Trip Report 2013: Day 3, part 3: Characters, Imagination, and Beverly.

I need to step it up on this Trip Report… I keep taking longer and longer between updates!  Anyway, when I last left off, D and I took a spin into the Universe of Energy… and it was invigorating!! (Or I don’t know, maybe not. LOL!)

When we got out of the ride, it was past 10 o’clock already.  I intended us to head over towards the Land and/or the Imagination Pavilion, but with the possibility of poking about at whatever we saw on the way, too.  This is where D discovered the Fountain of Nations. She was entranced.  It was the first of many times throughout the day that she stopped and watched the show going on.  And the thing is, until she did that, I hadn’t realized that I have NEVER stopped and watched the FoN show.  Not once.  I just never paid enough attention to notice how it’s all synched with the music playing.  Well, I’ve seen plenty of it now, and it’s well-worth standing and watching for a while!

Here’s a video I found on YouTube.  This is NOT taken by me, it is by WDWLive.

I dragged D away from the water and we got in line for some character greetings.  I was on a mission this trip to find Chip and Dale for a good friend who loves them, and I had read that they were sometimes at the Character Spot, but no luck this time. However, Mickey, Minnie and Goofy were there!  And I havent’ said this yet in this trip report, but I love Goofy. He’s not my favourite Disney character but he is my fave meet and greet!

Doesn't it seem like Mickey ought to be the last one you meet? Like let the excitement build or something? OH well, he was first, the end.

Doesn’t it seem like Mickey ought to be the last one you meet? Like let the excitement build or something? OH well, he was first, the end.

This is the first time I noticed Goofy wearing suspenders and his shirt being too short. LOL! See something new every time. ;)

This is the first time I noticed Goofy wearing suspenders and his shirt being too short. LOL! See something new every time. 😉

Two girly-girls!  Minnie is my favourite girly-girl (because D isn't really one after all).

Two girly-girls! Minnie is my favourite girly-girl (because D isn’t really one after all).

THREE girly-girls! :D

THREE girly-girls! 😀

Emerging from the Character Spot, I noticed we were close to Club Cool.  And thus began my nefarious plan to trick D into drinking the Beverly.

I didn’t want to completely put her off all the sodas, so I warmed her up with a couple of other flavours. A lot of the dispenser stations were low on sodas (which I’d later learn was because they were discontinuing nearly all of them), so I had to pick and choose.  But there was a wrinkle in my plan, something I had forgotten: D doesn’t like carbonated beverages. The bubbles irritate her tongue. She never, ever drinks soda.

Well, she was willing to try the first one, to see if she still didn’t like it.  So I gave her the VegitaBeta flavour first. Too strong, she said. I tried the Smart Watermelon flavour next – I really thought it was a little less bubbly.

But this is the face she made.

But this is the face she made.

I said “Try just one more?” because I evidently want my daughter to never trust me again. I even poured the Beverly and took a sip, saying “Oh, it’s really okay!” She backed away shaking her head.  A firm NO.

I know when not to push.  But this was on my “MUST DO” list. SOMEBODY was gonna drink the Beverly.

So I handed D my camera, and I took one for the team.

I regret nothing!

I regret nothing!

Never doubt that I am devoted to my plans, folks. 😉

After this there was a little bit more staring at the Fountain of Nations, then I dragged us into Innoventions West. I picked West largely because we were on that side of the park at that moment, and because I wasn’t sure which was which; if I’d actually known, I’d have gone to East, because West was the only side we did LAST trip.  The last time, D and I had done the Great Piggy Bank game and the fire safety game, and there wasn’t a whole lot else in there; well, this time she was up to do the Piggy Bank game again, so we did, but otherwise once again – not a whole lot to do.  We played a bit of video games (Toy Story) and left, heading to the Imagination Pavilion.

By this time I have to admit, I was getting into a bit of a hurry.  Off and on I’d do that – let us linger someplace, then feel like I had to make up the time.  So, unfortunately, we did not get the chance to take in the Imagination pavilion… which is too bad, because it’s actually among my favourites in the park!  Yes, I mean just for the jumping fountains. 😀  Anyway, I kept telling D that we had to “book it” across the park to get to whatever I had my mind set on. XD  That became a mantra for the rest of the trip, recurring whenever I felt like there was a time crunch, so probably about 2-3 times each day.

In spite of D’s wish to do Captain EO, we did end up just hopping onto Journey Into Imagination.

In MY imagination, this picture looked a lot better.

In MY imagination, this picture looked a lot better.

