Thursday, November 11 - Saturday, November 20, 1999
Day 1: Thurs. 11/11
Resort: All Star Music
Total miles walked: 4.12
Arrival and Cirque du Soleil
Notable quote: "Why are those men wearing tutus?"
It's arrival day. The day I dread second to departure day. I set my alarm early, so I didn't have to rush, but I woke up a bit late, anyway! My father drove me to O'Hare airport, and we have this travel ritual. Any time he's driven me to the airport, he gives me $20 "good luck money" and a goodbye kiss. It's cute. The best part of the breakfast flight was that I was able to get a mocha Frappaccino as my beverage! I truly felt as if I was on my way to a great vacation. Getting the Mears shuttle, on the other hand, looked good in theory, if not practice. I bought my voucher and waited patiently for the crew member to place me on a shuttle. I waited a little over a half hour for a shuttle. If it had been any longer, I would have been very annoyed, rather than mildly annoyed.
I checked into the All Star Music for the two night stay with Indy. She's one of the Disnoids I befriended on Prodigy. I had two separate one-night reservations, and the front desk clerk had us in two different buildings. I asked her if anything in Calypso, one of our two buildings, was free for two nights in the same room. As it turned out, she was able to get both nights at Calypso, rather than muck around with one night at County Fair, one night at Calypso. We were in room 1508, on the second floor, overlooking the pool. It was so convenient to the Food Court/Bus Stop! While I was relaxing in the room, I decided to call a RADP board member for dinner. Bruce (Zazu) and his wife Marta met Indy and me at the Portabello Yacht Club for dinner. Indy and I had tickets for Cirque Du Soleil's "La Nouba" later that evening.
As I consult my note, I see that I had Chicken Alla Griglia with mashed potatoes and a vegetable, and it was very good. The others didn't think I liked it, because I barely ate half. I just didn't have a big appetite that night. The others enjoyed their food, because they cleaned their plates! We shared a pitcher of a sangria type of wine drink, and it was VERY good.
After dinner, the four of us walked around Downtown Disney's West Side shops until it was time for Indy and me to see Cirque. Before I go into my Cirque thoughts, I have to tell you that Indy really liked the floor tile in the bathrooms at the West Side. If you like to see tile that looks like a grassy lawn, then check it out.
Ok, Cirque.....what can I say? Amazing. Stupefying. Comical. No words are good enough for this show. EVERY character in the show is an acrobat of sorts. Of course, much of the costuming and show is truly bizarre. While we were watching the trapeze artists, Indy asked, "Why are those men wearing tutus?" I nearly "lost it" during the show because of comments like these. Indy was sending me in giggling fits. One stand-out character that I loved to joke about was "Email Man". He was bald, wore an old-fashioned wrestler/weightlifter outfit with "@.com" written on it with huge letters. Now, because this was a spandex costume, those who are familiar with RADP should note that the LIB would have had a field day with him. "Beadable"? definitely. All the acts were so surreal and "wow" worthy. In fact, any show in the parks that uses acrobats really pales by comparison! In my opinion, Cirque did them much better. Of course, that's not to suggest that the live shows at the parks aren't worth watching!
After Cirque, we headed back to All Star Music for a good night's sleep.
Day 2: Fri. 11/12
Resort: All Star Music
Total miles walked: 9.21
Animal Kingdom and Pleasure Island
Notable quote: "Isn't there a ferry that goes to Epcot?"
I was none too pleased that I had to check out and check back into the same room at All Star Music, but I understood why. I had two separate reservations, based on getting MKC rates. As I stood in line, a woman who appeared to be in her fifties walks in behind me. She has been having problems figuring out the WDW transportation, and she wanted help. I asked her where she was planning on doing that day, and that led to my Quote of the Day. She was going to the Magic Kingdom, then Epcot. She wanted to take a boat to Epcot. I told her that you can't take a boat to Epcot, and she asked me, "Isn't there a ferry that goes to Epcot?" I told her that the only way to get to Epcot from the MK was the monorail. MK has ferries that go to resorts or the Transportation and Ticket Center. If she REALLY wanted to take a ferry, she'd have to take one from the MK to the TTC to catch the Epcot monorail. Of course, this lady INSISTED that a ferry went to Epcot. I shrugged and went to the front desk clerk. I wasn't going to argue with her!
