzz Lightyear’s Space Ranger Spin. How hard is it to make more laser cannons? Attach them to the boats, put targets on the dolls, throw in a few explosive/depth charge special effects, and voila! It’s a Small War. Best. Ride. Ever.


    We used our FP’s on Peter Pan, and Drew was excited to ride this time. In general, we found that the second time through was the best ride for Drew. He knew what to expect and wasn’t apprehensive in the least. He could just sit back and enjoy the experience.


    We continued our tour of Fantasyland by taking advantage of the never-crowded Mickey’s Philharmagic.





    This is always cute and entertaining, but this time around it felt like the attraction needed some TLC. I always have trouble with 3D glasses due to the fact that I have to put them over my regular glasses, so there’s usually a tiny spot I have to hyper-focus on in the center of my view where everything looks clear. This time around, everything looked really murky. I don’t know if it’s the projection that is the problem or if they just need new glasses, but it was hard to make out what was going on. Despite that, Drew loved it. He thought it was really funny when Donald got blasted through the back wall of the theater.


    On a visit later in the week, Julie took Drew by herself and said the view was much better from the back of the theater. So keep that in mind if you find yourself there.


    It’s not a Disney trip until you start taking Stupid Hat Photos®.





    Yeah, when it’s 95 degrees out and 95% humidity, there’s nothing I want more than a thick woolen hat.


    At that point, it was time to split up. Julie, Drew and I had a FP for the Barnstormer, continuing the theme of “warmup” rides for the little guy. Sarah, Dave and Scott had a separate FP for Splash Mountain. Sarah had ridden that one way back in 2006 on our first Disney trip, but the boys had never been on it and were eager to correct that oversight. I think the kids were also looking forward to the fact that we were letting them go by themselves. No adult supervision. As they left, they looked something like this:





    We started to remind them to stick together and send us a message when they were don—oh, they’re already gone.


    We walked over to the Barnstormer with Drew, trying to get him pumped up for the next ride. It’ll be just like the Mine Train! Lots of fun! He couldn’t wait. We got up to the gate and showed him the ride, and we watched one of the “planes” swoop along the tracks.


    Drew: “No! I don’t want to ride this.”


    Um…ok. That was unexpected. Julie and I kept sweet-talking him. “It’ll be fun!” “You loved the Mine Train!” “It’s not even as big as the Mine Train!”


    No dice. He wanted nothing to do with the Barnstormer. We even got to the point where we started carrying him up the path to the ride, figuring we’d just make him go and he’d find out he liked the ride afterwards (please get those Parents of the Year nomination forms ready). That quickly devolved into a full-on screaming, kicking temper tantrum—and it wasn’t even me this time! Drew fought and fought until we finally gave up.


    Looking back, we think the problem was that the Barnstormer tracks are up in the air. Just poles supporting it, with lots of open space underneath. So where the Mine Train is all built on hills, the Barnstormer looks like it’s way up in the air to a little kid. Therefore, much less safe. That’s our theory, anyway.


    We wandered around Tomorrowland and in the shops for a bit. There’s a lot of truth in this t-shirt:





    There was also some lady riding around in a truck, inspecting guests to make sure they weren’t wearing capes.





    Eventually we met up with the big kids back at the Barnstormer. They pronounced Splash Mountain to be “excellent”. Unfortunately, they didn’t scan their ride photo, so I have no evidence that they actually rode it. For all I know, they spent their time throwing popcorn at people riding by after the drop.


    The wait for the Barnstormer was only 5 minutes, so our FP’s really weren’t necessary. We tried convincing Drew to go again, but he wouldn’t budge. So I rode it with the big kids. We thought maybe if they went on it, Drew would be convinced to give it a go.


    That’s a negative, Houston. Mission aborted.


    The big kids went on it again with Julie and then we moved on. We found something a little more Drew’s speed.





    I’ve always like the Peoplemover. I know it’s not all that exciting or anything, but the nerd in me likes the fact that it’s powered by electromagnets. It also gives you a chance to rest weary legs while the scenery changes around you. And it’s pretty great scenery.








