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Friday, June 8, 2012

Live Walt Disney World Report - July/August 2000 - Part 3

I realized I should date these. This is Tuesday, August 1st.

I was able to get up a bit earlier this morning because I got to bed earlier last night. In fact I woke up before the alarm went off. Once again I did a morning power walk - this time a longer one. I had the best intentions of walking to the Epcot gate via The Yacht Club/Beach Club, then walking as far down the walkway to MGM as I could via The Boardwalk. Well, the walkway to Epcot was closed off (I guess they don't open it until later), and the walkway to MGM is also
inaccessible. Oh well, instead I back-tracked and did the Crescent Lake loop again. One thing I can say, that walk to MGM is going to be long, but it's also going to be a very pretty walk along the waterway.

I also noticed that there are signs that there is external work - probably including painting - underway at the Boardwalk. I noticed that a trellis over the entrance to the Community Hall has been striped, some feaux ads by the Keister Coaster have been removed, and there is some exterior work going on at ESPN Zone.

Along those lines, there is also some maintenance work going on here at the Dolphin. One of the "giant fish" is covered with scaffolding. Also, the big shell fountain hasn't been working - although I noticed today that it is being re-filled so hopefully it will be back on soon.

After my walk I went to my morning conference sessions. I decided to switch one of my session events, and fortunately the one I wanted to switch to was not full up. I must confess that I left my first morning session about an hour early because I wanted to go for a swim. I decided to see if I could use the Luna Park pool at The Boardwalk so I could try the Keister Coaster which, as I indicated earlier, was closed when we were here in March. I took along my DVC membership card, and I figured that along with my tale of woe would melt the heart of any rule happy CM. It ended up not being an issue, I wasn't "carded". I went on the Keister Coaster several times. As I thought, it's actually better than the slide at Disney Vero Beach Resort (and, of course, better than the slide at YC/BC.) It has looping turns much like DVBR, but all the turns on the DVBR slide go in one direction while the Keister Coaster switches directions at the end. This makes for a much wilder and more fun ride, IMO.

A word about the weather. I checked with the forecast the day before I left, and it said to expect rain. There were some very mild sprinkles on Sunday, and this sfternnoon there were a few again, but by and large the rain has stayed away. Mostly it's been partly cloudy, very humid and often very hot. Every once in a while a nice breeze will come along and cool things off.

I returned to my room, got dressed and went to my first afternoon session. It only ran 45 minutes of the scheduled 90, so I came back to my room and worked on this report. It is now 2:50 and I am still undecided as to whether I will go to MK tonight. If I don't, I will want to go on Friday morning, thereby eliminating any opportunity to go to IOA, something I was thinking I'd like to do if I have the chance. Even if I do go to MK tonight, I still might not go to IOA. Either way, I'm definitely going to go to Pleasure Island tonight.

OK, I lied. I ended up not going to Pleasure Island. I had posted an announcement on RADP that I would be there either Monday or Tuesday night, but nobody responded, and the only RADP person I know of that was here was Paragon - and I think he left. If anyone was there and expected to see me, I give my apologies. You'll understand why I didn't go soon enough.
Lori commented:

Ok, John. Liar, liar, pants on fire! I suppose it's acceptable to go to E Ride Night instead. Word of caution, though.....

Don't let Paragon know you called her a "he". She might take offense and terrorize you with her boxcutters.

and Paragon, in her infinite wisdom, piped in with:

Doesn't matter to me. I will point out, though, that I was not at PI, nor was I on vacation in the World.
To which I sheepishly replied:

OOPS! How embarrassing! My bad... I meant to write ParrotHead, and instead wrote Paragon. I *knew* it was a pair o' something!

Sory about that...

Before leaving the hotel en route to MK, I stopped by the concierge desk. I had seen the perfect gift my older daughter at the TZToT gift shop (a TZToT baseball) and I had, stupidly, not picked it up. I'm not planning to return to MGM and, of course, you can't get them anywhere else. I wanted to check with the concierge if I could order one and have it delivered to my room. She told me I could order it, but wasn't sure about having it delivered. It was almost 5:00, which is when the gift ordering desk closes, so she called them to ask. Yes, they can get the TZToT ball, but, no, they can't deliver it to a hotel. They can only deliver to a residence. "Oh well..." I said.

The concierge asked my "When do you leave?"

"Friday."

"I'll get it for you."

"No, no, that's OK."

"No, really. No problem. Let me see... I'm off tomorrow and Thursday, and I'm in late on Friday..."
I realized she wouldn't be back in time and start to tell her.

"No, no, it's OK. Really. No problem. I'll get it tomorrow, and hop the boat over, and drop it off. I'd be glad to."

Needless to say, my opinion of the Dolphin has just jumped about 5 notches.

I thanked her profusely and left for the MK. I decided to take a route that would, in all likelihood, take longer than taking the bus, but it's a more pleasant trip. I really avoid the busses when I can, but I have also found that driving to MK is not a good way to get there. Getting there would have been fine, but leaving the park you have to wait in a long line for the monorail or the boat, then another long line for the parking lot tram. In hindsight, as it turns out, driving would have been OK. Anyway, the route I took was to walk the Epcot International Gateway, walk through Epcot to the monorail station, take the monorail to TTC, then switch monorails to the MK. A long route, but a fun trip.