I’m so torn on this ride – I like it every time I do it, but I also feel like it could just be SO much better.  The song isn’t in it nearly enough. And in spite of having a huge soft spot for Eric Idle, I miss Dreamfinder. Although I also have to admit that I really like the ending.  The first time I went on the ride was the first time I ever heard “One Little Spark”, and with it being sung by Eric Idle, I thought perhaps he had written it!  Yeah, yeah, don’t kill me.  Eric Idle writes some very singable songs!  Anyway, I like the original MUCH more now, but I’m just happy every time I hear it no matter who is singing it. 🙂  Even if it’s a hideous puffy moon face! 😀

In any case, D loves the ride, and I’m more than happy to take her on it.  (I conveniently “forgot” to ask her if she wanted to go on Nemo this time around.)  Afterwards we hung around the ImageWorks area for a while and she built her own Figment, we hopped around on the musical instruments floor, and then we moved on to the Land.

Our FP+ for Soarin’ was still hours away so this time was just about getting onto Living With the Land, which is one of my favourites, and which D consistently mentioned having liked on our last trip.  I wasn’t completely sure if that would hold up, because I didn’t know if she remembered it accurately – but she enjoyed it just as much!

I have only waited in a line for this ride ONCE.  That was in May 2008.  Otherwise it’s been walk-on every time and today was no exception. We got right on and started our tour of different ecological systems… This was the part of the ride that D really remembered.  She finds the part with the buffalo on the prairie to be completely fascinating.  And she was also pretty convinced that it was really raining in the rainforest. XD

AND, I discovered a month or two before our trip – rather by accident – that she loves the song “Listen to the Land”. You know, the song that is no longer a part of the ride? LOL!  But I put it onto a CD for our trip and every time it came on she asked to listen to it again immediately after.  So in honour of D, I’m going to share another of my fave videos by someone else – this one is by Joanna (of the Amazing Technicolor Interwebs), and I love it!

We saw a bunch of the hidden mickeys inside the greenhouse portion, which was great!  A lot of the time, we are going too fast for D to see them. This time she pointed a few out!  She also really liked the baby alligators etc.

Once we were finished, we went alllll the way back out (honestly – the only downside of the Land pavilion is how long a walk it is from entrance to rides, and back!) and then since it was already past noon, it was time to hit up World Showcase!


Let’s Get Thankful! aka the November Disney With Me/FTJ by Rebecca giveaway post

Hello!  HAPPY NOVEMBER!!!  If you live in America you are no doubt reminded daily that you’re supposed to be thankful this month; now, for Disney fans, I’m happy to present a little opportunity for anyone world-wide to be thankful. 🙂

For the next week – through November 23, 2013 – this giveaway will be running and you can have a chance to win this cutie-pie pin:

Straight from WDW!

Straight from WDW!

Is this, or is this not, an entirely adorable pin? Reminds me of the Polynesian for some reason. :D

Is this, or is this not, an entirely adorable pin? Reminds me of the Polynesian for some reason. 😀

To be honest, I was going to leave this open the rest of the month, but I thought two weeks is an awful long time to wait for just the one pin.  Whenever I have a really nice big exciting prize (or three) to give away I’ll have an extended entry period, but for now, 1 week – Sunday through Saturday!

To enter the giveaway, just click here to be taken to the Giveaway page on Facebook, or else click this one to go straight to the Rafflecopter giveaway page… I think. I’m trying to work this out still so if you’re not able to enter from here please tell me and I’ll fix! There are multiple methods to enter, from following on Facebook, on Twitter, and even leaving a blog post! 😀  Remember, all it takes is ONE entry to be the winner!  But you can tweet about the giveaway daily to get extra entries all week long, so keep checking back!

Last thing: no, you don’t have to be a client with me to win this pin. It’s open to everyone. 🙂  Of course I would love to have the chance to work with you and help you plan the perfect vacation, but either way I hope you’ll stick around and stay friendly!

Saturday Blog Showcase: Disney For Five+

To Disney, the average family coming to visit their resorts  is two parents and two kids.  You can see this reflected in their price estimates when they are marketing offers (family of four – always, family of four) and in the fact that relatively few of their resorts, outside of the Deluxe Villas, can accommodate more than 4 in all, unless the fifth is an infant.

And this is fine; this is standard. But just because they operate on the default assumption that you’re going to be coming with four people or less, that doesn’t mean that Disney is necessarily hard to navigate if you have more people.  It does, though, mean that it’s good to have resources and advice from someone who regularly does navigate with five or more, and that is where today’s Saturday Blog Showcase comes in.

