Ghost Town Studios

I have a mug with the original MGM Studios logo on it. Collector's Item!

I have a mug with the original MGM Studios logo on it. Collector’s Item!

I love Hollywood Studios. I have said this before; it’s not my favourite park, but it is my First Day park and my fave to sit and people-watch. I also really love the atmosphere on Sunset Boulevard, the “sets” at Streets of America, and just various other little details.

I’ve defended Hollywood Studios in the past when people say it’s past its prime, but I am ready to admit at any time that it needs work. My love of the park has a lot more to do with its overall feel than with the attractions that are there… and, so far in 2014 and 2015, the existing attractions have begun to dwindle. With the rushed closure of The Magic of Disney Animation, it’s pretty obvious that the park is undergoing some kind of transformation. But although rumours abound, there’s no official word from Disney, so we’re left with guesses and a sort of sense that the park is dated and kind of collapsing in on itself.

Blink, and it's gone.

Blink, and it’s gone.

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Disney World and the Banned Selfie Sticks

So, after having enacted a ban on selfie sticks just this past Spring, Disney Parks have stepped up the restriction and just flat-out banned these items throughout the parks. As of June 30, guests who bring selfie sticks into the park will have them confiscated and held at Security until they leave, at which time they can pick them back up.

The ban occurred after the original attempt to limit their use ended up being impossible to enforce; the parks’ first effort was to prohibit their use on fast-moving rides. I’m sure they thought they’d never even have to do that; honestly, what kind of sense does it make to take a high-priced, breakable item like a smart phone and stick it outside of a fast-moving roller coaster attached to nothing but a flimsy pole?!  Nobody would do that, right?

This is pretty self-explanatory, I think. But it's also possible that you might think it means "No square balloons" so I can see where it was unclear.

This is pretty self-explanatory, I think. But it’s also possible that you might think it means “No square balloons” so I can see where it was unclear.

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Disney’s Hollywood Studios Park in 2015

This weeked on Twitter I asked what my friends thought was the Best Disney News of 2014. The majority of the answers that I got were about Turner Classic Movies partnering on/sponsoring the Great Movie Ride at Hollywood Studios, which is indeed fantastic!  Some related news is the fact that TCM is also showing “Treasures From the Disney Vault“, presenting vintage Disney shows and other material that has not been replayed on the Disney Channel for some time now. YAY, TCM! (Also noteworthy: many people were happy about the recent announcement that the Sorcerer’s Hat is coming down – this is also at Hollywood Studios. Hmmm. Coincidence?)

I nipped this from a recent post at takingthefloridaplunge.com - go there for lots of constant content!

I nipped this from a recent post at takingthefloridaplunge.com – go there for lots of constant content!

This led into a general discussion about Hollywood Studios, what it could be, what it is, what we hope will happen.  Admittedly the bulk of this discussion was with LeBeau, of LeBeau’s LeBlog (yes, this is just an opportunity to plus his blog, but it’s worth it), but a few others joined in here and there!

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My Next Trip to the Magic Kingdom: Dream Edition

You know how you sometimes will go around saying “OH, I am going to do that someday!” when you think about going to Disney World? I know this isn’t just me.  Lately I’ve found myself with more and more “well, NEXT time I go, I’m going to…” statements coming up, probably because my last trip was so short that I had to postpone or abbreviate a lot of things.  So in this post I’m going to make a list of all the things I really WANT to do, but haven’t really had the option yet, at the Magic Kingdom. Maybe in subsequent posts I’ll do other parks and even some of the resorts!

It’s worth noting that a lot of these – nearly all, in fact – involve slowing down and taking something in, some details I haven’t really gotten to enjoy yet.  Here we go, in no particular order!

 

1. Stand outside of Space Mountain for a while in the heat watching people go inside. Listen to any music I can hear from inside.  Then take my time in the standby line.  (I will confess that I’m listening to Space Mountain concourse music as I write this.)

2. Catch all of Festival of Fantasy. (I usually ‘accidentally’ see parades; I don’t often work them into my day. So when I do see them I typically come in midway through or even near the end.)

3. Catch all of Move It, Shake It, Celebrate It… and get my daughter and son to dance in it with me!

4. Linger in New Fantasyland.

As close as I got last time.

As close as I got last time. That guy there is not me.

5. Meet Gaston.

6. Go inside Gaston’s Tavern. (That’s right, you heard me. I have been in New Fantasyland but didn’t go into any of the buildings in Belle’s poor provincial town.) Addendum: eat a pork shank,  you savage! 😀

7. Go through The Little Mermaid standby line.

8. Lunch at Be Our Guest

9. Dinner at Be Our Guest 😛

10. Photos of Storybook Circus area, presumably while my children soak themselves in the Casey Jr. Splash n’ Soak Station

11. Seven Dwarfs Mine Train

12. Explore around Cinderella Castle

13. See the inside of the Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique… not sure I can do that without an appointment, but I can try…

14. Take an entire day JUST to meet characters, and not worry about rides.

15. See the “it’s a small world” clock go off

16. Do a few rounds in a row of Peter Pan’s Flight (unlikely)

17. Prince Charming’s Regal Carrousel… because it really is charming. 🙂

18. Eat something at Pinocchio Village Haus and watch the small world boats go by below

19. Eat at Columbia Harbour House. Apparently I’m very hungry today.

20. Liberty Square Riverboat. I have never never never done that in spite of saying repeatedly I would do it on my next trip.  I don’t understand why it’s not called “Liberty Belle Riverboat” although I realize I’m conflating “Liberty Square” with “Lilly Belle”.

21. Waffle Sandwich from Sleepy Hollow (probably the sweet and spicy chicken one). Yep, SUPER hungry.

Perfect even on a rainy day.

Perfect even on a rainy day.

22. Haunted Mansion – but only after taking a very slow walk through the queue, with lots of pictures and time spent pushing on things that move or make sounds.