Indy couldn't find her prescription sunglasses, and I felt bad for her all week. Every day, we would call EVERY lost and found we could think of. We knew her glasses were lost the first night, but we have no idea where they could have been lost. She never did find them. She eventually bought clip-on sunglasses, and she needed them! As for the first park day, we went to Animal Kingdom, but Indy left early to search a lost and found location. I met up with her a few hours later.
We were out of our room by 8, into AK by 8:15. We walked to the Safari and took a FastPass time for 9:20. We walked to Kali River Rapids, and it had no line to speak of. We could have taken some time in the queue line, because there were so many neat things to look at! However, we just walked through to the ride. After the elephants nailed us with water, we drenched the next guests! It was great! We had time to do the Maharaja Jungle Trek before the FastPass for the Safari, and I must say that the cast members really know their stuff! Bats, Tigers, wall paintings.........the cast members stationed in each location really gave us tons of info about what we were seeing. We went back to the Safari, and the FastPass line only took us five minutes to board the vehicle! The standby line was huge! Indy and I were in the back seat of the Jeep, and it was rough! We kept bouncing around, and it was fun.
When we walked the Pangani trail, I enjoyed seeing Gino the silverback gorilla from Chicago's Lincoln Park Zoo. We took the train to Conservation Station, and we liked petting the goats and sheep. Indy commented that the animals seemed very clean, and I agreed. Yes, we checked out the scoop on poop in the women's restroom. I had to see for myself. Indy left to check for her sunglasses at lost and found at Downtown Disney, and I stayed to see Countdown to Extinction and grab a bite to eat.
FastPass for CTX was equally fast for me.......five minutes until the ride. I had a brisket sandwich at Flame Tree BBQ while I waited for my FastPass time, and I browsed some shops. The best thing I brought with me this trip: my cell phone. I called Indy to see if she found the glasses and to meet up with her again. She had no luck, and she met me back at the All Star for dinner.
I'm glad you don't have to be a kid to get a kid's dinner! I got a bowl of cream of broccoli soup plus a kid's rib dinner. I never thought of getting a kid's meal, but because I wanted soup, the kid's meal was just the right size. Indy and I decided to check out Pleasure Island that night. I wanted to buy an annual pass for Pleasure Island as an "add on" to the regular annual pass, but I was in for a shock. PI stopped doing the add-on passes, only selling regular PI annuals. Bummer for me. Well, I bought the PI annual, and it was worth it, since I went to PI enough to make it worthwhile. In fact, because we went on a Friday, I was able to get Indy inside under a "guest pass" for free! She didn't have to use any of her plus features. Oh, with MKC discount, the pass cost $52.43. Go to PI three times, and it's paid for itself.
The strangest part of going to Pleasure Island that week was that every time we wanted to wait in line for the Comedy Warehouse, the line was packed, even 40 minutes before showtime. As it turned out, we never saw any Comedy Warehouse shows. We ended up spending the whole night at the Adventurer's Club, where Indy had WAY too many Kungalooshes! The characters at the club were the best combination of actors I've seen all week. Since the actors switch roles each time, I think the first night was my favorite. And......to top off the evening, I celebrated New Year's Eve and my 30th birthday arriving. Indy, being very under the influence of the Kungaloosh drinks, got the entire bus back to All Start Music to sing "Happy Birthday" to me. I was suitably embarrassed.
Day 3: Sat. 11/13.......My 30th birthday!
Resort: Dixie Landings
Total miles walked: 9.48
Epcot and Boardwalk
Notable Quote: "This isn't dessert, it's a smorgasbord!"
My 30th birthday was "officially" started on the bus back from PI the previous evening. My friend got the bus to sing "Happy Birthday" to me. The day of my birthday started with checking out of All Star Music and asking Bell Services to transfer our luggage to Dixie Landings. My stay at WDW divided into two nights at All Star Music, five nights at Dixie Landings, and two nights at Beach Club. That is a very extreme way to stay at many resorts, and I doubt I'll stay in more than two per trip next time!
