Cast of Characters: Sue (me - 40), DVC member
Dates: March 21-25, 1999
Travel Method: Personal car
Resorts: Old Key West, Studio
Experience: Extremely experienced, with close to 75 WDW vacations so far.
This is going to be a solo trip. Since joining DVC a couple years ago most of my friends have already enjoyed WDW vacations where I was able to take care of their accommodations & park passes. For this trip I would not be taking Chris (my 12 yr old son), as school is more important - so that left out anyone with kids. After going back & forth a few times, I decided to not invite anyone, and just enjoy my DVC. Although its nice to have friends along for conversation/companionship, this trip is intended to be my chance to do ONLY those attractions I want, and to spend lots of time relaxing around the resorts. Being an avid Comedy Warehouse fan, I initially figured Id spend all 4 nights there, hopefully seeing lots of shows with my favorite actor over there. I get ~free~ park passes for 4 days with my DVC membership, so I planned to drive up at a reasonable hour, shop at Belz outlet, go to okw & relax by the pool for the afternoon, and then head to Comedy Warehouse. Based on this plan, Id use the park passes for Monday-Thursday.
Saturday night I decided to call the Comedy Warehouse from home, to check on my favorite actors schedule. Turns out hes off Sun/Mon, but will be there Tues/Wed, and my 2nd favorite actor is on vacation for all my dates. With this news I decide to alter the original plan. Ill skip Comedy Warehouse on Sunday & Monday - instead doing stuff that "normal" WDW guests do! The weather was calling for clouds & possible thunder, so I scrapped the leisurely drive/hang at the pool idea. Instead, I set the alarm for 4:20 so I could be up there early & start the passes on Sunday.
DAY 1 - SUNDAY, MARCH 21, 1999:
The alarm went off right at 4:20 am, and I awoke refreshed & ready to go (really). I was on the road by 5:36, and made good time despite some pretty dense pockets of fog. One minute it was clear sailing, and the next minute you couldnt even see the trees on the side of the road! Thank goodness it was early Sunday morning and there was no traffic. I arrived at Old Key West at 8:25, getting a "Welcome" but not a "Welcome Home" from the guard. I was checked in quickly by Nicole. I asked her if I could get one of the park passes cards to start today, and the other to start tomorrow (so Id also have passes on Thursday). She said she couldnt, because they were linked together. I asked if she could try, and she did. She ended up giving me the 2 cards, both with Sun-Wed dates on it, but she said card #2 should work on Mon-Thurs despite whats printed. I put my parking pass on the dashboard and was at the bus stop by 8:40. A mother duck and her 4 fuzzy little ducklings walked across the bus stop (a guest held up car traffic when they passed), and over to the bell services guy who had some bread for them. They were so cute! The bus to MK arrived in about 8 minutes, and I arrived at MK just as the opening announcement was ending.
I made a quick stop at the candy store on Main Street to buy one of those chocolate medallions since breakfast had been 4 hours ago. With tax it was $.80, and I ate it on my way to Big Thunder Mountain Railroad. There was a long line at Splash Mountain, but Big Thunder wasnt busy at all. I rode twice, in the last car both times. Several other families also rode twice. After the 2nd ride the line was starting to build up, so I headed to the Jungle Cruise. I hadnt been on this in quite a while, and I almost walked right on (had to wait for the 2nd boat). The skipper was pretty good, and the cruise was the same as always. Next stop was Fantasyland, where I rode Peter Pan with a 5 minute wait. Ive always enjoyed this ride, but I wont wait in a long line for it. The carousel was open (it had been closed 2 weeks ago), but I didnt stop to ride. I headed to Toontown and rode the Barnstormer (last car). When I got off there was quite a line, so I didnt wait to repeat it. There was a British family in the cars ahead of me, and when we got off one of the little kids said "that was excellent, just excellent". It was so cute! I took the path over to Tomorrowland. The line to Space Mountain was pretty much back to the Astro Orbiter, and remained that way the whole time I was in this "land". Im too much of a wimp to try that one, so it didnt bother me - LOL! I went to Buzz Lightyear, and joined the line outside of the building. Once I got inside, the wait was about 10 minutes. I scored 97,200 points - nothing spectacular. The grandpa in the car ahead of me beat my score.
By now it was getting very cloudy & breezy - as if a storm was coming. As usual, all 3 or 4 of the umbrellas were in the car at the OKW parking lot, and my ponchos were in a closet home in Ft Myers. Oh well, I can only hope for the best! I got in line (can you believe this - an actual LINE) for the Tomorrowland Transit Authority. Every single car as far as I could see was occupied. By now it was 10:35. When the TTA returned, there was no line, so I stayed on for a 2nd ride. This time I was the only person in the whole string of cars! I left MK just after 11:00, and waited for a bus to All Star Movies. This would be the first time Id seen that resort! In about 5 minutes, a totally empty bus arrived, picked up 4 of us, and immediately left for AS Movies. I am definitely NOT a fan of the All Stars, having tried both Sports and Music for one trip each. As we pulled up to Movies, I was not impressed with this one, either. From the front it looked like the other 2. I entered through the shop, which was nice. Then I passed the food court - WOW, is this one nicer than the other two!! Then I stepped outside by the Fantasia pool, and again I was very pleasantly surprised! The pool is very large, and the Fantasia buildings were kind of pretty. I walked into 101 Dalmations (this one was my favorite section), and noticed even the benches were in the shape of dog bones - great theming. Mighty Ducks was just past Dalmations, and was also cute. The 2nd pool is here. Its a lot smaller, but its themed very well. Theres a statue of goofy as a goalie, protecting his net. I walked back to Fantasia and then back to Love Bug. I thought this area was themed well, but unattractive. Maybe Im just not into cars. The last area, Toy Story, is still under construction so I was not able to go inside. I headed to the food court to find some lunch. There were the usual choices (pizza, tex/mex, sandwiches, salads, chicken strips) and it all looked good. Their menus are displayed overhead at each stand, and they rotate actual pictures of the menu items - a nice touch. I ended up ordering a caesar salad, which came with a piece of focaccia or a bread stick. I chose the breadstick, and used my Disney Dining Card to get 20% off. Total with tax was $3.42 - cant beat that! Regular price of the salad was $3.99, so you certainly dont need a discount in order to afford it! The breadstick was just ok, but I ate most of it. The salad was good, but I only ate about half of it. At those prices, though, I didnt feel bad about throwing the rest away - it was still a good value. I used the house phone to check on my room, but at 12:15 it was not ready yet.