23. Shopping spree at Ye Olde Christmas Shoppe.  Well, actually, this is something I like to do every trip and rather than a “spree” I’d just pick up a few new ornaments. Slowly but surely my WDW ornament collection is taking over the tree. 🙂

24. Shop in the Frontier Trading Post

25. Pay more attention in general to the buildings and facades in Frontierland – I tend to blow thru here on my way from Splash to Haunted Mansion or Fantasyland.

26. Stop in at the Frontierland Shootin’ Arcade

27. Try to get in on some kinda hoedown action

28. FINALLY see the Country Bears Jamboree! (I’m not kidding, I’ve been trying since 2011)

29. If it’s first thing in the morning, take the standby line instead of FastPassing Splash Mountain. I haven’t done that in a while…

30. Let the kids take some time to play outside of the Splash Mountain area.

31. Listen to some banjo music and watch people coming down Splash.

32. Go all the way around on the Walt Disney World Railroad.

33. Get off at each stop on the Walt Disney World Railroad. 🙂

34. Go on Splash Mountain at night. I’ve done it before but not in a long time.  Ideally do it during the parade or the fireworks.

35. Go on Haunted Mansion at night also. Wooooo…

36. Try out the Pirate Adventure treasure hunt

I'm sure I could probably get chosen to be in the show.

I’m sure I could probably get chosen to be in the show.

37. Take in a show of Captain Jack Sparrow’s Pirate Tutorial

38. Go on Pirates like three times in a row. 🙂

39. PeopleMover. I haven’t reached this point in my trip report yet, but my daughter was kind of peeved with me that we didn’t ride on the TTA PeopleMover because I kept promising we would but it didn’t happen. 😛

40. Carousel of Progress. Lifetime Goal: Get my family to sing along, together, aloud, during the show rotation. (I am already predicting several holdouts on this.)

41. See Sonny Eclipse at Cosmic Ray’s. Never managed to do this.

42. Check out any and all kids’ play areas and take some pictures.

43. Actually watch some of the Main Street Trolley Show

44. Ride the Trolley.

45. Or some other Main Street Vehicle.

46. Get a haircut at the Barbershop. I have done this 2 or 3 times, so this time I want to be serenaded while I do. 😛

47. Check out the Enchanted Tiki Room now that it’s under Old Management.

48. Browse the shops of Adventureland and enjoy the background music.

49. Get a Dole Whip Float.

50. Spend an hour or two just on Main Street, USA – shop, eat, get some ice cream, drool over candy, possibly buy and eat said candy, pretend Starbucks is not a Starbucks, just stuff like that. 😀

 

And, not numbered but assumed throughout all of these: Take a billion pictures of EVERYTHING.

You never realize how much you're going to regret a picture with lighting like this until it's one of only 15 pictures you took that day.

You never realize how much you’re going to regret a picture with lighting like this until it’s one of only 15 pictures you took that day.

2013 Trip Report: Day 4, Part 3: The Big Mosey

Has it really been nearly 3 months since I updated my trip report?!  It has. Last update was 1/20/14. That is so sad. 😛  Even sadder, I have nearly no actual pictures taken by myself to add to this particular chapter of the report.  I’m padding it with a few I’ve found elsewhere, as noted…

Well, to recap, we are on day 4 of our trip – 3rd day in a WDW park – and this is our Magic Kingdom day.  We started the morning by being late for breakfast at Crystal Palace and then we took our time heading on to Frontierland so that we could go on Splash Mountain.  Which was wet but wonderful!

On the way out, we checked out our ride photo (we looked like goons, haha), and then poked about the rest of the gift shop. I found a disposable camera – I wasn’t sure if they still made those! – and decided that given my lack of camera options that day, I’d be better off spending the money on the camera and on the fees to have it developed than I would be with having it all going onto PhotoPass and then our having to pay to keep permanent versions of the pics.  What I didn’t anticipate was that I would have a hard time getting the film developed!  It’s now APRIL, and I don’t actually have any idea where to take the dang thing. 😦  Target used to do it and now they don’t.  Don’t worry, I WILL get it developed and when I do I’ll scan whatever looks good and show it off (probably only about half of it will work out but oh well)… I just don’t know when that will be. 😛

Anyway! An interesting side note is that the CM who rang me up was nonverbal.  I don’t know if she had just lost her voice or if she was unable to speak. I didn’t get the impression that her hearing was impaired, but maybe she’s just a very, very adept lip-reader. But in any case she not only didn’t speak to me, when I asked what the price was on the camera she scanned it to find out and then wrote the total down and showed me.  But her customer service was topnotch.  Does anyone by chance know who this was?  She really might have just had laryngitis that day in which case my question is meaningless. 🙂

Once we were done, we headed out; I had planned to go to Fantasyland next and hop on Winnie the Pooh and small world before using our FPs for Princess Fairytale Hall (the window for that was 11-12, and it was not quite 10 now). But we were sidetracked, because when we came out of the Splash area, we saw Woody and Jessie doing a meet and greet!!!

This pic is by Kenny the Pirate, and can be found here: http://kennythepirate.com/2014/02/14/disney-princes-appear-with-their-princesses-for-valentines-day-at-the-magic-kingdom-in-walt-disney-world/ I used without permission and will remove if he requests. Please check out his great blog post with the original pic!

This pic is by Kenny the Pirate, and can be found here: http://kennythepirate.com/2014/02/14/disney-princes-appear-with-their-princesses-for-valentines-day-at-the-magic-kingdom-in-walt-disney-world/ I used without permission and will remove if he requests. Please check out his great blog post with the original pic!

This was a big thing – we met Woody at Hollywood Studios on our last trip, but we had never met Jessie. And I LOVE Jessie. We had passed them 2-3 times on the last trip, basically every time we went between Adventureland and Frontierland, but each time we were in a hurry and I’d say “Oh the line’s too long” and she’d say “Oh-kaaaay”.  Well this time the line was not too long, and since we hadn’t done a whole lot of character meets on this trip, the time was RIGHT!

The line wasn’t too fast-moving, but it wasn’t too slow either… about what you’d expect for a M&G I guess. Most of the kids would go sit off to the side and the mothers would stand in line. I did notice that nearly all the parents were women. XD  The wait wasn’t boring, though, b/c Woody and Jessie were REALLY hilarious.  I love the way that the two of them are kind of basically brother/sister in the movies, even though they meet for the first time in TS2; that completely held up here, and they kept giving each other a hard time.  Particularly Woody to Jessie.

