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Trip Reports
01-07-2007, 08:51 PM
Angela Allen -- May 2000 -- All Star Music

Trip Report Lite, May 22-28, 2000

(Editor's Note: Here is Angela's comments when she agreed to let me post her report: "Sure you can post the report! You already have a DL report I did. However, the WDW report is very summarized! My friend and I kept a journal the whole time we were in WDW. That journal will be posted as soon as my friend, who has the actually notebook, types it out. It is a much more interesting and detailed read." I hope we can get that full version up on the site soon!)

I went to WDW last week with a pen pal of 5 years. I'm 18, and she's 19. Here's the lite version of the trip report. The full journal we kept while at the parks will be posted when my pen pal types it out later this summer. My pen pal doesn't like to give out her real name on the net, so until I get her approval, I'm just going to use her screen name, Sedeara.

We arrived in Orlando late Monday afternoon on May 22. Our original plan was to go to Typhoon Lagoon that day, but by the time we took a Mears shuttle to All Stars Music and got everything taken care off, it didn't seem worth it to go because the water park closes at 7. We chose instead to take a bus to Downtown Disney. We spent the rest of the day exploring shops. For dinner we went to the McDonalds they have there. That is the coolest McDonalds I've ever seen! The soda fountain even had sound effects!

All Stars Music is a very whimsical place to stay, and I don't really have a desire to stay at any of the more expensive resorts. The buses there were very convenient, and we had no problems using them. The food court has a yummy selection and the store is very nice. I liked the themeing and the pools. The rooms, however, were rather ordinary and not any different than most places I've stayed except for the themes. I really wanted to stay in the Broadway section, but since we didn't request it, they gave us Rock 'n Roll. Our room was right across from the giant jukebox, and we could watch it change color at night. We did walk over to the Broadway section, and I was quite thrilled to see a huge poster of Susan Egan as Belle.

Tuesday was our first full day at the parks. Naturally, our first choice was MK- the most Disney of WDW. It just hasn't started yet until you've seen the castle. As a frequent Disneylander going to MK for the first time, everything felt not quite right, almost as if I didn't belong. My park is DL. Being used to the much smaller Sleeping Beauty castle, I was expecting to be blown away by Cinderella castle, but I wasn't. As pretty as it is, I must say, It looks bigger on TV!

Our first stop was the character breakfast in the castle. I had been warned that without priority seating, we'd never get in, but lo and behold, we did! We didn't even have to wait very long to get a table. The food was quite yummy, the service was wonderful, and we loved the characters. It was rather funny to see their reactions when they asked us where we were from, and we named two different states! Belle was quite sweet when I told her she's my absolute favorite. Just as she was about to walk over to the next table, she suddenly turned to me, said "Aww!" and gave me a hug. Others in attendance were Prince Charming, Cinderella, Aurora, and Jasmine.

We spent most of the morning on the fantasyland dark rides. I've always enjoyed those, although it was odd not seeing the Alice ride or the Pinochio ride. Also, it may just have been my imagination, but many of the scenes in the dark rides seemed to be on the opposite side from what I remember at DL. It was a tad disorienting.

We hit many different attractions at MK. The crowds weren't too bad (it was very hot though), and the longest line we waited in was for Mickey. That turned out to be a big mistake because we later had the chance to meet him with a much shorter line during E-night. In Tomorrowland, we rode the TTA, which to me is still the People mover. I kept expecting to see R2D2 and C3PO and kept having to remind myself that MK's Tomorrowland doesn't have Star Tours! A surprise in Tomorrowland was the galaxy theatre which featured an awesome revue called Disney Mania. I didn't even know it existed until I happened to notice it in the guide map. We did E-night so I was able to get to Space and Thunder Mt. Sedeara gets motion sickness, so I went on those solo. I think we got to all the E-night attractions except Alien Encounter which we chickened out on.

The highlight of our MK day for me was the Magic Moments parade. No, we weren't chosen to participate in a game, but something really cool happened. At the character breakfast, Jasmine had told us to come see her in the parade. I had a feeling that if it was the same Jasmine, it was probably the same Belle too. I was right! When the B&TB float came along, Belle recognized us! She mouthed "I remember you!" and blew a kiss. Jasmine recognized us as well.

Our 2nd day was spent at AK. We got a slightly later start on this one. We had spend about 16 hours at MK the day before. Against recommendation, we stayed in the parks all day for each of the 5 full days we were there with no afternoon breaks at the resort. (What can I say? I'm stubborn!) Upon entering AK, we had a lucky encounter with Jane and Tarzan. Jane loved the drawing I gave her, and Tarzan was very much in character. He said he liked my "animal tail" (my ponytail). He was quite cute too. Apparently, Jane and Tarzan are fairly rare, and many folks asked where we had found them.