I went out and waited for the Epcot bus. After we left Movies, it stopped at Sports, but nobody was there. This surprised me, since Sports/Music share a bus at Epcot, and Movies is by itself. We had a great driver (Mark) who entertained us with Disney Trivia all the way to Epcot. Finally he said - heres one for those of you who havent been able to answer any of these questions, what time is the 3pm parade at the MK? At Epcot I headed to the tip board, and saw Test Track was running, with a 75 minute wait. I walked over there, and asked the CM about the single rider line. He confirmed it, and told me when I got to a certain point I would go up some stairs. I got in line, and inched forward with the crowd. I got to a point where there was another cm, and I checked with him, and he pointed out the stairs - and I was able to head right up them! This cut out at least an hour of waiting time! The other singles & I saw the pre show, and then went right into the boarding area. Within minutes I was in a vehicle (front row, the seat with the shoulder harness). Wouldnt you know, part way through I got a piece of lint under my contact lens and my eye started hurting & getting all teary. I tried just shutting that eye, as theres no way I would risk taking it out inside a ride Im not familiar with that will end up moving at 65 miles per hour! As a result, I didnt see everything inside, so Ill have to do it again <g>. As we came to the outside portion of the ride, we were hit with big fat raindrops - many of them! It was so weird to be riding in that fast, open car in the rain - normally youd think I was afraid I was going to melt, I ALWAYS use an umbrella in the rain! The ride was fun, though, and something Id definitely repeat. When I saw the photo, I was gripping the side of the car & I had my eyes closed (out of fear for the contact lense) - pretty funny. The rest of the people in my car looked like they were enjoying it, and I looked like I was dying! When I exited to the shop, I saw it was now POURING outside. Everybody just hung around inside, and then started buying ponchos. I would have bought one if they were like the AK ones, but I dont want another ugly yellow one.
Eventually the rain let up, so I used my MK map as an umbrella and decided to leave Epcot. About half way out I threw away the wet MK map & got an Epcot map for my new "umbrella". While I was sitting at the OKW bus stop, the rain stopped & the sun came out. The 2pm bus arrived, and took me back to OKW. I checked at the desk, and my room was ready (what a shock). I ended up with #5325. I didnt get my waterview, but I did get non smoking and top floor. I was hoping for building 55, but Ive got another 40 years or so to keep requesting it. I really dont have any view at all - except for tops of palm trees. I could hear the family next door, which is the one thing I hate about the studios. I turned on the tv to drown them out, and unpacked.
Since it was still early, I decided to head to Belz Outlet Center. Luckily, there was none of the usual traffic on I-4 headed towards Orlando, perhaps because its Sunday. I hit Character Warehouse first. The merchandise was pretty much the same as it was 2 weeks ago, but on 1 rack I found about dozen of my all time FAVORITE WDW sweater! Its a cardigan, off-white with red & blue stars & mickey mouse heads. Ive seen it in the stores in the parks for years, and always admired it, yet never shelled out the $68 for it. During my birthday trip last November, 2 of the couples went shopping together for me (probably while I was at the Comedy Warehouse), and 1 of them almost bought that sweater. They werent sure Id like it, and ended up getting something else that was also very nice. Anyway, it was now marked down to $43.99 - so I grabbed it! All that was left was size small, which is my size! I think somehow I was meant to have this sweater <g>. At the register they had a basket of small bone china Mickey figures. I thought the cm told someone they were $.99, and I asked him if thats what they really were. He said he didnt know because nothing was marked, but that sounded fine to him! I bought one for a guy at work whos a real Mickey nut. Total bill with tax was $47.15 - in looking at the bill I see the cm only charged me $.49 for the Mickey. Not sure why, but thats ok. I made a stop at Character Premiere, but didnt see anything new there, and didnt buy anything. I returned to OKW, hitting AWFUL traffic on I-4. It was bumper to bumper, and I didnt get back until 4:30.
I parked at the Hospitality House & went to the Gurgling Suitcase to see what the drink special was. It was listed as Hollywood - vodka, chambord, & pineapple juice. I have no idea what chambord is, but figured how bad could it be, and ordered one. I forgot to use my DDE card to get 20% off, so it was $4.24 - $5.00 with tip for Mark. I drove back to the studio and worked on the trip report for awhile, and figured out what to do next. Boy, skipping Comedy Warehouse leaves a giant hole in my plans - LOL! I know I dont want to see Fantasmic again, dont want to bother with Illuminations. I could do Test Track again, and keep my eyes open this time. Also, my son wanted me to take pictures there, and I forgot. Or, I could see Spectromagic for the last time. Hmmm, such tough decisions. :-) Time to take my drink out on the porch and think about my options - and try to figure if itll be cool enough to wear my beautiful new sweater!
I finished the drink. By the way, it was fairly tasty, but terrible to look at. Rather than being tropically pretty, it was more the color of mud! Maybe thats the chambord. So far today Id been wearing a pair of Teva sandals. I wasnt sure I wanted to spend $65 for a pair of sandals that I figured would be uncomfortable (I cant wear just anything or else my feet will kill me), but on the advice of a trusted friend (Jdocter7), I decided to give it a try. Im happy to report my feet were not sore, and I had no blisters. They came in handy during the rain, as I totally ruined a pair of Nike sneakers during a WDW rainstorm a couple years ago!
I went out to the bus stop at 5:45, having decided to return to Epcot. Building 53 is right next to the Southpoint stop, and although my room is at the opposite end, its a very short walk. The bus took forever to get there! Multiple buses came for MGM & MK, and we saw 1 each for AK & Downtown Disney. At about 35 minutes, just as I was at the phone to call the operator, it pulled up. As I entered Epcot, the cm there admired my sweater and wanted to know where I got it! I checked the tip board - Test Track was listed as 89 minutes. I got into line, and ended up talking with 2 women in front of me. This was their first ride, and one of them was unsure if it was worth the wait. I told them about the single rider line, and when we got up to that part we all went in as single riders. Once inside the loading area, they moved us over here, then over there, and then finally stuck us all in the same car together. We didnt mind, but never expected to be together. Its kind of funny, but when youre a single rider youre almost not a person. They refer to you as "single rider" and youre sent to fill in an empty seat whenever one is created.
This ride I had no contact troubles and kept my eyes open the whole time. Boy, that part with the truck scared us all - I completely missed it last time. The outside part was fun (especially since it wasnt raining), and I rode with my arms in the air. I decided to get back in line, and when I was inside I noticed the 2 girls a few people behind me - they decided to do it again, too. This time Test Track was having some minor problems. They stopped loading for a little while, and after I got on my vehicle (back seat for the first time) we came to a complete stop a few times during the acceleration/hairpin turns part just before you go outside. Luckily once we got outside the ride continued normally. By now my hair was totally trashed from a day of riding rides, getting misted or sprayed on rides, and of course being in the rain (while traveling 64.8 mph).