You know how Woody is a prankster?  Like in the outtakes from the TS movies, he’s always pulling jokes on Buzz.  Well, he’s like that in person too. XD He told Jessie that her armpits smelled, stuff like that. And the best part was when I gave him the pen for D’s autograph book; it’s the kind of pen where you twist the top to get the point to go in and out. Well when I gave it to him the point was OUT.  He signed D’s book, then carefully twisted the top so that the point went in, making sure that Jessie was watching him do this, then he handed it to her with a flourish. Jerk. XD

I wish I had any pictures of this M&G. 😦  I got some but all on the disposable camera, plus several from PhotoPass that I did not buy. Siiiiigh.

OH! And I actually heard a couple of people say “Andy’s coming!” while in the line. This is STILL going around, or at least it was in October! Once again, if you got here by searching something like “what happens when you say Andy’s coming”, friends, it DOESN’T DO ANYTHING.  I was right there; they ignored it. As well they should, too!

And TemporaryTourist.com shot holes in this myth, go see: http://temporarytourist.com/myths-of-walt-disney-world-were-testing/

And TemporaryTourist.com shot holes in this myth, go see: http://temporarytourist.com/myths-of-walt-disney-world-were-testing/

So once we finally stepped back out of the Splash Mountain area… there we were next to Big Thunder Mountain Railroad. With a wait time of 10 minutes.  Now I know I *said* Fantasyland… small world, Pooh… but instead D and I looked at each other and just nodded.  When was the wait time going to be this low again on Big Thunder?

The line was really pretty long but it moved fast. I took some pictures of the decor as we went – I don’t know why, just wanted to remember it I guess. The ride was a blast! D loves fast rides and well, so do I… but it always goes by TOO fast and I never see all the stuff that the ride is loaded with!  I try to watch for Hidden Mickeys and goats and men in bathtubs and all I ever end up seeing are dinosaur bones. So sad. XD

Rib bones to your right.  Pic is from www.themeparkreview.com, used without their permission and I will remove it if they request! Meanwhile please visit their excellent site. :)

Rib bones to your right. Pic is from http://www.themeparkreview.com, used without their permission and I will remove it if they request! Meanwhile please visit their excellent site. 🙂

Now we finally were ready to exit Frontierland and head over to Fantasyland.  We got to mosey – that’s what you do in Frontierland, you totally mosey – and make it to our FP+ to meet the Princesses.

EXCEPT!  On our way we got sidetracked AGAIN because I finally saw Chip and Dale!  It’s been a while so you may not recall that I had been looking for them out the corner of my eye throughout both of our previous days, but no such luck. I missed them at Epcot and Hollywood Studios. Well I was NOT going to miss them at Magic Kingdom!

There wasn’t much of a line but BOY it was getting hot.  We were still in Frontierland so they were in cowboy gear and we got hugs, photos, and then I tried to take a photo with a sign I had made for a friend who LOVES Chip and Dale more than anything!!  They took the photo but you can’t read the sign. 😦 They also SIGNED the sign and… I can’t find it at home right now D:  It said “We miss you, Carrie!”

You'll just have to trust me that it really does say that.

You’ll just have to trust me that it really does say that.

Well, after this we finally FINALLY moseyed, in a hurry, to Fantasyland.

 

 

 

2013 Trip Report: Day 4, Part 2: Putting the Splash Back Into Splash Mountain

After enjoying our ride on the monorail, we arrived at the Magic Kingdom at about 8:33 or so. So of course I’m all “let’s go let’s go, no time to look at Main Street right now, we’ll come back and see it later!” which hurts me, you have to understand. I love staring at the windows on Main Street.

We did take a few minutes to soak up the Halloween decorations, like the amazing pumpkin scarecrows at the front, and we passed a Trolley Show.

Because HALLOWEEN.

Because HALLOWEEN.

I captured a slightly awkward facial expression I'm afraid. Also I have no idea what their show was.

I captured a slightly awkward facial expression I’m afraid. Also I have no idea what their show was.

But for the most part, I would not let us browse or meander.  We passed Casey’s and turned, and then we were at Crystal Palace. As always, I felt underdressed. 😉

Well, it was definitely closing in on 8:40 by this point and 15  minutes late is undeniably LATE for your ADR. I didn’t have much hope of having it honoured but I was still hoping we could avoid having to pay for it.  We waited in line, I gave my name and apologized for being late, and then the CM just had me show my credit card and gave me a buzzer and we were told to wait. Whoa. I didn’t actually expect that! 😀

Have I mentioned before that D likes to climb things? Today was the day I really actually realized that if there is anything nearby that she can climb on, she will go for it. She’s like a large, very cute cicada. Anyway, this was the day when I was constantly pulling her off of things, especially lampposts. While we were waiting, she had nothing else to do so she climbed the railings.  I thought I’d take some pictures, but then remembered the camera battery was dying, so I took one and then turned it off:

I'm impressed by the fact that I did a "where is this?" post w/this picture and more than one person knew.

I’m impressed by the fact that I did a “where is this?” post w/this picture and more than one person knew.

I’d love to do one of those “light fixtures of the MK” series or something. You’d think those would be boring but they’re not. The main reason I won’t do it is because PlusTheMagic already did it, and very very well at that. 🙂

So anyway! About 10 minutes, maybe a little less, and we were called like special people up to the podium and then inside! They do that cute little announcement: Pooh and his friends are now ready to meet the Kelly family! or whatever the precise wording is; this is only the second meal I’ve had at Crystal Palace.

