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Friday, June 8, 2012

Adventures with Kirk - 2002 - Day 4

Day 4 - Sunday, October 20, 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-upThe next day, Sunday, was Early Entry (EE) at magic Kingdom (MK). We got up and were out of the room about 7:45. We were checking out, and the plan was to pack up Kirk's van and drive to TTC. Kirk left before me to take a cooler full of water he had brought out to his van. I gathered all my stuff, left the room and proceeded to the park lot. The wrong parking lot. As soon as I saw it I knew I was in the wrong place. What I needed was a property map - I knew which lot it was on the map, and if I had one I could get my bearings straight.
I wandered around for a while, then flagged down a groundskeeper who was driving around in one of those carts. She was very helpful and actually drove me around for a while - but I still couldn't find Kirk's van. She took me to the fourth and final lot - which looked right - but his van was not where I thought it should be. I went back to check in and got a map, realizing that the fourth lot was the correct one. I went back to the lot and ran into Kirk - he had moved the van while looking for me. Finally, we got on the road.

On our way in...

The castle in the distance
We arrived at the TTC about 8:30. There was a ferry ready to go that had plenty of room, so we got on. After docking we went to the entry turnstiles and something happened that I was afraid would - my ticket didn't work. You see, I had purchased a Length of Stay (LOS) pass, but I only wanted 3 days on it. I explained to the CM who issued the ticket very clearly that I wanted it for the last 3 days of my stay. The ticket had the correct expiration date printed on it, but it was apparently not programmed correctly. The CM at the turnstile wanted me to go to Guest Services outside the park, but I told her I didn't see why I should have to wait in a long line because of someone else's foul-up. She saw it my way and let me come in as long as I promised to go straight to Guest Services in the park. I said she didn't have to worry - after all, I wouldn't be able to use FP on the ticket until it was programmed correctly.
The CM at Guest Services in the park had my new ticket within a few minutes and we were on our way at 8:55. At least we got a bit of a leap on the teeming masses (OK, they weren't that teeming nor that massive.)

Taking the scenic route...

Someone got wise and covered this thing up. Now if they'd just take it out...
Since it was right there we hopped on the train at the Main Street station and rode to Frontierland. We got off and immediately headed to Splash Mountain (SplM) for FPs. You may recall what I wrote about getting as many FPs early in the day as possible. Well, as you will find out, this was a day when we really put that to use. SplM FPs in hand, we went over to the Haunted Mansion (HM) for our first ride of the day. After HM we decided to get breakfast, and I figured Tomorrowland was a good place to do that so we started in that direction. Our FP time for SplM was up, so we got another FP for Peter Pan Flight (PPF) since it was right there and the FP time was in 10 minutes.
Once in Tomorrowland we looked around to find a good place for breakfast - to no avail. After talking to a CM and looking at the guidebook we realized something neither of us ever really had realized before - there is no good place for breakfast at MK unless you want to do either muffins from a cart or a real sit-down (usually character hosted) breakfast.
I really needed something to eat - but mostly I needed coffee as I felt a caffeine headache coming on. So, I got a muffin and some coffee. Once I finished that we decided to ride Pirates of the Caribbean (PotC). After our boat ride with the buccaneers we figured we should maybe actually use one of our FPs, so we went on SplM. We sat in the front and got absolutely soaked. Luckily it was pretty warm that day - actually a bit hotter and more humid than the previous days.
Kirk wanted to see if we could get FPs for HM, but the machines weren't on and the line was too long to wait on. We also checked out Big Thunder Mountain RR, but the FP machines were turned off there as well and the line was real long. We needed to get some FPs, so we went back to SplM. Kirk got his but the machine I used didn't give me one, so the CM gave me two. Well, two didn't do us any good so Kirk asked if he could get another and the CM gave him one. We now had 4 FPs (2 each) for SplM.
Kirk was really hungry by then and I could have done with a meal as well - despite the muffin. We wanted to try the Mexican place but it wasn't open yet. It looked like it was about to open so we figured we could come back in a few minutes. And what better way to kill a few minutes than by spending it with some singing pirates? Off to PotC again for us.
We went back to the restaurant after our ride only to find a real long line and only one person working the counter. Kirk suggested tuna sandwiches at Columbia Harbor House instead, so that's where we went. And I have to say; he was right about the sandwiches. They were pretty good.
We decided to head back to Tomorrowland - this time for some rides. Again we passed by PPF, se we went ahead and used our FPs for a quick flight over London. Once in Tomorrowland we looked at the FP times for Buzz Lightyear (BL) and, finding the time favorable, we got the tickets. We then went for a restful ride on the Tomorrowland Transit Authority (TTA) - something we both like to do first whenever exploring Tomorrowland.
After that we were in the mood for something a bit more exciting, so we headed to Space Mountain (SM.) The line wasn't too long so we just went on. Kirk and I had been arguing about whether the SM in WDW has two tracks or not, Kirk insisting it does. I wasn't really sure, mostly I thought that either the WDW or the Disneyland version has only one track, and it made sense that it would be the WDW version as it was built first. Of course Kirk was right, there are 2 tracks in the WDW version, and they were both open. We decided to go to the left the first time. After the ride we agreed that the side we were on seemed unusually bumpy.
After the ride we could get FPs, so we got some for SM. We then headed over to Buzz Lightyear (BL), getting on using our FPs. I was looking at the really cool anamatronic of Buzz, and I realized that his face probably works differently than I thought. I always assumed his face was projected from somewhere inside his helmet, but now I'm pretty sure it's projected from behind. One of these days I'm going to go on BL and not bother with the guns so I can pay more attention to the ride itself. It's very cool and colorful, with lots of detail. When you're concentrating on your shooting score, however, you don't notice as much.