    At one point, the ride completely stopped while we were inside Space Mountain, in pitch darkness. Thankfully, the emergency lights came on before Drew could get too worried about the dark. The big kids were incredibly nervous and fearful, however.





    We weren’t stuck for very long. We had one more FP to use, on the Buzz Lightyear ride.


    I may look like a mild-mannered guy, but at heart I’m very competitive. I hate losing at anything. My family has learned that it’s just best for me to avoid playing board games altogether because I’m such a poor loser. When you introduce me to a ride like Buzz Lightyear, where you can actually score points, well…there’s only one acceptable outcome.





    I also learned a while back that it was possible to max out the score on Buzz, so this immediately became a life goal for me.


    I’m not a very ambitious person.


    So that’s two goals: beat the rest of the family at the game and max out the score, if possible. Now I’m reaching that point in middle age where the kids are almost as big as I am, and they’re all faster. So winning at sports doesn’t come nearly as easily as it used to, which is why I now avoid playing sports with them. Again, please submit those Father of the Year nominations prior to the deadline.


    Anyway, when you are physically outmatched in competition, you must resort to the one alternative that remains: cheating. I started studying months before our trip, watching YouTube videos with the intensity of Kevin Costner watching the Zapruder film in JFK. I had every high-value target memorized. And if the kids asked where the targets were, I would actually tell them, because I’m an idiot a big softy trying to make it seem like a fair fight when I claim victory later.


    We scanned our Magic Bands and set off into the galaxy to do battle with Zurg. And I did…okay. I hit a couple of high-value targets and got over 300,000.





    I had forgotten how hard it was to figure out which red dot in the dozens of red dots flashing on the walls was actually yours. Also, I had to steer and keep adjusting the vehicle’s position and it’s hard to do that an aim at the same time. Also, the sun was in my eyes.


    Thankfully, my score was enough to beat everyone out, and they were all thoroughly impressed with my victory, by which I mean they rolled their eyes and starting walking away without me.


    We had covered a great deal of the Magic Kingdom at this point—just about everything you can do with a little boy without getting on the Mountains. There was only one “big” ride left: the Haunted Mansion.


    This was a dilemma, given his reaction to the Barnstormer. On the one hand, he’d done so well with almost all of the rides—even Pirates and the Mine Train. On the other hand, we didn’t want to re-live the Barnstormer meltdown.


    We had “trained” him for the rides by showing him a lot of videos on YouTube prior to our trip. I know this is “spoiling” the ride for him ahead of time, but in the case of a 4-year-old, I think it works well to calm the nerves. He had watched the Haunted Mansion and had expressed interest in trying it…at the time.


    So we asked Drew if he wanted to try it, and he said yes. When we got there, the line was posted as a 20-minute wait. We jumped in.





    I figured if we could get Drew through the opening stretching room scene (specifically the part where the lights go out and there’s a scream) then we’d probably be ok. So when we got to the room, we tried to focus his attention on the paintings rather than listen to the Ghost Host. The scream came as a surprise, but it was over quickly. He seemed a little spooked, but walked with us to get on the Doom Buggies.


    Sarah was walking a bit ahead of us and got on the conveyor belt. Just after that, a CM put her arm across the line and asked me to wait a bit. So Sarah ended up getting a private ride several cars ahead of us. She waved, so we had that going for us, which was nice.


    We tried to point out the “silly” things happening along the way for Drew. By the time we got to the dining room and the dancing ghosts and he spotted the Hidden Mickey on the table, we knew we had it made. As it turned out, Drew loved the Haunted Mansion.


    Whew.


    It was now time for dinner. When I’d originally made my reservations, I’d planned to go back to an old favorite, the Whispering Canyon Café in the Wilderness Lodge. We’d always had a lot of fun with the antics of the wait staff there. Then, about a month before our trip, Disney announced that they would be “enhancing the guest experience” by toning down the antics. In other words, some stick-in-the-mud guests thought it was too loud and they ended up winning the argument.


