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Friday, June 8, 2012

Adventures with Kirk - 2002 - Day 2

Day 2 - Friday, October 18, 2002

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-up

Our alarm was set for 7:00 Friday morning, but that was more for Kirk than me (I can get ready in the morning very quickly - one of the benefits of having short hair.) I got up at 8:00 and we were out of the room at about 8:30. We caught the bus to Disney Studios (MGM) at 8:40. We arrived at the park just before it opened at 9:00.
A few words about my philosophy about using Fastpass (FP). FP is, IMHO, the Tivo of amusement park going. If you get Tivo, it will change the way you watch TV. If you use FP, it will change the way you approach touring a theme park. My basic philosophy is this - get as many FP tickets early in the game as you can. There are two reasons for this. First, a little fact that Disney does not exactly keep secret, but that they also don't advertise - you can ignore the end time on a FP ticket. They always read "Return between" two times, but in truth you can return any time after the first time on the ticket. Also, it's important to note that you can get another FP ticket as soon as the first time on your last ticket has passed. Finally, remember that, in the early hours at least, the FP times are for times close to the time the ticket was issued.
So, what does this mean? It means you should get as many FP tickets as you can early in the morning, but don't use them until later. Save them up and either go on popular attractions early when there is no line without using your FP ticket, or go on the less popular attractions in the morning. As an example, you might go to Splash Mountain SplM, pick up a FP and ride it without the FP, then when you're done you can get a FP for some other attraction saving the SplM FP for later. Or you could get a FP at Test Track (TT), go on Journey to the Imagination then get a FP for Honey, I Shrunk the Audience.

A little detail neither of us noticed before - a very special wait time

Ready for the big drop...
So, once we arrived at the park we headed straight down Sunset Blvd. We went to Rock'N Roller Coaster (RnRC), picking up a FP for that attraction before riding. Then we rode Twilight Zone Tower of Terror (TZToT) and got a FP for that when we were done. We then used our first RnRC FP to ride that again, picking up another FP for it when we were done.
One thing that Kirk and I learned on our previous trip is that the ABC Commissary is one of the best bargains (and best-kept secrets) for breakfast at WDW. We headed over and both ordered scrambled eggs with bacon, eating our meal outside.
We went back to RnRC and rode it again using our FP. I was starting to get a headache from the bright sunshine and my lack of sunglasses. I went to a store on Sunset Blvd. but they only carried Oakleys - a brand I don't like. We went to the First Aid station near the entrance and I got some Tylenol. I then went to another store and - since I couldn't find what I was looking for - I bought some cheap ($16) WDW sunglasses. They weren't what I wanted and they actually made everything look foggy in bright sunshine, but I figured they would keep me from getting another headache.

Goofin' off...

Quite an earful...
We then walked around for a while. Kirk wanted to take a picture of New York Street. He had never seen the Honey, I Shrunk the Kids playground so we took a look at that as well. In one particularly out-of-the-way location we spotted Goofy and had our picture taken. Neither of us had seen the Indiana Jones Stunt Spectacular and the showtime of 12:30 was coming up so we went to check it out. Actually, I had seen the first act of the show, but the rest of the show was canceled due to weather. Anyway, the 12:30 performance was about to start but we decided to get a FP for the 2:45 show instead.
We took the Backstage Tour, and when we were done with that we were both ready for lunch. I suggested we at least check out The Brown Derby, but we thought that was a bit rich so we went to the ABC Commissary again instead. It would seem that the Commissary was not such a well-kept secret for lunch and it was quite crowded at 1:15. Still, we got in quickly and both had Fish & Chips. It was pretty good and, again, a decent value.
After lunch we went over to the Hollywood Tower hotel again and checked in. As we entered the CM at the fast pass entrance made a comment that we were late, the first time I ever heard any even acknowledge the fact that the time on a FP ticket had past.
After riding the service elevator at the hotel it was time for the Indiana Jones Stunt Spectacular. This was one of the few times that Kirk and I had a chance to do something neither of us had done before. I did see the first act on a previous trip, but only up to the part where they remove the set and the show moves outside, so I considered it my first viewing. The show was a good solid stunt show - a fun diversion but not much more or less than other shows of that type.
Kirk had mentioned earlier that he had never done the Disney Animation attraction so we headed over there, but the show had just started. We went to see if we could go on The Great Movie Ride (GMR) and get back in time for the next Animation show but the line was about 20 minutes for GMR. So, we headed over to One Man and his Dream (OMaHD) and walked around looking at the displays. This is an excellent display, IMHO, and very interesting. I especially enjoy the models of park attractions and the display of Disney's old desk.
We left OMaHD just in time for the next Animation show. I noticed that it had changed since the last time I saw it - not surprising since that was in 1992. There used to be TV monitors over each section with the animated Robin Williams character talking about each department. These monitors are now gone. The movie they showed a preview for was "Treasure Planet" which looks like it might be interesting.
We still wanted to go on GMR so we did that next with no wait at all. The CMs were particularly good and we sat in the front where we could get a real good look at that awesome Wicked Witch anamatronic, so it was a good ride. Even up close the witch looks convincing.
It was getting into the evening hours so started making our way toward the Fantasmic! (F!) Theater. On our trip last year we discovered the "100 Years of Magic" ice cream bars, so we picked up a couple as we entered Sunset Blvd. We then headed over to TZToT and used our last FP on that. We then entered the F! theater and found our seats. We had good seats close to the middle (Scar section), although there was a pole right in front of us. When we were planning this trip I highly recommended that we see F! not so much because of my opinion of the show, but more because of the opinions of others. Truth is, I don't see what the fuss is all about. From the first time I saw F! at Disneyland when it first opened I've considered it to be an "OK" show but nothing great. What was Kirk's opinion after seeing it? "It was OK". Maybe he was influenced by my opinion. We left the theater and headed back. We had a bit of a time finding our bus stop because neither of us noted the stop when we arrived. They really should post a sign informing the guests of which busses go to which stops so you don't have to go to each stop and look at the individual signs.
We got back to the room around 8:45. We headed to our same spot to sit and chat, but there were too many people there. So, we looked around and discovered a quite spot - the children's play area. We sat and gabbed for a while then went back to the room and hit the sack at around 11:30.

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