I headed over to the pretzel stand near the Test Track line, having looked forward to getting one of those pretzels for the past 2 weeks - but they were CLOSED!!! Dang, thats what I really wanted for dinner, but I guess I waited too long. I checked out some other food places, including the Sunshine Seasons food court in the Land, but everything paled in comparison to that pretzel! Besides, it was 8pm and I didnt want to eat a lot of calories so late in the day. I rode Spaceship Earth on the way out of the park, and was at the bus stop by 8:35. Unfortunately, the next bus was 9pm. I boarded the bus as the fireworks were starting, and got back to my studio around 9:15 or so. So far today Ive never been on a bus that went to the Millers Road stop. Maybe theyve cancelled that stop during the construction? I made a cup of instant decaf vanilla cappuccino and had a bowl of new Honey Nut Chex. The chex was really good, but I missed that pretzel. I finished up the days trip report, turned on the Academy Awards (although I doubt Ive seen any of the movies), and read some of the literature they gave me at check in.
DAY 2 - MONDAY, MARCH 22, 1999:
Although the alarm was set for 6:30, I woke up around 6 & decided to get up & get the laptop started posting the trip report and downloading messages from the boards. Unfortunately, I was met with an aol message that message boards & newsgroups are undergoing maintenance at this time! The kids next door woke up and began their morning jog around the unit, complete with shouting to people on the other side of the unit. Someone must have done something great, as one of them just yelled "Yaaaaaaaay". Im not lying when I say that when my son was younger I made sure noise from our unit didnt affect anyone staying in the rooms next door (or below). I figured that was just common courtesy, but perhaps its not so common after all!
While waiting for the message boards to come back up, I chatted with Darla (iluvDVC) and Kathy (dznynut) briefly. Its so frustrating to take time out of your vacation and then have aol make all that effort in vain! So much for up-to-the-minute trip reporting, lol! I made some instant hazelnut cappuccino and had a bowl of chex. Its supposed to be sunny with no chance of rain for the rest of the trip :-) and todays plans call for spending the morning at MGM Studios and then the afternoon at Stormalong Bay (as a DVC member I am entitled to pool hopping priveleges - Im not sneaking around or doing anything wrong).
Finally, at 8am (after 2 hours of being unable to access the boards) I headed out to the car. I parked at the Beach Club (after having missed the turn and making a side trip through the Epcot parking gates - nevermind) because Id brought some of those styrofoam noodles to use to float around the lazy river part of Stormalong Bay later. I entered through the Beach Club, and took the boat to MGM, arriving just before 9. I did notice the walkway from BWV to MGM was still closed, but am not sure why. The path appears to be completed, but the gates are locked shut. There were several characters before you get to the ticket booths, and the lines were so long for pictures/autographs that it was difficult for us "boat people" to pass through the area without getting in the way of someones shot. They really should have located this activity further off to the side, out of the way of pedestrian traffic. I entered the park, and headed (with a large crowd) to Star Tours. Id never seen so many people head here first, and we pretty much filled in both sides. As a party of 1 I got right on, and was seated next to a very large man. He was unable to find the latch to hook his seatbelt, and the cm was holding everyone up until he could lock it. I could see where it needed to go, as my seat was not so "full", so I asked him if I could do it for him, and he said thanks. The ride was fun, but Ive been on so many times I found myself not even paying attention to it, so Ill be glad when they redo it. They had an Ewok greeting guests as we entered the ride, and again near the exit.
I walked along New York Street, and was all alone - not a single other person. The fake traffic noises they pipe in seemed kind of out of place when it was obvious the place was empty, but its just part of the theming. Yesterday Susan Sarandon was here, doing the motorcade/handprints in cement/talk with the audience routine. I saw it mentioned on the news this morning. It looks like her handprints will be going out front but slightly to the left of the main doors as you enter the Great Movie Ride. I was able to walk right on to the GMR, being seated in the 3rd row of the set of cars doing the gangster side. The front 2 cars were sent through empty except for the cm. Both our driver & our gangster did a good job. Afterwards I browsed the shops for a while. The tip board had Tower of Terror listed as 45 minutes, but since Im too cowardly to ride it, I didnt care. I sat at a warm picnic table until it was time to go wait for the 10:30 Doug Live show. Ive never seen this show (Im not a cartoon person), and dont know anything about the characters, but the preshow did a good job of explaining all of that. They do select some audience volunteers, but only a handful. The theater was full, which is understandable since this is a new show. I was seated towards the end, and this actor playing Doug came out, jumping around like a 12 year old boy. As soon as he opened his mouth, though, I was absolutely stunned. It was my favorite Comedy Warehouse actor (Layden)!! I couldnt believe it, and kept staring way across to the other side of the theater to see if my eyes were fooling me. Id know his voice anywhere, though, and it was really him. He did a good job (I always enjoy his singing voice), as did he rest of the cast. The show itself is not something Id see every trip, but kids might like to. I thought the old Superstar TV was a better choice for repeat visits, as peoples performances would vary from show to show. In this show its going to be the exact same thing every time.
I left the park just after 11, and waited on a sunny bench for the boat to arrive. I got off at BW and checked the lobby store to see if they had any DVC merchandise - they did not. I walked over to Beach Club, got my swimming stuff from the car, and headed for Stormalong Bay. They were checking ids at each entrance, and gave me a black ink mickey stamp on my hand. I set my stuff on a lounge chair and went to get some lunch from Hurricane Hannas Grill. I ended up with chicken strips with grapes. With tax it was $5.04, and included 4 chicken strips. There was no honey mustard sauce, so I tried both the bbq & the sweet/sour. After eating the first chicken strip Id had about all I wanted - without honey mustard theyre just not the same! I hated wasting so much, so I ate part of another one, and then put the leftovers in a plastic publix bag Id brought for my wet swimsuit, and put it in my DVC tote bag so the birds didnt go after it. I figured it I got hungry enough, Id eat them despite the honey mustard situation!
The pool was great! All sections were open, and it wasnt very crowded. I floated around the lazy river on my noodle for a while, and then "anchored" along one edge of the pool & people watched. Eventually I returned to my chair, which was now partly shaded, so I moved to a new chair in the full sun. There was a TON of chlorine in the pool. Despite having showered off, my legs still looked like Id been rolling in chalk dust! It was a gorgeous FL day - bright blue sky, not a single cloud, warm sun, light breeze, cool in the shade. I relaxed with a magazine & just relaxed!
I returned to the studio around 2:30, and fortunately aol was working again - although it took 3-4 attempts to make the connection. If this continues Ill stop at the desk to have the "extra" charges removed. DVC members pay $.35 per local call, while non members (and everyone at non-DVC resorts) pay $.75 per local call, so its not too bad. I got cleaned up, dressed for the cooler weather that was sure to come after sundown, and updated the trip report.