Heather’s Disney For Five + is, first of all, written by a mother of three – so there is plenty of first-person experience.  Heather says that she is not only sharing her own experiences, but actively seeking input from other larger families, so if this mirrors your experience and you haven’t found her blog before now I’m sure she’d LOVE to hear from you – and you can only have a great time checking out her blog to begin with. 🙂

Much of the content on Heather’s blog is in the form of reviews (like this one for Be Our Guest, or this one for All-Star Music Resort), announcements of news (and breakdowns of the promos), which can apply to anyone travelling to Walt Disney World so don’t write the blog off just because you say “Eh, I only have one kid, I won’t have anything to read.”  Not that I think anyone would say that but y’know what I mean. 😉  One of the other reasons why I recommend Disney For Five + is because, as with so many of the blogs I showcase, I love her writing style.

I also love her choice of content.  I don’t mention it much but Mousekeeping (the term used for the housekeeping staff on Disney properties) are generally wonderful and if you have a great experience, they deserve to hear about it.  The latest post as of this writing is an entry on Mousekeeping and ways to show them some love if the person tending to your room goes above and beyond with a bit of extra pixie dust.  Another recent entry is a glowing review for Gaston’s Tavern that makes me crave pork. 😀

Unlike some of us bloggers (ME), Heather is able to keep many of her posts short and to the point, so you’ll get some nice bite-sized entries, easy to keep up with.  Definitely put her on your follow list, and enjoy!

Hopefully I will see you next week with another inconsistently-scheduled Saturday Blog Showcase! 😀

2013 Trip Report: Day 3, part 2: Off to Epcot!

I love how she looks like she's about to fall backwards into the fountain

I love how she looks like she’s about to fall backwards into the fountain

All right!  So Epcot! I’d wanted to get there before the park opened, but the tent slowed us down some, and so did my reminding myself not to rush D. Nobody has fun if we’re nailed to a schedule.  Meanwhile, I was pretty excited for the Food & Wine Festival, but I knew not to assume D would want to eat much from it.

D and the Food & Wine signage

D and the Food & Wine signage

I OWN THIS PLACE! (I can dream.)

I OWN THIS PLACE! (I can dream.)

D’s favourite ride from before was Test Track; I had FastPass+ selections for Test Track, Soarin’, and the Maelstrom for the evening, so we decided to do whatever we could in the morning and just have fun. 🙂  I also had a (somewhat rough) itinerary in hand, with our FP+ times on them as well as a schedule for the earlier part of the day.  I’ll be honest: most of the times on the schedule did get shuffled around. And I honestly think that’s how it should be. 🙂  FLEXIBILITY!

But our first priority for the first ride of the day was still: New Test Track!

A quick side note to mention that one of my favourite things about this trip was running, hand in hand, with D to get to our destination.  Except for the times we skipped. That was awesome too. 😀

Test Track’s new ride is very, very streamlined.  It was weird to be in there and try to remember what the queue used to look like!  It’s a completely different experience now.  The interactivity is neat: getting to design your own car is a fun way to pass the time while you’re waiting to board.  Low light levels made it very hard to get a good set of pics on this ride’s queue, but just remember, I was trying FOR YOU. 😛

Uggggh, I really can't believe I'm letting you guys see this awful pic.

Uggggh, I really can’t believe I’m letting you guys see this awful pic.

It's the lighting making the pics look like this. REALLY.

It’s the lighting making the pics look like this. REALLY.

TOUCHSCREEN TECHNOLOGY!  Is there a child alive who doesn't love this?

TOUCHSCREEN TECHNOLOGY! Is there a child alive who doesn’t love this?

Here is the car that we designed. (Mostly D but I love touchscreen technology too.)

Here is the car that we designed. (Mostly D but I love touchscreen technology too.)

Once we’d designed our cars and we were allowed into the next queue area, it wasn’t a long wait to board our ride simulator whatsit, whatever they called it.  Simulator was in there somewhere (unless it wasn’t).  There was a little boy who was very, VERY sad that the car he designed was not the car he got to ride in.  He was crying and we heard him shout “I HATE this ride!” as that family departed… poor baby!  I wonder how much disappointment that ride can create. XD

The ride was certainly fun, and D *loved* it, so I was glad I already had FastPasses to ride it again in the evening; however, speaking for myself, I have to be honest that I preferred the old version.  As clunky and unattractive as it was in parts, you knew what was going on in each test.  I found this version hard to follow, especially because we didn’t properly load our car’s data on the first time we went through, so it took me a while to figure out that they were ranking the specs of the cars.

