Monday, December 22, 2008

DISNEY: 3 Park Breakdown

I really didn't have to go to the parks today. I just wanted to try for TSMM and put another notch for DAK, maybe see if I can redeem Epcot. I was thinking that I would also make it home early, but that end up the case.

I got to DHS an hour after opening. The parking lot tram was quite entertaining. It loaded very efficiently and completely, and as it took off and made the hairpin, the entire tram got a view of a mother holding her bare-bottomed little girl "behind" a trash can and encouraging her to "Pee!". We were all embarassed for the child but immediately broke into muffled laughter. Ha!

The Street-mosphere characters were all out and animated. Fantastic show. I snapped a couple pics and continued on to Pixar Place. The FP distribution was very well-organized now -- separate queue, and a single-line FIFO 1-to-many approach that moved quickly. It was 10:00am and the FPs were already for 4:15 that afternoon.

The Stand-by line said 50 minutes, but the line was out the door. I knew it would be longer but queued up nonetheless. I felt a bit lonely between a couple large families with kids -- the little boys behind me kept bumping into the back of my legs without apology and were getting on my nerves. I did manage some fair chatter with the English family in front of me -- the father was a blond-ish Hugh Grant of sorts who was a DisneyQuest enthusiast, so that was cool. The 50 minutes ended up being 93, and when we came to the point where the SB & FP merged, the British family took me in with them, and I escaped the untimely nudges from the restless kids behind me.

I rode solo and racked up 210,200... a few shots short of third place for the day. *shrug* I had a good showing nonetheless. I met up with the British family afterwards and thanked them again as I headed out of the park.

I took the Friendship boat towards Epcot (and disembarked at the B&Y club and walked to the Int'l Gateway) -- I didn't walk the WS the day before. I went CCW and read many of the holiday scrolls at each country. I stopped by Japan to see if the lunching mood struck me. I had eaten the five granola/cereal bars I took with me that morning and figured that I could make it through the parks today without spending money on food.

The only country I really stopped by was China. I had a craving for some circle-vision, and I was pleasantly surprised by their live mandolin-player in the waiting area [Video at the end of this post!]. Anyways, Reflections of China was nice again, and the shop was also kinda refreshing -- and again I resisted the urge to purchase. Mushu and Mulan were outside, as was the Monkey King, China's contribution to the holidays. I think the guy was Caucasian but he did tell the story very well -- great gestures. And the kids were eager to get their pictures taken with him afterwards.

Moving on, I looked at a 30-minute wait for Maelstrom and passed, even on the film. I checked out the viking ship area which is now a lot of plants, and then moved onto FW. I tried for JII this time, again thinking that it'd be a quick-and-easy ride, only to find that there was a 20-minute wait (filled), which was kinda exciting, moreso than the queue company was happened to be just 'meh'. The ride wasn't so much anything, and afterwards I headed to the Cool Club for another dit for the itinerary.

Afterwards I headed out of the park and took the bus over to DAK (I love riding the bus).

DAK was fine. It was crowded. I stopped by Dinoland USA to check out Primeval Whirl -- SB wait was at 50 mins (seriously?). Next, I headed to Asia to EE -- it's SB was at 60. The SR line was a bit but not super bad. I engaged another person in line -- he kind resembled a thinner and clean-shaven Richard Hatch except clothened and not creepy... (meant to be neither compliment nor slam... maybe I shouldn't chosen a different reference). Anyways, I filled in with a lady, whose husband warned me, was a screamer... and she was. She went semi-hysterical even at the first turn. And it was hy-larious. I was laughing the entire time. :)

Anyways, on my way out, a tiger beach towel caught my eye. It was 40% off so I picked it up. The CM helping me was this very sweet old lady (orig from IA) who told me about her grandchildren who happened to be studying in SC. She also said that she and her husband walk the 4 miles to-and-from work (Disney) everyday, even at night (they have reflectors). I think that's amazing and kinda cool. Anywho, it was near time for Mickey's Jingle Jungle Parade (3:45pm) and near time for my TSMM FP window to open (4:10pm) so I bailed and headed out to the buses.

The bus ride over was good. I congratulated some people on their Dream FPs -- they were lucky and got their FPs from other guests (same way I got mine). There was also another couple on the bus who were quite personable; we had small talk (needed).

Anyways, at DHS, I could've gone to see the last HSM3 showing of the day, but I kept to business and went straight to TSMM. Even with the FP, there were some intermittent stalls. While on the bridge, I saw a couple technicians walk into the attraction. Anyways, managed to get on the ride (solo again), and I was racking up the points -- scored higher in every game & rainbow balloons this time -- but it was obvious that the computers were struggling (baseball game skipping). And during Woody's Rootin' Tootin' Shootin' Gallery, the game abruptly jumped to Hold mode. It was actually pretty cool because I was able to spend time appreciating all the little bells and whistles each target makes. Right before the mine cars, the console screen in the car went dark and the attraction lights went full-on.

Announcements over the speakers told us to stay in our cars and that a castmember will be over to escort us out. I was totally enjoying it. I think it was first evac from a Disney attraction, and it was so cool -- and you know that I was snapping some pictures. Anyways, it wasn't more than 5 minutes and a couple CMs were over to let us out ("Please don't touch the screens. They can't be dry-cleaned."). They led us car-by-car like a Piped-Piper congo line collecting more stranded guests. We walked through a couple special doors and were given a Special TSMM FP that was good for one admission anytime before the end of the year (WOO!). Okay, that was my high note to leave on. I took the clue and left for the day.

Although, it wasn't the quick visit to the parks that I had first imagined, it turned out to be pretty friggin' awesome. The magical moment definitely being the TSMM evacuation, though the mandolin at China and screaming lady at EE were happy surprises. I may have to visit DD for a little more shopping, but for four parks in two days, I'm good-magicked for now.

Pictures, including some with the lights on(!), can be found after the itinerary... also a video of the mandolin player!
Here's what I did this visit:

- (*shaking girl* "PEE!")
- Toy Story Midway Mania ("50 mins" = eternity = 93 mins)


WALKED to EPCOT (International Gateway)
- China (mandolin, Reflections of China, Monkey King story)
- Journey Into Imagination (20 mins!)
- Cool Club

- Expedition Everest (SR, good talk)
- Kali Cart (bought a tiger beach towel)

- Toy Story Midway Mania (FP, on way to PR, broke down & had to be evacuated, WOO!)

Gum. Free Parking.
"I'm going to go behind the truck and... do something"
*ring ring* "Hello. Who is it?"

Go Kansas City!
Not bad for a solo attempt.
In the shadow made best.
Moroccan Photo-Op.
The Monkey Monkey Monkey King.
Epcot Holiday Photo.
Screaming Lady (Ha!)
Lights On.
Above Me.
Covert Pic
("Now is not the time to take pictures.")
["Yes it is!"]

The Prize! WOO!

Video of the mandolin player at the China Pavilion at Epcot:

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