At 3:45 I went to the bus stop, and heard a bus pull away. Next came an Epcot bus, with a driver who was joking around with me, wanting me to ride his bus instead of going to MGM. He said hed give me $5 if I rode his bus, but when I laughed he took that to mean "no" - lol! Soon came buses for Downtown Disney, then AK & MK - so I guess the bus I missed was MGM (it figures). Another one came just after 4 though, so that wasnt too bad. This time we stopped at Millers Road after Turtle Pond. In fact, on every bus trip this week the first stop has been Peninsular, and Millers Road was either skipped or was the stop after Turtle Pond but before the Hospitality House. Since I dont like the Millers Road area as much as the others, this works fine for me (hopefully Ill never stay out there).
On the way to MGM I noticed that the path from BW is NOT finished. It dead ends in the grass next to the car parking lot at MGM, which is why they have that gate locked over by bw. The real question should be, when are they going to extend the path over to the sidewalk along the parking lot?? We arrived MGM at 4:15, and I went straight to the Doug Live show (some of you are probably not surprised by this <g>). I had about a 35 minute wait, and this time got the front row on the left side, where the majority of Dougs scenes take place. It was the same cast, and they did a super job. I think I liked the show much more the second time around - I was now used to the idea of Layden performing as Doug, and could really enjoy the music & acting. Once again it was a full house, and everyone seemed to enjoy themselves.
I left MGM right after the show, heading for MK. The Wilderness Lodge/Polynesian/Grand Floridian bus stop was closest, and the bus was sitting there, so I got on. I couldnt see any signs of the new DVC construction at WL (but I didnt get off the bus). I got off at GF and browsed the shop, and a monorail arrived just as I exited the hotel. It was standing room only, but for such a short ride I didnt care! I was hoping to find my pretzel tonight, but first went to Tomorrowland and rode the TTA one time. From there I headed to the pretzel cart in Fantasyland - but all they had was a plate of chocolate chip cookies and one cinnamin/sugar cold pretzel thing! I asked the cm if she knew where anyone would be selling the regular hot pretzels, and she said "I am". She had sold out, but the replacements just arrived and she hadnt gotten them into the cart yet. I got my huge pretzel ($3) and scraped the salt off (I hate salt). I stopped in a shop to pick up a bag for the leftovers, and then began eating the pretzel on my way back down Main Street.
The MK was very busy, and at 6pm when I arrived people were already staking out spots on the curb for the 8pm Spectromagic. It was now 6:45, and since I hoped to take a few pictures of it, I set out to claim my piece of curb. I ended up in front of a light pole between Tonys and the Kodak center. The pole was great to lean against for the next 75 minutes! I ate over half the pretzel, and washed it down with my little bottle of water that fortunately I had remembered to bring. I would not have given up my spot for anything! By the time Spectromagic started the sidewalk was completely filled in, all the way back. The parade was great, as usual. Im looking forward to MSEP this summer, and cant imagine how it could be as good as Spectromagic - but I hope it is.
Afterwards, the sidewalk was jammed, but I was able to exit via the street. I got to the OKW bus stop at 8:25 and got the 8:30 bus. Most people stayed in the MK, so it wasnt crowded at the buses at all. Back at OKW I got off at the Peninsular stop and walked back to Turtle Crawl. I checked my account at the front desk, had 2 local calls that didnt go through removed, and put money down to cover todays charges and towards tomorrow. I always put a check card or credit card down for express checkout, but I prefer to just pay cash for my vacation expenses. CM Roberto was soooo courteous & helpful, and really treated me like a special guest. Ill have to remember his name for the comment card. I stopped by the Gurgling Suitcase to see if I could get a drink that Id gotten there in November. The cm Emilio just laughed and said they just make up names, and they dont mean anything. They actually repeat the same drink, but with different names depending on who makes up a name that week. Sounded weird, and he looked through his rolodex to see if he could find anything called Malibu Monsoon, but was unsuccessful. I decided to skip the drink, and just wandered around a little bit. Soon the Illuminations fireworks started, so I stood on the bridge to watch the high ones. Afterwards I enjoyed walking back to the room. I REALLY love this resort, everything about it, and always feel very safe walking around. I got back to my beautiful studio, updated the trip report, read some of the message board posts, and called it a night.
Total miles walked: 7.5
DAY 3 - TUESDAY, MARCH 23, 1999:
Today I got up at 6:30, posted yesterdays report, and started downloading messages. AOL started slowing down, so its unlikely Ill get all the messages today. I havent read all of them from yesterday yet, so I guess its no big deal - I just hate when aol doesnt act at peak performance!
Breakfast was mocha cappuccino and more honey nut chex. I got an invitation to the members continental breakfast this morning, but decided to skip it. Theyll be talking about Vero & Hilton Head, and I already own at both & have been to both. I decided to carry the DVC tote today, to carry my swimsuit since I would not be driving my car this morning. I put the rest of the chicken strips in the ice bucket plastic bag - if I find some honey mustard sauce at MK that will make a good snack while pool hopping.
Todays plan calls for MK, pool hopping at the Contemporary (WL is the backup in case I dont like the Contemporary pool), and Pleasure Island for some Comedy Warehouse shows. I think my neighbors must have moved out, as it was absolutely silent over there all last night & so far this morning! I saw a light on, so it must now be occupied by quiet people :-) I got on the MK bus at 8:15. We stopped at Millers Road after Turtle Pond, so I guess this is the new routine. I think maybe the buses cant make that right turn due to the construction, so they moved the stop towards the end where they can make a left turn to get there (just my assumption). There ended up only being 14 of us on the bus, and we arrived MK at 8:30.
I sent a couple e-mail postcards in the Kodak center, and then browsed through the Emporium. Most of the shops were still closed, which surprised me. I got to the Adventureland entrance with about 5 minutes to wait for opening. First destination for me was Big Thunder, and I was the first person to arrive. Uh oh, the cm was approaching me.....darn, its not running due to "technical difficulties". He suggested I do Splash Mountain, and check back later. I told him I was not about to drop 52 feet, and he laughed. So, I decided to hit some of the Fantasyland stuff. First I walked right on to Peter Pan, and then did Snow White with about a 1 minute wait. Next I walked onto Buzz Lightyear, scoring 71,100 this time. I took the walkway to Toontown Fair and rode the Barnstormer (last seat) twice. For the 2nd ride I was the only one on the entire ride, but a large group was waiting when I pulled back into the station so I got off.