Tell me this is not one ugly car. And I will call you a liar. :)

Tell me this is not one ugly car. And I will call you a liar. 🙂

What they do is, as you design your car the computers rate that design on certain areas of performance.  Then when you go through the ride, as you’re having fun being bumped around on the track, they run your car’s data with the cars from the other riders, and rank them in each area.  Then at the end they rank each car overall.

Personally, I miss the heat, cold, and corrosive acid rooms.  But, that’s me. 🙂  I mean hey! Tron is fun too. ;P  No, but seriously, it’s still a fun ride and other than missing what’s not there anymore, I don’t think there’s much to complain about.  Plus that fast loop at the end is still there. XD

The cheap way of getting your ride photo!

The cheap way of getting your ride photo!

Having finished the necessary step 1 for the day, we moved onto my second one on the itinerary: Ellen’s Energy Adventure. I was a little bit on the fence about it, since it’s VERY long, but I had a couple of reasons for choosing it: one, I was honestly trying to do the science-type stuff while we were there so that D would pick up some information.  (In fact, I made her write a tiny little report about this ride later.) Two, D loves dinosaurs but I knew “Dinosaur” would be beyond her – too much scary things jumping out at you in that ride.  And three, I hadn’t done it since 2005 and it really does deserve SOME attention.

It's a pavilion of ENERGY!

It’s a pavilion of ENERGY!

On the walk, I explained to D that the lady starring in it was the voice of Dory in Finding Nemo (D: “Oh. Wow.”), and also that the animatronic dinosaurs were only in one part and that they kind of snort at you but not much else.  We got to the theatre just about five minutes before the next pre-show started, and we’d just gone inside when D asked more about the dinosaurs.  Somehow she got it into her head that it was a movie only, and that the animatronics would come *into* the room and like, sit near her and mess with her or something. I’m not clear on this. 😀

She nearly kiboshed the whole thing and in fact got herself into a slight panic so we had to leave the building, but outside I explained to her that it’s not scary, it’s no worse than the Great Movie Ride, and I’d be there with her the whole time.  She finally relented and we’re both glad she did!  The movie is fun, it honestly is – though largely because Ellen DeGeneres is such a delight. 🙂  And Bill Nye the Science Guy was just cute in the 90s. 😉 She did indeed write the report on the attraction.  I’ll look for it later and see if I can put up a picture.

For what it’s worth, as a frequent Disney-goer, I don’t recommend going on Energy Adventure every trip.  If you’ve never done it, DO IT.  If you have, but you’re on a long trip and will be spending at least 2-3 days at Epcot, do it.  If you’ve done it and you’re only going to be at Epcot for one day, skip it.  It doesn’t change.  It may or may not be there next time you come, but at least you’ve done it in the past.  I say this with love, but it’s just so LONG, and there are other things at Epcot to discover if you’re limited on time.  But DO make an effort to see it if you haven’t before; D and I sacrificed nearly an hour of our single Epcot day for it and neither of us regret it. 🙂

Mickey Mutineers: At This Point, I’m Only Entertaining Myself

I have more notes of Mickey Mutineer episodes I’ve listened to! This is mainly just to prove that I am DOING this, since it’s taking so long and it’s really easy to claim that I’m doing it.  As of today I have listened to the first 13 eps, and everything from ep 30-42, so I’m well over halfway done (about 25 out of 43, or… something. I don’t know. I cannot math!), but this is not all of the notes I’ve typed up, and so these notes are rather incoherent, but it’s PROOF!  Also you should listen to the eps to find out what I’m babbling about. 🙂

Mutineers Logo (c) uh... The Mickey Mutineers I guess. In any case I'm coopting it but it's theirs.

Mutineers Logo (c) uh… The Mickey Mutineers I guess. In any case I’m coopting it but it’s theirs.

Episode 35:
This is the MOST enthusiastic opening ever until Jake blows it by being inappropriately non-inappropriate.

Club 33 costs $33,000, which is why we all need to buy things off of via  I’ve done it! I’m sure my $14 purchase bought them all beluga caviar for a week. ^_^

I like Tyson.  Canadians rock! (I married one!)

Didgeridoo impression. “And that’s what they sound like. Quick, ask me what another instrument sounds like!”

