Trip Report 2013: The last of Day 2! For reals, now.

After redoing Star Tours, we headed on over to Toy Story Mania to finally use our FastPasses.  It was the same ride it always is, which is to say, FUN as heck and fast-moving but I will not ride it without a FastPass.  I used the standby queue ONCE, on soft open in 2008.  It was 45 minutes and honestly?  It was WORTH it, because I was alone, the ride was fun, and Mr. Potato Head was awesome. It is a great queue! But I wouldn’t wait 45 minutes now, with my kids, and I’ll tell you one more thing: the line is never, ever as short as 45 minutes. I never see it less than 60 and sometimes up to 90 minutes.  No deal.

So long story short, I haven’t seen Mr. Potato Head in 5 years. His loss, really.

He's been waiting for me to return, all this time.

He’s been waiting for me to return, all this time.

Anyway after TSM, it was past 6:30 so we were off after dinner.  I had picked out Fairfax Fare as our dinner place, because D loves herself some mac and cheese and they have some really interesting gourmet hot dogs.  I hadn’t paid much attention to where Fairfax Fare is located but I knew it was on Sunset Blvd, and had a pretty good mental picture of where I thought it was. Because I am awesome, I was pretty nearly EXACTLY right. 😀  (Still no maps, people! I didn’t pick up a map of HS until the next day!)

Sunset Blvd is my favourite area of the park, and normally I snap a ton of pictures as I walk down it.  This time I was trying to conserve batteries, so I didn’t, but you know – it’s kind of the same most times, I’ll admit.  So here are a few from my 2011 trip. 😀

Lovin' this walk!

Lovin’ this walk!

And lovin' this view!

And lovin’ this view!

Ever buy any produce from here? I'm sure it's very Anaheimy.

Ever buy any produce from here? I’m sure it’s very Anaheimy.

I have nothing special to say about this picture!

I have nothing special to say about this picture!

Ever found this luggage?

Ever found this luggage?

I'm almost sure that when I was here in '08, this same woman was assisting a director. I'm NEARLY sure it's her. Way to climb the ladder to fame, honey! :D

I’m almost sure that when I was here in ’08, this same woman was assisting a director. I’m NEARLY sure it’s her. Way to climb the ladder to fame, honey! 😀

The downside of being on Sunset Blvd is you’re staring down Tower of Terror, which you love like whoa, and on your left is Rock N’ Roller Coaster, which you also love like crazycakes, and your daughter is scared of both so you can’t do them this trip. Ohhhh, wellll. 🙂


This is from 2011, but I just can't resist sneaking in a pic of this view!

This is from 2011, but I just can’t resist sneaking in a pic of this view!


We picked out our meals at Fairfax Fare and moved off to the side to wait for them.  My plan for dessert was to pick up a cupcake from Starring Rolls that we could split; they had a limited time Halloween Minnie carrot cupcake at various counter service places that looked delicious and I’d eyed it but decided not to go for it this time, mainly because carrot cake normally has walnuts and D is allergic to nuts.

Well, our food took a little while to come, and while we were waiting the CMs told another couple of guests that they’d get the turkey legs that they had ordered for free if they gobbled like turkeys.  I had heard this as a rumour but never actually seen it demonstrated!  Sadly, the guests declined, and paid for their food.  Ahhh, well. 😀  They must have needed to give something away for free, though, because when our food came the CM looked at the time on our receipt and said “You guys have been waiting too long – be right back” and she came back with TWO full-sized Halloween Minnie cupcakes.  D asked “Do they have nuts?” and guess what?  They DIDN’T! 😀

So a quick food review: D got mac and cheese with carrot sticks and grapes, pretty standard.  I decided to get one of these fancypants hot dogs, so I got one covered with mac and cheese, bacon, and truffle oil. Yep – TRUFFLE OIL.  To be completely honest, I… don’t know what I thought of it. 🙂  Everything on it was good, but maybe I just don’t like hot dogs enough.  Or it might be the combination of the quick serve mac and cheese WITH the hot dog, I don’t know.  Either way, I have to admit I don’t recommend it.

Gourmet hot dog from Fairfax Fare: Mac&cheese, bacon and truffle oil. I give it 2 1/2 stars.

Gourmet hot dog from Fairfax Fare: Mac&cheese, bacon and truffle oil. I give it 2 1/2 stars.