My favourite thing about the restaurant is not the characters, or the food… it’s the architecture. Crystal P is just a beautiful, beautiful restaurant!  The name suits it. 🙂

Well, we got seated and ordered our drinks, and we were informed that Tigger would be coming around momentarily so we should stay put.  We did, and talked about the day ahead, our plans etc; I got the camera out, D got the autograph book and pen out, and we watched as the table next to ours got readied.  A little boy was going to be having his birthday breakfast and so it was made ready for him, and then the servers sat a Winnie The Pooh doll in the 4th seat, put two little jars of honey next to it, and went to bring the family in.  So the little boy, who was about 2 or so, comes in, sees the Pooh doll, and has NO idea what to make of it. XD His father had sat down across from the doll and it was clearly assumed that the boy would sit next to Pooh and the mother would sit across from him.  The boy refused that idea and steadfastly sat next to his father, leaving his mother the seat next to Pooh. XD Oh bother…

Next thing, Tigger was here!

Actually the best part of this pic is that guy in the Mickey shirt BEHIND Tigger. He is AWESOME!

Actually the best part of this pic is that guy in the Mickey shirt BEHIND Tigger. He is AWESOME!

Awww. I cannot not melt over how happy she looks. D loves warm hugs.

Awww. I cannot not melt over how happy she looks. D loves warm hugs. Meanwhile, Tigger appears to be making some kind of eye contact with that guy in the striped shirt.

D wore her princess tiara and got plenty of positive attention from it.  After Tigger, Piglet was only a short wait.  Piglet is my favourite to hug… very, very soft!

Softest hug in the parks and no foolin'!

Softest hug in the parks and no foolin’!

We didn’t take a picture of it, but I had to get up and hug him anyway ^_^

So we finally got up to get our breakfast at this point, because Eeyore and Pooh were having a rest. We loaded up on food since I wasn’t planning on getting another meal until dinner – just snacks until then; unfortunately, D’s stomach is the kind that can fill up quick and empty quick so I wasn’t sure if this would work. But we tried! After another 15 minutes or so, we saw Eeyore and Pooh coming around. Thank goodness b/c I was getting antsy to leave so that we could get to our first FP+ selections!

I may love hugging Piglet the most, but I love Eeyore the most just in general. Who doesn’t love Eeyore? Nobody, that’s who.

I'm sorry this is a dreadful pic. Whoops. :(

I’m sorry this is a dreadful pic. Whoops. 😦

And then Pooh arrived.  D told me afterwards that Pooh was the softest of all, and I’m inclined to believe her. 🙂  Oh, for anyone wondering, the little birthday boy next to us appeared to have a lovely time and did like meeting the characters, at least from what I recall; but he never did warm up to that Pooh Bear doll. XD

HAPPIEST KID. Awwww. :D

HAPPIEST KID. Awwww. 😀

Our FastPass+ reservation for Splash Mountain had a window of 9-10 am, and it was now 9:30. This was still plenty of time, but I don’t like to cut things really close, so I was itching for the check.  Once we got it paid and left, I took another look at the schedule I’d drawn up.  I had our FP times on it, and then I’d gone with a loose timetable for everything else; I’m anal enough that I tried to estimate the time each ride would take, maybe guessing a little over what it might actually take so that hopefully we would have time to do MORE, not less.  The itinerary had initially been to arrive at 7:30, get in at 8, go on Pirates, go to breakfast until 9:15, then get to Splash by 9:30.  Since we left the restaurant shortly after 9:30, we were MOSTLY on-target and would just fit Pirates in elsewhere.

But in spite of my time-guessing everything, I want to repeat what I have said previously: I was COMPLETELY open to rearranging the schedule and doing unexpected things at any time. I waited for D to tell me if she saw something she wanted to do, and if we could, we’d just drop whatever was going on and do it.

First thing that happened: we were on our way through Adventureland to get to Frontierland, and we passed Aladdin’s Magic Carpets.  D had gone on that with her father and my friend Amanda last time, while I sat it out and took pictures.

From 2011; the Tiki Room was closed then because of the fire!

From 2011; the Tiki Room was closed then because of the fire!

Also from 2011.

Also from 2011.

D pounced on it, and there was hardly any line, so we ran on. We had a GREAT ride!  A spinner is a spinner, and I know that, but it was fun going around with D trying really hard to get us under the spitting camel. (I say “us”, I mean “me”, I’m the one who would’ve gotten wet.) The ride itself is just what it always is, but there was something really nice about doing it because D said “OH! Let’s do this!”.  So much of the trip is, by necessity, planned that somehow the unplanned moments ended up being the most special ones.

Here is the Magic Carpet ride, not moving at all! Enjoy this thrilling pic.

Here is the Magic Carpet ride, not moving at all! Enjoy this thrilling pic.

We now had just about 15 minutes to get to Splash Mountain, which was plenty of time, so we walked at a nice pace through the rest of Adventureland. We passed the Pirates Adventure spot and D was VERY curious about what it was and if we could do it (I deemed it a no; there’s spontaneous and then there’s complete derailing of the plans for the day, lol).  Don’t get me wrong, I’d LOVE to do the Pirate’s Adventure, but it’s got to be on a trip where we have a little more time, maybe 2 days in the Magic Kingdom instead of one.

Splash Mountain awaited! It was not quite 10am and I couldn’t believe that so much of the morning was gone so soon, but I was READY to go onto Splash. I’d been really wanting to since it had been refurbed somewhat recently. Since it was still fairly early in the day, and we had FastPasses, there was nearly no wait at all to get on.  We were loaded with another four people onto the boat.

I had heard that, with the refurb, you could get even wetter than you had before.  I found out on this ride that it was COMPLETELY the truth. I don’t recall ever getting as soaked on Splash as I did this time. 😀  It was specifically ME, too, out of everyone, that got the worst of it – I’m quite sure. I found it hilarious so no worries. 😉  First, we got off to a rather splashy start with some backlash on the first couple of dips, then there was a lot of it on the larger drops… and of course, the big one. But the best one – well, the funniest one anyway, I couldn’t really call it “best” – was when we got temporarily stopped on one of the outside areas, and I was directly underneath a little waterfall.  It splashed onto me the entire time we sat there (probably about a minute), and the couple in front of us laughed at me going “Oh NO! You’re KIDDING me! GAH!” the whole time. XD

I don’t know if the ride really was improved from the last time I was on it, or not. I *think* the lighting and sound were better, but maybe I imagined that?  All I know is that I loved it. For the first “big” ride of the day it was the best choice.  I loved it more than I have loved it since my trip in the mid-90s – drenched or not!