After checking out, Indy and I went to Epcot. We took the single riders line at Test Track, and I thank each and every one of you RADP'ers who've suggested it. This was the first time I've seen Test Track, and I enjoyed it. I never waited in the main queue for this attraction at any time during this trip. Test Track also started Indy on her ride photo collection. Later in the week, she bought every photo op of us.
After Test Track, I lost Indy for a little while when I went Pin Trading outside of MouseGear. I didn't realize that she went inside to shop, and I bummed around the Pin Trading area until I saw her emerge. We headed to Universe of Energy until it was time for me to take..........The Paragon Challenge! I went to the Mexico pavillion and asked for Paragon........but not by asking the CMs where "Paragon" was. I talked her ear off, and she showed me her famous duelling boxcutters. Alas, I didn't see the famous deLIBerator. We went outside the pavillion to chat, and we ended up sitting at the Cantina for a long time. I felt guilty that I took her away from work, and Indy and I said our goodbyes. Paragon won't admit being nice, but I'm afraid I have to blow her cover.
I forgot to mention in my last trip report episodes something I "borrowed" from Julie/Imkiwi. I bought the Millennium beanies from The Disney Store, and I took the Mickey one with me for photo opportunities during the trip. I almost lost him at Epcot that day, because I was at the pin kiosk buying my "birthday" Pin of the Day. Luckily, I turned back to the kiosk right as I discovered Millennium Mickey was missing. I think Indy and I were too busy thinking about the Food and Wine Festival going on. We had some killer pasteles from Brazil and some cheese puffs, and we were ready to check into Dixie Landings.
Since it was after 3pm, we left Epcot to check in to our next resort. It was convenient to go straight from a park, because there isn't a direct route from All Star Music to Dixie Landings. I have never stayed at Dixie before, and I loved it. Before I get ahead of myself, I called ahead from All Star Music to ask for Building 18 in the Bayou. It was available, and I was very pleased with the room location. Big thanks again to PassPorter Jen and Dave for their Dixie recommendations, and thanks to RADP for the scoop on calling a few days ahead for room assignments.
Indy and I went to Room 1827, which was literally steps from the quiet pool on the first floor. You can almost jump into the pool from the room it was so close. I loved the rustic decor, especially the beds that looked like they were constructed from Lincoln Logs. After we got our bags from Bell Services, we went on our way again.
My birthday dinner was at Yachtsman Steakhouse, so back to Epcot for us. Unfortunately, we didn't time our walk through World Showcase well. Tapestry of Nations was in full swing at the time, so we had to wind our way around the revelry. We saw the parade well through our travel through the International Gateway. We both decided that we needed to get the CD. On to dinner.......and we see a Disnoid we know who works at Yachtsman. He was meeting us later at Jellyrolls with other "locals" Indy and I know online. Indy and I had the chateaubriand for two, and it was fabulous. We also drank two bottles of white zinfandel at dinner, and I was quite "happy" by the end of the meal. For dessert, the waiter brings me, The Birthday Girl, a plate with small petit four-type desserts. Nine things in all. So, as my daily quote goes, I thought it was a smorgasbord of desserts, and it was quite yummy.
Although we had a lot of wine at dinner, it didn't stop us from having even more wine at Jellyrolls. The locals we knew from Prodigy were there to celebrate my birthday: Patti/ Bushl, Mike/Crazy Hakim, Graybeard, and Lady Cluck and her hubby. I can never have a bad time at Jellyrolls, and Patti/Bushl told the piano guys to make me do the chicken dance for my birthday. I flapped my wings with gusto. It was a wonderful evening, a wonderful birthday.
Day 4: Sun.11/14
Resort: Dixie Landings
Total miles walked: no idea this day
No notable quotes for the rest of the trip.....
Indy and I went straight to Splash Mountain, and Indy wanted to buy the picture. Must to our amazement, a teen with VERY long arms managed to block both our faces! We laughed at that, because the kid couldn't have done it on purpose of he had tried. We told the CM that we wanted the picture, and she let us go through the exit to ride again. This time, nobody blocked us, and Indy got another ride phote of us.
Next was Pirates, and it's always good fun. "We wants the redhead!" never fails to make me smile. Our plan was to go to the Afternoon Tea at the Grand Floridian by means of checking the TTC Lost and Found for her prescription sunglasses.....no luck. We never found them the entire week. We made our way to the GF for a really enjoyable treat.