    Well, the food there wasn’t enough of a draw by itself. We decided it wasn’t worth going if it wasn’t going to be any fun. So we changed the reservation and mourned the loss of yet another little bit of enjoyment from Disney World.


    My parents had flown in that day and were entering the park for the first time in the evening. We met them for dinner at The Plaza on Main St. We’d never eaten there before.





    We did the standard Save-The-Family-$18-Right-Off-The-Bat trick by ordering water for everyone. Being that this was an ice cream parlor, we gave thought to dessert, but that could also add up quickly on the bill. Then I saw that the milkshakes were bottomless. I pulled off my shoes and socks so I could do some quick math. According to my calculations, bottomless milkshakes = unlimited ice cream. So if I got one milkshake, I could pass it around the table, everyone could get some, then I could get a refill (of a different flavor, too!) and repeat….


    Yep, the math checked out. One milkshake would serve as the family dessert.

    As we waited, Sarah grabbed the crayons they had given Drew to keep him occupied. She looked out the window and just started doodling on her napkin.



    A few minutes later, just as dinner was being served, she had produced this:



    This young woman just stuns me. She's an amazing talent.

    I got a burger piled high with pulled pork, since I’m now taking cholesterol medication that magically counteracts anything unhealthy in my food. The burger was pretty good. The milkshake was better.





    Julie tried the fried green tomato sandwich. She said it was decent, but a pale shadow of the ones her mom used to make.





    I think everyone else had standard burgers except for Sarah, who couldn’t resist an order of the loaded bacon cheese ranch fries. She seemed very happy with her choice.





    Overall, the Plaza was deemed “pretty good”. I’d go back; I don’t know that I’d make it a priority.


    Dusk began to fall, and my parents were off to ride Pirates and anything else they could squeeze in before calling it a night. We could see the crowds gathering for the nighttime shows already.





    We decided to head back and get some rest. It had already been a long, very successful day getting Drew acclimated to the rides. And we’d have a long week ahead of us. We stopped for some photos on the way out. Drew seemed happier here.








    We took the bus back to Coronado. It was a muggy night, and the air was still. There’s something about Disney Parks lit up at night.





    Everyone was excitedly re-capping the events of the day, looking forward to Epcot in the morning. No more training days for Drew—now it was time to have the full Disney Experience. Drew, for his part, couldn’t wait.





    Drew?


    Drew?


    Come to think of it, I’m not as young as I used to be. That was a lot of walking, especially in Florida heat. My feet hurt. I’d like to change my clothes. Maybe if I just lie down for a sec—


    ZZZZZZZZZZZzzzzzzz…


    (whispers) Coming Up Next: We head to Epcot. Should we tell Drew how fast Test Track goes?
     
    Last edited:

    StarWarsMomofGirls!

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Oct 16, 2015
    I always have trouble with 3D glasses due to the fact that I have to put them over my regular glasses, so there’s usually a tiny spot I have to hyper-focus on in the center of my view where everything looks clear. This time around, everything looked really murky. I don’t know if it’s the projection that is the problem or if they just need new glasses, but it was hard to make out what was going on.
    We love that show but it does, it needs an update. I can't remember if it was a just a rumor, but I think I heard that it might be getting an update. Which would be awsome.

    As they left, they looked something like this:


    Ha! I know Morgan and Gwen will love being let "free" like that in the park one day.

    Thankfully, my score was enough to beat everyone out, and they were all thoroughly impressed with my victory, by which I mean they rolled their eyes and starting walking away without me.
    Ha, as family should.

    Well, the food there wasn’t enough of a draw by itself. We decided it wasn’t worth going if it wasn’t going to be any fun. So we changed the reservation and mourned the loss of yet another little bit of enjoyment from Disney World.
    It sounds like they have already gone back to normal. I think they realized early on that like you said, the food isn't good enough to get people there alone.

    Great photo.