Trip Report Day 4: Slowly Getting to the Magic Kingdom

First note: this TR chapter won’t have pictures, because I’ve already posted the ones I had at AKL, and there is not much else to show here…

Before I start Day 4, which was October 3 (a Thursday), let me just jump back a few hours. We drove back from Epcot to Animal Kingdom Lodge; I’d say the toughest part about staying there was getting there. This was definitely the longest drive we had between park and resort hotel during our trip.  D fell asleep in the car almost immediately, which didn’t surprise me; we parked right next to the elevator and got inside our room by 10pm.  I pulled out the sofa bed and D got inside and was asleep again almost immediately.  To know how big a thing this is you have to understand that she’s a girl who perpetually doesn’t sleep well. Since she was a baby, she’d sleep a short period and then wake up and be unable to get back to sleep if interrupted. For her to be asleep again so quickly, with the lights on… big deal. 🙂

I set the alarm and got into bed, enjoying the air conditioning, the huge bed all to myself, and the entire experience. I had intended to take a shower before going to bed, but by this time I was so beat I just couldn’t.

The next morning I got up with the alarm and took the shower. The night before when we were at Epcot, D’s legs had started to chafe – she was wearing a short skirt and after all that walking in the heat she got a little rash.  So I figured she’d do well to have a quick soak in the tub before we checked out.  Unfortunately though, when I got out of the shower at 6:45, she was still asleep!  this is REALLY unusual, for me to beat her getting up.  Since D only sleeps in when she’s really tired, I felt awful waking her, but we had a lot to do for the early morning: it was our Magic Kingdom day, AND it was an Early Entry morning, AND we had 8:25 ADRs at Crystal Palace.

So I had to drag her out of bed (she even begged me to let her sleep in!) and get her into the tub while I packed up our things, put out the tip for Mousekeeping, and watched the sun come up from our balcony view. When she was done she said her legs felt a little better, so we headed down to the lobby so that I could check out.

I wanted D to get a chance to sit out on the back porch and look at the animals.  The problem was, I wanted her to get 10-15 minutes but we could only really spare 5. 😦  I sent her outside, and thought checkout would take a little longer but it was actually about 2 minutes because they were so efficient… so I was ready to go get her just a few moments later.

Kidani’s back porch not only has rocking chairs to sit and animal-watch, it’s got viewscopes and even little picture charts of animals you “might” see.  We took a little while trying to find all we could, but it was past 7:30, and it was dawning on me that we had to get to the car, get onto the road, get to the TTC, get to the monorail, get to the MK and get to Crystal Palace in 50 minutes.

Spoiler warning: this didn’t happen. 😀

I kind of knew when I was planning this day that the scheduling wasn’t ideal.  I knew I would want to linger a little bit at Animal Kingdom Lodge, after all the time I’d dreamt of staying there; and I knew an early Crystal Palace ADR was pushing my luck. But I couldn’t find one any later, and plus, I wasn’t sure I wanted one much later – it could eat into our day.  But anyway, I was thinking we could still get there in good enough time and get in.  Initially I had hoped we’d get there by 8am to do early rope-drop (it was an Extra Magic Hours day) and possibly even ride Pirates of the Caribbean first-thing.  By this point I knew that wouldn’t happen.

So remember what I said about getting to and from Animal Kingdom Lodge re: the parks… I had taken a few wrong turns the day before and this time I second-guessed myself and missed the turn to get to the Magic Kingdom.  Instead, I ended up back on I-4.  I miraculously kept myself in a good mood and just repeated “Oh well! Things happen!” and I told D to be ready to beg to get into Crystal Palace when we got there late. I was able to handle the idea that we might not get into the restaurant but I was really worried we’d be charged $10 each for our missed reservations.

We FINALLY got into the MK parking lot, parked, and quickly made our way to the monorail entrance.  Which, of course, was closed off because it was 8:15 and the park doesn’t officially open until 9 am.  But then I realized they had a little spot to the side for Disney resort guests so they could get in for Extra Magic Hours. We showed our Magic Bands and were let in! Yay!!

So, signs were up ALL over the place for Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party.  People had also asked D directly “are you doing the Halloween party?”  I had my tickets in my bag and I had so far managed to keep it completely secret from D that we were going. She had asked me several times and I’d said “we’ll see”, and also told her several times that there would be things we just wouldn’t get to do, but we’d be happy for what we did get to do.  At this point when she asked me again, as we were waiting for the monorail, I said “Well honey, looks like you have to have tickets, and I’m not going to buy tickets today.”

“Oh,” she said, profoundly disappointed; I waited to see if she’d beg but she didn’t.  She probably would have, but I went ahead and caved in.  “I’m not going to buy any tickets today because I ALREADY HAVE SOME!” I said, pulling the tickets out, and at that moment I was the COOLEST MOTHER EVER. 😀

So, a side note: other than this particular day, we pretty much avoided most on-site transportation. I have nothing against on-site Disney transportation and I will use it and I think it’s pretty good, as these things go, but I tend to dislike waiting in lines or missing out on getting a seat, so I prefer to use my car at least in the evenings. In this particular trip’s case, since we were checking in and out of resorts left and right, I just drove everywhere for the most part.

Which is actually part of why I was glad we got to park at the TTC and take the monorail to the Magic Kingdom, instead of taking a bus there from Animal Kingdom Lodge or something.  I LOVE THE MONORAIL.  In fact, you would be hard-pressed to find something that is not actually a ride within the parks that I love as much as I love the monorail.  I’m also one of those people whose entire Spanish knowledge consists of “si”, “gracias”, and “por favor mantegase alejado de las puertas”.

In that spirit, have a ton of pointless monorail pictures, just because I love them!

OOOH! Can you stand the excitement??

OOOH! Can you stand the excitement??

Monorail Silver...

Monorail Silver…

Monorail Red...

Monorail Red…

Monorail... Teal? Uh...

Monorail… Teal? Uh…

And teal

And teal

And teal some more! I think D took these.