I have to say that the Afternoon Tea is one of the great "hidden gems" at WDW I've ever found. Sorcerer Rob's trip report inspired me to try it, and I'm glad I did. Indy and I both wanted a late lunch, but something light, too. The tea was perfect. We arrived after the 2pm start time, and the Garden View Lounge was lovely. We both ordered the Grand Tea ($20) It was quite a production, and it started with a glass of sparkling wine complete with a strawberry in the glass. Indy and I made a toast, clinking glasses. We felt sooooo elegant in our tshirts and shorts. Indy had Earl Grey tea, and I had English Breakfast tea. The server brought us the finger sandwiches first, and of course the crusts were removed. There were five small sandwiches in all, each with a different bread, some were in special shapes. The spiral dark bread sandwich was curried chicken, and it was blended like a pate'. One sandwich had a thin slice of pear, very good and unusual. Another was egg salad on marble bread, and one was the traditional watercress and cucumber sandwich. The next course was the scone and jam tart. A pot of Devonshire cream and individually hermetically sealed jars of raspberry jam accompanied this. I never had Devonshire cream before, but I will tell you that they could have given me a lot more of it, and I would have eaten it all! Yum! Our last course was dessert, but in cute small sizes like the rest of the meal. Choice of two items. My items were the vanilla cream "swan" pastry and the mini chocolate eclair. Indy had the eclair and the chocolate strawberries that looked like tuxedos. They were almost too cute to eat. And unlike Rob........I did not put the tea cozy on as a pope hat. Instead, I took pictures of Millennium Mickey playing hide and seek under it.
After that wonderful experience, we went back to the MK to find places to pose Millennium Mickey. I never realized that by doing so, I set up some interesting photos. My favorite photo was Mickey at the barber shop. The VERY good natured barber put Mickey in the chair and used his fake big comb and scissors for the pose. It came out great.
Despite my aversion to All Things Pooh, I had to see what all the fuss was about with the interloper who dared evict Toad. I hate to admit that I enjoyed it, but I really did. The heffalump and woozle section is psychedelic.
Indy was on a mission to find a Skippy beanie at Alien Encounter..............denied! They were sold out. We enjoyed the show, anyway. I put something in my notes to the effect that something at Snow White looked radioactive......I wish I knew what I was thinking at the time I took notes. It was getting late, and the fireworks went off right as we were walking to Peter Pan. I never get tired of flying over London. It's a must see for me. The last attaction we made was Haunted Mansion. We were the last ones left to go on, and there were some college kids that looked either stoned or drunk, and they wore no shoes. Odd. The park closed, and back to Dixie we went.
Day 5: Mon.11/15
Resort: Dixie Landings
Total miles walked: 4.42
Disney MGM Studios, Downtown Disney
Indy and I went to the Studios, and the first item up for us was definitely the Rock and Roller Coaster. We went on two times in a row, we loved it so much! We didn't need FastPass, because the lines were nonexistent. The first time we heard "Love in a Roller Coaster" (yes, I know "elevator" is the real song), and the next ride we heard "Dude Looks Like a Lady". Indy bought the ride picture, of course! Mickey had a few photo ops of his own here. He liked the luggage by the cars on Sunset Blvd, and he liked the stoplight outside of the R&RC area.
Here's a tip for those who like to buy photo souvenirs. If you buy a photo at R&RC, and then you ride Tower of Terror and want that ride photo, you get a slight discount. Just show the receipt from the first photo, and you get a couple of bucks off the second photo. I didn't realize you could do that, but I'm sure it's useful for those who love ride photos. I do not know if you can get the multiple photo rate by showing the Splash Mountain receipt at Rock and Roller Coaster, for example. I'm sure it couldn't hurt to ask.
We stopped in the villains store, and I loved all the stuff in it. However, some cast member in the store would not get out of my face. I suspect that he thought I was going to shoplift or something. I am a former TDS CM, and I was a bit offended that I would be looked at as what we used to call "customer". Hmmpf! I saw a manager, and I told the manager that I wanted that CM to get out of my face. I requested this in a nicer way, though.