Next it was time to do some of the attractions where lines dont really matter. First, I walked onto Small World. Unfortunately I was with a boat load of flash photographers. Nothing more annoying than *flash* *flash* every minute or so! It may be nasty, but I truly hope every last picture they took is nothing but shadows! Next was Haunted Mansion, with a short wait until the doors opened. There was a man who went right to where the door to the ride would open, just as I always do. When the door opened, he walked ahead of me, very briskly. I was thinking to myself - another solo traveler. Then, when he got onto the moving sidewalk he starts looking for his wife & kids - duh!! I guess hes never heard of keeping your party together. I got on the ride, while he stood walking on the moving sidewalk waiting for his family. I thought that was awfully stupid, and the cm wasnt sure what to make of it! I headed to Pirates of the Caribbean, where both lines were opened. I was able to walk right onto a boat. I decided to do the Swiss Family Robinson Treehouse, because it had been many years since Id done it. There was a line (I couldnt believe it), so it was kind of slow going through there. Also, there was a very LOUD elementary school aged girl directly behind me, so I soon stepped aside & let a few families provide a buffer between her mouth & my ears, lol. I didnt notice anything new since last years refurbishment, and doubt Ill be doing this again anytime soon. Last stop was the Tomorrowland Transit Authority, where I took 1 ride. It was 11am, and the MK was getting much to crowded for my taste, so it was time to leave!
In case you hadnt noticed, when I tour WDW I tend to do a lot of walking. This morning I had almost 5 miles racked up criss-crossing the MK! Many people would shudder at that thought, and try to minimize all the walking, but I really enjoy walking at WDW. When Ive got guests with me I do try to not "kill" them while touring the parks, though. On the way out, I stopped at the Plaza Pavilion restaurant & picked up some honey mustard sauce. I was getting hungry, so I ate some chicken strips on the way out of the park.
I walked to the Contemporary and headed straight to the pool. I showed my id, got towels, staked out a lounge chair in a great location, and got changed. It was 11:30, and the pool was relatively uncrowded. About half the chairs were empty, and the pool wasnt busy at all. The pool is fairly large, and shaped like a Mickey head. The water slide empties into the right ear, there is a fountain and hot tub just above the head, and the left ear was nice & quiet. I settled in the left ear, and did some people watching while enjoying the warm sun. The water is 3 feet deep at the edges, and 4 feet in the center. The slide empties into 3 feet of water, and there was almost never a wait for it.
About 12:15 I got out of the water to go buy a drink at the Sand Bar. I wanted the Cancun Meltdown (Captain Morgan coconut rum, creamy coconut, & Myers Jamaican dark rum) - but the bartender told me they didnt have any. Their specialty drinks come out of machines. I settled for the Tropical Dacquiri - which was frozen bananas, banana liqueur, and Captain Morgan spiced rum. It was yummy! Cost was $5.75 plus tip. I ate the last chicken strip, while the seagulls watched me intently. I ate quickly, as they were inching closer & closer - and felt like any minute Id be under an air attack! Its a gorgeous day! Its slightly warmer than yesterday, and the sounds of the birds, the speedboats zipping around the lake, and the fountains in the pool all added to the atmosphere. Ive always loved the appearance of the Contemporary tower, and today it really looked the beautiful. The garden wings, however, looked like slums! The buildings are badly in need of cleaning, and really looked out of place. Theres also a quiet pool here, called the Bay Pool because its actually located in the lake. Its nothing special, though - just a small circle thats 3 feet at the edge and 6 feet in the center. The white sand beach was very pretty, and it had plenty of chairs. No swimming in the lake was allowed.
At one point a family of unthinking people started tossing their leftovers for the birds, throwing it away from their area & over towards me. I got up & went to see if there were any "dont feed the birds" signs, but couldnt find any. Luckily they left the area, and the birds did too. I read for a while, then went back in the pool. I relaxed along the edge & watched the monorails enter the building - how cool that is! The pool area was much more crowded now, but still not bad, and it seemed to be a really nice crowd. The ladies bathroom had a shower stall, with a "lotion soap" dispenser on the wall, so I washed the chlorine off my arms & legs before heading to the lounge chair to dry. This is turning out to be a perfect vacation, one that will definitely have to be repeated. I think the mix of 2 hours at a park, and afternoon at a pool, and the evening at Comedy Warehouse is absolutely perfect for me! At almost 2:30 a lady carrying a pack of cigarettes came and started setting up camp on the vacant chairs next to me, so that was my cue to leave. I realize that smoking is legal and all, but to ME it is totally disgusting and I will not be subjected to that stench. She has every right to smoke there, just as I have every right not to stay - and I was dry by then anyway.
I got changed in the restroom, and as I re-entered the Contemporary a cm with a clipboard approached me. After some initial questions, she asked if Id be willing to take part in a 45 minute focus group thing about Disney resort tv - and they would give me a $75 Disney gift certificate for my time! I said YES, YES, YES - lol. Actually, I would have done it for zero compensation, just because it was WDW. Then came the downside - did I want to do it at 5, 6:30, or 7:30? Huh - I wanted to do it now, so it didnt interfere with Comedy Warehouse!!! Oh well, I told her Id come back at 5, and she gave me an invitation with that time on it. I can revise my plans - originally I was going to take the boat from okw to Downtown Disney, browse a while, and then be in Pleasure Island before 7. I can do that tomorrow (its so wonderful to be able to say that). Today Ill drive to the Contemporary for 5pm, finish there by 6, and then drive over to Pleasure Island.
I walked back to the MK, and the OKW bus arrived in about 10 minutes. When I got back to the room I had a message from Linda (ELFriar) confirming that wed be meeting for Pleasure Island tonight. I think she mentioned once that her husband doesnt like it there, but she does, so this will work out well. I called her back, but she was still out shopping. I left word with her husband about the Contemporary thing, and since Lindas got a Premium Annual Pass I just said Id meet her outside the Comedy Warehouse between 6:30 & 7:00.
My noisy neighbors are back Theres such a racket over there - kids running, yelling, adults yelling at kids, etc. When they let their front door slam shut (a pet peeve of mine in hotels), theres a loud bang & the connecting door on my side of the unit shakes! At least Im not trying to sleep! I updated the trip report, and turned on my soap to drown out the neighbors. At 4:30 I drove to the Contemporary, and told the guard I was there to do a focus group. He looked confused, but when I said I knew where I was going, he waved me in. I parked in self parking and found Pastoral Room 3 in the Convention Center. I met with a market researcher who first wanted me to talk about myself, and my interest in WDW trips. Then she asked me about the various WDW tv channels that continuously play Disney information. She had me watch some of each one, and make suggestions on what was good/bad/indifferent. The 45 minutes went by pretty quickly, and she gave me $75 worth of WDW gift certificates (3 each for $25). She said she enjoyed talking to me since I knew so much about Disney - more than she did.