    Overall, the Plaza was deemed “pretty good”. I’d go back; I don’t know that I’d make it a priority.
    I feel like the Plaza is just that, good food. And simple food. I really liked the fried green tomatoe sandwich but my mom never made them, so I don' thave to compare them to.
     

    pkondz

    . . Dis Dad #797 . . Hoping to get lucky
    Joined
    Mar 9, 2007
    Where was I? Oh, right—eating my Dole Whip.
    Cruel. Cruel to bring that up.

    We’d better move on before I get caught in an endless loop there.
    Like you could stop that.

    Of course, it wouldn’t be the worst thing in the world to be caught in an endless loop of Dole Whips for all eternity.
    Even before I read that... that's exactly what I thought.

    Gah! Snap out of it!
    Why?

    We told him to look for Cinderella Castle along the way.
    Hard to spot. You have to really look hard.

    We arrived somewhat early for our FP window, so we needed something to do in the meantime. We looked around and saw the Tangled Tinkle Spot and It’s a Small World.


    We chose the Tinkle Spot. Hey, when you gotta go, you gotta go.
    Bathrooms over IASW?

    Oh, yes.

    Unfortunately, after that we still had time to kill. It’s a Small World had only a 15-minute wait.
    Dang it!

    Amidst my family’s admonishments of, “It’s not that bad,” and “Drew’s never been on it before,” I reluctantly got in line.
    They fight dirty.

    I like that.

    It had been 12 years since I’d last ridden It’s a Small World, way back in 2006.
    You had a good run going.

    My favorite visit to this “attraction” had taken place way back in 2010:


    :lmao:

    Resigned to my fate, I sat in the boat and sailed around the world for the next ten endless minutes while dolls danced to the same tune, over and over and over and over.
    This is why I now always... ALWAYS take not only my phone... but my earbuds with me when I visit MK.
    In case some party member insists we go on... at least I can watch the heavy metal dolls head bang to decent tunes.

    Those of you who love this attraction are right. It’s really not all that annoying. It’s really not all that annoying. It’s really not all that annoying. It’s really not all that annoying. It’s really not all that annoying. It’s really not all that annoying. It’s really not all that annoying. It’s really not all that annoying. It’s really not all that annoying. It’s really not all that annoying. It’s really not all that annoying.
    It's not?

    Huh.


    I could've sworn it was.

    But even though I scrambled out of the boat at the end as though they had offered free bacon to the first one out,
    That's it?
    I tend to move faster when getting off that ride.


    Rookie.

    Several years ago, the DIS Dads had tossed around this idea, and I think it’s time to try it out. You already have a ride with laser cannons: Buzz Lightyear’s Space Ranger Spin. How hard is it to make more laser cannons? Attach them to the boats, put targets on the dolls, throw in a few explosive/depth charge special effects, and voila! It’s a Small War. Best. Ride. Ever.
    Not bad! But... you still have to wear earbuds/headphones.

    This is always cute and entertaining, but this time around it felt like the attraction needed some TLC.
    Oh?

    This time around, everything looked really murky. I don’t know if it’s the projection that is the problem or if they just need new glasses, but it was hard to make out what was going on.
    Huh.
    It's been a while for me too.
    Shame if that's the case.

    He thought it was really funny when Donald got blasted through the back wall of the theater.
    Well... it is funny. Maybe the best part of the whole show.

    On a visit later in the week, Julie took Drew by herself and said the view was much better from the back of the theater. So keep that in mind if you find yourself there.
    Noted. Thanks.

    It’s not a Disney trip until you start taking Stupid Hat Photos®.
    :laughing:

    Yeah, when it’s 95 degrees out and 95% humidity, there’s nothing I want more than a thick woolen hat.
    Well, yeah. It helps to keep the sweat out of your eyes.

    I think the kids were also looking forward to the fact that we were letting them go by themselves. No adult supervision.
    Ah yes... I remember the first time we let the kids go off on their own. The term "disbelief" rings a bell.

    As they left, they looked something like this:


    :laughing: ::yes:: I remember that look well.

    We started to remind them to stick together and send us a message when they were don—oh, they’re already gone.
    :lmao:

    Drew: “No! I don’t want to ride this.”
    Uh, oh...