On the the Great Movie Ride, where we got the Western side. I prefer the Gangster Alley version, myself. I think it may have something to do with the two gangsters in the car, and one says to the other, "Your cigah smells like boining gahbage!" Don't ask me why that amuses me, because I couldn't tell you. Indy hadn't seen this park before, so it was fun to show her all the stuff I loved about this park.
I ushered her to the Hunchback show, and we stumbled upon a character meeting area. I got some autographs and photos before the show. I found that the seats near the back of the runway are terrific, and she was able to get great photos of the show. This is one of my favorite shows at WDW, and Indy enjoyed it immensely. After lunch at Pizza Planet, we caught the Muppet film. We got a sugar high from my favorite Goofy ice cream bars, and we caught Star Tours. We settled in to catch the Mulan parade, and I really liked the Great Wall dragon. I liked this parade better than the Hercules one.
We left the Studios to relax at Dixie. I had a nice swim in the quiet pool outside our room, and nobody was there. Relaxing. We grabbed our refillable mugs and grabbed another good meal at the Cotton Mill food court, one of the best food courts on property. I encountered a grumpy psycho woman who complained about everything about the resort, and I told her that despite her complaints, I happened to love the resort. To each his own, eh?
After dinner, we headed to the marina to catch the boat to Downtown Disney. Word of warning. It could be fairly chilly in November, but in the boat at night to Downtown Disney, it's downright freezing! I wore a sweatshirt, but it didn't seem enough! Captain Paul, our skipper, kept our minds off the cold by telling some funny stories. He was hilarious. Indy and I shopped at the Marketplace and ended up at Adventurer's Club, yet again. Back to Dixie, and on to the next day.
Day 6: Tues.11/16
Resort: Dixie Landings
Total miles walked: 13.04
Epcot/Magic Kingdom E-Ride Night
I started out alone, and Indy caught up with me after a couple of hours. I rode the new Journey Into Your Imagination, since I hadn't seen the travesty it had become. All things considered, it wasn't that bad, but since I had a basis of comparison, I missed the old attraction. I only wished the ride was slower through the details, like the upside down room. I noticed Mickey slippers....cute touch.
I went to the Milli Vanilli......er......Millennium Village. Sweden, Brazil......those were two I remembered. The Saudi Arabia thing was broken. I rode the Jerusalem thing, and I thought it was well done. Actually, my thoughts were, "This is really cool..."
Indy caught up with me at Mexico, and we did more of the Food and Wine Festival. We had some refreshing watermelon juice at Mexico, and I ate Chicken Satay from Southeast Asia and escargot in France. Later, I tried the Kaki Gori shaved ices from Japan.......rainbow. Another RADP recommendation that I give thumbs up to. Indy and I watched Nova Era perform, and we were bummed that they didn't have a CD out for another couple of weeks. We caught British Invasion, too. We saw the Snow White character greeting area, and I posed with Dopey, giving him a kiss on his forehead.
We left Epcot and took the monorail to the Magic Kingdom for E Ride Night. Since the park closed at 7, the 7-10pm E Ride hours were perfect. I noticed that the Christmas decorations were starting to be put up, too. We purposely didn't ride Buzz Lightyear before, since we knew we'd have a line-free experience for E Ride. I must say that Buzz was the hit of the night! We rode it four times in a row! My best score was 347,000, which made me a "Space Ace". Indy was getting 600,000+ points, and I was envious. We rode Haunted Mansion twice that night, Splash and Big Thunder a couple of times, too. Space Mountain once and Astro Orbiter once.......before deciding to do Buzz "one more time".
I liked that the Fab Five came out to the castle / Partners statue area for photos, too. My favorite part was at the end of the night, Indy, I and the rest of the crowd decided to hit the bakery/ice cream parlor for a late night snack before the park closed. We ate our treats and saw the "goodnight kiss" from the castle. Main Street was fairly deserted, and most of the night, Indy and I found the empty park sort of creepy, but in a cool way. If you ever dreamt that you were stuck overnight at the Magic Kingdom by yourselves, that's the feeling I got.
E Ride Night is a "must do" for me from now on.
Day 7: Wed.11/17
Resort: Dixie Landings
Total miles walked: 8.08
This was Indy's last day with me. I had two nights booked, Thursday and Friday, for Beach Club. Indy had an early flight out Thursday morning.
