This Friday's trip to the parks was a checkbox visit. I made the trip to Orlando in search of a laptop that wasn't there, and I made a trip over to the teahouse. I also made a roundabout trip to the Prime Outlets to check out the Character Warehouse's offerings.
I didn't go anywhere near the parks last week, and honestly I could've had another Melbourne weekend and be fine with it, but while I was there...
[I'm going to try something "different" and mix photos in with the report.]
Originally, I wanted to check out the new FP system at DAK but that'd be a first-thing-in-the-morning venture. Also, I wanted to take archival pictures of MK's Fantasyland and TTF/Pixie Hollow, but the sky was overcast and I want those pictures to be sunny. So instead, I headed over to DHS where there's always AIE shows to go to.
By the time I got there, it was around 4pm and wet from an afternoon rain.
Anyways, as I enjoyed my inappropriate treat, I wandered over to Pixar Place where TSMM! was at 5 minutes!
Also, I hadn't eaten anything since 10am. So the first thing I did was treat myself to a Frozen Banana from the vendor at the corner of Hollywood and Sunset. I turned to the tip boards and who do I see?... Kirk, my favorite DHS CM. (!!!) I've only seen him at guest relations a couple of times before, and his smile totally disarms me. I made up an excuse to talk to him -- I asked him if Luxo Jr. made any appearances today. I felt so giddy-shy and couldn't get shameless enough to ask for a picture. Maybe next time. Seeing him was the highlight of my trip already.
This was an obvious technical glitch but there was a small crowd that got overly-enthused. For that minute that the board showed wrong, the CMs had to tell people that the SB wait was actually 60-70 minutes. (ooh, drama and excitement!).
To finish up, I walked to the Streets of America, which always has something new to discover.
I completed the loop back around to Hollywood Blvd., then walked down Sunset. It's been a while since I've ridden ToT or RnR. ToT SB was 20 minutes and fine; I always wish that there were even more drops, but it's fun to get shaken now-and-again. RnR's SR had no line until we got to the alleyway, where there were a Lot of singles. The ride was good enough, but it messed up my non-product'd hair.
It was time for the 6:00pm AIE performance, the least-attended show because people would be at dinner and/or holding-out for the grand finale. Sure, why not? Mark warmed the crowd up: "Check the Mail! Check the Mail!" ("Don't do this at a club. No one will know what you're doing."). Jeanette hosted. Rainne(sp?), Carol, and David (the Australian) were the judges.
The singers at this show were okay. The judges picked on a common lack-of-self-confidence. If they wanted to win it all, they have to believe in themselves and bring it! David said that one of the contestants "had as much emotion as in a botox clinic" to which Jeanette said, "there's plenty of emotion... you just can't see it" (ha!). I forgot who I voted for, but "Reflections" won the show.
I made a beeline around the building to get into the grand finale, and surpringly when it was time, there wasn't a huge push to get into the auditorium -- granted, they opened the doors a few seconds before the cue.
The cast was the same as the 6pm show except we had the female "Randy" and David changed his shirt (yes, I noticed). In the Grand Finale, there's usually only a couple really good singers, but tonight, all of the singers did amazingly well... 6 of the 7 singers got standing ovations, including Sam from 6pm (she improved)! The GF's top 2 were clearly the best; they also happened to have the best storylines (The lady who backed her car into her husband during this trip ironically singing "I Will Survive", and the guy whose little son gave him the nickname "Butt Crack Daddy"). My vote went to the guy I thought had the most charisma, someone who the judges said had a Hugh Jackman-esque quality. Overall, I was happy with how everything turned out. And I got to hear a couple new songs.
DHS closed at 7pm, and I wondered if it'd be worth heading over to Epcot for IllumiNations. My head was heavy, but I decided to make a go for it anyways.
Instead of walking over via the Boardwalk, I took the car so I could make a hasty exit afterwards.
When I got there, I was really hungry and needed food. There wasn't enough time to walk over to Japan, so I just picked up a bag of pretzels from one of the stores.
I made a stop by MouseGears, and they had some really cool character shirts.
On the way to the World Showcase, I stopped by the Kim Possible stations, where after there are no more available missions, the kiosks offer a "Mission Training" game, which were touch-screen fun.
Anyways, for IllumiNations, I joined the crowd at the Showcase Plaza, directly across the World Showcase from the American Adventure. I miscalculated and ended up with a column blocking a big portion of my view. Oh well. It was still close to the action, and the experience should buy me a few more weeks before I have another fireworks hankering.
Tonight, I managed to find 417 without getting lost, and the drive home was easy. And per recent tradition, I took 520.
Overall, the trip to the parks was good. There was nothing outstanding this time asides from talking to my DHS crush (so very much worth it).
Here's what I did this visit:
DISNEY'S HOLLYWOOD STUDIOS (STAGE 46) 4:00 PM
- Frozen Banana and tip board (Kirk!)
- Tower of Terror SB
- Rock N Rollercoaster SR
- 6:00pm American Idol Experience
1. *Sam Ceglarek - "Reflection"
2. Brandi Allen - "Hope You Dance"
3. Ron Rolling - "Just Once"
- 7:00pm American Idol Experience Grand Finale show
1. Cecilia Schudy - "I Wanna Dance With Somebody"
2. Justin McLaughlin - "Amazed"
3. Al Pagano - "Suspicious Minds"
4. Danielle Harrington - "I Will Survive"
5. Sam Ceglarek - "Reflection"
6. *Nate Aikens - "100 Ways"
7. Evan Zimmerman - "Go The Distance"
CAR to EPCOT CENTER (AMAZE 31)