Okay, first off, the title comes from this last visit to Don't Waste It! We had to choose a team name, and we couldn't rightly be Team Ugly Shorts since I was the only TUS-er in the bunch. We couldn't be Team Ching, because that'd only cover two of us. So we made Lynn an honorary family member and we became "Team Lynn Ching". Aight...
So now yes, another weekend, another visit to the parks -- and according to my records, the eighth weekend visit in a row. It was Camille's last weekend to visit the parks so we had to make it count. We asked Lynn to come along because she's cheery cool-chill and because she said that she could keep up with the Chings for this long-day visit. We didn't try for all four parks, but we were there from before DHS rope drop (8:40am) til past DHS close (7:40pm). Among our DHS agenda, we hit TSMM and a soft opening of the American Idol Experience, then headed to Epcot for some KP and Innoventions.
The drive over was surprisingly easy. We left Melbourne at 7:40am and were parked at DHS by 8:40am (Go My Driving!); Billy was only 5 cars away in the parking lot (good timing). We actually made Rope Drop, and Camille was on TSMM FP duty. She scored us 9:55am-10:55am FPs and we got in line. I paired up with Lynn to teach her all the easter eggs, and she was quite fantastic as a newbie -- seriously, she flipped the barn, then we got the rainbow balloons, uncovered the alien bin monster, and cleared the western board. With her help, I managed to score an unexpected 257,100 -- good enough for 2nd place -- thanks Lynn! That was a great start for the day.
Billy headed out soonthereafterwards (Goodbye and Thank You Billy!), and then the girls and I went over to the Voyage of the Little Mermaid -- it's been a while since any of us had seen the show, and it was a nice calm break from the early-morning rush (no wait and not Packed).
Then it was already time to redeem the TSMM FPs. But with 4 FPs for 3 people, what were we to do? I told the girls to take the tickets and ride it again twice each (it'll be a while before they'll get to ride it again). Also, I figured that I could head down Sunset early to get our next FPs (ToT), do some people-watching, and maybe catch a ride on RnR before they were done. But before Sunset, I checked the AIE showtimes and picked up a reservation card for an audition! (I just wanted one as a souvenir).
Then all was as planned -- I picked up the ToT FPs, rode RnR SR (front row!), then headed back towards the Hat and caught the start of HSM3 and on the way, met up with the girls. We went back over and rode RnR SR and then ToT FP where Camille mysteriously disappeared in the ride photo. Adrenaline rides done, it was time for the 12:00 AIE preshow.
The American Idol Experience was still in soft openings (note: the annual passholder previews are even a couple weeks from now), so you know that I was super-excited. The tv show is okay, and I've read reviews already that said that the AIE was glorified kareoke, but I love the in-front-of-the-camera behind-the-scenes stuff. And even though Camille and Lynn have never seen American Idol television show, they still had a great time cheering on the contestants and seeing something different from what they were used to.
There was a guy who warmed up the crowd waiting to enter the theatre and who directed the crowd for collecting some footage to be used in the actual show. Once inside, he kept things going and instructed the audience how to vote. Then he had a quick run-through of various ways to cheer the contestant on: clapping, swaying, fist-pumping... The guy's facial expressions during this tutorial was, for me, worth the price of admission.
The three contestants for this showing happened to be all guys. The first person was Banks from Baltimore. He sang "Achy Breaky Heart" and was okay. The second person (forgot his name) from Georgia(?) was a military guy, and he sang "Sweet Home Alabama". He was a little nervous and lost some pizazz towards the middle but finished fine. The third guy, Jeff Wyatt from Canada, sang "Walking In Memphis" and was clearly the best. The judges' critiques weren't very helpful, but I thought their job was incredibly difficult -- giving evaluations without any time to prepare -- and I expect them to be much better with a few more shows under their belt. Even the host tripped over his words a couple times.
There were a number of video segments but not nearly as many as I expected after reading a lot of the comments on the message boards. While the votes were being tabulated, there was a music video led by Season 6 American Idol winner Jordin Sparks, and the audience was asked to sing along (and you know I love the sing-alongs) -- the song was kinda lame but will probably grow on me my seventh time around or so...
Anyways, after the audience-wide voting was tabulated, it was revealed that Jeff Wyatt, the Canadian, did indeed win the 12:00 show and was to go on to the finale show that night. And that was it for us at DHS. We jumped on the friendship boat and took it all the way to Epcot Center.
Once through the International Gateway, we picked up a KP voucher then grabbed some lunch in the UK (the fish & chips) before we had to report to our mission -- there were a lot of loud seagulls hanging near the tables, but it was still a nice day outside. When it came time for our mission, we requested UK and also asked for two Kimmunicators. The two phones turned out to be a headache since each were the separate but the same, and loud and impossible to "synchronize". So I closed my phone, and we just worked with Lynn's.