OMG the “I found a treasure!” noise!  AHAHAHA!  This is the high point of this podcast for me (so far; not ruling out there could be others).  Sea snake!  Noooo!

I do in fact love the TripAdvisor Hall of Shame.

(Then there was a looooong period in which I didn’t even have time for podcast listenin’ due to work and vacation)

Episode 39:

Yes I’m back!! It’s been a month but I’m back. [Note: once again this would have been more effective if I had actually been putting stuff up daily/weekly, or if this were the most recent podcast…]

Free PhotoPass = Photobombing. I’m for it!

Things not to do in the parks!  I’m sure this list is going to be really down to earth, serious, and respectful, knowing the source. ^_^ -Don’t play Frogger on Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride. Good advice! But this just makes me want to do it! -Oh wait, there’s an exception to performing arson in the parks?  Hey – if Tiki Room Under New Management got better, then maybe EVERYTHING would get better if it burned down.  Guys, shouldn’t you be encouraging arson then?

Poo dollar?  You guys, OMG. XD

-It’s definitely frowned upon… Matt you just classed this up a notch with your wording.  Congrats.  And for once I actually know the term you are referring to. XD “Motorboating.” Ehem.

-You might not want to do it, but Matt has suggested the best choreographed death at Disney. Please do not actually try it. Remember, this list is telling you things you should NOT try at home!  Or um. At the parks.

-Don’t ask where the tentacles go. Please don’t.

So wait. When did this list go from “Do not do this” to “what you do is, you go to a high-end restaurant, and…”

NICE segue into shopping!

I love the interpretation of @thedislife’s “shouldn’t smack someone else’s kid” as Mr. T.  This is all kinds of new and interesting. XD

@YoPaulieNJ stole my “Do not do” idea.  CLEARLY he ripped me off. 😛

Episode 38:

I have no idea what this one will be about.  Woopdeewoo! To give You, the Readers, an idea, it is entitled “A Quiet Evening With Leonard Kinsey” and it’s even more inappropriate for the world at large than the usual episode. 😉

Yeah, “doing it on the monorail”, I did not think about bar crawls. Aaaand now we’ve started talking about something entirely different. LOL.

Funny thing: once you start talking about the timeshare stuff I can totally relate. LOL. My experience with a timeshare presentation was apparently tame compared to the one detailed in the book…

So to answer your unspoken question, YES I do now want to read this book!  and YES I am also terrified to do so. XD
Episode 37:
Do not EVER do a Public Enemy Style shoutout again. EVER. That was AWFUL. XD

Nutella beards. I don’t think I can muster enough love for Nutella to keep from being grossed out by that, sorry!

I’m THOOOOOR!  Kersmash!  *ahem*

“Fun and Fancy Free” had only one bear – Bongo – not two!  Ugh, shut me up, please. XD  WHY am I doing this! I’m being That Guy!

Oh my god after all that you finally remembered to do the news.  Bwahaha.

HOLY S***!  That’s an AWESOME Tom Waits impression!! [Note, in the manner of it’s unmistakably sounding like Tom Waits, not so much in the manner of it actually SOUNDING LIKE him.  It’s the ESSENCE of Waits! Aaahhhh!]

Best ride to do it on?  Well what’s not to love about the romance of Gran Fiesta Tour? I DON’T KNOW I NEVER THOUGHT ABOUT IT.

And moving on, what… wait, what extinct attraction would you build a monument to?  I’m confused.  But my all-time favourite running gag, the “WhaaaaaaaAAAAA?” response, pops up so what can I complain about? 😀

Cartoon Planet reference?!  I am FLOORED!  Heeeey everbuddy!

Episode 36:

It’s Safari Mike!  And he was appropriately inappropriate! I’m never going to be able to see Safari Mike in the same way again….

It’s been a while since Mike has been on any podcast but his own. There was that period in April where he was on every podcast EVER.  Remember that?  Ahhh, good times. 😀

They added Planes characters to Soarin’ Over California??  WHY?  That’s insane. That’s so lame!  Well they didn’t have those at Epcot.

OH GOOD, no more Cars Land at Hollywood Studios rumour.  Yay!  That inspired so much griping, I’ll miss that, actually. 😀

Well it sounds like Ep 36 was the last current appearance of Doom Guy, unless I’m wrong… (By the time I post this, it will probably no longer be true!)

Oooh! Safari Mike’s awesomely awful My Disney Experience – with an intro like this my expectations are high. Will they be met? (Tune in to find out!)