And teal some more! I think D took these.

Of course, you can also take the ferry!

Of course, you can also take the ferry!

And there it is folks!

And there it is folks!

 

 

OK, side note over. 🙂  So, I think, is this particular chapter of the trip report.  Til next time!

Trip Report 2013: Day 3, Part 6: A Night At Epcot

Yes, it’s been a while. I’m going to finish this report up before it’s next October!  I swear! 🙂 Anyway, when I left off, we had left Animal Kingdom Lodge – Kidani Village to return to Epcot so that we could make our Test Track FastPass+ reservations.  That went smoothly and we had another good ride – slightly better, in fact, because we got our car’s data into the system this time and actually managed to be ranked. 😀

After Test Track, we headed over to Soarin’, and even with the FPs I can say we had a bit of a wait.  Not a long one, not really.. just enough to get D pretty bored/complainy.  But we made it in! And it was Soarin’, which is to say, great. 🙂  Next we backtracked a little and headed for Spaceship Earth, since we’d had to skip that so far to stay on track with the FPs.

I love Spaceship Earth.  I preferred Jeremy Irons’s narration, but I love the updates to the animatronics and I do like Judy Dench. Just not as much. 😉 Anyway D remains afraid of cavemen, but she didn’t mind them in this and was fascinated by the idea that they painted stories onto the walls.  Her favourite part of the ride is also my favourite: the part when you reach the very top, and you come out to see the Earth from a distance. 😀  Then on our descent we played the game and chose our future!

 

I love it when the heads have hands sticking out of them. XD

I love it when the heads have hands sticking out of them. XD

 

So it was now already 7:30 and we had just a half an hour left to get to Maelstrom.  We also needed to eat dinner.  I picked out a couple of things I thought maybe she might like among the Food and Wine kiosks, but they were ultimately too spicy – we got them from Terra.  Some Chili Colorado and home-made chips for D, and some Trick’n Chick’n Curry for me.  IT WAS DIVINE.

Here's the Terra menu - this is courtesy The Disney Food Blog (www.disneyfoodblog.com) and used without permission.

Here’s the Terra menu – this is courtesy The Disney Food Blog (www.disneyfoodblog.com) and used without permission.

The Trick'n Chick'n Curry which I looooved. This pic is from blogs.undercovertouris.com and used without permission.

The Trick’n Chick’n Curry which I looooved. This pic is from blogs.undercovertouris.com and used without permission.

And you know what? I didn’t actually get that this was vegan.  I did not realize it wasn’t meat! Looking back I should have; now that I know it I recognize the texture of meat substitute (which I quite like, honestly. I’m a fan of non-meat).  But I totally didn’t figure it out at the time.

Anyway, D liked the chips but not the chili, not surprisingly.  And she was not into the curry at all (didn’t think she would be). She was tired and didn’t want anything else to eat just then, and suddenly when I mentioned that her tooth was loose enough to come out and that it would be really cool if she lost it at WDW because maybe the tooth fairy would bring her something super-special, she had a breakdown.  She sat down and started crying that she didn’t want her tooth to come out and she was really upset and all kinds of things. 😦

It was one of those moments where I had to figure out what I needed to do.  So I offered her a legitimate choice of going back to the resort and taking it easy the rest of the night; or sticking to our plan and going around the rest of the World Showcase. She calmed down and really didn’t want to go back to the resort yet so we decided we would take our time going around the World Showcase, not hurry for anything, and finish colouring Duffy and getting our WS flags done.

To this end, we missed our Maelstrom FastPasses. That was really OK.  D doesn’t love that ride, and I have done it before so I can live without it. So instead we took our time and headed to Mexico, rather than the original plan of running to Norway and then doubling back after riding Maelstrom.

Mexico was great because D had not been inside the pavilion before.  So showing her how it was suddenly outside nighttime, inside a building, really amused her.  She did ask me if we really were outside even though we were inside, and then if outside was really inside of a large building too. XD  I think she was kidding, lol.

It's a 3 Caballero! Panchito is my son's favourite. :D

It’s a 3 Caballero! Panchito is my son’s favourite. 😀

You can hardly see Jose, which is a true shame, because he is da beeeeest.

You can hardly see Jose, which is a true shame, because he is da beeeeest.

 

We got our Mexico flag on Duffy, then got in the very very short line for the 3 Caballeros Gran Fiesta Tour. I had done this once before, and I love the Caballeros and have done my level best to get D into them as well.  Side note: when it comes to their changing the original Rio Del Tiempo ride and making it a 3 Caballeros ride instead, well… I normally think that not all rides need to be tampered with to have characters added. But I LOVE this one.  They kept most of what made Rio Del Tiempo good, and livened it up, and I’m sorry but the Caballeros are awesome.  Anyway, we got right on to a boat and got started, and about a minute or so into the ride – after we’d gone past the restaurant and into the temple – the ride kind of shut down.

The lights and the visuals stayed on, but the audio cut off, and so did the boat.  We just drifted.  We slooooowly drifted through the ride, watching Donald run about and Jose and Panchito look around for him, and every so often a recording came on saying that there was a technical problem and that a CM would be by to help us exit later.  We were expecting at any minute to come to a complete halt, but somehow we did keep moving the entire time… just slooooowly. 🙂

And then, unexpectedly, the ride came back on! JUST after they got Donald back!  So we got to hear the song a few times.  D and I debated on getting on the ride again to experience it properly, but we ended up deciding against it, since we had no idea if it would just shut off again.  And we had SEEN the whole thing, just not heard it! 🙂  Besides, it was now just after 8pm, which is actually D’s bedtime. I had known I would be keeping her up a bit late, but I didn’t want to push it.  And I wanted to catch “American Adventure” before we left, if possible.

So we went on to Norway.

Maelstrom was at a 20 minute wait when we got there, so we skipped it.  Instead we went inside the shop to the Kidcot stop so that we could get our flag done.  This didn’t take too long, so we moseyed to China to do the same. This one DID take a little while because there was quite a line at the Kidcot stop! By this point we had pretty nearly finished Duffy so we were just getting the flags done and moving on.  I was also starting to notice that the Kidcot stops were getting a lot of, um, “extra” traffic.