I had brought the rest of last nights pretzel in the car, so while driving I finished that up for a quick dinner. I drove ~home~ to quickly change into long pants, and then drove over to Pleasure Island. I bought my PI Annual Pass, which with mkc discount & tax came to $47.66. I decided to use 2 of my new gift certificates to pay for it. It was early, but I got right into line at the Comedy Warehouse. Soon Linda arrived & joined me in line. We passed the time chatting, and it was great meeting up with her again (we were both at the DVC/AOL Ladies Getaway Weekend 2 weeks ago).
We were seated in the front row, and it was a good show. Layden was performing, and was very funny, the the show overall was not the best Id seen. When it was over we got in line for the 2nd show, but were seated way in the back (nose bleed section). This show was much funnier! The only bad thing was just about everyone shouting out suggestions went immediately for something "dirty". Its so much funnier when you just yell out an ordinary word, and let the cast turn it into something dirty if they want (and they frequently do). Afterwards Linda decided to head home, since shes had a lot of late nights lately. I checked out the line for the 3rd show, but it looked pretty long so I decided to skip it and try for a great seat for the 4th show. I went to the Adventurers Club for a little while, but just wasnt into it tonight. The cast there was making fun of the Comedy Warehouse cast - saying stuff like the audience writes their lines for them and they call themselves actors! At first I was a little put off by it, but it was all in fun.
I ended up leaving the club, and wandered around the street a little bit. Unfortunately so many people were smoking I couldnt stand being out on the street! I found a nice bench up near the Comedy Warehouse and sat there to watch the band play at the West End Stage until it was time to get in line for my next show. I was the 6th person in line, and spent the time talking to a really nice family from Maine who come to the Comedy Warehouse most nights on every WDW trip. They were a husband & wife meeting their son who was on Spring Break from college in California. They were a really nice family, and they invited me to join their party for when wed be seated. Finally we went in, and the show was great. We were in the front row, which can give you a stiff neck from having to look up all the time, but it sure beats the nosebleed section!
I left PI around midnight and drove back to OKW. Total miles walked today: 7.83
DAY 4 - WEDNESDAY, MARCH 24, 1999:
Woke up early today - 6am! I had the alarm set for 6:30, and actually thought I might then reset it for later since Id not gotten in until midnight, but the neighbors were up & making quite a racket. Perhaps at midnight I should have turned on my tv & started slamming things around - to make them aware of how noise travels through these connecting doors, but I didnt. Breakfast was french vanilla cappuccino and honey nut chex. AOL was working faster today, but boy are there a ton of messages. I do flash sessions, and it can only do 500 messages per session. It took 2 sessions this morning. Today is trash & towel day, so I left my used towels on the bathtub. There are 3 trashcans in the room, but when Im alone (or just with Chris) I tend to only use the large can in the kitchen area, so the housekeeper doesnt have to bother with the others. We dont really generate much trash, anyway, since were not cooking meals.
Got the e-mail read & answered, including one from Kathy (Dznynut) hoping we could meet today. Chatted with Darla (iluvDVC) via instant message, and then with Kathy. We agreed to meet in Epcot at 10. Its great to be away from the "real world" on vacation, yet still be in touch with friends - buying this laptop was a luxury, but I dont regret it for a minute! Besides, the trip report is already 12 pages long, so this is 12 pages I dont have to write AFTER I get home!
I left the room about 8:45 and drove to the Beach Club. I walked into Epcot, arriving at Test Track at 9:10. The posted wait was already 75 minutes, and they were filling in the entire outdoor waiting area. I realized that no cars were going around the track, and sure enough they were having technical difficulties. Eventually the line moved to where I could exit into the single rider line, and I met up with a half dozen people already in that line. They told me the guests in the regular line kept giving them dirty looks because we were closer to the boarding area than they were! After maybe 5 minutes or so the ride started up, and we entered our Briefing Room. When we came out into the loading area, they had just finished loading the last of the regular guests. They took 5 of us (me, a teen boy, and a party of 3 adults) and had us ride together. None of them had ridden before, so they had lots of questions! The ride broke down again, as we were leaving the loading area, when we were about 2 cars away from climbing the hill. Just as it started again the man behind me got a call on his cel phone. He was shouting into the phone - Im on test track, CALL ME BACK, IVE GOTTA GO, CALL ME BACK!! It was so funny, and he got the phone put away as we headed up the hill. The ride broke again several times - after the non ABS break test, while in the corrosive room, and a little bit on the hairpin turns. Once we blasted outside though, we had no problems and the people in the car with me all loved it! I stopped to chat briefly with cm Bonnie on the way out, and then headed towards Spaceship Earth to meet Kathy.
I got there just before 10, and Kathy was already there. We started chatting & wandering aimlessly - neither of us HAD to see or do anything here, we were just spending time together. We went to the Land and walked on to the Living with the Land boat ride - in the back row of the back boat. I was surprised we could walk on to this at 10am, but I guess everyone was at Test Track. From there we went to the Living Seas, and saw the baby sea turtles that were about ready to be released. Kathy had been visiting them since they were tiny. It was 11, so we headed for World Showcase and rode the boat in Mexico (back row again). When I come back in July this ride will be down for rehab/redo. Finally, we went to Norway & walked on to the Maelstrom (any guess as to which row we were seated in?). Kathy joked that we should call ourselves the back row girls! By now it was almost noon, and Kathy had to stop underneath the MK before getting home for when the kids were out of school, so we said our goodbyes. Im so glad she took the time to spend part of the day with me - Thank you, Kathy. :-)
I walked back to the Beach Club, got my swimming stuff out of the car, and went to Stormalong Bay. My id was checked (none of the cms at the entrances let anyone through without checking their id). There werent many lounge chairs left, but the pool was not busy at all. I couldnt find anything in my usual area, but ended up over near the kiddie pool. My chair was somewhat isolated, yet in full sun, not too close to the pool, so it turned out to be perfect! I changed into my swimsuit in the restroom behind Hurricane Hannas - what a miserable restroom this is! No air conditioning, no shower, wet floor, not as nice as the one at the Contemporary yesterday. I floated around the lazy river on my fun noodle for about 45 minutes, and then went to get some lunch. Kathy had said she wanted to read that I actually ate something today (she swears that if she ate what I do on vacation shed starve, lol) so I ordered the Cape Cod Wrap (tortilla with turkey, bacon, cheese, lettuce, tomato, & thousand island dressing). It was very good! It came with choice of chips or grapes, and since Id brought the grapes from 2 days ago with me, I got the chips (theyll end up in Chris lunch box next week). After ordering my food I got in the even slower drink line and got a virgin pina colada. Both lines took much longer than they should have! The wrap was $5.15 including tax, and the pina colada was $5 including tax & tip. I ate the wrap and got a to-go container for the other half. Kathy - too bad you werent here to help me finish it! If I get hungry after Pleasure Island tonight, it will make a fairly decent snack (as opposed to candy or something like that). Id eaten some of the grapes at Epcot, and threw the rest away here, knowing Id never finish them. I know fruit is good for you, but it just doesnt have the appeal of a good piece of chocolate!