I’m with you guys, I actually do kind of like the FastPass+ system! I mean I like the spontaneity and all, but man, it’s really nice knowing FOR SURE that you have a FP for the rides you most want to do.

I’m now officially scared of beards. 😦

What Disney character would you punch in the face or elsewhere?  Whose question was this again?? LOL! Not Ursula! Except I kind of understand the urge.  Huh, go figure.

Ooh I got saved for last. Fail to mention that this was in response to “What should we talk about with Safari Mike?” Which is why I said Star Wars. 😛  Actually it was “Star Wars?” because I couldn’t think of anything else. Other than Avatarland. Lalala… 9_9  Oh well. I’m glad you’re talking about Avatarland. And I’m glad to help Matt find out about hashtags.  Bring one into Avatarland!

And now back to the Classics!

Episode 6:

Now THIS ep, I know I have previously listened to.  But seeing as it is from late February, it’s been a good long while. 🙂

“I’m gonna call it Blue Sky News, and ignore Josh, because these are news items where people are just like ‘Oh hey! I heard this once!'”  Ie, rumours. Yay!  Oh, “Stark Expo” was announced in February, that’s right!  Ahhh, memories. 🙂

It does say “omnipotent” on your forehead!

I’m kind of surprised about the attachment Josh has to Autopia.  I only have the Tomorrowland Indy Speedway to compare it to but C’MON. That needs to go. WHY is it still there?!

Those two ducks are funny! They never get through the act! XD  (This episode has at least three different Roger Rabbit references. How ’bout them Brooklyn Dodjahs?)

Yeah, this is definitely the ep that hooked me on the Mutineers. A certain amount of Disney discussion but much more cracking each other up.  That’s what keeps me coming back.

Callback! “I do shoveling!”

When you think about it, it’s really interesting that the discussion about peeing in line has stayed on-topic for longer than ANY other discussion that has come up on this episode!

I know where the hidden Donald is in the Haunted Mansion! But I don’t have a pic of it and if I am not allowed to Google it then I will just totally suck. 😛

Episode 7:

Ahhh, this is the “Up” episode! With the balloons!  This is actually my favourite ending to any podcast ep that I’ve heard so far. 😀

There’s always money in the banana stand!  My bag says that. …I’m just going to leave that there.

If the Tree of Life lands on someone will it still be the Tree of Life?  Or… the Tree of DEATH!

Loving the general hatred of Avatarland. It’s happening anyway and that’s why this is so funny.  “I love Animal Kingdom. Why TRASH IT UP with Avatarland?”

My favourite parts of this show are when they spontaneously start talking about what’s going on in “the van”.  Tim just caught a rabbit while fishing from high above the Amazon.

Will somebody please just take the Mutineers to Club 33 already?!

And now Tim just rode his Segway onto the wall and flipped the van sideways.  I have no doubt that this actually happened.

Side note: the chimichanga story is really funny and also just makes me SQUIRM. XD

I JUST looked up the Most Interesting Man in the World this morning!  So now I know what the heck that reference was about! (It’s MONTHS later. I am slow. I will never be cool and I’m aware of it. So that makes me cool! Right?… Wait.)

Is this the first time when you had a listener question where the answer was Ursula?  Because the answer is always Ursula, but I think this is the first occurence of that…  I like the pick of Carlos’s lady. “Don’t be cheecken!”  She’s saucy!

Ahhh I love the reinterpretation of the “Which animatronic would you bring home to mother?” question!  A whole new world!

Well that’s all for today, but of course, you can always have more Mutineer content by checking out their blog and podcast at, and don’t forget to tell Matt that they have a website.  Thanks for readin’!

Trip Report 2013: Day 3, beginning at Fort Wilderness

Before we officially start Day 3, let’s backtrack a tiny bit to the night before…

I haven’t talked a whole lot about our campsite yet, other than putting up the tent. However, there isn’t actually a whole lot to say about it.  Every campsite gets a sand/gravel patch with a little driveway leading into it for your car (should you have one).  As long as you have a hammer to get the tent pegs in, the ground material is very easy to set up in. (Don’t laugh. I didn’t know I needed a hammer on my first trip and I had to be rescued by neighbours who knew more about setting up a tent than I did. :P)  Many of the sites also have small trash cans and even some recycling stands with different partitions for newspapers, bottles/cans, etc.  All sites also have a picnic table and a water hookup with hose; this is super useful, as a lot of other campsites I’ve been to don’t have these.