Ready to get splashed...

A nice relaxing ride on the TTA
We decided to head back to Frontierland, but we took a roundabout route. We went to Fantasyland, hopped on the train, and rode it all the way around to Frontierland. Once there we went to BTMRR and found that the FP machines had opened up. So, we got FPs for that, then headed over to SplM. We were almost seated in the front again, but we requested that we not be seated there - too wet. Once we got splashed our FP time was up for BTMRR, so we did that. We still had those extra FPs for SplM, se once we were done with our train ride we headed back to Chickapin Hill for one more go.
We were actually down to our last FPs. At one point we counted 6 FPs each in hand. We had taken 9 each altogether - and used them all. Our last tickets were for Space Mountain. We were almost ushered to the same track, but we requested the right. We agreed that the right side is not nearly as bumpy and a much more enjoyable ride. We both made a mental not to always try to use the right side.
Well, our trip to the World was coming to an end. We didn't have much time left and I wanted to do a little shopping, but Kirk wanted to take one last spin on TTA. So, we agreed to meet under the Main Street Train Station. I went shopping on Main Street and found lanyards for my kids. I also bought them both 2 pins - one of Minnie with faux birthstones, and another of Jock from Lady & the Tramp - who I figured would remind them of our dog Merry. Kirk and I met up a few minutes later and we left the park. On the way out we paid tribute to my brick - we had a bit of a time finding it and I was actually concerned that the new baggage security stand was on top of it. But no, there it was jut like always - actually I was standing on it.
On the ride to the airport we recounted the day's adventures. When we got to the airport I had a few minutes before I had to catch my flight, so we sat for a while. Actually, we recounted the day again - this time with me making notes for this report.
One thing about this trip, both Kirk and I agreed it was even more fun than our last. The main reason, I think, was that we were more relaxed. On our first trip, we hadn't seen each other for over 25 years. There's bound to be a certain anxiety associated with meeting up with someone you hadn't seen in that long. This time, we got right back into the grove and were enjoying ourselves from the get-go. We're talking about doing a trip to Las Vegas and maybe Disneyland next time. We'll see how it works out, but even if it's just another quick trip to WDW, I know it'll be a good time.

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