    (please get those Parents of the Year nomination forms ready).


    That quickly devolved into a full-on screaming, kicking temper tantrum—and it wasn’t even me this time!
    Oh, man.

    I suspect... now hear me out... but I think... it might be possible... that he didn't want to go.


    Could be wrong.

    Looking back, we think the problem was that the Barnstormer tracks are up in the air. Just poles supporting it, with lots of open space underneath. So where the Mine Train is all built on hills, the Barnstormer looks like it’s way up in the air to a little kid. Therefore, much less safe. That’s our theory, anyway.
    Actually... that makes sense.


    I think that may be the first time I've ever said that to anything you've written.


    huh.

    There’s a lot of truth in this t-shirt:


    ::yes::

    I can see that.

    There was also some lady riding around in a truck, inspecting guests to make sure they weren’t wearing capes.
    NO CAPES!

    Unfortunately, they didn’t scan their ride photo, so I have no evidence that they actually rode it
    Too bad.
    Would've been fun to see.

    For all I know, they spent their time throwing popcorn at people riding by after the drop.
    You can do this? Sign me up!

    Obligatory foot shot... with added child bonus.

    the nerd in me likes the fact that it’s powered by electromagnets.
    ::yes::

    The big kids were incredibly nervous and fearful, however.


    OMG! Look at them panicking! Waving for help! The feigned look of happiness as they blithely descend into madness.

    The horror.

    I may look like a mild-mannered guy
    Um... sure. Let's go with that's what you look like.

    When you introduce me to a ride like Buzz Lightyear, where you can actually score points, well…there’s only one acceptable outcome.
    cheat

    I also learned a while back that it was possible to max out the score on Buzz, so this immediately became a life goal for me.
    Me too... but I keep forgetting to cheat.

    So winning at sports doesn’t come nearly as easily as it used to, which is why I now avoid playing sports with them.
    Wise decision.
    "It's too easy to beat you. I've stopped embarrassing you. Rejoice."

    Again, please submit those Father of the Year nominations prior to the deadline.
    Get in line.

    Anyway, when you are physically outmatched in competition, you must resort to the one alternative that remains: cheating.
    There it is.

    watching YouTube videos with the intensity of Kevin Costner watching the Zapruder film in JFK.
    That's the one with all the water, right?

    And if the kids asked where the targets were, I would actually tell them, because I’m an idiot a big softy trying to make it seem like a fair fight when I claim victory later.
    And you prayed that they'd forget.

    I had forgotten how hard it was to figure out which red dot in the dozens of red dots flashing on the walls was actually yours.
    Yeah... I get that too.
    "I think I'm aiming over there..."

    Also, I had to steer and keep adjusting the vehicle’s position and it’s hard to do that an aim at the same time.
    uh huh... next you'll say the sun was in your eyes.

    Also, the sun was in my eyes.
    Knew it!!!

    they were all thoroughly impressed with my victory, by which I mean they rolled their eyes and starting walking away without me.
    :laughing:

    A prize worthy of your prowess.

    There was only one “big” ride left: the Haunted Mansion.
    oooooh... yuss...

    We had “trained” him for the rides by showing him a lot of videos on YouTube prior to our trip. I know this is “spoiling” the ride for him ahead of time, but in the case of a 4-year-old, I think it works well to calm the nerves.
    I think it's a great idea, actually.

    I figured if we could get Drew through the opening stretching room scene (specifically the part where the lights go out and there’s a scream) then we’d probably be ok.
    Yep. If he can do that, the rest is pretty benign.

    but walked with us to get on the Doom Buggies.
    is that code for "chased after us, screaming and crying"?

    As it turned out, Drew loved the Haunted Mansion.
    Great!!

    the Whispering Canyon Café in the Wilderness Lodge. We’d always had a lot of fun with the antics of the wait staff there. Then, about a month before our trip, Disney announced that they would be “enhancing the guest experience” by toning down the antics. In other words, some stick-in-the-mud guests thought it was too loud and they ended up winning the argument.
    I've since heard that they reinstated the shenanigans.

