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Friday, June 8, 2012

Adventures with Kirk - 2001 - Day 3

Day 3 - Monday, December 10 2001

Kirk Intro

2001 Part 1
2001 Part 2
2001 Part 3

2002 Part 1
2002 Part 2
2002 Part 3
2002 Part 4


2005 Catch-upThe inevitable day came - the last of our all too brief trip. We rose early and packed our things. As we were staying using DVC points, and since I declined to have the keys activated for charges and we used my cell phone for all calls, there was no need to check out. We just took our bags down to Kirk's van and headed off for MGM.

The last time I was at WDW, which was for a business trip in July 2000, I noticed that they were working on making the path from the Boardwalk to MGM permanent. It wasn't done yet, though, so I was unable to use it. Well, it was done now so Kirk and I walked to MGM. We noticed that the walkway bordered part of the Boardwalk parking lot, so we didn't even bother going back through the lobby.

Since I had never walked to MGM before, I wasn't sure how long the walk would be. It seemed a bit longer than the walk to Epcot, but it isn't far and it is a very pleasant walk. Again, we arrived at MGM pretty much right at opening. This was Kirk's first trip to MGM - he had only been to Epcot and MK in the past.

MGM was even less crowded than MK was the day before. First off, I suggested we head down Sunset Blvd. and get FP for Rock'n Roller Coaster (RnRC). As we were leaving after getting our FP tickets, a CM handed us some other FP tickets that he called "baby swap" tickets. They had no time on them and he said we could use them whenever we wanted. He suggested that we should probably not both use them at the same time, which we thought was a bit weird.
Of course our path brought us right by Twilight Zone Tower of Terror (TZToT), which had a posted 10-minute wait (read: walk on). Now, TZToT is my personal favorite theme park attraction of all time, but Kirk was a little leery of riding it first thing in the morning because he had once had a bad experience with another "space shot" type ride. As a result, he wanted to make TZToT one of the last, if not the last, ride of the day. Knowing TZToT, I really didn't think he'd have a problem with it, but I wasn't about to push it. Knowing how much I like the attraction and that I'd probably like to ride more than once, and given the short wait, Kirk suggested I ride once by myself. I was happy to oblige.

The next thing on our agenda was - you guessed it - breakfast. I suggested the ABC Commissary, which I had heard was a good place for a quick meal. The place was practically deserted. I had French toast, OJ and coffee. Kirk had bacon & eggs and chocolate milk. I ordered French toast without knowing it was actually French toast "sticks". If I had known, I would have gotten the bacon & eggs as well. Still, it was pretty good.

By the time we were done with breakfast, our FP time was up for RnRC, so off we went. Taking the CM's advice to heart, we used one "regular" FP and one "baby swap". This was the first time I rode RnRC where there was no "Chris" in the studio - the scene works perfectly well without it, IMO.

After RnRC we rode the Great Movie Ride (GMR). They were only running one section, which, luckily, was the gangster section. I had seen the cowboy section on my last 2 previous rides. After GMR we went on Star Tours (ST). I had never been on the WDW version of ST, and Kirk had never been at all. I was mostly curious if the queue areas are the same, and they are. This turned out to be the only line worth mentioning - maybe 15 minutes - of our day. Kirk did not realize it was a simulator ride, and when he did he was concerned because he had also had a bad experience on another simulator ride. Afterward, however, he said it was no problem. I was sure to point out the "Mighty Microscope" from our old DL favorite "Journey through Inner Space".

We then watched Muppet Vision 4D - always a hoot - and then it was time for lunch. We had PS ressies at the 50's Prime Time Cafe (50sPT). I've always enjoyed 50s PT, but I got the impression that Kirk was not too impressed. I had grown a bit weary of all the fattening food I'd been eating, so i had a chicken caesar salad. Kirk had the meat loaf. The food, as usual, was pretty good and it was a lot of fun watching the CMs interact with various guests, and as usual I was glad to be more of an observer than a participant.

After lunch we went and checked out the "100 years of Magic" kiosks under the giant Mickey hat. These were OK, but really only good for a few minute diversion. And even as un-crowded as the park was, it was hard to find an open kiosk.

We then went to check out Walt Disney - One Man's Dream (OMD). OK, now this was cool. For anyone interested in the history of Disney, and particularly in the life of Walt Disney himself, this is a must. It's a series of displays set up in the form of a timeline starting with the day of Walt's birth. It is absolutely fascinating. I was especially interested in the recreation of Walt's office, and the various displays of working models for assorted Disney attractions. I think we spent about an hour there, I know I could have easily spent more time.

We then headed over to TZToT to get FP tickets, then to the Backlot Tour. A CM tried to get us to be in one of the scenes, but we begged out. I've done that sort of thing before and found it to be much more fun to observe.

Our time was dwindling down, so we headed back up Sunset Blvd. for one more trip on the RnRC. Finally, it was time for Kirk to experience the Terror of the Tower. We used our FP and got on with no wait. After the ride was over Kirk said 3 things: First, as I predicted, it didn't bother him at all. Second, he really wished he had gone on it with me that first time. Third, he agreed that TZToT is one of the best, if not the best, Disney park attraction.
We browsed through the TZToT gift shop for a few minutes where Kirk picked up a TZToT poster to go with his new HM poster, and I picked up some pins for the kids.
The time had come, and off we went. We left MGM and walked back to Kirk's van in the Boardwalk parking lot. We drove to the Orlando Airport and Kirk waited with me for my flight. We talked about what a great time we had, and relived parts of the trip. Kirk had mentioned how he's always wanted to visit Las Vegas. I had been thinking how I really think Kirk and my younger brother Todd, who also had fond memories of Kirk from our youth, would really hit it off. A plan started forming in my head of a future trip to Las Vegas - perhaps with a side excursion to good ol' DL - for me and Kirk and Todd. Hmmm...

Either way, I've re-established a connection with an old friend, and I know we'll see more of each other in the future. It's funny, I was worried about whether this trip would work out well, whether we'd still enjoy each other's company, or whether the years had changed us so much that it just wouldn't be the same. My worries were totally unfounded. As for myself, not only did I have a better time than I expected, I actually had a better time than I had hoped. I guess time only changes so much.

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