Home Sweet Home! (Image from Wikipedia)

Home Sweet Home! (Image from Wikipedia)

We were also very close to the comfort station, right around the corner, which was a big help when we got in after dark that night. “Comfort station”, by the way, means bathrooms and showers.  There are also electrical outlets, suitable for hair dryers and charging cell phones, AND – best part – they are AIR-CONDITIONED.  So they ain’t kidding about the comfort part. 🙂

Exterior of a Comfort Station. This is from and used without permission. (He's got a great review post there, go read it.)

Exterior of a Comfort Station. This is from and used without permission. (He’s got a great review post there, go read it.)

D had a real knack for finding squashed things (bugs mainly) outside every comfort station we went into. She thought it was the same one each time.

And this here is the interior (partially) of a comfort station, courtesy of this page:

And this here is the interior (partially) of a comfort station, courtesy of this page:

When we got back, around 8:30 or 9 or so, I hadn’t yet blown up the air mattress (because I R SMRT), so I did that and then D got to carry the flashlight over to the comfort station and we brushed our teeth and got ready for bed.

So I wasn’t able to tell if I had just not inflated the mattress properly or if it had a hole in it, but boy did that thing deflate quickly once we were on it.  The worst was not just that it was going flat – I’m willing to sleep on the ground – but the way it was inflated in SOME spots but not others, and if you moved at all, it readjusted the inflation areas. GAH. Plus I had not put any blankets down beneath it – dumb move. Didn’t sleep well for the third night in a row.

Even better: we were ready for bed by about 9:30, which isn’t TOO bad for D though I’d prefer 8:30… and it took her a while to wind down, because she’s hyperactive and her brain is always going a mile a minute unless she’s EXHAUSTED.  Well, she’d drifted off and I finally was getting there too, and then the first strains of the Electric Water Pageant floated gently and unmistakably into our tent. XD  So I guess we probably fell asleep somewhere closer to 10:30 or even later, in the end.

The next morning we kept up the trip’s unintended tradition of getting up before 6am. 😛  Not really on purpose – I didn’t wake her, we were just both up and couldn’t get back to sleep.  I HAD  actually planned on getting up early though, because I wanted to try to get a run in… I hadn’t factored in the late sunrise so it was pitch black!  I told D we would go on a walk instead, so after pulling on some clothes and using the bathrooms we walked around, bringing the flashlight.  We killed about a half an hour and it was finally starting to get light by the time we got back.

Because I'm at work and can't find my own map that they gave me. This is from

Because I’m at work and can’t find my own map that they gave me. This is from

During the walk, I managed to figure out where the Meadow Trading Post was – it’s really tough to figure out based on the map, which I actually did have with me – and although it wasn’t open yet, we needed to pick up a few things because neither one of us had our toothbrushes.  Believe it or not. 😛  So I decided we’d be needing to pop by there on the way out to Epcot.

One of my regrets about the shortage of time on this trip was that, especially due to our resort-hopping, we really didn’t have time to explore ANY of the places we stayed at fully.  Most of our downtime between parks was taken up checking in and sometimes setting up the tent.  Next time we come to WDW, our first day we will just hang out at the resort rather than head immediately to the parks.  All the resorts deserve a little bit of exploration, and Fort Wilderness is one of the BEST ones to do that with!

Well, anyway, at this point we got showers and dressed, ate some light breakfasts (mostly muffins) and set about taking the tent down.  I’m not as good at that as I am at putting it up, so it didn’t QUITE fit into the bag, but that’s OK… I only had to stick it into the trunk of the car. 🙂

The Meadow Trading Post; photo by Jack Spence at AllEars.Net, used without permission (and I will remove it if asked).

The Meadow Trading Post; photo by Jack Spence at AllEars.Net, used without permission (and I will remove it if asked).

Interior of Meadow Trading Post; photo from the useful site (, used without permission

Interior of Meadow Trading Post; photo from the useful site (, used without permission

Once we’d loaded up for the day, we drove over to the Meadow Trading Post – which had pretty much just opened – and picked up the toothbrushes and a couple of little souvenirs, namely a box of different teas that I’d tried out on our last trip.  They’re quite good and my husband loves tea, so I decided to pick up another.   So here’s a tip: Don’t forget that the Meadow Trading Post (and the Settlement Trading Post) is there.  Most things that you may forget to bring, you can pick up at the shop and it’s not really your standard gift shop; it’s more of a general store.  There’s a variety of food, basic first aid items, diapers, and other necessaries.  Are they more expensive than they would be outside Disney property?  Oh my, yes.  But I didn’t feel like I was being gouged.  There was a markup but it was not excessive.

