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December 2008 Trip Report, Part 4 - Day 7


Disney MGM...
Deep in the bowels of Disney's Hollywood Studios... I found... a "M", "G", "M". What could it mean? Is it a code?

Thursday, December 18. Day 7

We're up late again, and we're going to do DHS again. I've learned my lesson, and get breakfast at the food court.

A bus actually comes this morning, and we get to the park around 9:30, and head directly for Toy Story Midway Mania. Once more we fastpass the attraction, and get in the standby queue. I win this time with about 140,000.

We again do the Great Movie Ride and I'm in the last row in the last car. So not only did I get the Cowboy version, but being in the last row, I'm able to get the entire movie in-frame. Now, we'll have to see about putting together the video... (And the video is here.)

Disney's Hollywood Studios
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We look at the schedule, and the Indiana Jones (TM) Epic Stunt Spectacular! is about to start in 20 minutes, so we go there and get a seat. Like the Lights! Motors! Action! stunt show, they've streamlined the show a bit to take a few unnecessary minutes out of the Cairo scene, but otherwise have left it alone.

We still have a few minutes to kill before our Toy Story fastpasses to become active, so we go over to RnRC and fastpass that, though we end up never using them. We're *still* a few minutes early, so we're going to go through the Toy Story character meet 'n greets across the street. They close the doors as were walking up to them, and they won't let us in. Bummer.

So instead, we then wander through One Man's Dream, since it's close to TSMM. I wonder how much foot traffic goes through this and Narnia's attraction to kill time before a Toy Store fastpass becomes active? They're the two closest attractions to Toy Story.

Finally, we're admitted to TSMM, and something becomes apparent. My arm is tired, and I can't pull the string as fast as I could this morning. Holding a camcorder through The Great Movie Ride and Indy, uses the same muscle that continually pulls the trigger in Toy Story. So that's the key! Blame the camcorder! :-)

Disney's Hollywood Studios
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As we're leaving DHS, Bruce notices an incomplete topiary of Dopey, and thinks it looks quite obscene. You can dress him up, you can wash his face, but you can't take him anywhere...

Disney's Hollywood Studios
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Our evening was to be spent at Epcot again. Back at the resort, we look a the dining options and decide to try to make early reservations at one of the restaurants at Epcot. For laughs, I tried Le Cellier. Nope. The second try was at Restaurant Marrakesh. I'd never eaten there, and I love Morocco's counter service place. No problem.

So, we're off to Epcot. We get to the World Showcase, and the darned boat is making it's way to Morocco, so we decide to walk. A quick stop in France to see the pastries for desert, and we walk into the Restaurant Marrakesh at almost exactly 3:30, the time of our reservations.

I order the lamb shank, Bruce orders one of the sampler platters. I looked at the samplers, and it looked like waaaaay to much food. The shank was delicious, the meat just falling off the bone. The sampler platter *was* waaaay to much food for one person. I was ready for desert, Bruce wimped out.

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Bruce still wants to ride a Segway, so we make the loooong trek back to Innoventions West and get in line. After a promotional video and signing away our first born, we get to ride one for a short while. It's easy and fun, but I can't imagine what I'd do with one. Maybe if Disney would allow me to use one in the parks...

Bruce rides a Segway
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A quick walk over to Ellen's, and we get to sit down for 40 minutes. Stupid Ellen and Stupid Judy haven't changed, but the front-middle ride vehicle is missing. Where do they put it? Is there another exit from the turntable in the main theater? Seems a bit odd, but there you are. No matter, the theater is less than a quarter full as it is.

I need caffeine, and there's a coffee stand outside of Energy, where I get a double espresso. I'm not into espressos and lattes and other non-coffee coffee drinks, but all I wanted was caffeine, and Bruce suggested it was the best way to get a dose. The espresso reminds of finely ground coffee eaten raw. But it did wake me up.

I take several night pictures all the way to Norway, and find out that Bruce hasn't seen the boat ride in Mexico. So it's on to the 'Grand Fiesta Tour Starring the Three Caballeros'. Is there an attraction with a longer name? Is it an improvement over El Rio Del Tiempo? I guess it is. It has Donald in it.

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We park ourselves on the bridge just on the North side of Mexico for Illuminations. There's an older couple that quiz me on their non-functional digital camera, even though I don't own that model. Oh well. Turns out it might just be a low battery.

They're from Southern California, and Disneyland is their home park, but there here for a few days staying in Fort Wilderness. They're afraid that the Monorail will stop running, and they won't be able to get back, but I explain to them that the transportation system runs here until far into the night. Disneyland Resort is a different animal from Walt Disney World.

The Bridge is a good place to see the fireworks, but not the Earth Globe. There's a fountain between the bridge and the Globe, blocking the globe whenever the fountain is high enough. Ah, well, the best laid plans...

As I walk out of Epcot, I look around at Spaceship Earth, the lights in the sidewalks and the smiles and tired faces of the guests around me. This is what it's all about. It's the memories and experiences you take away from this place. I don't care that they've cut back in some places, I don't care that the quality might not be as high as it was years ago, I don't care that they've taken down some cherished attractions. The place is still magic to me. Just being here lifts the spirits and makes me smile a little more. Thanks, Walt.

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End December 2008 Trip Report - Part 4.

Jump to: Part 1 Part 2 Part 3 Part 4 Part 5

  • 08/22/2012 - Updated to v3
  • 12/30/2012 - Update to v3.1
  • 08/31/2014 - Update to v3.2