We did get one new mission -- "I, Tea Technician" (the one I was hoping for) -- but all the other ones were the same. Lynn found all of the clues and thought it was fun. I had fun too, but it was difficult to play "dumb", and all of the missions were too fresh in my mind. I ended up not finishing my missions and deposited the phone into the bin while it was still talking... which was amusing enough.
We grabbed a second KP voucher, which had us checking in at Italy. On the way there, the girls went on a "side mission" in France and picked up a couple Gray Goose Lemonades (yum!). Once in Italy, we asked for any country but the UK and ended up on our way to Mexico. I made a side mission of my own -- for a Italian Virgin Primavera (mmm...). The Mexico KP missions were all the same again except for one Data Hunt. The erupting volcano was cool again, but we figured that that was enough KP this time around... then the girls picked up some Strawberry&Lime margaritas (okay, one more mission) and we headed to Future World.
We took a break in Innoventions East as they finished their drinks -- a nice change of pace. Then Camille made paper, and we played at the Test Labs. Next we did Don't Waste It! ("Team Lynn Ching") which was still a hit, then headed onto SSE. Lynn and I rode together while Camille went solo. I think that I'm getting too used to the ride (I mean, I love the ride and still manage to find new things each time I ride, but I think I'll take a break from it for a while). Anyways, it was cool that we were able to email our Future video to ourselves instead of just the picture. Then, of course, we played some Power City. First, it was Camille and me -- and while we didn't PR, we still kicked butt and impressed some passing CMs. Lynn and I were up next and had a respectable 10M+ (Megacity) showing. I was sweating pretty badly afterwards.
We went to Innoventions West next and did a few attractions there -- First, WTF? (Where's The Fire?), where the CMs immediately knew that there were some professionals present... *tee hee*... and of course, our team won. It was probably the most fun I've had there, though it's been great every time. Next was Segway Central, which was only fair because one of the CMs had an odd authoritative type of humor, but she redeemed herself with me when he was the guide for my test ride -- she noted that I "was calmer when I laughed" so she kept making funny comments. Anyways, the last thing we did was the ThinkPlace game. I only watched as Camille and Lynn each filmed their Run/Jump/Dance, and the results were pretty hilarious.
By then, we knew that we should be heading back to DHS, but we were all getting hungry, so I suggested that we check out the Land Pavilion because it had a lot of food options. We all ended up with the same thing... the 1/2 Rotisserie Chicken with mashed potatoes and either salad or rice -- and it was Delicious!
It was close to 7:00pm, which meant that we had time for one more ride -- a choice between Living With The Land and Journey Into Imagination. We went with JII; and the only note I have from that visit is "Keith" (yeah, an attractive CM... though no shameless pic... this time). Anyways, from there, we headed back to the Int'l Gateway and onto DHS on foot. My left foot was still feeling injured but the walk was nice and calm enough, and the night-time stroll was very worth it. The drive back to Melbourne was surprisingly easy, and that was basically it.
I think that it was a good end to our visit to the parks this month. Camille and I managed 4 visits -- by ourselves, and with family and friends (Cindy, Lynn). We did everything that we wanted (with the possible exception of the Universe of Energy -- under refurb, but that's okay). And Camille had some definite favorites (SSE/Power City, Innoventions, KP, TSMM, RnR, and... Golden Corral?).
After the agenda, there are pictures from this trip to the parks.
Here's what we did this visit:
DISNEY'S HOLLYWOOD STUDIOS (STAGE 42 sweetie bear & french toast) 8:45am
- Rope Drop
- Toy Story Midway Mania (257,100 -- 2nd place!)
- Voyage of the Little Mermaid
- Toy Story Midway Mania x2 (Camille & Lynn)
(- Tower of Terror [+-> FP])
- Rock 'n' Rollercoaster SR (front!)
- snack from Anaheim Produce (apple)
- High School Musical 3
- Rock 'n' Rollercoaster SR
- Tower of Terror FP
- snack from Anaheim Produce
- American Idol Experience (Jeff Wyatt canadian)
small boat to EPCOT CENTER 1:00pm
- lunch in UK (Yorkshire County Fish Shop): fish & chips (loud seagulls)
- Kim Possible: United Kingdom
- snack from France (Les Vins des Chefs de France): gray goose citron lemonade slush
- snack from Italy: virgin primavera
- Kim Possible: Mexico
- snack from Mexico: lime & strawberry margaritas
- Innoventions East
- Environmentality Corner
- Test The Limits Lab
- Don't Waste It! (Team Lynn Ching)
- Spaceship Earth
- Power City x2 (Cedric/Camille 11,085,000; Cedric/Lynn 10,755,000 (Cedric sweating))
- Body Builder
- Innoventions West
- Where's The Fire? (baloo girl, maria, findmores big swin)
- Segway Central
- dinner in The Land (Sunshine Season Food Fair): 1/2 rotisserie chicken with mashed potatoes & salad/rice
- Journey Into Imagination With Figment (Keith!)
walk to BOARDWALK to DISNEY'S HOLLYWOOD STUDIOS 7:30pm
you're a super rookie!
(I'm loving the gold)
(Click for closer view)