This trip is so relaxing, its just great! I cant believe I havent done more of this in the past, but Ill definitely be doing more of it in the future. The only negative thing I can think of to say about today so far is that the sun is causing my pina colada to melt faster than I would like - what a tough life! I relaxed a while, did some reading, floated some more, and then dried off. About 3 I headed back to OKW. On the way, I noticed I was missing my left earring! It must have come off when I was getting changed into my swimsuit The earrings were bought at WDW in November, so Ill look for a replacement pair at Downtown Disney tonight - since theyre my favorite pair. Its my own dumb fault for losing it - theyre the kind with the long wire & I wasnt wearing the little stopper to keep it from falling off. Live & learn.
Back in the studio I worked on the trip report, showered, and started packing. I left the studio about 4:30 and walked to Turtle Krawl. Since the express checkout would be coming in the morning, I wanted to pay any balance on my account. However, the boat to Downtown Disney had just pulled in so I decided to wait until later to take care of my bill. In my opinion this is the single BEST boat transportation in all of WDW! The boat at PO/Dixie is nice, but youre on a boat with 24 people, sitting on hard wooden benches. Here we have a maximum of 10 people, sitting on soft cushiony seats, with a driver who usually talks to the guests. Riding through OKW on that boat is sooooo beautiful.
At the Marketplace I stopped at the DVC booth to look at the new book of pictures they have. I like it much better than the old one - more pictures in general, and lots of pictures of the interior of the units. I talked to the cm there a little bit, and then continued towards World of Disney. I stopped in at Studio M and found the kiosks where you can make the WDW Forever cds. Some of the selections are only a minute long, and I didnt see how you could preview your selection before actually picking it. Maybe you can, but I didnt try very long, since I wasnt planning to buy one. I stopped in the Ghiradelli store, but everything that looked good was too big and I knew it would melt in the car tomorrow - so I left without buying anything. Finally I made it to the World of Disney and went to the earrings. They didnt have my pair, but I did buy another pair that I liked. I still had plenty of time before I needed to be in Pleasure Island, so I decided to return to OKW to take care of the bill and then come back. On the way, I stopped in the Christmas store. They have some beautiful flat china ornaments that are mickey heads. Theyre white, and have mickey head cut outs all along the border. In the center is either the castle or a scene with the characters, and on the back most have a saying. I bought the one with Mickey, Minnie, Goofy, Pluto & Donald opening Christmas gifts, and on the back it says "sharing the holidays with friends is special". For our trip to WDW & Hilton Head the last 2 weeks of December this year weve invited friends to join us. This will make a nice little Christmas gift for them. I had the store paint 1999 on it, so it will be a keepsake. It wouldnt be ready for 45 minutes, so I went to the dock and walked right onto the okw boat.
I stopped at the front desk and asked what my balance was. The cm said no problem, its $20 thousand something. I nonchalantly said ok, do you accept cash? He said yes, but he was giving me a special 99% discount, so my bill was only around $8. The boat was still at the dock, and 9 people were waiting, so luckily I was the 10th and final passenger. We had a new driver, who immediately turned on the radio to an oldies station and we boogied all the way to Downtown Disney. He went nice and slow, so the boats engine didnt drown out our music! I picked up the ornament from the Christmas store (it looks really nice, I might have to get one for myself on the next trip) and realized I was getting hungry again. I stopped at the Gourmet Pantry for a chocolate medallion ($.80 with tax) since I could toss it in the backpack & eat it while in line. I entered Pleasure Island, getting my wristband and hand stamp. As usual, I immediately got a napkin and wiped off the handstamp so I didnt get black ink on my clothes. I dont know why they bother with the stamp if youre going to get a wrist band.
It was still really early, but a few people were in line so I joined them. I started talking to the guy in front of me. It turns out hes single too, on vacation here solo for a week (camping at Ft Wilderness), and was having a great time. Today he took a new tour over at MGM, called the Hollywood Tour. Its about a 4 hour tour, and its all about Walt Disney and his vision of Hollywood when he arrived way back when from central USA. They got to draw a character, interact with a cm playing the role of one of the original Mouseketeers, and a bunch of other stuff that I should have written down because now I dont remember it. He did say everyone got a picture of themself with something (memorys going), plus the character they drew (his was Goofy), plus a set of Mickey Mouse ears with his name printed on the back. The tour cost $150 and he heard about it during the $195 Behind the Scenes Tour (not sure if I got the name of that one right - I only had 1 drink tonight, I swear!) Anyway, the time passed quickly since we were talking, and we continued talking until the show started. I was disappointed that Layden wasnt in the first show, but it was still very good. I went to get in line for the 2nd show, but the line was awfully long already. I asked the cm working the line if he knew which shows Layden would be performing in, and he said he had a schedule inside but he didnt remember which shows. Duh - I nicely asked if he would go inside and check his schedule for me.......which he did, and came out to report Layden would be in shows 3,4&5. I was glad I asked, rather than waiting in line for show #2.
I went to the Adventurers Club, which was not too busy yet. As I was walking through the upstairs the butler approached me, saying "Where have you been, your mother and I have been worried sick!" and he took my hand and kissed it. I just said "sorry, Dad" and we continued with what we each were doing. Once downstairs they did the new member induction ceremony, and then I went into the library for the live radio broadcast. Ive seen this a number of times, but I had nothing else to do. After that show I sat upstairs for maybe 10 minutes, keeping an eye on the Comedy Warehouse to see when the line would start forming again. I got in line early again, to ensure Id be front row, but this time I wasnt around any talkative people. The show was excellent, and I stopped to chat with Layden before leaving. I had wanted to let him know Id seen him as Doug, and that hed done an excellent job, but most importantly I wanted to know if his Doug thing meant hed be cutting back at the Comedy Warehouse. He got a kick out someone recognizing him in Doug, and assured me he was not reducing his time at Comedy Warehouse (whew!). He had merely been filling in for someone who called in sick that day. I was amazed that he could carry the lead in a 30 minute show as a "sub" and do such a great job, and told him so. I checked the line for the 4th show, but it was pretty long. I didnt want to wait for the 5th show (12:05 am), so I decided to leave PI.
I wandered around the West Side, and browsed in the Cirque du Soleil store. Some people dont like the West Side, but I kind of like the lights there. The shops arent anything special, but I enjoy walking up & down the street. I returned to the bus stop at PI, afraid that if I went to the West Side stop and the buses got full they wouldnt stop there. It turned out the bus was not full, and we did stop there, although no one was there to get on. Back at okw I got off at the main building so I could make one last long walk through the neighborhood. After finishing todays trip report, it was lights out shortly after midnight.