We started out at the Magic Kingdom catching up on things we didn't see or wanted to repeat. I wanted to see if Bruce/Zazu was working the railroad that day, but we didn't take the train. We ended up in the Town Square Exposition Hall, where we killed some time with the exhibits. I didn't realize that the characters appeared here, too, and we saw some dwarves. Then.....suddenly........
"Hello, Dahhhhhhlings!" It was Cruella, and she was hilarious!! There were not that many people to interact with her, so Indy and I got to spend a lot of time with her. We told her how fabulous she looked, and we tried to have her join us sending an email postcard. We were denied. It seems the postcards are censored for lewd picture behavior, and not that *we* were being lewd, it seems that they censor character involvement. So, Indy and I had to send the email postcard without Cruella. She did make it up to us by posing in a Supremes style photo with me and Indy. What can I say? Fabulous!
I managed to embarrass myself in front of the dwarves, too. There's a statue that looks like a man taking a picture, and I didn't realize at first it was not a real man. Whenever I catch someone with a camera from the corner of my eye, my instictive reaction is to back away and say "excuse me" for almost ruining a shot. Well, I caught the statue from the corner of my eye.........and apologized to it! Then I got a good look at the statue, and I just cracked up. I could see the dwarves were already laughing at me.
Indy and I went on Carousel of Progress, one of my favorites. I showed her a couple hidden Mickeys, and on to Buzz again. We relaxed on Tomorrowland Transit Authority.......heck, it's the Peoplemover.....get over it! We headed to Epcot again, because Indy missed the Mill Vill and the JIYI ride. We played with the photo image area until we decided to do try our luck with dinner at Le Cellier. We were lucky and got in right away. I had that cheddar cheese soup everyone raves about, and I thought it was good. The steak was fairly good, but being from Chicago, I've had better.
That night, I went to the Adventurer's Club to meet some RADP'ers. Bruce and Marta were there, as was Jeff Spencer and three women named Carol. I know I met Mickeymom, too, as well as some others. I'm sorry if I can't remember you! We were in the Mask Room, and the masks found me as their target to tease. I was a bit timid that night, so I didn't interact much with the masks. The RADPers were all very nice, and we went to the library show. One RADPer drove me back to my resort, and I only wish I could remember what her name was! How embarrassing. I got back to the resort around 10pm, and I needed the good night's sleep.
Day 8: Thurs.11/18
Resort: Dixie Landings/Beach Club
Total miles walked: 5.22
Indy and I had to say goodbye. We checked out of Dixie Landings and had a nice brunch at Boatwrights. She stayed at Dixie until she had to go to the airport, and I went to MGM.
I encountered another attraction I never saw before.....Sounds Dangerous. Yet another way for Disney to spray you with water, but it was ok. I would suggest that anyone afraid of the dark need not see this show.
I took the animation tour, and I loved the storyboard for Kingdom of the Sun and the concept for John Henry. I rode R&RC again, and it was still excellent. I went to the villains store and the candy shop next to it. I had a Maleficent Mocha, which was very good. I strolled along the streets and found myself chatting with the vendor of a cart that sold puppets. He was very good at the puppet thing, and he was very entertaining. I notice that I interact more with cast members when I'm at parks alone.
I took the boat from MGM to the Beach Club to check in. As I did earlier in the week, I had my bags transferred to the new hotel. I decided to try the Cape May seafood buffet, and I thought it was quite good. I called Patti to see if she wanted to catch Tapestry of Nations and Reflections of Earth, and she came over. We first went on Test Track. Before the parade, Patti went to get us some plum wine while I scoped out spots for the parade. We ended up right at the China gateway, our backs to the lagoon. This was a perfect spot to see this wonderful parade. Reflections of Earth was interesting, and I enjoyed it. After the park closed, we didn't want to fight our way back to Beach Club, so we stood still and relaxed a while before walking back.
Day 9: Tues.11/19
Resort: Beach Club
Total miles walked: 4.74
Backstage Magic Tour/Epcot/Beach Club
If you go on the Backstage Magic tour and are staying at an Epcot resort, you are slightly discriminated against. You don't need park admission for the tour, yet I had to go through Epcot to get to the Guest Relations area outside the park's main entrance. Lucky for me I was using an AP. I pity the person who would use a park pass and "waste" a day of it. I suppose someone could find a way around that loophole, but I don't see how. Since I was walking through the park on an early entry day, I do a quick ride on Test Track before I meet the group.