The cupcakes, on the other hand – oh, myyyyy.  Neither of us could finish them (not even one, let alone both!), but they were wonderful. The frosting is orange – and is actually orange creme flavoured cream cheese frosting.  It’s topped with a little chocolate witch’s hat, in purple and orange.  D ate the hat, and some of the cake, but she said the frosting was too sweet and she didn’t really have much more than a few bites of her own.  I ate about half of mine, and D ate more of just the cake on mine before we had to toss them both; we were too full, and the frosting on them was melting in the heat!  She really enjoyed the cake part though.

Minnie Mouse Halloween Carrot Cake cupcakes!  4 stars! :D

Minnie Mouse Halloween Carrot Cake cupcakes! 4 stars! 😀

Absolutely wonderful, though, and worked out perfectly since I was going after cupcakes and no allergies got in the way. I do LOVE carrot cake.

By now it was getting dark. I decided that it would be fun to do a little shopping for ME; and for years now I’ve been looking for a particular shirt. I saw it in 2008 and thought “Nah, I’ll get it later” and then couldn’t find it in 2011.  It’s a Tower of Terror shirt.  So in the waning light I had D follow me to the gift shop for Tower of Terror – this was neat because she was able to see the entrance, some of the spooky decor, and the sign lighting up with the attraction logo on it – and we FOUND MY SHIRT! 😀

We also browsed around for some other gifts and I got into a discussion with a CM about Star Wars Episode 7.

At this point I was lugging around several bags, and it was dark, so we decided that MuppetVision 3D would be our next, and last, attraction before we left.  (We never did make it to meet Woody or Buzz, nor several other things I had said we would “consider”. That’s OK though.  We have no regrets.)

MuppetVision is the same each time, and yet each time I laugh like I haven’t seen it before. It’s such a goofy, lovely show.  The fact that it’s one of the last Muppet projects that Jim Henson worked on, and completed, may be part of why I hold it in high regard.

So you know how D got a little acknowledgment from the Tin Man in the Great Movie Ride?  Well, Statler and Waldorf picked on me. 😉  “Hey Waldorf! Look at that guy in the Goofy mask!” “That’s not a mask!” “Oh. Sorry, lady!”

Honestly I really do feel like they're actually really up there. :D This photo is by Jack Spence @ AllEars.Net:

Honestly I really do feel like they’re actually really up there. 😀 This photo is by Jack Spence @ AllEars.Net:

I noticed during this that they were looking approximately in our direction, so I said to D, “Hey! I think he meant me!  Statler, you’re a jerk!”

D took this seriously and kept reminding me afterwards that Statler heckled me. XD

One of my big joys was that I got D to start pointing out where Bean Bunny was.  There were not many people in the audience, and even fewer were kids; plus she’s not really a big “participation” kid, but when the voices come in saying “I see one! Over there!” I kind of said something like “Hey yeah! Up there!” to go along with it – this is how we’ve always watched “Mickey Mouse Clubhouse” too, with me answering the TV first and then her picking up on it.  Well, it worked this time too and she jumped right in. “Up there!  He’s right up there!”  Ahhhh, I like to think it’s probably kinda gratifying for the Sweetums guy when kids actually join in. 😀

D was also super-impressed by the state of the theatre as we left, and by the fact that by the time we were nearly out the doors, it was miraculously “fixed”. “How’d they DO that?!” she wanted to know.  Sometimes I tell her (usually if it’s something kind of scary), and sometimes I just say “Magic!” 😀

…So.  It was now nearing 8pm, and that was our time to leave.  We walked through the Muppet Stuff store in search of Fraggle Rock memorabilia (spoiler alert: there is none), then just wandered about a little bit.  I hated to leave, because I really do love this park.  Does it need some TLC?  Oh, yes.  I want it to be about the movies and Hollywood the way it used to. Kick out American Idol Experience – kick it to the curb!! – nobody likes that one.  (Now I’ll get comments from people who love it. In fact I’ll be sad if I don’t, b/c the idea that everyone really DOES dislike it is sad.)

Take out Lights, Motors, Action.  I love Indiana Jones but that show could be replaced or even removed.  I’m trying to resign myself to the reality that they will likely take out MuppetVision, even though I will cry if they do, and I hope it is still there for at least one more family trip so that my son can see it again before it’s gone… he doesn’t remember it from last time.