Total miles walked today: 9.73 (thats 20,279 steps in case you were wondering) </HTML> <HTML><FONT SIZE=3 PTSIZE=10 FAMILY="SANSSERIF" FACE="Arial" LANG="0">Subj: Trip Report - 2 of 2</FONT><FONT SIZE=3 PTSIZE=10> Date: 3/25/99 7:57:44 PM Eastern Standard Time From: WDW1972 To: DVClubber </FONT><FONT SIZE=3 PTSIZE=10> </FONT><FONT COLOR="#0000a0" SIZE=3 PTSIZE=10 FAMILY="SCRIPT" FACE="Comic Sans MS" LANG="0">DAY 5 - THURSDAY, MARCH 25, 1999:
Today was another 6:30 day, and another slow aol day. It took 3 tries to get the trip report posted, and then it bombed out again - so Ill wait until Im back in Ft Myers where I can hook up for free. I had another hazelnut cappuccino and more honey nut chex (these are really good), and packed up the rest of my stuff. Tomorrow at this time Ill be driving to work - ugh! Its tough deciding which park to start with this morning. Ill probably still stop at a pool, but not for too long, and Im unsure as to which one. Over the past few days Ive gotten a lot of sun and am much browner than when I first arrived. Luckily I tan easily, or it could be tough living in Florida! (When I got home I actually startled myself when walking past the mirror)
I left the studio just before 8. Its strange, but it took 1 trip to bring everything IN, and 2 trips to take it all OUT. The express checkout bill had just arrived, and the balance was zero. Theyll have to add the 3 phone calls later. Once again I parked at the Beach Club, figuring Id end up at Stormalong Bay. I carried my DVC tote bag today, since I had the other half of the wrap sandwich in there. I walked to the International Gateway, arriving at 8:20, and found out it doesnt open until 8:30. I sat on a bench and wondered if my park pass was going to work. At 8:30 I slid the card into the machine, and it let me in! Whew, that was a relief! I headed directly to Test Track, getting there at 8:40. They hadnt opened the line area, so people just formed a line at the rope, and it extended back into Innoventions. A couple of cms came out at 8:45 and started measuring any kids they saw in line. Somewhere between 8:50 & 8:55 they let us into the outdoor waiting area, using all the snaked aisles - just as the JAMMitors had started performing next to me. I appreciate what they can do with trash cans, but dont want to be standing near them when they do, LOL! As I got to where the single rider line splits off, the rope was up. I asked the next cm, who said that line didnt open for an hour or so after the ride starts. Hmmm, thats not the way it worked yesterday at 9:10! Had I known Id be in the regular line all the way, I might have chosen not to wait - but at this point had about 30 minutes invested in the ride. There were no cars going by - a bad sign. Eventually theyd start some cars, then thered be none, then some, etc. At 9:30 they announced a "delayed opening" - with no idea when the opening ~might~ occur! A few people left, but most stayed. A few people were silent, but most were grumbling (including me). Test Track is obviously the #1 attraction in Epcot right now, youd think theyd somehow get the foolish thing to work and have it open ON TIME or perhaps EARLY, since they let guests in at 8:30. Grrrrr!! Finally about 9:45 the doors to the building opened, and we walked thru the indoor waiting area. This was the first time Id seen this part, as the single rider line skips it. They had exhibits on the different types of auto tests done. Once I got through the turnstiles I moved to join the single riders that had come in, and got to the loading area very quickly. The ride was great, but not really worth the 1.5 hours I had spent for it.
I walked by Ice Station Cool, but it was still closed, so I continued to the Land. I waited for the Circle of Life movie, which is always good. By now Ice Station Cool was open, so I went in to buy a coke keychain for Chris. I dont like soda, so I didnt bother with any of the samples - but there were lots of people in there drinking the stuff. I thought about going to Wilderness Lodge and renting a bike to ride around Ft Wilderness, but it seemed so far away. Ill probably do that in December. I headed for World Showcase, and decided to walk around the "World". I did stop in Norway to ride the Maelstrom - and got put in the back seat again. Kathy, I guess it was just me yesterday! It was a nice walk, not too hot, and not crowded at all.
I exited through the International Gateway & headed back to Stormalong Bay. I showed my resort ID, got my towels, and got set up on the same chair as yesterday. I changed into my swimsuit in the nice, air conditioned restroom over by Beaches & Cream. I didnt bother with the fun noodle, as I didnt want to get all chlorinated today. I ate the other half of the Cape Cod Wrap, and relaxed with another magazine. I brought all the unread magazines from home, and with all this pool time finished them all! When I got hot, I just rinsed off at the pool shower. Around 1:00 I got dressed and decided to stop at Beaches & Cream for the first time. I got a single scoop of butter pecan ice cream in a cone ($1.58). The ice cream had many chunks of ice in it, and was only "ok" at best. I dont think Ill be coming back here. After sitting and soaking up a few last minutes of WDW atmosphere I reluctantly went to the car and began driving home. Total miles walked today - 5.15.
If youve read my earlier trip reports, youre probably tired of hearing this, but each trip just gets better than the ones before! I honestly think each trip is the "best ever" and that the next one cannot possibly be any better (or even just as good), and then the trip happens and it really is better than ever! My style of WDW vacation may not be right for most guests, but it works great for me. I dont have another solo trip scheduled right now, but Ill be sure to remedy that in the future.
The trip itself cost next to nothing, I think, since the lodging & passes were covered by my DVC membership. My meals only came to $19.79 for the 5 days (including the 2 chocolate medallions) - and I honestly was NOT trying to spend as little as possible on anything this trip. My drinks (including the virgin one) were $25.75. I did buy a PI annual pass for about $50, and my sweater & some other gifts, but I also received $75 from Disney. I guess netting it out the 5 day vacation ended up really costing me less than $100. That is really strange, but true.
THE MAGICAL MOMENTS -
Having the opportunity to see Layden perform as Doug in the new Doug Live show (I still cant believe he was that good, and is just a sub). Equally as wonderful was finding out hes not leaving the Comedy Warehouse to work at Doug full time.
Meeting Linda at Pleasure Island for some Comedy Warehouse shows.
Meeting Kathy for the whirlwind tour of the back row of Epcot rides.
Relaxing at gorgeous pools surrounded by pleasant guests, great cms, and wonderful weather.
Buying my sweater on sale!
Knowing that this was not a once in a lifetime trip, and that with DVC Ill be returning time and time again!
Im not going to bother trying to come up with a list of non-magical moments. There were really too few to bother with, and the good far outweighed the "not so good"! My next trip report will be in June, when we go to Disneys Vero Beach Resort with some friends. The next WDW trip isnt until late July
Thanks for reading, and as always - if you have any questions please feel free to e-mail me!