As soon as I entered the MK I saw a sign that would throw a monkey wrench into my plans to visit PI. The sign read "E-night ticket pick up". It's an E-ticket night. Doing that would be cool, but of course I wouldn't be able to do PI. I could, conceivably do PI on Thursday night, but I'm thinking I might want to get up early on Friday and go to IOA. Decisions, decisions. I decided to walk to the tip board and see what was up with waits. The first I saw was "Space Mountain - 1 hour 20 minutes". E-night it is.

I went back to City Hall. I asked a CM standing in front of City Hall named Tony whether I should go to Town Hall first or go the wristband distribution desk. He said to go to the desk. When I got there the CM at the desk told me I had to go back to City Hall. I waved my finger accusingly at Tony and told him "You lied to me!" I explained what I meant, and then he apologized and pointed to the RADP button on my hat, saying "Now your going to write about me on the internet!" I told him that I was writing a Trip Report, saying, "By this time tomorrow, your name is MUD!" He pointed at his badge, with it's little red ribbon, saying, "But, look, I'm still earning my ears!" "We had a good chuckle, and when I saw him later by the tip board he tried to hide behind another CM. I pointed at him and said "MUD, Mr., your name is MUD!" If I had my digital camera with me I suppose I could have started taking his picture, yelling "I have 2 million readers and they're all going to know what a lousy CM you are!" But, I don't know, maybe I would have come off insane and obsessive. (I feel compelled to explain that the last bit there was some a.d.dland humor.)

Anyway, back at City hall, two CMs, one named Reed, helped me with get my E-night wristband. The other CM also had one of those ribbons, and Tony said "Look out, he's earning his ears, too!"

I figured I should check on the Fastpass for something, so I went to check out Splash Mountain. The return time was 10:05. Forget it. I went back to Casey's for a hot dog. There I had a little altercation with a CM (this one was not in jest.) I won't get into the details because I don't want to drag the report down, but it had to do with the fact that the counter was not being run in an efficient manner. I wasn't going to say anything, but one of the guys behind the counter was giving preferential treatment to people in one particular line. I called him on it, since I was right at the counter when he did it, and he argued that he was not giving preferential treatment. I didn't really want to argue with him because it just would have made people behind me wait even longer, but I hoped he would at least mention to his manager that the way they were doing it was a problem. Probably not.

Anyway, enough of that.

The only ride that I wanted to go on that wasn't on E-night was Winnie- the-Pooh. I went to check out Fastpass for it, but it was sold out. I spent the rest of the day just sort of wandering around, taking my time, and going on rides that didn't have long lines and that I either have never been on or haven't been on in several years. Thi included Hall of Presidents (I've never seen Clinton - it's an amazing animatronic. Maya Angelu [sp?] is annoying.), TTA (which I'd never been on - way better than the DL peoplemover. I especially like the part that goes through Space Mountain) and the Liberty Belle. I went on the Liberty Belle during MSEP. I went up to the pilot house and chatted with the CM Patrick. A very nice guy. Of course I rode Pirates of the Caribbean - what would a trip to MK be without visiting PoTC? I also dropped by the Toontown Railroad Station, and it just so happened that Bruce (Zazu) was working. We chatted for a minute and I apologized, again, for missing dinner. He recommended watching the fireworks from the end of the train station platform.

I also did a little shopping. I bought a polo shirt with the "2000" mickey logo on the breast for my dad's birthday. I called my mom to ask her what size I should get him. It's kind of cool, calling your parent's in California from WDW MK. Ain't technology grand?

I realized two things. First, I realized just how much time is spent on line. When you don't go on ajything with a long line you can really move at a slow pace. Also, there were many rides I just wouldn't want to go on by myself, like the teacups, or the autopia, because they're only fun as interactive experiences with others you are there with.

OK, it's now 1:10 and I have a session starting at 1:30 (at the Yacht Club, unfortunately), but I really want to try to finish today's report. So the rest will not be my usual verbose style. Don't everyone cheer at once.

Anyway, E-night was OK, but I really think it's kind of over-hyped. They make it sound like every ride is a walk-on, and they're not. In fact, the ride for Astro Orbiter - which I wanted to go on but didn't - was longer than it was close to closing time. Also, for the first hour you have to deal with the leftover long lines from the day. This means you really have to wait a while for the lines to go down. My suggestion would be to let the E-rnight people get on using the Fastpass entry. I wouldn't have done this - I'd say this ride is my least favorite at WDW. Not because it scares me, but but because it has a needlessly nasty tone to it. It's just not fun, IMHO.

First I went on Alien Encounter. Normally I would never go on this ride because I really don't like it. Not because I find it scary, but rather because it has a nasty tone. It's jus plain mean-spirited. Well, I figured this would be a good chance to give it another try. My opinion has not changed. In fact, if anything, I like it less.

I walked to the other sied of the parl and went on Haunted Mansion, Then BTMRR and Splash Mountain. All the lines were pretty short. Then I walked over to Tomorrowland and discovered that the lines were much longer there. I skipped Astro Orbitor because the line was too long to justify it and I was getting tired. Same for Buzz Lightyear, which wouldn't be all that fun by myself anyway. I went on Space Mountain with about a 15 minutewait. I was going to ride it again to do the other side (I went on the left), but the line had grown so I decided tocall it a night. I took the bus home.

Gotta go now, I'm late. Today's coming later.

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