Star Wars Land would be fine but I would be happier if they’d revamp the Backlot Tour. I never do that anymore because frankly… what backlot?  And if they take out Graumann’s Chinese Theatre to put in Star Wars Land, I am going to kick some shins.  I’m serious.  SHIN-KICKING WILL HAPPEN.  Update the Great Movie Ride but don’t you DARE get rid of it! 😛

And that, my dear friends, is Day 2. And we can say farewell to Hollywood Studios now. 🙂


Terror-ific! Registration for the Tower of Terror 10-miler opens TODAY!

I know, I know – I should be kicked for that pun. 😀  But I’m just so EXCITED!


This is not my picture; it is property of the Walt Disney Co.

This is not my picture; it is property of the Walt Disney Co.

Registration for the Twilight Zone Tower of Terror 10-Mile race at Disney World this October opens today!  It being a runDisney event there is more to do than just the Big race; there is a 5K, as well as kids races including – how cute is this – a Diaper Dash for crawling children 12 months and under.  My heart swells. 😀  (I am quite sure this Diaper Dash does not take place after dark the way the 10-mile race does.)

Registration for the Twilight Zone ToT 10-miler opening in 7 days!

Today is February 5, which means that the registration for runDisney’s “Tower of Terror 10-miler” event opens in one week – February 12!  If you’re considering a unique race on Disney property (well, okay, a race on Disney property is pretty unique to start with, but this one is not your standard run) and are looking for a shorter race than a marathon, this might be a good one to book!  This race is held in early October and involves a run through Disney’s Hollywood Studios… at night.  Dun-dun-DUNNNN!  In the past they’ve had villains “haunting” the area and made it nicely spooky for the runners!


The advance registration fee is a good $30 off the regular fee; if you book by March 26, the entry fee is only $135, compared to $150 if you book between March 27 and May 21, and $165 after May 21.  Disney also offers special resort and ticket rates to their runners, so you can get discounts on selected hotels on a 2-night basis.


In addition to the main 10-mile race, there is a “Happy Haunts” 5K for $50, two kids’ races for $10-$30, and a Villains Bash after-party!  (Now THAT is going to sell out.  Guaranteed.)  You’ve got a little bit longer to book the Villains party at a discount – it’s $54 until 5/21.  Your registration also includes commemorative pins, and 10-milers get a necklace as well.


Out of all the Disney races, I think this is the one I most want to do as a “What-If”.  Because honestly, my real goal is to run the Half-Marathon and I don’t know if I’d be able to do both… but ooooooh I love the thought of this one!  Even though I’m nowhere near in the right shape, I’m still SO tempted to sign up for this! 😀


*A quick note: The main page for this race says that registration is NOW open, but when I click that link, the registration page says it’s opening on 2/12/13.  Check back, I guess, and see if they open early?

Yeah, That’ll Always Be The Dream…

A few years ago I started running.  I did it to lose weight, and then to get fit, and then I stuck with it because I loved running.  I got up to running 30 minutes straight, about 3 miles, and ran a few 5Ks.  So I said to myself that I was going to train and I would run the WDW Half Marathon!  That was what I was going to do for my 35th birthday.  Unfortunately, then I became pregnant with my second child and I let myself fall off the running wagon, and I have yet to really get back on.  I’ll be 35 in May and well, clearly I did not run that Half Marathon this year and at this point it’s unlikely I’d be ready to run the Half in 2014, either.

But it’s still the big dream.  I love the thought of running a race not just near but through Disney World.  Not only for having the characters standing around cheering for you but just the running through the empty parks. Wow! Just the thought gives me chills!  We’ll see.  I mean there’s more than just the training, there’s the cost; there’s the whole part where I’d really like to have someone there to experience it with me, meaning more cost; there’s the… training… I feel faint…

I still love the Disney runs, though.  Well, and clearly that’s why I follow RunDisney on Facebook (!/RunDisney) and Twitter (  Right now I’m sort of nursing this thought that I might even manage to do this at some point.  The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror 10-miler.  A night run. In October.  I’ve heard it’s spooky as heck. 😀  Seeing as I’m kind of a nutjob for Halloween in general, this is perhaps equally as appealing as the Half Marathon, though in a different way…

This is as unspooky as the building could possibly look, back in February 2011... Best of my pics I could find. :P

This is as unspooky as the building could possibly look, back in February 2011… Best of my pics I could find. 😛

I just wonder if I’ll ever really get to do either one.  Has anyone out there run any Disney races?  Have you run the ToT race in any of its incarnations?  Any thoughts or anecdotes to share, leave them in the comments!