Sunday, June 15, 2008

DISNEY: WDW Escape -- EpFw, MK, WLres, DHS, EpWs

I made myself a deal. Get all the housework done, and I would go to Disney on Sunday. Well, I got everything done on Saturday (washed, dried, and even put the bedsheets back on the bed! among other things), but ended up staying up past midnight. I wasn't likely to make rope drop the next morning, so I resigned to the idea of just staying home.

With no housework planned (all done), I was going to finish up my Project Runways season 2 DVDs when the bad neighbors' dogs started barking again. My reaction was like PTSD -- suddenly ill-at-ease. I knew that it wasn't going to be healthy to stay home and take it -- I'd be ruined for the week. I didn't care that it was already noon -- I was getting out of the house and going to my happy place.

I headed over without a plan and ended up starting off at Epcot. Rides weren't important (though Journey Into Imagination and Test Track tend to always be on my Epcot really-want-to-do list). Anyways, from JII to TT, I was on my way to the Cool Club when I saw a family by a nearby water fountain. So I invited them in. They were surprised and so happy. Like with everyone I bring there, I told them that they had to try Beverly, the bitter drink. Even with that, they thanked me. And it's moments like this that makes me feel so very good inside -- it was exactly what I needed.

Anyways, after a little while, I headed to Magic Kingdom for a taste of it non-Gay-Day-ed, and just happened to make it there in time for the 3 o'clock parade. I got a new perspective of it (from the Main Street Railroad station). It was a beautiful day, then right after the last float passed by, it started raining, as if it was planned. And I love when it rains... even at Disney. It's a good excuse for clothes being wet. However, it does hamper the picture taking a bit, though I still managed over 200 photos.

I rode around and ended up in Mickey's Toon Town Fair and took the cozy path to Tomorrowland. I visited my TTA and did Buzz Lightyear's Space Ranger Spin and scored my first perfect score there. After that, I think that I was done.

The Tomorrowland area did inspire me for my next long-term obsessive Disney fan goal. With all the rides there that offer FastPasses, I will make it a goal to collect one valid and one invalid ticket from each ride at Walt Disney World that offers it. And from the most recent Disney park maps, I believe that there are 9 FP rides at Magic Kingdom, 6 at Epcot, 6 at Disney's Hollywood Studios (7 if you count LMAESS), and 6 at Disney's Animal Kingdom. So, 9 + 6 + 6 + 6 = 27... times 2 equals 54 FastPass cards to collect. There's some attractions (like LWTL & ITTBAB) that only offer FPs on certain days, so this will be tricky and will require some mild planning, though I'm sure I'll be there often enough that it won't be too difficult.

Anyways, getting back on topic...

It was still raining as I left the Magic Kingdom. And I was thinking about taking the resort monorail to the Contemporary or the Grand Floridian, just to look around, but instead took a small boat headed to to the Wilderness Lodge Resort. It was my first time taking this trip and found that it provided a great new perspective of the Contemporary Resort among other things. Beautiful even in the rain.

When we got to the Wilderness Lodge, before I got to the building, I saw a few domesticated ducks (they were unfazed as we walked by) and a rabbit munching on the grass (cuter when it's not my lawn). I looked around their quick service, lobby, gift shop, and arcade before I headed to the bus stop. It was a quick visit. Oh, I did buy the pin set I was looking for... it's of the "virtual plush" toys people can win on TSMM... anyways, that was all the shopping I did on this trip.

Anyways, fate pointed me to Disney's Hollywood Studios, so I obliged and took the bus there. The bus made a quick stop by the Fort Wilderness Camping Grounds... and gave me my first glance at the area (WOO!). I talked with a lady whose family was visiting from Idaho. It's amazing the people you meet at Disney; it's just wonderful. It's like my seeing where visitors to my blog are from -- it's exciting!

At DHS, I went in with another single from the bus -- a guy from Louisiana who was in the area for a convention. I kinda took the role of an escort (non-professional, and unofficial), and we went to TSMM and got in the single-riders line (thank goodness it was up). We had a good talk during our wait, and we were eventually separated. I ended up riding with an old guy that reminded me of the Beverly Hillbillies. It was funny and great. We managed to unlock the rainbow secret in Bo Peep's game (wWOO!), and I ended up with a respectable 217,500 points.

And after TSMM, I figured that I should pay my respects and went into One Man's Dream. Walt Disney's an amazing guy, and I find it incredible how much he was able to get accomplished in his life... it was so dynamic, but also a lot of hard-work. He has my respect and admiration.

From there, I headed out. There was a wait for the boat to Epcot but another rabbit and set of ducks kept the crowd's attention. Once on, the ride was peaceful enough, but I knew that I needed a deviation. So I got off at the first stop (Swan & Dolphin Resorts) and walked the rest of the way. I passed the entrance of the Boardwalk, and I walked by the Yacht and Beach Resorts. The time it took to walk was actually comparable to the boat ride -- with the couple extra stops -- but the view was a different type of beautiful, and the sense of freedom was what I needed at that moment.

Upon arriving at Epcot's International Gateway entrance, I figured that I wanted to walk the World Showcase. I stopped by Japan to check on the Fruit Basket cat (not in stock) then continued the . There was music playing at the open-air America Gardens Theater... sounded like U2... how did Disney manage to get U2?... Oh, it's 2U, a U2 tribute band! They were great with the crowds, and the music was actually really good.

Anyways, that was about it. I didn't stay for the fireworks, figuring that I could use the head start back home. I had to fill up first and stopped by the Hess in front of the DHS entrance. And I managed to catch the tail end of the Illuminations show -- so I did get my fireworks afterall!

I made it home safe. I grabbed a quick bite and headed to bed. The trip was definitely what I needed, and forget how much it cost to drive there, I was glad that I went.

:) Photos are at the end

Here's what I did this visit:

Epcot: Future World (DISCOVER 17)
- Journey Into Imagination
- Cool Club
- Test Track
- Mission Space Advanced Training Lab

Monorail Station to the TTC to the Magic Kingdom

Magic Kingdom
- Disney Dreams Come True Parade
- Walt Disney World Railroad
- Tomorrowland Transit Authority
- Buzz Lightyear's Space Ranger Spin

Boat Launch to Disney's Wilderness Lodge Resort

Bus to Disney's Hollywood Studios

Disney's Hollywood Studios
- Toy Story Midway Mania
- One Man's Dream

Disney Resort Boat Facility to the Swan & Dolphin Resorts

Walked the rest of the way to Epcot

Epcot: World Showcase
- Japan
- 2U at the American Gardens Theatre


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