I don’t normally begrudge people collecting things at Disney. I do NOT mind if people take a long time meeting characters and getting a lot of autographs done, I have no issues when adults do things intended for kids, it’s all good.  In this case I’m going to gripe slightly, though.

We got held up a lot because of a high number of people who were collecting Kidcot flags and passport entries.  I can see the appeal, but in this case we’re talking about groups of people who all had one of each.  Not kidding, we honestly had at least one group of three people and each one had a Duffy AND a passport, and had to get the flags AND the stamps on each.  Like I said, I am all for collecting things but I think coming as a group and maximizing the time of the people there is a bit much. I’m not going to preach about it b/c I know there are always reasons to complain about everything, and people who do this can easily come back with an experience they had of a parent or a kid doing something they found objectionable. So I’m just putting that out there.  No offense. 🙂

Here by the way is the completed Duffy!  Sorry some of these are super blurry. I didn’t have good light when I took these, after the trip was done.

We coloured nearly all of him.  We kind of thought leaving him some white spots would be cool, and we were also lazy. :)

We coloured nearly all of him. We kind of thought leaving him some white spots would be cool, and we were also lazy. 🙂

Stamps and handdrawn flags or images! I love how so many of the countries incorporate a Mickey in the flag :D

Stamps and handdrawn flags or images! I love how so many of the countries incorporate a Mickey in the flag 😀

Stamps again!

Stamps again!

Anyhow… after China we went to Germany, where after the Kidcot stop I had to do a little shopping. My husband had requested a souvenir from Germany and since he collects beer steins I thought an ornamental stein would be perfect! (Apparently he expected something to do with the Seven Dwarves. I fooled him!)  So I got this cute little thing here, which he says he likes and I have decided to believe him. 😉

It's the central object. As you can see he likes various little knick-knacks so this fit in well. And look! I was not lying about Lum! :D

It’s the central object. As you can see he likes various little knick-knacks so this fit in well. And look! I was not lying about Lum! 😀

In Italy, since D had not really had much in the way of dinner, I took a page from my friend Amanda’s tradition and suggested we get some gelato. I LOVE gelato!  D went for simple chocolate, but I picked out my favourite, chocolate chip cookie dough. I have a weakness. 😀  At this point it was really getting late, nearing Illuminations time in fact. My plan had been not to wait around for Illuminations and I still wasn’t entirely sold on it. For some reason I had this sense that I would be able to beat the departing crowds if we skipped it.  But on the other hand, we still had to get to American Adventure!

So while everyone else was getting their Illuminations seats, D and I made it to the America Pavilion and approached American Adventure, which neither of us have ever seen, in the hopes of catching the last show.  But it turns out…

There WAS no last show! 😦 Technical difficulties had closed it for the evening.  D wanted to look around inside the building so I asked if we could just poke our heads in to peer around the lobby area, and the CM said sure.  I think we confused a few other people who wanted in, but we just looked and left. I did feel bad, because it was my decision to leave it for later, and D had been pretty set on it.  But she was OK with it, and there will always be a next time. 🙂

We got our final flag and country stamp on the Duffy, and then sat down just inside the America pavilion so that we could call home and say goodnight.  As we did this, the lights dimmed and the introduction for Illuminations started.  It was later than I’d thought. 😀  D was in the middle of talking to her father when the show itself started, and she was ENTRANCED.

She was also exhausted, so I decided to stick to my original plan of leaving during Illuminations… KIND OF.  First I let her stand up on the benches to see what she could of the show.  Once it was about halfway through we held hands and started to leave.  Now, I myself have only seen Illuminations once before.  And it’s good.  It’s very, very good.

But it is just a fireworks show, right?  I’m not all that moved by fireworks.  I remember when I saw it I liked it a lot, but you know, JUST FIREWORKS…

Well, okay Disney, I concede you this one.  I had misremembered.  Illuminations really is not JUST fireworks.  It’s extremely inspiring and even, dare I say it, moving.  We did start walking towards the exit while the show was going, but we did it slowly, and stopped every so often when we could manage a good view so that we could keep an eye on the show.

I may have cried a bit.  And I definitely started singing “We Go On”.  I’m not actually sure what I was slightly crying about; whether it was the rousing music, or the love of Disney, or just sharing the moment of being there with my girl and her loving it as much as me… Well, it was moving, and I’ll leave it at that. We’ve all had our moments, I guess. 🙂

We were nowhere near the exit, not really, before the show was done.  So I took D’s hand even more firmly and told her to just stick with me no matter what, and we waded through the crowds – which lessened as we got back into Future World, because a lot of people weren’t actually leaving yet, just dispersing.  And then we bade a fond farewell to Epcot, and schlepped our way back to the car, and left.

Coming up next I’ll talk a little bit about our night at Animal Kingdom Lodge (but not too much, since I already reviewed the resort) and then our Magic Kingdom day!

Trip Report 2013: Day 3, Part 4: Half of the World Showcase

Starting towards World Showcase meant, of course, that – again – we had to stop and watch the Fountain of Nations. I honestly don’t think we were ever able to pass it without stopping to watch. D managed to get just close enough to get coated in a fine mist from the spray-off, which tickled her pink. 🙂 Then moving on, we stopped off at the cranberry bog right before entering WS. This was TOO COOL, y’all! Though I would not want to be standing in there all day, I can tell you that. It was HOT in the direct sunlight!

I wonder how many times that day people asked if they could come in too?

I wonder how many times that day people asked if they could come in too?

D asked, as I’m sure everyone did all day long, if she could go in too. She was told that unfortunately since she hadn’t brought her waders, it was a no-go. I put in that I’d TOLD her to pack them. I think I confused her. 😉

Once we were officially inside the World Showcase, we were SURROUNDED by Food & Wine kiosks. It’s been a while since I’ve been at Epcot for F&W and I’d forgotten how thickly they were peppered throughout!