Susan, our tour guide, was fabulous. She was a fountain of information quite witty. First she took us on our little bus, where we drove around to the backstage area of Epcot. We went into the American Adventure, and it was wild to see the set changes.........dozens of them! The set closest to us was the Mark Twain/Ben Franklin scene where Ben is at a desk and Mark at a rocking chair. The details were so vivid, I saw "No Stamp Tax" written on the jug on the table! Susan gave lots of details about this attraction, but I won't ruin them. We entered through the exit of the Living Seas, and Susan told some interesting stories about the different containment of species, even their diets. She told a great story about a woman who tried to sue Disney over the hydrolators. Again, I can't spoil it for anyone. The last Epcot attraction we saw behind the scenes was Body Wars. We were able to see one in motion, and boy, those suckers can MOVE! It was intereesting to see the ramps lower into place when people enter and exit the capsule.
Next, our tour bus took us to the Studios, where we went to the animation building. We drew Goofy, and I was surprised that my drawing actually looked like Goofy. We had a short lesson on cel painting, and we painted our own cels. Unfortunately, you don't have time to do a full cell, and they mail you the cell to finish it at home. You take the paint box with you. We had lunch with a real character.......a streetmosphere type who was there just for our tour! We ate at Mama Melrose's and met Pepper Caliente. She wore a dress with a hot pepper print, hot pepper earrings, and a scarf around her head. She stayed in character through the meal, and broke character when we were on the bus to go to the MK. She explained what it was like to be a streetmosphere character. I recognized her from a character she does at the Adventurer's Club. I almost forgot to mention that we were at the costuming area of MGM, where the trams pass. We each got a swatch from the material used for certain characters, and mine was Mickey Mouse.
At the Magic Kingdom, we went backstage to the maintenance area, where they repair anything from ride vehicles to character heads. We saw a woman who does nothing but repaint all the carousel horses. She was in the middle of one horse, and it was beautiful. Our next stop were the utilidors, where we saw the huge central costuming area, the wig makers, and the central computer area that controls the parade. We were the only people allowed to see that room, other than those who worked in it. I felt a bit special.
We walked straight under Main Street USA and arrived around the backstage area while the parade was in progress. Nobody even noticed that we came out of nowhere! It was wild. We arrived just in time to catch the Magical Memories Parade, and our tour went back to the Epcot entrance where we started.
I walked back into Epcot, enjoying more of the Food and Wine Festival, but mostly the wine. I did a flight of wine from Germany to sample, and I was a bit buzzed from it. After a while I went back to Beach Club, and I took a swim in Stormalong Bay, my favorite pool on property. I went to shower and change......then did my other favorite thing.......Beaches and Cream. I tried the Milky Way sundae, and it was goooooood. That ended my evening on a high note.
Day 10: Sat.11/20
Resort: Beach Club
Total miles walked: 6.17
Epcot.........and going home
After breakfast at Beaches and Cream, I head back to Epcot. I see the Land boat ride, Food Rocks. I wander around Innoventions, and I sit though a cool demo about HDTV and home theater. I wander more, finding myself sitting at the Fountain View drinking an Iced Cappuccino and eating chocolate mousse. I watch the people around me and the fountain's dancing waters. Life is good.
I make a trek around World Showcase again, and I end up later in Japan, sitting at the window of the lounge, having sushi. Life is still good. I'm trying hard not to think of going home, but I can't help it.
I make my way back to Beach Club, where my bags are at Bell Services. It was an uneventful flight home.
I had such a good time this trip, and I almost forgot to mention this: I tried Beverly, and I was one of the few people who didn't think it was as bad as everyone made it out to be. I was able to drink the full cup without making a face. I had a good time trying to pin trade, and I discovered that finding photo opportunities for a beanie could be enlightening.
My next trip is the week of Labor Day, and I'm staying put........one week at the Yacht Club, with an incredible AP rate! Since I love Epcot, this will be a great trip.
I hope you enjoyed my trip report!
Lori E Wagner