    We met them for dinner at The Plaza on Main St. We’d never eaten there before.
    Me neither. Might in May, however.

    I pulled off my shoes and socks so I could do some quick math.
    What do you do if you have to go above 22?

    So if I got one milkshake, I could pass it around the table, everyone could get some, then I could get a refill (of a different flavor, too!) and repeat….
    Can you do that?
    The server didn't... I dunno, say you couldn't?

    I got a burger piled high with pulled pork
    hmmm... there's a burger patty under the cheese, right?

    Julie tried the fried green tomato sandwich. She said it was decent, but a pale shadow of the ones her mom used to make.
    Of course not.
    No one makes anything like mom does.

    I think everyone else had standard burgers except for Sarah, who couldn’t resist an order of the loaded bacon cheese ranch fries.
    Sarah is smart. Dang that looks good.

    Overall, the Plaza was deemed “pretty good”. I’d go back; I don’t know that I’d make it a priority.
    Hmmm... not exactly the highest of praise.

    I like the other photo better. This is not Christmas card worthy.

    There’s something about Disney Parks lit up at night.
    ::yes:: :cloud9:

    Drew, for his part, couldn’t wait.


    :laughing: Awwww... poor l'il guy.

    Come to think of it, I’m not as young as I used to be. That was a lot of walking, especially in Florida heat. My feet hurt. I’d like to change my clothes. Maybe if I just lie down for a sec—


    ZZZZZZZZZZZzzzzzzz…
    No sleep like a Disney sleep.

    Should we tell Drew how fast Test Track goes?
    Sure! If anything, exaggerate it. Tell him occasionally people get thrown from it, just to make it sound really exciting!
     

    QueenJen

    Mouseketeer
    Joined
    Sep 2, 2012
    The photo of a happy dad! Great shot - and great idea to stop for a pic.

    That quickly devolved into a full-on screaming, kicking temper tantrum—and it wasn’t even me this time! Drew fought and fought until we finally gave up.
    Not feeling the magic. I feel for both Drew and you guys - hope everyone bounce back quickly.

    I’ve always like the Peoplemover.
    I really miss that and the skyway at DL.

    I hit a couple of high-value targets and got over 300,000.
    Decent score - where is the ride photo of you in action? I'm always trying for the max score and have yet to succeed. DH doesn't really care for this ride and it's frustrating if he beats me.

    As it turned out, Drew loved the Haunted Mansion.
    Fantastic - always a good ride. Glad he liked it and it will hopefully be in the list of approved rides for future visits.

    I can't help but notice that you look less than thrilled - while hogging the milkshake.

    Very talented - just a simple little doodle. :faint: I can't even draw a decent stick figure.

    loaded bacon cheese ranch fries.
    Yum.

    Drew, for his part, couldn’t wait.
    You just wish that could've been you at that moment.

    Come to think of it, I’m not as young as I used to be. That was a lot of walking, especially in Florida heat. My feet hurt. I’d like to change my clothes. Maybe if I just lie down for a sec—


    ZZZZZZZZZZZzzzzzzz…
    lol - see above comment.
     

    pkondz

    . . Dis Dad #797 . . Hoping to get lucky
    Joined
    Mar 9, 2007
    As we waited, Sarah grabbed the crayons they had given Drew to keep him occupied. She looked out the window and just started doodling on her

    A few minutes later, just as dinner was being served, she had produced this:

    This young woman just stuns me. She's an amazing talent.
    I don’t know how I missed all this!

    She’s definitely a talented young lady.
     

    Captain_Oblivious

    DIS Dad #257
    Joined
    Nov 10, 2008
    I don’t know how I missed all this!

    She’s definitely a talented young lady.
    I thought the same thing - I read this last night and came back to comment today - I didn't remember seeing this last night.
    You're not crazy. It was something I had wanted to include in the chapter and completely forgot at the time. So I went back and edited the chapter later.
     

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