I really wanted to try everything, but that’s just not going to work when you’re doing the parks on a budget. Unless your entire budget is FOR Food & Wine and that’s a different trip. 🙂 In this case, I wanted to find something I’d like that D might like too. We passed several kiosks before I settled on the Kalua Pork Slider from Hawaii.

If I could go back to one thing it would be this. Pic is from www.disneyfoodblog.com and used without permission.

If I could go back to one thing it would be this. Pic is from http://www.disneyfoodblog.com and used without permission.

OH MY GOSH. This was heaven on a bun. A tiny, tiny bun. A tiny, delicious bun full of meaty heaven… now I’m getting strange. But the pork was really well-seasoned and well-cooked, and the chutney sauce was delicious. AND, I was able to scrape the sauce off some of it and give a few little bites to my moderately-picky 7-year-old, who deemed the pork and the bun both delish, as well. 🙂

We still needed something more for her, so I cast about and ended up buying D a blueberry Greek yogurt from Greece, a cup of Cheddar Cheese Soup from Canada (and she took the opportunity to tell everyone that her father is Canadian), and I want to say she got some pineapple juice. I know it was some kind of juice. Anyway, she loved the yogurt and at first spoonful liked the soup, but it’s a very strong flavour and after the second or so spoonful she had changed her mind. I finished that off and we made do with snacks we’d brought, after that.

We picked out one of the Marketplace Discovery Passports, where you can get a stamp for each country you buy from, but unfortunately we didn’t get to do that much tasting (for budget reasons). Still, I’m so glad to have been able to go for Food & Wine again!

Photo is from adventuresofthefoodaholic.blogspot.com and used without permission, but I can't find mine to photo it.

Photo is from adventuresofthefoodaholic.blogspot.com and used without permission, but I can’t find mine to photo it.

Getting back to our itinerary, and settling into the World Showcase, we headed to Canada first. As mentioned, D is half-Canadian, and she made a point of wanting to see the Canada Pavilion and watch the movie. I love the look of the Pavilion. We went down to the Kidcot stop first, and she and I started colouring our Duffy. The Canadian flag on the one she got was STAMPED on – lazy Canadians. 😉 We decided we’d colour a little bit, together, at each Kidcot stop and not finish it officially until the last one. 😀

Then we headed back up and followed the waterfall across the bridge, to get to the O Canada! theatre.

If you've got no idea where this is, GO TO THE CANADA PAVILION.

If you’ve got no idea where this is, GO TO THE CANADA PAVILION.

Waterfalls are everywhere in Canada. (Not really. Well, kind of.)

Waterfalls are everywhere in Canada. (Not really. Well, kind of.)

I’m not a huge fan of Martin Short, to be honest, but I think he’s a sweetie and genuinely classy. Also I’ll take him as The Cat in the Hat over Mike Myers any day. I mean if I have to choose. 😉 We got there around 1 o’clock, watched the movie (which I enjoyed, because I luv Canada and I get even more sappy over it when I see it celebrated), and when we got out our further exploration of the pavilion was cut short in the search for a bathroom. The URGENT search. XD

We booked it to the UK, and once the urgency was taken care of, we got to wander around a little. D really liked the phone booths, and when I suggested she get in and we take a picture, she turned it around and said *I* should go in! I am all for posing (as we’ve seen), so I was up for it! 😀

It was really hot in there.

It was really hot in there.

We took our time wandering through, found the Kidcot station, and kept an eye out for characters; we couldn’t find Mary Poppins but we did bump into Alice. Since she’s a face character, I figured there would be a conversation opportunity so I told D to think of what she’d like to say to Alice.

D asked Alice if this was her house.  Alice answered that no, it was the White Rabbit's house, but he wasn't home and he had locked the door so she couldn't get in to explore. I liked this Alice. :)

D asked Alice if this was her house. Alice answered that no, it was the White Rabbit’s house, but he wasn’t home and he had locked the door so she couldn’t get in to explore. I liked this Alice. 🙂

Couple of cute blondes! :D

Couple of cute blondes! 😀

As we made our way towards France, we passed some CMs drawing on the ground with chalk. They were writing “Supercalifragialisticexpialidocious” and things like that, and D suggested that maybe it meant Mary Poppins was coming, but I didn’t see her so I said we should keep going and we’d try to see her later. Spoiler alert, we never did… I feel kind of bad for it now… but on the other hand, I think if we’d lingered more than we did, we’d have missed getting to see all the pavilions. It’s amazing how time flies at Disney!

As we made our way around the lagoon, we kept trying to meet more characters, but they were always either leaving soon (so no more people in line) or they were coming soon, but I didn’t want to spend more than 15 minutes waiting and hanging around. It was getting later than I’d wanted it to, and my goal was to get halfway around World Showcase before leaving to check in at Animal Kingdom Lodge and take a rest. So we went as far as we could, without stopping for characters or attractions, but still trying not to rush and making a point to find all the Kidcot stops.

Somewhere on this fountain in Morocco is a Hidden Mickey. I don't think it's in this photo, though.

Somewhere on this fountain in Morocco is a Hidden Mickey. I don’t think it’s in this photo, though.

In Japan D picked up an origami sea turtle from the CMs working at the Kidcot stop! She wanted to make a crane, but they said instead she could take whatever she wanted. Then we *had* to go into the store, which also houses their cultural display. Right now the display is on mythical animals, both in traditional legends and in current culture. IE, in anime, video games, and so on. This was REALLY interesting and D and I took our time at it. I went in especially wondering if they’d have any Lum representation, since she’s an Oni, and they DID! My husband and I have always loved “Urusei Yatsura” and he’s a big Lum appreciator so I had to get a pic for him.

Lum! :D

Lum! 😀

By the time we got out of the Mitsukoshi Department Store, where I looked with interest for gifts but didn’t find anything I loved that was priced low enough for cheapie me, it was past 2:30. That was the time by which I had hoped we’d be checked in and going to the pool, so I told D we’d move American Adventure from the afternoon to the evening on our itinerary and make a point of seeing it that night. I have never seen it, and it was D’s other main “TO DO” in the World Showcase. We turned around and headed back to the car so that we could head over to AKL.

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!