The two women who were working the store were very nice and noticed D was wearing her Captain EO shirt, so they made a point of chatting with her about it.  She told them that we were going to Epcot that day and that we’d be seeing it (this is after we had agreed repeatedly that we would NOT be seeing it, because the Supreme Leader makes her nervous in 3D, so it was not on our schedule).  They also told her alllll about the Not-So-Scary Halloween Party and how she really should go to that – thanks, ladies. 😉

When we got back into the car D discovered that there was a tiny frog on the side door.  We named him Kermit. 🙂  Then we checked out and headed off for a day at Epcot!  D had said she wanted to ride the horses, and I felt bad that we hadn’t even so much as *seen* them yet, but I already talked about my regrets.  One thing we DID see while driving to the campsite the day before: a deer running along a trail!  We see deer at home all the time but somehow, at WDW, I consider it far more magical and exciting. 😀  Kind of like, you know… EVERYTHING at Disney!

A Few Disney News Bites

Hello everyone!  There are a number of little Junior News stories about Disney from the past week or two, so I’m going to toss them at you and ask: what are you most excited for?

1: The Jingle Cruise!

Disneyland and Walt Disney World’s Magic Kingdom will both be giving a holiday makeover to the classic Adventureland attraction, The Jungle Cruise. The holiday theming will begin “in early November”, so presumably sometime in the next week or two?  From Disney’s description:

In this new seasonal storyline of the attraction, the Skippers have grown homesick for the holidays, so they’ve added holiday cheer to the Jungle Cruise queue and boathouse with decorations that have been mailed to them from home (plus a few they’ve created themselves). The Skippers have also added a slew of new jokes to their tours that are the perfect way to get guests in the holiday spirit. Additionally, Jungle Cruise boats have been renamed with the holidays in mind, and if you listen carefully, you may hear a holiday-themed radio broadcast playing in the background.

My thoughts: I love the idea of a Jingle Cruise – I’m not sure why, I just do – but I’ve always been struck by how the Skippers on the Jungle Cruise are such smartasses. ;D  Somehow it seems weird to me that they’d be so sentimental as to get “homesick” and decorate for the holidays!  But that’s just me.  I’d still love to see this!  What do you think, are you for or against this makeover?

2: New Lounge at Hollywood Studios’s Brown Derby restaurant!

One of the nicer restaurants at Hollywood Studios, the Hollywood Brown Derby is now opening an outdoor patio lounge area for guests.  The area is shaded with umbrellas and menu offerings include beverages (alcohol included), small bites – that’s “fine dining” for appetizers – and some really luscious desserts:

Small bites are on the menu and include artisanal cheeses, charcuterie, duck confit tacos, steamed Prince Edward Island mussels, Derby Cocktail with jumbo lump blue crab, black tiger shrimp, avocado and a horseradish-tomato juice, and two Derby Sliders – a Wagyu beef slider with cognac mustard aïoli, smoked gouda cheese, bacon and avocado; and a house-made chorizo slider with chipotle mayo, manchego cheese, pickles and crispy onions.

You can also just stop for dessert, with Chocolate Three Ways (praline milk chocolate cream, crunchy ganache and orange-chocolate mousse), a banana-white chocolate toffee tower on a cocoa-almond cookie and bananas Foster, or strawberry Champagne cheesecake.

Reservations are not accepted and the lounge won’t take the Disney Dining Plan – this is important to know.  The Brown Derby is on the DDP for *meals*, but not lounge.  However, if you have Tables In Wonderland, it applies!

My thoughts: I’m boring and I don’t go to lounges. I should! but I don’t.  I’m a park commando most of the time, because I need to fill up on Disney experiences while I’m there. Then I think of all the things I missed once I’m back home. 😉

3: Reimagined Disney Magic!

Image (c) The Walt Disney Co./Disney Cruise LInes

Image (c) The Walt Disney Co./Disney Cruise Line

The Disney Magic has been relaunched (cautiously!) with new sailings out of Miami, Florida.  The ship has not been just refurbished, but reimagined, with new spaces and activities and experiences all over the place.  Among the most exciting are the AquaDunk, a water ride that begins with a VERY sudden drop – the floor opens beneath you! – and the Avengers Experience, a kids’ section of the boat with activities and Marvel Comics characters such as a Captain America meet & greet!

My thoughts: They had me at “Cruise ship”. 🙂

So?  What are you most excited about?  Are there any that inspire a yawn and a pass?  Leave a comment and let me know!