In AK, we used fastpass for the first time- what a great idea! We were able to do some exploring while waiting to go on the safari. We picked the worst time to go on it though. Most of the animals were sleeping. We were going to go back to it and try again before the park closed, but we ended up not. We saw the bat exhibit. I didn't know bats came that big! We saw several main attractions including the shows except for Tarzan Rocks which was temporarily closed. Festival of the Lion King was quite good. Pocahontas sang well, but the show was a disappointment. I thought the animals did tricks, but all they did for the most part was walk on stage. Since AK closes at 6, we had dinner at the resort's food court then went for a swim in the evening.

Our MGM day started with an early character breakfast at Hollywood and Vine where we met up with an internet friend who works at Disney and his wife. The meal was on them. The classic characters were in attendance except Mickey and Donald. All were very fun to interact with. Our first attraction was the Doug show. I liked it. It reminded me of You're A Good Man, Charlie Brown because it had adults playing kids. I loved how they incorporated the animation. We got to see all the stage shows at MGM. HoND was great. I liked B&TB, but the death scene was so cheesy! Fantasmic is much better at DL. They must've had a technical problem though because the Belle and Beast float failed to appear in the princess scene.

We hit most of the parks main attractions. I took my first ride on Rock 'n roller coaster. Fun! Definitely a wild ride! I even braved the Tower of Terror for my dad who said I had to do it. You know what? It wasn't that bad. It didn't bother my stomach at all. The twilight zone effects are awesome!

We ate dinner at the Prime Time Cafe. What a fun place to eat! We got a lot more interaction than the last time I was there 6 years ago. The waiter noticed the drawing I was sketching in crayon on my placemat. He liked it so much, he asked me to draw a picture for a little girl sitting at a nearby table. The girl first asked for Pooh, then Cinderella, but since I can't draw either from memory, I got her to settle on Belle. She was a really cutie. I should've gotten a picture of her. When I was done, the waiter asked the little girl to go give me a hug. At the end of the day, we got sidetracked in the Sid's Collectibles shop on the way out. We were so late in leaving the park that we got a whole bus to ourselves.

Our Epcot day took place almost entirely in World Showcase because we were on a character hunt. We clowned with Clopin and Pheobus and greeted a different Belle with her Beast in France. We explored the Millennium village, which has some very neat things to see and do such as a puppet show troupe from Denmark, and wandered through all the main country pavillions. For dinner, we decided to try Norway. It was rather expensive, but we forgot to check the prices before we got a table! The food was...well...interesting. The service was great though. That evening, we caught both Tapestry of Nations and Illuminations.

On our last full day, we decided to return to Epcot first because we had missed most of Future World. However, we were still seeking a few more characters in particular, so we ended up in World Showcase again. I finally found Esmeralda! I've been wanting to meet her since the movie first came out! She was great fun. She even kissed the page in my autograph book that she signed and left a kiss mark with her lipstick. I told her I've dressed as her for Halloween. I also played the show-off and mentioned that I take voice and have performed her song before. It worked! She asked me to sing, and I happily obliged. Both she and the character greeter were very impressed, and I got a scattering of applause from onlookers.

Eventually, we did get to more of Future World. I rode test track. The single riders line is a blessing. I got on in 10 minutes instead of 90! We also saw Imagination and Universe of Energy before we decided to return to MK to see some of the things we missed before. At MK, we saw the Tiki Room. I thought it was a very fun show, although I never saw the original and have nothing to compare it to. We also went on Jungle Cruise (awesome at night and more detailed than DL's) and roamed around Toontown Fair (far inferior to DL's Toontown!) Big booms startled us while in the Toontown store, and we discovered it was the fireworks. We finished the day with the Main Street Electrical parade (an old DL fav of mine that I haven't seen in about 5 years) and ice cream sundaes.

On Sunday, our plane home was scheduled to leave at 5:30pm, so we dropped our bags off at the resort and spent the morning and early afternoon at Typhoon Lagoon. Actually, while I went straight to the park, Sedeara chose to first go to a religious service at the Polynesian resort. We made the mistake of agreeing to meet at the tidal wave pool. We didn't realize how big it was and had trouble finding each other! Also, Sedeara had to take a round about way to the park because she discovered that the Polynesian does not have direct transportation to Typhoon Lagoon. Anyway, once we found each other, we played in the water for a few hours. After spending so much time at the main parks, being in water felt very good. The tidal pool made me miss the real beaches though. We were really good at not getting sunburned until we got to this park. When I was there by myself, I was unable to reach all of my back and got burnt in spots I hadn't gotten the lotion to.

The trip home was pretty uneventful. Everything went by so fast! I was utterly exhausted and ready to rest at home again, but at the same time, I did not want to leave! I've been planning this trip too long for it to be over already. Sedeara spent most of the next day at my house because her train didn't leave until late that night. I managed not to cry until we got to the train station, but then I was a mess. I've never been very good with goodbyes... Sedeara and I got along great for it being our first in person meeting- not a single argument during the whole trip. I hope we can see each other again someday.

Angela Allen